Healthy Spices You Should Add To Your Diet.

Healthy Spices You Should Add To Your Diet.

A diet doesn’t have to be boring. Eating the same thing every day can get repetitive and monotonous. I get this complaint a lot from people saying they can only eat so many chicken breasts, salmon fillets  and stalks of broccoli before they need to change it up. Don’t let yourself get into a rut and add different fruits, vegetables, and meats to your diet. The second solution, and one which this article is based on, is seasoning your meat and vegetables with different spices which will give it a unique taste and provide numerous health benefits.

I cringe when I see people marinating a great piece of meat or fish in a sodium loaded sauce like barbecue  soy sauce, or steak sauce. A small amount of marinade is generally acceptable but often times people over due it by soaking their meats in all kinds of preservative/sugar-loaded sauces. Instead of ruining a great tasting piece of meat with a marinade, opt for spices instead. Spices offer a wide range of benefits that all have unique health benefits and save you from the high levels of sodium, preservatives, and sugar found in most marinades that lead to several health problems

The Recommended Daily Amount of sodium is between 1500-2000 mg. 

What to stay away from

Soy Sauce

The problem: Sodium content in  1 tbsp=1000 mg

Barbecue Sauce

The problem: While the sodium content is less, the sugar levels are still relatively high. The real problem lies in the ingredients and preservatives.  Almost all BBQ sauces list high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, xantham gum, and artificial flavors as just some of the long list the it takes to make this stuff.

Mesquite Sauces

The problem: Most mesquite sauces are loaded with sugars and unhealthy carbohydrates to go along with the high sodium levels and artificial ingredients.

The  Spices You Should Use Instead

Black Pepper

Pepper is one of the world’s healthiest spices because it is known for its positive effect on the digestive tract. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant benefits. Pepper also provides Vitamin A, Calcium, Copper, Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese, magnesium and Potassium.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is derived from hot chili peppers. Cayenne pepper is great at fighting inflammation. Cayenne pepper is rich in Vitamin A, and also provides Iron, Manganese, Niacin, Niacin, Magnesium and Potassium, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K and Vitamin B6, making it one of the world’s healthiest spices.

Chili Pepper

Dried chili pepper powder adds heat and spice to chili, hot wings, and ethnic foods. Similar to cayenne pepper ground chili pepper provides anti-inflammatory benefits, as it contains capsaicin. Dried chili pepper is one of the world’s healthiest spices because it is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Iron and dietary fiber.

Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon is not only very low in cholesterol, and in sodium, it is low in saturated fat. Cinnamon also boosts your vitamin intake with its Vitamin C , Iron, Manganese, and Vitamin K.

Ginger,

Ginger, like most spices, is low in cholesterol, low in saturated fat, and low in sodium. Ginger is one of the world’s healthiest spices and provides Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, and Vitamin C.  Ginger, even when used in Ginger Ale, is known for its positive effects on an upset stomach, or medically, on gastrointestinal distress. Ginger is a great way to quell motion sickness. It also has some anti-inflammatory benefits.In addition to exuding and incredible aroma when cooked, cinnamon has health-promoting properties, making it one of the world’s healthiest spices. Cinnamon promotes anti-clotting, can control blood sugar and improves digestive health.

Tumeric

Tumeric is low in cholesterol and low in sodium. The yellow tumeric also provides dietary fiber, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Potassium. Tumeric is considered one of the world’s healthiest spices because of its anti-inflammatory qualities, it aids in digestion and it can help heal wounds.

Thyme

Thyme has a minty flavor and immune-enhancing properties. Preliminary studies show that it may increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids present in kidney and brain cells. Like other spices, thyme is an excellent antioxidant and is rich in antibacterial and antispasmodic properties.

Conclusion

Marinating meat, fish, and poultry significantly decreases the amount of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines (HCAs) produced when the meat is cooked at high temperatures, like in grilling. Like i stated before, a moderate amount of marinade is acceptable. My suggestion is if you do decide to marinade, look at the ingredients of the marinade of choice and opt for something with natural ingredients and limited preservatives. If that isn’t an option opt for the spices listed above instead.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.

From South Bend,
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The Truth About Chewing Gum

The Truth About Chewing Gum

One of America’s favorite passtimes and quick fixes for bad breath, chewing gum is a daily ritual for millions of americans. Ever wonder what is in the gum you are chewing or what effect it has on your health?

Quick Stats

  • More than 100,000 tons of chewing gum being consumed every year.
  • Every year over 374 trillion sticks of chewing gum are made.
  • In the next 5 years, over 1 million metric tones of chewing gum will be produced.
  • The Chewing Gum Industry is profitable market. The world’s chewing gum industry is estimated to be worth approximately US $19 billion.

Potential Health Benefits of Chewing Gum.

Chewing gum improves memory

Some suggest that chewing gum can help in improving memory and enhance cognitive powers.  Research studies show that people who chewed throughout standardized tests produced significantly better scores than people who did not. Some attribute this to an increase in the stimuli produced in the area in our brain linked to memory, the hippocampus, when you continuously move your jaw.  Chewing gum can also increases blood flow to the brain. Some studies have reported that blood flow to the brain increases by as much as 25 to 40 percent during gum chewing. Also the act of chewing speeds up our heartbeat and blood pressure just enough to wake up both left-and right hemispheres to work together.

Check out this site for one of the first studies showing actual evidence of this. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2039-chewing-gum-improves-memory.html

Chewing gum reduces symptoms of stress

Research has shown that the rhythmic motion of chewing gum has a stress-reducing effect because relaxed and satisfied feelings. Psychiatrists and psychologists believe that chewing gum can help reduce tension and help to release nervous energy. Chewing gum may provide an outlet for frustration and irritation while also increasing alertness and concentration.

For more on this http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/119826.php

Chewing gum helps to manage weight

With a low-calorie count (5 to 10 per serving), chewing gum is an inexpensive snack. According to some studies, adults who chewed gum ate 36 calories less of the snack than adults who did not chew gum. Both regular and sugar-free chewing gum helped adults to eat less by helping to curb their appetite. The physical act of gum chewing may help to reduce your cravings for high calorie snacks. Some reports show that chewing gum can burn around 11 calories per hour. (IE not to be used in place of actualy exercise)

Chewing gum improves digestion

Chewing gum helps to improve intestinal motility and also helps to increase saliva flow which promotes more frequent swallowing. This helps to prevent reflux of acid from the stomach back into the throat.

Chewing gum improves oral health

The results of scientific research demonstrate that chewing gum is good for oral health and teeth specifically. Chewing gum increases saliva, which is the most important component of oral health and powerful protector of the oral cavity. Stimulated saliva corrects a potentially harmful environment using its high concentration of buffers, minerals and antibacterial components. That helps to flush sugars, food debris and decay-causing acids out of the mouth. Chewing gum also freshens breath, whitens teeth by reducing stains and preventing stains from accumulating and reduces plaque.

Potential Health Risks of Chewing Gum

The basic make up of gum: gum base, softeners, sweeteners and flavorings. Ever wonder what makes up the sweetener and flavoring part?

The Ingredients

Sweeteners are added to gum to give it that sweet flavor. Those ingredients are usually sugar, corn syrup and even beet juice. Sugar is probably the healthiest off all sweeteners. Sweeteners such as  xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and aspartame are also used, which have been linked to several long-term health effects that are also found in diet sodas.

Some gum ingredients are suspected to be carcinogens or have been linked to various health conditions. Sugar can cause cavities and lead to health issues such as diabetes, while aspartame, a popular artificial sweetener, has been linked to cancer, diabetes, and neurological disorders. Chewing gum containing such ingredients can have dangerous and long-lasting health effects.
What about Sugar-less or Sugar-free gum?

 Sugar-free chewing gum has a number of dental benefits. Sugar free chewing gum doesn’t cause tooth decay. It demineralises tooth enamel and has an antimicrobial effect. Those who chewed sugar-free gum after eating had fewer cavities than those who did not. HOWEVER, Sugar-free gum often contains either aspartame or sorbitol, the first being  potentially toxic and increasing your hunger, and the second becoming a  dangerous laxative in large doses. For me, it’s very similar to comparing soda to diet soda.

Jaw Related Issues
One of the most common health issues related to chewing gum is muscle fatigue due to overuse of the jaw muscles. This is known to lead to chronic headaches. The action of chewing gum can also cause unnecessary wear on the cartilage in the jaw joint. Frequent gum chewers may be more likely to develop problems in the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ

My suggestion
Most health nuts will advise you to switch to something outrageous like licorice root, parsley, or chewing on a natural tooth pic. I actually believe the benefits outweigh the negatives in terms of chewing gum. I suggest looking for a gum sweetened with erythritol ( a natural sugar alcohol which has recently gained popularity because of its inclusion in a few mainstream stevia based sweeteners),stevia, or lastly xylitol at a natural foods store. Identifying products with no sugar additives or artificial sweeteners is important with all food selections and should not be any different for gum. While it is more expensive, this type of gum is more safe and less likely to cause adverse health effects. Make your pack last twice as long by chewing half a piece a day versus a whole piece.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions.
From South Bend,