Do you know how beneficial almonds are for your health?
Almonds are my favorite nut. Most mornings I add 7 to 10 almonds to my breakfast.  Almonds are tasty and nutritious as most people will agree.
9 Health Benefits of Almonds:
1.  They reduce heart attack risk.
Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.

2.  They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.

3.  They protects artery walls from damage.
It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (Research at Tufts University).

4.  Almonds help build strong bones and teeth.The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.

5.  They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss:
  • Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study)
  • Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them in a study involving 8865 adults. (WHFood’s article on almonds)
6.  Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.

7.  They help provide good brain function.
Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

8.  They nourish the nervous system.
According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.

9.  They alkalize the body.
Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  When your body is
not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.

Did you know?
  • Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.
  • 2.51 million tons of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, it also demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated. Read more at:  The Killing of California Almonds
  • From ancient Egypt to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.

Next Page:  Almond Nutrition, almond concerns and 8 great ways to use almonds.

Almonds are popular nuts found in many recipes, desserts and garnishes. They are commonly known as a delightfully crunchy and savory snack food found in nut and trail mixes, with numerous health benefits. In actuality, they are the seeds from the fruit of the almond tree, bearing a similar resemblance to the pit of peaches and apricots. Here is an in-depth look at the nutritional benefits of almonds and why you should be adding them to your daily diet.

Nutritional Benefits

Almonds rank very high in nutritional value, providing a significant amount of the recommended daily value for vitamin E and manganese. Almonds are also a good source for the following vitamins and nutrients:
Dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acid are just a few more reasons to eat almonds for their nutritional value. The fiber found in almonds can help lower cholesterol while making you feel fuller so you eat less, and the omega 3 fatty acid helps maintain a strong and healthy cardiovascular system.

Health Benefits

  • Lowers "bad" cholesterol: The monounsaturated fats found in almonds help lower LDL Cholesterol, also known as the "bad" cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol, which is known as the "good" cholesterol. This makes almonds effective for reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Diabetes prevention: By lowering the amount of "bad" cholesterol in the body, almonds are also reducing the amount of free radicals in the body that coincide with spikes in blood sugar levels that lead to type 2 diabetes.
  • Reduced risk of cancer: Boron, a nutrient found in almonds, has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Studies suggest that boron can help shrink prostate tumors, though more testing is required to determine why boron has this affect. Other sources of boron include avocados, apricots, raisins and hazel nuts.
  • Healthier digestive track: Almonds are rich in fiber, which helps regulate the digestive system reducing diarrhea and constipation, leading to smoother bowel movements.
  • Good for heart health: Omega 3 fatty acid, coupled with the antioxidant vitamin E, reduces the risk of heart disease, while the magnesium found in almonds help prevent heart attacks. The folic acid found in almonds can also help reduce the risk of plaque build-up within the arteries.
  • Weight control: Although almonds have a higher caloric content than one would expect from such a nutrient-dense food, researchers suggest that they can help dieters lose weight. This may be attributed to the amount of fiber present in each almond, which creates a more satisfying snack and reduces snacking.

Adding More Almonds to Your Diet

Now that you've read about all the different ways almonds can be beneficial to your body, it's time to figure out ways to get more of them. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Carry a small bag of almonds in your pocket or bag so that you have a ready-to-eat snack, even when you're on the go.
  • Replace those potato chips and popcorn with almonds or a healthy trail mix that contain almonds when you watch TV.
  • Throw some crushed almonds into your yogurt, frozen yogurt or cereal for some added flavor and crunch.
  • Almonds can be easily worked into just about any salad rather than using croutons.
  • Swap out peanut butter for almond butter as a spread.

Things to Watch Out For

Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the nutritional value of almonds. Anyone who suffers from an allergic reaction to almonds should stop eating them immediately. Consult your physician before adding almonds to your diet, to verify if you are allergic to this type of nut.
While almonds are widely praised for their numerous health benefits, they contain a significant amount of calories. Make sure you are eating almonds in moderation, and incorporating them with a healthy and well-balanced diet.


Anti-Inflammation: Many people think that the word “fat” means something negative, but in fact, certain fatty acids are essential, and can be very beneficial for overall health. The body can’t create its own fatty acids, which is why we need to get them from dietary sources. Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids. Those fatty acids help to reduce inflammation all around the body, which is a general condition that many people suffer from. The fatty acids also help to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and they promote healthy skin and hair! All in all, almonds pack a powerful, healthy punch.
Regulation of blood pressure: The potassium present in almonds helps to regulates blood pressure, and  almonds are very low in sodium, which helps to control fluctuating blood pressure. The other nutrients also keep the body balanced in terms of other essential needs, which can prevents any other deficiencies. Balanced vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy lifestyle, but if certain elements are neglected, the entire body can be affected, including anxiety, overall stress, and inevitably, increased blood pressure.
Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin in almonds helps in energy production and metabolic rate. If you are on the go, a handful of almonds can get you through the day without filling you up with calories or fat.
Prevention of cancer: Almonds improve the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing build-up and subsequent colon cancer. The National Cancer Center has done extensive research on the link between high-fiber diets and a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help to reduce the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals. This modulation offers protection from the dangerous spikes in blood sugar which diabetics often suffer from following a large meal, or a meal with an unexpectedly high level of sugar in it. Almonds help regulate the abrosption and processing of glucose, making the entire process much smoother, and subsequently safer.
Good for pregnancy: Almonds contain folic acid, which helps reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies. It also stimulates healthy cell growth and tissue formation. Neural tube defects are conditions where the neural tube is either underdeveloped or is partially missing in the fetus. Doctors regularly prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the tube, and almonds have enough folic acid to keep mothers and their babies healthy.
Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk can be used if you are attempting to lose weight. The mono-unsaturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. The dietary fiber in almonds also contributes to the sensation of being full, despite eating only a small amount. Studies have revealed that an almond-rich, low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their excess weight. Studies have shown that those people who regularly consume almonds (at least twice a week) are far more likely to remain at their ideal weight, rather than those who rarely or never consume almonds and suffer from weight fluctuations. Finally, the fiber contributes to consistent bowel movements, which helps in weight loss and the general health of the body through the elimination of toxins.
Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fiber, and like most other fiber-rich foods, almonds help prevent constipation. However, it is also important to drink a significant amount of water when eating almonds to speed up the digestive process and beneficial effects of the nut. You don’t even need to eat an excessive amount, the amount of fiber in 4 or 5 almonds is enough to keep your digestion and bowel movements regular.
People can even reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by consuming almonds, because they have been known to have such a positive effect on neural activity. Stimulating new neural passageways and connections can keep Alzheimer’s disease and neural degeneration from developing.
However, just like almost any other food, almonds have their downside. They do contain oxalates, and excessive oxalates can cause crystallization, which can lead to a host of different issues.  People that have kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds.

Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children every morning. Two or three pieces of soaked almonds are enough, and you can also remove the outer shell if it causes allergic reactions, as the majority of the nutrients are not held in the shell.
Regulation of cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and they reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL). This balance is vital to a healthy cholesterol level, and a reduction of LDL (bad cholesterol) is always a good thing.
Bone Health: Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, and phosphorous is definitely counted among them! Phosphorous can have a considerable impact on the strength and durability of bones and teeth, while also preventing the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis.
AlmondsGood for your heart: The mono-unsaturated fats, protein and potassium contained in almonds are all instrumental in heart health. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce the presence and impact of C-reactive proteins which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almonds are also a great source of folic acid. Therefore, they help to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Furthermore, the flavonoids in the skin of almonds combines with Vitamin E to form a powerful shield against artery wall damage.
Immune System Strength: Your body has many components that add to overall health, including the alkalinity of the systems. Almonds are great sources for alkali materials, and this is known to benefit the strength of the immune system, as well as increase the ability to stave off diseases and various health conditions. Along with almonds’ contribution to alkaline levels, it also has a high content of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant. It seeks out all the damaging free radicals in the body and eliminates them, because they actually promote chronic diseases and can be horribly hazardous to the body’s organ systems. Antioxidants like the Vitamin E found in almonds affect all major diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Research has actually shown that people who ingest high levels of Vitamin E are actually 30-40% less likely to contract heart disease.
Skin care: The benefits of almonds in regards to skin health are well known, and almond oil massages are often recommended for newborn babies. Almond milk is also added to some soaps, because of almonds well-established reputation of improving the complexion of skin.

Fresh Strawberry Cake

Fresh Strawberry Cake | This cake features loads of fresh strawberries and a light whipped cream topping.  It's PERFECT for summer!!


Chocolate Strawberry Nutella Cake

Chocolate Strawberry Nutella Cake from @Reena Dasani Drummond | The Pioneer Woman


This happened.
But that’s another story for another time!




11 Health Benefits of Cherries       
Cherries are delicious, beautiful, and in season now! National Cherry Day is on July 16th in the UK. Eat this superfruit before its short growing season comes to an end.
When you eat cherries, you enjoy much more than just their amazing taste. They’re packed with antioxidants and offer many health benefits, including help with insomnia, joint pain and belly fat. Cherries could be just what the doctor ordered.
Here are 11 good reasons to start eating this powerfood today!

Super Fruit Cherries - Small and mighty, these colorful beauties pack a powerful punch of potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber, beta carotene, Vitamins A and C and antioxidants in every bite. That’s one delicious mutli-vitamin! Plus, they’re fat, sodium and cholesterol free. Super Fruit indeed. Researchers associate many health benefits with cherries, from helping ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for diabetes and even certain cancers.

11 Health Benefits of Cherries 

1. Protection from Diabetes
Sweet cherries have a lower glycemic index of 22, lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better choice of a fruit snack compared with many other fruits, especially for diabetics.
2. Helps You Sleep Better
Tossing and turning at night?  Cherry juice to the rescue! Drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal. In a study, participants boosted their melatonin intake by following this routine. Cherries are a good source of melatonin.They have also been found to help with jet lag.
Note: there is a higher level of melatonin in tart cherries compared to sweet cherries.

“There’s no diet list I’ll follow that would rule out a cherry.” – Edgar A. Guest
3. Decreases Belly Fat
Tart cherries reduced belly fat in a study. Researchers found rats that were fed whole tart cherry powder, in a high fat diet, didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t.
4. Helps Ward of Alzheimer’s
The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.
5. Reduces Risk of Stroke
Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving  tart cherries its red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. – Research University of Michigan Health System.
6. Slows the Aging of Skin
Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the aging process, according to Scientists from the Michigan State University. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions.
7. Lowers Risk of Gout Attacks
Eating cherries lowers risk of gout attacks by 35 percent in a study with 633 gout patients, done by by Yuqing Zhang, professor of medicine and public health at Boston University. Gout patients who consumed cherries over a two-day period had a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks, compared to those who did not eat the cherries. “Our findings indicate that consuming cherries or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack, the gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days.” said Zhang.
8. Reduces Muscle Pain
A cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness studies suggest. A group of marathon runners drank tart cherry juice twice daily for seven days before their race. The group who drank the cherry juice group experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank another fruit drink.
“My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms — will it return to my body when they scatter?”  - Kotomichi

cherries ....
9. Good for the Heart
Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

10. Helps with osteoarthritis relief
The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks in a study of twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis.
11.  Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer
Substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals that develop from the charring of hamburger. Researchers added tart cherries to ground beef patties. “The fat contents of the cherry patties were, as expected, lower than that of the control patties, whereas the moisture contents were greater.  Cherry tissue will not only slow down the oxidation deterioration of meat lipids, but will also substantially reduce the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines.” – J. Ian Gray, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Michigan State.
Now you have many good reasons (11 to be exact!) reasons to eat cherries. I eat cherries every day when they’re in season.
Last year I was given a few big boxes of cherries, so I needed to get creative. I froze them, dried them and cooked some up, putting them in jars. I then created a few more yummy recipes that you can learn below.
Cherry Recipes:
Cherry Vegan Pudding: This raw cherry pudding is so easy to make and great for a hot summer day.
Chocolate Cherry Vegan Ice Cream: Can you think of a better combination than chocolate and cherries? The answer may be chocolate and cherry ice cream.
Note: All the recipes at Real Food For Life are white sugar free, gluten free and super healthy. Check out the other healthy Powerfoods that make these recipes so healthy, balanced and powerful.


Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake

Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake - Cookies and Cups

10 Miracle Healing Powers of Grapes


Research continues on the vast health benefits of resveratrol, found in purple or red grapes. Here are some of the amazing healing benefits of resveratrol:
Power Up Your Weight Loss
Exciting research led by MaryAnne DellaFera, PhD at the University of Georgia found that resveratrol (particularly when combined with soy isoflavones) works on the body in two ways to significantly assist with weight loss efforts: 1) it dramatically reduces cells’ ability to store fat by about 130 percent; and 2) causes fat cells to disintegrate at a rate 246 percent higher than normal.
Protect Your Heart
In research, resveratrol demonstrated the ability to improve the dilation of blood vessels, which may allow blood to flow more easily through blood vessels.  It has also been shown to relax the walls of the blood vessels, making their diameter larger, thereby lowering blood pressure, and allowing a higher volume of blood to flow through all areas of the body, delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells.  Another study found that just 10 mg of supplementary resveratrol resulted in a dramatic reduction in heart-attack risk factors.
Mop Up Brain Damaging Plaques
Studies at the University of Switzerland proved resveratrol’s brain-protecting ability. They found that resveratrol mopped up brain-damaging plaques and free radicals, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. So powerful is this important nutrient that it has even been referred to as “Reverse-it-all” by many health practitioners.


Spinach, Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad

Spinach, Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
                            GOAT CHEESE SALAD
eating healthy
Good nutrition is no secret, you just need to know the facts. The following article lays out the facts clearly and succinctly so that you can incorporate good nutrition into your daily life immediately. You will see that good nutrition leads to a healthier body with more energy and a stronger immune system.

Tape your goal to your bath room mirror, to your refrigerator, your computer monitor, and even your television remote. Whenever you look in the mirror, you will be reminded of how you are bettering your life. When you go to open the refrigerator, it will remind you that you need to eat healthy.

When considering nutrition for your child, be sure to not deprive them of sweets or other dessert type foods. It is important that this be included as part of the meal, so that dessert is seen as a normal food, not something that should be desired more than the meal itself. Be sure to work in as many healthy desserts as possible.

To improve your nutrition, you should keep track of what you eat. All food contains a certain number of calories that you should add up, to make sure you meet the amount of calories that you need everyday. Counting calories also helps you to reduce the quantity of food that you eat, if you tend to overeat.

Do not make the mistake of believing that eating meat is the only way that you can add much needed protein to your diet. There are many foods that you can eat to increase protein and many of them contain less fat than meat. These foods include nuts, beans, tofu, and seafood.

Planning your meals and grocery shopping ahead of time will make it easier to maintain a healthy diet. Stick to your shopping list when you are at the store so that you won't be tempted by unhealthy snacks and junk food. Make sure your meals are giving you all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

Foods marketed as health foods are not always as healthy as you may think they are. Be sure to always check the nutritional information on the packaged or prepared foods that you eat and pay attention to the serving sizes as well. A snack food may have small amount of fat per serving, but if you eat several servings at a time, the small amounts of fat can add up.

Now that you know the facts about good nutrition, be persistent and follow these recommendations every day. Your new diet should improve how you feel and make you more resistant to illness and disease. A healthy diet should also taste good. If you are struggling with new foods that you do not like, try some thing different and be creative. There are tons of healthy recipes available online. - See more at:

White Chocolate Buttercream

2 Ingredient White Chocolate Buttercream
Vegetarian • Gluten free • Paleo

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Cinnamon Ice Cream

Vegetarian • Gluten free


Brunch with a Twist - Photo Gallery | SAVEUR

Brunch with a Twist Brunch-with-a-Twist

Milk, again. Uhm..

Milk, again. Uhm.. Baby P? momma's lactose intolerant so dial it back a bit, pretty please?
                            Milk, again. Uhm..milk-splash-D3C .... B2

Milk glass shaped like a milk carton! food facts
  • Marvellous milk! About 85% of milk is made up of water. So drinking milk is a great way to stay hydrated. Milk (including chocolate milk) also has 16 nutrients, many of which help build strong bones and give you energy to play and have fun with your friends.
  • Moo! Ontario's 4,200 dairy farmers produce 2.5 billion litres of milk each year (that's enough to fill the Rogers Centre twice!).
  • Moooove over! Ontario goats also produce milk. There are about 200 dairy goat farms in Ontario. Learn more about the significance of dairy goat production in Ontario by visiting a farm at virtual farm tours from the Ontario Farm Animal Council and AgCare.

While we've been conditioned to believe milk is the epitome of healthy drinking, it's really a gamble. It can be highly beneficial or highly detrimental. Physicians emphasize the importance of plenty of milk for young bodies, and dairy products have long been a part of the standard food pyramid (taught to our children and therefore, perpetuated). Shoppers have options, and now need to be educated and picky about their daily moo juice.
Milk from many animals, particularly cows, has long been a regular food staple for many, but not all, cultures. It provides other food sources such as cheese, yogurt, butter and kefir and is a source of protein, vitamin D and calcium. On the flip side, it's also a trigger for lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar usually digested in the intestinal tract. Many people lack or lose the ability to digest lactose and will suffer from significant bowel cramping, bloating or even loose bowels upon consuming dairy products. This problem can be overcome to some degree by replacing the lost enzyme as an oral supplement.
Dairy is one of the most commonly reported food allergies [Source: Rona, Nowak-Wegrzyn]. Even when not seen as a specific allergy, milk is frequently not tolerated by the gastrointestinal tract [Source: Nowak-Wegrzyn]. This is a problem that can extend beyond lactose intolerance. For many, milk can cause bloating, constipation and even reflux. Clinically, milk may also be linked to increased eczema, worsening sinus problems, migraine headaches and joint pain [Source: Grant]. Milk is considered a mucus-producing food and is clinically thought to aggravate congestion. One Johns Hopkins physician, Dr. Frank Oski, has even written a book that shares his experiences of decreased rates of strep throat infection once children removed milk from their diets [Source: Oski]. Often, these conditions resolve or improve when milk is removed or eliminated from the diet. 
For those who wish to keep dairy in their diet, know that much of the “regular” milk on store shelves is far from healthy. Milk cows are given growth hormones to increase their milk production and antibiotics to decrease infections. These materials become contaminants in the milk and their impact on the human body is not entirely known. Look for containers that clearly state that the cows used to produce the milk were not given any hormones or antibiotics. The term “organic”  can be misleading. Organic milk may mean no hormones in one case and no antibiotics in another, or that the cows were fed organic grain. Even large consumer companies such as Kroger and Starbucks are offering hormone-free dairy products.
You should also choose milk from grass-fed cows. While most cows will graze on grass at some point in their lifetime, many will be shifted to some other feed source to increase their size and milk production. Cattle rely on an internal system that is uniquely adapted to the processing of grasses as their major food source. Other types of food, such as corn, will fatten up the cow and make them less healthy. This carries over to both the meat and the milk. Cows fed exclusively grass will themselves be healthier and produce healthier milk.
Another growing trend in nutrition is a return to raw milk, which has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk at very high temperatures to destroy bacteria. Many argue that this exposure to high heat also damages the natural structures of the proteins in the milk, making them harder to digest. A study focusing on children raised on a farm showed decreased allergies due to exposure to high levels of bacteria [Source: Debarry], in addition, data suggests a protective effect of raw milk in regards to allergies [Source: Radon]. Raw milk is a source of propionibacterium, a group of bacteria that is thought to help benefit the health of the intestinal tract [Source: Zarate]. Clearly, the source of any raw milk product will have a direct effect on its quality. Take the time to understand what safeguards have been made at that particular dairy to keep the facility clean and the cows as healthy as possible. States vary on the legality of raw milk products, and those interested should investigate what is available in their state [Source: Real Milk]. Listen to what your body is telling you about milk consumption, and always respect the answer that is given.

Antioxidant Rich Fruits and Veggies:  Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, papayas, raisins, raspberries, pineapples, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli flowers, oranges, strawberries, oats, walnuts, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, corn, soybeans, onions  and pomegranate. Coffee is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Check out the benefits of antioxidants.

10 Amazing Benefits Of Anti Oxidants For Skin, Hair And Health

Add antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables in your diet to boost your body’s ability to fight infections and diseases. Check out these antioxidants benefits!

Antioxidant Rich Fruits and Veggies: Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, mangoes, papayas, raisins, raspberries, pineapples, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli flowers, oranges, strawberries, oats, walnuts, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, corn, soybeans, onions  and pomegranate. Coffee is one of the richest sources of antioxidants. Check out the benefits of antioxidants.


Fresh Raspberries

Benefits of Raspberries   raspberries.         

For many, eating a bowl of fresh raspberries is one of summer's tasty pleasures. Vividly colored and refreshingly sweet, juicy and satisfying to eat, raspberries also offer a bounty of health benefits, from helping control weight to possibly helping prevent cancer. Although it's hard to beat the flavor and texture of fresh raspberries, raspberries can be frozen, freeze-dried, and even dried and powdered without losing their nutritive value. For maximum health benefits, snack on black raspberries, or Rubus occidentalis; they are even higher in beneficial plant compounds than Rubus idaeus, their lighter-colored cousins.


A cup of fresh raspberries contains about 1.5 g of protein, 8 g of dietary fiber, and 14.7 g of carbohydrates. Cholesterol-free, low in fat and sodium, and weighing in at a modest 64 calories per cup, raspberries are a good choice for dieters. The generous amount of fiber they provide -- with one cup supplying one-third of the daily recommended value for adults -- can help speed elimination and possibly promote weight loss; their natural sweetness may satisfy cravings for less wholesome foods.

Beneficial Vitamins and Minerals

A cup of fresh raspberries contains high levels of assorted vitamins and minerals needed for healthy body functions, including 186 mg of potassium, necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure; 31 mg of calcium, needed for bone development and growth; and 167 combined mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin. This pair of carotinoids -- or plant pigments -- can help protect against macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause loss of vision. The same cup of raspberries also offers up 26 mcg of folate, which can prevent neural tube defects in newborns.

Alleviate Arthritis

Raspberries can fight inflammatory conditions -- such as arthritis and gout -- in much the same way as aspirin and ibuprofen do: by turning off signals sent by COX-1s and COX-2s, the enzymes responsible for the body's inflammatory response. Researchers believe that anthocyanins -- the water-soluble plant pigments that give the berry its vivid color -- are responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. Arthritis Today recommends blending raspberries with pure fruit juice and heating them to make a berry-infused, colorful and intriguing sauce for lean meat and chicken.

Antioxidant Benefits

Raspberries are extremely high in various antioxidants, which can help fight aging and slow cancer growth by scavenging destructive free radical molecules in your body. In addition to vitamin C -- a potent antioxidant in its own right -- raspberries contain antioxidant carotinoids, ellagic acid and quercetin. According to the Berry Health Benefits Network, The ORAC scale -- which measures the antioxidant potential of substances -- places raspberries at a very respectable 24 umole/TE/g. The BHBN notes that this is roughly equivalent to the ORAC capabilities of blueberries, themselves renowned for their antioxidant abilities.

Chemoprotective Benefits

As if raspberries' nutritive, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers weren't impressive enough, animal and test tube studies have shown that they may help prevent cancer. Ellagic acid, a phenolic compound, can kill certain types of cancer cells, including those of colon, esophageal, liver, lung, tongue and skin cancers. Quercetin is yet another effective anticarcinogen found in raspberries; studies support its ability to act against mammary cancers in rodents. In a clinical study published in 2010 in "Cancer Prevention Research," researchers found that black raspberry powder fed to mice for 12 weeks was highly effective in preventing intestinal tumors. The black raspberry powder inhibited tumor development by reducing inflammation.


Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a source of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
Serve cottage cheese with fruits or vegetables. Photo Credit Марина Пестерева/iStock/Getty Images
People either love or hate the creamy, lumpy texture of cottage cheese. If you're a fan, good news: Cottage cheese is bona fide health food as long as you opt for nonfat varieties. Top cottage cheese with peaches, berries or cherry tomatoes for a fresh, simple snack packed with nutrients.


With only 104 calories per 1-cup serving, cottage cheese is a remarkable, low-calorie source of a substantial 15 grams of protein. Eat a cup for breakfast and you'll stay full until your lunch hour.

Vitamins and Minerals

Cottage cheese contains a long list of vitamins and minerals that includes phosphorous, potassium, folate, vitamin A and zinc. Perhaps the most important nutrient is calcium -- a mineral necessary for muscle function, nerve impulse transmission, cell-to-cell signaling, vascular function and hormonal secretion. Calcium also plays a critical role in bone and tooth function and structure. One cup of cottage cheese contains 125 milligrams of this important mineral.


Cottage cheese does have one unhealthy ingredient -- salt. A 1-cup serving packs a whopping 539 milligrams of sodium -- a significant percentage of the American Heart Association recommendation of 1,500 milligrams per day. Limit cottage cheese if you are on a low-sodium diet.
Cottage cheese is a source of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

While most cheese hardly has a reputation as a diet food, cottage cheese has long been a staple in many health conscious diets. Available in several varieties -- low fat, low sodium or mixed with fruit -- cottage cheese is versatile in the kitchen and can be consumed on its own or added to sweet or savory recipes. Cottage cheese is healthy to eat as part of a balanced diet, and provides a source of several essential nutrients.


Protein Content

One of the benefits of eating cottage cheese is its protein content. Every tissue and cell in your body contains protein, and needs to produce new protein molecules each day to grow and function. Cottage cheese provides amino acids, which your body can use to make these new proteins. It is also a source of complete protein, which means that it provides all the amino acids your body needs to function but cannot synthesize itself. Consuming complete protein sources like cottage cheese helps reduce your risk of an amino acid deficiency, which can impact your cells’ ability to make the proteins it needs to survive. Each cup of large-curd cottage cheese contains around 23 grams of protein, while an equivalent serving of small-curd cottage cheese contains approximately 25 grams.

Fat Content

Cottage cheese also serves as a source of healthy fatty acids and might prove especially beneficial to individuals with diabetes. Dairy products contain the unsaturated fatty acid trans-palmitoleic acid, which is associated with reduced diabetes risk. According to Harvard University, individuals with high levels of trans-palmitoleic acid in their bloodstream from consuming dairy products are approximately three times less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people with low levels of the fatty acid. The recommended intake of trans-palmitoleic acid and the levels of this fatty acid in different types of cottage cheese have yet to be established as of April 2012, but consuming cottage cheese that contains dairy fat might offer some assistance in preventing diabetes. However, since full-fat or part-skim cottage cheese also contains harmful saturated fat, you should still consume the cheese in moderation.

Vitamins and Minerals

Like many other dairy products, cottage cheese contains calcium and phosphorus that contribute to the health of your bones. Its calcium content also aids in nerve and muscle functioning. Cottage cheese provides a source of vitamin A -- important for the growth and development of your cells, including cells involved in maintaining the health of your immune system and skin -- as well as B vitamins that help your body break down and obtain energy from the foods you eat. Cottage cheese also contains sodium, important in helping to regulate your blood pressure. While some salt proves beneficial to your health, a cup of soft curd cottage cheese can contain over 800 milligrams of sodium -- two-thirds of the daily recommended intake for some adults, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. If you’re looking to restrict your sodium intake, select low-sodium varieties of cottage cheese and eat the cheese in moderation.

Cottage Cheese and Weight Loss

Cottage cheese can be a healthy part of weight loss plan. Despite its rich taste and texture, cottage cheese is low in calories relative to other types of cheese; 100 grams of cottage cheese contains 98 calories, compared to 403 calories in 100 grams of cheddar cheese. In addition to eating cottage cheese on its own, consider substituting cottage cheese in place of other cheeses in your meals; for example, use a mixture of cottage cheese and spinach in lasagne, or mix cottage cheese with tuna to add cheesy flavor to a tuna melt. Substituting low-calorie foods like cottage cheese in place of high-calorie foods helps you lower your caloric intake, helping you create the caloric deficit required for weight loss.