Apple Cider Vinegar: What’s the hype?

apple cider vin

Apple Cider Vinegar has been making headlines all over lately…so what’s all the hype about? I’m writing this post to give you a short and sweet description of what Apple Cider Vinegar is and what it may be beneficial for.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar? Apples are crushed and their juice is added to barrels or casks along with yeasts to ferment the natural sugars. The result is alcohol. Next, the bacteria are added to convert the alcohol to acetic acid. Finally, the mixture is allowed to ferment for weeks or months, depending on the maker. During this time, non-toxic goo made up of yeast and acetic acid bacteria forms within the mixture

What is “the mother”? This is the goo that I mentioned above. Some companies choose to pasteurize and strain out the goo. Others keep the goo for potential health benefits.

What may be the benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar with “the mother”?

  • May help fight infections and promote a healthy immune system
  • May improve blood pressure and cholesterol
  • May decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • May help maintain a healthy gut
  • May improve calcium absorption
  • Vinegar is associated with cancer fighting properties similar to antioxidants
  • May help with acne when used as a natural toner (balance the pH of your skin)
  • May help with weight loss

How can you drink it? Mix 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar into a large glass of water. Add a teaspoon of natural honey.

braggs

For more information visit Bragg’s website: http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html

Orange you glad to hear from me?

 

Fresh oranges

Today I thought I would do a spotlight on the benefits of oranges.

  • Oranges are a great source of natural sugars (carbohydrates) to provide your body with energy.
  • Oranges are PACKED with Vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in the healthy growth of bones, teeth, skin and other body tissues.
  • Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron from plant-based foods! Neat right? So, if you are vegan or vegetarian make sure to get enough Vitamin C in your diet because it will help you absorb iron from your plant foods like beans/legumes.
  •  Vitamin C also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
  • Oranges are high in potassium, which makes them a great post-workout snack. Potassium is an electrolyte that we lose in our sweat during exercise. Potassium is a mineral important to maintain the health of your nerves, bones, kidneys, and muscles.
  • Food tip: Skip the orange juice and opt for the fresh whole fruit to get all the benefits. Why? During juice processing (“pasteurization”), the high temperatures destroy the good stuff! We lose fibre, nutrients, and enzymes. After processing, we have a drink full of sugar, calories, and no nutrients or fibre. (I like to call this empty calories).

sad oranges

 

 

The Juice Bust! Why you should cut back on juice in your diet.

orange-juice

Many of us believe that consuming loads of orange juice will fuel us with Vitamin C and many other fruity benefits. But… is it really all that good for us?

Juice is often misconceived as a healthy beverage to quench your thirst and fuel your mornings. Why am I personally against drinking juice (specifically pasteurized juices)? …

Empty calories and high sugar content. Pasteurization removes all the good stuff from our fruit and vegetables. I like to call it drinking empty calories (Empty: limited nutritional benefit).

What is pasteurization? Pasteurization is a high heat treatment process that almost all juices on the market go through to extend their shelf life and remove some harmful bacteria to make the product safe for consumption. Sounds good so far ….

However! Although the pasteurization process may remove the harmful bacteria, in doing so, the high heat also removes fibre, nutrients, good enzymes, and other nutritional components in the process 😦 

In addition to the removal of all these natural benefits, some juices have added sugars, coloring, preservatives, and flavourings. Again, another reason why to opt for the whole fruit versus the juice.

You are much better off eating a whole fresh fruit (e.g. an orange) versus drinking a cup of juice. This way you are getting the most nutritional content possible from the food itself. Choose WHOLE FOOD first! Picking food items in their natural form will have the most benefit on your diet and nutritional lifestyle. Try to avoid processed items as much as possible. Whole food items will keep you satisfied longer due to their higher nutritional content. 

As mentioned by Dietitians of Canada,

“Fruit juice and fruit beverages should be limited. Many of these beverages contain a high amount of sugar which can lead to weight gain.  Fruit juice, even labelled as ‘no sugar added’ still contains a high amount of sugar. Eat a piece of fruit instead of drinking juice. Whole fruits have the added benefits of fibre and other nutrients not found in juice.”

Tips for hydration: 

  • Water should always be your first choice! Stay hydrated throughout the day. Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
  • Not a fan of plain water? Add frozen raspberries, mango, cucumber, or fresh lemon to your water to amp up the flavour!
  • Working to cut back on juice? Start slowly. Begin diluting your juice with water to lower the sugar and calories. Good things take time so start with small steps to make change.
  • If you must choose juice, choose 100% juice, cold-pressed, and juices with added vegetables to lower the sugar content.
  • What about Cold-Pressed? Again limit the cold-pressed fruit juice. Choose a cold-pressed juice mixed with vegetables and high vegetable content. Cold-pressed juices do not undergo the heat treatment therefore, they have a shorter shelf-life and maintain the fibre, nutrients, and good enzymes. This is why you see natural juices marked up to a high price with a short shelf life! Again whole food is best but, cold-pressed is a step up from pasteurized juice.

 

I hope you learned something new today!

Until next time,

B

 

Why you might want to add Turmeric to your diet…

Turmeric, as most of us know, is a spice most commonly found in Asian and Indian dishes.

However, it is much more than just a spice! It has many health benefits. 

Turmeric contains an active ingredient, known as Curcumin. Curcumin is what gives this spice its bright yellow color and boosts the health benefits.

Why should you add this spice to your diet? Turmeric used as a spice or Curcumin taken as a natural supplement may benefit you in the following ways:

  • Arthritis relief
  • Relief of joint pain
  • May help relieve stomach complaints (nausea, cramping, and flatulence)
  • May help relieve heartburn

Overall, turmeric has been found to cause relief for conditions that cause inflammation. So if you are dealing with inflammation of some sort, it may be worth giving it a try!

Add the spice to your dishes or you can take it as a supplement!

Spices NYC

Resources: webmd.com, dietitiansofcanada.ca

It’s cold and flu season! How can you build up your immune system to help fight the common cold?

chicken-soup

 

As we know, cold and flu season is upon us! First and foremost it is always important to maintain a healthy diet, always stay hydrated, and staying physically active. However, sometimes the season starts to take us down even if we are following all the basic measures. So what else could help boost your immune system further?

 

Tips to fight cold and flu season: 

  • Boost your Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a key antioxidant that supports a healthy immune system. (oranges, peppers, or try a Vitamin C supplment)
  • Try Echinacea tea or supplements. Echinacea is a herb native to the Rocky Mountains. It may play a role in lowering your risk of getting a cold or may make cold symptoms less severe.
  • Chicken Soup! Chicken soup and other warm liquids may help fight inflammation. Additionally, it may soothe a sore throat and relieve congestion.
  • Try to add Probiotics to your diet. Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your gut healthy. Probiotics may help improve your overall immunity. (kefir, probiotic yogurt, probiotic supplements, probiotic chia seeds, etc)
  • Prebiotics feed probiotics! These are carbohydrates your body cannot digest fully (oats, barley, flaxseeds, etc).
  • Try to incorporate antioxidant rich foods in your diet. Antioxidants help to protect your body’s cells from damage. (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, green tea, broccoli, etc)

Remember the 3 best ways to maintain a healthy immune system starts with a healthy nutrition plan, physical activity, and staying hydrated! Adults needs ~2.7L of fluids per day. 

Remembrance Day #LestWeForget

remembrance-day

I write this post in freedom.. freedom that I have due to our soldiers making the ultimate sacrifice many years ago. Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States. Striving to be your best self, accomplishing your own goals, finishing your degree, volunteering in the community, paying it forward, helping a stranger carry their groceries…the list could go on. These are all many small ways to share love and gratitude for the freedom we have on earth today. Live life to the fullest, as we are where we are now because of these individuals. Today, I want to remind you to take a moment of silence to commemorate the sacrifice that many made to ensure our freedom today. #LestWeForget

Why should fibre be a priority in your diet?

Today’s food fact of the day’s spotlight is on fibre. I recently did a presentation in the community and was asked a lot of questions about fibre.. what is soluble fibre? what is the difference between soluble and insoluble fibre? How do I know what foods to eat? Well here is my short summary to understanding fibre. To begin.. fibre is FANTASTIC for our health.

blueberry-bliss-baked-oatmeal

Fiber can’t be broken down and absorbed by your digestive system. As fibre moves through your body, it slows digestion and makes your stools softer and easier to pass.

  • fibrous foods help create and maintain a healthy digestive system
  • bowel regularity  😉
  • have beneficial effects on blood sugars
  • play a role in heart health

What is soluble fibre? 

  • Absorbs liquid in our bodies (e.g. think oats soaking in water)
  • Plays the main role in lowering cholesterol
  • Helps to control blood sugars (glucose)
  • What foods does soluble fibre come from?
    • Some vegetables & fruits, lentils, legumes, beans, oatmeal, berries, nuts

What is insoluble fibre? 

  • Does NOT absorb water
  • Creates a healthy colon by keeping you regular!
  • What foods can you find insoluble fibre in?
    • seeds, skins of fruit, whole grains, brown rice, wheat bran, etc

Adult women (19-50years) need 25 grams of fibre per day and males of this age group need 38 grams per day. 

Try some of my recipes packed with high fibre ingredients: Blueberry Oat Pancakes , The Ultimate Trail Mix Cookie!Vegan/Vegetarian Quinoa ChiliTrail-Mix Energy BitesGranola CupsThe Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (Dairy Free)Blueberry Crumble Bars (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-free)