An Apple a Day

912Apples are one of the top-ranked fruits to eat for your health, thanks to their disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins. Eating apples has been known to decrease the risk of chronic diseases like dementia, cancer, type 2 diabetes and even heart disease. High in fiber, apples also can help you keep off excess weight while fixing problems like constipation.*

For the best health benefits, consume whole apples (with their skin), rather than juicing them. Have fun experimenting with all of the different kinds of apples; currently there are more than 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/10-reasons-to-eat-an-apple-a-day
Photo | Apple | ©Alessio Maffeis | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Nutritional Powerhouse Pumpkin Seeds

The pumpkin seeds we roasted after carving pumpkins for Halloween
The pumpkin seeds we roasted after carving pumpkins for Halloween

Pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses that can help fight off both cancer and diabetes. Packed with antioxidants and phytosterol (plant compounds), pumpkin seeds can also help your liver, immune system and heart health. Also, these tasty seeds offer up a dose of copper, zinc, magnesium and protein too!*

You can find raw pumpkin seeds in most specialty markets or in the health section of some grocery stores. Sprinkle some seasonings (like rosemary or garlic) and roast your seeds at 400 degrees until golden (usually between 5-20 minutes, based on the size of your seeds).

*http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-health-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds.html
Photo | Roasted Pumpkin Seeds | ©Brian Jackson | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Eat Raisins to Lower Your Blood Pressure

1704Now your snacking habits can positively affect your blood pressure. In a controlled study, results proved that among other snacks, raisins were the winners when it came to lowering blood pressure. Raisins contain a high amount of potassium (which has been known to lower blood pressure). They are also rich in fiber and antioxidants, which can make blood vessels less stiff. This study further proves that eating natural foods is a key component to achieving optimal health.*

Enjoy delicious raisins as both a snack and a way to lower your blood pressure. Raisins are available in most grocery stores; consider purchasing a “snack size” or portioning out your raisins first, because they can easily be overconsumed.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/raisins-and-7-other-foods-lower-blood-pressure_n_1382535.html
Photo | Raisins | ©Jenn Durfey | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Wonderful Watermelon

1609Nothing beats a refreshing slice of watermelon on a warm summer day, and your body will thank you for the healthy treat! Watermelon is hydrating, and it offers healthy doses of vitamins A, B6 and C. It is packed with antioxidants and amino acids, and can be used as a diuretic. With more lycopene than tomatoes, watermelon combats the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer.*

Have fun with watermelon snacks this summer. Make watermelon fruit kabobs, or blend and freeze watermelon in ice cube trays for a portable frozen treat!

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Dr. Kim

*https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/watermelon/
Photo | Harsha K R | Watermelon | used under a Creative Commons Attribition Share-alike license

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Pomegranate Boosts Testosterone Levels

1564The pomegranate is a powerful fruit that has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. It contains high levels of iron, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E. Studies have shown that one glass of pomegranate juice a day can raise testosterone levels between 16-30%. This is especially good news for health-conscious middle-aged men, who tend to lose muscle mass as their testosterone levels drop with age.*

Fresh pomegranates are best, but where they are not in season or easily available, bottled pomegranate juice can be a healthy alternative. Just look for a label that promotes “100% Pomegranate Juice,” and does not contain “malic acid” or “citric acid,” which are commonly added to bottled juices.

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Dr. Kim

*http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-pomegranate-men-2993.html
Photo | David Loong | DSCF2519 | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Health Benefits of Olives

1544More than 75% of the fat in olives is good fat. Good fat lowers your risk of heart disease. Olives are packed with an abundance of antioxidants. In fact, they have stronger antioxidant properties than Vitamin E. Olives have anti-aging components, cancer-fighting properties and can support your bone health too.*

Olives come in red, green and black varieties. Traditionally, olives are sold in cans and jars, but today many grocery stores sell them in bulk in large barrels. Shop olives in bulk so that you can experiment with different types and purchase only what you need.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=46
Photo | dan hodgett | Olives | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Antioxidants and Longevity

1405“The amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”
-Dr. Richard Cutler

Antioxidants are one way to live a longer, healthier life. Let’s make an effort to eat more antioxidant-rich foods such as purple grapes, blueberries, walnuts, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy green vegetables.

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Dr. Kim

Photo | @rsseattle | Reward for work: Blueberries | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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The Benefits of Berries

1362From boysenberries to blackberries, raspberries to strawberries, blueberries to cranberries, each delicious berry variety is packed with antioxidants! Antioxidants keep you healthy by fighting the oxidative stress in your body that leads to dangerous free radicals and eventual illness. Not only will the antioxidants in berries improve your health, but they will help to nourish and protect your skin and hair too.*

When shopping for berries, choose varieties that are plump and firm. Whether you shop at your local grocery store or a farmer’s market, only select berry containers that are sans stains, mold, and moisture.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/berries.aspx
Photo | epSos .de | Healthy Berries are Good Food for Health | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Health Benefits of Swiss Chard

1324A great source of antioxidants, Swiss chard offers anti-inflammatory benefits for your whole body. Swiss chard is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats, vitamins K and A, and beta carotene. And with only 19 calories per 100 grams of raw Swiss chard, it’s a snack that will give your body the phytonutrients it needs while keeping your weight down.*

For a healthy cooking method, boil Swiss chard uncovered for three minutes. By keeping the pot uncovered, you allow acids to escape, making the Swiss chard taste sweeter. Once boiled, press excess liquid out with a fork, toss with lemon, and enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16
Photo | thebittenword.com | Clagett Farm CSA Week 3 | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Green Tea Prevents Dementia

1302A study shows that people who drink green tea 1-6 days a week have a lower risk of dementia than non-tea drinkers. Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits. In addition to reducing the risk of developing dementia, green tea has also shown to lower cholesterol, and drinking it can improve blood flow.*

While sipping hot green tea is soothing, cold green tea can be very refreshing and easier to drink. Brew a large batch to keep in your fridge to drink instead of sugary over-caffeinated drinks.

Express your love today!

Dr. Kim

*http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407101545.htm
Photo | TNS Sofres | 78321344 | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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