Inexpensive Healthy Food Options

How can I eat Healthy? For many people it’s just not as simple as buying healthier foods. Have you shopped the local co-op lately? The $7 gallon of milk and $15/lb organic meats don’t exactly fit within the budgets for many of us. Fortunately, their are many healthy alternatives available at the grocery store, that are more affordable.

Canned Tuna
Tuna is great for sandwiches, casseroles, salads, or eating on crackers. Tuna provides an inexpensive source for protein.
*Nutrition info:: About 500 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (0.5 gram), 60 calories, and 13 grams of protein.

Whole Wheat Pita Bread
Great for making sandwiches, appetizers, or creating the perfect healthy pizza.
*Nutrition info: One pita contains 140 calories, 4 grams fiber, and 6 grams of protein.

Frozen Vegetables
Frozen veggies can be added to your casserole, stew, or eaten as a side dish.
*Nutrition info: A 1-cup serving of frozen mixed vegetables (classic mix) has 82 calories, 6 grams fiber, 4 grams protein, 115% of the Daily Value for vitamin A, 8% of the Daily Value for vitamin C, and 7% of the Daily Value for potassium.

Bananas
Bananas can be a great addition to a child’s lunch and make a healthy alternative as a snack.
*Nutrition info: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6.

Canned Refried Beans
Refried beans are perfect for burritos and enchiladas. The can also be used to make a tasty dip.
*Nutrition info: About 140 calories (vegetarian), 7 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 4% of the Daily Value for calcium and 10% of the Daily Value for iron.

Carrots
Carrots are excellent for stews or as a side. They also make an excellent snack plain or with dip.
*Nutrition info: Vitamin A, Thiamin, Niacin, folate, Vitamin B6, and other nutrients

Whole Wheat/Multi-Grain Pasta
Great for various pasta dishes as a main course
*Nutrition info: Approximately 200 calories, 7 grams protein, and 6 grams fiber

Kiwi
Excellent for fruit cups or as a snack
*Nutrition info: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Fiber, Phytonutrient and Potassium

Oatmeal
Oatmeal has long been a top choice for a healthy breakfast. Add fruit for flavor and additional nutrients
*Nutrition info: An excellent source of Fiber and Protein

Brown Rice
Rice has many uses, it can be a side item, used in soup, stew, casseroles, or as fried rice
*Nutrition info:170 calories, 2 grams Fiber, and 4 grams Protein

Healthy Habits Every Women Should Follow

A recent study on women’s health shows that moderate exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer. Another study is relating women being overweight with ovarian cancer. The struggle to be in shape that many women face is not just a matter of looking good. Health is at stake, and that is all we need to know start making better choices today.

The benefits of exercising are undeniable. Not only does it burn calories, but it also relieves stress as well as PMS symptoms. More lean muscle and less fat in your body will make you stronger and more energetic. It is a boost for your self-esteem as much as a prevention tool for many conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. Therefore, the first health habit you should adopt is to include 30 minutes of your physical activity of choice at least 3 times a week.

The second habit all women should have is avoiding processed foods and cutting dairy out of their diet completely. The daily consumption of milk and cheese leads to poor digestion and excessive estrogen. Hormonal imbalances affect everything from your skin to your mood. The chemicals found in processed foods worsen these imbalances, causing fatigue, bloating and excessive fat around the belly and tights. Therefore, use alternative products such as almond milk, rice milk and organic products in general.

The third health habit you should start today is drinking herbal teas. You can get great health benefits from a variety of flavors of your choice. For example, Dandelion Root tea is a great liver detox. That means it helps your liver flush out impurities in your body through digestion. Red Raspberry Leaf tea is a known uterus tonic, helping in prevention of uterine conditions such as ovarian cysts and fibroids, and it is safe to drink during pregnancy. Jasmine or Ginger tea are a great aid for digestion. Drinking tea is a great habit because it will keep you hydrated and minimize cravings between meals.

Small changes like these can have a great impact in your life. It is all common sense. Nevertheless, it is not always easy to change bad habits. That is why we should start with three things only. You will feel better within days. Your energy, mood, the quality of your sleep and digestion will speak for themselves. In addition, you will be likely reducing your risks for the most common women’s cancers.

5 Summer Food Options For Runners

Summer is the season for cookouts, Fourth of July picnics, and other outdoor get-togethers. These events usually have certain foods that you know will be served. If you’re a runner, and trying to watch your diet, here are 5 foods that will fill you up without packing on the pounds.

1) Fruit Salad: A party favorite, this one is obviously a runner’s friend. Fruits are loaded with water, which helps keep you hydrated, as well as vitamins and phytochemicals. Most fruits (with the exception of avocado, not often found in fruit salad) are virtually fat free, contain fiber and also some sugar, which will keep your carbohydrate stores topped off. If possible, look for salad with Kiwi, perhaps the most nutritionally dense fruit.

2) Baked Beans: Beans are a nutritional powerhouse, being very high in fiber (10 grams per cup), as well as protein, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A. They are somewhat high in sodium, but runners usually require more sodium than the average American, so as long as you watch your intake from other foods you should be good to go.

3) Corn on the Cob: This summertime favorite has taken a slight beating from the Atkins diet era, but it is a very good choice for runners, who don’t have to worry so much about eating too many carbs. Corn is relatively high in protein for a vegetable, and also contains fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. It’s also sometimes the only vegetable served at picnics, and runners more than anyone need to get the 3 to 5 daily recommended servings.

4) Barbecued Chicken Breast: Don’t worry, I wouldn’t make a list of 5 picnic foods for runners without including at least some barbeque. Chicken, like corn on the cob, has gotten a bad rap in recent years, with warnings that the skin can be very high in fat. But a 3 oz chicken breast with skin only has 7 grams of fat, while containing 25 grams of protein.

5) Angel Food Cake: Typically served with strawberries, Angel food cake is dessert often served in the summer months because it is lighter and not as rich. For a treat, it is unbelievably low in fat and calories overall. If you need a sweet end to the meal, reach for this fluffy favorite.

Picnics can be a nutritional minefield, but with these reliable options, you can keep lean and fit!

Benefits Of The Black Elderberry

The black elderberry which has long been a folk remedy for so many years has many curative properties. These unique berry types go back to prehistorical times in the Stone Age. These berries boost the immune system, thus helping you to fight off colds and flus. They also help heart health, aid in curing sore throats and tonsillitis, bacterial and viral infections. These berries are now being researched once again for the many great health benefits they have.

Elderberries have several natural ingredients within them that make them curative for so many illnesses. This is due to the fact that they contain so many organic pigments such as amono acids, which is an important part of our health. They have Vitamins A, B, and a larger amount of Vitamin C. Vitamin C as I have said many times over the past, really empowers the immune system, which explains what I said at the beginning for elderberries fighting off illnesses. Antivirin is actually a type of protein in elderberries that serves almost as a natural antibiotic.

There were also clinical trials conducted on people that were having various flu-type symptoms in the year of 1992 and 93. People that took the elderberry extract Sambucol showed a marked improvement over those that were only given a placebo.

Other studies that were conducted within that same time period showed improvements in patients with HIV. There was a marked reduction in the viral load from using Sambucol elderberry extract.

I have also read that black elderberry extract has been very effective for helping to prevent H5N1 type of bird flu. The extract not only is effective for that reason, but it also helps to protect your healthy cells more prodcutively.

There are tannins in elderberries along with carotenoids and flavonoids. These compounds contained naturally in elderberries serve as a natural type of a laxative and also a diuretic.

Since the black elderberry has been found to fight off so many free radical types, scientists feel that elderberries help the skin to look younger. This is due to the fact that they protect a person from harmful ultra violet rays from sun.

When you consume elderberries, it is best to mix them in foods. Place them in muffin mixes, or other breads. You can also get creative and put these in a smoothie with vanilla flavored yogurt, or put a few in your wine. You shouldn’t eat them raw. If you do, they can cause effects such as a lot of diarrhea since it tends to have a laxative effect. They can also make you have an upset stomach when eaten raw.

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes

During the late spring and early summer there are a lot of people that will have fresh tomatoes, and a lot of grocery stores will have a surplus of this great fruit. This fruit contains lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A. These three things can be very important for the human diet and health

Lycopene is a substance that is found in this fruit and it is about two to four times more than normally found in other fruits and vegetables. This is something that can help you males out there really prevent prostate cancer. It also helps prevent other types of cancer, so that doesn’t leave the ladies out when it comes to making sure that you stay cancer free. Many people these days are getting cancer, so you may need to pick up a few dozen tomatoes while you’re in the grocery store the next time.

Many people may not know that there is also vitamin C found in tomatoes. Vitamin C is a great vitamin, and this vitamin is a very common type of thing that is used to sometimes treat malnutrition. It is also something that is really great for an antioxidant. Keeping your system fueled with antioxidant will make sure that you’re really healthy. But you need to watch out on your intake of vitamin C, because if you eat too much of this it could cause you diarrhea, which is never a very enjoyable thing to deal with.

Another great thing that is found in this wonderful fruit is vitamin A. Vitamin A is really great to to keep your skin’s health. Having really good skin health means that when you get older that you will more than likely have lesser wrinkles than others. You also will have less pimples or dark spots on your skin. Your skin is something that is really easy to take care of, especially when you’re having an intake of this great fruit. This vitamin also improves your vision which is great, maybe when you have your next visit to the eye doctor, your vision will be better instead of worse, like most patients. They will be surprised when you tell them you know why your eyes got better, you stocked up on eating a wonderful fruit called tomato!

This fruit the tomato has so many ways to keep your health strong and going. I would suggest to stock up on this fruit.

Understanding Calories In Your Food

Unfortunately there is lots of information to be learned about the words diet and exercise. What diet is best for you? What exercise burns calories? What exercise builds muscle? All of these questions are important to ask when starting a diet and exercise program and your doctor is the first place you should start. However, what is going to be covered in this article is how knowing exactly what is in your food can be key in changing your eating habits.

There are programs out there that give points or values to the food you eat and you are allowed so many a day. But, knowing what determines a certain food’s value could help you make healthier choices at crunch time. Most fast food restaurants offer their values online if you want to know exactly what your hamburger is made out of. There are also other resources online like www.myfitnesspal.com that let you look up anything from a PB&J to sushi and will give you a breakdown of not just the calories in the food, but what percentage of your daily allowance of fats, sodium, sugars, cholesterol etc. it contains.

Why would this be beneficial? You know that you love the way your afternoon Latte Mocha Smoothie Supreme tastes, but if you are trying to keep your calories under a certain number and you realize that you have used half of your daily calories on this drink, not to mention it sent you over your sugar amount for the day, you might be less likely to drink it every day and more likely to pick up a bottle of water instead. If you consume more fat, sugar, or protein than you body can burn in a day it gets stored as fat. So, when your afternoon pick me up contains more sugar than you are supposed to have in a day, and that is just a drink, it starts to make sense why the pounds have not been falling off.

Some of these online programs allow you to enter your daily desired calorie intake. Then you can put in what you eat daily and it tells you how close you came or if you went over your allowed amount in each category.

Having the knowledge of what is in the food you eat can lead to more healthy and fulfilling choices. Often food that we get fast contains lots of calories, fat and sugar but leaves us hungry soon after. If you are dieting and know you can eat something healthier that will keep you full longer and you will still have calories left over for later you may be more likely to succeed in your weight loss goals. So start learning and start losing!

Herbs To Grow In Your Garden

Herbs are a delicious, low-calorie and healthful way to add zip and flavor to your meals. They can bring ordinary meats and salads to a gourmet level, and provide unique and new tastes for your diners. Growing herbs is easy to do, and can provide you with all you can eat very inexpensively. Everyone has different tastes and may list other must-haves, but here is my list of the top 5 Cannot-Do-Without herbs to grow for cooking.

Chives

Chives are a mildly onion flavored herb. The plant looks a bit like long thick grass of a deep green and has pale purple, pink or white blossoms that are also edible. Chives are an every day herb in my kitchen and they really enhance the taste of potatoes and eggs. They’re wonderful in dip, and are a nice addition to salads. Pretty much any dish that would taste good with onion, but wouldn’t stand up to the tang of a raw onion can be improved by chives. Another benefit of this plant is the fact that it’s one of the first herbs up in the spring, and is a hardy perennial.

Basil

Basil is a classic Italian flavor that is indispensable in marinara sauces, and is also the base of pesto sauce. I like to grow basil because the prolific plant is easily store for the winter, by preparing and freezing servings of pesto sauce. Freezing pesto sauce allows the summer to come back again, even in January, because the green bright taste of the basil really holds up well. Basil is an annual that thrives in hot temperatures and grows very large and bushy in one season. It can be dug up and kept in the house if desired.

Cilantro

When I serve salsas, quesadillas, and nachos cilantro is always put to work in my kitchen. The bright lemon-y tang of cilantro is a complement to the sweet tomatoes and biting onions that are used in Mexican cooking. Cilantro is also a hot weather loving herb, and it will not stand up well to any very low temperatures or frosts.

Mint

Peppermint is my favorite mint flavor, but there are many varieties of mint, all with their own taste. Mint is great in ice cream, steeped in tea, and muddled for a mint julep. Mint leaves are also good for digestion, one reason they are often used to garnish desserts. Mint is an invasive plant that will never go away once it’s got a hold in the garden. For this reason, it’s best to plant mint in a large pot, where it can’t get away, or in a secluded place where nothing else needs to grow.

Stevia

Stevia is a naturally super-sweet herb that is very low in calories. It’s gaining in popularity, and is pretty useful when making smoothies and teas. It adds a lot of sweet flavor and eliminates the need for extra calories from sweetening with sugar or honey. Stevia is a semi-tropical plant, and should be treated as an annual in any climate that experiences cold winter temperatures.

These may not be the old stand-by Scarborough Fair herbs, but they are my favorite culinary herbs to grow for myself.