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nutrient rich foods

Nutrition from the Sea

The term nutrition is typically equated with eating specific foods, but it also means how foods that are consumed affect the overall health and wellness of the body. In the latter sense, Jamaica sea moss is truly nutrition from the sea.

It contains 92 of the 102 minerals the body needs for healthy functioning, along with numerous vitamins and antioxidants. An added benefit is its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Nutrition comes from a variety of sources and sea moss can easily be one of them.

Many foods lose a significant amount of their natural nutrients when cooked or otherwise processed for consumption. Sea moss retains its efficacy when transitioned into sea moss gel for cooking, baking or incorporated into smoothies and similar beverages. Sea moss is an excellent source of energy as a post-workout recovery tonic when a small amount of gel is added.

Sea moss provides nutrients that benefit multiple systems throughout the body. It gives the immune system a boost that aids in resisting illness and disease. It helps with health of bones, the heart, strengthens connective tissue, and aids in blood production. Sea moss also helps with digestion and metabolic rate. It can assist individuals maintain a healthy weight due to its iodine content the thyroid needs to function in weight maintenance.

The sea vegetable is most often utilized as a consumable, but it also benefits the skin when used as a nourishing facial mask. Sea moss gel can be applied to the skin to hydrate, tighten, provide more suppleness, and mitigate the fine lines and wrinkles that come with aging. It’s beneficial for those with acne and similar skin conditions, along with skin that’s dry and flakey.

As a hair and scalp treatment, it nourishes, strengthens, and gives hair shine. It’s great for rejuvenating dull and dry looking hair. Another advantage is that sea moss can address skin conditions of the scalp.

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Unique and Nutritious Smoothie Ingredients

Once considered exclusively as a sweet treat, they transitioned into the realm of a healthy drink. Smoothies have become one of the most popular beverages of the past 10 years. Highly versatile, they can be substituted for any meal of the day or consumed as a nutritious snack.

Smoothies offer an ideal solution for busy individuals that want to ensure they’re maintaining proper nutrition. They’re also easier for the body to digest. Experimentation has led to people adding their own unique twists to the beverages to enhance their nutritional value and accommodate personal preferences.

Sea Moss

Sea moss is packed with 92 of 102 minerals, vitamins and fatty acids the body needs for healthy functioning. It’s used as a gel and has little flavor of its own, making it ideal for smoothies. It makes smoothies creamier and has antioxidant, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

Citrus Peels

In addition to adding a burst of flavor, citrus peels are nutritious. They contain fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, and limonene that’s an ingredient used in the production of a variety of medicinals.

Cayenne

It’s a good contrast to sweet ingredients used in smoothies and provides a kick of flavor. Cayenne is a natural pain reliever, can boost metabolism, aid in digestion, lower blood pressure, and reduce hunger.

Tofu

It’s an excellent addition to smoothies to make them smoother and creamier. Tofu is a great source of protein.

Edamame

The immature soybean can be added directly to smoothies without any prior processing needed. They’re gluten free and an excellent source of calcium, iron and protein. Edamame contains no cholesterol and its low in calories.

Cottage Cheese

Not typically considered a smoothie ingredient, cottage cheese is a great substitute for Greek yogurt. It’s not as tart as Greek yogurt, provides protein, and gives smoothies a creamy texture.

Iced Coffee

It’s an easy way to get the caffeine that coffee drinkers desire along with their smoothie. Use the iced coffee as the smoothie base.

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aid digestion

Foods that Aid Digestion

People typically don’t think much about their digestive processes unless it becomes a problem.  The usual advice from medical professionals for digestive issues is to eat smaller meals, consume more fiber, drink more water, and get more exercise. However, no one ever provides concrete examples for which foods are natural aids to digestion.

People that have digestive problems can experience symptoms ranging from bloating, diarrhea and gas to nausea and vomiting. It’s a good idea to refrain from processed foods since they can contain ingredients that aggravate existing digestive issues. The following foods will aid in digestion, regularity, and maintaining health.

Fermented Foods

People most often think of yogurt when considering fermented foods, but there are others. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that promote the digestive process. Along with yogurt, they include sauerkraut, the yogurt-like drink called kefir, the fermented tea kombucha, and kimchi.

Fruits

A variety of fruits are rich sources of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that aids in relieving inflammation in the colon and promotes regularity. Apples are a good source of soluble fiber, along with strawberries, bananas, and citrus fruits. Don’t forget raspberries, blueberries kiwi, and avocados. The beauty of fruits is that they can be added to salads, used in smoothies, consumed as a dessert, and eaten raw.

Vegetables

The range of vegetables that support digestive health is extensive. Among them is sea moss, brussels sprouts, green beans and carrots, chickpeas, eggplant, zucchini and okra. Regular potatoes with the skin and sweet potatoes are high in water-soluble fiber, but they’re also high in carbs, so people should limit themselves to servings of ½ cup. Vegetables can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed and in salads.

Need a Snack?

Peanuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds are sources of soluble fiber, protein, and healthy fats. An added benefit is that they’re highly portable and can be added to salads and other dishes.

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Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

There are approximately 2 million people around the globe that live with an iodine deficiency and they don’t even know it, since only about 50 million individuals demonstrate clinical symptoms. Despite efforts to widely distribute iodized salt, it’s a continuing problem around the world even in developed countries.

Iodine is an essential trace mineral that’s typically obtained through consuming seafood, dairy products, or grains grown in iodine-rich soil. Iodine is a naturally occurring mineral found in the ground. The thyroid needs iodine to produce hormones that control growth, repair damaged cells, and support a healthy metabolism. The recommended daily iodine intake for adults is 150 micrograms.

An iodine deficiency can result in a variety of symptoms, but they’re often attributed to other causes. Without appropriate testing, individuals often suffer the symptoms in silence. At increased risk of an iodine deficiency are pregnant women, vegetarians and vegans, and those living in European countries, New Zealand, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

Symptoms can range from merely uncomfortable to severe. One of the most serious symptoms of insufficient iodine is swelling in the neck caused by an enlargement of the thyroid gland, known as a goiter. Pregnant women that don’t get enough iodine can have children with learning disabilities and people lacking sufficient iodine can experience muscle weakness and fatigue.

Insufficient iodine can result in unexplained weight gain, hair loss, and skin that’s dry and flaky. People that don’t receive enough iodine are often colder than usual and are more sensitive to cold temperatures. A deficit can manifest as a change in heart rate, cognitive and memory problems, and a heavy or irregular menstrual flow.

Sea moss is an excellent and natural source of iodine that’s often overlooked. However, individuals need to be careful not to consume too much since the levels are significant. Sea moss is also rich in antioxidants that help mitigate the signs of aging and aid the body in repairing cells.

Individuals have a variety of options when choosing how to consume sea moss. It’s available in a dried form, a gel, vegetable-based capsules, and as a pre-mixed beverage to accommodate a wide range of personal preferences and needs.

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vitamins

Water Soluble vs. Fat Soluble Vitamins

Millions of people around the world take a daily vitamin supplement. However, few really think about the vitamins they take, but there are two very different types. They’re absorbed differently and are eliminated from the body at different rates, which will have an effect on their efficacy and an individual’s overall health. They fall into two categories – water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

These are the type that dissolves in water and are easily absorbed by the body. The body doesn’t store water-soluble vitamins and they need to be replenished regularly to maintain health. Since they dissolve so readily, they pass quickly through the body and are eliminated through urination.

They also have the ability to result in diarrhea if people take them too often or the dose is too high. Examples of water-soluble vitamins are the B vitamins and vitamin C. They play a role in functions ranging from boosting the immune system, red blood cell production, managing metabolism, brain health, and maintaining a healthy neurological system.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

In contrast, fat-soluble vitamins are found in high-fat foods. The vitamins are absorbed in the small intestines by globules of fat and then distributed throughout the body via the bloodstream. These vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissues and liver so they can be used when they’re needed at a later date.

There are four fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. They perform functions that include enhancing the immune system, strengthening bones, enabling blood to clot, and creating antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that cause aging. Since they’re not readily eliminated from the body, it’s possible to accrue toxic levels of fat-soluble vitamins, essentially overdosing on them.

A Collaborative Effort

Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are both required for a healthy brain and body. The two types are co-dependent and work together within the body. It’s important to know the difference since water-soluble vitamins leave the body fairly quickly and will need to be replenished regularly. Fat-soluble vitamins stay in the body for varying lengths of time that can range from a few days to six months.

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Foods That Boost Your Immunity

There are a lot of foods that boost the immune system that you can eat on a daily basis. Some are more beneficial than others, though, because each one addresses one of the three primary functions of our body: digestion, circulation and elimination. For example, some foods that boost your immunity include turmeric, ginger, green tea, sea moss and milk thistle. All of these have healing properties that aid in reducing illness and are easily incorporated into our daily diet.

Turmeric

Turmeric is used for all kinds of things from adding flavor to curries to healing wounds. When inflammation is the cause of disease, turmeric is very effective in reducing it and in shrinking the infected area. Because it is able to penetrate the cell wall of the virus, it also has the amazing ability to repair tissue damage that may have occurred during the virus’ incubation period. This is why people who are mildly sick often use turmeric mixed with yogurt or other dairy products to stay healthy. Eating a cup of strained turmeric tea with dinner can be as beneficial to your health as eating a hot cup of yogurt with dinner.

Ginger

Ginger is perhaps the most widely used food that boosts your immune system and has been for thousands of years. As a spice or in teas, it has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to be a treatment for motion sickness. Its cooling effect reduces swelling and ginger may be responsible for lowering blood pressure. Research in China and Korea has shown that ginger does not have any side effects when taken continuously for up to six months.

Green Tea

Green tea is another of the foods that boost your immune system. It contains antioxidants, which have been shown to kill cancer cells, and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Scientific research suggests that drinking at least four cups every day can help lower cholesterol levels, fight infection and help prevent cancer. Some tea suppliers add milk or yogurt to green tea to make it easier to digest, but you don’t need those extra ingredients. One cup of green tea has about 45 calories and only about five grams of caffeine.

Vitamin B

The vitamin B complex is another of the foods that boost your immune system. It helps your body produce antibodies, which protect you from infection. Some studies have shown that women who took a daily B vitamin supplement had a slight reduction in breast cancer. Other B vitamins are needed for energy production. For example, in order to build energy you need other B vitamins, such as niacin. There are other nutrients that work along with the B vitamins to help strengthen your immune system.

Jamaican Sea Moss

Harvested from the ocean off the coast of the island, Jamaican sea moss contains omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and iodine. It also possesses significant amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, B9, C, D, E, F, and K. It’s a highly prized ingredient in burn ointments, moisturizers, and treatments for psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Altogether, Jamaican sea moss contains 92 of the 103 nutrients and minerals the body needs.

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How Antioxidants help your Body

Antioxidants are substances that help the body neutralize free radicals. The body creates its own antioxidant compounds to protect it. However, the levels of free radicals can accumulate and surpass the body’s own ability to neutralize them. Free radicals cause oxidative stress within the body and causes damage at the cellular level.

The body is exposed to free radicals from a wide variety of sources that include UV radiation from the sun and x-rays, food and water, and air pollution. The mouth is also a major source of oxidative damage when gums and teeth aren’t cared for properly.

Exposure to pesticides, toxic chemicals, and even frequent travel by aircraft increases free radicals within the body. A lifestyle that includes fried foods, polyunsaturated fats and excessive alcohol intake increases free radicals, along with bacterial, fungal and viral infections. An excessive amount of copper, iron, magnesium and zinc also results in the creation of free radicals.

Free radicals are responsible for causing a variety of illnesses and aging. As people become older, they’re less able to neutralize the effects of free radicals and they display the effects of “natural aging.” People become more susceptible to illness, disease, and outward signs that include gray hair and wrinkles. Antioxidants are the protective elements that help the body fight the effects of free radicals.

A wide variety of foods contain natural antioxidant properties that the body can utilize to fight the effects of free radicals. Among them are plant-based foods, along with those high in vitamin C and E. Berries, chocolate, coffee, and green tea are all sources of antioxidants.

For health and wellness, it’s crucial to eat a plant diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals. It’s important to note that free radicals aren’t all bad. The immune system utilizes free radicals to mount a defense against infections. The trick is to balance the intake of antioxidants and free radicals.

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How Anti-Inflammatory Foods Work

There are a great number of foods that have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in easing the pain of arthritis and problems associated with chronic conditions. Consuming a regular diet of anti-inflammatory foods can assist over the long-term and offers a healthier alternative to processed foods, many of which contain ingredients that can aggravate or trigger inflammation.

Oxidative stress is a prime source of inflammation and occurs when the body can’t produce enough of its own natural antioxidants to combat the amounts of free radicals that are present. The body is exposed to free radicals every day from sources ranging from UV rays and air-borne pollutants to a diet of processed foods.

Free Radicals

The body naturally makes its own antioxidants to neutralize free radicals that result in oxidative stress. When the amounts of free radicals outpace the body’s ability to neutralize them, an inflammatory response occurs.

The same inflammatory response takes place when the body is injured. White blood cells and chemicals are released to repair and heal the affected area. If the damage can’t be healed, chronic and widespread inflammation can occur.

Building Blocks of Antioxidants

Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidant properties provide the building blocks the body requires to manufacture antioxidants that fight oxidative stress. The darker colored the fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it contains. Omega-3 fatty acids also play a crucial role in fighting inflammatory reactions.

No Single Solution

There’s no magic combination of foods that will eliminate inflammation and it doesn’t happen immediately. Everyone is different in terms of the effects of each food. An anti-inflammatory diet also relies on eliminating foods that cause inflammation. An example is foods that contain gluten, which can actually trigger and intensify the inflammatory response in some people.

Anti-inflammatory foods also boost the immune system that aids in fighting an inflammatory response. Foods that are high in sugars, vegetable oils, processed foods and snacks, alcohol, and refined carbs are notorious for increasing the incidence of inflammation.

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Pros and Cons of a Plant-Based Diet

In the interests of health and reducing animal cruelty in the meat industry, many people are turning to a plant-based diet. It’s possible to obtain the vitamins, minerals, and nutrition that the body needs, but there are some things everyone needs to know before converting to a plant-based diet.

What is it?

A plant-based diet eliminates many common foods that include eggs, dairy and honey, along with all meat, fish and poultry. Instead, individuals consume fruit and vegetables, seeds and nuts, and whole grains. It eliminates processed foods with added sugar and oils.

Pros

Plant-based diets are completely safe, provided that individuals approach them in the correct way. People will need to plan their diets to ensure no nutritional deficiencies occur. Individuals should also transition slowly to a plant-based diet, particularly those that typically eat large amounts of meat, to avoid digestive upsets. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be added if desired.

Consuming a diet that’s plant-based is cholesterol-free and low in saturated fats that aid in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Plants are high in fiber for digestive health and rich in vitamins. Plants contain antioxidants that assist in neutralizing free radicals that contribute to the signs of aging. Plant-based diets are an excellent way to lose weight.

A concern for many people is that they won’t get enough protein and calcium. Protein is required to maintain muscle mass, healthy skin, and strong bones. This can be achieved by consuming foods such as brown rice, beans and legumes, oats and nuts.

Calcium needs can be fulfilled with vegetables such as broccoli and kale, both of which have high calcium levels. Many individuals also incorporate Jamaican sea moss into their diet as it contains more than 10 essential vitamins and 92 minerals the body needs.

Cons

A plant-based diet requires individuals to change their eating habits and invest some thought into what they’re consuming. It also requires more effort as individuals will need to physically prepare the majority of the foods themselves. Adapting to a plant-based diet requires time and can’t be accomplished overnight. The body will require time to adjust and rid itself of toxins that have accumulated through previous consumption of fast foods and processed items that are commonplace.

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4 Superfoods to Consider for Optimal Health

Jamaica is known for far more than its white-sand beaches. The island nation is also home to a variety of fruits, vegetables, spices, and offerings from the ocean that have been classified as a superfood. To be classified as a superfood, the product must be extremely dense in multiple types of nutrients the body requires for health.

Some of the superfoods found in Jamaica aren’t indigenous to the country. However, the unique climate and soil composition has enabled them to flourish and emerge as superior specimens. The following are four superfoods for which Jamaica is known.

Jamaican Sea Moss

Harvested from the ocean off the coast of the island, Jamaican sea moss contains omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and iodine. It also possesses significant amounts of vitamins A, B1, B2, B9, C, D, E, F, and K. It’s a highly prized ingredient in burn ointments, moisturizers, and treatments for psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. Altogether, Jamaican sea moss contains 92 of the 103 nutrients and minerals the body needs.

Jackfruit

The unassuming fruit has a wide variety of culinary uses. Jackfruit contains a wealth of vitamins and trace minerals encompassing vitamins A, B and C, iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It’s high in antioxidants, low in carbohydrates and calories, and is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Naseberry

The naseberry is also known as sapota fruit and sapodilla. It has a significant calcium and protein content, is high in fiber, and has substantial levels of iron along with vitamins A and C. It’s rich in antioxidants and protein, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is has substantial levels of copper, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.

Star Apple

Another fruit high in antioxidants, the star apple is loaded with nutrients. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, C, iron, calcium, protein, niacin and phosphorus. It’s low in fat, calories, and is also a good source of fiber. Star fruit is a highly prized ingredient in treatments for skin infections.

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