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Want to boost energy, prevent fatigue, and restore mental alertness? In addition to taking daily vitamins and minerals, and preventing vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to make sure you’re eating the right foods for maximum energy.
For more energy throughout the day, you need to fill up on foods with high-octane, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and soluble fibers for normal digestion.
Look for energizing foods that provide antioxidants, minerals, and plenty of B vitamins for stamina, neurological integrity, and healthy metabolism.
Below is a list of the best healthy foods that provide the most energy.
Apples- healthy fiber, fructose, vitamin C, antioxidants, and boron for alertness
Bananas- B-vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, healthy fiber, and potassium
Red bell peppers- vitamin C, healthy fiber, phytochemical lycopene, and vitamin B6.
Carrots- healthy fiber, Beta-Carotene
Celery- water, fiber, vitamin C, B-vitamins, potassium and sodium
Tomatoes- vitamin C
Sweet potatoes- vitamin A, vitamin C
Pumpkin- potassium, fiber, vitamin A
Spinach- iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and folate
Cantaloupe- B-vitamins, potassium, fructose, and water
Watermelon- B-vitamins, potassium, fructose, and water
Pineapple- Vitamin C and bromelain
Mango- Vitamin C
Sea vegetables- calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium
Unhealthy food cravings are your body’s way of warning you of vitamin deficiency. Learn how to identify food cravings in your diet for better nutritional health.
You only think you want a chocolate milkshake…
Are you a slave to your food cravings? When you get this indescribable urge to run to the nearest Starbucks and order a Grande Brownie Frappuccino with whipped cream and an extra shot of java juice, do you ever think to yourself,
“Wait a minute…do I really want to drink a sweet, cold, frothy caffeinated beverage right now, or is my brain just trying to tell me that I need to include more phosphorous and chromium in my diet?”
Of course, you don’t.
Before today, you had no idea that there was any connection between your craving for sweet iced coffee and phosphorous deficiency.
Now, you know.
What your body really wants…
When you don’t follow a healthy diet, replete with vitamins and essential minerals, then your body will find a way to tell you to change your diet. Food cravings are your body’s way of asking for more of what it needs:
Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Learning how to decode your body’s messages…
Fortunately, all you need is a good “owner’s manual” to figure out which foods you need to add to your diet.
Below are 6 typical unhealthy cravings, and which healthy foods and nutritional supplements you should substitute:
1- If you crave sugary sweets like candies, cookies, cakes, and donuts, then you really need:
Chromium- sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, beets, whole grains, and meat and fish
When it comes to cooking with healthy oils, variety is indeed the spice of life. It’s important to stock your kitchen with a selection of flavorful, low-in-saturated-fat oils. Many are rich in vitamins, monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids.
For all-purpose cooking, oliveoil and canola oil are versatile staples that work in most recipes, with the exception of deep-frying or searing. Other oils are ideal for cold salad dressings- a few drops of dark toasted sesame oil add a rich smoky flavor to Oriental chicken salad and pasta.
Low smoking point oils
Use in raw in salads, dips, and sandwich spreads
Flax seed oil adds flavor to pasta salads or yogurt dips, and provides alpha-linolenic acid, a heart-healthy form of omega-3. Health experts link flax seed oil with cardiovascular health and normal insulin response.
Wheat germ oilis another exceptional agent. Rich in vitamin E, wheat germ has antioxidant properties for combating free radicals, thus boosting heart health. Use wheat germ oil sparingly in marinades and spreads, as it contains 17% saturated fats. Wheat germ oil also stimulates your immune system and promotes healthy brain functioning.
Medium smoking point oils
Use for stir-frying, baking, and sautéing
Canola oil, with only 7% saturated fats, is one of the heart-healthiest cooking oils across the board. Canola oil imparts a mild, clean flavor to “oven fried” chicken nuggets and potato sticks.
Walnut oilis a surprisingly healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being low in saturated fats. Walnut oil has a medium smoking point, so only use it for quick sautéing over a medium flame.
Hemp oil is omega-rich cooking oil that is gaining popularity in alternative medicine circles; to prevent rancidity, store hemp oil in the refrigerator.
High smoking point oils
Use for searing or browning
Almond oiland hazelnut oil are the choicest oils to use for high-heat cooking, with only 7% saturated fats. Nut oils have a distinct flavor that enhance dishes like seared salmon cutlets, or “blackened” Cajun chicken.
Olive oil is a flavorful runner-up that is slightly higher in saturated fats (14%). “Light” colored olive oil has the highest smoking point, while less refined extra virgin olive oil is more suited to medium-high cooking temperatures.
High-oleic sunflower oilis also low in saturated fats and holds up well under high heat.
Oils that should stay on the shelf
Whichever oil your prefer, think a second time before usingcoconut oil, which packs a whopping dose of 92% saturated fats and has very few health benefits.
Palm oil is another contender for our “worst oil ever” award, packed with 52% artery-clogging saturated fats.
Do you have a love-hate relationship with drinking water?
Many people do. You need to drink more water during the summer season in order to avoid dehydration, that much is certain, but let’s face it- water is, well, plain. Sometimes you want to quench your thirst with something that has some flavor- a little kick, a touch of sweetness, or just a cooling aftertaste. Short of guzzling down sugary sodas, “energy drinks,” or highly concentrated fruit-ades, what other options are there?
Alternatives to soda
There’s no reason to feel guilty about craving flavored water, as long as you don’t substitute drinking water with sweet sodas, diet sodas, coffee, or caffeinated iced tea. Stay hydrated while satisfying your sweet tooth by brewing up your own homemade flavored water, made with natural food ingredients.
Below are 12 tips for increasing your water intake without sacrificing flavor:
1- Make it fruity.Fill up a pitcher of drinking water, and toss in some fresh fruit for added sweetness without the cavities.
Try it now:experiment with mixed berries, citrus fruits, or the spa special, sliced cucumbers.
2- Juice it.Instead of adding sweetened punch mixes, add some 100 percent natural concentrated fruit juice. Apple juice concentrate makes an excellent sugar substitute for recipes that call for corn syrup or honey.
Try it now:Dilute one part pure mango juice with three parts water for an all-natural fruit-ade.
3- Pour in some bubbly.Sometimes you just gotta have something fizzy. Resist the urge to grab a can of diet soda mindlessly from the cooler. Plain club soda, seltzer water, or sparkling mineral water on ice is so much healthier, not to mention more refreshing.
Try it now: Make your own flavored seltzer. Add grape juice or pineapple juice to a glass of sparkling water.
4- Ice, ice, baby.Ice-cold water tastes better than flat tepid water, hands down. Keep bottled water in your refrigerator at all times. Store a half-full bottle of water in the freezer for field trips; fill-‘er-up and you’ve got instant ice water.
Try it now:For parties, try something different. Instead of regular, square ice cubes, invest in a few designer ice cube molds, and substitute fruit juice for water.
5- Drink herb tea. Commercially bottled iced teas are full of refined sugar, and many contain caffeine, which causes dehydration. Make a jug of home-brewed decaffeinated iced tea, only leave out the sweet stuff.
Try it now:Boil a few cups of water. Add several bags of herbal tea. Allow to seep and cool. Add ice and water, adjusting to taste. Some flavor suggestions: chai decaf, mixed berries, or lemon-chamomile.
6- Add a little electrolyte.Your body loses salty fluids when you perspire. For that reason, many sports drinks contain small amounts of sugar, potassium, and salt. Unfortunately, most electrolyte drinks contain too much sugar, in addition to food colorings and other additives.
Try it now: Make your own healthy sports drink by adding a small amount of salt and orange juice (a natural source of potassium) to your drinking water.
7- Great with grated ginger:Ginger extract is a healthy tonic that also adds a warm, spicy flavor to foods and beverages. Beware, though, because ginger root is more powerful than it looks.
Try it now: Peel and grate a piece of ginger root. Press fresh shavings through a garlic press. Catch the extracted juice in a small bowl. Add to warm or cool water, adjusting to taste.
8- Make a fragrant watery bouquet.Fresh cuttings of herbs add a festive, pleasing touch to iced drinking water without the need for sweeteners.
Try it now:Chop up a handful of pungent peppermint leaves, and toss them into a glass decanter of water for a stimulating, hydrating drink. Other refreshing options are lavender-mint, lemongrass, and parsley.
9- Vinegar water.Many health experts extol the benefits of drinking diluted vinegar. Some believe that drinking apple cider vinegar is helpful for promoting weight loss and supplying vitamin C, vitamin A, and many B vitamins.
Try it now: Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or raspberryvinegar to a tall glass of fresh drinking water.
10- Red, red, wine. While drinking glassfuls of wine, or any other alcohol, for that matter, is not a great way to stay hydrated, there’s nothing wrong with adding a bit of wine to a glass of sparkling water for flavor.
Try it now:One part of sweet dessert wine mixed with two parts sparkling mineral water makes a delightfully light, low-calorie, low-alcohol wine spritzer.
11- Have a cuppa.A cup of broth, that is. Sipping soup is another great way to increase your water intake in a way that’s flavorful and nutritious. Thick, creamy chowders don’t count as a hydrating soup, though many are healthful. To avoid dehydration while suffering from a cold or flu, drink plenty of soupy broths.
Try it now:Add a low-sodium bouillon cube to a mug of boiled water, for a quick cup-a-soup. Better yet, stir up a fresh pot of chicken or vegetable soup with basil, oregano, and dill.
12- Take this one to-go.Have you ever gone to a party where the only drinks offered were sodas, beer, and tap water? Times like these, it helps to have a packet of sugarless drink mix on hand. While it’s not as healthy as the above-listed options, considering the artificial sweeteners and the food colorings, it’s still a vast improvement over syrupy colas with caffeine.
Try it now:Check your supermarket aisle for a selection of powdered drink mixes that contain aspartame, saccharine, or sucralose. Many come in single-serving envelopes for convenience while traveling.
Can eating beans prevent premature hair loss? You Bet! Here are some healthy diet tips to stop thinning hair!
Ever look down after taking a hot shower, and see a giant mop-worthy clump of your own hair clinging to the drain cover?
Relax- it happens to everybody. Just be glad you noticed now, and not after spending a fortune on Rogaine, and other expensive hair lossremedies.
With a few simple changes to your diet, you can effectively turn back the agingprocess; at least as far as your hair health is concerned.
Including nutritious foods that containvitamin B12, iron, and zinc will keep your hair lively, lush, and most importantly of all, present.
Here are five essential foods for your hair:
One of the best nutrients for keeping a full head of hair is vitamin B12, which also extends your natural hair color. Weak nails, sallow skin, and thinning hair are all evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to fatigue, memory loss, and tingling in the hands and feet. To avoid becoming deficient in vitamin B12, include plenty of lean protein in your diet. Cottage cheese, fish, and lean cuts of beef are excellent sources of B12 that also boost hair growth. Other great choices are eggs, chicken, and lamb. If you follow a vegan diet, then you should take vitamin B12 supplements to avoid low B12 levels.
Iron is essential for producing oxygen-toting hemoglobin, making it a necessary ally for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and figs are dynamic sources of iron, in addition to tofu, dark leafy greens, and iron-fortified cereals.
For maximum absorption, pair iron-rich foods with vitamin C. Think spinach salad with chopped strawberries, or date-nut shakes with Mandarin orange segments.
Zinc deficiency is a common cause of male pattern premature baldness. Zinc is essential for cellular regeneration, maintaining balanced hormone levels, and keeping your hair follicles strong- all of which significantly affect your hair growth.
Oysters are rich in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, making it an optimal choice for healthy hair. Other seafood dishes that have zinc are shrimp and clams.
Don’t like fish? Meat, poultry, and nuts are also rich in zinc.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s are healthy for the skin of your scalp, in addition to promoting hair growth. Doctors often prescribe omega-3 oils to help boost hair growth following chemotherapy.
Flax seed is high in omega-3 fats and iron. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on salads and yogurt for a healthy boost of nutrients with a nutty flavor. Salmon is also full of omega-3s; if you like canned salmon, choose the bone-in variety for extra calcium.
Silica is a nutrient that is essential for properly absorbing vitamins and minerals from food. To benefit fully from foods that boost hair growth, you should include foods that contain silica.
Bean sprouts top the list as the most silica-rich foods. Other selections with silica are cucumbers, bell peppers, and potatoes.
Healthy and delicious fruity milk shakes are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants- these smoothies will keep your energy up all summer long…without the caffeine!
Nothing beats an ice-cold drink on a hot, lazy summer day. Colas and “energy drinks” might temporarily give you that extra power boost you need in the middle of the afternoon, but that’s only because they get their fuel from caffeine.
One 16-ounce can of SoBe’s No Fear contains 141mg of caffeine; that’s about as much as an 8-ounce cup of coffee, which can have anywhere between 100-150mg of caffeine.
So, what’s wrong with a caffeine buzz?
Nothing, if it’s an occasional cup of coffee. But if you’re banking on a can of Diet Coke or a tall Frappuccino to get you through your morning workload or afternoon gym class on a regular basis, then you should consider the healthrisks involved.
Caffeine and your health
Besides guaranteeing a “caffeine crash” a few hours later, which defeats the whole purpose of drinking an energy drink, excess caffeine intake causes the following side effects:
High blood pressure
Nutritious, energy drinks just make more sense
Why risk all the ill effects of caffeine addiction, when you can get a vitamin-packed power boost from heart-healthy ingredients that your body loves?
Whip up a high-energy smoothie for a quick, refreshing breakfast, snack, or frozen dessert.
Dairy ingredients such as yogurt and low-fat milk provide protein and vitamin B12, for long-lasting energy and metabolic performance throughout your day.
Individuals on special diets can substitute soy milk or soy ice cream for a vegetarian milk shake.
Fresh fruits of the season deliver maximum vitamins and antioxidants.
Try some of these healthy, summertime smoothie recipes for yourself; listed below is one for each day of the week!
You don’t have to wait until October to enjoy antioxidant-rich pumpkin pie! Just crack open a can of pumpkin puree, and add banana and almond milk. This recipe also contains two cups of baby spinach, but you can substitute your favorite leafy greens.
Chocolate is chock-full of ingredients that disagree with acid reflux- it’s highly caffeinated, contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid, and it’s high in fat. If you must have your chocolate fix, opt for lower-fat dark chocolate- at least you’ll be getting some antioxidants.
3- DO…Follow a low-fat diet.
Fatty foods slow down digestion, increasing your chances of suffering a gastrointestinal backlash. Follow a light diet, and you’ll feel lighter, too.
4- DON’T…Eat fried foods. Oily foods are at the top of the no-no list if you have GERD, and fried foods are the oiliest of the oiliest. Save yourself from the pain, and experiment with roasted potatoes, eggplant, carrots, zucchini, or kohlrabi. Roasting brings out the natural flavor, and requires less oil.
5- DO…Avoid caffeine.
A small cup of coffee every morning is fine, even if you get chronic heartburn, but a tall mug of latte every three hours is pushing it.
6- DON’T…Eat starchy carbohydrates.
Starchy, high-sugar vegetables are difficult for your body to digest, resulting in large amounts of undigested carbs. Carbohydrates that sit in your stomach end up contributing to excess stomach acids, a sure-fire way to cause acid reflux.
7- DO…Eat sauerkraut.
Aged, fermented foods like pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut have a stabilizing effect on the tummy, according to many health experts, when eaten in moderate amounts.
8- DON’T…Consume alcohol.
Although alcohol is not an acidic substance, it does have a loosening effect on the esophagus’s lower valve that controls gastricacid flow.
9- DO…Take probiotics supplements.
Probiotics promote healthy bacteria, a veritable army against heartburn, diarrhea, and many other stomach problems.
Probiotics are a main ingredient in yogurt and kefir, but if you can’t handle dairy products, then opt for probiotic supplements and tonics.
Sour cream, soft cheeses, ice cream, and whole milk these all contribute to GERD symptoms. Opt for the lower fat versions, if dairy is what you crave.
11- DO…Exerciseportion control.
When dining out, ask for a to-go container as soon as the food reaches your table. You’ll be less tempted to overindulge if you divide your meal in half before you start eating, and save the rest for later.
12- DON’T…Drink acidic fruit juice.
Orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, and tomato juice just add fuel to the fire. Also, avoid tomato-based sauces, as their acidic content aggravates heartburn symptoms.
13- DO…Keep a food diary.
Let’s face it- not everybody can keep a mental log of everything he ate this past week, let alone since breakfast. Keeping track of your eating habits in a food journal is the only way to manage your heartburn triggers.
14- DON’T…Drink bubbly drinks.
Remember the volcano science projects you used to do as a kid- the one where you put baking soda inside a papier-mâché “volcano,” poured in a solution of vinegar and red food food coloring? Well, imagine that in your stomach…
15- DO…Avoid processed foods.
Overly processed, refined foods lack the fiber needed to travel through your digestive system efficiently. Choose whole foods- brown rice instead of white, whole sugar instead of white, and you’ll also get more vitamins, to boot.
16- DON’T…Eat fatty meats.
Stay away from fatty beefsteaks, beef jerky, and pork. Leaner meats like ground turkey breast, skinless chicken, and trimmed beef chuck are healthier for the heart, less likely to cause heartburn, and higher in vitamin B12.
17- DO…Drink apple cider.
Apple cider is a natural alternative that balances stomach fluids, even if you have GERD.
Drink a few tablespoons of organic apple cider added to an 8-ounce glass of water, every day after meals.
Your body needs time and energy to process a meal. While physical activity is excellent for pushing food through your system, lying on the couch has the opposite effect. Sit down for dinner early, and make a habit of going out for a neighborhood stroll afterwards.
19- DO…Exercise regularly.
Light aerobic exercise increases your metabolism, ensuring that your food digests quicker and more efficiently, as opposed to sitting around in your stomach collecting acids
20- DON’T…Sleep on your right side.
Use the force of gravity to your advantage. If nighttime heartburn is an issue, then sleep on your left side, and your stomach acids will stay where they belong.
What foods should I eat…or avoid if I have IBD? Here are some proper nutrition tips for ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) that creates painful ulcers in the large intestinal tract and the rectum. One of the main causes of ulcerative colitis is poor digestion.
Sufferers of ulcerative colitis experience symptoms such as:
While diet doesn’t cause ulcerative colitis, it does affect chronic pain symptoms that are associated with IBD.
Below are some helpful food preparation tips for eating with ulcerative colitis:
Cook vegetables well. Raw or partially cooked vegetables are difficult for ulcerative colitis patients to digest completely.
Cut your food into small pieces that are easy to masticate thoroughly.
Avoid very small food morsels, such as corn kernels and peas; swallowing tiny bits of food without chewing them properly creates stomach upset, such as cramping and diarrhea.
If you experience any setbacks, it’s a good idea to restrict high fiber food items, such as whole wheat breads, legumes, and cereals, at least until your diarrhea has subsided.
Ten foods to avoid if you have ulcerative colitis:
Caffeine not only draws water out of our system, contributing to dehydration, but it also triggers bowel movements.
If you have ulcerative colitis or any other type of IBD, then caffeinated teas, coffee, and chocolate could wreak havoc on your digestive system, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed fluids.
Try sipping on something more tummy-friendly, such as comforting herbal tea and carob chip cookies.
Carbonated drinks are refreshing, but they are full of tiny air bubbles. Swallowing excess amounts of air causes flatulence and irritates the stomach linings of chronic colitis patients. If you cannot resist the lure of an icy cola on a hot day, then sip slowly. Nix the straw, as it will only make you swallow even more air.
Alcoholic beverages act as stimulants, and may aggravate the intestines. However, not all alcoholic drinks are cut from the same cloth, so to speak. White wines go down easier than red wines. Avoid beer and mixed drinks that often cause diarrhea. B12 and Alcohol Consumption
Contrary to popular belief, there is no direct correlation between lactose intolerance and IBD, though individuals with irritable bowels might have a slight sensitivity to milk sugar.
If you have colitis, then your best option is to cut back on dairy whenever possible. A pat of butter on some low-fiber toast or a bit of milk in your coffee is okay, but don’t get into the habit of drinking large amounts of cow’s milk.
Opt instead for other calcium-rich foods such canned salmon (bone-in), collard greens, and fortified low-pulp orange juice.
Unless your body is accustomed to digesting beans and legumes, then you should proceed with caution.
For many of us, beans such as garbanzos and pintos are difficult to digest and cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.
That doesn’t mean you should cross three-bean salad or minestrone off your list, though, as beans are rich in protein and vitaminB12.
Some methods of cooking beansproduce less gas, and chewing thoroughly helps to aid digestion. If you buy canned beans, rinse well to remove sugars, and experiment with pureed bean recipes, such as hummus or low-fat bean dip.
Some vegetables are hard for IBD patients to absorb, and fibrous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, and celery are high on that list. Focus on the have’s instead of the have-not’s. You can have delicious, vegetarian side dishes without the accompanying tummy aches. Some yummy green-light veggies include roasted cauliflower, carrot pennies, and baked potatoes.
Seeds, Skins, and Pellets
Certain foods irritate the lining of the intestines as they shove their way through our digestive system. These include:
Fruit seeds, such as those found in strawberries, figs, and melon
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Fruit skins, such as cranberries, blueberries and persimmon
Spongy pithy foods, such as mushrooms, citrus rinds, and orange marmalade
Fruity pellets, such as corn and pomegranate
Oil is not absorbed well in colitis patients, so avoid high-fat meals and condiments. These include:
Rich sauces, such as Alfredo sauce and other cheesy toppings
French fries, and other fried foods
Fatty meats, such as steaks, ribs and hot dogs
Condiments such as mayonnaise, melted butter, and rich salad dressings
Small nut pieces are hard for the body to digest completely, and may irritate the stomach.
Colitis patients should avoid treats containing roasted peanuts, cashews, or raw almonds. Ground nuts and seeds are fine, though.
Small amounts of creamy peanut butter, all-natural almond butter, or tahini are great sources of healthy fats.
Whole Herbs and Spices
If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer from a diet of bland, tasteless foods as well. Take advantage of the many pungent, sweet, and tangy herbs and spices that are available, but remember to grind them well.
If you buy dried seasonings, make sure that seedy spices such as cumin, pepper, and nutmeg have been ground to a fine meal. Chop up fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, and rosemary, into small pieces before adding them to casseroles, roasts, or sauces.
Think canned foods are bad for your health? Guess again. Many canned foods like pinto beans, canned pumpkin and smoked mackerel have essential vitamins like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and vitamin A, and also high protein.
A study conducted by the University of Illinois even proved that canned varieties of fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts in the produce section, having the same amount of vitamins and dietary fiber.
So you don’t have to sacrifice your family’s health just because you’re on a tight food budget.
Here are the 9 best canned foods you should be storing in your pantry:
Canned salmons deserves top billing as best canned foods because it is a powerhouse of nutrition; salmon is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. And because canned salmon manufacturers leave the bones in, you get added bone-strengthening calcium into the mix as well. For picky eaters, mash the soft bones into the salmon well and add a dollop of low cholesterol light mayonnaise.
Canned pinto beans
Sure, you could get dried pinto beans and soak them overnight…but why bother?
There’s no real nutritional difference between the old school method and cutting open a can of beans. Canned pinto beans are high in protein, folate and manganese. For a healthier version of refried beans, try mashing pinto beans with an immersion blender. Cook it up in the microwave, add some hot sauce, a dash of olive oil and salt for flavor, and serve it up with hot salsa and tortillas.
You say tomato…canned or fresh, tomatoes are full of vitamin C for a healthy immune system. And canned tomatoes have lycopene, an antioxidant found in ketchup which becomes more effective by the heating process involved in making canned fruits and vegetables. Canned tomatoes are a flavorful addition to soups and stews.
Canned smoked mackerel
Canned smoked mackerel- another score for vitamin B12. Smoked mackerel is also loaded with brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Canned fish is a great packing option for camping, hiking or trips; also a nutritious staple to store for emergencies, along with a package of high fiber crackers.
Scoring a home run for B12, canned sardines have high protein and omega-3 fatty acids. The tomato sauce varieties also contain the antioxidant lycopene. Look out for a low sodium brand of canned sardines for a healthy alternative. Kids don’t like sardines? Cook up some fish patties- mash up a can of sardines, add an egg, some bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of mayo and their favorite seasoning. Pan fry in olive oil until brown.
Canned kidney beans
Just like pinto beans, canned kidney beans are another great vegan source of B12 and high protein which are just as healthy in a can. Canned beans are also high in fiber, iron and vitamin B1. Make a delicious French bean salad with canned kidney beans, canned beets, flavored vinegar and sliced red onions.
Avoid the sugary canned pumpkin pie fillings; all natural canned pumpkin puree has 500 times the amount of recommended vitamin A, along with high fiber, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and magnesium. Incorporate into a healthy pumpkin pie recipe by substituting sugar with agave nectar or pure maple syrup.
Clams are high in vitamin B12, iron (more than in red meat), omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, but they also contain zinc, which is great for the immune system. Stir up a clam chowder and pass the croutons.
Another great staple item to keep in your pantry for emergencies, canned chicken is loaded with vitamin B12, high protein, selenium and niacin. Cook up a pot of spicy chicken jumbo using canned chicken, canned okra, canned tomatoes and some fresh hot peppers.
We’ve all heard of overeaters binging themselves into a state of depression- a vicious circle which is difficult to get out of. But eating for happiness?
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is linked with depression
Vitamin B12 is essential for many aspects of brain development, such as myelination (the production of a protective layer around the brain) and the distributing of neurotransmitters to and from the brain. So it comes as no surprise that the Mayo Clinic suggests eating foods rich in vitamin B-12 as a means of preventing the onset of clinical depression.
“Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
That’sa great motto if you happen to be an android. The fact is, eating is a sensual experience which we were meant to enjoy. (Why else would we have taste buds?) The key to good nutrition is finding foods you love that will love you right back.
Here are some yummy appetizers and entrées which are naturally high in vitamin B-12:
Fish tacos- Made popular by Rubio’s, the fish tacos is a tasty fusion of Cal-Mex and seafood cuisine. Take a soft flour tortilla, add some fiery mango salsa, a dab of sour cream and a grilled fish fillet (hint: salmon is high in B-12). It’s a wrap!
Are you a Sushi lover? Then you’re going to love this- sushi and sashimi recipes typically include such high-in-B12 ingredients as roe (fish eggs), octopus, crab, shrimp, and mackerel. Pass the soy sauce!
New England clam chowder- just the name elicits images of salty sea breezes, sailboats and clam bakes. Don’t have any recipes handy? Here is a list of variations on this classic soup recipe.
Lean cuts of lamb are high in vitamin B-12 and a popular staple of many Middle Eastern cuisines. Here is a flavorful Lamb Moussaka recipe, as featured in epicurious.
Tuna casserole is one of America’s fave comfort foods and it’s simple to make- combine canned tuna, cooked broad noodles, and a can of concentrated mushroom soup. Top it with some fried onions and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Tuna is high in B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hamburgers barbecued with low-fat ground beef chuck are a great source of vitamin B-12. Serve it up on whole-grain buns with a side of oven roasted root veggies for a healthy upgrade from the typical artery-clogging burgers ‘n fries.