Be healthy with the latest information and tips on diet, nutrition, and natural medicine!

Memory & Focus: Tips For Improving Your Cognitive Performance

If you’ve ever forgotten something important, then you know how frustrating it is. Most people associate memory loss with aging, but the truth is that most people could benefit from consciously improving their working memory, ability to focus, and overall cognitive performance. Daily practice can help you improve your ability to recall details and manage your daily responsibilities. Training your brain for enhanced memory in focus will allow you to fully engage in life, become more productive, and stay “sharp.” Here are some tips for improving your cognition.   Pay Attention to Your Diet & Exercise Routine Diet is an important factor in cognitive performance and making sure you’re getting the right nutrients is key for improving memory and focus. A diet rich in leafy green vegetables, fish, nuts, berries, and even coffee and tea can improve your memory and help you function at your peak. Fuel your brain (and your body!) the right way to stay mentally fit. You should also get outside or to the gym and exercise regularly. Exercise has countless benefits, with cognitive performance being one of them. Research indicates that people who exercise regularly develop a larger hippocampus, which affects memory.   Play Memory Games Your brain needs exercise, just like your body. Committing to daily brain teasers and memory games is a great way to stay sharp as you get older. Something as simple as writing down ten words and then doing something else before trying to remember the words you wrote down is a simple, yet effective way to keep your brain “in shape.” Brain games don’t have to take up a lot of time, but you should do them consistently. They can also be a lot of fun—jigsaw puzzles, the daily crossword, Sudoku are all fantastic brain exercises. Try keeping a book of puzzles next to the couch and tackle one each day. You can also boost your brainpower by learning a new skill or improving an existing one. Your cognitive function will begin to deteriorate over time if you don’t challenge your brain with novel experiences. Even simply listening to music or exploring an unfamiliar environment can help!   Take Up Meditation and Get a Good Night’s Sleep Although it’s important to challenge your brain, it’s just as important to let it rest. Workaholics take note: you need to step back and relax if you want to operate at your peak level of performance. Meditation is a great daily habit for improving focus and memory. You can do it anywhere you can find a quiet space, and even just a few minutes can be beneficial. Yoga and Tai Chi can also be beneficial for your mental wellness and performance. You should also ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep improves memory and is essential for focus, mood, and general health and well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s important to find out why so you can make adjustments and get more rest.   Spend Time with [...]

2020-09-16T15:15:07-07:00 By |

12 Ways to Support Your Immune System Naturally

Your immune system is your frontline defense against environmental toxins, viruses, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms. Unfortunately, the toxins present in today’s world are weakening the human immune system at an ever-increasing rate and there’s only so much we can do to control what we’re exposed to. On the flip side, certain tools and supplements can help support your immune system. What Is the Immune System and Why Does It Need Support Your immune system is your body’s security system. It’s your natural defense against harmful organisms that cause sickness and contagious outbreaks. You come in contact with these agents every day and most are neutralized by your immune system without you even knowing it. However, if your immune system is weak, it may not win the battle against invading organisms, and that’s when you can get sick. The quality of your immune system relies on you — what you eat, what you’re exposed to, your physical health, and even your mental health. Suffice to say, you can support your immune system with nutrition, you can support it by bolstering your defenses and reducing the invading microorganisms it has to defend against, and you can support it by having good physical and mental health. 12 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Naturally A healthy diet devoid of refined sugar and processed foods is one of the best ways to support your immune system and physical exercise is also important. While these methods are helpful, they aren’t always enough. In a world where toxins run rampant and exposure is difficult to avoid, we really need to take extra precautions. Here are 12 ways to support your immune system naturally. 1. Probiotics The good bacteria in your gut are known as probiotics and are responsible for supporting digestion, combating harmful organisms, and keeping your immune system in check. Considering that 70% majority of your immune system resides in your gut, maintaining a balance of probiotic bacteria is essential for nurturing your immune defenses.[1, 2] Probiotic-rich foods like kombucha, sauerkraut, and kefir, or a high-quality, probiotic supplement can help balance your ratio of good to bad bacteria. A probiotic supplement like Latero-Flora™ is another effective way to encourage good balance. If you’re looking for a supplement that can improve your gut health, check out LATERO-FLORA at the AlrightStore. 2. Intestinal Cleansing Whether you’re on the road, at your computer, eating, or sleeping on a toxic mattress, it’s a safe bet that you’re exposed to toxins 24 hours a day. Most toxins take up residence in your intestines to wreak havoc on your health by degrading your immune system and weakening your defenses. Regular intestinal cleansing with an oxygen based colon cleanser like Oxy-Powder® can support your immune system by providing a balanced, clean environment for probiotic bacteria to thrive. The positive benefits of intestinal cleansing with Oxy-Powder® are enhanced when it’s paired with a good probiotic supplement. If you’re looking for a supplement that can improve your intestinal [...]

2020-09-16T15:22:31-07:00 By |

Five Mind-Blowing Ways Beets Can Improve Your Health

Beets, also know as beetroots, are a brightly colored root vegetable popular in many styles of cuisine. Beets are often incorporated into many delicious recipes. They can be used in everything from salads to desserts. They can be juiced for a super potent health drink, steamed for use in various dishes, or even pickled for storage. While chefs and culinary artists are long familiar with the beet, modern medicine is taking a renewed interest in this intriguing tuber. Here are five ways health experts have identified beets as being incredibly good for you. 1. A True Superfood Beets are absolutely loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, trace elements, and dietary fiber. Amazingly, the beet has some levels of just about every vitamin you need to sustain yourself. Despite all this nutritional goodness, beets have very low caloric content. There isn't much sugar or fat, but there is actually a decent amount of protein relative to how few calories are found in beets. This makes the beet a real ally for anyone looking to add some extra vitamins and minerals to their diet without blowing up their calorie count at all. Aside from just everyday nutrients, beets are also rich in pigments such as betanin (responsible for beet's red color) and inorganic nitrates, a precursor to nitric oxide, which have been studied for their potential health benefits. 2. Improves Your Body's Performance There aren't many things that can make a legitimate claim to actually making you stronger, faster, or more physically capable. But beets happen to be one of them. Researchers have identified beet's high nitrate concentrations as a likely source of this ability. Diets high in nitrates appear to improve the function of mitochondria in cells throughout the body. This effect is most pronounced in the muscles, which is why beets have been studied for their potential to improve athletic performance. In one study, researchers found that drinking 17 ounces of beet juice a day for six days let them perform high intensity exercise for as much as 15-25% longer. This isn't just something to beef up already well-performing athletes, either. Beets can be a great way for anyone to improve their levels of physical activity and feel better throughout the day. Not only that, researchers have looked into using beets to help patients suffering from issues which result in low skeletal muscle, or those in a recovery program requiring strenuous exercise. 3. Enhances Brain Function In a similar way that beet's high nitrate content can help athletes perform better, it also appears to be helpful for brain function as well. Beets help to dilate the blood vessels, increasing the blood flow to the brain. This increases the available oxygen, sugars, and other essential compounds your brain needs to conduct its business. In a study in patients with type 2 diabetes, patients who consumed beet juice daily performed 4% better on a test of cognitive performance than those who did not. 4. Improves Digestion We've already [...]

2020-09-16T16:58:56-07:00 By |

Three Eggciting Facts About A Favorite Breakfast Food

It's easy to be a little confused by the history of the egg. At first it was praised as a health food. Then an incomplete picture of how cholesterol works led many to condemn the egg as being quite bad for your heart and cardiovascular health. Now that science has improved, this conclusion has been dramatically reversed. The pendulum has swung back again. Eggs are a health food once more. But this time it is for sure. We know more than ever before about what eggs can do for your health. Let's take a look at some intriguing egg facts.   Knocking Down Egg Myths Before we get into the data that demonstrates how great eggs are for your health, let's dispense with one of the more prevalent myths about the egg. Early nutritionists' recognized that nearly half the calories from eggs come from the fat in the yolk. Contained within this fat are high levels of cholesterol. While today we understand the body's relationship with cholesterol to be a complicated one including multiple forms of cholesterol and different manners of processing it, these early nutritionists' lacked such a complete picture. As such, the association between high cholesterol and poor cardiovascular health was all they had to go on. Eggs were, for a time, labeled an unhealthy food. Today, research has demonstrated that eggs do not increase levels of “bad” cholesterol. While those managing a condition with a low cholesterol diet may want to avoid eggs, for healthy individuals eggs can be an important source of nutrition with no negative health effects. Don't take our word for it. Studies have shown that you can eat as many as 12 eggs per week without any measurable effect on cholesterol levels. That's almost 2 eggs every day! Now that we've got that out of the way, it's time to take a peek at what eggs can do for your diet.   1. Eggs Are A Truly Exceptional Source of Nutrients It's not hard to see why eggs are such a rich source of nutrition. After all, they have to contain everything needed to nourish a baby chick until it hatches. Eggs are well-known as an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. You might be less aware that eggs contain traces of nearly every single vitamin, mineral, and nutrient your body needs to live. Many of these are just in trace concentrations, but eggs provide a healthy dose of vitamins A, B2, B5, and B12. It's also a great source of the essential mineral nutrient selenium. You find all of this goodness in the yolk, which is packed with nutrients. But don't go throwing out those egg whites, either. Egg white is almost entirely protein and is an excellent way to boost your protein intake.   2. Eggs Help Nourish Your Brain Although it is an essential nutrient, few of us have heard of a compound called choline. Eggs are a rich source of choline. Necessary for [...]

2020-09-16T15:28:45-07:00 By |

Six Reasons Baking Soda Isn’t Just for Cakes

Baking soda is something that can be found in just about every household. Intriguingly enough, what it's doing in those homes can vary quite a bit. You're probably already familiar with baking soda's eponymous role in baking. You might even know of it as an effective cleaning agent. But did you know that baking soda also offers some extremely useful medicinal properties as well? Baking soda is composed of a salt known as sodium bicarbonate. While sodium bicarbonate does occur naturally, it is mostly produced artificially. Ancient Egyptians were familiar with a mineral salt known as natron, which is made from a mixture of sodium carbonate compounds and contains roughly 17% sodium bicarbonate. Though natron was important in antiquity, often being employed as a cleaning agent and an early form of soap, it would take modern chemistry to truly unlock the potential of sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate's history as a consumable begins in the mid-1800s. It started when a British chemist was experimenting with chemical leavening agents in the hopes of assisting his wife's baking efforts. She suffered from a yeast allergy. After discovering sodium bicarbonate's ability to make bread rise with no yeast, it didn't take long for it to be christened “baking” soda and hit the market. While this particular feature was what brought sodium bicarbonate its modern day ubiquity, baking soda rapidly came to be appreciated outside of the kitchen as well.   What Baking Soda Does For The Body Although you probably get a little bit of baking soda in whatever baked goods you eat, it's not exactly part of the diet. Instead of a foodstuff or even a supplement, baking soda's uses in the body are more reminiscent of a medicine. It can be used to help in the treatment of a variety of conditions both minor and severe. It's great to have on-hand to tackle common symptoms that could befall anyone. Let's take a look at six ways to can put baking soda to use to make life a little simpler. 1. Baking Soda Can Calm Heartburn And Indigestion Sodium bicarbonate is an active ingredient in many over-the-counter remedies for heartburn and indigestion. Because it is highly alkaline, it does a great job of neutralizing the acid in your stomach. This acid can be a major contributor to indigestion and ulcer pain, and is the root cause of heartburn. Instead of buying an expensive preparation like Alka-Seltzer, you can make your own at home. Just add a little bit of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it down.   2. Baking Soda Is An Effective Anti-Inflammatory Agent Inflammation is a major source of pain and a contributor to chronic conditions in the body. In experimental trials, researcher's identified baking soda as activating a novel anti-inflammatory pathway in mesothelial cells, which can disperse this effect throughout the body. This has been investigated for its potential to help manage rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases which cause inflammation. [...]

2020-09-16T15:30:48-07:00 By |

What Coconut Water Can Do For Your Health and Hydration

Coconuts seem to be all the rage these days. Coconut water, milk, oil, and dozens of other coconut-based products have gained massive popularity within the last decade. The reason why is clear to everyone involved. Doctors, scientists, alternative health experts, and seemingly everyone who tries it agrees: coconuts are delicious and exceptionally potent as a superfood. Coconut water is a completely natural product of the coconut. Young, green, unripened coconuts contain this delicious semi-sweet liquid sloshing about inside of them. Coconut water is only found in young coconuts, as it eventually thickens into a sweeter liquid known as coconut milk before finally forming into a delicious fleshy material. Interestingly enough, despite their vastly similar origins, coconut water has been identified as offering several unique health benefits which coconut oil and other coconut products do not. Let's take a look! How Coconut Water Can Be Used To Promote Good Health Few things are more important to your body's health than proper hydration. Every cell in your body requires water to function. Water is the essential element for lubricating, transporting, and facilitating countless chemical reactions throughout the body. Achieving proper hydration means more than just drinking a few glasses of water. You also need a balance of electrolytes. These are essential for your body's ability to absorb and transport water to where it's needed most. Makers of sports drinks like Gatorade have known this for decades. They have tried to replicate an “ideal” formula to properly rehydrate athletes after extreme exertion. But none of them have done nearly as well as Mother Nature. It turns out that coconut water has almost exactly the same electrolyte balance as human blood – and it is the ideal way to hydrate the entire body. Amazingly, coconut water is so similar to human blood plasma in its composition that it can be injected intravenously and has been used this way by doctors in emergency situations for years! When extracted from the coconut, coconut water is isotonic and completely sterile and is the only natural fluid that can be safely injected into the body in this way. For this reason, some have gone as far as to call coconut water the “perfect fluid” for hydrating the human body. Not only that, coconut water also contains a mixture of nutrients, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants all complete with their own useful attributes. Among other things, coconut water has been identified as having the potential to:   Have anti-inflammatory action Promote healthy digestion and aid as a digestive tonic Help balance blood glucose and insulin levels Provide phytonutrients and trace elements to the diet Boost immune function Promote skin and eye health High potassium content can help improve heart and urinary tract function Help replace sodas or sugary drinks to aid in weight loss or diabetes management   Putting A Damper On Old Age Coconut water has no shortage of benefits for the old and young alike. Amazingly, it may even help everyone [...]

2020-09-16T17:11:48-07:00 By |

Four Healthy Reasons Celery Is More Than Just a Diet Fad

Celery is a polarizing vegetable. You either love it or you hate it. It seems our bodies are pretty fond of it, even for those of us whose taste buds don't find it so agreeable. It turns out that just about every part of the celery plant, from the leaves to the seeds to the most familiar and delicious part, the long, crispy, fibrous stalk, have benefits for your health. Celery is a marshland plant native to the marshes of the Mediterranean. It grows wild in most of the wetter parts of Europe. To grow the long, juicy celery stalks you find in your local grocery store, celery requires a ton of moisture. Since it's mostly water, you might wonder how celery manages to do anything in your body at all. Let's find out.   How Celery Is More Supplement Than Food Celery is often highlighted as a potential example of a “negative calorie” food. The idea here is that it takes your body more energy to process celery than it gets out of the deal. So, hypothetically, if you looked at the nutritional facts on some celery, you might see a negative value for the number of calories. It's not entirely clear if this is true, but it is certain that there are next to no calories in celery. Despite that, the high fiber and water content can help satiate your appetite. This has made celery immensely popular as a diet food. For people who aren't looking to lose weight, you might be wondering what the point of eating celery is at all. Unless you're fond of the taste, why eat something that isn't going to provide you any calories? To be fair to celery, it does have a modest dose of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It's also a great source of fiber. But what celery really has going for it is a whole bunch of useful compounds and properties that can benefit your health. Let's look at four of them.   1. Celery Is Great For Your Digestive Health As the source of all your body's energy, it's vital to keep your digestion running smoothly and efficiently extracting nutrition from your food. Celery can help. Celery is composed mostly of indigestible fiber. This stuff is great for your guts! It moves quickly through the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep you regular. The high water content in celery is also beneficial to the health and regularity of your bowels. Not only that, several compounds such as apiuman which are found in celery have been associated with decreased incidence of stomach ulcers. Celery can actually help repair and improve the lining of the stomach and assists the body's natural regulation of stomach secretions.   2. Celery Is Full Of Flavonoids It just so happens that celery is an exceptional source of a class of compounds known as flavonoids. These act as essential (but lesser-known) nutrients and perform a huge array of functions in [...]

2020-09-16T15:32:30-07:00 By |

Why You Should Be Drinking Lemon Water

I’m all about staying well-hydrated, but basic water isn’t my favorite. I never seem to drink enough “plain” water, so I need to jazz it up to meet my daily recommended fill. All I need is a little flavor, and lemon is the go-to add-in that makes all the difference. Not only does it make my water more taste bud-friendly, but there are a number of benefits to boot. I can drink lemon water from the moment I get up ‘till bedtime, and I never get tired of it. It’s refreshing and thirst-quenching, and I always feel healthy when I get plenty of hydration. I leave a bunch of lemon wedges in a pitcher with purified water in the fridge, and I also make to-go bottles I can grab on my way out the door. I also squeeze lemon into hot water as an alternative tea when I’m in the mood to relax. Do it your way, as long as you do it! Here’s why you should be drinking lemon water too. You’ll notice a change in your energy and overall well-being.   Ayurvedic Roots – It’s The Real Deal Alternative medicine appeals to me, as I try to stay as all-natural as I can. Lemon water is a go-to for those practicing, for many health-related reasons. Lemon is cleansing. It not only leaves my mouth feeling fresh and tingly, but it also aids in digestion. My system always feels like it’s working like a well-oiled machine when I drink lemon water throughout the day. Ayurvedic medicine also suggests that lemon water improves complexion, helps with weight maintenance, and may even reduce the chance of developing heart disease. It’s also recommended as a cold remedy, breaking up phlegm and easing chest pain. Not to mention, the Vitamin C in lemons is a natural immune booster. As I quench my thirst, I feel like the picture of good health.   Cold Or Warm? Lemon water can be enjoyed cold or warm, as both options have their plusses. I love an ice cold glass when I’m really thirsty, as it perks me up and gets my motor running. It’s also a terrific post-workout beverage, cooling me down with every gulp. I tend to drink more water when it’s cold too, so I always have a steady supply in the fridge. It’s also fun to freeze ice cubes with chunks of lemon frozen inside. When they melt, more lemon infuses into the glass. It’s pretty and practical! Warm has it’s benefits too. I start the day with a warm cup, as it fills my belly and gives me time ‘till breakfast. I’m not quite ready for something too cold first thing, so this warm beverage eases me into the morning, waking me up with its fragrance and flavor. When I’m having an upset stomach, the warm lemon water eases my symptoms. It also flushes toxins out of the body more readily. I find it to be a stress [...]

2020-09-16T21:13:30-07:00 By |

Five Curious Carrot Health Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know About

It might seem like there is nothing surprising about carrots. After all, they're one of the most popular vegetables on the planet. Put them in a salad, a soup, a curry, eat them raw with some dip, or cook them up for a soft, delicious, and nutrient-rich addition to lunch or dinner. Carrots are so versatile and popular that the average American eats around 12 pounds of carrots each year! But again, that's nothing terribly surprising about this tuber that you probably weren't already aware of. The really interesting thing about carrots is their hidden health benefits. In central Asia and the Middle East where carrots were originally cultivated, ancient farmers regarded carrots as more of a medicine than a foodstuff. It turns out they were on to something.   How Carrots Can Improve Your Health And Your Diet To list all the health benefits of carrots, you'd need to write a book about them. And many people have. You're probably already aware that carrots are healthy part of most people's diet. They're low in calories and high in nutrition. They're jam packed with beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and other essential nutrients. Carrots also provide a potent source of antioxidants. As much as carrots have a place in anyone's diet, let's take a look at what sorts of hidden benefits eating carrots can provide you with.   1. Carrots Fight Cancer Several studies have linked consuming carrots to a reduced risk of cancer. One study found that an extract of carrot juice killed cancer cells in a test tube experiment. Another study found that diets high in carrots reduced the risk for prostate cancer. A meta-analysis of medical literature discovered an association between consuming carrots and reducing the risk of gastric cancer by as much as 26%. These exciting findings offer an excellent reason to chow down on that extra carrot!   2. Carrots Are Great For Your Brain When your brain feels a bit foggy, you might reach for a cup of coffee. But maybe you should try a carrot or two instead. Diets rich in carrots have been associated with improved memory and cognitive function. A study of middle-aged men found that those who ate a lot of carrots and other root vegetables showed less signs of cognitive decline associated with aging.   3. They Really Are Good For Your Eyes You've probably heard that carrots are good for your vision. It's an age-old adage on why you ought to eat your vegetables. In the Second World War, the British cleverly disguised the fact they had deployed a new technology known as radar by giving carrots a little too much praise. They claimed that the pilots of the Royal Air Force had achieved a sort of super-human vision thanks to their healthy, carrot-rich diets, which allowed them to navigate their planes in the dead of night. Of course, this is a myth, but like any good myth it's based on a kernel [...]

2020-09-16T15:35:18-07:00 By |

Five Ways Flaxseed Is More Than Just A Boring Old Food

Humanity's relationship with the flax plant stretches back as far as the ancient Egyptians. The flax plant has many useful properties, but of special interest are its seeds, known as flaxseed. Flaxseed has been part of the human diet of thousands of years, if not longer. It is exceptionally nutritious, high in fiber, and easy to incorporate into a variety of delicious snacks and meals. Although our ancestors clearly recognized the nutritious value of flaxseed, modern science is now revealing an array of hidden health benefits which the humble and ancient flaxseed can provide. As it turns out, flaxseed is a superfood in every sense of the word. It's rich in essential nutrients, healthy fats and fatty acids like Omega-3s, proteins, calcium, iron, and it is very calorie dense. It contains trace elements and phytochemicals that can be rare in modern diets, as well as a class of powerful antioxidants known as lignans, of which flaxseed is one of the most potent natural sources. Adding flaxseed to your diet has the potential to benefit your health in numerous ways. Let's take a look at some of them.   How Flaxseed Is More Than Just A Foodstuff Just by its nutritional profile alone, it's easy to see that flaxseed is a great thing to incorporate into anybody's diet. It's an excellent way to get a healthy snack rich in proteins and good fats. Flaxseeds can be eaten by themselves, added to smoothies, salads, trail mix, even milled into flour, or ground into butter. But intriguingly, it seems that there are some properties inherent to flaxseeds that are good for your health and not just a useful way to fill up on nutritious calories. Evidence for this comes from the popularity of flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is made by grinding and pressing flaxseeds to extract their oils. A variety of studies have been conducted on flaxseed oil, with some promising results. Here's five impressive ways flaxseed oil has been shown to be good for the body: 1) In animal studies and limited human trials, flaxseed oil was showed to act as an anti inflammatory and reduce the levels of key proteins associated with inflammation. 2) Flaxseed oil has been shown to promote healthy digestion and gastrointestinal health. Animal studies have demonstrated that flaxseed oil can act as a laxative while simultaneously acting as an anti-diarrheal agent, promoting overall bowel regularity. 3) Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely abundant in both flaxseed and flaxseed oil. Their health benefits are wide ranging, including improving the health of the heart and cardiovascular system, slowing aging in the brain, and reducing inflammation. 4) Flaxseed oil has been demonstrated to slow the spread of cancer cells in animal studies. But wait – we promised you five reasons! Well, here comes the big one... 5) Lignans: The Antioxidants You Didn't Know You Needed Flaxseeds are one of the best dietary sources of lignans. But what the heck is a lignan? Lignans are in a [...]

2020-09-16T16:57:44-07:00 By |

Three Reasons To Make Beans A Staple of Your Diet

Ah, the humble bean. Widespread across the globe, these little packets of nutrition have been the staple of diets and even the stuff of legend. Beans are a type of legume, a seed from one of several species in the flowering pant family Fabaceae. Archaeologists have discovered that Fabaceae species, especially those from the genus Phaseolus which is responsible for beans, were some of the earliest plants to be cultivated by humanity. The origins of humanity's relationship with these plants traces back to ancient Afghanistan and the foothills of the Himalayas. Bean cultivation would later spread to Asia, where in what is now modern day Thailand the evidence of bean farming predates ceramics. Even to these ancient people, the nutritional value of beans was clear. Now modern health experts are shining a light on what a good decision our ancestors made by giving us the bean.   How Beans Manage To Be Delicious, Nutritious, And Good For Your Body You probably already know a bit about how exceptionally nutritious beans are. That's part of why they are so popular. There is a huge variety of beans out there. In the United States, the most popular types are black, pinto, kidney, and fava beans. They are an exceptional source of plant-based proteins, often making beans a primary protein source for vegetarian or vegan diets. Because beans are high in protein but low in calories, it's easy to consume sizable portions to meet daily protein requirements. In some regions of the world, beans and other legumes are the only source of protein in the diet! Luckily, beans are also packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, and potassium. It even has some vitamins such as B1, B6, E, and K, as well as a dose of selenium, zinc, and copper. Amazingly enough, beans contain at least some trace of just about everything required to keep your body alive. But what else might these beans be doing for our health? Let's take a look at three fascinating features of this common foodstuff.   1. Beans Can Be A Heart-Healthy Food Beans have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Beans have also been linked to lowering blood pressure, increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and improving the overall health of the heart and cardiovascular system. There is also some evidence suggesting a diet high in beans helps suppress inflammation throughout the body, letting the blood circulate more effectively.   2. Beans Can Help With Your Weight Loss Goals Because beans are high in protein and fiber, they do a great job at satiating your appetite. At the same time, they're low in calories. This is an exceptional combination for anyone looking to curb their over-eating or just add healthy, nutrient-rich foods to their diet plan. Inexpensive and easy to prepare in an almost endless variety of different dishes, beans make a fantastic staple in any almost diet. Not only that, studies have linked [...]

2020-09-16T15:40:26-07:00 By |

The Amazing Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Is A Health Food

When you think of chocolate, your imagination probably veers more towards candy than health food. There is good reason for this. Most of the “chocolate” you find in stores is filled with dairy, refined sugars, preservatives, and extremely processed. These candies contain very little of what actually makes chocolate chocolate: cacao. Cacao beans have a rich chemistry filled with biologically useful compounds like epicatechin (which can act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) and resveratrol, an interesting substance that has been studied for its neuroprotective benefits. Enter dark chocolate. Made properly, dark chocolate can tame the bitterness of cacao and provide an easy – even enjoyable – way to let your body experience the many helpful effects of cacao's unique biochemistry.   Dark Chocolate: A Healthy Snack? Before we look at the health benefits of dark chocolate, let's first define exactly what it is. For those looking to use dark chocolate to improve their health, the goal is to find a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. Ideally, 70% or above. This is because the real benefit of dark chocolate is in its ability to make cacao a bit more palatable. Cacao is extremely bitter, but after mixing it with a sweetener we get the mixture known as chocolate. Adding sugar to the mixture doesn't negate the health benefits of consuming cacao, but it's important to be careful. Too much sugar or additives and we've left dark chocolate behind and instead created sweets.   What Dark Chocolate Can Do For Your Brain And Body If you're a big fan of dark chocolate, or you're willing to incorporate it into your diet, what sort of health effects might you expect? Cacao and dark chocolate have been recognized as a useful supplement since antiquity. The Mayans and Aztecs of the 14th century valued the cacao bean so much that they used it as a form of currency. Today, modern research is revealing in great detail just how this age-old delicacy can improve our health. Here's just a few ways: Resveratrol, found in high concentrations in cacao and dark chocolate,  has been shown to be able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier and enter the central nervous system, where it demonstrates anti-inflammatory action. This is significant as central nervous system inflammation is involved in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Resveratrol has also been observed to stimulate the mitochondria of the cell in a manner similar to physical exercise and produce similar benefits. A 2012 study found that consuming dark chocolate cut risk of heart attack by as much as 37% and stroke by 29%. Dark chocolate has been studied as an aid to manage diabetes and cardiovascular issues. It has been demonstrated to lower insulin resistance, reduce blood pressure, and reduce LDL cholesterol. Has shown to improve liver function in patients with cirrhosis. Promotes the health of gastrointestinal flora. Reduces stress hormones and promotes a relaxed state of mind. Improves skin and helps protect against UV damage. Helps [...]

2020-09-16T15:57:42-07:00 By |