Posts tagged: healthy diet

I Really Don’t Want The Right To Know

I Really Don't Want The Right To Know
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

You are what you eat! The health of our bodies significantly depends on the drinks and foods we consume. With this in mind, are you aware of the ingredients you swallow every day? Does your food hinder your health or does it nourish your body?

Think about it: your family diet is one of the most significant determinants of the proper development and growth of your children. Even as we get older, the nutrients you consume help ward off health issues and give you the energy (physical and mental) to take on the challenges of adulting.

What do you know about the Food you Eat?

By noticing what you’re eating and feeding to your family, you become more aware of what your body needs – and this is the first step towards healthy eating. As a starting point, ask yourself these questions:

⦁ How much water do I drink every day?

⦁ Does my diet contain healthful vegetables and fruits?

⦁ Am I practicing mindful eating, whereby I pay attention to the eating experience? This also includes how you chew the food and appreciate the taste.

⦁ What is the size of my potions? And how frequently do I eat?

⦁ Do I always read the ingredient list of the packaging of the foods I buy?

⦁ Are nutrient-dense whole grains part of my diet?

⦁ Do I have a dietary plan to maximize my intake of necessary nutrients?

⦁ Does the food on my table contain unnecessary additives and preservatives?

⦁ Am I aware of ultra-processed foods and their health risks?

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

13 Great Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating

13 Great Probiotic Foods You Should Be Eating
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image sources – see foot of article.

Do you want to promote your heart health, reduce depression, improve digestive health, and even get better-looking skin? Research shows that probiotics – which are live organisms (mainly beneficial bacteria) – could provide all sorts of health benefits for your brain and body. While you can easily get probiotics from supplements, several fermented foods are rich in the healthy microorganisms, as shown below:

1. Kefir: This fermented dairy product is made from fermented kefir grains and milk. It contains up to 34 strains of probiotics.

2. Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage, and is quite popular in Germany.

3. Kombucha: The centuries-old probiotic drink is basically a fermentation of black tea originating from Japan.

4. Coconut Kefir: Not a fan of dairy? Fermenting kefir grains and the juice of young coconuts offers most of the probiotics contained in traditional dairy kefir – plus it tastes great.

5. Natto: Natto is a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. It contains several probiotics, including the potent Bacillus subtilis strain.

6. Yogurt: Arguably the most popular and easily accessible probiotic food, yogurt is processed from milk – especially from grass-fed sheep, goats, and cows.

7. Kvass: This ancient beverage has roots in Eastern Europe, and it’s made by fermenting barley or rye. Alternatively, you can use root vegetables, beets, and probiotic fruits.

8. Raw Cheese: Unpasteurized and raw cheese is high in probiotics such as acidophilus, bulgaricus, bifudus, and thermophilus.

9. Apple Cider Vinegar: This popular drink can significantly ramp up your probiotic intake while providing other health benefits.

10. Salted Gherkin Pickles: Salted gherkin pickles are a little-known source of probiotics, but quite potent.

11. Brine-Cured Olives

12. Tempeh: Tempeh is an Indonesian product created by fermenting soybeans.

13. Miso: Miso is a Japanese spice made by fermenting brown rice, barley, or soybean with Koji, a fungus.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Infographic Image Sources:
Kefir – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kefir-grains-90grams.jpg
Sauerkraut – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wesselburenkraut_19.06.2012_18-35-26.jpg
Kombucha – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kombucha_Mature.jpg
Coconut Kefir – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Beneficio-do-kefir.jpg
Natto – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Natto_dsc04765.jpg
Yogurt – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cacik-1.jpg
Kvass – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mint_bread_kvas.jpg
Raw Cheese – https://pixabay.com/photos/raw-cheese-cheese-dairy-food-3606079/
Apple Cider Vinegar – https://pixabay.com/photos/apple-apple-juice-beverage-bottle-3782737/
Salted Gherkin Pickles – https://pixabay.com/photos/pickled-cucumbers-homemade-preserves-1520638/
Brine-cured olives – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olives_vertes.JPG
Tempeh – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sliced_tempeh.jpg
Miso – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Miso_Soup.jpg

The Problem Is We Are Not Eating Food Any More

The Problem Is We Are Not Eating Food Any More
Graphic: © herbs-info.com. Image source – Pixabay (PD).

“The problem is we are not eating food anymore; we are eating food-like products.” ― Alejandro Junger, “Hungry For Change” Film

True to Dr. Alejandro Junger’s words, results from a 2016 cross-sectional study published in the BMJ Journal, showed that “Ultra-processed foods comprised 57.9% of energy intake, and contributed 89.7% of the energy intake from added sugars.” [1]

According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines, your daily sodium intake should not exceed 2,300 mg and only 10% of your calories should come from added sugars. [2] But if the results from this study are anything to go by, most Americans are well outside the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Ultra-processed foods are affordable, hyper-palatable, and convenient products that have nothing to do with nature. These food-like products are everywhere and they come in various forms such as french fries, chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, energy bars, pizza, muffins, breakfast cereal, beverages, ice cream, and cakes.

The issue with these food-like products is that they are laden with tons of questionable additives, artificial sugars, preservatives, and saturated fats that have little-to-no nutritional value and negative effects on health.

For example, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that an increase in the consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with a higher risk of mortality. [3] Similarly, another study in the BMJ Journal claimed that ultra-processed foods significantly increase the risk of cancer. [4] Although these studies are not conclusive, they should at least tell us something about the dangers of eating food-like products.

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

References:

[1] Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/3/e009892.

[2] Dietary Guidelines For Americans https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf.

[3] Association Between Ultraprocessed Food Consumption and Risk of Mortality Among Middle-aged Adults in France https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2723626?resultClick=1.

[4] Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k322.