Foods, Uncategorized

Shrimp Stuffing From the Bayou

Shrimp Stuffing From the Bayou

We're showing you how to make restaurant-quality Baked Stuffed Shrimp at home!
Ingredients
• 1 cup of coarsely crushed unsalted saltine
crackers (about 23 crackers)
• 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
• 1 tsp of garlic powder
• 1 tsp of onion powder
• 2 cups of cubed Italian bread
• 2 tbsp of chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
• 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
• Half a tsp of black pepper
• Half a tsp of dried oregano
• Half a tsp of dried sage
• One-quarter of a cup of diced bell pepper
• One-quarter of a cup of diced celery
• One-quarter of a cup of diced onion
• One-quarter of a cup of unsalted butter
• Three-quarters of a cup of low-sodium chicken
stock
• Three-quarters of a lb of small raw shrimp (25
to 30), peeled and deveined

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
2. In large sauté pan, melt butter on mediumhigh heat. Add shrimp and cook for three to
five minutes or until slightly pink and slightly
raw in the middle. Remove shrimp from pan
and place on a plate to cool, then chop into
medium-sized pieces.
3. Put pan back on heat and add onion, celery,
and bell pepper, and cook while stirring until
soft—about three to five minutes.
4. In a small bowl, mix all dry spices, add to pan
and stir. Add chicken stock, cubed bread,
and crushed crackers, and stir until well
incorporated and bread is moistened. Turn heat

to low and add shrimp back to pan and stir for
an additional two to four minutes.
5. Turn off heat and serve. For a crispy top, bake
in a 4×7-inch casserole dish at 350˚F for
approximately 15 minutes or until top begins
to brown.
Serves four to six.
Nutrient Analysis Per Serving (3
ounces (oz))
Calories: 126, total fat: 6 g, saturated fat: 3 g, trans
fat: 0 g, cholesterol: 16 mg, total carbohydrates: 16
g, protein: 3 g, potassium: 108 mg, phosphorus: 38
mg, sodium: 155 mg.

 

Remember, we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Uncategorized

Chicken Tacos

 

Chicken Tacos

 

Fried Chicken Tacos | When done well there may not be a better comfort food than fried chicken. And it's versatile to boot. From sandwichesto tacos to ramen, click through ...

Chicken Tacos
Ingredients
• 1 tablespoons (tbsp) of chopped fresh garlic
• 1 teaspoon (tsp) of chili powder
• 1 tsp of cumin
• 1 tsp of smoked paprika
• 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
• 2 tbsp of chopped fresh scallions
• Half a cup of Mexican blend natural shredded
cheese*
• One package of eight taco shells**
• One-quarter of a cup of chopped fresh cilantro
leaves
• Three-quarters of a pound (lb) of ground chicken
* Make sure to choose a low-fat (less than 20%
M.F.) cheese. Also, choose natural cheeses compared
to processed cheeses. They tend to be lower in
sodium and phosphorus.
** Some shells can be close to 200 milligrams
(mg) for the two shells compared to only about 5 mg
for other brands.
Directions
1. Brown the ground chicken in butter on medium
heat along with the seasonings.
2. Fill two taco shells for each person with
meat mixture, cilantro, scallions, and cheese.
Measuring the cheese is the key! It should be
one-eighth of a cup per two tacos. Remember
to read the food labels, as shells can have quite
a bit of sodium.

Serves 4; one serving = half a cup of chicken
mixture and two taco shells.
Optional Serving Suggestions
Ingredients can also be served in a lettuce wrap,
pressed between flour tortillas to make a quesadilla,
or tossed with spaghetti or rice.
Nutrient Analysis: Chicken Mixture
Calories: 270, total fat: 20 grams (g), saturated fat:
7 g, trans fat: 0 g, cholesterol: 85 mg, sodium: 146
mg, protein: 19 g, carbohydrates: 2 g, potassium:
264 mg, phosphorus: 82 mg.
Nutrient Analysis: Two Taco Shells
Calories: 122, total fat: 6 g, saturated fat: 0.8 g,
trans fat: 0 g, cholesterol: 0 mg, sodium: 4 mg,
protein: 2 g, carbohydrates: 16 g, potassium: 46
mg, phosphorus: 64 mg

 

Remember, we are in this together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Top Five Kidney-Friendly Foods

Your Top Five Kidney-Friendly Foods

 

Are you looking to add some kidney-friendly foods
to your diet? Do you want to try a variety of tasty,
healthy, nutrient-rich foods? Try the following top
five foods that are friendly for those with kidney
disease (or at risk of developing it).

Produce of the Month Guide: Cranberries is an informative guide on cranberries and includes a round up of 35 fresh cranberry recipes!
1. Cranberries
If you have not heard it before, cranberries are
a great natural way to help prevent and treat
urinary-tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries contain
an abundance of proanthocyanidins (PACs), which
are a type of compound that prevents infectious
bacteria—especially E. coli—from sticking to your
urinary-tract lining. Fortunately, this prevents the
bacteria from populating and, therefore, prevents
infections from developing.
Cranberries are even thought to play a role in
maintaining good heart health by lowering your
bad cholesterol levels and increasing your good
cholesterol levels.
Cranberries can be found fresh in season between
October and December; however, it is likely that your
grocery store may be importing them from elsewhere
year round. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and
rich in red color. The deeper the red coloring, the
more anthocyanins are present. Cranberries can be
stored up to 20 days in your refrigerator—or for years,
if kept properly frozen. Discard any berries that end
up soft, discolored, or shriveled.
Cranberries are a rich source of manganese,
vitamin C, and fiber, as well as lots of phytonutrients.
Remember: the extra fiber can help manage those
blood-sugar levels, thus reducing your risk of kidney
disease.
You gain their maximum nutritional benefit
while enjoying them fresh, as many of their nutrients
are destroyed in high heats. Consider replacing

vinegar or lemon juice in recipes and incorporate
cranberries into your salad dressing. They can even
be added to your salads, with their tartness balanced
out by something sweet like mandarins. You could
also use dried cranberries in salads and trail mixes or
add them to hot or cold cereals.

Raw salmon fish fillet by karandaev. Raw salmon fish fillet with spices cooking on cutting board. Top view#fillet, #karandaev, #fish, #Raw
2. Fish
Fish that are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids
(such as salmon, mackerel, rainbow trout, and
herring) are kidney-friendly protein sources. Their
healthy fats help reduce inflammation, lower blood
pressure, decrease bad cholesterol, and increase
good cholesterol. All of these are important factors
not only for improving your heart health but for
improving your kidney health, as well.

 

This is perfect garlic. Photo by DonnaTurner Ruhlman
3. Garlic
Garlic is an excellent way to add great aroma and
flavoring to many dishes. More so, it is a great way
to reduce your sodium intake by avoiding salt and
replacing it with garlic. Just make sure not to use garlic
salt. Since your kidneys are responsible for regulating
a healthy balance of minerals, including sodium,
this kidney-friendly alternative helps relieve some
pressure from your kidneys without compromising
any flavor.
Garlic is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6
,
and vitamin C. It may moderately reduce your blood
fats and your overall cholesterol levels. Furthermore,
it can help protect against oxidative stress and
inflammation, which are both responsible for causing
damage to your blood vessels. By incorporating garlic
into your diet, you can improve your heart health
and ensure that you are keeping your blood vessels in

top condition. You want them to be able to properly
filter your blood!
Garlic bulbs are available year round in your local
grocery store. You can store garlic uncovered in a
cool, dark place for about a month. Make sure that
when you are selecting bulbs, they are firm and free
from any mold or sprouting. You also want them to be
free from cracks. Avoid bulbs that appear shriveled
and feel soft.
Garlic can be easily added to many dishes—
especially when pureed. Add it to sauces, soups, or
mashed potatoes, or incorporate it into a hummus dip
in combination with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and
lemon juice. You can even sauté it along with steamed
spinach and a drop of lemon juice.

Putting Eggs On Your Face - DIY Beauty Remedies You Should NOT Try - Photos
4. Egg Whites
If you are looking for a pure protein source with all
of your essential amino acids, then look no further
than egg whites. They’re a great protein option that is
lower in phosphorus than other good-quality protein
sources such as egg yolks and meats. Remember that
phosphorus is one of those minerals that the kidneys
need to regulate in your blood. If you have kidney
disease, you want to account for food choices that
have higher levels of these minerals to help manage
your disease.

You can purchase egg whites in a carton or
separate the eggs on your own. Egg whites can be used
in omelets, mixed with veggies, enjoyed on their own,
or incorporated into a sandwich. You can also add
them to shakes or smoothies to increase their protein
content.
If you are using whole eggs, consider hard-boiling
them, removing the yolks, and adding them to your
favorite green salad.

Cabbage | eCurry - Soma.R - Soma Rathore
5. Cabbage
Cabbage is known to help reduce your cholesterol
levels. Upon consuming foods containing fats, your
liver releases bile into the small intestine to help
break down and digest the fats. Cabbage binds the
bile salts, which contain cholesterol, preventing
it from being reabsorbed by the small intestine.
Therefore, the cholesterol is eliminated through
your feces.
Cabbage is rich in many different types of
antioxidants, including phytonutrients, polyphenols,
and anthocyanins, as well as being a rich source of
vitamin C and manganese. These all help reduce
inflammation and oxidative stress, thus reducing
damage to your blood vessels, and play a protective
role for your kidneys.

 

Dr Victor Marchione

 

Remember, we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Love Your Kidneys!

Keep Calm & Love Your Kidneys during National Kidney Month! <3

 

It is National Kidney Month, which means
that it is time for you to understand the
importance of managing kidney disease and
how to achieve optimal kidney health so
that you can appreciate these wonderful
organs and keep them healthy.
Diet & Kidney Disease
Managing kidney disease—especially at the
beginning—is essential. You want to ensure
proper nutrition while minimizing stress
and maximizing kidney function. There is
no one special diet for everyone, though.
Your diet depends on your medical history,
lifestyle habits, and current kidney function.
Your diet may change over time, depending
on your kidney health. There are some
nutrients that you need to watch out for,
including protein, energy foods, sodium,
potassium, phosphorus, and fluids.
Protein
Foods such as meat, fish, poultry, soy, beans,
and lentils, for example, are rich protein
sources. When protein is broken down,
it creates the waste product urea. Your
body needs to eliminate urea, which must
be filtered through your kidneys. If you
consume high amounts of protein, you
can increase stress on the kidneys due to
increased levels of urea produced. If the urea
fails to be eliminated, it will cause increased

blood-urea levels. High amounts of urea
can lead to fatigue, headaches, nausea, and
a bad taste in your mouth. However, if you
do not eat enough protein, your body will
have a tough time fighting infections, you
will have low energy levels, and you will
lose muscle mass. The amount of protein
that you need to consume depends on your
disease state and treatment regimen. Speak
to your dietitian to review your specific
needs.
Energy Foods
Your energy foods are all the foods that
provide you with energy or calories. These
include carb choices such as fruits, starches,
grains, sugars, and vegetables, as well as fats
and oils. If you are restricting your energy
intake from protein, you need to make sure
to replace those calories from other sources
in order to keep up your energy levels and
maintain a healthy body weight.
Sodium
Since sodium affects your bodily fluids and
blood pressure, it is important to limit your
intake. Watch your intake of high-sodium
foods, including processed foods, deli meats,
canned foods, convenient foods, fast foods,
salty snacks, and so forth. Consider using
other ways to enhance flavors, such as
lemon, spices, and herbs.

Potassium
Potassium is important for your muscles and nerves
to function. Too much or too little potassium in your
blood can affect your heart beat. Whether you need
to limit your intake or even increase your intake
depends on your disease state, kidney function, and
treatment plan. Treatments like dialysis will affect the
amount that you should be consuming, as will certain
medications. Your doctor will let you know, and your
dietitian can work with you to create an appropriate
meal plan. Foods that are high in potassium include
sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, oranges, tomatoes,
and beans.
Phosphorus
Phosphorus plays an important role in keeping your
bones healthy and strong. However, as your kidney
function declines, the phosphate levels in your blood
will increase. This can result in itchiness and joint
pain, as well as loss of calcium in your bones. You
may need to limit your intake of foods that are high
in phosphorus, such as dairy products and protein
foods.
Make sure to speak with a dietitian to help you
develop a meal plan that includes some of these
foods in levels that are right for you, as these foods
contain many important nutrients that you still need
to consume. Also, make sure to read ingredient labels
for hidden sources of phosphorus. Some processed
foods such as deli meats and sodas may contain
phosphates, phosphoric acid, or sodium phosphate

Calcium & Vitamin D
These supplements are essential for good bone
health. Your bones are comprised mostly of calcium,
and you need vitamin D to help absorb it. However,
with diminished kidney function, your kidneys may
not be able to convert vitamin D into its active form.
Therefore, your doctor may recommend that you take
some active vitamin-D and calcium supplements.
Your doctor will be monitoring your blood-calcium
levels, though, so make sure to take these only as
prescribed.
Fluids
Your body needs fluids to survive, but if your kidneys
are not working properly, you may need to reduce
your intake. As your kidney function declines,
they produce less urine, leading to increased fluid
retention. This can cause swelling in your extremities
and face and may also increase your blood pressure
and cause difficulty breathing. However, limit your
intake only as advised by your doctor. Getting too
little fluids can damage your kidneys.
Optimal nutrition is important to prevent
malnutrition, have good energy levels throughout
the day for performing daily tasks, maintain a healthy
weight, and prevent muscle loss, as well as preventing
infection. These are all great reasons to manage and
reduce your risks of kidney disease.
Other ways of reducing your risk of developing
kidney disease are by decreasing your risk of

developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart
disease. We discussed a bit about managing diabetes
during Diabetes Awareness Month in November and
touched on Heart Health last month. Now, we will
discuss why it is important to ensure optimal health
and properly manage your kidney disease.
Diabetes
One of the most common causes of end-stage renal
disease or kidney disease is uncontrolled diabetes.
Firstly, you should understand a bit more about
how your kidneys act as a filtration system. Your
body requires a certain amount of protein each
day. After consuming the protein, your body digests
it and absorbs the essential components into the
blood stream, while needing to eliminate the waste
products. The components of the broken-down
protein get filtered through tiny capillaries and then
through even tinier holes called “nephrons.” The
blood flows through all these tiny filters, but the
essential protein components, red blood cells, and
other important substances that are too big to be
able to pass through do not get eliminated, so they
get filtered out. The waste products are able to flow
through the nephrons and therefore enter the urine
to be eliminated.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled diabetes complicates
this process. Whether your insulin is not working
properly or you just don’t have enough, having high
blood sugar puts a lot of stress on your kidneys. When
sugar levels in your blood are abundant, your kidneys
have to filter a lot more blood, making the filters
work much harder. Eventually, the kidneys begin
to leak from all the pressure, resulting in protein
leaking through into the urine. As long as bloodsugar levels are high, further stress and damage on
your kidneys’ filtering system continues. This leads
to further damage, loss in filtration ability, buildup
of waste products, and eventually kidney failure.
Unfortunately, at this point, your only options are a
kidney transplant or dialysis.
High Blood Pressure
Kidneys are made up of many blood vessels that
get smaller and smaller as you get deeper into
their filtering system. Because kidneys have a very
important role in filtering all of the blood, they

receive a high volume of blood flow regularly. Blood
is rich in many essential nutrients, including oxygen.
Over time, many factors such as smoking, poor
diet, lack of physical activity, and age contribute to
narrowing and hardening of the arteries. The high
blood volume passing through the filtration system
in combination with high blood pressure puts a lot
of pressure on these arteries, further weakening
them. These damaged vessels reduce blood flow to
the kidney’s tissues. They also prevent flow to the
smallest vessels, the nephrons.
Reduced blood flow or elimination of blood flow
altogether means that the tissues are failing to receive
essential nutrients and oxygen, and they lose their
ability to properly function. Therefore, they are no
longer able to efficiently filter blood, fluids, and other
nutrients or regulate hormones—especially those
that are necessary for controlling blood pressure.
When the kidneys are so damaged that they are
no longer able to efficiently regulate blood pressure
in combination with chronic blood pressure, this
leads to dire consequences. Further damages can
occur, and more arteries become blocked, leading to
eventual kidney failure.
So, be aware of your kidneys and appreciate
all that they do for you. Take good care of them by
staying fit, eating well, and being healthy!

 
Why Should You Take Care of
Your Kidneys?
Kidneys are essential for your well-being. It is true
that you can survive with only one viable kidney,
but you want to do everything possible to keep
them both healthy and working. Your kidneys have
several important functions, but their main role is
to filter your blood and remove waste products and
excess fluid from your body and eliminate them
through your urine. While they are filtering out the
waste, they are also reabsorbing many important
nutrients so that your body can reuse them.
Still unconvinced of their importance? Your
kidneys are also responsible for eliminating excess
drugs from your body. They help balance your
body’s fluids by regulating the amount of sodium,
potassium phosphorus, and acid levels in the body.
They also control the production of red blood cells

and produce an active form of vitamin D that helps
control calcium metabolism and promotes strong and
healthy bones. More so, your kidneys release certain
hormones that are responsible for helping regulate
blood pressure.
Keeping your kidneys healthy is extremely
important. If you don’t, they will fail to perform all
the essential aforementioned roles, which will have
debilitating consequences. Unhealthy kidneys lead to
kidney disease and can also cause heart disease and
associated risks such as high blood pressure, stroke,
heart attacks, and death. Kidney disease can also
lead to weakened bones, osteoporosis, anemia, nerve
damage, and complete kidney failure.
Reduce Your Risk of Developing
Kidney Disease
Get Fit
Engage in regular physical activity. Aim for at least 30
minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five
times a week (or any combination for a total of 150
minutes per week at least every other day in bouts of
at least 10 minutes). Also, include some stretching
and strength training at least three times per week.
A combination of both will improve your heart
health and blood flow and strengthen your bones and
muscles.
Control Your Weight
Maintain a healthy weight with a body-mass index
(BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.9. Monitor your weight
regularly (without obsessing). Don’t weigh yourself
more than once per week, but take note of any
drastic changes. If you notice your weight starting to
slowly creep upward, consider re-evaluating your diet
and physical-activity regime or speak to a registered
dietitian for tips to manage your weight.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Avoid any trendy fad diets, and stick to a regular,
consistent meal plan. Aim for three meals per day with
snacks in between. Avoid going longer than three or
four hours without eating anything. A balanced meal
should consist of half of your plate filled with at least
two different types of colorful vegetables. A quarter
of your plate should be a lean protein choice, such as
fish or chicken, and a quarter of your plate should be
a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa.

Healthy snacks include a carbohydrate or a
vegetable and a protein. Snack ideas such as celery
and a tablespoon of peanut butter or a medium-sized
apple with a small handful of nuts are good options.
Drink in Moderation
Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one glass a
day for women and maximum of two glasses per day
for men.
Don’t Smoke
This should go without saying.
Stay Hydrated
Drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Water is
calorie-free and is your best option. Avoid high-sugar
beverages, as they only add unnecessary calories and
often replace nutrient-dense choices.
Monitor Your Meds
Take all of your medications as prescribed by
your doctor. Also, be cautious when taking some
over-the-counter medications such as aspirin,
naxoproxin, and ibuprofen, which may cause harm
to your kidneys. Always check with your family
doctor.
Stay on Top of Your Health
Know your family history, as this is a good indicator
of any increased risk. Make sure to visit your
family physician annually to keep your health in
check. Your physical should include regular blood
tests to monitor your cholesterol levels and check
your creatinine levels and glomerular-filtration
rate (GFR) for evaluating your kidney function.
You should also check your blood-pressure levels.
Ideally, your blood pressure should be 120/80;
however, as you get older (as long as you don’t have
a history of kidney disease), your blood pressure
should be below 140/90.
As you can see, whether you’re reducing your
risk of developing kidney disease or trying to
manage it, it is vital to make healthy lifestyle
choices.

Dr. Victor Marchione

 

Remember, We Are In This Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Drink That is Killing Your Night Vision

The Drink That Is KILLING

Your Night Vision

People Share The Scariest Thing They've Seen Driving At Night - Odometer.com

Driving at night can be downright scary.

You could see halos around every light…

Passing headlights can blind you…

And, sometimes, you just can’t see cars, pedestrians, or other objects in the road.

This can be pretty serious and could signal that your night vision is getting worse – and not better.

And although aging does lend a hand in poor night vision, there is something else – a common drink – that could make it much harder for you to see at night.

And that one drink is…

Alcohol!

Of course you know that you should never get behind the wheel when you have had too much to drink…

It’s just common sense.

However, sometimes you have a drink or two and head home to your family.

But here is the problem…

Alcohol interferes with your normal tear development and the size of your pupil.

This could make it much harder for you to see in general – let alone see at night while you’re driving.

This just adds another layer to the harmful impacts of alcohol and your health.

Now, if you want to improve your night vision, then you should limit your intake of alcohol…

 

Remember, we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes

 

 

Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that’s lower in fat and calories but still thrills the crowd isn’t hard. All it takes is a few ingredient substitutions and some clever fat-busting techniques. Let’s take a look at how to make a delicious, healthier Thanksgiving meal.

The Turkey

If you’re hosting a small gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than the whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

“This is simple and delicious, and certainly not rocket science,”  “No need to really add anything or change anything other than the cooking time — mine was done perfectly at 5-1/2 hours. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicately seasoned.”

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Photo by Lori

 

 

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper, and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
  4. Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
  5. Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.

“This one is a keeper,” “I make it every thanksgiving instead of the whole turkey — it turns out beautifully every time! Very pretty presentation, too!”

Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breasts
Photo by lutzflcat

 

If you do buy a whole turkey, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, as they often contain added fat. And, it goes without saying, stay away from the deep fryer this year, and roast or smoke the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with whole or halved onions, halved lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and/or rosemary. Rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt and pepper.

Guilt-Free Gravy

Gravy is one of the biggest calorie culprits on the table. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings when making the gravy — it’s still fat, but vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free.

If you use turkey drippings to add flavor, use a gravy separator. Pour the gravy into a separator and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Some of the fat in the gravy will rise to the top of the glass where you can skim it off easily. Better yet, make a low-fat broth-based gravy or a vegetarian gravy instead.

Lightning Gravy

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a microwave safe dish heat water and bouillon on high, stirring occasionally until just boiling.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and cold water and mix together; stir into the hot broth and cook on medium for about 1 minute, or until thick, stirring at 30 second intervals.

“This is awesome because it’s low fat, low cal, (for gravy!) and quick,” “I added a black pepper and a small pinch of ground sage.”

Lightning Gravy
Photo by Marianne

 

Slimmed-Down Sides

Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, add some of the starchy water you used to boil the potatoes. The starchy water will give your mashers a low-cal creamy texture and help cut back on fat.

You can also add turkey or chicken broth, evaporated skim milk, or fat-free sour cream to your mashed potatoes. For extra flavor, stir in roasted garlic and herbs. For added nutrition, add pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips — or replace the potatoes entirely with Mashed Parsnips or Mashed Turnips.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine potatoes and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook potatoes on Low for 3 hours. Add cauliflower and continue cooking on Low another 3 hours.
  3. Stir milk, butter, sour cream, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt into the potato mixture. Mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
  4. Continue cooking until hot, about 10 minutes more.

 

“This was good and a great way of adding extra veggies into a meal,”  I had mine along side some corn and stuffing. It was the perfect accompaniment and easy to make.”

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
Photo by bd.weld

Cndied sweet potato casseroles in favor of a low-fat, naturally-sweetened sweet potatoes. Try a cranberry relish or cut down on the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce by adding fruit juices or apple sauce.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until potatoes can be handled, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet.
  3. Meanwhile, place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. Set shells aside. Place pulp into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, ginger, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
  5. Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir in shallots, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Spoon mixture back into potato skins. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

“These were absolutely fabulous,” says “We aren’t fond of sweet potato dishes that have a lot of added sugar, so this was really to our taste.”

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese

y, where it absorbs fat from the turkey as it bakes. It’s hard to slim down a stuffing recipe, so take a small serving if it’s your Thanksgiving favorite. If you can avoid recipes using too much sausage or bacon; wild rice and grains are more nutritious than bread stuffings.

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cook and stir sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling coarsely, for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Empty pan of grease.
  2. Into the same pan melt the butter. Add the leeks or onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, dried cranberries and cooked sausage. Mix all with the dried bread cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Moisten with the chicken stock.
  3. Stuff turkey with about 5 cups for a 14 pound turkey. Add additional chicken stock to moisten stuffing if needed. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered casserole at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown top.

 

LivinOurLuvSong. “I left out the sausage and used veggie broth. I baked it in a pan and it was perfect.”

Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
Photo by alexandra5

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Most of the fat in a pie comes from the crust. Try a crust-free pumpkin pie recipe or a reduced-fat graham cracker crust.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  3. Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
  4. In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.

 

“This is a great recipe,” raves LAURA J JOHNSON. “It makes homemade pumpkin pie much easier and it tastes great.”

Pumpkin Pie Squares
Photo by CC
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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 Toxic Habits That You Should Get Rid Of Immediately

10 Toxic Habits That You Should Get Rid Of Immediately

 

Bad habits are behaviors that we’ve internalized and carry out almost without noticing. We might not realize some of these habits right away, but they usually make themselves apparent in the long-term. This is why it is so important to be conscious of these toxic habits and do what we can to erase them. By recognizing and erasing our toxic habits from our lives, we’ll improve well-being and quality of life.

 

1. Not recognizing mistakes

We’ve all make some mistakes, but admitting them is probably the hardest part. Mistakes can affect our self-esteem negatively, but learning to accept and take responsibility for our mistakes is a big part of learning and growth. If we let ourselves believe that we never make mistakes and are never responsible for things going wrong, we don’t leave ourselves any room to grow.

What to do: Admit to yourself when you’ve make a little mistake, like putting too much salt on your food. You can say something like “I made a mistake and I used too much salt. Next time I’ll be more careful”. Start off with small mistakes, and work your way up to more important ones. By doing this, it’ll be easier for you to take responsibility for mistakes and ask for forgiveness when it affects others.

Thinking negatively quote

 

2. Thinking negatively

Negative thoughts are a threat to our self-esteem and mood. If we constantly tell ourselves that we’re not good enough or that we’re stupid, we’ll start to really believe and internalize it. Berating yourself continuously can lead to more serious disorders, like depression and anxiety.

What to do: Sometimes we have these thoughts without realizing it and without doing it on purpose. Learning how to realize when we’re having these thoughts is important for being able to stop! Write down your negative thoughts on some paper and try to figure out some alternative thoughts.
good-vs-bad-posture-infographic

3. Poor posture

Our body language and posture can say a lot about us, but it can also affect our mood. According to a study, sitting with your back straight makes you feel more confident than slouching, and other research shows that it can help us feel more powerful and relieves stress.

What to do: The first step is to feel more confident in your own body. Practicing yoga or mindfulness techniques can help us understand our body better, and it can help improve posture. Try to keep your spine straight when you’re sitting, standing or walking. Imagine that you’re a marionette puppet and that you have a strong thread coming from the top of your head. Your head guides the rest of your body- if you look down, your spine will bend. Look with your head up, focused on the world in front of you.
Sleep Loss Infographic

4. Poor sleeping habits

Sleep is one of the most important things for our bodies and our brains. Our bodies use sleep time to restore itself and integrate all of the new information that it learned. Lack of sleep has been shown to produce impairments equivalent to those of alcohol intoxication, and can lead to various problems, like irritability, slower processing speed, poor decision making, low cognitive performance, increased risk of depression, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.

What to do: Most people need about 7-8 hours of sleep, but some people only need 6, and others can’t perform well if they don’t get 10. Try to get in bed an hour early and meditate, listen to relaxing music, or read. This time should be for relaxing, so turn your phone on airplane mode and put it on the other side of the room. This is also a good way to help become a morning person!
procrastination-infographic

5. Procrastination

Procrastination seems to be a modern epidemic. Continuously postponing things that we have to do actually impacts our motivation and self-esteem negatively. Procrastination can lead to stress and keeps us from completing projects, assignments, etc.[5] It also prevents us from starting those tasks and goals that we’ve given ourselves, which can result in feelings of worthlessness.

What to do: Have a list of things you need to do and divide the tasks into smaller, easier tasks. Avoid distraction and visualize yourself reaching that goal.

poor diet

6. Poor diet

Our diet affects our brain, which is why it’s so important to eat well. Poor nutrition weakens mental functions and causes us to under-perform. A healthy diet doesn’t only help our brains work better, but it also improves our physical health and our self-esteem.

What to do: To make sure that our bodies and brains are getting all of the nutrients it needs, you don’t necessarily need to only eat those “miracle” foods that everyone is talking about. Eat more fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed meat (like hamburgers, hotdogs, and cold-cuts). Also try to reduce your intake of sugars and salt, especially in pre-packaged foods. Drink water when you’re thirsty and stay away from sugary drinks (even if they’re diet).
multitasking-infographic

7. Multitasking

Our society is constantly asking more of us- we want instant feedback and automatic updates. We want to do everything as quickly as possible, which causes us to multitask. There are some things we can do without thinking, like walking or eating, which hardly use any mental resources and is why we can walk and talk, or eat and read. The problem comes when we want to do two things that require more attention, like study with the TV on, or talk to someone and surf the web. In these cases, one (or both) of the activities will be affected.

What to do: Practicing mindfulness can aslo help us here. Do one thing at a time. First study, then watch TV. First cook, then help your kids with their homework. This way, we’ll be able to put all of our cognitive resources towards one activity and the outcome will be much better.
blaming quote

8. Blaming others

It can be easy to fall into the habit of blaming other people. “People don’t listen to me”, “I was late because they wouldn’t let me leave”…if you do this, you’re not taking responsibility for what is your fault.

What to do: Are other people in charge of your life? No. Take responsibility for things in your life. Obviously a vase falling on your head while you’re walking down the street isn’t your fault- accidents happen and you shouldn’t blame yourself for them. However, there are many other things that you are responsible for, like what you do when you’re faced with a problem and how you handle when things don’t go your way. If there is something in your life that you’re not happy with, change it. Don’t blame other people for your situation.
Taking things personally

9. Taking things personally

You’re not the center of the world. We often think that other people’s actions are related to us, but they usually don’t. Taking it personally when someone is rude or mean to us without any reason will just make us feel badly about ourselves and hurt our self-esteem. People have bad days and may just be taking it out on you without any reason.

What to do: When you think that you have something to do with that’s going on, determine if you really have proof. Think about possible alternative explanations. Ask the person directly if their reaction had anything to do with you. You’ll realize that most of the time, it’s not related to you at all.

10. Haste

Going everywhere in a hurry isn’t good for us. It’s true, just like with multitasking, society generally expects us to do things quickly and hurriedly, but some things need to be taken slowly. Cooking for example, will take time, and you should let it. If we do everything quickly, we don’t have time to enjoy life! Besides, it can also cause stress and anxiety, which can cause serious problems.

What to do: Practice some relaxation techniques or exercise. Physical exercise can help reduce stress and help you stay in the present moment. Take your time when doing your daily tasks. Leave your house earlier in the morning so that you’re not running to get to work. Start your project earlier so you’re not stressing at the last minute. Take the time to read a book or cook a great meal- you’ll be more relaxed and have time to enjoy life!

 Are Your Daily Habits Toxic To Your Brain Health Infographic

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-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

Nutrition Plays An Important Role In Brain Shrinkage

 

Those with diets high in a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids are not as likely to get the brain shrinkage linked to Alzheimer’s disease than those whose diets aren’t high in these nutrients. According to the research, elderly people with higher amounts of a number of vitamins as well as omega 3 fatty acids within their blood had much better results on mental acuity tests and also less of the brain shrinkage found in Alzheimer’s disease – whereas “junk food” diets resulted in exactly the opposite.

These omega 3 fatty acids as well as vitamin D are found mainly in fish. The B vitamins as well as antioxidants C and E are found mainly in vegetables and fruit. The research also revealed that those that had diets that were high in trans fats were more prone to have brain shrinkage as well as lower scores with the memory and thinking tests than those that had diets that were low in trans fats. Baked goods, prepackaged food, fast food, fried food and also margarine spreads are the main foods that trans fats are found in.

The research involved 104 individuals with an average age of 87 with very few memory and thinking problem risk factors. Blood tests had been made use of to ascertain the amounts of various nutrients within the blood of each person. Each of the participants also took memory and thinking skill tests. Forty two of the people had MRI scans to determine their brain volume.

On the whole, they had good nutritional status, but 7 % were vitamin B12 deficient and 25 % were vitamin D deficient .

The nutrient levels within the blood accounted for a lot of the variation in both brain volume as well as memory and thinking scores. The levels of nutrients accounted for 17% of the score variations for the memory and thinking tests. Other factors like age, amount of years of education as well as hypertension accounted for 46 % of the variation. The levels of nutrients accounted for 37% of the variation for brain volume. The potential to help stop brain shrinkage just by adjusting diet is exciting.

Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food Infographic

 

Remember we are in this together!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
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Foods, Uncategorized

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

appleharvest

Crisp, juicy apples are a fall tradition. Take advantage of the bountiful selection of apples available this time of year. There are hundreds of varieties to sample. They range from red to yellow to green, crunchy to tender, sweet to tart and simple to complex.

Apples contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, many of which have been found to have strong antioxidant activity. They are particularly high in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant.1 Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity.2-7 Not only can eating an apple a day help keep the doctor away, an apple a day might keep the pounds away too; adding apples to the diet has been shown to enhance weight loss.8-9 To optimize phytochemical content, it is important to eat the pigment-rich apple skin. Choose whole, organic apples over applesauce or apple juice.

Apples are also a rich source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is found in plant cell walls and tissues. This soluble fiber works to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount that is absorbed in the intestines. Studies have shown that the pectin in apples interacts with other apple phytonutrients to achieve an even greater reduction in cholesterol.10 Researchers have also discovered that apples can boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria which feed on apple pectin.11

Portable and easy to pack, apples are great to include in your on-the-go meals. For an easy dessert, enjoy them baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to dice an apple, toss it with baby greens, some chickpeas, maybe a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds and then top it off with one of my flavored vinegars or perhaps my Almond Balsamic Dressing.

Experiment with the many different varieties of apples to discover which ones are your favorites. Have fun seeking out your local organic apple growers, farm stands and farmers markets and look for different types of interesting apples. They do not have to look perfect. The smaller and more imperfect they look, the better they taste. If you go apple picking and get lots of them, don’t worry, you can store them for several months. Just wrap each apple in a paper towel to prevent them from touching each other and store in a closed cardboard box in a cool place such as the basement or garage.

We are in this together!

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Dr Furhman

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
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Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.