Monday, November 30, 2009

Eat Your Way to Happiness: 5 Stress Busting Foods

It is that time of year again.  The holiday season is upon us.  It is known as one of the most stressful times of the year and for good reason.  Well don't let the holiday blues get to you.  We’ve all been there at some point. You had a hectic day, so you reach for a chocolate doughnut. Don’t do it! 


Elisa Zied, Registered Dietitian, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips has some great tips for us.  She says it’s better to choose the following foods, which can relax us and even make us healthier.
Whole wheat pasta

Nutrients provided by whole wheat pasta and other whole grain foods can help boost levels of serotonin, a mood-lifting neurotransmitter. One key nutrient found in whole grain foods that appears to possess antidepressant properties is magnesium; it’s a mineral that is also said to help regulate blood pressure. Whole grains are good anytime, but they’re especially important in the winter. Zied says, “Serotonin slumps in the winter because of less daylight and less sun, so consuming whole wheat pasta or brown rice can help you boost the ‘feel good’ chemical in your brain and better manage stress.”
Tip: Enjoy one whole grain food at each meal. Try banana-topped oatmeal for breakfast, turkey stuffed in a whole wheat pita for lunch, and, for dinner, whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce, or red beans and brown rice.
Sweet potatoes

Choose orange veggies and fruits. (In fact, the color of your produce may be as important to your health as the quantity.) The orange color of produce like sweet potatoes, carrots and cantaloupe usually indicates the presence of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A. According to Zied, powerful sources of vitamin A act as antioxidants and deliver a punch to free radicals (harmful molecules) that can be caused by stress and contribute to chronic disease. So eating foods rich in beta-carotene may play a role in protecting your health when you’re feeling frazzled.

Tip: Include one orange vegetable and one orange fruit every day, such as sweet potato soup with your lunch and cantaloupe cubes as a snack.
Almonds

Grab a handful! These protein-packed powerhouses can help make pesky hunger pangs go away. Almonds are a terrific and tasty way to fill our vitamin E gap, too. “Without enough vitamin E,” says Zied, “your muscles will feel weak, you may have trouble with balance, and your vision may be adversely affected.” Talk about stress!
Tip: Savor one small handful of almonds (23, to be exact) every day.

Low-fat yogurt


With its soothing creaminess, yogurt can act as a comfort food. No studies are required to tell you that comfort foods can help you feel better almost instantly. Of course, yogurt contains a bounty of key nutrients, including calcium. Says Zied, “Calcium supports functions of proteins, including the formation of enzymes and hormones — and hormones can play a role in managing stress.” What’s more, the protein in yogurt can help to fill you up, squashing mid-afternoon munchies.
Tip: Have yogurt on hand as a mid-morning, afternoon or late-night snack.
Lentils

One of Zied’s favorite legumes (a kind of pea or bean) is lentils, since they’re versatile, great-tasting and a super source of folate. This B vitamin is important for women of childbearing age, including those who are pregnant. Experts say it can reduce the risk of some birth defects by up to 70 percent. Lack of folate can contribute to an array of unpleasantly stressful symptoms, including irritability, forgetfulness, disturbed sleep and muscle weakness. Other beneficial legumes include black-eyed peas and Great Northern beans.
Tip: Zied suggests pairing lentils with a whole wheat flour tortilla and some calcium-rich cheese to create a mood-boosting, nutrient-packed meal.


Buy these next time your at the market and eat your way to a healthier life!

Friday, November 27, 2009

From Your Couch To A 5K

Since we began our training for our first half marathon, we have been getting a ton of questions on how to get started.  This easiest answer we have is to just get started and follow some kind of program.  Put one foot in front of another and get moving.  For all you new runners we have the program for you.  Its called from Couch to 5K.  It is all laid out for you below.  If you have any questions you can visit the site  www.fromcouchto5k.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Organic Turkey Vs Regular Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!  We love our great meal as much as everyone else. We are not trying to be vegetarians or convert anyone.  We just want to be healthier eaters.  We want you to know what goes in your body.  We decided to show you what the difference is between an Organic Farm Raised Turkey and a Conventional Factory Turkey.  Don't worry we kept all of the horrific videos out!  Check it out below and make your choice:


Organic



Conventional

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Make Things Fun and People Will Do It: Recycling


This is great!  Thefuntheory.com is showing how making ever day mundane tasks fun change the way people behave.  A little Creativity goes a long way.  Check out the video.

Michelle Obama Plants Seeds on Sesame Street

Sesame Street is always good for some knowledge and a good laugh.  This is a great combo.  The First Lady teaches kids how to plant a garden and then Big Bird calls her a bird!  Hahaha.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dinner in Paradise Opens its Fifth Season with South Florida’s Top Chefs




Our friend Gabriele Marewski of Paradise Farms Organic created an amazing event 5 years ago. The event is Dinner In Paradise.  Dinner in Paradise was created in 2005 by Gabriele and Michael Schwartz from Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink to raise money for worthy causes and create awareness of local farms, cuisine and chefs.  This year the event is bigger than ever.  The sponsorship for Dinner in Paradise continues with Whole Foods Market donating their delicious products to the chefs, Schnebly Redland’s Winery and their local, tropical wines and Lucini Itlalia with their amazing organic olive oil, vinegars and sauces and Café Don Pablo with their delicious Columbian coffee.  FIU School of Hospitality is providing front of the house management and along with Le Cordon Bleu, their outstanding servers.


Our favorite part is that Dinner in Paradise proceeds benefit The Education Fund for their Plant a Thousand Gardens Collaborative Nutrition Initiative (www.educationfund.org).  Paradise Farms is donating 18 Ready to Grow garden beds to 18 public schools.  Paradise Farms has already donated one bed each to Miami Dade Community College and Fairchild Tropical Garden for their teacher education programs.  


Dinners are scheduled from December through February and begin at 5 PM with a cocktail reception followed by a farm tour.  Dinner begins at 6 PM.  March & April’s dinner will begin at 6 PM.  Each dinner, priced at $165.50 (tax and google fee included), features six courses made with local, organic products, paired with top quality wines.  This truly is a unique experience not to be forgotten.

Please visit www.paradisefarms.net to make reservations.             
Here is the roster for the First Dinner:
December 13th
Loews Hotel/Gordon Maybury & Brett Rayon
Eden Roc/Thorsten Leighty
Biscaya at Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove/Philippe Pinon

               

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Thanksgiving Use Your Local Farmers




Its another Beautiful day at the Revolution Greens Headquarters here in Miami, FL.  We are getting ourselves ready for one of our favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.  In the USA we love our food.  So much so that when we had the chance to establish our first national holiday, it was Thanksgiving, a feast that doesn't merely accompany a celebration but in effect is the celebration!  That is why we want to share with you how you can make your Thanksgiving more like the first one celebrated.  This year the goal is to use real foods that have not been chemically engineered or grown in a factory.  Two of our Revolution Greens Army,  David Turk and Nick Leone, took to the streets of New York City and filmed some impromptu interviews with local farmers at the Stuyvesant Farmers Market.  What they found-- Farmers using their market stands to take a stand against the big corporate farms.  Lets show our local farmers our support this year.  Buy at least one item from your local farmers to serve at your thanksgiving dinner.  Use www.localharvest.org to find where you can buy some great items.  Thanks for the great video.  Keep it Up!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Running For The Greater Good




We love throwing our support behind people who are improving their health while trying to help others.  Rick Turk, One of the OR's (Original Revolutionaries) is pushing his body to new extremes in order to raise money for Cancer Research.  On February 28, 2010 he will be running 13.1 miles in the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans, Louisiana. With that run he plans on raising at least $1000.00 for the American Cancer Society.  We asked him why he was doing it and he said, "I am a firm believer in the balance between the mind, body, and soul. Everyone must take a part in taking care of their body and taking care of others."  We couldn't agree more.  Rick also knows times are tough, "please just give what you can $1, $5, $10, $20, $100 - No amount is too small to make a difference."  To join the fight and be a part of the Revolution donate here....
Donate Here Rick Turk's Mission

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Kids Are Now Fatter Than Ever




Look at the piture above.  It shows the average kid in the 1950's and the average kid today.  As our Spanish Revolutionaries would say "No Bueno". In the 1950s, kids had three cups of milk for every cup of soda. Today that ratio is reversed, meaning they get all the calories and none of the nutrients.  Here are some quick stats for you.  In 1971 only 4% of 6-to-11-year-old kids were obese; by 2004, the figure had leaped to 18.8%. In the same period, the number rose from 6.1% to 17.4% in the 12-to-19-year-old group, and from 5% to 13.9% among kids ages just 2 to 5.  That's just obesity we are talking about. Include all overweight kids, and a whopping 32% of all American children now carry more pounds than they should.  A staggering 90% of overweight kids already have at least one avoidable risk factor for heart disease, such as high cholesterol or hypertension. Type 2 diabetes is now being diagnosed in teens as young as 15. Health experts warn that the current generation of children may be the first in American history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents'.  We need to do something about it.  Spread the word.  Teach our kids what real food is!


Click Here For What They Should Be Eating




Friday, November 20, 2009

Want To Be Skinny? Eat Like A Brazilian



We put out the call for great information from Dietitians around the country.  We were heard and now we are getting some very cool stories coming in.  It seem like Brazil must be a healthy place.  We mentioned it yesterday and today we bring you information on the Brazilian eating habits courtesy of Magaret Furtado, a registered dietitian for over 20 years.  On her last trip to Brazil she noticed something amazing about the eating style in the exotic country.  Check out what she had to say below.  Great Tips!!


I was in Brazil last August, my second visit there, and while on that trip remembered something that had puzzled me when I had lived in Curitiba for a year in 1994: Why, despite my eating 3 hearty Brazilian meals every day, did I weigh less during that year than at any time before or after--with no effort on my part?
This time around, as a dietitian, I of course took note of the Brazilian lifestyle and attitudes toward eating and found some common threads running through the culinary culture that answered my question. To make a long story short, Brazilians avoid packaged foods, indulge in little or no snacking between meals (other than some fresh fruit and coffee, sans cream), and fill up on salads before meals.
The salads are wonderful, including one of my favorites: hearts of palm with tomatoes and watercress. Unlike most salad lovers, the Brazilians forgo high-calorie salad dressings, which saves them huge numbers of calories. You might see a Brazilian add a small amount of olive oil and vinegar to a salad, but the vegetables are definitely the star of the show.
Filling up on veggies also helps the Brazilians cut back on their portions of higher-calorie entrees, such as red meat, a food that is certainly popular there. (If you eat red meat, I highly recommend the Brazilian-style barbecue. They make delicious BBQ cheeses too!)
Another thing that struck me about meals in Brazil was the abundance of freshly squeezed juices using fruits that you don't often expect to be drinking, like watermelon and pineapple (with a dash of mint). And because these juices don't come from super-concentrates, the purity of the taste, minus the sugar or anything artificial, is deeply satisfying.
My take-aways for U.S. eaters, after casting my dietician's eye on Brazil's eating habits:
  • Be sure to include a hearty salad before your entrée, perhaps including such veggies as hearts of palm, fresh tomatoes, watercress, and maybe cilantro or basil. Add balsamic vinegar and a little splash of extra-virgin olive oil--or omit the oil altogether if you'd like to save calories.
  • Consider fresh fruits in season for light snacks and desserts.
  • If you drink a lot of sugary soda or tend to consume other liquid calories because you never learned to appreciate the taste of plain, old water, consider flavoring fizzy water with just a bit of freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice (again, with mint). When flavored, carbonated water is refreshing and may even help stave off hunger, since many people mistake being thirsty with being hungry.
Whether you're in South America or North America, however, always try to eat slowly. Chewing your food well not only helps your digestion but will also increase feelings of satiety since your brain doesn't notice that the stomach is full until after you've been munching for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pro Surfers Love Acai Too



Since we discovered Acai we have been eating it every morning.  Its been three months now and we can not live with out it.  Our freezer is stocked with Sambazon Acai Sorbet.  The Acai explosion started on the beaches of Brazil.  The local surfers realized that this superfood was keeping them energized all day.  They shared their favorite food with visiting surfers and it spread to the beaches of the USA.  If you havent tried it yet you should.  We dont mean to sound corny, but it will change your life!  Don't just take our word for it listen to two amazing Pro Surfers Bethany Hamilton and Kelly Slater. Bethany actually makes the same morning mix we do. 

On a completely different note, Bethany is an inspiration to us. She had her arm bitten off by a shark and she continued on to become a Pro Surfer. It shows what great things you can accomplish if you keep your mind focused. Alright, enough preaching from us. Enjoy a bowl of Acai soon!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Apple That Won't Rot! Uh Oh!




We have a strong feeling this is not a good idea.  Scientists in Australia have developed an apple that won't rot or should we say, won't rot for a long, long time. The  RS103-130 apple is a rare cross-breed 20 years in the making, cooked up by researchers at Australia's Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries. They claim the shiny red apples will stay fresh, delicious, and crispy for four months. Hold on a second though, aren't things like apples supposed to rot?

We can't help fight the feeling that putting something like this in your body will not be as beneficial as eating a regular apple.  Yes, we are aware that more and more foods are being genetically engineered by a few large corporations.  However, we know there is no better time than now to step up and show support to our local farmers.  The ones that are producing natural,biodynamic or organic produce.  With every dollar we spend we cast our vote on the type of food that shows up in our stores.  Make your vote count and stay away from the man made apple.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nearly 1 in 4 Children are Without Food



Good Day Revolutionaries.  A new report is out this morning and it is unbelievable.  It shows that 17 million children are at risk of hunger.  That translates to nearly 1 out of every 4 kids is living without enough food in our country.  We know that the philanthropic belief and trend for many years has been to send money, food and supplies to third world countries.  Maybe now would be a good time to see if we can start making a difference here in our own communities.  You don't have to think you are too small to make a difference. If every one of us sent a single dollar it would make a dramtatic impact on the social landscape.  If you do not have the money to give you do have other skills that translate into value.  Whether it is your time, knowledge or know-how, any one of those you donate to an organization will make a difference.  There are literally hundred's of places for you to help.  Here is one we believe in.  Let today be the day you make difference!

http://feedingamerica.org/

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Bean Coffee: Interview with Founder Mark Kalbac



Today we had the great pleasure of speaking with Mark Kalbac.  He is the Founder and President of Happy Bean Coffee located in Miami, Florida.  Happy Bean Coffee creates handcrafted coffee blends made from the finest Arabica beans, sourced from a collection of family farms.  They roast their coffee in small batches in order to ensure a bold, smooth taste that is never bitter.  Happy Bean Coffee has a big time selection of coffees that will match any coffee drinkers palette.  One great selection they sell is their Premium Organic Coffee Beans.  They are grown free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, the certified organic coffee beans are a blend of 100% Arabica beans grown in a sustainable crop rotation to prevent erosion, the depletion of soil nutrients, and control for pests. The beans are grown on family plantations and co-ops in the best coffee growing regions in Latin America.  With coffee like that it gets us excited to wake up in the mornings!  Mark was kind of enough to sit down with us for a quick interview.  After you read it check out their site at www.happybeancoffee.com.  


RG: How did you get started in the coffee business?


MK: I originally wanted to start a restaurant.  I realized that wasn't for me and instead opened some small coffee shops.  I had them located inside Mercy Hospital and Homestead Hospital.  I started brewing my coffee with one of the big companies, but then switched to a small roaster that I now use for Happy Bean.  When I made the switch I saw right away that is was a superior product than what I was previously using.  As soon as I made the switch my customers started to give me rave reviews on how great the coffee tasted.  Thats when the light went off.  I sold both coffee shops and started Happy Bean Coffee.


RG: What is a typical day like for you?


MK: Well, I am the President, Sales Team, Secretary, etc of the company.  I do everything other than roast the beans.   I originally started Happy Bean Coffee on the internet.  It was purely a web based company.  We were getting some nice traffic to the site, but I knew we could get more.  Starting just two weeks ago I decided to hit the streets.  We have seen some quick success.  We just got into a deli on Miami Beach and are now targeting Boutique Hotels and Shops around South Florida.  We are also looking to be at Farmers Markets around the state.  I hope to make Happy Bean Coffee a house hold name.


RG: Since this site is dedicated to healthier living, we have to ask:  How do you Stay Healthy?


MK: I work out five days a week.  I do a combination of weight lifting and cardio.  In addition to my coffee I drink all types of Asian Tea.  I also eat alot of fish, chicken and vegetables.  Overall, I just try and keep a healthy diet.


RG: Mark thanks for sitting down with us today.  We will get all of the Revolutionaries to spread the word about Happy Bean Coffee.


Check out his site    www.happybeancoffee.com



Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to Eat Right During Football Season




Here at the Revolution Greens Headquarters we love watching our sports.  Now that football season is in high gear it can be tough not to pig out on some food you will regret having eaten the next day. We like to make sure we are keeping our bods fine tuned.  That way we get to pretend we are as good an athlete as the guys on the field and when we yell at the TV "We could have caught that" there is a glimmer of truth to it .  Check out some great tips on how to make sure your next sports watching day fits into your healthier lifestyle.


Dr. Margaret Lewin, Medical Director of Cinergy Health (www.cinergyhealth.com)
What's the most common mistake when trying to eat healthy?
Skipping meals to save calories, and then arriving at a party hungry – ready to eat anything not nailed down!
What are the least healthy things that most football fans snack on? 
Foods high in fat and refined carbohydrates such as onion rings, nachos, fried Buffalo wings and chips.
What are some healthy snacks that don't taste like rabbit food? 
- Make-it-yourself subs put together from trays of healthy breads and wraps; low fat, low salt meats and cheese, roasted red peppers, thinly-sliced canned jalapeños, sliced olives, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, olive oil and low-fat dressings and mayo. Add some crisp crackers for smaller do-it-yourself finger food.
- Baked pita crisps and cut-up raw veggies served with salsa, guacamole, hummus, bean or other low-fat dip
- Popcorn - air-popped or microwaved (put ¼ cup plain popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold over top and seal with 2 staples, cook on high for about 2 minutes), using margarine high in omega-3’s, low in saturated fat, and without trans-fat; go light on the salt.
- Edamame in the shells.
- Pistachios in their shells.
- Snack mix made with mini whole-grain cereal squares, seeds (toasted sunflower or pumpkin), unsalted nuts, mini-pretzels, dried cranberries
- Cut-up fruit.
- Chili made with turkey instead of beef, served with fat-free sour cream and fat-free cheese
Are there any brands or stores that specialize in healthy football food?
Morningstar Farms and Amy’s Kitchen make good vegetarian frozen foods.
What's something that most football fans don't know is actually healthy?
Nuts or any of the above modifications of favorites.
What are some ways to take junk food (onion rings, chicken wings, chips, etc.) and make them healthy?
- Look at the websites for Morningstar Farms (check out the “chik’n” recipes) and Amy’s Kitchen (check out the snack recipes)
- Make well-seasoned oven-fried chicken fingers (skinless chicken breast dipped in buttermilk then in seasoned ground cornflakes or breadcrumbs, then baked); serve with dips
- Lightly coat small, whole white or sweet potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings, let stand for a few minutes, then roast at 450 degrees till puffed and crisp.
- Cut whole-wheat pitas into triangles, brush on a little olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning of your choice, then bake for a few minutes till dry – use instead of chips for low-fat dips
Are there any quick tips or rules that are easy to remember for fans trying to stay healthy? 
- Don’t arrive hungry
- Seat yourself near the healthy foods: make it inconvenient to get up and grab less healthy snacks
- Taste, don’t stuff; don’t join the “clean plate club”
How can readers stop cravings that cause them to overeat during the game?
Have a healthy snack before going to the game (a person starts to feel “full” in about 20 minutes), and start with the most attractive healthy choices first, leaving little or no appetite for the rest
If they're going to drink beer, which beers are best to compliment these healthy snacks?
Light (as opposed to dark) beers

Friday, November 13, 2009

Organic Waffles by Nature's Path



Frozen waffles might be the easiest breakfast to make.  For the last couple days we have been munching on Nature's Path Organic Waffles.  They are very healthy and have a great taste.  They each have a hint of fruit in them.  To tell you the truth we have been eating them like sandwiches and are loving every bite.  They have nine great flavors.  The one below is our favorite one.  Start the day off the right way and eat organic!    http://www.naturespath.com/products/waffles



.
Flax Plus Red Berry Waffles
Water, organic whole wheat flour, organic expeller-pressed soybean oil, organic evaporated cane juice, organic flax seeds, leavening (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, monocalcium phosphate), organic raspberry puree, organic oat bran, non GMO soy lecithin, natural flavor, organic pear juice, sea salt, organic rice bran extract, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium alginate, organic elderberry juice concentrate, dicalcium phosphate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zhena's Gypsy Tea, It's Biodynamic



We have found our new favorite tea.  It is by far the best product we have seen in the grocery stores yet.  It is Zhena's Gypsy Biodynamic Tea.  There are five types of teas to choose from in this category.  The base for each is green tea.  The taste and smell of each is amazing. They are available in five flavors: Vanilla Blueberry, Kiwi Peach, Mango Ginger, Caramelized Pear and Black Forest Berry.  They also come in a reusable and recyclable air tight tin.  The best part is that they are biodynamic certified.  Here is a quick run down on biodynamic farming.

Regarded by some as the first modern ecological farming and gardening system, biodynamic agriculture is modern science integrated with ancient wisdom that preserves the land by upgrading and nourishing soil and plant life through special processes and emphasis that exclude the use of chemicals in the soil. Biodynamic is the oldest non-chemical agricultural movement in the West, predating the organic farming movement by 20 years. The biodynamic approach looks upon the maintenance and furtherance of soil life as vital to the production of high-quality, pure and healthful food. Biodynamic speaks to the healing of the environment with consideration for future generations. 


Plain and simple that means that Zhena's Gypsy Tea has one of the smallest carbon footprints on the planet.  Do yourself and the planet some good and try some of their tea.  The Mango Ginger is our favorite!  ww.gypsytea.com
  

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

8 Foods to Keep You Young

Good Day Revolutionaries. As our quest continues to search out the healthiest foods on the planet we stumbled upon a great article from Yahoo Health.  It is a quick guide to foods that will make you feel like a kid again.  Enjoy it and make sure to, as Bill and Ted would say, have an EXCELLENT day.

Eating right isn't just about weight loss—the nutrients you take in can have a serious effect on how you think, feel, and look! Our bodies and our feelings are nothing more than reflections of the various chemicals flowing through our system on a daily basis. Make sure those chemicals are the healthy kind you get from the right mix of fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats, and you’ll feel healthier, more energetic, and happier than you have in years.
In Eat This, Not That! 2010, we compiled a list of eight foods that can help keep you young. You’re only as young as you feel—so add these eight nutritious powerhouses to your daily diet, and start feeling (and acting and looking) years younger!
EGGS
Benefit: Weight loss
Substitute: Egg Beaters egg substitute

When it comes to breakfast, you can’t beat eggs. (That was too easy, wasn’t it?) Seriously, at a cost of only 72 calories, each large egg holds 6.3 grams of high-quality protein and a powerhouse load of vital nutrients. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who replace carbs with eggs for breakfast lose weight 65 percent quicker. Researchers in Michigan were able to determine that regular egg eaters enjoyed more vitamins and minerals in their diets than those who ate few or no eggs. By examining surveys from more than 25,000 people, the researchers found that egg eaters are about half as likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, 24 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin A, and 36 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin E. And here’s something more shocking: Those who ate at least four eggs a week had significantly lower cholesterol levels than those who ate fewer than one. Turns out, the dietary cholesterol in the yolk has little impact on your serum cholesterol.
Bonus tip: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Choose wisely—avoid the foods on our list of 20 Worst Breakfasts in America.

 
Benefit: Longer lifespan
Substitutes: Yerba mate, white tea, oolong tea, rooibos (red) tea

Literally hundreds of studies have been carried out documenting the health benefits of catechins, the group of antioxidants concentrated in the leaves of tea plants. Among the most startling studies was one published by the American Medical Association in 2006. The study followed more than 40,000 Japanese adults for a decade, and at the 7-year follow-up, those who had been drinking five or more cups of tea per day were 26 percent less likely to die of any cause compared with those who averaged less than a cup. Looking for more-immediate results? Another Japanese study broke participants into two groups, only one of which was put on a catechin-rich green-tea diet. At the end of 12 weeks, the green-tea group had achieved significantly smaller body weights and waistlines than those in the control group. Why? Because researchers believe that catechins are effective atboosting metabolism.
Bonus tip: The average American consumes 400 liquid calories a day. Minimize that impact—avoid the 20 Worst Drinks in America.

Benefit: Cardiovascular strengthening
Substitutes: Onions, chives, leeks

Allicin, an antibacterial and antifungal compound, is the steam engine pushing forward garlic’s myriad health benefits. The chemical is produced by the garlic plant as a defense against pests, but inside your body, it fights cancer, strengthens yourcardiovascular system, decreases fat storage, and fights acneinflammation. To activate the most allicin possible, you have to crush the garlic as finely as you can: Peel the cloves, and then use the side of a heavy chef's knife to crush the garlic before carefully mincing it. Be sure not to overcook it, as too much heat will render the compound completely useless (and your food totally bitter).
Bonus tip: Some foods keep you looking young. Others can quite literally cure what ails you. Check out these super 15 Foods That Cure.
 

GRAPEFRUIT
Benefit: Weight loss
Substitutes: Oranges, watermelon, tomatoes

Just call it the better-body fruit. In a study of 100 obese people at the Scripps Clinic in California, those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over the course of 12 weeks, and some lost as many as 10 pounds. The study’s control group, in contrast, lost a paltry 1/2 pound. But here’s something even better: Those who ate the grapefruit also exhibited a decrease in insulin levels, indicating that their bodies had improved their ability to metabolize sugar. If you can't stomach a grapefruit-a-day regime, try to find as many ways possible to sneak grapefruit into your diet. Even a moderate increase in grapefruit intake should yield results, not to mention earn you a massive dose of lycopene—the cancer-preventing antioxidant found most commonly in tomatoes.
Bonus tip: Eat well and you’ll feel younger and more vibrant. Add exercise to the mix and you’ll practically erase markers of age.

GREEK YOGURT
Benefit: Feeling fuller for longer
Substitutes: Kefir and yogurt with “live and active cultures” printed on the product label

If it’s dessert you want, go with regular yogurt; but if it’s protein, go Greek. What sets the two apart? Greek yogurt is separated from the watery whey that sits on top of regular yogurt, and the process removes excessive sugars, such as lactose, and increases the concentration of protein by as much as three times. That means it fills your belly more like a meal than a snack. Plus a single cup has about a quarter of your day’s calcium, and studies show that dieters on calcium-rich diets have an easier time losing body fat. In one study, participants on a high-calcium dairy diet lost 70 percent more body weight than those on a calorie-restricted diet alone. If only a similar claim could be made of everything you eat. 
Bonus tip: Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt is a classic example of a food that doesn’t deserve its healthy reputation—see what else makes our list of the 30 “Healthy” Foods that Aren’t.


AVOCADO
Benefit: Reduced risk of heart disease
Substitutes: Olive, canola, and peanut oils; peanut butter; tahini

Here’s what often gets lost in America’s fat phobia: Some fats are actually good for you. More than half the calories in each creamy green fruit comes from one of the world’s healthiest fats, a kind called monounsaturates. These fats differ from saturated fats in that they have one double-bonded carbon atom, but that small difference at the molecular level amounts to a dramatic improvement in your health. Numerous studies have shown that monounsaturated fats both improve you cholesterol profile and decrease the amount of triglycerides (more fats) floating around in your blood. This can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease. Worried about weight gain? Don’t be. There’s no causal link between monounsaturated fats and body fat. 


BELL PEPPERS
Benefit: Improved immune function
Substitutes: Carrots, sweet potatoes, watermelon

All peppers are loaded with antioxidants, but none so much as the brightly colored reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors result from carotenoids concentrated in the flesh of the peppers, and it’s these same carotenoids that give tomatoes, carrots, and grapefruits their healthy hues. The range of benefits provided by these colorful pigments include improved immune function, better communication between cells, protection against sun damage, and a diminished risk of several types of cancer. And if you can take the heat, try cooking with chili peppers. The bell pepper cousins are still loaded with carotenoids and vitamin C, but have the added benefit of capsaicins, temperature-raising phytochemicals that have been shown to fight headache and arthritis pain as well as boost metabolism.


ALMONDS
Benefit: Improved memory
Substitutes: Walnuts, pecans, peanuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds

An ounce of almonds—or about 23 nuts—a day provides nearly 9 grams of heart-healthy oleic acid; that’s more than the amounts found in peanuts, walnuts, or cashews. This monounsaturated fat is known to be responsible for a flurry of health benefits, the most recently discovered of which is improved memory. Rats in California were better able to navigate a maze the second time around if they’d been fed oleic acid, and there’s no reason to assume that the same treatment won’t help you navigate your day-to-day life. If nothing else, snacking on the brittle nuts will take your mind off your hunger. Nearly a quarter of an almond’s calories come from belly-filling fiber and protein. That’s why, when researchers at Purdue fed study participants nuts or rice cakes, those who ate the nuts felt full for an hour and a half longer than the rice cake group did. 
Bonus Tip: Before you go out to eat, grab a handful of almonds; it could help keep your hunger at bay.