Eat Your Way to Healthier Skin

By Bree Weeden

Now that we’re well into spring quarter, we’re spending more time outside and trading in our jeans and sweatshirts for shorts and tank tops. To help make sure your skin is glowing this Spring, try consuming more of these beneficial foods!

Now that we’re well into spring quarter, we’re spending more time outside and trading in our jeans and sweatshirts for shorts and tank tops. To help make sure your skin is glowing this Spring, try consuming more of these beneficial foods!

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in the carotenoid lycopene, which works as an antioxidant to fight free radicals from the sun, which can damage our body’s healthy cells. In your skin, this antioxidant boosts your natural SPF levels, helping to protect you from sunburn and skin cancer! Other foods that contain carotenoids include carrots and spinach.

Olive Oil: Vegetable oils contain Vitamin E, another well-known antioxidant that protects our skin from free radicals. It may play a role in reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases, too!

Beans: Beans are a source of zinc, a mineral that promotes skin repair – meaning it helps your wounds heal faster! Zinc is also present in most animal protein.

Whole Grain: Whole grains are made up of three sections: the bran, germ, and endosperm. White breads are processed to the point where they only contain the endosperm. The mineral selenium is only found in the bran and germ of grain, which is only maintained in whole grains, and has been shown to promote skin protection and elasticity.

Bell Peppers: Red and yellow bell peppers are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Not only does Vitamin C work as an antioxidant, it also promotes collagen production, which keeps our skin firm and taut. You can find Vitamin C in most fresh fruits and veggies, including strawberries, kale, and potatoes.

Nuts: Walnuts are an excellent vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent us from developing dry, flaky skin.

Turmeric: This traditionally Southeast Asian spice is also a powerful antioxidant that may provide some protection from getting cancer. It also has been used as a natural teeth whitener and as an ingredient in facials to promote an even skin tone.

To summarize: eat a diverse, nutrient-dense, and colorful diet to promote healthy skin. Supplement this diet with water and a rigorous sunscreen regimen and you’ll have strong and beautiful skin just in time for Spring!

Sources:

http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/vitamins-and-supplements/types-of-vitamins-and-nutrients/antioxidants

http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/preventing-illness/protect-your-health-with-immune-boosting-nutrition

Healthy Twist on a “Cheat Meal”

 

 

By Bernice Kwan

Regular healthy eating can be a very enjoyable experience, but every now and then, you may crave that certain something that you know is more detrimental than beneficial for your well-being. A popular diet plan that is preached by many health enthusiast and followed by many health conscious individuals is an entire week of healthy eating and one meal of any comfort food of your choice. This pattern is very popular because it keeps you in check for most of the week but also allows you to indulge every now and then. If this is something that you follow, it is likely that once a week, there will come a time where you think “It’s finally here, cheat meal time!” You have been doing so well and absolutely deserve it!

That meal, however, does not actually cheat the system and it still contributes to your overall health. If you find yourself feeling a little guilty about your comfort foods, you may want to find a way to have with a healthy twist. Luckily, healthy ingredients can be used to make a delectable meal! Here are slightly healthier variations of 2 popular cheat meals!

 

Pizza

Pizza often gets a bad rep for being one of the ultimate “unhealthy foods”!  But, there are lots of ways to give pizza a health makeover!

Pizza with Pesto, Tomatoes & Feta:

  • 1 pound whole-wheat prepared pizza dough
  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (dairy free alternative: nutritional yeast)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn
  1. Heat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch round crust, about ¼ inch thick. Place crusts on a floured baking sheet.
  3. Put the crust in the oven and bake until crusts are lightly puffed and undersides are lightly browned.
  4. Take crusts out and using tongs, flip crusts. Immediately spread pesto over crusts. Top with tomatoes. Sprinkle with feta and pepper. Put back in oven and bake until the undersides are lightly browned. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

By using whole-wheat dough, you have more complex-carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients. Basil will give your pizza a kick, and has an array of health benefits. Refer to https://healthyaggies.com/2017/01/19/useful-herbs-and-their-effects/ for more details!

Tacos

Tacos are easy to make and tasty, two characteristics that make it a perfect cheat meal. Though tasty they may be, if you’re not paying attention, tacos can deliver more calories and fat than they have to! With the right combo of ingredients, you can have your cake and eat it too.

Turkey Tacos

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Whole wheat small tortillas
  • Nutritional yeast (cheese alternative), diced Roma tomatoes, diced red onion, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, plain greek yogurt (sour cream alternative) for serving
  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Add turkey and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing and breaking up turkey occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, tomato sauce and chicken broth. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes until sauce has reduced.
  4. Serve mixture over tortillas with desired toppings.

Lean ground turkey is a good alternative to regular taco meat because it is a good source of complete protein, is a rich iron source, contains B vitamins, and contains less saturated fat than higher fat meats. Another alternative suggestion for this recipe is to replace the tortillas with Romaine lettuce leaves to switch out the carbohydrates for a refreshing dose of veggies!

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t have your favorite foods! There are many ways you can choose to modify the recipe and you could even end up enjoying your new creation better than the original!

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252600/grilled-pizza-with-pesto-tomatoes-feta/

http://www.cookingclassy.com/turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps/

http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/meats.html

Six Spices that Support Healthy Living

 

 

by Isabelle Huang

Over the course of history, people all over the world have been incorporating spices into their diet for their homeopathic uses. Spices are the seed, bark or root of a plant that not only provides added flavor to dishes, but also healthful perks. Here is a list of spices that we think would be great dietary additions:
1. Cayenne pepper
Although it might seem contradictory, capsaicin, the chemical compound in peppers that give them their spicy kick, also helps to lower inflammation. In addi-tion, it increases your body’s metabolism, causing you to break down food nutri-ents faster. Add a sprinkle of cayenne to jazz up your dish.

2. Ginger
Ginger is a root plant that also reduces inflammation, but works with your body’s nerve signals to act as a pain reliever as well for cold and flu symptoms. Some say it’s also great against airplane sickness, and that’s because it does yield some nausea relief. You can get this root plant in powdered form or freshly grat-ed yourself. For ginger, a little goes a long way in terms of flavor.

3. Cumin
There are a number of benefits you can get from cumin, but to touch upon a few, this seed aids digestion and helps you combat symptoms of the common cold. Cumin contains iron and moderate amounts of vitamin C, which is also said to boost cognitive performance in the long-run.

4. Turmeric
Turmeric is widely used as a natural colorant to foods due to its bright orange color, but it has nutritive uses as well. Just a teaspoon of this spice in your diet can help with pain, inflammation, and problems with decrease in appetite. Fur-thermore, some studies show that there are chemopreventative agents in turmer-ic, meaning it works against cancer-causing substances!

5. Cinnamon
Multiple studies have shown that cinnamon decreases the risks of cardiovascu-lar disease and controls glucose metabolism for diabetics. In everyday use, it contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that help prevent the build-up of harmful substances in the body.

6. Nutmeg
Nutmeg has an odd variety of different benefits you can get from it. While it acts as an antibacterial agent to protect oral health, it can also help detoxify your body of harmful materials, and reduce skin inflammation. However, some stud-ies show that incredibly large amounts of nutmeg may result in hallucinogenic properties. So keep the dosage to just a sprinkle to add some spice!
Using spices is a great way to liven up your palette. Whether you are a frequent home-cook or not, consider adding one or more of these spices into your meals and reap their benefits today!
Sources of information:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/healthy-spices/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4466762/
http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/spices/
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/health-benefits-of-cumin.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-turmeric.aspx?activeingredientid=662

Benefits of Meal Prepping

 

By Wilson Ho

As a college student, you may constantly be thinking about your next meal and how you should prepare for it. With a busy schedule of juggling study time, exams, and exercise, it may be difficult to cook daily. One solution is to meal prep at the beginning of the week to have all your meals ready whenever you are hungry. Some benefits of meal prepping (besides the sheer convenience at meal time) include: controlling salt, sugar, portion sizes, and costs.

Control salt, sugar, saturated fat levels:
Whether you are trying to achieve new fitness goals or become healthier, meal prepping can be a great option to control the amount of salt, sugar, and fat you consume. You can measure out exactly what goes into your body if you are prepping all your meals. According to the office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the recommended intake of saturated fat should be less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. That may be a good rule of thumb to follow when considering the amount of fat you should include in your meals.

Control portion size:
Controlling your portion sizes may also be an important aspect of reaching or maintaining your fitness goals. Meal prepping can help you figure out exactly how much you will eat for each meal and it will also encourage you to only eat what you have planned. Sometimes you may still want to snack in between meals so it’s a good idea to have snacks planned out early on too! Some ideas for great snacks include: bananas, oranges, granola bars, and yogurt. It is always important to remember that controlling what you eat is just as important as the amount you eat.

Control costs:
With all the health benefits, it is also important to for us to budget and keep the costs low. With meal prepping we can have a good estimation on how much we will spend on food at the beginning of each week. Generally speaking, you will be spending a lot less by cooking at home versus going out to eat. You may also get higher quality foods like locally sourced, organic, and vegan products and yet still save money compared to eating out. As college students, being on a budget is important and you will start to notice a big difference once you starting cooking more!

Meal prepping may be a good option for you to consider, but don’t forget to treat yourself! Eating out occasionally can be great way to switch up your daily meals and to catch up with friends. In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, you will also get the benefit of saving time by meal prepping. Check out this popular Pinterest board for inspiration, and get cooking! https://www.pinterest.com/explore/meal-prep/
https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/healthieryou/html/chapter8.html

5 Foods that Increase Your Productivity

 

 

 

By: Viktoria Cojan

We all strive to be the best we can, striving for optimal productivity in our lives. Whether we want to be more productive at school, at work, at home, in our hobbies, daily activities, sometimes we look for something to give us that little boost. Many times, we find that we just don’t have the energy or the will to do what we need or want; many of us run to coffee and energy drinks to get our day going. However, there are healthier alternatives to enhance your efficiency. Here are a few foods that you can include in your diet to make you more productive in one way or another.

  • Salmon
    • Salmon is the number one source of vitamin D, which is hard to get from diet, but readily available from the sun. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce cognitive decline over time. In addition to its vitamin D content, salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are really good for improving memory and mental performance, particularly helping depression, which can decrease productivity. Therefore, try eating more salmon or taking a fish oil supplement to promote productivity.
  • Berries
    • Berries are extremely useful in boosting productivity due to their high number of flavonoids. Flavonoids are a very effective antioxidant, which reduces inflammation and stops free radicals from doing damage to our bodies. In addition, antioxidant-rich foods are excellent for increasing memory. Keep in mind that the darker the berry, the more antioxidants it contains, and the more benefit it has.
  • Dark chocolate
    • Like berries, dark chocolate contains antioxidants which enhance focus and concentration. In addition, chocolate contains caffeine, which makes you feel more energetic and focused. It also has magnesium, which naturally relieves stress. Don’t feel guilty about indulging on a moderate amount of chocolate (suggested amount is 1 ounce) when you’re in need of an energy-boost!
  • Nuts
    • Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, contain antioxidants, vitamin E, and amino acids. These things contribute to you memory and brain performance, which are essential for a productive day. Nuts have other benefits as well. They are known to lower blood pressure and stress, and they are a great source of protein and natural fat, which are essential for a healthy body.
  • Bananas
    • A single banana contains high amounts of glucose, a carbohydrate your body needs to have energy. Bananas are also a better alternative for glucose than other sources that have excessive amounts of added sugars. Because the fiber in bananas make them very filling, you can focus on your studies for a longer period before feeling hungry again.

If you are looking for ways to be more productive, you don’t have to go too far. Aside from salmon, which needs a touch of preparation, these food items are easily accessible and easy to grab on-the-go. Give them a try for a healthy boost of energy!

References:

 

 

How Long Does Food Keep in the Fridge?

food-fridge

 

 

 

 

By Anran Shao

When we are busy with approaching exams or assignments, we often cannot squeeze in enough time to cook at home. In an effort to save time and money, leftovers and/or prepackaged frozen meals become a first choice for students on-the-go. However, processed foods tend to be less nutrient-dense, and leftovers have the risk of introducing potential toxic substances if not stored correctly. Here are some tips to safely preserve your food and make it last longer!

Choose High-Quality Containers  

Before putting food into the refrigerator, proper containers are essential for food safety. It is better to use glass containers or choose bags that are labeled BPA-free. Good bags will keep food’s moisture and nutrients better. Never use plastic shopping bags to directly store food because the toxic substances can leach into food. Start the habit of writing down the date you stored your food in a container if you have trouble remembering when you put the food in the fridge. Inadequate use of containers can easily lead to food contamination or food going bad. Make sure to seal the bag or container tightly!

Controlling the temperature

Freezing and refrigerating will indeed prevent lots of harmful bacteria from growing in the food due to the low temperature. However, keeping control of the temperature is an important step to keeping food fresh. Your refrigerator should be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, and the freezer should be at at 0 degree Fahrenheit or below. Without the adequate temperature control, bacteria will grow quicker. This is especially critical for meat, because protein is a nutrient source for bacteria, even if the meat has been cooked well. Be careful about storing hot food in the fridge—it can change the temperature of the refrigerator, and can jeopardize other surrounding foods. Cool off the food by placing it in a thin layer or putting it in an ice bath prior to placing it in the refrigerator.  By cooking food ahead of time (i.e. pasta, veggies, chicken, or other foods), you can allow it to cool and store them for on-the-go lunches during the week.  When properly stored, food will last for seven days!

Putting Food in Right Places

Although you may have adjusted the temperature of your refrigerator, the overall temperature may not be uniform over all the shelves— temperature will vary in different parts of the fridge depending on how close they are to the cooling element. Doors are the warmest area, so they should be used for foods that are resistant to spoiling like juice and commercially prepared sauces. Upper shelves have the most constant temperature that are best suited for leftover or cooked food such as hummus or precooked pasta. If you want to keep meat and eggs stored for a longer period of time, the lower shelves will be a best choice because they have the coolest temperature. Also, putting raw meats on the lowest shelf will prevent bacteria on them from dripping on to other ready to eat foods.

Saving and storing prepared meals in a proper and safe way will help you enjoy your food even more when you’re on your study break. Here’s to clean and healthy eating!

References:

http://lifehacker.com/5814958/how-to-store-food-properly-in-the-freezer-and-fridge

http://greatist.com/eat/ultimate-way-organize-your-fridge

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-preserve-food-zm0z71zsie

 

 

Potassium-Rich Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

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by Isabelle Huang

Potassium is an important mineral that helps our bodies have the energy we need to go about our daily lives. However, for most Americans, we consume more of its adverse counterpart, sodium, causing an ion imbalance for our cells’ sodium-potassium pump, the ever important transport channel that helps us produce energy and maintain fluid balance.

You may have heard that consuming too much sodium can result in high blood pressure and heart disease, and that’s because when we consume a lot of sodium, the amount of water in our body also increases to counteract the mineral build up. However, if we incorporate enough potassium into our diet, the balance is restored. So what can you do to keep your body functioning smoothly?

While it’s not beneficial to get rid of sodium altogether, it is important for people to make sure they are meeting their potassium requirements by eating more fruits and vegetables, two potassium-rich food sources.

Here are just a few examples of foods that have a high or moderate amount of natural potassium:

  1. One cup of Plain Yogurt: 531 mg Potassium
  2. One cup of Blackberries: 233 mg Potassium
  3. Half a cup of Sweet Potatoes: 475 mg Potassium
  4. One cup of cooked Spinach: 839 mg Potassium
  5. One cup of cooked White Beans: 1,004 mg Potassium
  6. One cup of Lowfat Milk: 366 mg Potassium

Additional sources of potassium include: citrus fruits, nuts, kale, salmon, and of course, bananas!

If you’re ever unsure of whether or not you have enough potassium in your life, take a look at your diet and see what foods you can substitute for mineral-rich products, or reduce your sodium intake. While fresh foods pack the most vitamins and minerals, check out the nutritional labeling for packaged, frozen, or canned products to see how they rank, and help your body get the nutrients it needs!

Sources of information:

https://pdb101.rcsb.org/motm/118 

http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/salt/Home/Whypotassiumhelps

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/sodium-potassium-balance/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-potassium#1