The other day my husband and I were making vegetable juice and he asked me what the health benefits of celery were. I had to admit, I knew celery was healthy, but couldn’t come up with the reasons off the top of my head. I decided to do some research. Turns out, celery is not just good for carrying peanut butter to your mouth! It has a host of health benefits!
Zucchini is a great little vegetable that is low on calories and high on health benefits. In fact, a medium zucchini has only 33 calories, but still manages to make you feel full because of its fiber and water content! This makes zucchini an excellent choice if you are trying to lose weight or just eat healthier! Read on for more health benefits of zucchini!
For a long time, fat was considered bad in any form and supermarkets were flooded with a variety of low-fat items. The truth of the matter is that they didn’t really do anything to improve health! Our bodies need fat to function properly. It just needs to be eaten in moderation and the right kinds of fat need to be consumed. Some fats are actually really good for you, some are kind of in-between, and others are downright bad for you!
The thought of some delicious dark chocolate makes me smile! Throughout my life I can count on one hand the number of people I have met who don’t like chocolate. You may have read that dark chocolate has health benefits, but did you know its actually good for your digestion? It turns out the good bacteria, or probiotics, in your gut love cocoa as much as you do!
Do you love the aromatic, spicy flavor of ginger? I have to admit that I didn’t used to love it, but it has grown on me and now I love it! Did you know that ginger’s amazing flavor comes along with a host of health benefits?
Ginger and Digestive Health
Lemons are an amazing little fruit. You may not think about them much because of their sour flavor, but they are packed with vitamin C! In fact, one raw lemon (minus its peel) contains over half of your daily dose of vitamin C! This is why it has been commonly used to treat scurvy, which may make you think of pirates! Aye, matey, them there lemons will cure what ails ya! OK. Enough of the pirate talk for now!
What vitamin C does for your body
With all the buzz about quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) in the last decade, the odds are that you have tried it. Did you feel like it lived up to all the hype? This naturally gluten-free whole grain has a very mild, nutty flavor, so for flavorful quinoa you must add plenty of seasonings. Eating 3 servings of whole grains every day can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Quinoa is packed full of nutrients, so it is considered a superfood. Plus it is one of the least allergenic grains, so it’s great for those with wheat allergies.
Quinoa is a Complete Protein
Do you have or know someone who has Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)? Have you wondered if probiotics could help?
What are the benefits of probiotics?
Probiotics is the name that has been given to “friendly” bacteria that live in your intestines. Studies have shown that people with IBD often have unbalanced “flora” (bacteria) in their gut. Having healthy bacteria in your gut may help with immune modulation and reduce inflammation. Both of these are concerns for those suffering with IBD, such as Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD). While studies have been mixed as to how beneficial probiotics are for IBD, there seems to be a little more evidence that it may help UC. However, more studies are being done and need to be done on the subject. According to one well-regarded theory, the cause of IBD results from an unbalanced microbiome in the gut. This theory implies that the use of probiotics may help rebalance the gut flora in a positive way, causing it to shift from creating inflammation to anti-inflammatory.
Which probiotics help with IBD?
Do you just love to have some fresh garlic on your pasta? Well, that’s good! Fresh garlic is much more beneficial for your heart than dried garlic, a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found. There is a chemical released when fresh garlic is cut, called hydrogen sulfide, which relaxes blood vessels. Garlic is commonly used to help treat hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Some people also use it to help prevent colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and breast cancer.
The compounds in garlic break down easily due to heating or being cut. A study in Japan compared garlic preserved in water, alcohol, vegetable oil and fresh garlic. They were measuring a compound known was allicin, which is garlic’s main active ingredient and what gives garlic its strong smell. They found that allicin dissipates quickly once garlic is cut. Scientists believe that allicin has antibacterial properties that may help prevent food poisoning and bacterial infections. Allicin may also help prevent blood clots and certain cancers. Even though allicin breaks down quickly, scientists believe that the compounds it breaks into may still be beneficial. So get out your garlic crusher and mince away!
Chia seeds are having a moment right now. In fact, they are one of the most talked about superfoods, but what makes them so super? They are packed with rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, all of which are necessary for energy.
Chia seeds were originally grown in Mexico and were highly valued, even being used as money. Aztec warriors used them as an energy and endurance source and claimed that chia seeds could give them energy for 24 hours! In fact, chia seeds were known as “runners’ food” because they were used by runners and warriors when they had to run long distances or during battle.
A recent study in Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that chia seed provided the same energy benefit as a sports drink without all the added sugar or sugar substitutes.
An added benefit is that chia seeds help boost your metabolism and help burn belly fat! Studies show that by adding chia seeds to your diet, you can actually lower your visceral adipose tissue (or belly fat), which contributes to a lowered metabolism. Chia seeds also absorb a lot of water, so they help keep you hydrated and keep you feeling full for longer. They are also high in Zinc, which increases leptin, a hormone that your body uses to regulate your appetite.
Added benefits of chia seeds:
There are several ways to eat chia seeds.
Chia Seed Recipes
I am a Duke Integrative Medicine trained Health Coach located in Charlotte, NC. I hold a B.S. and M.A. in Wellness Management. I have a passion for health and for helping others achieve the healthy life they desire.