Health Benefits For Sweet Potato

sweet potatoes
sweet potatoes are healthier than their white counterparts.

Sweet potatoes seem like an indulgent food but they’re actually even healthier than their white counterparts. Sweet potatoes have high levels of vitamins A and C as well as the minerals manganese and copper.

Low Glycemic Index

They’re also low on the glycemic index which means that when you eat a sweet potato, it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike and fall. The average sweet potato is about 180 calories and contains 41 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fiber.

Fat and Cholesterol Free

Sweet potatoes are fat and cholesterol free. The high fiber and low-calorie count make this a perfect food for adding to your weight loss regimen. Sweet potatoes can be prepared in many ways including baking, roasting, and boiling.

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

While the name “sweet potato” makes it sound like these contain a lot of sugar, they’re actually very low in sugar. And eating a sweet potato won’t cause blood sugar problems. In fact, sweet potatoes can help your body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels more efficiently.

Antioxidants

Sweet potatoes are chock-full of antioxidants that help you to fight inflammation and reduce your risk of some diseases such as heart disease and cancers.

Add a Fat

To get the best benefit from eating a sweet potato, it helps to add a fat to it. This allows fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed better by the body. Try drizzling your baked potato with extra virgin olive oil for this effect.

Choosing a Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes can be found all year in the grocery store. When choosing a sweet potato, you’ll find that potatoes with the smallest diameters are the sweetest. You’ll want to choose firm potatoes that have uniform skin. They shouldn’t have spots that look rotten.

Storage

Once you get sweet potatoes home, avoid the temptation to toss them in the fridge. This causes the flesh to become hard and can make them bitter. Instead, store them in a cool, dry place. A basket makes a great storage container because it’s well-ventilated.

Eat the Skin

Always wash potatoes well before cooking and eating them. And don’t forget to eat the skin. The skin contains many nutrients and a lot of fiber. If you skip the skin you’re missing out on major nutrition.

Health benefits for sweet potato are a wonderful food to add to your diet if you’re looking to lose weight, maintain your weight, and improve your health. And grow them organically.

Recipe for Sweet Potato Noodles and Sauce

sweet potato noodles
sweet potato noodles, photo by theimpulsivebuy

Prepare the noodles:

1. Create Sweet Potato Noodles using a spiral cutter or by using a mandolin on small French fry setting.

Prepare the sauce:

2. Mix together equal parts tahini(A thick Middle Eastern paste made from ground sesame seeds), raw honey, stone-ground mustard.

3. Add in a garlic clove, minced and red pepper flakes to taste.

4. Mix the sauce and the Sweet Potato noodles and let set in a warm place to soften a bit.

5. You can add raisins or dried cranberries to garnish or sprinkle with nuts or seeds.

20 Ways To Make Your Home Organic And Eco Friendly

Organic homes can give you and your family many benefits—from health benefits, financial benefits, and environmental benefits. Organic homes can help you reduce your electric bill and can decrease your carbon footprint in the world.

Organic homes can also keep you and your family healthier by cleaning up the air and by decreasing the amount of pathogens your family comes in contact with.

Here are some tips to creating a green, organic home:

1. Plant More Trees as they create an ecosystem that provides a habitat for birds and other animals. Trees also reduce the load of carbon dioxide and harmful gasses, including, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide from the air and instead release oxygen. One large tree supplies enough oxygen for four people.

2. Plant bamboo in your yard and gardens, which produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, both of which help to prevent global warming.

3. Keep your home insulated: Insulation can make your home more energy efficient so you don’t lose cold air in the summer or heated air in the winter. To look for areas where you could use more insulation, get access to a thermal radiometer or to an infrared scanner. This will show you the areas where your home is losing heat. You can even purchase a cheap radiometer from Black and Decker to see where you are letting perfectly good air out of your home.

  • Good organic insulation includes blown in cellulose, which is shredded newspaper. There is also a soy-based insulation spray called BioBased that can provide organic insulation for your home. Wool insulation and bonded recycled denim insulation works well, too, but not as well as BioBased and shredded newspaper.

4. Energy Efficient Windows: A lot of heat is lost through the windows. Buy energy efficient windows if you can. They should be double paned if you live in a cold climate but super-insulated windows made from three layers of glass and argon between the pains is the best for super-cold climates.

5. Go Solar: Solar roofs generate their own energy using the power of the sun to provide energy for your home. Most states offer a tax break for solar installation.

6. Start a compost heap in your backyard for all natural organic gardening.

7. Organic Bedding: Organic grown without pesticides 100% cotton bedding and mattresses create a non-toxic sleep environment for you and your family

8. Green Cleaning: Use or make your own organic cleaning products to avoid petroleum-based chemicals found in conventional products like chlorine that harm ecosystems. These chemicals have also been linked to allergies, asthma, cancers, and certain heart problems.

9. Use Energy Star-qualified appliances, they cost more but will save big on electricity bills in the long run.

10. Recycled Glassware and Tableware – Recycled products make less of an impact on the earth and help reduce the burden on landfills

11. Use a thermostat and stick to its guidelines. Ideally, you should have a programmable thermostat that turns down the temperature when you aren’t at home. Try different thermostatic settings in different parts of the house that you don’t have to heat or cool areas of the house that aren’t used as much. You can even use a smartphone app that will make it easier to heat and cool your house from a distance.

12. Conserve water. Install low flow shower heads and toilets that save water with every flush. Conserving water also applies to the water you use in your yard. Instead of forcing lush greenery in dry climates, put in plants that thrive well in your environment without watering or an excessive amount of landscaping. This is known as xeriscaping.

13. Rake or use a battery powered leaf blower instead to cut down on emissions that can harm the air.

14. Consider your roof: If you have to replace your roof, use white, reflective tiles, green tiles or photovoltaic tiles that will help decrease your carbon footprint. White roofs reflect heat and keep cooling costs down. This can save on cooling bills by nearly 40 percent. Green roofs or living roof do the same thing as white roofs and produce oxygen as well. Green roofs can be very heavy so take that into account when deciding what kind of roof to choose from.

15. Use energy-efficient lighting. Lighting can take up a third of your entire electric bill. Use energy efficient LED lights or make headway in using natural lighting so you don’t need to have lights in your home during the day. LED lighting is found to be more energy efficient and doesn’t contain mercury in the bulbs. Put windows or skylights in your home to keep it light during the day. There are solar tubes and fiber optic sunlight transportation systems that can allow natural light to lighten your home and lessen your energy bill.

16. Manage air quality: Use air filters to keep your family from breathing in dust and mites that are ever-present in the air. Have plenty of plants around that can lead to increased oxygen production and decreased carbon dioxide in your home.

17. Cancel your newspaper subscription and read the news online instead.

18. Swap the paper napkins for cloth napkins to save the trees used to make them and to reduce the burden on landfills.

19. Choose paperless billing for your bills to save trees used to make the paper and reduce the load on landfills.

20. Recycle!

Organic Versus Non-Organic Whole Food

Organic vs Non Organic
Organic vs Non Organic

We will show here organic vs non-organic facts on food and then you can decide for yourself what is best. Organic food is renowned for having lower levels of toxic substances compared to non-organic food, which is why it is so attractive to consumers and is better for your health.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification that is:

  • 100% Organic— Made entirely from organic materials has the organic seal.

    USDA organic seal
    USDA organic seal
  • Organic— At least 95% organic materials, with remaining ingredients that are approved by USDA, can have the organic seal.
  • Made With Organic Ingredients— At least 70% organic ingredients and can display 3 organic ingredients on the label. Cannot use the organic seal.
  • Non-Organic— If less than 70% organic ingredients, cannot be labeled as organic or use the USDA organic seal.

In fact, when walking past the fruit and vegetable aisle, you may notice that the non-organic fruit and vegetables almost look identical and uniform in appearance. However, when you look at the various organic offerings, you may notice that each vegetable or piece of fruit is quirky in their own right, with different imperfections, and this actually comes down to the fact that non organic food is processed and often enhanced with growth substances – subsequently it is a debate that is currently raging in many countries.

Organic food has minimal enhancers present in the food and is strictly regulated which means that you are buying a better quality product compared to the non-organic range on offer.

However, there are other differences, which, include the level of pesticides used on non-organic food compared to the much healthier organic range, although this is heavily regulated and restricted.

The fact that any of these unhealthy substances can be used on the fruit and vegetables that we eat, only serves as a reminder that organic food is much healthier for us thanks to the strict procedures that have to be undertaken in ensuring that we get a quality product.

Not Just Fruit and Vegetables

organic milk
organic milk also is included as organic

Organic food isn’t just restricted to fruit and vegetables – indeed organic dairy, eggs, and meat have exploded in popularity in recent times. Organic meat for example, often means that the animals have to be fed exclusively on organic feed, which usually means none of the growth-enhancing hormones, artificial substances and even antibiotics that are so prevalent in non-organic foods are used.

Organic food, unfortunately, it may not be within the reach of many consumers because of the marked difference in cost, compared to non-organic produce.

One downside to organic produce is that you may not be able to store it as long, which means it is unlikely to retain its freshness for as long as non-organic produce. This is due to the lack of preservative on the food which is found in so much of the non-organic produce that we buy.

What If You Can’t Afford It

Organic food should be applauded, however, those who cannot afford to buy it will still receive the important nutrients that are so fundamental to our well-being from non-organic produce.

There are things that consumers can do to ensure that they are getting the best non-organic food, simply by looking out for a few things when buying and consuming produce.

For example, thoroughly washing fruit and vegetables will help to get rid of bacteria and even some of the pesticides which have been used on the food. While it won’t necessarily get rid of all trace elements, it will certainly help minimize the risk to health.

Provided that you always aim for your five a day, wash and clean vegetables and try to buy non-organic food which is within the season, non-organic food is still healthy and will still provide essential nutrients.

eco friendly
eco friendly helps all of us

However, if you can afford to buy organic produce, not only will you be consuming something that is spared from additives, you will also be helping the environment thanks to the focus on sustainability and stricter farming practices.

My Personal Opinion

In my personal opinion, the healthiest option is organic – the question, however, is whether it will be more accessible to those who presently cannot afford in, in the future.
How do you know if something is organic Video

Health Benefits of Green Leafy Vegetables

Red Clover
Kale
Kale is especially helpful

No diet is truly optimized without a healthy amount of leafy greens. These plant foods are truly a miracle of nature, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals; they also are low in calories so you can eat plenty of them without gaining weight. Leafy greens can be eaten in sandwiches, be part of casseroles and can be eaten in numerous types of salads.

What are leafy greens?

There are both common and relatively uncommon leafy green vegetables available to you. Most you can get at the produce department at your local supermarket but others you may have to grow in containers in your house or in a garden or visit a store like Whole Foods.

Leafy green vegetables include:

• Spinach

• Kale

• Broccoli

• Red and Green Leaf Lettuce

• Cabbage

• Romaine Lettuce

• Mustard greens

• Dandelion greens

• Swiss chard

• Escarole

• Turnip greens

What makes leafy greens so special?

Disease Prevention

It seems that Mother Nature knows what she’s doing, as leafy greens contain disease preventing plant-based substances that may help protect from diabetes, heart disease, and even various cancer mainly because of the powerful antioxidants they offer. Kale, for example, is a great source of vitamins A C, K, calcium and also supplies folate and potassium.

Weight Loss

spinach
spinach can be eaten in abundance

These vegetables have so few calories that they hardly even count and lettuce, kale, and spinach can be eaten in abundance. These are also high fiber foods and so they keep you full longer and allow you to eat less. Another benefit of the fiber is that it helps to stabilize blood sugars, and that results in less out of control cravings for sweets and other junk.

Vitamin K

Different leafy greens have different properties but all of them can be considered good for you. They contain vitamin K, which is essential in helping the body to properly clot blood. Vitamin K also helps prevent several conditions related to advancing age and can help prevent bone loss, arterial calcifications, kidney damage and heart disease. Just a single cup of most leafy green vegetables will provide you with more than enough vitamin K for your system per day. Kale is especially helpful, providing about six times the recommended intake of vitamin K.

Lower Cholesterol

Mustard greens
Mustard greens do the best job of binding bile acids

You can actually lower your cholesterol by eating leafy green vegetables. The bile acids produced by the liver which help fats digest from the gastrointestinal tract are bound by the fiber in the leafy greens. The bile acids pass through the body along with the residue of leafy green vegetables, forcing the liver to use up even more cholesterol to make bile acids. This reduces your endogenous cholesterol level. There was one study in the Nutrition Research journal that indicated that slightly steamed kale and mustard greens did the best job of binding bile acids.

Eye Health

Leafy green vegetables are good for the eyes. The best leafy greens to eat for eye health are mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale and dandelion greens because they are high in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids help filter the high energy light caused by sun and therefore prevent sun-induced cataracts. These carotenoids also improve overall visual acuity.

Vitamin B5

A cup of raw escarole can help your body by adding pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5. The B vitamins together help carbohydrates break down into glucose to be used for cellular fuel. The body cannot store B vitamins each day so you need to find a daily source of these vitamins. What better way than to incorporate escarole into your diet.

Calcium For Bone Health

Dandelion greens
Dandelion greens are high in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin

Leafy green vegetables contain large amounts of calcium. It’s the calcium that gives these foods their slightly bitter taste. While leafy greens do not give you alone the amount of calcium you need in one day (about a thousand milligrams of calcium per day for women between 30 and 50), they provide easily absorbable kinds of calcium. A half a cup of dandelion greens will give you about 75 mg of calcium, while mustard greens can give you 55 mg calcium. Considering that these are virtually fat-free foods they give high-fat dairy foods as a source of calcium a run for their money.

Prevent Colon Cancer

Kale and mustard greens can help prevent colon cancer by being part of the group of vegetables that includes cabbage and broccoli. In a study in one dietetic journal, those people that ate more of these leafy greens suffered a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

How do you eat leafy greens?

leafy green salad
leafy green salad

Leafy greens can be eaten raw in salads or can be steamed and mixed with things like herbs, other vegetables, or added to a stir-fry. Generally, it is advisable to have a little heat applied to these vegetables as possible to keep their nutritional content intact. Kale and spinach both are at risk for overcooking very fast because they cook so quickly.

A good rule of thumb when cooking is to only steam to a bright free color, such as the case with broccoli, once it turns a dark green color it is likely overcooked and has lost valuable nutrients.


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Garden Quotes of Life


Gardening is a humbling experience. –Martha Stewart

There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp. –John Steinbeck
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. –Frank Lloyd Wright
Look deep into nature, and you will understand everything better. –Albert Einstein
Almost every person, from childhood, has been touched by the untamed beauty of wildflowers. –Lady Bird Johnson
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. –Vincent van Gogh
It’s true that I have a wide range of interests. I like to write and paint and make music and go walking on my own and garden. In fact, gardening is probably what I enjoy doing more than anything else. –Viggo Mortensen
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That’s the fun of them. You’re always learning. –Helen Mirren
Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. –Oscar Wilde
Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same. –Helen Keller
What’s a butterfly garden without butterflies? –Roy Rogers
Do not spread the compost on the weeds. -William Shakespeare, Hamlet

These words of wisdom from famous books, people, and historians might inspire you to work in a garden.

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. -Abraham Lincoln
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God. –Thomas Jefferson
My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece. –Claude Monet
The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. –George Bernard Shaw

 

What is a weed? A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
All gardeners know better than other gardeners. -Chinese Proverb
I don’t like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It’s just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess. –Walt Disney
Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors. –Oscar de la Renta
A good garden may have some weeds. –Thomas Fuller

 

4 Of My Favorite Garden Tools

Organic Garden
A place where your harvest is safe and properly cultivated

A gardener has many chores to perform to take care of flowers, vegetables, and shrubs. To perform all of those chores the right tool should be used. One of the most frustrating thing that bothers me is to go fetch that tool to do the job in those gardens. If there is a tool out there that can make life easier I will embrace it. So, I thought I would share with you some of the tools that I found to be so helpful and saves a lot of time and energy. Hope the tools listed here will inspire you to take advantage.

garden tools set
Vremi Horticulture Helper Garden Tools Set

It pays to have the essential tools to grow a beautiful herb, flower or vegetable garden. With the Vremi Horticulture Helper Garden Tools Set, you have everything you need to cultivate a fine indoor or outdoor garden in no time. Make gardening fun, easy and enjoyable with our cute and long-lasting hand tools and included accessories. Each metal hand tool is made of durable aluminum or stainless steel with a soft rubber comfort grip handle, making them perfect for seniors with arthritis. Set also includes a pair of work gloves (one size fits most), a 25-ounce watering spray bottle, and a tote bag organizer so you can carry your tools with you while you work.



little burro
Original Little Burro, USA made lawn/garden tray

Our Little Burros wheelbarrow tray condenses all of your gardening tools into one convenient location. The Original Little Burro makes it easy to keep all of your gardening items handy and orderly for any gardening project. This extraordinary garden tray fits on most standard wheelbarrows, including those with 4, 5, 6, and 7 cubic-feet capacity. It remains securely attached to the top of the wheelbarrow, angled up to 90 degrees. No need to worry about your items falling out as you move them around your work area.



Folding Bench Stoo
Folding Bench Stool with Kneeling Pad for Gardening

Multiple Storage Pouches 2 deep pockets, 3 mesh pockets and6 regular pouches accommodate various sizes of gardening tools, seeds, fertilizer, tags, and ties to prevent them from scattering.
Bonus Legs Protector Removable plastic covers protect the stool legs from paint chipping after long time use on the ground when gardening. They also prevent wood or tile floors from damage when using the stool in the kitchen and bathroom.
Strong & LightweightThe kneeler with solid and durable steel frame weighs only 6.5lbs but easily holds 330lbs.



tower garden
5 Tier Stackable Strawberry, Herb, Flower, and Vegetable Planter

The stackable planter is great for growing strawberries, herbs, succulents, flowers, and more in a small amount of space! The planter design has water reservoirs on each layer. With this planter you will not need to worry about over-watering your plants. Truly Gardening Made Easy! Can also be used for hydroponics, just ask us how 🙂 The contents include 5 stackers, 20 planting locations, & 1 bottom drip tray.


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Is it important to mulch your gardens?

Red cedar mulch
Red cedar mulch

The soil’s health is key to a productive garden. To ensure a healthy soil a good mulch has to be used. The following items can be used as mulch, they decompose and become part of the soil over time.

The ingredients to use as mulch:

  • cardboard
  • old newspapers
  • straw
  • alfalfa
  • sawdust – “not my favorite”
  • chips of wood
  • grass clippings
  • shredded leaves

As soon as the garden space has been prepared, put a layer of mulch of about 2 inches. To plant your crops, seeds, flowers, and seedlings just push the mulch aside and place.

10 key things that mulch performs are:

1. It stops evaporation of the valuable water.

To avoid watering too much and too frequent a good layer of mulch is needed. The conservation of water is something all of us need to start taking heed of. Most of all states have a drought sooner or later and water will be rationed. We are beginning to understand the value of conserving water. Collect rainwater. Mulching is definitely a way of conserving water.

2. It keeps weeds from growing.

weeds
A weed is a plant that is not wanted in our landscape

Mulch will keep weeds to a controllable chore. This chore can be backbreaking. Weeds will challenge our plants for water and nutrients.

3. Mulch is Mother Nature’s blanket for the soil.

That blanket will keep the soil cooler.

Why cool soil? The importance of cool soil from applied mulch allows microscopic plants, bacteria, and earthworms stay active. These microscopic plants, bacteria, and earthworms will not survive in hot dried up soil. Let’s make all these friends to healthy soil live comfortably.

4. Mulch is a regulator of soil temps.

Cold temperatures protect plants with mulch. Cold soil can destroy all your plants.

Remember, during the last heat stress how your plants looked? You will know that the plants are experiencing stress. This is how the plant is trying to survive.

5. Mulch is a provider of nutrients over time.

In a forest of trees, nature is providing those trees with mulch with the branches, twigs, and leaves falling to the ground. All of that will decompose and give food and habitat to grubs, worms, helpful insects, and beneficial microorganisms which will do their job making plenty of organic matter. See the similarity to mulch doing the same thing for your garden? After decomposition, this rich product brings a lot of beneficial insects to the site to improve the soil.

6. Mulch reduces erosion and protects the soil.

soil erosion
soil erosion will take all the good of a garden

Erosion is not anyone’s friend. It prevents the soil from keeping the nutrients that it needs and to keep water. Exposes the subsoil. If your garden is to survive and be healthy it needs your protection as a main priority.

7. Mulch makes the landscape look appealing and groomed.

Look at your garden after applying mulch, does it look more appealing? The garden is now ready to show off to friends and family. A neat and orderly layout of plants is accomplished. The whole garden is untidy if not mulched. Visit a botanical garden and see what a well-mulched garden will look like.

8. Mulch can be used as a garden path.

garden mulch path
garden mulch path makes it easy to visit your garden

You can now walk between the rows of flowers and vegetables with ease. After a good rain try walking thru the garden without mulch.

9. Mulch is eco-friendly and will save your energy, money, and time.

Imagine saving time not having to do a lot of weeding. Cuts back on watering to save money. Cut back on buying products to feed the soil.

10. Mulch is a critical product to help with organic gardening.

Don’t start that garden for flowers or for vegetables without having a good amount of mulch on hand to apply.

mulched vegetable garden-beautiful
mulched vegetable garden-beautiful