The Best Way to Consume Vegetables

Roasting the vegetables in the oven has been considered a great way to offer vegetables during dinner while adding flavor in order to make the experience more enjoyable with a touch of olive oil, salt, as well as pepper. With caramelized root vegetables, roasted cauliflowers, as well as delicious roasted brussels sprouts, the opportunities are endless to making a vegetable taste delicious with the much needed nutritional value. Though the option for roasting the vegetables seems like the better alternative, research does show controversial studies that show that much of the nutritional value of the vegetables are often lost when the vegetable is roasted.


Despite the vegetables being roasted, the vegetables are not only bursting with flavor, but are also full of fiber and low in calories with countless minerals to also consume. Roasting is a great option to get individuals to truly eat their vegetables and to make it combine a delicious taste with nutrition. As the biggest battle among children is getting people to eat their fruits and vegetables, this has become the best option in allowing for children to get their daily dosage of important parts of the food groups. Roasting vegetables has even been proven to improve the way the body absorbs the nutrition.


Though the roasting of the vegetables does take away a lot of nutrition such as vitamin B and C, this option can also provide many cardiovascular benefits to the body. Vegetables that are roasted such as carrots have been scientifically proven to have much more antioxidants that improve the body. The best option to eating vegetables is to create various cooking methods. For vegetables that are less enjoyable, the roasting option may be the better option. However, if one prefers one vegetable, try eating that vegetable raw to absorb all of the nutrients.


For roasting vegetables and to have the most benefits for the body, a few recommendations include going easy on the olive oil which is high in calories and fat. In addition to this, keep the olive oil at a reasonable temperature and keep it well below the point that the olive oil burns. Olive oil that is burning breaks down the nutritional value of the olive oil and makes the overall dish less healthy.


Tips to Improve the Back

For individuals who live hectic and on the go lives that always put sleep on the back burner when it comes to other important matters to take into account such as the job or even a child, there are new ways to sleep that will improve the overall quality of the sleep cycle. As individuals spend one third of their lives sleeping, it is important to make sure that the one third of time that is spent doing this activity is done so with quality rather than with quantity. A good night of sleep is healthy for the mind as well as for the body.


Proper sleep is important for those who wish to live a healthy and productive lifestyle with a good mood attracting friends and fellow friendly individuals. In recent news, new postures have been recommended more for sleeping without any of the normal back or neck pain that is associated with certain sleeping positions. With statistics that show that 80 percent of the population experiences back pain at some point, it has become the mission of scientists to prevent this unhealthy side effect. One example to improve the overall sleep cycle as well as the position of the body is to sleep on the back. This will prevent any unnatural positions from hurting the body while sleeping.


Though scientists have proven that those who sleep on their back also snore more while in this position. It can be seen as a give and take situation. On one hand, the body is in a better position while on the other hand, the body produces more noise while in the position. As the best position is to sleep on the back or on the side, scientists have also released a chart with the bad sleeping positions to be in.


Some of these sleeping positions have been stated to be unhealthy as many of the individuals that remain in this position have complained about a bad back. Some of these positions include sleeping in a fetal position due to the fact that the back curves too much and sleeping on the stomach. Sleeping on the stomach puts too much pressure on the joints and on the muscles and leads to the body aching in the morning.


Is Too Much Salt Bad?

One seasoning in particular can have a love and hate relationship with the body by not only providing nutrients that are necessary in the body, but also for creating several health issues within the body which can lead to pain as well as endless hospital bills. This seasons is salt, an necessary item to add flavor to a savory dish. Though salt is considered to be necessary within the body, too much of this season can have harmful side effects when consuming too much. These side effects can range from overall discomfort with extreme cramps to even severe dehydration in the body.


The intake of salt, though beneficial to the body, should be limited especially among young children. Though adding salt to a child’s diet is considered to be safe, it is only recommended to add the salt in small dosages to prevent severe health issues from occurring. Overall, children should intake salt on a daily basis, but should limit their salt intake between 1,500 milligrams to 2,300 milligrams. This means that while growing up, processed food and restaurant food should be limited as the food makes up for 77 percent of the sodium that is included within the diet of an American.


The amount of sodium that a child intakes can be easily regulated and limited by either limiting the amount of added salt with a home-cooked meal or reading the nutrition labels on any other bought item. As it is understood, salt makes a meal more palatable in many cuisine cultures over the world. Though this is true, it is also obvious that too much salt has already been proven to have unwanted side effects. If consuming too much salt, this should be balanced out with water intake as it can eliminate the side effects of too much sodium in the body.


Salt has always been delicious on some of the most delicious foods such as spaghetti, hamburgers, along with vegetables that need a little bit of flavor added to them. It is important to teach the child that an excess of anything leads to an unhealthy lifestyle which can easily be prevented at an early age. Though salt is delicious, too much of it can also be considered deadly to the body.


Children with Heart Risk

Though it is common information that a poor diet that is high in calories and low in nutrition is something that will lead to health conditions, it is not common knowledge that a poor diet and a high calorie meal will lead to many heart risks for children who lack any type of nutrition in their diet. For children, scientists have created seven factors that determine whether or not the cardiovascular system in a child is ideal. These factors include that presence of tobacco products, getting 60 minutes of exercise each day, maintaining a healthy weight, as well as eating a healthy and balanced diet. If one of these factors is not true for a child, they may be at risk of heart health.


It has been scientifically proven through many tests that children who are exposed to an active lifestyle in addition to a healthy lifestyle have more benefits for the future of their body as well as their brain. For those that get poor nutrition between the ages of 2 and 19, the bulk of the diet comes from sugar and carbohydrates. This combined with the lack of physical activity is enough to put children in the dangerous position of becoming obese as they get older.


A proactive lifestyle for children is the only way to improve the body and the mind and to prevent any associated health risks that coincide with high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol. For children that remain active for at least 60 minutes in the day and for children that eat a balanced diet that consists of vegetables and natural sugars, there are many more health benefits that are experienced in the future. Obesity is not only avoided, but also heart issues are also avoided for individuals that make a point to be and remain active throughout their life.


Strategies for promoting a healthy lifestyle for the child should start at birth rather than paying for it later through long hours in the hospital that is followed by medical bills that consume the annual income of the individual. Processed sugars and carbohydrates, though necessary for anyone should be limited in any diet for only once a day rather than making up a bulk of the overall diet.


Are Canned Greens Really Healthy

A recent article published by the Huffington Post discussed the health differences between fresh leafy greens and canned greens. For the last decade or so, Americans have been increasingly exposed to alternative dietary recommendations in an attempt to hinder the progression of the cancers and heart disease that have plagued the west for the last hundred years. More and more, Americans are finding that the addition of dark, leafy greens to their daily diets can vastly increase life spans by limiting the number of free radicals present in the body, effectively cleansing the liver, kidneys, blood, and intestines, and providing beneficial vitamins and minerals that are not found in processed American foods.


Although the benefits of the daily inclusion of dark, leafy greens has been declared to be beneficial by most major health outlets, a debate as to whether or not canned greens should been included in this beneficial category has been ongoing. The general consensus among the health concerned is that canned vegetables do not provide the necessary vitamin and nutrient content to compare with the benefits provided by the consumption of fresh leafy greens. The canning process that most large distribution companies use when developing canned vegetables does much to harm the nutrient levels in the vegetables.


Canned vegetables are often over cooked, a process which virtually destroys the bio-available nutrients in the greens. They are also packed with preservatives to help super markets to keep the product on shelves for extended periods of time in an effort to attain the maximum profitability. Additionally, canned vegetables can contain a level of mildew that is unnoticeable to the human eye and is, therefore, easily ingested by the average consumer. The Huffington Post article on the subject mentioned that the FDA does not classify mildew present in some canned vegetables as entirely harmful to the population, but the average consumer would probably disagree and desire not to ingest food that has any percentage of mildew present. The Huffington Post also mentions that canned greens like spinach contained larvae or larvae fragments from spinach worms that were harvested with the greens. Again the problem is undetected by the human eye because of the extensive preparation by the manufacturer. All in all, health enthusiasts are in agreement that greens are best when they are fresh.

Spring Into Summer Flavors

When summer begins to roll around, thoughts turn to fresh vegetables and clean, bright flavors. It is also a great time to take advantage of the many things just now coming into season. Right now, so many farmers’ markets are just beginning to open up, and the first bounty of summer is starting to become available.


There are lots of ways to take advantage of the early harvest. Fresh salads are often a hit this time of year. You can really get some special, tender treats in the form of early-season greens like arugula and spinach. Butter lettuce is especially tender this time of year. Very soon, the first tomatoes will start to ripen, unless you are lucky enough to have farmers with a hothouse, then you should see them coming off the vine already.


Toss some of these with some early, tender cucumber or a few spring radishes. Add your favorite light vinaigrette, and really enjoy the finest flavors of the season in their most natural form.


Another advantage of the season that helps you rebuild that summer figure is easy access to the grill. Grilling meats and vegetables is one of the healthiest ways to take advantage of their full flavor. Toss some of the new asparagus out right now with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and put them in a metal basket or right on your grill.


There are also a huge number of fish species coming back into harvestable season. Take a look at your market for great deals. Or just go ahead and ask your fishmonger. You do have a fishmonger, right?


Take your favorite thick fillet of meaty white fish, brush it with olive oil, and season it with salt, pepper, tarragon, and a little lemon zest. For some, you can put it right on a searing-hot grill for just a few minutes on either side. For those who are less daring, use a piece of aluminum foil as a dish on your grill to protect your fish.


One of the most beautiful things about summer bounty are also the colors. Take a look at this awesome recipe for vegetable spring rolls using lovely, swirled cane beets. Serve it with their awesome peanut sauce, and you’ll have a special summer treat.


Trader Joe’s Items that Make Healthy Cooking Easier

Trader Joe’s is well-known for its friendly customer service and mouth-watering healthy snacks. So, it’s no surprise that Trader Joe’s offers products that will make cooking your favorite meals more convenient.


The editors at Huffington Post picked their favorite products from Trader Joe’s that are kitchen time-savers. Here are a few that you may want to try.


Cubed Crushed Garlic


This garlic has already been crushed and peeled, and it’s frozen into single cubes that you can pop out and use in your recipes. These are great for chicken and fish dishes and vegetable entrees. Since the garlic is frozen, you won’t have to worry about it going bad.


Cubed Butternut Squash


The skin of squash is tough and hard to peel, which may be a reason why you rarely buy squash. However, Trade Joe’s cubed squash are ready for roasting and cooking, which can save you a considerable amount of meal-prep time.


Riced Cauliflower


Cauliflower rice is pretty popular these days, but actually grating the vegetable yourself can be a chore. Trader Joe’s offers riced cauliflower so you’ll be more motivated to stick to your low-carb diet.


Frozen Cooked Brown Rice


Rice takes a long time to cook, and it can be tricky to get the rice consistency. And brown rice takes even longer than white rice. Trader Joe’s provides pre-cooked frozen rice, so you can microwave the amount you want and it will be ready in minutes.


Ginger Paste


When you want to cook with fresh ginger, you have to peel the rough skin and then grate the ginger. But you can eliminate these steps with ginger paste. Squirt a few drops in your stir-fry or homemade sauce and you’ve cut your cooking time down by a few minutes.



Trader Joe’s is one of the best places to shop if you want to make quick, healthy weeknight meals that will help you maintain your health or weight loss goals. The pre-cut food items also make it easier to plan meals and to create lunches and dinners with ingredients that you may not have thought to use before.


Beneful: A Rocky but Fruitful Evolution in Dog Food

A dog looking up to you is more than just a simple gesture because (to the dog) you are a caretaker and protector. There is an immeasurable amount of trust that a pet gives to his or her owner. It is a role that you–as a pet owner–take very seriously, so it is only befitting that the dog food company you buy your food from does the same.

Beneful Steps up to Please Dogs and Dog Owners

An article in Huffington Post spoke about Beneful and the lawsuit that was brought on them–on behalf of some dog owners. The lawsuit was concerning some of the ingredients in Beneful, like artificial colors, propylene glycol, and mycotoxins. The dog owners believed that these ingredients might be harmful.

The people at Beneful defended themselves, but did so without disregarding their customer’s concerns. The customers, who are suing Beneful, have found no evidence that these ingredients–that are FDA approved–have caused any harm to their pets. Beneful used these ingredients because they believed they were safe.

For example, mycotoxins are actually found in most crops grown in the United States and around the world. The animals that were used for the pet food consume crops in one way or another, which is how the ingredient gets into the dog food. But the amount has been deemed safe by both the FDA and the European Union.

Still, Beneful has been tinkering with their formula–and this was before the lawsuit–to include more natural ingredients. This has been a focus for the company because surveys have shown how important natural ingredients are becoming to consumers. One of the lines that Beneful is introducing is the Original’s line, which is going to have real chicken, beef, and salmon. The use of real animals as a main ingredient is relatively revolutionary when compared to other popular commercial pet foods. Beneful has also vowed to remove ingredients like processed sugars and propylene glycol.

What the people behind Beneful want their customers to know is that their concerns are important to them. Beneful is ready to evolve with the times and satisfy their customers requests while keeping their dog’s health in focus.

New Superfoods for 2017

Is it just us or is kale getting a little…stale? Not that we want to give it up entirely, but we do want to mix it up from time to time. Well, luckily it looks like the new year is going to bring some popular new superfoods with it, and we can’t wait to “get our health on” with these three tasty treats.



Chaga Mushrooms


This mushroom, that typically grows on North American birch trees, has been dubbed the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms.” It’s hard to disagree-chaga mushrooms have a unique flavor (well-suited to mix with black or herbal teas), and a ton of health benefits, including hypertension relief an immune system boost. Pre-packaged teas are still rather expensive, but you can find dried chaga mushrooms cheaper in bulk.



Nut Oils


By now, you’re probably well aware of the various kinds of nut butter, but cold-pressed nut oils are set to become a new superfood trend. Depending on the oil you choose, the nutrients may vary slightly, but nearly all provide much needed Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and they’re unsaturated fats, to boot. The varieties seem endless: cashews, almonds, hazlenuts–they all produce flavorful oils that work great in salad dressings, drizzled on roasted vegetables, and countless other ways.



Watermelon Seeds


Forget the childhood myths you might have heard about watermelon seeds being bad for you; the opposite is true. Although seedless watermelons are easier to eat, it turns out that the white and black seeds provide an excellent source of amino acids, healthy fats, and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron. Look for these seeds in health-food bars and smoothies, because we’re expecting it to become a popular alternative to the now-ubiquitous chia seed.




Nutrition Experts Reflect On the New Guidelines

US Department of Health and Human Services in tasked with offering nutrition advice and guidelines to millions of Americans. The organization must update these guidelines after every five years. In a recent attempt, a committee of top nutrition experts added eggs, coffee and many others as good foods and removed some.


Critics for once have agreed that the committee, which is tasked with advising the government on nutrition, came up with a brutally honest and straightforward finding based on good research. According to the experts, the committee’s shift from focusing on nutrients to focusing on foods is a good move because a good combination of the recommended foods is just enough as the nutrients will sort themselves out. They say that focusing more on nutrients only gives birth to bad eating habits.


Another recommendation by the committee that caught the eye of many is that cholesterol is no longer a concern in food overconsumption. The committee says that there is no correlation between dietary cholesterol and the cholesterol levels in the blood. Experts agree that there is no big deal with the cholesterol report. As long people are willing to follow the instructions laid out in the report, they will be taking in less cholesterol.


For the first time, the committee put into consideration the effects of diet on the environment, which is much to the delight of environmentalists. The committee encouraged people to eat less red meat and adopt a plant-based diet. Experts applauded the recommendation saying that it is time people started acknowledging the linkage between humanity and nature. People are also advised against taking processed sugar. Sugary products should not comprise more that 10% of a person’s daily intake of calories. Apparently, the recommendations echo what the World Health Organization has been preaching for many years.


The research on the link between foods and mental health also emerged in the report, and many nutrition experts are proud of it. According to the report, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are good source of complementary therapy for depression. The committee also recommended a diet full of vegetables and fruits since it lowers the risks for Alzheimer’s disease. Though the committee didn’t formulate policies on foods and mental health citing less research, experts are happy that it captured it in the report.