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What are the 10 healthiest foods on the planet? Give these a shot!
Recently, someone challenged me to name the 10 healthiest foods. I found the query intriguing – there are literally thousands of foods from which to choose! After pondering this question, it occurred to me that most Americans get more than their fair share of meat and dairy products and therefore need no urging to include these foods in their diets. We all know that excessive amounts of fat, sugar and processed foods aren't good for us. That narrows the field of candidates for inclusion in this list of the 10 healthiest foods we should be consuming. You've guessed it by now, right? While being ultra-rich in nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants, produce is perhaps the most neglected item on our menus.
Take a look at our 10 healthiest foods list and see if you don't agree that plenteous portions of these fruits and veggies shouldn't play a starring role at your table. You may be surprised to learn that each of these foods has medicinal properties as well.
1. Berries: Nearly all berries are rejuvenating tonics for your heart and blood. Several studies have shown that a daily serving of berries, rich in potassium, can decrease your risk of stroke by as much as 40%. In addition, most berries have antiviral properties in varying degrees, are excellent blood purifiers and work wonders for your complexion.
2. Broccoli must be included on our list of the 10 healthiest foods. Like most dark, green leafy veggies, is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Naturopathic physicians recommend generous daily servings of broccoli to patients recuperating from a lengthy illness, as this veggie has been shown to speed their return to good health.
3. Avocado lowers blood cholesterol levels. In a V.A. Study, patients ranging from 27-72 years old were given 1/2-1 ¼ avocados each day. Fully 50% of the patients experienced a decrease in serum cholesterol, ranging from 9-43%! Given that we all need to monitor our cholesterol levels, this tasty fruit deserves a spot on our list of 10 healthiest foods. Avocado is also beneficial in cases of psoriasis and eases deep muscle inflammation.
4. Bamboo shoots: besides being good in a fried rice dish, bamboo shoots are an ancient remedy for peptic or duodenal ulcers.
5. Bananas make the list for a number of reasons. High in fibre, bananas are good for your digestive system and make an ideal mid-morning snack or breakfast dish. One study, of blue-collar women workers, showed that daily consumption of bananas reduced their incidence of illness, while improving morale, attentiveness and energy levels. Another retirement home study, found that all 117 residents no longer suffered from digestive disorders, consuming just one banana a day!
6. Garlic and onions, both members of the allium family, might well be called 'miracle' foods, which should be included in as many dishes as appropriate to your taste. Why? Both contain allicin, the active constituent which produces their medicinal benefits. These veggies prevent blood clots, reduce HBP, reduce the 'bad' cholesterol while raising the 'good', increase longevity and eliminate worms – in both man and beast! Type 2 diabetics benefit from garlic and onions in reduced blood sugar levels. Garlic is also a natural antibiotic.
7. Olive oil is well known as a healthful and tasty alternative to many other cooking oils, with heart-healthy and cancer preventative properties. Olive oil also reduces the 'bad' cholesterol levels, without adversely affecting the 'good' cholesterol. In countries where olive oil is the primary source of dietary fat, the incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, ovary and colon are markedly lower when compared with data from 30 other countries, where olive oil is not generally used.
8. Parsley may seem a surprising choice in our 10 healthiest foods. Packed with vitamins A and C, parsley provides more protection against cancer than you might have imagined. Parsley contains more histadine, an important amino acid that inhibits tumour development than almost any other vegetable. Put it in omelettes, soups, sandwiches, gravies and salads. It's also an excellent breath freshener!
9. Peppers, whether sweet or hot, are surely one of the 10 healthiest foods. Habaneros bring relief to arthritis sufferers and dramatically reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. Usually, the hotter the pepper, the greater the medicinal benefits. Cayenne pepper serves as a cholesterol lowering antidote to a greasy, fried meat entree. When indulging in such a meal, make your beverage an 8-ounce glass of tomato juice, spiked with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Consuming hot peppers regularly also prevents blood clots. Ironically, cayenne capsules (1 capsule, 2-3 times daily) help heal ulcers.
10. Last, but not least on our 10 healthiest foods list, is the kiwifruit. Kiwifruit is a relative newcomer to the American supermarket, but has rapidly gained in popularity. It's usually available fresh in the produce aisle and is also found in juices, either as all kiwis or in a mix of strawberries (delicious!). Its sweet taste finds favour with kids, having a flavour sometimes described as a mix of melon, bananas, strawberries and pineapple. Now, for the health benefits: It's a great choice for dieters, with about 46 calories per average sized fruit, loaded with vitamins C, E and niacin. It's highly recommended for people on hypertensive meds, due to its high (average 250mg) potassium content. Anecdotal reports, gathered from medical anthropologists investigations, indicate that kiwifruit, eaten three times daily, dramatically reduces HBP to normal levels within just a couple of months! That's not all. This cute and tasty fruit also provides relief from heartburn and acid indigestion.
All of these 10 healthiest foods are readily available, easy additions to a variety of menus. Hopefully, you'll be encouraged to start piling on these veggies, to your better health!
Healthy Eating For Kids
It is ashamed that more parents do not encourage healthy eating for kids. Although many of us were raised with the idea that everyone should eat healthy, many of us sadly fail to actually do so. Instead we embrace the world of fast food, soft drinks, and countless other processed foods that can be eaten on the go. One of the main reasons we all choose these unhealthy foods is because they taste good. However, plenty of healthy foods taste good as well. You just have to give them a shot in order to see. If you are not sure you want to put in the effort, just consider what you would be doing for your kids. Don't you want them to grow up healthy and live long lives? This is a given!
It is not difficult to get started employing healthy eating for kids in your home. The key is to get them started early on. This way it is what they know. If you eat healthy, you set the ultimate example for the children. Sadly if you fail to eat healthy foods, then your kids may not take you seriously. This means they will probably not want to eat healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains either. So if you can, instil healthy eating habits into them at an early age. It will make it much easier to keep them eating healthy in the future. These first years are a crucial time in their lives. Think about this when you are feeding your children each day. You are moulding them to some degree.
What should you eat? Well, if you are striving to get healthy eating habits for kids started in your home, here are some foods you should move toward. All fresh fruits and vegetables are recommended. The reality is you should be consuming six to eight servings of these each day. Wow! Most people do not do this, but try and eat as many as you can. Healthy eating for kids also involves whole grains like whole wheat bread and rice. Oatmeal makes a wonderful breakfast food for kids. Avoid white breads that break down as refined sugars in your body. They provide minimal energy and get started as fat. You don't want this, since it will lead to major weight gain over time.
Fast food should be a rare treat! Although the majority of Americans consume fast food twice daily, you should really refrain from eating these unhealthy foods altogether. If you love fast food, try to only eat it about once each month. This way your body has a chance to rejuvenate and heal. If you are considering healthy eating for kids, you should certainly steer clear of fast foods. As for beverages, the primary drinks your kid should embrace are water, low-fat milk and real fruit juices. Soft drinks are horrible for your body, as are many fake juice products out there these days.
There are some families that are desert families and some that are not. Mine was definitely a desert family. Growing up, we enjoyed the most sumptuous and extravagant sweets with our dinners. Whether we were going out or staying in, we would have cake, ice cream, truffles, tarts, or some other delicious treat at the end of the meal. Even if we were eating something basic like meatloaf or grilled chicken, dinner was not thought of as complete until we had something to counter the otherwise healthy meal. I would not say that we were hugely obese people, but we were definitely overweight. After all, even if you are otherwise eating healthy food, all those sweets can add up after a while. And add up they did!
When I moved out on my own and wanted to lose some weight, my solution was to cut out sweets entirely. I hated not having something sweet after dinner, but I didn't see any other way to do it. I would eat no sweets until my willpower gave out, then binge. I don't know why fresh fruit didn't occur to me as an option earlier, but it didn't. Once it did, however, it revolutionized my eating habits.
My parents would cook with fresh fruits, but they would never use them for dessert when I was growing up. Then one day, I received a fresh fruit basket from a friend. It was filled with fresh citrus fruit from Florida: oranges, lemons, and pomegranates. A lot of people scoff when they get fresh fruit baskets. They consider them to be a mediocre and uninspired gift. I reacted much differently. I was overjoyed to be getting all those fresh fruits. I practically ate myself sick!
A lot of people talk about the problems of eating too much fresh fruit. Supposedly, raw sugars are not much better for you than processed ones, and you can gain weight from eating fresh fruit almost as easily as from eating chocolate cake. This opinion is rubbish. If you eat your fruit fresh, you get the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are incorporated into these natural foods, without the fats and carbohydrates that typical deserts are filled with. Yes it is possible to eat too much fresh fruit, but you can eat too much of anything! The bottom line is, fresh fruits are a great way to enjoy a little taste of something sweet without compromising your diet.
How to lower your Cholesterol
Unfortunately as everyone learns as years pass, health tends to degrade as humans age. Well, this is at least what we are all taught. Luckily this does not have to be the case. There are simply things you can do to improve your health as you grow older. It's all about knowing your body and understanding how to approach life overall. Take your cholesterol levels for instance. Even though your physician may have told you that your cholesterol is dangerously high, you should not call it quits by any means. There are ways to get this under control. You simply have to know how to approach your situation in a sensible manner. It's time to learn how to lower your cholesterol!
What does your current diet include? Well, if it is a lot of foods that are high in fat, cholesterol and sodium, this can certainly be a problem. As you probably know, these are the primary culprits for assaulting your health. Over time, eating the wrong kinds of food can really have a negative effect on your body. Just imagine what happens after years of eating really poor foods. All of these get digested and absorbed into your blood stream. At this point they travel through your body and heart muscle. After a while this can really begin to wreak havoc. Fortunately you can easily learn how to lower your cholesterol, and get this turned around. It all begins with your diet.
Eating healthy foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat rice, and oatmeal is wonderful for your heart and body. If you consume these foods for one week, you will already notice the difference in how your body is functioning. You will suddenly feel less fatigued, and you will have the energy to do more things you desire. Consuming plenty of water is also great for your body. This helps flush out all of those bad foods. Some foods you should avoid are fried meats, dairy products like ice cream and cheese, as well as rich desserts. All of these foods can have a negative effect on your body and raise your cholesterol levels.
Get started with an exercise routine. This is how to lower your cholesterol faster and more effectively. If you put in at least 30 minutes time every day to cardio and weight training, you will really begin to notice the positive effect. Exercise essentially helps with all health issues. If you want to stay healthy and fit, you need to exercise regularly. Simple jogging, calisthenics and walking are a great start. Finally, reducing stress levels is an important part of lowering your cholesterol levels. Stress is a natural enemy to the human body.
A Healthy Heart
For many decades now, heart disease has been on the rise. The incidence of heart disease used to be more common in older people, but as the decades pass, the ages of people who develop heart conditions keeps dropping – even people in their 30s are now being diagnosed with one heart condition or another. Our sedentary lifestyles, stressful, fast-paced lives and dietary practices stand in direct correlation to the prevalence of heart disease. Although our physicians seem to constantly be chiding us on following a healthy lifestyle and getting regular exercise, so many of us put off this good advice to some day in the future. Today, it's important to understand that heart disease can strike you even at a relatively young age. Keeping a healthy heart should be a lifelong pursuit which begins in childhood. Let's take a look at the ABCs of a healthy heart.
If you take a look at the statistics regarding heart disease over the past several decades, it becomes apparent that a healthy heart does have a relationship to exercise. Up until the 1980s and early 1990s, kids were far more active than they are today. Riding bikes, participation in sports and playground activities were part of a kid's daily life. As the couch potato syndrome developed, along with time spent at the PC and video games becoming the norm, kids became less inclined to get out in the fresh air after school, opting instead to sit in front of the tube or computer, adopting a sedentary lifestyle while still in their teens. It's also notable that physical education is now an optional, instead of mandatory, class.
As parents, we need to insist that kids engage in regular, physical exercise on a daily basis. If you look at the statistics on overweight kids, a lack of sufficient exercise is one of the major culprits. As adults, we need to impose the same rules for ourselves – setting a good example, as well as keeping ourselves fit and avoiding heart problems down the road.
While we enjoy many benefits and conveniences of the modern day, there are also inherent pitfalls. For example, we all know that fast food and highly refined and processed food are rife with much more fats, sugars, additives and a host of preservatives which certainly do nothing to promote a healthy heart. Sure, we all indulge in the occasional 'pizza night' or fast food dinner to accommodate busy schedules, but this should not become the daily dietary practice. Freshly prepared meals, which are low in saturated and trans fats, along with those daily, 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies, go a long way towards keeping a healthy heart healthy. When you make heart-healthy meals the norm, rather than the exception, you're much less likely to develop a heart condition at an early age. In fact, when you make regular exercise and a healthy diet a lifelong practice, chances are good that you'll maintain a healthy heart well into your old age!
Healthy Skin Tips
Everyone learns at some point in their lives that it is crucial to take care of your appearance. There is just no way around it. If you fail to do so, then you will notice your looks slipping away significantly as you age. Now, one major aspect of taking care of yourself is caring for your skin in a proper fashion. More importantly, the skin on your delicate face. Now, just so you are aware, your skin is an organ. It's porous and sensitive you what it's exposed to, internally and externally. Therefore you should understand how to really take care of your complexion with topical products and what you consume day to day. Here are some useful healthy skin tips that work.
Drink lots of water. This is a must if you want to achieve a healthy glow. Although you might not care to drink water instead of soft drinks or coffee, it is imperative to consume plenty of water daily for your skin. This is one of the healthy skin tips that everyone should pay attention to. You see, the more water you consume, the more hydrated you are. This means when you urinate, the urine will be clearer and less polluted with toxins. When the urine is very yellow, your body has a lot of toxins inside. This means it will begin to expel them through your pores, which is not a good thing. This can lead to acne breakouts and unwanted blemishes popping up.
Another one of the healthy skin tips everyone should consider is daily skin care with the right products. Topical treatments are not the be-all end-all to skin care, but they certainly can have a major impact on your face and body if you use them regularly. What you typically need is a good facial cleanser, scrub and moisturizer. All of these products should be suitable to your individual skin type. This way they will not lead to breakouts or cause excessive dryness and irritation. Using the right product each day can have an enormous impact on your skin. You will see a different within just a week or two. Give them a shot before you dismiss them.
Consume less sodium, sugar and processed foods. This is amongst the most important healthy skin tips. The healthier you eat, the more your skin will show it. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat? It is totally true to some degree, and it will reflect on your appearance. Finally, a good sunscreen is important for anyone who is outdoors each day. So before you head outside, slap on some SPF-15 minimum. You should use a higher SPF if you are in the sun a lot. You only get one face, so take good care of your skin.