Eat the Whole Cucumber

You may not think twice about peeling your cucumbers before you eat them, but maybe you wouldn’t if you realized the health benefits of eating the whole cucumber. A cucumber’s skin is filled with minerals (like magnesium and potassium) and it is also rich in fiber. Cucumbers also provide your body with much needed vitamin A, C and folic acid.*

To make your own hummus for a healthy accompaniment to your cucumber slices, use a 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, three garlic cloves, two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a half a teaspoon of cumin. Smooth these ingredients in a food processor or blender, slice a whole cucumber, dip and enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/natural-benefits-fresh-cucumber-4905.html
Photo | Cucumber Halves | ©Richard North | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Okra Lowers Blood Sugar

Kuwaiti-style okra with tomatoes
If you need help controlling your blood sugar levels, reach for some okra. Fiber-rich okra prevents the starches in your body from converting into glucose (sugar). Okra is also full of magnesium, vitamins, potassium, and zinc.

Glucose-regulating okra can be prepared by being steamed, sautéed, or grilled. Keep in mind that only one cup of okra packs about 8.2 grams of fiber. Enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://healthland.time.com/2013/07/22/eat-this-now-okra/
Photo | Kuwaiti-style okra with tomatoes | ©Gloria Cabada-Leman | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Diabetes

907Good news for people with diabetes, apple cider vinegar may be able to help keep blood sugar levels under control. One study showed that two tablespoons of ACV taken at night helped lower glucose levels by 6% the next morning. Another study proved that after eating a high carb meal, ACV kept blood sugar from spiking.*

Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, so protect your esophagus by diluting your doses. Also, for best results, be sure to only ingest ACV that is organic, unfiltered and raw.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.dlife.com/diabetes-food-and-fitness/diabetes-superfoods/special_nutrients/spoonful_of_vinegar
Photo | Apple Cider Vinegar | ©Andy Roberts | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Organic Butter for Arthritis and Joint Stiffness

897Raw, grass-fed butter can keep your joints from feeling stiff. This is because raw butter contains Wulzen factor, which is a hormone-like substance that makes sure calcium does not go into your joints and is instead absorbed by your body. Only raw butter packs this powerful benefit; the Wulzen factor is destroyed by pasteurization.*

Try to buy organic raw, grass-fed butter to help protect your joints from arthritis caused by calcium buildup. Cooking and melting methods are the same as with pasteurized butter, however, you may enjoy a creamier, smoother taste with this healthy raw variety.

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Dr. Kim

*http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/12/07/why-is-butter-better.aspx
Photo | Organic butter | ©Quinn Dombrowski | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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“Best By” Dates

894Every year, 40% of the U.S. food supply is thrown out uneaten because of expired dates. In a lot of cases, food is still safe even after it has passed its “Best By” date. While these dates are there for your safety, how you store your food is actually more important. Bacteria won’t grow on food that is stored at temperatures colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer than 120 degrees Fahrenheit; the temperatures in between cause food to fall into the “Danger Zone.”*

Make an effort to get food from the store to your fridge as quickly as possible. Also be mindful of bad habits (like leaving milk out on the counter while you eat breakfast) that could put your perishable foods and your health at risk.

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Dr. Kim

*http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/aa102102a.htm
Photo | 106 Expiration Date | ©Alan Levine | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Take Supplements With Food

857Most people avoid taking nutritional supplements on an empty stomach because they want to avoid a stomachache. But there’s another reason you should be taking your vitamins with food: absorption. The hydrochloric acid that is produced when you eat also helps your body absorb the nutrients from supplements like vitamins B, D, E, A, and K.*

Enhance your body’s absorption of supplements by taking the recommended dosage after a meal. Consider moving your supplements from the medicine cabinet to the kitchen counter as a way to remind yourself of the optimal time to take them.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.betternutrition.com/how-to-take-supplements/columns/askthenaturopath/1033
Photo | Vitamin Packaging | ©Colin Dunn | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Chew More for Your Health

854When you thoroughly chew your food you stand to gain a lot of benefits. Chewing slowly allows you to control intake and it ensures that you absorb most of the nutrients from your food. Also, chewing properly aids in digestion; gas and bloating tend to result from food that is chewed too little and swallowed too quickly.*

Try chewing more; swallow only when your food is completely broken down. Not only will you reap the benefits of conscious chewing, but you will also be able to enjoy your meals more by savoring them.

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Dr. Kim

*http://voices.yahoo.com/chewing-food-more-thoroughly-aids-digestion-has-2136674.html
Photo | Eating hedgehog | ©Janet McKnight | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Feed Your Children Properly from Early Ages

Our taste buds may mature over the years, but what we eat during childhood formulates our food preferences. For this reason you can understand how important it is to incorporate healthy fruits and veggies into your kids’ current diet. If your kids consume a lot of sugar and fat now, chances are they will develop a lifelong taste for nutritional junk.*

Make eating healthy fun by getting your kids in on the action. Prepare colorful vegetable kabobs together or make your own yogurt-fruit parfaits for dessert. Training your kids’ taste buds to eat clean now will increase their chances of staying healthy in the future.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6240/5-Reasons-to-Feed-Your-Kids-Organic.html
Photo | d2536-1 | &Copy;U.S. Department of Agriculture | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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Watch Out for Green or Sprouted Potatoes

Solanine is a toxic compound that’s found in green or sprouted potatoes. Solanum Tuberosum poisoning can occur when you eat a green potato. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis and sometimes death. Avoid all sprouted and green potatoes to protect yourself from potato poisoning.*

Get your potatoes to last longer by holding off on rinsing them until you are ready to cook. Also, store them in a cool, dark place (you can try a brown paper bag with holes for ventilation).

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002875.htm
Photo | Zombie Potato | ©Clevergrrl on Flickr | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Avoid Atlantic Salmon

Andrea Pokrzywinski
Andrea Pokrzywinski

Farmed Atlantic salmon are nowhere near as healthy as wild salmon; they do not pack an equal amount of omega benefits. The crowded pens that farmed fish are kept in increase the chances of parasites and disease being spread. Atlantic salmon also have to be fed dyes in order to retain the natural pink color.*

Before you purchase salmon, be sure to inquire with the staff (or restaurant’s chef) where the salmon came from. At the market look for wild salmon that legally cannot be farmed such as “sockeye salmon” or “Alaskan salmon.”

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Dr. Kim

*http://health.yahoo.net/experts/eatthis/5-fish-you-should-throw-back?page=2
Photo | salmon | ©Andrea Pokrzywinski | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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