Tag Archives: care2

Source a Sustainably Raised Turkey for Thanksgiving

More than 250 million turkeys are slaughtered in the industrial system each year in the United States, and about 46 million of those are for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful, warm holiday, full of family time, great traditions and good food. Unfortunately, there are many not-so-good things about the Thanksgiving turkeys most grocery stores offer to their customers.

The status quo for raising turkeys and other meat birds is the industrial, factory farming system. The conditions in which factory farmed turkeys are raised is horrendous. It’s cramped, with each bird given about 3 feet of space to live its life. So that these cramped and stressed turkeys won’t turn to pecking at each other, prior to confinement their beaks and the tips of their toes are cut off (processes some liken to having the tips of a child’s fingers and toes chopped off). These turkeys, raised in gigantic warehouses, are denied their natural instincts and can’t eat their natural diet of seeds, vegetation and insects. They’re also bred to grow so rapidly that it puts an incredible strain on their bodies. Some researchers estimate that factory farmed turkeys spend at least a third of their lives in chronic pain.

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10 Surprising Sources of MSG

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Considering that monosodium glutamate, or MSG as it is more commonly known, is linked to many serious health conditions, including: hormonal imbalances, weight gain, brain damage, obesity, headaches, and more, you may be shocked to learn how prevalent it is. MSG is almost always found in processed, prepared, and packaged foods. But, here are some lesser-known food sources of this harmful chemical.

1. Soup—Most soups, even most homemade soup, contains MSG, even if the cook swears it doesn’t. That’s because most soup bases, commercial stocks, and bouillon powder and cubes contain MSG.

2. Spice Mixtures—Love that cajun seasoning, TexMex rub, or other spice mixture? Most spice mixtures contain MSG—frequently as autolyzed yeast or yeast extract.

3. Infant Formula—As terrible as it sounds, some infant formula actually contains MSG in one of its myriad disguises.

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6 Ways Yoga Supports Weight Loss

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

Taking a yoga class to lose weight is not the first reason people begin this spiritual practice. However, it is not long into a 3-5 time a week practice that people begin to notice a change to their body. It could be the addition of more muscle, more definition to the waist line and even a few pounds gone without really trying. Then as the individual continues to study Hatha yoga another shift occurs and they want to learn what foods to eat and how to prepare them properly.

I suspect the natural intelligence of the human body is working hand in hand with yoga postures to shift a big belly, strengthen weak thighs, tone up lose arms, and move some old waste out through the pores and the intestines. Give it enough time and not only your body will change for the better, but your mind, moods, nervous system and joy for life as well.

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Foods That Benefit Your Thyroid

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

Located above your windpipe is a small gland that affects virtually every organ system in your body. This includes your brain, heart, intestines, and the quality of your skin. Your thyroid gland and the hormone it produces, is the energy source that runs your body. When your thyroid gland is compromised your metabolism slows, you feel fatigued and cold, your concentration is off, your hair thins, you gain weight, and your skin becomes dry. It may be a small gland, but when it does not get the nutrients it needs there can be powerful repercussions.

Medical research has confirmed that iodine is responsible for the formation of the thyroid hormones T1, T2, T3, and T4. Without sufficient iodine, the thyroid can produce only limited amounts of these hormones. The best way to support your thyroid is to eat a balanced whole foods diet, one that includes iodine, which can be found in foods harvested from the sea: fish, shell fish and sea salt; but the best source of iodine are the sea vegetables, kelp, dulse, arame, and hijiki to name a few. Earl Mindell recommends using kelp in his book, Vitamin Bible for the Twenty-First Century. He writes that, “Kelp has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland. In other words, thin people with thyroid trouble can gain weight by using kelp, and obese people can lose weight with it.”

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An Aspirin a Day: 5 Things You Need to Know

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Many people are taking an aspirin a day to keep the doctor away, instead of the proverbial apple. If you are among those taking aspirin daily, you should consider the drug’s effects on your body and its essential nutrient stores. Here are 5 things you should consider:

1. Increased loss of folic acid in urine as well as reduced blood levels of folic acid have been found in arthritics taking aspirin. Folic acid is necessary to help us deal with stress, to keep our immune system strong, and as a coenzyme that ensures the proper functioning of many biochemical reactions in our bodies. To counter the lost folic acid, most doctors recommend 400 mcg of folic acid daily for arthritics taking aspirin.

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How to Properly Blanch Vegetables

By Shubhra Krishan for Care2.com

Blanching is a classic cooking technique that takes the raw edge off veggies but preserves the vitamins and the taste. Blanching gives vegetables a lovely fresh and vibrant color. And it’s easy! You basically cook vegetables in boiling water very briefly; but there is an art to it, and it takes time to perfect. Here is how to do it right:

Prepare: Slice the vegetables julienne style, like matchsticks. Dice or shell as needed.

Boil: In fast-boiling salted water, tip the veggies one by one, starting from the light colored ones to the darkest. Leave them in for just 45 to 60 seconds, just until they brighten. Scoop them out, quickly, with a large slotted spoon.

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6 Ways to Slash Your Colon Cancer Risk

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancers. Making some simple dietary and lifestyle changes can cut your risk in half. Here’s how:

1. Eat more vegetables. We know we should eat more veggies. Research shows that eating more vegetables can cut a person’s risk of colon cancer in half. Eat a daily salad, a homemade vegetable soup, or add steamed or sauteed veggies to your main dish. Better yet, make vegetables the main course and meat the side dish.

2. Avoid foods high in saturated fats and nitrates. That includes processed luncheon meats, bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and sausage. The saturated fat is linked to inflammation while the nitrates they contain are known carcinogens.

3. Choose chicken (or turkey or Brazil nuts). According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, eating lean chicken several times a week decreases a person’s chances of developing precancerous polyps in the colon by 21 percent and the risk of malignant tumors by 39 percent. Researchers believe the mineral selenium may be to thank. Looking for vegetarian sources of selenium? Choose Brazil nuts, which are one of the best sources of this mineral. Brown rice and walnuts are also good sources.

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8 Foods That Fight Fat

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Tired of that spare tire? Sick of your love handles? You can increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more foods that strengthen your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) to burn fat better. The result? A leaner you! There are many great liver boosting foods, but here are some of my favorites:

Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fiber and powerhouses of nutrition. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants helps prevent hunger while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.

Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the best source of fiber of any foods. They help to stabilize blood sugar while keeping you regular. They are also high in potassium, a critical mineral that reduces dehydration and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

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5 Minerals for Cancer Prevention

By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com

Minerals are essential in cancer prevention. Here are 5 of the top cancer-prevention minerals:

1. Calcium: A proven protector against colon cancer, this mineral is integral for maintaining the health of bones and teeth, blood clotting, and cellular metabolism. Excellent sources of calcium include: nuts and seeds, carrot juice, dark green vegetables, salmon and sardines.

2. Iodine: This mineral is found in sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, and Celtic sea salt. It helps protect the body from breast cancer and is required for energy and the growth and repair of healthy tissues.

3. Magnesium: This mineral protects against cancer in general, maintains the pH balance of the blood, as well as aids the formation of your body’s genetic material RNA and DNA. While damaged genetic material can put you at risk for cancer, magnesium helps with the repair work. It is found in many foods, including: nuts, fish, brown rice, whole grains, and green vegetables.

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How to Cook Your Whole Grains to Perfection

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

The benefits of eating whole grains have been extolled numerous times here. Now, let’s get down to cooking them properly. Because a hard outer shell protects the seed of the grain, there are certain preliminary steps to take in order to ensure maximum access to a grains powerhouse concentration of micronutrients.

Soaking grains: All ancient cultures soaked and/or fermented grains in order to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and the effects of phytic acid, which binds to calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestines. Soak grains 6-12 hours, or overnight, which pre-digests gluten and indigestible proteins rendering the grain more digestible. Even one hour of soaking will help to soften grains. Change water before cooking.

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