Healthy Smoothie Recipes

 

Hi luvs,

Here are some amazing healthy smoothie recipes I wanted to share with you!

 

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  • 4 Mandarin Oranges
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 3 dates
  • 3 coconut ice-cubes
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of alkaline water
  • 2 tablespoons of nonfat greek yogurt (can also use coconut or soy yogurt)

 

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  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 heaping tbsp of cacao
  • 3 coconut ice-cubes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1 scoop of Marley coffee raw protein
  • 1 cup of hazelnut milk
  • 1 tsp flaxmeal

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  •  1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup of papaya
  • 1 small knob of ginger (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp flaxmeal
  • 4 dates
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp of maca

I make smoothies practically everyday so I will be posting my recipes often.

Hope you Enjoy!

Be HEALTHY!

Stay HAPPY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HealthFood Friday – Support Your Local Farmers

Happy Friday luvs,

This morning I woke up early and headed out to my local Farmers Market.

I bought some organic beets, spinach, nectarines, peaches, plums, oranges, dried apricots and also some mung and radish sprouts to add to my salads.

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I will be doing a post about sprouts soon and all the amazing health benefits you get from them.

And of course I couldn’t leave without buying some beautiful sunflowers…they look amazing on my altar.

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I love going to farmers markets, not only because I’m supporting my local farmers but also I love the energy and sense of community you get when you’re there. The kids running around doing school projects and interviewing the farmers, seeing them eat healthy and being happy puts a smile on my face for our  future generations.

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When you buy organic, you help keep the earth’s air and water free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers. You help support small entrepreneurial farmers who are committed to building the living soils of their farm. You help make the commitment to renewal that sustains the earth’s  ability to nurture life. WE make a conscious choice to eat well and to treat the earth well.

By supporting local organic farmers you can:

  • reduce the use of fossil fuels
  • get to know your local growers
  • enhance local food systems
  • build strong local economies
  • enjoy fresh, healthy food

 

Join a CSA

Get your food in a box on a weekly basis from local farmers.  You usually get an assortment of veggies, fruit, eggs, dairy, and bread that are constantly changing with the seasons. Plus you get to meet the growers and other people in your community.

            Find a CSA near you.

View more listings of CSA’s throughout the U.S.     

Consider sponsoring someone who can’t afford it to receive CSA harvests. Is there a link for this or should it say “Ask your local CSA provider how they can make this happen”

 

Shop at Your Local Farmers Market

Farmers markets often sell food from small, local, organic farms and are fun, lively events. Find a farmers market near you.

Buy Local and Organic as Much as Possible

Some grocery stores sell produce from local farmers, however, because it’s often cheaper and easier to go through big distributors who are subsidized by the government, our food is often shipped from hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles away even when the same products are being grown right down the road.  To show your support for local farms, buy local and organic as much as possible and voice your concern to managers at stores when options are limited.

Get the Center for Food Safety’s Non-GMO Shopping guide. You can download a hard-copy of the guide on their website or get the Free Mobile App.

 

HealthFood Friday – Health Benefits – Acai Berries

12 Health Benefits of Acai Berries

Acai Berry Benefits

There are numerous healthy berries that would be a great addition to your diet. The acai berry is one of the healthiest berries you will ever find.

Acai is an indigenous berry commonly found in the rain forests of the Amazon. This antioxidant-rich fruit has been heralded for centuries as a healing, immune-stimulating, energy-boosting fruit. An exotic relative of the blueberry and cranberry, research has shown that this antioxidant-rich berry may be able to support in the prevention of diseases associated with oxidative damage, not to mention many other health benefits.

1. Heart Health

Similar to red wine, research shows that acai berries are extremely high in anthocyanins, a form of plant antioxidant associated with the ability to lower cholesterol levels in the blood stream. They are also rich in plant sterols that provide cardio-protective benefits to our cells. It does this by preventing blood clots, improving overall blood circulation, and relaxing the blood vessels.

2. Resistant to Harmful Organisms

Scientists from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro have shown that consuming acai extract may help fight harmful organisms. However, I recommend Oregano Oil for this task.

3. Aids in Weight Loss

Known by nutritionists as a super-food, acai may help us not only lose weight, but maintain a healthy weight. One interesting study from the National Institutes of Aging found that pulp from the acai berry had the ability to reduce the negative effects of a high-fat diet in laboratory studies on flies.

4. Promotes Skin Health

Currently, many modern beauty products are carrying acai oil, again due to the oil’s high antioxidant content. What is more, acai oil is a great natural alternative to chemical based skin-care products that harm the skin in the long-run. Taken internally, the berries can also give your skin a healthier glow. In fact,
Brazilians have been eating acai berries for centuries to treat skin conditions.

5. Helps with Digestive Upset

Taking acai may also aid in keeping our digestive system clean and in optimal function. The berries have powerful detoxification capacities in the human body and are a well-known traditional source of dietary fiber. Of course, there are many other high fiber foods that can do the same thing, including many other types of berries.

Picking Acai Berries

6. Reduces Irritation

Acai berries contain properties may prevent the typical irritation associated with respiratory distress.

7. Improved Cellular Health

On a general level, the anthocyanins found in acai play a role in our cellular protection system, helping to keep cells strong against the invasion of free radicals.

8. May Help Fight Cancer

Acai is very high in Vitamin C and ellagic acid, an immune-system-boosting combination that has been shown to suppress the growth of cancer. One study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that polyphenolic compounds extracted from acai reduced cancer cell proliferation by 56-86%. It is thought that acai’s phytochemcials can stop the process of carcinogenesis on a molecular level, killing off tumorous cells before they multiply. Acai berries are not a cure for cancer; but hopefully more research will examine their benefits and potential role in the fight.

9. Anti-Aging Effects

Extremely high in many forms of plant phytochemicals (antioxidants), acai berries may contribute to an ability to slow or reverse typical processes of aging related to oxidative damage. In fact, the berries are one of the planets highest sources of antioxidants, with one berry holding ten times the amount of antioxidants as grapes, and two times the amount of blueberries.

10. Energy Boost

Due its overall health benefits, taking acai extract can lead to an increased overall level of energy and stamina, and may aid to combat fatigue and exhaustion. Whenever you need a boost, simply eat a handful of berries and you will be ready to go in no time!

11. Better Sex

This famous red berry has also been linked to overall increased blood circulation in the human body, a phenomenon that may contribute to a boost in sex drive, especially for men.

12. Improves Mental Function

Preliminary research studies show that acai may prevent mental imbalance in menopausal women.

Buy organically-certified Acai. Not only are they safer, but taste better too. If you can’t find acai berries, another good source of antioxidant fruits are goji berries.

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

HealthFood Friday – Yummy Acai Bowl

Hi Luvs!,

I just started getting into eating and making these amazing Acai bowls for breakfast, dessert or a snack in between meals.

It’s also a  great alternative to the same old basic breakfast fare.

Here’s some History about Acai Bowls as well as my recipe below.

Modern History of the Acai Bowl

“Where’d you get that acai bowl?”

In the early 1970′s,  frozen acai pulp began to travel from the Amazon to northern Brazilian cities.  In the 80′s,  it was legendary Brazilian Jujitsu founder Carlos Gracie who likely popularized the acai bowl (frozen acai pulp blended with banana) in southern cities like Rio de Janiero.  Gracie established his own brand of diet called the Gracie Diet which sought to maximize the performance of his fighters.  A center piece of it was the acai bowl.  You might imagine for a moment, his rough, tough, and buff students hanging out in Rio near the beach, eating an acai bowl on a hot summer day.  More than a few impressed passerby’s likely remarked, “what are they eating?” with the hopes of manifesting similar physiques, bite by delicious bite.  Sorry people,  acai is very good for you,  but not capable of creating miracle health breakthroughs.  Aside from an organic acai bowl everyday,  it will take some sweat and effort.

As time went on Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts began to partake in the acai bowl trend through the 90′s.  In the 2000′s organic acai pulp first boarded a flight to the USA- the party was only just beginning.  Hawaii and Southern California became the first places where the acai bowls really found a home.  It was popularized by surfers who sought a tasty and healthy after session pick-me-up.  Imagine eating cool organic acai topped with fesh banana after a mid-morning, scorching session:  heavenly.   Acai bowls can now be found all over Hawaii and Southern California, where they have become a staple, and beyond.  Cafes like Banzai Bowls in Southern California and Basik Acai  in Kona, HI are dedicated to serving ultra premium and contemporary acai bowls.

MY ACAI BOWL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

Bowl:

  • 2 Sambazon Smoothie Packs or 1 heaping tbsp of organic Acai powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 mango (or 1/4-1/2 C frozen mango)
  • 1 small knob of ginger
  • 1 C coconut water

Toppings:

  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 C berries of your choice
  • 1 tsp of cacao nibs
  • 1 tsp of hemp heart seeds
 ** You can add other fruit or coconut flakes..etc

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth
  2. Top with toppings
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Enjoy!
BE HEALTHY
BE HAPPY 🙂

21 Day TotalFit Challenge Rules and Guidelines

Hi Luvs,

Are you all signed up and ready to join me in this fitness Challenge?. If you are still deciding, check out the full rules and guidelines below!

 

 

Mr. Shut Up And Train
Our returning participants have to signup in order to receive the emails. The Challenge starts this Sunday!

How the Challenge Works

You will get an email by 6am EST each morning that details that day’s exercise and/or nutrition challenge. If  you do not receive the daily email, all workouts will be listed on my Facebook Page.

This is a social media challenge, there’s no excuse for not getting the info/workout. And by now your accountability partner should be signed up. Support each other, and remember ‘Results Start When You Do!!’

The Equipment

These items aren’t required to do the Challenge. However, they can improve your results and make your challenge easier. The 4 items are:

  • Exercise Mat
  • Medicine Ball
  • Dumb Bells
  • Jump Rope
*If you don’t have this equipment don’t worry. You have time and won’t need any of this until week #2.

Rules of the Challenge

If you want the results, you must follow the rules. This isn’t a fad diet or a quick weight loss scheme, the key word here is “challenge“. For the next 21 days here are the rules:

1. No Alcohol
2. No Fried Foods
3. No Fast Food
4. Drink 1/2 your Body Weight in Ounces of Water
5. Keep a Daily Food Journal of Everything You Eat
6. Commit to Eating Clean and Plan Your Meals
7. Share the Challenge and Photos of Your Progress to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and G+

100% Commitment

If you want results, you must commit 100% to these 3 things:

  1. Attempt to complete each day’s work out
  2. Finish the entire 21 DAYS
  3. Hold yourself accountable to the rules.

By making a commitment you will get Results! #BeCommitted

Your “Cheat Days”

We know for some people, this may be a lot to ask. So while we won’t give you a pass, we will give you a little leeway…

*You get 3 cheat days the entire Challenge. I wasn’t a math major, but that means it’s probably best for you cheat once every 7 days. (Don’t be the one that takes all 3 cheat days in the 1st week)

Purchase Your Shirt

It’s through your social media sharing and support that we are able to keep this challenge 100% free. Please pick up your t-shirt from the store to help us continue getting the world healthy. Thanks in advance!

How to Eat Clean

I can’t tell you exactly what to eat because they are too many variables for 100,000 people. But I WILL point you to the awesome list for Clean Eating by Gracious Pantry, www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating/.

Throughout the challenge I will provide nutrition tips and healthy meal ideas that will help you eat clean.–

Alright, so that’s everything.. We’re only a few days away to kickstarting your new-healthier lifestyle. It’s almost time to #ShutUpAndTrain !!!

My Best,

Disclaimer

All material provided is provided for informational or educational purposes only. The Total Fit team nor anyone associated with Mr Shut Up & Train will be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at your home, gym or elsewhere. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.

Mr. Shut Up and Train

 

Important Food Labels

Choosing to transition the food we eat to non-GMO and organic would be the most effective way to ease into healthy changes, in my opinion. Rather than taking SO much time and upsetting yourself over all the different names of the same basic junk from corn, wheat, and soy used to create the common ingredients of American food, or trying to keep up with what is going on with the latest GMO label laws like which companies are going to remove one or another ingredient, etc. Don’t focus on bad  media . Redirect to positive, sustainable changes that can be made starting immediately – or as soon as you’re ready, but the sooner the better! I will make this as simple as possible, or as easy as 1, 2, 3. When shopping focus on the following 3 labels with my top reasons for choosing these labels that provide integrity from seed to shelf. For anyone getting started and easing into an organic diet, start with #1 and work to #3 – this will get you off to a really good start!

Food Label Accrediting Organization Top Reasons

Non GMO Project

Minimum 90% of sample tests must be non-GMO to receive seal

Only independent verification for products made according to EU best practices for GMO avoidance in US

Goal to reduce GMO contamination for farmers, processors & manufacturers

National Organic Program (NOP) – part of U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) & National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).The NOSB is an advisory board of 15 volunteers made up of organic producers (farmers), organic handlers (processors), retailers, environmentalists, scientists & consumer advocates

Products labeled “100% Organic” must show an ingredients list

Products labeled “organic” must contain at least 95% organic ingredients and must contain an ingredient list that identifies organic, as well as non-organic ingredients

Products labeled “Made with Organic” must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients with non-organic ingredients produced without excluded methods and must be specifically allowed on the National List

USDA Certification

International Organic Accreditation Service (IOAS)o

– EuropeanRecognition Programme (EU)

– ISO Guide 65

– Canadian Organic Regime (COR)

Conseil des appellations reservées et des termes valorisants (CARTV, Canada)

DEKRA

– ISO 14001

JAS through Japan-based, MAFF accredited partner EcoCert

Pioneer in the organic industry for more than 20 years

Leading advocate for certified organic production

Only USDA-accredited organic certifying agency able to offer joint certification to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), Safe Quality Food (SQF) and FSSC 22000 global food safety standards, which is required by many retailers.

Focusing on these three labels can really save you a headache and allow you to choose more nutritious food that reduces inflammation that causes diseases and illnesses that are too common today.

via Blooming Balance | Living a balanced life in harmony with nature through holistic health..

8 Great Protein Sources for Vegans

I do a vegan diet once or twice a week out of the month and these are my staples!

Quinoa
Quinoa contains eight grams of protein per cup. It is considered a “complete protein” because it contains all nine essential amino acids. The body uses these amino acids for growth and repair. Our bodies cannot create these amino acids on their own, so they must be consumed in our daily diet. Quinoa is very versatile and can be used in a variety of hot, cold, sweet and savory dishes!

©MuffinToplessNuts and Nut Butters
Depending on the nut or nut butter you choose, the protein grams will vary. Almonds and pistachios, for example, contain five to six grams of protein per ounce. Keep in mind that although nuts and nut butter can be a great source of protein and healthy fats, they do tend to run high in calories, so moderation is important. When searching for a nut butter (or even nuts) look for a brand that contains as few ingredients as possible. Natural nut butters typically have oil resting on top and the only ingredients should read “peanuts” or “almonds” and maybe salt. Avoid brands with hydrogenated oils or added sweeteners.

Lentils
Just one cup of cooked lentils contains eighteen grams of protein. Lentils are considered a legume and are incredibly versatile. You can use them as a side dish or cook them in a soup. There are a wide variety of recipes online for lentils, so don’t be afraid to surf the web for one you or your family might enjoy!

Tofu and Tempeh
Both tofu and tempeh are high in protein and can make a great addition to a vegan diet. Tempeh contains about fifteen grams of protein per serving, while tofu contains about twenty grams. Tofu comes in a variety of textures, which makes it incredibly versatile in vegetarian and vegan cooking. Some people avoid both tofu and tempeh, as they are more processed than other natural protein sources. But that doesn’t take away the powerful protein punch these two pack!

Beans
There are a wide variety of beans available: pinto beans, black beans, white beans, kidney beans (the list goes on). The great thing about beans is that they can be bought canned, which makes them relatively cheap and easy to make. Two cups of kidney beans contains close to twenty-six grams of protein! Black, white and pinto beans rival this with big numbers of their own.

Protein Powder
There are a variety of Vegan/Vegetarian protein powders on the market today. There are pea proteins, brown rice proteins, hemp proteins and vegetable proteins available. If you’re concerned that protein powder will make you pack on the pounds, don’t. It takes an excess of calories in general to gain weight… no one single food can do that so long as it’s eaten in moderation! Protein powder is great for building and maintaining lean muscle, providing satiety over long periods of time and keeping hair, skin and nails healthy! Most vegan protein powders contain anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five grams of protein per scoop!

Vegetables
Some might be surprised to hear that a cup of boiled peas contains nine grams of protein. A cup of cooked spinach has seven grams! Believe it or not, vegetables can be a great source of protein, even for individuals who do not follow a vegan diet! Fill your plate with leafy green veggies and rest assured, you will be getting a protein boost in your daily diet!

Milk Pour

Non-Dairy Milk
Some people find they simply don’t want to eat as much as is required to get their daily dose of protein… luckily, there are liquid alternatives! These can be great additions to a vegan diet, so long as you watch out for tricky labeling! Before picking up that tempting vanilla soy milk, turn it around and check the label! Many flavored varieties of non-dairy milk contain high sugar content. More often than not, it’s best to stick to the plain flavors. Soy milk contains about four to eight grams of protein per ounce, whereas hemp, rice and almond milk contain as little as one gram per cup.

A Side Note for Vegetarians
If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, there are a variety of dairy products (ie. milk, greek yogurt, whey protein powder and cottage cheese) and egg products that can help boost your protein intake significantly!  Since this post is for vegans, I won’t go into these particular protein sources. But if you are a vegetarian and are trying to put on muscle (and aren’t allergic to dairy), these are a wonderful addition to your diet!

So as you can see, there is no need to fret about not getting your protein intake for the day. It’s completely doable so long as you include these foods at each of your meals to boost your protein total for the day!

via 8 Great Protein Sources for Vegans | Muffin Topless.

15 Plant Based Foods To Fight Hypertension

Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure of blood in the arteries is consistently elevated. A slew of new studies on foods and hypertension suggest it may be easier than you thought to reduce high blood pressure. Skip the pharmaceuticals and eat more of these foods for an easy (and delicious) way to help lower your blood pressure numbers. Plant-based diets and diets high in fruits and vegetables are strongly associated with lower blood pressure, so much so that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) officially recommends adopting healthy eating practices as one of the primary actions to take to prevent or lower high blood pressure and hypertension. Prevention is the best cure! DASH, which stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension,” is the eating plan recommended by the NIH (National Institute of Health).

For adults under 65, it’s that first number in your blood pressure reading that may be the best indicator of future heart problems or even premature death. A normal reading is around 120/80. If that first number is 140 or higher, you have reason for concern. For those 65 and older, however, it’s a trickier situation. Readings may vary more and doctors need to be careful in prescribing blood pressure medication for older patients.

The risk of developing hypertension naturally increases for everyone as they age, so use prevention as your cure by exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive salt, alcohol and tobacco. Using food as your medicine is one safe, effective way to decrease blood pressure for all age groups as they work naturally to dilate blood vessels so the heart doesn’t have to work so hard.

Give your heart a break by eating these 15  healthy and medicinal foods.

1. Berries

2. Whole Grain Cereal

3. Potatoes

4. Beets

5. Cacao

6. Celery

7. Broccoli

8. Dandelion

9. Black Beans

10. Garlic

11. Ground Flax Seeds

12. Bananas

13. Apricots

14. Pumpkin Seeds

15. Cashew Nuts

1. Berries
Calorie for calorie, berries are among the most nutritional foods on the planet when it comes to fiber and antioxidant capacity. All berries are great for you, but blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries top the list for their ability to help lower blood pressure, thanks to high doses of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other plant compounds called anthocyanins that protect against hypertension.

2. Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal
Whole-grain, high-fiber cereals like oatmeal, oat squares, bran flakes or shredded wheat, can reduce your chance of developing high blood pressure. The fiber and magnesium found in oats both have beneficial effects on blood pressure. In addition, oats slow atherosclerosis, the plaque buildup that occurs in blood vessels. Plus, the more servings of cereal you eat a week, the greater the benefits. Loose oats also make an excellent thickener for soups and stews.

3. Potatoes
A baked potato is high in potassium and magnesium, two important minerals that can help fight high blood pressure. Research shows that if Americans boosted their potassium intake, adult cases of high blood pressure could fall by more than 10 percent. As for magnesium, many older Americans fail to get enough in their diet, according to the National Institutes of Health. Some other foods high in both these minerals are spinach, bananas, soybeans, and kidney beans. Magnesium also helps lower stress and improve overall immunity.

4. Beets
Drinking a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure within just a few hours. The nitrate in the juice has the same effect as taking a nitrate tablet, the researchers found. Beet juice can be found at some health food stores and specialty groceries such as Whole Foods. Other nitrate-rich foods include spinach, lettuce, cabbage and carrots.

5. Cacao
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Eating a one-ounce square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure, especially in people who already have hypertension, according to Harvard researchers who analyzed 24 chocolate studies. Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, natural compounds that cause dilation of the blood vessels. Look for chocolates that say they contain 50 to 70 percent cacao, or make your own superfood chocolate at home.

6. Celery
Celery contains phytochemicals known as phthalides, which relax the muscle tissue in the artery walls, enabling increased blood flow and, in turn, lowering blood pressure.

7. Broccoli
Broccoli is a potent package of fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, all nutrients that help lower blood pressure. One cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 200 percent of the vitamin C you need each day. Broccoli also contains chromium, which helps regulate insulin and blood sugar. These nutrients, found naturally in most plants, help boost immunity and fight off diseases. Other vegetables with similar compounds include carrots and leafy greens like kale and spinach.

8. Dandelion
For more than a century, dandelion has been used as a cure-all for countless conditions and ailments in cultures around the world, particularly in its native Asia and Europe. The entire plant is edible, from leaves to roots. And in addition to lowering blood pressure, it’s good for the liver, eyes, and skin.

A natural diuretic, dandelion helps reduce blood pressure by releasing excess sodium without the loss of potassium (as occurs with some over-the-counter diuretics). This is doubly important because excess sodium raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, while potassium helps regulate it. Dandelion is also loaded with magnesium, which dissolves blood clots and stimulates the production of nitric oxide, helping to relax and dilate blood vessels for better blood flow.

9.Black Beans
Legumes boast a high fiber-to-protein ratio that you won’t find in any other type of food. This combination works wonders for regulating blood sugar and lowering blood cholesterol levels, both of which are related to maintaining normal blood pressure. Black beans are a nutrient-dense source of fiber and magnesium, which are essential for healthy blood pressure levels. What puts them at a distinct advantage over other foods, though, is the folate you’ll find in these legumes. Folate, also known as folic acid in its synthetic form, is a B-complex vitamin that appears to lower blood pressure (especially systolic blood pressure) by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow. Another excellent source of folate is spinach.

10. Garlic
Garlic is a good food to help fight hypertension because it acts as a blood thinner. When chopped, it also produces allicin, a compound that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This can help fight many diseases that may result from hypertension, such as stroke and heart disease. Garlic also helps lower cholesterol.

11. Ground Flax Seeds
Flax Seeds help lower cholesterol and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and infections.

12. Bananas
Not only are they delicious, bananas also help reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Eating bananas is suggested because they have the highest rate of potassium to sodium.

13. Apricots
Apricots are a power food when it comes to fighting hypertension , especially when they’ re dried. They contain a soluble fiber that helps promote digestion and fights bloating and constipation.

14. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds can help reverse hypertension because they contain a high zinc value. Inadequate zinc can make your arteries lose elasticity, resulting in inflammation. For best results soak and then sprout your raw seeds (also known as pepitas). You can then add tamari or sea salt and dehydrate them for a delicious heart healthy snack.

15. Cashew Nuts
Nuts are a great source of nutrients like iron, potassium and fiber. Cashew nuts, specifically, contain magnesium and copper — two essential nutrients that help boost your immunity. Magnesium relaxes your nerves and muscles, while copper helps with the development of connective tissue. Walnuts are another great choice to help lower blood pressure.

 

via 15 Plant Based Foods To Fight Hypertension | Care2 Healthy Living.

Hiking Your Way to Health

I often talk about yoga, but there’s another type of activity I sincerely love: hiking!

Hiking makes me feel amazing. There’s nothing quite like enjoying every step along a path in nature, then making it up to a spot on the mountain with beautiful, scenic views and just stopping for a moment to take it all in and wonder at the magnificence of this planet. I often hike in Runyon Canyon, which is close to where I live and our organic smoothie and juice shop, Glow Bio, and during my hike I get views of the California mountains that are stunning.

Yet the views aren’t the only reason why I love hiking so much. It’s actually one of the healthiest forms of exercise for you, delivering more benefits than many other methods of cardio by a wide margin. In fact, hiking typically offers much more than your average cardio session.

Hiking Helps Manage Fatty

Compounds and Sugars in the Blood

Hiking uphill and hiking downhill each have their own distinct set of benefits, which makes it unique in comparison to other types of exercise. It’s also good to know for the simple fact that if you have any trouble with uphill hiking, you may be able to do the downhill portion and still greatly benefit. Of course, you’ll have to go with a friend and park a separate car at the bottom to get back up again, but these are details that can be figured out- aren’t they- with a little bit of planning. It’s also a great way to get in some quality time with a friend or loved one.

The point is, wherever you live, and whatever your age or health level, you can find a way to use this information about hiking to help improve your health, feel uplifted, and look your best.

Now, for the health benefits. A 2004 Austrian studyi conducted in the Alps and discussed in depth in Pacific Standardii magazine found that:

Going uphill and downhill can lower bad cholesterol.

Going uphill may also lower triglycerides.

Going downhill may reduce blood sugar and boost glucose tolerance.

The 45 subjects involved in the study hiked for three to five hours per week. They hiked uphill only for two months, then downhill only for two months, each time with the help of a cable car to go the opposite direction. Before and after each hike, the participants’ blood was tested to see how much sugar and fat were present after consuming some of each. The results above show a definite difference between the two methods- and both are beneficial.

Hiking May Make Your Mood Brighter

Beyond the ups and downs of mountains and hills, there’s another component of hiking—nature–that can boost your health. Being in nature is so incredibly healing on so many levels. I try to get into nature as much as I can. In a study on depressioniii, walks in nature were shown to boost mood (and memory, too, by the way!). In this particular study, 20 people were asked to think about something bad that had happened to them but hadn’t been resolved yet. Then they were sent out on a 50-minute walk, either in nature or an urban environment. When they came back, the researchers assessed their moods. A week later, they did the same thing again, but in the opposite environment. As you might guess, the nature hikers came back with much better mood and memory results. Truly, nature is wonderful for the soul!

Improved Cardiovascular Health?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that each year in the United States, 600,000 people die from heart diseaseiv. That doesn’t even count the number of people who have heart attacks and survive! Hiking can help by lowering your risk of heart disease. By exercising at a moderate intensity for 2.5 hours per week, you can make a measurable difference in your cardiovascular healthv. Your cholesterol and blood pressure may also drop with this type of routine.

Even if you can’t hike for that full 2.5 hours a week (it may be hard to get a hike in during the week), fitting at least an occasional hike in can do a lot for your mind and your body. For the rest of that time, do something else that elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat, which is great for detoxing, as well! Go for a walk in your neighborhood, practice some Vinyasa yoga, or ride your bike—whatever you enjoy.

via Hiking Your Way to Health.