Archive for August, 2016

Non-Dairy Foods that Build Bone Strength

Food for Thought

Many people are lactose intolerant, or just don’t do dairy, but that doesn’t mean they are doomed to have brittle bones.  There are plenty of non-dairy foods that are chalk full of calcium and great for building bone strength.

We all know that calcium builds strong bones, but it also ensures that your muscles, nerves and cells all work properly.  As adults, we need approximately 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day – or the equivalent of more than three 8 oz. glasses of milk a day.  But if you don’t do dairy, you are still able to get your daily dose of calcium with these calcium-rich foods.

build bones

Broccoli has a calcium content of 86 milligrams in just two cups of raw broccoli.  It also contains nearly twice the vitamin C than an orange.

Collard greens contain 268 milligrams of calcium per one cup cooked.  It is also loaded with three days worth of vitamin A.

Sardines have a calcium content of 351 milligrams in a 3.75 oz. can.  While some people may fear sardines simply on looks alone, they are really quite tasty and are an amazing source of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Canned salmon contains 232 milligrams of calcium in just a half of a can.  It also contains 38 grams of “belly-flattening” protein.

White beans have a calcium content of 63 milligrams in ½ cup cooked.  They are also very rich in fiber, protein, potassium and iron.

Tofu contains 434 milligrams of calcium in just a half of a cup.  It is typically a vegetarian’s source of protein and takes on the taste of whatever it is cooked with.

Edamame contains 98 milligrams of calcium in one cup cooked.  It is also one of the few non-animal foods that is a complete protein – meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. And 8 grams of fiber per serving isn’t too shabby, either.

10-second Health Tips

Healthy Living

In the fast paced world that we live in, many people do not take the time out of their day that they should to properly take care of themselves.

But many health issues can be addressed in just 10 seconds.  Check out some of these tips!

10 second

Put your contacts in after you shower

Getting a shower while wearing your contacts can expose your eyes to infection-causing waterborne microbes.  It’s best to wait until after you shower to put them in.

Check your thyroid.

Even a mildly overactive thyroid can increase your heart disease risk by 65 percent.  A quick blood test can check your level of TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone.

Drink hot tea in the morning.

According to the International Journal of Cancer, drinking hot tea in the morning can slash your risk of kidney cancer by 15 percent.  They also suggest trying pu-erh tea instead of green or black tea, because it is better at preventing DNA damage

Recline a little.

Canadian researchers have found that keeping your body at a 90-degree angle puts a lot of strain on your spine.  Give your back a break and recline a little – the ideal angle is 45 degrees off vertical.

Get enough sleep.

British studies show that getting more than 9 hours a sleep a night or getting less than 6 hours a sleep a night, doubles your risk of an early death from any cause.  Experts always suggest that you should aim for 7 or 8 hours a night.

Eat steamed broccoli, not boiled.

By simply modifying the way that you cook your broccoli can increase the concentration of glucosinolates – compounds found to fight cancer – by 30 percent. Always steam your broccoli; boiling actually lowers the level of the compound.

Drink some wine. (Yes, we are serious!)

A recent Israeli study shows that polyphenols, the compounds found in red wine, help block fat absorption… so drink an extra glass of red wine. (or two!)

Blood Pressure Myths

Did you know that roughly one in three American adults has high blood pressure?  A staggering fact is that having untreated blood pressure can lead to further serious conditions like heart failure, stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.

But do you know the facts about high blood pressure? Or have you fallen victim to believing the many myths out there about blood pressure?

Find out more as we sift through the myths to find the facts!

blood pressure

MYTH – Lower blood pressure is always better.

Low blood pressure could be a concern if it causes symptoms of dizziness, fainting or shock.  But, it is true that sometimes low blood pressure is normal for some people.

MYTH – Nervousness, sweating and lack of sleep are all symptoms.

Actually high blood pressure does not have any symptoms.  Nearly one-third of all adults who have high blood pressure do not even know that they have blood pressure issues at all.

MYTH – If you have high cholesterol, then you have high blood pressure.

While many of the same poor exercise and food choices cause both high cholesterol and high blood pressure, people can have just one or the other – or both.

MYTH – Once you are feeling better you don’t need to take your blood pressure medication anymore.

If a doctor has prescribed a blood pressure medication for your high blood pressure, you should follow their exact orders.

Outdoor Activities to Fit in this Season

Fitness for All

Not too long ago we were breaking out the shorts and t-shirts, swim suits and flip flops, and heading outdoors to make the most of the beautiful summer days.  But with only days left in the summer season, there is still time to get outdoors and take advantage of the weather, all the while getting your work outs in outdoors.

outdoor activities

Running, hiking, swimming, and playing outdoor sports are all great ways to get your daily amount of exercise, but why not try something new in these last few weeks of summer?

Snorkeling:  If you are heading to the beach or if you live at the beach, pick up a mask and snorkel and get ready for a good time and a great exercise.  Not only will you see some pretty amazing things below the water’s surface, but you will also be getting a great aerobic workout without even realizing it.

Yard sports:  Not all outdoor exercises or sports have to be organized – shoot some hoops, play a game of kickball or wiffleball or pick up a tennis racket and hit up the local courts.

Water skiing: While water skiing is a sport that you may need to work up to, there is no time like the present to give it a try.  Water skiing is a fun water sport, where you use a wide variety of muscles to participate in it and therefore it is a great summertime sport for someone looking for something new to try out.

Kayaking/Canoeing: Kayaking and canoeing are not just fun water sports, but they are also very physically challenging sports.  Experts suggest that you take your time learning how to kayak or canoe and enjoy the area in which you decide to try out your new sport.  Row for awhile, but then take a break and take in the beautiful scenery around you.

Rock climbing:  Although this sport requires the assistance of a professional, most people do not realize the amount of physical strength it takes to participate in rock climbing.  Find an experienced rock climber in your area, and give it a shot.  Before you know it, you’ll get the “hang” of it and will wonder why it took you this long to try it out.

Eating Healthy: Spotlight on Zucchini

  • Zucchini are made up of more than 95 percent water and are very low in calories – only 13 calories in a half cup of raw zucchini and only 5 calories more when cooked.
  • Zucchini contains very useful amounts of folate, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin A.
  • The skin color of zucchini squash varies from very light to very dark and the darker the skin the more nutrients the zucchini contains.
  • And speaking of the skin, you shouldn’t remove the skin from a zucchini squash because the nutrients are contained in the skin.

Zucchini

Recipe: Baked Zucchini Fries

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced into skinny sticks
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg whites with a fork until frothy. Put the breadcrumbs, basil, oregano, garlic powder and cheese on a plate. Mix well. Dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and then into the bread crumb mixture, make sure all sides get coated well. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 425° for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and a little crispy. Turn over the fries half way through. Serve warm. Dip in marinara sauce.

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake

2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2 medium-sized yellow squash, cut in slices or half-moon slices
2-4 T chopped fresh basil (or even less, depending on how much you like the flavor of basil)
2 T thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup + 1/2 cup low-fat white cheese (I used Pizza Cheese, which is a low-fat blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Romano, and Parmesan)
1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan (I would use a little less if you only have the very finely grated Parmesan from a can)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with non-stick spray. Wash the squash and cut in slices or half-moon slices. Wash basil, spin dry or dry with paper towels and finely chop. Slice green onions.Combine the sliced squash, chopped basil, sliced green onions, dried thyme, garlic powder, and both kinds of cheese and stir together until the veggies are coated with cheese and the herbs are well-distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Put the mixture in the baking dish and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes.When the zucchini is nearly cooked through, take the casserole dish out of the oven and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese. Put the dish back in the oven and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and nicely browned and zucchini is fully cooked. Serve hot.