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Healthiest Foods for Storage

Posted by admin on September 4, 2011 in Main

Some examples of the healthiest food for storage are:

1. Spinach (rich with nutrients & Anti-Cancer benefits)
2. Steel cut oatmeal (lowers Cholesterol Levels)
3. Chick Peas & Lentils (high in fiber)
4. Strawberries (Rich with Vitamin C and anti-oxidants keep your immune system healthy)
5. Walnuts (decrease LDL cholesterol & total cholesterol; other cardiovascular benefits. Also contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients)
6. Free range chicken (great source of protein)
7. Wild Salmon (relatively free of mercury & toxins; contains heart healthy omega-3 fats)
8. Cayenne peppers (fight inflammation, natural pain relievers, cardiovascular benefits, and helps in weight loss) & cinnamon ( Anti-microbial activity helps stop growth of bacteria and fungi; helps slow down digestion and decrease blood sugar spikes in your blood)

Essential Nutrients are key!

The Healthiest foods should contain the essential nutrients needed by the body. Essential nutrients are nutrients that the body cannot manufacture and that it must get from foods. There are essential fats and essential proteins, but there are no essential carbohydrates.
What that means is that the body would suffer without certain proteins and fats.

Because essential nutrients are key, the healthiest foods are the ones that have the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals per calorie (nutrient density). The ANDI score is a measure of nutrient density in foods per 100 calories. The ANDI score is measured on a scale of 1 to 1000, a score of 1000 being the most nutrient dense food. ANDI (developed by Eat Right America) is an acronym for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”.

Nutrient density Food Table (ANDI Score) Score of 1000 equals greatest nutrient density

Kale
1000
Orange
130
Banana
36
Collards
916
Apple
91
Walnuts
35
Spinach
886
Peach
88
Almonds
33
Bok choy
839
Kidney beans
84
Chicken breast
32
Romaine
462
Peas
84
Green Low fat yogurt
31
Boston
412
Sweet Potato
81
Apple juice
30
Broccoli
395
Soy Beans
74
Eggs
29
Artichoke
352
Tofu
69
Feta Cheese
25
Cabbage
344
Mango
61
Whole wheat bread
25
Green Pep.
310
Cucumber
59
Whole Milk
23
Carrots
288
Oatmeal
55
White Pasta
22
Asparagus
280
White Potato
81
White Bread
21
Strawberry
254
Brown Rice
49
Peanut Butter
21
Cauliflower
269
Salmon
48
Swiss Cheese
18
Tomato
197
Shrimp
46
Ground Beef
17
Cherries
197
Skim Milk
43
Potato Chips
13
Blueberries
155
Grapes
40
Vanilla ice cream
6
Iceberg Let.
132
Corn
37
Olive Oil
2
Orange
130
Avocado
36
Cola
0.6


Why store foods with high nutrient density?

Your body needs vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and not suffer from disease. These vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. When your body gets a healthy dose of micronutrients, the immune system becomes stronger and that makes it easier to fight off disease.

In order to stay healthy and not get sick, you should keep nutrient dense foods in your food storage supply. Finally, remember to eat nutritionally balanced foods. Just because Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients does not mean you can only eat kale day and night. You must balance your nutrients to stay healthy. Check your daily requirements here: Nutritional Balance

How to store these foods:

As you may have realized, the highest nutrient foods are fruits and vegetables. So how do you store these foods? You can purchase many fruits and vegetables dehydrated and freeze dried. Many of these nutrient dense foods can also be purchased canned or sealed in mylar bags, a food grade plastic bag.

Foods stored in mylar bags and in tin cans can last several years. Freeze dried foods can last up to 25 years in ideal conditions, meaning cool, dry, and dark. Dehydrated foods can last approximately 15 years in the same conditions.

Your food storage supplies should definitely include freeze dried foods as they are lightweight, retain all their nutrition, and are easy to reconstitute by adding water.

On a budget?

You can start dehydrating foods yourself. I’ve seen dehydrators for as low as $39 in places like Walmart. You could buy a good dehydrator and begin dehydrating foods right away.

Another great purchase are mylar bags. Mylar bags are popular food grade plastic bags. For the maximum storage life, store your foods in Mylar bags used in conjunction with an oxygen absorber.

If you are on a really tight budget simply store your foods in glass jars you already have collected around the house. Don’t be shy about asking your neighbors for their glass jars as well.

Finally, food grade buckets are an inexpensive great way to store large amounts of foods. They have been around for a very long time and when used with oxygen absorbers the food stored lasts a very long time.

Happy shopping and good luck!

 
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The Dangers of SODIUM

Posted by admin on September 4, 2011 in Main
Raises Blood Pressure

Sodium contributes to high blood pressure. High Blood pressure makes the heart work harder to push the blood around your body and that can lead to heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease.

Heart Disease

The leading cause of death, according to the Center for Disease Control ( CDC) in the United States is Heart Disease (616,000 deaths). As sodium increases the blood pressure the heart is forced to work harder to push blood throughout your body.

This extra work causes the walls of the heart to thicken which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood through the narrowing arteries of the body. This may result in a heart attack if the arteries become very narrow and not enough blood is able to get into the heart.

Kidney Disease

In the kidneys, the narrowing of blood vessels may cause them to become damaged causing kidney failure. If this occurs the kidney will no longer be able to filter and clean the blood. This condition is severe and usually results in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

How much sodium should I consume daily?

The recommended amount of sodium is 1,500mg to 2,300mg of sodium per day. It is also advised that Adults aged 51 and older, African Americans, and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease should further reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day.

Most Americans get about 4,000mg of sodium on a daily basis. This amount is about double of the amount that is recommended by official health agencies.

Choose foods low in sodium

Whole, unprocessed foods are generally low in sodium. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are especially low in sodium and are full of micronutrients that are great for health <>.

When shopping for food read the nutrition label before you buy. Some popular meals ready to eat (MREs) may exceed your daily sodium limits.

When cooking, reduce the amount of salt you use and experiment with other herbs and spices. Make small changes and before you know it you will have achieved your goals for yourself and your family

 
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Nutritional Balance

Posted by admin on September 4, 2011 in Main
Eating unbalanced can’t be that bad! Can it?

Eating nutritionally unbalanced diet can make you sick. Let’s take the example some children in Africa who eat a daily diet that consists of millet and water. The mothers of these children have a surplus of millet to fill their children’s stomachs everyday. However, the daily intake of this grain in the absence of other foods leads to a nutritional deficiency in these children.

What’s the harm in not eating balanced and getting your essential nutrients? There are several. When we look at these children we see that a deficiency in nutrients causes stunted growth, bloated stomachs, slow brain development, and numerous other symptoms.

Not getting the right nutritional balance is not just confined to poor developing nations. We can find many examples right here in the United States. A report by Family Circle Magazine found that one-third of US teens were eating nutrient-empty fast food calories every day.
Another study by the USDA found that only 6 percent of teens ate the recommended amounts of vegetables and only 24 percent ate the recommended amounts of fruit. In other words, 94% were not eating the required amount of vegetables and 76% were not getting enough fruit? These are unacceptable figures and something must be done to educate our youth about eating balanced.

The basic nutrients are:

Carbohydrates (saccharides – sugars) – Preferred source of energy, usually divided into four groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. In simple terms they are simple carbohydrates like sugars or complex carbohydrates like starch. Carbohydrates also include dietary fiber which can be partially digested or it might be a non-digestable fiber.

Proteins (amino – acids, nitrates ) – Last preferred nutrient, usually divided into essential  amino acids or non-essential amino acids.

Fat – After the carbohydrates are depleted, body normally burns fat. Fats are necessary in order to use vitamins A, D, E and K. They are necessary to maintain healthy skin and hair, promote healthy cell function and maintaining the body temperature. It is a main energy storage for humans.

Minerals – inorganic elements such as: magnesium, calcium, etc that are necessary in order to maintain good health, strong bones, etc..

Vitamins – They are necessary for healthy functioning of the organism and can be water-soluble or fat soluble vitamins.

Water – Essential for nutrient transport throughout the body and for flushing out the waste.

What is the recommended amount of nutrients?

Sadly it can’t accurately be said what is the exact amount of nutrients required but we should be able to give an estimate. In general athletes and active people that do build muscle should have more proteins and carbohydrates in their diet because the body uses carbohydrates as energy first and later on proteins are needed to build and maintain muscle. The following is the guideline based on a 2000 daily calorie intake:

Main nutrients:

Total Fat: 65 grams

Saturated fat: 20 grams

Total carbohydrates: 300grams

Fiber: 25 grams

Protein: 50 grams

Minerals:

Cholesterol: 300mg

Sodium: 2400 mg

Potassium: 3500mg

Calcium: 1000mg

Iron: 18 mg

Thiamin: 1.5 mg

Riboflavin: 1.7 mg

Niacin: 20mg

Folate: 400 micrograms

Biotin: 300 micrograms

Pantothenic acid: 10 mg

Phosphorus: 1000 mg

Iodine: 150 micrograms

Magnesium: 400 mg

Zinc: 15mg

Selenium: 70mg

Copper: 2mg

Manganese: 2 mg

Chromium: 120 micrograms

Molybdenum: 75 micrograms

Chloride: 3400 mg

Vitamins:

Vitamin A: 5000 IU (1500 micrograms of retinol or 3000 micrograms of beta-carotene)

Vitamin B6: 2 mg

Vitamin B12: 6 micrograms

Vitamin C: 60mg

Vitamin D: 400 IU ( 10 micrograms of cholecalciferol/ergocalciferol)

Vitamin E: 30 IU (20 mg of d-alpha-tocopherol or 30 mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate)

Vitamin K: 80 micrograms

These are just recommendations. As said previously the recommended nutrients depend on your level of activity, type of activities performed and goals but this chart should give you a good overview of the balanced nutrient intake. So when planning to store food over a long time and consume it later, make sure that you are getting most of these nutrients covered with the food that you are storing.

Recommendations for your food storage pantry

Most fruits and vegetables can be canned, freeze dried, and dehydrated. So, you have a variety of different ways to store fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that fruits and vegetables be a third of what you eat on a daily basis. If you really want to make sure you get all your vitamins and minerals, eat fruits and vegetables.

Beans and Legumes are great for storage. They provide us with a great source of protein and other nutrients. Lentils, black beans, and chick peas all taste great and are easy to store. Beans can be stored after cooking in cans, so they are ready to eat.

If you don’t want to cook them beforehand, you can place them in 5 gallon buckets lined with food grade plastic bags to keep the oxygen out and have the beans last longer.

Whole Grains can be stored the same as beans, with the exception of some whole grains with a higher fat composition that usually tend to go bad a little faster. White rice, wheat, and quinoa will easily last over a year under normal conditions. If placed in food grade bucket with a plastic lining to keep oxygen out, they will last years.

Finally I would recommend fish and poultry, which can be preserved by drying in the sun, freeze drying, and canning. Fish and poultry such as Alaskan wild salmon, sardines, tuna, and chicken will give you a steady and familiar diet of protein that is very important to keep you healthy and eating balanced.

 
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The Dangers of Cholesterol

Posted by admin on September 4, 2011 in Main
Why is high cholesterol dangerous?

Excess cholesterol in the blood causes the body to start accumulating fat on the inside of your blood vessels. Cholesterol is a fatty substance found inside your body that is manufactured by the cells in your body and ingested when you eat animal products. Inside the body, cholesterol resembles a drop of cooking oil floating on water.
Under normal circumstances the inside of blood vessels are very smooth. This changes when excess cholesterol accumulates on the walls of the blood vessels and causes inflammation. In response to the inflammation, the body sends special cells to contain and consume the fatty deposits.

As these cells attack the fat, they become saturated with cholesterol and die. As these cells die they form a fat deposit near the surface of your blood vessels that causes scarring on the inside of the blood vessels. This scar is called plaque.

An increase in plaque causes a narrowing of the blood vessels, a condition called atherosclerosis. When this occurs, the heart is able to pump less red blood cells through the narrower blood vessels. If not corrected in time this condition leads to a mini explosion inside your blood vessel that many times causes a heart attack or stroke.

High Cholesterol promotes Heart disease

The red blood cells in your body carry oxygen to your heart. A person with plaque will experience a reduction in the amount of oxygen rich blood getting to his/her organs. If the supply of oxygen is reduced to some part of your heart, your muscle tissues in that area will die and you will experience chest pains and if not treated, heart disease.

The Angel (HDL) and The Devil (LDL)

LDL (bad) cholesterol contributes to the narrowing of your arteries, not allowing sufficient blood flow and increasing blood pressure.
In contrast, HDL (good) cholesterol removes LDL from the veins by attaching to LDL and taking it to the liver for processing.

Why is my bad cholesterol (LDL) going up?

You are most likely getting bad cholesterol because you are consuming bad fats. So what are bad fats? Bad fats are fats such as saturated and tarns fats that raise LDL levels.
Examples of saturated fats are whole milk, butter, bacon, sausage, beef, lard, and palm oil. Examples of the worst kind of fat, called trans fat includes partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and margarine. Please note that many fast foods, bakeries, and many supermarkets carry processed foods that have trans fat in their ingredient list.

Reducing your bad cholesterol (LDL)

Reduce your intake of bad fats to reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL) and substitute with good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats include Olives, olive oil, most nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, soybean oil, and most seafood.

Recommended Foods to reduce your cholesterol

Oats. Oats and other whole grains have been found to lower cholesterol levels significantly. It is thought that the Fiber found in whole grains absorbs and traps the cholesterol. Then it is slowly released from the body.

Fish. Fish have polyunsaturated fats that lower bad cholesterol and increase HDL (good) levels. You may have also heard of Omega 3 fatty acids that

Nuts. Are full of fiber, protein and have Omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglyceride levels (fats) and have been linked to the possible prevention of plaque growth in arteries.

Beans. Similar to whole grains, beans have a large amount of fiber that helps trap cholesterol.

Remember to decrease the levels of trans fats and saturated fats. Eat the foods recommended to lower cholesterol and you will be on your way to a new healthier you.

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