Black Beans are Beneficial

1012 copyWith over 4000 antioxidants, black beans contain the highest amount of antioxidants compared to every other variety of bean. Black beans also contain flavonoids, which not only cause their rich black shell color, but also credit them to being an excellent source of phytonutrients. Because they are rich in healthy fiber, adding black beans to your diet can keep you feeling fuller, longer.*

The healthiest way to cook black beans is on a stovetop; just add three cups of fresh water for every cup of dried beans. Bring the beans to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, partly cover your pot for one to one-and-a-half hours until your black beans become tender.

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*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2
Photo | “Black and White Beans” | &Copy;cookbookman17 | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Carrots Fight Heart Disease and Cancer

958In addition to building strong bones and a healthy nervous system, carrots contain a component called falcarinol that can kick start cancer-fighting mechanisms in your body. Another study showed that women who consumed a quarter-cup of carrots daily significantly lowered their risk for cardiovascular disease.

It’s believed that cooking carrots helps give their antioxidant levels a boost. Brush carrots with olive oil and bake them for 20 minutes at 200 degrees for a healthy and tasty side dish tonight!

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*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21
Photo | Carrots | ©Kelly | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution share-alike license

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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