Live Healthier

Healing-Herbs-and-Spices-from-Your-Kitchen

Day in and day out, for most of us, it is difficult to put the time into exercise and eating healthy.  This often can result in illness or just feeling run down.  My goal is to provide you with some quick tips and recipes that hopefully help you to live as healthy as possible and “tap in 2” a better lifestyle.

The Cantaloupe

This fruit is so easy to start growing, even in my small window garden.  The seeds did not take long to sprout (about 5 days) and before I knew it, I had plants about 4 inches high.  I am not actually expecting for my plants to yield fruit while just growing them in my small window garden, but I just love to experiment with gardening and it is more of a hobby for me until I get some land to actually expand.

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These delicious and nutritious melons are usually oblong in shape, measure 4.5- 6.5 inches in diameter and weigh 450 – 850 gm. Its flesh ranges in color from orange-yellow to salmon and has a soft consistency.  Like most fruits, the riper it is the sweeter it is.   There are seeds in its hollow center that are off-white in color and surrounded by a network of stringy fibrous-like strands.

So, why have I decided to write about this melon…..well, for one it was on sale for a great price at the store and it is in season.  Usually the season starts in April and ends in August for cantaloupe.  I find that if you go with the flow and eat what is in season, you can reap more benefits from the fruit because it will be at its best, therefore, more nutritional benefits for us.  Being from America, I was used to having just about all kinds of produce available almost all year round.  It was not until I came to Israel that I realized that oranges are primarily harvested in the Winter! What!  Imagine the benefit we receive in the vitamin C boost going into the cold and flu season.

Reason number two that I purchased the cantaloupe melon is because of the many nutrients it contains and the health benefits:

  • Its very filling and therefore in my opinion helps to tame my appetite and only 34 calories per 100 grams
  • Cantaloupe is an excellent source of Vitamin A (100 g yields 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels).  Vitamin A is an excellent anti-oxidant and great for eye mucus membrane and skin health.
  • Due to the beta-carotene content, it may also be good protection against certain cancers (colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers).
  • As a moderate source of potassium (a very important electrolyte) it is important for cell and body fluids and helps control blood pressure and heart rate.  It may help to protect against stroke and coronary heart disease.  It provides 267 mg of potassium in a 100 gram serving.
  • If that is not enough, cantaloupe contains a good portion of B-complex vitamins.  Niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C plus other minerals like manganese take us right back to free radical fighters and antioxidant properties.
  • I have found that if I am feeling really weighed down, it really gives me a boost of energy to get me to the next meal and rehydrates me.  It is such a versatile fruit that you can cut it into cubes and eat it cold as a snack, with breakfast or as a dessert.

So, what are you waiting for…….can you give the cantaloupe a chance?  Let me know how you feel about it.  Don’t forget to comment, like and subscribe!

Reference:

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cantaloupe.html

All About Chia Seeds

You all probably remember the famous “Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia”.  How many of us grew those chia plants back in the day and had no idea what it was?  Well, I have just become a user of these cool little seeds.

One big reason is you get a lot for doing so little.  Chia seeds are packed with so many nutrients and very few calories.  They contain 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3s out of the 9 grams of fat, 18% of the recommended daily allowance of Calcium (RDA), 30% of the RDA of Manganese, 27% of the RDA of Phosphorus, a generous amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3/Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B1/Thiamine and Vitamin B2.

In just 1 ounce, you get a power-packed 137 calories (this is just 2 tablespoons).  Since a lot of these calories are fiber and may not be used by the body, these ends up being about 101 calories per ounce.  Chia seeds are usually grown organically and considered a “whole grain” food.  They are non-GMO and also gluten free without any manipulation.

See the full article on my home page!

References:

  1. https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/
  2. https://www.nutrition.org/asn-blog/2012/03/the-real-scoop-on-chia-seeds/

Go Bananas Over Bananas!

There are so many health benefits to this simple fruit that comes in its own To Go package.  Out of all of the fruits that we eat in our home, this one is the one that I can never keep an adequate supply of.  Of course, that makes me happy as the Head of the Nutrition Department as just one of the hats that I wear in the household.  Why do I love bananas….?

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  1. If you are watching your weight, they are very helpful.   There are about 110 calories in a medium size banana and this yields about 30 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. The fiber and a type of starch that you do not digest helps to fill us up and helps us to not get so hungry.  This makes it a great in between meals snack.
  2. Eating bananas will increase your intake of vitamin C.  This is important because vitamin C providse an antioxidant effect, helps to protect collagen that helps to hold bones, muscles and other body tissues together, and is used to absorb iron and folate which keeps our gums healthy and aids in healing.
  3. Bananas are important for our intake of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is important for healthy cells because bananas help us make nonessential amino acids.  This wonderful fruit also helps produce insulin (for regulating our blood sugar), hemoglobin and antibodies that help in fighting infections.
  4. Have diarrhea?  This fruit is recommended by dietitians and physicians in the BRAT Diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast).  It will help to bulk up the stool so that you get relief from diarrhea.
  5. Bananas provide a lot of potassium, about 420 mg.  As you may know, potassium helps to lower blood pressure, which will help to decrease our risk of stroke.  We gain about 10% of the recommended daily adult requirement of potassium from a medium size banana (about 4,700 mg).
  6. Bananas are a mood booster due to the magnesium in them.  If you are low on this nutrient, you may be more likely to be depressed, anxious or irritable.  Who wants that?  Just a small banana will provide about 27 mg of magnesium.  Men need 420 mg and women 320 mg of magnesium per day.
  7. Bananas may help to influence serotonin levels, however, there is also some information that demonstrates that bananas may also help with sleeplessness because they contain magnesium and potassium.
  8. Have an itch or a bug bite?  The peel of the banana can be rubbed on the area.  This can also be used for psoriasis patches or poison ivy to help to relieve the itch and promote healing.
  9. Did you know that you can eat the banana peel….don’t know if I want to try this one but good to know.  The peel can be boiled for 10 minutes to extract even more fiber, antioxidants and nutrients.  After cleaning the peel then boiling, put it through the juicer or blend it with other fruits and veggies.
  10. And finally, bananas have a healthy amount of Vitamin A, iron and phosphorus.

References:

  1. http://appforhealth.com/2013/05/health-benefits-of-bananas/
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/230722-banana-nutrition-guide/
  3. http://www.medicaldaily.com/health-benefits-bananas-and-their-peels-10-unusual-ways-use-entire-fruit-296454
  4. http://www.lifescript.com/food/articles/0/14_banana_health_benefits_you_might_not_know_about.aspx

Health Benefits of Rosemary

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This very wonderfully smelling herb is from the Mediterranean and is known for its use in flavoring chicken and lamb, as well as bodily fragrances.  Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis (its scientific name) is a fantastic source of iron, vitamin B6 and calcium.

It is usually dried (as pictured above) as a whole herb or a dried powdered extract.  I enjoy it as a tea quite often.  In addition to tea, rosemary leaves, fresh or dried, can also be used to make liquid extracts. At large doses though, the extact may yield toxicity, causing gastrointestinal irritation.

Rosemary is a part of the mint family and has similarities to the herb thyme. Among its ancient health benefits, such as contributing to the decrease in muscle pain, a memory booster, immune and circulatory system promoter, and hair growth stimulater, there are some other great reasons to become acquainted with rosemary.

  • Antioxidant benefits
  • Digestion
  • Brain function improvement
  • May promote eye health
  • Properties that may guard against Type 2 Diabetes
  • Antibacterial, antifungi, antimold, and antiviral properties.
  • Antispasmodic
  • Diaphoretic (fever reducer)
  • Stimulates hair growth and may prevent baldness

Daily dosage:

It has been studied in doses of 4 to 6 g/day for the dried leaves (roughly 2.5-3.5 tablespoons of fresh leaves) and 0.1 to 1 ml for the essental oil. In measurements for cooking and tea, the herb is relatively safe, but as always, consult your healthcare provider before adding anything new to your health regimen.  Take caution in pregnancy and lactation with this herb.  It has been reported that it may have emmenagogue and abortifacient effects. The risks may outweigh the benefits when used in pregnancy and lactation.

References:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370.php

http://www.drugs.com/npp/rosemary.html

http://www.traditionaloven.com/foods/exchange/tbsp/g-gram/rosemary-fresh.html

 

Check out my latest posts on the Home Page for Tumeric, Cinnamon and Thyme.

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Cinnamon, the spicy spice!

So many health benefits from tumeric
So many health benefits from tumeric!

 

 

Thyme is on Our Side
Thyme is on Our Side!