10 great things for your health every Tuesday

Posts

Tuesday’s Ten – Useful Ways to Use Lemons

There’s nothing like a fresh slice of lemon to invigorate your senses and decorate your meal. But that’s not all they’re good for! Take your citrus beyond the norm with these nine practical – and somewhat unexpected – ways to use lemons with this weeks Tuesday’s Te.

1. Preserve Sliced Fruit

Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto sliced fruit, such as apples, pears, avocados, and bananas to slow oxidation and keep them from turning brown.

2. Fight Nausea

When you’re suffering from motion sickness or morning sickness, inhaling the scent of a sliced lemon may help. Lemon scent has been shown to reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy [1].

3. Disinfect

Lemon juice is an acid and studies have shown its antibacterial power can help reduce the size of some bacteria populations, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus [2]. Help disinfect kitchen counters and cutting boards by wiping them with a fresh lemon slice.

4. Freshen the Air

lemons in air freshenerThe essential oils in lemon peels are an effective addition to homemade air fresheners. Add a safe, fresh scent to your home by boiling a pot of water, lemon peels, and fresh herbs, or spritz the air with a solution of lemon infused vodka and baking soda.

5. Cleanse Your Skin

A 2:1 mixture of honey and fresh lemon juice makes a soothing face cleanser. The acids in lemon can help exfoliate, brighten skin, and help fade spots.

6. Brighten Pots

Just like your skin, lemons can help punch up dull aluminum cookware. Simply rub a lemon slice along dull sections, then polish with a dry cloth.

7. Deter Silverfish

Lemon peels are a deterrent for silverfish. Simply place the peels in areas where silverfish are present and replace weekly.

8. Clean Your Home

Use it to clean door knobs, sinks, microwaves, and much more.

9. Quench Your Thirst

Add fresh lemon slices to water to quench your thirstTransform plain water or tea into a refreshing thirst quencher by adding fresh lemon slices. While this is not the most unexpected use for lemons, it’s probably the most enjoyable!

 

 

10. Season Your Fish and More

Who could forget the wonderful fresh taste that lemons add to a variety of foods from fish to stews. Brighten your tastebuds with a squeeze of lemon.

References

www.natural factors.com

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Essential Vitamins

Tuesday's Ten Logo

Vitamins are essential nutrients that everyone requires for a healthy, functioning body. Here are a list of the top ten essential vitamins, their functions and the foods they can be found in.

1. Vitamin A

Good For

  • Maintaining eyesight
  • Improving immunity
  • Ensuring healthy bone development

Find it in

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Winter squash
  • Turnips

2. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Good For

  • Converting carbs into energy
  • Promoting a healthy nervous system

Find it in

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Black beans
  • Lentils

3. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Good For

  • Promoting healthy skin and complexion
  • Processing macronutrients

Find it in

  • Calf’s liver
  • Milk

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Good For

  • Promoting a healthy nervous system
  • Promoting a healthy digestive system
  • Plays a key role in energy production

Find it in 

  • Chicken breast
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Halibut
  • Turkey breast

5. Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Good For

  • Maintaining red blood supply
  • Aiding in the absorption of other nutrients

Find it in

  • A good multivitamin, as not many foods contain significant amounts of this vitamin
  • In lower amounts find it in swiss chard, almonds, legumes, tomatoes and romaine lettuce

6. Vitamin C

Good For

  • Improving immunity
  • Protecting against cardiovascular and eye disease
  • May prevent anti-aging signs such as wrinkles

Find it in

  • Oranges
  • Strawberries
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Red Bell peppers
  • Papaya

7. Vitamin D

Good For

  • Aiding in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus
  • Ensuring healthy bone growth

Find it in

  • Sunshine
  • Fortified milk
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Whole eggs

8. Vitamin E

Good For

  • Improving immunity
  • Promoting blood flow and healing of body tissues

Find it in

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Olives
  • Spinach
  • Papaya

9. Vitamin K

Good For

  • Plays an important role in blood clotting
  • Aiding in bone development
  • Aiding in heart disease prevention

Find it in

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Romaine lettuce

10. Folic Acid

Good For 

  • Preventing anemia
  • Aiding in new cell production
  • Especially important during pregnancy because it helps to prevent neural-tube birth defects

Find it in

  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Black beans

Source:

Clark, S. (2015, April 4). The Top 10 Vitamins That Everyone Should Include In Their Diet! – Bodybuilding.com. Retrieved August 31, 2015.

10 Health Benefits of Bee Pollen

What are Bee Pollen Granules?

In addition to being pollinators, honey bees collect the microscopic pollen dust released by flowers. They compact this pollen into granules, resulting in one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods. Bee pollen is almost 40% protein, half of which is in the form of free amino acids, ready to be used immediately by the body. In addition it contains almost all nutrients required by humans.

cc licensed flickr photo by  beepollenhub, http://www.beepollenhub.com/

cc licensed flickr photo by beepollenhub, http://www.beepollenhub.com/

10 Reasons to Add Bee Pollen to your Diet

  1. Energy Booster– Because bee pollen is full of almost every nutrient required by humans, it’s a great energy booster! The carbohydrates and protein especially can help fight fatigue and increase your stamina.
  2. Skin Soother– Not just for ingesting, bee pollen can be used topically. It treats inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It’s full of vitamins and amino acids that help to protect the skin and help regenerate cells.
  3. Respiratory Disorders– Bee pollen is full of antioxidants, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. This may help inflammation of the lungs, preventing asthma attacks.
  4. Allergy Treatment– Allergic symptoms are caused by the release of histamine, a compound found in almost all body tissues. Bee pollen can actually reduce the presence of histamine, reducing or preventing allergy symptoms.
  5. Digestive System– Enzymes are essential for breaking down the food we consume into forms that our body can use and extract nutrients from. Bee pollen contains over 5,000 enzymes, so it’s obvious that it aids in digestion!
  6. Boost your Immune System– According to Dr. Mercola, bee pollen has antibiotic-type properties that may be able to fight off viruses. In addition, as we mentioned above, it’s full of antioxidants!
  7. Suppress Cravings– Whether you’re getting over addiction or those late-night junk food cravings, bee pollen may help. Its high nutrient content may solve nutrient-deficiencies you didn’t even know you had, therefore eliminating cravings. It also contains phenylalanine, a natural amino acid, which acts as an appetite suppressant.
  8. Cardiovascular Support– Rutin is a flavanoid compound that boasts anti-clotting properties that could help prevent heart attack and stroke. Good news, bee pollen contains large amounts of the stuff. It could also help correct cholesterol levels and assist with other circulatory problems.
  9. Prostate Health– We already discussed some of the anti-inflammatory properties of bee pollen, so it’s no wonder that it aids those who suffer from benign prostate hyperplasia. By reducing inflammation of the prostate it can also resolve issues with urination.
  10. Fertility – Not only is bee pollen a hormonal booster and aphrodisiac, it can also stimulate and restore ovarian function, therefore aiding in pregnancy.

How to Consume

For better absorption, it is recommended that Bee Pollen is consumed with a meal. Start with a low dosage, such as 1 teaspoon, and gradually increase your dosage. Don’t consume more than 3 tablespoons a day, unless directed otherwise.

 

Sources

Dr. Mercola. “The Use of Bee Pollen as a Superfood.” n.d. mercola.com. Online. 30 April 2015.

Food Matters. “10 Amazing Health Benefits of Bee Pollen.” 29 January 2013. Foodmatters.tv. Online. 29 April 2015.

 

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Reasons to Support Fair Trade

You may have heard the term “Fair Trade” before, but do you know what it is? Here are the words Canadians used to describe it in a 2011 survey conducted by Fairtrade Canada…. (more mentions=bigger letters).

Photo provided by Fairtrade Canada

Photo provided by Fairtrade Canada

Turns out most Canadians have a pretty good idea of what Fair trade is. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s described by Fairtrade Canada as “a different way of doing business.” It focuses on ensuring that fairness and decency mean something in the marketplace. Farmers and producers are getting better deals and longer, more meaningful trading relationships are established. In addition it’s a way to inform consumers that the products they are purchasing meet their values, so that they can make choices that have a positive impact on the world.

Fair Trade vs Fairtrade

Can a space make all the difference? In this case, yes.

Fair Trade refers to the general concept of fairness and decency in the marketplace, whereas Fairtrade refers specifically to the Fair Trade Certification system, run by Fairtrade International and its members, including Fairtrade Canada.

Why buy Fairtrade Certified Products?

Here are 10 reasons to look for the certified Fairtrade logo.

  1. Fairtrade helps to tackle poverty by opening up markets to marginalised producers.
  2. Workers and producers are empowered because they learn how international trade works.
  3. Fairtrade growers are encouraged to protect their environment or go organic.
  4. Fairtrade farmers receive advice and exchange information about growing in the uncertain seasons and conditions such as droughts increasingly being experienced as a result of Climate Change.
  5. The Fairtrade price includes a premium which is invested in producers businesses or the community. How this sum is spent is decided democratically.
  6. By buying Fairtrade you show that you care about those who produce these goods not just prices!
  7. Buying Fairtrade sends a message to governments that people want Trade Justice.
  8. There is now a huge variety of Fairtrade products of a high standard.
  9. Buying Fairtrade challenges all companies to move away from unsustainably low commodity prices and unethical sourcing. It may also encourage companies to strive towards becoming Fairtrade themselves.
  10. It is reliable – you know that products that bear the Fairtrade mark will be of good quality and will have been produced in an environmentally friendly way by growers and producers who will have received a fair price thus helping to lift people out of poverty.

 

Sources

Fairtrade Canada. “What is Fair Trade?” n.d. fairtrade.ca. Online. 28 April 2015.

Fairtrade Jersey. “10 Reasons to Buy Fairtrade.” n.d. fairtradejersey.org. Online. 28 April 2015.

 

Tuesday’s Ten: World Health Day Special Edition

  5 TuesdayHappy World Health Day 2015

  Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day has been around since 1950. Each year, on April 7th, WHO celebrates by bringing awareness to various global health topics. This year, the topic is Food Safety. 

You may be wondering why Food Safety is such a big deal. What you may not have known is that more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. Hepatitis, E. Coli and Salmonella are just a few examples. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries, creates a strain on our health care system and even hurts the national economy and development of international trade.

Luckily, most foodborne illness is preventable with proper food handling techniques. Follow these 5 Key Tips to ensure your own Food Safety, provided by WHO.

1) Keep Clean

This ensures that microorganisms that you may encounter during your daily activities do not contaminate your food.

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during food prep
  • Wash your hands after using the washroom and before eating
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used during food prep
  • Protect your kitchen from insects, pests and other animals
  • Clean all surface (including your hands) that come into contact with raw meat or poultry

Hint

  • Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing hands to ensure you’ve washed them long enough

2) Seperate Raw and Cooked Food

Raw foods, especialy meat, poultry and seafood and their juices, can contain harmful microorganisms. These can be transferred to other foods during preperation or storage, resulting in cross contamination.

  • Seperate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Use seperate equipment and utensils for handling raw foods, this includes knives and cutting boards
  • Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods

Hint

  • Store meat, poultry and seafood below cooked or ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamintaion
  • Store food in containers with lids

3) Cook Thoroughly

Proper cooking can kill almost all harmful microorganisms. Cooking food to a temperature of 70 ºC will help enure it’s safe for eating. High-risk foods that require special attention include minced meats, large joints of meat and whole poultry.

  • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to a boil to make sure they’ve reached 70 ºC.
  • Make sure that the juices from meat and poultry are clear, not pink.
  • Use a thermometer if you’re not sure
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly

Hint

  • When using a microwave make sure your food is cooked through, as microwaves can leave cold spots and cook food unevenly

4) Keep Food at a Safe Temperature

Microorganisms multiply very quickly when sotred at room temperature. By storing foods in the fridge or freezer or heating them up you can slow, or even stop, the growth of harmful microorganisms.

  • Don’t leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Refrigerate cooked and perishable foods as soon as possible
  • Keep cooked food piping hot before serving
  • Know when to get rid of food, don’t keep it too long in the refrigerator
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature

Hint

  • If you use a microwave to thaw food, make sure to cook it promptly. This method of thawing can leave hot spots where bacteria can grow
  • Leftovers should not be reheated more than once
  • Thaw food in your refrigerator or other cool location

5) Use Safe Water and Raw Materials 

Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated prior to cooking. Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy food. Take a preemptive step by taking care when choosing raw materials. Remember to wash and peel certain fruits and veggies as well.

  • Always use safe water or treat it to make it safe
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods
  • Choose foods that are processed safely
  • Wash fruits and vegetable, especially if eaten raw
  • Take note of expiry dates

Hint

  • Safe water is not only important for drinking, but must be used for washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning cooking and eating utensils and washing hands

So, how many of these key tips are you already following? Hopefully the answer is most of them, but theres always room to improve, especially when it comes to your health.

Source

World Health Organization (WHO). “Five Keys to Safer Food Manual.” 2006. who.org. PDF. April 2015.

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Gluten-Free Flours and Starches

Tuesday's Ten Logo

In recent years gluten-free diets have become very popular. Our shelves are full of great gluten-free products, and if you haven’t tried them you should, but don’t be afraid to bake your own gluten-free foods at home! If you’ve ever wanted to bake something but wasn’t sure what to use as a substitute for traditional wheat flours, then this post is for you. Even if you know what you’re doing when it comes to gluten-free baking, keep reading to find out more about your favourite flours.

Think that gluten-free flours are only for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities? Think again. Even if you’re not gluten-free, this post is worth a read. These flours are not only high in fibre, protein and other nutrients but can give the taste of your baked goods a new twist.

1) Sorghum Flour: Sorghum is one of the most widely produced grains, and is a major food source in Africa and India. It’s higher in protein, lower in fat and is similar in nutrient-content when compared to corn. Sorghum is also high in insoluble fibre, allowing it to be digested slower keeping you full longer. The flavour is bland.

2) White or Brown Rice Flour: Although they can be used interchangeably, brown rice flour has a higher nutritional value than white rice flour. The brown rice flour is higher in fibre as well. Both flours have a grainy texture and a slightly nutty taste.

3) Tapioca Starch/Flour: Made from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca starch or flour (yes they’re the same thing!) is a light, fine, soft white flour. It is a good thickening agent in gluten-free baking and may add a chewy texture.

4) Potato Starch: Not to be confused with potato flour, potato starch is made by extracting just the starch from the potato. It is a fine white powder that has a light potato taste, undetectable when used in recipes. It is often used as a thickener.

5) Arrowroot Starch: The root of the arrowroot plant, a perennial herb, is ground into a powder to make this starch. Arrowroot starch is a tasteless, fine powder. It is high in fiber and easily digested. Typically it is used in thickening recipes. It is a useful substitute for cornstarch, if you have a corn allergy.

6) Buckwheat Flour: Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually wheat, or a grain. The flour is made by grinding the seeds that are found on the plant. This flour is a great source of fiber and other nutrients, and has a strong nutty taste.

7) Quinoa Flour: Quinoa flour is an amazing source of protein, fiber, calcium and iron. The grain is ground to make flour, which will add a nutty taste to baked goods.

8) Oat Flour: It’s important to make sure that if you’re baking with oat flour, that it’s certified gluten-free. Although oats alone do not contain gluten, cross-contamination is common. High in nutrients similar to oats, it adds a light, slightly sweet taste to your cooking.

9) Coconut Flour: This flour is made from dried, ground coconut meat. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. This flour is heavy compared to other flours and adds a light coconut flavour to your baking. It tastes great in any recipe that includes chocolate.

10) Almond Flour: Commonly called almond meal, this is simply ground almonds. You can look forward to all the benefits that you would normally get from almonds in this flour, including the high-levels of protein. It has a nutty taste and may add moisture to your baked goods.

If you’re wondering what flour to substitute in your recipes, try a blend! You can refer to these Gluten Free Flour Formulas for a bunch of recipes.

So, are you new to gluten-free flours, or are you a seasoned professional? Which flours are your favourite? Do you buy your own flour or make your own?

Tuesday’s Ten: Ten Ways to Clean with Castile Soap

Tuesday's Ten Logo

Although it doesn’t feel like it, spring is indeed here! Soon it will be warm enough to go outside without worrying about whether or not you’ll freeze. In the mean time, start thinking about spring cleaning! Spring is a great time to get rid of things you never use, clothes you never wear and to give your house a deep clean.

We’ve put together a list of ways to clean using Castile soap. Castile soap comes in solid and liquid forms and is made with vegetable oils such as palm, coconut, hemp, jojoba, and olive. This type of soap is a great alternative to other store-bought cleaners because it doesn’t contain artificial foaming agents, harsh cleansers, or chemical anti-bacterial agents. Plus it’s biodegradable! These recipes contain ingredients you probably already have, are easy to make and are super effective at getting the job done, so crank some tunes and get cleaning!

1) Cleansing Scrub: Combine a few tablespoons of baking soda with a few squirts of castile soap, until the mixture reaches a paste-like consistency. Rub this paste on anything that needs to be scrubbed clean for an effective, non-abrasive cleanser.

2) Toilet Scrub: Combine a few tablespoons of baking soda with 1/4 cup of castile soap. This recipe is similar to the cleansing scrub, but should appear thinner. Pour into toilet and clean as usual.

3) Floor Cleaner: Fill your mop bucket with warm water and add a couple tablespoons of castile soap. The ratio should be roughly 40:1. Stir gently before cleaning floors. HINT: Add a couple drops of your favourite essential oil for a fresh, clean scent.

4) Laundry Detergent: No need to dilute, just add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of castile soap to your laundry, depending on the size. HINT: For an extra deep clean add a couple tablespoons of baking soda. For a fresh scent, add a couple drops of your favourite essential oil.

5) Window Cleaner: In a spray bottle, combine 2 drops of castile soap with 2 cups of water. Spray directly on windows or mirrors and clean as usual for a streak-free finish.

6) All-purpose Cleaner: Combine 1 teaspoon of castile soap and 2 cups of water, plus a couple drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. This cleaner can be used anywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom. HINT: Use tea tree oil as your essential oil to give this cleaner disinfecting qualities.

7) Counter Cleaner: Mix 1+1/2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 teaspoon of castile soap in a spray bottle. Spray onto countertops and wipe clean.

8) Natural Pesticide: Add 1 tablespoon of peppermint-scented castile soap to 1/2 a gallon of water. Mix well and fill a spray bottle with the mixture. Spray directly onto plants to kill aphids and other pests. HINT: Can’t find peppermint-scented castile soap? Just add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil.

9) Wall Cleaner: Combine 1/8-1/4 cup of castile soap to a bucket of hot water. Dampen a microfiber clothe and use it to wipe down walls in order to remove dirty fingerprints, greasy spots, marks or grime.

10) Foaming Hand Soap: In a soap dispenser mix a couple cups of water with a couple tablespoons of castile soap. Shake to form foam and pump when washing hands. HINT: Try mixing in different essential oils to make a unique smelling hand soap.

Dr.Bronner's Castile Soap

If you’re inspired to get cleaning and are looking for a great Castile soap, we recommend Dr.Bronners. It comes in a variety of scents and is perfect for any one of these recipes. If you decide to give one of these recipes a try, or have been using Castile soap as a natural cleaning-alternative for a while, let us know!

Happy Spring Cleaning!

 

Sources

Cleaning With Castile Soap – 11 Simple Recipes – Clean Mama. (2013, August 1). Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www.cleanmama.net/2013/08/cleaning-with-castile-soap-11-simple-recipes.html

Coulter, L. (2012, March 4). What is castile soap? Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/queen-of-green/2012/03/what-is-castile-soap/

Merrill, L. (2011, February 15). 7 Ways to Clean With Castile Soap. Retrieved March 24, 2015, from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/7-household-cleaners-you-can-make-from-castille-soap.html/1