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Allergy Fighting Foods
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Allergy season can leave you reaching for over-the-counter remedies, but if you want to prevent the symptoms of common allergies before they start, following the right diet may help. Here are some of the best foods that fight allergy symptoms and keep the sneezes sniffles, and watery eyes away. Purple Foods: Red grapes, blueberries, cherries, and blackberries are all great sources of a unique compound called quercetin. This anthocyanin is what gives these foods their purple colour and protective abilities against allergy symptoms, as an antioxidant. Dairy Products: Ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt are particularly good sources of an amino acid called N-acetyl cysteine. This protein also acts as an antioxidant to help break up mucus and ease congestion, while also promoting the natural defense system of your body during allergy season. Herbs: Stinging nettle and butterbur leaf are especially helpful for reducing the common allergy symptoms. Stinging nettle works like quercetin, acting as a natural antihistamine and offering anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergy symptoms. Try it as a tea, or in supplement form for natural allergy relief. Butterbur leaf has been shown in clinical studies to be as effective as leading antihistamine drugs in controlling hay fever symptoms.(1) Spices: This yellowish spice is used traditionally in Indian cuisine and adds a warm flavour to foods. The anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy abilities of turmeric are due to the content of a compound in the root spice called curcumin. Studies have shown that consuming 1,200 mg a day of Read More »

5 Fast Ways to Weight Loss
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Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort and a commitment to drop those unwanted pounds. But if you want to speed up the process here are 5 ways you can loose weight faster. Cut Calories: One pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. And while calories provide your body energy from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins you eat, having a surplus of calories can lead to weight gain. But the same is true for weight loss. If you want to loose one pound of fat, create a calorie deficit of 500 calories every day and you’ll be on track to lose about one pound per week. Drink More Water: Water is an essential nutrient found in every cell of your body. Also used to help cleanse toxins, pollutants and waste from the gastrointestinal system, water is a zero-calorie drink that can boost your metabolism and help you reach slimming goals faster. Prepare Your Own Food: Packaged foods often contain ingredients that you don’t recognise, or can’t pronounce. Often times packaged foods also include large amounts of sugar (high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose and sucrose) listed as one of the first ingredients on the label, which can contribute to unwanted weight gain. Avoid these foods by preparing meals and snacks ahead of time to save on empty calories. Switch Your Milk: You can cut excess calories from your daily diet by making the simple switch from 2% milk to 1%, or skim. Once you get used to the difference Read More »

DIY Popsicle Recipes
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
Popsicles

Popsicles are a great way to cool off, and to get in a few servings of fruits. Make these DIY popsicles at home to welcome Spring. White Peach and Strawberry Fizz Popscicle 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries ¾ cup thinly sliced white peach segments 1 tablespoon fresh mint, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest 3 cups sparkling white grape juice Directions: Pour the sparkling grape juice into a large measuring cup, and allow to settle for at least 5 minutes to reduce some of the bubbles before adding to the mold. Thinly slice the strawberry and peach pieces so they easily fit into the popsicle mold, however are large enough to be seen. Set aside. Add a small amount of mint and lemon zest to each popsicle mold. Add the slices of fruit, alternating so they can be seen when unmolded (about 3-4 slices of each). Fill each popsicle mold with the white grape juice, leaving about 1/4 inch of space from the top of the mold (the liquid will expand slightly as it freezes). Gently tap the molds on the counter top to remove any air bubbles. Insert the popsicle sticks, then freeze for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Watermelon Kiwi Popscicle Ingredients: 3 cups watermelon puree (about 1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon) 1/2 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced 1 peach or nectarine, diced small handful fresh cherries, pitted and chopped Directions: Cut the watermelon into chunks and then puree Read More »

3 Potato Skin Recipes That Satisfy Cravings
Posted By on March 10th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 77
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Potato skins are a satisfying side dish, and appetizer. But they can add unwanted pounds to your waistline if they don’t stay on your cheat day menu. Eat them a few days a week with these healthy versions of one of everyone’s favorite foods. 1. Southwest Sweet Potato Skins A Southwestern take on this potato skin classic brings some spicy flavor and refreshing flavors, that are delicious any time of year. Ingredients: 4 small sweet potatoes 1 medium red onion, chopped ½ cup yellow bell peppers ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped ¼ cup tomatoes 1 tablespoon fresh  lime juice 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon sour cream for topping Directions: 1. Pre-heat oven to 425˚ and cut the sweet potatoes in half placing each with the cut side up on a baking tray. Bake until the potato has softened, about 25-30 minutes. 2. While the sweet potatoes bake, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and add diced onions and bell peppers. Let sauté until onions become translucent. Stir in tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice an continue to cook until mixture is heated through, set aside until the potato skins are done. 3. Once sweet potatoes are soft, scoop out the insides leaving ¼” of sweet potato in the skin. Turn skins upside down, brush with remaining olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the Read More »

Natural Bad Breath Remedies for Dental Health
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Bad breath can put a damper on your day, and your overall health. Intrinsically linked to your overall health, and immunity, good dental hygiene is important, and so are dental habits. So here are a few ways you can keep your mouth healthy, clean and smelling fresh. Parsley: Rid your mouth and your body of bad breath odors by chewing on that little green garnish. Parsley is one of the greatest herbs for oral health an you can use this as a simple mouth rinse by stein the leaves in hot water like tea. Also an excellent digestive aid, parsley acts as a diuretic to help reduce bloating and rid the body of excess water for slimming effects, and a flatter belly. Yogurt: Recent studies have shown that a single serving of this creamy treat may help reduce the amounts of odor-causing compounds in the mouth called hydrogen sulfide. Also healing to balance bacteria in the mouth and in the gut, this sweet treat may help to support overall oral health and healthy eating habits. Also a good source of vitamin D, yogurt promotes a mineral absorption to promote strong & healthy teeth and bones. Berries: Sweet little berries contain large amounts of antioxidants including vitamin C known to help create an inhospitable environment of “bad” bacteria that can cause gum disease and gingivitis, major causes of halitosis. Getting large amounts of this immune boosting vitamin also gives your overall health a boost and can help support regular digestion to Read More »

3 Meatless Monday Main Dish Recipes
Posted By on February 24th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 76
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Meatless menus can be tricky. But it’s well-known that diets rich in whole natural foods including raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins support overall health, and longevity. If you are considering taking a step towards a healthier lifestyle, or simply would like to try out a few meatless meals, here is are 3 vegetarian main dish recipes you can use to increase your intake of fruits, veggies and meatless protein sources. Ricotta Stuffed Squash Naturally sweet, easy to make and super healthy, this stuffed squash pairs well with a bed of quinoa, lettuce or just on it’s own is simply delicious. Ingredients: 8 yellow squash 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 purple onion, finely chopped 1 fresh clove garlic, minced 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 2 eggs 2 cups ricotta cheese 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon low-sodium Italian seasoning 1 pinch ground black pepper 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Trim off ends of squash; cut squash in half (lengthwise). With a teaspoon scoop out seeds and part of the pulp leaving shells about 1/2 inch thick. Steam squash shells over boiling water until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Plunge into cold water, drain well and set aside. In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of the coconut oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until they are done. Squeeze the spinach to Read More »

The Amazing Avocado: This Week’s Fix Pick
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Avocado isn’t just for making guacamole. Adding avocado to your diet in any variety of ways offers your body the following nutrients to support optimal health. 1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant in avocado commonly used to boost the immune system. But this nutrient offers a wide range of benefits to your health. This nutrient is an important part of collagen production to support sound healing and skin health, along with anti-aging. It is also important to the healthy function of the eyes, and may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. 2. Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid works to help maintain the healthy function of the adrenal glad to reduce fatigue. It is also essential to cellular energy production, and has been shown to help maintain cholesterol levels already within normal range. 3. Vitamin B6, is another B vitamin used in the body for the production of energy. But Vitamin B6 is also used for brain functioning, synthesizing antibodies that fight infections, maintaining healthy nerve function, a good mood, the production of red blood cells, and the breakdown of proteins. 4. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant found in avocado that is used in the body to reduce the damage caused by free radicals. It also boost the functions of a healthy immune system and is essential to cell membranes. This nutrient is also known to help maintain cardiovascular function, as it promotes balanced cholesterol levels, and healthy arteries, along with blood flow. 5. Vitamin K is Read More »

3 Salad Recipes for Spring Eats
Posted By on February 24th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 76
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Salads area a delicious addition to any meal. And with the warm Spring season approaching you’ll definitely want to try these fresh salads, loaded with flavor and more than just a few of your favorite veggies. Spring Salad Recipe #1 – Watermelon, Heirloom Tomato and Feta Salad Add color and spring time flavor to your meal with this fresh-tasting salad. With a mix of fresh mint, sweet basil, parsley and chives this gorgeous watermelon salad pops! Ingredients: 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 4 heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks 1 cup (1-inch) cubed red seedless watermelon 1 cup (1-inch) cubed seeded yellow watermelon 1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese Directions: Whisk together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato, watermelon, and onion; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese; toss gently. Spring Salad Recipe #2 – Roasted Rhubarb Salad Ready in minutes, this mixed green salad also offers a sweet taste from raising, along with a healthy dose of essential fats, and the refreshing flavor of goat cheese. Ingredients: 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon canola oil 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 8 cups mixed baby greens 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tip) 1/4 cup golden raisins Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss rhubarb with sugar in Read More »

6 Snacks Under 100 Calories for On-The-Go Healthy Eating
Posted By on February 24th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 76
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Snacks on the go can leave you reaching for unhealthy food options, including processed and packaged foods if you don’t meal plan. So here are 6 snacks you can pack before hand, so you don’t crave tempting foods just to satisfy hunger and cravings. Add these to your weekly meal plan, and save hundreds of calories. 1. Bananas & Chocolate: Toss a few bananas in the freezer and pack them along with a few squares of your favorite dark chocolate candy bar. All you’ll need to do for a mid-day energy boost loaded with antioxidant goodness, and a snack that satisfies sweet cravings with less than 100 calories is heat up the chocolate and dip away. 2. Chocolate Soy Milk: Packed with protein, and a naturally sweet & satisfying flavor, chocolate soy milk can help keep you from reaching for something to sink your teeth into. Just store a carton of your favorite brand in the fridge at work to help keep you full in between meals during your work day. 3. Cherry Tomatoes: Sweet & delicious, these tiny tomatoes offer the largest amount of an antioxidant called lycopene, found in the skin of tomatoes. Since these tittle poppers burst in your mouth with flavor, and immune boosting nutrients that also support eye health, they’re a great choice for a mid-day snack under 100 calories. 4. Sweet Potato Chips: When you just have to have something crunchy, salty and super satisfying these chips are a great go-to option. Not your Read More »

4 Foods for Sustained Energy
Posted By on February 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think - Issue 75
energy foods

Energy levels can be supported by eating foods that offer nutrients that sustain you, mentally and physically.  Eating a wide variety of foods that include different colors of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a few of your favorite superfoods is a great way to boost overall health, and help maintain energy levels throughout the day. But many people have trouble getting through the day without the help of an afternoon cup of coffee, or three. So, this week we’re going to talk about the best foods for energy. 1. Beet Juice: This sweet and richly reddish purple juice adds easily to tons of fresh juice and smoothie recipes. But the taste isn’t the only reason to add it to green goodness blends. Beet juice has recently been discovered to boost energy levels, and stamina! Studies have showed that this is because beet juice increases plasma nitrite concentration, reduces blood pressure and has positive effects on the body’s responses to exercise. And if that’s not enough, the rich colour is indicative of the antioxidant content of this root veggie – it’s loaded with them. 2. Teff: This ancient grain contains large amounts of a newly-discovered type of fibre, known to help maintain steady blood sugar levels. This can help eliminate energy highs and lows caused by simple carbohydrates while also supporting weight loss efforts, colon health and a feeling of vitality. With a mild flavour, this gluten-free grain is easy to use in the kitchen, and versatile enough to boost the Read More »