Posts Tagged ‘vitamin D’

Sun Protection From The Inside Out

August 3, 2015

We all know the importance of slathering on the sunscreen before going out for prolonged periods of time, but even short strolls in the blazing sun can do damage to our skin.

An article featured on Q blog this week points out the ways we can protect our skin from the inside out, by eating the right foods to help reduce the damage from UV rays.

Green Tea: 

The antioxidents in green tea have been proven to reduce the risks of cancer. According to Dr.Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, these powerful leaves “offer photo-protection from the sun’s radiation, blocking UV lights that cause skin tumors.” It is also associated with increased fat burning, so drink up!

Tomatoes:

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These ruby red fruits are at their peak right now. The lypocene found in tomatoes not only increases collagen production thereby boosting elasticity, it also helps neutralize the harmful effects of sunlight.

Salmon:

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Salmon contains high levels of vitamin D, which increases natural sun tolerance and is blocked by the use of topical sunscreens. Raw salmon (ala sushi and sashimi,) has even more vitamin D than its cooked counterpart.

Dark Chocolate: 

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The flavinoids in dark chocolate improve blood flow by dilating the vessels, which provides protection when you skin burns.

While adding these protective foods to your diet is great, it does not replace the need for using a good sunscreen and a floppy hat when you are out in the sun.

Photos: Green Tea: Found Health

All others: Glasshouse Images

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Milking It

October 9, 2012

Recently, a friend asked my opinion on alternative milks. There are so many options out there right now, that it is hard to figure out which is the right milk for your diet.

Cow’s milk is the first type we think of. Even that comes in a variety of versions, from skim, 1% and 2% milk fat, lactose free, and regular, not to mention, organic, conventional and antibiotic and hormone free.

Cow’s milk contains high levels of calcium and vitamin D, which are essential to bone health. It is also a good source of protein.

Regular milk contains about 150 calories per cup, and half of those calories come from fat, and cholesterol. Skimmed or fat free versions, offer the same benefits, and significantly fewer calories; about 86 per cup.

For those who are not on a dairy free diet, or are lactose intolerant, fat free or 1% milk seems the way to go. Antibiotic and hormone free is a non-negotiable in my book.

Soy milk gained prominence several years ago, as a good plant based alternative to cow’s milk. It is fortified to have the same levels of protein, calcium, vitamins A and D, and potassium. Because it is a plant product, it has no cholesterol and is usually low in fat. However, many soy milks are artificially flavored, which means there is a wide swing in calorie and sugar counts. While the plain versions pack only about 70-80 calories per cup, the flavored and sweetened types can have as much as 160 calories per cup and 19 grams of sugar. It is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate dairy, or are vegan; just beware the artificial sweeteners or high sugar contents.

Almond milk seems to be the current milk option of choice. It contains no cholesterol, or lactose. It also contains much less protein and calcium than the other milks. It is a great source of iron, vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids. Nuts have been linked to lower cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease. However, not all commercial almond milks are filled with almonds. There are also lots of sweetened and flavored versions on the market that add calories and sugar. The average cup of unsweetened almond milk has only 30-40 calories. It is a good option for those looking to avoid lactose, or dairy in general, or use a lower calorie, vegan substitute for cow’s milk.

Coconut milk is another vegan choice that is gaining popularity. It has only 50 calories per cup and no cholesterol. It does not contain the same amount of protein and calcium as cow’s milk, but does have some healthy fatty acids not found in other milks. It is dairy and lactose free, and like the others, comes in a variety of flavors.

Rice milk is another alternative, with lower levels of protein and calcium than cow’s milk. Its relatively mild taste makes it less necessary to buy a flavored variety. Plain rice milk contains 113 calories per cup, making it the most caloric of the plant based milks. It is good for those who have allergies to soy, dairy, or nuts, and cannot tolerate some of the other options.

When looking for the perfect type of milk, choose something that tastes good and suits your dietary concerns. Remember that while cow’s milk is a great source of protein, calcium and vitamin D, there are lots of other ways to get those elements in your diet. A balanced diet gets its nutrition from a variety of sources, and is not reliant on one food group to provide the healthy daily requirements that are a key to a good diet.

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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