Concoct your own healthy smoothie

I try to make a healthy smoothie every morning.  I used to make them for my sons when they were young, now I make them for myself for a quick, nutritious start to my day.

These smoothies contain… Continue reading

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

courtesy of Wikimedia commons

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are in incredibly easy, inexpensive and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve…

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courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation, caused by insufficient fiber in the diet, is at the root of many illnesses. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements. Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop, then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon. See a previous post

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly.  Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast when their children have been ill with diarrhea.  Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples and has been shown to be beneficial for your joints.  Antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier, starting today!

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courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

 

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Your blood pH; keep it Alkaline!

The pH level of a substance is the measure of potential hydrogen on a scale of 0 to 14.  On this scale, a measurement of less than 7.0 is called acidic and greater than 7.0 is alkaline.  In this way pH is used to  measure acidity versus alkalinity in everything from the soil in your garden, and the water in your swimming pool, to the blood cells in your body.

Why is it so important to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side?  Basically because extensive research has shown that an alkaline Ph increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.  This is a good thing since the lack of oxygen in your blood cells causes disease.

When our blood becomes too acidic we enter a state of acidosis.  Even a slight deviance from the ideal pH of 7.4 can cause problems, starting with loss of energy and concentration, tiredness, even exhaustion.  Long term effects include acid build up in our organs, loss of muscle mass and loss of bone density when the calcium that is stored in our bones leaches from the bones to try to compensate for the acidosis.  Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions causing bodies in acidosis to be vulnerable to disease.  Acidic toxins we ingest from food, water and even the air that we breathe produce disease-causing free radicals.

An alkaline pH, on the other hand, is believed to have many healthy benefits including boosting metabolism, slowing the aging process, slowing bone loss in menopausal women, neutralizing acid, helping your body absorb nutrients better, and preventing disease by removing the free radicals that your body does encounter in day to day life.

So, how do we go about alkalizing our blood cells?  The easiest way is to monitor what we eat and drink.  Chlorinated tap water is acidic, and although most city water is alkaline to prevent acid corrosion in the pipes, toxic chemicals are used to make it alkaline.  Mineral water is alkaline due to the addition of health promoting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium potassium, iron, zinc, nickel and manganese.  Ionized water is adjusted mechanically to make it more alkaline.  Many brands of mineral and ionized water are on the market today, ready to drink, or you can purchase a system to ionize tap water yourself, ranging from a small, inexpensive stick you put in a water bottle to a more extravagant under the counter unit.

In the food category many common food items and ingredients such as sugar, flour, and protein from animal sources such as dairy products and meat cause our blood pH to slip into the acidic zone.  Remember, it is the effect the food has on your body after digestion that makes it acidic or alkaline.  For example, lemons are acidic in taste, but one of the most alkaline foods.  To keep your body feeling and looking its best, choose foods from the alkaline side and reduce foods from the acid side as listed in the following chart:

Some people believe the alkaline food theory is just another “fad diet” encouraged by the alkaline/ionized/mineral water companies.   As usual, I encourage you to be the judge; try it for yourself, especially the simple, no cost, no risk, food chart version.  Be sure to let me know what you think and how you feel..

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.

 

Customized Vitamin and Mineral Cocktails

If you, like me, hesitate to take pills to supplement your diet, consider creating your own customized vitamin and mineral cocktail to get only the benefits you need without the negative side effects .  For years I have found that every pill (including vitamins and medicine ) I take gives me side effects much worse than the benefits.   I would much prefer to get the  vitamins and/or minerals I need in my food from natural sources like fruit and vegetables, instead of supplementing my diet with pills.   As I get older my list of ailments and health issues grows, but I still feel that I would like to treat and/or prevent only these specific issues…

Years ago, I began making breakfast smoothies for my sons to ensure they started their school day off well.  Check out one of my earliest posts:  http://lorieb.com/2012/01/16/the-joys-of-juicing/   Their smoothies have evolved over the years to suit their needs, but they still love them and it still gives me comfort knowing they are well on their way to their daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables every morning.

I have since started making my own customized vitamin and mineral cocktails.  To find out which ingredients to use, I researched each of my own personal health issues to find out the recommended vitamin and/or mineral.  I then continued the research to find out  the best food source for each of the  vitamins/minerals on my list.  The following chart is customized  for my own ailments and health concerns with the vitamin or mineral and the best food source (suitable for a smoothie) to combat each ailment/concern:

 

Arthritis ALA (omega 3) Spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil
Quercetin Citrus, green tea, dark cherries/berries
Collagen Nuts, seeds, green tea, red/blue berries, vitamin C, gelatin
Cumin/turmeric Cumin/turmeric/curry powder
Bone density Alkaline minerals Calcium Spinach, thyme, molasses, almond milk, dairy products
Manganese Cloves, dark chocolate
Magnesium Coriander, dark chocolate, almonds
Iron Spinach, molasses
Potassium Spinach, avocado, bananas
Energy Co-Q10 Spinach, avocado, parsley, red/blue berries
Cancer Resveratrol Dark berries, dark chocolate, red grape skins
Quercetin See above
Pterostillbene Blueberries, spinach
Menopause Vitamin D Almond milk, dairy milk
Ginseng Ginseng drops/tea
Phytoestrogens Flax seed oil, dark cherries
Memory & Brain Fog Pterostillbene See above
Resveratrol See above
Omega 3s See above
Immune System Co-Q10 See above
Quercetin see above
Co-ordination Resveratrol See above
Cholesterol Pterostillbene See above
Digestion Alkaline minerals See above
Circulation Co-Q10 See above
Toxin Removal (antioxidants) Alkaline minerals See above

My personal, customized cocktail contains fresh organic baby spinach, chia seed, flax seed oil, lemon juice, green tea, dark cherries, blueberries, almond milk, strawberries, cumin or tumeric, molasses, dark chocolate, coriander and avocado.  I created my own recipe from the researched  ingredients  that I like and have easy access to, but there were many more to choose from.  Research your own needs, pick your favorite ingredients, and whip up your own delicious customized vitamin and mineral cocktail today!

 

 

Lorieb is the mother of three sons, residing in Kanata, Ontario, Canada.  She is the proud owner of GARDENS4U, and spends most of her time designing, planting, and restoring gardens.  Her other interests include reading and writing.  Please check out her website at www.gardens4u.ca