5 Healthier Alternatives to French Fries

Ditch the Golden Arch and Try These Instead 

  A great American staple, contrary to its name: The French fry. Golden little sticks of salty, crispy potato.  Most commonly enjoyed alongside a hamburger with a side of ketchup for dipping. One of the hardest foods to kick when you’re adjusting to a healthy lifestyle is giving up fried food, especially French fries.

French fries are typically loaded with saturated fats and empty calories, which can promote heart attacks and heart disease. Below are heart-healthy alternatives that actually pack a nutritional punch.

Baked fries– Instead of frying in oil, baking is a better alternative for our health. You can bake in the oven with healthier oil, like coconut oil or avocado oil.

Avocado fries– Not just for guacamole anymore, the beloved avocado can be drizzled with oil, lightly breaded and used to make a savory “French” style fry.

Butternut squash fries– These are now commonly found in the iconic crinkle style cut, similar to crinkle potato based fries.  A much healthier alternative with key nutrients like beta-carotene and fiber.

Green bean fries– Having a hard time getting your veggies in? Turn them into fries! Green bean fries keep their crunch and crisp, just like the French fries we know and love.

Beginning a healthier lifestyle can be hard, especially when you feel like your sacrificing old favorites. Give these delicious and healthy French fry alternatives a try, and you might be convinced to switch for life.

Lovely Lycopene

Red-Hot Nutrients for Our Health

Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelons and guava all have something wonderful in common. No, it’s not just that they are juicy and sweet, or have vibrant red tones; it’s that they’re loaded with lycopene.

What is lycopene? Lycopene is a naturally occurring phyto-chemical that gives fruit and veggies their delightful red color. The red variety of fruits and vegetables are high in natural pigments and antioxidants called carotenoids. These carotenoids are important for our health, especially the health of our eyes. Lycopene is also said to help promote heart health and is currently being studied for it potential positive effects on cancer.

Unlike most antioxidants, lycopene is most absorbable when processed. Foods like tomato sauces, tomato-based soups and ketchup, are surprisingly higher in lycopene than eating a ripe tomato off the vine. Just be cautious of additional ingredients, like an excess of sugar or sodium, or harsh preservatives. So fear not, spaghetti for dinner isn’t entirely the worst thing you can eat- It may even have a few health benefits.

Some supplements, including Viteyes® Multivitamin AREDS 2 Companion, contain bio-available sources of lycopene that may help maintain eye health. Ask your doctor is this supplement is right for you in additon to your AREDS 2.

 

The Effects of Make Up on Eye Health

Best Practices When Talking Beauty and Eye Health
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For many women, putting on make up can be a part of their daily routine. Ever wonder if what gets painted on the eyes is ugly for eye health? Eye makeup, such as mascara and eye shadow may cause more harm than good, but with these best practices, your eyes can look fabulous while staying healthy.

1. Toss out old make up! After three months, the make up begins to collect excessive bacteria, which can lead to eye infections.

2.  Never share eye make up, as it can also lead to the spreading of serious eye infections.

3.  Avoid putting makeup too close to the eye, as it may block oil glands.

4.  Avoid flakey mascara or glitter shadows. These can cause irritation and potentially tear the film of the eyes. If you tend to have dry eyes, avoid glitter or other makeup that flakes.

5.  Remove eye makeup before sleeping, especially mascara. Keeping eye make up can lead to clogged tear ducts, infections and irritation.

In addition to hygiene best practices, it’s also important to check out the ingredients in your beauty products. Many brands can also contain harmful chemicals that can cause long-term damage or allergic reactions. It is best to try to avoid products containing the following toxic ingredients:

Carbon black– This ingredient has been linked to cancer and organ system toxicity. It may show up on the label as carbon black, D & C Black No. 2, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black.

Prime yellow carnauba wax– Found in most water-proof mascaras, prime yellow carnauba wax clogs the oil glands in the eyes and can lead to Dry Eye Disease.

Parabens– Parabens can also make dry eye worse since they, too, block oil glands.

Aluminum powder– This ingredient has been linked to organ system toxicity. Makeup labels may say it contains “aluminum, LB Pigment 5 or pigment metal.”

The best way to avoid any harmful reactions from common makeup brands, is to search for a natural brand with ingredients you know and can pronounce, such as those naturally derived from plants or non-toxic ingredients. Speak with your eye doctor about which eye healthy brand they recommend for you.

Is Viewing the Solar Eclipse Safe?

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What You Need to Know to Protect Your Vision

A rare event, the Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017 will captivate millions of viewers in North America.  The stunner in the sky is worthy of eyeball time, but is it actually safe for our eyes?

Many may think that because the sun is mostly covered during a solar eclipse, that it does not warrant the use of eye protection, but ophthalmologists warn otherwise. Staring directly at the sun is dangerous, and can even cause blindness. Due to the intensity of the light, you can permanently destroy your retinas.

Still want to watch the solar eclipse?

Here’s what you should do for safe viewing, according to the American Astronomical Society:

Never look at the sun directly without protective eye gear. During a solar eclipse, even sunglasses are not strong enough. Use special solar filters glasses made for safer viewing of the eclipse. (And still only a quick glimpse is recommend!)

Do not look at the un-eclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device. By doing this, you can cause blindness and severe damage to your retinas.

Don’t miss out on this sight of a lifetime. Talk with your eye doctor about the best way to view the solar eclipse based on your unique eye health needs. By using these safe-viewing strategies, you will help protect against any harm to your eyes.

Smoking & Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Cigarettes Causing Vision Troubles

More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. Currently, there are 36.5 million Americans who still smoke cigarettes. Smoking doubles your risk for developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Studies show the strong association between AMD and number of pack years smoked.

Are you a past or present smoker? Due to the increase of oxidative stress on the eyes, cigarette smokers may lack sufficient levels of the following nutrients:

-Vitamin C

-Vitamin E

-Zinc

-Calcium

-Folate

– Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids

– Lycopene

If you are a present smoker, the best thing you can do is to remember the 3 “S”’ to help prevent AMD.

1. Stop: Stop smoking!  For support, join a ‘quit smoking’

program. A free resource is available:

1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

2. Screen: Schedule a screening with your ophthalmologist to look for early signs of AMD.

3. Supplement: If you are a past or present smoker, Viteyes® AREDS 2 Plus Omega combined with AREDS 2 Multivitmain Beta-Carotene Free may help fill in the gaps. Viteyes® AREDS 2 multivitamin is specifically designed to be taken with AREDS 2, and the only AREDS 2 multivitamin compatible for smokers.

Ask your doctor if Viteyes® AREDS 2 Plus Omega-3 and Viteyes® Beta-Carotene Free Multivitamin Companion is right for you.

Reference:  NYU Langone Medical Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2014/12/23/supplements-help-smokers/

Lutein & Zeaxanthin Linked To Lower Stress

The “Happy” Vitamin Too Few are Taking

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are well known for promoting eye health. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that work together to protect the eye from oxidative stress, which can cause major eye diseases and blindness, such as Age Related Macular Degeneration. Did you know that Lutein and Zeaxanthin now have even more to offer to your health?

A new study released in Nutritional Neuroscience* is now reporting that Lutein and Zeaxanthin is linked to lower levels of psychological stress. The study was observed over the course of 12 months with 59 participants.

According to the study, supplementation with either Lutein or Zeaxanthin for a minimum of 6 months produced significant improvements in measures of psychological stress, serum cortisol, and measures of emotional and physical health compared to placebo.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are commonly found in leafy green vegetables, like spinach and kale. The average person does not eat enough leafy greens on a daily basis, so supplementing with Lutein and Zeaxanthin may help some individuals who are not confident with their daily intake.

Viteyes Essentials is a high quality formulation of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, containing a potent dose of Lutein and Zeaxanthin for optimum eye health. Ask your doctor if supplementing with Lutein and Zeaxanthin is right for you. The benefits for both eye health and mood enhancement may be worth it.

 *Supplementation With Macular Carotenoids Reduces Psychological Stress, Serum Cortisol, and Sub-Optimal Symptoms of Physical and Emotional Health in Young Adults.” NT Stringham et al. Nutr Neurosci 1-11. 2017 Feb 15.

Men’s vs. Women’s Vitamins

Is there really a difference?

As we age, it is true that our bodies cannot nutritionally support its self the way it once did. Certain vitamins levels are decreasing each year as our bodies stop producing and absorbing key nutrients. It is also true that men and women have different nutritional needs.

Hormones and our physical differences are the main reasons we require specific and unique supplemental needs. The biggest difference you will notice in men and women’s vitamins are the increased iron and calcium in women’s supplements due to the increased need women have for them both.

Some supplements, like AREDS2 based supplements, are universal, meaning that they have the same effect on both men and women. The nutrients in an AREDS2, like Viteyes, specifically target eye health and do not differ between men and women. There are also other supplements, such as Omega-3, where men and women are both equally deficient. Talk with your doctor to see if taking a specific or generalized vitamin is right for you.

Healthy Food Fast, Not Fast Food

3 Meal prepping tips for success

You’ve probably heard the expression “You are what you eat.” To some degree that is true.

Although you won’t walk around looking like a bag of chips, you will wear around the excess empty calories and fat. So how do you make healthy eating a priority when you’re pressed for time? Two words: Meal Prepping.

What is meal prepping? Simply preparing, or “prepping”, your daily meals in advance. This is especially important to help you eat healthier due to the convenience alone.  Here are some helpful tips to make meal prepping a part of your weekly routine.

1. Shop around perimeter of grocery stores: Stock up on fruits, veggies and avoid packaged foods and processed foods in the inner aisles that lack nutrient-rich foods.

2. Cook your meals in large batches: Whether it’s a making a large pot of vegetable soup, quinoa casserole or grilling a whole package of lean white meat and vegetables, these large quantity meals will last you all week.

3. Proper storage: Place in freezer safe bags or containers, freeze and reheat!

This weekly practice saves time and money, so will run out of any excuses to not eat healthy.  Pick one day of the week to dedicate a few hours of making batches of meals for the week to save you the effort and hassle later, it will be worth it for your health and waistline.

6 Super Foods From Under the Sea

Nothing fishy about these ingredientsbilberry

 

1. Chlorella-  This blue green algae is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can consume. It contains healthy protein, vitamins and minerals.

2. Algal Oil- Derived from algae, this oil is a vegan nutrition powerhouse rich in omega-3 and DHA. Agal oil helps support eye health, brain health, heart health and reduces inflammation.

3. Spirulina- This bright blue green algae contains 12 times more protein than beef. It is also rich in beta-carotene as well as iron and magnesium and essential fatty acids, which can promote healthy vision.

4. Kelp- Not just a decoration for the bottom of the sea, kelp is a natural source of vitamins as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium.

5. Wakame- A good friend to a sushi roll, and an even better friend to your health, wakame is a deep green seaweed packed with nutrition. Wakame can be eaten dehydrated and are often enjoyed as crispy flavored “chips.”

6. Astaxathin- This deep red microalgae is grown in fresh water. Due to the rich red color, it is known to be packed full of eye healthy carotenoids.

Most of these superfoods are not enjoyed alone, they are commonly found and sold at health food stores or online in powder form. These powders can be added in with other ingredients blended in a smoothies or added to popular supplements. Ask your doctor if any of these superfoods are right for you to try.

 

10 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Using Food for Common Health Remedies

bilberry    Food is fuel, or at least it should be. Depending on what we put into our bodies, we can expect a similar output. If we fill our bodies with toxins, excessive sugar and chemicals, we can expect our system to be negatively taxed as a result. When we fuel our bodies with fruits, vegetables and health-filled ingredients, we can expect to see and feel a positive difference.

Food can have many healing benefits in our bodies. A trending and popular food ingredient boasting natural healing properties is apple cider vinegar. Although it has been around for many years, more recently it has become buzz-worthy. Apple cider vinegar’s many benefits include:

1. Increased digestion

2. Fights acid reflux

3. Detoxes the body

4. Regulates PH (acidity in the body)

5. Fights Cancer

6. Lowers Blood Pressure

7. Balances Blood Sugar

8. Clears Sinuses and allergies

9. Fights Colds and Flu

10. Promotes Weight loss

Reach for the apple cider vinegar to help restore your health. Ask your doctor if adding a daily dose of apple cider vinegar is right for you. Apple cider vinegar can be used in a homemade dressing with honey and mustard, or can be used in a tea with honey and lemon. However you dress it up is up to you, but your body may thank you later for it.