Category Archives: Food Tips

Healthy Bones Brought to You by Yogurt

Recent research is leading health professionals to proclaim that yogurt may be good for your bones. Dairy has been linked to bone health for decades, but the research is uncovering that the best source of dairy for bone health is actually yogurt. Yogurt eaters have even been reported to perform better when given physical fitness tests.

Eamon J. Laird, a researcher at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, spoke with The New York Times about the apparent benefits of yogurt. Yogurt is a great source of Vitamin D, calcium, B vitamins, proteins, and probiotics.

In Ireland, lead author Laird and colleagues, tracked the diet of 4,130 Irish adults 60 and older. The team used advanced technology like X-rays and M.R.I. to examine each individuals physical abilities and bone health. It was determined that daily yogurt consumption increased bone mineral density by 3 to 4 percent.

Yogurt consumption drastically reduced the risk of osteoporosis in men with a 52% decrease. Yogurt consumption also significantly decreased the risk of osteoporosis in women with a 39% decrease. Both of these findings were based on the requirement that the individual was consuming yogurt as a part of their daily diet.

Lairds research was observational so a direct correlation between yogurt consumption and increased health cannot be declared. However, a strong association exists between the two, suggesting that yogurt consumption is beneficial for physical health.

An important detail to note is that in Laird’s research, other dairy products did not produce the same effects as yogurt. Given the complexity of the nutrients yogurt has to offer, individuals may be benefiting more from this particular dairy product because they are receiving so many nutrients in one compact dish.

Health professionals, like Laird, also note that it is important to pay attention to sugar content in your favorite yogurt. Many yogurts are quite high in sugar, so if you are consuming this food to reap its health benefits then you’ll want to avoid yogurt with high sugar content.

 

Celebrating Memorial Day Safely This Year

Memorial Day marks the first hurrah of summer, and many Americans celebrate with an old-fashioned picnic. There are several precautions to take when traveling with food, states an article from LiveScience.com. That is why the Huffington Post published an article this week to outline the ways we can keep our picnic foods safe for our families.

 

It is always recommended for picnic enthusiasts to keep their cold foods in a cooler with ice. This includes hamburgers, hotdogs, and any other meats. Foods with eggs or mayonnaise (i.e. salad dressings, potato salad) should also stay chilled. Providing an environment like a refrigerator keeps them safely below 40 degrees. The fewer people who open the cooler, the colder it will stay. It is a good idea to keep cold drinks in a separate cooler.

 

Picnickers should also bring a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of grilled meats is 140 degrees or more. Temperatures can drop if they are left out of the heat, so it is recommended to keep meat on the top grill rack to keep it hot until it is served.

 

If cold foods get above 40 degrees or hot foods drop below 140 degrees, there is a good chance that dangerous bacteria can form. Even a couple hours in this situation makes the food unsafe to eat. It should be trashed as soon as possible. As the weather warms up, food can go into the unsafe range even quicker. Just an hour in 90-degree heat can ruin the food.

 

The safety rules for the kitchen should also be applied to eating outdoors. An article from startcooking.com states that cooks should wash their hands before cooking, and after they have touched any raw meats. There is not always access to soap and water at a picnic site, so people should bring a jug of water and some hand soap so everyone can wash their hands before eating. If that is not possible, a bottle of hand sanitizer is better than nothing.

 

Cross-contamination is another way that harmful foodborne bacteria can be spread. All meats should be in their own separate bag, so there are no chances of them leaking on other foods in the cooler. Anything that has touched raw meat should not be used for another purpose (i.e. plates, grill utensils).

 

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control say that approximately 48 million Americans get food poisoning any given year. For some, it is enough to send them to the hospital. As many as 3,000 people actually die from food poisoning, says the source. Practicing good hygiene will keep everyone safe and happy this holiday.

 

Eat Your Way to Glowing Skin and Better Health With Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

What do glowing skin, sharp vision, and good health all have in common? One power-packed antioxidant known as vitamin A. This essential nutrient cuts down on inflammation while strengthening your immune system Also known as beta carotene, it allows your body to function at its best.

 

Vitamin A is the most potent when consumed in its natural state and is found in the highest concentrations in carrots and sweet potatoes. While they taste good on their own, you can only eat so much of the same thing before it gets monotonous.

 

Luckily, there are many carrot and sweet potato recipes that can keep your taste buds interested while providing you with hardcore nutrition. Here are just a few ideas.

 

Sweet Potatoes

 

Most of us love to incorporate toast into brunches or as appetizers but may want to opt for a gluten free option. This is where sweet potatoes come to the rescue. Instead of bread, replace it with a sweet potato.

 

It is relatively easy to do. Cut up two sweet potatoes into half inch sections, drizzle with some oil and salt, and bake them in the oven for fifteen minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, throw on some toppings, and enjoy the savory snacks. If you are unsure what to top them with, check out these recipes.

 

Carrots

 

These delicious vegetables are often overlooked, overcooked, and poorly seasoned making them the less popular choice of the two. When done right carrots become the superstars of the dinner plate.

 

Instead of boiling carrots slices, try steaming the whole vegetable. This method locks in more flavor and nutrients. Top it with a vinaigrette like in this recipe to create a savory side.

 

Using a vegetable peeler, you can slice the carrot into thin strips. Jazz it up with feta cheese and lime, and this can become a focal point in your meal replacing the everyday salad.

 

Let yourself get creative and experiment with these vegetables. You will find the possibilities are endless. Aromatic and versatile, carrots and sweet potatoes are a flavorful way to get your daily dose of vitamin A.

 

Stop That Brain Freeze

Most people have experienced what’s known as brain freeze when eating or drinking something extremely cold such as ice cream. It’s also called an ice cream headache, which causes a sudden, stabbing pain in the forehead. This phenomenon occurs when a very cold substance touches the roof of the mouth, which causes the blood vessels in the palate to constrict quickly. The arteries in the back of the throat respond by dilating and contracting and that sends a signal to the brain to move warm blood quickly inside the tissues because it’s imperative that the brain stays warm. This sudden blood flow could raise the pressure in the skull thus causing the headache to occur. It doesn’t make a difference if it’s warm or cold outside. It has to do with the sudden cooling in the mouth.

 

There are ways to prevent brain freeze from happening, and there are others that can alleviate the headache once it occurs. The first thing to remember is to try not to eat or drink something that’s extremely cold too quickly. Instead of gulping down that iced tea, take a sip to begin with. Don’t dive right into the ice cream cone, but take a small lick at first. As the palate adjusts and gets used to the cold sensation, bigger bites of the ice cream and sips of the cold drink can be taken.

 

If the advice above hasn’t been heeded, and a brain freeze does occur, a few things can be done to make it go away. One thing to try is to push the tongue against the roof of the mouth and hold it there until the palate warms up. Taking a sip of something warm can also sufficiently warm the mouth so that the headache subsides. Another trick is to cover the nose and mouth with the hand and breathe into them to warm up the air that’s going back into the mouth. Along that same line, it’s possible to find relief by breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose.

 

Fruit Juice May Not Cause Obesity, But Should Still Be Moderated

A recent analysis claims that fruit juice, long thought to be a factor in the rise of childhood obesity, is not associated with weight gain in children when consumed in moderation (6-8 ounces per day). To many parents, this may seem like an endorsement of fruit juice. But the study leaves out a few components of the juice debate.

 

First, it controls for total calorie consumption, meaning there is no way of knowing whether consuming the juice typically leads to higher energy intake overall. It also fails to address how juice can contribute to long-term health problems beyond obesity. For instance, a 2013 Stanford study found a strong correlation between sugar and diabetes, independent of weight.

 

Furthermore, the study’s lead researcher talks about parts of the study that remain behind a paywall, including the finding that prolonged exposure to daily juice was associated with an increased risk in obesity. In other words, if a child was known to drink 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice on an everyday basis, weight gain was greater than in a child who drank juice more sporadically. Perhaps drinking juice every day is associated with drinking a greater amount overall. This suggests at least that juice should be approached more like a treat than an essential part of the diet.

 

It’s also important to remember that this study, like most studies on food consumption, is observational. This typically means that data on calorie consumption is self-reported and increasingly, self-reported dietary data is considered unreliable. It is also a meta-analysis, or a compilation of studies rather than one study with a singular objective. This could indicate varying methods of research and different control variables across subjects. As unreliable as observational studies can be, they are accepted in nutrition science because the alternative (clinical trials) is often unethical.

 

Though it is flawed, the study is not necessarily bad science or irrelevant. But it should be viewed in context with other evidence. For parents, the study is helpful if it reassures them that a glass of juice now and then won’t harm their children.

 

Foods With The Most Sodium May Surprise You

You are probably well aware of the fact that most people eat too much sodium. When many people think of salty foods, they think of things like pretzels and chips. However, these foods did not even make the list of saltiest foods. The top five salty foods are bread, pizza, sandwiches, cured meats and soup.

 

Zerleen Quader was the lead researcher in the study that analyzed the most sodium-rich foods. She also works for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has stated that one of the keys to reducing sodium intake is to find out which foods have the most sodium.

 

Many people think that sodium is all bad. However, it is actually an essential mineral. However, when you get too much of it, you increase your risk of high blood pressure. This in turn will increase your risk of stroke and heart attack. Table salt is made up of about 40 percent sodium. One teaspoon has about 2,300 mg of sodium. This is the maximum amount of sodium that professionals recommend per day.

 

According to a report released by the CDC, the average American is getting 3,500 mg of sodium. It is important to note that most salt does not come from the salt shaker. It comes from eating processed food. Many foods, such as bread, only have a moderate amount of sodium. However, the problem is that many people eat these foods all day long.

 

You are not going to drastically increase your sodium intake if you eat one slice per day. However, if you eat several slices per day, then you will be consuming a lot of extra sodium. You can reduce your sodium intake by paying attention to the food labels. You can add flavor to your food by using herbs instead of salt. You can request meals that are lower in sodium when you are eating out.

 

St. Louis Restaurant Boasts 27 Varieties of Ranch Dressing and Three Hour Wait Times

Twisted Ranch is a St. Louis eatery whose house specialties all feature ranch dressing in one form or another, including Bloody Marys and burgers seasoned with ranch. While the restaurant opened its doors in July of 2015, interest in the chain exploded after a recent video on BuzzFeed derided its culinary offerings as nothing more than saturating food with ranch dressing. The viewership of said Buzzfeed video exceeded 20 million clicks and drew an interest in the venue that greatly exceeded its “cramped and harried” interior.

 

Despite the locale’s small interior, it has fed weekend customers who have been more than satisfied after a three hour wait until such a point that it ran out of its supply of ranch. The initial surge in customers on Friday was so rampant that Twisted Ranch was forced to close early after running out of food. Notably, one customer shared her story with a local news affiliate, remarking that she had come all the way from Indiana and had decided to see it for herself after learning of the eatery through the Buzzfeed video.

 

The massive popularity spike has resulted in additional chaos in the kitchen: their entire ranch supply is made from scratch and the maximum occupancy is equivalent to a single dining room. Even weeknight attendance of Twisted Ranch sees regular waiting times as long as 90 minutes, leaving people to perambulate around the local area. As a countermeasure to the massive hordes of curiosity-seekers, Twisted Ranch has begun closing in the middle of the afternoon in order to ready the staff for dinner crowd. The site’s owners, who have decided to bet their livelihood on a restaurant focused on a salad dressing, have taken the popularity swell in stride. They have commented to their local news affiliate that they have expedited their quest into expanding into a second location.

 

The site’s website cautions customers to call ahead to gauge wait times and availability. While it is completely closed on Mondays and operates on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and its remaining days feature split lunch and dinner service.

 

Add Green Tea to Your Daily Diet and Obtain Tremendous Benefits

Natural teas of all sorts have been a popular beverage for thousands of years around the world. All teas, including black, green, white or oolong, are considered super food, and green tea is the leader of the group. All varieties come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis, but the method they are processed makes all the difference in the levels of flavonoids and nutrients contained in them. The oolong and black tea leaves involve a process of crushing and fermentation, while green tea leaves are simply withered and steamed, so they retain more nutrients.

 

Today, tea is the beverage most consumed around the world, second only to water. Worldwide data reports that 80 percent drinks the black tea and 20 percent green tea.

 

Research shows that natural teas have 8 to 10 times more polyphenol than vegetables or fruits, and green tea is at the top of the list. It contains anti-oxidants, which in proper numbers supply the immune system to prevent harmful chemical reactions, infections, and diseases in the body. The immune system is like the engine that keeps the body revved up and functioning in perfect order.

 

Green tea originates in China and India and has been consumed in these countries for over 4,000 years. Americans are drinking more green tea than ever both for its delightful taste served either hot or iced and for the incredible benefits that are being revealed.

 

Here are the main benefits for those who drink five cups of tea a day.

 

1) Aids in digestion and stomach problems

2) Maintains and regulates blood pressure.

3) Improves heart condition and mental health.

4) Helps maintaining body weight and regulates the temperature of the body

5) Heals wounds

6) Manages liver disorder and promotes regular function

7) Promottes positive results in diabetic patients

 

This is a phenomenal outcome and is published by the Journal of American Medical Association in 2006. It was also revealed that green tea was been linked to reducing the death rate and proved to have significant effects on tension and stress. Try adding natural green tea to your diet to receive amazing health benefits.

 

Add Green Tea to Your Daily Diet and Obtain Tremendous Benefits

Natural teas of all sorts have been a popular beverage for thousands of years around the world. All teas, including black, green, white or oolong, are considered super food, and green tea is the leader of the group. All varieties come from the same plant, the Camellia Sinensis, but the method they are processed makes all the difference in the levels of flavonoids and nutrients contained in them. The oolong and black tea leaves involve a process of crushing and fermentation, while green tea leaves are simply withered and steamed, so they retain more nutrients.

 

Today, tea is the beverage most consumed around the world, second only to water. Worldwide data reports that 80 percent drinks the black tea and 20 percent green tea.

 

Research shows that natural teas have 8 to 10 times more polyphenol than vegetables or fruits, and green tea is at the top of the list. It contains anti-oxidants, which in proper numbers supply the immune system to prevent harmful chemical reactions, infections, and diseases in the body. The immune system is like the engine that keeps the body revved up and functioning in perfect order.

 

Green tea originates in China and India and has been consumed in these countries for over 4,000 years. Americans are drinking more green tea than ever both for its delightful taste served either hot or iced and for the incredible benefits that are being revealed.

 

Here are the main benefits for those who drink five cups of tea a day.

 

1) Aids in digestion and stomach problems

2) Maintains and regulates blood pressure.

3) Improves heart condition and mental health.

4) Helps maintaining body weight and regulates the temperature of the body

5) Heals wounds

6) Manages liver disorder and promotes regular function

7) Promotes positive results in diabetic patients

 

This is a phenomenal outcome and is published by the Journal of American Medical Association in 2006. It was also revealed that green tea was been linked to reducing the death rate and proved to have significant effects on tension and stress. Try adding natural green tea to your diet to receive amazing health benefits.

Reasons You Should Consume More Prebiotics

Prebiotics are found in foods like artichokes and garlic. They are types of fiber that are found in many foods. They have a number of benefits.

 

Improved Sleep

 

Studies have shown that people who include more prebiotics in their diet have an easier time sleeping.

 

Improved Brain Health

 

Proper nutrition and sleep are two of the things that are essential for a healthy brain. Because prebiotics help improve sleep, they can also improve brain health.

 

Decreased Stress

 

Prebiotics can lessen the effects that stress has on the body. Studies have shown that people who get an adequate amount of sleep are less likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Reduce the Risk of Cancer

 

Prebiotics can prevent cancerous cells from growing in the colon. It modifies the activity of the bacteria in the colon.

 

Increase Absorption of Calcium

 

Prebiotics can increase calcium absorption in children who are going through puberty. They have also been shown to have the same effect in adults who are over the age of 27. There will be more studies conducted in order to see how prebiotics affect calcium absorption in other age groups.

 

Increase Satiety

 

If you are trying to curb your appetite, then you will definitely benefit from eating more prebiotics. Studies have shown that prebiotics can increase satiety and promote weight loss.

 

Not only are prebiotics good for you, but they are also delicious. Whole grains, raw garlic, onions, dandelion greens and artichokes are some of the foods that are high in prebiotics.