Food, Nutrition, Recipes

Five Fall Foods That Fight Fat

green tea

Fall is hard on the waistline. Not only do we become increasingly sedentary and hermit-like, but we also find ourselves in the middle of the prime eating season. Turkey dinners, homemade pies, and gallons of hot apple cider--not to mention the candy raided from your little one's Halloween stash. 

Treat Anxiety and Sleeplessness With Valerian Root Tea

Valerian Root Tea

Valerian is a species of perennial flowering herb native to Europe and Asia, but now grows in the wild throughout the world. It’s recognizable by its unique and formidable aroma. People around the globe use valerian to treat anxiety and relieve insomnia, and have done for centuries.

Is Sugar Really Bad for Your Teeth?

 With Halloween on the horizon, children and adults nationwide will be enjoying their favorite chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel treats for the next several weeks. This is the time of year when Halloween treats are followed by Thanksgiving pies and desserts and ultimately supplemented by a month-long binge of fudge, cookies, and sweet drinks around the winter holidays. While there is no harm in enjoying yourself during these festivities, it is well known that excess sugar consumption is bad for your teeth.

Or is it?

We have been taught since our childhood that “sugar will rot your teeth” and to be mindful of how many suckers we eat or how much soda we drink. While this advice is advantageous for a number of health reasons, the direct effect on our teeth is much more complicated than chomping away at a sleeve of cookies or drinking a liter of soda.

The fact is, “Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth that feast on carbohydrates, be it sugar from candy or starch from wholesome foods such as bread,” according to Christopher Wanjek, author of Bad Medicine and Food at Work. “Potato chips and raisins cling to your teeth, giving the bacteria something to savor. But a simple chocolate bar can get washed away naturally with saliva. The faster a food is removed, the less chance it will have to feed bacteria and cause decay.”

So while the chemical structure of sugar is a delicacy for cavity-causing bacteria, sugar itself is not the culprit. Leaving carbohydrates in your mouth and on your teeth after eating or drinking allows the bacteria to feed off it and create the acid that corrodes your enamel. In the end, you need to pay attention to the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the carbohydrates—not necessarily how much you consume. Continuous exposure will obviously lead to increased tooth decay.

Ask the Experts

As you can imagine, the American Dental Association has performed extensive research on this topic throughout the years. According to an ADA Study on Diet and Tooth Decay, “Each and every time bacteria come in contact with sugar or starch in the mouth, acid is produced, which attacks the teeth for 20 minutes or more.” There are ways to counteract this acid, such as washing down sugary drinks and foods with plenty of water, but the fact of the matter is these bacteria will produce the acid, nonetheless.

So, is sugar bad for your teeth? The answer lies in your own practice of dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day, flossing, and using some form of oral rinse will dramatically reduce your chances for overall tooth decay and gum disease. Avoiding prolonged tooth exposure to sugary drinks and sugary snacks in between meals will also complement your cleaning. In the end, the answer is yes and no. Deciding which answer applies to you is based upon your personal oral hygiene habits and the opinion of your dental practitioner.

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Some Healthful Tricks for Your Treats - Healthy Halloween

If you're on a diet during Halloween, good luck. There's almost no way you can resist eating fun-sized candies in front of the TV all month long. Not only is it terribly convenient to have six aisles at the grocery store dedicated to everything sweet, but Halloween can make you feel like a kid and nothing feels more "kid-ish" than throwing caution to the wind and stuffing your face full of candy. But beware, behind each sugary bite is a price to pay. Don't do yourself in just yet, there's still Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner.

6 Reasons To Eat More Kale

It seems like everyone is leaping onto the kale bandwagon. People line up at juice bars for cups of the pureed greens. Healthy snackers much on kale chips. And the term "kale recipes" yields nearly 30 million Google search results. Kale is to veggies what iPod is to the MP3--and its popularity shows no signs of waning.

If you haven't swapped your spinach for the leafy green that starts with a "k," you may wish to reconsider. Popeye's favorite is a great source of nutrients, but it seems that kale packs a bigger nutritional wallop than spinach--or most other foods--could ever aspire to. Here are six good reasons to add kale to your diet.

1. It is the Iron Vegetable

When we think of iron, we traditionally think of meat as an optimum source. The truth is that kale offers more iron per calorie than a slab of beef ever could. Iron is a key player in creating a healthy immune system, oxygenating the bloodstream, creating new cells, and ensuring that the liver functions properly. As an iron-rich food, kale tramples beef in the dust.

2. It beats a milk mustache

Kale is superior to cow when it comes to more than just iron--it also offers a larger dose of calcium than milk. Yes, this cruciferous vegetable packs more of this bone-building ingredient per calorie. And, due to a lack of oxalic acid, kale's calcium is more easily absorbed by the body. This makes kale a wise choice in your battle against osteoporosis.

3. It cleanses your colon

If you find yourself frequently reaching for a laxative, kale can awaken your digestive system and get things moving once again. With one cup of this leafy green containing 20% of your recommended daily fibre intake, it fights constipation. But unlike your chocolate-flavored Ex-lax, kale aids in digestion, lowers your blood sugar, and makes you feel more satisfied after a meal.

4. A.C.K! It's full of vitamins

If you've been relying solely on a multi-vitamin to meet your dietary needs, why not incorporate kale into your cuisine? After all, this cruciferous gem is overflowing with Vitamins A, C, and K.

• Vitamin A, often referred to as the "eyesight vitamin," does more than enable you to spot Waldo in record speed. It also maintains your skin, boosts your immune system, fights against kidney stones, and makes sure that your reproductive system remains in tiptop shape. According to several sources, just one cup of kale provides you with over 190% of your daily requirements of this vision-enhancing vitamin.

• Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that keeps your immune system prepped for battle. It also keeps you attractive by keeping wrinkles at bay and ensuring your skin remains soft and firm. Traditionally, humans have looked to citrus fruits for their supply of Vitamin C, but kale is actually a wiser choice. Gram for gram, kale offers more of this valuable antioxidant than an orange--hands down.

• Vitamin K may not be talked about as much as its A through F counterparts, but it plays an extremely important role in keeping you healthy. Not only does it play a role in building and maintaining bones, but it also facilitates normal blood clotting. It is also a key player in fighting inflammation and related conditions such as asthma, autoimmune disorders, and arthritis. Kale offers greater than 1000% of your required daily intake--making Kale the King of Vitamin K.

5. It Kills Cholesterol

For many, the battle against cholesterol is a never-ending war. Recruiting kale is a great line of defense. Many studies have shown that kale lowers cholesterol levels--likely due to its fiber's innate ability to bind with bile acids, causing the liver to use more cholesterol, which results in a lower level in your bloodstream.

6. It's got fat...honest

We rarely think of vegetables as being harbingers of fat--good or bad--but kale is actually a viable source of essential fatty acids. A serving of kale, in fact, boasts 121 mg of omega-3 and 92 mg of omega-6. Fatty acids are important for brain function, and cardiovascular health.

If you are wanting to embark on a healthy new lifestyle--or even if you're simply bored with the same old foods--kale is a tasty and nutritional addition to your diet. And with millions of online recipes to choose from, it will never become stale.

What is your favorite kale recipe?


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Health Benefits of Eating Bananas

Health Benefits of Bananas

Who would have thought that the horned shaped, delicious fruit we know as a banana, is one of mother natures most helpful, energizing, and healing fruits that she ever created! Bananas are miracle fruits, due to the sheer amount of diseases and conditions they help fight and prevent, and two bananas a day should be included in your diet if you want to reap the rewards of such a powerful fruit.

Recommendations When Buying Organic Foods

organic food

What is the organic movement all about? A couple of things, namely health and environment. First, it is a reaction to decades of corporate farming companies growing crops with chemicals and pesticides, possibly to the detriment of our health.