Monthly Archives: January 2018

Organic And Natural Food

As we become more concerned about the ingredients in our food products, the more confused we can become. New food labeling laws, especially Nutrition Fact Labels, which are required on all processed foods, help us understand the basic food group components. But how do we know which ingredients are harmful or not so healthy for our kids?

What is the difference between natural and organic snack foods?

Organic refers to the way food is grown and processed. Organic foods are grown without toxins and persistent chemicals. Instead farmers use methods that work with nature, like crop rotation, cover crop planting, and composting. Some even use a release of insects that are beneficial to the crops being raised.

Organic food products do not contain fructose corn syrup, genetically modified organisms, artificial coloring and flavorings, MSG, and preservatives. Plus, they are grown without the use of pesticides. Natural food products contain no artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives.

As more and more environmental issues are raised each day, many parents are looking for ways to raise healthy, strong children without exposing them to harmful toxins. Providing them with organic and natural snack foods is a very positive step toward that goal.

Natural and Organic Snack Ideas:

Fruits and Vegetables

Purchase fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. Canned products have more sugar, and salt, plus contain much less dietary fiber. If you choose to use canned fruits and vegetables look for organic products or natural ones that have no sugar added and are low in sodium.

Organic grains:

100% Whole-wheat Breads

Organic Toaster Pastries

Organic Graham Crackers and Vanilla Wafers

Tortilla Chips

Oat Bran Pretzels

Natural Potato Chips

Organic or Natural Cereals

Granola Bars

Homemade Trail Mix

Organic and Natural snack foods provide kids with a healthy nutritious snack treat that adds more nutrition to their diets. Whether they are eaten on the go, at home, after sports activities, or at school, organic and natural snacks foods provide important nutrients and energy that kids need everyday.

Crunchy Nuts And Seeds Are Healthy Food

Are you looking for some delicious, alternative dietary choices to replace those highly processed sugar, and hydrogenated fat food snacks? If so, look no further than to nuts or seeds. Most people do not even consider them, avoiding nuts or seeds, altogether, because of their high fat and calorie content. While it is true that they are high in both, shunning them from your diet for these reasons, alone, will have you missing out on a wide array of other important nutrients.

Nuts and seeds, depending on the variety, are quite a nutrient dense food. Nutritional research science studies are finding out, that people who eat 1 to 3 ounces of nuts regularly have fewer risks of developing heart disease, cancer, and lessens the severity of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

These foods are healthy food snack choices, and although they are nutritious, some people may have a hard time not over indulging on them. As with any other diet choice, healthy or unhealthy, moderation is the key.

There is a way, though, that you can improve upon the nutritional aspect to eating them even further. Try eating them dry roasted. Avoid most commercially processed brands, which are slathered in several unhealthy varieties of processed polyunsaturated fats like cottonseed, rapeseed, and soybean oils, and coated in nutrient deficient processed salt.

While everyone may not have this convenience in their own backyard, Amish community bulk food stores are a wonderful resource for finding many different kinds of fresh, raw nuts and seeds. Roasting them does lessen the nutritional value slightly, but you can do this at home rather easily, and you will have a much healthier snack product afterwards. Coat the nuts or seeds with a little coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake in the oven, and store in an air-tight container.

Nuts and seeds are high in mostly monounsaturated fat and, to a lesser degree, polyunsaturated fat. They are also good sources of antioxidant vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, and cholesterol lowering phytosterols.

When choosing to add them for health conscious reasons, to your existing diet, don’t consider them as a fix-all approach for poor eating habits. Look at them as a replacement therapy tool, in getting rid of the processed fatty meat snacks, other fried foods, and sugar laden treats out of your diet. Nuts and seeds can help you with weight management issues, because of their high percentage of healthy fats, protein, and fiber content. They provide a ‘full’ feeling of satiety when combined with a full glass of water.

Most nuts and seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help to control blood pressure, while their naturally high fiber content helps protect against colon cancer.

As an example, of the nutritional powerhouse that can be found in nuts and seeds, a listing of the content in certain types of nuts and seeds is provided below for your information. One hundred grams equals, approximately, a 3.5 ounce serving.

Seeds: Pumpkin-100 g pumpkin seeds contain 29 g protein, 11.2 mg iron, and 1144 mg phosphorous. Sesame- 100 g of sesame seeds contain 26.4 g protein, 12.6 mg vitamin B-3, 7.8 mg iron, 131 mg calcium, and 10.3 mg zinc. Sunflower- 100 g sunflower seeds are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium and contain 24 g protein, 7.1 mg iron, and 120 mg calcium. Flax seeds- 100 g flax seeds contain 431 mg magnesium, 831 mg potassium, and 112 g folic acid, not to mention its high omega-3 content.

Nuts: Almonds- 100 g almonds contain 16.9 g protein, 4.2 mg iron, 250 mg calcium, 20 mg vitamin E, 3.1 mg zinc, and 0.92 mg vitamin B-2. Cashews- 100 g cashews contain 17.2 g protein, 60 micrograms vitamin A, and 3.8 mg iron. Peanuts- 100 g peanuts contain 2.3 g protein, 2 mg iron, and 3 mg zinc. Pecans- 100 g pecans contain 9.2 g protein, a very high fat content of 71.2 g (of which, 60 percent is mono and 30 percent is polyunsaturated), 130 micrograms vitamin A (also very high), 2.4 g iron, and 73 mg calcium.

And, while there is definitely more nutritional content in each one of those food sources listed above, nutritional research science is still discovering, and identifying, even more unique and natural food substances in all of our plant foods every day.

One thing is for certain, we are all living through one of the most interesting generations to date. For the first time in history, man’s curiosity has him seriously investigating the perfect union nutritional path nature intended all of us to strictly follow.

Raw Food Snacks For a Healthy

You might have often heard of people eating 4 -5 raw food snacks throughout the day instead if the three meals a day system. If you have been wondering why these people eat so differently then the answer can get a little complicated.

First off all its just logical – think about it, when you eat three times a day you will want to eat as much as you can as your next meal is quite a few hours away which means you end up over eating which is how you end up taking in more than what is required. However when you eat small raw food snacks a few times a day you eat only as much as you feel is right which is far more natural and thus healthy.

Also raw vegan food is high in enzymes, vitamins and minerals which are either diluted or wholly lost during the cooking process. The digestive enzymes present in food which are lost as a result of cooking means that your stomach will lack the enzymes required in digestion which will lead to stomach disorders such as constipation, gastritis and heartburn. It is worth noting that these problems are almost entirely experienced by people who live on cooked food and have minimal intake of raw food.

In fact a study in England and Wales had stated that a higher intake of raw vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bean sprouts, can significantly reduce the threat of appendicitis. Most people who live on a vegan diet have as much as a 75% raw food in their diet and the remainder being only partially cooked.

Healthy Food Snacks

As I find myself getting nearer and nearer to the 50-year mark, I think it is time that I start thinking more about healthy food snacks. As the half-century mark (boy that sounds terrible) approaches, the situation may seem dire but to tell you the truth, I feel terrific!

I do however know that even though I feel great and currently enjoy good health, the habits of years past might come back to haunt me physically. If I do not take steps now to deter future health issues it will be pretty much my own fault. After all I alone control what I put into my mouth to eat.

In years past I have not always had the best nutritional habits. I was on the road a lot traveling for work and more than once I ate a couple of king-sized candy bars from the gas station instead of planning out a meal or taking some time to find a healthier alternative.

Now that I am older and wiser (older anyway, I am still working on the wiser bit) I am trying to make better nutritional choices. I am opting for healthy food snacks instead of the sugary quick fixes.

This transition is not easy. I have found that like a lot of people I am addicted to sugar. There I said it I am a sugar addict. If you have ever tried to wean yourself away from using or consuming sugar I am sure you have found it difficult. It is hard to quit cold turkey.

I read somewhere that when your body is craving those sugary sweets that what you are really craving is natural sugar. Natural sugar can be found in natural foods such as fruits.

Fruits are my secret weapon to combat my sweet tooth. I must admit that an orange or banana isn’t quite the same thing as a peanut butter cup and although it is not as sweet it does help curb the sugar craving.

As time goes by and you have stopped eating refined sugar, food sources containing natural sugars will seem sweeter to you than they did before. Once you have reached this point I would try to add a whole grain snack bar to your healthy food snack arsenal. Be careful though make sure you read the ingredients. Kashi has a great assortment of good tasting bars.

These whole grain bars will not spike your sugar levels and won’t leave you tired one hour later like sugar sweets do. They are also a good source of protein and fiber. Just make sure to read the label. Again you are responsible for what you eat not the marketing companies trying to sell all of the horrible products out there. Take the time to be a smart and informed consumer.

Brain Food Snacks For Studying

School days can be a drag when you feel like you are dragging and trying to keep up. Feeling tired, stressed, and overwhelmed can cause you to lose your focus. School has a way of adding stress and anxiety to your life. On the flip side, stress and anxiety can affect your performance on tasks and tests. It seems like a vicious circle or cycle.

Having clarity of mind and excellent memorization skills is important if you want good grades and high scores on tests. Adding superfoods to your diet is an excellent way to assist your brain to function at a higher level.

Brain food snacks for studying can increase memory recall, enhance brain focus, and sustain your energy. Brain food snacks for studying can also reduce your stress level and aid in test performance.

10 Easy Brain Food Snacks For Studying

Blueberries. Blueberries boast a large amount of antioxidants. Blueberries contribute to memory retention. Eat fresh or dried.

Chia seeds. Chia seeds are stocked with all 3 Omegas and a large amount of protein. Omegas are essential to brain health. They improve the ability to learn and think while increasing memory power. Chia seeds can be eaten with yogurt or oatmeal.

Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds have zinc in them. Zinc is responsible for enhancing thinking and memory skills.

Broccoli. The vitamin K in broccoli has been known to promote cognitive function and brain power.

Nuts. A high in protein snack, nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E. Vitamin E aids in cognitive learning.

Lemon water. Lemon has the ability to assist you in decision making. Lemon opens the mind to absorb learning.

Peppermint tea. Peppermint increases focus and alertness. Peppermint also boosts your mood and eases digestion.

Avocado. Avocados contribute to healthy blood flow. Good blood circulation will assist your brain to receive the nutrients it needs to function properly.

Veggies and hummus. Veggies add nutrients the brain needs, and hummus boasts only monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These healthy fats contribute to brain health.

Pomegranate. Also and antioxidant source, pomegranates can reduce stress levels in the brain and help with test and task performance.

It is a good idea to eat these snacks before studying and during study time. Eat or drink the foods that boost memory function before a test. Your brain is there and has all capabilities. It is depending on you to feed it right and give it the nutrition it needs to function at it’s best.