Tag Archives: Leafy Greens

Foods That Protect Your Skin From the Sun

We’ve all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and here’s another reason to believe that’s true. Did you know that by eating certain plant compounds, you could gain some of the same sun protection for your skin that plants themselves use? Of course, that’s not a license to go lay out in midday sun all summer without protection, but the following foods may increase your skin’s ability to ward off damage from the sun.

Berries in a basket

Berries
It’s not hard to find a reason to eat berries, but add them to the list of foods that can protect your skin from the sun. These fruits are full of vitamin C, a well-known antioxidant, which boosts collagen production in the skin.

Citrus
One medium orange not only contains about 75 percent of the RDI of vitamin C, but it also contains the skin-protecting pigment beta-carotene, which a study published by Molecular Biotechnology showed decreased skin’s sensitivity to UV rays.

Carrot juice and carrots

Carrots
The same pigment that gives the carrot its protection from the sun may also keep your skin from getting blistered. Besides being rich in beta-carotene, carrots also taste delicious dipped in hummus or mixed into homemade coleslaw.

Leafy Greens
Rich in both Vitamin C and carotenoids, leafy greens, such as leaf lettuce and spinach, protect your skin with an antioxidant double whammy! P.S. The darker the greens, the better!

Almonds

Almonds
Not only does the vitamin E in almonds help prevent and reduce the severity of sunburn, but combined with vitamin C-rich foods, the protection offered from both foods is maximized. Try tossing some almonds and strawberries into a salad for a delicious and skin-loving combo.

Cantaloupe
A summer staple, cantaloupe protects your skin by helping you stay hydrated and giving you a dose of lycopene, another naturally occurring plant pigment. Research done by the Journal of British Dermatology shows lycopene may decrease skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Bonus: you guessed it; cantaloupe is a vitamin C powerhouse!

Bell peppers

Bell Peppers
Rich in both vitamin C and carotenoids, bell peppers are an easy-to-use food in your healthy skin diet.

Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are another lycopene-rich food but according to a 2011 study from the British Journal of Dermatology, the bioavailability of the carotenoid may be greater in processed tomato products. Try using tomato paste as a base for soups or in a sauce.

green tea

Green Tea
A 2010 review in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that a diet rich in polyphenols can defend skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. One to two cups a day of this light-tasting tea can help you take advantage of its skin-protecting

Flaxseed
Like almonds, flaxseed is full of vitamin E. Take advantage of the C & E combo by mixing some ground flaxseed into a smoothie with some kale and blueberries.

It’s important to remember that while adding these foods to your diet may prevent burns or lessen the intensity of damage done by the sun, you should always take proper caution when being outdoors for an extended period of time. Along with eating these foods, you can avoid the sun altogether during peak hours (from around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), wear protective clothing when you will be in direct sunlight, and wear sunscreen daily.

Spring Wine Pairings

As spring approaches, many people tend to prepare fresh, light meals over the heavy winter comfort foods. If you think your lighter fare is limited to white wines, think again. There are plenty of spring foods that pair incredibly with a wide range of wines. Below, check out some of our favorite spring wine pairings.

Fruits and wine

Fresh Fruit
Pairing fresh fruit with wine might seem a bit difficult at first due to the inherent sweetness of fruit, but it can be done. Whether you’re serving fresh fruit on its own simply sliced, or incorporating it into a dessert like a strawberry tart, there is a wine that you can pair it with. The most general rule about pairing wine and fresh fruit is to pick a wine that is even sweeter than the fruit you plan to eat. Picking a wine that is sweeter than the fruit you’re serving ensures that the sweetness of the wine won’t be lost in the fruit and will still be able to shine. Another option to consider are wines that have floral notes, as these tend to become more pronounced when paired with fruit. Try an effervescent Moscato, a sweet Riesling or a Gewurztraminer with notes of rose. If you want a little bit more bubble, choose a sparkling wine, like Lambrusco or Schiava.

Honey baked ham

Honey-Baked Ham
Easter falls on March 27th this year and there’s a good chance your family is going to purchase a honey-baked ham, or that you will prepare your own honey-baked ham. Honey-baked ham is both sweet and deliciously fatty, so you need a wine that has enough acid and sweetness to cut through the fat. Pinot Noir is a perfect pairing for honey-baked ham because it features sweet fruits, like luscious cherries. Another wine that pairs well with honey-baked ham is a Rose that doesn’t have too high of an acidity and that also does not have strong flavors of oak.

Salad and wine

Leafy Greens
Salads and other green vegetables are a huge part of spring menus and they do require a bit of thought when it comes to wine pairing. Acidity is important when picking a wine to pair with a salad; you want the wine to have more acidity than the salad you are serving so that the wine doesn’t taste flat. Generally, white wines are a better option than red when pairing with salads. Many spring salads include greens like kale, which has a bitter taste, so you want to avoid pairing a kale-based salad with a red wine. However, there is an exception: If you are serving a steak salad, a light red wine would be an excellent pairing. Wines that feature “green” notes like bell pepper work perfectly with leafy greens. Consider a Sauvignon Blanc, Lambrusco or Verdejo wine to serve with your fresh spring salad.

Lamb and wine

Lamb
Lamb is another popular meat for spring dishes and it happens to be one of the most wine-friendly meats there is. Choosing your wine pairing for lamb ultimately depends upon the type of seasonings you use or the dishes you make. For instance, an Irish stew featuring lamb, root vegetables and herbs like rosemary or thyme pairs wonderfully with country red wines, such as a complex, but not too tannic, Cotes du Rhone Villages wine. Cuts like leg of lamb or rack of lamb are frequent choices for Easter dinners, and there are many wines to choose from for this pairing. Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, cru Beaujolais or a dry Rose are all excellent pairings for leg or rack of lamb dishes.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to pairing wine and food is to drink what you like and flavors that you are attracted to. Spring foods, which tend to feature fresh, earthy, sweet and succulent flavors, pair well with a wide variety of wines. Spend some time exploring different flavor combinations to find your absolute favorite spring pairings.

What to Eat to Live Longer

You know that what food you choose to put into your body has a significant effect on your health. A carton of french fries will leave you tired and sluggish while a handful of almonds can re-energize and invigorate you. When it comes to living a long, healthy life, diet and exercise are often the most important components. If you want a diet full of life-extending foods, this list is exactly what you need. The five foods on this list are all backed by scientific research that indicate proven longevity.

Dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate
A diet with chocolate? But of course. Dark chocolate is actually super beneficial to your health, but it must be dark chocolate with a cacao content of 70% or higher to provide these benefits. Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidant flavanoids known as flavanols. Flavanols improve blood flow and regulate cholesterol levels. Studies such as the one conducted by Penny Kris-Etherton, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, indicate that individuals whose blood levels of flavanoids are high have a lowered risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma and prostate cancer. While dark chocolate provides wonderful health benefits, gorging yourself on it will negate these effects. Just a one ounce serving of dark chocolate daily provides you with all the antioxidants you need to get these health perks.

Green salad

Dark, Leafy Greens
Salads have always been good for you, right? It depends. You know not to slather on fat-laden dressings, but what you make the salad with has a significant effect on the health of a salad. Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, calcium and flavanoids. These greens also have important phytochemicals and just a one-cup serving of kale has 700% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. Research suggests that it is the high levels of vitamin K that provide one of the most amazing benefits of dark, leafy greens: the slowing down of age-related cognitive decline.

Chili peppers

Chili Peppers
Spice up, and lengthen your life by adding chili peppers to your diet. One huge (nearly 500,000 participants) Chinese study published in the BMJ 2015 journal discovered that spicy foods contribute to a lowered risk for all causes of premature death. Capsaicin, the molecule in peppers that creates the heat, is thought to be responsible for the life-extending benefits. The study concluded that those who ate spicy foods six to seven times each week had a 14% lower risk of premature death than those who chose to stay away from spice. If that seems excessive to you, simply eating spicy foods once or twice a week reduces the risk of premature death by 10%.

Pecan pie

Pecans
A Dutch study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology took place over 30 years found that eating nuts decreases mortality rates. The study included Dutch people who were between the ages of 55 and 69 who ate a small serving of nuts each day had lowered (23%) mortality rate than those that did not eat nuts. Almonds and walnuts are also excellent choices for you health, but pecans have a certain type of vitamin E (gamma-tocopherols) that lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol as well. When you decide to eat nuts, remember to practice moderation because of the high fat content.

Blueberries

Blueberries
The fact that blueberries are beneficial to your health should come as no surprise. Their soluble fiber lowers cholesterol, keeping your heart healthy and they are packed with antioxidants, such as resveratrol. One of these antioxidants, in particular, may decrease the rate of mental decline during the aging process. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant that supports muscle retention and healthy brain function. A recent study showed that women with a diet that included strawberries and blueberries had a slower rate of mental decline than those who skipped the berries.

Including these amazing foods into your healthy diet may indeed increase longevity. When it comes to dark chocolate and nuts, be aware of the serving sizes so you don’t counteract the health benefits. Enjoy a varied and nutritious diet by adding these five foods to your grocery list.