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colorful-fruits

Use the Color Wheel to Plan Your Menu

We always seem to be on the lookout for one “superfood” that will solve all of our health problems. However, the truth is that health comes best through a variety of foods—especially in a variety of colors, because each color offers different nutritional benefits. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain both antioxidants and phytochemicals which can reduce the risk of many chronic health issues including cancer and heart disease.

These are the different colors along with the foods that fit into that category and the health benefits they bring.

 

White

Foods

Bananas

Cauliflower

Garlic

Mushrooms

White onions

 

Benefits

The natural plant pigments in these foods have shown in studies to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. They also reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

 

Orange and Yellow

Foods:

Apricots

Cantaloupe

Carrots

Mangos

Orange Peppers

Papaya

Peaches

Pumpkin

Sweet Potatoes

Yellow Peppers

 

Benefits:

These foods contain carotinoids that help to keep our eyes healthy. Orange and yellows reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and also provide an overall boost to our immune system.

 

Red

Foods:

Beets

Cherries

Cranberries

Pink Grapefruit

Pomegranates

Raspberries

Red Cabbage

Red Grapes

Red Peppers

Rhubarb

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Watermelon

 

Benefits:

This color contains lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene is helpful in reducing the risk of cancer, particularly prostate cancer, and anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that keep our cells protected from damage by free radicals.

 

Green

Foods:

Artihokes

Asparagus

Avocados

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Green Cabbage

Kiwi

Lettuce

Green Onions

Peas

 

Benefits:

Greens are rich in anti-oxidants which promote eye health, reduce risk of cataracts, and protect against some types of cancers.

 

 

Blue and Purple

Foods

Blackberries

Blueberries

Eggplant

Prunes

Plums

Purple Grapes

 

Benefits

Blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins which protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

 

Each color has its benefits. If we make sure we get a good balance of all of them, we can increase our chances of vibrant health!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/eating-healthy-you-can-stick-with-it/

http://maronewellness.com/10-tips-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget/

 

Photo by ja ma on Unsplash
A-Cup-Of-Tea

The Best Teas for Your Health

This is great weather for a hot cup of tea! Not only does tea warm you up, but it can also contain some important health benefits. If you choose herbal or lesser processed teas, these are some of the primary benefits of many popular teas.

 

Rooibos

Pronounced ROY-boss, this tea comes from Africa and is known as red tea. It contains alpha hydroxy acid which is used to regain youthful looking skin. It has anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory properties which help to alleviate pain caused by inflammation. Rooibos contains ingredients which work as a broncodilator to help with allergies and asthma. The Quercetin in Rooibos can even prevent allergies from triggering in the first place. This tea also has been shown to help control diabetes and support heart health.

 

Chamomile

This herbal tea has a number of uses. It helps with insomnia. It boosts our immune system. If you get a cold, a cup of this tea can relieve your symptoms. Chamomile is known for relieving digestive issues such as indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and nausea. Applying it to the skin can treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff.

 

 

Peppermint

Even though there hasn’t been much research done on this herb, it has been used for years to settle an upset stomach, relieve a headache, soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and to help with breathing.

 

Ginger

Ayurveda refers to ginger as the universal medicine because it is good for so many things. It helps the body absorb nutrients. IBS and stomach pain can be alleviated with ginger. It is also used for weight loss, to fight cancer, and to help diabetics manage their glucose levels. Ginger is helpful for better circulation and digestion. It can protect against Alzheimer’s disease. One of the benefits it is most known for is its ability to reduce inflammation.

 

Echinacea

This herb fights the flu. It lowers blood sugar. Research is promising that it may lower blood pressure. It is also known for reducing inflammation.

 

Nettle

Those with osteoarthritis find a friend with nettle in reducing their inflammation. This herbal tea is also a good blood cleanser. It helps the body to rid itself of stored toxins. Nettle also helps to lower blood sugar and reduce allergic rhinitis.

 

Green Tea

Although it is not an herbal tea, green tea has been shown to improve brain function in the short term as well as lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s in the long term. Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost metabolism. It also kills bacteria which can cause bad breath and dental carries. It also shows promise of lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

 

Herbal teas are powerful medicine. As with any other herb, be sure to check with your health professional before adding them to your diet. Some of them can also cause allergic reactions in certain individuals. It is wise to begin slowly and give your body time to react to the tea before you drink additional cups.

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/rosemary-herbal-memory-remedy/

http://maronewellness.com/healthy-benefits-turmeric-curative-spice/

http://maronewellness.com/can-you-stomach-ginger-binge/

http://maronewellness.com/herbal-remedies-chronic-sinusitis/

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Methods

Recently a health trend called Intermittent Fasting has begun topping the charts in popularity. People are using Intermittent Fasting to lose weight, improve their health, increase brain function, and to simplify their lives. Its popularity is likely at least in part due to the fact that it is easier to sustain in a busy lifestyle than most “diets.”

 

Many benefits are confirmed by studies with people using this plan. Intermittent Fasting will reduce obesity and protect against diabetes. It has been shown to protect nerve cells from degeneration. A 2009 study found that elderly adults had improved memory recall after three months of reduced caloric intake. It has also been shown to improve depression and other mood disorders, reduce cholesterol, slow the progression of some cancers, and reduce insulin resistance.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

 

The concept behind Intermittent Fasting is that you eat during a specified time period and then fast the rest of the time. Intermittent Fasting can be done in several different ways.

 

One popular method is the 16/8 Method. This means that you fast for 16 hours and then eat only during an 8-hour window of each day. For example, skip breakfast (except for coffee or tea without cream or sugar). Then eat only during an eight hour window later in the day, such as between noon and 8:00 p.m. or 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

The 5:2 Diet consists of eating only 500 – 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week and then eating normally the other five.

 

A third method is the Eat – Stop – Eat Method. With this choice, you pick one or two non-consecutive days (24-hour periods) per week to fast. You then eat normally the other days.

 

Who Should Not Use Intermittent Fasting?

 

As always, consult your medical professional before beginning any diet. With Intermittent Fasting, this is especially true if any of these apply to you:

 

  • Have diabetes or issues with regulating blood sugar levels
  • Have a history of eating disorders
  • Are trying to conceive
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have amenorhhea
  • Have low blood pressure
  • Are taking any medications

 

The primary goal of Intermittent Fasting is not usually weight loss. However, since you are reducing caloric intake, weight loss should occur as long as you do not overeat on the days when you are not fasting. Usually the weight that you do lose is belly fat—the kind that grows around your organs and causes disease–so that is a big bonus.

 

Any of these three methods will produce positive health benefits. Most people, however, find that the 16/8 method is the easiest to sustain over long periods of time and is the least intrusive into their lifestyles. If you have tried one of these plans, leave a comment and let us know how it went for you. We’d love to hear from you!

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

holiday-parties

Holiday Overeating? Eat These Foods to Help

Have you overeaten or eaten more than you intended to over the past few days/weeks? If so, here are a few good foods to help get your body back to normal and feeling better quickly.

 

  1. Yogurt. In our gut we have “good” bacteria that help to digest food and “bad” bacteria that can potentially be harmful. When we eat poorly, the “bad” bacteria can overtake the “good” bacteria. Eating yogurt helps to put “good” bacteria in our gut to counteract the “bad.” This will help to prevent gas and diarrhea.
  2. Ginger. Ginger stimulates the production of saliva, bile, and gastric enzymes. These keep food moving from your stomach through to your small intestines to reduce gas production. One of the best ways to get ginger is to make a cup of ginger tea. It is also good in salads and smoothies.
  3. Salmon.  The Omega 3s are good for your heart, which can be stressed with an unusual diet. The protein in salmon helps to stabilize blood sugar and may prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal that is overloaded with carbs.
  4. Nuts. Several types of nuts are good for the heart. Almonds and walnuts are some of the best. The Vitamin E in nuts also protects the arteries.
  5. Bananas. Much holiday food is loaded with sodium. Bananas will help to lower blood pressure which can rise after a sodium-rich meal.
  6. Green Tea. The flavonoids in green tea assist in lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol and also help to get high blood pressure back to normal.
  7. Spinach. The Vitamin B2 in spinach helps to metabolize fat. Our bodies have to work hard after a binge; B2 gives our body a boost. The vitamins in spinach also fight disease and infection which can develop as a result of being around large groups of people. Spinach is best either raw or lightly steamed.
  8. Water. Last but not least, is water. This liquid is better than anything else in flushing out your system after overeating. It aids in digesting food and softens stools to keep things moving along. If you are suffering from indigestion, try using seltzer water for the calming effect of the fizz.

 

We wish you a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully these ideas will make it even better!

healthy-holiday-desserts

Expand Holiday Dessert Choices Without Expanding Your Waistline

December is the month for desserts! However, if you’re trying to watch your calories, the holiday dessert bars can become quite a field of land mines. Not all desserts have to be high in calories, sugar, or fats, though. Here are some suggestions so that your can enjoy those sweets without the regret later!

Healthier Holiday Desserts

  • Berries and Cream. A bowl of fresh berries with a small dollop of whipped cream or sour cream satisfies a sweet tooth without breaking the calorie budget.
  • Dark Chocolate. Eating an ounce of dark chocolate a few times a week will be satisfying and provide flavonoids. Dark chocolate has less sugar and more cocoa than milk chocolate. Look for chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher.
  • Yogurt Parfait. Add a few berries and nuts to a parfait glass of yogurt for an  enjoyable treat.
  • Pineapple Dole Whip. Freeze 20 oz. drained pineapple chunks for a couple of hours. Add the pineapple, ¼ c. of almond milk, a teaspoon of lemon juice and lime juice, and a ¼ c. of a natural sweetener to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Bites. Put pomegranate seeds in the bottom of 12 lined muffin cups. Drizzle melted dark chocolate on top. Repeat layers of pomegranate seeds and chocolate and finish with more seeds. (Will use 2 ½ c. of seeds and 5.25 oz. of chocolate). Top with a pinch of sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • Chocolate Dipped Apple or Banana Slices. Spritz the apples with lemon juice and freeze the bananas. After dipping in chocolate, roll them in nuts for an added bonus.
  • Fruit and Cheese. Pair come cheddar, brie, or goat cheese with dates, figs, applies or any other firm fruit.
  • Poached Pears. Simmer the pears gently in lemon water, apple juice or other liquid. Top with cream or crème fraiche if desired.
  • Baked Apples. Baking brings out the natural sweetness of the apples. Add raisins for more sweetness. Top with some cinnamon.

 

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy some healthy holiday desserts this season!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/refined-sugar-what-to-use-in-its-place/

http://maronewellness.com/super-bowl-party-food-playbook/

http://maronewellness.com/eating-healthy-even-holidays/

water-in-fruit

Could Dehydration Be Contributing to Your Back Pain?

All around us we hear about the danger of dehydration and the importance of drinking plenty of water. But did you know all the problems that dehydration can cause? Here are some of them:

 

  • Impaired brain function
  • Cramping of legs and feet
  • Dry skin
  • Increased fatigue
  • Limited mobility
  • Headaches
  • Decreased flexibility

 

Looking at this from a chiropractic standpoint, some of these issues directly affect the spine. Between each of our vertebrae, we have a small disc which is designed to cushion the bones. It allows us to bend our spine without those bones rubbing against one another. The center of this disc is filled with nearly 75% water. As we go about our daily activities, we are constantly putting pressure on those discs (due to gravity). When those discs are compressed, some of the water is squeezed out. This is natural. However, if we don’t rehydrate our bodies, then this water is not able to be replaced properly. This leads to back pain, limited mobility, and an increased risk of back injuries.

 

Avoiding Dehydration

 

So one cause of back pain can be as simple as not getting enough fluids. Water is the best option, but if you don’t like the taste of water, try adding lemon. Or try a few raspberries or other fruit with a sprig of mint in sparkling water for a change.

 

High-water content fruits and vegetables are also good. Some that top the list are watermelon and other melons, oranges, grapefruit, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and Romaine lettuce.

 

It was once thought that coffee and tea, since they have a diuretic effect, are not good; however recent studies have shown that the hydrating effect of these beverages outweighs the diuretic effect.

 

Dehydration can have more far-reaching consequences than we might see at first. So be sure to get those liquids for–amongst other things–a healthy spine!

 

See also: http://maronewellness.com/back-pain-overlooked-cause/

http://maronewellness.com/which-plastics-are-safe-for-food-and-drinking/

wallet-in-back-pocket

Back Pain: An Overlooked Cause

Today we hear a lot about ergonomic chairs, and desks to avoid back pain. We practice good posture to keep us looking good. And then we wreck it all by putting a fat wallet or a cell phone in our back pocket!

 

When you sit on a wallet or cell phone, it causes your pelvis to be higher on one side than the other. This creates extra stress throughout your entire spine, including the muscles and nerves that run up your back. The stress can be the cause of many complaints:  pain anywhere in the back, neck pain, sciatica, or headaches, to name a few.

 

No matter how good your posture is, or how well designed your office furniture is, if you are sitting on a wallet or phone all day long, it will cause pain. If you are getting chiropractic adjustments, it can also limit the effectiveness of the adjustments. Likewise, exercise, yoga, or any other technique may help with symptoms as you had hoped.

 

The best solution is to put wallets and phones in your front pocket or carry them in some other way. Your back will thank you!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/sciatic-pain/

http://maronewellness.com/low-back-pain/

http://maronewellness.com/how-are-you-sitting-while-using-your-computer/

Refined-sugar

Refined Sugar: What to Use in Its Place

Refined sugar is everywhere around us these days. In 2001 the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter reported that Americans spent $21 billion on candy—more than the gross national products of Lithuania, Costa Rica, and Mozambique combined! There has been a rise in Type 2 diabetes that experts are now calling an “emerging epidemic.” The FDA estimates that approximately 2/3 of the sugars we eat come from those added to processed foods.

Refined Sugar Alternatives

Overuse of refined sugar is obviously an issue. And we all crave sweets, but we do not have to give them up completely. Several sweeteners available today, eaten in moderation, can quench our sweet tooth without ruining our health.

 

  • Barley Malt: Can be purchased as a powder or as a syrup. Very concentrated—1/8 tsp. replaces 2 tsp. of refined table sugar. Good for those on a weight-loss regimen or with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • Honey: Contains anti-oxidants. Has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Blackstrap Molasses: Rich in iron and minerals. Is a byproduct of sugar refining. It is the “good stuff” left over after all the nutrients are refined out of regular sugar. This is one of the best sugar substitutes.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Similar in texture to honey. Good for people with diabetes. Made by fermenting and boiling brown rice.
  • Stevia: Also known as honeyleaf. Completely safe. Calorie-free. Available in liquid or powdered form. Does not affect blood sugar metabolism. In powdered form, ¼ – ½ tsp. equals a cup of refined sugar.
  • Unsulfured dried fruit: Can be used on top of cereals instead of sugar, or the dried fruit can be cooked, pureed, and mashed to use in baking as a sugar replacement. (This can be done ahead and then when ready to use, soak in boiling water to soften and rehydrate.)

 

Sugars, in any form, should be kept to a minimum in our diet.  Some other foods that help to reduce cravings for sugar include whole grains, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, and bananas.

 

What are you doing to reduce your refined sugar consumption? We’d love to hear your comments!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/21-days-to-a-clearer-mind-and-increased-energy/

http://maronewellness.com/inflammation-a-leading-cause-of-weight-gain/

eat-less-feel-better

5 Tips to Help You Eat Less and Feel Better

Diets that create various ways to make you eat less aren’t easy to follow! Sometimes just making a few lifestyle changes can help you to get rid of those unwanted pounds just as well. Here are a few ideas:

 

  1. Don’t try to multitask while eating. Whether you are checking emails, watching TV, driving, or doing any other activity while you eat, your mind is distracted by the other activity. When this happens, you will miss your body’s signals of satiety (fullness) while you are eating, which then leads to overeating. When you are truly hungry, stop your other activities and focus on the process of eating. You will enjoy your food more and be less apt to eat more than your body needs.
  2. Prepare food from scratch as much as possible. Food coming from the perimeter of the grocery store is more healthful than the boxed, bagged, and frozen prepackaged foods that are available. Most fruits and veggies will give you their best health benefits if eaten raw. Eat as many of them as close to nature as possible.
  3. Add a bowl of soup to your meal. Beginning your meal with a broth-based soup will help you to feel more full before you get to the other, higher-calorie courses of the meal so you will eat less of those.
  4. Use some psychological helps to keep you from overeating. Serve your food on a smaller plate so it looks like you have more food. Rather than serving your meals family style, use a buffet format. When you fill your plate away from the table, you have to think twice before getting up to get seconds.
  5. Stop eating as soon as you feel satisfied. Don’t wait until you feel “stuffed.” It takes your body 20 minutes to digest the food to the point that your brain completely registers that you are full. If after 20 minutes you are still full, then get a small portion of something more to eat.

 

These are a few tips to help you eat less–but not by any means an exhaustive list. We’d love to know the things that have worked for you as well. Please comment and share them with us!

 

http://maronewellness.com/super-bowl-party-food-playbook/

http://maronewellness.com/7-tips-make-weight-loss-successful/

migraine-headache

Are Mine Migraines or Tension Headaches?

 

Any type of headache can be quite painful. Sometimes when people feel an especially painful headache, they tend to automatically think it is a migraine. (According to the Migraine Research Foundation, as many as 1 in 4 households have a family member who suffers from migraines.) However, even if it is quite painful, your headache may not be a migraine; It could be a tension headache instead..

Are My Headaches Migraines?

 

If you are suffering from frequent headaches and want to know what type they are, these are some questions you can ask yourself:

 

1. When did the headaches begin? Most migraines begin between early childhood and the teen years. Tension headaches can begin at any age. If you are older and are just beginning to experience headaches, they are probably tension headaches.

2. Where are you feeling the pain? Migraines usually form on one side of the head, however tension headaches will usually form on both sides with pressure at the front of the forehead. This distinction is a major differentiation between headache types.

3. What type of pain are you experiencing? While both types of headaches can cause intense pain, tension headaches usually produce a dull achy pain or pressure around the scalp. Migraines typically produce a throbbing, pulsing pain.

4. Are you experiencing other symptoms in conjunction with the headaches? If your headache is a migraine, you will probably experience additional symptoms such as nausea, light sensitivity, dizziness, pain down the arms (or only one arm), or “seeing” bright lights. These symptoms, though, are not usually connected with a tension headache.

5. Are you able to keep up your regular schedule? With a tension headache, you can probably still work, just with discomfort. With a migraine, it is hard to do anything. Most migraine sufferers will retreat to a dark, quiet room that will block out light and sound until the headache has passed.

6. Do anti-inflammatories take care of the pain? If they do, you probably have a tension headache. Most migraine sufferers find that nothing will work besides just waiting for the headache to run its course.

 

Fortunately, the majority of headaches that people suffer are tension headaches. The above analysis can help you to determine if yours might be a migraine. However if the pain persists, or if you have experienced a head injury, don’t guess; be sure to seek medical care for your headaches, including chiropractic care.