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Make Conscious Choices To Eat Healthy During The Holidays

With the holidays upon us, it is hard not to think about eating food and more of it. After all—There’s often more treats at work or the office that are hard to walk by and resist.

Christmas cookies

Holiday parties are popular too, and typically include tempting entrees, appetizers and sweets. There’s also Christmas dinner, with those heavy comfort foods. You know—the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pie and more that make you feel beyond full. Many people end the year celebrating with food, as well. And what’s a New Year’s Eve party without the plates of hors d’oeuvres and sweet drinks? It is no wonder many people find it a challenge to eat well this time of year. The good news is there are ways you can eat healthy by making conscious choices.

Following are a few ideas you can try…

  1. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?”
    If you are finding it hard to walk past those Christmas cookies someone brought in to work, without grabbing one, stop for a minute and take a breath. Next, ask yourself, “Am I really hungry?” If you do feel hungry mid-morning or afternoon, try bringing a healthy snack to work you can eat instead. If you are craving something sweet, try eating an apple, banana or some other type of fruit. Better yet— snack on some sweet vegetables, like carrots or bell peppers. If it close to lunch-time, remind yourself you will be taking lunch shortly and don’t need the empty calories from a sugar-coated cookie.
  2. Fill your plate with rainbow colored foods—
    Many parties have a variety of foods and appetizers to choose from. Why not reach for the vegetable plate first? Our eyes are naturally drawn to bright colors, so make sure you grab some bright veggies like carrots, peppers or celery, before trying some other snacks. Vegetables provide many vital nutrients your body needs and craves. Fruit is another healthful option and a good way to increase your daily intake of vitamins. Many fruits also contain fiber, which helps trigger satiety and help you feel full, so go ahead and grab a strawberry or two or some other fibrous fruit that appeals to you.
  3. Make a healthy recipe to share—
    If you need to bring an appetizer to a party, why not search for some healthy recipe you like? There are many appetizers that are easy to make and contain healthful ingredients. By making your own healthy recipe, you can rest assured there will be at least one item you will feel comfortable eating at the party. You also will be doing others a favor, by providing a healthier choice, as well.
  4. Choose healthier sweets—
    If you don’t want to deprive yourself of a few tasty treats during the holidays—don’t. It is OK to indulge from time to time. You might want to try some healthier choices for baking, however. There are many recipes these days, that use healthier ingredients. Try searching Pinterest for some recipes that use coconut flour or almond flour. You can also substitute coconut oil for other unhealthy oils, or substitute coconut palm sugar for regular sugar. Honey is another sweetener that can be a substitute for sugar. You can also look for recipes that use a smaller amount of sugar, or other alternate sweeteners, such as stevia.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

P.S. If you want to learn more about making conscious choices about eating and eating healthy, you may want to check out my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. You can download a FREE Chapter here.

Recipe: Sweet Pepper And Brie Bites

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Sweet Pepper And Brie Bites I recently made and plan to use for an upcoming holiday party. This recipe is super easy to make and includes only four ingredients that are quite tasty together. Give this it a try if you looking for something quick, healthy and delicious.

Sweet Pepper And Brie Bites

 Sweet pepper and brie bites
  • 1 lb. mini sweet peppers (about 20 mini peppers)
  • 1/2 lb. brie cheese
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
Directions
Enjoy!
P.S. If you are looking for other healthy recipes and tips, you might want to check out my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living. It is available on Amazon. You can download a FREE Chapter here.

Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight Health Benefits Of Clementines

In this blog post, I wanted to spotlight the health benefits of clementines.

clementines

Clementines are abundant this time of year and are a popular fruit of the season. It is no wonder grocery stores tend to stock up on these tasty gems. Many stores carry clementines in bulk quantities, especially during the holiday season, which makes them an affordable fruit. A lot of consumers like clementines because they have many health benefits, are sweet to eat and are a low calorie food. Like bananas, clementines are easy to peel, making them an easy option for an on the go snack. Clementines are loaded with a variety of vital nutrients your body needs for health, which is extremely important this time of year, when colds and flu are prevalent. In addition, clementines contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps promote healthy gut flora (gut microbiome).

grocery store produce section

Some nutrients found in clementines include:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Clementines have other health benefits too. Since clementines have a significant amount of vitamin C, they help strengthen our immune system, as well as protect our skin from UV radiation. They also help build collagen and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Clementines also have antioxidant properties that help prevent cancer and other disease. Folate found in clementines helps promote brain functioning and may help to reduce depression. Additionally, clementines contribute to muscle and bone health.

vitamin C

In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk about how eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs and some of the best sources of these powerful nutrients come from fruit and vegetables. In this season of giving, make sure you gift yourself by eating right. Make sure you reach for clementines and other rainbow colored food to help increase your daily intake of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants.

clementines

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/clementines.html

The Great Grain Debate…

Whole grains have been a central part of the human diet since early
civilization. That’s not surprising, given the fact that they provide a host of beneficial nutrients for your body including, iron, fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B and a number of essential enzymes. Grains also have other benefits that contribute to health as well, including helping to reduce heart disease, stroke, obesity and more. But with all their known benefits, why has there been a great grain debate about them lately?

question

It is true that grains have been around for thousands of years, but today’s grains are much different than grains of the past. In my book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how today’s grains are different and how some people can tolerate them and others can’t in the chapter titled, Know Thyself. Most grains today bear little resemblance to the grains found in the diet thousands of years ago.¹ Many grains today are genetically modified and are treated with chemicals to help preserve them give them and give them a longer shelf live. It is no small wonder that many people have developed food allergies, sensitivities and problems tolerating gluten as a result of the modifications. Packaged food items, which have become a staple in the diets of many consumers, contain heavily processed grains. Unfortunately, they  don’t have the same benefits for your body, as eating whole grains.

genetically modified

What Are Whole grains?

Whole grains contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed in their original proportions.²

grains

About Grains

Grains are easy to make and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Grains have a distinct texture and mild flavor. If you want to enhance the flavor, you can easily add herbs, spices, vegetables or fruit to a recipe. Many people enjoy grains as a side dish at lunch or dinner. Others may include grains as part of a healthy breakfast. Try adding fruit, nuts, seeds, greens or avocados to your morning rice, oats or quinoa to make it even healthier for you.

grains

Common Grains

If you are a person who enjoys grains, there are many to choose from.

  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Wheat

Other Grains Available

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Couscous
  • Kamut
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Teff

There are a number of grains that have gained  popularity recently, such as quinoa and millet, yet they date back to biblical times. If you tolerate grains, why not experiment with other varieties and enjoy their healthful properties? Grains are abundant in supply and can be a healthy addition to the diet for some individuals.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Sources:
¹Permutter, David. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 62. Print.

²“Definition of a Whole Grain.” Definition of a Whole Grain | The Whole Grains Council, wholegrainscouncil.org/definition-whole-grain.

 

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

In this blog, I wanted to share a recipe for some Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles I made the other day.

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

They are simple to make and include only 5 ingredients, which is great! I was at Whole Foods the other day and came across some butternut squash spirals that looked good to me, so I decided to give them a try. Although I’ve never used butternut squash noodles before, I knew I could find a good recipe on Pinterest. The one I selected, called for zucchini noodles, but I figured substituting squash noodles would work and I am happy to say, the recipe was delicious!

butternut squash

Butternut squash is good for you and includes some healthful ingredients including vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, iron and more. It is also high in antioxidants and helps boost your immune system, which is important this time of year. Give it a try if you are looking for a quick, easy recipe. It would be a good one to add for your Thanksgiving dinner!

thanksgiving

Easy Spinach Parmesan Squash Noodles

Butternut squash spirals (10.7 oz. package or make your own)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups packed spinach
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until slightly brown. Add in the butternut squash noodles and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss until butternut squash noodles are coated in the Parmesan cheese. Add salt and the ground black pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. If you are looking for other healthy recipes, you can find some in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon.

 

Ways To Enlighten Yourself In The Season Of Giving

This Article Written For And Published in Consumer Health Digest. (11/16/17)

“Happiness…consists in giving, and in serving others.”
—Henry Drummond

With the holiday season upon us, it is hard not to think about giving. In fact, everywhere we turn, we see reminders and they seem to come earlier and earlier each year. I am sure you know what I’m talking about—the decorations, the Christmas music, Christmas trees and more.

They prompt us to get out and shop for our friends, family or a special loved one. There’s also the hustling and bustling of people everywhere we turn. Yet some people are so focused on their lists and gift purchases, they forget to see who is front of them, or who they just walked past.

It is sad, but often we forget some of the best gifts we can give to others is our smiles, our attention and our time. We are all guilty of this once in awhile, but it is important to remember a smile can go a long way, especially during the holiday season.

We are all busy, often preoccupied with our own lives. It is easy to forget the holiday season can be a challenging time for many, and a smile just might make someone’s day as well as your own.

In fact, Wayne Dyer in his book, The Power of Intention, tells us “research shows that a simple act of kindness directed toward another improves* the functioning of the immune system and stimulates the production of serotonin in both the recipient of the kindness and the person extending the kindness.

extending the kindness

Even more amazing is that persons observing the act of kindness have similar beneficial results. Imagine this! Kindness extended, received, or observed beneficially impacts the physical health and feelings of everyone involved!”1

That is pretty amazing if you think about it and who doesn’t want to improve* the function of their immune system and feel good at the same time?

So how can you make a difference this holiday season? There are many ways you can help others and show you care. All it takes is a conscious effort and willingness to step out of your own world for a short period of time.

Ways To Make A Difference This Holiday Season

1. Volunteering

There are plenty of places where you can volunteer, especially during the holiday season. Why not volunteer a few hours at a local soup kitchen, food shelf or facility that helps that helps those with disabilities or those less fortunate?

Many non-profit agencies are especially busy during the holiday season and could use some extra hands to help others.

2. Visit A Nursing Home

Visit A Nursing Home

Many nursing home residents are lonely and could use some cheer. We have to remember that not everyone has family to visit them during the holidays.

Why not find a local home near you and drop off a box of chocolates, bring Christmas cookies, play a game of cards or just spend some time with someone talking? You just might make someone’s day and brighten your own.

3. Donate To A Food Shelf

Most of us visit the grocery store at least once a week, or more. Why not plan a special trip to pick out some of your favorite non-perishable food items to give to a local food shelf.

Many food shelves are busier than normal during the holidays and are in need of
extra items. You can get the kids or other family members involved and make it a fun event for all.

4. Practice Random Acts Of Kindness

There are many ways you can show kindness to others. You can open a door for another person, offer to help carry someone’s groceries, return a grocery cart for someone or let someone go ahead of you in a long line.

You can also buy someone a cup of coffee, pay for someone’s lunch or someone’s bag of groceries. There are many possibilities. Why not do a little brain-storming and come up with a few to try yourself.

Practice Random Acts Of Kindness

5. Find A Needy Family In Your Area That Could Use A Little Help

There are many people in need around you, even though you may not always realize it. Perhaps there’s someone in your neighborhood who is struggling to make ends meet.

People on a low-income often have difficulties paying the bills, let alone enough to buy holiday presents. Why not contact a local church in your community to see if can help a needy family?

Many churches work with organizations that help the poor and may know specific families that could use some help. In addition, some churches have giving trees, where you can drop off gifts for children.

Gift Yourself!

The holiday season can be a stressful time, especially if you are planning for visitors, a holiday party and shopping for gifts and groceries. Why not take a little time and gift yourself with a little rest or relaxation in spite of all the busyness?

When you run yourself ragged, it is hard to give to back, whereas if you take time for a little self-care, you will be better prepared to keep going and serve others. You might be surprised how practicing a little self-care might be just what you need to make a difference in the season of giving and keep that smile on your face.

Yoga

Ways To Practice Self-Care

    • Yoga

      Even if you are a person who practices yoga on a regular basis, it is easy to get off track when your lists are long and you have a bunch scheduled activities you don’t normally have on your calendar.

      While it may be easy to blow-off your regular yoga session, do yourself a favor and attend the class as usual. Yoga is calming and helps you stay in balance. If you’ve always wanted to try yoga, the holiday season may be just the time to do it.

      When you give yourself time to re-energize and relax, you can focus more, which is something we all need during the busy holiday season.

    • Manicure Or Pedicure

      Many people dress up for the holidays. Why not dress up your nails, as well? While you might think you are too busy to get a manicure or pedicure, the quiet time may help you focus more and actually help you accomplish an extra task on your to do list.

      A hand or foot massage can also help relieve the extra tension that may accompany the power shopping you’ve been out doing.

ManicureOrPedicure

Christmas Dishes: Top 10 Christmas Dinner Menu You Must Try

  • Massage

    Your muscles naturally tense up when you are stressed and over-doing it. Why not take some time to have a massage and relax a bit before those guests arrive for your party or your family is in town.

    It might be the perfect way to escape for an hour and ease some tension. Massage is therapeutic and can help promote sleep. It can also help your immune system to function better, which can be especially beneficial during the hectic holiday season.

    Wishing you peace, smiles and Happy Holidays!

References

¹ Dyer, Wayne. The Power of Intention. Hayhouse Publishing, Inc. Copyright © 2010 by Wayne Dyer. pg 27.
Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com

5 Super Foods To Add To Your Diet…

With the obesity epidemic on the rise, many people today are concerned and rightly so. There are a lot of individuals buying and eating the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain and illness. This is a problem, but fortunately some individuals have begun to take a greater interest in the foods they eat and are turning to more nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits and other whole foods. Others are experimenting with adding more super foods to their diet. If you are wondering what super foods are they are “foods that are nutrient dense and considered especially beneficial to the body.¹ Many fruits and vegetables, as well a number of whole foods are considered super foods, since they contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. In this blog, I wanted to share 5 super foods to add to your diet to promote well-being.

5 Super Foods To Add To Your Diet…

  1. Blueberries—
    blueberries
    Blueberries are a popular sweet treat that are not only a super food, but are super good. Blueberries have a delicious, appealing taste that many people enjoy and are loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants and minerals. Blueberries also help fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system and help fight cancer. They also are useful in managing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, and help protect against heart disease. Blueberries contain a healthy dose of vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity. They also contain vitamin k, vitamin B-6, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, fiber and more. If you aren’t eating blueberries already, you might want to consider including them in your diet. Blueberries can be eaten as a snack, for breakfast or in other delicious recipes. Try adding them to your smoothie, yogurt, cereal or indulge in a tasty blueberry pie.
  2. Spinach—
    spinach
    Spinach is a power-house, when it comes to vegetables. That’s because spinach is packed with numerous vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your body. It is no-wonder Pop-Eye ate spinach for strength and endurance. Spinach is an excellent source of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K1, calcium, folic acid, magnesium and more. Spinach additionally contains non-heme iron, which is found in plant-based foods and is beneficial to those suffering from iron deficiency anemia. In fact, in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, I talk a little about how I included spinach in my breakfast and other meals daily. Spinach is truly a super food and works super good to help build iron in your body. Spinach has other benefits, as well. Spinach is useful for cancer prevention, heart disease and eye health, to name a few. Try adding this super food to your morning smoothies, salads, lasagna, stir-fries, spaghetti sauce or chow mein for some added energy and nutrients.
  3. Almonds—
    almonds
    When it comes to nuts, almonds top the favorites list for many people. It’s not surprising they are the most popular nut in the United States. They are also one of the healthiest tree nuts available. Almonds are delicious and nutritious and make a great snack food. Almonds are loaded with a variety of wholesome nutrients including protein, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and copper. Almonds also contain Monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are the good fats that help your body function optimally. Additionally, almonds contain a significant amount of fiber, which helps trigger satiety and makes you feel full and satisfied. Strive for eating a handful or two of almonds, if you want to include more good fats in your diet. You can also add almonds to salads, smoothies, yogurt, stir-fries, bread or muffins to receive their beneficial properties.
  4. Coconut Oil—
    coconut oil
    Coconut oil not only tastes good, but is good for you. Coconut oil also contains monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are good fats that can help contribute to heart health. They also help protect your body from a variety of chronic and debilitating diseases. Coconut oil has other beneficial properties, as well. Coconut oil can help speed your metabolism, help fight and reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. It addition, coconut oil helps prevent wrinkles by plumping up your skin and aides in the digestion process. Make sure you add this super food to your smoothies, coffee, tea, yogurt and muffins to reap its many benefits.
  5. Maca Root—
    maca root
    Maca is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. While it has gained recent popularity, it has been around for thousands of years and is known for its medicinal properties. Maca is a nutrient dense root that is grown in the mountain regions of South America. It is typically harvested and ground down to a powder form, making it easy to use.
    Maca is extremely nutritious and is great source of vitamins and minerals. Some nutrients included in maca are calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, selenium and iron.  A variety of amino acids and fatty acids can found in this root, as well.  Maca is a good source of protein, fat and fiber, which helps your body to sustain energy  and feel full. Maca root has many benefits and is known for its ability to balance hormones. It is also useful in treating PMS, menopausal symptoms, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fertility issues. Maca helps with memory issues too, plus it helps increase energy and mood. Make sure you give this super food a try to reap its many benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

¹”10 Antioxidant Super Foods.” Web MD, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2016.

²https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php

³Gunnars, Kris. “Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 Oct. 2015, www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/spinach#section1.

4 Axe, Dr. Josh. “Top 5 Maca Root Benefits and Nutrition (No. 4 Is Best).” Dr. Axe, 21 July 2017, draxe.com/top-5-maca-root-benefits-and-nutrition/.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato And Feta Salad…

In this blog, I wanted to share my recipe for some warm quinoa, spinach, tomato and feta salad. It is easy to make and a favorite of mine. This recipe includes some healthy vegetables and spices, which promote vitality and contain some anti-inflammatory properties. It also includes avocados, which have feel good-fats your body needs to move and function properly. In addition, it includes the ancient grain, quinoa, which is considered a super-food. Quinoa not only has a number of healthful vitamins, but includes a healthy dose of fiber and is rich in protein, which helps sustain energy. If you are looking to plan a meal, you might want to give this recipe a try. It is easy to prepare, wholesome and delicious.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato & Feta Salad

Warm quinoa spinach tomato and feta salad

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 or 2  large handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 handful feta cheese crumbles (1/8 cup feta cheese, approximately)
  • 1/2 avocado cut in to pieces
  • cajun seasoning
  • tumeric
  • soy sauce or coconut aminos

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil.

olive oil

Add the spinach, onion, and garlic. Stir on medium heat, until the onion begins to brown and the spinach is slightly wilted. Sprinkle the top with the turmeric and Cajun seasoning. Stir in the quinoa with the warm with the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and stir, until they are just warm. Spoon the salad on a plate. Add the feta cheese and avocado pieces on the top of the salad. Sprinkle with a little coconut aminos or soy sauce, if desired and serve warm.

Note: You may also add black beans, chick peas, or another vegetable to the mix to make it your own.

Enjoy!

Barb

P.S. You can find this recipe, as well as other healthy recipes in my new book, Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living, which is available on Amazon.

Iron Deficiency—Know Its Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

This article written for and published in Consumer Health Digest (10/07/17)

Iron Deficiency

Editor’s Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Did you know that iron deficiency anemia affects more people than any other condition?[1] For some of you that may be surprising, given the fact that many people aren’t aware of the health concern and what it involves.

I was one of these people, until I was diagnosed with it myself a few years ago. The symptoms can be mild to severe and they usually develop over a period of time.

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they have an iron deficiency and may attribute their troubles to something else (such as stress, a hormonal imbalance, another malady or just daily living).

With an estimated 1.6 billion people globally suffering from iron deficiency anemia, it is important to be aware of the problem, the cause, the symptoms and treatment.[2]

What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia?

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where your blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. It typically is caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the body. This can result from numerous causes including lack of iron in your diet, iron absorption issues, or blood loss in the body from an ulcer, polyp, cancer or some other illness.

It can also be caused by heavy periods in women, especially during perimenopause. Without enough iron, the body can’t produce* hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body and a multitude of symptoms can occur.[3]

Iron stores in the body, measured by your ferritin level (a protein in your blood) can also become depleted; leaving you feeling tired all of the time and operating at a low energy level. In addition, it may cause problems that affect your thinking and could affect your personality.

Common Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency Anemia Include:

Fatigue, Disorientation, Memory issues, Moodiness, Irritability, Depression, Hair loss, Anxiety, Sleepiness And More

Iron Deficiency Anemia Info

How Is Iron Deficiency Anemia Diagnosed?

If you are concerned about iron deficiency anemia, schedule a visit with your doctor. Your physician should ask you various questions about your health and symptoms. Most likely they will run a blood test to see if your hemoglobin level is low.

Keep in mind that hemoglobin levels vary for men, women and children and there is a set normal range for each. If your hemoglobin levels are normal however, but your symptoms still match those of iron deficiency, make sure your doctor also tests your ferritin levels, which shows the iron stores in your body.

It is possible to have a normal hemoglobin level and still be iron deficient. This was the case for me. Having an iron-binding test is also a good idea to observe the iron saturation level in your blood.

How Is Iron Deficiency Anemia Treated?

If your doctor determines you have an iron deficiency, don’t worry, it is treatable. Your doctor will feasibly prescribe taking iron supplements, which will help build your iron levels back up. They may recommend a certain dosage and particular brand, depending on your situation.

Most iron supplements contain around 25 mg of iron and should be taken with food and some sort of a vitamin C supplement (to help avoid stomach upset and aid* in absorption).

I found a vegetable-based iron supplement worked best for me, after trying several brands. Some iron supplements cause bloating, nausea or dark stools. Play around to find one that works best for you.

Additionally, your doctor will very likely suggest eating an iron-rich diet. This is important, as it takes time to bring your iron levels back to a normal range. Remember your iron level typically doesn’t get depleted overnight, so eating a healthy diet, including plenty of whole foods, will help boost* your body’s ability to build iron and function properly.

Your body needs a variety of nutrients to produce* skin, muscle, hair, fingernails, bone and more. Moreover, it needs nutrients for your blood to carry oxygen to all parts of the body and to carry out hosts of other bodily functions.
Most nutrients you need come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and meat. Processed foods may contain some nutrients your body needs, but definitely not the same amount or the quality you get when you eat whole foods.

If you do choose to eat some processed foods, make sure you look for products fortified with iron, such as breads and cereal. Make sure you also read the packaging labels to determine the amount of iron contained in the product, as well as the other ingredients.

It is always best to avoid packaged items with a long list of ingredients, those with hard to pronounce names, additives and ones with sugar at the top of the list.

What Foods Will Help Build Iron?

There many foods available that contain iron to boost* your energy. Although not everyone eats meat, it is a good choice if you are iron deficient. Meat contains heme iron, which is found in animals and typically attached to proteins, called heme proteins.

Heme is the best source of iron for people who are iron deficient. Non-heme iron food choices are beneficial too. They can be found in vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, some processed foods and iron supplements.[4]

Good Sources Of Heme Iron:

Beef, Chicken, Oysters, Turkey, Ham, Veal, Tuna, Liver, Salmon, Egg, Shrimp, Chicken Liver, Lamb and Pork Loin

Good Sources Of Non-Heme Iron:

  • Cereal
  • Beans – Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Noodles – Rice
  • Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.)
  • Molasses
  • Broccoli[5]

Alternative Treatments To Try For Iron Deficiency Anemia

Acupuncture and Herbs

Besides taking iron supplements and eating an iron-rich diet, there are a number of other things you can try to build your iron including: acupuncture, herbs and essential oils.

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat* anemia and symptoms of tiredness, weakness and more.[6] Often times, it is used in conjunction with herbs to build and nourish the blood.

There are also a number of essential oils that can be beneficial to those suffering with iron deficiency. Lemon oil in particular helps stimulate the production of red and white blood cells.

I used to add a drop of lemon oil to my morning glass of water to help get my energy going for the day.

Other citrus oils such as grapefruit and orange can help promote iron absorption and alleviate* fatigue, as well. Make sure you choose a therapeutic grade and read up on application methods.

References

1 Wpadmin. “22 Shocking Iron Deficiency Anemia Statistics.” HRFnd. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.
2 Wpadmin. “22 Shocking Iron Deficiency Anemia Statistics.” HRFnd. N.p., 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.
3 Mayo Clinic Staff Print. “Iron Deficiency Anemia.” Overview – Iron Deficiency Anemia – Mayo Clinic. N.p., 11 Nov. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.
4 “Iron We Consume.” Idi. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2016. http://www.irondisorders.org/iron-weconsume/
5 “Top Iron-Rich Foods List.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2017.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods#1
https://www.theacupunctureclinic.co.nz/acuncture-for-anemia/

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Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
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Fibrous Fruit—Spotlight On The Health Benefits Of The Pear

In this blog, I wanted to spotlight the health benefits of the pear.

Pear

Pears are a popular choice for many consumers, especially in the fall when they are abundant. Like the banana and apple, pears are convenient to eat and are quite tasty. They are sweet and have a soft, appealing texture. Pears are loaded with many nutrients that help your body function optimally too.

Some nutrients in pears include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • And more

Pears grow on trees that produce a high energy, nutrient dense fruit. While pears do contain some natural sugar, they are one of the lowest calorie fruits available. Pears contain right around 100 calories, making them a popular choice for many people, especially those looking to lose weight. Pears contain a healthy amount of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestion process. The high fiber content, which helps make you feel full, coupled with an assortment of vitamins and minerals, makes the pear a perfect food choice and delicious snack.

pear tree

There are other health benefits of the pear too. Pears are an anti-inflammatory food and can help boost your immune system, which is great, especially for those suffering from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. Pears also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol and are beneficial in the prevention of a number of different forms of cancers. In addition, pears help improve blood circulation and may help build your red blood cell count, making them a good choice for many, especially those dealing with iron deficiency anemia.

Pears come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. In fact, there are approximately 3000 different species of pears available world-wide.  Wow—that’s quite an assortment. Some varieties look similar to the apple, where others have more of an elongated look and still others have several color tones, making them unique.

pear varieties

Pears can eaten for breakfast, enjoyed as a snack, or mixed in your favorite smoothie or bowl with other healthy ingredients. There are many possibilities.  Some people enjoy baking with pears too. Pears make a tasty pie, cobbler, crisp, muffins and more.

Make sure you reach for this nutrient dense fruit, while it is in season to enjoy its many health benefits.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

Source:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pears.html

Jolly, Rajan Singh. “The Nutritional And Health Benefits Of Pears.” HubPages, HubPages, 3 Jan. 2016, hubpages.com/health/The-Nutritional-And-Health-Benefits-Of-Pears.