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Resolution Revolution

Now Chew On This!

 

At the beginning of every year, many people make New Year's resolutions pertaining to health, eating habits, losing weight and exercise, but few stick with it long enough to reach the finish line. In addition to New Year's resolutions, this month is known for: National Folic Acid Awareness Week, National Thyroid Awareness Month, Glaucoma Awareness and Cervical Health Awareness.

Ironically, folic acid, the thyroid, glaucoma, and cervical health have something in common. Folic acid is a form of a water-soluble B vitamin that has been known to be beneficial to the thyroid, preventing glaucoma and cervical cancer. Folic acid can be found in several vegetables; however, some of the vegetables it is found in should be avoided if you have thyroid problems, glaucoma or are concerned about your cervix.

Foods containing folic acid that should be avoided as it relates to the thyroid, glaucoma and cervical cancer are broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnips, bok choy, gluten and soy.

Vegetables containing folic acid beneficial to the thyroid, glaucoma and the cervix are spinach, beets, carrots, and celery.

Full Power Punch from Vegetables

To get the maximum nutritional benefit from vegetables, it is important to know the best way to prepare them. Focusing on spinach, beets, carrots, and celery the best methods are:

• Spinach – Studies have found that eating cooked spinach releases antioxidants by breaking down cell walls. Cooked spinach allows your body to absorb higher levels of vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, and iron. These iron absorption inhibitors are released during the cooking process thus increasing iron bioavailability. The best way to cook spinach is steaming rather than boiling. During the boiling process these water-soluble nutrients are substantially diminished. Raw spinach contains the nutrients folate, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, and potassium.

• Beets – More than 25 percent of folate contained in beets is lost when cooked. Eating beets raw will preserve the folate, a compound beneficial to the brain. Beets are also known to be one of the best liver detoxifiers.

• Carrots – Lightly steaming fresh carrots makes the cell walls of the carrots less rigid thereby improving the body's absorption of the available beta-carotene for digestion. This method also results in much higher blood levels of beta-carotene being released, an antioxidant that can be converted to vitamin A and improves bone, eye, reproductive health and is known to guard against heart disease and lung cancer.

• Celery - The leaves have a high content of vitamin A, the stems contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and essential amino acids. Eating several stalks of celery throughout the day will provide lots of fiber. Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing or chewing, aiding bowel movements. If you normally do not eat a lot of fiber, you may experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, or abdominal cramping.

Thyroid - The thyroid gland is in the front of your neck. It stores and produces hormones affecting the function of virtually every organ in our bodies. These hormones regulate our metabolic rate and is associated with maintaining weight, energy levels, depression, and assists in defending the body from potentially deadly pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

About Dr. Charmène Mama Vega

Dr. Charmene "Mama" Vega is Founder, President and CEO of Mama Vega Enterprises (www.MamaVega.com).  She is also a philanthropist, published author, Medical Nutrition Therapist, holder of a Master of Science degree in Special Education and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities.

Dr. Vega believes in giving back to the communities where Mama Vega products are sold. For every Mama Vega product purchased, a percentage of each sale is donated to those communities' non-profits. See her products at http://www.MamaVega.com

 
 

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