Kale is an amazing superfood which fights cancer and increases longevity

  • Published in Health

What is kale?  It's that green leafy vegetable that many people ignore in the produce section.  What's so special about it?  Well we're glad that you asked!

Cancer fighting - it contains organosulphur compounds which have been proven to be effective against fighting cancer.  Studies have shown that animals that consumed these organosulphur compounds reduced the size of their tumors.

Protects eyes - Kale is rich in carotenoids which help protect the eyes from the sun and prevent cataracts.

Tell me more :) - One cup of Kale provides 90% of your daily value of vitamin C and 192% daily value of vitamin A.  It also has an high amount of calcium!

How can you eat it?  You can chop it up and add it to salad.  Many people juice it although it can taste real bitter this way.

Overall, this vegetable can work wonders on the body!  So go out and grab some kale.  After all, momma always said to eat your veggies :)

 

Peace & Love,

Jon

- The Good World News

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'Superfoods' Everyone Needs

  • Published in Health
Experts say dozens of easy-to-find 'superfoods' can help ward off heart disease, cancer, cholesterol, and more.
Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Did we mention that there are no side effects? You'd surely stock up on a lifetime supply. Guess what? These life-altering superfoods are available right now in your local supermarket.

"The effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is astounding," says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, author of Nutrition for a Healthy PregnancyFood & Mood, and The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals.

"Even people who are healthy can make a few tweaks and the impact will be amazing," Somer says. "I'd say that 50% to 70% of suffering could be eliminated by what people eat and how they move: heart disease, diabetes, cancer,hypertension can all be impacted."

You don't need specific foods for specific ailments. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer. One thing they all have in common: "Every superfood is going to be a 'real' (unprocessed) food," Somer points out. "You don't find fortified potato chips in the superfood category."

 

Top Superfoods Offering Super Health Protection

 

  • Beans
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin
  • Salmon
  • Soy
  • Spinach
  • Tea (green or black)
  • Tomatoes
  • Turkey
  • Walnuts
  • Yogurt

Blueberries -- Antioxidant Superfood

Packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, these berries are also high in potassium and vitamin C, making them the top choice of doctors and nutritionists. Not only can they lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, they are also anti-inflammatory.

"Inflammation is a key driver of all chronic diseases, so blueberries have a host of benefits," says Ann Kulze, MD, of Charleston, S.C., author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet, A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss & Lifelong Vitality. When selecting berries, note that the darker they are, the more anti-oxidants they have. "I tell everyone to have a serving (about 1/2 cup) every day," Dr. Kulze says. "Frozen are just as good as fresh." Be sure to include lots of other fruits and vegetables in your diet as well. Remember too that, in general, the more color they have, the more antioxidants.

Omega 3-Rich Fish -- Superfoods for the Heart, Joints, and Memory

"We know that the omega 3s you get in fish lower heart disease risk, help arthritis, and may possibly help with memory loss and Alzheimer's," Somer says. "There is some evidence to show that it reduces depression as well."

Omega-3s are most prevalent in fatty, cold-water fish: Look for wild (not farmed) salmon, herring, sardines, and mackerel. Aim for two-to-three servings a week. Other forms of omega 3s are available in fortified eggs, flax seed, and walnuts. These superfoods have the added benefit of being high in monounsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol.

Soy -- Superfood to Lower Cholesterol

A study reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association (2003) showed that a diet of soy fiber, protein from oats and barley, almonds, and margarine from plant sterols lowered cholesterol as much as statins, the most widely prescribed cholesterol medicine. "Look for tofu, soy milk, or edamame -- not soy powder," says Somer. In other words, soy sauce won't do the trick. One caveat: If you have a family history of breast cancer it is not recommended that you eat extra soy.

Fiber -- Superfood Aids Weight Loss and Checks Cholesterol

A diet high in fiber will help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As a bonus, because fiber helps you feel full longer, it's a great tool in weight management. Whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables are all good sources. Try throwing some beans in your salad, recommends Kulze. "Fresh, frozen, or dried are the best. You can use canned, but they tend to be higher in sodium," Kulze warns.

Tea -- Superfood for Lowering Cholesterol and Inhibiting Cancer

"The overall antioxidant power of black tea is the same as green tea," says Kulze, "but green tea does have ECGC, a powerful antioxidant that we really do think is quite special." A recent Japanese study on green tea found that men who drank green tea regularly had lower cholesterol than those who didn't. Researchers in Spain and the United Kingdom have also shown that ECGC can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. For a double health whammy, replace sugary sodas with tea.

Calcium

OK, OK, you know the drill: Calcium helps build strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. Look for it in dairy products or supplements. Added bonus: Some studies show that calcium helps with weight loss. Here are the calcium levels recommended for adults by the USDA:

  • Age 9 to 18 -- 1,300 mg
  • Age 19 to 50 -- 1,000 mg
  • Age 51 and over -- 1,200 mg

And Finally, the Yummiest Superfood Yet ... Dark Chocolate

New research has shown that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Kulze recommends that you look for chocolate with 60% or higher cocoa content; the darker, the better. In addition, the darker it is, the lower the fat and sugar content. Now that's our kind of health food!

 

By Susan Seliger
WebMD Feature

Seliger, Susan. "'Superfoods' Everyone Needs". WebMD. February 2007. Web. 

View original article at webmd.com:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs

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Strawberries are a super food

  • Published in Health

Many folks in central Virginia look forward to picking their own strawberries. Others are happy to pick them up in the produce section of their favorite grocery store. Either way you pick them, that luscious red fruit is full of nutrients and is considered a super food.

Super foods are those that provide health benefits which go beyond providing basic good nutrition. These foods may reduce risk for cancer or heart disease. They can enhance overall health, strengthen our bodies and possibly even slow down the aging process.

Super foods are nutrient dense in that they provide extra nutrition for fewer calories. Some are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and minerals, but low in saturated fats, trans fats or refined sugars. They also may contain phytochemicals, colorful plant pigments, that can be helpful in preventing disease.

Many foods including oatmeal, salmon, beans, nuts, kale, avocados and sweet potatoes are also regarded as super foods, so it's important to eat a variety of colorful foods daily.

"But berries are some of the most powerful super foods," according to Reza Rafie, a horticulture specialist at Virginia State University.

Rafie, his staff and students are involved in research to extend the growing season for berries, including strawberries. Through the use of protective shelters called high tunnels, they protect crops from pests, diseases and extreme temperatures, extending their growing season.

"More people are interested in fresh produce over processed or frozen fruits," Rafie said. "Consumers are willing to pay a higher price for fresh produce. The longer growing season is a win-win situation for growers and consumer alike."

We enjoy the fruit; the small farmer earns profits, which in turn helps the economy.

The United States is the largest strawberry grower in the world, with most being grown in California. Florida and Oregon are big growers as well. Rafie reminds us that super foods are best when they're fresh. "If they have to travel a long way, they're still good, but they're higher in nutrients if they're local."

That's another reason to head out to Virginia's local berry farms.

Enjoy your super berries, but don't limit them to dessert. My family's favorite treat is still "Pink Drinks." Just toss 1 percent milk, crushed ice, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a bit of Splenda, and a bunch of strawberries in the blender for a yummy smoothie.

Try the Strawberry and Spinach Salad recipe as a way to make strawberries and other super foods part of your main meal. Or for a healthy snack enjoy 1 cup fresh strawberry halves for only 49 calories, 0 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams sodium, and 20 milligrams calcium.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad

The dressing for this salad is sweet and a bit pungent. You can make it sugar free by substituting Splenda for the sugar. Or if you're pressed for time, use fat-free poppy seed dressing or your favorite low-fat or fat-free vinaigrette dressing. Whichever dressing you use, pour it over the salad right before serving to keep it from wilting the spinach.

Makes 6 servings

Dressing: 
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
¼ cup white sugar (or Splenda)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water
1½ teaspoons dried minced onion 
Salad: 
5 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and dried
1 quart strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together the poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water and minced onion in a bowl. Cover and chill at least one hour before serving.

Combine spinach, strawberries and almonds in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the salad right before serving and toss. (Or place salad in 6 individual bowls and allow each person to add their own dressing).

Nutrients per serving for salad only: 72 calories, 2.5 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 18 milligrams sodium, 54 milligrams calcium.

Nutrients for 1 cup salad dressing made with sugar: 473 calories, 54 grams carbohydrate, 28 grams fat. Dressing made with Splenda lowers it to 278 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate with 28 grams fat. Per tablespoon, made with sugar: 30 calories, 4 grams carbohydrate, and 2 grams fat. Per tablespoon, made with Splenda: 18 calories, 0 carbohydrate, and 2 grams fat.

Adapted from recipes found at Allrecipes.com

 

 

Sawyer, Mary-Jo.  "Strawberries are a super food". Times Dispatch. 6 June 2012. Web. 

View original healthy news article at timesdispatch.com:

http://www2.timesdispatch.com/lifestyles/flair/2012/jun/06/tdfood03-practical-nutrition-strawberries-are-a-su-ar-1968078/

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