Good morning, everyone – I hope your day is off to a good start.
I’m very excited to introduce you to a lovely couple, Christin and Shaun, from Blue Crab Martini. They live with their two handsome boys in the Chesapeake Bay region and work diligently in their efforts to live off the land as much as possible. Christin visited my blog for the first time this week and when I popped over to see her site, I was so delighted with the recipes, her writing, her photography, her adorable boys and her dogs – I loved it all!
While browsing through Christin’s recipes I was very impressed with the healthy, fresh ingredients but also her creativity. So many of her dishes are based on dishes that are traditional favourites but she’s transformed them into nutritious meals that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Spaghetti, chili, tacos and meatloaf are just a few of the recipes that will make your mouth water and leave you wanting to take a bite out of your screen!
Here is the first eye popping recipe that caught my attention and had me emailing Christin for permission to feature her today – Blue Crab Spaghetti.
No doubt it’s our shared love of seafood that appeals to me as well and Christin and Shaun cook fresh, local, seasonal ingredients whenever they can. Christin makes the most of her location with beautiful crab and lobster dishes that makes me want to move to Maryland!
Christin defines their choice of food as ‘Our food is rustic yet refined, easy but elegant, and quite simply delicious.’ I could not agree more. Visit her beautiful blog here and immerse yourself in healthy decadence!
This week I’m partnering with Healthline.com and they have written an article specifically for my blog. I love this site and they provide great information on every imaginable health topic including very helpful subjects on nutrition.
I started this blog because of my growing interest in the effects of food on the body and this article does a great job of summarizing how it affects our minds as well. Please take a moment to read this and have a great day, everyone!
The Effects of Healthy Foods on the Mind and Body
When it comes to food, we tend to give more thought to how food tastes and how to prepare it than what it’s doing for our health. As it turns out though, making the effort to choose healthier foods could change your life for the better and even for the longer!
It’s Called Junk Food for A Reason
We really are what we eat in a way and there’s more evidence than ever to confirm this. We really are healthier when we eat healthy foods and junk foods, well, they really can make you feel quite junky and the more of it we consume; the more we are trashing our bodies. To help bring this point home let’s take a look at the effects that healthy eating has on the mind and body as well as the effects of foods that are high in refined sugar and carbohydrates.
The first and most obvious effect of a poor diet is obesity. Foods that are high in sugar are also higher in calories, both of which have a direct impact on your body weight. And if you think that your diet isn’t all that “sugary”, then a quick read of the labels on the foods you eat may show you otherwise. Changing your diet is very important to help prevent future health problems. If you haven’t already, taking up a new sport or activity would benefit you. If you live in Salt Lake City, you could look into Tennis Lessons SLC to start leading a healthier lifestyle.
Sugar is in almost every processed food that we eat, including those that don’t even taste sweet, like bread and pasta. These hidden sugars alone often add up to more calories and a higher risk of obesity than one could ever imagine when eating a food that tastes anything but sweet.
Here are some recent findings pertaining to certain foods and drinks containing sugar or their alternatives:
* A small box of raisins (1.5 ounces) contains as much as 30 grams of sugar depending on the brand.
* Just one soda a day amounts to a 27 percent increase in the risk of obesity for an adult and a whopping 55 percent higher risk in children, according to the World Health Organization.
* A soda a day works out to 55,000 calories a year, which is the equivalent of 15 extra pounds.
* A 2013 study by the American Heart Association found that sugar-sweetened drinks may be linked to approximately 180,000 deaths in the world each year, 25,000 of which are in the U.S. alone.
If you’re thinking that you’re safe in the beverage department because you drink diet soda or juice, then think again. According to a 2012 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a can of diet soda or regular soda per day increases your risk of stroke by as much as 16 percent. Other studies have also found a link between diet soda and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and compromised kidney function. As for juice; a glass of orange juice has as many calories as 3 chocolate chip cookies!
Sugar, of course, isn’t the only culprit when it comes to a poor diet. Unhealthy eating generally refers to a diet that is higher in sugar as well as sodium and saturated fat and lacking in fresh fruits, vegetables and/or whole grains. Unhealthy eating makes you feel sluggish, will weaken your immune system, and can impair the way your mind and body handles stress. A poor diet has also been found to interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. And, to create a vicious circle that makes matters even worse: all of these effects can also raise your risk of obesity and chronic disease for a double-whammy!
The Benefits of Healthy Foods
When we’re talking about healthy eating, we’re talking about a well-balanced diet that contains the recommended amount of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins as well as some healthy fats. The cleaner and more organic the food, the better since it means getting all of the health benefits from the foods without potentially harmful chemicals, additives, and hidden sugars.
Now onto the benefits of healthy foods—or as many as we can fit here! They include:
* Feeling full on less food. This is because things like fruits and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains are clean sources of fiber which fill you up without an abundance of calories, fats, or sugars, leading to a healthier body weight.
* More energy. This is thanks to getting the nutrients that you need without the empty calories and sugar highs that ultimately result in a “crash” once your blood sugar levels off after a processed or sugary snack.
* Stronger immune system. When you feed your body a healthy diet, particularly one that is full of fruits and vegetables, you boost your immune system so that you are better able to ward off infection and disease.
* Lower risk of chronic diseases and premature death. Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins and antioxidants that have been found to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer, and more.
* Better memory and brain function. There is strong evidence linking a poor diet containing additives like food coloring to memory issues, learning impairment and conditions including ADHD, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and more.
* Stronger bones. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends eating a healthy and balanced diet as described earlier in order to improve your bone health. They also recommend limiting caffeine, soda, and alcohol intake.
* Happier state of mind. Several studies have linked diet to mental health, including a 2011 study that found that people who ate a better quality diet were less likely to be depressed. In contrast, diets containing higher amounts of unhealthy and processed foods were associated with increased anxiety.
This just barely scratches the surface of what healthy foods actually do for our mind and body. You can click here to learn more about the health conditions mentioned, along with nutrition and more.
Adrienne is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and fitness for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board. You can connect with Adrienne on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/writeradrienne.
* The Wellness Team. (December 2013). Do You Drink Soda Every day? Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/03/soda-do-you-drink-it-every-day/
* Sweet Drinks and Obesity. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://www.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/education/sweet_drinks_and_obesity/
* American Heart Association Meeting Report. (March 2013). American Heart Association. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://newsroom.heart.org/news/180-000-deaths-worldwide-may-be-associated-with-sugary-soft-drinks
* Food and Your Bones. National Osteoporosis Foundation. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://nof.org/foods
* Jacka FN1, Mykletun A, Berk M, Bjelland I, Tell GS. (July 2011).The association between habitual diet quality and the common mental disorders in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health study. PubMed. Retrieved May 9, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21715296