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Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

Healthy Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Make With Your Slow Cooker

The slow cooker is not just for your slow roasts – it is the ultimate tool, particularly for those who run a tight schedule. There are a hundred and one things to make in a slow cooker, and some seriously healthy (and easy) foods that could slot in to your daily routine.

There are really no excuses to not eat well these days. Everything is at our fingertips. Fresh produce, cookbooks, recipes – and amazing cooking tools to make things ridiculously easy for us. When we make our own foods we know what we are putting into our bodies. We can use wholesome ingredients and understand what it is we are consuming and how much. We are in control of our health. We can also tailor what we make to our own desires. Need more greens in your diet? Go ahead. Gluten intolerant? Leave it out. There are endless delicious and healthy things we can prepare in a slow cooker, most of which just might surprise you …

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Veg and Chickpea Curry

veg and chick pea curry

    See – not just for hunks of meat! This curry is

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    • Delicious and easy
    • high in protein
    • Full of vegetables packed with nutrients and vitamins.
    • Heat onion and carrots in oil and add curry powder, garlic, ginger and a little sugar.
    • Place this mix inside slow cooker along with chopped green beans, carrots, chickpeas and peppers – and choose between regular potato or a sweet potato if you prefer it on the sweeter side.
    • Cook for 6 hours until tender

    Poached Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lemon

    lemon salmon
      • High in Omega 3
      • High in protein
      • Make a broth in the slow-cooker out of a few cups of water, some white wine, a few slices of lemon, a shallot, a bay leaf and some sprigs of dill or your choice of herbs.
      • Leave the fish to cook for just half an hour (checking in on it) and you get a moist delicious salmon fillet in no time!

      Cuban-Style Beef

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      cuban beef
        • Low calorie
        • High in protein
        • High in B Vitamins
        • Rub a portion of beef with cumin, oregano and salt and pepper.
        • Brown roast the meat and then transfer it to a slow-cooker.
        • Cook onions, peppers, garlic, water, salt and pepper with crushed tomatoes on a low simmer for around 4 minutes and then transfer to the slow-cooker.
        • Cook for 10 hours until tender.

        Butternut Squash and White Bean Soup

        54f67185df2ca_-_tternut-squash-and-white-bean-soup-recipe-wdy1014-agv2sw-s2
          • High in potassium
          • Nutrient rich
          • Packed with vitamins
          • Place squash, chickpeas, and any winter veg you desire in a slow cooker with salt, pepper and vegetable stock
          • Cook for 6 hours and serve with crusty bread and your choice of garnish. Too easy.

          Chicken Tagine

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          chicken tagone
            • Very high in protein
            • High in vitamins
            • Spices help adrenal function
            • Warms the body in winter months
            • Throw butternut squash, carrots, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, broth and raisins into a 6-quart slow-cooker.
            • Rub spices into the chicken and place on top of the veg.
            • Cover with lid and cook for 8 hours.

            Sweet Potato Soup

            10832_sweet_potato_soup
              • Packed with potassium
              • High in vitamin C
              • Calcium rich
              • Combine onions, potatoes, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, 6 cups of water and salt and pepper in a 5-6 qt slow-cooker until vegetables are very tender.
              • Puree the soup in a blender
              • Serve with yoghurt and slivered almonds.

              Chipotle Beef Chilli

              chipotle-BeefChili
                • High in iron
                • High in protein
                • High in potassium
                • High in B vitamins
                • Simply add beef, chipotle peppers, onion, chilli powder, garlic, salt, cumin, tomato puree and beef stock to the slow-cooker
                • Cover on low for 6-8 hours until beef is tender.
                • Add coriander upon serving if you wish.

                Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

                2013-04-24-carrot-pea-mint-salad-thumb-625xauto-320033
                  • High in vitamins A, C, and K
                  • High in fibre
                  • High in manganese
                  • Place chopped carrots, onions, garlic cloves, peas, butter, salt, pepper and a little water in the slow cooker.
                  • This will only take about 20 minutes, so just check to see when vegetables are tender and ready to serve.

                  Pork Tacos

                  pulledpork
                    • High in protein
                    • Contains omega 6
                    • Place the pork in the slow cooker
                    • Mix together tomato salsa, chill powder, some garlic, cayenne pepper, cumin and brown sugar in a separate bowl
                    • Pour the salsa over the pork.
                    • Cook on low for 8 hours and shred the pork when it is tender.
                    • Serve in flour tortillas with corn and avocado, or with whatever healthy options you desire!

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                    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                    1. Exercise

                    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                    2. Drink in Moderation

                    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                    4. Watch Less Television

                    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                    5. Eat Less Red Meat

                    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                    6. Don’t Smoke

                    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                    7. Socialize

                    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                    9. Be Optimistic

                    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                    10. Own a Pet

                    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                    11. Drink Coffee

                    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                    12. Eat Less

                    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                    13. Meditate

                    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                    15. Laugh Often

                    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                    17. Cook Your Own Food

                    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                    18. Eat Mushrooms

                    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                    19. Floss

                    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                    21. Have Sex

                    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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