Small jar of flax seeds on grey stone table

Health Benefits Of Flaxseed

Flaxseed. It’s health benefits have been known for ages. In fact Charlemagne was so confident in its powers that he passed laws all members of his court to incorporate it into their daily diet. So where has it been for the past thirteen centuries? Why did we not all grow up eating this wonder food? Apparently, flaxseed was first used in North America to make textiles, so when cotton came along, it was bye bye flaxseed, until some nutritionists rediscovered the seeds, phenomenal health properties, and now its back on the market in everything from oatmeal to crackers, to frozen waffles. So what are the fax on flax? Here are some of flaxseeds many health benefits.

Major Components of Flaxseed
Although it may be tiresome to go through all of the many health components found in the flax see, here are the main three:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids: These are the “good fats’ you’ve been hearing about. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 1.8 grams of the heart healthy plant omega-3s.
  •  Lignans: Lignans have antioxidants, and contain estrogen. Flaxsees has 75 to 800 times the lignans found in other plant foods.
  •  Fiber: Flaxseed has both insoluble and soluble fiber types.

Health Benefits

Cancer
Recent studies suggest that flaxseed may help to prevent colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Animal studies have shown the ALA, the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flax seed, inhibits the growth and development of tumors. Other studies suggest that exposure to lignans may help increase survival rates among breast cancer patients. Lignans ability to protect against cancer is thought to be due to its ability to block enzymes involved in hormone metabolism and interfere with the onset and growth.

Cardiovascular Disease
Research finds that the plant omega-3s can benefit the cardiovascular system by normalizing the heartbeat and through anti- inflammation action. Kelley Fitzpatrick, director of health and nutrition with the Flax Seed Council of Canada, says that flaxseed can have significant effects on lowering blood pressure and studies suggest that flaxseed rich diets can help to prevent hardening of the arteries. Daily consumption of flaxseed has also been linked to to decrease in LDL or “bad cholesterol in menopausal women.

Diabetes
Preliminary research shows that the daily consumption of the lignans in flaxseed may improve blood sugar, as measured in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation
The ALA and lignans in flaxseed may be effective in reducing inflammation associated with deceases such as asthma and Parkinson’s by blocking the release of pro inflammatory agents. The reduction of inflammation associated with the buildup of plaque in arteries may be another way that flaxseed is beneficial in the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

Hot Flashes
According to a 2007 study of menopausal women, 4 tablespoons per day of ground flaxseed cut occurrence of hot flashes in half, and the intensity of the incidences dropped by 57%.

Where has flaxseed been all of your life? Tell us how flax seed is contributing to your diet and what you think its been doing for you.

Matcha tea on wooden desk

Is Matcha Better For You Than Coffee?

Tea or coffee? It’s the age old question, but if the lines at Starbucks are anything to go by, coffee would be the resounding winner. In fact, even England, the land of tea, has been making the switch, with more with more of the English trading in their beloved herbal oolongs and pekoes for the caffeinated boost of java. However, there is one tea on the market that may give the ol’ cup of Joe a run for its money. Matcha green tea is the latest beverage to come up against coffee as the energizing superfood drink of a new generation. Is coffee a match for matcha? Here are some of the facts about matcha green tea.

What Makes Matcha So Special?
Usually, when you brew your tea, you leave the best of it in the bag. Water can only extract a fraction of the benefits of the leaves, and the majority of antioxidants and minerals often remain unused. Matcha is made unheated stone ground tea leaves, which are far less processed than regular tea leaves so nutrients are preserved. Thus, by drinking match, you are getting all the superfood benefits of the leaves.

Packed with Antioxidants
When it comes to antioxidants, you really can’t get much more free radical defense than you’ll find in matcha. Even goji berries and pomegranates pale in comparison to the uber powerful beverage. One cup of matcha has a ten times as many antioxidants than the usual brewed green teas, and way more than coffee. Coffee doesn’t contain the catechins found in matcha, which are linked with cancer and aging defense.

Clean Caffeine
While matcha does have an equal amount of caffeine a a cup of brewed coffee (34mg) and half the amount of an espresso, the buzz lasts longer and is more energizing. The amino acid L-Theanine in matcha slows down the release of caffeine and also has its own calming effect.

cold matche drinks and matcha powder

Fights Bad Breath
Skip the mouthwash! The catechins in matcha also act as a sterilizer. A cup of the tea after a meal can slow down the growth of disease and halitosis causing germs.

Boosts Metabolism and Burns Fat
Claims to boost metabolism and burn fat are attractive features in almost any product. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming match tea increases the body’s rate of calorie burn from a normal 8-10% of expenditure per day to between 35 and 43%. Another study showed that exercising immediately after bolting down a cup of matcha led to an increase of 25% more fat burned during exercise.

Where Can You Get This Stuff?
Not just for tea time, you can get your matcha in your snacks and meals. Blend the green powder into frozen yoghurts and smoothies, add to porridge, and even cakes. It can even be used as a topical beauty treatment. Matcha supports the reduction of bodily toxins and encourages glowing skin, which makes it great in face masks.

Have you enjoyed the benefits of matcha? How did you get your dose? Does it give coffee a run for the money? Let us know what you thought of the latest beverage to hit the market.

Young woman holding bottle of olive oil

The Oils Of Longevity

You may have heard people saying they can’t live without their morning coffee, but we usually don’t take them literally. Just when you thought your caffeinated cup had reached the limit in positive attributes, there comes proof that having a cup of coffee each day may be just what you need to keep having more days to have more cups of coffee! And while you’re at it, you may want to pop some fish oil pills too; they apparently have similar effect.

Recent studies show that both coffee and fish oil contain properties which can actually promote longevity. Not convinced? Here’s a look at some of the latest research on drinking coffee and taking fish oil capsules and why it may just be the latest recipe for long life.

What Are Telomeres?
You may have heard of these little caps at the end of our DNA. Telomeres control our lifespan by determining how many times our cells divide and stay alive. As we get older, environmental stressors take their toll, and these telomeres get shorter, meaning our lives do as well. Therefore, keeping them long is key to longevity. The latest way to do that is by drinking your morning coffee with a side of fish oil.

Fish Oil and Longevity
A study in the 2016 issue of Nutrients looked at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on tele mere length in a controlled trial. Experts attribute the increase in length to a reduction of oxidative stress.

An additional study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity seems to support these findings. The study included 106 individuals with an average age of 51 who were considered relatively healthy, divided into three groups. One group received 2.5 grams of long chain omega-3’s per day, a second received 1.25 grams a day, and one received placebo pills that had proportion of fatty acids similar to those found in an average American diet. After four months, results showed a significant increase in telomere length and a decrease in oxidative stress among those who received the omega-3 supplements.

The two main types of long chain omega-3 fats are most often found in fish such as sardines, herring, salmon, and mackerel. Alpha-linolenic acid is a short chain omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in flaxseeds and walnuts.

Coffee and Longevity
Coffee is already a well known source of antioxidants which makes it a life lengthening beverage. Scientists ar the Journal of Nutrition used data from the Nurse’s Health Study form 1976 to explain the link between coffee drinking and telomere length in 4780 female nurses, and found a direct correlations. Of the nurses, those who drank 2 cups of coffee daily had a 29% higher chance of having an average telomere lengthen while the odds were 36% higher in those who drank 3 cups.

However experts are quick to point out that while coffee may be very beneficial to your health, caffeine may not. Although researchers from the University of Scranton say coffee is America’s number one antioxidant source, they are also quick to remind us that regular and decaf have the same antioxidant levels, and too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects. Try to keep caffeine consumption at a moderate 300-400mg daily, about 3 to 4 cups of coffee to keep away anxiety and depression.

What do you think? Is fish oil and coffee the new Breakfast of Champions? Let us know!

Woman drinking milk in kitchen

Best Alternatives To Cow’s Milk

Pourquoi La Vache Qui Rit fit? Why is the Laughing Cow laughing: the question long asked by the French to explain the jovial expression of the earring -wearing cow on the Laughing Cow cheese wedges that bear her name. Perhaps she was laughing at all the unknowing lactose intolerant people who were-were suffering digestive problems from eating her product. Well, it seems like the laugh may finally be on the Laughing Cow herself. With the increasing awareness of lactose intolerance, alternatives to cows milk are becoming more widely available and popular, with even the lactose tolerant making the switch, in many cases. Has the Laughing Cow laughed her last laugh? Let’s take a look at some of the competition.

Dairy Milk
Is this the reason the cow is laughing? Maybe not. Many of us grew up on plain old milk from the cows and didn’t seem to fare too badly. Cow’s milk has a respectable 8g of protein in one cup, which is still more than any nondairy option. Nonfat or low fat is a good choice for those who drink more than one cup of dairy milk a day to keep saturated fat intake to a minimum.

Soy Milk
When it comes to subbing for dairy milk, soy milk is a pretty healthy choice. With 45% DV of calcium and 6 g of protein per cup, the soybean and water concoction make for a slightly thicker consistency than cow’s milk, which lends itself well to smoothies and coffee. It can be used in place of milk in most recipes cup for cup.

Rice Milk
When put side by side with dairy and soy milk, rice milk, pales in comparison.The brown rice mixture offering up only 2% DV calcium and one gram of protein, falls short of the competition in nutrient content, and many find its texture too watery to work in recipes which use milk as a thickener.

Almond Milk
A fan favorite, almond milk, made with ground almonds and water, can be found in a variety of flavors and options, including chocolate, vanilla, original, and unsweetened. It’s a lower calorie alternative to skim milk, save for the chocolate flavor and has a higher mineral content than dairy milk. However, if its protein you seek, you may not find what you’re looking for in almond milk. With only 1 gram of protein, almond milk’s protein content is decidedly on the low side. If protein is your concern, check out soy milk with added protein, or supplement with other high protein choices.

Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is the latest item to hit the superfood charts, taking the health food world by storm. Although it is slightly higher in fat than other milk, the calorie count is a reasonably low 80 per serving, and it beats out cow’s milk in both protein and calcium content. However, if you are not a fan of the coconut flavor, you may want to leave this one off the shopping list; the coconut taste is hard to miss, If you want the experience with less emphasis on the coconut flavor, try an almond coconut blend, which will give you a more subtle hint of coconut with the 45% CV calcium of almond milk.

What is your choice when it comes to milk, and more importantly, why do you think the Laughing Cow is laughing? Let us know!

Woman adding icing to homemade cupcakes

Vitafiber Is The Latest Health Craze

So much for not eating anything you can’t pronounce. Vitafiber is the newest producer of a nondigestible, sugar-free, gut friendly fiber/ solution for those with a sweet tooth who can’t stomach the gluten or the sugar. While we have been exposed to power bars and candy bars which seem to fall short of the real thing in taste, and are reputedly not even much better for us, the real question here may not be how vital fiber stacks up, but rather, can you say isomaltooligosaccharide? More mercifully known as IMO, this short chain carbohydrate is the secret weapon behind via fiber, and may be the answer to healthy baked goods. Let’s take a closer look at the latest craze in health foods.

What is Vitafiber?
Vitafiber IMO is a low-calorie natural sweetener which provides probiotics ( the good bacteria) and non-GMO dietary fiber for better digestive health. It has all sweetness of sugar, is minimally processed. and is so versatile, it can meet almost all of your baking and cooking needs. Dietary too, Virafibert is free of dairy, gluten, sugar, allergens, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and also meets vegan, halal, and kosher food standards. It is available in syrup and powder forms, making a great bulking agent for your baking creations.

As an addition to your food, you’ll find that Vitafiber has no bitter aftertaste and the 98% fiber content makes it great for keeping full, baking with a nice crispy outer texture and inner gooeyness. Plus, it saves time and money, acting as a sweetener and a binder without the addition of sugar, flour, starch and preservatives and great for your vegan, pale, and diabetic friends.

Vitafiber Recipes

Hemp Seed Microwave Cake
Ingredients (4 servings)

1/4 cup hemp seeds
2 eggs
1/4 cup Vitafiber powder
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients using a hand blender, cook in the microwave for three minutes.
134 cal., 7 g fat, 6.7 g protein, 0 g sugar, 14.8 g carbs, 9.4 g fiber

Simple Mini Cakes (4 cakes)
I egg
2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup Vitafiber powder
2 tbsp pea protein
1 tsp baking powder

Bake in cake or muffin pan for 20 minutes at 200-220 degrees. Flip over, cakes should maintain their shape and come out in one piece.
62 cal., 1.6 g fat, 5.5 g protein, 0.8 g sugar, 10.8 g carbs, 9.3 g fiber

Yogurt Flans (4 servings)
1/2 cup yogurt
1 egg
1 tbsp melted ghee (optional for buttery taste- warning: this tbsp is 112 cal, 13 g fat)
1/4 cup vanilla extract
1/3 cup Vitafiber powder
Put these in individual cups add water, turn over, removing from cups, the mixture should maintain its flat shape. Drizzle with water, bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
92 cal, 12.5 g fat, 2.7 g protein, 1.2 g sugar,2.7 g carbs, 5.2 g fiber

Have you tried Vitafiber? What do you think? Got any good recipes for us? Let us know!

Woman refusing cupcakes

Living A Sugar-Free Lifestyle

If you’re planning to give up sugar, the first thing you need to realize is, it’s going to be tough. You may have seen articles about how you can, “Give up Sugar In Ten Easy Steps.” Well, you can omit the easy part. These articles will probably tell you that if you realized how much sugar was in your favorite candy bar, you wouldn’t eat it. The truth is, once you realize what the sugarless version of the candy bar tastes like, you’ll be running back to the original. The second thing you need to realize about giving up sugar is, it may be worth it. Here are some of the facts on living a sugar-free lifestyle.

Why Is Sugar Bad?

Worsens Cholesterol
Scientists have found a definite link between sugar and high levels of blood fats. Studies show that eating sugar can more than triple the odds of having low HDL cholesterol levels, which are strongly associated with heart disease.

Sugar and Diabetes
Although eating sugar does not cause diabetes, higher sugar intakes have been linked to the disease. According to Rachel K. Johnson, RD, it may be that the sugar contributes to obesity, which, in turn, raises the risk for diabetes. She says, “It may be because the sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with higher BMIs or associated with overweight and obesity, which we know is a risk factor for diabetes.”

woman eating salad

Living Sugar-Free
It has been said that withdrawing from sugar may cause the same neurological symptoms as quitting morphine, nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol. If you think you’re up to the challenge, here are a few pieces of advice.

Don’t Use Artificial Sugar Substitutes
Most scientists agree that replacing sugar with artificial substitutes is just trading one bad habit for the other. By still fulfilling your craving for sweetness, you are leaving yourself open to sugar temptations. The real trick is to trade the sweet stuff for the savory, or as Kristine Kirkpatrick MD recommends, trading “licorice for salmon.”

Don’t Go Fat-Free
Fat-free doesn’t mean sugar fee. In fact, many fat-free products have higher sugar levels to compensate for the lack of fat. Fat-free angel cake has 20 more grams of sugar per slice than the sugary version. A better solution is to keep monosaturated fat-containing products, like salad dressing and peanut butter to the full-fat variety and avoid saturated fats, found typically in cookies, cakes, and muffins.

woman drinking milk

Exercise and Drink Milk
One thing that makes sugar hard to kick is the feel good factor. Sugar has been shown to stimulate reward mechanisms within the brain. One study shows that consuming whey protein ( a major component of milk) has a similar effect. Milk increases serotonin levels in the brain known to cause mood elevation and therefore may make a good replacement for the “sugar high.” Exercise has been proven to have similar effects.

Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
Keeping healthy, sugar-free food options close by are a good way of avoiding the temptation to grab the occasional ice cream or candy from the vending machine. Nuts, raisins, fruit, and cheese are all options for replacing sugar loaded snacks. Try to keep them within reach, glove compartments, purses, and desk drawers are all handy places for a healthy stash.

If you’re quitting, or have quit sugar, let us know how you’re handling the challenge. Let us know what you’re doing to keep sugar free.

Young woman drinking orange juice

Try Vitamins To Stave Off Surgery

Plastic surgery. It seems more and more as if “Wow, how does she/he do it?” has given way to, “Where do you get your work done? However, even with the most unlikely suspects are taking the,” If you can’t beat ’em join ’em” attitude to going under the knife,” there are still a few downsides to plastic surgery: the expense, the permanent looks of surprise, the difficulty emoting, the batches- it seems safe to say there may still be a few reasons to hesitate. However, fortunately, there are some less drastic alternatives. If you’re one of the few determined to keep it real, here are some vitamins that may help you stave off aging naturally.

Vitamin C
That morning glass of OJ may be doing more than helping your immune system. Vitamin C is also great for collagen production and protection against sun damage. You can find it primarily in bell peppers, strawberries, guava, broccoli and citrus fruits. Try to get 100mgs of vitamin C daily, and if you’re looking for the fastest way to do that, Bell peppers are your best bets. The veggies contain 280 mg of the stuff, while oranges only contain 90.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is well known for its skin friendliness. A faithful guardian of the skin’s barrier, vitamin E protects the cell membrane, keeping harmful elements out while preventing helpful ones from leaving. It also works well with vitamin C. The two together make an excellent team for preventing UV damage. Vitamin E can be found in oatmeal, wheatgerm, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

woman with healthy food in the kitchen

Omega -3
Omega -3 is the vitamin that redefined the word “fat” This healthy fat keeps the skin hydrated and helps strengthen the cell membrane, keeping toxins out and protecting against sun damage. Omega-3 can be found in ground flax seeds, fatty fish, and walnuts. The best way to get your Omega -3 is by eating 3 to 5 ounces of fish 3 to 5 times weekly, or if fish isn’t your thing, you can get it in a fish oil supplement, but check with your doctor first, as these supplements have been known to cause the blood to thin.

Selenium
Selenium is a vitamin that maintains skin’s integrity and elasticity while protecting it from the sun. You can get selenium is seafood, wheat germ, and eggs. While you don’t really need a set amount each day, it’s a good idea to try and get some of this food into your diet.

Polyphenols
Drink a cup of green tea a day to get your polyphenols in. They have anti-aging benefits and have been shown in studies to exhibit properties which reduce the risk of sun-related cancers.

Beta Carotene
You might know beta carotene as that stuff that makes fruit orange. It does, and it’s also found in a lot of dark green produce. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, which is crucial for cell repair and growth. In case you’re colorblind, or otherwise incapable of recognizing orange and green fruits and veggies, here are a few for you; carrots, cantaloupe, swiss chard, pumpkins, kale, and spinach are all teeming with beta carotene. Try and get two servings a day of one of these.

What vitamins are you taking to keep your skin healthy the natural way? Let us know!

Flat lay of healthy food

Lifestyle Changes For Digestive Health

Let’s face it. Eating is one of the great pleasures of life. In fact, it may be safe to say that if most of us died in front of the television with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, we’d probably die happy. That’s why digestive problems stink. There are few enough pleasures in life; we need to make sure to completely enjoy each and every one without interference. If you are suffering from digestive problems, that means you’re not getting the full benefits of one of the life’s greatest pleasures, and that needs to be remedied. Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make to bring the fun back to your food.

Beat Stress
Butterflies in your tummy? Stress and anxiety can upset digestion and cause the stomach to become unsettled. While in some people, stress slows digestion, leading to pain, bloating and constipation, in others, stress causes metabolism to speed up, resulting in diarrhea and increased trips to the bathroom. Others completely lose their appetite. In addition, IBS and digestive conditions like stomach ulcers can become exacerbated in stressful situations.

What should you do? Try to avoid eating while you’re stressed and try to avoid getting stressed while you’re eating. Arguing over dinner is never good for digestion.

Stop Smoking
Smoking can weaken the muscles which control the lower part of the esophagus, allowing acid from the stomach to travel in the wrong direction. More commonly known as reflux, this condition can cause heartburn, and bring on or worsen inflammatory conditions and stomach ulcers. Smoking is also a big risk factor for stomach cancer.

healthy family

Eat Properly
High paced lifestyles often cause us to eat on the run, which can wreak havoc on our digestion. To avoid this:

  • Don’t eat too quickly. Concentrate on putting your fork down between bites and chewing each mouthful completely.
  • Don’t eat too much. Adjust your portions at mealtimes, or try to eat small meals frequently, rather than large ones occasionally.
  • Avoid eating a big meal before bedtime. Try to give your body at least two or three hours to digest before hitting the hay.
  • Eat on a regular basis, don’t skip meals, and get plenty to drink.

Lose Weight
Excess stomach weight puts pressure on your middle, which can cause heartburn. Weight loss may help to relieve digestive symptoms like heartburn and other stomach problems.

Binge Drinking
While drinking in moderation should not harm digestion, binge drinking can increase the production of acid in your stomach and cause digestive complaints. Binge drinking means drinking eight to more units of alcohol in a session for men, and six for women.

Are you suffering from digestive issues? Let us know what lifestyle changes you made to help you. We want to know.

Woman drinking milk outdoors

Full Fat Dairy Products May Not Be All That Bad

Move over skinny cows! It’s great news for the extra cheese and “no such thing as too much butter” crowd; scientists have found that full fat dairy food does not increase your risk of heart attack. What, you may ask? Does this mean I can stop eating this strange excuse for ice cream I have in my freezer? Depends on your motivation, but one thing’s for sure, this is something that your stomach and heart will both approve of. Recent studies have shown that those who consume full fat dairy may actually be healthier than their low fat dairy eating (cow)nterparts. Read on for more.

The Evidence, Or Lack Thereof
What tastes good can’t possibly be good for you, right? Well, maybe it can. Recently, dairy researchers have found that, contrary to popular beliefs about saturated fats leading to heart attacks, there may be nutrients in dairy products that actually prevent them. According to researcher Stella Aslibekyan of Brown University, “Things like milk and cheese are very complex substances. We looked at heart attacks risk dairy products in their entirety and then looked at separate components of those dairy products, and it turns out that the results are null. Perhaps the evidence is not there.”

Benefits of Dairy
While Aslibekyan’s team is far from suggesting that the presence of saturated fats in dairy products is harmless, she does believe that other nutrients found in dairy, such as vitamin D, calcium, and potassium may offer protection from heart disease. According to a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases journal a study of 3,630 Costa Rican men found that dairy intake in heart attack sufferers was no different than that of those who did not get heart attacks, even when consumption was as high as 593 grams a day. Researcher, Dr. Anna Baylin says, ” The message is that it is important to look at the net effect of whole foods and dietary patterns and not only isolated nutrients.

Pouring milk

Full Fat Dairy May Be Healthy
Additional research corroborates the Brown University study. There is evidence that full fat dairy key reduce the risk of:

  • Diabetes
    Palmitoeic acid, occurring naturally in meat and full fat dairy food, can protect against diabetes and insulin resistance. One study showed that individuals who consumed a diet including whole fat dairy had higher blood levels of trans-palmitoleate, decreasing their risk of developing type -2 diabetes by two thirds, as compared to those with lower levels.
  • Cancer
    Conjugated linoleum acid, a.k.a. CLA, is a type of fat found naturally in cow’s milk that can significantly lower the risk of cancer. A study found that those who ate a minimum of four serving of high fat dairy per day had a 41 % lower risk of bowel cancer than people who ate less than one.
  • Heart Disease
    A sixteen year study of Australian adults found an indirect relationship between full fat dairy consumption and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

Full Fat Dairy and Weight-Loss
Females who indulged in one serving of full fat dairy were found to gain 30% less weight over a nine year span than their low fat eating counterparts.

What do you think of the info? Willing to scrap your 1 and 2% milk for the pure stuff? Let us know!

Woman holding a basket of fresh fruits

Your Diet May Help Regulate Your Mood

Normally, eating when stressed is ill advised. The term usually brings to mind the image of someone who has just had some shocking news running frantically to their freezer in search of the curative pint of ice cream. He/she gorges greedily, only to awaken the next day not only to find their troubles still very much present, but an additional five pounds added to their body weight.

However, what if you learned that eating actually can relieve stress? You just need to make sure that when you open that freezer, you reach for the frozen grapes instead of the vanilla swirl.

The Anti-Stress Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
You may know that fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but did you know that they might also help to ease stress, anxiety, and depression. A recent study examined diet of 60,000 Australians aged 45 and up, only to reveal that those who had 3-4 servings of fruits and begins a day had 12% less psychological stress than those who had just one. Those who got five to seven servings had an even bigger reduction in stress, showing a 14% reduction as compared to the single serving percentage.

Ladies Only?
However, the researchers found that in a study based on a 10 question comparative survey focusing on anxiety and depression between the years of 2006 -2008 and 2010, males subjects did not show the same results. Says study co-author and University of Sidney PhD student, Binh Nguyen, “We found the fruit and vegetables were more protective for women than men, suggesting that women may benefit more from fruit and vegetables.” The questionnaire revealed that women who consumed 5 to 7 portions of vegetables and fruits experienced a 23% reaction in stress levels in comparison to ladies who only ate 0-1 portion. Two portions produced a reduction in stress of 16%.

Happy woman

More Work To Be Done
While you may not want to wait to start consuming more fruits and veggies, the authors of the studies do stipulate that there is more work to be done before any definite conclusions can be reached. They state that while the intake of fruits and vegetables may reduce the stress levels in middle-aged and older adults, the link between the diet and psychological distress requires further investigation.

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
But while we wait for the final verdict, keep eating those veggies and fruits. The mental health charity “Mind” says, “Vegetables and fruit contain a lot of the minerals, vitamins, and fiber we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy. Eating a variety of different-colored fruits and vegetables every day means you’ll get a good range of nutrients-several portions of the same type of food won’t be so good for you.”

As for choosing the best fruits and veggies: tomatoes, bananas and mushrooms top the list for their high potassium levels which are “essential for your whole nervous system, including your brain. they also advise keeping fruits and veggies raw for the highest number of nutrients.

What do you think? Do fruits and veggies make you feel a little less stressed? Let us know the results of your private research.

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