Over the past few years, smoothies have been a growing phenomenon in the health and wellness industry. If you live in a major city, you will have probably noticed the increasing smoothie bars springing up all over the place and people carrying a plastic glass filled with brightly colored liquids, making you wondering what on earth are smoothies?
What Are Smoothies?
A smoothie is a blended, cold, thick, and non- alcoholic liquid drink that is made up of fresh vegetables, fruit, its juice or pulp. In most cases, it includes milk or ice cream. Almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables work well with smoothies, but the famous ones are blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, mangoes, bananas, and peaches. To be creamier, frozen fruits are used. The vegetables that work well with the fruits are usually the leafy greens. Do not be fooled by the false claims that smoothies are made from unhealthy mixes with altered ingredients. These products are entirely a marketing ploy and bogus. Smoothies are healthy alternative.
The Major Benefits
Nutrient-Dense And Contain Fat: Smoothies are natural, nutrient-dense and all-natural ingredients that contains oils and vitamins necessary for complete nutrition. Fat is needed for biological functions as it is burned for energy. A healthy smoothie have dietary fats for the body to utilize in incorporating the vitamins.
Keeps You Hydrated: Smoothies for breakfast keep you hydrated for the day. This function is something that coffee or soda won’t do. Given that your body will pull water from the foods to stay hydrated, you no longer need to drink water when you are sipping on a smoothie. Yogurt and milk are water, therefore, if your smoothie has a high dairy content, you’ll surely quench your thirst.
Dairy-Based Type Provide Calcium: Smoothies made with high content of dairy product provide calcium necessary for bone strength. You may try kefir or yogurt, as these cultured products are the best sources of live cultures and probiotics.
Simple to Make: When you own a good blender, getting a quality ingredient, and making a delicious smoothies is just a snap of a finger. Start with ten oz. of almond milk, fresh, yogurt, or frozen fruits. These fruits are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Other excellent ingredient are extra virgin coconut oil, raw Omega-3 egg yolks, pure vanilla extract and shredded coconut.
Make a Healthy Breakfast: For morning breakfast, a homemade smoothie is an excellent choice. You can make it in just five minutes before leaving the house. Drinking a smoothie keeps you from consuming empty carbohydrates. If you have difficulty taking cod liver oil, you may a few drops of your smoothie. With smoothie, you will never see the differences in taste. You’ll add a great cups of essential fatty acids and vitamins to your nutritious meal.
Better Than Multi-Vitamins: Despite what most people think, the “multi-vitamins” taken daily are not demonstrably proven to have considerable health benefits. The most effective way to obtain nutrition is through foods, and consuming a smoothie daily gives you the best nutrients.
To sum it up, a smoothie is made up of frozen or fresh fruits or vegetables that has numerous benefits that far outweigh any cons.
Smoothies and juices are both loaded with nutrients and taste fabulous. While they do have the same properties as the fruits or vegetables in their raw form, their being in liquid form have different textures and appearances. These difference lie in the procedure, methods, and machines used to make each drink.
The Major Differences
When you blend, you end up consuming the food in its entirety although some were already pulverized. So, if you blend an apple, your body will digest the full fruit. When you do juicing, the fibrous portion is removed. So, what is left are the micronutrients in a liquid form. As for the process, you have two procedures in juicing. You may use the juice to squeeze the water instantly, or you may do it manually. The juice extractor is necessary for harder fruits and vegetables. As for the smoothies, it requires either a high-performance or traditional blender. When the liquid (broth, milk, or fresh juice) is processed in a puree in a blender, the drink is smooth and thick. Smoothies are thicker and filling than juices since they have the fibrous cellulose and pulp, which have been removed from the juice.
All About Juicing
Juicing is the best way to get healthy nutrients into your body as quick as possible. It is quick in a sense that it does not require a long preparation, yet you are still getting the essential nutrients needed in your body. Juicing has several health benefits, including weight loss, body hydration, boosting your immune system, and remove serious diseases. They say water is everything – true. The water in juice is a natural source of water that will help to hydrate you as well as give you essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates. In addition to this, the fresh juice will also provide you with enzymes that are vital to your metabolic process and are critical elements in giving your body the best energy. Fresh juice deliver the raw goodness of fruits and vegetables to your system, almost like an intravenous injection. To be able to enjoy the benefits, the juicing must be from fresh fruits and vegetables, and not a powered or ready-made juices you can find in the supermarket.
All About Smoothies
Smoothies are full of energy and nutrients. It works the same thing as the whole meal because you are not only getting the liquid of its form. Smoothies work best for busy people because hectic schedules make it impossible for them to take breakfast regularly. Weight problems are not a small problem. There are two kinds of diet regimen the smoothies can give. It can either help you maintain or lose weight. Unlike the pills and supplements, vitamins that are ingested from food are much more beneficial and healthier. Smoothies will help you to be hydrated.
Whether you choose juice or a smoothie, you are still giving your body the essential nutrients. Both of these methods make use of healthy fruits and vegetables. But knowing their differences would help you decide what type of drink will suit for you at the moment.
If you look up a definition of unrefined, you will be presented with something that roughly says “not processed to remove impurities”. In essence, that is what unrefined food refers to. However, this could lead to some confusion. In general parlance, we tend to think of refined as being superior to unrefined. When it comes to foods, the opposite is often true. Refined foods tend to be heavily processed, altered or ‘enriched’ foods, whereas unrefined foods are those foods occurring naturally and unaltered. The development of refined foods has grown exponentially in recent years, as society has become busies and more reliant on these convenience foods.
In modern society, refined foods serve an important purpose. Unfortunately, their role has grown in stature in the average person’s daily diet. This is not a welcome development. Store bread, packaged pasta, breakfast cereals, flavored chips, candy bars and soft drinks all hold a strong place in many peoples diets, and yet none of these foods are naturally occurring. On the contrary, they are full of artificial preservatives and lacking in many of the necessary and fundamental nutrients and minerals that our bodies thrive on.
We are a society that demands instant gratification, and that attitude has filtered down to our food. We want quick cook pasta, instant rice and frozen ready meals that can be easily heated up for convenience. From a health perspective, this is incredibly worrying. We are becoming increasingly dependent on these refined foods and moving away from the basic unrefined foods that are so critical to our health. Fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and seeds and unrefined whole grains are all excellent sources of the fuel that our body craves, but their perceived lack of convenience means they are increasingly shunted to the side.
The benefits of adopting a diet more weighted towards unrefined foods cannot be overstated. As with any diet plan, balance is important, but when there exists a choice between unrefined and refined, unrefined should always be the victor. Choosing fresh vegetables and fruit over frozen and canned alternatives is an easy switch to make, but one that all too few people make. Similarly, the difference between making your own home style French fries and cooking frozen ones might be only ten minutes, so why do so few people choose to make their own? To truly overcome our reliance on refined foods, we must first change our convenience approach to diet.
A large number of us struggle to get going in the mornings and reach for the coffee as soon as we are awake. We think and/or hope the caffeine in the coffee will help us wake up enough to get going with our day.
However, the effects of caffeine on health are well documented, so many people are looking for an alternative to jumpstart their day. There are a number of raw foods and juices that can make a difference in the mornings and help you to get going. Below are some of the best foods and juices that can give you that boost in the mornings.
There are numerous recipes online for making your own energy bars that you can eat quickly and easily when you are on the go in the mornings. Most contain a mixture of nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables that provide a mix of vitamins and help increase energy levels. For added variety, you could add fruits into the bars such as oranges for added vitamin C.
There are endless varieties that you can go for if you want to mix it up a bit when it comes to chia pudding. Options such as celery, cucumber, and apples naturally contain a lot of water so help to make it more of a juice than a smoothie. Again, this could be made the night before to save time in the mornings.
Beet and Celery juice
There are so many health reasons to drink this in the mornings, and you will instantly feel refreshed and energized. Not only is this juice good for your vital organs, and overall health, but it can also help to improve your skin.
Citrus and vegetables
Combining the effects of citrus and vegetables such as carrots and peppers will definitely help to jumpstart your day. There are numerous vitamins and minerals in this sort of juice, and you will instantly feel a burst of energy. The added citrus will give you a healthy dose of vitamin C, which can also help with general health and wellbeing.
Whatever form you get your greens in, from juices to salads, they will always provide you with many health benefits. There are so many options available, so everyone is likely to find something they are happy with. Options include cucumber, apples, kale, and spinach; these give you a good base of many different juice options.
Pineapple and peppermint juice
Combining pineapple and peppermint has hugely beneficial effects and can really jumpstart your day. This helps with dehydration, which can be the cause of fatigue. Moreover, there are so many vitamins and minerals in here that you can’t help but feel energized afterwards.
Oatmeal is excellent and providing energy and keeping you filled up until lunchtime. Add in flaxseeds and some fruit such as apples and bananas and you have a tasty and healthy breakfast that will jumpstart any day.
Everyone loves pancakes for breakfast, and you can even have them on a raw food diet. By making them with ingredients such as coconut flakes and fruit like bananas, you will be giving yourself a good start to the day. The vitamins will help to give you energy, and the bananas can prevent unhealthy snacking throughout the day.
You can buy raw granola in most health food shops, so stock up on it. You can do so much with granola from snack bars to cereal. Combine it with some fruits, nuts and seeds and you will have a healthy and nutritious breakfast that will jumpstart your day.
Trying to maintain a healthy diet doesn’t have to be hard work. Did you know that there are many raw foods that you can eat which actually provide you with more nutrition than they do when cooked?
Next time you’re looking for a quick snack or trying to think of something that you can take with you for a lunch away from home, try out some of these raw foods. They need minimum preparation and have plenty of great benefits for your body if you eat them regularly.
1. Fermented Vegetables
Fermented vegetables are easy for the body to absorb and digest because the fermentation process pre-digests the starches in these foods. They also have many enzymes and probiotics to boost your immune system, and improve nutrient absorption.
You can ferment many vegetables, including kale, carrots, cucumbers, celery, and cabbage. Ginger and garlic make great spices when fermenting vegetables.
Tempeh is a fermented food, as is the Korean favorite kim chee along with raw kefir or yogurt. Note that commercial kefirs and yogurts are not advised, as they are often loaded with sugars that destroy the beneficial bacteria.
You can use them in salads, soups, main dishes or as compliments to main dishes and they add great flavor. Some people even e njoy eating them on their own.
Raw honey provides two key beneficial components, bee pollen, and propolis. It is a unique blend of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Raw honey contains antioxidants called phenolic compounds, and some types contain as many of these essential free radical fighting agents as vegetables and fruit.
Free radicals are known contributors to aging, and increasing risk factors of cancer, heart disease and other chronic medical conditions. Numerous studies have shown the polyphenols found in honey to play a key role in preventing heart disease.
Phytonutrients are compounds in plants that protect them from external harm, and they do the same for the human body, as they have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Phytonutrients are only found in raw honey as they are destroyed in any type of heavy processing of food.
Honey can be used as a healthy substitute to sugar and is a popular choice for many people when dieting. If you include a teaspoon in your daily diet, you will be able to enjoy many benefits, as it is high in sugar and calories, so moderation is key.
If you’re wondering how you could eat more honey in your diet, you could try using it to sweeten tea or coffee, spreading it on toast or adding a few drops to your morning berries.
Raw coconut provides a wide variety of nutritional benefits as compared to the dried or processed form. Coconut water is a natural form of sports drink because of its natural ability to hydrate and replace electrolytes, and it is also rich in potassium, sodium, and magnesium. The above is not true of dried, processed, or sweetened coconut.
Moderation is key however, as coconut is high in calories, but it does have less sugar carbs in the same portion as apples.
Blueberries are really tasty and full of antioxidants that fight free radicals to prevent chronic disease. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6 and very low in calories and sugar.
If you need something sweet for a quick pick-me-up, instead of reaching for the chocolates, try a handful of blueberries.
For extra convenience, you can purchase frozen blueberries, which will keep for longer. Stock up when they’re more affordable and enjoy the benefits.
Some people love sprouts, while others absolutely hate them. They’re actually very healthy and if you want to improve your overall health, you should try to get used to eating them raw.
Sprouts are vegetables that are still in the growth stage, and because of this, they have high levels of nutrients, key enzymes and numerous vitamins, all ready to be digested by the human body.
For example, alfalfa sprouts have vitamins A, B, C, and E, Calcium, Carotene, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, and Chlorophyll.
If you’re a vegetarian and you need more protein in your diet, sprouts are a great source of protein too.
If you don’t like the taste of them raw, why not make a green smoothie and flavor it with other healthy ingredients.
6. Raw Broccoli
Eating raw broccoli helps fight cancer, as chewing of this raw super plant food allows you to access a cancer-fighting compound known as myrosinase, which is easily killed off in the cooking process. Eating broccoli sprouts doubles your intake of anticancer properties.
Freshly raw chopped garlic contains the enzyme alliinase that converts alliin into allicin, which is what creates the specific aroma of fresh garlic and also helps to improve your health. According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, allicin has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Moreover, fresh raw garlic releases a short-lived gas known as hydrogen sulfide that acts as an intracellular signaling compound that protects the heart. Cooking, processing, and drying destroy this valuable compound.
While many love to eat oil-roasted nuts, the cooking process reduces valuable nutrients, such as iron and magnesium and also adds extra calories and fat.
9. Red Bell Peppers
Red bell peppers contain about 150% of the daily-recommended value of vitamin C, but the National Institutes of Health warns that this vital nutrient breaks down when the peppers are cooked at or above 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eating raw red peppers also helps prevent atherosclerosis that leads to heart disease.
A Cornell University study found that raw onions contain sulphur compounds, and cancer-fighting antioxidants that are only present in their juice. These nutrients help protect against lung and prostate cancer.
While canned food used to be limited to simple vegetables, fishes and beans, the increase in modern demand for long lasting preserved foods has resulted in all manner of food types ending up in canned forms. Canned potatoes, canned burgers and canned whole chickens are just some of the strange offerings that have made their way to shelves in recent years. For many people, canned foods can never or will never be as good as the fresh alternative. However, the reality is not as clear cut as you might think. While some canned produce is undoubtedly less healthy than the fresh alternative, there are some anomalies.
Beans are one of the most commonly canned goods. From baked beans to kidney beans, the vast majority of beans are sold canned. And are they unhealthier as a result? Not quite. Although being canned does rid beans of some of their folic acid, they retain much the same levels of iron and calcium as with fresh beans. Similarly, canned beans are also a superb source of fibre. When comparing canned to fresh, the argument against canned beans is weak.
Corn, or sweetcorn, is also one of the most heavily canned vegetables on our shelves. While there are a number of varieties with canned corn, there remains one fairly inarguable truth; canned corn gives just as much fibre as fresh corn, and does so at a cheaper cost. You do sacrifice some vitamin C along the way, but few people are eating corn because they are looking to get the vitamin C for the day. Much like the beans, canned corn stands up pretty well to scrutiny.
Tinned tomatoes are a life-saver. The variety of chopped, peeled, diced or whole tomatoes allow even the laziest of shoppers to find exactly what they want at very affordable prices. That may be all well and good, but what about the nutritional content of tinned tomatoes? The canning process for tomatoes involves preserving them with heat. This process releases a certain carotenoid which has been linked with reducing the risk of certain types of cancers.
So as you can see, there are huge benefits from some canned goods. This is not to say that you should soon be going out to buy a whole chicken in a can – far from it. However, you also know that not everything in a can is to be avoided. Do your research, and you’ll find that there are some cans worth picking up.
• Detox Myth #5: Drinking an excessive amount of water will detoxify the body. This is a myth that has some partial truth to it. Water does help the kidneys and liver function better but if you drink too much of it, it can be dangerous to your body.
Too much water can negatively affect the electrolytes of the body and can cause your kidneys to work overtime trying to get rid of the excessive amount of water you are trying to take in as part of a detox diet. Drink plenty of water while dieting but don’t go overboard.
Is there anything more perfect in design than a Mason Jar Salad? The concept is ideal – a fresh and delicious salad, perfectly preserved in a strong container that won’t imprint on the food and is easily transportable – what’s not to love!? While many people know what they want from a Mason Jar Salad, constructing the perfect one is not quite as simple as simply filling a jar with whatever you want! Without careful planning, your delicious salad can quickly turn into a soggy mess. So just how do you make the perfect, healthy Mason Jar Salad?
The real here is in how you go about layering your salad. It doesn’t matter what you plan on putting in, as long as you put the ingredients in an order that makes sense! So first things first, you should always start with the dressing. Choose whatever dressing you want, but putting it in first the cornerstone of the perfect Mason Jar Salad. Next, choose an ingredient from your salad that won’t just soak up all your dressing. Carrots are a good choice, as are chickpeas or cherry tomatoes. These will retain their own flavor without soaking up all of the dressing, and provides a stable base for further layers on top.
If you have a solid layer above the level of your dressing, it’s time to start layering up. Keep your green leaves, cheeses or nuts aside, as they will make up the final layer. Always try to pack each layer tightly. This helps maintain the freshness of the salad. The less tightly your jar is packed, the less time your salad will stay fresh for. This is the core fundamental of a great Mason Jar Salad. Layer it cleverly, and pack it tightly.
Finally, add your green leaves, cheeses and nuts at the top. The green leaves will form a barrier that will help to maintain freshness, and this allows you place cheeses, nuts or even proteins like chicken on top without risking any soggy spread. And that’s it! Screw your lid on tightly and you’re ready to go. When you are ready to consume, simply open the jar, pour the contents into a bowl and toss as necessary. If you’ve layered your jar correctly and kept it upright, you will be rewarded with a crisp, fresh and delicious salad every single time.
In the world of dietary extremes, people always want to hear definitive, clear answers to complicated questions. As a result, there tends to be polarizing views on a number of issues where the truth generally seems to lie somewhere in the middle. One such issue is the debate over raw food versus cooked food. Raw food advocates insist that cooking food (or heating it over a certain temperature) goes against our very nature as humans. On the contrary, cooked food advocates argue that the cooking of food changes it chemically, and in doing so causes certain reactions which help our bodies in digestion. So which is true?
Let’s consider the raw food diet. Recent studies have suggested that raw food should make up the majority of a balanced diet. Many foods, when cooked, lose much of the nutrients that they inherently possessed. Thus, by cooking these foods, we are removing any potential benefits that we have received from consuming the food. Eating these foods raw allows us to get the full benefit of the enzymes natural to the foods. This is particularly true with many fruits and vegetables.
However, cooked food advocates would argue that other foodstuffs are only so beneficial to us because of the cooking process, and they would be right. Certain fruits, like tomatoes, release certain antioxidants when heated. These antioxidants are extremely helpful in reducing the risk of cancerous cells growing in our body. Similarly, some vegetables like asparagus also release more nutrients when boiled or steamed than in their raw form. This would lend further weight to the argument that cooked foods are better for your long term health.
So, again we ask, which is true?
As with many dietary this or that questions, the answer is somewhere in the middle. There are some foods that are better eaten raw. On the other side, there are some foods that are better cooked. What does this tell us? Well, we should probably eat some raw foods and some cooked foods. Yes, it really is that simple. There is no right or wrong absolute approach, merely common sense. If cooking a food is better for you, then you should cook it. If eating it raw is more beneficial, then eat it raw. As any health guru should tell you, the key to healthy eating is all about balance. That balance includes a balance between cooked and raw.
The number of pre-prepared meals being handled by individuals on a daily basis has grown hugely in recent years. From children bringing their lunches into school, to professionals bringing cooked or prepared lunches into work, the prevalence of the pre-prepared meal has never been so obvious. However, there exists a worrying ignorance surrounding the storage of these pre-prepared meals. Ask 100 office workers what kind of storage container they use for their lunch and the vast majority will say a plastic box. This might be fine, but unfortunately all too many of us are unaware of the dangers that plastic lunch containers might present.
Have you ever been told not to drink water from a plastic bottle that has been left in the sun all day? If not, you should have been. The problem here is that plastic containers can release certain chemicals into the food they are storing. Certain actions can exacerbate this situation, such as exposure to direct sunlight, or even putting these containers into the microwave. While there does exist a small market of plastic containers free from these leaky chemicals, they are few and far between, and rarely used.
So what is the alternative? Should we all just stop making pre-prepared meals? Of course not. Alternatives exist, and they are reasonably straight forward to implement. Inexpensive glass lunch boxes and containers are available in many places, and while these might prove slightly heavier than their plastic alternatives, they offer peace of mind that no harmful chemicals are making their way into your food.
Another alternative is to bring your food in a ceramic bowl from home, covered in cling film or aluminum foil. Again, this might prove slightly more hassle than a cheap plastic lunch box, but there exists no risk of exposure to contamination. Going one step further, you could even pick up a pack of disposable paper plates, depending on what your pre-prepared meal is. Disposable paper plates are extremely cheap, and have the added benefit of being recyclable. Again, using these with cling film or aluminum foil can avoid contact with these cheap, harmful plastics.
Ultimately, you should not be put off by the risk of plastic contamination. The warnings are there not to scare people into changing their habits, but to simply raise awareness of the potential risks. These risks are minimal, but. However, with the right storage options, you need not worry any more!
Most of us have grown up eating 3 square meals a day; breakfast lunch and dinner. However, the wisdom of this convention has been challenged with increasing regularity in recent years. There are those who insist that eating 5 – 6 times per day, but reducing the amount of food per meal, is a more efficient way of monitoring your intake, is healthier for your body and can lead to weight loss. So just how accurate are these claims? Let’s look at them in more detail.
Claim 1: More Regular Meals Increase Your Metabolism
The most common claim by those who recommend eating more often during the day is that the process of eating a meal raises your metabolism, so by eating several smaller meals every day you are increasing your metabolism more regularly. This, in turn, should lead to more fat being burned by your body. While the statement that eating does increase your metabolism, it’s not quite right to suggest that by digesting more often, you are expending more energy. The truth is that the amount of energy you use when digesting food is directly related to the quantity of food to be digested. The net benefit of more regular meals in this instance is little.
Claim 2: Eating More Frequently Helps to Control Cravings
This is a far more practical claim, and one that is more readily accepted by many health experts. No matter how big a meal we eat, there always seems to be room for a snack in between meals. This tends to be true regardless of the size of the meals consumed. However, by eating twice as often, you can remove the cravings for snacks, simply because they don’t have time to present themselves. By the time you start to crave a snack, it’s time for your next meal! For this reason, eating several smaller meals per day can be hugely beneficial in monitoring calorific intake.
Claim 3: Eating More Frequently Helps to Maintain Stable Blood Sugar Levels
Unfortunately, this claim stops dead in its tracks when compared against actual evidence. The theory that blood sugar levels can be more accurately maintained by regular meals makes sense, but in practice it has little impact on most people. For this reason, it really shouldn’t be considered a benefit of eating more frequently. The science simply isn’t there to back it up.
Eating more frequently every day might work for some people, but it should not be pitched as a scientific solution to fat loss. Are there benefits? For some people, absolutely. Eating more regularly can be an effective tool in controlling cravings and thus lead to a more managed diet. However, from a strictly biological point of view, the differences between strategies are negligible. Ultimately, if it works for you, stick to it. If it doesn’t, stick to what does work. It’s that simple!