Friday, November 9, 2012

An Alphabetical Guide To Healthy Eating

An Alphabetical Guide To Healthy Eating.
As the warm days begin to dwindle and the cold weather months kick their calamity of sorts into high gear, it is imperative to remember the ABC’s of staying healthy, by eating the right foods & avoiding stress in your life.  The times have changed, people used to have to search for the latest diet craze to make themselves miserable in hopes of losing a few lbs or inches. These days, consumers looking to stay in shape have to search through what they are force-fed, everywhere they turn to figure out what is hype and what is reality (and trust us a lot of these new diets are just pure BS.)
With everyone labeling themselves as “Fitness Gurus” and “Lifestyle Coaches,” its plain to see that there are two simple facts that cannot be overlooked in regards to living a healthy lifestyle;
1. It (fitness) is a big business, so know who you are listening too before you start some crazy diet that may cause you sever harm &
2. Not every diet is geared to work for everyone, so a clear understanding as to what you should and should not be eating is crucial before getting started.

We’ve put together a quick list of super foods and foods that do super damage and hope that this will help to inform you a bit about foods that are great for you vs a diet that does nothing for you at all.

 A. Avocados -
Loaded with Vitamin E, these delicious fruits are full of healthy fatty oils that promote smooth muscle growth, are loaded with antioxidants and help to promote cell signaling.

B. Bananas -
Bananas are an excellent source of Vitamin B, soluble fiber and contain moderate amounts of Vitamin C, Manganese and Potassium. Along with a few other foods, consuming Bananas has shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and in women breast cancer.

C. Cranberries -
Raw Cranberries have moderate levels of Vitamin C, Dietary Fiber as well as show increased abilities in helping to fight urinary tract infections in both men and women.  Cranberry Juice also has a high molecular weight that inhibits the formation of Plaque pathogens that cause tooth decay. (click Read More for the entire Alphabet of Healthy Eating)

D. Dates -
Dates have a high tannin content and are used in traditional medicine as a detersive (meaning to have cleansing power) and astringent in intestinal troubles. They are also loaded with dietary potassium,  protein, fluorine, selenium and zinc.

E. Eggs -
Bottom line, eggs are healthy, much like everything else in moderation. Eggs add protein to a person’s diet as well as other important nutrients such as Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and Potassium. All of the eggs vitamins (A,D & E) are in the yolk. Choline, which eggs are rich in, is a nutrient that plays an important role in the development of the brain and is said to be HIGHLY important for pregnant and nursing women to ensure healthy brain development.

F. Fish -
Decades of research have shown that oily fish, such as Salmon, Sardine’s, Southern Blue-fin Tuna & Sharks contain a high amount of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E & K) and essential fatty acids, all of which are vital for healthy functioning within the body.

G. Grapefruit - 
High in fiber, low in calories and a great source of Iron, Calcium, Beta Carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A.) Grapefruits are also loaded with Vitamin C, potassium and contain bioflavanoids and other plant chemicals that are known to protect against cancer and heart disease.

H. Honey - 
A great source of natural energy, which contains Choline (a water soluble essential nutrient needed to build cells within the body.) Also a natural sweetener devoid of any sugars (when labeled as such.)

I. Iron -
Rich sources of dietary iron include red meat, lentils, beans, fish, poultry and most vegetables. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Iron varies by age and size, so be sure to consult a physician before taking supplements. People who suffer from anemia can often benefit from taking Iron supplements and eating lean meats.

J. Jerk Seasoning -
Many people these days suffer from conditions that result in having to adhere to a diet that prohibits them entirely from having any added salt. Jerk Seasoning is our answer for what to do when you need to add some flavor to some chicken, beef or seafood but cannot add any salt.

K. Kimchi -  
Kimchi is a Korean dish that is made of fermented vegetables, which are have a high concentration of dietary fiber, while being incredibly low in calories. On the average, one serving of properly made Kimchi, will provide you with 50% of the RDA of Vitamin C and Carotene. Kimchi is essentially high in Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron and is known to aid in digestion and possibly reducing the growth of cancer.

L. Legumes - 
Not just because in the grain legume family can you find beans, lentils, peanuts and so on, but Legumes are key to a few things in the diet. Used as a “side” in many dishes such as rice and beans, peanut butter and bread, beans and tortillas, these forms of legumes serve as a balance for amino acids. And you can never go wrong with a plate a red beans and rice…

M. Milk -
The best source of calcium hands down. Low fat dairy products are low in cholesterol and high in protein, Vitamins A & D, Riboflavin, phosphorus and Magnesium. 
M. Melons - (For those that are lactose intolerant)
Sweet & Flavorful, low in calories, high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps control blood cholesterol.

N. Nuts -
Rich in Vitamin E & Potassium, most nuts are high in minerals, including calcium, iron zinc and much more. Some are a great source of niacin, folate and other B Vitamins. Especially beneficial in providing protein when combined with Legumes. Raw cashews should never be eaten.

O. Onions -
Onions are proven to lower elevated blood cholesterol levels, as well as provide a good source of Vitamin C and Beta Carotene. Onions also help to prevent superficial infections, contain antioxidants and help to lower blood pressure.

P. Prunes -
Prunes are a rich source of Vitamin A, B, E, Potassium and Iron. Prunes help to relieve constipation, are a good low calorie source of Vitamin C, are high in dietary fiber, beta carotene and have a lengthy shelf life.

Q. Quinoa -
Quinoa is a fantastic source of calcium and iron, which is great for Vegans or those that are lactose intolerant. Gluten free and considered one of the easiest things to digest.

R. Raspberries -
High in fiber and a rich source of Vitamin C, Raspberries are a great go to snack to provide energy throughout the day or to add flavor to a smoothie / shake made with bananas, milk or protein powders to that healthy boost.

S. Smoked, Cured & Pickled Meats -
People may go YES when they see this, thinking we are promoting the eating of them. In limited amounts they wont cause you harm, but consider the fact that most smoked, cured and pickled meats (i.e. beef jerky, bacon, smoke salmon, etc) are high in nitrites, a cancer causing agent, are high in tyramine, a migraine causing agent in the body, can lead to hypertension and heart disease.

T. Tea -
Herbal Teas are caffeine- free. Tea when consumed almost plain is basically calorie free, full of riboflavin and contains tannins that may provide protection against dental decay. Green Tea is high in Vitamin K. Some Tea’s, have a direct link to reducing the risks of cancer, heart disease and stroke.

U. Unsalted Butter -
As butter is a good source of Vitamin A, butter is useful in dieting in a way many people are unaware of. Adding a bit of butter to a low fat food, such as vegetables, wards off the feeling of being hungry.

V. Vegetables -
Diets that contain a proper amount of vegetables often help to prevent type 2 diabetes and lower the chances of having heart disease. Vegetables are loaded with just about every vitamin you can imagine, depending on what the vegetable may be, will determine what it is higher or lower in. It goes without saying we could all use more vegetables in our lives and less stress.

W. Water -
Staying hydrated and keeping the body free of toxins is crucial at all ages, especially when you sweat profusely throughout the day. Look to consume 5 – 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated helps to make better decisions as the brain needs water to function properly.


Y. Yogurt -
Yougrt is nutritionally rich in Protein, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12 and Calcium. Containing a significantly higher nutritional value than that found in Milk, it can also prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea.

Z. Zucchini -
One of the easiest “fruits” to cultivate, low in subdominal calories and full of Vitamin A, a ½ cup of Zucchini provides roughly 20% of the RDA for manganese.

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