Did you know that hot and sweet peppers contain substances that have been shown to increase a body’s heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating? This means that your body is burning extra calories, which helps in weight loss and maintenance efforts.
Most people know that peppers are a great source of Vitamin A, C, and K and “Red” peppers in particular are full of them. Vitamin A and C are antioxidants which prevent cell damage and aging as well as supporting immune function. They also reduce inflammation associated with arthritis and asthma. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones and protects cells from oxidative damage.
Here is something which may surprise you. It was once thought that peppers aggravated ulcers however they may help kill bacteria in the stomach that lead to the ulcers. The fire from” Hot ” peppers comes from capsaicin, which acts on the pain receptors in our mouths. Capsaicin has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.
Recent studies suggest that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. They promote immune functions by raising hemoglobin and oxygen in the blood. Quercetin is the powerful flavonoid which has demonstrated antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activities, plus several population studies suggest it also offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease. It is hard to believe that these berries can even heal damaged brain cells, neuron tissue, and keep your memory sharp. Researchers found that diets high in blueberries significantly improve both learning capacity, motor skills, as well as preserve vision.
A study comparing frozen berries to fresh berries found that they do retain all of their vitamins and minerals, however see 18-25% less quercetin than fresh berries!
Oatmeal is one of the top 10 Super foods for heart disease! Studies show that eating oatmeal may lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. The soluble fiber in oats helps to remove “bad” cholesterol, absorbs water slowing down the digestive process, and helps to control blood sugar levels. It has more soluble fiber than whole wheat, rice, or corn. Oatmeal contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamine E, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, magnesium and last but not least, iron.
Oatmeal is well known for imparting a yummy heartiness to breads, cookies and some beers. But it also works great in crusts, as a topping for cobblers, as a breading for meats, and is a great binding agent.
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Recently numerous health organizations have helped to change eggs bad reputation by providing evidence that dietary cholesterol is not bad and that it does not increases blood cholesterol. Scientists now believe it is saturated fat which increases blood cholesterol. Of the three types of fat (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and LDL levels. Eggs contain mostly polyunsaturated fat, which can actually lower blood cholesterol.
Including protein-rich eggs in your meals and snacks helps sustain your energy level and curb hunger, cravings and unhealthy snacking. Protein is the most filling nutrient. It helps control the rate at which food energy (calories) is absorbed by your body. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein. A complete protein contains the nine essential amino acids your body cannot produce naturally. Regarded as the “building blocks” of the body, amino acids help form protein and are vital to your body’s health.
You may also be able to boost your brain health with eggs. An egg contains about 113 mg of choline which is critical to our brain health as well as keep cell membranes functioning optimally. Two large eggs provide an adult with the recommended daily intake of choline per day. So take the guilt out and enjoy your eggs!
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It provides health benefits beyond it’s nutritional content. Coconut oil is amazing because it possesses healing properties far beyond any other dietary oil. It’s true that coconut oil has saturated fats however it is comprised of the safest and healthiest of the saturated fats. Two-thirds of the oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which are the most stable of the saturated fats. Rather than being stored in the bodies cells they go directly to the liver where they are converted into energy. This speeds up metabolism and boosts the calorie burning ability of our systems. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut provides a wide range of health benefits including…
~ It is easily digested and boosts absorption of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
~ Increases metabolism and energy and promotes weight loss.
~ Reduces your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, colon & breast cancer.
~ Lowers your cholesterol.
~ Improves conditions for those with diabetes, chronic fatigue, IBS and other digestive disorders.
~ Prevents illness with its powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents.
~ Improves immune function.
~ Increases metabolism and promotes healthy thyroid function.
~ Boosts your daily energy, rejuvenates your skin as well as prevents wrinkles, saggy skin, and age spots
~ Is lower in calories than all other fats.
~ Functions as a protective antioxidant.
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Walnuts have often been thought of as a “brain food,” not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their shells, but because of their high concentration of omega-3 fats. They are also a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavor and crunch to a meal. While walnuts are harvested in December, they are available year round and are a great source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids. Some phytonutrients found in walnuts (eg. quinone juglone) are found in virtually no other commonly eaten foods. Other phytonutrients (eg. tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin) are also rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients help explain the decreased risk of certain cancers including prostate cancer and breast cancer .
Approximately 7 whole walnuts or 14 walnut halves per day is the minimal amount needed to provide statistically significant benefits. Sprinkle a handful of nuts over your morning cereal, lunchtime salad, dinner’s steamed vegetables, or just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted nuts as a healthy snack.