Pineapple Is The Go-To Fruit For Staying Healthy

When thinking of foods that are high in nutrients and can help fight off disease, the deliciously tropical pineapple may not be the first fruit to spring to mind. While they are a favorite of juicers looking to add a sweet kick to their smoothies, the pineapple is generally only thought of when relaxing on a tropical beach or debated about online and in memes about its value (or lack of value) on a pizza.

What many don’t consider is that pineapples are a fantastic fruit to enjoy when looking to boost your daily intake of vital nutrients.

One of the most significant nutritional values of pineapple is that it is the only fruit that contains bromelain. While all fruits are stuffed full of vitamins and enzymes that are good for you, pineapple stands alone in its ability to provide this flu-fighting substance. Bromelain is an enzyme that boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, and its ability to break down complex proteins makes it ideal for promoting a healthy digestive system.

Bromelain also has a long term health benefit, which is why the vital nutrients from pineapples should immediately become part of your diet. It is an enzyme which has been shown to treat osteoarthritis and to keep down the excessive inflammation that is associated with cancer. Bromelain has been shown to increase the survival rates of various animals with tumors according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

It may not be the first option you think of when starting to get sick, but the vital nutrients in pineapple – add in high levels of vitamin C and manganese to what is mentioned above – means that the pineapple should be your go-to fruit when starting to get sick according to Australian fitness instructor and nutrition expert Ali Cavill.

“Now, if I get issues with speaking [Ali uses her outdoor voice a lot] or a lot of people around me come down with a cold or flu, I’m diving into chunks of pineapple,” she said.

The barrier to entry for many to pineapple is simply that cutting and preparing it takes far more time than biting into an apple. The truth, though, is that with corers and other tools being available, this is a feeble excuse when pineapples are both delicious and healthy.

Their antioxidant properties are up there with the best fruits available, while pineapples also help build strong bones and boost the immune system in multiple ways. While people with diabetes should be aware that pineapples contain about 14 grams of sugar per cup, they are low in sodium, fat-free, and cholesterol-free.

Pineapples are also a fantastic snack for fliers – especially frequent fliers – as they help reduce blood coagulation. This means they reduce the risk of developing deadly blood clots while in the air, with DVT still being a real risk for business people who are in the air on a daily basis.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly now that their health benefits have been laid out, pineapples always belong on a pizza.

By Steve Wright
Independent Writer

Vital Guidance to The Incredible Benefits of Juicing

We are all familiar with juice. We begin our mornings with orange juice or grapefruit juice. We give our children apple juice at snack time. And now manufacturers have offered us a variety of juice blends and juice cocktails to drink day or night.

And of course, we all know that juice is far healthier than soft drinks, sweet teas, creamy coffee, and alcohol. However, for those of us in search of an even healthier alternative, juicing is the key. Naturally derived vitamins and vital enzymes abound in fresh fruits and vegetables, and by juicing daily, you can significantly increase your vegetable and fruit intake.

According to the CDC, just 1 out of 10 people are getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables. The federal guidelines recommend that adults eat 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. Consuming fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, some cancers, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Joe Cross, from the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, states, “I believe that juicing is a great way to supercharge your body with the incredible nutrients found in whole plant foods – and the volume you’re able to take in when juicing is far more than you would be able to eat.” Joe lost nearly 100 pounds and healed his autoimmune disease by juicing across America.

So, What is Juicing?

Basically, juicing is the method of extracting juice from raw fruit and vegetables and drinking it. And the results are incredible for your health.

What are The Benefits of Juicing?

In this article, the focus is not on a 60-day body cleanse or a temporary diet. In this case, the emphasis is using juicing as a supplement to your daily diet, increasing the number of nutrients from fruits and vegetables that you otherwise wouldn’t get.

If you are interested in juicing to detox or cleanse your body for more than a few days, there are many books and articles available online for guidance.

Here are some of the incredible benefits of juicing to help you obtain a healthier lifestyle:

  • Juicing Ups Your Nutrient Intake

Juicing lets you absorb more nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Because of the fiber found in fruits and vegetables, consuming the recommended daily amount is difficult. By juicing, it is easier to incorporate them into your diet.

Two to three cups of fresh juice contain the same number of enzymes and vitamins as 14 apples, 2.5 pounds of carrots, and 9 pounds of spinach. Because the fiber is cut out, the body can focus more on the absorption of these vital vitamins and minerals.

  • Juicing Gives Your Digestive System a Break

Toxic foods and medications can impair the digestive systems ability to function at its best. It takes a lot of work to break them down. It is estimated that 65% of your body’s energy is used in the digestion process after eating. Possibly more if there are processed foods involved.

By juicing, you can give your digestive system a break so your body can heal and repair itself. Juicing is “pre-digested,” giving your system a much-needed rest. Drinking a phytonutrient dense juice allows pure nutrition into your digestive tract that your body can absorb rapidly.

  • It is Loaded with Antioxidants

Fruits and vegetables are packed of antioxidants that protect against disease. Antioxidants aid in preventing oxidation of molecules and fight against free radicals within the body which contribute to a range of diseases and illnesses. There are loads of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables that offer different benefits to different parts of your body.

Therefore, it’s vital to get a wide variety of these antioxidants in your diet. By juicing, you can combine several different types of fruits with vegetables to obtain a great combination of antioxidants.

  • Juicing Can Help You Lose Weight

As you juice, you will begin to feel better and have more energy. Juicing increases your metabolism while removing toxins from your cells. Having a glass of fresh juice as opposed to snacking on empty calories or right before a meal is a great way to reduce cravings while increasing your nutritional intake.

  • It Can Give You Better Skin

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with plant ingredients that can balance hormones, strengthen collagen, stimulate circulation, and reduce wrinkles. Vitamins A, C, and E are particularly beneficial for protecting your skin against harmful UV rays.  

  • Juicing Can Improve Athletic Performance

The nitrates and potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables can help your body recover after a workout, helping repair damaged tissue faster. Other nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and E, and minerals such magnesium play a role in maintaining the immune system, easy muscle contraction, and increasing strength. They destroy free radicals that can increase the destruction of healthy tissues and muscle cells, thus decreasing the athlete’s performance, strength, and endurance.

Juicing before and after allows the body to absorb vital nutrients and minerals needed to maintain or increase overall athletic performance.

Final Thought:

Juicing is a wonderful complement to living a healthy lifestyle. It should not be considered a diet or long-term detox but should be incorporated into your daily or weekly diet. It is about adding more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based ingredients, so you look and feel your very best.


Article by Ellen Carleton
Independent writer

Kombucha May Offer Many Vital Health Benefits

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you have probably heard something about kombucha. Maybe you’ve seen it on the shelves at the grocery store, gas station convenience stores, or in health food stores, but do you really know what kombucha is?

Kombucha is believed to have originated in China or Japan well over 2,000 years ago.  Considered to be an excellent probiotic, it is a living drink created by fermenting sweetened green or black tea with what is referred to as a SCOBY.  It has a colony of live bacteria and yeast that causes the fermentation process once the sugar is introduced.

During fermentation, the yeast converts the sugar in the sweetened tea to alcohol. The bacteria then converts the alcohol to organic acids.

After fermentation has been completed, the kombucha becomes a carbonated liquid. It now contains beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, probiotics, and high levels of lactic, gluconic, and acetic acids.

So not only are you getting the vital health benefits of green or black tea but now you’re getting beneficial probiotics as well. Here are six potential benefits of kombucha:

1. Kombucha Can Improve Gut Health
This fermented drink is loaded with not only antioxidants but also has high levels of probiotics. Probiotics are very much like the healthy bacteria found in the gut. Per Dr. Edward Hill from the North Mississippi Medical Center, “Probiotics are live microorganisms normally found in the intestines.”

So consuming probiotics will give your gut more healthy bacteria. This bacterium can be vital to many parts of your overall health including your digestion. The live probiotic cultures found in Kombucha help the gut repopulate with good bacteria.

2. Kombucha Can Aid in Disease Prevention
Every day we consume processed foods and chemicals that lead to oxidative stress and then inflammation. A study published in Food Microbiology in 2014 showed evidence that Kombucha contains powerful antioxidants that can assist in detoxing and prevent inflammation and illnesses. This detoxifying, inflammation reducing characteristic is the reason it can reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer.

3. Kombucha Helps Maintain Liver Health
Kombucha has antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body that can cause cell damage. A study published in 2011 demonstrated that the antioxidant-loaded kombucha reduced toxins in the liver. This indicates that this beverage may reduce inflammation of the liver and promote liver health.

4. Kombucha Can Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death and studies have shown that this fermented tea may help battle it. A study published in Pharmaceutical Biology in 2015, showed that kombucha helps reduce the levels of cholesterol associated with heart disease.

The study, which used rats, found that kombucha significantly improved two markers of heart disease, LDL and HDL, cholesterol within 30 days. It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL).

5. Kombucha Contains Antioxidants
Much of kombuchas healthy benefits are more than likely due to the tea and the polyphenols it has. Polyphenols are phytochemicals that are found naturally in plants.

They play an essential role in your wellness and health. They act as strong antioxidants and decrease inflammation by fighting free radicals – the molecules that can damage your cells. The fermentation process of kombucha actually increases the level of polyphenols.

6. Kombucha May Help Protect Against Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, “Cancer is the name given to a collection of related diseases. In all types of cancer, some of the body’s cells begin to divide without stopping and spread into surrounding tissues.”

A test-tube study published in 2008, found that kombucha aided in preventing the growth of cancer cells. A study done later in 2013, found that the fermented tea reduced the survival of cancer cells.

How Much Kombucha Should I Drink?
According to the Center for Disease Control, four ounces of kombucha three times a day is considered safe. No more than 12 ounces per day.  Start by drinking very small quantities and work your way up to larger amounts.

Are There Any Side Effects?
Because it is carbonated, some people experience bloating and digestive issues. Some brands also contain an excessive amount of sugar. People suffering from kidney disease, cancer or HIV can develop severe complications from drinking kombucha.
If you are concerned about starting a kombucha routine, contact your doctor or health provider for proper guidance.

How Do I Store My Kombucha?
Once you have returned from the grocery store, if it is not already packaged correctly, you’ll want to put it in a clear, glass container with a tight-fitting lid. The lid should not be made of any type of metal. Be sure to leave an inch at the top of the container to allow for the effects of carbonation.

Store it in the refrigerator and don’t shake the bottle as you run the risk of it exploding. When opening it, keep your entire hand over the lid to prevent it from popping off.

Bottoms up!!

Story by Ellen Carleton, Independent Writer

The Magic of Mushrooms On Your Mental, Physical Performances

Every athlete strives to get an edge over the competition and food is a powerful way to improve not only health but athletic performance. What you consume affects your immune system, inflammatory response, the ability to recover quickly and train harder, and how mentally sharp you feel.

We are told to eat a healthy diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, nuts, lean protein, clean carbohydrates, etc., but rarely is the tiny, nutrient-packed powerhouse, the mushroom, mentioned.

Often thought of as a vegetable, mushrooms are part of the fungi family. They are neither fruit nor vegetable. For thousands of years, medicinal mushrooms were a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine because of their remarkable health-boosting powers. Their use in Western medicine has only started to increase over the past several decades.

Whether you eat them cooked or raw, here are six ways the mighty mushroom can impact your health and performance. The magical mushroom can:

1.    Increase Stamina and Endurance
By increasing the amount of time you are physically able to exercise, and at the level your body can tolerate during a workout, will help you achieve your goals faster.  Medicinal mushrooms aid in transporting oxygen flow from the lungs through the blood vessels to your muscles.  Cordyceps, Shitake, and Chaga mushrooms, for example, are known as the anti-aging mushroom because of their ability to transport oxygen more efficiently and to help produce ATP, the fuel our body runs on. In traditional Chinese medicine, they were believed to act as a vital stimulant and used to increase energy and decrease fatigue.

2.    Boost Metabolism
Mushrooms contain a considerable amount of vitamin B and vitamin D, which is what the body uses to convert glucose into fuel. They aid in metabolizing the fats and proteins in your diet.  Because of this, they help the body maintain a healthy and efficient metabolism. The most sought-after mushroom for boosting the metabolism is the Cordyceps mushroom.

3.    Reduce Inflammation
Mushrooms are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. They contain phenols, polysaccharides, ergothioneine and other antioxidants that aid in reducing body-wide inflammation in athletes. By reducing swelling, recovery time will speed up, thus boosting your performance and overall stamina.  The mushrooms containing the highest levels of anti-inflammatory properties are Turkey Tail, Reishi, Shitake, and Oyster mushrooms.

4.    Increase Antioxidant Levels
Studies suggest that high levels of free radicals damage various structures of our body’s cells and reduce cellular turnover. Cellular damage increases the risk of developing many problems, including those that are associated with recovery and aging.  Fortunately, scientists have discovered that medicinal mushrooms can fight these free radicals that can drain your body of energy. For example, the medicinal mushroom, Cordyceps, referred to as the anti-aging mushroom can help endurance and stamina because it prompts the body to produce more ATP.

5.    Improve the Immune System
Athletes are more prone to having a compromised immune system. After a session of strenuous exercise, the athlete will enter a short period in which the immune system is weakened. They are more vulnerable to viral and bacterial infections.  Several varieties of mushrooms have natural properties to help boost the immune system and help it ward off viral infections and diseases, such as the Maitake, Reishi, and the Turkey Tail mushroom. They contain beta-glucans which increase the immune system’s T-cell levels, which leads to lower inflammatory responses caused by stress or environmental factors.

6.    Enhance Mental Focus
For athletes who need to be mentally strong as well as physically strong when competing, some varieties of mushrooms fight against the decline in cognitive functions. The potassium and selenium found in mushrooms increase brain function because they increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain, thus stimulating neural activity.  Lion’s Mane and Maitake are a favorite, within the mushroom family, because of their neuroprotective properties.

Foraging for Mushrooms – Warning!
There are more than 135,000 species of mushrooms in the world. However, many species are not edible. Modern science is only familiar with approximately 10%, and only about 100 species are currently being studied for health benefits and medicinal purposes.

Most species are highly poisonous and not edible, yet they strongly resemble their edible counterparts. Eating the wrong mushroom can result in stomach pain, vomiting, and in some cases, death. So, if you are planning on foraging for mushrooms, it is strongly suggested that you consult with an expert for the proper guidance.  They can help you distinguish between what is safe and what is dangerous for consumption.

Article by Ellen Carleton
Independent Writer

Lower Sodium Intake Is Vital To Your Health & Life

It is clearly more important than ever to get the right levels of vital nutrients into your system.

A report on part of a Global Burden of Disease Study showed that in 2017 there were 11 million people worldwide that died as a result of a poor diet. This makes unhealthy eating, and the lack of vital nutrients, a more deadly combination than smoking, which led to 10 million deaths over the same period.

The most interesting part of the study was that is showed that one in five deaths worldwide could be prevented if that person had a better diet. Obviously, not everyone in every country has that option due to a lack of available food containing the important vital nutrients. If, however, you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where healthy, nutritious food is readily available, then it might be time to change up your diet to prevent yourself becoming a statistic in the future.

It is the low intake of healthy food and the high intake of unhealthy food that we can all change to put ourselves in position to lead longer and more fulfilling lives. Interestingly, the researchers found that it was the lack of healthy food intake, and therefore a lack of vital nutrients, that was the main problem as opposed to people simply eating too much junk food.

The key areas where people seem to be failing are when it comes to sodium (salt) intake and when it comes to eating whole grains and fruit. People tend to have way too much sodium in their diets, a result of relying on processed and prepackaged food, while also eating not enough whole grains and fresh fruit. While these can be expensive in some parts of the world, the vital nutrients that you receive by eating whole grains especially cannot be adequately supplemented through anything else in your diet.

When it comes to nutrition, this study places sugars and fats in an interesting new light. While they have been considered a leading cause of poor health in the past, this study suggests that high levels of sodium intake pose a much higher risk overall. While these are not considered vital nutrients, and while they should be lower down the list than grains and vegetables, this study suggests that sugars and fats are not the problem they have been in the past.

Overall the US ranked 43rd out of the 195 countries in the study with 171 diet caused deaths per 100,000 people. It is also interesting that countries with the Mediterranean diet, a diet long pushed for its health benefits, did have the best outcomes overall.

So, what does this mean for you?

Shifting to any kind of diet that cuts sodium intake is a must. Add in a healthy amount of grains from foods like pasta, bread, and rice, and then concentrate on eating fish and vegetables before ending with a good glass of wine. That is a delicious, and easy, way to start bringing more vital nutrients into your body and into your life.


Vital Nutrients Fuel Peak Performance

We often look at athletes and other people that seem to have limitless energy with a sense of wonder. The way a LeBron James or a Patrick Mahomes is able to operate at peak performance over a season that stretches for months on end is nothing short of remarkable. One of the major reasons for this is that these players are in tune with what their bodies need, taking on just the right amounts of vital nutrients to stay at their best.

We can learn a lot from these athletes in this regard. While we may not lead lives that depend on our athletic abilities and skills to earn a contract, we should all be looking to perform at the peak of our personal performance in our work and personal lives. Taking on vital nutrients on a daily basis is part of a much bigger overall picture to make sure that our lives are being led to their fullest.

There is literature all over the internet about which of these vital nutrients are the most needed for performance and recovery. These are especially needed by people that are active in their lives, even if being active means church league softball or hiking as opposed to playing in the NBA Finals or fighting to take your team to the Super Bowl.

Optimal performance is also important in making decisions on a day to day basis. While the wear and tear of intense activity is going to cause levels of vital nutrients in the body to drop faster than in those less active, everyone loses minerals through sweat and other aspects of daily living.

Think of this as an investment in your future. By making sure you are keeping your body balanced with calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and more, your life will be happier in the long run. Standard improvements to health such as stronger bones and less tiredness in the mind and body will result in a better, and healthier, form of living.

The ability to retain vital nutrients and minimize fatigue is particularly important. Nothing is worse as a fan than seeing your team fall apart in the fourth quarter because they are tired. There is a reason why Gatorade has become such a well-known business, such a big brand in American sport, and that is because it refuels players with the vital nutrients that they need to mount a huge comeback or hold onto a lead late.

As a parent, an investor, a social athlete, or a working man, that same principle applies to you. If you are dragging during the day at 4pm, it is more than likely because your body minerals aren’t in balance. Sure, a coffee is an easy fix, but by adding in more exercise and a better understanding of nutrition, it is amazing how quickly you feel like a newer, and younger, version of yourself.