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Posts Tagged ‘Blueberries’

Benefits of Eating Superfoods

Superfoods are various types of foods that are good for your body. Whether you are an avid athlete or are someone who is simply trying to eat better, consuming food that is healthy for you will benefit you overall. Examples of these foods include things such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that eating a variety of raw fruits and vegetables can help prevent certain diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, it should be noted that you cannot simply eat superfoods by themselves. Rather, a diet that consists of both healthy eating as well as plenty of exercise and rest are ideal for a long, healthy life.

To go about eating superfoods, you should first begin by considering your current diet. What sorts of foods are you eating now? Does your diet consist of mostly carbohydrates in the form of rice, pasta and breads? On an average day, how many servings of vegetables are you consuming? For instance, you should be getting at least five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day. To give you an idea of what this would look like, one orange is equal to one serving of fruit. In order to make things a little bit easier so that we could get all of our fruit and vegetable servings, my boyfriend and I invested a very small amount of money into purchasing a juicer. The juicer has been a godsend in terms of making eating healthier both easy and fun.

For ideas on juicing recipes, simply look some up online or come up with your own. My personal favorite includes a juice recipe of four to five organic carrots, a small serving of fresh ginger, kale leaves and three apples. In this one juice, I am already getting over half of my daily intake of fruits and veggies, and it didn’t cost me that much or take that much time to do! For many people, juicing makes eating their vegetables and fruits more palatable. However, for some of us, we prefer to eat our fruits and veggies raw. For example, veggies and fruits make great snacks for in between meals- plus they are super healthy! Some examples include things such as grape tomatoes, baby carrots, blueberries, a few apple slices or even a few cuts of celery. Even something as small as an orange makes a great snack that is both incredibly filling as well as nutritious.

One of the benefits to eating fruits and vegetable is that they fill you up. Because these foods are nutrient rich and often dense in fiber, you often feel full after just a little snack. As we all know, fiber is great for digestion as well as improving your overall weight. If you are looking to improve your diet or if you are trying to lose weight in a healthy way, try to make sure that the ratio of raw fruits and vegetables is higher than the ratio of processed foods, starches and grains that you consume. Combine this with sufficient sleep and a little exercise, and you’ll be on your way to a more healthful you.

-By: Brenda Williams

Group Health Insurance

Acai Berry Superfoods – Are Acai Berries Really That Healthy?

The Health Benefits of Acai Berries

Acai Berries on the Palm Tree"Acai Berries are superfoods!" We're hearing it everywhere now. But is it true? Are Acai Berries really that healthy? In time when every food seems to be artificial and medical companies stuff us with the newest cures for everything, some people try to find help using natural products to cure the various health problems.

Over time we forgot how powerful nature can be, after all we only duplicate its achievements in medicine. That is why a category of super foods has been invented, foods so packed with healthy nutrients that they can be called natural medicine or superfoods.

Probably the most wide spread family of superfoods are vegetables from 'Allium' family – vegetables like garlic, onions or leeks. This not very glamorous group of vegetables, contains flavonoids, which stimulate production of antioxidants in the liver, thus detoxifying your body.

Up until today  blueberries where one of the most famous superfoods. They have a high number of antioxidants (ORAC value), anthocyanins and phytochemicals, preventing aging, cancer and numerous brain diseases. Blueberries are the food of choice for many healthy people in Europe and the USA.

Recently, the spotlight has been taken off the Blueberries by a new berry, the Acai Berry.

Is the Acai Berry the #1 Superfood?

When acai berries where first introduced to the public eye, there were numerous talks about how healthy it is. However, publicity seemed to focus all of it's attention on the very high antioxidants level, leaving in the background wealth of other healthy details about this berry.

The first thing I want to mention about the Acai Berry, is the very high level of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are located mainly in peels of vegetables/fruits. They offer a very powerful protection against harmful free radicals, which develop as a result of exposure to radiation, the UV light, smoking, smog and various other metabolic processes.

Not only that, they also preserve delicate antioxidants within the fruit. While, you may have heard that red whine has a large number of anthocyanins, Acai has 10 to 30 times more, depending on the quality and ripeness of the berries. Acai berry is also very high on dietary fiber. 100 grams of Acai berries contain 45 grams of fiber.Acai Berries are rich in healthy unsaturated fats from omega family, which have been proven to help you with anything from your brain to preventing cancer. In Acai you will find mainly the most important omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids.

Additionally, acai berries contain a lot of protein and amino acids. Acai has 19 different amino acids, which are crucial for growth, maintenance and repair of your body tissues. Our bodies can produce only 11 of these amino acids, so you have to supply the rest with your diet.

Acai also offers three different plant sterols: sigmasterol, campesterol and B-sitosterol. These three sterols are invaluable to health of your heart. This concludes the benefits of Acai Berries. Even if you don't believe in the weight loss hype of acai berries (acai berries are beneficial for weight loss due to stopping the carving for food), these berries are still the best choice of superfoods! With more than 100,000  (102,700 μ mol TE/100 gram),it is the world's antioxidant richest fruit known today!

Acai Berry A Power Packed Superfood

What Are The Main Health Benefits of Acai Berries?

Acai Berries Harvest in BrazilThe Acai Berry Euterpe Oleracea is for many reasons becoming one of the worlds most famous superfoods, , Dr. Nicholas Perricone pronounced it as, "one of the most nutritious and powerful foods in the world," on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Acai berries are a little dark purple berry growing on palm trees in the Amazon where superfoods and many amazing new herbs are discovered almost every day.

Berries and fruits are some of the most nutritious superfoods in the world and many of us have already heard of the research into the phytochemical compounds found in natures sweetest foods. The research into the amazing health benefits of blueberries, pomegranates, goji berries or wolfberries, how they are also called, cranberries, and other fruits is progressing on daily bases.

The native people of the Amazon speak highly of the Acai fruit and its phenomenal healing powers. These people have never known cancer or blindness or heart disease and most of them live to have a vital life and become over 100 year of age!

The Brazilian acai berry (spoken Ah-sci-ee) and the Amalaki fruit of India are considered to contain the best nutritional value of any other fruits on the planet. The health benefits are simply amazing. With the symmetry of a grape and the size of a giant blueberry, the Acai fruit tastes a bit like wild raspberry with a hint of chocolate.

The health benefits of Acai include a high amount of antioxidants, anti bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic properties. Acai also is extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular system. Acai berry research finds that this little berry is loaded with essential fatty acids, such as Omega 6 and 9, which both help to reduce levels of cholesterol and boosting levels of good lipids in the blood. It also contains phytosterols, which are naturally occurring plant hormones which help to lower cholesterol, balance sex hormones, lower cardiovascular risk and reduce inflammation.

The Acai berry is also very rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidant flavonoids and have some of the strongest physiological effects of any plant compounds. Acai provides protective and restorative effects on your eyes, blood vessels, connective tissue and your nervous system. Acai berries are high in all the antioxidants and are known as one of the highest, if not the highest antioxidant dense fruit in the world. Higher antioxidant values (ORAC value) are only found in spices like clover, cinnamon, turmeric and oregano.

Acai also contains enzymes such as coenzyme Q10. These help the body's digesting system, and helps transferring nutrients, thus helping chemical interactions in the body. The anti-mutagenic compounds in the berry strengthen the body's immune system to fight against cellular degeneration. Acai berries are known in the Amazon to strengthen and heal the whole body.

The Benefits of Acai Berries

  • Improves mental clarity and focus
  • Promotes sound sleep
  • Provides all vital vitamins
  • Boosting energy levels
  • Improving digestive function
  • Powerful free radical fighter
  • Contains high levels of fiber
  • Cleans and detoxifies
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Enhances sexual performance and stamina
  • Contains most important minerals
  • Protects against cancerous cells
  • Slows the aging process
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Alleviates diabetes
  • Helps to maintain a healthy heart
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves circulation
  • Normalizes and regulates cholesterol levels
  • Prevents arterial plaque build-up
  • Enhances eye vision

Acai's High Levels of Glutathione – Master Antioxidant They are also high in glutathione, also found in high quality whey products glutathione is a Master antioxidant and one of the most important healing agents. Research into the protective effects of Glutathione have found that it can protect your body against the dangers of cancer, heart disease, premature aging, auto-immune disease, and chronic illness.

Did you know that without glutathione, other important antioxidants, such as vitamin C and E cannot do their jobs properly to protect the body against disease? (A. Sommersall, G. Bounous, 1999) Glutathoine is crucial for the detoxification of carcinogens, and keeping our levels of this master nutrient high could prevent cancer and increase longevity.

"No other antioxidant is as important to overall health as glutathione. It is the regulator and regenerator of immune cells and the most valuable detoxifying agent in the human body. Low levels are associated with hepatic dysfunction, immune dysfunction, cardiac disease, premature aging, and death." Stated Lorna Vanderhaeghe and P Bouic PhD, in the Immune System Cure.

By: Helen Eames

Helen Eames owns 'balancenoosa' an innovative business whose motto is, "wellness that comes to you" set in the heart of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, Qld. Australia. 'balancenoosa' specializes in bringing specialist in different disciplines to your premises, allowing you to book the session of your choice and wait in the comfort of your own home. Corporate Wellness Solutions are a specialty for the team at balancenoosa and a uniquely designed solution can be created for your organisation. http://balancenoosa.com.au/

The picture of the Acai berry harvest was taken by Lets.

Blueberries – Super Food For a Reason

What makes blueberries a superfood?

Blueberries don't really look anything special. Yet they are quite delicious and versatile. In fact it is strange to believe that such a small fruit is actually a superfood. In the interests of improving my health and that of my family I've been doing some studying about superfoods, the pros, cons and benefits. I'm also interested in how we can increase our use of these superfoods in our diet without blowing the budget. Consequently, I'm not only learning all about superfoods and their uses but how to grow them myself (wherever practical).

Blueberries are a superfood because they are packed with anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. Why are these important? Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in our bodies and are widely believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer. Phytonutrients are still undergoing research but it is known that? they also help to reduce free radicals. It is also the fact that they are rich in phytonutrients that means although they do not contain significant amounts of Vitamins C or E the body receives as much antioxident protection as if? you had taken vitamin C and E. These little blue berries also contain potassium (an essential mineral for strengthening blood vessels) and vitamin C. It is this richness in vitamins and minerals that makes them a superfood and the top choice for adding to a healthy diet. By adding blueberries to your diet you can help?lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Another amazing benefit is that? they are also anti-inflammatory. Another amazing benefit is the effect that they have on our brain. Research has shown that blueberries high quantities of phytonutrients help improve the communication between brain cells and can delay the onset of dementia and aging. When choosing your blueberries you need to look for the darker coloured berries as the darker the colour the more anti-oxidents they contain. Growing your own blueberries is relatively simple and will give you a fresh supply but the best part is you can also freeze them. Frozen and dried blueberries are just as beneficial to your health and diet as fresh. Fresh, frozen or dried there really is no reason not to have blueberries in your home ready to add to your diet every day. You do not have to eat blueberries by the handful. Instead you can add them to a range of delicious recipes. In fact adding blueberries to a smoothie has the added advantage of giving you additional fruit portions and calcium. A very simple idea for a smoothie is to add 1 cup of blueberries, to 1 cup of pro-biotic low fat natural yoghurt, half a cup of fruit juice (orange or pineapple are great) and a teaspoon of honey. Mix in a blender or smoothie maker and serve. Another delicious and simple way to add blueberries to your diet is to make blueberry muffins or fruity granola pots. Both of these dishes are great ways to get your children to eat blueberries. By: Amanda Davey Do you need more information on how to live well, eat well and be well whilst sticking to a budget? http://thehealthyfrugalhome.com offers articles, resources, hints, tips, recipes and more to help you get fit, lose weight and enjoy life.

Cooking Quinoa – Enjoy this Superfood from South America

Quinoa – Amazing Superfood from South America

Quinoa South America

Picture by Maurice Chédel

If you are looking for an epic super food that contains tons of protein, is extremely low fat, vegetarian and very inexpensive, then quinoa is your answer! Quinoa is a grain produced in South America but recently introduced in the western cultures diet. It is similar to rice or couscous yet with a much higher level of protein, almost 8-12%. Its very easy to cook and makes a fantastic side dish, breakfast, or even main meal. You can create an unlimited number of meals using quinoa. One of the best things about quinoa is that is really tastes good and is so good for you as well and you can even lose weight.

The most important part about cooking quinoa is to remember to soak it thoroughly first. Soaking the quinoa beforehand helps to loosens up and detaches the outer coating of saponin, which can give a bitter taste if not removed. It is also harder to digest if not soaked properly. Soaking it also ensure it cooks evening making the perfect light and fluffy dish.

One of my favorite ways to prepare quinoa is for breakfast. I cook a large batch of quinoa ahead of time and leave in the fridge until I need it. Breakfast time, I just take out a scoop of the fluffy grain, heat it up a bit and add some fresh raspberries and blueberries, a dash of brown sugar and some milk and it makes a really hearty breakfast that gives me a ton of energy without making me feel like I am stuffed. Quinoa alone has an earthy nutty flavor and works well with many additional fruits and vegetable.

Another way I like cooking quinoa is as a cold summertime salad with lots of vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, jalepeno, red onion, garlic, and avocado, all topped off with lemon juice, olive oil, olives, and cilantro. This quinoa recipe makes the most amazingly spicy dish that everyone loves. It's a perfect meal for weight loss, its fantastic for athletes, and it's a great way for vegetarians to get some healthy protein that is needed for their diet. I cannot recommend enough that you should give it a try and find your flavor and way to serve it up for your friends and family. It's such an amazing superfood that I think you will soon see it serves as a stable in the western world, and rightfully so.

By: Kylie Wint

There are so many great recipe dishes like no bake cookies or easy kids lunches, available on the internet you can surely find something for everyone. I love to experiment with all kinds of foods and see what I like. I would welcome any suggestions you have or if you would like to see something more about the food I enjoy cooking.

Is Acai Really the Best Superfood?

What is a superfood?

Acai Berries Grow on Palm Trees in BrazilYou sure have heard about superfoods, and maybe even which foods are considered to be “super”. Today we’ll look into why these foods are considered super and which of them you should include in your daily diet.

A superfood is a food that has a very high phytonutrient content that many believe benefits a person’s health in a significant way. It’s believed that including a variety of superfoods in the daily diet can improve the immune system, ward off diseases like cancer, help the body age more smoothly and help the body fight fat.

Supefoods will usually contain a good mix of nutrients, including Vitamins A and C and other essentials like protein and fiber. The best superfoods are those that contain a healthy mix of these things so that the food can provide a solid helping of beneficial nutrients in one serving.

Some of the most famous superfoods include:

  • Blue-Green Algae
  • Green Tea
  • Goji Berries
  • Mangosteen
  • Oregano
  • Spinach
  • Acai Berries
  • Turmeric
  • Blueberries

As an example, blueberries contain fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C and manganese but regardless of your knowledge about superfoods, you’ll want to include Acai Berries and Goji Berries into your superfood mix.

What is Acai and why is it a superfood?

Acai is a berry that’s found primarily in the rainforest regions of Brazil. It’s a dark blue berry that grows on palm trees in Brazil, the locals eat it fresh, or in smoothies. They also eat it with granola or yogurt and even make ice cream out of it. Depending on the region, the fruit might be used in sweet or salty confections, and new uses are being found for it each day.

The nutritional content of the acai berry is varied and beneficial. It is considered to be a superfood because it contains an essential mix of nutrients that a superfood must have. The acai fruit has an enormous high concentration of antioxidants (more than 100,000 ORAC * units per 100 gram), which is the highest concentration on antioxidants in an edible fruit known so far.  Acai Berries also contain a good amount of fiber, a small amount of fat and protein.

Acai Berries are a rather new addition to the long line of antioxidant rich health foods that are considered superfoods today. Currently, for those of us who don’t live in Brazil and don’t have easy access to the berry, there are many options. These include drinking a juice blend that contains acai (or acai berry that’s offered as is), freeze dried acai berries are by far the best choice as they contain the most of the antioxidants and the nutriton after they are packed.

Daily more superfoods are discovered and it is very likely that there will be soon more fruits and greens for us to add into our daily diet.

* ORAC = Oxygen radical absorbance capacity – The measurement for Antioxidants which kill Free Radicals in our system. Free Radicals are the main cause for our aging process.