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19
JUN

10 Surprising Superfoods That Also Taste Amazing

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutrition,Superfoods at 11:08 am | By: Theodore Loftus

What makes a “superfood” so super, anyway? Well, sometimes it has more to do with the super-powered marketing team behind the product than the food itself. (Seriously, have you ever tried to enjoy powdered seaweed?) So, starting right now, let’s take back the word “superfood” and redefine it as a food that’s super good for you and also tastes super delicious. Here is our list of top 10 superfoods to work into your diet today.

Top 10 Superfoods

Freekeh

Sick of brown rice? Yeah, so are we. That’s why you should try this supergrain, which has a satisfying chewy texture and is a touch nuttier-tasting than brown rice. Even better, at 7 grams per ½ cup (cooked), freekeh contains twice the protein of quinoa. The same amount also has 8 grams of fiber (a medium Red Delicious apple has 5).”Freekeh has three times the fiber of brown rice,” says Valerie Goldstein, a New York-based dietitian. Serve cooked freekeh as a simple side to steak, pork chops or salmon. It’s also great mixed into meatballs and meatloaf.

Sardines

Maybe your grandfather was on to something. These little fish contain a boatload of omega-3 fatty acids, a good kind of fat that research shows may help your heart. Canned sardines have 500 to 1,000 milligrams of omega-3s per 3-ounce serving, according to Seafood Health Facts (1). Salmon, by comparison, has 1,500 milligrams of omega-3s. But here’s the catch: Salmon is tricky to cook correctly; canned sardines are already cooked. To make them taste great, try a few stirred into your next batch of pasta with red sauce.

Turmeric

You may have seen this yellow-orange powder in the spice aisle. It comes from a root that looks similar to fresh ginger, though it tastes more like an Indian curry. Curcumin, a compound in turmeric, may help fight inflammation, according to a 2017 review of studies published in the academic journal Foods (2). Never tried the spice? When you fry up your next round of over-easy eggs, put a shake or two of ground turmeric into the butter. Then slide the golden eggs onto toast and enjoy.

Cacao nibs

Chocolate is great for your heart, your brain and your happiness (everyone already knows that last part). But there’s a catch: It’s dark chocolate that produces the cardiovascular and neuro-protective benefits, according to a 2017 study review by Italian researchers (3). That’s because milk chocolate strips out the beneficial compounds within cocoa beans called flavanols. Cacao nibs are the dried seed of the cocoa bean. Yes, they are bitter like dark chocolate, but they taste excellent on a peanut butter and banana sandwich, stirred into oatmeal or mixed into homemade granola.

Oysters

These shelled creatures contain a sea’s worth of vitamins and nutrients. There’s zinc, which helps support immune health. There’s iron, which helps your cells do their many jobs. And there’s vitamin B12, which aids your metabolism. “Oysters are pretty much pure protein on a calorie budget. Six medium oysters have around 45 calories and 5 grams of protein,” says Abby Langer, a registered dietitian and owner of Abby Langer Nutrition in Toronto. If you’re squeamish about raw oysters, consider starting first with canned, smoked oysters. Their flavor is meaty and they taste satisfying atop crackers with a little lemon juice, sea salt and fresh chopped chives.

Flaxseed

These teardrop-shaped seeds may look small, but they’re mighty. Eat 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds and you’ll consume 6 grams of stomach-filling fiber—about as much as one medium pear. They’re also a good source of lignans, compounds that may help protect against cancer, diabetes and kidney disorders, according to a 2015 review of studies by scientists in the Middle East (4).  Plus, “Flaxseeds are a good source of plant-based omega-3s, which can help prevent heart disease, among other benefits,” says Langer. Ground flaxseeds are easier to digest than whole, she says. Sprinkle them over yogurt, into smoothies or even atop a salad for a nutty taste.

Mushrooms

We’re not just talking about those white button mushrooms you’ll find in salad bar buffets and atop pizza. We’re talking about the varieties you’ll now see at most good supermarkets: shiitake, oyster, cremini, enoki, chanterelle, porcini and more. Shrooms are the only vegetables that contain vitamin D, a nutrient you usually derive from the sun. But many people lack the vitamin D—and that’s detrimental because D can help defend against cancer, hypertension and diabetes. “Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so saute mushrooms in coconut or olive oil to help increase absorption,” Goldstein says.

Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t want cancer haunting you? Eat more of these. Pumpkin seeds contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that may fight cancer better than other nuts and seeds, according to the USDA (5). “Pumpkin seeds contain magnesium, which helps us relax and can also assist with sleep. They’re a source of zinc, and contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats,” Langer says. They’re crunchy and satisfying as a snack, but they also add a pop of nuttiness to soups and stews. And to think that you toss them in the trash every Halloween…

Turnips

These big, beautiful, two-toned root vegetables contain glucosinolate, a compound also found in broccoli, cauliflower and kale. Consuming high amounts of cruciferous vegetables like these may help reduce your risk of several cancers, including bladder, breast and prostate cancers, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (6). Save the turnip greens too! They’re delicious sautéed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper as a simple side dish.

Hemp Hearts

First off, no, partaking in hemp will not produce, ahem, similar effects to partaking in marijuana. Though they come from the same plant, hemp seeds do not contain the “high” producing THC. These seeds do contain protein (about 9 grams per 3 tablespoons) and magnesium, which helps regulates blood pressure. “Hemp hearts are also rich in GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which may help lower inflammation and promote satiety,” Goldstein says. Try hemp hearts in your baking. They’re good in muffins, banana bread and cookies.




23
MAY

Everything You Need to Know About Hemp

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutrition,Superfoods at 11:33 am | By: Kate Hughes

Humans have been using hemp in some form or another for more than 10,000 years. In fact, evidence of hemp seeds and oil used in food, as well as hemp cord remnants, have been found in modern-day China and Taiwan dating as far back as 8,000 B.C.E. (1)!

In the millennia since, hemp has been used for all kinds of practical purposes—such as a base for rope and paper—as well as a source of nutrition. And, according to present-day nutritionists, it remains an excellent source of protein, amino acids and fiber that many people would benefit from adding to their diets.

Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana

Before diving into the hemp’s nutrition, it’s first worth differentiating between hemp and marijuana, as people often mistakenly conflate the two. “It’s a question we get all the time,” says Jane Schwartz, a registered dietitian who, along with her business partner, Stephanie Goodman, offers nutrition coaching through Princeton, New Jersey-based The Nourishing Gurus. “But while marijuana and hemp come from the same plant family, they are not the same thing at all.”

Hemp and marijuana plants are both part of the cannabis family, but hemp contains a very low amount—less than 0.3 percent—of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis (2). Hemp seeds, from which hemp food products are derived, have absolutely no psychoactive affect on the people who eat them.

Nutritional Benefits of Hemp

What hemp does contain, however, is a boatload of nutrition. “Hemp is rich in healthy fats,” Schwartz says. “It provides essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can be hard to get if you’re not eating fish. These nutrients are good for brain function and cell health, so it’s important that clients work them into their diets.”

She adds that the omega-6 fatty acids are coming from a compound called GLA, or gamma linoleic acid, which can have an anti-inflammatory effect. “Hemp seeds also contain arginine, a specific amino acid linked with reducing the risk of heart disease,” Schwartz says.

Goodman, a certified nutrition consultant, says that another positive attribute of hemp is that it’s chock full of protein. “There are 10 grams of protein in just three tablespoons of hemp seeds,” she explains. “It also contains a lot of leucine, which is really good for muscle protein synthesis. This is particularly beneficial for people who exercise a lot.”

Goodman and Schwartz further explain that hemp also contains a lot of minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese and magnesium, all of which are important in a healthy, balanced diet. “That hemp contains magnesium in particular is fantastic because so few people actually get enough magnesium in their diets,” Goodman says. “Magnesium is good for heart health and bone health, and it’s good for sleep and digestion.”

Adding Hemp to Your Diet

Hemp can be purchased in several forms, but the most popular are seeds and powder. Schwartz notes that while both forms have dietary benefits, there is one marked difference: seeds tend to contain a lot less fiber than powder. This is because seeds are typically sold without their hulls, which is the part that contains fiber. Hemp powder, on the other hand, is composed of whole ground hemp seeds, hulls included. “So if our clients are looking to add more fiber to their diets, we usually recommend sticking to hemp powder,” Schwartz says.

There are other types of hemp food products, including oil and milk. Though, Schwartz is careful to mention that hemp oil is not temperature stable. “You never want to heat it. But it’s great as a replacement for olive oil in salad dressings,” she says.

Due to its many, many nutritional benefits, Schwartz and Goodman recommend hemp to almost all of their clients, and especially those who are vegetarian or vegan and may struggle to eat enough protein. “It’s really easy to add to most dishes,” Goodman notes. “It has a very mild flavor and tends to work well mixed into most foods. We recommend putting the powder in smoothies and sprinkling whole seeds over rice or oatmeal, but really, hemp works anywhere you might include nuts or seeds.”




28
FEB

5 Delicious Reasons To Eat More Cacao Nibs (Yay!)

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 9:40 am | By: Madeline Reiss

When you feel your sweet tooth start to tingle, you most likely want to satisfy it with something sweet. Unfortunately, the sugary confections and candies you turn to are not always going to be the healthiest. Though this might be disheartening, there is still reason for hope. Chocolate has long been considered a food with health potential, though it tends to go through so many processes it loses most of its health benefits along the way.

To get the most from your sweet snack, opt instead for cacao nibs. Essentially, these little bits of delight are the immediate product of plucking cocoa beans from their original spot, roasting them, and breaking them into tiny bites. If you are hoping to get a boost of nutrition the next time you want to satisfy a craving for something sweet, cacao nibs could be your best bet.

Potassium Push

No matter what you eat, you should always take a moment to consider the nutritional value of the food in front of you. A banana, for example, can make for a perfect snack when you’re hungry because it is light and packed with important nutrients like potassium. Still, there are plenty of people who do not enjoy the taste of banana. Should you want to increase your potassium level without the help of this yellow fruit, cacao nibs might be a good substitute.

Cacao nibs are said to contain a powerful punch of potassium, which can be useful when it comes to improving the condition of your cardiovascular system. Potassium tends to lower blood pressure and strengthen the overall integrity of the heart. If you’re not getting enough potassium and definitely don’t want a banana, grab a handful of some of these tasty little nibs.

Lots of Heart

Potassium might help your heart but there are tons of other nutrients and vitamins found in cacao nibs that help to improve cardiovascular performance. Cacao nibs are said to be an excellent source of flavonoids, which is useful for your heart. Flavonoids are compounds found in many plant-based foods. These compounds operate as antioxidants, specifically helping with lowering inflammation around the arteries. Flavonoids also help to thin blood and improve the way it circulates around the body.

Cacao nibs also contain a number of other useful antioxidants that serve a variety of useful purposes for the heart and related systems. In certain studies, those who ingested cacao nibs for a specific period of time were reported to have lower levels of LDL, which is considered a harmful form of cholesterol responsible for many cardiovascular diseases. If the health of your heart is a top priority for you, see what cacao nibs might be able to do.

 Magnesium Dose

Ever feel fatigued throughout the day even though you got plenty of sleep the night before? This happens to plenty of people and it often can be linked back to a lack of specific nutrients in your system. Magnesium is a vital nutrient people require to stay active and functional on a daily basis but it is also a nutrient most people have a deficiency with. When fatigue is part of your daily ritual, you might want to change your diet around a bit and add cacao nibs into the mix.

Cacao nibs are packed with magnesium, making them an easy and tasty source of this vital chemical. The more magnesium you get each day, the more likely it is you are going to feel energized, alert, and ready for whatever your day is going to bring to you. Magnesium has also been shown to improve overall brain function, so it can never hurt to snack a bit more on cacao for the sake of your mind.

 Mood Boost

Chocolate is a popular snack for many people because it contains ingredients that helps the brain and body to feel good. Specifically, chocolate helps to release serotonin, the chemical responsible for generating feelings of joy. While cacao might be chocolate in a more raw and unrefined form, it still contains more than its fair share of elements that can improve your mood.

Anandamide, for example, can be found in cacao nibs and this fatty acid neurotransmitter is quite impressive. Known far and wide as the molecule of “joy” and “bliss,” eating foods containing anandamide has been said to act as a mood enhancer and even assist a person in combating the negative impacts of conditions like anxiety and depression. You probably already felt chocolate improved your mood on a rough day but you might not have realized how scientific that assumption was.

Fresh and Young

Finally, it is important to focus on the antioxidants found in cacao nibs one last time, specifically the polyphenols. These compounds are important for improving the integrity of your cardiovascular system but they do a lot more. Cacao nibs have the same polyphenols as green tea, which aids the skin in appearing fresh and healthy. Snack on some nibs and fight off the aging process in a sweet and simplistic way.

While you might not need any more excuses to snack on chocolate, the many health benefits associated with cacao nibs can sweeten the deal just a bit. Add these tasty little bits to your daily snacking routine and feel the difference yourself.




6
FEB

MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Is There A Difference?

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 11:09 am | By: Guest Blogger

Recently, there seems to have been a huge spike in the popularity of coconut oil. Though this oil has been used for a variety of purposes for a considerable amount of time, it is important for consumers to understand a few basic points in order to make informed purchases. By learning a few basic facts, you are more likely to understand which oils are more likely to offer you the most health benefits.

Long Chains

Coconut oil is said to be beneficial because it is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides. Known commonly as MCTs, these chemical compounds can provide a number of benefits to the body including safe weight-loss and increased energy. Unfortunately, pure coconut oil also contains long-chain triglycerides. These compounds can have a negative impact on your body, slowing down digestion and making it easier for the body to store fat cells. The presence of long-chain triglycerides in coconut oil has led to the development of MCT oil.

MCT oil is a synthetic oil created out of pure coconut oil. Palm oil is often involved in the process, as it allows the finished product to contain higher levels of MCT. By taking the long-chain triglycerides out of the equation, the MCT oil is able to highlight the best benefits coconut oil can bring without the same drawbacks.

Interesting Discoveries

Since MCT oil was first developed, a number of studies have shown some interesting benefits. While the oil had already been known to help improve digestion, further research has suggested it can help to lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study points to MCT as a way to help with patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. While the oil is not a way to prevent dementia, the studies suggest it can prove helpful in easing the symptoms in individuals already suffering from it.

What is very important to keep in mind is that coconut oil does not produce the same results. When the long-chain triglycerides are present in the oil, it prevents a great deal of the health benefits from emerging. This means anyone looking to try involving coconut oil in their daily routines might want to weigh out whether or not MCT oil might be a more practical fit.

A Variety of Uses

MCT oil is not used in all of the same ways as coconut oil, though there is a bit of overlap. Many people love to bake or cook with coconut oil but this is not possible with MCT oil, due to its composition. Instead, MCT oil is perfect as a nutritional boost in a smoothie or protein drink. By using the oil to enhance your current diet, you are likely to see a number of the metabolic effects in no time.

When it comes to cooking, you may still want to consider coconut oil. Though MCT might offer a few more advantages in some departments, coconut oil seems to have far more health benefits than other cooking options like olive oil. Coconut oil can even be swapped out for butter if you are considering vegan recipes. While coconut oil offers some benefits, remember to use it sparingly as the fat content is still quite high.

Final Thoughts

Both coconut oil and MCT oil offer advantages depending on the situation. When you are simply looking to add some extra nutrients to your daily intake that can help to improve your energy, digestion, and cardiovascular health, MCT oil is the way to go. For cooking and baking, coconut oil is still a safe bet.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.




5
OCT

7 Protein Sources for a Plant-Based Diet

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 10:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Starting a plant-based diet? Get ready for the inevitable question: where are you going to get your protein? Don’t worry. With so many great sources available, it shouldn’t be a problem to find a few foods that can fit into your new diet. Let’s look at 7 protein sources for a plant-based diet.

1. Spirulina

This algae superfood is incredibly rich in protein and is a perfect ingredient for smoothies. With 40 grams of protein per serving, spirulina also contains the highest amount of glutamine found in a plant food.

2. Chia Seeds

No longer a strange superfood, chia seeds have become a stable of health food. Rich in protein and an excellent source of soluble fiber, you can sprinkle chia seeds on oatmeal, cereals, porridges or make a delicious chia seed pudding with almond milk.

3. Black Beans

An awesome source of protein, black beans contain 15 grams per serving and can be easily added to your diet. Used in salads and veggie burritos, black beans also contain lysine and leucine, two amino acids rarely found in plant-based foods.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Perfect for baking, pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein as a single cup contains up to 12 grams. Considered a complete protein, these seeds are also high in healthy fats and minerals such as zinc and magnesium.

5. Lentils

Lentils are a great source of protein as well as fiber and carbohydrates. With 20 grams of protein per cup, lentils contain a ton of amino acids and can be easily added to your diet in salads, tacos, or mixed with rice or quinoa for a delicious meal.

6. Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds have 9 grams of protein per serving as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A complete amino acid, hemp seeds have a deliciously sweet and nutty flavor that can be added to increase protein content to many recipes of smoothies, baked goods and desserts.

7. Quinoa

A gluten-free grain, quinoa is also a great source of protein with around 15 grams per cup of cooked quinoa. Considered a starchy protein, quinoa also contains carbohydrates and fiber and is widely used in hot or cold cereals, salads, or in meals instead of rice.




8
AUG

8 Reasons to Give Spirulina a Try

Filed Under: Superfoods,Supplements at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Spirulina supplements have been one of the top-selling superfood products for many years as this natural algae is incredibly nutritious and can provide a ton of health benefits. If you are still uncertain about it, let’s give you 8 reasons to give spirulina a try.

1. Nutrition

Spirulina contains great amounts of vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. This algae is high in high-quality protein, often compared to eggs, and it’s also a great source of vitamin B1, calcium, and iron.

2. Detox

Spirulina can help remove heavy metals including arsenic. Spirulina is extremely high in chlorophyll, which can help remove toxins from the blood and boost the immune system.

3. Energy

Spirulina has been considered by many specialists as a top natural energy enhancer. Spirulina can help unlock sugar from our cells and improve metabolic energy, giving our bodies a tremendous boost.

4. Cholesterol

One of the best natural products to help reduce elevated cholesterol levels, spirulina supplements contain 65% protein and amino acids including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). Difficult to be found in food sources. GLA normally has to be created by the body but spirulina is one of the few foods with high content of GLA.

5. Blood Pressure

Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects, in other words, it lowers blood pressure. Consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome.

6. Blood Sugar

Spirulina may be especially helpful in balancing blood sugar, and may even be as effective as diabetes medication in some instances. It can also lower HbA1c, which is a long term marker of blood sugar levels.

7. Weight Loss

Spirulina can promote weight loss and low-fat stores through a variety of mechanisms. Spirulina has the ability to improve fat burning but it can also curb hunger and overweight people seem to benefit the most. To maximize this benefit, try eating your high protein spirulina in the morning or during midday instead of at night.

8. Allergies and Sinus

Spirulina may help reduce allergies as well as alleviate sinus issues. Research suggests spirulina can reduce inflammation that leads to nasal congestion and other issues such as itching and sneezing.




24
JUN

10 Great Sources of Antioxidants

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Green breakfast smoothie in bowl with superfoods like chia, quinoa, goji, fresh berries and sunflower seeds.

Adding antioxidants to your diet is essential for overall good health. Antioxidants are molecules that stop the process of oxidation, a common chain reaction in a cell that eventually leads to the damage or death of the cell. Foods rich in antioxidants can help to reduce this oxidation process, keeping the cells healthy. Measured by the ORAC scores, let’s look at 10 great sources of antioxidants to add to your diet.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the best antioxidant foods and can be easily added to your breakfast. Loaded with antioxidants, particularly wild blueberries which have a 14,000 ORAC score, blueberries can also be added to your diet in juice, smoothie, and yogurt form.

2. Goji Berries

A popular superfood, goji berries have a 25,000 ORAC score and have become a staple source of antioxidants. Goji juice is one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of this amazing berry.

3. Kidney Beans

Beans contain cysteine, which is an antioxidant that helps flush out free radicals from the body. Kidney beans in particular are one of the best sources of antioxidants among all types of beans.

4. Cranberries

Cranberries are known for their high antioxidant properties, especially flavonoids that may increase the antioxidant activity in the body, but the fresh fruit isn’t so easy to add to your diet. The best option is cranberry juice, when the fruit is usually processed to supply the juice in the market.

5. Dark Chocolate

Some people may be surprised by this but dark chocolate has a 21,000 ORAC score and is a delicious option of a high antioxidant food.

6. Nuts

Nuts are rich sources of vitamin E, which in turn are a great food source to supply antioxidants to your body.

7. Broccoli

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C, making it another food source rich in the amount of antioxidants. Plus, broccoli has selenium which helps fight the damage to human body cells.

8. Fish

Fish has high amounts of selenium, which helps to save the cells of the human body from getting ruptured or damaged in any form. Among fish, you can consume various types like shellfish, salmon, and cod to keep the adequate amount of antioxidants flowing in the body.

9. Coffee

Yes, a good cup of coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. Like many teas which contain lots of antioxidants, coffee is an easy way to get antioxidants on a daily basis.

10. Ripe Bananas

Did you know that the riper a banana is, the higher is the antioxidant property? That’s right. A ripe banana plays a big role in controlling the oxidation process in the body.




23
JUN

Turmeric Tea “Golden Milk” Shortcut Recipe

Filed Under: Health Foods,Recipes,Superfoods,Teas at 10:34 am | By: Madeline Reiss
ALV_Social_Post_June-July_2017_TurmericTea_Pinterest

Looking for a delicious way to get your daily dose of turmeric? Golden milk has taken over the wellness world for it’s creamy, spicy flavor and health benefits, and its calming effect has made it a nighttime beverage of choice.

Did you know you can make golden milk with tea? So convenient! This amazing recipe from Alvita is super anti-inflammatory and makes for a wonderful, healthy nightcap.

Ingredients
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 teabags Alvita Turmeric Root Tea
¼ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp black pepper
1scoop Reserveage Collagen Replenish Powder
2 tsp honey (optional)

Instructions
In a small saucepan, heat almond milk until hot, but not boiling, about 3-5 minutes. Add tea bags and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Remove tea bags and add in ginger powder, black pepper and collagen powder, stir until combined. Pour into mugs, add honey if wanted and drink immediately.

Have you ever tried golden milk? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!




22
JUN

Meet Maca Powder: Your New Superfood Staple

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 7:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
If you are looking for a new superfood to add to your diet, look no further. Originally from the Andes Mountains of Peru, Maca is a vegetable related to radishes and turnips that contains high levels of protein, fat and minerals. Maca can be eaten baked, dried, or mixed with vegetables, and its popular powder version can be used for delicious and refreshing maca shakes. Let’s look at what makes maca powder a very special superfood.

1. It’s packed with nutrients

Maca is it a natural source of healing nutrition. Loaded with nutrients, maca has a higher calcium level than milk and is very nutrient dense. Maca root powder is comprised of approximately 18% protein, 75% carbohydrates, and 5% fiber. It has over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids and a rich source of phytonutrients. Maca also contains 20 free-form fatty acids (such as lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic, and steric acid), vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, sodium, and iron.

With so many nutrients, it’s no surprise Maca offers a lot of health benefits. Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance as well as energy levels and it can also help to enhance the immune system, stamina, memory and focus.

2. It tastes great

Maca flavor is another highlight as this pleasant tasting root is usually available in powder form after being harvested and grounded down. Maca has an earthy taste with a nutty flavor, making it a perfect complement to smoothies. Like the rest of the roots in the cruciferous family, it’s low in calories as one teaspoon of maca powder has only 10 calories.

3. It’s incredibly versatile

Versatility is another good word to describe maca. Considered an “adaptogen”, a name given to certain herbs and plants that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, illness, or stressful situations, maca has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac with the ability to increase sex drive and improve fertility, increasing semen volume and sperm counts. Consuming maca often makes people feel more energetic, and help them to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins.

Wondering the best way to get Maca in your diet? It’s an excellent choice for smoothies and shakes, and maca beverages can taste really good. Check out this easy-to-make peanut butter and banana Maca smoothie below!

Peanut Butter & Banana Maca Smoothie

Glass of banana smoothie on white wooden background from top view

Ingredients

Just add all the ingredients to the blender (add a little ice if desired) and enjoy!

Have you ever tried Maca? What are your thoughts? Let us know below!




20
JUN

5 Reasons To Add Acai To Your Diet

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Superfoods at 9:19 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Raw smoothie drink.

These days, everyone is on the hunt for antioxidant-rich, nutrient-packed superfoods—and it’s no surprise why! Purchasing food with the most benefits is not only great for your health but also ensures the most bang for your buck. Acai berries are increasing in popularity—you’ve probably seen vibrant, Instagram-worthy acai bowls all over social media—but are they worth the hype? While new and trendy in American culture, these berries have been used for their medicinal properties in Central and South America for centuries. Let’s explore some of the properties of acai and how you can reap all of their sweet, juicy benefits.

1. Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants…

Acai’s best quality is its amazing antioxidant content. While a lot of berries contain high levels, none quite pack the free-radical fighting punch of acai. According to a study done by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (NSRC), acai has one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits in the world. Because of this, acai has powerful healing properties that earned them the superfood title. Adding Acai berries to your diet will help boost your body’s ability to fight free radicals, helping to prevent cancer and other diseases.

2. Skin health & anti-aging effects

Another amazing result of Acai’s high antioxidant content is its effect on the skin. It can help slow down the aging process caused by oxidative damage to the cells. It also increases the regrowth and regeneration processes in the body due to ample amounts of vitamin C and Iron and can help skin stay firm and youthful due to its fatty acids content.

3. Healthy digestion

If you’re in the process of switching over to a healthier diet, incorporating acai into your new routine can help cleanse the body of toxins collected from unhealthy eating habits. Like other berries, they’re a great source of fiber which helps keep the digestive system functioning properly.

4. Immune system booster

Due to its high vitamin C content, Acai berries are helpful at boosting your immune system. Their phytochemicals and antioxidants help increase the functionality of immune cells, making it easier to fight infections and ward off free radical damage.

5. Energizing effects

Acai berries can help increase the body’s energy levels and stamina. They contain amino acids which are incredibly helpful in boosting energy, as well as other properties that help improve cognitive function and focus—reducing fatigue and brain fog.

The best way to get acai…?

I’m all about the acai bowl craze. Not only do they taste as amazing as they look, but they’re an easy, versatile way to work the beneficial berries into your diet. I opt for the dried powder acai, but frozen works just as well!

Energizing Acai Bowl Recipe

Smoothie bowl with fresh berries, nuts, seeds and homemade granola for healthy breakfast

Ingredients

1 tbsp acai powder
1/2 avocado
1 cup spinach or kale (or another leafy green you prefer)
1 serving of plant protein (This one is my favorite)
1 dash vanilla extract
3-4 drops of stevia if you like extra sweetness
1/2 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries
Assorted fruits, nuts & seeds for toppings (i.e bananas, strawberries, blueberries, almonds etc)

Instructions

Add all ingredients together and blend away! The mixture should be thick enough so that you can eat it with a spoon. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you like. I like to keep my sugar intake low, so my go-to toppings are chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sliced almonds, but many people add additional fruits like bananas & blueberries. It’s highly customizable to your nutrition needs!

Have you tried acai berries and experienced the benefits? What are your favorite ways to eat them? Let us know below!




8
JUN

8 Benefits of a Daily Chlorella Shake

Filed Under: Detoxification and Cleansing,Superfoods,Supplements at 10:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
The term “superfood” is definitely overused these days. Everything seems to be a superfood but when it comes to chlorella, the endless list of health benefits that this algae can provide speaks for itself. Green shakes have been a hot topic as a refreshing cold beverage may be one of the best ways to ensure you get your daily dose of nutrition. Let’s look at 8 benefits of a daily chlorella shake.

1. Detox

The phytonutrients in chlorella promote detoxification, especially heavy metal excretion such as lead, cadmium, mercury and uranium. Plus, chlorella’s high levels of chlorophyll have been shown to detoxify radiation by protecting the body against ultraviolet radiation treatments while removing radioactive particles from the body.

2. Anti-Aging

Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF) is the algae’s capability to provide DNA. Known as the fountain of youth, CGF can rejuvenate every cell of the human body, slowing the process of aging. Chlorella contains 17 times the amount of DNA found in sardines, the second richest natural source of these nucleic acids.

3. Weight-Loss

Chlorella can be helpful in weight control by promoting weight loss and regulate hormones. Known to reduce body fat, chlorella supplements can help regulate your metabolism, total cholesterol, blood glucose levels, improve circulation, and boost energy levels.

4. Immune System

Chlorella can enhance immune system functions as this algae is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid, zinc, and vitamins A, C, B6, B12, and E.

5. Digestion

Chlorella has an alkalinizing effect upon the body, promoting the growth of lactobacilli in the intestines and, as a result, improving overall bowel health. It’s also packed with protein, a 100-gram serving of chlorella contains over 58 grams of protein.

6. Cholesterol

Chlorella supplements may help regulate cholesterol levels as studies have shown that taking 5–10 grams of chlorella daily lowered total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high blood pressure and/or slightly elevated cholesterol. It contains niacin, fiber, carotenoids, and antioxidants, all known to supporte healthy cholesterol levels.

7. Blood Pressure

Chlorella may help with lowering blood pressure to healthy levels. Studies have shown that regular supplementation can regulate blood pressure as well as lowered hypertension-related symptoms.

8. Respiratory Diseases

Chlorella has some components that can help reduce inflammation. Research suggests that the antioxidants in chlorella may have anti-inflammatory effects, which can possibly improve asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory diseases.

 




4
APR

Trending in Wellness: Why Turmeric Is Everywhere

Filed Under: Health Foods,Herbs,Superfoods,Supplements at 8:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Trends come and go but when something that is getting trendy is able to provide health benefits and taste delicious in so many different ways, you got a potential long-term hot item in the making.

That’s the case of turmeric (curcumin). Nicknamed the “Spice of Life”, the health benefits turmeric offers can be attributed to curcumin, a well-studied bioactive compound. It seems like this bright yellow Indian spice is getting more popular every day. Known to help reduce pain, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Turmeric supplements have been used to treat osteoarthritis as well as joint pain and can be a natural replacement to drugs such as ibuprofen.

Additionally, the compound curcumin in turmeric can efficiently help to reduce digestive issues such as bloating, IBS, and colitis. Plus, these same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive properties may enable turmeric to support the liver, the body’s natural detox system.

Since turmeric provide all these health benefits, people are getting creative to add this amazing spicy into their diets. Often used in culinary as ground spice, turmeric has been a very popular tea too. Now, turmeric is getting fancy and is being used in juices, smoothies, golden lattes, and many other creative ways. For example, adding a little bit of turmeric to scramble eggs has become a staple of a healthy breakfast. Turmeric soup is another great way to add it to your diet, particularly if you enjoy spicy soups. Lastly, turmeric is one of the best all-natural food colorings and can be used in a variety of ways.




15
FEB

RECIPE: Your New Favorite Protein Shake

Filed Under: Nutrition,Recipes,Superfoods at 10:49 am | By: Jessica Justh
proteinsmoothieWhether 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!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of coconut milk

1 scoop of protein powder

1 tsp matcha

5 ice cubes

1 tsp bee pollen

1 tsp shredded coconut 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all the ingredients together and blend for 20-30 seconds. Pour into your favorite blender bottle and ENJOY!




31
DEC

Looking Back: Favorite Health Food Trends from 2016

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Superfoods at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
2016 is over. Every year new food trends may come and go. Some stick around a little longer while some others disappear very quickly. Looking back, let’s look at some of our favorite health food trends from 2016.

Bone broth

Bone broth became a healthy food trend thanks to its use in detox programs and weight-loss diets, many of them endorsed by celebrities. All the hype is somehow justified as this combination of water meat, bones, vegetables, and seasonings is a potent anti-aging, can improve digestion, and promote joint health benefits.

Moringa

Moringa also had a moment this year with many healthy eaters looking for this “miracle food”. Native to India and widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, moringa is loaded with antioxidants and can boost energy levels, lower cholesterol, and help in weight-loss.

Turmeric

Not really a trend only in 2016 but almost every year, turmeric had its popular moment this year once again. This time, a warm beverage made from coconut milk and turmeric became the latest healthy hit as this ancient spice is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Baobab

Started in late 2015 and gained speed in early 2016, baobab is considered one of the new “superfoods”. Native to mainland Africa, this fruit is 50% fiber, rich in vitamin C, and natural electrolytes. Baobab is considered a great anti-aging food and a natural laxative.

Poké

Originally from Hawaii, poké is traditionally prepared with raw fish, such as tuna, salmon, or yellow tail, that’s been cut up into small cubes and seasoned with ingredients like soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil. Poké is loaded with protein without needing sauces which contain extra calories.




30
DEC

New Brands Showcase: Cookie+Protein

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak
Lucky Vitamin is introducing a revolutionary brand of health food products to our customers: Cookie+Protein.

Cookie+Protein specializes in creating boutique level products at a non-premium level price. The company is fully focused on using quality ingredients and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes in order to deliver a top-notch product that consumers will love. By producing products in a facility with the highest rating possible for food safety, you will have the confidence that their unique and flavorful treats are not only delicious but safe.

Cookie+Protein’s goal is to improve upon existing products in the marketplace as well as striving to introduce new and innovative products that consumers will love. People want delicious, enjoyable, affordable food but also want food that is neither harmful to them nor the environment around them. Cookie+Protein believes food can and should be all of these things and that people should know and understand what’s in their food.

Cookie+Protein products aren’t your typical health snack. With 22 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, these wholesome cookies are perfect for your post workout needs or your nutrition on the go. Packed with protein, thess amazing cookies deliver on all the nutrition your body needs and all the flavor you crave.

You can save even more when you shop Cookie+Protein products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.