Nutrition

10 “Superfoods” That May Improve your Health and Well-Being

 What is a “superfood”? Most doctors and nutritionists will tell you that there is no scientific definition of “superfood,” that it is a marketing buzzword applied to foods that are good for you. Functional medicine specialist Dr. Marsha Nunley, founder of H.E.A.L. Medical, agrees but says: “While it is true that there is no legal or medical specification for a ‘superfood,’ it is without question that there are foods that are high in healthful nutrients and adding them to your diet may reduce your risk of chronic disease and improve your overall health and well-being.”
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Superfoods are packed with combinations of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber, as well as antioxidants, flavonoids, and phytochemicals – substances found mostly in plants that have a wide variety of beneficial effects. “Including some of these nutrient-dense foods in your daily diet can help ensure that you’re eating for optimal health.”
Dr. Nunley suggests that you start by stocking your pantry and refrigerator with these ten powerhouse foods:
  • Blueberries are packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants, flavonoids and soluble fiber and are high in potassium and vitamin C. They can reduce inflammation in the body and have disease-fighting properties that can help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Strawberries and cranberries have many of the same benefits as blueberries. All should be organic as high use of pesticides is common in their production.
  • Leafy greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and collard greens deliver more nutrients per calorie than just about any other food. They are loaded with fiber and phytochemicals and are high in vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium, and calcium.
  • Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetable such as cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain cancer-fighting nutrients as well as high doses of calcium, folate, fiber, and vitamins A, C, K, E, and the B vitamins.
  • Salmon, Wild caught salmon from the Pacific or Alaska is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can protect against heart disease and stroke. It is also high in protein, vitamin D, selenium, B2, B3, B6, and B12. Other fatty fish, such as sardines and mackerel, have similar benefits.
  • Dried beans, peas, and lentils, also known as legumes, are high-energy foods that raise the level of a hormone that curbs appetite. They provide low-fat protein and heart-healthy insoluble fiber as well as calcium, potassium, folate, and the B vitamins. As a side dish in place of bread or potatoes, they keep you full longer.
  • Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, are loaded with healthy fats and minerals. While high in calories, just a handful a day is enough to deliver the benefits, including a form of vitamin E that helps protect the heart.
  • Whole grains, brown rice, oats, barley, spelt, rye, farro, wild rice, and some forms of sprouted unrefined wheat. Quinoa is not technically a whole grain but has a similar nutritional profile. Unlike refined grains, whole grains retain the all-important bran and germ of the kernel, which is where a lot of the nutrients are. They provide disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants along with B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber, and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Most packaged products contain refined grains. Keep whole grains to moderation in your diet and stay away from refined grains.
  • Avocado is loaded with potassium, fiber, healthy monounsaturated fats that protect the heart, and nutrients such as oleic acid, lutein, folate, and vitamin E that deliver protectivebenefits to the eyes and brain. Eating avocados can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Sauerkraut and its spicy cousin, kimchi, are “probiotic” foods that promote the growth of healthy bacteria and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. They aid digestion by breaking down carbohydrates that we cannot digest on our own.
  • Chocolate – yes,chocolate – but not just any chocolate and not in great quantity. A one-ounce serving of high-quality, dairy-free dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa several times a week can improve blood flow and even lower blood pressure. It helps reduce inflammation and LDL cholesterol and it’s loaded with antioxidants.
Dr. Nunley emphasizes that we shouldn’t look at foods in isolation and shouldn’t base our diets on just a handful of foods, even superfoods. “The healthiest diet is based on a variety of nutritious foods in moderate amounts. If you focus on plant-based foods and lean, sustainably raised animal protein, you’ll be on the right track.”
Marsha Nunley, M.D., founder of H.E.A.L. Medical is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine, and palliative care. Dr. Nunley specializes in functional medicine, a systems-based approach to treating the whole person.www.marshanunleymd.com
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Eat Colorful Veggies for Better Vision

Colorful_VegetablesRoyal River Natural Foods, a locally-owned independent natural health store in Freeport, Maine, reports a new study of 102,046 men and women during more than a 25-year period that found those who consumed the most colorful plant-based pigments, known as carotenoids, were 40 percent less likely to develop age-related blindness compared to men and women who got the least carotenoids.

The report is part of the February 2016 issue of Natural Insights for Well Being®, which Royal River Natural Foods publishes free each month to help inform the Freeport community of the latest scientific discoveries in nutrition. Also in the February issue, people who took omega-3 fatty acids for three months cured dry-eye symptoms from staring at computer screens at least three hours a day, among other important findings.

“The science we report this month is encouraging to people who wish to use nutritional supplements to help preserve vision, improve brain function, and maintain healthy bones,” said Becky Foster, supplement manager. “New findings this month include studies from scientific journals such as ‘JAMA Ophthalmology,’ the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,’ and ‘Osteoporosis International,’ among others.”

Royal River Natural Foods invites all those who wish to gain more valuable nutrition knowledge to stop in and meet the friendly, knowledgeable staff.

About the company: 
Founded in 1994, Royal River Natural Foods is a unique community, natural food store. They are committed to well-being, body and soul. Experience their outstanding customer service in a warm and welcoming environment. Royal River Natural Foods proudly features local organic food, produce, locally-raised beef, chicken, lamb, pork and seafood, healthy takeout foods, bulk foods, snacks, special dietary products, specialty wines, micro-brewed beers, gourmet food made in Maine, unique gifts, eco-friendly products and much more. Royal River Natural Foods is committed to providing local, organic and sustainably-produced foods that enrich their customers’ lives. For more information about Royal River Natural Foods, visit their website at http://www.rrnf.com.

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Online Course Explores Foods That Expand Consciousness

To answer the call for quick and easy lifestyle tips for maintaining vibrant health and expanding consciousness in a fast-paced modern world, Shamanic Healer and wellness educator Anahata Ananda of Shamangelic Healing Center in Sedona, AZ has created a new breakthrough Online Course “Enhance Your Health, Vitality and Spirituality.”

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The quality of health directly affects the quality of life. Vibrant health is the foundation necessary for dreams to be manifest and fullest potential to be realized. It is easy for health to get compromised with this fast-paced on-the-go modern lifestyle of multitasking. But when the body has the proper fuel, is fully oxygenated, rested, balanced, connected and strong…THIS is when the magic in life begins.

Anyone can enhance their vitality, energy, clarity and spiritual health with these concepts. Through this course Anahata Ananda offers lifestyle practices such as meditation, yoga, healthy whole and organic foods, breathing exercises, clean water, and simple healthy recipes for vibrant health on-the-go that anyone can put to use in their busy lives. By implementing even just a few of the simple ideas and practices in this course, the journey of empowerment and unlimited possibilities begins. Anahata Ananda shows how, from this harmonious peaceful state, higher consciousness is accessible and the forces of creation can easily manifest.

This journey to vibrant health begins with 12 engaging videos, a comprehensive course handout and simple exercises for positively impacting all areas of life. There are no prerequisites for this course, and even first-time learners will appreciate the clear content, detailed exercises, and friendly pace. Quickly and easily implement these simple ideas into an easy to follow daily regimen to improve health, enhance vitality and expand consciousness.

As an energy healer, Anahata nourishes both the physical and emotional aspects of food, offering her deep experience and compassion to support every person’s goal for clear channels of awareness and optimal energy for living a joyful passionate life.

This Course Explores:

  • Habits, Foods, Practices & Substances that Inhibit Health and Block Consciousness
  • Habits, Foods, Practices & Substances that Enhance Health and Expand Consciousness
  • The Energy and Alchemy of Superfoods
  • The Benefits of Raw Foods, Organic & Unprocessed Foods
  • The Benefits of Blended Foods
  • Healthy and TASTY Superfood & Chocolate Smoothies Demos
  • Support and mentorship toward health and lifestyle goals
  •  …and Lots More Recipes and Nutrition Tips

The “Enhance Your Health, Vitality & Spirituality” Online Course is just one of ten courses which will be available online in 2016. All ShamangelicHealing courses are designed to support and complement each other, providing an extensive health and spiritual wellness curriculum. The “Clear, Balance and Awaken Your Chakras,” course provides tools and practices to improve health, relationships, increase confidence, and empower one’s personal path and spiritual connection. Proper chakra energy center alignment also facilitates the body’s intake of vital nutrients.

To help people manage the stress of daily life Anahata Ananda also offers an Online Meditation Course, “Meditation Practices for Relaxation & Connection,” a practical course for people who want an easy yet powerfully effective technique for achieving a deep state of meditation. This course helps one to restore, relax and feel better equipped to manage their stress. To help establish and maintain nourishing relationships, Shamangelic Healing also offers “Tools for Maintaining Healthy Conscious Relationships,” a dynamic online course that can help put an end to the chaos, drama and pain of unhealthy relationships. This course offers practices and perspectives for better communication in relationships and how to respond with awareness and compassion to even the most challenging situations.Find these and other online courses at http://shamangelichealing.com/onlinecourses/

Shamanic Healer and Spiritual Counselor, Anahata Ananda, has trained extensively with gifted shamans, energy healers and spiritual teachers from around the world in order to artfully integrate the fields of spirituality, energy healing, self-empowerment, and shamanic teachings. Her client-base spans the globe with individuals from all walks of life who are seeking to heal and awaken to their fullest potential.

The Shamangelic Healing Center is based in Sedona, Arizona. It is nestled beneath Thunder Mountain, with 360 degrees of breathtaking views, and within walking distance to a medicine wheel and healing vortexes, making it the perfect setting for healing and expansion. With a beautiful interior that integrates all of the senses, clients will feel relaxed and calm while settling into a session. Clients seeking Spiritual awakening, transformational healing services, counseling, sacred land journeys or training courses may choose from a wide range of options that can be tailored for the ultimate personal experience.

For detailed descriptions and a calendar of the upcoming retreats, workshops, courses, and all services offered by Anahata Ananda, visit http://www.ShamangelicHealing.com

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Plant-based beverages replacing dairy drinks in U.S.

A new survey conducted by a U. S. based natural beverage company and an app for organic, natural and non-GMO food rebates, indicates that plant-based beverages are no longer ‘niche’ and are rapidly entering the mainstream. The survey results mirror industry data that shows a dramatic increase in household penetration of non-dairy milks – from 27.3% in 2013 to 55% in 2015.

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The survey, conducted online among over 2,500 BerryCart users in Q4 2015, asked respondents to identify themselves as either omnivore, flexitarian, pescatarian, vegetarian, ‘not able to mix milk and dairy,’ or vegan, and focused on why consumers are opting to drink plant-based milks.

Taste Trumps All Other Reasons for Buying Plant-based Milks

“Please check all the reasons listed below that explain why you buy plant-based milks:”
All Respondents
67%     I like the taste
65%     Healthier than dairy milk
41%     More humanely produced than dairy products
41%     I use them to substitute for milk in cooking/baking
39%    Because their production is more humane
39%     Lower calorie than dairy milk
24%    I am lactose intolerant
22%     They come in so many flavors
20%    My dietary lifestyle dictates it (ie. Vegan, Kosher)

The majority of the survey respondents (63%) identified as omnivores (consumers of both plant- and animal-based foods), and over half of those omnivores reported consuming plant-based alternative dairy beverages several times a week. Why? The top two reasons cited by all respondents were: “I like the taste” and “healthier than dairy milk.” Environmental and animal welfare concerns also ranked fairly high, tying for third. Of the omnivores, one in five say: “because it is more humanely produced than dairy.”

Health Strong Driver for Omnivores

“If your lifestyle diet does not dictate that you drink plant-based milks (i.e. if you are not a vegan, lactose-intolerant or Kosher), what is the number one reason that you buy plant-based milks?”
Total | Omnivores
52% | 63%    Because they are healthier
23% | 29%    Because I like the taste
8% | 4%    Because their production is more humane
4% | 4%    Because they are better for the environment

Health was also a strong driver for those whose lifestyle does not dictate that they drink plant-based milks (i.e. those who are not vegan, lactose-intolerant or Kosher). And omnivores (nearly a third) were more likely than any other segment (pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian) to cite taste as the number one reason for choosing plant-based milks.

The majority of respondents (73%) agreed that meat and dairy are not environmentally sustainable for our planet and that a more plant-based diet is the diet of the future.

“This data reinforces our mission of making mindful, delicious plant-powered beverages more accessible to the rapidly growing audience of consumers who are opting for beverages that are not only good for them – but also for our planet,” said Greg Steltenpohl, CEO of Califia Farms. “While we were not surprised that vegans and vegetarians are enthusiastically embracing plant-based beverages, we were excited to see that so many who identify themselves as omnivores – and who have no dietary restrictions dictating they consume non-dairy milks – are embracing plant-powered beverages as part of their weekly routine because they taste good.”

For more information about the survey and results, contact CalifiaPR(at)mwebbcom(dot)com.

Join the conversation with @CalifiaFarms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Califia Farms (pronounced “Cal-lih-FEE-ya,” like California)
Inspired by the bounty of California, Califia Farms’ (http://www.califiafarms.com) mission is to innovate delicious plant-powered foods for mindful nourishment. The Company is a leader in the revolution to de-commodify the food and beverage industry by creating innovative, healthy and great-tasting premium beverages that make it easy for consumers to go ‘plant-powered’ and dairy-free, without compromise. Founded in 2010 by a farmer’s co-operative based in the San Joaquin Valley and headed by beverage visionary Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms is a uniquely California company. Its Bakersfield, Calif. manufacturing plant uses artisanal processes to create healthy and delicious plant-based beverages, is eco-friendly, energy efficient and repurposes more than 90 percent of its post-production byproduct. Califia Farms is one of the fastest-growing natural beverage companies in the U.S., as well as the leading brand in the natural products coffee drinks category. In 2015, Califia Farms was named “Brand of the Year” by BevNet and a “Breakout Brand” by Beverage World in 2015.

About BerryCart 
BerryCart (http://www.berrycart.com) believes that people deserve to eat healthy, all-natural foods. BerryCart’s iPhone and Android mobile apps are used by over 100,000 shoppers to discover and find deals on the best Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and All Natural kinds of foods. Users earn cashback rewards when they read about and rate any of the awesome products promoted in the app.

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