Enriched vs. Fortified: There IS a Difference

Walking through the grocery store, people often see labels that say enriched with this or fortified with that, and they automatically think the product is healthy. But it is important to know the difference between fortified and enriched foods.

So, what does “enriched” really mean? Enriched foods mean the vitamins and minerals that were lost in the refining process are added back after the fact. For example, if you see a product that says enriched with iron, the iron originally found in the food was lost during the refining process and has now been added back. However, this also means that the food has gone through a refining process in the first place (stripping much of its original nutritional value), which should make you think twice about its health benefits now.

Fortified means that vitamins and/or minerals have been added to the food in addition to the level of vitamins or minerals that were naturally in the food before it went through the refining process.

Many of us get a lot of the essential vitamins and minerals through fortification or enrichment of foods. However, be careful of the foods you buy with these labels.  For example,  sugary cereals are now being fortified with different vitamins and minerals, but this does not make the mass amounts of sugar just go away.  Watch this video to find out more about fortified cereals and other natural foods that are beneficial to your health and help boost  immunity:

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An Apple a Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Apple

Yep, your mom really wasn’t lying when she told you that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Although apples are not the only fruit to contain health benefits, they seem to contain a larger combination of the health benefits. So if your looking for a fruit loaded with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants, grab an apple.

First, apples contain significant amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only boosts your immune system, but also promotes healthy gums which will ultimately help  reduce your visits to the dentist. Furthermore, the juices inside the apple have properties that can kill up to 80% of bacteria, preventing tooth decay. Another way to avoid the dentist!

Additionally, apples are rich in flavonoids, or highly beneficial anti-oxidant compounds. Flavonoids can help prevent heart diseases such as coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. It has also been suggested that they may delay/prevent the onset of other diseases like cancer as well. A study conducted by the Canadian government found that apples, specifically red apples, can add  powerful antioxidant benefits to one’s diet. However, there is a catch. In order to receive the full health benefits from the apple, you must consume the skins. Apple skins are the most antioxidant rich part of the fruit. This study, which was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, even brought to light the possibility of  developing a way to extract these antioxidant compounds to create and sell even more anti-oxidant rich “super apples.” Interesting thought.

Another study at the University of Nottingham concluded that people who ate five or more apples per week had lower respiratory problems, including asthma. So overall, people who ate apples had healthier lungs.

So now the next time you hear someone say “an apple a day keeps the doctor a way” you will know that it is not just a childhood phrase, it’s the truth!

Photo Credit:

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/10687935@N04/8725155913/’>Robert S. Donovan</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/” target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal Of The Day

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If you want to start your day off right don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast in the morning boosts our metabolisms and provides us with the most energy to help us get through the day. Adults and children who don’t skip breakfast will not only feel more awake and energized, but will actually perform better in both school and the workplace. You may think that skipping breakfast will allow you ten more minutes of sleep in the morning, but the reality is that you will just end up feeling even more tired later because your body has no fuel to run off of.

Not only is it important to eat breakfast in the morning in general, but it is important to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast and not just a poptart as you run out the door. A meal with both fiber and protein will fill you up and keep you satisfied until lunch. An example of a balanced breakfast may be a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal with low fat milk and a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter (for some protein). You can even add fruit to your cereal to boost flavor and add natural sugars. Kashi has some great cereals full of fiber, protein and whole grains that I highly recommend, one of my favorite’s being Honey Sunshine cereal pillows which contains 6 grams of fiber, 20 grams of whole grains and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives.

Comment and share healthy breakfast suggestions!

Photo Credit:

Photo By <a target=’_blank’ href=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/42764227@N07/5412073662/’>Ashley Coombs</a> via <a href=”http://stockpholio.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”>StockPholio.com</a>