Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Foods to Add to Your Diet

Straight from your pantry—up energy, get glowing skin, sleep better and more. Keep clicking to find out what to snack and sip on when your body needs a boost. From a recent Yahoo Health article.

This chilled soup is a blend of tomatoes and vegetables—including onions and garlic, which have antiviral properties (they attack sickness-causing germs). The produce also boosts your intake of certain vitamins that help strengthen your immune system.

Chamomile Tea
Chamomile helps relax the muscles around your GI tract, and the water in the tea improves digestion to shrink a bloated tummy. For the best relief, look for teas that are all chamomile rather than a blend.

This water-rich fruit transports key nutrients to the brain and keeps you hydrated. (Even mild dehydration can lead to more frequent and severe headaches, according to one study.) A little bit of natural sugar from the fruit will fuel brain cells to increase alertness, too. Snack on a watermelon slice, or cut into cubes and add to a glass of water.

Eating parsley may help prevent allergy flare-ups because it contains an antioxidant called quercetin that helps reduce the release of histamines. Fewer circulating histamines means you'll experience fewer symptoms when exposed to allergens. Add it to salads, or mix with olive oil and lemon to make a chicken topping.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin—the antioxidant that gives the mild-flavored spice its bold color—turmeric helps ease arthritis pain and swelling, enhance immunity, improve digestion, possibly prevent cancer and may even help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's. Luckily, the spice isn't overpowering, so you can easily add it to any dish. Try shaking ½ tsp into vegetable soup or a stir-fry, or mix it into rice.

MyAchingKnees comment: The joint supplement I take each day, and what I attribute to my pain free knees and back, has a bioavailable curcumin complex. This form of curcumin, combined with Glucosamine, Manganese, Magnesium, Calcium and Vitamin C, make up the supplement I take for my joint health each day.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
It's rich in a component called oleocanthal that speeds muscle repair. In fact, research shows that consuming about 3½ Tbsp oil throughout the day is the anti-inflammatory equivalent of approximately 10% of the standard ibuprofen dose. Add some to a post-workout salad or on top of mixed steamed vegetables.

Cheese and Crackers
The crackers pack energizing vitamins B6 and B12 (look for those that list 100% whole grain as the first ingredient), while lowfat cheese has protein. That combo stimulates the production of the feel-good chemical serotonin in your brain, which gives you energy to power through the P.M. Cap snacks at 200 calories (about 1 oz lowfat cheese and 8 crackers).

Cherry Juice
Tart cherries contain melatonin—a sleep-promoting compound that's a rare find in food (other sources include walnuts and bananas). In one study, people who drank this juice daily had better-quality zzz's compared with those who didn't sip. Cherry juice won't knock you out, but it may help you fall asleep easier. Drink it any time of day, or try adding 6 oz to a smoothie.

This tropical fruit contains bromelain, a compound that calms the skin inflammation that happens when you get a bruise. Eat about a cup and a half of pineapple chunks throughout the day and drink water to speed healing.

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