Healthy Diet Essentials


Earth Cuisine for Longevity

Earth Cuisine for Longevity (Photo credit: Barry Gourmet and Raw)

Healthy Diet Essentials                                                                          According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet as one that Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.  But just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and well-being?  Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to improve your vitamin and mineral intake.Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system.  Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables are all great natural food sources of vitamin A.Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbohydrates.  Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamine.

Riboflavin, or B2, can be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat.  It’s used in many body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.

Niacin, also known as B3, can be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and also plays a key role in converting food into energy.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.

Vitamin B12 is needed for creating red blood cells, and can be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.

Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with vitamin C, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s needed to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s good health. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.

Folic acid can be found in fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables. It’s vital for cell development, prevents birth defects, promotes heart health, and helps red blood cells form. Pregnant women need to take special care to ensure they are getting enough of this for themselves and their developing baby.

Dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and rhubarb, and fortified products, such as orange juice, soy milk, and tofu are all loaded with calcium. Like vitamin D, it’s very important in helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Organ meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, and cocoa products are all high in copper, which aids in metabolism of iron and red cell formation. It also assists in the production of energy for cells.

 Iron can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods.  It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.

Potassium can be found in foods like Broccoli, potatoes (with the skins on), prune juice, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and tomatoes. It aids in nervous system and muscle function and also helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Red meat, fortified cereals, oysters, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods, and dairy products are great dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supports the body’s immune function, reproduction capabilities, and the nervous systems.

Protein is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain protein. The cells of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are maintained with protein. Children and adolescents require protein for growth and development, and adults need it to maintain cell integrity. It can be found in foods like beans, milk and meat.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are the best choice for a stable blood sugar level. Whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables are all good complex carbohydrate sources.

Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses. Good sources are fish and shellfish, flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Though this list is far from complete, it gives a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-balanced diet.                                                                                                    Brussels sprout, Dairy product, Eating, Food, Health, Healthy diet, Healthy Ways to Lose Weight, Human nutrition, International Food Information Council, Leaf vegetable, Milk, Nutrition, Red blood cell, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, Vitamin, Weight

When Should Your Child Eat Organic?


Cover of "Healthy Food For Healthy Kids: ...

Cover via Amazon

When Should Your Child Eat Organic?                                                                                                                                   Feeding a family is never easy. Putting the right foods i front of your brood takes time, money and thoughtfulness. But what exactly does right mean? It’s tough to know, given all the competing information about organic vs. nonorganic foods. “Buy most things organic if money’s no object; but for most people, this isn’t the case,” says Bridget Swinney MS, RD, LD, author of Eating Expectantly, Baby Bites and Healthy Food for Healthy Kids. “I suggest families look at what their children eat on a regular basis and then look online to see how those foods rank in number of pesticides.” Then, buy organic versions of the favorite foods that are high in pesticides and standard items for the rest. Or take a look at this cheat sheet from nutrition experts on which kid picks are worth buying organic-and which aren’t. Photo by Thinkstock Buy Organic: Apples and Celery Sliced apples and ants-on-a-log are quintessential kid food, but think twice before buying non-organic apples and celery. These items absorb more chemicals and fertilizers than most produce. In fact, they’re the top two foods on the Environmental Working Group‘s (EWG) Dirty Dozen list, which ranks produce for pesticide exposure.

English: Trader Joe's organic milk label
English: Trader Joe’s organic milk label (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 When People Think Healthy Food:             They almost immediately think ‘apples’,” says Isabel De Los Rios, certified nutritionist and founder of BeyondDiet.com. “Unfortunately, some apples are actually more harmful than healthy” because of the pesticide residues.Other popular children’s foods in the Dirty Dozen to buy organic: strawberries, potatoes, grapes and peaches. See 50 tasty foods under 100 calories. Buy Non-organic: Pineapple and Corn As a rule of thumb, you don’t need to buy organic produce with thick skins or peels. “They’re less absorptive of chemicals and fertilizers,” says Heather Stouffer, founder of Mom Made Foods. As a counter to the Dirty Dozen, the EWG created the Clean 15, highlighting produce that’s the lowest in pesticide exposure. Sweet corn and pineapple hold the second and third slots, respectively (#1 goes to onions, which aren’t a popular kid pick). Other conventionally grown, nutritious and child-friendly produce that made the Clean 15 list: sweet peas, mangoes, cantaloupe, watermelon and sweet potatoes. Buy Organic: Milk Unless your child has an allergy, he probably consumes a lot of dairy. And because some farms apply pesticides directly to cows’ hides and feed their cattle pesticide-treated grains, it’s important to serve organic milk, says Stouffer. Swinney, who recommends children drink two to three servings of milk daily, says, “Even if milk is low in pesticides, a child is getting at least 14 servings of it a week, so the pesticides add up.” If your child eats a lot of yogurt and cheese, opt for organic with those too. De Los Rios adds that hormones such as rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone)which extends the duration of a cow’s milk production cycle-are another reason to consider buying organic milk. Though BGH hasn’t been proven to have harmful effects on children, “You’ll greatly reduce your child’s exposure to growth hormones and antibiotics,” she says. However, Chris Galen, Senior VP of Communications for the National Milk Producers Federation, notes that both organic and non-organic types of milk are heavily tested for quality and safe for kids to drink. Discover 7 foods that boost every type of bad mood. Buy Non-organic: Bread Between toast at breakfast and sandwiches at lunch, kids eat a lot of bread. In this case, though, organic doesn’t always mean healthy. “The ingredients are much more important than whether or not the label says ‘organic’,” explains De Los Rios. “Many kinds of organic bread contain high amounts of sugar, processed oils and refined flour.” She urges parents to look for brands featuring a short ingredient list with no added sugar. Whole-wheat, rice, spelt and millet breads all offer fiber and a rich mix of vitamins and minerals, thanks to the whole grains in each slice. Buy Organic: Eggs “The quality of an egg is only as good as the quality of the chicken that lays it, so it’s crucial to serve your child only organic eggs,” says De Los Rios. She asserts that organically raised birds deliver eggs that are higher in brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids as compared to eggs that come from conventionally grown birds. Look for packages marked specifically as “organic,” a term that’s regulated by the USDA; “natural” and “cage-free” are largely unregulated terms. Learn which 8 foods help you live longer. Buy Non-organic: Peanut Butter Peanut crops are exposed to relatively high levels of pesticides, but by the time they turn into peanut butter the residues aren’t significant. “I recommend buying conventional peanut butter because it has relatively low amounts of pesticides,” says Swinney, citing a 2006 study by the USDA Pesticide Data Program.                                                                                                                                                                                                    However, Stouffer adds, if your child eats a lot of PB&J sandwiches-or is the type to smear peanut butter on everything from apples to pretzels-consider choosing organic peanut butter for the healthier ingredients. Buy Organic: Meat Whether it’s a beef burger or chicken nugget, organic is the way to go. “When purchasing meat and poultry, the extra cost per pound for foods with the label ‘antibiotic- and hormone-free’ is worthwhile. The USDA strictly regulates this language,” says Stouffer. But why is it worth it to pay almost double? “Many scientists suspect that giving our livestock antibiotics to help them gain weight is contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people,” says Stouffer. “When your child is sick with a serious bacterial infection, you need to know that the antibiotics are going to work.” Check out foods that look like the body parts they’re good for.  Healthy Ways to Lose Weight,Baby Bites, Bovine somatotropin, Eating, Environmental Working Group, Food, Health, Healthy Was to Lose Weight, Human nutrition, Milk, Nutrition, Organic food, Organic milk, Peanut butter, Pesticide, United States Department of Agriculture, USDA

Eating Healthy On A Budget


Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: nutrilover)

If you have problems serving healthy foods because of the prices, you’ll find these tips to be just what you need to eat healthy on a budget. 1. Eliminate junk food Doing your shopping on your own is the easiest way to shop, as children and sometimes spouses are usually the ones requesting junk food. Shopping alone will prevent this, and ensure that you only buy the foods you need. 2. Water or milk instead of soft drinks You can still enjoy your favorite drinks at a sporting event or night out, although you should stick with the smallest size when shopping to save money and calories. Children and even adults need milk or milk products on a daily basis. Milk will also help you get strong and provides calcium for healthy bones and healthy teeth. 3. Buy fruits in quantity When they are in season, buy fruits in quantity and freeze any extras. You can buy several pounds this way, and freeze extras to have them when the fruit goes out of season. Wash the fruit well, remove any spoiled pieces, dry thoroughly, than freeze in plastic zipper bags. 4. Meats and beans Meats and beans are the best sources for protein. Lean meat is more expensive than meats with a lot of fat. Canned beans are a great deal as well, as they give you protein at a great price. 5. Beans as a substitute You should use beans a substitute for meat on a frequent occasion. There are several varieties, so you can prepare them in a crock pot, so when you return home they are ready to consume. The USDArecommends eating beans at least 4 times per week. If you experience gas after eating beans you should try washing them, covering them with water, bringing the water to a boil, then draining it off and refilling the pot. 6. If you live in a coastal area or an area where fish are around, make that an integral part of your diet. You can catch them from the lakes or rivers, saving money in the process. 7. Peanut butter is great for those on a budget as it’s popular with almost everyone. You can use it for sandwiches instead of eating hot dogs. It does need to be refrigerated, although bigger jars can last you for weeks. 8. You should fill up with foods that have a high content of water. Watermelon, salads, and even sugar-free gelatin are all great examples. Eating healthy is always something you can’t go wrong with. You can eat healthy for just a few bucks, which makes it perfect for those on a budget. Now, you don’t need a lot of money to have the lifestyle and health you’ve always wanted.

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Crepes with Fresh Berries


Crepes (makes about 12) 1 cup flour 1 1/2 cups Smart Balance® Low Fat Milk and omega-3  Smart Balance™ Omega-3 Grade A Natural Large Eggs 1 tsp Smart Balance® Cooking Oil Smart Balance® Omega Non-Stick Cooking Spray confectioner’s sugar
Berry filling 6 oz blueberries 6 oz raspberries 12 oz strawberries, cut in quarters low-fat whipped topping

This dessert was first presented as part of our “Endless Summer Recipe” special feature.
Number of servings: 12 Nutrients Calories: 112kcal Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fatty Acid: 0 g Poly Fat: 0g Mono Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 42mg Carbohydrates: 17g Dietary Fiber: 2g Total Sugars: 7g Protein: 5g                                                                     Directions:                                                                                                                                    Combine flour, milk, eggs and oil in a blender; blend until smooth.Heat a large nonstick crepepan on medium-low flame. When hot, spray with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup crepe mixture into pan, swirling pan slightly to make crepe thin and smooth. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until bottom of crepe is light golden brownFlip and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute or until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter.To serve, spoon whipped topping into center of each crepe. Top with berries and fold each edge of crepe over filling. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar, and serve warm.

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