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August 1, 2012

Calcium Sources

    Some people don't like milk, or they're lactose intolerant, or they're vegan, and often times these people have issues with certain deficiencies, specifically calcium. This can lead to brittle nails, weak bones, cramped muscles, and an increase of PMS symptoms. It's recommended that everyone gets around 1000mg of calcium a day, and deficiencies are difficult on the body and tend to interfere with daily life, so nurturing yourself and making sure to get enough calcium is important–but how do you do that with all of today's labels telling you millions of different things? Go natural.

The obvious answer to a natural way to get calcium is the intake of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. This is indeed a great way to get your needed calcium. Each with a serving size of one cup, milk/milkshakes have 300mg of calcium, ice-cream has 170mg, and cottage cheese has 138. These can be great intakes. Cottage cheese is great with fruit and can be made into a healthy snack, and these numbers give you an excuse to make sure to get your dessert every day!

Though some people go for dairy, others may not be able to and may have to turn to dairy alternatives. Rice and soy milk both have 300mg, but only if properly enriched with calcium. Check for vitamin D on the label though, or all that calcium may not be fully absorbable. There is almond milk, however, which can be a great source with 240mg per cup–and it's tasty!

The next option is actually to get all of your greens for calcium, which is a good option for the lactose intolerant and vegans. Vegetables also have such low caloric values and such high nutritional values that multiple servings are not only a possibility, but recommended. Broccoli has 180mg, chard and okra have 100mg, and spinach has a whopping 240mg of calcium. These can all be cooked in as ingredients with dinner, or a healthy snack. Spinach could be a great basis for a salad–greens may make a healthier choice for getting calcium than even dairy.

If all else fails, Coral Calcium can be a great way to get your calcium, especially if you think you're not getting enough calcium with your normal diet. People over 50 should  be getting 1200mg, so if this proves difficult, supplements may be a good idea. Don't worry about getting too much, either–calcium deposits come with not getting enough. Keep your body healthy and get enough calcium, either with food or Coral Calcium.

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July 24, 2012

Peanutbutter: Organic or Natural?

Remember back when you were a kid–or maybe even yesterday as an adult–when you had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Did you think about what kind of peanut butter you used? Sometimes people study and worry over the type of peanut butter they use, and then just go with whatever sounds good at the store, like “All natural!” or “Completely organic!” People seldom realize that natural and organic are two totally different words used in marketing to make their products sound like the best food for your body, but it may not be true.

“All natural” is the first step away from the typical processed products, and all it means is that it contains no additives or preservatives. The downside that most people observe from these types of peanut butter is also the biggest upside–the lack of partially hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oils have been ingrained as evil to us, but they’re what keeps the butter silky smooth. A natural peanut butter will have that sludgy, ooey gooey texture that people cringe at because they have to stir it up. Even then it seems a little grainy and sludgy. Beware, however, that legally the labels are allowed to say “no trans fats” but still have a minimal fraction of them. At higher concentrations–multiple servings of peanut butter– may have grams of those evil trans fats.

Using organic to describe peanut butter–or any product, for that matter–refers to how it’s grown rather than how it’s made. Peanuts, because they are grown underground, have a high tendency to attract fungi and mold. This leads farmers to resort to the easy solution of fungicides and chemicals to protect the plant. While organic is good because it means fewer chemicals, it also means an increased chance to get those fungi in your jars, so be sure to keep any organic peanut butter refrigerated and pay attention to the used-by date.

Regular peanut butter is the stuff that we all know and love from childhood sandwiches–it’s the Skippy or the Jiff of our lives. Granted, it’s filled with as much fat, chemicals, and salt as the makers desire, but there’s still that bit of goodness left: The flavor we all cherished, the low prices, and it’s still good for you in smaller quantities–everything should be used in moderation anyway.

Peanut butter that ooey gooey favorite from childhood sandwiches, the crispy crunch in cookies, and the hilarious snack for puppy dogs that keep them happy for hours. But what kind to pick: Natural, organic, or regular? The choice is yours, but keep in mind the tradeoffs.

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July 12, 2012

Hiking with Goji

    Typically, it’s those who are more worried about eating healthy that are those who exercise. This means that it would make sense that people who get out should have healthy choices in their recipe books. Hikers in particular need good food to be able to stay safe and healthy while expending hundreds of calories far away from home. Goji berries, a terrific source of energy and nutrients, can be incorporated into a hiker’s diet in a tasty and easy to transport way from cookies to trail mix to even a blood sugar quick-fix.

Cookies are a food that anyone would want to take on a trip out to go hiking, but how do you make them healthy enough to justify taking on that calorie burning outing? Oatmeal and goji berries will transform dessert into an energy boosting snack. Any normal oatmeal cookie recipe will do–just substitute goji berries for the raisins. Quick tip: If you don’t like the flavor of dried goji berries in your treats, chop them up into tiny pieces before adding them to the batter in order to get a healthy cookie with just a hint of goji.

Trail mix is always a go-to choice for hikers, but a home made mix is a better choice than something bought from the store any day. Pumpkin seeds, pistachios, toasted almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds can be used instead of just a mass of peanuts. A variety may make you more apt to reach for this snack, and adding goji berries among other mixed dried fruits boosts energy levels. Quick tip: Chocolate chips or M&Ms can still be added to make it a healthy food. Chocolate has antioxidants, and extra sugar may be just what you need to get back on your feet.

Blood sugar levels dropping may be extremely dangerous when you’re out in odd weathers and unfamiliar territory. It could happen to anyone, so to be prepared, bringing a packet of jello. The powder is just sugar, flavoring, and gelatin. Adding water as directed will work for a sugar boost, but to get an antioxidant boost, splash some goji juice into the packet and shoot it like that. You should be up and wide awake in minutes.

Hiking can be dangerous business, but what you bring to eat might make all the difference between a horrible trip and a fantastic one. Goji berries and juice is a great way to help keep a bounce in your step all the way up and down your trails. With or without goji, however, always be careful with your food and equipment. Happy hiking!

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June 30, 2012

The Inns and Outs of Aloe Vera and You

    Burns, skin, digestive health, and cholesterol: What do all of these have in common? They can all be improved by the use of aloe vera leaves. They've been used throughout history, even having been mentioned in the bible a few times. Having an aloe vera plant is always useful, but especially during the summer times. Being extremely easy to grow, this is an ideal plant for anyone who may be getting any sort of burns inside and out.

The leaves can be harvested and sliced open to reveal a slimy flesh inside–this slime is perfect to be slathered all over your skin. While many layers of this may turn your fingers green, it's a perfect topical cure to ease burns of any sort. Sunburns and heat burns alike will ease under the slime. Even without burns, however, aloe vera is good for your skin. Many have stated that their skin felt healthier and smoother after using it for a week or so. Leaves can be stored in your fridge for around five days after initial harvesting before you should get a new one–or when you've used all the slime on that one.

Though you probably won't want to eat the slime off your plant at home, there are places you can buy aloe vera juice to ease your insides as well. Fresh from the plant, it's awfully bitter tasting and incredibly unappetizing. However, mixed with fruit juices and bought from a store, fully processed, the aloe vera juice can be useful and tasty. The juice is often used for digestive issues, but can be held to lower cholesterol, fight UTI's, and provide a boost of antioxidants.

The aloe vera plant itself is incredibly easy to keep. It's a small, spikey plant that can live in a pot on a window sill that doesn't need much water or sunlight. The leaves get thick and juicy when they're ready to be used and can be broken off, sliced open, and utilized. Being a difficult plant to kill, it's quite ideal for any family that might be using hot appliances or hanging out in the sun.

These slimy green leaves are versatile and work well to alleviate ailments on your body, inside and out. Whether ingested or used topically, aloe vera is beneficial. Even better, the plant can be grown at home, and it's easy to take care of, giving you an endless supply.

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May 30, 2012

Calcium and pH

"You are what you eat." It's a pretty common saying and holds some truth. What you put into your body dictates how you eat–so, if you eat a ton of acidic foods, the pH levels in your blood will naturally be higher. This includes meats, eggs, and generally animal products. Not managing your pH levels could create issues, but can be fixed with simple supplements.

So, what is the pH level? While it stands for potential Hydrogen, that's not a good definition. Scientifically, it deals with the body's ability to gain hydrogen ions, but simply put, it's a measurement of the balance of acid-alkaline levels.

The levels go from acidic to alkaline as it goes farther down the chart. Your stomach, for example, will always be acidic, but it's safer for your blood stream to be closer on the alkaline level.

Because your blood should be alkaline, a higher level of acid creates complications. Most nutrients–such as magnesium in particular–cannot survive properly in the acidic environments. As such, acidic blood reduces the amount of nutrients you receive. You could be eating all the magnesium you want, but very little will traverse your body without proper conditions. Acidic blood can also coagulate and create clots, or kill smaller capillaries. Destroyed capillaries destroys the elasticity of skin, and may create wrinkles.

While this sounds scary, it's a problem that can be alleviated and avoided. It's typically recommended to 80/20 alkaline to acidic food ratio, but this can also be difficult. Only major veggie-crunchers could manage that. However, supplements may keep this ratio in check. Liquid calcium will lower pH levels significantly. Make sure these supplements have vitamin D, though, to ensure the maximized intake of calcium. Watermelon and noni juice are also two fruits that may help with extreme alkaline levels. You could also opt to consume alkaline water, created either by alkaline powders or an ionizer.

Sometimes staying healthy can seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Most of the time, you can just eat properly to keep things in check. Heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion may be signs that you need increased alkaline intake, however, and would indicate that it's time to look into calcium supplements.


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May 13, 2012

Working out with Goji

   Usually it’s the health-food buffs that exercise a lot, and vice versa, because eating healthy and exercise are critical going together to maintaining a healthy body. This means that whenever you’re exercising, it’s incredibly important to make sure you maintain a good diet and keep food in your system at all times. Without proper nutrition, the body is incredibly fragile and could collapse. When you’re exercising far from home, it’s even more crucial to keep good foods close on hand. Even while hiking, getting proper nutrition is easy with some goji berries.

Trail mix is a common hiking food, and can be even better when it’s home made. You never know how much salt commercial brands have added to those little baggies of trail mix, and everyone’s gotten tired of peanuts before. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds, brazil nuts, and dried goji berries make for a great mix. Peanuts can be a good filler to add bulk to the bag, but almonds remain a better source of nutrition. Of course, you can still add little chocolate candies to make it taste even better, and jumpstart the sugar in your system.

Speaking of jumpstarting sugar, people are often told to keep some sort of candy with them just in case. Or, if people are hiking up a freezing mountain, there’s a trick people use where they pour some water in a packet of jello and just drink it that way. This is a quick way to inject sugar into the body so that it can rapidly burn it and keep it heated. This is a good trick, but it’s still just jam-packing your body with sugar and no other merit. By gulping that jello pack with goji juice, it’ll fuel the body with a quick immediate jumpstart of sugar, and longer lasting nutrients from the juice to keep you going all the way back down the mountain.

Finally, why not take something tasty on that walk? Oatmeal cookies are easy ways to sneak dried fruit into food. Instead of the traditional raisins, it would be easy to substitute them with dried goji berries. If you like them plumper and more flavorful, soak them in water or juice before putting them into your cookie dough. Then enjoy the flavors and bounce in your step after eating.

Whether or not your eating goji berries, exercise makes eating properly a must. Always remember to eat healthy and get good, careful exercise every day. But also remember that goji berries can rev your engine and provide enough energy to improve your quality of work-out.

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April 8, 2012

Hoodia Weightloss

    The rush of junk food and eating has made today’s America’s main focus fitness and dieting. It’s also a lot harder because of the eating craze. Portions have gone up with the calories of deep frying, exercise is getting harder, and lives are getting more and more hectic. It leaves dieters feeling lost and confused about where to go to finally lose some weight. The dieter’s answers may be in the latest popular health rush of Hoodia Gordonii.

While it’s a fairly well known name, not many people really know much about hoodia gordonii. It’s a cactus-like plant that thrives in semi-deserts, but primarily the Kalahari desert, which stretches across South America, Botswana, and Namibia. The plant itself looks like a little clump of cactus stalks, and after about five years of growth, it will start producing purple flowers that contain the thing that everyone wants—something scientists have come to call “p57”.

P57 is a steroidal glycoside—a stimulating sugar–which is found only in the hoodia gordonii plant. This sugar is the key to how hoodia works, and it accesses a part of the brain and suppresses the sensation the body receives when it’s hungry or thirsty. Dieters take it in order to not feel hungry or thirsty, and can thus eat less food and lose weight. However, this can be extremely dangerous if done wrong. Blood sugar levels can plummet without the user knowing, and dehydration can rise drastically. When taking hoodia it’s important to closely monitor your food and water intake so you know exactly what you need for the day. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s important to drink water.

Popularity for this plant came up when the western hemisphere discovered the story of the San Bushmen tribe. As the oldest race in that area, they’ve been using hoodia for thousands of years on hunting trips to suppress hunger and thirst during lost periods of time away from home. When it was brought to America, the idea was used to turn it into a weight loss supplement. It’s still relatively new to the United States, however, so not much is known on the relative reactions of our more delicate bodies. The people of the Kalahari desert probably don’t take medication, so not much is known of the interaction between hoodia and modern medicine.

While this may sound like a miracle drug, everyone’s after it right now. Approximately 80% of the hoodia supplements out there tend to be laced, unpure, or counterfeit to reap a profit off a booming drug. As with other major supplements, you should also watch your intake, speak with a doctor, and avoid taking it if you’re pregnant, a child, have chronic liver or kidney problems, or are on any life-sustaining medications. However, with some care and attentiveness, hoodia may be the miracle you need to lose weight.

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March 20, 2012

Healthy Blend Juice

                Sometimes it’s difficult to get complete nutrition, whether it’s because of the economy, lack of resources, or lack of time to really focus on the different food groups. Fruit is a huge place where people miss out on proper nutrition—it also happens to be a huge source of proper nutrition. Fresh fruit isn’t the only way to get necessary vitamins, however. Appropriate fruit juices can supplement and nourish the body properly and keep it functioning at top condition. However, why drink one straight fruit juice when you could have a blend? Gojiberries.us provides a healthy blend fruit juice with many different fruits and vitamins.

                Different fruits provide different benefits to different parts of the body. This juice has a wide range from goji berries and acai betters providing optimal amounts of antioxidants and weight loss value to more exotic fruits. Mangosteen, for example, is a useful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, which becomes better for the digestive tract than even cranberries. The camu camu fruit is like a super-powered orange—packed full of vitamin C, as well as promotes healthy muscle and bone growth. Aloe vera juice is also involved in this cornucopia of juices, providing pain relief and a healthy immune system. Finally, noni juice helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

                This fruit juice blend is done to create a tastier, sweeter juice, but also to combine these properties. Putting all of these juices together, the following benefits are in a single bottle: Reduced risk of cancer, healthier digestive system, lower blood pressure, weight loss, healthier bone and muscle development, pain relief, and a healthier heart. All of these add up to a happier, healthier body that functions at a better level.

                Certain fruits may not taste great on their own, but the developers of Healthy Blend Fruit Juice made a more taste-bud friendly version of these fruits in a more accessible way. Why get one juice when you can get them all in a compact source? It’s great for kids and adults alike who don’t have the time to eat all the fruits and vegetables under the sun or the money to buy them.

Filed under Acai Juice, Aloe Vera Juice, Antioxidants, Camu Camu Juice, Goji Berries, Goji Berry Juice, Goji Juice by on . 1 Comment.

March 4, 2012

Making the best berry smoothies

    As the seasons change and spring comes upon us, our activities alter. Spring cleaning and warm weather makes the day filled with more activity, parching our mouths and beckoning for nutritional snacks to accommodate our change in exercise levels. Say goodbye to hot chocolate and hello to fantastic frozen treats with the healthiest berry smoothies you could ask for.

The recipe is fairly simple.

-1/3 cup dried goji berries
-1 banana
-1/2 cup goji juice
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-1/4 cup milk
-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

Start by soaking the goji berries in the goji juice to reconstitute them, making them large and plump. Ten minutes of soaking time may work, but letting them sit longer will make them bigger and better. While those are soaking, microwave the frozen strawberries for a minute. Make sure that they are soft enough to be easily blended, but not lose their icy stiffness. This will make sure the smoothie stays nice and cold without needing to add ice. Once the berries are prepared, mix all of the ingredients in the blender. The banana will give it a nice, thick texture. More banana means a thicker smoothie; less makes it thinner. The protein powder is the perfect sweetener because it's extremely sweet on its own, but sweetens this otherwise tart smoothie perfectly. A hint of vanilla with the sweetener makes the smoothie delicious.

What does this combination do for you, though? Why is it better than any others? To start, there is no artificial sweetener or added sugar. The protein powder makes the sweetener actually really good for you. How many foods actually have a sweetener that builds and promotes muscle health? The milk and banana provide calcium and potassium. Between those vitamins, the  build of your body is supported with healthy bones and tendon flexibility. Then, the goji berries are packed full of antioxidants to fight cancer, aging, and the decomposition of the body.

One drink a day can make for a more healthy lifestyle. With the revitalizing powers of goji berries, you'll have more energy to exercise. With that exercise, you'll crave more sustenance. Rinse, wash, and repeat. Good foods can make for great lifestyle habits, and they're filling and tasty. Who knew your vitamins could taste so good?

Filed under Antioxidants, Dried Goji Berries, Goji, Goji Berries, Goji Berry, Goji Berry Juice, Goji Juice, Health Foods by on . Comment.

December 31, 2011

What to Do With Kidney Stones

As one gets older, lifestyles get busier, priorities change, and new problems arise. Sometimes people forget to drink water, causing a buildup of sediments–often calcium–in their urine. When the sediments build up too much this causes kidney stones which can be painful to pass. To avoid these painful inflictions, drink lots of water, but once inflicted with them there are a few dietary steps to be taken in order to avoid making the problem worse.

Once diagnosed with kidney stones, one should consider staying away from a compound called oxalate. Oxalate is the primary ingredient that binds with the calcium to create solid matter in the urinary tract. It's naturally found in most plants and animals, including human beings. Some foods contain more oxalate than others. On this list includes beans, beats, and green peppers. Spinach is one of the higher foods in oxalate, but peanuts, cocoa, tea, and coffee are also on the list. Excessive red meats and soft drinks have phosphoric acid which also induces kidney stones. Salt should also be avoided since it excretes further calcium into urine, adding to the solution of sediments that would create bigger stones.

There are things to actively do in order to avoid and hopefully break up the kidney stones. Foods with potassium citrate are protective against kidney stones and prevent their creation. Any sort of potassium would do, and can be found in fruits and vegetables. It's recommended to get calcium, vitamin B6, and some protein, preferably all from foods rather than taken in tablet format. The protein should come from a little bit of meat such as poultry or fish, but not red meat. Potassium is abundantly found in bananas, and one can find calcium in broccoli.

Kidney stones are terrible plagues to deal with, but they are avoidable and treatable if one does get diagnosed with them. With plenty of water, avoidance of red meat and foods high in oxalate, and eating more foods that replenish the body with  vitamins, kidney stones don't have to be a problem.

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