At a 4th of July party, fireworks might have the spotlight at night, but during the day it’s all about the food! A recent study was published that tracked which foods increased in sales the most during the week before the 4th of July. Here are the top ten:
10. White Corn
9. Ice Cream
8. Baked Beans
7. Tortilla Chips
5. Sweet Corn
4. Hamburger Buns
3. Potato Chips
2. Hot Dogs
1. Hot Dog Buns 🥇(probably winning over actual hot dogs because the number of buns never matches the number of hot dogs in a pack)
No disrespect to ketchup or mustard, but hot sauce is definitely one of the more exciting condiments you can add to your food. Not only can it kick bland food up a few notches, it has a surprising amount of health benefits:
🌶 Chili peppers used in most hot sauce contain carotenoids (vitamin A), flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals.
🌶 One of the most unique parts of chili peppers is a plant compound called capsaicin. Hot sauce that contains capsaicin may help control insulin levels in your body.
🌶 It’s been shown that hot sauce can help reduce levels of the hormone that triggers hunger called ghrelin. This can help you avoid overeating. A study at Purdue University found that participants that regularly used hot sauce had a decrease in cravings for fatty, salty, and sweet foods.
🌶 It’s been found that capsaicin can trigger the self-destruction of harmful cells in the body while leaving healthy cells alone. Researchers are working to determine if this can be helpful for cancer treatment.
🌶 Feeling stuffy and stopped up in your head? Add some hot sauce to your soup and your sinuses will clear right up!
🌶 While this may sound strange given the fact that hot sauce heats things up, the capsaicin in hot sauce actually has anti-inflammatory properties.
🌶 It’s been found that endorphins are released when you eat spicy food, which can lead to feelings of satisfaction and reduce your perceptions of pain and stress.
🌶 Adding hot sauce to your food also adds a little vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and potassium.
A few days ago we went over the nutrients that keep your eyes healthy and how they do it. In case you missed it, the most helpful nutrients you can take in for healthy eyes are vitamins A, C, E, carotenoids, and omega-3s. Now let’s jump into the whole foods you can eat to make sure you’re getting those nutrients:
• Leafy Greens - Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens
• Whole Eggs
• Citrus Fruits - Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tangerines
• Red Bell Peppers
• Sweet Potatoes
• Butternut Squash
When it comes to taking care of your eyes, diet may not be the first thing you think of but healthy whole foods are your first line of defense against future vision problems. The vitamins and minerals you get from food can be one of the best things for your eyes.
👁 Some key nutrients for healthy eyes are vitamins A, C, and E.
👀 Vitamin A ensures proper functioning of the conjunctival membranes and your cornea. It’s also crucial to the protein that helps your retina absorb light.
👁 Vitamin C helps fight free radicals that can damage your retina and lead to vision loss. Evidence has shown that getting enough vitamin C can help reduce the risk of developing cataracts and may slow AMD (age-related macular degeneration).
👀 Vitamin E also helps combat free radicals that may damage tissue in your eyes and decreases cataract risk.
👁 Another ally for your eyes is carotenoids. These are the bright yellow, red, and orange pigments produced by plants that also help boost eye health. One carotenoid you may have heard of, beta carotene, is crucial as it can be converted into the eye-supporting vitamin A.
👀 Two more carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in the lens and retina of your eyes and can help limit oxidative damage. Studies found they absorb blue and ultraviolet light to protect your eyes. They can also neutralize free radicals and have been found to help boost visual acuity.
👁 The last key nutrient for your eye health is omega-3 fatty acids. An omega-3 called DHA can help relieve symptoms of dry eye and reduce chronic inflammation of your eyelids to help keep your vision going strong. A diet with plenty of omega-3s can help protect against AMD.
A recent poll of 1,200 Americans found that 50% of those in the Midwest plan on getting together and grilling for Father’s Day. Taking it a bit further, they asked what they planned to serve dear old dad at the BBQ. Here are the results:
🍔 Burgers - 67%
🌭 Hot Dogs/Sausages - 55%
🥩 Steaks - 53%
🌶️ Vegetables - 33%
🍖 Ribs - 27%
🦀 Fish/Seafood - 16%
🧆 Plant-based Meat Alternatives - 7%
It’s no fun to reach for the nice green herbs you bought or harvested as you’re working on dinner and find them shriveled and brown. You thought you were helping by wrapping them in a wet paper towel before putting them into the fridge, but they just didn’t last. Want to make sure they last for weeks? Try this!
🌱 Think of storing your fresh herbs like you would with a bouquet of fresh cut flowers - at room temperature in a jar of water.
🌱 Mason jars work great for this or you can use any glass you have in the kitchen.
🌱 Arrange the herbs you’re storing to the glass and add a few inches of filtered water.
🌱 Make sure only the stems are in the water. Any leaves touching the water will speed up spoilage. Either trim them off or add less water if needed.
🌱 If the water gets discolored or less-than-clear, swap it out with fresh, filtered water.
🌱 You can mix and match the herbs and they’ll all be just fine. We’ve had basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, and thyme all in the same “herb bouquet” with success and no contaminated flavors.
🌱 We’ve found you get the best results keeping the herbs out of the fridge and at room temperature, making this even easier to do.
Call it brain freeze or an “ice cream headache” but chances are you’ve experienced the weird pain that comes from eating a cold treat too fast. So what exactly is taking place when that happens?
🧊 The medical term for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
🥶 Basically what’s happening is the icy cold temp of the thing you ate or drank causes the blood vessels in the palate of your mouth to constrict.
❄️ Then, very quickly, the same vessels dilate and blood rushes in to warm them back up.
🧊 This sudden opening of the vessels is transmitted to your brain as pain through the trigeminal nerve, which runs into the middle of your face and up your forehead.
🥶 To help avoid this, pace yourself with icy things and try to avoid sudden extreme shifts and abundances of temperature shifts.
❄️ To help remedy brain freeze pain if it’s happening, press your tongue or your thumb up on the roof of your mouth.
🧊 You can also drink a glass of room-temperature water to help alleviate the pain.
🥶 Either works as a way to bring warmer temperatures back to your palate.
Our body uses vitamin D to keep bones healthy, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and regulate the nervous system. Unfortunately over 40% of the US population is vitamin D deficient. The good news is, there are plenty of whole food options for giving your levels a boost:
🔆 Whole Eggs
🔆 Canned Tuna
🔆 Sardines and Herring
🔆 Swiss Cheese
🔆 Cod Liver Oil
🔆 Vitamin D Fortified Foods - Milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal
Inflammation can be part of your body’s normal processes, but chronic inflammation leads to things like skin redness, painful joints, and fatigue. Here are ten of some of the most anti-inflammatory foods you can eat to try and help keep inflammation down:
1. Berries - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
2. Fatty Fish - salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies
5. Green Tea
6. Peppers - bell peppers, chili peppers
7. Mushrooms - portobello, shiitake, lion’s mane, truffles
Pineapple juice isn’t just a delicious way to add some tropical flavor to your day, it also offers an impressive array of health benefits:
🍍 Improve Digestion - One of the unique things about pineapple is it contains digestive enzymes called bromelain, which can help remedy many different digestive issues. Additionally, they help break down proteins so they can be digested and absorbed easier and can even help protect against bacteria like E. coli.
🍍 Heart Health - The combo of vitamin C and bromelain in pineapple juice help your cardiovascular system by reducing free radicals and minimizing the risk of blood clots.
🍍 Lower Blood Pressure - Since it’s high in potassium and low in sodium, pineapple juice may help lower your blood pressure. When you consume potassium, it causes you to pass sodium in your urine. It also helps relieve tension in the walls of your blood vessels.
🍍 Reduce Inflammation - Bromelain has been found to be one of the best anti-inflammatories you can get from food and has been used as a way to help with sports injuries and even osteoarthritis.
🍍 Immune Boosting - Pineapples are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can be a huge boost for your immune system.
🍍 Natural Antihistamine - Those suffering from allergy-based inflammation may get some relief from pineapple juice and its anti-inflammatory properties as it helps open pathways back up. Additionally, the bromelain can help break down mucus that may be irritating the respiratory tract.
🍍 Strengthen Bones - The bones and joints in our bodies do well when we’re getting good levels of manganese and one glass of pineapple juice contains 73% of your daily manganese requirement.