Turmeric – Is it Really a Miracle Spice?

Turmeric is a rhizome that grows under the ground like ginger. It has a rich, bright orange color and is used in many foods. Originally used in Southeast Asia, it’s a vital component for traditional curries. You can find dried powdered turmeric in the spice aisle of just about any grocery store. Sometimes they carry the fresh rhizome too (it looks like ginger root, but smaller). Turmeric contains an amazing anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound called “curcumin.” The amount of this bioactive compound is around 3-7% by weight of turmeric. Curcumin has been studied like crazy for its health benefits. Many of…

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Protein – How Much is Enough?

Protein is not just for great skin, hair, and nails; it’s critical for health. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to repair damage, digest food, fight infections, build muscle and bone, create hormones, and even think and have good moods. Higher protein diets can help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not to mention protein’s great benefits for metabolism boosting, satiety (feeling full after a meal), and weight management. Protein is important, and this is a given. There are a few factors to consider when calculating how much protein we need. I go through those calculations with you. Then…

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What You Want to Eat and Why it’s More than a Matter of Choice

What You Want to Eat and Why it’s More than a Matter of Choice Even the most disciplined consumers are not fully in control of what they eat. Studies have shown that decisions such as when, what and how much to eat are often shaped by subtle forces outside of our awareness or direct control. These environmental forces can cause us to overeat by taking advantage of biological, psychological, and social and economic vulnerabilities. This helps explain why two billion people worldwide are overweight or obese, and why no country has yet been able to reverse their obesity epidemic. There’s hope….

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Need a Mood Boost? Eat This.

No question that what you eat can affect how you feel, right? Mental health and brain health are complex. So are the foods we eat, and the ways our bodies interact with those foods.  While, we don’t know the exact mechanisms how food and nutrition help, we know a few ways food impacts our moods. First, what we eat becomes the raw materials for our neurotransmitters. “Neurotransmitters” are biochemical messengers that allow our nerve cells to communicate (ever heard of serotonin?). They are important not just for thinking and memory, but also for mental health. Second, what we eat affects…

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How Much Sugar is Too Much?

It’s official! Organizations and governments are (finally) declaring a maximum amount of daily sugar intake. While this is a step forward, there are still a few problems. One – they don’t all agree with each other. And, two – I don’t necessarily agree with them either. We all know sugar is NOT a health food. It isn’t full of nutrition, and excess consumption is not associated with great health. The problem is that sugar is everywhere. It’s naturally occurring. It’s also added to just about every processed food there is. And this “added sugar” is a factor in many chronic…

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5 Natural Ways to Deal with Bloating

Do you ever feel a bit “overextended” in the belly after a meal? Perhaps “gassy?” Have you ever carried a “food baby?” Well, bloating is common. Up to 25-30% of people experience it regularly. It happens when you have trouble digesting. The symptoms come from excess gas, reactions to foods, or food not moving through you as well as it could. There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. Maybe because of a serious condition (disease), or a food allergy or intolerance (what you eat). It can also result from how you eat. If you have a serious digestive…

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Why Am I Always Hungry?

If you often feel hungry, you are not alone! There are many reasons to feel hungry. Of course, the most obvious one is that you are actually physically hungry. Perhaps your stomach is empty, your blood sugar has dropped, and your hunger hormones are having a party. But other times, the hunger may not be physical hunger. It may be a craving or an emotional trigger. These are common reasons why some people eat too much. It could be brought on by a certain type of diet, stress, or other things going on in life. It’s easy to mistake “psychological”…

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Salt: The Delicious Health-Buster (And What to Use Instead)

Yes, there are lots of different kinds of salt: pink, iodized, kosher, sea, etc. They come from salt mines in the ground, or from evaporating the water out of salt water. What they all have in common is that infamous mineral that I’m going to talk about below: sodium. In food, salt is used for both flavour, and as a preservative. Salt helps to preserve food by drawing out the water that bacteria and mold need to grow. Hence, preserving the food from spoiling as quickly. Would you be surprised to know that 75% of our salt intake comes not…

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Multivitamins: Are They Really a Waste of Money?

Multivitamins are exactly what they sound like: multiple vitamins. They’re supplements that contain several different vitamins in each one. They can also contain several minerals and other ingredients like amino acids or fatty acids. And because there are multiple ingredients, there are low doses of each ingredient. In fact, they are the most commonly used supplements in the world! There are 13 vitamins and at least 16 minerals that are essential to health. You need certain amounts of all of these nutrients for optimal health. In fact, nutrient deficiencies can impact reproduction, growth, and regulation of bodily processes. Lots of…

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Mindfulness and Meditation…Do They Really Work?

Well…yes, they do really work. The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use mindfulness and meditation. Before we dive in, let’s just make sure we’re on the same page when we say “mindfulness” and “meditation.” “Meditation” is the ancient practice of connecting the body and mind to become more self-aware and present. It’s often used to calm the mind, ease stress, and relax the body. Practicing “mindfulness” is one of the most popular ways to meditate. It’s defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Mindfulness meditation is well…

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