Long, hot summer days and warm summer nights call out for refreshing drinks. Summer opens up a new world of cold drinks, but not all of them are great for you (more on that next week). Today, check out the best summer drinks for your health.
Iced tea: You’ve heard that tea is a healthy beverage (many varieties have antioxidants, which help ward off disease), and iced tea is no exception. Try iced green, mint and hibiscus teas for extra health benefits, and make it yourself or buy it from a coffee shop — the antioxidants in those bottled varieties are less than those in freshly brewed, plus the bottled kind has tons of added sugar.
White sangria: This wine-based drink gives you an added bonus of fruit, which puts it into my list of healthiest beverages. Look for a recipe with lots of fruit and no added sugar. Chuck Hughes’ White Sangria fits the bill.
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Juicy, seed-studded strawberries are having their season. Apart from their candylike flavor, there are several reasons to indulge in these red berries:
1) They help ward off wrinkles
One cup of strawberries (that’s about 8 large berries) delivers 140 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C, the same as a cup of oranges. Vitamin C helps boost collagen production, which you lose as you age (collagen keeps your skin elastic). Plenty of vitamin C in your diet can help ward off that loss.
2) They boost your immunity
Strawberries have as much vitamin C as oranges. Vitamin C works with other nutrients to keep your immune system working properly.
Continue Reading 5 Health Reasons to Eat Strawberries
Asparagus’ green spears are a sure sign of spring. If you’re wondering about the health benefits of this seasonal must-have, this blog’s for you.
It’s low in calories: Five large spears have just 20 calories and 2 grams of fiber, making this a flavorful guilt-free food.
It’s nutrient-dense: Asparagus packs a lot of nutrition. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K (the vitamin that helps your blood to clot) and a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, iron and some B vitamins.
It acts as a diuretic: Asparagus contains high levels of the aptly named amino acid asparagine, which acts as a diuretic. This can actually help to lower high blood pressure.
Continue Reading 5 Health Benefits of Asparagus
Alton Brown’s Granola
The past few years have seen a rise of the DIY movement, as urban homesteaders, hipsters and thrifty folks alike have taken to pickling and preserving produce from farmers’ markets and CSA shares. Not only does making certain staples from scratch impress your friends, it also saves you money. Try making these five foods at home and see how the savings add up:
There are a few advantages to making your own granola. You get exactly the blend of dried fruit and nuts you prefer and can also control the added sugars and oils that can make granola a calorie bomb. Try Alton Brown’s Granola recipe (you can save even more money by swapping out the maple syrup for honey).
Homemade cost: .78 cents per 3/4 cup
Store-bought cost: $1.25 per 3/4 cup
Savings: .47 cents per 3/4 cup
Continue Reading Money-Saving Make-at-Home Foods
Unlike many fad diets, the Mediterranean Diet just doesn’t seem to go out of style. That’s in part because of a persistent influx of research touting its benefits. To be clear what we’re talking about here, the Mediterranean Diet is a pattern of eating that features a bounty of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts and whole grains; a moderate amount of fish and poultry and wine with meals; and minimal amounts of dairy, sweets and red or processed meats. Find out more about what the Mediterranean Diet is and isn’t with these myths:
Continue Reading Mediterranean Diet Myths Busted
Tofu is one of those controversial foods (like milk or wheat). Some people say it’s a health food, while others say to avoid it at all costs. Which attitude is correct? Should you eat it? Find out.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is a soybean product … it’s made from the curds of soymilk (so it’s kind of similar to cheese, just using soy milk as a base rather than milk). Those curds are pressed into blocks and can be made into different textures — soft, firm and extra-firm. It has a neutral flavor, making it a versatile ingredient in a variety of cuisines.
Tofu has a lot to recommend it. It’s a good source of lean plant-based protein. A half-cup of tofu delivers 10 grams of protein for only 88 calories (that’s about half as much protein, but 45 fewer calories than the same amount of roasted, skinless chicken). In addition to protein, tofu gives you iron (11% DV) and zinc (7%) — both needed for cell growth and immunity, bone-building calcium (25% DV — make sure you look for calcium-set tofu, the kind packed in liquid), selenium and potassium (5% DV), among other nutrients. Eating soy foods has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Continue Reading Tofu: Healthy or Not