What Type of Milk Is Best for You?

200464175-001Back in the day, just about everyone used to drink whole cow’s milk, which would be delivered to doorsteps each morning. Now, there are a number of options for milk and milk-substitutes to fit every body.

Dairy Milk

Dairy milk, which of course comes from cows, remains the most popular. There are now different types of dairy milk, however, that a consumer can choose between.

  • Whole Milk

    —This milk doesn’t have any of the fat removed. It has 8 grams of fat per cup and is high in calcium, vitamin D and natural proteins.

  • Other Dairy Milk

    —Other options are 1 percent, skim and fat-free milk. Whole milk has 150 calories, 1 percent milk has 110 and skim milk has 80. Fat free milk has the same nutritional benefits as whole milk but without the calories and saturated fat.

  • Lactose-Free Milk

    —Many think lactose-free milk is a milk substitute, but it is actually cow’s milk that is processed to break down lactose, which is a natural sugar found in dairy. Lactose-free milk is still a good source of calcium, vitamins, protein and minerals, and is a good option for anyone who has difficulties digesting regular milk.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from almonds that have been ground up. It has fewer calories than other types of milk, as long as it isn’t sweetened. It also is free of saturated fat and cholesterol, and it is naturally lactose free. Though made from almonds, almond milk isn’t a good source of protein. It also doesn’t provide much calcium, though some brands add calcium and vitamin D to their almond milk.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a popular choice for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. It is made from soybeans, and both the soybeans and the soy milk are good sources of calcium (when fortified), protein and potassium. Soy milk is also low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol.

Rice Milk

This type of milk substitute is made from milled rice and water. Of all milk substitutes, it is the least allergenic, and is therefore a good choice for those who are allergic to lactose or nuts. Rice milk isn’t a good source of calcium or vitamin D, but just like with the other milk substitutes, it can be fortified with both.

The right milk or milk substitute for you depends on a number of factors, including your nutritional goals, your allergies and your taste preferences.

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What You Need to Know about Frozen Yogurt

185919750You may see frozen yogurt as a health food. But that just proves the old adage about beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

Nutritionally frozen yogurt is a step up from ice cream, that is undeniable. And it can certainly be included as part of a healthy diet. But it is neither as benign nor beneficial as you may have been led to believe, or as you would like to believe.

Debunking Frozen Yogurt Myths

Here are some mistaken ideas people have about frozen yogurt …

The myth: Because it is a non-fat/super-low-fat food, frozen yogurt can be consumed in fairly large quantities without elevating your calorie intake into the danger zone.

The reality: Frozen yogurt lacks fat but is abundant in sugar. A plain, 16-ounce serving purchased in a yogurt shop and consumed without toppings contains nearly 400 calories, a good portion of which is pure sugar. And most of us don’t eat it plain or without toppings.

The myth: Frozen yogurt is beneficial to digestion and the immune system because it is loaded with probiotics.

The reality: Most of the probiotics in frozen yogurt never reach the digestive system. They are either lost during manufacturing or storage, neutralized by stomach acids or shut down by exposure to extreme (freezing) temperatures.

The myth: The toppings provided in yogurt shops have few calories and can be eaten without worry.

The reality: Unless you stick to fruit there is plenty to worry about. Most of the toppings sold in yogurt shops have a decent number of calories and can quickly elevate the calorie count of the final product you consume. Even fruit is problematic if it comes in a sugary syrup.

The myth: A medium-sized cup of frozen yogurt is enough for the occasional lunch. You wouldn’t want to eat it exclusively for lunch often but every once in a while is okay.

The reality: A cup-and-a-half serving of frozen yogurt contains less calcium and protein than a glass of milk. It is also loaded with sugar, which makes frozen yogurt far from ideal as a stand-alone food.

The myth: So-called “real” or “natural” frozen yogurt is healthier and lower in calories than the commercial kind.

The reality: These claims are a marketing strategy and are not based in truth. Calculations show only marginal calorie or nutritional differences between the various types of frozen yogurts sold in shops or stores.

Frozen Yogurt is Delicious, That is No Myth

Frozen yogurt is tasty, popular and can be a solid addition to most diets. As a “sweet treat” it is a much better bet, nutritionally, than ice cream or many other kinds of sugary foods. But it is not a health food in the classical sense and if you eat too much of it you will not be doing your body any favors. ‘All things in moderation,’ as the saying goes, and that certainly applies to frozen yogurt, as delicious as it might be.

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4 Steps to Making a Homemade Veggie Burger

200280983-001When veggie burgers first became a popular food item, their taste often left much to be desired. Now, however, gourmet chefs have learned how to cook veggie burgers that are savory and able to maintain the appropriate texture. You don’t have to go out to a restaurant to get a great veggie burger, though. With this recipe, you can make them in your own kitchen. You don’t need many ingredients to make a great tasting veggie burger, and you’ll save a lot of money.

Step 1

Dry and mash lentils or chickpeas as a base. Separate chickpeas into two batches. Puree one half with a little flour and baking powder. Roughly chop the second batch. This process helps the veggie burgers from becoming mushy.

Many recipes call for black beans, but the lentils and chickpeas have a milder flavor that won’t overpower the burger as a whole.

Step 2

Sauté leeks and garlic in oil. You can also sauté and add celery. Roast eggplant and mushrooms until deeply browned. Chop all ingredients from Step 2 in a food processor.

Leeks are preferable to other types of onions, and they provide a mild flavor that blends well into the background. Eggplant is a surprise vegetable that helps hold the patty together, and mushrooms add a punch of flavor in a very similar manner as meat.

Step 2

Add cashews and pine nuts to the food processor for extra texture and flavor. For even more flavor, add some marmite to the mix. Marmite has a very strong flavor, so only a little bit is needed.

Step 3

Add barley and breadcrumbs to help the mixture stay together. Cook immediately after adding the breadcrumbs.

Step 4

Divide mixture into about four patties. Grill patties on foil for about eight minutes. Flip the patties and grill for eight more minutes. To bake the patties, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on each side.

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, have health restrictions or just plain like veggie burgers, this recipe is bound to make them a popular meal in your home.

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8 Foods that Help Soothe Heartburn

163910797If you feel a burning pain in your chest, it’s probably heartburn, especially if the pain worsens when you lie down or bend over. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid builds up in the esophagus and is often related to eating and drinking certain types of foods. While heartburn can be very uncomfortable, some everyday foods can provide relief.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are a low-acid fruit that coats the esophageal lining. This coating can soothe irritation by acting as a protective film.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains healthy fiber, which aids in digestion. Just like bananas, oatmeal also coats the esophageal lining and thus reduces irritation.

  1. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is a natural anti-inflammatory. You can either buy it over the counter, or cut or peel some ginger root and boil it in a small pot of water. After letting it steep, you’ll have excellent homemade tea, to which you can add some honey and lemon juice.

  1. Almond Milk

Drink almond milk either by itself or in a smoothie. The alkaline helps neutralize acids found in many foods.

  1. Licorice

Pure licorice provides a dual benefit for anyone experiencing heartburn. Like many of the other foods listed, it coats the esophageal lining. Additionally, the chewing action helps get rid of acid by making you salivate.

  1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens can work wonders when they aren’t paired with ranch dressing or cheese. Instead, steam your vegetables with olive oil and a little lemon, or use Italian dressing on your salad instead.

  1. Fennel

Chew fennel seeds throughout the day, or make your own fennel tea. To make the tea, put about two teaspoons of fennel in boiling water with a bit of honey. After the tea has steeped, strain it and put it in a large container for half an hour. Drink it right away or save some for later.

  1. Green Veggies

There are a number of green vegetables that are low in acid, like broccoli, green beans, asparagus, celery and cauliflower. Serve with non-acidic spices like basil and oregano, instead of spicy ones like black pepper or chili powder.

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Natural Ways to Treat a Common Cold

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We all know what it’s like to have a cold, and it can be miserable! But did you know that there are many natural remedies for the common cold? We’ve compiled a list of natural remedies that you can easily do at home.

Expel That Mucus

It is important to clear your head of mucus. Instead of sniffling, blow your nose thoroughly and frequently, one nostril at a time.

Steam it up

Steam moistens your nasal passages. Take a steamy shower, or fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, inhaling the steam. Adding 5-10 drops of essential oil can increase the water’s decongestive effect.

Gargle Salt Water

Gargling can provide temporary relief for a sore throat. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a warm glass of water and gargle four times per day.

Turn up the Heat

Heat can help to relieve congestion and sinus pressure. Drink hot liquids or eat hot soup to relieve nasal and chest congestion. In addition, placing a hot water bottle (wrapped in flannel or another soft material) on your chest can help to break up a cough.

Drink Water

Make sure you drink lots of water and other clear fluids to stay hydrated. Hydration will help to thin your mucus and enable your body to expel it more quickly. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, as both can cause dehydration.

Chest Salve

You can make a quick chest salve by melting coconut oil with 15 drops of essential peppermint oil. Place this salve on your chest or under your nose to clear your sinuses.

Get More Rest

Getting more sleep will help your body direct its energy toward boosting your immune system and kicking that cold.

Elevate Your Head

Elevating your head while you’re sleeping can drain your sinuses and keep congestion from building up in your head. Don’t be afraid to stack those pillows.

Spice it up

Spicy foods, like radishes and hot peppers can alleviate congestion. Garlic also has healing properties. Crush a clove of garlic, add the juice from one lemon, one teaspoon of honey and hot water, and drink up.

Take Supplements

Ask your doctor about taking zinc, vitamin C and Echinacea supplements, all of which can help to heal the common cold more quickly.

Herbal Remedies

There are many herbal remedies that you can easily make at home to promote decongestion, including ginger tea, elderberry syrup, goldenseal tea, mullein tea and honey-onion syrup.

Apply Pressure

Applying pressure to certain pressure points can help to alleviate sinus pain. There are three key points for alleviating sinus pressure. Apply gentle pressure for 20-30 seconds to each of these points for immediate relief.

Next time you feel an onset of cold symptoms, remember to try these natural remedies before running to your doctor. You’ll be glad you did!

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How Tai Chi Can Help Promote Better Health

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Tai chi has been practiced in China for hundreds of years but it is now popular around the world. It is a meditative practice and an exercise form with many health benefits for people in all age groups. Tai chi combines breathing, focus and physical movements and is suitable for everyone.

Healthy Exercises for Everyone

Tai chi was originally a form of self-defense but it is also a form of exercise that anyone can practice regardless of fitness level or age. Practitioners move through a sequence of slow, graceful and focused movements while breathing deeply. There are different styles and many variations of the exercises, but all combine movement and breathing.

Regular practice improves flexibility and mobility, helps balance, builds muscle strength, boosts mood and relieves anxiety and stress. Studies are being conducted on the effect of regular practice on improving sleep and lowering blood pressure. Even new students soon notice that practicing tai chi will help to experience a general feeling of well-being.

Relief from Stress and Anxiety

The slow movements are connected to deep breathing, and over time the practice helps to develop concentration skills. Even though tai chi started in ancient China as a martial art, today the sequences of movements are taught as a form of stress relief.

Tai chi is also an excellent form of exercise for the elderly. The movements can be adapted to different body types, age groups and fitness levels, so that anyone can learn a sequence and move through it at their own pace. Many sequences can even be adapted so that you can practice some movements while sitting in a chair, which makes tai chi a great exercise for anyone with limited mobility. Some studies suggest that tai chi can help to improve the quality of life in elderly people with chronic health problems.

These healthy exercises are low impact and the risk of injury is minimal. Tai chi does not require any equipment or previous experience in any kind of exercise. Anyone can start to learn by taking a beginner course or a basic class with an instructor.

Check Out The Video Below to Learn Tai Chi for Beginners:

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Organic Grocery Shopping Tips

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Many people would like to buy and eat organic food for its health and environmental benefits, but they rarely purchase it because of the prices. Fortunately, it is possible to minimize the cost by following these helpful organic grocery shopping tips. This advice can also reduce consumption of excess packaging materials.

1. Buy produce during the right season and look for it at a local farmer’s market. In-season fruits and vegetables cost considerably less. Organic products are sometimes even less expensive than the alternatives. Produce is often most costly in the winter; try to cook and freeze some vegetables beforehand.

2. It frequently costs less to purchase organic foods in large packages at wholesale clubs, such as BJ’s or Costco. It is true that this option does not benefit local shops and remains less likely to support nearby farms. However, it does make healthy meals more accessible to people with limited incomes.

3. Another way to reduce food expenses is to organically grow vegetables in a garden. Some of the easier options include cucumbers, squash, kale and green beans. People in apartments or condominium units can still benefit from growing edible indoor plants, such as herbs or mung bean sprouts.

4. Create meals or mixes by putting together separate natural ingredients. For example, it costs much less to make things like muffins or granola from scratch. Look for an organic cookbook. Another possibility is to put together a delicious party mix by combining separate chips, pretzels, nuts and similar items.

5. When following tip #4, purchase the ingredients in bulk. Things like oats, flour and rice cost considerably less if people buy them this way. Manufacturers can cut prices because they do not have to use as many packaging materials when they distribute these goods. Less excess material also enables shoppers to use fewer trash bags.

Hopefully, these organic grocery shopping tips will help people enjoy more natural meals without overspending. This healthy eating choice not only prevents medical problems but improves the taste of food and reduces harm to the ecosystem.

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