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A Superfood Must Have On Your Next Grocery Trip!

A Superfood Must Have On Your Next Grocery Trip!

We’ve all seen the commercials, read the superfood claims, even tried the superfood recipes. What makes a food a super anything? What in the world is a superfood and how will it provide practical results? Let’s examine one superfood that will knock your socks off when you discover the benefits it can supply. What can this seemingly unattractive, ordinary, weed looking leafy vegetable do for you?

For starters, it has more health and nutritional benefits than most in it’s class and in addition, can help you feel more energetic, fight disease and lose weight to boot. Superfoods are foods that are especially rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They give more power to your nutrient punch. Watercress is such a food and is considered to be natures first aid.

Watercress

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watercress

    Yum yum in your tum-tum. This “A” list, nutrient filled green is incredible! But first, what is this?

    Native Home

    Watercress is an aquatic plant species. A rapidly growing perennial plant native to Europe and Asia and is one of the oldest leaf vegetables consumed by humans. Production and growth of watercress here in the US comes from facilities like Watercress Farms in Myakka City, Florida.

    Recent Studies

    Dr. Jennifer Di Noia, P.hd of William Patterson University in New Jersey is credited for a study on nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Watercress comes in at the top with an impressing 100.00 as a nutrient density score. Followed by Chinese Cabbage 91.99 and Swiss Chard 89.27. This score is measured by considering 34 different nutrient parameters including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant substances that have beneficial health effects) such as flavonoids and carotenoids. The higher the score, the more nutrients are provided in relation to the calorie content.

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    Using this system, watercress was found to be the most nutrient dense fruit or vegetable. This study also included such fruits as blueberries and raspberries. It is interesting to note that while berries are often phrased for their antioxidant qualities, it is not considered an essential nutrient.

    While you cannot base your entire diet on this system, it presents a viable guide in considering what foods to eat. An entire list of nutrients that are considered in the score can be found here.

    Exploding with essential vitamins and minerals, watercress gram for gram gives you more Vitamin C than oranges, more Vitamin E than broccoli, and more calcium than whole milk! Not only has it been found to prevent ageing in the skin, but research has discovered a significant link between watercress and cancer prevention. Now that is indeed a superfood.

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    Where to buy?

    Most supermarkets carry a fresh supply of watercress but you can also grow this superfood in your garden. Wikihow has a great how to article.

    How do you eat it?

    Many watercress recipes can be found online, but here is a quick one that I’m sure you’ll find delicious. You’ll need:

    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
    • 1 bunch watercress (remove the thick stems and discard)
    • 1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

    Preparation Instructions:

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    Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a medium to large bowl. Add the watercress, fennel and pomegranate seeds. Lightly toss to combine. Then add salt and pepper to taste. That’s it! Serve immediately. If you don’t mind a little wilting, this can also be served cold, just don’t leave in the fridge too long.

    Watercress has become one of the top foods in the quest to stamp the importance of nutrition on health. It has proven remarkable benefits in the numerous nutrients that it provides and it tastes good too. It is certainly a superfood must have on your next grocery trip!

    Featured photo credit: Samuel Adams via samueladams.com

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    andre lewis

    Former Inside Operations Supervisor UPS

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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!

    More Health Tips

    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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