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EAT WELL

Woman having lunch

Meal Prep Is Not Just For Dieters

Ask most people what they are planning to do for dinner tonight and they night say, “I’m planning on ordering pizza.”

“What’s wrong with pizza?” you ask, “Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, the cheese has source of calcium and the toppings can have a variety of health benefits.’

Well, you have a point. But have you ever looked behind the scenes at a pizza place? Unless it specifies otherwise, your favorite pizza kitchen may be making using ingredients that you ordinarily would not think of consuming, such as fatty oil and whole milk cheeses. Not that we don’t love them, but we don’t always know if Big Mama and Big Papa have your best health options in mind. They are not necessarily thinking about portion control in mind when they’re heaping that cheese on. And pizza is a relatively harmless choice. I don’t even think I have to warn you about what is in a lot of the fast food burgers. The only way you can really guarantee that you know what’s in the food you eat is to make it yourself. “Make it myself?”, you say, “you mean, shop for ingredients and actually cook them? I don’t have the time or energy.” Well. welcome to meal prep 101.

Why Should I Prep my Meals?

  1. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to eat on the spot. Have you ever been here? You’re working late at the office. You’re on a tight deadline. Mike, your boss, is talking about getting some Macdonalds. You would rather die. What do you do? You don’t want to be responsible for the project not being done on time because you were too much of a diva to eat a Big Mac. The solution? You whip out your tupperware container with your healthy premade meal and are halfway through it when Mike gets back with his suspicious smelling bags.
  2. It saves you money. When you buy preprepared food, your’e paying for the preparation. If you’re buying from a food truck, your’e helping them pay for the upkeep of the truck; in a restaurant, you are paying for their waitstaff ,rent, and electricity bills. When you start to do the work yourself, you cut out a lot of expenses.

Basic Tips

1. Plan your meals to contain one protein, one starch and one vegetable. Make a list of acceptable alternatives. For example:

  • Protein Options: Boneless skinless chicken breast, ground turkey, fish, avocado
  • Starch Options: Sweet potato, pasta,rice
  • Veggie Options; Spinach, green beans, peppers, tomato (choices may vary)

2. Set aside a day for shopping

3. Peel, chop and cut all veggies and fruit for the week so they are ready to grab for a snack or to add to your lunch box.

4. Prep your protein and meat: Keep meat preparation down to a minimum. Use seasonings instead of a marinade or make a huge quantity of different types of marinated turkey or chicken at once and freeze them. You can use them in tacos or throw them in a salad. Hard boil eggs. Make homemade burgers and freeze them.

Think you can handle it? It may seem a like a lot of work at first, but you will be the epitome of cool when it comes to meal time, and you won’t have to worry about asking the waitress to put the dressing on the side.

Woman drinking tea

There's a Tea For That

You decide to do the afternoon date. You’re really not that sure about this guy, or gal, so you want to meet at a neutral place.  You decide that no alcohol should be involved and that this not to be an expensive place.  A costly dinner may leave you feeling beholden to him/her and you want to be prepared to split the check if necessary.  He/she suggests a trendy tea house in your neighborhood. You will meet there.

You arrive at the place.  He/she asks you what you would like. You look up at the menu and are horrified.  There are at least 50  different brands of tea and you haven’t heard of half of them.  What do you do?  If you order the plain tea, will you appear too boring, not enough of a risk taker, or should you order something you never heard of? Will he/she think you want to dive into bed with him/her If you order something too exotic? What will your tea say about you? What if you order something you hate  and have to “accidentally” spill it when he/she goes to the restroom?  Well, have no fear.  Here is a small guide to the different types of tea and their benefits.

Black Tea
Making up about 75 % of all tea consumption, black tea is made from the leaves of the”camellia sinensis” plant, which are rolled and fermented.  It has a slightly bitter flavor and contains the most caffeine, about 40 mgs a cup. (May not want to have too much on the first date.)  It is packed with antioxidants called theaflavins and thearubigans which can lower cholesterol.  Research shows that drinking three of more cups of black tea will reduce the risk of a stroke by 21%.

Green Tea
Because the leaves used in green tea are heat treated and dried right after they are picked, the fermentation process is halted.  This gives it a more delicate flavor than black tea.  Green tea contains about 25 mgs of caffeine per cup.  Perhaps most commonly associated with health benefits, green tea contains catechins known to ward off everything from cancer to heart disease.  A daily cup can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.

oolong tea

Oolong Tea
Fermented for a shorter time than black tea, oolong tea has a richer taste.  It has about 30 mgs of caffeine per cup and may aid in weight loss and contains an enzyme that dissolves dietary fat.  One study showed that women who drank oolong tea burned slightly more calories over a 2 hr period than those who drank water.  (Got your new workout routine?)

White Tea
White tea has a mild flavor and less caffeine than other varieties, about 15 mgs. It does wonders for the cardiovascular  system, fights cancer and may help people with diabetes, improving glucose tolerance and reducing bad cholesterol.  FYI:  Loose tea may contain more antioxidants than tea in bags.

Flavored Tea
Yum! Flavored tea generally has the health flavors of the others, but if flavored with superfruits, like blueberries (Blueberry tea?  Anyone had this?) may have even more antioxidants.  But, a word to the wise, skip the bottled varieties.  They notoriously contain extra sugar and are watered down, reducing the health benefits.

So, now that you know the skinny, what will you choose?  Which type of tea are you?  Let us know!

Woman eating healthy food

Eating Healthy on 2,500 Calories

Two thousand and five-hundred calories every day might seem like a lot of food (or it might not, it really depends on your mental concepts of such things), but for a respectable portion of the population, it’s actually an appropriate target. Specifically, sedentary men ages 19 to 30, moderately active men ages 31 to 50, active men over 50, and very active women of various ages all may need approximately 2,500 calories in their diet.

But of course, it’s not as simple as calorie-counting, regardless of the target number. Not all calories are created equal, and to eat healthily, you need to balance things properly. Let’s talk about how to do that.

Lean Proteins
Protein is essential for everyone, and lean protein is the best you can get in this regard. On 2,500 calories a day, you need approximately 6.5 ounces of protein a day. An ounce of protein can be found in an ounce of seafood, poultry, lean red meats, an egg, ¼ cup of tofu, ½ an ounce of seeds and/or nuts, and a tablespoon of peanut butter, roughly speaking.

Woman having food rich in fiber.

Lots of Fiber
Also incredibly important is fiber. Following a 2,500 calorie plan, you should get 3 ¼ cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits a day. Variety is key here, and generally, dark, leafy greens and vibrant red and purple fruits are best. For conversion purposes, half a cup of dried fruit is equal to one cup fresh fruit or fruit juice (no added sugar!), and 2 cups of leafy greens roughly equals one cup of other vegetables

Opt for Healthy Fats
For every source of trans fat and saturated fat, there’s plenty of alternatives. That said, healthy fats are still fats, and shouldn’t be over-consumed regardless. You want about 7 teaspoons of oil a day on a 2,500 plan; any extra is going to interfere with your heart health. Olive oils, coconut oil (in moderation; it is still a saturated fat), and avocado oil are just a few examples of healthier fats.

You Don’t Actually Need Dairy
It’s a common misconception that dairy is a basic food group and essential for good nutrition. This is actually quite false, and humans are not really designed to consume any kind of milk once they stop breastfeeding. That said, we’ve evolved to tolerate dairy, and in moderation, it’s not necessarily harmful (unless you’re lactose-intolerant, of course), so there’s nothing wrong with having a little as a treat now and then, but don’t get tricked into thinking it’s essential.

Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk are a few examples of tasty non-dairy milk alternatives, and can help you avoid the saturated fats of many dairy products or if you can’t tolerate lactose. Skim milk also features less lactose, which might be okay if your lactose intolerance is mild or moderate (as opposed to severe), and it also, of course, contains less fat.

Baked eggplant with tomato and garlic

Clean Eating Tips

One interesting approach to nutrition that’s rising in popularity recently is called simply “clean eating.” And certainly, if it could help keep you healthy both before and after your wedding day, it’s worth a try, right? Well, we’re here to examine and evaluate this trend to give you the information you need to make healthy choices, and to decide if clean eating is worth pursuing.

But What Is it, Exactly?
Of course, before we can go any further, we need to define what clean eating actually is. In essence, the basic tenets of clean eating are eating five to six times a day (three meals and two to three small snacks), choose organic, clean foods whenever possible, and drink at least two liters of water a day. There are other details, like including lean protein, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate in every meal, but the three pillars of eating five-six times a day, choosing organic food, and drinking two liters of water each day are the basis of this idea. This sounds great in theory, but let’s examine it piece by piece to be sure.

Woman drinking water

Two Liters of Water
This is one realm in which clean eating is a little closer to being on-point, although of course, the truth is more complicated. How much water you should drink actually depends on your weight, location, and activity level. The rule of thumb is that you need between half an ounce and a whole ounce of water per pound you weight, every day. For example, a 150-pound person should drink between 75-150 ounces of water per day. The hotter and more arid your climate, the closer to the upper end of the range you’ll be. Likewise, the more exercise you get, the closer to the top you’ll be.

Eating Five to Six Times a Day
The idea here is that eating more often and in smaller portions is both better for weight loss and healthier in general because you’re spreading out calorie intake throughout the day and keeping your metabolism running smoothly. Sadly, the science does not agree here. Studies actually indicate there is no significant impact whatsoever to the frequency of eating, and that, in fact, eating more often makes you want to eat more.

Avocado sandwich

Organic Foods
Similarly, the need for the foods to be organic (and, by extension, GMO-free) in clean eating is not borne out by actual scientific knowledge. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are largely a positive development, and allow crops to be fortified with necessary nutrients, more reliably protected from diseases, and be produced more cheaply. On the other hand, organic growing is volatile and has a huge chance of failure or of infested crops, because of the restrictions on pesticide use that organic growing entails. In short, while there are some legitimate concerns with the agricultural industry, organic food is not the answer and generally has no benefit to your health.

All that said, this one is pretty close to the mark. The majority of the other tenets of clean eating are highly questionable, though. Just eat a healthy, varied diet, with proteins, simple and complex carbohydrates, fruits, and lots of leafy greens and other vegetables, and you should be fine.

Salad

Meatless Monday

When it comes to dieting, it can be frustrating and overwhelming to figure out what works for you. Elimination diets are extremely popular, but when not done carefully, they can actually be detrimental to your health. If you have ever thought about trying a vegetarian diet, but aren’t quite sure if you can commit to the total elimination of meat, try easy into it. Meatless Monday is not a new phenomenon, but it can be a refreshing way to change your diet in a way that you can really stick to! Why go meatless?

It’s Good for the Environment
Cutting down on the amount of meat you eat, even when it is only one day each week, can actually help the environment. Relying a little less on meat will cut down on how much water is used to make the food you buy. You will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If more and more people start embracing meatless Monday, it could make a real difference!

It’s Good for Your Health
Replacing a fatty protein with a lean protein once, or a few times, a week is going to help you lose weight, and it is better for your heart. Practicing meatless Monday is said to help you live longer because you get some of the benefits of eating a vegetarian diet, but putting less pressure on yourself to majorly restrict your diet right away is a huge benefit. It is really difficult for most people to cut out meat entirely right away, so joining meatless Mondays makes it really easy to stick to your plan, and a lot of people are trying it, so you aren’t alone!

Easy Way to Mix Up Your Menu
It’s very easy, but never fun, to fall into a repetitive, mundane rut when it comes to food. It can become difficult to come up with affordable, easy to cook options that you have the energy to make after work. Increasing the number of veggies you eat can really help get you out of your rut! There are tons of recipes out there that involve spicing up vegetables to create a filling, flavorful meal.

Dedicating one day a week to try out a vegetarian diet has many benefits. Just make sure you are planning your menu carefully so you aren’t cutting out protein with the meat! It’s easy to get enough protein as a vegetarian, but if you are trying it out for a day, don’t forget to add it to your meals!

Woman enjoying the sun in the grass

One a Day for Health

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We have all heard the phrase, and we know it’s about more than just apples! Making healthy choices every day can be hard, but consistently doing things each day to make healthy habits is the best thing you can do for your physical and mental health. There are all kinds of little things you can do each day to help you lead a healthier lifestyle!

Woman drinking water

Drink Water!
Whether you think 8 cups, a gallon, or some other amount is best, drinking one glass of water in the morning is a perfectly simple way to get ahead for the day. Whatever your goal is, starting your day with one glass of water down is going to make it so much easy to reach it!

Start Your Day with Green Tea
Green tea has caffeine, so it is a great choice for a morning pick-me-up. Unlike coffee, green tea can actually help you stay hydrated, as well as give you a boost of energy. Green tea also jump starts your metabolism and is rich in antioxidants- who wouldn’t want to add this stuff in their routine?

Woman exercising

Do Something Active for At Least 30 Minutes
This can be anything! Even going for a short walk can boost your energy and metabolism. Doing yoga, going for a bike ride, exploring your neighborhood, or taking a spin class are also great ways to be more active every day. Mix it up and try new things so you stay motivated and excited to get your 30 minutes (or more) of activity every day!

Replace One Unhealthy Food with a Healthy One
Dieting is hard. It’s certainly not fun to always be thinking about what you eat, more specifically what you can’t eat. A simple way to ease into making better diet choices is to simply replace one unhealthy food with something more nutritious each day, and working up from there if you choose. This could be as simple as choosing a good old-fashioned coffee instead of a sugary coffee drink, or skipping the pop tart and opting for a smoothie in the morning. This method keeps dieting from getting overwhelming and breaks it down to each meal or snack. Creating good habits that are satisfying and manageable is really the only way to turn a diet into a lifestyle change.

Woman drinking wine

Drink a Glass of Wine!
This one is our favorite. It is no secret now, after new studies have shown all of the possible benefits of resveratrol, that drinking wine can actually be healthy. This antioxidant just so happens to be found in the skins of red grapes, so when we drink wine, we are getting a healthy dose of resveratrol, which can improve heart health, protect your cells from damaging free radicals, and prevent muscle fatigue!

Making an effort to add healthy habits to your daily routine can work wonders when it comes to improving your overall health. The best part is, as you can tell by this list, not every healthy habit is going to be difficult or unpleasant! Some are downright fun (thank you resveratrol)! So don’t ditch the apples, but there are tons of other little things you can do each day for your health!

Grapes in a vineyard

Organically Grown Grapes and Wine

Organic is one of the major buzzwords right now in all areas of life from products you use in your bathroom right down to your kitchen table. However, the title of organic can be confusing at times, and as a consumer, you want to know what you’re paying for. Although organic wine is not a hugely popular item in the United States, there are many winegrowers that are dedicated to producing organically grown grapes on sustainable vineyards. It would be a natural assumption that organically grown grapes produce organic wine, and if you think this you are right – to an extent. Read below to find out what organically grown grapes are and what types of wine these grapes can produce.

What are Organically Grown Grapes?
Like any other food item, in order for grapes to be labeled as organic, they must be grown in accordance with the principles of organic farming. In conventional wine growing, chemical fertilizers are used to protect the vines and to promote larger yields. The chemicals that are sprayed onto the fruits are also absorbed by the soil and they make their way into the leaves and the grapes being grown, meaning that these chemicals ultimately make it into the wine. Those who support organically grown grapes say that not only do these chemicals destroy the soil and surrounding land, but they also remove some of the very unique and distinct flavors that accompany grapes.

Growing grapes organically provides a unique set of challenges to winemakers. For these growers to be the most successful, they must choose the correct type of wine for the growing environment and region. One of the major concerns in growing organic grapes is the presence of mildew and rot pressures, because grapes affected by these factors will not be able to be used in the production of wine.

What is Organic Wine?
In the most basic definition, organic wine is any wine that is produced using organically grown grapes. However, there are some various legal definitions that can be quite confusing to many consumers. Currently, the only effective preservatives that allow wines to last for substantial periods of time are “non-organic.” This means that a wine can be made from organically grown grapes, but still not be considered an organic wine. The difference between organic and non-organic wines lies in the use of sulfites. Many winemakers use sulfites in very small quantities to preserve the wine and to give it a longer shelf life, but a true organic wine in the United States may not contain any added sulfites. If a wine has added sulfites, but is produced using grapes that have been grown organically, then the label may read “wine made from organic grapes.”

Growing grapes organically requires extreme patience, commitment and dedication, and many winemakers are taking up this challenge. Pick up a bottle of organic wine, or wine made from organic grapes and see how you like the taste of grapes produced responsibly and wine made without sulfites.

Woman having wine at sunset

Warm Temperatures and Fine Wine

As temperatures rise, it is often necessary to reconsider the wines you have been drinking throughout the winter. While crisp whites can have an equal appeal during both winter and summer, many of the most popular red wines feel overwhelmingly heavy when the weather gets hot. Keep reading for a brief guide to the best fine wines for warmer temperatures.

Sparkling Rose
So how can you make summer’s ubiquitous wine even better? Just add some Pinot Noir and bubbles. Sparkling Rose made from Pinot Noir is an all occasion spring and summer wine that features the flavors of flowers and succulent red fruits. Veuve Clicquot’s chef de caves, Dominique Demarville says, “sparkling rose is an excellent pairing with lighter dishes like fresh fish and seasonal salads. Yet, it also has the structure to stand up to heavier dishes like grilled meats.” Sparkling Rose has moderate alcohol, almost indiscernible tannins and a bright effervescence that make it absolute perfection for warm temperatures.

Albarino
If you want to try a white that is a bit out of the ordinary and that pairs perfectly with your favorite summer foods, try a Spanish variety Albarino. Marimar Torres, owner of Marimar Estate winery in California’s River Valley, says that Albarino is an ideal white for summer because it pairs wonderfully with summer favorites such as grilled seafood, sushi and tapas. “It’s very refreshing and delicious, minerally, with classic notes of key lime, white peach and a floral accent of hyacinth. It’s long in the end, with a zippy and crisp finish.”

Rose wine
Rose

Rose is without a doubt the summer wine, but you don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy it. Dry rose wine walks the line between white and red, and often features fruity notes of summer fruits like strawberries and cherries. Rose also has bright citrus acidity, which makes it a highly refreshing wine during warm weather. While many people claim the White Zinfandel is not a Rose wine, but is instead blush, this is not true. White Zinfandel is technically a Rose wine because it is made in the Rose style, it is just a far sweeter version of most Rose wines. Rose wines pair perfectly with summer foods from salads and seafood to backyard barbecues.

Sangiovese
While whites tend to dominate spring and summer, you don’t have to shelve all of your reds until the weather gets cold again. “Sangiovese, when expressing its red fruit and delicate vibrant nature, is a versatile, smooth and ideal summer wine. Sometimes, there is a smoked meat, leather character to the wine that is classic for the famous bistecca fiorentina, so bring on the barbecue,” says Shelley Lindgren, wine director and owner of California restaurants A16 and APQR. You aren’t limited to meat when serving a Sangiovese; the wine also pairs well with vegetable-based pasta dishes, particularly those that feature eggplant, zucchini and/or cherry tomatoes.

The idea that spring and summer weather necessitates white wine is a misconception. You can drink any type of wine that you want all year, but there are some wines that fit seasonally better than others. Experiment with the different types of wine listed above for a spring and summer full of incredible wine and food.

Woman suffering from pain

Zap PMS With Eggs

Cravings for junk food like pizza, chips, chocolate and ice cream are completely common during PMS, but gorging on these foods only feels good in the immediate short-term. These foods actually contribute to bloating, irritation and mood swings because of all of the sugar, salts and fats contained in them. There are foods that you can eat that will help relieve symptoms of PMS and keep your body healthy, and eggs are one of these foods. Eggs are a great source of protein, are highly versatile and can reduce PMS problems. Keep reading to find out what causes PMS and how eggs can help.

What Causes PMS?
Currently, the exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is unknown, but there are several contributing factors.

  • Changes in Hormones – The fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone that occurs with your menstrual cycle is a major influence on the severity of your premenstrual symptoms.
  • Changes in Brain Chemicals – According to the Mayo Clinic, “fluctuations of serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is thought to play a crucial role in mood states, could trigger PMS symptoms. Insufficient amounts of serotonin may contribute to premenstrual depression, as well as to fatigue, food cravings and sleep problems.”
  • Depression – As stated by the Mayo Clinic, low levels of serotonin are a contributing factor to depression. Women with undiagnosed depression may notice more severe PMS symptoms, and treating the underlying cause can help lessen PMS symptoms.

Common symptoms of PMS include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite Changes
  • Tension
  • Fatigue

Woman having eggs and bacon.

How do Eggs Help PMS?
Heading to the refrigerator and pulling out a carton of eggs probably isn’t the first thing you would think to do when suffering from PMS symptoms, but doing so can help to reduce and relieve PMS symptoms. Eggs are nutritional powerhouses for PMS symptoms because they contain vitamins B6, D and E. A study involving more than 116,000 nurses indicated that diets that are rich in these vitamins help to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms. Scientists believe that these vitamins help control the chemicals in your brain that cause PMS, and may actually help regulate the effects of your fluctuating hormones. Experts believe that vitamin D has some influence over the levels of estrogen in your body, while B vitamins (including B6) are good for PMS because they help create neurotransmitters, like serotonin.

The next time PMS has you feeling uncomfortable and irritable, head to your kitchen and reach for a carton of eggs. Scrambled eggs are a perfect breakfast for PMS and if you pair your eggs with chamomile tea, you also will lessen the severity of cramps because the properties in chamomile tea can reduce muscle spasms. If eggs aren’t your favorite breakfast, or you run out of time in the morning to make them, make some hard-boiled eggs the night before and take those to work with you for a PMS-busting snack or toss them in a salad for some added flavor and protein. Even though eggs may not sound as appealing as the pint of Ben & Jerry’s you’re desperately craving, they will provide you with PMS zapping benefits while also avoiding the guilt that follows a junk food splurge. Get creative with your eggs and keep them on hand so that you can fight PMS with proper nutrition.

Woman eating healthy food

Eat Well: Berries, Spinach and Almonds

Diet is one of the most influential and important factors in your health, and you can improve your health by eating, or avoiding, certain foods. Three incredible superfoods that are easy to incorporate into a diet and that taste great are berries, spinach and almonds. These foods all have the ability to seriously boost your health with benefits ranging from lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s to preventing cardiovascular disease. Below, find out some specific information on why these superfoods should be put on your grocery list right now.

Bowl full of berries.

Berries
Although berries are small, the health benefits they provide for your body are huge. According to a study published in the Annals of Neurology, women who ate two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries per week showed delayed and decreased mental decline. “We think that the effect might be related to a class of compounds called anthocyanidins, which is a type of flavonoid. These compounds, found almost exclusively in berries, are known to cross the blood-brain barrier and locate in learning and memory centers in the brain,” explains study author, Elizabeth DeVore, ScD, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The flavonoids and antioxidants found within berries are also associated with a lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the flavonoids in berries are believed to help prevent Parkinson’s disease.

It isn’t just your brain that berries help. Even though berries are sweet, they also have plenty of fiber and liquid, which make these the perfect snack for those looking to manage weight. The liquid and fiber content in berries will help you feel satiated and full in ways that a snack with refined sugar can’t. Although no clinical studies have been done yet, many health experts believe that berries are also a heart-healthy food that can lower your blood pressure. The antioxidants in berries are known to reduce overall inflammation in your body, which contributes to problems like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Bowl of spinach

Spinach
Popeye made spinach famous when he used it as fuel to fight off foes, and sometimes there is some truth on TV. While you won’t immediately sprout Popeye-sized muscles from eating spinach, you will be getting some amazing health benefits. “Eating spinach is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair and strong bones, as well as helping with digestion, lowering the risk for heart disease and improving blood glucose control in diabetics,” says registered dietician nutritionist, Megan Ware. Just one cup of spinach provides 987 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin K, which is important in keeping strong bones. A 2003 study found that low levels of vitamin K in women were associated with low bone density (the same is not true for men), and subsequent studies mention how necessary vitamin K is to healthy bone growth. Spinach also is a great source of iron, vitamin A and chlorophyll – which is thought to fight cancer.

Almonds

Almonds
Almonds are a very nutrient-dense food that contain vitamin E, magnesium, copper, B vitamins, iron, phosphorous, calcium, monounsaturated fat and potassium. While almonds are a source of fats, the monounsaturated fats can actually help you lose and maintain weight. One study found that people who consumed nuts twice weekly were 31 percent less likely to put on weight than those who didn’t eat nuts. Additionally, almonds may be beneficial to those who are pre-diabetic or struggle with blood glucose levels because it reduces the spike in blood sugar levels following a meal or snack. Almonds are also considered an excellent food for your heart, because they are able to lower your blood pressure and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, both of which are major factors in cardiovascular disease.

Berries, spinach and almonds provide health benefits that are absolutely astounding. Just a few servings of these foods each week can go a long way in fighting some very serious diseases, while also improving your skin, hair, bones and tasting great all the while. Whip up a healthy spinach salad that includes berries and sliced raw almonds for an incredible dose of flavor and health.