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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 »

4 Natural Painkillers
Posted By on March 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 78
ginger-painkiller

Painkillers don’t have to come from your doctor’s office or over the counter. There are many natural painkillers out there that have been clinically shown to reduce common aches and pains, as well as chronic pain, inflammation and joint pain. Here are a few of the top painkillers from mother nature. 1. Ginger Root: Ginger root has been used for centuries to reduce the pains associated with menstrual cramping. One study showed that taking a ginger extract 250 mg four times daily for 3 days at the beginning of the menstrual period reduced pain symptoms in as many as 62% of women with primary dysmenorrhea. This study showed that ginger root extracts were as effective as the medications ibuprofen or mefenamic acid.(1) 2. Mint: The leaves of peppermint contain volatile oils that offer a natural source of menthol. Providing a cooling effect topically, mint is often added to rubs and creams to reduce muscular aches and pains. Peppermint leaves also have the unique ability to relax muscles allowing painful cramping and digestive gas to pass. 3. Turmeric: Containing a powerful antioxidant compound that also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent called curcumin, turmeric is a well known remedy for reducing pain associated with inflammation, sprains, strains, bruises and joint pain, along with skin and digestive issues. 4. Corydalis: Used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce pains associated with headaches, menstrual pain and back pain, resent research revealed that this herb has analgesic abilities that are effective against acute, inflammatory and neuropathic Read More »

Antioxidants to Fight Pre-Mature Aging
Posted By on March 17th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 78
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Antioxidants can help preserve your youthful appearance. While there are plenty of expensive treatments, procedures and products out there, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look young. By consuming foods that contain antioxidants, you can reduce the premature signs of aging. What are Antioxidants? Antioxidants are substances that help to counteract the damage caused by the process of oxidation in the body. These nutrients are found in the form of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, and are known to help reduce the development of chronic illnesses, boost immune function and decrease pre-mature aging. When oxidation occurs due to environmental pollutants, toxins or exercise, harmful molecules called free radicals are produced. These compounds are chemically active atoms, that have a charge due to an excess or deficiency of electrons. When atoms have one or more unpaired electron, they scavenge the body looking for electrons they can use in cells, proteins and DNA (genetic material) causing damage throughout the body. Antioxidants donate this missing electron to stabilise the atom and reduce damage caused by the oxidative process. How do They Slow Pre-Mature Aging? The oxidative process is the same within the body as it is for foods. This process is what causes peeled apples to turn brown and iron to rust. As free radicals are created in the body during this process, they can damage healthy cells and even cause cellular death damaging otherwise youthful, healthy skin causing the visible signs of aging including fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants 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 »

18 Metabolism Boosting Foods for Weight Management
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Metabolism that works to burn calories even when your body is at rest can help your reach your weight loss goals faster, and support long-term weight management. Here are 18 metabolism boosting foods to add to your diet to help you reach your ultimate goal. 1. Almonds are packed with nutrients, and in a small portion. You’ll get a good amount of healthy calories, and nutritionally dense calories at that. For one serving of almonds, you’ll also get a healthy dose of protein, which builds muscle for improved energy expenditure, along with fiber to help you feel full and improve nutrient absorption to support a healthy metabolism. 2. Apples contain about 15% of your daily fiber requirements to help reduce the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, and help manage blood sugar levels. The fiber content of apples may also help you feel full. 3. Beans are loaded with fiber and protein to help you feel full, and help maintain regular digestion to help keep a healthy metabolism. 4. Berries are naturally sweet, and contain antioxidants that help keep stave off infections. But they’re also loaded with vitamins that boost metabolism along with other nutrients to support healthy body systems. 5. Broccoli contains high vitamin C content that the body needs to absorb calcium, and other nutrients. Since calcium promotes weight loss, this tasty green veggie may help burn calories. 6. Cabbage contains large amounts of vitamin B, which aid in the production of energy, and boost metabolism. 7. Read More »

3 Meatless Monday Main Dish Recipes
Posted By on February 24th, 2014 in Vitaminfix Think – Issue 76
meatless monday

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 »