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Health Benefits of Foods, Totally-Food https://totally-food.com/category/healthy-foods/ Great things to eat! Tue, 31 Dec 2019 03:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.0.1 135451410 Superfood Smoothie Nutrition Boosters for the Healthy New You https://totally-food.com/superfood-smoothie-nutrition-boosters-for-the-healthy-new-you/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=superfood-smoothie-nutrition-boosters-for-the-healthy-new-you https://totally-food.com/superfood-smoothie-nutrition-boosters-for-the-healthy-new-you/#respond Tue, 31 Dec 2019 03:00:17 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=3928 In a survey that tabulated the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, getting healthier, starting a fitness routine and losing weight were month them. Smoothies are a great tool to help […]

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turmeric

In a survey that tabulated the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, getting healthier, starting a fitness routine and losing weight were month them. Smoothies are a great tool to help you reach your health and fitness goals. As a rule, smoothies are healthy to begin with but there are certain superfoods I like to try to incorporate into mine to get an extra nutrition boost.

A number of health experts are starting to say that it isn’t what you eat as much as how it is prepared that makes the difference in your health.  By that they mean that processed, packaged and restaurant foods can take a toll on your health due to the added ingredients and the loss of nutrients in the processing.  Google “processed foods and health” for some scholarly articles on this subject.  Smoothies are an easy way to get more fresh whole foods into your daily diet.

There are a lot of “smoothie nutrition booster” powders being sold these days.  I avoid them.  The idea here if you want that healthy new body for the new year is to move away from processed foods and toward fresh, natural, organic whole foods as much as possible.  In most cases anything available in powder form is available in the produce or spice section of you local healthy foods store.  There are some exceptions.

Here are some of my favorites.

Quinoa:

nutrition boosters
Flaxseed and Chis Seeds are excellent nutrition boosters

Quinoa goes into almost every smoothie I make.  It’s is such a superfood that the United Nations declared 2013 as the Year of Quinoa.  First of all it is the only plant based protein that is a complete protein.  A cup of quinoa supplies 17% of your daily requirement of protein.  I stopped using expensive protein powders and switched to quinoa.  It’s healthier and cheaper!

It’s high in fiber and loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  Several of the nutrients in quinoa are showing up in studies as “revolutionary” in treating or preventing cancer.  One of these is quercetin which has significant success in stopping the spread of lung and other cancers. 

Quinoa supplies heart healthy fats and supports hearth health and optimal blood pressure.  The fiber content will help you have a lasting “full” feeling so you won’t have your stomach telling you to eat more when you’ve already had all the nutrition you need in your smoothie. Read more about the amazing health benefits of quinoa here. 

If you have a high powered blender such as a NutriBullet or a VitaMix they can pulverize it smooth enough for your smoothie.  If not, soak it in water overnight to soften it for your morning smoothie.

Flaxseed:

While smoothies are a very nutrient dense food, most smoothies lack healthy fats.  Flaxseed provides the omega-3 fats that our heart, circulatory system and brain needs to do their jobs properly.  A good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, Flaxseed is also good for your  digestive system.

Flaxseed provides plant protein, magnesium, manganese, phosporus, copper and thiamin.  It also contains a type of anti-oxidants called polyphenols which protect against heart disease and cancer.    

You can read more about the health benefits of flaxseed here.

Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds also provide the Omega-3 fatty acids your body needs along with protein and high nutrient profiles specific to each nut or seed.  Nuts and seeds are also good sources of the B vitamins. Among my top choices are almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds and walnuts.  In our healthy foods category you can read up on the healthy benefits of most of these ingredients! 

You can find most of these as nut butters, but again were moving toward whole, unprocessed foods!  If you have a high powered blender they will become smooth enough.  I also find it’s more economical and easier just to use the actual nuts or seeds.

While you can add them to most any smoothie, we have some where they are primary ingredients such as this unbelievably delicious Almond Banana Smoothie.

Cranberries

Cranberries

Cranberries are such a superfood that we wrote a post about them entitled “Cranberries: The Overlooked Superfood.”  Cranberries are best known to help prevent urinary tract infections but this is the least of their health benefits.

Cranberries are actually higher in anti-oxidants and lower in sugar than other berries and fruits.  Much of that benefit is lost when they are eaten in processed form such as canned cranberry sauce or sweetened juices and dried cranberries so I make it a point to buy fresh cranberries when they are available and incorporate them into my smoothies.

They are are high in fiber and thus good for digestion.  The proanthocyanidins in cranberries anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial anti-oxidants that also help prevent gum disease. 

Cranberries can be added as a booster or flavor accent, or as a primary ingredient like we do in this delicious Cranberry, Banana Date Smoothie that is a nutrition powerhouse!

Berries:

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries it doesn’t matter a lot which but I try to make them part of every smoothie.  Berries are well known for containing certain anti-oxidants that are for the most part unique to berries that have anti-cancer properties.  Though they are sweet, they won’t spike your blood sugar the way other fruits do. 

A number of smoothie recipes say to use frozen berries.  Don’t.  Fresh berries are almost always available in the supermarket. 

Avocado:

Avocado is another superfood that has come into the spotlight for it’s cancer fighting properties along with how it can help prevent heart disease.  They are also high in Omega-3 fats and contain another nutrient called oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fat. 

They contain over 20 vitamins and minerals and vital plant compounds. You’ll find avocado blends in well with a number of smoothie recipes, both fruit and vegetable and it will give your smoothies a nice creamy texture.

Try this creamy High Protein, Probiotic Avocado Smoothie and see how you feel.

Greens:

Arugula
Fresh Arugula

Spinach, arugula and kale are superfoods and while they are often one of the main ingredients in a smoothie, I add some of one of them to almost all smoothies I make.  A cup of spinach or arugula can be added to fruit smoothies and not have a negative impact on the taste.

Of these I believe arugula is the most beneficial.  At just 5 calories per cup, it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods you can get.  It’s known for it’s cleansing benefits, particularly your liver.  It, along with broccoli, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables.  The American Cancer Society recommends eating these vegetables for the prevention of cancer, and truthfully I think most of us don’t eat anywhere near enough fresh green vegetables!

Read more about the health benefits of arugula here. 

Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne pepper can boost your immune system and help clear out your sinuses if you have a cold.  It contains capsaicin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  I know people that make it a point to sprinkle some on every smoothie they make.

Here I would stick to the spice bottle and just sprinkle some on.  I think trying to pulverize a whole cayenne pepper in the mix would end up being too much.  If you try it, drop me a comment and let me know how it worked out.

Cinnamon:

Cinnamon has a naturally sweet taste without the calories or blood sugar spike associated with sugar.  Cinnamon tops the list in terms of anti-oxidant levels of all the popular herbs and spices.

Cinnamon’s health benefits derive from cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, and cinnamate.  These compounds give it antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, immunity-boosting, cancer and heart disease-protecting abilities.

Cinnamon has a long list of health benefits we wrote about in this post on why you should substitute cinnamon for sugar as much as possible.  

You can just sprinkle some into your smoothie from the spice jar.  Or if you have a powerful blender, you can just drop a cinnamon stick in.

Turmeric:

Turmeric is one of the superfood rising stars.  It doesn’t significantly change the flavor so I add it to every smoothie I make.  It’s said to be a powerful anti-cancer agent, anti-inflammatory agent, and support healthy digestion.

It’s also been found to improve brain function, and help prevent or even reduce brain diseases.  This includes Alzheimer’s. You can read more on the health benefits of turmeric here.  

You can either buy fresh turmeric root at the store and grind it up in your smoothie, or just sprinkle some in the blender from the spice jar. 

Bee Pollen:

Bee pollen is a nutritional powerhouse.  One of the thing that make it unique is that it provides all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  The only other non-meat/dairy complete protein I know of is quinoa.  It’s delicious taste works well in a number of types of smoothies, particularly those that use nut milks, contain fruits and or cinnamon.

Ginger:

ginger
Grated Ginger Root

Ginger is a delicious spice with powerful medicinal properties.  It’s known to help with everything from menstrual pains and cancer to controlling blood sugar and reducing menstrual pain.  You can read more about the health benefits of ginger on Healthline.   

You can grate some ginger root and add it, or just sprinkle some in from the spice jar.  It goes well with smoothies where you add cinnamon.

Tea:

I was delighted when I discovered how delicious tea is in a smoothie.  Simply brew up a cup on the strong side, let it cool and use that for the liquid you add.  Tea has a long impressive list of health benefits.  It also adds caffeine that seems to release more slowly than coffee so you don’t get the lift followed by the slump.

Rooibos tea also has a very impressive nutrient profile.  It’s a great choice if you don’t want the caffeine and it’s exceptionally delicious in fruit smoothies.  Check out two of the delicious smoothie recipes we tested with tea.  You’ll become a “tea smoothie” fan as soon as you do!

Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

Strawberry Kiwi Rooibos Tea Smoothie Recipe

Coconut Water:

Coconut water has become the rage as a natural alternative to sports drinks to replenish the electrolytes you lose during intense exercise.  It’s particularly high in potassium, but also in manganese, magnesium, sodium and calcium.  Make it part of the smoothies you make to replenish after jogging or working out.

Greek Yogurt:

What Greek yogurt brings to the table is protein and the probiotics you need for a healthy gut.  I usually stick to plain Greek yogurt and get my fruit flavor from the ingredients I add.  Two exceptions is I find the coconut and the vanilla ones can add a delicious taste to certain smoothies.

Getting a NutriBullet and adding smoothies to my daily diet changed my life from dragging myself through the days and being concerned about some developing health issues to waking with energy and vitality that lasts most of the day.

There are obviously more superfoods that you could add into your smoothies you may think of.  These are the ones I turn to and swear by. 

Here’s to that healthy new body you promised yourself in this new year!

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Cranberries: The Overlooked Superfood https://totally-food.com/cranberries-the-overlooked-superfood/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cranberries-the-overlooked-superfood https://totally-food.com/cranberries-the-overlooked-superfood/#respond Thu, 19 Dec 2019 05:16:48 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=3785 I found myself craving cranberry juice.  Really craving it and I was drinking a couple glasses of fresh (not from frozen) organic cranberry juice that I bought at Trader Joe’s […]

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cranberries

I found myself craving cranberry juice.  Really craving it and I was drinking a couple glasses of fresh (not from frozen) organic cranberry juice that I bought at Trader Joe’s everyday.

This made me curious why my body wanted it so bad, so I started researching the health benefits of cranberries.  It turned out that cranberry juice is good for two conditions that I had trouble with: gum disease and a stomach lining infection.  But that’s just a small part of what they are good for!

Cranberries are native to the United States with Wisconsin being the largest producer of cranberries followed by Massachusetts.  It’s notable that only 5% of the cranberries grown are sold fresh,  The rest are used in juice, cranberry sauces, and dried sweetened cranberries.

This is due in part to their seasonal nature.  They are usually only available in grocery stores in the fall months.  It’s also due to their tart taste.  You aren’t likely to bite into a fresh cranberry the way you would a strawberry or sprinkle them on your cereal.

This is unfortunate.  Cranberries are actually higher in anti-oxidants and lower in sugar than other berries and fruits.  Much of that benefit is lost when they are eaten in processed form such as canned cranberry sauce or sweetened juices and dried cranberries We’ll talk about a number of delicious ways to enjoy fresh cranberries later in this post.

Cranberries are best known to help prevent urinary tract infections.  It’s because cranberries are loaded with an antioxidant called proanthocyanidins.

Believe it or not the tiny little red berries are high in fiber and thus good for digestion.  The proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries are also what help prevent gum disease.  PACs are high anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial anti-oxidants. I’ve read that cranberries even help prevent plaque from forming on teeth!

Cranberries are also said to boost your immune system due to high vitamin C content.  However, I would say any immune boosting capacity is due to all of the nutrients in the berries, not just the vitamin C.

I have come to believe this of all vitamins, minerals, nutrients and anti-oxidants.  I used to reach for the supplement bottle for nutrients I thought I needed more, and I still believe there are some you might not be able to get enough from out of foods.  But I’ve also learned that the single most important thing you can do to improve your health and well being is to eat fresh whole foods that have been prepared at home (so you know there are no unwanted added ingredients!).

If you find fresh cranberries too tart, try combining them with other fruits in salads and smoothies.  Oranges, bananas, apples and pears help balance the flavor.   We created a sinfully delicious Cranberry Date Jam that is as delicious as it is healthy.  Using that recipe as a base we also created a Cranberry Banana Date Smoothie with Strawberries and Ginger that is seriously delicious and good for you.  Oh, and don’t forget to make homemade cranberry sauce instead of opening a can!

The message here is take advantage of all the fresh cranberries in the stores right now.  Your body will thank you for it.

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Why You Should Eat More Arugula https://totally-food.com/why-you-should-eat-more-arugula/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-you-should-eat-more-arugula https://totally-food.com/why-you-should-eat-more-arugula/#respond Sat, 14 Dec 2019 06:50:07 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=3731 I’ve come to believe that eating fresh, whole natural foods that we prepare ourselves can do more for our health than any visit to the doctor’s office or prescription pill. […]

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I’ve come to believe that eating fresh, whole natural foods that we prepare ourselves can do more for our health than any visit to the doctor’s office or prescription pill. Recently I started adding arugula into my diet I noticed an almost immediate change in how I was feeling.  Particularly when I added it into smoothies I was making in a NutriBullet I got just beforehand.

I would wake in the mornings and in about 2 hours feel exhausted to the point a nap was almost a necessity.  The exhaustion was so intense I felt drugged.  Then one day when the feeling hit I got up and made a smoothie and put a lot of arugula in it.  The overwhelming tiredness vanished immediately.

That got me looking into the health benefits of arugula.  I decided it was going to become a part of my daily diet.  Arugula is truly an amazing food.

One of the things arugula is praised for is cleansing your body, particularly your liver.  In the toxic world we live it it’s a good idea to keep the toxins cleared out of your body and your detoxifying organs (i.e. your liver) functioning properly.  All else depends on this.

Its a member of the Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and broccoli.  The American Cancer Society recommends eating these vegetables for the prevention of cancer.  Studies show it might reduce the risk of developing lung, colon, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Containing only 5 calories per cup, Arugula is one of the most nutrient dense low calorie foods you can eat.  It’s high vitamin count plus chlorophyll helps prevent liver and DNA damage.  Arugula promotes bone health, plays a role in the prevention of heart disease, reduces chronic inflammation, protects the brain and helps prevent cognitive decline as we age, aids in weight loss, and protects eye health!

I’m not a doctor, but I do know how much better I began to feel when I started eating arugula!  I won’t attempt to go into every vitamin and other nutritional compounds it contains and why it’s good for your health.  I suggest you read this post on the health benefits of Arugula by Dr. Axe to get a comprehensive, easy to understand explanation of why arugula is such a potent superfood!

Getting more arugula into your diet is easy.  Mix some into all of your green salads and incorporate it into all of your smoothies.  Be sure to look for some of the smoothie recipes using arugula we’ll be posting as fast as we can test them!

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This site does contain some affiliate ad links from various companies including Amazon and I do earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.  I try to only recommend products and services I believe are of good value.

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How To Enjoy The Health Benefits Of Flaxseed More Often https://totally-food.com/how-to-enjoy-the-health-benefits-of-flaxseed-more-often/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-enjoy-the-health-benefits-of-flaxseed-more-often https://totally-food.com/how-to-enjoy-the-health-benefits-of-flaxseed-more-often/#respond Sun, 08 Dec 2019 06:25:46 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=3668 I’ve always heard about how nutritious flaxseed is, but until I tried some that had been roasted I never knew how easy it was to incorporate this superfood into our […]

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flaxseed

I’ve always heard about how nutritious flaxseed is, but until I tried some that had been roasted I never knew how easy it was to incorporate this superfood into our regular meals!

Honestly, when I look at all of the benefits of flaxseed, I’ll be making sure I add them into my diet every day from now on.  For starters, flaxseed is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, one of the “good” fats that we need to improve circulation and for its anti-inflammatory effects.  The Omega 3 in flaxseed is a plant based variety called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALC.  There is research that it can help fight osteoporosis and offers some protection against type 2 diabetes.

Flaxseed provides plant protein, magnesium, manganese, phosporus, copper and thiamin.  It also contains a type of anti-oxidants called polyphenols which protect against heart disease and cancer.  Flaxseed has been found to prevent the development of tumors. Most notably it helps prevent cancer of the breast, prostate and colon. 

A good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, Flaxseed improves the digestive system.  It can also help with weight loss by contributing to a full feeling.  The list of health benefits is much longer and I recommend you search up more article on it.  Meanwhile, let’s look at how to get more flaxseed into your meals.

How to Enjoy More Flaxseed in Your Diet

Flaxseed can be purchased whole, ground or roasted.  All forms are beneficial with some minor differences.  Whole raw flaxseed is more difficult to chew and not all that tasty.  You can buy it this way and grind it in a food processor or coffee grinder shortly before use for maximum nutritional value.  Roasted flaxseed has a bit of a nutty taste.  It can easily be sprinkled on your cereal, oatmeal, salads and more to give them a crunchy nutritional punch.

Regardless of which form you purchase, it’s wise to keep it in a sealed container and refrigerate it.  Especially if it’s ground.  This preserves the nutrients.

Include some in your smoothies.  Sprinkle some on your soups.  Give your vegetables a crunchy nutty accent with some roasted flaxseed on them. Add flaxseed into your favorite bread, cookie, cupcake and muffin recipes.  You might want to try adding some flaxseed to our popular Bran Muffins with Raisins recipe to make them even healthier!

I used to simply eat whatever I wanted and take supplements to make up for the unhealthy eating.  As time went on I came to realize that our kitchens are the most powerful “medicine” to be found.  And somehow the nutrients seem to be much more powerful when they come the way nature created them… from fresh organic foods that have been properly prepared.

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Roasted flaxseed

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Cactus Pears, a Delicious Treat You May Not Have Heard of Yet https://totally-food.com/cactus-pears-a-delicious-treat-you-may-not-have-heard-of-yet/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cactus-pears-a-delicious-treat-you-may-not-have-heard-of-yet https://totally-food.com/cactus-pears-a-delicious-treat-you-may-not-have-heard-of-yet/#respond Sun, 22 Sep 2019 05:13:19 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=3376 Have you tried Cactus Pears? If not you’re missing a healthy treat. I saw some in the supermarket and decided to give this new to me fruit a try. It’s […]

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Have you tried Cactus Pears? If not you’re missing a healthy treat.

I saw some in the supermarket and decided to give this new to me fruit a try. It’s sweet, juicy, delicious and decidedly different.

One thing about the cactus pear is that the seeds are all through the “meat” of the fruit. I read that they are edible, but they are a bit large and I found myself spitting them out like you would with a slice of watermelon.

You can toss them in a blender and juice them seeds and all. Be sure to run it long enough to chop up the seeds. The way you prepare them if you are going to toss them into a blender is to cut both ends off. Then take a knife and cut through the skin on two sides and peel back the skin leaving the meat of the fruit… toss in the blender. Otherwise, you can simply slice them in half and scoop out the meat with a tablespoon.

Not only are they delicious, some people are calling cactus pears a superfood. They are high in fiber, antioxidants and carotenoids. They are said to be anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. Cactus pears have also been promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers…. so have some on hand for the morning after your next night out on the town.

Give them a try. You might discover a new favorite food. But do use care handling them. They are also called prickly pears, because like all cactus they are prickly.  The ones I tried were green, but you can also find ones that are purple and other colors.  

A fresh halved cactus pear in a bowl. Also known as a prickly pear

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Why You Should Substitute Quinoa for Rice and Wheat When Possible https://totally-food.com/why-you-should-substitute-quinoa-for-rice-and-wheat-when-possible/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-you-should-substitute-quinoa-for-rice-and-wheat-when-possible https://totally-food.com/why-you-should-substitute-quinoa-for-rice-and-wheat-when-possible/#respond Sat, 22 Sep 2018 08:15:51 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=2763 I have mentioned in a few recipe posts that I am substituting quinoa for rice and wheat whenever possible due to its superior nutritional profile. One cup of cooked quinoa […]

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quinoa superfood grain

I have mentioned in a few recipe posts that I am substituting quinoa for rice and wheat whenever possible due to its superior nutritional profile.

One cup of cooked quinoa has about 40 fewer calories than the same amount of white rice.  It also has far fewer carbs.  White rice has almost 15 times the carbs.  Quinoa also provides five more grams of fiber and twice the protein.  The protein provided by quinoa is also a complete protein something that is rarely, if ever found in plant proteins.

quinoa
Pin to share this with your friends so they can enjoy the health benefits of quinoa too.

As for comparing it to wheat, we won’t even go there.  Regardless of any nutritional valued that might be in wheat, little is left after it is processed into flours and cereals.  The gluten in wheat is showing up far too often as the underlying cause in a multitude of health problems in far too many people these days.  Of course it is a key component in so many of the delicious foods that we love that it is next to impossible to avoid it completely but I fund I feel much better when I substitute other foods.

Quinoa is considered a superfood and it should be.  It dates back 7000 years an originated in the mountainous regions of South American.  It is often called a grain, but it is actually a seed.  It’s frequently used in salads and can be substituted for rice on many occasions.

Quinoa is such a perfect food that tit was recognized by the United Nations as a key factor in eradicating hunger and malnutrition. Because it has such a broad nutritional profile and is so easy and economical to cultivate the UN declared 2013 as the Year of Quinoa.

The primary advantage of quinoa is that it is gluten free.  Gluten can trigger an avalanche of adverse reactions in those that are intolerant to it and I’m seeing it said more an more that it has a negative impact on those who aren’t gluten intolerant as well.

The second key advantage is that quinoa is a complete plant based protein.  Most plant proteins are missing parts of the amino acid complex making it difficult for those on vegetarian or vegan diets to obtain proteins in the correct balance.  A cup of quinoa provided over 17 percent of the recommended daily protein intake.

High in fiber and protein, quinoa helps you feel full after you have eaten and aids in weight loss.  Several of the nutrients in quinoa are showing up in studies as “revolutionary” in treating or preventing cancer.  One of these is quercetin which has significant success in stopping the spread of lung and other cancers.  Quercetin is also anti-inflammatory.

Quinoa supplies heart healthy fats and supports hearth health and optimal blood pressure.  It also has a very impressive vitamin and mineral profile.

I could go on to list all the nutrients in quinoa, but my point here is only to show why you might want to start substituting quinoa for rice and wheat when possible.  Adding quinoa to a salad can make it a more balanced meal.   Search for as many recipes as you can that use quinoa as a predominant ingredient.  They are delicious and you might just get hooked on this healthy “ancient grain.”

To read more about the health benefits of quinoa, head on over to Dr. Axe’s website.  He lists them out in detail.  He is a doctor, I’m not, so I’ll let him give you the whole nitty gritty on this superfood.

quinoa salad
A healthy salad made from cranberries, apple and quinoa.

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Make Your Summer Healthier With Lots of Fresh Mango https://totally-food.com/make-your-summer-healthier-with-lots-of-fresh-mango/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-your-summer-healthier-with-lots-of-fresh-mango https://totally-food.com/make-your-summer-healthier-with-lots-of-fresh-mango/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 04:36:52 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=2356 Mangos are not only a delicious fruit, they are extremely healthy.  And with health benefits including being useful for treating heat stroke, they are a good fruit to have on […]

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sliced mango

Mangos are not only a delicious fruit, they are extremely healthy.  And with health benefits including being useful for treating heat stroke, they are a good fruit to have on hand during the summer months.

Believe it or not, mangos are in the same family of plants as cashews and pistachios.  I know, there is not really any visible resemblance! These tropical fruit bearing trees can grow up to 100 feet tall.

mangos
Delicious slices of fresh ripe mango in a small bowl

Choose a mango by its firmness. Push gently against the skin with your thumb. If it’s “squishy,” it’s too ripe; too hard and it’s not yet done. It’s perfect when it gives ever so slightly to gentle pressure.

Refrigerate mangos when they’re at optimum stage of “doneness.” Uncut, they can keep for around five days. Peeled and chopped, they’ll be fine in the freezer in an airtight container for six months or so.

One cup of mangos has 100 calories and over 20 different vitamins and minerals.  Mangos also contain flavonoids like betacarotene, alphacarotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin, which help vitamin A to impart antioxidant strength and vision-protecting properties, maintaining healthy mucous membranes and skin.

Eating natural fruits rich in carotenes, like mangos, is known to help protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers. The potassium in mangos is an important cell and body fluid component to help control your heart rate and blood pressure. Vitamin B6 found in mangos is required for GABA hormone production within your brain.

One cup of mangos provide 12% of your daily dietary fiber which reduces the risk of colon cancer. In fact, mangos have been shown in clinical studies to protect against cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate, as well as leukemia.

Scientists tested mangos and found they prevent or stop certain colon and breast cancer cells in lab studies. They also showed some impact on lung, leukemia, and prostate cancers, but the most prominent effectiveness was against breast and colon cancers, which underwent apoptosis, or programmed cell death, and the mango polyphenolics did not harm normal cells.

I’ll be quite abbreviated about the other named health benefits of eating mangos.  They can help lower cholesterol, clear the skin, protect eye health, alkalize the body (not that overly acidic conditions are now considered to be a precursor to many chronic illnesses), helps to normalize insulin levels, improves digestion, boosts the immune system and is used as a treatment in heat stroke.

Again, I try not to get too scientific in my health benefits articles.  I’m not a doctor and I don’t think any of us should “treat” ourselves with foods.  However, a message should be coming quite clear in these articles.  Most, if not all, natural, whole foods have the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-oxidants and other compounds that our bodies need to remain healthy.  It is only through over-processing, destructive farming methods (GMO modified foods, pesticides, etc), and food additives that the delicate nutrients our bodies need are stripped from the foods we eat and replaced with toxins.

My goal with these articles is simply to show how switching to more whole and natural foods, and home cooking are the best medicine and most economical we can obtain.

Be sure to share this with your friends so they can be healthier too!

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Baked Beet Chips Recipe https://totally-food.com/baked-beet-chips-recipe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=baked-beet-chips-recipe https://totally-food.com/baked-beet-chips-recipe/#respond Wed, 30 May 2018 05:50:47 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=2311 Baked beet chips are a healthy snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating.  The best part about cooking this beet chip recipe instead of buying any type […]

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baked beet chips

Baked beet chips are a healthy snack that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating.  The best part about cooking this beet chip recipe instead of buying any type of veggie chips in the store is I usually find store bought veggie chips have a lot of additives in them.  Some have so many other ingredients I’m not sure how they have any room for the veggies.  These bed beet chips are just plain beets and some seasonings!  All of it good for you.

One thing I do want to warn you about with these is the baking process is kind of like waiting for an avocado to get ripe… not ready, not ready, not ready, not ready, oops, too late.  If you know what I mean.  They seem to go from not ripe enough to eat to over-ripe in an instant.  The same is true with beet chips.  They go from not being quite done and a tad soggy to burned in a flash.  So keep a close eye on them while they are baking for your first batch or so until you know exactly how long they take to cook in your oven.

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Healthy Baked Beet Chips Recipe

Baked beet chips are a healthy, guilt free snack.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 medium beets. Mix red and golden to get a more colorful snack
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dried chives (or substitute rosemary)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  • Using a mandolin, slice beets into 1/16 inch thick slices.  Mix the salt and chives together in a small bowl, press the salt into the chives with a spoon to break apart the chives more.
  • Lightly coat 2 large baking pans with olive oil spray and line the beet slices across the pan. Sprinkle lightly with the salt mixture.  Do not overlap or the overlapping section will be soggy.
  • Place the baking pans on the two lowest racks of the oven.  Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, reversing the position of the two baking trays from upper to lower half way through the baking to prevent burning of the beets on the lower pan.  NOTE: As they near the 10 minute mark, check them frequently to make sure they do not burn.  They go from not quite done to burned very fast.

Notes

You may have to do more than one batch to cook all the beet slices.  Add more of the salt mixture after baking if needed
Sliced beets in a baking pan
Sliced red and golden beets in a baking pan to make beet chips. Note, we cut the golden beets too thick in this photo.

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Wow! I Can’t Believe How Healthy Rosemary Is! https://totally-food.com/wow-i-cant-believe-how-healthy-rosemary-is/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wow-i-cant-believe-how-healthy-rosemary-is https://totally-food.com/wow-i-cant-believe-how-healthy-rosemary-is/#respond Tue, 29 May 2018 06:32:53 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=2297 I was using rosemary in a recipe and decided to read up on the health benefits of rosemary.  I almost had to pick myself up off the floor I was […]

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A small bowl of dried rosemary spice on a kitchen towel

I was using rosemary in a recipe and decided to read up on the health benefits of rosemary.  I almost had to pick myself up off the floor I was so amazed.  Just the one about rosemary preventing hair loss alone made me wish I had learned about this herb many years ago!

Needless to say, I immediately brewed myself a cup of Rosemary Tea and I’ll tell you how to do so at the end of this post.  I’m drinking it now!

In addition to the typical anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals found in other spices, it seems to have a set of compounds unique to itself that have powerful healing benefits.

Some of the benefits covered may have more to do with using Rosemary as an essential oil, or in skin care products and such.  For me I’m focusing on more ways to include it in my diet.

A quick overview of the benefits of rosemary include: its ability to boost memory, improve mood, treat Alzheimer’s, heal cancer, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the immune system. Rosemary stimulates circulation, detoxifies the body and the liver, protects against bacterial infections, slows aging and heals skin conditions.

Rosemary is quite high in your standard vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, and manganese. It’s loaded with antioxidants in its phenolic compounds such as diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid, as well as in its essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene.

Used as oil of rosemary it slows greying of hair, prevents dandruff and baldness and promotes hair growth.

The aroma of rosemary is said to improve mood and clear the mind.  It’s been found to improve memory performance, boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.

Rosemary has been linked to lower levels of cirrhosis of the liver and a faster liver healing time.  Through its effects on the liver, it may help prevent type 2 diabetes.

The ingredient carnosol in rosemary balances androgen and estrogen hormones in the body. It also helps improve prostate health and enhance hair growth.

Rosemary could also be a powerful cancer prevention tool.  Compounds in rosemary selectively kill cancer cells.  These include manganese, carnosol, rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid and other rosemary extracts.  They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti proliferative properties in addition to their anticancer properties.  It has shown promising results in the treatment of various cancers including colon, blood, breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical, liver, lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancer.

Are you ready to start drinking some rosemary tea yet?

Rosemary clears the respiratory system, providing relief from colds, flu, coughs and asthma.  The rosmarinic acid prevents any fluid accumulation in the lungs.  It also promotes weight loss and helps prevent blood clots.

In recent years, superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics have become a concern.  Rosemary can come to your aid here.  It’s powerful against bacterial infections, and is linked to preventing staff infections.  It also eradicates gram negative and gram positive bacteria completely.

In simple terms, most if not all bacteria fall under one of these two main categories.  This means rosemary offers protection against some of the most deadly infections known to man (as well as the not so deadly).

In closing, rosemary is also useful in skin care, boosting immunity, and maintaining gut health.

How to Make Rosemary Tea

Rosemary tea can be made with either fresh or dried rosemary.  If you are using fresh, put a sprig in your teapot and steep about five minutes.  You can steep it longer and draw more of the flavor and nutrients out but it starts to get a bitter taste.

I made mine using dried rosemary. I filled a tea ball strainer half way up and dropped it in a cup of boiling water and let it steep.  Use about one heaping teaspoon per cup of tea.

You can also mix it with other herbal teas for a more unique taste and increased health benefits.

 

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Why You Want to Eat More Watermelon This Summer https://totally-food.com/why-you-want-to-eat-more-watermelon-this-summer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-you-want-to-eat-more-watermelon-this-summer https://totally-food.com/why-you-want-to-eat-more-watermelon-this-summer/#respond Mon, 28 May 2018 03:15:11 +0000 https://totally-food.com/?p=2276 Nothing tastes much better than a slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day.  It’s also perhaps the best thing you could eat after you have been out playing […]

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Nothing tastes much better than a slice of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day.  It’s also perhaps the best thing you could eat after you have been out playing in the heat.

Watermelon is 92 percent water, so it helps you hydrate, deliciously while providing essential nutrients.  It is also low in calories with only about 42 calories per cup!

And while it is cooling you down and quenching your thirst, it might just be helping you to prevent cancer.  Researchers have studied a number of the plant compounds in watermelon including lycopene for their anti-cancer effects.  The results are mixed and lycopene seems most linked to cancers of the digestive system, but it also contains a compound called cucurbitacin E that has been researched for its ability to inhibit tumor growth.

It’s also good for your heart.  Lycopene may also lower cholesterol and blood pressure while reducing oxidative damage.  Studies suggest it might help reduce the stiffness and thickness of artery walls.  Watermelon also contains an amino acid called citrulline which may increase nitric oxide levels, expand your blood vessels and lower blood pressure Watermelon also contains A, B6, C, magnesium and potassium which are all good for your heart and other parts of your body!

If you read up on natural health much, you’ve certainly heard how inflammation is an underlying cause of many chronic diseases.  Watermelon also helps to lower inflammation and oxidative dame due to its vitamin C content and lycopene.

Two other key benefits are that lycopene may benefit brain health and help prevent macular degeneration of the eye.

Another reason it is such a perfect food for summertime is that it can help relieve the muscle soreness that can result after that run but strenuous ball game, hike, bike ride or other physical activity. This is thanks again to the citrulline and the juice in watermelon enhances its bio-availability!  This is an important point.  Our vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals and other nutrients seem to always work best when we get them from our foods in their most natural forms.  It seems foods “know” better than scientists what related compounds are needed for them to be utilized by the body.

The vitamin A and C it contains helps your body make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong.  It helps create and repair skin cells and it can help protect you from sunburn!

Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin since it helps create and repair skin cells. Without enough vitamin A, your skin can look dry and flaky.

food

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