Posts Tagged ‘omega 3 fatty acids’

Here Comes the Sun

July 17, 2013

It’s hot here in New York City, and the blazing sun beating down on us during our walk to work isn’t doing us any favors.  Slathering on the sun block ( and deodorant!) and donning a hat are good habits, but a recent article from the Greatist suggests that what you eat can provide some serious protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

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Salmon and other foods rich in omega- 3 fatty acids, can protect the skin from free radical damage, and have been shown to prevent some types of skin cancers.

Cacao Beans with Chocolate Pieces

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which help guard against UV rays. They also keep the skin hydrated and boost blood flow. While chocolate and bikinis seem a bit counterintuitive, a little of this delicious treat could help prevent sunburn.

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Leafy greens and herbs are packed with antioxidants that protect the skin. Studies have shown that eating dark leafy greens can stave off the reappearance of skin cancer.

Multicolored tomatoes

Red and yellow vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes and carrots, are skin protecting super foods. Lycopene and carotenoids are the compounds to thank for reduced reactions to sunburn, and other skin irritations.

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Cruciferous vegetables are also packed with the ability to fight free radicals. Eat your broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels spouts to ward off cancer.

tea, mornings, breakfast

Top your healthy meal off with a cup of tea. Both green and black tea are strong cancer fighters and one study claims that just one cup of tea per day can lower the incidence of melanoma.

Why not include these foods in your diet on a regular basis? In addition to their skin protecting powers, they all play roles in a healthy, balanced diet.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Organic Panic?

September 5, 2012

Health researchers at Stanford University released a study this week casting doubt on the advantages of organic meats and produce. While they concluded that most fruits and vegetables labeled organic were not more nutritious than the conventional versions, the jury is still out on whether or not spending extra for organic products is worth it.

Conventional varieties tested did have more pesticide residue on them, but the levels fall within the allowable limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The question lies in whether or not these levels are in fact safe for humans long term.

Many of the key motivators for buying organic foods are the stringent rules governing the farming of these items.

Organic chicken and pork were found to less likely to be contaminated by antibiotic resistant bacteria.

The study also found that organic milk contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the heart. Organic produce also had higher levels of phosphorous, and phenols, believed to help prevent cancer.

Organic foods also have less environmental impact than large-scale conventional farming techniques.

More specific studies have found some added benefits to going organic.  A Washington State University study done in 2010 found organic strawberries contained higher levels of vitamin C than their conventionally counterparts.

Three other studies published last year, from Columbia University, The University of California Berkley and Mount Sinai Hospital, showed that children whose mothers ate organically during pregnancy had a higher I.Q. than those whose mother was exposed to higher levels of pesticides.

While this news is likely to spark controversy among farmers and nutrition experts alike, the facts are still somewhat inconclusive.

For children, pregnant women and those with impaired immune systems, the benefits may still out weigh the expense of purchasing organically grown food.

The choice, as always, belongs to the consumer.

photos:Glasshouse Images

Tiny Seed; Big Benefits

July 31, 2012

Flaxseed has been around for thousands of years, but its assets are just recently becoming known.

These little seeds pack big benefits, including lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing bone loss, promoting weight loss, increasing immunity and fighting cancer.

Flaxseed is high in vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and manganese, as well as the B vitamins.

It is full of fiber and phytochemicals including many powerful antioxidants.

Flaxseed’s inflammation fighting power comes from being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, flaxseed oil has a significantly higher percentage of plant based omega-3’s, called alpha-linoleic acids than walnut or canola oil.

So, how do you add these little wonders into your diet?

Sprinkle toasted flaxseeds on your cereal or oatmeal.

Add them to salads for a nutty crunch.

Sprinkle a little on your fruit and yogurt.

Grind them up and add them to soups, stews and smoothies.

Mix a little ground flaxseed into homemade piecrusts, or breads.

Keep flaxseeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best storage, and introduce them into your diet for better health. You might just find you enjoy the added flavor!

photo: Glasshouse Images

The Incredible Edible Egg

July 9, 2012

We knew that eggs were a healthy and economical source of protein, but we didn’t know that how the hens were raised had an effect on their nutritional content.

New research shows that hens raised on the pasture may contain 4 to 6 time more vitamin D than those raised in cages.

Based on testing done by the Mother Earth News, as compared to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest data on conventional eggs, the pasture raised eggs may also contain 1/3 less cholesterol, ¼ less saturated fat, 2/3 times more vitamin A, 2 times more Omega 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.

Look for free range, hormone free and preferably organic eggs to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

photo:Glasshouse Images


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