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Health and Nutrition with Nature's Sunshine

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Sunshine Health Club - January 2013



January 2013With the start of every new year the usual thing to do is to set some goals or resolutions for the year ahead. Whether you have set goals for your health, your fitness, your education or whatever it may be. We at Nature's Sunshine wish you all the best towards making your goals a reality. We hope you have the best year ever. Happy 2013!!

A - Z Superfoods
ImageIn order for a food to be labelled a superfood, it must offer specific health benefits above and beyond its normal nutritional value. Superfoods work synergistically with your body systems, nourishing you at the cellular level for optimal health benefits. Adding superfoods to your daily menu is a smart and delicious way to optimise your health. 

Superfoods are a hot topic at the moment, but what exactly are they? Superfood is a term that appeared in the 1990s and refers to types of wholefoods that contain high concentrations of phytonutrients making them exceptionally worthwhile to include in our diets for their health-giving properties. In order for a food to be labelled a superfood, it must offer specific health benefits above and beyond its normal nutritional value. Superfoods work synergistically with your body systems, nourishing you at the cellular level for optimal health benefits. Adding superfoods to your daily menu is a smart and delicious way to optimise your health. 


 

Avocado 

 


Nutrients

Monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, folate, protein, vitamins B6, E and K, glutathione
Why they're super
This is one nutrient dense food! Yes, they are high in fat, but in this case they are healthy fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados can actually help you lose that stubborn fat around your midline. Also contains cholesterol-lowering plant sterols.

Tip
Use as a healthy alternative to butter.

Blueberries 

 

Nutrients
Vitamin C, E, A, B vitamins, manganese, copper, bioflavonoids, resveratrol and fibre 

Why they're super
Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins, one of the most powerful forms of antioxidants. Another plus is that they are extremely low in kilojoules, and contain important nutrients to aid in boosting immunity and slowing the aging process.

Tip
Pop them on porridge or muesli or whiz them up in a smoothie. When they are out of season frozen berries are super convenient and just as nutrient dense as fresh.

Cinnamon 

 

Nutrients
Antioxidants, iron,  manganese and calcium

Why they're super
Research has shown that less than half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon a day helps to balance blood sugar by making insulin more effective. 

Tip
Sprinkle some over breakfast muesli or for a healthy afternoon snack combine natural yogurt with berries, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Dark chocolate (at least 65% cacao)

 
Nutrients
Antioxidant flavanols such as procyanidins and epicatechins, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and phosphorus

Why they're super
Rich in heart-protective antioxidants (about 8 times those found in strawberries), dark chocolate is also loaded with minerals essential for strong bones. 

Tip
The darker the better! Enjoy a couple of squares a few times a week for an antioxidant rich treat.


Eggs

 
Nutrients
High quality protein, all 9 essential amino acids, B vitamins, vitamins D and A, selenium, iodine, phosphorus and carotenoids

Why they're super
Long underappreciated, eggs are a compact package of nutrition that provide every vitamin except vitamin C. Eggs are low in saturated fats, and high in protein meaning you stay full longer. Egg yolks are packed with micronutrients, two of these, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, are especially good for eye health. 

Tip
Enjoy poached, boiled or scrambled for breakfast on toast with avocado and baby spinach for a superfood start to the day.


Flaxseed

 
Nutrients
Omega 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), soluble fibre, phytoestrogens (lignans), vitamin B6, manganese and magnesium

Why they're super
Flaxseeds are the best plant source for omega 3s, which helps to lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. They act like a sponge in the large intestine to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements.

Tip
As we are unable to digest whole flaxseeds it is important to consume ground flaxseeds to get the most out of them. Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons on breakfast cereal, yoghurt or blend into a smoothie.


Garlic

 
Nutrients
Quercetin, allicin and diallyl sulphides, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and 18 different amino acids

Why they're super
There are many health benefits offered by this delicious little herb. The two main medicinal ingredients which give garlic its healing powers are allicin and diallyl sulphides. Modern science has shown that garlic is a powerful natural broad spectrum antibiotic good for preventing colds, coughs and congestion. Garlic has also been found to reduce blood pressure and relieve gastrointestinal inflammation.

Tip
For cold and flu relief simmer water, lemon juice, crushed garlic and chopped red chilli in a saucepan for a few minutes. Add manuka honey to taste. Drink throughout the day.


Honey - Raw Manuka

 
Nutrients
Contains at least 181 known substances including antioxidant enzymes and peptides, phenolics and organic acids, salicylic acid, minerals, alpha-tocopherol and oligosaccharides

Why they're super
Reputed to have the highest antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of all honeys. Manuka's main claim to fame has been wound care and treating even the hardest to heal infections such as MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant conditions. Manuka honey can help to ease cold and flu symptoms, boost immunity and is also a natural instant energy booster. 

Tip
It is important to only use active, medical-grade manuka honey with a UMF rating between 10 and 20. You also want to make sure it is raw manuka honey because it is packed with active enzymes while pasteurized honey has lost many of the active enzymes.

Isoflavones
 
Nutrients
Isoflavones can be found in soy beans, peanuts, chickpeas, broad beans, alfalfa, and all members of the legume family.

Why they're super
Isoflavones are phytoestrogens found abundantly in soy products. They are organic compounds which are strong antioxidants and have a similar chemical makeup to the oestrogen in the human body. If consumed in excess, isoflavones can interfere with or reduce the production of oestrogen, but eaten in moderation, they can help protect against hormone related cancers, symptoms of menopause, osteoporosis and heart disease. Men's health may also benefit because isoflavones help prevent enlargement of the prostate gland.

Tip
Women who have had oestrogen sensitive breast cancer should avoid the soy isoflavone as it may counteract oestrogen suppressor medications.


Juice - Fresh Vegetable and Fruit

 
Nutrients
Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and many phytochemicals. 

Why they're super
Raw, fresh juice is one of the most rejuvenating substances we can consume. Within minutes easily digestible vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and countless phytonutrients are delivered to the body. A multivitamin and mineral in a glass!

Tip
Use mainly vegetables in fresh juices and keep fruit to a minimum (due to sugar content). Suggestions: kale, celery, cucumber, beetroot, carrot, spinach, broccolini, red capsicum, tomato, apple, pineapple, orange, pear, lemon, lime,  mint, ginger, parsley, coriander, garlic.


Kale

 
Nutrients
Vitamins A, C and K, manganese, copper, potassium iron, calcium, folate, carotenoids, glucosinolates, bioflavonoids and fibre

Why they're super
Bursting with essential vitamins and minerals, kale comes from the same family as the sulphur-containing vegetables broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage. In addition to the powerful organosulphurs that protect the body's cells, kale also protects the eyes with the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. 

Tip
Where recipes call for spinach why not substitute kale.
For a healthy kale crisps cut thick stems from kale and tear leaves into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry thoroughly, then lightly spray with olive oil and toss with sea salt. Bake in 150oC oven for 20 mins or until crisp.


Lentils

 
Nutrients
Protein, fibre, calcium, B vitamins, manganese, iron, bioflavonoids and isoflavones

Why they're super
A great source of soluble and insoluble fibre, lentils and other legumes help to lower blood cholesterol, especially LDL ("bad") cholesterol. They also help maintain intestinal regularity and help prevent blood sugar spikes. 

Tip
Salt added to the cooking water will toughen lentils, so season when they are completely cooked. Acidic ingredients such as tomatoes or wine can lengthen cooking time, so add these ingredients after the lentils become tender.


Miso

 
Nutrients
Vitamin B2, B12, vitamin K, zinc, manganese, copper, protein

Why they're super
Miso is a fermented soybean paste used mostly in cooking. It is a great source of probiotics. Health benefits include energy production, immunity booster and accelerated wound healing. 

Tip
Starting a meal with a miso soup is highly beneficial for digestion. It is great to use in place of salt for benefits far beyond other flavourings. Check the ingredients to avoid miso that contains flavour enhancers such as MSG (621).


Mushrooms

 
Nutrients
Protein, B vitamins, potassium, selenium, fibre, beta-glucans

Why they're super
Mushrooms are low in calories and provide plenty of protein, fibre and flavour when they are cooked. But the big news is that they are high in antioxidants selenium and other nutrients that protect the immune system and fight cancer.

Tip
There are so many wonderful mushrooms, each with their own unique health benefits. Try different varieties in stirfries, soups and salad – oyster, enoki, button, portabella, morels, maitake, porcini, shiitake, reishi.


Nuts

 
Nutrients
Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, bioflavonoids, phytosterols and carotenoids

Why they're super
Nuts are rich in fibre and provide many health benefits. Studies have shown that eating a handful of raw, unsalted nuts five times a week reduces your risk of coronary heart disease.

Tip
Nuts are a great nutritious snack for on the go. But remember they are high in calories so limit to a small
handful a day.

Oats
 
Nutrients
Rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, B vitamins, manganese, selenium, phosphorus, beta-glucans, phytoestrogens and 18 amino acids.

Why they're super
A great energy food, oat's high soluble fibre content and low GI helps you feel full so you can control your weight and keep you regular too. Beta-glucans helps reduce and protect cholesterol. Oats also help make you happier by boosting the brain chemical serotonin.

Tip
Oats are great for breakfast all year round – porridge, natural muesli, bircher muesli or add a couple of tablespoons to your favourite smoothie for extra fibre.


Pomegranate

 
Nutrients
Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B vitamins, potassium, bioflavonoids, choline and betaine. 

Why they're super
Pomegranates are rich in powerful and potent antioxidants that help to protect you from free radicals.  They promote heart health, help to lower blood pressure and may help to slow the ageing process.

Tip
A tip to get the seeds out of a pomegranate: cut it in half, hold one half upside down over a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to hit the back of the pomegranate so the seeds tumble into the bowl. Add the ruby red beads to salads for a delicious, antioxidant burst of flavour.


Quinoa

 
Nutrients
Protein, fibre, folate, iron, calcium,  copper, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and phytoestrogens.

Why they're super
Known as "the gold of the Incas", this South America grain-like seed is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, that is more protein than most other whole grains making it a great choice for vegetarians. It boosts heart health and helps stabilise blood sugar levels. 

TipServe quinoa as an alternative to rice or couscous.

Red Capsicum

 
Nutrients
Vitamin A, C and K, carotenoids.

Why they're super
All capsicums are packed vitamins A, C and K, but red capsicums are simply bursting with them. Rich in carotenoids, these help regulate inflammatory pathways in the body which helps to protect the cardiovascular system. 

Tip
A great morning or afternoon tea, dip sticks of red capsicum in hummus for a dose of carotenoids and protein.


Salmon

 
Nutrients
Lean protein, omega 3s, carotenoids, vitamin D, vitamin B3 and B12, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Why they're superSalmon is one of several cold water fish that provide high levels of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients that have been proven to provide the benefits of reducing conditions such as heart disease and arthritis pain. Additional health salmon may even include lowered cholesterol levels as well as improved memory function and brain health. 
Tip
Eat at least two servings of a fatty, coldwater fish like salmon, sardines, trout or mackerel a week.


Tomatoes

 
Nutrients
Vitamin C, A, K, potassium, iron, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, carotenoids (lycopene).

Why they're super
Bright red tomatoes contain the antioxidants lycopene and betacarotene that may help protect against some cancers.

Tip
Eating tomatoes cooked can quadruple the lycopene action. Serve them with broccoli for even greater health benefits.


Umeboshi Plum

 
Nutrients
Sodium, potassium, manganese, vitamin A, B1, B2 and fibre.

Why they're super
The umeboshi plum originates from Japan and is salted, pickled and preserved in shiso leaves. These pickled plums have a high acidity that, surprisingly, creates alkalinity in the body. It is widely known for its medicinal qualities due to its ability to stimulate digestion, alleviate nausea, improve energy, reduce fatigue and help the body to eliminate toxins.

TipAvailable in select health food stores umeboshi plum comes in many forms such as puree, vinegar and the whole plum. All can be used to make delicious sauces, dressings or used directly in the cooking process in place of salt.

Virgin Olive Oil
 
Nutrients
Vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), polyphenols and high levels of antioxidants.

Why they're super
A staple of the Mediterranean diet, it has long been linked to heart health and longevity, this is because of the unsaturated fats it contains as well as high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols and vitamin E.

Tip
Make sure you buy extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Want to get more of this healthy staple in your diet? Substitute olive oil for other fats: use it on bread instead of butter and in place of less healthy cooking oils.


Walnuts

 
Nutrients
Omega 3s, protein, fibre, B vitamins, manganese, copper, tryptophan, bioflavonoids, carotenoids and phytosterols. 

Why they're super
Eating just a handful of walnuts a day can help you lower cholesterol, boost brain power, sleep better, cope with stress, prevent heart disease and more.

Tip
A useful alternative to fish as a source of omega 3 fats. Enjoy on its own as a snack or add to salads, muesli or yoghurt.


eXtra Vegetables

 
Nutrients
A wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fibre, amino acids and complex carbohydrates.

Why they're super
Ok, so finding a superfood starting with X proved very tricky! What is super about including extra vegetables in each of your meals is that you are filling yourself up on a variety of nutrient dense wholefoods every day. Now that is super healthy! 

TipMake your plate look like a rainbow by including a variety of different coloured vegetables. By doing this you are making sure you are consuming a wide range of nutrients with each meal.

Yoghurt (Natural)

 
Nutrients
Probiotic bacteria, protein, calcium, vitamin D, B2, B12, iodine, phosphorus.

Why they're super
Good quality natural, pot set yoghurts contain live active cultures which not only deliver a healthy dose of probiotics supporting digestive health, but is a go-to snack rich in calcium and protein. Probiotics help release B vitamins, magnesium, iron and calcium from foods. 

Tip
Try sheep's and goat's yoghurts for a more easily digested alternative to cow's milk yoghurt.


Zucchini

 
Nutrients
Fibre, vitamin A and C, folate, potassium and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.

Why they're superZucchinis aren't particularly super as far as vegetables go, being 90% water, though that does make them virtually fat free! What makes them super is that not only are they a veg that begins with Z, but they're also really easy to grow and full of fibre and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that are beneficial for eye health. 
Tip
Raw zucchini is a great addition to salads, simply julienne or grate.




Please let me know how I can help you best to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet.
Share the Health,
Karen Herrmann-Doolan, NSP District Manager 
Nature's Sunshine Herb Specialist 
Natural Health Educator
C: (817) 225-8392
H: (704) 458-5475
O: (704) 966-6645
Visit my Nature's Sunshine Online Store:

www.mynsp.com/herbsplus  
Learn about the Body Systems 

www.herbsplus4health.com
Check out my Health and Nutrition Blog!



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