Natural Ways to Help Keep Hypertension at Bay

Due to a rise in obesity and a rise in stress, more and more women, including young women, are experiencing hypertension—also known as high blood pressure. According to a 2009 Harvard University study, hypertension contributes to more deaths in women than any other preventable factor. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood, and if blood pressure is high, it can lead to serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, and stroke. Hypertension generally has no symptoms. Someone can have hypertension for years and not...

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Craving Comfort? Put Winter Squash on the Menu

As the season shifts from summer to fall, produce departments begin to make way for new selections of in-season fruits and vegetables. One of the most anticipated fall/winter vegetables is winter squash. Winter squash includes a variety of cultivars, subspecies and varieties, including acorn, buttercup, butternut, delicate, hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, and sugar loaf, just to name a few. Brightly colored and delectably rich in flavor, winter squash adds both beauty and comfort to dishes and meals. And it’s loaded with nutrition. Winter squash is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, a very good source of fiber, manganese and...

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The Palatable Pear

One requirement for a healthy lifestyle is a balanced diet of healthy foods—fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. And the pear is one fruit that you’ll want to add to your menus! Pears are cholesterol free, fat free, and sodium free. And they’re a good source of vitamin C (important for bone and tissue health) and an excellent source of fiber. In the body, fiber plays an important role in diabetes management and glucose metabolism. Did you know that the pear is the only fruit not harvested from the tree when ripe? They’re mature when picked from the trees but they...

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Five Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress comes in many shapes and sizes and can be difficult to manage, especially when a circumstance seems out of our control. And most everyone experiences stress on a regular basis, from getting stuck in traffic and arriving late to an important appointment to dealing with an unexpected car repair to taking care of a sick family member. It does seem near impossible to get through life without stressors. But there are simple actions you can take to help you better cope with stress. Here are five things you can incorporate into your life to help keep stress at bay:...

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Pumpkins: A Healthy Fall Food Choice

Seasonal cooking is all about enjoying ultimate freshness and higher nutrition, and during the fall season, the pumpkin is a perfect pick for healthy in-season eating. Pumpkins are chock-full of beta carotene, a plant carotenoid which is converted to vitamin A in the body. And foods high in beta carotene may offer protection against some degenerative aspects of aging, may offer protection against heart disease, and may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. For a tasty, delicious fall breakfast, make a stack of these pumpkin pancakes using fresh pumpkin puree. Pumpkin Pancakes  Ingredients 1 cup all-purpose flour...

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Ways to Help Prevent the "Freshman 15"

There are many reasons why college students put on what’s called the “Freshman 15” during their first few years at school. For some, adjusting to the responsibility of buying foods and cooking for themselves can be a difficult transition. Between fast food restaurants on campus to late night study sessions with friends to emotional stressors that accompany being away from home for the first time, it can be difficult for students to maintain healthy eating habits, right from the get go. While it’s normal for some weight gain to take place as a body grows and metabolism shifts, rapid weight...

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Portions Versus Servings

If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight and if you’ve ever considered your portions and servings, you know how discombobulating it can seem when you’re trying to keep track of the foods you eat and your weight. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat for a meal or snack—you know, like a double-double burger and large cheese fries. A serving is a measured amount of food or drink, and serving sizes can be found on the Nutrition Facts label on almost all packaged foods. Serving sizes are based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s food...

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Food Journaling for Better Health

Whether you want to lose weight, kick bad eating habits, or live a healthier lifestyle, keeping a food journal is a great way to track your food and drink consumption and make a shift to better choices. Most everyone who has kept a food journal will tell you that they learned a lot from it, and they will probably tell you they were surprised at what and how much they were eating. A food journal does not need to be complicated. It can be as simple as a written list, a printed calendar, or a spreadsheet you save on your...

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Vegetarian Diets and Meeting Recommended Nutrients

Following a vegetarian diet and meeting recommended nutrients is absolutely doable. However it’s important to be aware of nutrients to focus on, such as calcium, iron, protein and vitamin B12. A successful vegetarian diet includes a variety of foods and enough food in order to meet calorie needs. It’s important to create meals around protein sources that are low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and rice. Calcium, which is important for many physiological activities such as muscle movement, blood clotting, cell membrane function and more, and maintaining bone strength and building strong bones, can come from calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified...

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Healthy Snack Food Ideas

Imagine movie night at home: the movie’s just starting, the lights are low, and you’re snacking and sipping on your favorite finger foods. You know, the kind of snacks that are highly processed and highly addictive. Snacking truly is one of the biggest joys in life, but too much of the wrong foods can wreak havoc on your body. Highly processed snacks generally contain a lot of fat, salt, saturated fat, sugar or white flour, and each of these affect the body. Foods high in salt, like chips, may cause your body to retain water, while sodas high in sugar...

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