HEALTH & WELLNESS

Five Quick Fixes for a Healthy Diet

By Abagail Sullivan

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We’ve all toyed with various diet restrictions and nutrition monitoring in an attempt to eat better, but improving your health doesn’t have to be a full-fledged lifestyle change. Try these five easy fixes to your diet, and see just what a difference small changes can make.

 

1. Avoid a bevvy of beverages.

Watch your liquids. Far too many beverages (that are being consumed on a usually very regular basis) are sneaky culprits, sneaking added sugars and fat into your daily dining dynamic. Skip the latte – which can add hundreds of calories and a significant sugar increase to your morning – and play around with adding a packet of your own sugar preference and almond or coconut milk to taste. Beware of sodas and alcoholic drinks as well, limiting your intake asoften as you can manage.

2. Make H2O your go-to.

Water is the key to a healthy everything, and so crucial in your everyday consumption. Some recommend eight glasses per day, while others suggest consuming half your weight # in ounces daily. Whatever the correct formula, we know water is invaluable in feeling good, all around. Hydration helps to avoid headaches, fights fatigue, aids in digestion, clears your skin, and flushes toxins. And drinking a glass or two before each meal can help keep you full and avoid unnecessary overindulging.

3. Keep it small and keep it consistent.

Aim to maintain a regular eating schedule, while consuming smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Those who dine this way also tend to veer toward healthier, more nutritional options of consumption.

4. Pre-plan your outings.

Restaurant outings and quick food options can be an unsuspecting downfall to a healthy lifestyle. Instead of foregoing social situations and dining get-togethers, create a quick plan prior to your excursion. If you’re heading to a restaurant, check out their menu (and potential nutritional information) and select your option beforehand. Watch out for subtle additions like bread and butter and alcohol, that can rack up the fats, sugars, and carbohydrates in your meal. For professional and more party-centered social atmospheres, nibble on a healthy snack or smoothie before you go, so as not to become inadvertently sucked into dessert bars and hors d’oeuvres.

5. Shop ‘til you drop.

As much as grocery shopping might be the bane of some of our existences, picking out groceries and planning snacks and meals ahead of time is crucial in keeping up with a healthy lifestyle. Make a list before heading to the store, with go-to snacks and quick, healthy meal recipes to set your base for success. Bringing pre-determined snacks and meals to work is a surefire way to avoid unhealthy quick-grub options and staying satisfied throughout the day (not to mention it saves you a whole lot of money, too!).

As you can see with these five easy steps, sustaining a healthy lifestyle can be very much approachable. It’s about dedication, mindset, and action. Decide you want to make a change, remind yourself of the benefits, and follow through.

Adding Vitamins and Minerals to Your Diet to Promote Back Health

By Abagail Sullivan

You may never have considered diet as a way to promote back health, but what you eat is most certainly an influence in whether or not your back is feeling up to par. Consuming enough nutrition – through back-health promoting vitamins and minerals – is crucial in the development, maintenance, and improvement of your bone, muscle, and disc health. Review this list of vitamins and minerals – whose back relief benefits we’ve highlighted – and find out where you can access these (easy, healthy recipes linked accordingly) to start promoting your best back, today!   Vitamin A   Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone.  Examples of sources high in vitamin A include: beef liver, carrots,  sweet potato , kale, spinach,  broccoli    To note: more than the recommended amount of vitamin A (about 900 mg daily for men and 700 mg daily for women) can promote bone fractures, so beware of excess intake.    Vitamin B3 (Niacin)   Vitamin B3, also referred to as Niacin, can help maintain a healthy nervous system, which is important for many spine conditions.  Good sources: turkey, chicken breast,  peanuts , mushrooms, lamb liver, tuna   Vitamin B12   Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bone marrow and for the spine to grow and function.  It reduces pressure in your back and eases chronic back pain.  Good sources:  clams , beef liver, mackerel, crab, tofu, bran cereal   Vitamin C   Vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen, which allows cells to be able to form into tissue.  It is important in the healing process for injuries involving tendons, ligaments, discs, bones, wounds, and burns.  It increases calcium absorption in the body to promote strong bones and protects your back from damaging free radicals.  Good sources: oranges, red peppers,  kale , brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries   Vitamin D   Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones, aiding in calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis.  It produces new bone cells, decreases inflammation in the body, and can lessen spasms in the lower back.  Good sources: sunlight, sardines,  salmon , mackerel, tuna, soy milk   Vitamin E   Vitamin E can help alleviate lower back pain as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals.  It increases the antioxidant reaction in your body and reduces muscle pain and soreness by repairing damaged tissue.  Good sources: almonds, spinach, sweet potato,  avocado , wheat germ, sunflower seeds   Vitamin K   Vitamin K is needed for the bones to properly use calcium, which in turn aids in the strength of healthy bones.  Good sources: dried basil, kale, onions,  brussels sprouts , chili powder, asparagus   Calcium   Calcium is essential for bone health and building strong bones, helping to maintain the necessary level of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.  Good sources: watercress, mozzarella, milk,  yogurt , bok choy, tofu   Iron   Iron aids in the production of myoglobin, an important element of healthy muscles needed to support the spine.  Good sources: squash and  pumpkin seeds , chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, nuts   Magnesium   Magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density, which can aid in the prevention of back problems.  It is also a factor in prevention of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.  Good sources: raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, mackerel, soy beans, brown rice,  avocado    Omega-3 fatty acids   Omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammation that cause back pain.  Good sources: cold pressed flaxseed oil,  salmon , chia seeds, walnuts, caviar, mackerel    Other sources that could be helpful…     Devil’s Claw   Devil’s Claw comes from a native African plant and can reduce flare-ups of chronic low back pain.  The ingredients in this plant  may be effective in reducing back pain , because it’s chemicals may decrease inflammation and swelling that cause the pain   Capsaicin   Capsaicin is the agent that gives hot peppers their heat, and this ingredient can be applied, using a cream, to  relieve back pain .   Turmeric   Taken as a powder in capsules, mixed into tea, or as a liquid extract, Turmeric contains effective  anti-inflammatory properties .

You may never have considered diet as a way to promote back health, but what you eat is most certainly an influence in whether or not your back is feeling up to par. Consuming enough nutrition – through back-health promoting vitamins and minerals – is crucial in the development, maintenance, and improvement of your bone, muscle, and disc health. Review this list of vitamins and minerals – whose back relief benefits we’ve highlighted – and find out where you can access these (easy, healthy recipes linked accordingly) to start promoting your best back, today!

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps repair tissue and aids in the formation of bone.

Examples of sources high in vitamin A include: beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, broccoli

To note: more than the recommended amount of vitamin A (about 900 mg daily for men and 700 mg daily for women) can promote bone fractures, so beware of excess intake.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Vitamin B3, also referred to as Niacin, can help maintain a healthy nervous system, which is important for many spine conditions.

Good sources: turkey, chicken breast, peanuts, mushrooms, lamb liver, tuna

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy bone marrow and for the spine to grow and function.

It reduces pressure in your back and eases chronic back pain.

Good sources: clams, beef liver, mackerel, crab, tofu, bran cereal

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the development of collagen, which allows cells to be able to form into tissue.

It is important in the healing process for injuries involving tendons, ligaments, discs, bones, wounds, and burns.

It increases calcium absorption in the body to promote strong bones and protects your back from damaging free radicals.

Good sources: oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for the development of healthy bones, aiding in calcium absorption to help prevent osteoporosis.

It produces new bone cells, decreases inflammation in the body, and can lessen spasms in the lower back.

Good sources: sunlight, sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, soy milk

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can help alleviate lower back pain as a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals.

It increases the antioxidant reaction in your body and reduces muscle pain and soreness by repairing damaged tissue.

Good sources: almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is needed for the bones to properly use calcium, which in turn aids in the strength of healthy bones.

Good sources: dried basil, kale, onions, brussels sprouts, chili powder, asparagus

Calcium

Calcium is essential for bone health and building strong bones, helping to maintain the necessary level of bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.

Good sources: watercress, mozzarella, milk, yogurt, bok choy, tofu

Iron

Iron aids in the production of myoglobin, an important element of healthy muscles needed to support the spine.

Good sources: squash and pumpkin seeds, chicken liver, oysters, mussels, clams, nuts

Magnesium

Magnesium helps maintain muscle tone and bone density, which can aid in the prevention of back problems.

It is also a factor in prevention of calcium deficiency and osteoporosis.

Good sources: raw spinach, squash and pumpkin seeds, mackerel, soy beans, brown rice, avocado

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids can help inflammation that cause back pain.

Good sources: cold pressed flaxseed oil, salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, caviar, mackerel

Other sources that could be helpful…

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw comes from a native African plant and can reduce flare-ups of chronic low back pain.

The ingredients in this plant may be effective in reducing back pain, because it’s chemicals may decrease inflammation and swelling that cause the pain

Capsaicin

Capsaicin is the agent that gives hot peppers their heat, and this ingredient can be applied, using a cream, to relieve back pain.

Turmeric

Taken as a powder in capsules, mixed into tea, or as a liquid extract, Turmeric contains effective anti-inflammatory properties.

Peak Peach Season Is Here! Make the Most of It with These Peachy Recipes

By Caitlin Lubinski

Some fantastic ideas for peachy summer eats this peach season…   Peach season is at its peak in July and August. Get local and eat in season with these fantastic peach recipes incorporating this classic, juicy fruit.    Peach smoothie    from Martha Stewart

Some fantastic ideas for peachy summer eats this peach season…

Peach season is at its peak in July and August. Get local and eat in season with these fantastic peach recipes incorporating this classic, juicy fruit.

Peach smoothie from Martha Stewart

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Peach Salsa from Natasha’s Kitchen