Strawberries The Heart-shaped fruit

Strawberries are a nice addition to any lunch as a snack. Their claim to fame is being high in Vitamin C.

Hello there! Glad you found me. If you have, then let me fill you in.

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If you have not followed me then here is the scoop. Last year I decided to make a change. A life change that directly impacted my health.

I decided to change for the better by eating healthier and getting into better physical condition. So far so good and I am excited! Excited that I made up my mind to eat healthier and take care of my well being.

Why?

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Well, to feel better, live longer, and enjoy the rest of this life I have been gifted with. If you feel the same way then you definitely know the feeling.

In this process, I have accepted a better eating plan and fitness regimen that encourages healthy eating, increased energy, and improved stamina. My eating plan includes lean meats, potent vegetables, and tasty fruits. The posts I share are about my journey with better eating. In them, I highlight a few of the foods I have included in my daily eating plan.

In this posts, I share how including strawberries in your diet help to fight against cardiovascular disease and encourage good blood flow.

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Strawberries are a nice addition to any lunch as a snack. Their claim to fame is being high in Vitamin C. You would not think of it as compared to an orange but strawberries are a worthy proponent of being high in Vitamin C., In fact, eating about a serving of strawberries (about 8) provides more Vitamin C than what an orange provides. This is good to know as this offers a bit of variety for us especially if you do not care for oranges.

The first clue that strawberries encourage good heart health is the fact that they are shaped much like a heart. Who knew!

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Strawberries possess a unique variety of compounds that help lessen the formation of whats called excessive platelet aggregation(coagulation). This, in short, is the ability of the body to naturally form clots which is a healthy function; Especially with an injury.  But there is an unhealthy condition that causes overactive clotting and this could potentially lead to a more serious issue when in conjunction with cancers and certain blood diseases.

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Strawberries complex mix of polyphenols also make it a serious anti-oxidant competitor and a great anti-inflammatory agent. The anti-inflammatory properties assist with allowing more blood flow through veins and arteries which ultimately leads to sufficient oxygen and nutrients being delivered throughout the body.

Strawberries are a low fat zero trans fat product with a decent amount of fiber which is a potent combination for weight loss management. They are composed of about 91% water which can aid in digestion.

One of the best healthy points of including strawberries in your diet is it has one of the best Glycemic index numbers around. Compared to many fresh fruits such as apricots, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, or pineapple, strawberries have a number of 40. This is great! Especially for combating blood sugar spikes and the regulation of insulin.

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Strawberries can be consumed a variety ways.

  • Strawberries can be included in smoothiesimages-19
  • As a dessert topping on cakes, pies, ice-cream
  • Sliced atop your favorite pancakes or waffle
  • Sliced topping on your favorite meat dish
  • Slivered in salads
  • In your favorite pie
  • Wrapped in vegetable or fruit wrap
  • Made into a bread
  • Jellied and canned
  • Made into a strawberry mousse
  • Added to your favorite cereal

 

 

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So including Strawberries in your daily food consumption can be a definite healthy choice. Maybe you are a regular with including this fruit in your diet or maybe not so much. Whatever the case I hope this finds you well and encourages you to at least begin a regimen to include.

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Disclaimer:

Many thanks to those sites who provided information to encourage this post. This post was written with the intent to encourage and enlighten one to the benefits of strawberries with regards to eating healthy.  I have no professional license, certificate or degree in nutrition or dietary matters.

Credits: Giphy, Google images, Associated links

 

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Cauliflower-a formidable weight-loss agent

Cauliflower, that formidable weight-loss agent is a must to include in any meal plan. Have you tried?

How are you, friends? Hope you are doing good. I am well!

As a recap, for the last couple of post, I have presented information about my journey. My health and fitness journey.

Here, you will see that I’ve shared a few nuggets on why I changed my eating habits and adopted a structured physical fitness plan. If you search for my blog entitled “So why the change” I go into some depth as to why. Check it out here!

Cauliflower pronounced Cau·li·flow·er is a vegetable that is a member of the cruciferous family that includes broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, and host of others. It is white in color and develops as a combination of compacted florets(curd) as compared to broccoli.

 

Nutritionally, cauliflower comes as a surprise boasting a serious stat sheet. Normally, it is accepted that color in any fruit or vegetable signifies that item as being a definite producer in the fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Cauliflower is the exception.

Its stat sheet shows it to be high in Vitamin C, K, and Manganese. It is a serious producer of Folate and fiber too while being high in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

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What makes Cauliflower different from its close sister broccoli is the fact that it contains sulfur-based compounds called Glucosinolates. There are a few and more in-depth study of them is ongoing. So far, these compounds are being regarded as formidable agents in the supporting good health.

Here’s what it brings to the game:

  1. Regulates Blood Cholesterol-Studies show that cauliflower helps to regulate cholesterol levels by binding cholesterol bile acids to pass into the intestines. Processed foods lack many of the essential properties that help to activate this.
  2. Improves digestionStudies show that sulforaphane found in the glucosinolates within cauliflower helps to remove the harmful bacteria within the stomach walls. This ultimately leads to improved digestion within the digestion tract. In addition, the fiber assists with more bulkier and softer stools as compared to watery or hard ones.
  3. Anti-cancer agent-In short, the Sulforaphane compounds released from the consumption of Cauliflower release additional compounds that assist with the binding away of cancer-causing agents. The properties help to control the harmful free radicals associated with degenerative diseases.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory helper-Cauliflower has Omega 3 fatty acids and a healthy amount of Vitamin C which help to inhibit an enzyme responsible for inflammation. It also has a few powerful anti-oxidants to boast. Cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, and quercetin are just a few to name that help to keep inflammation at bay. This ultimately leads to better circulation of blood and air passages.
  5. Aids in weight loss-Cauliflower is low in calories, low in sugar and high in fiber which makes for a nice combination to help one feel full. Definitely, need to add in any weight loss plan.

So what are the ways to consume Cauliflower:

  1. Sprinkled in and over salads
  2. Minced and stir-fried lightly-add in a dish of your choice.
  3. Pulverized in a Smoothie.
  4. Minced or quartered in a soup of your choice. The vegetable is my favorite.
  5. Add on a vegetable tray
  6. Hummus Dip
  7. Casseroles-all varieties

So there you have it! If you have not included this vegetable into your meal plan shame on you. This is definitely a go-to vegetable. Unless under doctors orders you have other instructions.

I know, I know! Its white, dry looking and admittedly not that appealing. I had to get over that too. It’s not that bad, though. Lol.

This is how I look at it. When I went through my change, of course, I had to change the way I thought. I had to reprogram the way I perceived eating ALL foods. So, I had to refocus on the nutritional benefits as opposed to the appearance. The taste buds could be manipulated. Haha!

Now, I will try almost anything.

If you fall into this, try your hand at expanding your food sources. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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Cauliflower is a great addition to any meal plan. It is loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help with everything from encouraging proper digestion in the gut area to encouraging good vascular circulation. Today, with the foods being processed and losing much of the anti-inflammatory properties, including Cauliflower into your meal plan is definitely a plus.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! Next, we’ll look into how asparagus stacks up on the meal squad.

Did you miss last posts notes on how Arugula may help in maintaining strong bones?

Credits: Google Images, Associated links.

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Arugula-the other green leaves​

Arugula, the other green leaf is packed with beneficial nutrients. Include in your next spring mix salad.

Hello Friends! How are you? Hope all is well.

As promised, let’s continue on with sharing a few of the healthy foods I have adopted into my health and wellness plan.

If you need to catch up just do a search for “Why the Change” and you will quickly find my motivation for launching on this path of renewed health and wellness.

Staying consistent with the fruit and nutrient-packed vegetables that I now include on a regular basis, I introduce Arugula. pronounced [uh-roo-guh-luh].

Arugula is a green leafy vegetable that is apart of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables. It is in the family of vegetables that is likened to broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, kale, and Swiss chard.

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It is a vegetable loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins include Vitamin A, K, and C. The minerals include Folate acid, potassium, Manganese, Iron, and Calcium.

Here is the breakdown nutritionally:

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So what health benefits do you receive from eating Arugula?

  1. Weight Loss-since it is nutrient packed with minerals, vitamins and very low in calories, Arugula will meet ones nutritional and satiation needs. No need of feeling like your missing out on meeting those nutritional goals.
  2. Improves eyesight-Arugula being a good source of carotenoids, may help in improving eyesight. Carotenoids have been accepted as being agents for improving eyesight. Arugula is loaded with them. It is considered to be a positive agent against macular degeneration, an age-related condition involving the deterioration of parts of the eye.images-13
  3. Boost Immune system-Vitamin C is abundant in Arugula. It is linked to helping fight against the free radicals within the body. This can lead to helping support your immune system.
  4. Encourages heart health-Vegetables that are high in low calories and anti-inflammatory properties tend to be very good agents for protecting the heart. The anti-inflammatory properties encourage proper circulatory flow and consistent heart rhythms.
  5. Promotes Bone Health-In short, Arugula is a great source of vitamin K which is essential to maintaining strong bones. In some circles, it is a close second to Calcium.

Here are a few ideas on consuming Arugula

  1. In salads mixed with other types of greens.
  2. Used in soups to give it a healthy kick.
  3. Sprinkled atop Sandwiches to boost nutrition count.
  4. Spotted on (vegan style)pizzas. Yes, you have to try it.
  5. Pulverized in fruit and vegetable smoothies.
  6. Added as an edible side piece to vegetable dip trays.

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I have tried it in all meal prep situations. My favorite is on sandwiches. I usually add a bit of herbs to give it a kick too. If you have included Arugula in your meal plan, excellent! It is a great addition. If you have not, then the opportunity is here. I would recommend it.

I definitely believe we are what we eat. If we consume high calorie, high fat, low fiber, empty calorie food the body will respond over time lethargically. On the contrast, if low fat, high fiber, nutrient dense foods are consumed the body will respond over time with vibrancy.

Hope you enjoyed!

Thanks for reading and connecting.

Courtesy: Google photos and associated links.

What’s the benefit?

What are in the foods we eat and how they benefit the body. 

Hello friends. How are things? I hope all is well.

Got to thinking about writing a series on certain foods we eat and how they benefit the body.

Since I have changed the way and what I consume now, I thought I would share those thoughts with you all.

Why I changed? Well, I shared a bit of it in a previous post entitled “So Why the Change”. Here I kinda talk a bit about how I was feeling and the struggles I endured. I share the decision to make an about face with my whole eating and fitness plan. Yay! Glad I did! I feel absolutely great.

In this post, and the ones to come I want to share a few of the foods I consume as well as a progress report on my fitness journey.

So, here we go!

First, I changed a few of the foods I consume. I included more vegetables. In either a salad, blender or cooked way. One of those is the addition of cucumbers. Let’s see what this fella has to offer.

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The Cucumber:

  1. Provides a good amount of water and soluble fiber-Water is always good to include in any diet. It helps with lubrication and flow of any waste or receiving nutrients. The fiber is a plus too. Fiber helps to remove waste from the body(intestines and gut). Kinda like a scrubber. Lol.
  2. Low in calories-A cucumber with the peel offers about 45 calories and is high vitamins and minerals.
  3. Good source of anti-oxidants-Cucumbers offer properties known to be associated with being an excellent source of antioxidants. Without going to chemically deep, in a nutshell, these are properties that help to fight against those molecular forces that encourage breakdown(oxidation), whatever that may be. In the sense of health, these forces(free radicals) are studied and believed to be associated with a few diseases today.
  4. Aid in weight loss-Due to the low-calorie content cucumbers can be a nice way to manage one’s weight. It is always a nice addition to any salad.
  5. Maintain Blood sugar-because of it low caloric value and high vitamin/mineral content cucumbers are believed to help in lowering blood sugar levels.
  6. Reduce swelling/inflammation-Cucumbers have the properties in them that help to reduce inflammation and swelling.

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Although not a complete list, I have highlighted a few benefits to including cucumbers into your diet.

They are always great to have in salads, smoothies, and sandwiches.  My favorite is in salads. I eat them with skin or no skin and in the pickled variety too.

Try them if you have not. And if not your favorite, that’s cool, there are a variety of other vegetables to choose from with similar properties.

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Glad you read. Stayed tuned for the next vegetable. Arugula.

Credits to Google images and associated links.

Eat Smarter, Live Well!

Is it really about what you eat?? My hunch is that it is. If you care about your health and wellbeing eating the right thing is a must!

Hello there! Welcome back! As promised I want to share a bit about what my lifestyle entails. One of the things I have learned to accept with a positive outlook on life is the fact that we are what we eat. Before I go deep into this let us just look at what should be obvious to us today. Foods today are not what they were say in the early 1900’s. Our culture was one that lived on farms and grew most foods. Whether it was cattle, grain, or vegetable society mainly ate from the fruit of the land with very little manufactured processing. Consequently, most foods kept a majority of their nutritional value. This, in turn, helped mankind to consume a high concentration of foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Fast forward to today, there are far fewer family-owned farms and most foods are processed. Advanced processes in agricultural technology have been the main cause; allowing for greater and quicker yields that are insect and disease resistant. As a result, food today appears to have lost a bit of the full nutritional value to be offered and replaced with fillers.

So with this, one has to eat smarter meaning they must educate themselves about what is consumed. Taking the time to do this will not only reward one with the self-satisfaction of doing well but also reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Eat smarter and live well I say!

Personally, I’ve benefited from eating healthier!  From feeling sluggish all the time with no energy to being alert and vibrant I attribute most of the change to eating healthier. This means eating less processed foods to consuming more organic-prepped based foods.

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A quick way to gage this is just to look at the label. Are there ingredients on there you cannot pronounce? Hmmm? Far cry from just your plain descriptions.

Let me remind you though, that it has been a journey not always covered with rose petals. I have had to learn over time what promotes a healthy lifestyle and what works against it.  This is what I stress. Do what fits you and promotes a healthy lifestyle so that you:

  1. Can enjoy your family
  2. Family can enjoy you
  3. Share your ideas
  4. Enjoy travel, reading, sports, bike rides, plays, walks in the park!

With much Love