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Posts Tagged ‘nutrient-dense foods’

Why to Grow and Preserve Your Own Nutrient Dense Foods

Growing your own food is satisfying and time consuming. While gardening has been a popular hobby over the past several years, it is becoming more of a necessity. Food prices for all types of food-fruits, vegetables, meat and grains-are rising much faster than consumer’s abilities to pay. Rising energy costs are triggering a spike in synthetic fertilizer costs (which take massive amounts of energy to produce). Farmers in both poor and wealthy, highly industrialized nations are having difficulty purchasing what they need to produce crops. For some farmers, that means more loans from the bank and higher food prices passed along to the consumer. In poor, underdeveloped countries, the lack of available farming necessities means one thing: famine.

While the food crisis may not have hit full strength the area where you live, now is the time to plant a garden and begin growing your own food. By the time prices rise to the point at which you can no longer afford certain foods, it could be too late. In order to prepare your family pantry for food shortages and the eventuality of high prices for fresh produce, plant a garden with nutrient-dense, superfoods.

Foods that are naturally nutrient-dense and high in anti-oxidants are called superfoods. Many of the superfoods are easy to grow in the home garden. The nutrients, vitamins and minerals they provide can help you stay healthy and disease-free. Growing and preserving your own, whenever possible, means that if a food shortage hits your community, you and your family will still have access to nutrient-rich, necessary foods.

The top superfoods are:

* Beans

* Blueberries

* Broccoli

* Oats

* Oranges

* Pumpkin

* Salmon

* Soy

* Spinach

* Tea (green or black)

* Tomatoes

* Turkey

* Walnuts

* Yogurt

Several of these foods are easy to grow and preserve yourself including: beans, blueberries, broccoli, pumpkins, soy, spinach and tomatoes. Using natural fertilizers, such as seaweed and fish-based fertilizers can increase nutritional value of foods grown at home. Turkey and salmon are easily and affordable and available in the grocery store now, and can be preserved against future potential shortages. To properly can and preserve foods for future use, be certain to consult a reputable resource for learning to preserve foods.

-By: Christopher A. Williams

Christopher A. Williams (aka Natural Fertilizer Guy) edits the website: http://www.safe-fertilizer-reviews.com

The website contains articles about natural fertilizers and seaweed based fertilizers, as well as general natural gardening tips.

For more information about canning and preserving you garden’s bounty, visit [http://www.canning-videos.com]

What Are Superfoods?

Fresh strawberries

Picture by: SummerTomato

We’re all searching for the ultimate eating plan. And the latest one promising high-quality health, shining eyes and glowing skin is the Superfoods diet. It works on the premise that there are 14 super foods that can help you live a longer and healthier life, slow the ageing process and help prevent cancer and diabetes. Great – where do we sign up?

It all started when a book called Superfoods: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life (Random House) was published in the US, fast becoming the latest grazing craze. And, unlike many faddish eating plans, the Superfoods diet is based on proven scientific evidence – even though it does mean dramatically changing the contents of your shopping basket.

Superfoods are a group of wholesome foods that pack a nutritious punch. In addition, they contain an exceptionally high nutrient content when compared to the amount of calories per serving. Wild Oats staff has researched the superfoods most recommended by dietary experts and has highlighted the following food groups in its stores: berries, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, green foods, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, oats, olives and olive oil, fish rich in Omega-3fatty acids, orange vegetables, sea vegetables, seeds, soy, tea, tomatoes, turkey, whole grains and yogurt and kefir.

Medical professionals say that superfoods may help people feel more energetic, provide protection against disease, and promote a healthy lifestyle now and for the future. The antioxidants found in these products are a class of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that may help eliminate chemically active oxygen molecules thought to contribute to aging and chronic ailments such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

So, what can you eat? The Superfoods diet dictates that you need to eat the following every day – at least one or two cups of blueberries, half-a-cup each of broccoli and pumpkin, five to seven servings of oats, one of tomatoes, one orange, at least half an ounce of soy, one cup of steamed spinach or two cups of raw, one cup of tea and two cups of yoghurt. Every week, followers must also have four servings of beans, two to four of wild salmon, three or four of turkey and five ounces of walnuts.

So is it too good to be true? Well, not necessarily. Meredith Kennedy, a dietitian for Nutrition Australia says that all of the components of the Superfoods diet are nutrient-dense foods which are fantastically good for you – just don’t be put off by the rigidity of the plan. “We’d recommend all of these foods as healthy choices,” she says.

But don’t fret if you can’t stand broccoli, or if oranges turn you off. “You can substitute cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower or cabbage for broccoli,” says Kennedy. “And grapefruit, limes or lemons will give you similar nutrients to oranges.” The most important part to remember is to consume a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet if you want to make sure you really are eating a super diet.

By: Rita Lambros-Segur

For more superfood nutrition information see: LifeForce SuperSprouts [http://www.electricalbody.com/product/lifesource.htm] and GreensFirst Superfood Formula.

What’s So Super About SuperFoods?

The Role of Antioxidants in Superfoods

Chemical Compound of Resveratrol Antioxidant Agent

Resveratrol Antioxidant

There is so much talk around superfoods lately and the health benefits of including them in your diet. As a doctor who specializes in anti-aging strategies, I can truly say that the addition of superfoods to your daily food intake optimizes health and lowers the risk of disease. When I recommend to my patients that they should add more greens and whole foods to their diet they inevitably want to know more about what, why, and how.

Superfoods – What are they?

Superfoods are whole foods that have been identified by leading nutritionists, and dieticians as being high in a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals – the substances in all plants that give them color, flavor and disease resistance. Superfoods contain more disease fighting compounds than other foods with similar amounts of protein or fat.

Although all fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and nutrients, some contain far higher amounts of these nutritional properties. These foods have become known as superfoods and the description is obvious when you learn more about their healthy powers. It’s as though nature loaded all the nutritional necessities into a wonderful array of foods for all to enjoy.

However, even though green foods are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, most people don’t eat enough servings to reap their benefits. Greens infuse your body with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, chlorophyll, enzymes, and alkaline minerals that help to neutralize acids in the blood and tissues.

Superfoods – Why are they important?

Without getting too technical let’s take a look at the three major benefits jammed packed in all superfoods and why they are so important: antioxidants, nutrients, and fiber.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants strengthen the immune system, muscles, bones and skin by protecting the body from wear and tear. As we age, cell-damaging “free radicals” begin to form due to stress, excessive exercise, extended sun exposure, and unhealthy processed and sugary foods. Antioxidants stabilize cell-damage and minimize the damage caused by free radicals.

ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of the measured fruit, spice or vegetable. This acronym is one of the critical anti- aging functions of superfoods. Experts recommend 3000-5000 points daily intake to slow down the aging process.

To give you a better idea of ORAC values see the table of Superfoods listed from USDA Agricultural Research Service, February 1999.

SAMPLE SUPERFOODS ORAC VALUES (PER 31/2-OZ SERVING)

  1. Blueberries – 2400
  2. Broccoli- 890
  3. Blackberries- 2036
  4. Kale- 1770
  5. Spinach- 1260

Nutrients

Most of these foods contain important vitamins and minerals needed in your diets but are usually lacking. They include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and B vitamin folate, magnesium and potassium. Certain pnes also contain good carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.

Fiber

The recommended amount of fiber needed in a healthy diet is 25-30g/daily. The typical American usually takes in half that amount which is why I encourage eating more whole foods. They aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Fiber increases insulin effectiveness and gives you a feeling of fullness while lowering your risk of disease.

Superfoods – How can I get enough?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables every day (America Journal of Preventive Medicine, April 2007). Unfortunately, only 11% of adults in the United States meet that guideline.

If you are a veggie lover but don’t know which foods are best for you, try adding a few of these Superfoods to your diet:

  • Apples
  • Beans and legumes
  • Blueberries and Bilberries
  • Broccoli
  • Flaxseed
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potato (orange)
  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Green Tea / Olong Tea
  • Tomatoes

On the other hand if you don’t like the taste of vegetables but still want the superfood health advantages here is good news! There are powders and supplement formulas with high concentrations of superfoods that will help provide you with the anti aging benefits.

There’s no excuse for not getting all the healthy nutrient-rich greens and whole foods one way or another. The most important thing is to find a way to consume the recommended daily amount of superfoods in a way that works best for you.

By: Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D. on the Institute For Healthy Aging http://www.vitalmaxvitamins.com