Not So(da) Fast

What’s a better cure for an afternoon crash or a more satisfying beverage on a  hot day than a refreshing, cold soft drink? Well actually, a whole lot of things. Before you pop the top on that Coke, Pepsi, or other soda, make sure you know the potentially harmful side effects of that fizzy drink. 

To put it simply, soda is nothing more than sugar water, and is devoid of any nutritional value. Not only are sodas lacking in any health benefits, but several studies have shown that they can actually cause detrimental effects on your health from head to toe (literally.) Let’s move from top to bottom of the body and take a look at what chugging that bubbly beverage is doing to your body.

 

1. Brain: shutterstock_189386849

An ingredient called Brominated Vegetable Oil is added to most sodas to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink. Sounds safe, right? I mean, at least it has the word “vegetable” in it. However, BVO is also used as a chemical in flame retardants in plastics. “Chemical,” “flame-retardant,” “plastic”…. not things that you want going into your body. In fact, BVO has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Once it is consumed, BVO builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on the heart muscles over time.

In addition to this possibly harmful chemical, sodas also contain copious amounts of sugar. A single can of soda is equal to 10 teaspoons of sugar, which causes blood pressure to sky-rocket and an insulin response to be produced. I encourage you to measure out 10 teaspoons of table sugar and imagine swallowing it within the same amount of time that it takes you to drink a can of soda. Chances are, it won’t be too appetizing. Too much sugar in the diet can decrease the production of brain chemicals (good chemicals) that help us learn, store memories, and process insulin.

 

2. Teeth:

shutterstock_189145892The effects of sugar on teeth are so prevalent, that dentists have a name for people who drink too much soda: “Mountain Dew Mouth.” Excessive sugar levels can cause cavities, plaque build-up, and gum disease, and the high levels of acid in soda corrode teeth almost as badly as drinking battery acid. Teeth aren’t the only bones affected by drinking colas. Likely due to phosphoric acid and caffeine, drinking sodas has also been linked to osteoporosis and bone density loss. Make no bones about it, sodas are potentially bad for your… bones.

 

 

3. Heart, Kidneys, and Lungs

All sodas contain phosphates (phosphoric acids,) a weak acid that gives cola its tangy flavor. While the phosphates boost profit margins for the soda companies by shutterstock_189589853lengthening the shelf-life of soft drinks, they can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, osteoporosis, and, according to one study, trigger accelerated aging. In a study conducted in 2010, the FASEB Journal found that the excessive phosphate levels in sodas caused lab rats to die 5 weeks earlier than rats who had normal phosphate levels. Increased levels of phosphoric acid have also been linked to kidney stones and other renal problems. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that diet sodas are any better… their consumption leads to DOUBLE the risk of kidney stones.

Sodas have even been linked to increased risk of heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and the more soda you drink, the more likely you are to develop asthma or COPD. These effects could be the result of a number of things, including the GMO’s found in the corn syrup used to make sodas.

 

4. Fat

When you think of the word “fat” most people picture a big gut. However, when it comes to sodas, we are talking about a lot more fat than just a bulge over your belt. In a study conducted by Danish researchers, people who drank one soda everyday for 6 months saw a 132-142% increase in liver fat, a 117-221% increase in skeletal fat, and a 30% increase in  both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fats. These types of fat build-ups are serious and an lead to insulin resistance and ultimately diabetes. shutterstock_189843827

Now for your “classic fat”: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years and found that those that drank diet (yeah right!) soda had a 70% increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. More than 2 diet sodas a day led to a 500% waist expansion. Yes, you read that right, five-hundred-percent! For some reason, when I drink a soda, I tell myself that I am saving calories by consuming a soft drink rather than a snack. Wrong! The single biggest source of calories for Americans are sodas, more so than Big-Macs, chocolate cake, or any other scrumptious high-calorie snack you can imagine. Drinking just one soft drink a day is the equivalent of 39 pounds of sugar in one year. If you wouldn’t consume that much raw sugar, why would you consume it when combined with other harmful ingredients?shutterstock_189972770

 

Tips For Quitting

Unfortunately, there are no “electronic sodas” or soft-drink patches to help you kick the habit. I have tried many times to quit cold-turkey, only to give into my craving within a few days. If this article doesn’t provide enough motivation for you to totally forgo soft drinks, here are some tips to help you cut back.

  • Don’t buy sodas at the grocery store. Its much easier to skip out on soda when you don’t have any in stock at your house. Even if you order one when you go out to eat, at least you aren’t mindlessly downing cans of them at home.
  • Drink sodas from glass bottles. Nearly all aluminum cans are lined with an epoxy resin (BPA), which is used to keep the acids in the soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones and has been linked to everything from infertility, diabetes, obesity, and some forms of reproductive cancers. Try to stay away from plastic bottles as well, as they are not environment-friendly.
  • Try to only drink clear sodas, like Sprite and 7-UP. The artificial caramel coloring used to make colas contains two contaminants (2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole) which have been found to cause cancer in animals. In fact, just 16 micrograms a day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and each can of regular and diet sodas contain 200 micrograms!
  • If good ole H2O is just too plain for you to sip on all day, try mixing in a pack of Oxylent with your water bottle. This award-winning multivitamin supplement-drink contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and CoQ10. This yummy, naturally energizing drink mix contains no sugar, zero calories, and is 100% GMO free. Trust me, it even tastes better than a soft drink,and is available in many flavors.

 

It takes guts ® to quit drinking sodas!

Don’t Leave Home Without ‘Em!

You’ve planned, you’ve packed, and you’ve paid. Now it’s time for your much anticipated vacation. But don’t forget that trying new foods, being in new places at off-schedule times, and bouncing around in planes, trains, and automobiles can cause havoc in your stomach and lead to digestive distress.

Dr. Natalie Engelbart, medical doctor of Alternative Health Solutions, says that, “Around 10 million people a year experience digestive distress while on vacation that can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, bloating and fever. According to the CDC, digestive distress is the most common illness travelers suffer from, and it can ruin a well-earned vacation!”

Dr. Engelbart recommends packing a high-quality probiotic as a part of your vacation preparation. “We spend so much time coordinating the details of our vacations that we often overlook planning for the prevention of any illness. And you can do this by taking a high quality probiotic like Dr. Ohhira’s ® a week before you leave and continuing to take them throughout the course of your trip. Research has shown that probiotics can help boost your immunity, prevent traveler’s diarrhea caused by food-borne bacteria, and lessen the symptoms of your digestive issues.”

Travelers don’t realize that 80 percent of gastrointestinal illnesses are caused by a bacterial infection, and they can often be avoided with proper supplements. Environmental stress and traveler’s bugs can lower the number of friendly bacteria, disrupting the balance and thus causing digestive distress.

Probiotics can provide a myriad of benefits to the body while replenishing the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract. Especially important to travelers, they can enhance immune function, improve digestion, reduce instances of traveler’s diarrhea, and inhibit food poisoning. And what makes Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics ® perfect for traveling is that they are in blister packs and never need to be refrigerated so you can throw them in your suitcase or purse and go!

“I recommend taking 4-6 a day for a week before the trip, and then 2-3 a day during vacation and packing extra in your suitcase in case you do ave any stomach issues.”

Everyone can benefit from taking probiotics on a daily basis, but especially so when traveling. Still, it doesn’t mean you can eat or drink whatever you want and not get sick. Taking the usual precautions while traveling continues to be the best preventive measure.

 

It takes guts®… to enjoy your vacation!!fb

Trending: MCT Oil

Last week, we talked about the Coconut Water trend and how it is a better alternative to sugary sports drinks or sodas. Chances are, you’ve also heard of Coconut Oil and its benefits for your teeth, hair, and skin. However, if Coconut Oil is the Quarterback of the “Health Trends Team”, MCT Oil is the Olympic gold medalist. Dr. Frank Lipman, an internationally recognized expert in the field of integrative medicine, explores the wonders of MCT oil in the following article.

 

Frank-Lipman-MD1

 

 

What Is MCT Oil? 
  MCT oil is derived from coconut and palm oil; its moniker stands for “medium-chain triglycerides,” which are naturally occurring fatty acids. They’re easily digested, rapidly used as energy, and metabolized quickly in the liver without being stored as fat. Unsurprisingly, MCT oil has been found to support fat-burning as well as weight management. Athletes commonly use it to enhance body composition (burning fat while building more muscle). 

This super-oil has also been shown to improve cognitive function, because it increases the body’s production of ketones, which are used as fuel for the brain. Plus, along with fat-burning and brain power, MCT Oil can boost the immune system and help fight bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

 

MCT Oil Versus Coconut Oil: What’s The Difference? 
  MCT oil is derived from coconut (and palm) oil. Coconut oil contains about 60% medium-chain fatty acids, while these make up 100% of MCT oil. The latter is like a very concentrated version of the former — about six times stronger, but without the coconut flavor (MCT is virtually tasteless).

How Do You Use It? 
  Perhaps the most popular way to consume MCT oil is in Bulletproof Coffee — some people call it “rocket fuel” because it can give you so much sustained energy. To make it, blend one tablespoon of MCT oil and one tablespoon of grass-fed butter into your cup of Joe. You can also use MCT oil in your morning smoothie for a supercharged breakfast, or in sauces and salad dressings when you need a neutral-tasting oil. You can even cook with it (at temperatures below 320 degrees Fahrenheit, mind you)

How Much Should I Use? 
Start with one teaspoon and work your way up to a tablespoon. Too much MCT at once has been known to cause some digestive distress. If this occurs, take a few probioticsfb

Trending: Dry Brushing

Maybe you’re not as unfortunate, but the sight of my legs in a spring dress after a long, cold winter is a ghastly sight. As the weather heats up (or does for a day and then goes back to being freezing,) the thought of exposing my pale, bumpy, dry legs and arms gives me a mild panic attack. However, the ancient Greeks, a culture obsessed with beauty, may have just figured out a solution for this common (I hope) problem. drybrush2

If you’ve opened up any health or beauty magazine within the past year, you have most likely come across an article about “Dry Brushing.” Long story short, dry brushing is an invigorating exfoliation method that uses natural bristles to promote circulation and smooth the skin’s surface by sloughing off dead skin cells. Before it became a trend, many naturopathic doctors and aestheticians offered dry brushing as a service to help with bloating, since massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. Like many other services that were previously only offered at a spa, you can now perform this service yourself in the comfort of your own home.

drybrush3 Your skin is your biggest organ, as well as your only visible one, so you want to make sure it is in tip top shape. Different people recommend different frequencies, but since dry brushing is said to help eliminate cellulite, I do it as much as possible, which is usually twice a day. “Hail damaged” thighs are the result of a combination of fat and connective tissue (and unfortunately, genetics.) By dry brushing the skin in long sweeps, starting at the ankles and moving upwards towards the heart, stagnant toxins that break down connective tissue (and lead to cellulite) are removed. However, cellulite is not the main reason you should be dry-brushing your skin. Here are some other reasons to give dry-brushing a try:

  • Buffs away dead skin
  • Boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Rids your body of toxins
  • Effectively opens up the pores on your skin
  • Promotes tighter skin, cell renewal, and blood flow
  • Aids in digestion and kidney function
  • Gives you a glowing, smooth complexion

While you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high and expect dry brushing to completely get your legs ready for warmer climates, its benefits are not something to ignore. Make sure you get a brush with natural, not synthetic bristles and that you’re not applying so much pressure that it hurts.

dry brush

Trending: Coconut Water

 This week, I am going to be talking about the latest trends in the Natural Products and Wellness industries. Over the past year, several trends have come and gone for natural products consumers, as the experts seem to be constantly changing their minds on what is really good for you and what is a hoax. Today we look at Coconut Water, which has come to be known as “Mother Nature’s sports drink.” Because it is low in calories, high in potassium, naturally fat (and cholesterol free), and thoroughly hydrating, the rising demand for coconut water has turned it into the latest health craze. Marketers and athlete endorsers promote the product as being able to help several conditions, from hangovers, to cancer, to kidney stones.
The following article is from Fooducate, a convenient health-tracking app you can download on your mobile device.
The Truth About Coconut Water

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside the hollow center of a young, green coconut. It is not to be confused with coconut milk or cream, a liquid puree of the coconut meat. Coconut water is extracted from coconuts when the proportion of water to meat is highest.

The drink is very popular in central and south America, the Pacific Islands, and other tropical regions. Fresh coconut water is served directly from the fruit by cracking a small hole on top for a straw.

Coconut water has caught on strongly in the US, and is viewed by many as a viable alternative to sports drinks. An 8 fluid ounce serving of coconut water has only 45 calories, mostly from 2.5 teaspoons of naturally occurring sugar. A big benefit is the high potassium content – 500mg (equivalent to the potassium in a banana). Americans are deficient in potassium intake.

Various brands of coconut water tout themselves as all-natural energy drinks. They list health benefits such as electrolyte replenishment, alkaline balance, kidney cleansing, and more. Whether all these health benefits are true or not, coconut water beats Gatorade and other sports drinks because it has less ingredients, less chemicals (colorings), and less sugar.

However, water trumps them both. Unless you are working out for more than an hour, water and and a banana will do you just as good as any coconut water drink. And for less money too.

Bottom Line
Water trumps all for hydration. If you want a somewhat exotic sweet treat, try coconut water.

Supermarket tips
When buying coconut water, choose a product that lists only coconut water as its ingredient. Avoid products with added juices or flavors as they will add more sugars and calories to your beverage.
In conclusion, when you are craving a sweet drink and water just isn’t doing the job for you, grab a coconut water instead of a sports drink or a soda. Here are 5 additional reasons from MindBodyGreen to try out the latest health trend, Coconut Water:
Coconut Water
1. It prevents dehydration.
Coconut water helps maintain the body’s fluid levels and its potassium content helps maintain water pressure within cells and blood. In developing countries where clean water is scarce, coconut water can be life-saving and save people suffering from diarrhea, dysentery, or cholera.
2. It fuels your brain and muscles.
Due to its electrolyte content, coconut water improves nervous system function and nerve transmission. It also helps prevent muscle spasms and cramps.
3. It fights aging.
Coconut water contains a compound called cytokinin, which protects cells from aging and cancer.
4. It aids digestion.
Improves digestion and metabolism through bioactive enzymes. It can also aid the absorption of food
5. It supports immune function.
Its Lauric acid content is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It boosts the immune system in fighting infection whilst helping to eradicate intestinal worms and candida.

Is Your Gut Making You Depressed?

Sometimes my gut makes me depressed, for example, when I look in the mirror after a weekend of consuming junk food and see the bulging result. However, this is not the kind of gut depression we are talking about. Your gut is believed to be your second brain, and the interactions between the two can greatly effect how you are feeling. The following article is by Ross Pelton, a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, and he discusses the vital connection between our gut health and our brain/emotional health.

 

rossDid You Know Probiotics Affect Brain Function? An article in the April 2014 issue of Psychology Today coined the term The Psychobiotic Revolution announcing how intestinal bacteria/probiotics communicate with your brain to influence your emotions and your behavior. Psychobiotics are defined as live organisms that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produce a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness. This understanding could create a revolution in psychiatry.

In one study, mice were infected with very small doses of a bad bacteria called Campylobacter. However, the doses were so small that it did not cause an immune reaction (the mice did not get sick). Although the doses were extremely small, several tests revealed that the mice exhibited greater levels of depression and anxiety-like behaviors. The lead scientist conducting this research stated, “This could be an exciting new approach to treating patients with psychological problems.”

In a human trial, Kirsten Tillisch, MD gave women who had no history of gastrointestinal or psychiatric symptoms oral doses of probiotics twice daily for two weeks.  Dr. Tillisch conducted functional MRI brain scans (fMRI) which revealed that consumption of probiotics produced changes in regions of the brain that regulate processing of emotions and sensation.

Your gut communicates with your brain. Research like the studies above are opening up a whole new frontier in the treatment of mental & emotional disorders. Other studies suggest that gut bacteria could also influence conditions like autism and ADHD.

Did you know that the GUT is your SECOND BRAIN? The vagus nerve facilitates direct communication between the gut and the brain. The human intestinal tract contains approximately 100 trillion bacteria. Recent research now reveals that bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract generate signals that influence the brain, especially our mood and emotional states.

In this post, I am going to report on fascinating research conducted by Stephen Collins at McMaster University in Canada. Collins used two different strains of mice for this experiment. For simplicity I will call call them Strain A and Strain B. Strain A have been bred to have high levels of anxiety. They are very timid and anxious. Strain B are bred to be very courageous, bold and exploratory.

Collins and his colleagues took bacterial samples from the intestinal tract of each strain of mice and implanted the samples into the opposite strain. This caused a complete reversal of the behaviors of both strains of mice! The mice with high levels of anxiety become bold, courageous and exploratory. Conversely, the mice that were formerly bold and courageous became very timid and anxious.

Changing gut bacteria totally altered behavior. This research suggests the following: Your Anxiety May Originate In Your Gut, Not In Your Head. Collin’s study was published in Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol. 16(3), June 2013. – See more at: http://www.naturalpharmacist.net/index.php?id=4552568624635688014#sthash.F8G9yZ4i.dpuf

 

It takes guts ® to have a healthy brain!fb

The Super-Foods Alphabet

The thought of eating super healthy gets me excited, until I walk into the grocery store and see all kinds of foreign objects in the fruits and vegetables section. “What is this prickly thing,” I ask myself. “Am I supposed to EAT that?” I approach these alien foods, but quickly shy away and revert to the boxed foods section when a clerk says “are you finding everything ok?”— “No I’m not finding everything ok! I came into the store to stock up on healthy foods and I have no idea what I’m doing,” I fee like saying.

If the thought of shopping in the fruits and vegetables section freaks you out, print out this super-foods alphabet so that you can find what you are looking for the next time you go on a health mission. Think of this as “Super-foods For Dummies”

 

Almonds: The most nutritionally dense nut, almonds offer 13 grams of unsaturated fat and 3.4 grams of fiber in just one serving. Almonds may also help with weight loss, have major benefits for the heart, and reduce total cholesterol.

 

Blueberries: Not only are they tasty, but blueberries are a super-fruit full of antioxidants that may help fight disease and sustain brain health. One study found that blueberries may also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells! (Ok, these I can find in the grocery store.)

chia seeds

 

Chia: Perhaps most well known from the Chia-pet craze, chia seeds have much more to offer than a humorously shaped potted plant. Packed with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium, chia seeds are quickly gaining popularity in the health-food market. You can either add the seeds to smoothies or yogurt or take a chia seed oil supplement to get all the benefits of this super-food.

 

Dates: No, I’m not talking about going out to eat with a love-interest, but something even better! Did you know that dates can be used as a substitute for sugar and/or butter while baking? They are also full of fiber and vitamins and minerals including potassium, selenium, copper, and magnesium! That’s more beneficial for my health than any date I’ve ever been on! Finally, a date that truly cares about me…date

Eggs: Eggs have many more benefits than just being high in protein. They are also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They can help protect your eyes from free radicals and eye degeneration, and the yolks contain a particular B-vitamin that is essential for proper brain function. Eggs-actly what you should be eating for breakfast!

flax

 

 

Flax: You already know that the Omega-3’s in flax can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease, but did you know that flax seeds are higher in fiber than flax oil? Try adding some flax seeds to baked goods, oatmeal, or a salad.

 

 

Greek Yogurt: This yogurt is set apart from the others because it has been strained to remove excess liquid. After this process, Greek yogurt ends up full of protein and probiotics. It takes about 4 pounds of raw milk to produce one pound of Greek yogurt, but Greek yogurt ends up  lower in carbohydrates and sodium.

 

Hemp: The biggest health benefit comes from protein and essential fatty acids, which may help fight coronary heart disease, cancer, and even symptoms of depression. The GLA in hemp adds a variety of benefits ranging from allergy defense, to helping treat ADD, and even helping lower cholesterol levels.hemp

 

 

Ice Water: When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it burns extra calories to keep itself warm, increasing metabolism by up to 50% in the process. Therefore, drinking a glass of water not only hydrates you, but can also speed up your metabolism and increase weight loss. Ice, ice, baby!

jalepenoJalepenos: These peppers aren’t spicy just for the heck of it. Capsaicin, a compound found in spicy peppers like jalepenos, has been found to speed up the metabolism and suppress the appetite.

 

kaleKale: Ringing in at only 36 calories per cup, kale is a great low-calorie source of fiber, calcium, and iron. It is also full of vitamins A, K, and C.

 

 

 

Leeks: These veggies can offer some protective powers when it comes to cancer. The organosulfur compounds in leeks have been credited with everything from boosting immunity to kicking cancer. (So that’s what those weird looking things in the veggie aisle are!)leeks

 

 

 

Milk: Research suggests that chocolate milk could help improve athletic performance and lead to better body composition. This treat provides the ideal ratio of carbs and protein for consuming after you work out. Got chocolate milk?

 

Nuts: The unsaturated fats contained in nuts are good for you heart and some can even help lower blood pressure and body fat. However, homosapien nuts can have the opposite effects.

 

Oatmeal: The whole-grains in oatmeal make it a great source of fiber, which is known to help lower blood cholesterol, aid in digestion, and help improve metabolism. While the oatmeal in packets are extremely convenient, it is ideal to make your own oatmeal in order to cut out any unnecessary sugar or additives.

 

Pineapple: Is your sweet tooth calling to you after eating all of these veggies? Pineapple is the answer! This fruit is known for boosting the immune system.

 

Quinoa: While it looks like rice, quinoa actually comes from a seed related to green leafy veggies like kale and Swiss chard. This is one of the only grains or seeds that provides the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies are incapable of producing, and therefore must consume.quinoa

 

 

Radish: Some studies suggest that certain compounds in radishes radishmay be able to help stop the growth of some cancers, including breast cancer! Other compounds in radishes may aid in muscle recovery after a tough workout. You look radishing, darling!

 

 

Spinach: Popeye’s ancient wisdom about spinach still holds true. These greens are full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health. Due to its high levels of vitamin A, spinach is good for your skin too! “Strong to the finish, cause I eat my spinach”

 

 

Tumeric: Its not just the yellow color that makes this spice famous, but also its use for treating digestive problems and relieving pain. Tumeric gets its super powers tumericfrom an antioxidant called curcumin, a traditional Indian medicine used for thousands of years to treat inflammation-based conditions ranging from IBS and autoimmune disorders to arthritis and tendonitis.

 

 

ugli

Ugli Fruit: Also known as Tangelo, this citrus fruit is a cross between a grapefruit, Seville orange, and a tangerine. Just one serving contains about 140% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C! Don’t let its ugli looks deceive you.

 

 

 

Vegetables: You can’t have too many veggies! Whether you go with green veggies,(a great source of iron and calcium), red veggies (full of lucopene and anthocyanins), or allium veggies like onions (full of antioxidants), you are doing your health a huge favor.

 

 

Wheatgrass: “Shots for everyone!” Ok, not the kind of shots you’re probably thinking of. Those may seem like a super-food at the time, but they are not. A shot of wheatgrass, however, is a quick way to get a dose of greens, offering many health benefits to its drinkers including live enzymes that aid digestion.

xiguaXigua: This fancy word is really just another name for watermelon (I needed a word that started with X.)  This refreshing fruit is packed with water and is low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C. Lycopene, an essential carotenoid found in some fruits, can protect the body from UV rays, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.

 

 

Yams: Not to be confused with its fraternal twin the sweet potato, this super-food is yamlow on the glycemic index, meaning that it can be eaten without negatively affecting blood sugar levels, thus making them a great food to consume for sustained energy. Yams are also a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese, which are key for the proper function of the nervous system.

 

 

Zucchini: Last but not least, this green-skinned veggie is packed with vitamins C and B6, potassium, manganese, and folate. With only 20 calories per cup and a high water content, this veggie is a great snack for staying hydrated in the summer heat. zucchini