5 Healing Foods We Can’t Get Enough OfWritten by Kelsey Blackwell | Monday, February 6th, 2017

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” We couldn’t agree more. While every whole-food ingredient delivers its own unique blend of healthful vitamins, nutrients and minerals, the following 5 healing foods may be effective in addressing the health challenges of many of us face today.


Turmeric

turmeric-healing-foodsBenefits: Reduces inflammation
This vibrant root, which is a quintessential ingredient in curries and a cousin of ginger, is also an inflammation fighter. This is because of curcumin, the compound in turmeric that gives it its bright color. In one study turmeric extract supplements were just as effective as ibuprofen in easing the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.

Try this:  Because the flavor of turmeric is subtle and earthy, Turmeric makes a colorful addition to many dishes. Add it to scrambles, roasted vegetables, rice, greens and soup.

Garlic

Health Benefits: Fights bacterial and viral infections, controls yeast.
There’s a reason this ancient root has been used for thousands of years around the world as both a food and medicine. Considered in some circles to be “poor man’s penicillin,” garlic contains several compounds with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Because it also contains high levels of vitamin C, it is also a natural immune booster.

Try this: Garlic is delicious and versatile so it’s easy to consume regularly. Try roasting it, which brings out its naturally sweet and nutty flavors and makes it easy to spread on a baguette or add to soups, salads and dips. 

Dark Chocolate

Health Benefits: Lowers blood pressure, boosts brainpower and lowers BMI
We love chocolate and chocolate loves us! Numerous studies show flavanols, the antioxidants inherent in cacao, deliver a host of benefits including helping you lose weight! In one study, frequent consumption of small quantities of dark chocolate was associated with a lower body mass index.

Try this: To reap chocolate’s healthful benefits choose bars with a high cacao content (70 percent or more), which is indicative of higher amounts of flavanols. Here’s one of our favorite chocolate-featuring recipes.

Figs

black-mission-figs-healing-foodsHealth Benefits: Regulates blood sugar, supports healthy metabolism, eases anxiety, stress and depression.
Figs are a source of magnesium, which is a vital nutrient needed for muscle, nerve and bone health.  Unfortunately, due to diets that are often void of magnesium-rich foods, and the magnesium-depleted soil much of our food is grown in, magnesium deficiency is common.  Make sure you’re getting enough of this essential nutrient to support bodily function and mental wellbeing.
Try this: While figs are a good source of magnesium they’re not the only one. Magnesium is also found in: Almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic. For an easy and tasty, magnesium-delivering treat, try our Figgy Pops which contain magnesium-rich figs, pumpkin seeds and dates.

Sesame Seeds

Health Benefits: Support healthy blood pressure and balance hormones.
These tiny seeds pack a considerably nutritious punch. Sesame seeds are rich in many nutrients including copper, manganese and calcium. They also contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin, which are members of a group of special fibers called lignans. Sesamin has been shown to prevent high blood pressure, naturally lower cholesterol and positively impact sex hormone production.
Try this: Sesame oil is one of our favorite ways to flavor roasted vegetables. Tahini, which is ground sesame seeds is a common ingredient in hummus. You might also try adding it to a smoothie. Here’s one of our favorite recipes featuring sesame seeds.

If You’re Vegan You May Be Deficient In One Of These 5 Key NutrientsWritten by Kelsey Blackwell | Monday, January 30th, 2017

plant-nutrients_supplements

While a vegan diet is certainly beneficial for your health – numerous studies show plant-based eating prevents a number of diseases including Type II Diabetes and heart disease – vegans are often low in many key nutrients needed to truly thrive. These deficiencies can result in depression, lethargy, headaches and more. Below we take a closer look at 5 key nutrients all vegans should ensure they’re getting enough of. While we’ve provided recommended doses, if you suspect a deficiency, consult with your doctor to assess your levels and determine what amount is right for you.

B-12

What it does: B12 is needed to make red blood cells and prevents anemia. The body cannot make B12 on its own and relies on animal-based foods, fortified foods and/or supplements for this nutrient.
Signs of deficiency: weakness, tiredness, lightheadedness, pale skin, constipation or diarrhea, nerve problems like numbness, depression
Vegan sources: In addition to supplements, there are many vegan foods fortified with B12. These include non-dairy milks, meat substitutes, breakfast cereals, and one type of nutritional yeast.

Recommended dose: The National Institutes of Health suggests women and men 14 years of age and older receive 2.4 micrograms daily. Go here for complete dosing recommendations by age.

Calcium

What it does: We all know that calcium is integral for strong bones and teeth, but calcium is also needed to support blood clotting and regulate nerve fibers in muscles. Muscles can cramp and even fail without enough calcium.

Signs of deficiency: muscle cramps, difficulty swallowing, fatigue, course hair, chronic itching, numbness or tingling in the extremities. Find a full list of calcium- deficiency indicators here.

Vegan sources: Blackstrap molasses, collard greens, tempeh, turnip greens, calcium fortified plant-based milks. This guide includes the amount of calcium found in each of these foods plus additional sources.

Recommended dose: The National Institutes of Health recommends that adults age 19-50 years and men 51-70 years receive at least 1000 mg of calcium per day. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for women over 51 years of age and for men over 70.

Iron

What it does: Iron plays a key role in the production of red blood cells, which are essential for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Signs of deficiency: exhaustion, pale skin, shortness of breath, restless leg syndrome, headache, anxiety
Vegan sources:
Beans, broccoli, raisins, wheat, tofu and iron-fortified cereals. Getting enough iron can be especially challenging for vegans because plant-based sources of iron aren’t as easily digested as iron from meat. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as mulberries, can help your body absorb iron.

Recommended dose: The National Institutes of Health recommends that women age 19-50 years receive at least 18 mg of iron daily; men 19-50 should receive at least 8 mg.

Omega-3 fatty acids

What it does: Omega-3 fats support heart health. These fats, which the body does not produce, have been shown to be helpful for lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving blood vessel function, and, at higher doses, lowering triglycerides and easing inflammation.
Signs of deficiency:
dry skin and hair, soft brittle nails, difficulty paying attention, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and inflammation. Read more here.  

Vegan sources: Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, flaxseed oil, mustard oil, seaweed and leafy vegetables. You may also consider a vegan omega-3 supplement.
Recommended dose:
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat at least two servings of oily fish per week, which equates to roughly 500 mg.

Vitamin D

What it does: Nearly every cell in the body interacts with Vitamin D. It’s shown to reduced inflammation and play an important role in bone health by helping the body absorb calcium.

Signs of Deficiency: exhaustion, difficulty thinking clearly, frequent bone fractures, muscle weakness.
Vegan Sources: The body produces its own vitamin D in response to sunlight. Getting outside for just 10 minutes of sunshine 3 to 4 times a week is a good place to start, though it’s challenging to satisfy your vitamin D needs from the sun alone. Foods that contain vitamin D include shitake mushrooms and fortified oatmeal, breakfast cereals, almond milk and tofu. In many cases supplementation is also helpful but be sure to select a supplement that’s vegan. Many are made with fish oil or lanolin, a waxy substance secreted by glands found in a sheep’s skin.

Recommended dose: The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults over age18 receive 1,500 to 2,000 IUs Daily. Go here for complete dosing recommendations.

Made In Nature Unleashes Its Full Line of New Organic Supersnacks™Written by Luke Rizzuto | Friday, June 24th, 2016

 PRESS RELEASE UPDATED: JUN 23, 2016 15:01 MDT

Boulder, CO , June 23, 2016 (Newswire.com) – Taking on the Snack Category With Products That Fuel You Up! Made In Nature™, the leader in healthy, organic snacking is unleashing a new line-up of Organic Supersnacks™ in new bold packaging at the Fancy Food Show in NYC this week. Finally, consumers will not have to make the choice between what’s healthy and what’s delicious when it comes to filling the void between meals. Their organic, ready-to-snacks include a new line of Figgy Pops, Toasted Coconut Chips, Dried Fruit Fusions, Fruit and Nut Fusions and Kale Chips.

“We are a snacking nation. Over half of all US consumers snack more than three times a day to stay nourished. Our mission is to satisfy that hunger with delicious, ready-to-eat snacks made from real fruit and real vegetables, without compromising flavor or fun,” said Doug Brent, CEO of Made In Nature. “We’re taking on chips and bars and all those other so called “better for you” snacks that are merely masquerading as nourishment. Our Supersnacks don’t just fill you up, they fuel you up.”

As part of their attack on the healthy snack category, Made In Nature is launching an entirely new package design. Andy Nathan, CMO of Victors & Spoils who led the design process said, “The new packaging was a great opportunity to reintroduce Made In Nature to the world in a bold, new way. Inspired by their ‘Nature Unleashed’ brand positioning, the packaging design is strong and vibrant, highlighting the beauty of their unadulterated product. And because they’re so grounded and authentic, we were able to juxtapose that with a very cheeky tone in a category that sometimes takes itself a little too seriously.”

Life is too short to waste on sub-par snacks. The NEWEST addition to the Made In Nature family is their line of Organic Figgy PopsTM ($9.99 for 16 oz., $4.99 for 4.2oz.) These unbaked energy balls are real Supersnacks, bursting with flavor. Figgy Pops are a blend of organic figs and other luscious fruits with nuts and power seeds — covered in coconut with the crunch you crave. These delectable morsels are made with certified USDA organic, Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients and NO refined sugar, allowing consumers to power through their day the healthy way.

Made In Nature’s Organic Toasted Coconut Chips are anything but ordinary! These zealously snappy, perfectly crunchy coconut chips ($3.99 for 3 oz.) are made from pure organic ingredients with NO refined sugars or artificial flavors. It’s a snack that’s energy packed and comes in a variety of exotic flavors like Maple Vanilla, Italian Espresso, Toasted Cinnamon, Ginger Chai and Spiced Cocoa. Permission to snack, granted.

Embracing the flavorful exotic food trend, Made In Nature also offers a line of Organic Fruit Fusions. Inspired by authentic, healthy flavors from around the world, the Fruit Fusion product line encompass both 1oz Single-Serve Dried Fruit Fusions (MSRP $5.99 for 5-pack and $1.49 for 1oz packets) and Fruit and Nut Fusions (MSRP: $6.99 for 5-oz bag).Both of these delectable products offer the perfect pairing between organic dried fruits and blends of seeds, spices and flavors. Fruit Fusions flavors include: Apple Cinnamon, Superberry, Tropical, and Mediterranean blends. Fruit and Nut Fusions flavors include: Maple Balsamic, Cinnamon Citrus, Pomegranate Ginger and Rosemary Harissa blends.

And Made In Nature really breaks the mold with their new line of dried, NEVER fried,Organic Kale Chips (MSRP $5.99 for 2.2oz). The perfect Supersnack to fuel your next adventure, these Kale Chips will light up your taste buds with a combination of organic kale and unique and outrageous spice blends. Flavors include: Bedda Than Chedda, Sriracha Chili, Olive + Sea Salt, Rosemary Truffle, and Stumptown.

Made In Nature is available nationwide at Costco, Safeway, Whole Foods Market, Walmart, Target, Meijer and wherever organic, healthy snacks are sold. To find out more about all of the Supersnacks from Made In Nature or to visit their store, please visit MadeInNature.com

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Made In Nature is a trailblazer in the organic food industry with a 25-year history of sourcing and creating snacks from real food with bold, vibrant and surprising, new flavors. The same old, same old has never been their style and that means kicking refined sugar to the curb and going all-out organic in everything they do. Made In Nature’s Organic Supersnacks™ are made without the use of GMO ingredients, sulfur synthetic preservatives, color or flavorings. Go to www.MadeInNature.com to view the company’s full product line of Supersnacks™ and Supersides™.

Back To School Food GuideWritten by Susan Thanavaro | Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

School is starting up again, and while that adds chaos to any parent’s schedule, it doesn’t mean that your kid’s nutrition needs to suffer. Make sure your kid is staying healthy at school with these easy tips!

1. When it comes to lunch, forget peanut butter and jelly, a bag of chips and a sugary dessert. This lunch is all wrong since it’s packed with high-carbohydrate, high glycemic foods which will spike kids blood-sugar and then send them crashing hours later. Instead make sure your kids lunchbox is full of fruits, veggies, protein (like cold cuts), and good fats (like avocado or nuts).

2. Try to avoid letting your kid eat cafeteria food as well. While schools have made great progress since the days of mystery meat, if left alone your kid will probably run to the pizza line without even glancing at the salad bar.

3. Make sure there’s a healthy snack available. Kids will eat whatever’s near when they’re crashing, especially if it’s covered in frosting or sprinkles. Consider nuts, an apple or string cheese. Our new Fusion packs are also a great option since they’re Certified Organic, free from added sugar and delicious.

4. Being healthy doesn’t stop at the lunch table. If you need to bring food for some classroom party or it’s your child’s birthday try swapping out some traditional items for healthier ones. Bottled water instead of soda. Vegan cupcakes instead of store bought ones. Dried fruit instead of chips. You may not be the cool parent with these choices, but your kids bodies will be grateful.

If you aren’t sure where to get started, try our Dried Cranberry Turkey Wrap. It’s full of healthy protein, fruit and veggies and is the perfect substitute for a PB&J.