Cranberry Juice

6 12 2012

Cranberries, the small deep red, sweet fruit has some big health benefits. Some areas of the US list it as a superfruit, or a fruit with numerous health benefits.

You may have seen the cranberry juice commercial with the two guys standing in a cranberry bog. Many cranberries are water-harvested, floating in bogs, which makes it easier to harvest. But, this way of harvesting also promotes phytonutrients in the berry and gives it the beautiful red color, by exposing it to the natural sunlight. Increasing the sunlight also increases the amounts of anthocyanins, which provide the greater health benefits.

What are some of the benefits of this little berry?

Traditionally, cranberry juice has been used as a natural way to reduce or eliminate bladder infections. The berries have been found to inhibit bacteria from accumulating on the walls of the urinary tract, preventing infection.  Drinking the juice daily, may prevent the infections all together.

Reducing dental plaque is another benefit of cranberry juice. The juice inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes plaque in the mouth. Eliminating plaque will keep your teeth and gums healthy, fresh, and clean.

Medical research is ongoing to see if cranberry juice may help to prevent kidney stones. Cranberries naturally rid the body of bacteria and waste, which makes sense they may even prevent kidney stones to form. We shall see…

Watch the sugar content of the cranberry juice. Juice with no added sugar will contain higher concentrations of antioxidants, making it a better choice than sweetened versions. Unsweetened, the juice may seem tart to taste. But, the concentration of phytochemicals providing all these benefits make it more beneficial. Try adding it to smoothies, water, or other no sugar added juices to offset the tartness. Or course, the greatest concentration of health benefits will be found in the raw cranberry. The juice is more readily available year round and may be easier to consume on a regular basis.

Tammy’s Challenges

Mind: Eat with your non-dominant hand all day for one day. This will help you to focus on your meal and slow down between bites. This will give you time to chew between bites and let your stomach and brain connect to listen to the body’s signal of fullness.

Body: Look for cranberry juice (no sugar added) when shopping for groceries. Learn to read labels to reduce sugar in your diet.

Soul: Have your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. This will give your body a chance to digest the meal before lying down, which will make for a more restful sleep.

I would love to hear from you.  Contact me through email at Tammy@TammYoga.com and Facebook at TammYoga and Twitter @TammYoga.

Namaste

Tammy





Water and Lemon

1 08 2012

What is the saying? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. What if you tried making the lemonade to avoid the lemons altogether?

I have found a great way to start my day. It has become a part of my morning ritual, along with washing my face and flossing and brushing my teeth. I drink a glass of warm water with the juice of one half of a lemon. It is easy and the benefits make it a priority for me.

Benefits:

  • Stronger immune system: A strong immune system helps to ward of disease. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps in fighting off colds. The potassium found in lemons helps to control blood pressure and has been shown to stimulate brain and nerve function.
  • Balances pH: A healthy body is alkaline. Lemons are an acidic food. But, when we consume lemons our bodies shift it to alkaline, creating a balanced pH.
  • Weight loss: The pectin fiber found in lemons, helps to reduce food cravings. So, maybe lemon and warm water in the morning will make for better food choices for the remainder of the day. It has been shown that people who eat a more alkaline diet lose weight faster.
  • Digestion: Warm water helps to stimulate the digestive tract and the muscle contractions to move foods through the digestion process. Lemon nutrients help to rid toxins in the digestive tract.
  • Natural Diuretic: Lemon juice increases urination and flushes out toxins. So, the toxins will be eliminated faster due to the increased rate of movement through the urinary tract.
  • Healthy skin: Lemon juice eliminated toxins from the blood helping to keep the skin clear. The vitamin C found in lemons helps to prevent wrinkles and blemishes.
  • Hydrates the body: Start the day off right by hydrating the body. When the body becomes dehydrated, the organs have a hard time functioning properly. This can lead to other health problems: stress, toxic buildup, and constipation, to name a few.

Do you think you could benefit from warm water and lemon juice every day?

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Pamper yourself with a good book, a nap, a bath….

Body: Call a friend and take an exercise class together.

Soul: Call a loved one and tell them, “I love you”.

I would love to hear from you.  Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy