Coconut is used for its milk, water, oil, and meat. It can be a natural way to replace lost electrolytes, a healthy source of fats, or even used to treat burns and wounds. Eating the white meat inside the coconut has its own set of benefits. Let’s take a look at what those are:
- A one cup serving of coconut contains 75% of your daily value of manganese. This mineral is essential for bone health and your body’s nervous system.
- The same size serving contains 36% of your daily fiber needs.
- You can also get a decent amount (15-22% DV) of other vitamins and minerals from coconut including iron, phosphorous, potassium, copper, and selenium.
- Because coconut is low in carbs but high in fat and fiber, it may help stabilize your blood sugar.
- Phenolic compounds are found in coconut meat, which are antioxidants that help protects cells.
Keep in mind that because coconut is so high in fat, it’s also high in calories at 354 in a 1 cup serving.
Both honey and agave nectar are natural sweeteners that are less refined than white sugar. They’re sweeter than sugar and are becoming a popular alternative to it. One isn’t necessarily healthier than the other, but they each have their differences. Let’s take a look at some key facts:
Garlic has been used for thousands of years for its health and medicinal properties. The Greeks, Chinese, Romans, and Egyptians all knew there was something about garlic that made it special. Here are just some of the health benefits of garlic:
•Powerful antibiotic - Diallyl sulfide, a compound in garlic, was found to be 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in fighting off intestinal infections.
•Combat colds - Garlic supplementation can reduce the chance of catching a cold by 60% and reduce the length of having a cold if you do catch one from 5 days to 1.5 days.
•Very nutritious but low in calories - One clove of garlic contains only 4.5 calories but is rich in vitamins C and B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of other nutrients like copper, calcium, potassium, and iron.
•Lower blood pressure - Human studies found that the active compounds in garlic were just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure when taken in high daily doses (the equivalent of 4 cloves per day but as supplements).
•Improve cholesterol levels - Garlic supplements were able to reduce total and LDL cholesterol by about 10–15%.
•Heavy metal detox - In a human study of workers exposed to high levels of lead, garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also lowered symptoms of toxicity, such as headaches and high blood pressure.
Everybody has a preference for when a banana is perfect. But does the nutrition of a banana change as it goes from green and firm to brown and soft? In short, yes. Let’s take a look at what happens:
🍌Starch and Sweetness - Green bananas are full of complex carbohydrates and as they ripen they’re broken down into simple sugars which makes them sweeter.
🍌Glycemic Index - A riper banana that has lower starch content and a higher amount of sugar can be digested quicker, but that means it’s higher on the Glycemic Index.
🍌Antioxidant Levels - The brown spots on a ripe banana are from the chlorophyll breaking down into antioxidants. Green bananas do not have these antioxidant properties.
🍌Calories - Even though lots of other things change, the calories stay the same in a banana whether it’s green, yellow, or brown.
🍌Digestion - A ripe banana is easier to digest, but a more green banana is higher in resistant starches that you can’t digest and act as prebiotics.
🍌Potassium - Potassium amounts pretty much stay the same regardless of the ripeness of a banana.
🍌Vitamins and Minerals - Micronutrients like vitamin C, thiamin, and folic acid decrease as a banana ripens.
Earlier this week we talked about the difference between probiotics and prebiotics. Now let’s look at what you can eat and drink to take in these helpful bacteria and their own food sources.
• Probiotics (note that most are fermented in some way):
- Traditional Fermented Buttermilk
- Fermented Cheeses, such as Gouda
• Prebiotics (these contain the fiber that feeds probiotics):
- Legumes, Beans and Peas
- Jerusalem Artichokes (not the same as regular artichokes)
- Dandelion greens
Keeping your gut bacteria balanced can affect many different aspects of your health. To maintain this balance, it’s important to eat a mix of things called probiotics and prebiotics. Let’s look at what each of them are and why they matter:
•Probiotics - These are live, beneficial bacteria found in certain foods and supplements.
•Prebiotics - These are substances that come from types of fiber you eat that feed the friendly bacteria in the digestive system. You aren’t able to digest them, but probiotics can so they both work together.
•Put more simply - Probiotics are helpful bacteria you eat/drink. Prebiotics are food for the probiotic bacteria.
•Why does it matter? Proper gut health can lead to improved overall digestive function, mental health, a reduced need for antibiotics, less sick days from colds, less yeast infections, and a decrease in eczema symptoms.
Last week we showed you some quick ways to cut out 100 calories and now we’re back with 10 more:
1. Sandwiches - try skipping the top piece of bread and see if you really miss it
2. Milk - change from whole milk to 1% or even nonfat
3. Yogurt - switch to Greek yogurt instead of the whole fat variety
4. Cream cheese - go with low-fat cream cheese instead of full fat
5. Coffee flavorings - if you usually used syrup for a flavor boost in your coffee, try sprinkling some cinnamon and nutmeg on it instead
6. Jam - try an all-fruit variety of jam instead of the traditional kind that’s full of sugar
7. Omelets - instead of filling your omelet with meat and cheese, load up on veggies like spinach and mushrooms
8. Peanut butter - if you usually use two spoonfuls, try and get by with one
9. Skip the cheese - instead of a slice of cheese, top your burger with tomato, onion, and pickle and see if you notice the missing cheese
10. Spicy mayo - switch spicy mayo out for hot sauce (most varieties of hot sauce are 0 calories)
Summer has flown by and it’s already time for school to start again. Food can do lots of things for your body and boosting brain health is just one of them. Here are some of the best foods to improve memory and brain function to keep you and your scholars at their peak school performance:
💡 fatty/oily fish
💡 berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
💡 nuts/seeds (sunflower, almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin)
It may not sound like much, but 100 calories are pretty easy to cut if you make some simple adjustments. Think about them adding up throughout the days, weeks, and months and you’ll see why it’s worth it. Here are 10 ways to cut 100 calories:
1. Tuna - go with tuna packed in water instead of oil
2. Skip the cone - get your ice cream in a cup instead of a cone
3. Cake - pieces of cake from the middle of a sheet cake only have frosting on top instead of the top and sides
4. Dessert toppings - instead of covering your desserts with whip cream or syrup, try fresh fruit like blueberries
5. One less soda - try replacing one of your daily sodas with water
6. Frozen fruit - go with frozen grapes or watermelon instead of popsicles or ice cream
7. Mustard - try yellow mustard in place of honey mustard or make your own version with reduced honey
8. Snack sizes - don’t eat snacks straight from the bag; pour into a bowl for portion control
9. Baked chips - go with baked instead of the usual fried
10. Canned fruit - look for varieties packed in natural juice instead of heavy syrup or just go with fresh