Although iron is classified as a trace mineral, it’s essential for overall health. Many of the body’s functions rely on iron and if you get too little, your body can’t function properly. On the flip side, getting too much can also be detrimental to your health.
There are two main types of iron; heme and non-heme. Heme iron is the type found in meat, poultry and fish. Non-heme, on the other hand, can be found in both plant and animal sources. The biggest difference between the two types is how well the body absorbs them. Heme iron is much more easily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron, yet most of our dietary supply comes from non-heme sources. Enriched breads and cereals, lentils, legumes, dark leafy greens, and some dried fruits are foods rich in this type of iron. Although the iron found in these foods is typically harder to absorb, your can improve your body’s absorption rate by pairing your non-heme-rich food sources with a food high in heme iron, vitamin C, citric or lactic acid, and certain sugars.
Most of the body’s iron is found within two proteins: hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in the body’s red blood cells while myoglobin is found in the muscle cells. In both, iron helps accept, carry, and release oxygen to the cells of the body. In addition, iron keeps your immune system strong and helps your body produce energy.
February is American Heart Month, but that doesn’t mean you should only worry about having a healthy heart for 28 days out of the year. Heart health is incredibly important; if you take care of your heart, you’ll be less likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke, the most common killer in the USA.
The foods that you eat can have a great impact on your heart’s health. Think of your heart as a high performance sports car: if you put super-premium fuel in, you’ll get better results. Here are nine super-premium foods to keep your ticker in tip-top shape:
Oatmeal Oatmeal is good for your heart because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and folate. The fiber in oatmeal is very beneficial for your heart because it can lower levels of your bad cholesterol (LDL), which can clear up your arteries.
Avocados Like oatmeal, avocados will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels; they will also raise the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in your body. They also make it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients that are good for your heart, such as beta-carotene and lycopene.
The 17 Day Diet seems to be all the rage these days. Created by Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet was recently featured on The Doctors and the Dr. Phil Show. To go along with this “17” craze, we’re featuring a list of 17 healthy carbs that you should be eating for overall health. With so many healthy options, you’ll never fall into a food rut again!
1. Oatmeal. It may seem boring, but oatmeal is such a delicious and filling breakfast choice. With lots of fiber, five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and only 150 calories, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your bite!
2. Barley. Also high in fiber, barley is great in soups, as a whole-grain side or even as a healthy rice replacement in risotto!
We’ve heard the jingle, but few of us know what makes beans such a healthy food. Beans are packed with fiber and protein to help keep you strong and prevent disease. While a lot of people eat their legumes in the form of calorie-laden Mexican refried beans or barbecue baked beans, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the nutritional powerhouse.
Black Beans: Like most beans, black beans are a good source of fiber, which lower cholesterol. When combined with whole grains, like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, black beans are filling and delicious. They’ve also been said to be as rich in antioxidants as grapes and cranberries, two foods that have been touted as “super fruits.” Try them in a fish with black bean salad with a figure-friendly white fish like tilapia. (more…)
Legumes and lentils are good sources of resistant starch.
You’ve heard it before: Not all carbs are created equal. And never has this been more true than in the new findings surrounding resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that has produced promising results in helping to promote weight loss, improve digestion and keep insulin levels balanced.
We predict that headlines will soon be abuzz with the benefits of resistant starch, so to keep you a few bites ahead of the weight loss game, here is the skinny on this healthy nutrient. (more…)
They are plenty of ways to meet your protein needs, without having to eat meat. The food industry has made leaps and bounds in terms of offering nutritious and delicious vegetarian options for helping you get the protein you need. However, these products are not just for the vegetarian, even you meat lovers can sample these foods and incorporate them into your diet to switch it up and add some spice to your meals!
Soy (soy nuts, edamame, tofu)
- May help reduce calories, saturated fat and cholesterol when substituted for meat.
- Provides your body with isoflavones that have been proven to work wonders on your body and health
- Soy milk, but check that it’s fortified with calcium and B vitamins (more…)