Remember when the term “supermodel” meant something? Namely, Linda, Christy, Naomi, Claudia, Cindy and Kate? Now the word is so overused, there must hundreds of so-called “supermodels” in the skies, on the runways and at the end of cigarettes. Well, the same thing is happening with “superfoods”. Suddenly, there seems to be a lot of them out there. Like mushrooms. But are they really a “superfood”? Let’s see…
Before we embark on their health giving properties, here’s a bit of interesting background on the ‘shroom, kindly sent to us by Mushroom Matrix. Did you know that mushrooms are neither a plant nor an animal, but in fact have their own kingdom? In the 1960s, they were given special classification as the “Kingdom of Fungi”. With an estimated 1.5-2 million species on earth, fungi could theoretically outnumber plants 6 to 1. And just like animals, they inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
I’ve eaten flax before and thought it tasted like the sawdust that covers the floor at the circus. But as it is a superfood, I’m determined to unearth all of its amazing health-giving properties and attempt to talk my palate into trying it again. Because, filled as it is with unique nutritious qualities, flaxseed certainly deserves its superstar status.
Flaxseeds are full of lignans — “up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food” — which is a promising cancer fighting agent (especially breast and colon cancer). Flax consumption can help reduce total cholesterol, including the bad kind and triglycerides. Which makes it good news for the heart as well. As flax is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, it can help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels and ease the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.
Pomegranate season has begun. I’m seeing them everywhere at the farmer’s markets. Pomegranates are usually in season from October through January. Native to Persia and cultivated in the Mediterranean for thousands of years, pomegranates are becoming the newest trendy fruit in the US — grown mostly in Southern California to be sold as pomegranate juice to health conscious consumers. Pomegranate juice isn’t the only way to incorporate the high anti-oxidants and other health benefits of the fruit into your diet. While they are in season as fresh whole fruits, try some of these delicious recipes that include the tangy sweet and sour pomegranate to zest up your meal. You can also juice them fresh, or be creative and add them as a garnish to salads, drinks, deserts, dips and guacamole’s etc. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
A lack of energy is a common complaint for many of us. It can hit hard in the afternoon — that no man’s land after lunch and before clocking out, which seems to stretch on forever. We’ve all reached for chocolate or another double espresso to get us through. Fitness experts would suggest exercise to fight flagging energy (but then again, that’s their solution for everything — nutters). But from experience, when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is hit the gym.
Which brings us back to food. What healthy dietary fixes are out there? Thankfully, that’sfit has complied a list of the five most energizing foods.
As more of us become aware about the large amount of nutrients found in very recently picked produce compared to the produce that is shipped for days over thousands of miles, indoor sprouting is becoming a common site in the kitchen of green foodies everywhere.
1. Keepin’ it fresh…
There is simply nothing fresher. Not only are sprouts still intact and alive, but they are FAR fresher than any organic produce bought in a grocery store…even a local farmer’s market. As soon as a plant is cut off from its life source (the roots), it begins to die. The beauty of eating sprouts is that they are usually eaten 10-15 minutes after harvesting, many times sooner. Think about it; even at a local farmer’s market, the produce you are buying has been harvested at the very earliest that morning, more likely the day before. That equates to hundreds of times longer than the freshly harvested sprouts. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Let’s face it: we all have a vice or two. Mine? I’m addicted to the white stuff. Those little white grains filled with the promise of livening up any…dish. Ha, ha — had you for a moment, right? I’m speaking of salt, silly. It’s true: my palate is on the salty side. I justify my sodium intake by only sprinkling organic sea salt or squirting Braggs on my salads or soups and avoiding processed food like the plague. But in any case, writing this article serves as a good reminder to cut back.
So, what should I do with all this leftover salt I won’t be consuming? Luckily, UK-based Hippyshopper complied a list 10 eco-friendly uses for salt. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Treat a bee sting. Having endured more the eight bee stings (I kid you not), I wish I’d known about this one earlier. You simply wet the sting and then cover the affected area with salt. Apparently it’s much more effective (and cheaper) than most over-the-counter remedies. Hope I never get the opportunity to try this one out.
When I came across “The Five Carcinogens That Lurk in Your Home” article while browsing Men’s Health Magazine, I must admit I was not happy. I usually avoid these types of stories like the plague. It’s never reassuring to find out that an aspect of your domestic routine (and one that’s existed for years) is not only unhealthy but downright dangerous. However in this case, ignorance is not bliss. It’s cancer. And cancer can come in many forms, as the article says: “sometimes it looks like a cigarette, other times sunburn. And then there are the times when you’re face-to-face with it and don’t even know it”. Scary stuff.
Whether you grow your own food or shop at your farmer’s market, eating what’s in season will assure you the freshest produce–picked at its peak and brimming with flavor.
July being the middle of the summer, brings us the most variety of fruits and vegetables at their peak or just coming into season. This is the time that the heirloom tomatoes, red bell peppers and cucumbers will start showing up at your market in abundance. I can’t even stop thinking about all the uses for jalapeno now. I want to put it in everything! Expect to see a lot of recipes from me soon with jalapeno and cucumber and tomatoes and other summer produce in season. : ) Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Before the avocado traveled north and become the popular fruit we know today, it had quite the slanderous reputation and was banned by the priests. It was known and used as an aphrodisiac sexual stimulant. The original Aztec name for the fruit was “ahuacatl” and means “testicle”, in reference of the avocados shape.
Native to Central and South America and dating back to 8,000 B.C., the avocado (ahuacatl) fruit has become one of the most popular crops in California. Mexico is still the world’s leading producer of avocados, with Brazil and California as the second largest producers. Avocado trees from Mexico were first planted in the U.S. in 1871 in Santa Barbara. Today, with over 7,000 avocado groves in California, almost 90% of the avocados grown in the U.S. are harvested in Southern California, with San Diego County producing 60% of that. 1 avocado tree is capable of producing between 150-500 avocados per year. Despite there being over 500 varieties of avocados, only 8 of them are grown commercially in California. The most popular Hass variety is grown year-round in California and makes up for almost 95% of the avocados grown. The other varieties are Fuerte, Pinkerton, Zutano, Reed, Lamb Hass, Gwen and Bacon. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
How many mind-blowing experiences are there out there? I’m talking about experiences that excite and surprise you beyond your wildest dreams. Discounting illicit drugs — which while certainly mind blowing could result in the very real possibility of experiencing the inside of a cell — not that many. Sky diving, scuba diving, first viewing of 2001: A Space Odessey, the first listening of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, childbirth or certain acts leading up to that? Well for all you thrill seekers here’s a new one for you: a fruit that temporarily alters your taste buds, turning sour foods sugar sweet.
Dubbed the miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, is appearing as the guest of honor at tasting parties all over the country – the gastronomically adventurous eager to ingest the small red berry which can allegedly turn lime wedges into candy, rhubarb into sugar sticks, lemons into lemonade, Tabasco sauce into donut glaze and rich stout beer into milkshake. The miracle fruit is native to West Africa “and has been known to Westerners since the 18th century”. The unusual reaction is due to a protein called miraculin “which binds with the taste buds and acts as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids”.
Prevention. That’s the most commonly used buzzword when it comes to skincare. Washing your face with the proper soap prevents clogged pores. Using the right moisturizer prevents wrinkles. Great advice if you’re just starting out, but what about those of us who’ve already overzealously worshipped the sun or partied a bit too much during college? What then?
The most common answers to this question “a healthy diet”, “at least eight glasses of water perday” and “plenty of rest”. But can healthy eating, adequate hydration and lots of sleep undo the effects of sun damage and a few too many Marlboro lights?