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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Natural Foods That Fight Inflammation

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Many people are unaware that inflammation is the cause of most health problems. Inflammation is an immune response to fungi, viruses, bacteria, foods you are allergic to, chemicals, radiation and injury. The most common symptoms of inflammation are loss of function, swelling, pain, redness and heat. Physicians often prescribe medications to treat symptoms but drugs rarely address the root cause. One way to combat this common health problem is to consume natural foods that fight inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids are among nature’s best ant-inflammatory substances and there are plenty of them found in fatty fish, including salmon. DHA and EPA are the two types of omega-3s found in fish that the body uses. Because the body does not need to expend energy to convert them to a usable form, they are easy to digest and beneficial to health right away.

Kale, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that protects tissue from cytokines, which cause inflammation. These foods contain other nutrients that promote good health, including fiber, phytochemicals, iron and calcium.

Tumeric is a spice used often in Indian cuisine. It gets its golden-orange color from curcumin, which is helpful in blocking certain enzymes that cause inflammation. Curcumin offers the same benefits as many drugs, including non-prescription pain medications, phenylbutazone and hydrocortisone with none of the unwanted side effects.

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E. When compared to other nuts, they provide more of this healthy nutrient in addition to niacin, riboflavin, calcium and fiber. Vitamin E offers protection against the damage to tissues caused by inflammation. Fiber can help reduce C-reactive protein in the body. C-reactive protein is a protein produced by the liver that is released into the circulatory system in response to inflammation, infection and tissue injury.

Most people suffer with inflammation in one form or another. If you are among them, the nutrients found in the foods listed above can provide relief. To get the full benefits it is important to add these to your daily diet because the healing effects will not be noticeable overnight.

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Health Benefits Of The Mediterranean Diet

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What are the benefits of a Healthy Mediterranean Diet? Well, it was already known that a healthy Mediterranean diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, extra-virgin olive oil, nuts and legumes as well as other staples of healthy eating is able to drastically reduce the number of heart attacks in individuals. Existing studies have shown that people following a Mediterranean diet are 30% less likely to fall victims of strokes or heart attacks or other heart-related diseases.

However, a new study has shown that the diet is also capable of sharply reducing chances of breast cancer in women—especially a Mediterranean diet which is rich in olive oil. This study evolved out of PREDIMED, a landmark clinical trial in Spain, tells us that women who follow an olive oil-rich Mediterranean diet stand at far lesser risks of contacting breast cancer than women following simply a low-fat diet.

Let us look a bit closer at this. The trial was carried out with three groups of women aged 60 to 80 and there were in all 4,300 women who participated in the trial. The first group was put on an olive oil-rich diet, the second group again on a Mediterranean diet but with extra servings of megs and nuts and third group simply on a low-fat diet.

At the end of the trial, 35 women were found with breast cancer and it was shown that those in the olive oil diet had 62% lesser chances of breast cancer. There was not much of a difference when it came to the other groups.

As it happens though, we cannot say that these findings are definitive since other factors besides diet could have led to the disease, too, and at any rate, no definite conclusion can be drawn on the basis of a paltry number of 35 cases.

However, according to the physicians working in the field, it should be little surprise if it is really found that an olive-oil rich healthy Mediterranean diet succeeds in bringing down the chances of breast cancer. At any rate, they opine, that the upsides of such a diet are huge compared to almost no downside.

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