More Than a Garnish: 7 Health Benefits of Parsley

Power to your plate: parsley is a pain reliever, blood pressure regulator and cancer defender. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Power to your plate: parsley is a pain reliever, blood pressure regulator and cancer defender. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Parsley adds much more than a splash of color to your plate. It also has big health benefits! Here at seven of them (via Care2.com):

  1. It’s rich in vitamins. Parsley is a good source of vitamins C, B-12, K and A, maintaining a strong immune system, increasing you bone strength and healing your nervous system.
  2. It protects your kidneys. Parsley helps flush out excess fluid from your body to support kidney function.
  3. It maintains healthy blood pressure. The folic acid in parsley is like a healthy elixir for your heart, and can help to control blood pressure when eaten regularly.
  4. It may reduce hair loss. Parsley’s essential oils, when massaged into the scalp, may reduce hair loss. No, we’re not suggesting you practice this right at the dinner table. But it speaks to the versatility of the herb. You can find parsley essential oil at health stores.
  5. It relieves joint pain. Parsley has many anti-inflammatory properties, which provide relief from joint pain when eaten daily.
  6. It relaxes muscles and aids digestion. Parsley’s anti-inflammatory nature also makes it an effective tool for relaxing stuff muscles and promoting digestion. To get the benefits, try drinking parsley tea.
  7. It may inhibit cancerous tumors. Scientists have found that parsley may help prevent the formation of cancerous tumors, so much so that they have labeled it a “chemoprotective” food.
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5 Healthy Home Remedies for Colds

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Fact: eating two to four cloves of raw garlic for the first few days of an illness boosts your immune system, helping you to feel better faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

If you’re feeling, sneezy, achy and congested, these five recipes can offer relief (via Care2.com):

  1. For congestion: cayenne pepper drink. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then add one-fourth cup apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon maple syrup, three-fourths to one teaspoon dried cayenne pepper (depending on your ability to handle heat), and one to two tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix ingredients together well, and let them heat up, breathing in the steam as they do so. Take the kettle off the heat, and drink when it’s cool enough. Words to the wise: this is NOT a sipping drink, so wait for it to get cool enough that you can down it in a few gulps.
  2. For a sore throat or post-nasal drip: salt water gargle. Heat one-half cup water in a tea kettle, then stir in one-half teaspoon sea salt. When the mixture is cool enough, gargle about one tablespoon of it. Repeat every one to two hours.Continue Reading …
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5 Steps to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

Push-ups stimulate blood flow to the brain, generating new brain cells, which are your body's most effective weapon against cognitive disease. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Push-ups stimulate blood flow to the brain, generating new brain cells, which are your body’s most effective weapon against cognitive disease. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, affecting some 5.4 million Americans, according to Alzheimer’s Association. Lower your risk with this 5-step plan from Dr. Mehmet Oz and neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi (via www.doctoroz.com):

  1. Take a DHA supplement. Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that makes up much of your brain tissue. This supplement will reduce inflammation, fight the plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s, and increases blood flow to your brain. Research has shown that taking 600mg of DHA supplement daily for six months can help your brain to function as if it were three years younger.
  2. Switch things up. Adding variety to your daily mental routine cross-trains different muscles in your brain to prevent memory impairment. Try putting your watch on your opposite wrist, using your opposite hand while brushing your teeth, doing your hair, eating or writing.Continue Reading …
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10 Red and Pink Superfoods for Valentine’s Day

The pectin in apples provides filling fiber. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Doctor’s orders: Apples are rich in pectin, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps keep you feeling full. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day with these super healthy (and delicious!) red and pink foods (via The Huffington Post):

  1. Apples. They really do help keep the doctor away. The pectin in apples provides 4 grams of filling and cholesterol-lowering fiber per serving.
  2. Beets. Rich in vitamin C and folate, beets are also packed with antioxidants and fight inflammation.
  3. Red berries. These low-calorie, fiber-rich foods are an excellent source of vitamin C, and may help protect memory. Try making dark chocolate covered strawberries for the perfect Valentine’s Day treat–the cocoa is full of antioxidants!
  4. Cherries. The antioxidants in this sweet fruit are known to protect heart health and aid in post-workout muscle recovery. (For 7 reasons to eat more cherries, read our post here.)
  5. Cranberries. Loaded with vitamin C, cranberries can help your body to fight off infections more quickly and effectively.Continue Reading …
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10 Natural Ways to Ease Anxiety

Sipping on chamomile tea helps calm frazzled nerves and promotes relaxation. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sipping on chamomile tea helps calm a nervous stomach and promotes relaxation. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Feeling nervous? Try one of these tips to feel calmer in minutes (via Care2.com):

  1. Sip chamomile tea. The chamomile herb relaxes nerves and can calm stomach discomfort.
  2. Chew on cardamom seeds. The cardamom spice has been used for centuries in the treatment of many physical and emotional ailments. (Bonus: it also freshens your breath!)
  3. Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy a cup of rose hip tea, spritz some organic rose water on your face (eyes closed), or enjoy the scent of a fresh rose bouquet to help you relax.
  4. Breathe deeply for five minutes. This is the single most effective way to calm frazzled nerves.
  5. Phone a friend. Telling a friend how you’re feeling and listening to their familiar voice will give you comfort and a fresh perspective.
  6. Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal. This whole grain releases serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter.Continue Reading …
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How to Recover From Colds and Flu Faster

When you've got a bad cold or flu, taking time off to rest helps your body to recover faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

When you’ve got a bad cold or flu, taking time off to rest helps your body to recover faster. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Colds and flu don’t have a cure, but there are things you can do to get over them more quickly. Here are 10 of them (via Prevention.com):

  1. Determine which virus you have. While cold symptoms are mostly respiratory, flu can be accompanied by fever, aches, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, your doctor can write a prescription for an antiviral medication like Tamiflu, which can shave days off of your illness if you take it within the first 48 hours of symptoms.
  2. Rest and hydrate. Drinking water will thin the mucus secretions in your lungs, and rest helps your body fight off illness more effectively.
  3. Drink hot tea. All kinds of tea contain theophylline, which dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, reducing resistance in your airways. For an extra boost, add a teaspoon of honey. Honey soothes scratchy throats, and its antioxidants help fight off infections.Continue Reading …
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6 Pain-Relieving Foods

The anthocyanins in cherries are powerful inflammation-killing antioxidants. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Cherries are chock-full of anthocyanins, antioxidants that can significantly reduce inflammation and ease pain. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Recent studies have shown that certain foods contain as much pain-fighting power as common pain medications like ibuprofen. Here are 6 of them to try (via AARP The Magazine):

  1. For back pain: red grapes. The resveratrol found in red grapes is a compound that blocks the enzymes that contribute to tissue degeneration, and preliminary research suggests it can also protect against the type of cartilage damage that causes back pain. To get your fill, snack on red grapes, or have a glass of wine. You can also get resveratrol in other fruits like blueberries and cranberries.
  2. For knee pain: ginger. In a six-week University of Miami study, patients with chronic knee pain reported less soreness upon standing after taking a ginger extract. Ginger relieves pain by blocking a key enzyme in the inflammatory process. To get the benefits, consume two to three teaspoons per day by adding it to a soup or stir fry, or drinking ginger-infused tea or fresh ginger ale made with real pieces of the root.
  3. For osteoarthiritis pain: soy. Soy’s pain-relieving secret lies in its isoflavones, plant hormones with anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that adding 40 grams of soy protein to your daily diet can reduce osteoarthritis pain by 30 percent or more within two to three weeks. Tofu, soy milk and edamame are all good sources of soy protein.Continue Reading …
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5 Tips for a Healthier, Happier Valentine’s Day

Show your sweetie you care about their heart and their health this Valentine's Day. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Show your sweetie you care about their heart and their health this Valentine’s Day. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all chocolates and candy. Follow these five tips to love yourself and your sweetheart even better (via Care2.com):

  1. Enjoy a healthy activity together. Start your day with something fun and active. Head out for sledding or ice skating, try out your roller skating skills at the indoor skate rink, or take your dog to the off-leash dog park together. Doing something physical also increases your energy level, priming you to enjoy the rest of the day even more.
  2. Enjoy a healthy meal together. Cook a favorite meal together at home, or head to your favorite restaurant for a night out. Choose a satisfying, but comparatively light dish to avoid loosened belt buckles and bloating (not romantic!). Another great option is an indoor French picnic, with light hors d’oeuvres, cheeses and fruits, all bite-sized so you can feed each other. For more culinary inspiration, check out our post on 10 red and pink superfoods here.Continue Reading …
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5 Foods for a Healthier Heart

The folate and iron in spinach help your body to fight off disease, and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

The folate and iron in spinach help your body to fight off disease, and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Show your heart some love by making these five heart-healthy foods part of your regular diet (via WebMD):

  1. Blueberries. The anthocyanins that give blueberries their dark blue color are also powerful antioxidants that give blueberries extraordinary disease-fighting power. Blueberries are also packed with filling fiber and vitamin C. Try them over cereal, in whole-wheat pancakes or waffles, or all by themselves as a tasty snack.
  2. Salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are essential for a healthy heart. Bonus: Its high protein content aids in muscle building and recovery.
  3. Soy protein. This protein contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals – all the building blocks for a heart-healthy meal. A diet rich in soy protein can also lower triglycerides, which in turn will lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  4. Oatmeal. This breakfast favorite is a great source of whole-grains, vitamins and minerals. It’s also rich in fiber, which can help lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. For nine health benefits of oatmeal, see our recent post.
  5. Spinach. Popeye knew what he was doing. Considered royalty in the vegetable kingdom, the multiple phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals (especially folate and iron) in spinach help your body to fight off disease, protect against heart disease, and preserve your eyesight.
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9 Reasons to Eat More Oatmeal

Try adding warm cinnamon apples and a splash of milk to your oatmeal for a tasty, filling and nutritious breakfast. (Image courtesy of FreeDigital Photos.net)

Try adding warm cinnamon apples and a splash of milk to your oatmeal for a tasty, filling and nutritious breakfast. (Image courtesy of FreeDigital Photos.net)

As National Oatmeal Month draws to a close, we share 9 great health benefits of this breakfast staple (via Care2 Healthy Living):

  1. Oatmeal stops cravings. Oatmeal and other complex carbs digest more slowly than simple carbs, keeping you feeling full longer, and for a fraction of the calories of other foods.
  2. It’s a high-protein food. Oatmeal contains one of the highest protein levels of any grain, aiding muscle building and recovery.
  3. It stabilizes your blood sugar and reduces diabetes risk. Oatmeal’s fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down its conversion from whole food to simple sugars, helping maintain steady blood sugar levels. Oatmeal is also rich in magnesium, which helps maintain the body’s ability to properly process glucose.
  4. It lowers your bad (LDL) cholesterol. Research shows that beta-glucan, a unique fiber in oatmeal, can lower your bad (LDL) cholesterol without affecting your good (HDL) cholesterol.
  5. It’s safe for people with gluten sensitivities. While people who are truly gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease should stay away from oatmeal, it is a great choice for those who have a sensitivity to the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten). Just be sure that the oats you eat do not contain gluten from processing facilities or nearby wheat fields.Continue Reading …
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