Tag Archives: clean food

flax seeds

Revitalive’s Pick of the Week: Flax Seeds!

flax seeds
At Revitalive Café, we offer a delicious menu of smoothies, which are made fresh when ordered. You may have tried our Berry Bliss smoothie, the classic Evergreen, or our rich Maca Mocha. But we also have a variety of options of smoothie boosters to give an extra kick of protein, flavor, antioxidants, energy, omega 3’s…you name it! Flax seeds, one of our smoothie boosters, provide several of these benefits.

Flax seeds have a unique and powerful combination of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. They are also a great source of protein! By themselves, these nutrients have a number of health benefits, and acting together, they are capable of even more. Lignans, the lesser known of these, have antioxidant effects, and flax seeds are the best source of them in human diets. Flax seeds have seven times the amount of lignans as sesame seeds and over 300 times the amount as in sunflower seeds!

Flax seeds are also one of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

The fiber in flax seeds is a combination of both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, which work together to keep things moving in the digestive system, not too fast and not too slow. Flax seeds are especially known for their soluble fiber content, called mucilage. Mucilage can improve the body’s absorption of nutrients by forming a gel that slows down the rate that food travels from the stomach to the small intestine.

Together, the nutrients in flax seeds may have the following benefits:
• Reducing inflammation
• Protecting against cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers
• Improving cholesterol ratio
• Regulating digestion
• Lowering blood pressure
• Preventing of heart attacks
• Increasing absorption of nutrients

If you buy whole flax seeds, it is best to grind them before using them; if swallowed whole, they will go undigested through the digestive tract, preventing you from gaining any of their wonderful benefits.

Next time you’re getting a smoothie at Revitalive this summer, try out flax seeds as a booster or try one of our many other nutritious options!

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Photo: http://naturalremediespocketguide.com/8-tips-balancing-cholesterol-levels-without-drugs/

References
SFGate: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-ground-flaxseed-smoothies-5332.html
University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/flaxseed
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/

Watermelon

Revitalive’s Pick of the Week: Watermelon!

Watermelon
This week’s post is about a fruit that we’ll all likely be enjoying this weekend: that steadfast summertime treat, watermelon!

Lucky for us, watermelon is beneficial for more than just our taste buds. It is a good source of vitamin C as well as lycopene, a nutrient with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene gives watermelon its red color, so the riper a watermelon is, the more nutrition it has. (Also, the sweeter it is!) When buying a whole watermelon, its ripeness can be judged by its weight; the water content increases with ripening, so a heavier melon is more nutritious. With cut watermelons, look for ones with more of a rich red hue than lighter pink.

Watermelon is also a great source of citrulline, an amino acid that our bodies use to produce a compound that can relax muscles and lower blood pressure. In one study, athletes who drank watermelon juice before working out had reduced heart rates and a reduction in muscle soreness the next day.

Even the rind and seeds of watermelon are beneficial, despite being cut out, spat out, or never even there if a seedless melon is bought. The seeds are a good source of protein as well as essential minerals including iron and magnesium. Just an ounce of them can provide between 10 and 35% of each of these nutrients and other minerals. It might take quite a few pieces of watermelon to eat this many seeds, but seeds can also be dried or roasted and eaten as a separate snack.

Interesting Facts: Watermelon as a Kidney Cleanse

Watermelon is one of the best natural remedies known for kidney stones mostly because they contain the highest water content (92%) of any food. Watermelons are also diuretic, meaning they help to increase urine flow, which helps flush kidneys when dealing with kidney stones. Watermelons are also extremely high in potassium which assists your body in dissolving kidney stones. Potassium can also help lower blood pressure, essential for kidney health. Watermelons are also high in nitric oxide and lycopene (as mentioned earlier) which aid in maintaining kidney health.

It’s not just the watermelon fruit that supports your kidneys; the black seeds of watermelon are also useful for cleansing both the bladder and the kidneys helping remove stones.

Revitalive uses organic watermelon (flesh, rind, and seeds!) in its Minty Melon juice. Try some today to kick off this Fourth of July weekend!

Prevention

If you have already experienced kidney stones, or are otherwise at risk due to dietary choices, eating watermelons regularly can help prevent the formation of stones. Drinking watermelon juice several times a week is a great way to prevent stones without any side effects. Also, if you are ever experiencing a tight, painful sensation in the kidneys, even just subtle, you may be experiencing kidney stress. Watermelon juice is a great remedy even if the sensation is mild, in order to bring things back into balance.

Did you know that watermelons are the best foods to juice, since there is so much juice yielded per fruit? At Revitalive we add both limes and mint to increase both the taste and the cleansing benefits of the juice.

Vitamin C, lycopene, citrulline, potassium, protein, minerals, and more… watermelon is more nutritious than you thought! But that’s not what you were wondering about, was it? You knew it probably had some good stuff in there – it’s a fruit! Your real questions have still gone unanswered. What about the sugar content? It’s so deliciously sweet that the sugar must cancel out the benefits! And is watermelon a GMO? You’ll be happy to hear the answers:

Q: Since watermelon is so sweet, am I eating a lot of sugar?
A: Despite watermelon being so sweet, a regular serving size would not have that much sugar. Because watermelon has such a high water content (over 90%), you’ll probably start feeling full (or will be going back for a second hamburger/veggie burger) long before that point.

Q: Are seedless watermelons genetically modified?
A: Seedless watermelons are actually not genetically modified; a genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant or animal that has been crossbred with the DNA of bacteria, viruses, or a different species. Seedless watermelons, on the other hand, are a cross between two types of watermelon plants. This is called hybridization.

Cold-pressed minty melon juice

Cold-pressed minty melon juice

Credits:
Watermelon photo: http://blogs.kcrw.com/goodfood/2013/06/vegetarian-recipe-2/

References:
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-greenberg/gl-and-gi_b_863126.html
National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130820-watermelon-nutrition-health-food-science/
Non GMO Project: http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/
Self.com: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3147/2
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/31/AR2010083102643.html?sid=ST2010083102729
World’s Heathiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=31