Category Archives: Natural Ingredients

Using Baking Soda For Common Beauty Fixes

What are your baking soda associations? Do you remember the ever present box in the refrigerator wedged permanently behind the cheese wheel during your formative years? Do you remember it as adhesive you used to make your brother into a mummy for Halloween before you realized he would eventually need to use the bathroom? Do you remember brushing your teeth with it before the popularity of teeth whitening? Or do you just remember wondering who the arm and hammer belonged to and what an arm and hammer had to do with baking soda?

Whatever your fond memories of baking soda, you probably know that there’s very little this cakey powder can’t do. Here’s how you can use baking soda for common beauty fixes.

Woman washing hair
Hair Rinse
If big hair is important to you, you’re probably no stranger to buildup from serums, sprays, and mousses leaving hair feeling sticky and looking lifeless. Just sprinkle a coin sized amount of baking soda into your shampoo. Wash and rinse and embrace the freedom.

Dry Shampoo
If you’ve always wanted to try dry shampoo, here’s your chance to do it on the cheap. Whether you need a quick way to get rid of excess oil after the gym or for mornings on the go, baking soda can work in a pinch. Sprinkle a bit directly on the roots of your hair, tousle, and brush through.

Hairbrush Cleaner
Are you reluctant to have houseguests because they might want to use your bathroom and get grossed out by your hairbrush? You can get rid of residue around the base of the bristles by soaking your brush in warm water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda. Let soak for 20 minutes, rinse, and dry with a towel.

Woman washing face
Face and Body Exfoliator
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way of scrubbing off dead skin, you can get that all- over glow by using a formula of one part water to three parts baking soda. Just massage into skin for about 60 seconds and rinse.

Deodorant
Baking soda removes odors by neutralizing bases and acids and won’t do damage to your clothes. Whether you have sensitive skin, or just haven’t been taking notice of how low your antiperspirant stick was getting, baking soda will do the job in a pinch.

Soothe Razor Burn
Who among us has not been careless with a razor? You can soothe the painful burn by mixing one cup of water with one tablespoon of baking soda and letting it dry on your skin for about 5 minutes. Rinse with cool water and let the healing begin.

Have we left out anything? Let us know what you do with your baking soda. Keep it clean.

Red Marine Algae Benefits for Hair and Skin

Algae mask

While algae may not be the most popular clothing material, perhaps it is not so odd that the Little Mermaid chose to put it on her skin; perhaps it is more puzzling that she did not apply it to her entire body. After all, marine ingredients like algae turn up in so many cosmetic ingredients and are known for their myriad of health benefits, namely for their beneficial effects on skin and hair.

Algae
So what is it about this slimy green stuff that makes us look so beautiful? Randy Schueller, a cosmetic chemist and editor-in-chief of The Beauty Brains reports that one study showed that algae can “stabilize minerals that aid in skin moisturization,” and, “Another claims that seaweed provides anti-acne properties without the irritation of over the counter drugs. And yet another type of seaweed may help with skin lightening.” Dr. Marcene Alexiades-Armenakas, cosmetic engineer has a theory as to why these plants are so good for the skin. She says, “These creatures (algae) have spent millions of years on the sea surface and evolved mechanisms to protect their DNA from UV damage. These mechanisms are conserved cross species, meaning they work in human skin as well.”

Red Algae Extract
Because it can easily process sunlight, red algae is known to provide antioxidant protection to skin. It has high levels of peptides, carotenoids, sulfated polysaccharides and fatty acids which may contribute to the reason red algae extracts are able neutralize free radicals in the environment. Algae extracts also function as thickening agents in skincare products improving texture and spreadability.

Brown Algae Extract
Brown algae, or kelp, is used as an emollient to soften skin and for anti-bacterial purposes. It is frequently found in serums, toners, lotions and moisturizers as extract as lamaria, extract of algae, or kelp. Benefits of brown algae include hydration, maintenance of skin’s moisture, detoxification and increased elasticity. Its amino acids are credited with renewal of tissue and its fatty acids are shown to fight inflammation. Additional studies by the Science Daily News suggest that substances extracted from brown algae may also protect against skin cancer caused by excessive sun exposure.

BENEFITS OF ALGAE 

For Acne Prevention
Need a natural zit zapper? The anti-inflammatory agents in algae make it capable of soothing acne related inflammation.

For Hair Growth
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in seaweed is known for thickening and boosting hair growth and the iron and zinc can help maintain hair production and combat the thinning of hair caused by a deficiency if iodine. When applied directly to hair, iodine can fight of microscopic fungus and bacteria that eats away at hair follicles causing thinning and loss, The highest content of iodine is found in brown algae, with dry kelp containing 1500-1800 ppm. At this rate, just one gram of dried brown algae could cover the daily recommended adult requirement.

For Reduction of Toxins
Toxins can cause your skin to look lifeless and dull. Applying seaweed to your skin draws out excess fluid, dead cells, and toxins and makes skin smoother. It is also useful in eliminating toxins from the scalp and promoting healthy hair growth.

For Fighting Cellulite
Algae can be an effective weapon in the endless fight against cellulite. Seaweed can make skin more supple and elastic, helping to smooth skin and restore resilience.

For Adding Moisture
Who couldn’t use a little extra moisture on their skin? The fatty acids in algae not only lend moisture to your skin, but prevents it from losing its natural hydration.

So are you prepared to test the merits of algae. The Little Mermaid did it and look at her!

Bringing EVOO to The Table

Olive oil

Evoo is the new Free Dictionary term for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and one could say that it certainly has “arrived.” When it comes to olive oils, EVOO is the undoubted emerging superstar. However, fame has its downsides. As happens so often to those who have made it, there is the likelihood of imitators. EVOO is no exception. Shockingly, a large percentage of what is labelled as “Extra Virgin Olive Oil” or even “Certified” is not. More than 700 million consumer dollars a year is spent on olive oils, but many on the market are, in fact, cut with cheap vegetable oil. Let’s investigate.

What Is Real Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Extra virgin olive oil the finest of olive oils on the market. It is made from 100% fresh olive juice. EVOO can come only from olives that are milled within 24 hours of being harvested and must be extracted mechanically, and not by using chemicals and heat, nor can it be chemically treated in any way.

Olives, which are fruit, contain antioxidants that naturally preserve the plant. As the olive tree ages, its level of antioxidants increases. Trees producing EVOO are often hundred of years old and extremely rich in antioxidants.

Tips for Getting Real EVOO

  1. Don’t buy light olive oil or an olive oil blend.
  2. Beware of EVOO costing less than $10 a liter.
  3. Real EVOO is only available in dark bottles to protect form oxidation.
  4. Real EVOO should have a seal for the IOC (International Oil Council)
  5. There should be a harvesting date on the label.
  6. It will have a fruity taste towards the front of the mouth and a peppery taste at the back.

Nutritional Benefits
Olive oil traditionally contains more monosaturated fat than other vegetable oils, increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the LDL, or bad cholesterol. If has no trans fat, carbohydrates, or cholesterol and has less saturated fat than butter. Olive oil contains Vitamins E, A, and beta-carotene along with other antioxidants.

Olive oil consumption has been linked to lower risk of cancer and helps protect against gastritis and ulcers. It is well received by the stomach and lowers the likelihood of formation of gallstones. In addition, the ingredient has been shown to lower the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease by reducing LDL and has been known to lower risk of diabetes and delay the onset of diabetes related complications.

Are you in on the EVOOlution? Let us know your fave EVOO recipes and whether or not it will be on your holiday table this season. We love to hear from you!

Foods That Provide A Daily Dose of Citric Acid

Fruit
So you go into your favorite froyo place. You go over to the pump machine and you decide on a red velvet vanilla nonfat swirl. Ok, now the toppings! You’re an Oreo girl, but you’re a smart Oreo girl and you know that one generous tablespoon of those will easily compensate for the fat you cleverly avoided in your yogurt, and besides, yogurt and Oreos are not exactly the best combo. You look longingly at the gummy bears, no danger of fat there, but do you really need more processed food? And then, you see it! The kiwi fruit. The green queen of lean. After decorating your dessert with a heaping spoonful, you stop to add some mango and pineapple and blueberries and head over to the counter. You know what your have there? A whole lotta citric acid!

What are the Benefits of Citric Acid?
Citric acid increases the acidity of bacteria, making it hard for the microbes to survive and reproduce. In the body, it acts as an alkalizing agent and helps flush the system of excess calcium. Citric acid is also found in face packs and skin products and helps skin regenerate to slow the aging process. Its superpowers include the abilities to boost kidney health, fight free radicals and improve mineral absorption.

vine-vera-foods-that-provide-a-daily-dose-of-citiric-acid-citrus Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits top the list when it comes to levels of citric acid. This, along with ascorbic acid and vitamin C, give the fruit their tangy sharp appeal. Citrus fruits include, oranges, grapefruit, tangelos, lemons, limes, kumquat and clementines. Of these, lemons and limes are the heaviest hitters with about 4 grams per 100 grams of fruit.

vine-vera-foods-that-provide-a-daily-dose-of-citiric-acid-berries Berries
Berries may not be as impressive when it comes to percentages of citric acid, but they are a force to be reckoned with. Blueberries, weighing in at 0.6 grams of citric acid per 100 grams of fruit, are the weakest purveyors of citric acid in the berry family. Citric acid also gives strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and kiwi their tart and tangy tastes.

Tropical Fruit Tropical Fruit
Did someone say aloha? Slightly lower then citrus fruits the list of citric acid providers are tropical fruits. Pineapples are considered a high acid tropical fruit, containing about one gram per one hundred grams of fruit. Tamarinds help pineapples round out the tropical fruit list.

Low Acid Fruit
At the bottom of our list are cherries, sweet plums, apples and peaches, mangos, figs, with only about 0.1 grams of citric acid per 100 grams of fruit.

Kiwi Spotlight On Kiwi
Since we feel this fruit doesn’t always get the props it deserves, let’s take a moment to give the kiwi some love. Did you know kiwis are berries? Shocking, but true! Besides providing a whopping 273% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, kiwi is also a great source of citric acid. Just one kilogram of the kiwi’s peel contains 100 grams of citric acid and the fruit has similar citric acid levels. BTW, the peel is totally edible and may be the healthiest part of the fruit. So heap the kiwi on that froyo!

If you love citrus, froyo, kiwi, or all of the above, let us know how you top your yogurt. It might say a lot about the kind of person you are.

Temporary Diet Changes For Better Skin

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets a zit?” No? Well, truer words were probably never spoken. Have you been living the high life, staggering out of bed sometime in the mid afternoon to a “breakfast” of last night’s pizza washed down by soda? Did you overdo it at the bar last night? Did you have to go to MacDonald’s because you forget to go to the supermarket? We all know the devil-may-care attitude can be fun- until you look in the mirror. Your skin is probably the first part of you to show the effects of a less than healthy lifestyle, but never fear, with a few temporary dietary changes, you could be back on the road to beautiful skin in no time.

woman with chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Although for years we have been attributing our acne breakouts to it, chocolate is now being hailed as a superfood for your skin and health in general. Cocoa provides hydration to the skin, making it more supple and firm. Dr. David Bank, MD, says. Nicholas Perricone, MD and NYC dermatologist adds, “Dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant.” To get the maximum dose of flavanol, make sure your chocolate is at least 70% cacao.” L.A. dermatologist Jessica Wu says, “When applied topically, the caffeine in chocolate may temporarily reduce skin puffiness.” Is that bar in your mouth yet?

Greek yogurt
Yogurt

Anyone for froyo? Dr. Wu says the protein found in dairy makes skin more resistant to wrinkles. DR. Wu recommends Greek Yogurt as your yogurt of choice saying that, “The protein content is often double that of regular yogurt.”

Sunflower Seeds
Crack open the vitamin E and protect your skin’s top layers from sun damage. A daily handful will provide a high content of essential fatty acids and sunflower seed oil can also relieve parched lip and heels.

Pomegranates
Dr. Perricone says pomegranates are packed with polyphenol antioxidants that fight free radicals and relate blood flow to the skin, making it rosy. To get results, eat one fruit or a few glasses of its juice every day. Pomegranates can also be applied topically to moisturize and smooth fine lines.

Peppers
Peppers help your peepers! Dr. Wu says, “Women who eat green and yellow vegetables regularly tend to have fewer wrinkles, especially around the eyes.” The carotenoids in yellow and orange vegetables are also great for reducing skin’s sun sensitivity. Try for two cups daily for a crisp, tangy skin booster.

Kidney Beans
Kidney Beans
Zap zits with zinc! The high levels of zinc may be just the thing for your blemishes. Dr. Wu says, “That may be because of zinc’s healing properties.” A four ounce serving of kidney beans should keep your skin clear.

Soy
Let’s hear it for the soy! Dr. Bank says, “Soy contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to reduce hyper pigmentation.” One cup a day should give you what it takes to even out your skin. tone.

So has this convinced you to make some dietary changes? Let us know if they worked! We always love to hear from you!

Herbal Teas That Soothe Your Stomach

Woman with tea
Dyspepsia. It’s the scientific term for the stomach ache and it would seem that no one is immune. When Justin Bieber tossed his cookies on the Arizona stop of his Believe Tour, captivated Beliebers would blog about it for days. Lady Gaga could not maintain her “Poker Face” when she threw up a whopping four times while on stage in Barcelona in 2009 all over her meat dress. Harry Styles managed to dodge public humiliation by hiding his regurgitational moment behind a stack of speakers, as did Rhianna, who briefly rushed off stage to blow chunks and came back to the mike without missing a note. What could they have all been drinking? It certainly wasn’t herbal tea.

To be fair, the demon alcohol is not always to blame for the stomach upset. it is quite possible that the Biebs was just having an unusual attack of nerves, and Gaga had eaten too much raw meat, but whatever the reason, herbal teas are a proven remedy for stomach upset and knowing what is causing the pain is crucial in choosing the right kind of tea to remedy it.

Peppermint tea Peppermint Tea
Just in time for the holidays, peppermint can heal an upset stomach and help with the bloating , flatulence, and indigestion associated with gas buildup. According to a study by the University of Maryland, peppermint works so well to soothe an upset stomach because it contains oils that stimulate gallbladder function and causes the body to release fat digesting bile. It can also soothe the liver and help relieve the symptoms of IBS.

Green tea Green Tea
It’s not easy being green, but green tea has managed to pull it off with aplomb. Known as one of the healthiest teas, green tea has been proven to improve memory, prevent diabetes and kill cancer cells, reduce blood pressure, and increase weight loss. Dr. Ritika Samaddar advises, “Try not to go for the popular brands because it hasn’t been proven that they work or are authentic. Instead, opt for the Chinese or Vietnamese variety.”

Bush Tea Bush Tea
Perhaps a bit lesser-known, but no less intriguing, bush tea is a deep red colored tea from Africa know as a better alternative to green tea. It is completely free of caffeine and is great for severe abdominal pain and stomach ache, as well as heartburn ulcers and constipation. Plus, it also has calcium for bone health.

Fennel Tea Fennel Tea
You may have heard of this plant being eaten in salad or as an accompaniment to fish. Fennel seeds, whether used for cooking or to make tea, can be used for “treating many digestive problems like heartburn, bloating, loss of appetite and colic in infants,” according to experts.

Ginger tea Ginger Tea
Ginger has long been hailed for its ability to cut bloating, so it follows that its offshoot, ginger tea is extremely effective for curing stomach aches. You can also add the ability to fight off motion sickness and headaches to its impressive resume.

Tell us all about the times you threw up! And let us know which teas worked for you. We await your comments!

Enjoy A Daily Serving Of Almonds

Woman eating almonds
Let’s face it. There are a lot of nuts out there. There’s the peanut, the pistachio, the macadamia, the pine nut, the cashew; the list goes on. But perhaps the most ambitious member of the nut family is the almond. Since 2005, almonds have been taking America by storm, growing in demand by more than 220%. As of today, the average American consumes over two pounds of almonds per year. And why shouldn’t the almond get its due? We owe a lot to the almond! Without the almond, there would be no Hershey’s with Almonds, Snickers with Almonds, almond milk, Rocky Road Ice Cream, and perhaps, most devastatingly, Almond Joy! So what is behind the Almond Seduction of America? Let’s investigate!

1.  Almonds prevent heart disease
Almonds contain mono saturated fatty acid, or MUFA, as well as antioxidants. The presence of flavanoids in the skin of the nut, works along with Vitamin E to decrease inflammation and improve the function of your arteries.

Almonds also pack in the nutrients when it comes to keeping the heart health. They contain, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium and helps to lower “bad cholesterol.”

2. Almonds are good for your brain
That’s why people who eat almonds are so smart! Almonds are unique in that they contain L-carnitine and riboflavin, nutrients which are known for their abilities to accelerate neurological activity and decrease cognitive decline. The elderly are advised to eat almonds regularly because of the association between nuts and the reduction in brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease.

3. Almonds are good for your skin
Almonds contain loads of Vitamin E and antioxidants that reduce the signs of aging.The concentration of nutrients like catechin, flavonol antioxidants, and epicatechin fights skin cancer and reverses damage and stress from pollution, an unhealthy diet, and exposure to UV light. The healthy fat content in almonds also improves circulation, helps to hydrate skin and heal wounds.

4. Almonds Keep Blood Sugar Level Down
Remember those MUFAs we were talking about? Well, they do more than prevent heart disease. They also slow down the rate of sugar entering the blood stream and control insulin resistance. Almonds also help to decrease risks associated with diabetes, like oxidative stress, obesity and inflammation.

5. Almonds Help You Lose Weight
Almonds got a bad rap for a while because of their high fat and calorie content, but then scientists found out it was mono saturated fat and, now its all good! Besides healthy fats, almonds also contain dietary fiber which keeps you full and prevents the temptation to overeat and over snack.

According to the Nurse’s Health study, these nuts also support an active metabolism and according to a 2003 article in the International Journal of Obesity, women who consumed almonds experienced more weight reduction then those who did not.

If your an almond lover, let us know what you do with your nuts! We always appreciate your comments, advice, and suggestions.

Energy Boosting Pre-Workout Snacks

Maybe you have heard some strange things about the athletes’ eating habits at this year’s Rio Olympics. You may have heard that the only MacDonald’s in the Olympic Village is doing unprecedented business with sales of fries, Big Macs and McNuggets going through the roof. Perhaps you’ve gotten wind of Australia’s badminton Olympian, Sawan Serasinghe, whose late night binge included over twenty items, causing Mickey D’s to put a 20 item limit on all orders. Or maybe you’ve heard about Ryan Lochte’s Friday night 8,000 calorie habit replete with wings, pizza and soda.

Well, while this may seem like a ton of fun, you should know that these athletes require a whole lot more calories than the average person, and that, if you ate only a quarter of what they did, you would probably be morbidly obese. So before you start downing those super sized -meals, here are some more realistic choices.

1. Honey
Recent research shows that carbs that blend fructose with glucose may be better than straight glucose for increasing energy. Although sports drinks may satisfy this description, honey has the perfect fructose- sugar balance with the added benefits of antioxidants. The darker the color of the honey, the better it will be in fighting disease.

Woman drinking chocolate milk

2. Chocolate milk
According to a 2006 study, chocolate milk is the new sports drink! In a study funded by the dairy industry , nine cyclists rode their bikes to the point of exhaustion, rested for a four hour period and then resumed biking. During the period in which they rested, they were given either Gatorade, an electrolyte replacement drink, Endurox, a carbohydrate replacement drink, or low fat chocolate milk. Results showed that the cyclists who drank the chocolate milk could bike about 50 % longer than those who consumed the sports drink. Ovaltine, anyone?

3. Yogurt
Exercise can also affect your immune system and athletes sometimes display greater susceptibility to infections of the upper respiratory tract, Probiotics, found in yogurt, may reduce the likelihood of contracting these infections. According to a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, endurance athletes who took daily probiotic capsules demonstrated greater activity of immune enhancing T-cells, cutting the likelihood of experiencing such infections by half. Probiotics can also soothe a nervous stomach, while providing a mix of proteins and carbs, great for just before a big race.

Eating Fruit
4. Fruit with A Mozzarella Stick
Who doesn’t love a good mozzarella? According to personal trainer and certified nutritionist, Mary Jane Detroyer, your body need carbohydrates, rather than protein, to perform physical activity. “You need to have something that’s going to get into the bloodstream and stay there throughout the workout. So you wouldn’t want to have a lot of fat or too much protein or too much fiber because those things slow the way the food is absorbed. She recommends fruit, “it doesn’t matter what kind of fruit it is. And you could have a few nuts with that.”

5. Crackers with a little hummus or hummus with veggies and an apple
Detroyer suggests a quarter cup of hummus, which she recommends because the beans in it offer fiber. “It’s going to give you some energy that will stick throughout the workout. Carbs form the veggies and fruit will contribute to the boost.”

And you? Do you subscribe to the healthy pre-exercise snacks or do you swear by the energy of the Big Mac? Let us know what works best for you and if you have some great advice about foods that give you energy, we’d love to add them to our list.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Water

Woman drinking more water
You may have noticed some pretty creative things being done with water lately. You may have seen pitchers of water on the counters of Trader Joe’s or Souplantation with cucumbers or strawberries floating in them. You may have seen ice cubes infused with black raspberries or kiwi slices. Maybe you’ve sucked on a water popsicle with a few frozen cherries inside, Tootsie Roll style. Let’s face it. Water is pretty great for us, but it can be kind of boring. Tom Ford, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Aniston agree, but they all drink it, and if they can do it, so can you. So whether you infuse it with fruit, fizz it up with bubbles, or down it straight, water is a crucial part of the human diet and here are some of the reasons.

1. It Helps to Balance Body Fluids
The human body is about 60% water. We use this water for saliva, digestion, absorption, maintenance of body temperature, circulation, the transportation of nutrients. When the fluids run low, your brain tells your body you’re thirsty, and when it does, you should listen. Get a drink of water, juice- as long as it’s not alcohol, you’ll be fine. Kaiser Permanents nephrologist , Steven Guest , MD, warns that “Alcohol interferes with brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can lead to dehydration.”

2. Water Can Promote Weight Loss
Although pouring water through your system does not directly result in shedding pounds, it is a great substitution for higher calorie drinks, like soda and sugary fruit juice. You never have to check the sodium content on a water bottle.

As an added perk, food with high water content looks larger. Compare dry pasta to cooked, it puffs up like a balloon, and have you ever seen a prune in contrast with a plum? Water makes a big difference. Water- based foods also take longer to chew and help you feel full, perfect for those who like their portions generous.

Woman drinking water

3. Water Energizes Your Muscles
Imbalances in fluids and electrolytes can cause cells to shrivel up, causing muscle fatigue. To make sure you are getting enough water before and during exercise, look at the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines – which recommends the intake of 17 ounces of fluid two hours previous to physical activity with supplements at regular intervals.

4. Prevents Dehydration
Although water will not erase your wrinkles, dehydration can make them look worse, according to Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD. “Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.” In other words, if you drink too much, you will only end up needing to run to the bathroom, so don’t overdo it.

5. Helps Your Kidneys
Blood urea nitrogen is the body’s main toxin. Guest says, “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.” If you take interest in your urination, you should know that free flowing, light colored, odorless urine is a sign that your body is getting enough fluids. Dehydration causes an increase in cold, odor and concentration of urine because the kidneys are working to trap fluids in order to maintain function. Chronic dehydration can cause kidney stones.

Maybe you still think its boring, but you have to agree, water does some pretty great things for us. Let us know how you jazz up for water or what you think of jazzing up water. You may provide some pretty good tips!

Spicy Nutrient Rich Greens

Perhaps, you remember the Seinfeld episode entitled, “The Chicken Roaster” in which Jerry suspects that Kramer is secretly ordering from a chicken place that Jerry is trying to put out of business because its neon sign disturbs his sleep. In an effort to cover for Kramer, Newman tries to convince Jerry that Kramer’s chicken order is actually for him. There is one problem; the order includes steamed broccoli which, as Jerry says, Newman wouldn’t eat, “if it was deep fried in chocolate sauce.” Newman claims to love broccoli, but Jerry remains unconvinced and asks Newman to eat a piece of the offensive vegetable in Jerry’s presence. Although Newman makes a valiant attempt, he is forced to spit it out, proclaiming it a”vile weed,” and calling for honey mustard, which he proceeds to use as a chaser, chugging it straight from the cup with enormous zeal.

If you are like Newman, straight vegetables may be a little hard for you to make peace with. You may find them slightly bitter and maybe on the bland side. If this sounds like you, here are some veggies that are anything but bland.

mustard seed Mustard Greens
Are you ready to try the veg that took home the title of “World’s Most Feared Vegetable?” These spicy green vegetables, also known as leaf mustard, may be one of the healthiest foods in the world, containing Vitamins A and K, carotene, flavonoids and antioxidants. They are also a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Eaten regularly, mustard green has even shown to prevent osteoporosis, anemia, and arthritis and to protect against asthma, and prostate and colon cancers. There is also evidence suggesting that the supervening can limit neuronal damage in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s and has enough fiber to ward off hemorrhoids, colon cancer, and constipation.

Arugula
Want some more tang in your salad? Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable with that offers intake levels of nitrate shown to cut down on the amount of oxygen intake needed for exercise, improve athletic performance and lower blood pressure. So what’s behind arugula’s mighty powers? Studies show that the same thing that gives cruciferous vegetables their bitter taste is also responsible for their cancer-fighting properties. Sulforaphane is currently being studied as an impediment to melanoma as well as prostate, pancreatic and esophageal cancers. In addition, arugula’s high Vitamin K content has been shown to help bones absorb calcium and decrease its urinary elimination.

watercress Watercress
Once used by Hippocrates as a medical treatment, watercress achieved popularity in the 19th century when watercress sandwiches were a standard component of tea for the working class English, earning the vegetable a reputation as “poor man’s food.” Relegated to no more than a garnish in recent years, watercress is now getting its proper recognition. Like arugula, watercress contains nitrate to lower blood pressure and enhance the performance of athletes. Studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease while providing increased energy, lower weight, and healthy complexions. Watercress contains 3,3-diindolylmethane or DIM which has been shown in a recent study to function as a shield for a healthy tissue during cancer treatment. Rats were given lethal doses of radiation were able to stay alive longer when treated with DIM and had higher counts of red and white blood cells.

Incorporating The Greens Into Your Diet
Are you ready to bring on the greens? You can incorporate them into casseroles, sauces, and pasta for a slightly peppery taste. Blend them into your favorite smoothie, add them to your omelet, sauteed them in olive oil or use them to make pesto or eat them fresh and chase with large quantities of honey mustard. Let us know if you have gone daring with your greens. We would love to hear about recipes and adventures!