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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Amazing Health Benefits of Coconut Water

902After your next workout, reach for some anti-inflammatory coconut water. Not only does coconut water help balance your glucose levels, but it is also packed with electrolytes, vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals. Drinking coconut water will promote a healthy immune system, and you might even notice an improvement in the appearance of your eyes and skin.

You can purchase whole, fresh coconuts at most grocery stores. Carefully push a metal skewer though the “soft eye” found on every coconut, drain it’s sweet water into a cup and enjoy!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-coconut-water-for-skin-hair-and-health/
Photo | fresh-water-coconut | ©Phu Thinh Co | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Watery Watermelon

watermelonThe next time you’re craving a sweet snack, reach for a watermelon. Watermelon is packed with more than just water; it provides healthy doses of vitamins C, A and B, thiamine, potassium and magnesium. Watermelon also contains lycopene, a key antioxidant in fighting prostate cancer and heart disease.*

When purchasing a watermelon, knock on the rind and listen for a hollow sound. Avoid rinds that produce a solid thud, which is a sign that they are overripe.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.naturalfoodbenefits.com/print.asp?CAT=1&ID=75
Photo | Watermelon | ©Harsha K R | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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When to Take Supplements on an Empty Stomach

874Most people assume all supplements should be taken on a full stomach to help with absorption, but that only applies to fat-soluble supplements. Some supplements that are derived from amino acids like N-acetyl cysteine, GABA, L-arginine, carnitine and glutamine respond better when taken on an empty stomach. Water soluble vitamins B and C can be taken on an empty stomach too.*

Do some research online to determine the optimal time to take your supplements. For those supplements that direct you to take them on an empty stomach, try to take your dose either two hours after a meal or thirty minutes before a meal.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/12/pill-popping-101-when-to-take-supplements/
Photo | Vitamin Packaging | ©Colin Dunn | 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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Bitter Melon Juice for Pancreatic Cancer

773For the millions of people at risk for pancreatic cancer, bitter melon juice gives us all a reason to rejoice. A study conducted by the University of Colorado showed that bitter melon juice cut the probability of developing pancreatic cancer by 60%. In cases where the tumor was already there, the bitter melon juice starved the cancer by preventing it from using glucose. Other studies are pointing to bitter melon juice as a fighter against breast, liver, colon, prostate and stomach cancer as well.*

Bitter melon supplements can be found at most health and vitamin stores. However if you are having trouble finding it locally, consider purchasing some capsules online at Amazon.com.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.naturalnews.com/039583_bitter_melon_pancreatic_cancer_cytotoxicity.html
Photo | Melons | ©Kai Schreiber | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license

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Awesome Avocados

1718Did you know the energy boosting Avocado is classified as a fruit? In addition to being packed with nutrients and healthy fat, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins E and B, studies have shown that in as little as one week avocados can lower your cholesterol. Along with this benefit, tests show that the avocados actually protect your liver from damage and can destroy oral cancer cells. Pair these health benefits with the rich and delicious taste, and you’ll understand why avocados are considered a super fruit.*

Enjoy avocados by substituting them for unhealthy fats like butter or mayonnaise in baked goods, desserts, sandwiches, even soups. When whipped, avocados also make a healthy and yummy baby food.

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5
Photo | Avocado Salad | ©Laurel F | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 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 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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Increase Vitamin C Levels to Lose Weight

1173Research has shown that 47% of Americans have low vitamin C levels. People with the lowest levels of vitamin C have higher blood pressure, a larger body mass index, and bigger waist circumference than those with normal vitamin C levels. Vitamin C intake recommendations vary by age and other factors (such as if you smoke or if you’re breastfeeding), but on average, adult males should have 90mg of vitamin C a day, while adult females should strive for 75mg.*

A simple blood test performed by your doctor can determine your vitamin C levels. Bell peppers, kale, and broccoli are great source of Vitamin C. In fact, they each contain greater amounts than oranges!

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Dr. Kim

*http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-04/foas-vcd040306.php
Photo | Denise Cross Photography | Day 38/366…..Sun-Kissed | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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