Avocados are Nature’s Health Food

There’s a reason so many diets include avocados.  This little green fruit – and yes, it is a fruit – is packed with all sorts of healthy ingredients.

Avocado Nutrition

You’ll be hard put to find another food that tastes as delicious and gives you so  much nutrition bang for your buck.  This is what you get in each 100- gram serving:

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.

It also has Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

As for protein and carbs – it wins hands down there too.  You’ll get 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats, all in 160 calories. That 100 grams of avocado does have some carbs, but most of it is fiber.  So, it has only 2 grams of “net” carbs.  No wonder it’s allowed on so many diets.

Healthy Avocado Recipes

Breakfast

Avocado Toast is all the rage now. Use gluten-free seed bread and add poached eggs for a thoroughly delicious and healthy breakfast.

A Quick Nutritious Lunch

Add avocado to your salad, put it on a sandwich or as a side with grilled salmon for a healthy lunch treat.

Guacamole Dips

Parties and game-days would not be the same without guacamole.  Try a new twist on old recipes and wow your guests.

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Is a Keto Diet Good for Everyone?

The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, but is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Let’s start at the beginning. What is a ketogenic diet?  It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet. So yes, the Zone, Atkins, and many other diets are ketogenic diets.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?  You eat more fat to lose weight and be healthy. But there are many studies that show this can be the case. Perhaps all the conventional wisdom we’ve been fed over the years is questionable.

On a ketogenic diet, you cut down on refined carbs and replace them with high-quality “good” fats. No more cookies and cakes, baked potatoes, or fries. Wouldn’t we all prefer a diet where we eat what we want to and magically the weight just falls off?

Amazingly, when you’re on the right diet for your body, the weight does seem to magically fall off. But you must eat the right foods. And the best way to discover what’s right for your body is to start a Nutrition Response Testing program with a certified practitioner. They will design a nutrition program specifically for your body’s needs.

The main benefits of the keto diet are controlling blood sugar and lowering insulin levels, which in turn have a slew of health benefits. And since a large percentage of the American population suffers from “metabolic syndrome” or insulin resistance, this diet does work for many people.

The Keto Diet No-No List

Here’s what you can’t eat. Don’t faint just yet, there are lots of yummy things on the other list.

  • Keep walking right past the bakery.  White bread, whole-wheat bread, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and rolls.
  • No candy or sugar.  That means ice cream, candy, and all the natural syrups and sugars like maple, agave, or coconut sugar.
  • Anything that’s been sweetened. That includes tea, coffee, soda, almond milk, sports drinks.
  • Forget those romantic dinners at Italian restaurants. Pasta, spaghetti, and noodles are not allowed.
  • No grains at all. Wheat, rice, oats, breakfast cereals and tortillas.
  • Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, corn, peas, and pumpkin.
  • Beans and legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans.
  • Fruit: Citrus, grapes, bananas, and pineapple.
  • High-carb sauces: Barbecue sauce, sugary salad dressings, and dipping sauces.
  • Certain alcoholic beverages: Beer and sugary mixed drinks.

The Good Stuff

  • Fish and Seafood
  • Eggs
  • Natural Fat – butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil
  • Vegetables that grow above the ground – especially leafy green items
  • High-fat dairy products – cheese and cream.  Milk, not so much (it has a high sugar content)
  • Nuts – but in moderation, as they can have a higher carb count than you realize
  • Berries – again in moderation and eat them with a high-fat source like coconut cream
  • Water, as much as you like.
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Bone Broth

Keto Diet Recipes

If you simply can’t imagine yourself giving up desserts, relax.  There is a Keto dessert recipe book – yes, a whole book of delicious desserts and scrumptious snacks you can eat. My current craze is a mixture of almond butter, coconut meat, dark chocolate, turmeric, and ginger. Another one I love is homemade coconut cream with lime juice and sweetened with stevia.

So even though at first glance it looks like a radical diet, you can still eat most of the foods you like, just in a different format. And you’ll reap the benefits of a healthier body.

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The Need for a Strong Healthy Immune System During COVID-19

You always need a healthy immune system, but it’s more important now than ever. This is a new virus – no-one has encountered it before, so none of us has immunity. For many, the illness is mild. But for others it’s a very serious infection that becomes pneumonia.

As the CDC said:

“This is a viral pneumonia, so antibiotics are no use. The antivirals we have for the flu will not work and there is currently no vaccine.  Recovery will depend on the strength of the immune system.”

The stay-at-home order is putting a tremendous strain on us all. If you’re stuck at home and missing work, you are probably also under financial strain. And stress takes a toll on your immune system.

People across the globe are turning to comfort food, just when you should be eating to strengthen your immune system.

 

“As the mammoth battle against coronavirus continues, with public health and safety measures now in place to slow the spread of the disease, the importance of healthy eating should not be underestimated. Nutrition plays a key role in supporting the immune system, and a balanced diet is important not only for physical health, but also mental wellbeing.” The Council for Responsible Nutrition (UK)

10 Tips to Strengthen Your Immune System:

  1. Don’t smoke. If you are a smoker, now’s the time to quit!
  2. Eat a diet of whole foods, rich in good protein, fruits and vegetables. Avoid fast foods and highly refined foods.  Don’t eat sugar.
  3. Exercise regularly. Find a form of exercise that’s easy and pleasant to do. Even though the gyms are closed you can still go for a walk or put on some upbeat music and dance for 20 minutes. Not only will it boost your immune system, the music will give your mood a lift too!
  4. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  5. Get plenty of rest – aim for 8 hours sleep a night.
  6. Increase personal hygiene – wash your hands after each visit to the bathroom and every time you handle food. Wear gloves and masks when you go out. Sanitize your phones and tablets.
  7. Minimize stress – easier said than done in these challenging times, but there are many ways you can de-stress and relax. Deep breathing is one. Getting organized and planning for the future is another.
  8. Take Vitamin C. It’s long been the number one choice to support immune health. Several media reports have highlighted the fact that some hospitals overseas and in the US are treating the virus with Vitamin C.  Note that every person has a different tolerance for Vitamin C. When you have had too much you will get loose bowel movements. It’s best to take a timed-release version (called liposomal C) that releases the vitamin slowly over time.
  9. Vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system and plays a regulatory role in cellular immune responses and processes. It’s demonstrated a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases.
  10. A Vitamin D deficiency can affect the immune system and create an increased susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D was used to treat infections such as tuberculosis before the advent of effective antibiotics. Cod liver oil, a rich source of vitamin D, has also been employed as a treatment for tuberculosis, as well as for increased protection from infections.
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