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Red blood cells carry oxygen to your body's tissues and in exchange remove carbon dioxide.  Protein rich in iron, known as hemoglobin, are what cause blood cells to become red.  Bone marrow continuously makes more red blood cells as blood cells die over a period of time.

Foods High In Iron:

The consumption of iron-rich foods aid in supplying oxygen to your cells and can prevent anemia.  Some of the leading foods that supply iron include red meat, beans lentils, leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, raisins, prunes and egg yolks.

What Is Anemia:

Anemia is a condition in which your body cannot produce enough red blood cells or causing a low level of hemoglobin.  Iron-deficiency is the most common form of anemia due to a low intake of iron.  Vitamin C foods such as citrus fruits will help increase your absorption  of iron.

Folic Acid - Known as Vitamin B9:

Folic Acid is a B-complex vitamin and exceptional provider of new healthy red blood cells.  People who have low levels of folic acid are also prone to anemia.  Foods you should consider consuming are enriched breads, green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, nuts, peas, beans and cereals.

Vitamin B-12:

Vitamin B-12 is also a B-complex vitamin that is extremely important for the production of red blood cells in bone marrow and for DNA synthesis.  An abnormal cell division within bone marrow resulting in large immature red blood cells is known as megaloblasts.  This is caused by a low intake of vitamin B-12.  Megaloblastic is a form of anemia causing red blood cells unable to store or move oxygen into tissues.  Good sources of B-12 are found in animal products such as beef liver, fish, red meat, milk, dairy products, eggs, nutrtional yeasts and fortified cereals.

Now that you have a keen idea of what can cause anemia and how to prevent it with many iron-rich foods, let's look at other alternatives of food choices high in iron.  At the top of the list is seaweed.  Yes, seaweed, the stuff you see washed up on shore from the ocean.

That said, no one is expecting you to run out to the beach and grab a handful of seaweed and start snacking on it!

There are approximately 20 different types of seaweed including nori, kelp, Irish moss and kombu to name a few. Seaweed has more concentrated nutrition then other  vegetables.  It can prolong life, aid in beauty and health and prevent diseases.  This mineral-rich vegetable has existed for thousands of years.

Some types of seaweed have higher calcium levels than cheese, greater levels of protein than eggs and better contents of iron than beef.  Seaweed's healing abilities include lowering cholesterol, treating cancer, dissolving tumors and cysts, reducing water retention, aiding in weight loss and shrinking goiters.

Here is an example of cooking with seaweed:

Nori:

Nori is best known as the outer wrap of sushi and one sheet of nori has the equivalent omega-3 at in two avocados.  Nori is an excellent resource for healthy skin because it creates a healthy, natural oil protection for your skin.  It also reduces acne and dry skin which is a major plus for those living in arid or cold environments.

Making Your Own Sushi:

Take one flat sheet of nori, add brown rice, shredded carrots, thinly sliced avocado, other raw vegetables and roll it up.  Then dip it in seasame oil and ginger sauce - it's healthy and so very tasty!

There are many wonderful recipes at your disposal to experiment with incorporating seaweed into your diet.  You would quite amazed how wonderful and delicious these dishes are.  So experiment have enter into a new world of optimal health!

In A Nutshell:

You can find edible seaweed in health food or Japanese stores.  Seaweed is one of the oldest and greatest sources of nutrition that you can possibly find on this planet.  For thousands of years people have know the benefits of seaweed and now it's your turn.

If you decide to incorporate seaweed into your diet, why not start your own hydroponic garden and grow veggies and herbs to make your new recipes exceptional!  Hydroponic gardening is a great way to enjoy fresh, robust vegetables and flavor-rich herbs year round!

Check it out - you will be glad you did!

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Karen B. Vance
dehydrated snacks, organic food, healthy diet, growing vegetables, fruits, vegetables, lifestyle, health

Dehydration is a method of preserving foods that involves removing water from vegetables, fruits, seafood and meats to help them last longer. With dehydration, you retain many of the health benefits of the vitamins and other nutrients in foods without having to worry about botulism. Dehydrated foods are easy to store and don't require refrigeration or freezing.

Here is a quick guide to DIY food dehydration to help you get started enjoying the many benefits of dry-food.

Getting Started

  1. Carefully select the foods that you want to dry. Select fruits and vegetables that are fresh and ready to eat. Fish, crab, lobster and other seafood and meats should also be as fresh as possible.
  2. Ready your foods the way you would to enjoy them. You need to do all of the cutting, slicing, mincing, trimming and chopping of your foods prior to dehydration. Foods in thinner 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch pieces will dry more quickly.
  3. If you're dehydrating any fruits, vegetables or plants that include skins or outer coverings, such as grapes or herbs, be sure to wash the foods first.
  4. When you're drying light-colored fruits and veggies, coat the foods with lemon juice or an ascorbic acid product to help prevent drying. Vegetables should also be steamed or blanched to help prevent them from becoming tough during dehydration

Successful Drying

  1. You can dry foods in the oven, in an appliance called a dehydrator or even in the sun. Dehydrators are by far the fastest and most efficient way to dry, so you may want to invest in one if you plant to prepare your own dry-foods frequently.
  2. Before you begin to dry and throughout the drying process, you should get the temperatures of the oven or dehydrator to 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and then maintain the temperatures at that level. Air should also be allowed to circulate through the space to ensure optimal results.
0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Karen B. Vance

healthy,diet,fruit,health,nuts,seaweed,lifestyle,organic,food,minerals,vitamins

Cheese with fruit or even dried fruit makes for a delicious healthy snack

People concerned about their weight and health in general usually have a snack to provide themselves with extra nutrition and prevent overeating during a meal.

“The Journal of Nutrition” published a study in February of 2010 which revealed that about 97% of Americans have a habit of snacking. The article went on to say that on average Americans get about 24% of their caloric intake from snacks. Knowing that snacks are such a big part of our diet it is imperative that we know what kinds of foods to snack on in order to maintain healthy eating habits.

Snacking quells hunger which prevents overeating

When you become overly hungry this is when you end up overeating at meal time. Having snacks between meals helps you from becoming too hungry and thus can prevent you from eating too much at your next meal. When you start getting hunger pangs between meals you really shouldn’t wait until lunch or dinner to appease that hunger. It’s much smarter to just have a snack to help you hang on. But stay away from junk food. Have something healthy like vegetables, fruit or something made from whole grains, which are all rich in carbohydrates. Combine with a protein like nuts or a dairy product such as cheese. When you start early giving your kids snacks like these they will learn to like healthy eating and not be inclined later in life to fill up on chips and dip.

Healthy snacks help maintain even blood sugar levels

Healthy people strive to maintain even blood sugar levels in order to stave off Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and heart disease. When you make it a habit to have healthy snacks with a consistent number of carbs for every snack or meal you are way ahead of the game. If you already suffer from diabetes this is even more important in helping prevent huge spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels, which can lead to a resistance to insulin. A healthy diet is crucial to living a healthy productive life and if you go online you will find many free recipes that you can use to achieve this.

Healthy Snacks can provide essential nutrients

It’s okay to splurge on a junk food snack once in a while but you really need to learn how delicious and much more satisfying and filling healthy snacks can be. If you choose good nutritious snacks like whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, seeds or nuts you can gain the essential nutrients you need without adding unnecessary calories. These snacks can all be prepared without any cooking needed.

Things to remember

The important thing to remember is not to overdo it. Don’t have a snack if you aren’t really hungry and don’t have a snack right before you sit down for a meal. If you’re upset think first before you start soothing yourself with food. This can only lead to eating way too much, gaining weight and more reasons to be upset. The same goes for boredom. Don’t eat just to occupy or entertain yourself. According to MayoClinic.com a healthy snack should contain approximately 100 calories. If you don’t have time for a meal and want a heavier snack, don’t consume more than 250 calories.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Karen B. Vance

seaweed, recipe, asian cuisine, Japanese food, healthy lifestyle, diet, nori, sea lettuce, dulse, antioxidants

Seaweed is one of the most nutritious foods we have, yet it may seem difficult at times to find ways of fitting it into your general diet. It’s understandable since seaweed does have plenty of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins it also has a taste in many cases that you will need time to adapt.

However, there are many ways to prepare seaweed which eliminates that particular taste and makes it well suited for your lunch or dinner table. The first step is understanding that there are different types of seaweed available so you can pick and choose. For example, Sea Lettuce has the strong taste of the ocean which makes it perfect for seafood platters. Nori is a Japanese ingredient in their cuisine and Dulse is red algae which is a common food source in northern countries with an ocean coastline such as Ireland.

Salads

Perhaps the most common way that seaweed is incorporated into Western cuisine, salads offers a great way to mix seaweed into lettuce and other vegetables for a tasty appetizer for meals. You can chop up seaweed to serve in many different types of salads with oil and vinegar dressing or sesame seed oil to spice it up. If anything, seaweed makes for an excellent side dish for your meal when included in a salad.

Soups

Another great appetizer for your meals is having seaweed in your soup to add flavor and texture. One advantage is that unlike standard vegetables, seaweed will not break down or fall apart in your soups when heated. You can create wonderful treats such as bouillabaisse or cioppino, added dried seaweed to clam chowder or combine it with other seafood for a soup treat that you will never forget.

Sushi

Sushi and seaweed are a natural combination and it’s easy to incorporate both into your meal. You can use dried Nori seaweed to create the rolls that wrap the fish or barbeque chicken if you so desire. Chicken and sushi make for a great combination, especially when wrapped in a sheet of seaweed that provides good texture as well as many nutritional elements to your meal. You can even add green peppers, sautéed onions and other vegetable delights to augment sushi to your personal tastes.

Snacks

We often don’t think of seaweed being a snack food, but it can be baked or fried to create a healthy, hearty snack that have the consistency of potato chips. However, seaweed has far less calories and a lot more dietary fiber. Use them with your favorite dip or create your own crisps of seaweed for a delightful treat.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

You can have seaweed at all three of your meals and snacks, too. Dice up some Nori and add eggs for a delicious breakfast that you can augment with various spices. Plus, you can add seaweed to omelets complete with bamboo shoots or shitake mushrooms as well. Let your imagination soar as you can create many delicious meals with seaweed as one of the ingredients.

Cantinastar offers many seaweed snacks and free recipes that provide health benefits for you and your family. Perfect with crab, lobster, shrimp or calamari, seaweed is the perfect ingredient whether you use the freshwater or saltwater varieties.

0 Comments | Posted in News Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Florence B. Harrell

There are many kinds of beans that provide a very rich source of protein as well as an abundance of vitamins, minerals and that all important fiber. Protein is used by your body to build healthy cells which make up everything. When your cells are compromised, so is your bloodstream, your bones, skin, muscles, tendons and cartilage. Cells also make up the hormones and enzymes in your body. In order to stay healthy you must have a well-balanced diet that includes foods that are high in top quality protein, and that have low amounts of saturated fats. You will be able to achieve health benefits if you choose to make your meals and snacks from an assortment of beans and lean meats, which can include turkey, chicken, seafood, even pork and beef.

Lean meats are the cuts that are lower in fat

Beef and Pork

Lean meats can be found in many different varieties of meat, including pork and beef. So you do not have to give up your favorite meals when following a low-fat diet. What you do need to do is be picky, you need to choose the cuts that are lower in fat. Both beef and pork are rich in iron and they do have good quality protein, but you’ve got to know which cuts have less fat.

For steak, which is beef, the leanest cuts would be:

  • Top sirloin
  • Top Loin
  • Arm roasts
  • Top round
  • Eye of round
  • Bottom round

For a recipe that calls for ground beef such as hamburgers you would look for extra -lean ground beef. It should say on the label what percentage of fat is in the ground beef. You should be able to find 90%, 93% and 95% lean written on the label.

There are the cuts of pork that are leaner than others and if you want to stay true to your low-fat diet choose among these:

  • Tenderloin
  • Center loin
  • Pork loin
  • Ham

Don’t forget to cut away any slivers of fat that you see once you’ve taken it out of the package.

Chicken and Turkey

Chicken and turkey tend to have less fat content than beef and pork. The leanest cuts would be chicken breasts and boneless is the way to go as it’s got less fat than if the bone is in. For turkey the leanest cuts would be the turkey cutlets. There’s always a layer of fat beneath the skin of both chicken and turkey and that is why you need to remove the skin before cooking, whether or not your recipe calls for this. If you fry or sauté chicken in oil you are adding fat to your diet so instead cook poultry by roasting, broiling, grilling or even boiling. Any excess fat can be drained off after cooking. If you avoid recipes that call for breading the meat you’ll be way ahead of the game. The same goes for fatty sauces and gravies. Left over chicken or turkey sandwiches make for a great kids’ snack and if you serve with fruit and nuts you’re teaching your children that healthy eating can be delicious.

Fish and Shellfish

Seafood is rich in many important nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA. There are many different kinds of fish that can make delicious meals including shellfish like shrimp, lobster, crab, clams and mussels. Everyone should have at least 8 ounces of seafood included in their diet every week as this is known to help reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease. When seafood is cooked correctly it can be very beneficial but if not, it can be harmful. Stay away from recipes that call for breading or frying or any that call for a sauce made of butter or drawn butter. These only add triglycerides to a really good source of lean protein. When you’re cooking use a fresh lemon squeezed over your seafood or cocktail sauce it’s delicious so no added fat is needed at all. When making snacks from left-over seafood dishes avoid using mayonnaise. You’ll find that all you need to flavor and moisten the fish is a freshly squeezed lemon and maybe a slice of tomato.

Beans are a better source of nutrition

The reason I say this is because beans provide a wider range of nutritional benefits than do animal sources that mainly provide just protein. Beans contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are critical to good health. These include the B vitamins and folic acid, selenium, and zinc. There are many kinds of beans to choose from which are easily available and can be included in many different recipes:

  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Soy beans
  • Chickpeas

You can easily add them to your diet if you’re not already doing so by using them to salads, soups, stews, and stir-fry vegetable recipes. Beans come dry, usually in clear packaging and if you read the directions you will see that you need to rinse them before cooking with them so soak them in water and boil beans before you use them in your recipe. Otherwise you can buy them already prepared in cans and of course this is more convenient. Don’t add any fat when cooking them and when you go to a restaurant make sure the dish isn’t prepared with fat, like in the case of refried beans. Avoid ordering those and perhaps ask for fruit instead.

 

0 Comments | Posted in Fruits & Vegetable Gardening Recipes By Florence B. Harrell

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