Did you know that you can get the bone-health benefits of milk without drinking, you know, drinking it? Whether you’re lactose intolerant, a vegan (or both!), or just not much of a liquid dairy fan, there are plenty of foods that can help you get your 1000mg — aka your daily intake – of calcium that your body needs.
Almonds – More than just a tasty snack, almonds contain 183mg of calcium per half cup. They are also packed with protein, fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Here’s a fun fact to impress your friends: almonds aren’t technically a nut. They are seeds of the almond tree. The more you know!
Black Strap Molasses – IE, the dark, viscous, syrupy remnants of extracting the sugar from raw sugar cane. This stuff is nutrient dense! One tablespoon contains 137mg of calcium. Plus, black strap molasses boasts other essential minerals like magnesium, which promotes superior absorption of calcium.
Tofu – Pressed, coagulated soy milk curds, aka tofu, are a great source of calcium for strong bones. This low-fat and heart-healthy food is a great alternative to eggs and meat. However, make sure to read the label before purchasing. You can get 20% of your calcium in just half a cup of tofu, but this value depends on the coagulating agent used during the production process. Tofu that is prepared with calcium sulfate will contain far more calcium than tofu made with nigari.
Chia Seeds – These seeds may be tiny, but they bring the calcium in a big way — three tablespoons roughly equal about 233mg of the bone-strengthening mineral. That’s almost as much as a cup of milk (299mg). You can them seeds to yogurt, smoothies or even use them in baking as an egg replacement. It’s no wonder humans have been using chia seeds as far back as 3500 BC!
Sesame Seeds – Here’s another small yet mighty seed whose calcium value exceeds that of milk! One-quarter cup of sesame seeds yields 351mg of calcium. These little guys are also high in zinc, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, and dietary fiber. When heat is added to the picture, up go the calcium levels. Amazingly, studies have shown that toasting one ounce of sesame seeds equals almost 27% of your daily recommended intake all on their own.
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink known for its gut-friendly benefits. And if you are interested in trying to make your own we sell a great DIY starter kit here. This kit contains healthy bacteria including S. Lactis, S. diacetylactis, S. cremoris, L. casei, L. acidophilus and lactic acid yeast strains which will do your gut some good.
Kombucha known by diehard fans as “booch,” this is another popular fermented drink made using tea and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and sweetened tea. The process of brewing your own is similar to making beer. Kombucha contains antioxidants and the healthy acids created by the fermentation process aid digestion and help detoxify. However, if you’re not a brew master, no worries, you can find plenty of delicious pre-brewed varieties here at LuckyVitamin.
Ginger contains phenolic compounds like gingerol and volatile oils that are hugely beneficial to your digestive system. Herbalists for thousands of years have known of the healing powers of ginger, including Ayurvedic practitioners who have used it to activate the body’s internal energy to help regain balance and harmony.
Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s no surprise this overall health tonic is great for digestion too! ACV can jump start the production of HCL, the digestive juices that help breakdown food. Try adding a tablespoon to eight ounces of water and drink 15 minutes prior to a meal to help ensure that everything goes down smoothly. Did you know that LuckyVitamin makes their own apple cider vinegar? Oh yeah1 Get yours here (it has the “mother” too!)
Coconut Oil is an anti-inflammatory food. Unlike other fats, the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil are broken down easier by your GI tract. Plus, the anti-viral and anti-microbial properties can help kill the bad micro-organisms that cause inflammation. This explains why many people who suffer from Crohns and colitis use coconut oil as a healing food.
Losing weight isn’t easy. Some people may need all the help they can to shed a few pounds off and one of the best ways to start that is increasing your daily fiber intake.
Low fiber intake may lead to many health issues and proper intake can help regulate the digestive system. Fiber is known to promote weight-loss as it’s slower to be absorbed and digested, filling up your belly and making your feel full. If you are not sure which fiber can help up your daily intake, we present you 3 great sources of fiber.
Flaxseeds are fiber packed seeds that also contain a very versatile omega-3. These delicious flaxseed meals contain 4 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoon serving as well as lignans, a special antioxidant that has anti-estrogenic actions. Flaxseed meals are an excellent way to increase your fiber as when the flax is ground, your body can extract all the nutrients.
A bulking agent which swells considerable when added to liquid, psyllium husks are known to help support healthy gastrointestinal function. Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative and is high in both fiber and mucilage. Psyllium seeds contain 10–30% mucilage and it forms a gelatinous mass that keeps feces hydrated and soft, provided it is taken with sufficient water, resulting in healthy bowel movement. Plus, psyllium husks may help decrease the risk of developing metabolic syndrome as it seems to improve blood sugar levels, insulin, and blood fats.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber as a quarter cup of steel cut oats contains 5 grams of fiber. On top of that, oats contain a super fiber called beta-glucan, known to have cholesterol lowering effects. It is the beta-glucan in oats that will also help slow down the digestion of your meal.
You continue to hear that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or if you are trying to lose weight, “eating breakfast is essential”. Both sentences are true but what can you do if you are not hungry when you wake up and do not feel like eating first thing in the morning?
The majority of breakfast bars are calorie-counted treats made to provide nutrients, vitamins, and minerals you would get when you eat a healthy breakfast. Most products contain ingredients such as fruits, oats, granola, low-fat yogurt, nuts, seeds, and other things you would normally eat for your morning meal.
A perfect product for those who are short on time in the morning, breakfast bars are also a great on-the-go meal for those on weight-loss diets. Research suggests people who eat breakfast are slimmer because they tend to eat less during the day, especially high-calorie snacks. However, some people do not feel hungry in the morning but starting a new routine may lead to new habits. For example, eating a breakfast bar every morning can make you feel hungry when you wake up and, after a while, your morning appetite will naturally increase and you’ll probably find you eat less throughout the day, including snacks and unhealthy food choices.
Choose your favorite breakfast bar and start a new routine. With some many choices available, you can be sure to find one that fits perfectly for your needs. Click here to check out Lucky Vitamin’s nutritional bars.
Whether you are looking for breakfast that will keep you feeling satiated throughout the morning, tasty afternoon snack or nutritious after-work out treat, this smoothie is for you! Protein shakes aren’t just for body builders; our bodies need protein to help make new cells and repair old ones.
This is my all-time favorite protein powder. It’s made from real, whole-food ingredients and is packed with 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving. Best of all, it takes just like a chocolate milkshake. For an extra antioxidant boost I add a dash of matcha powder, which has 10-15 times the overall nutrients and over 100 times more antioxidants than black, green and white teas. Finally, I top this nutritional powerhouse with a healthy sprinkle of bee pollen and shredded coconut. Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most perfect foods and is rich in proteins, free amino acids and vitamins — including B-complex and folic acid. The coconut adds a healthy dose of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) and flavor. Say hello to your new favorite smoothie!
When we talk about protein and its daily recommended intake, we may find out that the popular question “how much protein should I be taking?” may have many different answers and, most of them, are correct answers.
Protein plays a role in every critical function of the body as it’s important for bone health as well as to produce new hair, connective tissue, antibodies, enzymes, among other things. Most Americans get more than enough protein each day and good sources include meat, fish, poultry, egg, yogurt, milk, nuts, pasta, and beans.
It’s nearly impossible to come up with an exact number of how much protein one should consume every day as age, gender, diet, amount of physical activity, and other factors play an important role to determine this number. One can certainly say that not everyone needs the same amount of protein.
Adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day’s calories from protein foods. It’s common for athletes and bodybuilders to get extra protein to bulk up as it plays an essential role in building muscle. Protein requirements are also different for certain groups such as pregnant and breastfeeding women who need an extra 10 and 20 grams of protein respectively to support milk production.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds). You may also use an online protein calculator to check your RDA for protein. Just remember that the RDA is the minimum amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements and not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.
It’s a difficult question with many correct answers but with a little research, you should be able to find how much protein you should be consuming every day.
February is Heart Month so show it some love with these must-haves that support cardiovascular health. Don’t miss a beat! Shop our top picks for heart health today.
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil can lower blood triglyceride levels. Since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fatty acids, we have to get them from our diet so it’s no wonder that fish oil is one of the most popular supplements in the United States. The most beneficial omega-3s that most of us are missing out on are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and the richest source to find them is – you guessed it — fish oil. So reduce your risk of coronary disease with this fish oil that’s purified and free of detectable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, and PCBs.
Centuries ago, Greek herbalist Diosocrides discovered the heart-healthy benefits of hawthorn, and it’s been a staple for health enthusiasts ever since. Using the entire plant, including the leaf, flower and berry will assists in extracting all of its benefits. This tea combines hawthorn with the tart flavor profile of hibiscus to create this deeply red heart tonic.
Flaxseeds contain heart-friendly properties that have been shown to do wonders for your heart. Studies show flaxseeds affect low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and lipoprotein, both of which increase the risk for atherosclerotic diseases (i.e. coronary heart disease). Plus, they are a rich plant-based source of omega-3 fats and fiber that’s also good for the ticker. Add a sprinkle to your smoothie or baked goods to add a subtle nutty flavor and powerful nutritional punch to your diet.
Garlic has been used for centuries, as not just a food, but as medicine, too. Today garlic supplements can be used to improve heart conditions including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and may lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol as well as other health conditions. This brand’s supplements are some of our favorites. They use organically grown garlic bulbs that undergo a unique aging process that mellows harsh and odoriferous crude compounds, resulting in an odorless experience – guaranteed.
Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t mean you have to eat yourself sick. Snack without regrets with these two healthy and delicious recipes. Swap your dairy-laden dips for a creamy avocado and kale hummus or try our cauliflower “wings” that are so good you’ll actually think you’re chowing down on chicken. Now that’s something to cheer about!
Get on the plant-based bandwagon and shed those pounds with this skinny green smoothie! It’s got fiber, enzymes and nutrients to de-bloat and feel your best inside and out! Spirulina provides a full array of micro and macro nutrients including all the essential amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12, magnesium, iron, zinc, healthy fats and vitamin A which elevates your body’s nutritional profile. Chia seeds contain fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food. Take this smoothie on the go in your favorite blender bottle, along with a healthy diet and exercise and you steps closer to a better you!
This hearty soup is perfect for cold days. It can fill you up and is packed with a ton of plant-based protein. There are eight grams of protein per cup of quinoa. Chickpeas contain twelve grams per cup. And lastly, a whooping eighteen grams of protein are in a cup of lentils. Now let’s get to the turmeric, it contains compounds curcuminoids found in curcumin which have amazing anti-inflammatory affects. Also known as “queen of spices,” turmeric is a potent antioxidant. Basically, this is one healthy soup.
TIP – You can make this soup on the weekend and portion in mason jars for your lunch for the week!
Sugar and creamer is so passé. Health connoisseurs are adding everything from collagen to butter and beyond – hey, the more the merrier. The great part is that you can run wild with tons of mix-ins and or experiment until you hit on a combination that works for you . Either way, the health benefits can be amazing. Either way it’s time to add mo’ to ‘yo cup o’ joe.
TIP – We suggest blending all the ingredients below for a smoother, more homogenous drink.
Collagen – Collagen peptides are short chain amino acids naturally derived from pasture-raised collagen protein. Unlike gelatin, this brand of peptides easily dissolve in both hot and cold liquids. It’s a natural anti-aging supplement which makes your hair and nails grow as well as lubes up your joints and cartilage. It goes down easy in coffee but it also makes a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal and baked goods, too.
Ghee – Heal you gut naturally with ghee. Its high levels of butyric acid and vitamin k2 make it good for oral and digestive health. Those with dairy intolerances can handle ghee since it only contains small amounts of casein and lactose. Use one to two tablespoons in place of milk for a super creamy texture.
Mushrooms – Pump up your coffee with shrooms! Chaga mushroom is known as the “black gold” that grows on birch trees and is fantastic source of antioxidants and other immunity boosters. Try this blend of chaga, Siberian ginseng, and rose hips. The anise undertones make it a delicious addition to your next coffee break.
Coconut oil – This fatty brain food adds just a hint of exotic coconut flavor to your coffee. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is medium-chained instead of long-chained, which are absorbed faster and not stored as fat. All you need is 1-2 teaspoons per cup and you’re on your way to better nutrition absorption, pain relief, increased energy and a lot more.
Raw cacao powder – chocolate and coffee…heck yeah! Raw cacao has minerals — like magnesium and iron — flavonoids and antioxidants said to help prevent cancer and increase cardiovascular health. A little cacao powder goes a long way, though, so try not to overindulge, as hard as that may be (we’re talking raw chocolate here).
Winter is here which means it’s time for filling and hearty soups. And what’s easier than a crock pot dinner? This hearty combo of mushrooms and lentils will make you feel all warm and cozy inside. Mushrooms are a great low-calorie food that contain a variety of nutrients, enzymes and b vitamins. You’re also getting additional b vitamins from lentils along with minerals zinc, magnesium and iron. Add the greens and viola, dinner is done.
Chia seed is a superfood because let’s face it, it’s pretty super which is also it’s a great food for your little one. Even plain yogurt and squeeze pouches in the grocery store contain over 5 grams of sugar which is something you don’t want your kids to have very often. Well, why not make your own yogurty, pudding that’s gluten and dairy free with zero preservatives. This is so easy to make ahead of time and it can keep in the fridge for up to three days.
FUN FACT – Did you know chia contains five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and twice the potassium content of one banana.
In the words of my personal hero, Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Multiples studies and research has shown that plant-based diets can help prevent, and even reverse, chronic diseases ranging from high blood pressure and cholesterol all the way up to cancer.
So, here’s the issue: time – and it’s not on our side. How is a busy person supposed to stay healthy in today’s multitasking, instant gratification, on-the-go world? Say hello to “the bar”. No, not the one you hit up at happy hour for half-price apps. We’re talking about a condensed, nutrition-packed, powerhouse that you can take with you and eat in your car, at your desk, on a plane, or just about anywhere else. Check out our top five yummiest faves:
Vega One All-In-One Meal Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter
One of my personal favorite bars, this company was founded by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition. Its layers of chocolate-dipped goodness will make you glad you didn’t reach for that second cup of coffee. Vega’s All-in-One bars contains 12 grams of plant protein plus fiber, omegas, one billion dairy-free probiotics and an absurd amount of vitamins and minerals.
Health Warrior – Chia Bar Acai Berry
For our money this may be the perfect snack. Think a smoothie bowl wrapped up in a pretty wrapper ready and that’s what you got with the low-sugar and 100-calorie Health Warrior Chia bar. It’s a fruity and tangy alternative to the usual expired vending machine suspects.
Vegan, soy-free and non-GMO, man does this bar deliver. Along with it being about a quarter of the recommended protein intake and reminiscent of your favorite childhood candy bar, this almond butter and chocolate combo is simply divine. Not only does it taste amazing but you can feel good knowing that proceeds of your purchase will go toward feeding the homeless.
Kind Bar – Healthy Grains Bars Oats & Honey
Oats, quinoa, millet. amaranth and supergrains combine with ingredients you can pronounce to create a perfectly chewy barwith a satisfying crunch. These bars are gluten-free and contain one whole serving of grains per bar! There’s health and tasty and Kind’s Oat & Honey delivers on both.
RXBAR – Protein Bar Peanut Butter
There’s no b.s. in this bar. Literally, the ingredients are printed in a large font on the front of its packaging showing complete transparency and pride in their product. RXBAR only uses five ingredients — all free of gluten, soy, GMOs, sugar and dairy and featuring 12 grams of protein. Real food and real ingredients, without compromising on taste.