Saturday, June 13, 2009

From Vegetables to Attitude

The other day I was looking at the term 5 a day, meaning to eat 5 serves of fruit and vegetables a day. I came across an article that was asking did you get your 5 a day only they weren't talking about fruit and vegetables. What they meant was did you do 5 things today that would improve your mental state?

I thought that it was a great idea to apply the "did you get your 5 a day" to other things. Some things that I thought of were:
  • Keep good attitudes
  • Have a positive mental attitude
  • Improve your mental state
  • Enhance personal relationships
  • Improve or keep good health
  • Move ahead in your field of work
Undoubtedly, you might be able to think of some others.

It takes 30 days for an action to become a habit. If one was consciously aware of doing 5 specific things in the area they wanted to work on for a month, those actions would probably have become automatic by then. Once things become automatic, they become a part of the normal fabric of our lives, without having to be conscious of them.

Pick an area that you would like to work on. Find 5 things that you could do today that would improve it. Put it into practice. Here is an example of some things that could be done to improve mental state.
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Do some daily exercise
  • Watch your diet - don't eat junk food
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Smile at people
  • Compliment someone
  • Find 5 things to be thankful for
  • Do something specific to relax
  • Laugh
Well that is 10 suggestions. What I noticed as I wrote them is that they would fit equally well in the improve or keep good health category. There will always be overlap with things like this. It really doesn't matter. The important thing is to be conscious of doing something that will improve things for you in some way.

Have fun and enjoy yourself,

Fruit and Vegetables Get Your 5 A Day

Thursday, June 11, 2009

9 Benefits of Gratitude

I was reminded today about the importance of gratitude.

Wallace Wattles, in his book "The science of Getting Rich" says:

"There is a law of gratitude, and if you are to get the results you seek, it is absolutely necessary that you should observe this law."

An attitude of gratitude can enhance our lives in many ways. Here is a list of 9 benefits of having an attitude of gratitude.
  1. Can help you to have a more positive mood
  2. Creates a sense of emotional well being
  3. Can help to create better interpersonal relationships
  4. Can improve physical health
  5. Positive impact on both cardiovascular and immune functions.
  6. Reduces stress
  7. Live a longer life
  8. Reduces depression
  9. Reduces fear
Developing and nurturing gratitude is one of the things that can help our lives to be more pleasant, useful and fulfilling. Most of the difficulties in life can be eased by making some changes to our mental state. Having gratitude as a normal part of your daily life and thoughts is worth the effort that it might take to have it as your normal response.

If you would like to download a free copy of Wallace Wattles book, "The Science of Getting Rich" please follow the linked title.

Positively enjoy life


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Can An Apricot Do For You?

Apricots are one of those beautiful tasty fruits that go with summer. They are packed full of nutrients and have some little known uses in the form of health benefits. Fortunately, when they are out of season they are readily available in tinned or dried form. If you are using dried apricots and are trying to avoid eating the food preservative sulphur dioxide (220) look for dark colored fruit. The bright orange color of dried apricots is obtained from using sulphur dioxide. The preservative free dried apricots are quite dark in color, and sometimes not quite as soft.

Some Nutrients in Apricots:
  • Beta carotene - Our bodies convert some of this into Vitamin A. The rest is a powerful antioxidant
  • Lycopene
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
Some Health Benefits
  • Heart protecting nutrients
  • Good for eye health
  • Protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation - Good for the heart
  • Fiber is good for colon health
  • Good for weight. Three apricots have about 50 calories.
  • Can help protect against stroke
Some studies are showing that diets high in beta carotene can also help in delaying the aging of the brain and hold the effects of Alzheimer's disease at bay. With that being the case, it is good news that there is more beta carotene in canned apricots than in fresh. This is because the heat in the process releases more beta carotene from the cell walls of the fruit.

Georgina Cundall's ebook Fabulous Fruits & Vital Vegetables gives lots of health benefits for many different fruits and vegetables, as well as plenty of tips and recipes for tasty eating. Check it out, and see if it can make the difference in your healthy diet plan.

Eat healthy and stay happy,


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Secrets of 7 Fruits and Vegetables

I have long been fascinated by the variety of health issues that particular foods can help to alleviate. It is interesting, and very handy to know which foods can assist us to gain the health outcomes that we are looking for.

Today I have a list of seven fruits and vegetables that can help to control blood pressure.
  1. Apricots
  2. Bananas
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Chestnuts
  5. Beets
  6. Broccoli
  7. Garlic
All of these also have other functions, and health issues that they can help to address. For example cantaloupe can also help to lower cholesterol. Garlic is well known for its wide range of health benefits and perhaps deserves an article of its own.

I have come across an excellent ebook that combines information about which health benefits go with which fruits and vegetables, with loads of information about the selection, preparation and preservation of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fabulous Fruits & Vital Vegetables by Georgina Cundall gives a great base of knowledge to help you to gain more benefit from your fruits and vegetables.

Have fun as you enjoy your fruit and vegetables and keep in good health


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why Eat Brazil Nuts?

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a marvelous little package. Interestingly, they are not farmed but grow wild in the forests of South America. Attempts to farm them have been dismal failures due to their specific needs for pollination. In fact, even if the forest has been partially cleared or unduly disturbed, the yield of nuts on the trees is drastically reduced. Because of this, some say that eating brazil nuts helps to keep those forests intact. There may be some truth in that because selling brazil nuts is an important cash crop to the people of those areas.

Brazil nuts have the highest selenium content of any food. Just eating 2-4 nuts per day will give you ample selenium for your general needs. One chart suggests that there can be as much as 544 micrograms in 1 ounce of brazil nuts. This would probably equate to about 77 micrograms per nut. The selenium content of the nuts can vary so they may not all have this much.

What Do We Use Selenium For?

Selenium has a role in the prevention of some degenerative diseases. These include:
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infections
  • Aging
  • Neurological diseases
One study, done in 1966, showed that people taking 200mcg selenium per day for 4 1/2 years had a reduction of their cancer risk by 32% and their risk of death by cancer by 50%. If eating a few brazil nuts could potentially give these benefits, it is certainly a tasty cheap way to add this nutrient to ones diet.

Selenium is also a very effective antioxidant. It also has the ability to regenerate vitamins E and C in the body. That is, in the presence of some nutrients, such as selenium and lipoic acid, vitamins C and E are able to continue working longer in our bodies than they otherwise would.

Selenium is useful in diabetes. It seems to be able to mimic the action of insulin as well as helping to slow down the progress of secondary complications such as neuropathy, cataracts and such like.

Arthritis sufferers often show low selenium levels.

Selenium is present in nearly every cell in our bodies and is essential for many processes. It is also useful in protecting against and neutralising certain toxins.

Some Other Nutrients in Brazil Nuts
  • Protein (all essential amino acids present)
  • Copper
  • Niacin
  • Magnesium
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorous
  • Iron
I am sure there is much more that could be written about the benefits of brazil nuts, but this is perhaps enough to show that they are an excellent choice to include in a healthy diet.

Stay healthy