Getting the sniffles? Fall and winter are the time of year when people seem to be more susceptible to colds. It might be the change in temperature or it may be all the bugs that your kids are bringing home from school, but most come down with at least one cold when the temps drop. Regardless of feeling under the weather, most of us can not drop everything we are doing to rest and recuperate like we should. The average cold can take seven days to almost two weeks to recover from, but there is hope. There are many over the counter products and herbal supplements that may shorten the duration of a cold and help you get back to feeling a hundred percent.
Echinacea is an herbal supplement that is often used to prevent a cold or shorten the time you have one once it starts. It is believed that echinacea works by reducing inflammation to help deal with cold symptoms. The most common side effects from echinacea supplements are fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and muscle aches, but I do, however, think that many of these symptoms could be caused by the cold itself. If you are allergic to certain flowers like mums, ragweed or marigolds you may become allergic to echinacea.
If you heard that schools were limiting their potato offerings, you’d probably be in support. After all, when you think of potatoes in a school lunch you probably imagine French fries and tater tots, yes? In fact, when children are given a choice, 75% of the time they choose the starchy vegetable – i.e. French fried potatoes over any other vegetable. New proposed federal standards would like to trim the number of times per week that potatoes can be offered on a school menu to just two, but this may not be such a smart idea.
The USDA has proposed increasing the amount of fruit, leafy vegetables and whole grains served to school children every day while limiting corn, lima beans, peas and potatoes, but not sweet potatoes.
Not so fast, says Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Not only would reducing the servings of potatoes negatively affect potato farmers, but potatoes are actually a very nutritious vegetable. One medium-size potato, skin on, contains 110 calories per serving, with more potassium (620 grams) than a banana, and almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent). In addition, a potato is high in fiber, and potatoes don’t contain fat, sodium or cholesterol. It’s only when potatoes are fried, coated in butter or served with sour cream that they become a nutritional nightmare.
By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
The best way to beat cancer naturally is to adopt a lifestyle to prevent it. Healthy, nutrient-rich food is an essential part of any anti-cancer plan. Here are my picks for the top 5 vitamins that help protect against cancer. Stay posted next week for the Top 5 Minerals that Help Protect Against Cancer.
1. Beta carotene
This precursor of Vitamin A is found in most orange and green vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and other leafy green vegetables. An amazing nutrient, it has been shown in research to protect the lungs against toxins that are linked to lung cancer.
Another study found that ex-smokers who ate green and yellow vegetables high in beta carotene daily decreased their risk of stomach and lung cancer.
2. Vitamin B6
This B-Vitamin is essential to maintain a healthy immune system and helps protect the respiratory tract from pollution and infection. In studies it has helped protect against cervical cancer. Vitamin B-6 is primarily found in carrots, apples, organ meats, bananas, leafy green vegetables, and sweet potatoes.
With National Peach Month upon us, there are a lot of tempting fresh peach recipes to make with seasonal stone fruit. If you live in a part of the country where fresh peaches are unavailable, it’s still possible to celebrate peaches during the month of August with the canned and frozen fruits in your grocery store.
According to Alison Lewis, nutritionist and founder of Ingredients, Inc., canned fruits are comparable to fresh and frozen fruit when looking at nutritional values.
“Eating canned peaches can be healthy,” said Lewis, “Canned peaches sometimes retain more nutrients than fresh because they are picked fully ripe and then processed right away. Fresh fruit may be picked before they are ripe and may travel long distances and suffer improper storage conditions which means nutrients may be destroyed along the way.”
Here in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates food safety. Denmark’s equivalent to that is the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, also known as the DVFA. Stateside, we tend to think of extra vitamins as a positive thing but in Denmark, vitamin fortified food is a diet-don’t. The DVFA has made it clear that their stance on fortifying foods with vitamins and minerals is one of suspicion and concern.
The theory held within the DVFA is that a properly balanced diet negates the necessity for supplementing with extra vitamins. In fact, they believe so strongly in the dangers of vitamin and mineral overdose that fortified foods must first be approved through a pricey application process. Foods found to contain what the DVFA classifies as dangerous levels of fortification are not granted approval.
Among the products recently pulled from the shelves of a small Copenhagen store is Ovaltine. At my home, we use Ovaltine as a chocolate milk treat because it’s nutrient enriched- I feel a lot better about that decision as opposed to pouring a giant glob of chocolate flavored syrup in to my son’s cup. What strikes me as particularly odd is that Ovaltine hasn’t yet been granted shelf-space and yet Red Bull (with its copious amounts of both vitamins and caffeine) has, according to the New York Times.
Cheryl Forberg, R.D., is a James Beard Award-winning chef, the nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser and a New York Times best-selling author. Her Pumpkin Polenta recipe is reprinted from Positively Ageless: A 28-Day Plan for a Younger, Slimmer, Sexier You (Rodale, 2023). Follow her on at www.facebook.com/cherylforbergrd or twitter at cherylforbergrd
To maintain a healthy balance in your diet, make sure you eat something orange every day. From the burnt orange richness of carrots, yams and pumpkin to the ocher shades of apricots and nectarines, these colorful foods are packed with nutrients and compounds that our bodies need to function properly and stave off disease.
Orange foods take their hue from beta-carotene, a plant substance converted by the human body into Vitamin A, essential for normal growth and development, immune system function, and skin and vision health. Beta-carotene is also a powerful antioxidant shown to help fight cancer and heart-disease. Most people don’t get enough beta-carotene in their diet so it’s important to add orange to the menu daily.
New Mexico is known for cuisine that reflects the combination of the Native American, Mexican, Spanish, and American cultural traditions. A few of the most common foods found in this style of diet are blue corn, enchiladas, sopapillas, and red and green chilies. Green chilies are harvested when they are green and turn to a red color as they ripen. Green chilies are typically known for their somewhat mild, bitter taste and sinus cleansing heat, but the nutritional benefits are often overlooked.
Green chilies are extremely rich in vitamins A and C (the dried version higher in vitamin A while the raw or fresh version is higher in vitamin C). In fact, a single green chili contains six times more vitamin C than an average sized orange. Green chilies are also a good source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamin B and E, and iron and potassium which allows them to help block the body’s absorption of cholesterol and help promotes normal body functioning.
We’ve all heard that superfruits are good for you, but what exactly are superfruits? Superfruits are exotic fruits found around the world that have been known to have the highest concentration of antioxidants and nutrients of any other food or beverage.
“Superfruits are great because they multi-task,” said fit-living expert Laurel House. “Not only do they give you more energy throughout the day, but they are filled with antioxidants that help prevent disease.”
While nutrition experts are always searching for the “next big thing” in the diet and health industry, some of the most popular superfruits are available in most supermarkets, usually in the form of juices and extracts. (more…)
Potatoes get a bit of a bad rap. Lately, I’ve come to realize how much I love a baked potato now and again as a satisfying side dish to a lean protein and tossed salad. But, in a post-Atkins world, that would seem like a diet taboo. Not so, says a new study.
“When it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups. Rather, it is reducing calories that count,” said study leader Britt Burton-Freeman of the University of California, Davis.
The study’s leader went on to say that not only is there no evidence that a healthfully prepared potato is bad for your diet, it can actually be a part of your weight loss plan. (more…)
Josie Maurer, creator of YumYucky.com, spreads the message of finding balance between fitness and your greedy side. She lost over 40 pounds after the birth of her fourth child through sensible eating and exercise, yet she still maintains her love for large slices of cake.
You’re sneezing and throat-hacking. You may cough up a lung. Your head feels 10,000 pounds heavy and your nostrils are host to a faucet of liquid boogers. Cold and flu season is approaching. Are you ready to do battle?
Germs are pretty sneaky. Today’s innocent sneezing fit could very well morph into a barrage of “I can’t go to work” cold symptoms by the time tomorrow comes. But there’s a way to put those symptoms in a headlock and quite possibly bounce back faster. There are 5 natural remedies you can wield against a cold. (more…)
This week the Vitamin Guide continues through vitamins A to Zinc with vitamin C. Click here to read about last weeks topic of vitamin B12. Vitamin C is essential for our bodies as it helps with the formation of our bones, muscle, teeth and skin. It is also important to note that unlike most animals, we as humans do not have the ability to make our own vitamin C, and therefore must get it through our diet. Vitamin C helps with resistance to infection and with healing wounds, and in most recent research it has shown that vitamin C is useful in lowering cholesterol and fat levels in blood. (more…)