Category Archives: Vegetarian

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy? Does it matter what kind of oatmeal you eat? Find out how steel cut, regular, and instant oatmeal stack up nutritionally. What’s the Difference Between Steel Cut and Regular Oats?

First, a quick guide to how different types of oat cereals are produced:

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?
Oat groats

 

 

Oat groats: All types of oat cereals start out as groats, which are hulled, toasted oat grains. (Removing the hull doesn’t remove the bran, by the way.)

 

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?
Steel-cut oats

Steel-cut (Irish) oats: These are the least processed type of oat cereal. The toasted oat groats are simply chopped into chunks about the size of a sesame seed.

 

 

Stone-ground (Scottish) oats: These are the same as Irish oats but they are ground into smaller pieces, closer to the size of a poppy seed. Both Irish and Scottish oats have to be cooked before you eat them. Irish oats take about 45 minutes to cook, Scottish oats about half that long (because they are smaller).

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

 

Old-fashioned rolled oats: These are made by steaming the toasted groats and then running them between rollers to create flakes. Rolled oats can be eaten as is or cooked into oatmeal (it takes about ten minutes).

Quick-cooking oats: These are simply rolled into thinner flakes, so they cook a little faster

 

Instant oats: These are the most heavily processed. The groats have been chopped fine, flattened, pre-cooked, and dehydrated. Instant oatmeal usually has added salt and sugar. I suggest leaving the instant oats on the shelf. In the time it takes you to boil the water to make instant oatmeal, you can cook some old-fashioned oats in the microwave. Here’s how.

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy?

Because they go through some extra processing steps, you might assume that rolled oats would be less nutritious than steel-cut oats, but it turns out that the differences are quite minor. Steel cut, stone-ground, old-fashioned, and quick-cooking rolled oats are all made from whole grains and they all have approximately the same amount of fiber, protein, calories, and other nutrients.

In particular, oats are a good source of soluble fiber. As I explained in a previous article, soluble fiber can help reduce cholesterol and helps keep blood sugar levels steadier—which is helpful for managing and preventing diabetes as well as keeping your appetite in check.

Do Steel Cut Oats Have a Lower Glycemic Impact?

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy? You might expect the glycemic load of steel cut oats to be a lot lower than that of rolled oats. However, the differences are really not that big.
Another thing to consider with any grain- or carbohydrate-based food is its glycemic impact. I’ve talked about glycemic impact in previous articles. In a nutshell, the glycemic impact is the speed at which a food is digested and converted into blood sugar. Foods that have a lower glycemic load are more slowly converted into blood sugar. When it comes to your blood sugar, lower and slower are generally better.

Because steel cut oats are so much chewier and denser and also somewhat less processed than rolled oats, you might expect that their glycemic load would be lower. Again, however, the differences are really not that big. Steel cut, stone ground, and rolled oats are all in the same ballpark as far as glycemic load goes.

What About the Glycemic Impact of Instant or Quick-Cooking Oats?

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy? The glycemic load of quick-cooking and instant oats, however, is quite a bit higher than that of rolled or steel-cut oats. That means that a bowl of quick-cooking or instant oats might not keep you satisfied for as long as rolled or steel-cut oats would. Nonetheless, as long as you stay away from the ones with the added sugar, quick-cooking and instant oatmeal are still considered low-glycemic carbohydrates.

What Is the Serving Size of Oats?

And, of course, portion size is also a very big factor in the glycemic load of foods. A serving of oats is one third of a cup of rolled oats, one quarter of a cup of steel cut oats, or about three quarters of a cup of cooked oatmeal.

Are Oats a Healthy Choice for Breakfast?

Steel Cut Oats Are They Healthy? As far as breakfast cereal goes, any type of plain, unflavored oat cereal is a good choice. All are made from minimally processed whole grains and, unlike most of the options in the cereal aisle, have no added sugar. Although a bowl of oatmeal contains four or five grams of protein, it’s mostly carbohydrates. As I talk about in my book, Secrets for a Healthy Diet, adding more protein to your breakfast, such as some eggs, milk, nuts, or yogurt, is another way to make breakfast go a little farther.

Which Type of Oatmeal is Best?

The biggest differences between steel-cut, stone-ground, and rolled oats are in the texture and the cooking time. So, it really just comes down to which type you prefer—and how much time you have to cook them. If you like a very hearty, chewy cereal, you might enjoy steel-cut oats. But you’re not losing out on anything nutritionally by choosing old-fashioned rolled oats instead.

By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

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Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate And Has Health Benefits Not Seen in Other Varieties with a minumum of 70 percent cacao chocolate.

It’s the best medical news in ages. Studies in two prestigious scientific journals say dark chocolate — but not white chocolate or milk chocolate — is good for you.

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

It lowers high blood pressure, say Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

But that’s no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure — if you’ve reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.

Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate — but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk — is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Translation: Say “Dark, please,” when ordering at the chocolate counter. Don’t even think of washing it down with milk. And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word “moderate” as you nibble.

The Studies

Taubert’s team signed up six men and seven women aged 55-64. All had just been diagnosed with mild high blood pressure — on average, systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 153 and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) of 84.

Every day for two weeks, they ate a 100-gram candy bar and were asked to balance its 480 calories by not eating other foods similar in nutrients and calories. Half the patients got dark chocolate and half got white chocolate.

Those who ate dark chocolate had a significant drop in blood pressure (by an average of 5 points for systolic and an average of 2 points for diastolic blood pressure). Those who ate white chocolate did not.

In the second study, Serafini’s team signed up seven healthy women and five healthy men aged 25-35. On different days they each ate 100 grams of dark chocolate by itself, 100 grams of dark chocolate with a small glass of whole milk, or 200 grams of milk chocolate.

An hour later, those who ate dark chocolate alone had the most total antioxidants in their blood. And they had higher levels of epicatechin, a particularly healthy compound found in chocolate. The milk chocolate eaters had the lowest epicatechin levels of all.

Chocolate for Blood Pressure: Darker Is Better

What is it about dark chocolate? The answer is plant phenols — cocoa phenols, to be exact. These compounds are known to lower blood pressure.

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

Chocolates made in Europe are generally richer in cocoa phenols than those made in the U.S. So if you’re going to try this at home, remember: Darker is better.

When it comes to finding the best dark chocolate, the wrapper is your Rosetta Stone. First, scan the front for the percentage of cacao, an indicator of antioxidant flavonols. As little as a third of an ounce a day of 70 percent cacao chocolate can improve heart health, Portuguese research reveals.

Next, read the ingredients. Avoid dark chocolate that specifies “alkalinization” (a.k.a. dutch processing), which strips out flavonols. What you do want to see is sugar and vanilla to balance out the bitterness of the cacao, and cocoa butter to hit that sweet spot of creaminess.

A hint: Don’t replace healthy foods with chocolate. Most people’s diets have plenty of sweets. Switch those for some chocolate if you’re going to try the truffle treatment.

Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate

James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

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Dark Chocolate Is Healthy Chocolate,
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Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way

Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way.

Fighting Obesity - an ayurvedic way.Definition of Obesity is the excess amount of body fat. Excess weight of muscles, bone, fat and water in the body (like body builders and athletes) is Overweight.

Is fat necessary to our body?

Certain amount of body fat does the following function
1. Heat insulation.
2. Absorption of shock.
3. Storage of energy. Etc.
Ayurveda describes the functions of body fat as

Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way.

“Medaha sneha swedaudhrudatwam pushtim asthyancha”

This means in normal conditions the body fat keeps the body moisturized , causes sweating , gives energy to body (by storing energy) and nourishes bones. (By protecting them from shock)
Distribution of fat
Women have more body fat than men. In women usually the fat accumulates around hips giving them a pear shape. In men it accumulates around belly giving them an apple shape. The obesity related problems start when fat accumulates around waist.
In ayurveda the distribution of fat is described as follows.

Medastu sarvabhutaanamudarenvasthi thishtathi |
Ata evodare vriddhihi prayo medaswino bhavet ||

Fat gets deposited in and around belly in all living beings. It is also present in bone. Hence when a person becomes obese his stomach bulges out.

Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way.

And also the characters of an obese person are described as

“Medo mamsa ativriddhatvaachalasphigudarastanaha”

Which means the hips, belly and breasts of an obese person sag and sagged parts flap as that person moves. An obese person will not be active.
Causes of Obesity

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When a person consumes more calories than he burns then the excess calories get stored in the form of fat causing obesity.
1. Genetic factors–Obesity tends to run in families. If parents are fat then the offspring also show a tendency to accumulate fat. Even the diet and lifestyle habits which are practiced in family also contribute to obesity.
2. Environment. – A person’s eating habits and the level of physical activities a person has also contribute for excess deposition of fat. When a person eats food containing more calories and has a sedentary work then the calories consumed are more than calories burnt. The excess amount calories are stored as fat.
3. Psychological disturbances.- There is a tendency to over eat in response to negative emotions like boredom, sadness or anger. This leads to obesity.
4. Binge eating disorder.
5. Diseases and conditions like Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, Depression, and certain neurological problems lead to overeating which in turn leads to accumulation of fat.
6. Medicines such as steroids and some antidepressants may cause weight gain.
Causes of obesity according to Ayurveda
The causes of obesity are very clearly explained in ayurveda. The following reasons which are mentioned in ayurveda increase the deposition of fat.

Avayamadivaaswapnashleshmalaaaharasevinaha |
Madhuroannarasaha prayaha snehamedhovivardhati ||

Fighting Obesity - an ayurvedic way.According to ayurveda the causes of obesity are defined as :
1. Avyayama : Not exerting physically
2. Divaswapna: Sleeping in afternoon.
3. Shleshmala Ahara Vihara : The diet and life styles which increase Kapha
4. Madhura Annaha : Consuming sweetened foods .
Health risks due to Obesity

Obesity leads to the following problems.
1. Type-2 diabetes
2. Heart disease.
3. High Blood pressure.
4. Stroke
5. Few types of Cancers
6. Gall stones
7. Liver diseases
8. Osteo arthritis.
9. Gout
10. Infertility
11. Irregular menstruation in women.
According to Ayurveda the obese persons are more prone to the following diseases.
1. Diabetes.
2. Kidney related problems.
3. Hepatitis.
4. Low libido.
5. Low energy levels.
6. Skin problems.
7. Fistula
8. Piles.
9. Filariasis . etc

Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way.
Tips to reduce Obesity
1. Determine with the help of your physician how much weight has to be reduced.
2. Set several short term realistic goals .
3. Reward yourself each time you make progress (Not food items)
4. Even small weight losses have shown to be beneficial.
5. Make gradual changes in eating habits.
6. You will lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume. Hence eating less and being more active help in losing weight.
7. Sound eating habits keep you out of putting on weight.
8. Stay motivated to lose weight.
9. Slow weight loss is the safest and most effective. ( one to one and half pound per week).
10. Gradual weight loss, promote long term loss of body fat.
11. A person who is moderately active needs daily, 33 calories per kg of body weight to maintain his weight .
12. Reducing calories intake by 300 per day and increasing the physical activity to burn 200 calories per day results in weight loss of 400 Gms per week.
13. To satisfy basic nutritional needs eat a variety of foods every day. Choose from each of the five food groups milk, meat, fruit, vegetable and cereals. Balanced food plans encourage making wise choices about everyday food choices. This type of diet helps to stay at your proper weight for life.
14. Allow for an occasional treat.
15. Evaluate your eating pattern.
16. Try to cut down on foods high in fats and sugar.
17. Most successful weight – loss plans stress on reduction in both calories and the amount of fat eaten
Physical activity:
1. Determine the type of physical activity that suits your life style.
2. Regular aerobic exercise like brisk walking, jogging or swimming, is a key factor in achieving permanent weight loss and improving health
3. Health experts recommend exercising 30 minutes or more on all, days of the week for maximum benefits. The exercises should be moderately vigorous to be most effective but not exhausting.
4. Incorporate few simple measures to burn calories effectively. Like- taking an after dinner walk, using stairs instead of escalators or elevators, parking the car farther away to have a longer walk etc.
5. Exercises also improve sense of well being ,decreases stress and decreases appetite in some.

Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way.
Ayurvedic tips to reduce Obesity
Fighting Obesity - an ayurvedic way.Numerous tips to reduce obesity have been mentioned in ayurveda. The following ayurvedic tips help you to reduce the obesity.
1. Very good exercises. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, playing out door games etc help to reduce weight.
2. Physical and mental exertion. Exerting physically like doing house hold works, walking to distant places to bring groceries, vegetables etc, walking long distances to bring the child back from school, walking to working place, climbing stairs etc are types of physical exertion. Exerting physically as much as you can help to burn more calories. Mental exertion like worrying or involving in finding solutions to problems also restrict food consumption in some and there by reduces the intake of calories .
3. Having sex frequently is also a good physical exertion.
4. Consumption of honey. This is advisable for non diabetic patients. Consuming 2 tea spoon of honey with a glass of herbal tea which includes weight reducing herbs help a lot in weight reduction. Honey along with these herbs scrapes and dissolves the Kapha and medha (body fat).
5. Sleeping for less hours. Avoiding sleeping in afternoons help to increase the burning of calories. This avoids slowing of basal metabolic rate.
6. Avoiding the food and beverages which increase kapha and medha. The foods which increase kapha and medha are sweets, sweetened drinks , large quantities of carbohydrates and oily food.
7. Consuming wheat products than rice products help to reduce obesity.
8. Using Green gram and horse gram help in reduction of kapha and medha.

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Obesity

James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Fighting Obesity – an ayurvedic way,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Health Foods at Wholesale Prices: Thrive Market Review

Health Foods at Wholesale Prices: Thrive Market Review

Thrive MarketThrive Market offers a plethora of healthy, organic, vegan and gluten free food options.  From main food ingredients, oils and dressings, snacks and baking, Thrive has the majority of your kitchen covered.  They also have beauty products, vitamins and supplements, household supplies and pet food (to name a few).

So, this could save me a trip to the grocery store, but the real question is “Will it save me money?”  A Thrive Market membership is $59.95 per year (less than $5 per month), the first 30 days are free to give it a try and you can cancel anytime. Since I pay $110 per year for my Costco membership (Sam’s Club comparable membership cost is $100/yr, Amazon Prime $99/yr) I think this is a nice price point to consider for members-only shopping.

Thrive Market product costs compared to other retailers.

Here’s a sampling of my purchases with the Thrive Market cost vs other online prices I found.

Newmans Own Dressing, Oil and Vinegar, 16oz- Thrive $3.95, Walmart $3.37

Simply Organic Garlic Powder, 3.64oz- Thrive $4.45, Jet $4.76

Bragg Health Science Vinaigrette- Thrive $3.95, Bragg Mailorder $6.49

Annie’s Naturals- Green Garlic Dressing- Thrive $3.75, Vitacost $4.43

gimMe Seaweed Snacks- Thrive $1.75, Vitacost $1.52* Sale price

Roasted Pistachios, 5oz.- Thrive $3.95, Amazon $5.49

Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette with Avocado Oil, 8ox- Thrive $5.65, Primal Kitchen.com $7.95

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So, compared to other online retailers, most of the time, Thrive could beat the best prices.

Health Foods at Wholesale Prices: Thrive Market Review

Next, I compared the same products in my local health food store (not all of the products listed above were in stock at my store).

Newmans Own Dressing, Oil and Vinegar, 16oz- $4.69 (Walmart wins)

Simply Organic Garlic Powder, 3.64oz- $6.99 (Thrive wins)

Bragg Health Science Vinaigrette- $6.99 (Thrive wins)

Annie’s Naturals- Green Garlic Dressing- $4.69 (Thrive wins)

gimMe Seaweed Snacks- $1.59 (Vitacost wins)

Santini Sun Dried Tomato Pesto- $5.79 (Thrive wins at $3.95)- *I could not find another reliable online resource

Health Foods at Wholesale Prices: Thrive Market Review

Overall, Thrive Market beat the online and in-store prices on the items I ordered.  Prices do fluctuate and will be reduced when sales happen, but this is a snapshot of my experience on this particular day.

 

Thrive Market offers free shipping.

Thrive offers free shipping on orders $49 and over.  Thrive matches each paid membership with a free membership for a low-income American family.

Overall, I like the Thrive Market concept and products they carry and I will continue to use it for much of my non-perishable health food shopping.

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Thrive Market,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Gluten Intolerant?

Gluten Intolerant? You May Just Be Intolerant of Monsanto Weed Killer

monsantos-roundupScientists suggest that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide is what’s making people have such a nasty reaction to gluten

Gluten Intolerant has been a major news item for the last few years—not just for sufferers of acute gluten intolerance and celiac disease, but for increasing numbers of people who are seeking to eliminate gluten from their diet for general health issues, weight control, skin health and even mood. As cholesterol and the carbs once were, gluten is the new enemy, to the point that some have claimed it’s a substance that the body isn’t equipped to handle.

I’ve even heard people blame gluten for all of the ails of modern civilization: After all, the cultivation of wheat, some say, is the birth of agriculture, and the ownership of crops goes hand in hand with the ownership of people that characterizes patriarchal, hierarchical civilization. Bread and beer, both products of wheat, people like Terence McKenna have suggested, are responsible for our generally degenerate state.

Gluten Intolerant?

Gluten Intolerant

But all over-the-top speculation aside, a new scientific review has suggested a far more specific problem with gluten: And it has nothing to do with wheat itself.

Rather, the peer-reviewed article “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance” suggests that the real criminal isn’t gluten but, rather, Glyphosate, AKA Roundup, the Monsanto-manufactured weedkiller used around the world. Glyphosate is sprayed on crops genetically engineered to be “Roundup Ready,” meaning that the crops resist the poison, while any nearby weeds are immediately killed. But that potentially leaves the end-product consumer with two toxic vectors to deal with: not only the Roundup that was sprayed on the crops, but, in some cases, the prior genetic engineering done to the crops themselves.

 

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Gluten Intolerant?

The review abstract lists the following allegations:

• 5% of the population in North America and Europe suffer from celiac disease and gluten intolerance, leading to nausea, diarrhea, rashes, macrocytic anemia (swollen red blood cells combined with lack of red blood cells overall) and depression. It can also lead to increased risk for thyroid disease, kidney failure, cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, infertility, birth defects and miscarriages.

• Glyphosate is the key culprit for all of this.

• Fish exposed to glyphosate get symptoms similar to celiac disease.

• Glyphosate impairs the enzymes that detox environmental toxins, chelates key minerals (meaning you don’t absorb them), depletes key amino acids

• Glyphosate is often used to artificially “ripen” crops, which the study blames for kidney failures in Central American sugar cane workers.

Gluten Intolerant?

Bad news for Monsanto, especially after the recent kerfluffle over the prior, extremely controversial Seralini study on glyphosate. Because very little negative research has been done into Glyphosate (because, as activists allege, Monsanto funds nearly all the studies into Glyphosate), it’s been slow going in building a case against Roundup. But this information—which looks much more sound than the Seralini study—may prove yet another arrow in Monsanto’s side.

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Gluten Intolerant?,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Natural Sources of Iron

Natural Sources of Iron

November 14, 2016
by Thrive Market

iron-rich-foods
Natural Sources of Iron
If you’re still curious about the importance of iron, take into consideration that “Iron Man” is one of the biggest comic superheroes of this generation and also the name of a popular song by venerable rocker Ozzy Osbourne, and that Iron Man competitions are held every year to test humans’ ability to be resilient and stand up to the greatest adversities.
You don’t often get that much cultural significance for magnesium or potassium, which just goes to show how recognized iron is nowadays as an essential component of living your best life.
While it’s not always understood, it’s important not to overlook what iron provides for the body. It can play a tremendous role in health and well-being—but the first step is having a sufficient amount of iron in the bloodstream, which often comes from making the right diet choices.

UNDERSTANDING WHAT IRON IS AND WHY IT MATTERS

Iron is an essential mineral that the body needs to function properly. While some people may think of the common metal when hearing the term, dietary iron is actually a molecular form of the element, and one that influences many aspects of human health.
First and foremost, iron is the key component in producing hemoglobin, a type of protein that is responsible for moving oxygen from the lungs throughout the tissues of the body. If hemoglobin levels are too low, the body may not be able to get enough oxygen, which can lead to a wide range of health problems like fatigue and weakness (see the full list below).
In addition to creating hemoglobin, iron also performs several additional functions within the body, including:
Producing myoglobin, another type of protein that ensures the muscles of the body receive the oxygen they require for proper performance.
Impacting metabolism by influencing the way that the body transitions carbohydrates into the fuel and energy needed to perform basic daily activities.
Synthesizing hormones and tissues—without proper iron levels, the body can struggle to heal and strengthen muscles, which is especially important in the growth and development of young children.
Encouraging proper cell function—without iron, blood cells and other cells within the body can be less healthy and actually grow weak.
THE GROWING PROBLEM OF IRON DEFICIENCY

th-46Lack of proper hemoglobin levels and the fatigue it can trigger can lead to a huge range of issues within the body—and the problem is growing more and more prevalent. In fact, iron deficiencies today are the most common type of nutritional deficiency, with roughly 10 percent of women diagnosed with the condition.
Iron deficiency can also lead to anemia, which can be left untreated and undiagnosed for years. Those with the issue might assume they’re feeling bad for other reasons and fail to find out that low iron is actually the problem. Some of the common symptoms of anemia can include:
General fatigue, from mild to severe in nature
Overall weakness
Pale skin
Dizzy feelings
Difficulty concentrating
Cold hands and feet
Irregular heart rates
Loss of appetite
Difficulty breathing
Painful headaches
Tongue soreness
Tingling in the legs or other extremities
Any of these could be a sign of poor iron levels in the body, especially if in combination. There are several different factors that can cause iron deficiency to occur, including:
Inability to absorb the mineral

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There are some medical disorders that can make it harder for the intestines to absorb iron from food, easily leading to an iron deficiency no matter how much is ingested.
Poor diet

One of the most common causes of iron deficiency is simple nutritional deficiency. Eating a poor diet can significantly impact overall levels, but making healthier choices is the best way to promote stronger iron intake and overall nutrition.
Pregnancy

Blood loss during childbirth, or pregnancy in general, can lead to a lower than normal level of iron in the body. In the latter case, the unborn baby’s absorption of nutrients through the mother can also lead to potential depletion of essential minerals and nutrients, so counteracting this imbalance is important.
Menstrual cycles

Heavy menstrual bleeding could also trigger anemia in women. This is especially problematic if poor diet is present as well, as this reduces the amount of iron that is naturally found in the body already.
These of course aren’t the only causes, but some of the most common. In any case, it’s important to understand that iron deficiency can’t be self-diagnosed, but talking to a medical professional can help determine whether or not an issue is present that needs to be dealt with—usually a simple blood test can provide more information.
HOW TO KNOW IF MORE IRON INTAKE IS NEEDED

In general, some groups of people are more susceptible to iron deficiency than others. These can include:
Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant
Anyone with a continually poor diet
Infants and children
Vegetarians or vegans that don’t actively increase iron intake (a lot of iron is found in meat)
Taking steps to increase iron intake is important for those who fall into these groups, and doing so as early as possible can help to prevent iron deficiency from becoming an issue at all.
NATURAL SOURCES OF IRON TO CONSIDER

There are numerous foods that are naturally rich in iron, and making sure that they’re an integral component of your diet is the first step towards preventing iron deficiency–related issues while also maintaining maximum health and wellness. These natural sources of iron include:
Red meat
Poultry
Pork
Dried fruits
Dark green vegetables
Leafy greens
Nuts
Beans and other legumes (in particular soybeans)
In addition to these foods, cereals, pastas, and other grains are often iron-fortified, though they may not be an option for those eating Paleo or gluten-free diets.
Additionally, vitamin C can have a direct impact on the body’s absorption of iron since it helps increase intake of the mineral for anyone who has trouble doing so on their own.
Fiber can also help with iron absorption. A diet high in fiber can help slow down the rate at which food moves through the digestive tract. This allows the intestines more time to absorb the various nutrients present, including iron. Combining vitamin C and fiber with a healthy diet rich in the foods that are naturally high in iron can make deficiencies and anemia much easier to beat.
A WORD ON IRON SUPPLEMENTS

While a healthy diet is the foundation of proper iron intake, some people simply can’t get the adequate amounts needed for good health. Whether it’s a health issue that blocks proper absorption, food allergies, or some other related issue, those that still can’t obtain adequate levels of the mineral through the steps listed above may need to consider iron supplements to help their cause.
Many of today’s supplements can be sourced naturally, and there are even organic, plant-based iron supplements for those who are strict vegetarians or vegans. Whether it’s a basic iron supplement or one of the numerous multivitamins on the market, adding these supplements into your everyday routine can help increase stores of iron and also vitamin C, which should improve numbers over time.
The key to finding success with multivitamins, however, is twofold. First, ensure that they are formulated specifically for your needs. For example, women require a different multivitamin than men, and pregnant women also need prenatal vitamins. Men over forty are said to require special vitamins as well. Always check the label to ensure that your choice provides proper levels of both vitamin C and iron before buying.
Iron plays a key role in the health and well-being of everyone—men, women, and children—but it’s often an overlooked mineral. Using the tips above, pay attention to your nutritional intake and any questionable symptoms so you can be on your way to becoming your own Iron Man or Iron Woman.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Natural Sources of Iron,
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Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean? Recently, you may have been hearing a lot of buzzwords such as “green” or “sustainable” living. The truth is, however, that these are more than just buzzwords. Sustainable living and green living are interchangeable concepts, which both mean living a lifestyle that does not harm the environment, but encourages its health and stability.

For the last few hundred years, mankind has been living unsustainably, simply meaning that we are using the earth’s resources faster than the earth can produce them, and many of these resources can’t come back once they’ve been used.

Due to this, we’re creating a world where nature is being thrown sharply out of balance, which can spell disaster for the entire planet. Fortunately, we can turn things around by changing our habits– one of which would be changing our lifestyles from those of constant consumption to those that are more conscientious about the safety and health of the environment.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

 

Sustainable Living: A Definition

Sustainable living refers a lifestyle that strives to reduce one’s carbon footprint. This simply means living in such a way that preserves instead of consumes the earth’s natural resources, as well as preserves their own personal resources.

The point of sustainable living is break the cycle of overconsumption seen throughout the world. So many people commonly consume and consume until nothing is left when they should be learning to conserve their resources in order to make them last longer as well as share them.

There Are Some Extremes

When some think of sustainable living, they may envision individuals who take things a little far. Some examples may include urinating in a jar to preserve water in the toilet, reducing showers to once or twice a month, or shutting off power despite the needs of the house or family.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

 

While this may work for some individuals, for most, it can make life unnecessarily difficult. With this in mind, it is important to remember that moderation is a good rule of thumb.

Living sustainably can be done by making small changes to your everyday life that will not only benefit the environment, but also perhaps change your lifestyle for the better.

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Great Ways To Live Sustainably

Try these simple lifestyle changes to integrate “green” habits into your everyday routine.

– Organic Eating: One of the easiest changes you can make is to switch to organic foods. By helping sustain organic markets and farms, you’re helping reduce the use of chemicals in our food and soil. Some say that organic eating can be expensive, and while this can be true, it doesn’t have to be. You can shop at local farmers markets as well as do your own farming. Many people have taken to creating their own fruit and vegetable gardens as well as housing chickens for fresh eggs. This option may take some money to get started, but once you’ve got a garden going, it’s easy and inexpensive to keep it running.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

– Be Mindful of Your Water Usage: Instead of abstaining or reducing showers from flushing the toilet, there are other ways to preserve water. Set a timeframe for your shower, shut off the water while brushing your teeth and washing your face, and water your lawn in the evening when it’s cooler and there’s a higher chance of all the water absorbing into the soil.

– Turn of Lights When You Leave the Room: The best way to conserve energy is to turn of lights and some appliances when you leave the room. If you’re typically leave lamps or the television on when you’re not in a room, train yourself to always turn these things off when you plan to vacate a room for an extended amount of time. A quick run to the bathroom doesn’t require shutting off all lights and power, but if you’re in your bedroom and decide to go spend some time in the backyard, don’t leave things up and running.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?Walk/Ride More: If you typically drive a lot and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, cut down the use of your car (if able). Instead, take walks or ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, or even rollerblade to your destination. If you’re unable to give up driving, maybe invest in a “green” vehicle that uses less gas and doesn’t give off toxic emissions.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

– Save Your Own Resources: Another great way to live sustainably is to preserve your own personal resources. This means being smart about how much you use and how much you save. For example, when it comes to food, eat smaller portions and wrap up leftovers. Eating your food quickly can only mean you’re spending more on groceries which, let’s face it, can be pretty expensive. Similarly, things like toothpaste, paper plates, paper towels, body wash, lotions, and so much more can be used up quickly. It all circles back to the consumer-thought process of using more than there is and not thinking ahead. Instead, look at these things practically and do what you can to make them last. Use the smallest necessary amount of toothpaste to get your teeth clean, stick to a dime sized amount of body wash or shampoo in the shower, don’t overuse paper plates and paper towels just because they’re there.

One of the best ways to get into a mindset of living sustainably is to remember that nothing is set in stone. We often use things quickly without regard to preservation because we know we can always get more. We can run to the store and get more if we run out of crackers.

There’s a market just down the street if we’re running low on lotion. Need food? There are plenty of restaurants all over. While this is technically true, it does not mean that these things will always be there.

Things can change, and problems can arise, making it important to prepare for the unforeseen by living smart. Preserve food, don’t overuse water and power, and consume in moderation. It’s the best way to live for both you and the environment.

Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?

Keep it fresh and eat clean, that is the organic way!

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going OrganicThe thought of pesticides in our children’s food is not a nice thought for anyone. Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic. It is important to get a thorough understanding of the extent of pesticides in baby food, so an informed decision can be made.
This is particularly relevant as babies and young children are much more susceptible to the effects of pesticides than adults are. It may be decided the best solution is to solely provide your baby with organic food to ensure there are little or no pesticides present.

Interestingly enough, according to the Organic Trade Association, 8 in 10 parents bought organic food in 2014 and 51% of families bought more organic products in 2014 that in 2012.

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

More and more people are choosing organic produce than ever before with the organic market bringing in $35.9 billion in 2014, the majority of which was produce and other food products. Revenue that was up 11% as compared with 2013 numbers.

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Purpose Of Pesticides

In agriculture, pesticides are very widely used as they help protect crops from damage, for example from insects and other organisms. Ultimately, this helps to keep the cost of food down, as production costs are much lower.

Different types of pesticides help control unwanted plants, insects, and microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. While pesticides are effective at killing the insect or bacteria they are designed to target, unfortunately, they are much more general in their approach.

Exposure to pesticides, through working in an environment in which they are used such as a farm, eating pesticide-infected food or inhaling pesticide contaminated air is unfortunately a common occurrence.

Types Of Food That Could Contain Pesticides

While it is hard to specifically identify which foods will always have pesticides present and in what levels, it is possible to discuss the main foods, which you are likely to feed your young child. It is worth noting that it is not only foods that contain pesticides; water has been shown to have similar levels to the food we eat.

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

Each year the foods that contain the highest and lowest levels of pesticides are identified by the Environmental Working Group. Focusing on the items that have the least exposure to pesticides will be a perfectly acceptable substitute if you choose not to go totally organic.
The EWG produces a list of the best and worst fruits and vegetables when it comes to pesticide exposure.

Foods such as apples, potatoes, berries, spinach, peppers, and grapes top the list for the worst levels of pesticides. In contrast, foods such as sweetcorn, mangos, and onions have significantly less exposure to pesticides.

Consequences Of Using Baby Food That Includes Pesticides

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t feed your baby any foods that have come into contact with pesticides. The main reasons, such as the effects on health, are discussed below.

– Pesticides have been shown to cause changes to the brain’s chemistry
– Studies have shown exposure to pesticides, both in utero and as a young child can contribute to developmental delay
– A baby’s brain is still developing and growing, and is therefore vulnerable to the effects of pesticides. Exposure to such chemicals can interrupt vital developmental processes such as tissue growth
– Children’s digestive systems are still developing, and therefore they are more likely to absorb the pesticides into their bodies
– Pesticides have been shown to block vital nutrients from being absorbed into the body
– Certain pesticides have been shown to significantly increase the rate of certain cancers in childhood

Going Organic

The main way of avoiding pesticides in baby food is to only purchase organic baby food. While this may be more expensive and less convenient, it is the easiest way to guarantee you know what you are feeding your baby.

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

It is worth noting that organic does not necessarily mean completely pesticide free; worldwide guidelines vary, but it is not uncommon for the requirement for items to be made from 70%+ organic ingredients.

Alternatively, a cheaper way to ensure you know exactly what you are feeding your child is to grow your own fruit and vegetables and make your own baby food using that produce. This way you have complete control over the whole process, from seed to dinner table.

Pesticides In Baby Food And Going Organic

Keep it fresh and eat clean, that is the organic way!

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Sustainable Living: What Does it Mean?,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Organic Personal Hygiene 101

 Organic Personal Hygiene 101

 

Organic Personal Hygiene 101

Organic Personal Hygiene 101. Few things are more important than what we not only put in but also on our bodies. If we’re not careful, everything we eat and every product we use has the potential to cause harm. When deciding to move toward a more natural hygienic routine, it may become a bit overwhelming.

Literature abounds on the internet. There are hundreds of claims about practically every ingredient in your favorite drugstore products. How do you know where to start? The simplest thing to do is start with the basics.

Organic Personal Hygiene 101

What do you use every day of your life that could easily be swapped out for something more organic?
The range of choices is astounding.

The good news is that as the demand for safe products rises so does the amount of manufacturers providing them. So, let’s get started.

Deodorant

Deodorant and antiperspirant are things all of us need every single day. We’ve used them practically every day of our lives since puberty, so this one may be difficult to wrap our head around.

However, have you ever read the ingredients list of your favorite brand? The most common are aluminum chlorohydrate and parabens.

The first, aluminum chlorohydrate, is used to block sweat from escaping the pores.

Experts report that it shows up in practically every single big name brand and has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

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Organic Personal Hygiene 101

Although there’s no solid, evidence that the aluminum in most antiperspirants and deodorants is directly related to these diseases, scientists have found traces of aluminum in the cells of breast cancer victims.

WebMD sites that this type of cancer commonly shows up in the upper outer part of the breast, which is right where we’re applying deodorant.

Parabens have a different effect on our system. This particular synthetic preservative has the potential to throw hormone levels out of whack, especially our levels of estrogen.

According to the National Cancer Institute, increased levels of estrogen promote the growth of cancer cells. These parabens are the main culprit in mirroring estrogen. Not only does this substance disrupt our natural hormone levels, but it has also been linked to birth defects and organ toxicity.

While several brands have omitted this ingredient from their production lines, there are still several who continue to use it.

Shampoo

Every bottle of shampoo you see at the grocery store more than likely has one if not all of these harmful chemicals:

– Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS).
– Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
– Parabens.
– Fragrance.
– Polyethylene Glycol.

Organic Personal Hygiene 101

These substances have been linked to issues such as inflammation, rashes, kidney damage, developmental issues in unborn children and hair loss. That’s just to name a few! The Journal of Investigative Dermatology has found these ingredients to cause damage to our DNA possibly causing eczema. With these chemicals in your shampoo, you’re probably doing more harm than good every time you lather up.

Toothpaste.

When people start to listen up, this is usually. For some reason, we pay more attention to the things going into our bodies than what goes on them and for good reason. Logically, a substance coming into direct contact with our soft tissue is more likely to be absorbed causing damage more rapidly. Enter the chemical makeup of your favorite minty toothpaste.

Sodium fluoride, triclosan, SLS (yes the same stuff in your shampoo), and hydrated silica are the most common offenders. News USA reports that triclosan is listed as a pesticide and has been cited as having negative effects on the thyroid and levels of estrogen.

Remember that SLS from your shampoo? When it comes into contact with your mouth, it can cause skin corrosion and painful canker sores.

Some other side effects to look forward to?

Diarrhea, depression, and death. Granted, the last three consequences were discovered during a study involving lab rats, but none the less, incredibly alarming.

So, what now?

Start by reading the labels in your medicine cabinet. You’ll more than likely find that several of those products have one or more of the chemicals listed here. Chuck the product and look into other options like buying from organic manufacturers or making these products yourself if you see them.

Homemade Deodorant.

Deodorant, for instance, can be replaced with a concoction of baking soda, coconut oil, arrowroot powder, and essential oils to add your favorite fragrance.

Interested in homemade shampoo?

Use the exact same ingredients used for the DIY deodorant; just replace the arrowroot powder with castile soap. If homemade products aren’t you thing, don’t fret.

Dozens of companies have jumped on the organic bus and sell their products in health food stores and online.

Notable brands are:.

– Dr. Bonner’s.
– The Honest Company.
– Green People.
– Rahua Classics.

Bottom line, when choosing personal hygiene products it’s best to stick with those that do not contain synthetic ingredients. Do your own research and figure out what works for you!

Organic Personal Hygiene 101

Keep it fresh and eat clean, that is the organic way!

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Organic Personal Hygiene 101?,
Please comment, tweet and share.


Organic Home Gardening 101

Organic Home Gardening 101

Organic Home Gardening 101. organic gardeningHave you ever tasted a tomato that you didn’t buy from the grocery store? Organic Home Gardening 101, my friend if the answer to this question. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to only have access to store bought foods. Living in bustling cities where you’re more likely to see buildings than a skyline, it becomes difficult to access farm fresh produce.

Many of the vegetables and fruits we eat come from other parts of the globe, which means they’ve been bathed in preservatives just to make it to your table. Eating organic means eating clean fruits and vegetables, and you can buy them at a Farmer’s market or your grocer.

But, what if there are several varieties of edible plants you could grow in your own backyard?
What if a yard wasn’t even necessary?

Organic Home Gardening 101

Health Benefits

CNN explains that home gardening has several benefits beyond nutrition. Most Americans spend Monday through Friday sitting at a desk for 8-hours only to come home and do the same. Gardening gets you outside and moving!

You’re lifting bags of soil, reaching deep into your garden beds getting a good stretch and moving around more than you did the entire day. Having a garden not only benefits you physically, but studies have shown that it helps your emotional health as well.
It reduces stress and depression and even promotes general brain health by improving memory, among other things.

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Getting Started

– One of the most important things to consider when starting an edible, organic garden is the planting zone you live in. This determines which plants will thrive in a given environment. Plantmaps.com is a great place to find out which zone you’re in, so take a look before you map out your garden. If you’re living in an apartment and plan on having an indoor garden this won’t matter as much since your plants will generally just need a certain amount of sunlight, feeding and watering to thrive.

Organic Home Gardening 101

– Second important thing in getting started is deciding what you like to eat! Choose plant varieties that you know you’ll consume regularly and read up on them. You don’t want to plant a lemon tree just to have it dumping decaying fruit all over your yard. Plus, you’ll be more likely to properly care for your plants if they’re something you really enjoy eating. Some of the best plants to start with are fresh herbs.

They’re low maintenance, work for both indoor and outdoor gardens, and preserve nicely. A useful tip is to freeze herbs in olive oil. They’ll stay fresh and you’ll cut down on waste, not to mention cooking time. Just toss a frozen olive oil cube containing your favorite herb into a skillet and you’re good to go!

Third, choose a plant varietal that fits into your schedule. Fact of the matter is that some plants are more finicky than others are and will require more of your attention.

The easiest plants to grow for beginners are:

– Greens.
– Tomatoes.
– Cucumbers.
– Carrots.
– Radishes.
– Zucchini.
– Green beans.

Keeping It Going.

Once you’ve figured out what you’ll be growing in your garden, you have to figure out how to keep it blossoming. As much as we ‘d like to hope that you can “set it and forget it,” your garden will need regular TLC. But don’t let that scare you off! There are tons of helpful tools to assist you in staying on top of things.

For example, Smart Gardner is a free app that helps you plan the layout of your garden, find plant varietals appropriate for your planting zone, and even sends you weekly To Do notifications to help you stay on track.

Organic Home Gardening 101

Also, enlist the help of your family members or others in the household. Encouraging children to grow their own food not only teaches them a skill but also demonstrates responsibility in caring for something other than themselves. Serving the foods you’ve harvested from your homegrown garden will give everyone a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Once it gets going you’ll soon realize the fruits of your labor (pun intended), Organic gardening will take some effort to start but. It is an incredibly satisfying feeling to feed yourself and loved ones something that you’ve grown with your bare hands, and not to mention, outrageously delicious.

Organic Home Gardening 101

Keep it fresh and eat clean, that is the organic way!

 

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James Posey is an expert when it comes to organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living.

To find out everything about organic, organic foods, organic gardening, organic living,
Please visit my website at www.traversecityorganics.com.

P.S. If you enjoyed my Blog post on
Organic Home Gardening 101,
Please comment, tweet and share.