The study of hieroglyphics and ancient scrolls reveal that ancient Egyptians and Greeks were perhaps the first people to realize the benefits of garlic. These peoples used the stinking rose for culinary and medicinal purposes, religious offerings, and warned never to order the garlic-stuffed chicken breast on a big date.
For the longest time, Anglos were hesitant to jump on the garlic wagon, using the vegetable (yes) only to ward off vampires and other supernatural creeps. While modern folk are still obsessed with vampires, everyone seems to have discovered the benefits of the magical flower, as planet Earth produces nearly 30 billion pounds of garlic annually.
Garlic can add a pungent and delicious flavor to nearly any dish, but recent studies suggest it also has a profound positive affect on human health. In 2007, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that a garlic rich diet stimulates hydrogen sulfide production, a natural antioxidant that increases circulation. The researchers, who made this discovery by injecting garlic juice into red blood cells, say the findings shed light on why people who eat a diet high in garlic are much less prone to breast, prostate, and colon cancer. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
Don’t ignore the nutrient powerhouses hidden away in your spice cabinet. Spices contain phenols which stimulate your immune system to protect against disease and are rich in anti-oxidants to protect your body from free radical damage. Spices can elevate a simple dinner into a nutrient dense, delicious masterpiece.
Here are my four favorite spices and their amazing health and healing properties. Plus, how to use them in your kitchen.
Smoked Paprika – This has been my “spice crush” for quite some time. A little dash turns a simple vegetable dish into something richer, heartier, and so delicious. Paprika, because of its high vitamin C content, helps your body absorb iron rich foods and fight infection. Try smoked paprika in these yummy recipes:
Smokey Tomato and Greens Soup
Smokey Salmon Kebabs (more…)
By Rachel Berman, RD – Director of Nutrition, CalorieCount.com
Spring time is here and your spring cleaning may already be well under way. This year, in addition to tackling your closet and cleaning underneath the couch, focus on ‘detox’-ing to spring clean your health. No, I’m not talking about expensive drinks and celebrity cleanses which can be harmful to our bodies with short-lived results. These are marketing gimmicks to get you to shell out money for something you will have to do time and time again. By making changes to your diet, you can naturally ‘detox’ with healthy foods. Add these foods on a regular basis to optimize your health and feel your best inside and out.
Leafy Greens such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale contain cancer fighting compounds called glucosinolates. They are also a great source of calcium which is important for muscle contraction and therefore, can improve the ‘spring in your step.’ Frozen veggies can often be even more nutritious than fresh since they are frozen at the peak of ripeness. Try always keeping a bag in your freezer for quick and easy addition to meals.
Citrus Fruits are loaded with soluble fiber. This type of fiber increases the amount of healthy bacteria in your colon to help flush out toxins from your system. They are also loaded with immune boosting nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C, which can improve the health of your skin. Choose the whole fruits, not juices, to get the maximum fiber benefit and improve satiation. (more…)
When it comes to antibacterial agents, natural medicine really shines. While there are hundreds of natural antibiotics of varying degrees of strength, here are some of my faves:
Garlic—A natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral agent, garlic is a great addition to your diet, particularly at this time of year. While garlic contains potassium and germanium, two minerals that are critical to good health, it is best known for its sulphur compounds, particularly allicin. These are the main phytochemicals that boost immunity and act as natural antibiotics. So, ladies and gentlemen, start chopping—garlic that is. It’s time to throw some fresh garlic into your favorite soup, stew, chilli, stirfry, meat or veggie dish. Forget garlic powder. Most of its health benefits are long gone.
Oregano Oil—The King of natural antibiotics, study after study proves the effectiveness of oregano oil. Of course, like anything, product strength can vary drastically. Some products are actually marjoram and not oregano at all. So, choose a reputable brand backed by research. I like North American Herb and Spice Company’s blend called P-73, which includes wild, high potency oregano harvested in harsh conditions. That might not sound like a big deal but harsh conditions usually spell stronger active ingredients in the plant, since the health-building phytochemicals frequently comprise the plant’s immune system.
While the Pad Thai from your favorite Thai take-out joint has an average of 500 calories per cup, the food you would eat if you traveled to Thailand is quite different – and better for you.
According to food blogger and author Joy Buasi from Joy’s Thai Food, Thai cuisine is well known for its fresh ingredients, robust spiciness and complex flavors and aromas. While chili powder, fresh citrus juices and fish stock are common Thai food flavorings, the cuisine is also peppered with peanuts, coconut milk and oil.
If you want to reap the healthy benefits of Thai cuisine, make your own at home so that you can limit the high-calorie ingredients and take advantage of the ingredients full of nutrients.
Women’s health writer and body image expert Leslie Goldman, MPH, is a regular contributor of feature stories and essays to O: The Oprah Magazine, Health, Natural Health, Glamour, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, espnW.com and more. A frequent guest on the Today Show, her book is Locker Room Diaries: The Naked Truth About Women, Body Image, and Re-imagining the “Perfect” Body. Follow her on Twitter @LeslieGoldman and check out her blog, HealthBreaksLoose.com
Whether it’s garlic bread breath, asparagus pee or post 8K B.O., even the most hygienic among us sometimes experience a bout of smelliness. But sometimes smelling bad can mean good things for your health. Check out what those nasal smoke signals are telling you:
Haunting halitosis Not even the most devoted toothpaste aficionado can escape garlic’s powerful force. You might even sweat it out the next day on the elliptical. But that’s no reason to ditch the stinking rose: Besides adding savory calorie-free flavor to food, garlic’s antioxidants help boost both the immune and cardiovascular systems. So peel, chop and roast away!
March might be almost over, but it isn’t too late to note that it is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. More than 50,000 people – one every 9.3 minutes – die from colon cancer each year, despite the fact that it’s the most treatable cancer when detected early through proper screening. Olympus, the Colon Cancer Alliance and Colorectal Cancer Coalition, is encouraging all Americans to help beat colon cancer by learning more and committing to be screened for the disease.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 35 percent of cancer deaths may be linked to dietary factors. In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, check out some new colon cancer fighting food facts below and start to incorporate some of these healthy foods into your own diet.
Especially this time of year when Old Man Winter is in full force, there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of soup as a meal. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or even a snack, soup is filling (hello Volumetrics!) and you can pack so much nutrition into a single bowl. Not to mention that soup is pretty fool-proof one-pot dish to make, and usually keeps well as leftovers.
Over the years, I’ve found that no matter what soup recipe you’re following, you can almost always up the nutrition and lower the fat and sodium with a few easy swaps and additions. The best part, because all the flavors in the soup meld together, as long as you keep the proportions right, no one usually notices the healthier changes!
Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Melanoma. I have had several areas removed from my body and I’ve been rewarded with clean borders and no need for chemotherapy. I am vigilant in my use of sunscreen as well as going for my periodic skin care check ups, but I also try to eat a healthy diet.
Recently, I spotted this list of five cancer fighting foods on the Today Show. I eat most of them, but not all. It’s recommended that we eat about 1/2 cup of each every day. How many of them do you eat? (more…)
John McGran, chief editor at Diet-to-Go, has been covering the fields of diet, fitness and health since 2000. He writes from the perspective of a dieter rather than a dietitian.
I’d much rather eat my way to health and happiness than pop a pill and attain the same results. So when it comes to dieting, I choose to eat my way slim rather than seek out a magic bullet for weight loss.
The same principle applies to perking up passion. Sure, there are plenty of ads for potions or pills that claim to magically transform you into a Casanova. But I’ve discovered that a fine meal with the proper ingredients can spark love and romance without the chemicals!