4 Amazing Benefits of Green Tea

For quite some time now I’m sure you’ve heard of the wonderful effects that green tea has on your body. It’s a soothing treat that can be served either hot or cold, but have you sat down and tasted some? There are people that I know who are hooked and there are people that stay far away from it. But why not appreciate some of the great healthy benefits that is has to offer?

 

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Let’s look at some of them:

  1. Properties that Help with Anti-Aging

Green tea is known for its great effects regarding anti-aging and even anti-inflammation. The compound plays a significant role in preventing wrinkles, fine lines and even damage from the sun. With regard to the anti-inflammation components, it helps with preventing damage that may have been caused by lipid formation. Keep in mind however that drinking green tea religiously will not make you look 20 years younger automatically. It is simply a preventative treat that is great for your health.

  1.  Antioxidants

Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants which is great for skin and heart health. In green tea, you will find powerful antioxidants by the name of polyphenols which are stronger than vitamin C! If you’re unsure about what an antioxidant is- keep in mind that it is a substance that helps to get rid of waste which causes damage to your body. That waste is known as a free radical.

Also, the antioxidants in green tea protect your cells against foreign bodies that may enter your system. As long as you maintain a healthy diet, the nutrients found in green tea can benefit you greatly and it can prevent from damage in the future.

  1. Healthy Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight and you are striving to eat a healthy diet, adding green tea can make a huge difference. This substance is known to help speed up your metabolism and burn that stubborn fat in the process. It has been found that the substances known as catechins which are found in green tea have that effect which helps you to burn fat the most. Do use green tea as a meal supplement though. You will be missing out on quality nutrients that wholesome meals have to offer.

  1. Helps to Improve Your Lifestyle

When you drink green tea on a daily basis, it can really lower your susceptibility to conditions of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even mental health. There was a Japanese study that was done which showed individuals over the age of 65 thst had improved function simply by drinking green tea about 3-5 times a day.

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Overall, the benefits of this wonderful tea are endless. When you are drinking green tea, be careful with that sugar intake. Use organic honey if you can. Even if you can’t consume it on a daily basis, opt for a cup a week and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

 

 

 

 

Pasta Myths!

For many health conscious individuals, I’m sure they’ve heard that they should stay away from pasta and those other carbohydrates because they are terrible for health. While it may be true that too much may be bad for you, there’s no need to deprive yourself totally. Pasta is a delicious meal that anyone can conquer- even those who are picky, healthy eaters.

Many people that stay away from pasta simply do so because they may be living a low-carb lifestyle. However what if you want to continue eating healthy, but you still want to eat carbs? Keep in mind that you can still do this! That whole no-carb lifestyle really isn’t for everyone out there.

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Let’s take a look at those pasta myths:

  1. There are no Nutrients in Pasta

Face the facts- when was the last time you heard someone say that a bowl of pasta is filled with all types of vitamins and minerals? Probably never. The truth is that there are types of pasta that are actually loaded with nutrients! Read those labels carefully and look for boxes that contain folic acid as well as B vitamins. Also, be sure to opt for whole grain. Sometimes they have a lot more fiber than the regular pasta that you buy.

  1. I will get fat from Eating Pasta

Here’s the thing- you won’t get fat from solely eat that pasta. You will get fat from eating too many calories with unsaturated fats, sugar etc. If you look at just a 2 ounce serving, there are about 200 calories, which isn’t too bad. Add some greens and olive oil and you’re good to go.

  1. If I want to Eat Healthy, I can’t Have Pasta

Again, not true. You need carbohydrates for energy and for proper muscle function. Unless you want to go on a crazed carbohydrate free-diet, pasta will not harm you. The USDA even says that carbs should be in about 45-65 percent of your total calories for the day. Try adding fresh tomatoes, kale and even lean meat for a healthy meal. Your taste buds will definitely thank you!

  1. There’s No Fiber in Pasta

 

This is something that drives me nuts! Most people think that the only places you can get fiber is prunes. Keep in mind that there is a world of food out there! Regular pasta can provide you with about 2 grams of fiber in every serving. That’s more than you thought, isn’t it. That number increases if you opt for whole grain pasta. Have a nice salad on the side and maybe a piece of grilled chicken and you have a balanced dinner.

  1. I’ll Be Able to Get Energy But I Will be Burned Out Later

Since pasta is a carbohydrate, it is true that it will give you mounds of energy for your body to function throughout the day. But for the carbs that burn you out later, it’s usually those products that have a high glycemic index. Keep in mind that pasta is a product with a low glycemic index so it can break down the substances slowly instead of a rapid rate.

If you’re looking for healthy options to eat with your pasta, try vegetables. Zucchini, squash and even broccoli are excellent dishes to whip up. Happy eating!

 

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

4 Amazing Benefits of Eating an Apple a Day

Happy September! Fall is in the air!! When I think of this time of year,  love the smell of crisp apples and even fresh apple pie. I know you’ve probably been told since you were a child that apples are great for your health and it even plays a role in strengthening your teeth. Guess what? Whoever told you that was absolutely right. There are a plethora of benefits of eating just one apple per day.

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Image Source: rosannadavidsonnutrition.com

  1. An Abundance of Fiber for Your Digestive System

Most fruits and vegetables are chock full of fiber which allows for a healthy digestive system. Your colon is cleaned thoroughly and it plays a role in preventing potential inflammation. Keep in mind that most of that wonderful fiber found in apples is typically found in the skin, so don’t throw them away! If you have just one apple that is medium sized, you will be getting about 2.4 grams of fiber, which is great!

Foods that have a great amount of fiber can really promote a healthy well-being. The fiber that you consume allows water to enter the stool which allows for ease through the colon. Think about what would happen if fiber didn’t exist. It keeps your plumbing intact!

 Keeps Your Skin Glowing

It has been found that contain an abundance of both elastin and collagen which both play significant roles in the health of your skin. This is why many people like to apply apple slices on to their faces during or after a facial!

Research has even shown that apple cider may play a role in treating and preventing acne. Bacteria can be eliminated as well as the oils so that the pH of your skin is restored properly. Don’t forget that fresh apples are filled with vitamins A, B and C which are all excellent for your system overall.

  1. Prevent Issues with Breathing

Many people may not even be aware of this, but apples can actually play a role in keeping your lungs healthy. There is an antioxidant in the fruit known as quercetin and this is what helps the lungs function properly. Keep in mind that this substance is found in the skin, so that’s another reason why you shouldn’t throw it away!

  1. Helps with Weight Loss

Let’s face it- there are a plethora of people out there who struggle with weight loss or who struggle with maintaining a healthy weight. By eating an apple a day, it’s a great snack to make you feel full. You never feel guilty if you have one and the nutritional values are endless. If  you substitute an apple for a candy bar, you’ll be on your way to a healthier method of losing that weight.

Fruits and vegetables are the best way to go when dealing with any type of weight loss. Don’t fall victim to those fad diets because they may be doing more harm to your body than you can imagine. Throw an apple into your bag in the morning or cut up some slices and have some honey on the side. If you’d like you can also add some fresh slices of apples to your tea to give it a nice zest.

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Image Source: marcussamuelson.com

 

Overall, apples have a wonderful taste and if you are adamant about being healthy, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be in your diet. Go ahead and get those apples! And don’t forget to support your local farms!

-Anita Haridat, Ph.D

 

 

 

 

3 Nutrients that Every Woman Needs for Better Health

When it comes to maintaining your health, there are so many resources around you that can guide you in the right direction, but doesn’t all seem so confusing? For many women, it is important to take the right types of vitamins and minerals, however, this can all be confusing as well. How can you be sure that you are consuming the right types? If you’re really unsure, you may want to discuss this with your health care provider, but here are some essential nutrients to keep in mind:

  1. Calcium:

As we get older, we are more susceptible to brittle and soft bones which is why our need for calcium is so dire. You need an ample amount of calcium to build strong bones and to prevent against conditions such as osteoporosis. Keep in mind that calcium also plays a role in proper muscle function, so take those supplements if you need to.

The USDA says that women who are below the age of 50 should take about 1000 mg per day and those who are over the age of 50 should try to get about 1200 per day.

 

  1. Vitamin D

This vitamin goes hand in hand with calcium, but it also has its own separate benefits that you should be aware of. Keep in mind that vitamin D helps to absorb the calcium in your body and it plays a role with muscle and skeletal function as well. So the importance factor is extremely high.

Vitamin D can come from sunlight, so catch some rays when you can. When it comes to food sources, opt for eggs and fatty fish- which also contain a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. If you are concerned about your levels of vitamin D, be sure to go to your physician.

 

  1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These compounds are great because they help fight against a plethora of conditions such as arthritis, depression and as I stated before, heart disease. It’s especially beneficial for women because it can promote the healthy development of a baby. There is an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, but you can also find a ton in algae, tofu and brussel sprouts.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also great for providing you with ample energy to help get you through your day. It is recommended that you should take no more than 1000 mg to fully reap the benefits. There are plethora of natural substances out there that you can opt for. Just be sure to read those labels carefully in order to make sure that there are no harsh additives included.

 

If you’re interested in taking a natural multivitamin, the possibilities are endless. However, keep in mind that most of your nutrients should come from wholesome products such as fruits and vegetables. However, it’s understandable if you simply cannot obtain all of the adequate vitamins and minerals from your diet alone. Natural supplements are excellent as long as you stay informed. Stay healthy everyone!

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

4 Herbs and Spices with Nutritional Benefits

For those who are health conscious, when it comes to consuming products with nutrients, whole foods come to mind. This includes fruits, vegetables and the occasional whole grain. However, there is another category that many of us are missing. Herbs and spices! Some of these really pack a punch when it comes to health. Let’s take a look:


1. Cinnamon
I’m a huge fan of cinnamon because you can put it on virtually anything. I put some in tea, on cereal and even my natural apple drinks. It really kicks up the flavor. When it comes to health, cinnamon helps to stabilize sugar levels and it is even recommend for people with type 2 diabetes. Just make sure that it is in the natural form before you use it. There should be no extra ingredients!
Add some cinnamon to your yogurt even to some whole grain bread for a delicious treat after dinner.
2. Oregano
This is another spice that I use often because it really kicks up the flavor of many Italian dishes. This herb has a plethora of antioxidants which fights off free radicals and toxicity in our bodies. Make sure to use a generous amount in some whole grain pasta, sauce or even a grilled cheese sandwich. You will notice the enhancement of flavor immediately.
3. Turmeric
This is a dark yellow herb that contains substances which fight heart disease as well as cognitive decline. It’s typically found in curry powder and you and you can add it to tuna salad, egg salad etc. for a wonderful delight. Don’t forget to look for vinaigrette recipes because turmeric tastes excellent in them!
4. Rosemary
This herb is excellent for decreasing potential inflammation that occurs within your body. When inflammation occurs, you are susceptible to other health conditions so it is important to fix the problem before it becomes severe. You can add rosemary to marinade for your meats or you can mix up a nice sauce with olive oil for a sauce to use with whole grain bread.

 

 
When you’re cooking, try to use as many of these spices and herbs as you can because they really play a role in improving your health. Some of them even help to boost your metabolism so don’t hesitate to apply them generously when you can. There are a ton of others out there that you can jot down after you have done your research and you can experiment them while cooking. It’s a wonderful feeling when you have concocted a delight in the kitchen. Don’t forget to opt for wholesome fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well. Stay healthy everyone!

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

4 Wonderful Benefits of Ginger

Oh ginger.  There are people out there who love the root with a passion and there are others who simply loathe it. I hardly find any middle ground. I’m the type of person who absolutely loves ginger. I make tea with the fresh root, I add some of the root in many dishes and I even use it for digestive issues because it really works wonders. The truth is that there are a plethora of benefits of ginger that we should take advantage of.

Keep in mind that ginger is a root. It helps to preserve substances and it can be spicy when used in abundance. For thousands of years people have sworn by ginger to help protect against health diseases and even spirits. It is also says that is plays a role in increasing your positive energy.

Let’s take a look at 4 specific benefits to be aware of:

  1. Great for Digestive Health

When it comes to discomfort in your stomach- ginger is the way to go. The secret is the fact that it aids the absorption of food. Typically when you have an upset stomach, something didn’t settle well. Ginger will try to fix any mishaps thereby allowing better digestion. It also plays a significant role in preventing potential inflammation that happens. So chew on a raw piece of ginger the next time you have a stomach ache from something bad that you might have eaten!

  1. Fends off Respiratory Issues

If you find yourself developing a cough, ginger is great at helping your lungs expand. It also loosens up that extra phlegm that you may have lying around. This is why ginger tea is excellent during cold season. If fights off all the bad guys and really aids your breathing. Give it a try next time you have a cold!

  1. Helps to Absorb Nutrients

 When you’re eating a healthy diet, chances are your intake of nutrients is adequate. Ginger can play a role in really helping towards absorbing those nutrients so that your body can make full use of them. Keep in mind that ginger is great even if you have a diet that is poor. Your body may not absorb nutrients right away, so ginger will be there for assistance.

  1. Prevention of the Common Cold

While there isn’t a cure for the common cold- yet, ginger can help to prevent symptoms from developing. You can make a nice tea with the fresh root or you can eat it raw once those winter months start to begin.

Keep in mind that there are so many other benefits to take advantage of when it comes to consuming ginger. If you are interested in staying healthy, you can take about 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger every day. Do this especially if you feel a cold or cough coming your way. Also, you can use ginger for a variety of healthy dishes like stir fry broccoli or healthy ginger snap crackers. So do your research and enjoy thoroughly!

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

Enjoy Summer without Sacrificing Nutrition!

Oh, summer. You’re outside soaking up the sun and you’re enjoying all types of fun events. Whether you’re swimming, playing a round of volleyball or simply just tossing around a Frisbee with your dog, who can say that summer is not enjoyable? However, with all of the mindlessness that is going on, are you paying enough attention to the food that you are putting into your body? If you’re like me, sometimes I just nibble on snacks even when I’m talking.

Hey- if they’re sprawled out on the table, they’re game right? Just be careful!

First of all, since the weather is warmer outside we want to eat foods that will be sure to keep us hydrated. This is especially important for athletes who spend hours outside. If this is the case, make sure you stock up sports beverages with electrolytes. However, if you’re just sitting outside recreationally, you still need hydration. Opt for plenty of water and add lemon if you would like. It’s the perfect treat.

When it comes to food, fruits and veggies are the way to go. There is such huge water content in these products and they provide an excellent source of hydration especially when the weather is warm. Let’s not forget that these products tend to be very affordable during the summer so make sure that your kitchen is stocked up properly! Even if you’re eating them raw or cooking them on the grill, they are delicious for satiety in the heat.

 

We shouldn’t forget that fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber which is excellent for our digestive health. You want to make sure that your bowel movements are healthy and that there is a lack of bloating so that you can enjoy swimming without a problem

Besides foods that keep you hydrated, you should also try to opt for products that play a role in protecting you from damage that can be caused by the sun. Again, fruits and veggies are great because of the great source of antioxidants. Try to look for those that contain vitamin E, selenium and vitamin C. They are particular compounds that are especially used for reversing the effects of sun damage.  Foods that are high in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and eggs. Foods that are rich in selenium are sea food and whole grains and finally foods that are rich in vitamin c are citrus products, and dark greens.

The Bottom Line

The summer season brings us such a great variety of food and we should really take advantage of it. Just be aware that all of the nibbling that you do during down time can really catch up with you. That’s why I like to stress stocking your kitchen up with wholesome foods that don’t contain harsh additives or preservatives. Additionally, if you’re going to light up the grill, make sure the food is safe. You want to stay away from any illness that may occur due to raw meat. Most of all, have a wonderful time and keep healthy eating in the back of your mind.

5 Reasons to Eat Local Fruits and Vegetables

When most of us go to the grocery store to pick up fresh produce, how many times do we think about the origination of what we are buying? Where did that apple grow? How far did that mango travel to get here? With all of the genetically modified products and increased use of preservatives, these are essential questions to ask yourself.

Let’s face it- you want to eat food that is fresh. Food that is free from all sorts of pesticides and other harmful agents. This is why I’m such a huge fan of buying fruits and vegetables at farms that are local. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

  1. Chock Full of Nutrients

Many people think fruits and vegetables are all the same. They are filled with nutrients and that’s the end of that. However, when fruits and vegetables travel a long distance to reach their destination, a lot of nutrients may be depleted. When you buy products locally, they are picked at the height of their freshness and you can be sure that the nutrient levels are high.

  1. Improved Taste and Freshness

Have you ever been to a local apple farm or peach farm and picked that fruit right off the tree? Did you notice how juicy it was compared to the fruits that you get at your grocery store? Buying food locally allows you to truly get fresh produce– guaranteed. It’s likely that they aren’t packaged and sealed and left on shelves for days. Keep that in mind!

  1. Better Food Safety

Since the produce doesn’t have to travel long distances to get to you, there is a small chance that contamination will occur with locally grown foods. You as a consumer know exactly where your head of lettuce came from and how it was arranged.

  1. Support of the Environment

When you look at the farms that are well managed throughout our country, most are run by the use of fertile soil that is taken care of properly. Also, keep in mind that farms usually house a ton of animals and they may even be homes for the wildlife out there.

Additionally, let’s not forget about the transportation that many fruits and vegetables use to travel those great distances. Transportation alone whether it’s by a truck, plane or train uses all types of fossil fuels that cause great pollution to our environment. Who wants to actually promote that? Although much cannot be done simply because it is a huge industry, you can make a difference for yourself and your family by shopping locally. It makes all the difference in the world- trust me.

  1. Support of Your Local Economy

For the local farmers out there, their business is typically done in their home town. Wouldn’t you rather hand over your money to your own town, city or state rather than another random place in order to enjoy delicious, healthy products? Local shops are great for communities that are close-knight and just knowing that the abundance of healthy food connects you to them is wonderful.

 

As you can see eating locally has a ton of perks to take advantage of. When the season is right, head down to your nearest farm and enjoy!

 

Anita Haridat, PhD.

 

Opt for Healthy Choices at Restaurants

Let’s face it- most of us enjoy the delicacies that restaurants have to offer. Whether we’re celebrating a birthday or having a weekly dinner at our favorite spot, good food brings people together. Even though this is the case, are you aware of the large portion meals filled with sodium and saturated fats that may be hurting your healthy eating habits?

Even if you think that you’re doing yourself justice by ordering vegetarian meals, certain additives may cause harm to your healthy eating flow. Yes, asparagus sounds delicious, but not if it’s drowned in cheese, butter or straight up fat!

Understand that just because you are ordering a vegetable that was once wholesome, it doesn’t mean that it is healthy on that restaurant plate. The truth it- it’s not low calorie unless the menu indicates that it is.

If you want to continue to eat healthy but you’re wary of dining out, don’t let that deter you! There are plenty of ways to have good meals at fantastic sit-down places without worrying about harsh additives.  First thing is first- choose the right types of restaurants. If certain places are known for their fried foods and hefty butter dishes, it might not be the best idea to go there, unless you’re into that kind of thing.

Do some research and look for restaurants that are known for their wholesome foods and meals with lean meat and fresh fruits/vegetables. With a simple internet search, you’re bound to find dozens in your area- I promise. Also, when you’re at a restaurant, try to keep your portion size at a small or median level. The amount that you eat when you’re there is nowhere the same amount that you eat at home. So eat what you can and bring the rest home. Portion control is key.

It’s also beneficial to look over your menu and spot the hints which tell that a product is simply unhealthy. Is it dipped in batter or breaded with all kinds of compounds? Those are probably not the best options for you. Opt for those dishes are steamed, baked, broiled, roasted or even flame-cooked. Not only are they still delicious, but they lock in the nutrients of the wholesome products that you desire.

Looking out for the right sauces are key as well! Opt for those veggies or lean meats that are cooked with olive oil or stock rather than some kind of cream entity. Those creamy meals are not the best to consume if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet- trust me.

Finally, last but not least, let’s talk about dessert. You may want to indulge in that chocolate cheesecake, but I’m pretty sure you can guess that it’s crawling with all kinds of sugars, saturated fats, etc. Why don’t you opt for some fresh fruit with whipped cream? And if you’re in the mood for something cold but don’t want to waste time with ice cream, how about a nice sorbet? The calories are low you can even split it with a friend if you can’t eat all of it.

If you really want to eat healthy, don’t be scared of going to restaurants. It’s all about making smart choices. Happy eating!

 

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

4 Raw Foods to Eat for Greater Nutritional Power

Happy March!

For many health conscious people out there, they find themselves in a huge debacle concerning raw foods and cooked foods. Sometimes, especially with vegetables, heating them and cooking them for too long may actually deplete many of the essential nutrients. That’s why many people have starting eating more foods raw.
The truth is, most foods are healthier when they are in their original natural state. If you are curious about what you should eat raw based on a maximum number of nutrients, I’ve compiled a list for you. Let’s take a look:

 
1. Broccoli
This is a vegetable that people either hate or love. Even as a child I’ve loved broccoli. But as I’ve been getting older I have to say I like it better when it’s raw. It’s great when it’s in a salad or even when you’re dipping it in some delicious sauce. Broccoli has a plethora of nutrients including vitamin K for healthy skin. There is also a great amount of fiber which stimulates a healthy digestive system. If you cook broccoli for a long period of time, there are chances that the nutrients can be depleted thoroughly. So eat them raw if you can.


2. Cacoa or Raw Chocolate
Many people out there have a sweet tooth and they crave chocolate on the regular. They are probably craving the sugar filled chocolate bars found at almost every store known to man. However raw chocolate has a plethora of nutrients called phytonutrients which actually are known to enhance your mood. When cacao is cooked, these nutrients are depleted and that’s how you get your standard chocolate bar. Plus all of that sugar, milk and chemicals are added which is not beneficial for your health. Do yourself a favor and get some raw chocolate- it’s tasty and you will be guilt free.

 
3. Garlic
Yes, I know who would actually eat raw garlic? The truth is that this herb is filled with compounds that prevent blood clotting and in turn protect you from heart disease. Many physicians even recommend patients to eat cloves of raw garlic if they are susceptible to heart attacks. When you cook garlic, of course you can smell the fragrance all around the kitchen and even spreading thought the house but the nutrients start to escape as well. If you’re concerned about your heart, munch on about 2-3 raw cloves a day and down some water after if you need to!


4. Fruit Juice that is Raw
The great thing about fruits is that they provide a ton of micronutrients to keep your organs healthy. Instead of consuming juice made from concentrate, why don’t you take the time to juice your own fruit? It’s healthier and you know exactly what is being placed in your drink. If you simply don’t have the time- opt for the organic brands.
Overall, the raw vs. cooked food debacle will continue to exist, but it’s up to you maintain a healthy stance so be smart. Happy eating everyone!

Anita Haridat , Ph.D