Woman reading food label

Count Carbs To Manage Your Glucose Levels

Celia Rivenbank, author of “Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank: And Other Words Of Delicate Southern Wisdom, cites the derivation of the word carbohydrates as, “from the Latin, carbo, which means “yummy” and hydrates which means “cinnamon bun.” and allows that they “are not something I can eliminate or even drastically cut back on.” While many of us may echo this sentiment, food science dictates that the term carbohydrates represents any food that is rich in the complex carbohydrate starch, or simple carbohydrates like sugar. Put the two definitions together and you get bad news for someone who is trying to lower his or her glucose level.

When it comes to controlling blood glucose levels, counting carbohydrates works the best of any system, including counting calories and avoiding sugar. This is because carbohydrates are what are responsible for rising glucose levels right after meals. If you take insulin, counting carbs allows you to match the doses of insulin to the foods you eat, providing for greater dietary flexibility and countering post meal lows and highs. A study done by the Texas School of Allied Health sciences found that people who ate regulated amounts of carbohydrates lowered their blood glucose level by 55 ml/dl.

Carb Counting 101

Read Labels
Luckily, the FDA requires manufacturers to list nutritional information and ingredients on food labels, including carbohydrates. Total carbohydrate represents everything in the food that is carbohydrate including starch, fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohol. Look at the number next to the g (grams). The percentage that follows is not relevant to carb counting. For a most accurate reading, subtract the fiber grams from the carb count because fiber does not raise blood glucose and subtract half the grams of sugar alcohol because sugar alcohols affect glucose levels half as much as other carbs. Also, remember to adjust for servings.

Check Listings
If you are buying foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables that do not carry a label, printed and electronic nutrient listings are available in booklet form, as downloads and on the internet. They can also be downloaded to a personal digital assistant, so you can have access to nutritional information in grocery stores and restaurants.

Estimate Portions
Portion conversion is a method involving estimating the serving of food by comparing it to a common object. For example, you know that a cup of cooked pasta has about 40 grams off carbs. You estimate that the portion on your plate in 1 1/2 cup by comparing it to a 12 oz. soft drink can.

Here are some handy measuring devices: The fist of an average adult is equal to one cup, a child’s fist is equal to a half cup, a deck of cards is equal to 1/3 cup, and a 12 ounce soda can is equal to 1 1/2 cups. Of course, it this tool works best when you have the objects in front of you, but with practice, you will find that you can eyeball it down fairly accurately.

If you are monitoring your glucose level, we hope this has been helpful. Let us know how you do it! Good luck and good health! We love to hear from you, as always!

Woman with vegetables

Reduce Your Risk Of Illness By Eating Cruciferous Vegetables

If you are a fan of “The Big Bang Theory,” you may have seen the episode called “The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification.” In this episode, Sheldon calculates his life expectancy only to find that he will not live long enough to witness the point at which man will be able to transfer his consciousness into machinery, or put simply, turn into robots. In an effort to prolong his life so he can witness the realization of this phenomena, Sheldon decides to adapt to healthier lifestyle habits, including the transformation of Thursday Pizza Night into Thursday Cruciferous Vegetable Night, beginning with Brussels Sprouts. If you have seen this episode, you will know that things don’t go well for Sheldon. Cruciferous Vegetable Night is made a thing of the past and everyone ends up at the Cheesecake Factory meeting Steve Wozniak.

Ok, so cruciferous veggies were not the way to go for Sheldon, but that is not to say that they are not without their benefits. Cruciferous vegetables are part of a healthy diet and are proven to be effective in cancer prevention because of their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and detoxification properties.

Cruciferous Veggies
The cross-shaped four petal flowers on these veggies are what give them their name (crucifer-cross.) While broccoli is probably the most common of the crucifers, others include the heads: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rapini (green), turnips and cauliflower (white) and the headless: dark leafy greens like kale. Cruciferous vegetables contain carotenoids and dietary fiber which have been found to lower the risk of several cancers.

Glucosinolates
These compounds, found in cruciferous vegetables have been shown to decrease inflammation, a known cancer risk factor. They can also block the enzymes that stimulate carcinogens and activate enzymes that inhibit them. According to some studies, glucosinolates can also slow cancer growth by beginning a process called apoptosis, or self-destruction of cancer cells.

Carotenoids
Carotenoids act as antioxidants in cruciferous vegetables. Beta-carotene, specifically helps to control the abnormal growth of cells, keeping you healthy and glowing.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, supports the immune system and has great skin benefits as well.

Kampferol, Quercetic and Anthocyanins
With their antioxidant and inflammatory effects, kampferol, quercetin and anthocyanins have all been shown to be crucial in the slowing of cancer development and boosting overall health.

Folate
Folate aids in the maintenance of healthy DNA and inhibits genes known to promote certain cancers.

Detoxification and Digestive Support
Exposure to toxins is a risk factor for many diseases, including cancer. Support of detoxification activity by cruciferous vegetables may be higher any other foods. The high fiber content found in these vegetables can also help protect the stomach lining by preventing the growth of bacteria and supporting the digestive system.

Cardiovascular Health
Decreased risk of strokes and heart attacks may be linked to the anti- inflammatory compounds in cruciferous vegetables. The folate and B-complex vitamins found in cruciferous veggies can lower the risk cardiovascular disease and may also prevent or reverse damage to blood vessels caused by blood sugar problems.

Ok, so maybe it was too much too soon for Sheldon. After all, replacing pizza with Brussels sprouts can be a pretty daunting task for anyone. But maybe you could try and work them into your diet 2 to 3 times a week, and let us know how that goes for you. We want to hear all about it!

Woman doing chair yoga

Ease Into Exercise With Chair Yoga

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona State University Obesity Solutions has been credited with coining the expression, “Sitting is the new smoking,” adding that, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people that HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Pretty scary stuff! While this may sound a bit dramatic to some, Levine’s words do seem to hold some water. Researchers have found, and are still finding evidence proving that sitting can increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. However, there is a healthy activity that you can engage in without leaving your chair. Welcome to the world of chair yoga.

Benefits of Chair Yoga

Greater Strength and Flexibility
If mobility is an issue, chair yoga can increase body strength and help withstand falls while sustaining fewer injuries. This means you can better continue daily activities and hobbies. Also greater flexibility will mean greater ease when it comes to tying shoes and bending to pick things up.

Improved Bodily Control
Proprioception is the ability to know where your body is in relation to space and accurately coordinating movement. By improving bodily control, chair yoga can help people with disabilities such as MS which interfere with this skill.

Improved Mental Clarity and Reduction of Stress
Chair yoga can relieve the impact of pain and chronic illness and can help replace stress caused by feelings of helplessness and isolation with feelings of relaxation and tranquility.

Chair Yoga Poses

Chair Cat Cow Stretch
Sit on the chair with your spine long and feet flat on the floor. Put hands on the top of your thighs or knees. Inhale, arching your spine and rolling your shoulders back and down, bringing your shoulder blades into your back, You are now in cow position. Exhale, rounding your spine and dropping you chin to your chest, allowing the shoulder and head to come forward. You are now in cat position. Continue to move from cow to cat positions for five breaths.

Chair Raised Hands Pose
Inhale, raising your arms upward. Let your shoulder blades slide down your back as you reach toward the ceiling with your finger tips. Push your sit bones into the seat of your chair and lift from there.

Chair Forward Bend
Exhale, coming into a forward bend over your legs. Rest your hands on the floor, letting your head hang heavily, Inhale, raising your arms back up over your head. Continue to switch between the raised arm position and forward fold, moving with each breath.

Chair Extended Side Angle
Bend forward and bring your left hand’s fingertips to the floor outside your left foot. Opening your chest, inhale and twist to the right, bringing your right arm and lifting your face upward. Hold for several breaths and exhale bringing the right arm down.

Chair Eagle
You can achieve the eagle pose by crossing your right thigh over your left. If you are able, try to wrap your right foot around your left calf. Cross you left arm over your right at the elbow. Bend your elbows and bring your palms together. Lift your elbows while dropping your shoulders. Hold for three to five breaths and repeat on other side.

If you tried chair yoga and liked it, we would love to hear all about it! Please send us your comments and suggestions. We love to hear from you.

Woman eating healthy

You Should Be Thinking About Your Liver

If you ever Google the words, “Dear Liver,” you will find a lot of sad sacks apologizing for the havoc they have visited or are about to visit on their liver this or this past weekend. Poor livers! What have our livers done to deserve such shameful treatment? The liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body, processing everything you eat and drink and dutifully repackaging it for use or eliminating it. Why, we shouldn’t be taking these precious organs for granted, but rather we should be doing everything in our powers to protect them and treat them with the respect that they have surely earned! So how can you keep your liver healthy?

Eat Well
According to Timothy T. Nostrant, MD, one of the most important things you can do for your liver is to eat healthy. “Because the liver stores most of out nutrients… anything bad you consume will be associated with potential for damage.” The best diet for your liver consists of protein from plant based sources, and natural foods that are low in fat. Some of the most liver friendly foods include beans, lentil and legumes. Try not to eat too much meat and load up on fruits, veggies and whole grains instead. Aim for mono saturated and polyunsaturated fats as opposed to trans fats. Good sources of healthy fats include fatty fish, avocados, nuts, and pumpkin seeds. Limit your fat intake to 20% of your diet.

Exercise
Nostrant says, ” Obesity is linked to fatty liver disease,” which can cause scarring or cirrhosis of the liver, as well as liver cancer and liver failure. Exercise is an important part of keeping your weight under control. Nostrant advises those with weight problems to set a goal to lose 20% of their weight. Your liver will thank you.

Drinking too much
Limit Alcohol
Don’t give yourself a reason to apologize tomorrow. Even former drinkers are susceptible to liver damage showing up years after eliminating alcohol. G. Anton Decker, MD, advises cutting down to one drink a day for women and two for men. Also, beware of the over the counter pain reliever acetaminophen which can cause damage if taken in large quantities over a small amount of time. Avoid using IV drugs, having multiple sexual partners, abusing IV drugs and getting a tattoo or body piercing with unsterilized needles which have all been associated with hepatitis C.

Warning Signs
If your liver is not working correctly, fatigue is the most common symptom. Other signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, jaundice, nausea and decreased appetite.

Treatment Options
The most common liver diseases are fatty liver, viral hepatitis and genetic disease. If managed properly, however, they can be handled with a minimum of negative outcomes. Viral hepatitis is especially responsive to treatment and some people may be able to eliminate it entirely from their bodies.

If you are hurting your liver, you know who you are! Send in your confessions and New Year’s resolutions! We love to hear from you.

Woman meditating on grass

Meditate For Clear Skin

If you put on the T.V. these days, it is hard not to see Ellen Degeneres. If you miss her daytime talk show, you can always catch her doing Oil Of Olay commercials, showing off her age-defying skin, or in her Amex commercial, meditating over a pair of socks that she was charged for twice. From these two examples, it becomes clear that Ellen DeGeneres is known for two things, good skin and meditation. Did you ever think these two things might be related?

Meditation, Stress and Your Skin
You’ve heard it a million times, stress is not doing you, or your skin any favors, but how do you avoid stress? While that may be impossible, there are ways to lessen it. Meditation anyone?

Dr. Jeannette Graf, MD and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center says, “Meditation is great for everything. There’s nothing like it. For starters, it settles you so you’re in a state of deep relaxation and you’re breathing. Meditation helps every single cell in the body, and it helps your skin.” Graf explains that deep breathing adds oxygen to skin which is, “the key to help boost the actions of the cells to act normally and with great health.” She goes on to sing the praises of meditation, mentioning its positive effects on blood pressure, body, and mind.

Meditation Lessens Negativity
The popularity of meditation has grown exponentially in the past 30 years. Research from the University of Sheffield found that relaxation sessions, meditation and cognitive behavior therapy can benefit people suffering from eczema. psoriasis, acne, and vitiglio. In one such study, individuals suffering from psoriasis were asked to listen to meditation tapes while receiving UV light treatments. They were found to have healed four times faster than non-meditators. It was determined that this was caused by meditation’s ability to reduce the stress that initially caused psoriasis and helped to trigger the body’s ability to repair itself. Meditation can reduce wrinkles and slow the aging process, brightening you skin’s complexion. It will also help you feel younger by relieving tension related ulcers, headaches, muscle aches, and joint problems.

How Do You Start?
Good skin? You’re in! Meditating can be done anywhere at anytime. Just focus your mind and center your breathing. Try to clear your mind and concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale, excluding other thoughts. You don’t even need a quiet room, candle, or a lot of time. Graf enthuses, ‘First of all, a yoga class is a moving meditation, so find a yoga class nearby and pop in. Yoga is amazing for your skin. If you’d rather practice privately, you can buy guided meditation on iTunes and listen anywhere.

Are you a good skin guru? If you are, we want to know your secrets. Tell us what meditation has done for your skin. We love to hear from you.

Woman at the gym

Stay Safe At The Gym

If you are like most children, you have grown up being taught that sharing is a beautiful thing. We share our toys, we share our food, we share our houses. However, as time has gone on and science has gotten more advanced, we have learned that with sharing comes a not so pretty consequence. It turns out that when we share our things, we share our germs as well. Sure, Suzy was nice enough to give Jimmy her extra Twinkie, but she gave it to him with her bare hands. Did Suzy wash her hands after she went to the bathroom?

As we grow up, we are still expected to share, only our toys have gotten a little more adult. Our jungle gyms have been replaced by gym equipment, but, unfortunately, the threat of germs is just as real. According to a December 2014 study found in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 25 different types of bacteria were found on handrails, toilet handles and equipment at four gyms in Memphis. The most common category of bacteria found were Staphylococcus or staph, a species known to be a cause of skin infection.

Why are Gyms a Breeding Ground for Skin infection?
Although it is easy to see how a virus may spread from one treadmill to another, it may be more difficult to imagine how skin infections are transferred. Fungi, bacteria and viruses that lead to skin infections thrive in warm, moist areas. Therefore, the sweat left on towels and exercise equipment provides the ideal tropical location for bacteria. The germs are also quite comfortable in a nice warm shower, sauna, or swimming pool deck. Not only that, but because staph infections are resistant to a variety of antibiotics, they can live on mats exercise machines and locker room benches for days.

Amber Marie Vasquez, MD and spokesperson for the CDC says, ” Skin infections…are most commonly reported in athletes engaged in sports that involve skin to skin contact, such as football or wrestling, but transmission can also occur…before and after participation-in locker rooms, for example. Open wounds, poor hygiene, and the sharing of towels and equipment all increase your risk.”

Sizing Up a Gym for Cleanliness
If you are checking out a new gym, it may be a good idea to check with the management about the cleaning routine. Make sure that the locker rooms and gyms are cleaned at least once a day with disinfectants and detergents registered by the EPA. Make sure disinfectant sprays and wipes are easily accessible and that equipment is well maintained with no damaged surfaces that make equipment more difficult to clean. “Also, bathrooms and locker rooms should be stocked with liquid soap or alcohol based hand sanitizer,” says Vasquez.

Lowering Your Risk

  • Protect Your Skin. Make sure cuts and scrapes are kept clean and covered with a bandage. Keep a towel or item of clothing between exercise equipment and your skin and always wear flip flops or jellies in the shower.
  • BYO Exercise Mat. Since yoga and gym mats may not be cleaned between classes, it is safest to bring your own.
  • Partake in Good Hygiene. Always wash your hands before and after using equipment and playing sports. Although a wash in good old soap and water is your best bet, the CDC advises utilizing a sanitizer that has an alcohol content of at least 60% if soap is not available. Disinfect fitness equipment with sprays and wipes before and after use and shower after you exercise, or use a swimming pool or hot tub.
  • Wash Your Stuff. Vasquez says, “Evidence shows that the numbers of skin bacteria build up each time we wear a piece of clothes without washing it.” Sweaty clothes, used towels and swimsuits should be stashed in a plastic bag separate from the rest of your stuff and washed after each use. Since heat kills bacteria, wash and dry items at the warmest temperature level possible.
  • Be Stingy. It all comes back to no sharing, especially when it comes to items that touch you, like razors.

So the next time you forget your towel and no one is eager to lend you one, don’t take it personally! Let us know about your experiences sharing (or not sharing) at the gym. We love to hear from you!

Woman eating healthy food

Earning Your Way To A Flat Belly

Anyone who has seen “Crazy Stupid Love” will remember the scene in which Emma Stone first sees Ryan Gosling shirtless. She takes one look at his washboard abs and says, “Seriously? It’s like your’e photoshopped!” Well, while we can’t all walk around looking like we’re photoshopped, we can take certain measures to tighten up our bellies. If you’re serious about losing the muffin top, read on!

Live Well

Focus On Your Whole Body
Many people believe they can crunch their way to a flat belly, but contrary to popular belief, crunches and sit-ups do not guarantee a svelte middle. That’s because belly bulge is not about lack of muscle, it’s about extra body fat. If you’re hoping to rival Beyonce’s midriff, you need to burn calories, not build muscle. The best way to do this is by developing a workout that impacts several muscle groups so you strengthen your entire body while burning those excess calories.

Woman planking
Work Your Core
In exercise lingo, planking is a term that refers to a move that practices balance, targets abdominal muscles, and strengthens your back and chest. To execute a plank, begin in a push- up position, but with your hands directly under your shoulders as opposed to outside your chest. Bring your feet together and balance on the balls of your feet and the palms. of your hands. Hold the position for as long as you can. If you like this one, you can move on to side plank, reverse plank, and even work your way up to plank-ups and plank twists!

Side Bend Stretch
This exercise won’t make the fat disappear, but it will bring blood and oxygen to this area which may help break down fat. Try to do this three times a day to stretch the upper back, triceps and abs. Bend to one side stretching your opposite arm over your head and then quickly stretch sides, bending the other way and raising the other arm. This should be done continuously for a total of 10 stretches on each side.

Eat Well

Woman eating berries
Beans

Not only do beans contain the best types of carbs, they are also full of resistant starch to help you burn fat after meals. Plus, they keep you feeling full.

Berries
These natural beauties are proven to stop fat cells from increasing in size and also help the cells release a hormone, called adiponectin, which lowers blood sugar and reduces inflammation.

Nuts
Research finds that eating nuts twice a week makes a person less likely to gain weight than their non-nut eating buddies.

Avoid Alcohol
If you drink, even occasionally, you know that alcohol is the ultimate nemesis of weight loss. The demon alcohol releases estrogen into the blood and excess estrogen means you’re more likely to hold on your excess weight. Plus, it lowers your inhibitions and hinders judgement, which means a late night feast may suddenly look more appealing.

Cut Down On Sodium and Drink More Water
If you’re looking to get rid of the bloat, you should keep your sodium intake down to 1,500 mgs a day and increase the amount of water you drink. Be sure to read food labels. Most processed foods contain alarming amounts of sodium. Cut down your levels to lower your water retention.

Now go out and flatten that belly and wait for those jaws to start droppin’! Let us know how it works for you; we love to hear it!

Woman spreading cheese on bread

Signs and Symptoms Of Wheat Allergies

There is an old saying, “He who will have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.” A truer proverb may never have been said, but what of those who must have the wheat out of the cake?

To say wheat allergies are no fun may be an understatement. Wheat is a main ingredient in some of the most beloved foods in America including donuts, cookies, cakes, muffins, crackers, waffles and pretzels, hot dogs, and ice cream. That sure limits the menu at baseball games. I guess this is what was meant by “tarrying the grinding.” Here are some of the things that can help to recognize, diagnose, and treat this troubling condition.

Symptoms of A Wheat Allergy
A wheat allergy is the result of a response that causes the immune system to attack wheat proteins because it falsely recognizes them as harmful substances. Symptoms include nasal congestion, eczema, hives, asthma, swelling of the mouth or throat, watery, itchy eyes, diarrhea, vomiting and bloating of the stomach. Anaphylaxis also may occur causing tightness of the throat, chest pain and difficulty breathing, a weak pulse, bluish flesh, and a possibly fatal drop in blood pressure. Although some adults have wheat allergies, they are more common in children and are usually resolved by the age of 5.

Diagnosis
There are various tests to diagnose wheat allergy. In many cases, patients are asked to keep a diary of the foods they eat, noting the symptoms. Those experiencing symptoms of wheat allergies will be asked to eliminate wheat and wheat products from their diet, then slowly reintroduce them at intervals. This, along with the food diary, will help to pinpoint the problem-causing foods, which can then be replaced.

Another way of revealing a wheat allergy is food challenge testing, which usually takes place at a hospital or clinic. The patient ingests capsules containing suspected allergens. The doses are gradually increased while symptoms are monitored to determine whether an allergic reaction takes place.

The skin prick test consists of diluted food drops placed on an individual’s back or arm. If itching or redness occurs, the test is considered positive. Blood tests can also be used to detect antibodies indicating food allergies.

Treatment
Although the recent amount of attention to gluten sensitivity has increased the emergence of wheat-free products, wheat proteins may still be difficult to avoid. Antihistimines can eliminate or lower allergy symptoms by lowering the immune system and should be taken after being exposed to wheat. This medication should be used only under professional guidance.

Adrenaline, or epinephrine is often used in an anaphylactic emergency. Patients who are at high risk of anaphylaxis are instructed to have two injectable doses of the treatment on hand. Auto-injector pens open airways, helping the patient to breathe more easily and restoring low blood pressure.

Risk Factors
If there is hay fever, asthma and allergy in the family history, the risk of developing a wheat allergy increases. Young children and infants are more likely targets because their digestive and immune systems are not fully developed. Exercise has been known to trigger responses to wheat product and may lead to anaphylaxis.

If you have, or have had wheat allergies, we would love to hear how you “tarry the grinding.” Let us know how you deal with them. We’d love to hear it.

Flat lay of fresh salmon on wooden board

Choosing Sustainable Sources of Seafood

Gen Xers and Baby Boomers will probably remember the Starkist commercials that popularized Charlie the Tuna. Although he may have done wonders for the canned tuna company, Charlie was something of an anomaly. Why would a fish do a commercial for a product in which he would end up being the main ingredient!

Things have come quite a way since then. Millennials are more likely to celebrate the characters of “Finding Nemo” and “SpongeBob Squarepants,” all of whom have seemed to fare better than poor Charlie. In this day and age, it seems only natural that our environmental consciousness effect the way we represent, and eat, our fish. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of two servings of fish per week. But is there something you should know about our finned friends before digging in?

Why Eat Sustainable Seafood?
As the sea continues to boil, we are slowly but surely fishing our amphibious amigos into an early extinction. Scientists believe that by 2048, there will be only algae and jellyfish left; not very attractive options. And think, that’s only 38 years from now, in other words, many of us will live to see it. However, if you think that’s bad, what about people in Asia and coastal Africa for whom fish is the only option? What will they do after the fish apocalypse?

Even if this is not enough to get you to change your tune, let’s talk about toxins like PCBs and mercury. Toxins are more likely to be found in predatory fish like tuna, shark and salmon because the pollutants are more able to attach themselves to fatty skins and flesh and you certainly don’t want those swimming around your tummy.

If you’re wondering just how much America is effected by this, here are some ideas. Salmon and tuna are numbers two and three on the list of most popular American fish and shrimp, our number one choice is increasingly coming from central America and southeast Asia, both of which have unregulated environmental standards.

What Can You do?
Avoid big, predatory fish like tuna, shark, swordfish and salmon. They tend to live the longest and are more prone to attract toxins because of their older flesh. Exceptions include wild salmon from Alaska and small albacore tuna from British Colombia and the Pacific Northwest, both of which come from regulated fisheries. Eat fish which are smaller on the food chain. These include anchovies, clams, sardines, oysters and mussels. They live for a shorter amount of time, and reproduce more easily, increasing their resistance to the pressure of fishing.

Keep Your Options Open
To reduce the likelihood of exposure to pollutants, try to eat a variety of seafood rather than sticking to one type. Check for where the fish at the supermarket came from . If its from the US and Canada, it is likely to be safe, Central America could be dodgy and stay away from Asian fish. Of course, this does not guarantee that all North American fish is sustainable.

What to Avoid
Stay away from most ahi (bigeye and yellowfin tuna, as well as bluefish tuna, all of which are facing extinction. Steer clear of imported farmed shrimp and farmed salmon, commonly sold as Atlantic Salmon. Actual Atlantic salmon is no longer available as overcrowded conditions of Chilean salmon farms have lead to the spread of infectious viruses. Also avoid freshwater eel or aka unagi, which is 95% gone.

Sorry Charlie! We really will be. If you have anything to contribute to the sustainable seafood conversation, let us know! We want to hear all your viewpoints!

Woman with pineapple

The Health Benefits of Pineapple

What can you say about a fruit that has its own social history? The pineapple has probably adorned more tabletops than a drunk in a bar. The reasons are obvious. After all, the pineapple just screams centerpiece, and comes complete with its own crowning glory. In colonial America, a hostess would rather be caught dead than without a pineapple at her dinner party. Guests to a house with a pineapple displayed on the table were ensured that the hostess spared no expense for the dining pleasure of her guests and could expect a feast not to be outdone. With a history like this, it would not be inaccurate to say that this crowned natural wonder is indeed the royalty of the fruit family.

But besides its rare beauty and sweetness, there are many other reasons the pineapple is worthy of celebration. Perhaps we should look at some of the incredible health benefits the pineapple offers.

Great For Weight Loss
Pineapples can keep you full longer than other foods because they pack a lot of water and fiber. Plus, they have fewer than 60 calories per half cup and help prevent tummy bloating.

Promotes Cell and Tissue Health
Pineapple increases synthesis of collagen. That means it will help your skin to stay youthful and firm and strengthen organs, bones, and skin. They also contain vitamin C that helps wounds to heal and protects the body from illness and infection.

Promotes Healthy Digestion
Pineapple packs in the fiber, which, according to experts, keeps your intestines healthy and protect against constipation, diarrhea, IBS and high blood pressure.

Good For Your Eyes
As a person’s age increases, so too does the risk of macular degeneration.The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group found that vitamin C and betacarotene, both of which can be found in the spiked wonderfruit, can help to prevent or delay this and other age-related eye deficiencies.

Helps To Reduce Cold Symptoms
Although you may think it is only the vitamin C in pineapples which makes them so powerful in combating the common cold, it is also the content of bromelain. Bromelain is a special enzyme that has been shown by University of Maryland studies to reduce the phlegm and mucus that builds up in sinus cavities and respiratory tracts. In addition, pineapples contain properties to help reduce the inflammation of the airways associated with bronchitis.

Strengthens Your Gums
Pineapples have astringent properties that make your gums stronger and prevent your teeth from falling out. They also help to tighten tissue and tone the body, preventing hair loss, skin loosening and muscle weakness. So eat pineapples to keep those chompers chomping.

Beautiful, interesting and functional, what more can you want in a fruit? If you want to help us sing the praises of the pineapple, please send in comments and suggestions. We also welcome recipe ideas!