It’s smelly, it’s German, and...it’s good for you? Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage and with that fermentation comes added health benefits. If you’re heading to Volksfest at the end of the week, be sure to add some of the sour stuff to your plate. Here are five health benefits of sauerkraut:
1. Immune system boost - A one cup serving of sauerkraut has 35% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C to boost immunity.
2. Gut health - Probiotics are plentiful in sauerkraut and help to make foods more digestible so you can better absorb their vitamins and minerals, among many other benefits.
3. Fiber - A diet high in fiber can help lower cholesterol and kraut provides 16% of your DV.
4. Blood and bone health - Kraut is a good source of Vitamin K and iron, which help with blood clotting and bone metabolism.
5. Low calories - All of this nutrition comes in at only 27 calories/cup.
*Note that most canned varieties of sauerkraut have been pasteurized, which destroys the probiotics. Look for non-pasteurized varieties.*
Sure watermelon is a delicious reminder that Summer is here, but does it really do anything for you? We’ve got good news. Read on to see the health benefits watermelon can provide:
🍉 Hydration - Watermelons are 92% water so they’re a great way to stay hydrated on hot days.
🍉 Low in calories - It’s one of the lowest calorie fruits (even lower than low-sugar fruits like berries) at 46 calories per cup.
🍉 Vitamins & Minerals - High in Vitamin C, watermelon also contains a good amount of Vitamin A and a decent amount of potassium, magnesium, and B Vitamins.
🍉 Lycopene - This powerful antioxidant has been shown to support heart health and watermelon is actually the most abundant fresh food source of lycopene (even more than tomatoes).
🍉 Lower blood pressure - An amino acid called citrulline is abundant in watermelon and has been shown to help lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide levels and allowing blood vessels to open up.
One of the best parts of Summer is all of the seasonal produce like tomatoes, peaches, corn, and melons. Today we’re giving you tips on how to pick the perfect cantaloupe:
👀 LOOK - Yellow/golden color (avoid green ones), deep recesses running end-to-end, smooth and round indentation where stem was.
🖐 FEEL - Feel for mushy spots and avoid those, should feel heavy, stem end should give somewhat when you press it with your thumb.
👃 SMELL - Sniff the end opposite where the stem was and it should be sweet and fragrant, no smell means it’s not ripe and an alcohol/acetone scent means it’s fermenting and overripe.
When it’s hot out it’s important to stay hydrated but you also have to eat. Here are eight Summer treats that’ll help keep you cool on the hottest days:
• Frozen Grapes - Always keep some red grapes on hand in the freezer. They’ll quickly cool you down and are a delicious frozen treat.
• Watermelon - Not just a clever name, watermelon is 92% water and will help keep you hydrated, which helps regulate your body temp.
• Greek yogurt and raspberries - Cold yogurt and chilled fruit are a lovely combo.
• Slaw - Whether it’s traditional or broccoli, the vegetable-heavy medley is a refreshing blast of cool during the hottest season.
• Cocktail Shrimp - Chilled cocktail shrimp are high in protein and low in calories.
• Caprese salad - Simple yet delicious. All you need is sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices, fresh basil, olive oil or balsamic vinaigrette, and some salt and pepper.
• Cottage cheese - A cool, low-calorie way to get some protein, calcium, and vitamins and minerals.
• Banana Ice Cream - It tastes indulgent, but is actually only made of frozen bananas and peanut butter. Just freeze sliced bananas then add them to a blender with peanut butter and mix until smooth.
Starting your mornings with yogurt can be a good idea (even better if it’s Greek with no added sugar). But if you’ve tried every flavor available and need some more variety, don’t worry. Here are eight yogurt mix-in ideas to keep things interesting:
1. Seeds - Flax, chia, or for a pop of tartness go with pomegranate seeds.
2. Honey - Natural sweetness that you can portion yourself.
3. Peanut butter - Add even more protein and switch up the texture with peanut butter. Try chunky PB and maybe even swirl in some jam.
4. Pumpkin puree - For a taste of Fall, add some pumpkin puree and top with roasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.
5. Kiwi - The combo of sweet and tart go perfect with yogurt and their seeds add a subtle crunch that’s always welcome. Berries work well too.
6. Apples - Thinly sliced or diced apples pair nicely with yogurt. Consider adding cinnamon as well.
7. Coconut Flakes - Add a tropical flavor to your yogurt and throw in pineapple to take it even further.
8. Ginger - Candied or ground ginger make for an invigorating twist on your usual yogurt routine.
Earlier this week we went over what matcha tea was and how it was different than regular green tea. The reason for its massive popularity is the variety of unique health benefits it offers. Here are some of them:
🍵 Antioxidants - Since you use and consume the entire leaf, matcha is high in antioxidants that help reduce cell damage and prevent chronic disease.
🍵 Protects Liver - Animal studies have shown that matcha helped to prevent liver damage and decrease the risk of liver disease by reducing liver enzyme levels.
🍵 Brain Boost - Research has found that matcha caused improvements in memory, reaction time, and attention span.
🍵 Less Crash - A compound called L-theanine is found in matcha and alters the effects of caffeine by promoting alertness but without the usual crash after the boost wears off.
🍵 Lower Cholesterol - Matcha as well as green tea have been shown to reduce bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
🍵 Weight Loss - Matcha and green tea have been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat burning during exercise.
Maybe you’ve heard of it; maybe you’re already a fan. Matcha tea is gaining popularity and can be found in drinks like teas, lattes, and shots and also in foods like ice cream, cookies, puddings, soup, and stir-fry. So what is matcha tea? Let’s take a look:
- Matcha tea is a special form of green tea that comes from the same plant, but with different growing methods.
- 30 days before harvest, matcha tea plants are covered with shade cloths that cause an increase in chlorophyll production and boost flavor, texture, and amino acid content.
- Leaves are hand-selected and then dried and aged in cold storage to help deepen the flavor even more.
- Leaves are then ground into a fine powder that you consume instead of discarding them whole like with traditional green tea.
- Matcha literally means “powdered tea”.
The foods you eat can either cause your body to fight inflammation or trigger an inflammatory response. Inflammation can cause skin redness, swollen joints, finger pain, and intensify symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some foods that can help you fight inflammation:
- olive oil
- leafy greens: kale, spinach, collards
- fish: salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, and bass
- nuts: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and also sunflower seeds
- fruits: pineapple, apples, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries
- herbs: basil, thyme, and oregano
- green tea
Celebrating our nation’s birth and enjoying your freedoms doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your beach-ready body. Here are some tips for enjoying the company of your friends and family while staying healthy at the BBQ:
🇺🇸 Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay cool in the heat and also help avoid overeating.
🇺🇸 Load up on vegetables: They’ll fill you up and with less calories while also providing vitamins and minerals.
🇺🇸 Fruits as dessert: Try and enjoy the simple pleasure of a watermelon wedge or fruit salad for dessert and avoid excessive sugar.
🇺🇸 Wear sunscreen: Your skin is the largest organ of your body and could use some protection if you’re going to be outdoors for a while. Sunburns are painful and dangerous.
🇺🇸 Choose your buns: Opt for whole grain buns if possible to avoid glycemic spikes or avoid the buns altogether.
🇺🇸 Hot and Cold: Make sure to cook foods to the appropriate temperatures to kill any bacteria and keep cold foods cold to avoid growing new bacteria.