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Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for the Ultimate Healthy Diet

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Eating Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for the Ultimate Healthy Diet

If looking for the ultimate healthy diet, there is nothing like cooking with fresh foods from local Farmers Markets. These venues feature the freshest fruits and vegetables straight from local farmers and produce stands. In fact, many foods are deemed organic and are sold at local grocery stores and produce stands. With all the emphasis on eating healthy these days, it is crucial to consume whole foods as opposed to processed ones. In fact, whole foods can also be canned, frozen, preserved or pickled for the upcoming winter months. Whether you love salads, fruits, or a range of vegetables eating them as is can truly benefit you body with all the essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

Cooking with Fresh and Wholesome Foods

There are several benefits of cooking with fresh and wholesome foods. This includes preserving all essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients without saturating them with oils and fats. Eating fresh foods and vegetables also increases energy levels, while helping to sync the body and mind. This ensures better mental clarity, while preventing sluggishness and laziness. In addition to replenishing vital energy levels, whole foods helps boost metabolism rates which can result in more fat and calories being burned. It is important to see which healthy recipes are available at local Farmers Markets as well. This can help you plan a healthy and nutritional diet regimen that will meet all your needs within time and budget.

Seasonal and Year Round Fruits

Seasonal fruits are available at weekend farmer markets as well. Whether looking or mackinaw peaches or juicy kumquats it is best to visit these markets to see which foods and vegetables are offered. These venues are also great for meeting other health conscious individuals and families. In fact, you can find great recipes and ideas for healthy snacks to enhance your existing or new diet. Speaking to local farmers about which products are beneficial to health is also a great idea. Since they are the ones growing these fruits and vegetables, they will be able to assist you in healthy eating habits and ideas.

Eat Healthy and Live Longer

As they say, you are what you eat. With this is mind, now is the right time to start a diet that consists of healthy and fresh foods across the board. Try and avoid foods that are saturated with salts, sugar, and especially fats and sodium. By eating right and staying fit, you can truly enjoy life and secure vitality and longevity at every turn.

Healthy Summer Snacks

healthy summer snacks
Healthy summer snacks

Healthy summer snacks  including fresh vegetables and fruits are delicious perks of the season. The seasonal fruits and vegetables not only mark a welcome change in diet but also usher in a period of enriched fulfillment in terms of healthy living.

There are plenty of healthy snacks that can be prepared during the summer. The important thing is to use fresh ingredients. Listed below are a few ideas.

Salad sticks

A salad on a stick gives a fun twist to a traditional salad. Just use some wooden shish kabob sticks and include mushrooms, zucchini,cherry tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and onions to create a great tasting snack. The mushrooms and zucchini are summer seasonals ensuring varied taste and nutritional benefit. This healthy snack will provide carbohydrates and protein. Salad sticks are a low calorie, low fat snack packed with vitamins for energy and hydration.

Cucumber Orange water

Cucumber orange water is made by simply adding the cucumbers and oranges to chilled filtered water. A healthy alternative to sugary sodas and drinks typically consumed during the warm summer weather. And a healthy one at that as it has practically zero calories. This means you can enjoy as much cucumber orange water as you like and ensure the body will be hydrated and refreshed.  Expelling toxins from the body through it’s antioxidant properties.

Caprese salad

This healthy snack is made using basil leaves, mozzarella and olive oil. Fresh basil leaves come into season during the summer, caprese type salad is a perfect salad to enjoy because it provides the body 2.4g carbohydrates and 7.7g protein  per serving. Balsamic vinegar adds flavor and antioxidant benefits found in reservatol.

Banana Splits

With strawberries sure to enter the market, making banana splits using bananas, strawberries and protein rich greek yogurt serves as a sweet treat for the summer season.

All these healthy snacks for the summer season have a fun side. They introduce the chance to enjoy seasonally available fruits and vegetables.  This ensures healthy summer snacks that give desired energy coupled with nutritional benefits.

Olive Oil In Your Healthy Diet

olive oil

Cooking is one of life’s great pleasures. A well cooked meal is a labor of love and one that requires a little bit of skill. One of the key ingredients in cooking is the use of the right kind of cooking oil. Perhaps  one of the best kinds of oil  is olive oil. This ancient oil is still a staple of today’s diet. Today, people use olive oil in many preparations. It may be used  for sprinkling on a salad, light sauteing or just as a dip for a good piece of bread.

Pure Olive Oil

When purchasing, look for oil that is pure and unadulterated. The best quality oil will help add layers of flavor to any dish. The highest quality oil is known as extra-virgin oil. This is oil that is completely unrefined. No extra chemicals or other oils have been added to it. Such as vegetable oil that has been refined to increase it’s shelf life and act as a preservative. Olive oil will typically be a bright green-gold in color and have a light peppery taste on the tongue. Look for quality brands with known quality controls from regions such as Italy and Spain. Unadulted oil is ideal for many uses. The complex flavors help bring out the flavor of foods and add body as well.

Uncooked Olive Oil

Quality olive oil is an essential pantry staple that any cook should have on hand at all times. When added to a salad, the result is often intense and delicious. Pure olive oil has many kinds of benefits. This kind of oil is known to be one of the healthiest of all oils, making it a great part of any diet. Using olive oil can help decrease the bad levels of cholesterol and even increase testosterone production. So if you are cleaning up your choice of foods, use it as part of a well-balanced diet.

Herbs are a Healthy Way to Spice up a Meal

Health benefits of herbs and spices

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Herbs and spices can truly add flavor to any meal. They can also spruce up meals that are part of a nutritional plan. From cinnamon and nutmeg to paprika, there are several health benefits associated with herbs and spices as well. While some work to cleanse and purify the body of harmful toxins, others aid the digestive process. Herbs and spices also serve as antioxidants, and are known for their healing powers too. This includes treating common colds, along with sore throats and even shedding unwanted pounds. If cooking with herbs and spices on a regular basis, you can truly reap the benefits of all their nature ingredients and properties.

Cooking with Herbs and Spices

With so many herbs and spices available, how does one select the right blend for daily cooking or meals? According to nutritional experts, it simply depends on your personal preferences and tastes. While some prefer tarragon in sandwiches, others opt for thyme and turmeric. The latter is very popular among Indian and Pakistani dishes, and is known to help digestive issues and other medical ailments and illnesses. There is also ginger, parsley, oregano, sage, spearmint, and rosemary.  Other popular herbs and spices include cilantro, lemongrass, and garlic, which are beneficial to health and have been proven to help people live longer. You simply need to try a number of spices and herbs in order to select the best ones to meet your needs.

Herbs for Longevity

Herbs have been proven to increase the lifespan of humans. When consumed regular and as part of a nutritional plan, herbs can strengthen immune systems and increase vital energy levels. They also purify the blood, while fighting bacteria and help expedite the healing process. Herbs have also helped people lose weight, while securing mental clarity and a better connection the body. If you truly want to live a healthier life, it is essential to add natural herbs to your meals.

Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Health benefits of herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are basically part and parcel of different recipes and even though many are unaware, herbs actually have a number of health and nutritional benefits. However, the most important thing about herbs and spices is the simple fact that they make food tasty and more enjoyable. There are people who would actually not consider cooking without herbs or spices. There are different types of herbs and spices all of which can be incorporated into unique recipes for the ultimate culinary experience. Without much ado, here are some health benefits of herbs and spices you should be aware of:

Powerful Antioxidants

A lot of herbs and spices that people use on a day-to-day basis are powerful antioxidants. For instance, cinnamon which is one of the most popular spices has been known to reduce blood sugar levels. In addition, the spice also aids in fat burning, making it perfect for people who need to maintain a healthy body weight.

Anti-Cancer Properties

There are also different types of herbs that have anti cancer properties.  Although research on this is still going on, there is great promise, especially with basil. The herb has however found other uses. It is used in dealing with digestive disorders and also as an antiviral option. The great thing about basil is the fact that it can be incorporated in any recipe even soup. Garlic is also another spice that has shown great promise as far as anti cancer properties are concerned.  The spice is also a mainstay in so many recipes, especially because for it’s distinct taste.

Herbs and spices are very vital in making food tasty and have a lot of hidden benefits.  Eating foods in season can also have an impact on our health and vitality.   So whenever you are cooking, strive to always incorporate herbs and spices into your daily recipes.

Eating Better: Health Benefits Found in Herbs and Spices

Health benefits of herbs and spices

Has your food been tasting a little bland lately? If yes, you can liven it up with herbs and spices. They not only bring life to your cooking, they also come with some surprising health benefits. Most of us have them lying around in the pantry or cabinet but we never get round to using them. This is simply not right. If you have some cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne or even red hot chili pepper it is time to take them out. Consider the following health benefits:

Cayenne pepper is great for making soups and other dishes but there is more. It is also great for reducing cholesterol, reducing inflammation and also reducing mucus. It is also a great antioxidant it helps get rid of disease causing free radicals.

Turmeric is a great ingredient that is found in many homes. It is originally an Indian spice that can improve both the taste and color of many different dishes. Its biggest health benefits is that it has cancer fighting properties and is also great for those who have joint problems. If you have some in your kitchen that you dont use make it a habit to cook dishes that require you to use turmeric you will be happy you did one day.

Garlic is a common one but you would be surprised at how many people buy garlic with the best of intentions and then forget to use it. Make more use of garlic because it also has anti-cancer properties. It is great for providing healthy bacteria for your gut and it can also help fight blood clots. There has been some evidence that it is good for heart health.

These are just a few herbs and spices the world is filled with them. Allow yourself sometime to explore and enjoy them.

Herbs are Healthy and Can Truly Spruce up your Menu

Health benefits of herbs and spices

There are several health benefits associated with herbs and spices. From paprika to cinnamon, herbs can also spruce up any meal or nutritional plan. For centuries, herbs have been used by countless cultures in cooking and food making. While some herbs work as digestive aids, others cleanse the blood and body of harmful toxins. Herbs can also help with joint pain, while serving as antioxidants for purification purposes. They also have healing powers, and add a touch of flavor to any daytime or nighttime meal. Whether for common colds, sore throats, or even weight loss and fitness plans, there are so many health benefits herbs can offer to people of all ages.

Popular Herbs for Cooking

While healthy in nature, there are so many herbs to choose from. According to nutritional and food experts, culinary herbs have seen a recent resurgence in popularity. This includes tarragon, along with thyme and turmeric. Other popular herbs for cooking and health issues include rosemary, spearmint, sage, oregano, parsley, and especially ginger. Whether you love garlic, lemongrass, or cilantro, the choices of herbs are simply endless. Most herbs can even be consumed raw and as is. In fact, this is the best way to reap the benefits of essential oils, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are packed within each herb.

Herbs for Life

Herbs have also been proven to secure vitality and longevity. In fact, people that eat fresh herbs on a daily basis have stronger immune systems. This helps them fight viruses and bacteria better, along with healing faster than most individuals. Herbs have also helped countless people effectively shed unwanted pounds. If you want to get back in shape and lead a healthier life, consuming herbs regularly is a great way to start. Not only do herbs dazzle your taste buds, they also work to increase energy levels and strength. This helps people stay in shape, while securing better mental clarity and bodily connection.

Roasted Cabbage recipe

Roasted Cabbage recipe

 

I love cabbage, it’s loaded with vitamin C and fiber.  I love it wrapped around a spring roll or in cole slaw as well.  I am a big fan of saur kraut, which is another version of cabbage.  But  I wanted to share with you a recipe I got from the newspaper.  It’s a simple take on the vegetable.  You can literally make any vegetable this way.    In fact I roast a lot of veggies this way.  But this recipe has a balsamic reduction sauce that really makes the dish.  I want to say thanks to the ladies at Desperation Dinners for sharing this delicious easy dish.

 

Roasted Cabbage

4 cups chopped red cabbage (one inch pieces)

4 cups chopped green cabbage (one inch pieces)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to your taste

Preheat oven to 450 F

Core and chop red and green cabbage into one inch pieces.  Using a large roasting pan, drizzle oil, salt and pepper over cabbage and toss to mix well.

Roast for 15 minutes, uncovered.  Stir cabbage, then roast for an additional 15 minutes.  Cabbage is done when edges begin to caramelize and the vegetable is still crisp tender.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Simple Balsamic Reduction

1½ cups balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

Combine ingredients in a small pot, bring to a moderate boil.  Boil for 5 minutes to reduce mixture by half.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.   The consistency should be as thick as pancake syrup.  Remove and discard garlic.  Drizzle over roasted cabbage to taste.  I find you don’t need a whole lot of the sauce so you may adjust the amount that you make.  Left over sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.  You can as I mentioned roast your favorite vegetable and use this sauce.  Asparagus is great this way too.  Healthy and inexpensive, enjoy!

 

Breakfast

Breakfast, OK, let’s start with breakfast. I know there have been studies that show the pros and cons of those who eat breakfast and those who skip it. I’ve always been one who eats the first meal of the day.  I find it helps kick start my mind and body in the morning before I start my day.  Right now, what I find to work best are a couple of scrambled eggs using either coconut or olive oil.  A fresh fruit salad using seasonal fruit.  I do use berries year round for the vitamins and antioxidants. And one cup of coffee.

To mix it up, I like to add spinach to the eggs for the added iron.  The vitamin C in my fruit salad helps to absorb that iron.  Adding kale to the eggs is beneficial in providing calcium to absorb the vitamin D from the egg yolk.  Some people may need to use another vitamin D source other than the egg if they are watching cholesterol.

From time to time, I’ll eat my eggs in a whole grain tortilla with fresh salsa.  I get my vitamin C from the salsa.  But I only do that occasionally because the grains can actually hinder the absorption of the calcium and iron.  If you follow a Paleo recipe, you will want pay attention to grains.

Through the years, I’ve gone away from eating cereals for a couple of reasons.  One being, there is too much added sugar to today’s cereals. Also, my system doesn’t do well with milk.  Milk has an impact on my sinus congestion so I use coconut/almond milk instead. I use it in my coffee as well.  One thing I do like when the weather gets cold is oatmeal.  I like this warm satiating food in the winter with cinnamon and local honey. With only one gram of sugar (not added sugar), oatmeal gets digested slowly without causing a spike in blood sugar.

I think the important thing is to give your body some protein, fiber, carbs found in fruits and vegetables, vitamins and minerals found in whole foods.  Take the time to watch your eating patterns, especially if you are not a breakfast eater or you don’t have a lot of time in the morning.  Start your day and continue your day with a healthy eating diet.  In the long run, these things matter.