Chicken with parma ham and risotto.

Resveralife Eat Well: Get Healthy With These Food Pairings

Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, wine and food – there are some foods that just seem to taste better when paired together. Of course, you have foods that you love to put together, but the food pairings can go far beyond providing a complimentary taste or texture. In fact, there are some food pairings that can actually significantly increase the nutritional value of your meal. Says Elaine Magee, D.R., “[f]ood synergy is when components within or between foods work together in the body for maximum health benefits…by eating foods that have a synergistic effect you can absorb more nutrients, gain control of your appetite and lower your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and weight-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.” We did a little bit of digging to figure out what food pairings not only provide the largest amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but also what food pairings genuinely taste great together. After all, you don’t get the nutritional benefits if you don’t actually eat the food. Resveralife’s favorite healthy food pairings are below.

Onions and grapes.

Onions and Grapes
We admit it, this healthy food pairing sounds pretty disgusting, but stay with us. Onions contain a particularly significant amount of quercetin, a plant-derived antioxidant. Quercetin provides cardiovascular protection by improving circulation. It has also been shown to help relieve or reduce symptoms of allergies. Grapes, a wealth of antioxidants, contain a polyphenol antioxidant called catechin. Catechin is a powerful antioxidant: it helps prevent against cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. An added bonus is that catechin may also help you lose weight. So, on their own these foods offer pretty impressive benefits. When combined they do all of the above in addition to preventing blood clots and providing a boost to your overall health. One of the tastiest ways to combine these two seemingly incompatible ingredients is to make a fresh chicken salad with sliced grapes and diced onions.

Blueberries and oatmeal.

Blueberries and Oatmeal
Grab a spoon and whip up this easy, and incredibly healthful, breakfast. For such a tiny fruit, blueberries pack a serious nutritional punch. Blueberries have a high concentration of ellagic acid, which is thought to fight certain cancers, and include vitamins C and K. Additionally, blueberries are a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K. Oatmeal is a whole grain and has high levels of avenanthramides – compounds that fight free radicals from damaging your LDL (good cholesterol) through oxidation. As whole grains they also help fight disease and inflammation in your body. When you combine blueberries and oatmeal, the vitamin C in blueberries significantly enhances the prevention of LDL oxidation.

Red beans and brown rice.

Red Kidney Beans and Brown Rice
A more appetizing sounding combination, red beans and rice are a great way to give your dinner more nutritional value. Brown rice is a whole grain that is naturally high fiber and magnesium. Red kidney beans have a ton of great nutrients: they contain protein, magnesium, potassium, fiber and vitamin B12. Eating red kidney beans helps to prevent heart disease, reduces blood pressure and stabilizes glucose levels.The reason these two ingredients form a great healthy food pairing is that when combined, red beans and brown rice form a complete protein. A protein is considered a complete protein when it contains certain levels of all nine amino acids. Red kidney beans and brown rice provide you with everything your body needs to function healthily.

Food pairings are nothing new, you’ve been making these decisions for years. However, being a bit more strategic about what foods are served together can not only create new flavors, but also increase your health. Spend some time figuring out the best way to combine healthy foods that you love. For instance, you don’t have to simply top your oatmeal with blueberries, consider making healthy oatmeal bars with fresh blueberries for an on-the-go breakfast. A healthier diet is definitely within your reach as you start creating healthy food pairings.

Family enjoying an outdoor picnic

Healthy Meals for Kids

The end of summer is in sight and the stores are packed full of every school supply imaginable. Back to school time usually means that your schedule is fuller and far more hectic than the relaxed days of summer. With all of the running around from school to karate to dance lessons to buy groceries, meal times can become increasingly difficult. Resist the temptation to give into easy, unhealthy options and consider these great meals that are easy to cook, and are perfect for your kids.

Salmon burgers.

Salmon Burgers
Give red meat a rest and serve your kids the burgers they love with the nutrition they need. These quick and easy salmon burgers are ready in under 30 minutes, making them the perfect busy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.75 oz) salmon – drained and flaked
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ onion – diced
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

First, open and drain the can of salmon. Flake the salmon and be sure that no bones remain. Dice ½ onion and squeeze the juice from the ½ lemon. Next, mix the salmon, oats, onion, egg, Dijon mustard and lemon juice. Mix until ingredients until they are evenly combined then divide and separate into 4 patties. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry until salmon is cooked through (roughly 5-7 minutes per side).

Buffalo chicken wrap.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Get the taste of wings with serving of veggies with this super quick and easy meal. This recipe is especially great for using leftover chicken in a tasty and fun way.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken breast – shredded
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup juilenned celery
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • ½ cup sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup buffalo style hot sauce
  • 4 whole grain tortillas

Cook rice according to package directions – you can make this step quicker and easier by using a ready rice that takes only minutes to cook. Combine the shredded chicken and buffalo sauce. Place ¼ cup of brown rice on each tortilla and spread across the tortilla, leaving about ½ inch of space. Add ¼ cup chicken to each tortilla and add the sliced carrots and celery. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese on top of the vegetables and top with shredded lettuce. Fold wrap and roll the wraps and you’re ready to eat. If desired you can serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing. You can also eliminate the tortillas from this recipe and simply serve a buffalo chicken salad (add more lettuce).

Hummus pizza.

Hummus Pizza
Everyone loves a good slice of pizza, but it isn’t exactly the most nutritious choice to make for your family. For a healthier alternative, make this veggie packed pizza.

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust
  • 1 cup hummus
  • 2 tablespoons black olives – sliced
  • 1 cup sliced bell peppers (any color)
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place crust on a baking stone or sheet. Spread the hummus evenly across the crust. Arrange the vegetables over the hummus top with the cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes – until cheese bubbles and crust appears golden-brown.

Healthy meals don’t have to be boring. When you whip up one of these healthy alternatives to food favorites, your kids are sure to enjoy their dinner while you enjoy providing them with added health.

Friends having fun in a summer BBQ

Resveralife Eat Well: Wine to Pair with Summer BBQs

The summer has not come to an end yet; you still have plenty of time to gather your family and friends for a great backyard barbecue. Whether grilling or preparing real, smoked barbecue, an informal gathering for great food, drink and company is welcome. The beverages of choice commonly associated with backyard barbecues are lemonade, soft drinks, iced tea and beer. Wine is often left out of the barbecue festivities because it can be hard to know what wine to pair with what food you’re making. The first rule of wine pairing is to eat and drink what you like. After all, your enjoyment is the most important aspect of having wine with your favorite foods. However, Resveralife does have several general suggestions when it comes time to uncork your wine bottles and fire up the grill.

Pork brisket on a grill.

Brisket
The Texas staple when it comes to barbecue, beef brisket is definitely a great barbecue food. Often made with a dry rub, brisket begins very fatty but the fat is rendered off of the meat during the smoking process. Because brisket tends to have dry rubs full of spice (and perhaps a hint of sugar) and true brisket is served without sauce, the wine you pair with it needs to be rich and full. A Cabernet Sauvignon is a great pairing for brisket because it features earthy, complex flavors. If you want something that plays perfectly off of the smoky taste of the brisket, consider a Shiraz, which also has earthy notes but also a slight smokiness.

Chicken on a grill.

Grilled Chicken
Chicken, because it is a light meat, is often paired with white wines. Perhaps the most common chicken/white wine pairing is Chardonnay. You can easily enjoy a Chardonnay, just be sure that smooth and dry and not overly buttery. If you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous with your wine, consider reds like a Shiraz or Zinfandel. These two wines pair particularly well if your grilled chicken happens to be smothered in a mouth-watering barbecue sauce. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and medium-dry Rieslings are also popular pairings for grilled chicken.

Grilled Chicken Burger.

Burgers
The staple of many grilling get-togethers, burgers do not necessarily scream “eat me with wine.” More often it’s beer that will accompany a burger, but think outside the box and consider wine. If you are looking to enjoy a red wine with your juicy burger, look to a Zinfandel. Many Zinfandels are full, ripe and have hints of fruits like blackberry. If you would prefer to enjoy a white wine, consider a Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from New Zealand. These wines are full of an herb flavor in combination with tropical fruits, so the wine does not overpower the burger or vice versa.

Vegetables on a grill.

Grilled Vegetables
Typically meat is the star at a barbecue, but if you have vegetarian friends (or just want some tasty veggies), you can load up your grill with vegetables. Again, because vegetables are light, you are going to most likely select a white wine to pair with your veggies. A Chardonnay may not be the first thing you would think of because many have strong notes of oak. However, there are Chardonnays that feature perfect summer fruits like cantaloup, pineapple and lime. If you want to be a bit more exotic with your pairing, try a Gruner Veltliner white. This is comparable to a Sauvignon Blanc but gives a nice change of pace. Veltliner works excellently with grilled vegetables with notes of green pepper and lime.

Your summer barbecue does not have to stock only coolers full of beer. Enhance your barbecue experience by pairing wines with your foods. And remember, the most important rule in pairing wines with foods is to drink what you like!

Smoothies on a wooden table.

Resveralife Eat Well: Summer Fruit Smoothies Full of Antioxidants

We’ve focused on antioxidant-rich foods this week, so we figured we would give you some ways to enjoy them! Smoothies are a great way to increase your uptake of antioxidants and get the health benefits berries, and other fruits, have to offer. All of these smoothie recipes are high in antioxidants, taste great and are super quick and easy to make. (Note: all of these smoothie recipes yield one serving)

Cranberry Berry Smoothie.

 

Cranberry Berry Smoothie
For a festive pink drink, this smoothie is quite healthy.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) strawberries
  • ¼ cup Greek-style vanilla (or honey) yogurt

Throw your ingredients into your blend and blend until a smooth texture has been reached. For added fun, throw a few fresh raspberries on top or place a strawberry on the rim of your glass.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
This smoothie is perfect for any time of day (we love it for breakfast!). This smoothie combines the antioxidants found in blueberries and pomegranates for a delicious treat.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ almond milk
  • ¼ cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon stevia (powder form…7 drops in liquid form)
  • dash of cinnamon

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until a smooth texture has been reached. Usually, it takes about 2 minutes to get the consistency just right, but depending on your blender and ingredients it may take more or less time.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
The classic combination of kiwi and strawberry comes together in a healthy, antioxidant-rich fruit smoothie.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup fresh (or frozen) strawberries
  • ½ banana
  • ½ kiwi
  • ¼ cup Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt (for a zestier taste try a citrus flavored yogurt)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

Peel the kiwi and banana and slice both in half. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend until you have a smooth consistency.

Berry Chocolate Smoothie

Berry Chocolate Smoothie
Want to indulge your sweet tooth but keep it healthy? This smoothie not only is packed with antioxidants and includes a chocolate taste, it also gives you the benefits of dark, leafy greens.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup shredded kale
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • ¼ cup fresh (or frozen) raspberries
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons cocoa powder (unsweetened is best)
  • 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt

Add everything to your blender and blend until smooth. If using fresh berries, you may want to include a bit of ice. Adjust the level of cocoa powder and maple syrup to your tastes.

Smoothies are the perfect summer treat, especially when fresh fruit is at its peak. Experiment with different smoothie combinations to make one of your very own antioxidant rich smoothie. Blend one up for a quick breakfast before work or unwind at the end of the day with a sweet, and healthy, treat.

Cheese and red wine.

Resveralife Eat Well: Zinfandel Food Pairing Guide

Zinfandel wines are often juicy, delicious, a bit hardy and have a good acidity to them. However, these wines also feature a very distinctive set of descriptors that can make it difficult to know how to pair foods with Zinfandel. Resveralife did some digging and we have come up with several pairings that can help bring out the best in your favorite Zinfandel.

Wine bottle and glass on a wooden table.

Zinfandel Information
The Zinfandel grape came to America by way of Austria sometime around 1820. Zinfandel grapes are considered the most “American” grape, partly because these grapes are the only grapes used by American vineyards that do not originate in France.

Zinfandel wines are considered a cult classic and have very unique flavor profiles. Many Zinfandel wines include the flavors of blackberries, sweet cherries, figs and spice. The wines produced from the Zinfandel grape range from robust and elegant to bright and lively. With such domineering flavors, Zinfandel wines provide a problem when it comes to pairing with food.

Food Pairings
Ultimately the food selections you make for pairing with Zinfandel will depend upon the specific Zinfandel you have chosen, but there are several general guidelines that help determine what foods to pair your Zinfandel with.

Meat and red wine.

Meats
Zinfandels pair extremely well with meat. Because Zinfandel has such a strong taste, you can pair this wine with hearty meals. Barbecue ribs are an excellent meat to accompany a Zinfandel. Grill some Italian sausages and enjoy with peppers and onions. If you are looking for a heavy meal, try pairing a Zinfandel with a lamb stew. You could also prepare your favorite burger with high-quality beef as the star next to Zinfandel.

Assortment of wine and cheeses

Cheeses
The type of cheeses that you can pair with Zinfandels vary from mild cheeses such as mozzarella to a sharper cheese such as smoked Swiss cheese. Parmesan pairs well with a variety of Zinfandels as do aged cheddar, aged gouda or asiago cheese. Lighter Zinfandels pair well with milder cheeses such as brie, mild cheddar and gouda cheeses. For Zinfandels that have a bigger, bold flavor, look for cheeses that are robust like cheddar or aged gruyere. Some Zinfandels feature a heavy flavor of spice. These pair best with cheeses like havarti and gorgonzola.

Pasta and red wine.

Pastas
Light Zinfandels pair extremely well with pasta dishes that feature creamy sauces while bolder Zinfandels work best with dishes that are tomato based. If you are drinking a big tasting Zinfandel, try hearty pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti bolognese. A lighter Zinfandel works well with  a creamy macaroni and cheese featuring a mild cheddar cheese.

Though Zinfandel wines are not the most popular, in part due to the fact that they make for difficult pairings, they do have a very loyal following. It may take a bit of experimenting until you figure out which Zinfandels pair with certain dishes, but creativity and enjoying new tastes is all a part of the process. Grab a bottle of your favorite Zinfandel and head to your kitchen to try pairing your wine with a great meal.

Woman enjoying the summer weather.

Next Level Healthy Ideas

Your health is critical to your quality of life. When you are in poor physical health you are more likely to be in poor mental health as well. You know the basics of living a healthy lifestyle; diet and exercise. You need to nourish your body not just dump food into you and if you aren’t moving, your body doesn’t work at peak efficiency. If you are already leading a pretty healthy lifestyle consisting of a healthy, nutritious diet and plenty of activity, you may want some ideas on how to take your health to the next level.

Different types of juices on a wooden table.

Consider a Cleanse
A cleanse is not for everyone but for some it can be a great way to jump-start weight loss. Additionally, cleanses are designed to remove unwanted toxins from the body. There are a multitude of cleanses from juice cleanses to cabbage soup cleanses. Do a bit of detective work to find a cleanse you have the willpower to stick with, because a cleanse does you no good if you don’t follow through.

Vegetarian dish.

Go Vegetarian
Hear us out before you get too upset about losing your bacon. Studies definitely support the idea that a plant-based diet is capable of providing your body with all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that it needs. However, if you aren’t ready to give up meat, consider following a vegetarian diet one day each week. If you are interested in taking your vegetarian diet even further, take it to the next level and go vegan. A vegan diet differs from a vegetarian diet as it includes absolutely no animal products, so cheese and dairy are out. If you are vegan already and you want to up your health game, go raw. A raw foods diet can be difficult to adjust to, but it is an excellent way to eat for your health.

Resveratrol Capsules from Vine Vera.

Think About Supplements
The market is absolutely flooded with vitamins, minerals and supplements designed to take your health to the next level. If you are eating a quality diet with plenty of fresh produce, you really should be getting all of the nutrients you need from your food. However, if you want to add a little oomph, consider supplements. Our resveratrol capsules feature a proprietary blend of antioxidants such as resveratrol, green tea and acai to keep you at maximum health. Not only are our resveratrol supplements great for your general physical health, but they are also incredible for your skin.

Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean that you have to exercise like crazy every day or follow the strictest of diets. Rather, taking care of your health means being more active (like taking the stairs instead of the escalator) and eating a diet full of varieties of fresh produce and lean meats (unless you’re vegetarian/vegan). Adding strength training to your cardiovascular exercise is a great way to increase your health. If you’re already doing both, consider trying something new like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or relax while you improve your body with yoga. Following a good diet and exercise regime promises a healthy, happy life.

Couple having lunch in a restaurant.

Eat Well While on Vacation

When vacation time finally rolls around one of the greatest pleasures is spending time indulging in new experiences. One way to fully experience your destination is to sample the local culture gastronomically. Eating well on vacation requires a bit of sleuthing work prior to departure, but the time you spend researching eateries will be well worth it when you get a taste of what your vacation destination has to offer.

Read Blogs
You probably already follow some blogs, and you may even have a few you go to for travel tips, tricks and ideas. To eat well on vacation, look for food blogs that either are written by locals in the area you are traveling to, or by bloggers who travel and sample foods from these same destinations. Not only do these food blogs give you a bit of an idea of what to expect, but they can also shed some light on hidden gem restaurants that you might otherwise miss completely.

Woman asking for directions.

Ask the Right Questions
One common mistake people make when vacationing is to ask locals where “the best place to eat” is located. That’s a totally fair question, but is pretty open to personal interpretation. Often, locals interpret this question as “where is the nicest, fanciest place to eat,” and that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be getting a taste of local flavors. Instead of asking where is the “best” place, ask questions such as:

  • Where do you eat regularly?
  • What is the one dish (and where can you get it) that captures the spirit of this location?

Asking specific questions helps the person you are asking think more about the food than the reputation of the restaurant.

Use Review Sites Sparsely
The internet is a wonderful way to experience and learn about things that are far removed from where you are. However, there are some things you need to consider when using web-based research for eating while on vacation. Sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp can be incredibly useful, but be wary. Reviews are written by people and people aren’t always the most trusted sources of information. The first thing you want to do is scan for thoroughly detailed reviews that mention what the person ate, a rough idea of cost and other details about the dining experience. Next, check out the commenter’s profile and avoid those who have only reviewed one or two restaurants. Also avoid comments that either love everything or hate everything about the experience. Sure, it may have been a once in a lifetime perfect dining experience, but it could also be a server at the restaurant trying to drum up business.

Woman sampling a dish

Sample, Don’t Splurge
Eating well isn’t just about finding the tastiest thing you can while on vacation, it also includes feeding your body foods that provide nourishment. You don’t have to stick to a rigid diet when traveling, but be sure to sample local in-season fruits and vegetables. Visit a farmer’s market to get the freshest produce possible. A trip to the farmer’s market can also help you find great local eateries; simply ask the vendors if they provide their produce and meats to any local restaurants. When it comes to extravagant dishes or delicious desserts, go ahead and sample those that look particularly tasty to you. Sampling items gives you a bit of indulgence while not going overboard and upsetting your normal diet (or waistline).

Vacation really is a special occasion that should be enjoyed. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and trying new, exotic foods is something you shouldn’t deprive yourself of. Doing a bit of research and practicing just a bit of restraint can help you eat well while on vacation.

Woman cutting tomatoes while cooking

Resveralife Eat Well: Recipes High In Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that provides benefits far beyond supporting healthy immune function. Vitamin C also helps your body heal wounds and create scar tissue, aids in the growth and formation of tissues all over the body and helps maintain skin, bones and teeth.When it comes to enjoying the benefits of vitamin C you can use a skin care product that contains a derivative of vitamin C, such as ascorbic acid, or you can add foods rich in vitamin C to your diet. There are a ton of foods that will get you your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C and we’ve come up with a few recipes for you to try.

Mango Salsa dish

Mango Salsa
Start your summer with a little fiesta and serve up this vitamin C packed appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • optional – 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped

Preparation
In a small bowl, combine the mango and tomatoes. Add onion and cilantro. If you are adding jalapeno, add it now as well. Either squeeze the lime directly on top of the mixture or pour lime juice over mixture. Toss everything together and you’re ready to snack on this tasty salsa with your favorite chips.

Avocado, Grapefruit and Papaya Salad

Avocado, Grapefruit and Papaya Salad
This light, fresh and colorful salad is perfect for the warmer summer months. An added bonus is how incredibly quick and easy it is to assemble.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of mixed greens (add kale for additional vitamin C)
  • 2 grapefruits, peeled and quartered
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 small papaya, peeled and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro

Preparation
Grab a medium sized bowl and add the olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk together until well mixed. Add your grapefruits, avocado, papaya and cilantro to the bowl and toss to combine all of the ingredients. Cover your bowl and allow it to sit for at least one hour in the fridge. When you are ready to serve, place a bed of greens on a plate (or in a bowl) and spoon some of the fruit mixture on top.

Broccoli and Parmesan Pasta

Broccoli and Parmesan Pasta
When you want a bit of a heartier meal, try this delicious pasta dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli, washed and chopped
  • 1 16oz container of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 medium onion (yellow or white), peeled and diced
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cracked black pepper

Preparation
Get a large pot and add your vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Add your head of broccoli and boil for about three minutes, just until bright green and slightly tender. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon and bring broth back to a boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the directions on the package then drain. Place onion, garlic and olive oil in a large saute pan and cook over medium heat for about five minutes. Add your broccoli and cook for another minute then remove from heat. Grab a large serving bowl and combine the broccoli mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Add cracked black pepper to taste and serve.

Vitamin C is available in so many fresh fruits and vegetables that your options for creating dishes that are high in vitamin C are virtually endless. Serve up a cauliflower soup or make a tasty tropical fruit salad. You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to creating delicious vitamin C rich dishes.

Woman surrounded by citrus fruits deciding what to eat.

Can You Overdose on Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for your body. It serves many functions from helping keep your immune system healthy to improving and encouraging healthy collagen production. However, is it possible to have too much of a good thing? Find out exactly why you need vitamin C and how much you should aim for daily.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known a ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is important to your overall health because it supports healthy growth and development. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements states that in your body “…vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals are compounds which get formed when the body converts food into energy. Additionally, vitamin C is vital to your body because your “…body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal.” Moreover, vitamin C is known to help the body in absorbing more iron from plant-based foods, which lets the immune system work properly and prevents diseases from occurring.

When it comes to how you receive vitamin C, most people are able to achieve their recommended daily allowance of vitamin C through diet alone. However, there are those who benefit from taking a vitamin C supplement. To increase the amount of vitamin C that you receive without having to purchase a supplement, consider adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Citrus fruits are especially known for their high vitamin C levels. The following fruits and vegetables are great, natural sources of vitamin C:

  • Kiwis
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Red/Green peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Baked potatoes

Woman holding her stomach in pin

Too Much of a Good Thing?
In a traditional overdose sense, as in fatality, vitamin C is highly unlikely to be harmful. However, if you do take in too much vitamin C you may end up with unpleasant side effects. Some of these side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea

While these are certainly uncomfortable, they are highly unlikely to end in a fatal overdose. It is important to note that in periods of extended vomiting or diarrhea, dehydration may be a result. Dehydration leads to extreme thirst, fatigue and reduced blood pressure and urine output. Additionally, prolonged vomiting and diarrhea can lead to other mineral and vitamin imbalances in your body, so it is important to keep an eye on how much vitamin C your body needs and how much you are getting.

The average adult male should aim for about 90mg of vitamin C each day. The average adult woman needs about 75mg of vitamin C each day. People who require more vitamin C include smokers, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Getting vitamin C is easy when you are sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetable in your diet. While you can give yourself some unpleasant side effects if you take too much vitamin, generally speaking it is difficult to truly overdose on vitamin C. If you have any questions about how much vitamin C or what type of vitamin C you should be taking, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Woman holding a glass og iced tea

Resveralife Eat Well: Recipes to Celebrate National Iced Tea Day

National Iced Tea day is June 10th, and to get into the spirit we’ve rounded up a list of iced tea recipes from traditional sweet tea to a lemonade/iced tea hybrid. Kick back and relax as you sip your freshly brewed iced tea.

Iced tea with lemon on a wooden table.

Sun Tea
One of the easiest ways to make iced tea is to use this recipe for sun tea. Sun tea is great to make because you can prepare it in the morning before you leave for work and have a glass of iced tea when you get home from work. All you need to make sun tea is a one gallon jug or other container with a top that twists on and off, four family sized black tea bags and one cup of sugar (or sweeten to your liking). In the morning fill your gallon container and add the four tea bags. Twist the top on and set outside in an area that the sun hits continually during the day. Sun tea takes anywhere from four to six hours to make and the longer you leave your container in the sun, the stronger your tea will be. When you’re ready, bring the tea inside and add sugar. If it’s been a hot day the tea should be warm enough to easily dissolve the sugar but if it is not you can remove one cup of tea, boil it and then add the boiled tea and sugar to the container. Let the sun tea cool and place in the refrigerator then pour into glasses and garnish with a lemon.

Iced tea and lemons on a table.

Sweet Tea
Southern sweet tea is one of the greatest treats of summertime, and it’s far easier to make than you’d think. Grab a two-quart container, six regular tea bags, two cups or boiling water, six cups if cold water, one to two cups of sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda. Use a large glass measuring cup to place both the tea bags and baking soda in then pour in the boiling water. Steep for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Pour tea into your two-quart container and add sugar. Stir until the sugar is well dissolved and add the cold water. Allow the tea to cool then place in the refrigerator until it is ready to serve.

Lemonate Sweet Tea on a wooden table.

Lemonade Sweet Tea
For a fun twist on two summer classics, try this recipe for lemonade sweet tea. For this recipe you will need a three-quart container, two family sized tea bags, three cups of boiling water, four cups of cold water, six ounces of thawed lemonade concentrate and ½ cup sugar. Steep tea bags with three cups of boiling water then stir in the sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the tea into your three-quart container and add four cups of cold water and the lemonade concentrate. Stir well and refrigerate before serving. For a fun, fancy touch garnish with freshly sliced lemon or fresh mint sprigs.

Enjoy your iced tea by yourself as a relaxing break in the afternoon or gather some friends for some fun outdoors.