Inspired by Natural Hygiene—The Original Health Science

While all of us here at Performance Lifestyle, Inc are gearing up for our next phase of providing environmentally friendly, grab n’ go food solutions for people “on-the-go,” with our brand, Nutrient Rich Superfoods™ we will continue to share influential insights into why eating in a more plant-based, nutrient-rich way is not only awesome for you, but an imperative if we ever want to fix the food system we all depend on.

In this episode, we thought we would start with the health philosophy and science that inspired us to launch Nutrient Rich Superfoods to begin with.

Natural Hygiene.

What is that?

DEFINITION: “Hygiene is properly defined as that branch of biology which designates the conditions upon which health depends and the means by which it may be sustained in all its virtue and purity while we have it, and the means upon which its restoration rests when we have lost it.
— It is the scientific application of the principles of nature in the preservation and restoration of health.” “Hygienic means health preserving. Practically, it implies the observance of the laws of life.” H. Shelton, 1968, ch.10

At the time I discovered natural hygiene, though an organization called the American Natural Hygiene Society, whose history spans well over one hundred 100 years, and is known today as the National Health Association (NHA); I was 19 years old. That was 28 years ago.

Why you want to get to know the NHA. 

In the time since I was first introduced to this transformational health science, natural hygiene has transitioned from the principle-powered health philosophy it has been successfully for a very long time, with albeit imperfect science due to the limitations in technology in earlier times, to becoming THE science of health. It has been validated by the explosion in science around the world in recent decades, including the research by several esteemed modern day members of the Association itself; with practices, focused on fastingsleepnutritionresearch, and more.

If that weren’t enough, and I’m sure you don’t know this; it was the NHA that seriously influenced several of the world’s top luminaries and the writing of several of today’s biggest and best selling books in the world on health, nutrition and lifestyle. Such as: Fit for LifeLiving Health by Tony Robbins, Eat to Live The China StudyEngine 2 Diet and many more.

Not only did the NHA change my life in a big way, through reading and actually participating in the development of some of the works above; it’s the organization that ultimately inspired the emergence of Nutrient Rich Superfoods™— the nutrition and natural products brand of Performance Lifestyle, Inc. In our Performance Lifestyle® training we teach nutrient-rich nutrition as part of The 12 Lifestyle Routines You Need to Know to Live and Work Like a Pro, for a healthier, happier and more productive life.

Of course, by that logic the NHA played an inspirational role in the creation of Nutrient Rich Superfoods™.

All of the author / entrepreneurs above, including myself, were profoundly influenced by natural hygiene and the National Health Association.

In my view and in the view of thousands of others I’m sure; the National Health Association has done as much or more than any well-known medical organization in existence to influence not only health, but successful living.

I remember saying at that time, about the teachings of natural hygiene; “this is utterly amazing and literally life transforming… and way less than 3% of the world even knows this kind of health information exists. What would happen if the other 97%% understood this?”

And that was just the fundamentals of healthy living. The emergence of a healthy, performance lifestyle is only now coming into existence.

With that in mind, it’s became my mission ever since I became a member of the National Health Association, back in in 1988, to share and parlay what I’ve learned and continue to learn through the Health Science Journal to the rest of the world.

And that’s a big reason why I ultimately founded Performance Lifestyle Inc’ with a Nutrient Rich Superfoods™ product line. We call our company Performance Lifestyle Inc, because it’s based on the mindset, inspired by the world of elite athletics, that teaches people how to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle because it promotes their ability to function, perform well and succeed in life.

It’s also why I’ve become a Performance Lifestyle Advisor. It’s my assertion that ever since the information age kicked into gear in the 70’s, 80’s and subsequently exploded in the 90’s and 2000’s, prompting the pace of life to move into hyper drive, or what we like to call a “performance culture”; the need to understand the fundamentals of healthy, performance living has never been greater.

Had it not been for the influence of the NHA, I’m not sure I would be doing what I do today, in the way I AM doing it. I am seriously grateful for this influence.

Here’s how the story was told in a winter 2016 edition of Health Science. 

Live Like a Pro,

John Allen Mollenhauer, “JAM”
Founder.

5 Secret Cooking Tips for Anyone Wanting To Eat More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich Superfoods.

5 Secret Cooking Tips for Anyone Wanting To Eat More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich Superfoods.
By John Allen Mollenhauer

What is a Nutrient Rich Superfood?

The official definition of “superfood” is a “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”

Cooking or preparing nutrient rich superfoods isn’t a mystery and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Processed food manufacturers and marketing companies want you to think that cooking plant- based, nutrient-rich superfoods is impossible so you’ll buy their pre-prepared foods, and that’s ok. Our own company Nutrient Rich® Life offers on-the-go superfoods products to help you as well.

That said. I’m here to share with you 5 secret go-tos’ for preparing superfoods in your own kitchen that will help you make amazing tasty meals every day.

Over the years I’ve struggled to eat perfect everyday just as I’ve also mastered it. Learning what works for you and your family takes a little trial and error, but if I can do it, I know you can. These often secret tips are seriously simple and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me through the years.

  1. Don’t Cook, Eat Raw (No, this is now about being a raw foodist; eating raw food is only one aspect of a healthy eating style.)

This has to be my favorite weekday go-to when everyone is busy.  Busy activity filled days are the days you need the best fuel for your body, but the reality of not having enough time can lead you to making bad choices, so what can you do? Eat foods raw. Eating a great big plate of raw super greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard) with a colorful selection of vegetables (carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers), fresh and dried fruits (apples, cherries, bananas, acai berries), some healthy fat (olives, avocados, nuts or seeds) with a drizzle of flavored vinegars, will both taste good and be good for you. Raw foods provide you with plenty of nutrients and fiber as well beneficial digestive plant enzymes that get destroyed when foods are cooked. These meals will fill you up and help you maintain more vital energy and food energy.

  1. Smart Combos

Combining foods to maximize their nutritional contents help your body to digest the micronutrient phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients they contain. Many foods that contain the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, need to be eaten with fat so your body can absorb them. Vitamin A rich vegetables and fruits such as carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potato, kale, cantaloupe, papaya and mango, Vitamin D rich mushrooms, Vitamin K rich beet & turnip greens, collards, kale and spinach all digest better with fat. Vitamin E rich almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanut butter already contain fat, but make a great addition to the above foods to help your body absorb the vitamins. Green tea contains antioxidants and phytonutrients, to help your body absorb the catechins in the tea mix your green tea with lemon. There are many amazing food combos that taste very good.

  1. Make a Meal/Snack Plan

Sit down with your family and decide what you will eat for the week. Make a smart meal plan that is practical and easy for you to make. This way there will be no surprises and everyone gets a certain amount of say so and a general heads up for the week. Writing a meal plan, also helps you to shop and prep so you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to make for dinner. A good meal plan will also include great whole food snacks like fruit, veges, nuts etc…these in between bites can save you from being hungry and help you get to your next nutrient rich superfood meal. The last minute scramble at the end of the day is where it becomes really easy to hit the drive-thru and eat a bunch of junk.

The best thing to remember about nutrient rich superfoods, is that the whole food is the ingredient, so even when you don’t have a whole meal plan, “planned,” you can forego the recipe and must make a concoction you enjoy on your own terms, either by eating a superfood as a mono meal, or mixing a bunch together to make up a new dish you just love.

  1. Keep It Simple, Quick and Easy. 

If you have just started cooking or preparing whole foods or if like me you’ve been cooking whole foods for a long time, keep your recipes simple. It’s rare that I will tackle a recipe with more than 5 ingredients, and a page of complicated instructions. If I do try recipes like that I make sure I have plenty of time. Use recipes that have 4-6 main ingredients no including spices, and jazz up your meals with garnishes like nuts/seeds, dried fruit, herbs, nut-based dressings and vinegars. Recipes don’t have to be complicated to be good, and the less mess you have to clean up means that you can relax and enjoy some downtime.

  1. Cook it Once

If you’ve made a smart meal plan…you’ll make rice, quinoa or vegetable or bean pasta once a week and leftovers will be lunches or snacks. Making a large pot of soup that you can eat for 5 days will also make your life easier and healthier. You can also pop an extra meal or two in the freezer as a back-up plan for days when you planned to cook, but it doesn’t work out. The smarter you make your meal plan, the easier shopping and making meals will be.

The secret to eating in a healthy way is to eat whole foods, plant-based, nutrient rich superfoods in great tasting ways that are super convenient. This will make all the difference in the world.

Top 15 Amazing Nutrient Rich Superfoods for Fall

Eating Mangoes and watermelons on the porch, going out for picnics, grilling and making sand castles with our little ones are the things which come to our mind when we talk about summer, but there is something about cooler weather and the arrival of fall that changes things.

We stop thinking about beach outings, and instead focus on which ski resorts may be opening early. It somehow seems easier to really get into work or school, instead of daydreaming about playing in the sun.

Now as the leaves turn colors and the temperature starts to drop, it’s time to break out your repertoire of fall foods. This is the season for apples, brussel sprouts, tangerines and pumpkins etc.. Thus, it is no surprise that we see more of these superfood products both at the market and local grocery stores.

So while we are settling into the new fall season, here are top 15 amazing nutrient rich superfoods for fall, that can not only nourish your body but also foster a sense of well-being

 

APPLES

apples

Long associated with the start of fall, apples imported from halfway around the world are now available year-round in the produce section of your local store. Fall is when you can pick them locally; seek out organic fruit, which can give you all the more reason to eat the skin without worrying about pesticide residue. Apple’s skins contain the antioxidant quercetin and the fruits themselves contain calcium, Vitamin C and folate.

 

PEARS

 

Pears

 

The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking can really bring out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached.  They are very good source of Vitamin C and copper. As a very good source of dietary fiber, pears might logically be expected to help protect us from development of type 2 diabetes (or DM2, which stands for “diabetes mellitus type 2) as well heart disease. Adequate intake of dietary fiber is a long-established factor in reducing our risk of both diseases, and in the case of pears, this benefit may be even more pronounced due to the helpful combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber in this fruit.

 

 

RUTABAGA

 

rutabaga

 

A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, rutabagas are a popular Swedish dish. To utilize their earthy flavor, add them to casseroles, puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup, or roast them with ginger, honey, or lemon. Rutabagas are members of the cabbage family known as “cruciferous vegetables”. These types of veggies (just like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) have got nutrition which may be cancer-fighting as well as great for your overall health.

 

 

CAULIFLOWER

 

cauli

 

With compounds that may help prevent cancer, tons of vitamin C, and phytonutrients that may even lower cholesterol levels, it’s kind of amazing how good cauliflower can be for you. You can even use it to make faux rice or mashed potatoes.This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus.

 

 

SQUASH

 

winter-squash

Its antioxidants help reduce inflammation and improve symptoms of asthma in addition to arthritis.Squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Similar to other Cucurbitaceae members, this too is one of the low-calorie vegetables, which provides just 45 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, is rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetables that often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

 

PUMPKIN

 

pumpkin

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

 

SWEET POTATOES

sweet-potato

Sweet potato is rich source of anti-oxidants, vitamins (richest source of vitamin-A), minerals, and dietary fiber that are essential for optimal health.Sweet potato provides a good amount of vital minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium that are very essential for enzyme, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism.

 

TURNIPS

Turnips

 

As an excellent source of vitamin K and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), turnip greens provide us with two hallmark anti-inflammatory nutrients. Vitamin K acts as a direct regulator of our inflammatory response, and ALA is the building block for several of the body’s most widely-used families of anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. While glucobrassicin (a glucosinolate found in many cruciferous vegetables, and the precursor for the anti-inflammatory molecule indole-3-carbinol) does not appear to be present in turnip greens in significant amounts, other glucosinolates present in turnip greens may provide important anti-inflammatory benefits and are the subject of current research.

 

KIWI

 

Kiwis

 

Kiwi fruit is a delicious fruit that contains flavonoids, minerals and vital vitamins such as vitamin C. This sweet fruit tastes like a combination of pineapple, banana and strawberry. Named after the flightless brown bird kiwi, the fruit is a delight to the taste buds and is loved by all.Use this sweet fruit to add a tropical flavor to your recipes. It’s great mixed with strawberries, cantaloupe, or oranges and can be combined with pineapple to make a tangy chutney.

 

POMEGRANATE

pomogernate1

One of the oldest known fruits, found in writings and artifacts of many cultures and religions, the pomegranate (punica granatum) is an original native of Persia. This nutrient rich superfood, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life. Pomegranate seeds are full of B vitamins, potassium, and folic acid. They’re also a great vegan source of iron. If eating the fruit isn’t your thing and you don’t mind giving up the beneficial fiber from pomegranate seeds, you can also drink pomegranate juice to get some of the same health benefits. One study found that pomegranate juice was better than grape juice or red wine when it came to protecting your body from harmful free radicals and at preventing high blood pressure.

 

TANGERINE

tangerines

The tangerine is a type of mandarin orange that is usually available from November through April. They are slightly smaller than oranges and are characterized by their bright orange color and defined segments. While oranges sometimes need to be peeled with a knife, tangerines can be peeled and segmented easily by hand. Tangerines are rich in vitamin C, which is good for your immunity. Vitamin C works to boost your immunity by acting as an antioxidant that protects your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive atoms that are produced when the substances in your body react with each other.This process is called oxidation, and the free radicals that oxidation produces can trigger cell death. Vitamin C’s antioxidant power comes from its ability to scavenge free radicals and disarm their propensity for damage.

 

DATES

 

dates

Dates are a good source of protein, dietary fiber and are rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5.and Vitamin C. The fiber supplied by a few grams of this fruit is one of the best known health benefits of dates. The Vitamin A in dates is known to have antioxidant properties and is important for good vision. Vitamin A is also necessary to maintain healthy and glowing skin. Dates are very helpful in guarding against night blindness problems and this is one of best known health benefits of dates. Vitamin A found in dates is approx 149 IU per 100 gram of the fruit.Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin A is known to provide resistance against lung and oral cavity cancers. For a healthy living, the American Cancer Society recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day supplied through dates.

 

GRAPEFRUIT

grapefruit 1

Rich in the Nutritional Powerhouse Vitamin C. Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, a vitamin that helps to support the immune system.Tart and tangy with an underlying sweetness, grapefruit has a juiciness that rivals that of the ever popular orange and sparkles with many of the same health promoting benefits. Although available throughout the year, they are in season and at their best from winter through early spring. Grapefruit contains pectin, a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in animal studies to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis. In one study, animals fed a high-cholesterol diet plus grapefruit pectin had 24% narrowing of their arteries, while animals fed the high-cholesterol diet without grapefruit pectin had 45% narrowing.Both blond and red grapefruit can reduce blood levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and red grapefruit lowers triglycerides as well, shows a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

 

PARSNIPS

parsnips

Parsnips may seem like an exotic vegetable that is unfamiliar to many, but what they have to offer your diet is twofold: Their fiber content will make you feel full and their sweet taste will help alleviate hunger pangs, allowing you to faithfully stick to your true course toward weight-loss. Parsnips shine as a fiber source. They’re high in soluble fiber, the type that helps lower cholesterol and keep blood sugar on an even keel. They’re a surprising source of folic acid, that B vitamin women planning a family need to help reduce the risk of certain disabling birth defects. Folic acid also plays a role in reducing heart disease and may help prevent dementia and osteoporosis bone fractures. And potassium, an aid to blood pressure, is present in ample quantities. Unlike their carrot cousins, however, parsnips lack beta-carotene.

And our last but not the least contender in this list is ….

 

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Brussels-sprouts-on-plate

 

Brussels sprouts are an important dietary source of many vitamin antioxidants, including vitamins C, E, and A (in the form of beta-carotene). The antioxidant mineral manganese is also provided by Brussels sprouts.They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are a very good source of numerous nutrients including folate, vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin (vitamin B1) and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, protein, molybdenum, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E, calcium, and niacin. In addition to these nutrients, Brussels sprouts contain numerous disease-fighting phytochemicals including sulforaphane, indoles, glucosinolates, isothiocynates, coumarins, dithiolthiones, and phenols.

 

 LOOKING FOR QUICK INFUSION OF NUTRIENT RICH SUPERFOODS IN A GREAT TASTY WAY   –  LIVING FEAST

 

 

4 Gluten-Free Super Grains You Must Try

No grain, no… pain? Recently, nutritional staples like wheat, rice, corn, oats, and barley have turned into dietary pariahs, sending people looking for alternatives.

There are a host of unique grains enjoyed in cultures around the world, each one offering unique health benefits. One of these wheat-free alternatives, quinoa, has become the hottest super-food in the United States. Super grains pack fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals along with carbohydrates. And, of course, you do not need to have Celiac disesase or be gluten sensitive to want to broaden your grain intake and diversify from wheat and corn. The US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least 6 servings a day of grains – so why not eat better grains that will do more for you?

gluten-free-grains-01

Teff

Like quinoa, teff is gluten-free. Although it’s the smallest grain in the world— its name translates to “lost,” perhaps because it’s easy to misplace individual grains— this ancient North African cereal grass teff has significant nutritional benefits, including high amounts of protein, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It’s also a good source of a dietary fiber called resistant starch, which may help to maintain blood sugar levels, promote colon health, and help with weight management.

Traditionally, teff is ground into a mild, nutty flour, which can be substituted for wheat flour to bake gluten-free cakes and breads. Used as a whole grain, it can be added to stews or cooked into a dish similar to polenta.

Amaranth

Amaranth actually isn’t a true grain at all—it’s from a different family of plants than other cereal crops. However, it offers a nutritional profile similar to traditional grains, making this “pseudocereal” an easy, gluten-free parallel to true grains.

In addition to serving up a good dose of calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and magnesium, Amaranth is also the only “grain” documented to contain Vitamin C. Furthermore, amaranth is a complete protein—it contains lysine, an amino acid missing from many other grains. Studies have shown that amaranth may have potential cholesterol-lowering properties that could be of value to people with cardiovascular issues.

Cooking with amaranth is easy. This versatile grain can be made into a hot cereal or added to baked goods—it has a light, nutty flavor that adds an extra dimension to breads and muffins. In many South American countries, popped amaranth is a popular snack and street food. You can also sprinkle the cooked grains into salads or stir them into soups and stews.

Sorghum

Sorghum is one of the most prevalent cereal crops in the world. This (you guessed it!) gluten-free grain is versatile and naturally drought tolerant. Although it only recently started to gain popularity in the U.S. as a gluten-free food, sorghum has many other nutritional benefits: it is rich in iron, protein, and dietary fiber. Some varieties of sorghum are high in antioxidants, which may help support cardiac health and lower the risk of cancer and diabetes. Sorghum’s starch and proteins have a lower glycemic index and take longer to digest compared to other grains, which can help with blood sugar and weight management.

Sorghum has a lightly sweet flavor and can be substituted for flour in many dishes. In addition to making gluten-free breads, pizza dough, and other baked goods, look for global recipes such as sorghum couscous, tortillas and flatbreads. You can even try cooking sorghum grains to form a dish similar to rice.

Buckwheat

It’s not technically a grain or wheat – it’s a cousin to rhubarb. Buckwheat is often lumped together with super grains because it has a similar nutritional profile. Buckwheat has high levels of rutin, which helps improve circulation and may lower the “bad” cholesterol. Buckwheat costs about $3 to $7, depending on which form you buy it in. You can buy it as groats – which is the whole grain, as buckwheat pancake mixes and noodles, which are popular in Japan – also known as soba. You may also see buckwheat labeled as “kasha,” which means it’s toasted buckwheats and has a nuttier flavor. Instead of rice, boil 1 cup of kasha or toasted buckwheat with 2 cups water or broth for about 10 minutes; let stand for 5 minutes before sautéing with onions (or other vegetables) for a delicious buckwheat pilaf!

Millet

Millet is actually popular all around world – in India, it’s ground into their bread. In Africa, they use it in the porridges and to make beer. In this country, a type of millet is used in birdfeed! Millet provides magnesium and B vitamins, two nutrients that have been shown to help reduce muscle/nerve pain like migraine headaches, muscle tension and cramps. Millet is being rediscovered for its possible role in helping control diabetes and inflammation in the body. Millet is a versatile grain that can be prepared like hot cereal, mashed like potato or fluffed like rice. Ground into flour, millet can be used to make dough, pancakes, muffins or bread. Millet can be found in health-food stores bagged. Whole millet costs about $2 a pound. Look for hulled, not pearled – hulled means it’s whole grain and has more fiber.

 

Best Plant-Based Foods For Bones

Dairy products are held in high esteem in America. Most people recognize a diet without diary as unhealthy. Without dairy foods, how could we obtain sufficient calcium for our bones?

Here are the best plant-based foods for bones: Green vegetables, beans, tofu, sesame seeds and even oranges contain lots of usable calcium, without the problems associated with dairy. Keep in mind, you retain the calcium better and just do not need as much when you do not consume a diet heavy with animal products and sodium, sugar and caffeine.

Many green vegetables have calcium absorption rates of over 50 percent, compared with about 32 percent for milk. Additionally, since animal protein induces calcium excretion in the urine, compared to dairy, the calcium retention from vegetables is higher. All green vegetables are high in calcium. The American,” chicken and pasta” diet-style is significantly low in calcium, so adding dairy as a calcium source to this nutrient poor diet makes superficial sense, it certainly is better than no calcium in the diet. However, it is much more than just calcium that is missing.

calcium_foods_0

The only reason cow’s milk is considered such an important source of calcium is because the American diet is centered on animal foods, refined grains and sugar, all of which are devoid of calcium. Any healthy diet containing a reasonable amount of unrefined plant foods will have sufficient calcium, without needing to include milk. Fruits and vegetables strengthen bones. Researchers found that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables have denser bones. These researchers concluded that fruits and vegetables are not only rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients essential for bone health, but, because they are alkaline, not acid-producing, they do not induce urinary calcium loss. Green vegetables, in particular have a powerful effect on reducing hip fractures, for they are not only rich in calcium, but other nutrients, such as Vitamin K, which is crucial for bone health.

If you chose to consume dairy, use only the fat free dairy products and minimize your intake to small amounts. Remember the 90% rule; eat 90% nutrient rich whole plant foods. Dairy may be a part of that 10%, however, it is not essential for good health and carries potential health risks, especially products containing dairy fat; such as butter and cheese.

Superfoods for Better Immunity and Slow Down Aging

Anti-Aging-Super-FoodNo special diet can make you younger or stop you from aging. We all know we have to age one day, but how and what we eat makes a huge difference in how healthy we are going to be on the journey, and how long it will take. But there is a crop of food and herbs that medical experts believe can improve vitality and extend life. These foods that are nutrient rich superfood, in conjunction with living a healthy lifestyle, can delay or ward off age-related aches, pains and diseases.

But if you still eat fast food regularly, adding a berry or few leaves of spinach to your diet won’t make much difference. Along with a plant-based nutrient rich superfood eating style, we recommend avoiding foods that accelerate the downside of aging, including sugar, salt, oil and saturated fats.

Experts agree that it’s never too late to eat to ward off the diseases associated with aging. Begin taking baby steps, slowly replacing age-accelerating nutrient poor foods with those that slow down aging and fight disease. The way you eat is the foundation for better health, a longer lifespan. Nutrient rich Superfoods have the power to heal and change lives at any time in our lives. And that’s why we recommend a 90-10 balance, with the bulk being nutrient rich superfoods and the remaining “anything you want to eat.” The reason being few of us can eat right all the time, but if you eat right most of the time, you will have an edge, protecting your heart, brain, eyes and joints against the diseases associated with aging.

Said that won’t adding superfoods to your life be worth it, because who doesn’t want to look younger. Just consider the size of the U.S. market for anti-aging products — a whopping $80 billion. But now you can find your way to a younger, healthier you just by visiting the grocery store. What’s even better? You can get a double anti-aging dose by enjoying these powerful superfood pairs below. Here are some of superfood combos for Better immunity and slow down aging.Have your own ideas? Let us know in comments

Fresh vegetable

COMBINATION: Red Bell Peppers and Black Beans

PROVIDES: Better Immunity

They look good at the veggie market and are expensive. But here’s a good reason to buy them. You’ll absorb more immune-boosting plant iron by adding in some red bell peppers on your plate. Iron in black beans is hard for the body to absorb, however, adding a dose of Vitamin C-rich produce like red peppers converts the iron into a type that’s easier for the body to use. Red peppers are also heavily laced with pesticides so opt for either green house or organic peppers.

DO IT RIGHT: There are great recipes online that show you how to mix your beans with red bell peppers and make the meal a tasty one too.

 

COMBINATION: Broccoli and Tomatoes

PROVIDES: Protection against cancer

Both are individually known to have cancer-fighting properties, but research has shown that together they are the Hulk of cancer fighting foods. Scientists found consuming tomato and broccoli at the same time was more effective at slowing the growth of cancerous prostate tumors than eating either vegetable alone.

DO IT RIGHT: Have one-and-a-half cups of broccoli along with two and-a-half cups of fresh tomato.

 

COMBINATION: Garlic and Onions

PROVIDES: Full-body protection

Both these veggies contain a number of organosulfur compounds and heart-healthy plant chemicals that help keep arteries free of plaque. Some of these compounds have even been studied for their power to detoxify carcinogens in the body.

DO IT RIGHT: Most Indian cooking combines the two, however if you are in the mood for something else, the combination works well for soups and sauces.

 

COMBINATION: Pink Grapefruit and Avocado

PROVIDES: Cell protection

Grapefruits are great on their own: They’re rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that’s been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage. But when you pair grapefruit with avocado, the avocado’s healthy fats actually help increase lycopene absorption, making it more available for your body to use.

DO IT RIGHT; Try eating the grapefruit and avocado combo 1-2 times a week, using about half of each. Incorporate them into your meals by cooking citrus-glazed shrimp tacos with avocado and grapefruit for a zesty, creamy treat, or simply toss them together in a salad.

 

COMBINATION: Kiwi and green leafy vegetables

PROVIDES: Neutralizes free radicals.

Try green leafy vegetables to hydrate your skin and help diminish wrinkles. And kiwi is good because it neutralizes free radicals associated with cancer and heart disease. It also boasts more potassium than a banana and more vitamin C than an orange, meaning kiwi is also good for your skin.

 

COMBINATION: Carrots and broccoli

PROVIDES: BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM

Just a one cup of broccoli a day can make you feel energized while also boosting your immune system. Why? Because broccoli contains more than 2/3 of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C. For their part, carrots may protect against skin cancer while also packing a lot of beta-carotene, which not only helps with skin-cell renewal, but acts as a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are great for getting rid of free radicals that can make your skin age faster.

 

COMBINATION: Green Tea and Black Pepper

PROVIDES: A slimmer waistline

Forget crash dieting. After your next meal sip a cup of green tea with a little black pepper thrown in. The combination boosts the absorption of EGCG, a key antioxidant in tea tied to calorie burning, by 130 percent. Experts say the compounds in green tea can affect the hormones that regulate hunger and fullness.

DO IT RIGHT: Studies say as little as a half-teaspoon of black pepper can increase the absorption of tea’s beneficial compounds.

 

 

 

Are You Really Eating Healthy Salads

< See Part 1 of the are you really eating healthy series. 

For most people healthy salads, aren’t really healthy. 

How many times have you been out to lunch or dinner and ordered a salad as a “healthier” alternative? Now think back and consider Is Your Salad Really a Salad.how many of these “salads” were actually heaping bowls overflowing with hundreds of calories of chicken and cheese, with a salt and oil-laden dressing on top of maybe 10-20 or so calories of lettuce, spinach or romaine with a few present tomatoes and carrots.

When you think that one pound (16 oz) of micro- nutrient-rich leafy / green vegetables is only 100 calories, and grilled micronutrient-poor chicken is weighing in at 250 calories for only 4-5 oz (approx.)… then consider the added calories of cheese and oil at a whopping 120 calories per tbsp., both of which contain saturated fat and cholesterol that our bodies do not need from dietary sources, which can clog our arteries and veins, and the added sodium which only increases our blood pressure, which promotes heart attacks and strokes (2 of the top killers in the US, to the tune of over 1 million people per year [2]; that typical salad doesn’t seem like such a healthy alternative any more, does it?

Ordering that salad pictured on the right, at a restaurant, whether you put the dressing on the side, or not, is a prime example of a trick we have all fallen for, at one time or another, that makes us think we are eating “healthy,“ when we’re not.

So what do healthy salads really look like? 

Here is a black bean mango salad that is considered “nutrient rich.” It does not need to be vegan or even vegetarian, and can include smaller amounts of animal products, but it does need to be mostly nutrient rich, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts or seeds, and maybe some intact whole grains. This would be a salad that follows the top 3 golden rules of healthy eating.

healthy salads

When we talk about the chicken above being “nutrient poor” food we are coming from the standpoint that animal-based foods are rich in some nutrients but are missing whole categories of others. They also contain substances like cholesterol and saturated fat that the body does not need from dietary sources. When these foods form the basis of your salad, at the end of the day is’t not going to be one of the healthy salads we are talking about below.

It is recommended that healthy salads be 10% or less animal foods by calorie, if you eat them. Like a condiment.

Examples of micronutrient-poor foods include:

There is a another class of foods that are actually nutrient barren, which is why small amounts of animal products, even though micronutrient poor, are likely ok because they at least include some vitamins and minerals. “Nutrient poor” does not mean nutrient barren. But it also explains why you don’t want so-called “healthy salads” to be based on chicken and cheese, and no one of course, would ever make a salad out of junk food.

You want healthy salads to be based in leafy and green vegetables. That’s what makes healthy salads, super healthy!

When we are talk about eating nutrient rich healthy salads, what we are really saying is that healthy salads are based on plant foods that are rich in virtually all of the nutrients your body needs to function, stay healthy and perform well, including protein. They also have fiber and phytochemicals, and they do not contain substances your body does not need. It is recommended that you maintain a diet that is made up of at least 90% or More Plant Based Nutrient-Rich foods, meals and menus for the best all around healthy results.

Examples of these superfoods include:

Part 3 is coming up.

2 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Black Bean Mango Salad

This refreshing and colorful bean salad is loaded with mango, black beans, corn, and red pepper prefect for summer brunch. The flavors are simple, yet the combination is quite tasty.

Serves 3

black bean mango salad

 

Black Bean Mango Salad

 

Ingredients

1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed, or fresh corn off the cob

3 cups cooked black beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans no – or low-salt black beans drained and rinsed

3 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

dash chili powder

9 cups chopped romaine lettuce

 

Instructions

If using fresh corn, water saute for 5 minutes or until tender. Mix all the ingredients except the lettuce in a bowl. Let stand for at least 15 minutes. Serve on top of the lettuce.

Note: The vegetable mixture without the mango can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Add the mango and a splash of lime juice just before serving. Throw in handful sunflower seeds if you like a little crunch.

 

 

 

Blackberries – Small in Size, Big in Nutrition

blackberriesBlackberries are sweet and succulent fruits that grow on fast growing perennial trailing vines or on bushes. Despite its being called a berry, a Blackberry is not actually a berry but an aggregate accessory fruit, based on botanical definitions. Like the raspberry and strawberry, the Blackberry is composed of a cluster of tiny fruits or drupelets attached to a central core.

Each of the tiny Blackberry drupelets has a juicy pulp and a tiny seed which all contribute to the fruit’s overall nutritional value. There are several cultivated varieties of Blackberries that have been developed through the centuries. Archaeological discoveries, specifically of the Iron Age Haraldskær Woman, show that Blackberries have been consumed by humans as far back as 2500 years ago. Then till now, Blackberries have remained well-loved not just for their distinct pleasant taste but also for the boost to health and wellness these clumps of tiny purple orbs provide.

Get to know more about Blackberries and the amazing list of nutrients you can derive from them…

Blackberry bushes are sturdy plants that are able to tolerate even poor soils and can rapidly spread and cover a given area. Because Blackberry species easily form hybrids, there are over 375 known species and subspecies of Blackberries.

Depending on the type of Blackberry cultivar, Blackberry bushes can be erect, semi-erect or trailing. A perennial plant, Blackberries normally start to flower and bear fruits on their second year.

Mature Blackberry fruits measure just about 3 to 4 cm in length and are made up of about 80 to 100 tiny drupelets. Blackish purple when ripe, it is not surprising to see Blackberries of different colors like deep red or even yellow in a single bush.  Like other fruits, these bunches of tiny purple orbs mature and ripen at different times and change their color as they ripen. Typically sweet and juicy when ripe, unripe Blackberries, which are red, have a tart, sour or slightly bitter taste. 

Like other kinds of bush berries, Blackberries provide good amounts of plant nutrients including essential vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and dietary fibers that can greatly contribute to optimum health.

A cup of fresh Blackberries can supply 50 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C and adequate amounts of vitamins A, E and K [1]. Blackberries also contain very good amounts of B vitamins-niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folate.

Blackberries, also called brambles, supply a good percentage of the daily requirement of magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc too. Blackberries also contain copper which is essential in bone metabolism and in the production of healthy white and red blood cells. 

Because of the significantly high amounts of a remarkable list of phytochemicals, the Blackberry placed first in a list of the 1000 antioxidant foods consumed in the United States[1]. Blackberries contain anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferon, and salicylic acid can also be found in Blackberries [3] [4]. These potent antioxidant compounds support normal function of the body’s immune system. Anthocyanins, which give Blackberries their dark color, may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels that could result in better blood circulation and a healthier heart.

Rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, Blackberries also contain xylitol, a low-calorie sugar substitute found in the fruit’s fiber.

References: 1.  Wright, Clifford A. (2001). Mediterranean Vegetables. Harvard Common  Press. p. 27. ISBN 9781558321960. 2. Blamey, M. & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. ISBN 0-340-40170-2. 3.  “Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of Oregon cane berries”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50 (12): 3495-500. doi:10.1021/jf011405l. PMID 12033817 4.  Hager TJ, Howard LR, Liyanage R, Lay JO, Prior RL (February 2008). “Ellagitannin composition of blackberry as determined by HPLC-ESI-MS and MALDI-TOF-MS”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56 (3):  661-9. doi:10.1021/jf071990b. PMID 18211030.

55 Nutrient Rich Foods To Eat This Spring

Fresh fruits and vegetables abound during the spring, which makes cooking and baking so much fun and exciting. Here is a seasonality chart that shows 55 nutrient rich foods to eat this spring; they are high quality, and reasonably priced produce.  While I try to shop organic as frequently as possible, I am on a budget so sometimes it is just not an option to buy everything organic.  For those times I make sure to buy those vegetables and fruits on the dirty dozen lists organic. I have attached both seasonal chart and the dirty dozen lists that will provide the necessary information for you to use it as a reference.

 

march-seasonal-fruits-and-veggies

The Dirty Dozen

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducts studies to identify which fruits and vegetables contain consistently high amounts of pesticides. The Dirty Dozen is meant to help guide us at the grocery store or farmer’s market so that we can make informed purchases with our food dollars. For many of us, we don’t have access to 100% organic fruits and vegetables, or can’t afford to buy exclusively organic – and we really don’t need to.There are many items that make the Clean 15 list that are shown to contain low levels of pesticides which are less harmful to us so it’s ok to buy  non-organic in these cases. These are typically foods with a skin or layer of protection to keep the bugs out: onions, corn, pineapple, and avocados.

dirty dozen1