25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods

Prevention magazine editors recently listed 25 power foods that, they say, can claim big bragging rights: They can fend off serious diseases like diabetes and cancer and heart problems; fortify your immune system; protect and smooth your skin; and help you lose weight or stay slim.

1. Eggs – Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

2. Greek Yogurt – Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. But next time you hit the yogurt aisle, pick up the Greek kind, compared with regular yogurt, it has twice the protein.

3. Fat-Free Milk – Yes, it does a body good: Studies show that calcium isn’t just a bone booster but a fat fighter too. Vitamin D not only allows your body to absorb calcium, it’s also a super nutrient in its own right. Recent research found that adequate D levels can reduce heart disease risk, ward off certain types of cancer, relieve back pain, and even help prevent depression.

4. Salmon – Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits – from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis.

5. Lean Beef – Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. Adding as little as 1 ounce of beef per day can make a big difference in the body’s ability to absorb iron from other sources.  Beef also packs plenty of zinc and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.   If you can, splurge on grass-fed. Compared with grain-fed beef, it has twice the concentration of vitamin E, a powerful brain-boosting antioxidant. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Beans – It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They’re also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on – calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

7. Nuts – In a nutshell: USDA researchers say that eating 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s. Hazelnuts contain arginine, an amino acid that may lower blood pressure. An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; they may help lower LDL cholesterol as well.

8. Edamame and Tofu – Soy contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, a good amount of fiber, and some important vitamins. Soy’s isoflavones, or plant estrogens, may also help prevent breast cancer. Some researchers believe these bind with estrogen receptors, reducing your exposure to the more powerful effects of your own estrogen. Don’t take soy supplements, which contain high and possibly dangerous amounts of isoflavones.

9. Oatmeal – Fiber-rich oats are even healthier than the FDA thought when it first stamped them with a heart disease–reducing seal 10 years ago. According to new research, they can also cut your risk of type 2 diabetes. When Finnish researchers tracked 4,316 men and women over the course of 10 years, they found that people who ate the highest percentage of cereal fiber were 61% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

10. Flaxseed – Flaxseed is the most potent plant source of omega-3 fats. Studies indicate that adding flaxseed to your diet can reduce the development of heart disease by 46%—it helps keep red blood cells from clumping together and forming clots that can block arteries. It may also reduce breast cancer odds. In one study, women who ate 10 g of flaxseed (about 1 rounded tablespoon) every day for 2 months had a 25% improvement in the ratio of breast cancer–protective to breast cancer–promoting chemicals in their blood.

11. Olive Oil – Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

12. Avocado – These smooth, buttery fruits are a great source of not only MUFAs but other key nutrients as well. One Ohio State University study found that when avocado was added to salads and salsa, it helped increase the absorption of specific carotenoids, plant compounds linked to lower risk of heart disease and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. “Avocados are packed with heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium.

13. Broccoli – Pick any life-threatening disease—cancer, heart disease, you name it—and eating more broccoli and its cruciferous cousins may help you beat it, Johns Hopkins research suggests. Averaging just four weekly servings of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower slashed the risk of dying from any disease by 26% among 6,100 people studied for 28 years.

14. Spinach – For one thing, it contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol.  Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects.

15. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer.

16. Sweet Potatoes – One of the best ways to get vitamin A—an essential nutrient that protects and maintains eyes, skin, and the linings of our respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts—is from foods containing beta-carotene, which your body converts into the vitamin. Beta carotene–rich foods include carrots, squash, kale, and cantaloupe, but sweet potatoes have among the most.

17. Garlic – The onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to a research review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Allicin also fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

18. Red Peppers – Citrus fruits get all the credit for vitamin C, but red peppers are actually the best source. Vitamin C may be best known for skin and immunity benefits. Vitamin C has other important credentials too. Finnish researchers found that men with low levels were 2.4 times likelier to have a stroke, and Australian scientists recently discovered that the antioxidant reduces knee pain by protecting your knees against arthritis.

19. Figs – When you think of potassium-rich produce, figs probably don’t come to mind, but you may be surprised to learn that six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. In a recent 5-year study from the Netherlands, high-potassium diets were linked with lower rates of death from all causes in healthy adults age 55 and older. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of calcium, with nearly as much per serving (six figs) as 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.

20. Blueberries – Blueberries may very well be the most potent age-defying food—they’re jam-packed with antioxidants. Research shows a diet rich in blueberries can help with memory loss, prevent urinary tract infections, and relieve eyestrain.

21. Asian Pears – One large Asian pear has a whopping 10 g of cholesterol-lowering fiber, about 40% of your daily need.

22. Lychee – A French study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of all fruits tested—nearly 15% more than the amount found in grapes (cited by many as polyphenol powerhouses). The compounds may also play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer.

23. Apples – One of the healthiest fruits you should be eating is one you probably already are: the apple. The Iowa Women’s Health Study named apples as one of only three foods (along with pears and red wine) that are most effective at reducing the risk of death from heart disease among postmenopausal women. Other massive studies have found the fruit to lower risk of lung cancer and type 2 diabetes.

24. Guava – Native to South America, this tropical fruit is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin C, with 250% of your RDA per serving. One cup of guava has nearly 5 times as much C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg)—that’s more than 5 times your daily need. It’s also loaded with lycopene (26% more than a tomato), which may help lower your risk of heart disease. And according to research by microbiologists in Bangladesh, guava can even protect against foodborne pathogens such as Listeria and staph.

25. Dark Chocolate – Thank you, dark chocolate, for making us feel good—not guilty—about dessert. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.

Source: http://www.prevention.com

Rapper DMC Co-Founds Camp for Foster Kids in Need

Darryl (DMC) McDaniels helps hundreds of foster kids cope with family situations and make special bonds with others at Camp Felix.

Run-D.M.C. member and Hip Hop pioneer Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels first found out that he was adopted in his mid-thirties. The experience led him to later co-found Camp Felix, an upstate New York camp that helps form bonds among young foster children. D.M.C. recalled the moment in which he first found out he was adopted.

“I was hurt, confused…it felt totally unreal,” he told NY Daily News. “At the time it meant that they are not my mom and pop.”  The Felix Organization donates $500 for each camper. Actor Mark Wahlberg also supported the camp, giving $100,000.

Last week, 171 foster children attended the camp and a few hundred more have had the opportunity to attend and share their experiences. In addition to sharing stories about their lives, the young campers are able to experience a close-knit unit that they may not have had before.  “We are a family,” D.M.C. said.

Most of the foster kids at the upstate camp weren’t even alive when its co-founder rose to fame as a rap pioneer.  They just know the Queens native as the guy who creates a safe place for them during the summer to talk about the difficulties they face in the child welfare system.

Hundreds of kids ages 8 to 14 have visited the camp, swapping stories of fear, abandonment and their struggles with identity. They form bonds that organizers hope will last a lifetime.  “These kids say, ‘I am just a foster kid. I have nothing going for me other than just being miserable,'” said McDaniels. “I tell them, ‘You are wrong. Your situation doesn’t define who you are.'”

McDaniels also won an Emmy for his 2004 documentary “DMC: My Adoption Journey,” which chronicled his emotional search through court records and other obstacles to finally meet his birth mother.  Two years later, McDaniels met “Sopranos” casting director Sheila Jaffee, who learned when she was 11 that she also was adopted. The two of them formed the Felix Organization, targeting kids in foster care. The nonprofit shells out $500 per camper each summer.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com

Want to Make a Change, But Lack the Funds? Do Something Grants Can Help!

The Youth Advisory Council of Do Something (comprised of 35 teenagers from across the U.S. and Canada) all came together in L.A. for the Do Something Awards, and during their stay participated in a beach cleanup.

$500 Do Something Seed Grants

Are you working to start a community action project or program? Do you need money to turn your ideas into action? Do Something will give out a $500 Do Something Seed Grant every week to help teenagers who want to help!

$500 Do Something Growth Grants

Did you create a sustainable community action project, program or organization that you want to grow? Are you looking for funding to take your already successful project to the next level? Do Something will give out a $500 Do Something Growth Grant every week to help young people with their projects!

What is a Do Something Club?

Do Something Clubs are your chance to take action in your community with your friends. Clubs do projects on any issue that matters to them. We give you ideas and resources.  You decide what projects your Club takes on.  Do Something Clubs must post at least 2 projects a year, but the more the better! Start a Club today and you’ll be eligible for a Clubs Grant. You’ll also get newsletters and three packages a year full of project resources, upcoming opportunities and it’s all free!

Not sure about starting your own project, but want to get involved?  Here is a direct link that matches your passion to help, with a local action project: http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/volunteer

Source: http://www.dosomething.org

Mystery Gambler Pays Cancer Patient’s Rent for a Year

RobinHood 702, an anonymous professional blackjack player who gives his winnings to others, has come to the rescue of another family in need. The mysterious do-gooder is paying the rent for a year, as well as providing a two-year car lease, for the Martinezes, a family whose father is battling stage 4 colon cancer.

Like his legendary namesake, Robin Hood 702 is gallant, fighting for the little guy. But where the mythical man relied on his archer’s prowess and outlaw’s guile, Robin Hood 702 banks on his remarkable gambler’s skill and a smile from Lady Luck.

The mysterious do-gooder, whose 702 refers to the Las Vegas area code, has made a pseudonymous name for himself by donating his bounteous blackjack winnings to folks in dire straits.  In 2008 he helped the Kegler family, whose daughter Madison had a brain tumor, with $35,000 in winnings. He also gave $20,000 to Sandra Brown, who went into debt caring for her aging parents, and treated the crew of the Maersk Alabama to a Vegas weekend after they survived being taken captive by pirates.

Most recently he helped the Martinez family, who lost their Vegas home as dad Jeff battled Stage 4 cancer.  “He’s a really sweet man,” said Robin Hood 702, who spoke with AOL News by phone.  Jeff Martinez, father of two, was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer in 2007.  Three paychecks weren’t enough to cover the medical bills. The bank took the house in June, and the Martinezes moved into a small apartment.  The station tracked down Robin Hood 702 via one of his Merry Men, Dr. Richard Schulze, a retired herbalist. “I got a call from Fox News Las Vegas and they said, ‘If you’re ever going to help anybody, this is the guy to help,'” Schulze told AOL News. The Merry Men took up the gauntlet.

Sin City’s blackjacking hero showed up at the Martinezes’ apartment, shadowed by television cameras and his wife.  “I was flooded with so much emotion, my legs were shaking,” Martinez told AOL News.  “Robin Hood’s a guy with a lot of guts and a big heart,” Schulze said.  Jeff agreed.  When the cameras turned away, he took Jeff aside and had a one-on-one, taking off his glasses and looking Jeff in the eye.  “He’s not doing this just for show.”

After meeting the recipients of his hoped-for winnings last week, Robin Hood 702 hit the blackjack tables, first falling in the hole but eventually winning tens of thousands, enough to pay the Martinezes’ rent for a year, plus a two-year car lease and $9,000 worth of spa treatments.  Schulze contributed as well, providing not only financial support but a new TV, a piano, a computer, gift certificates to Whole Foods, and advice on nutritional and herbal approaches to cancer.

Robin Hood 702 and Schulze are successful and want to give back, but they also hope to motivate.  “I do this … not only to help people but to inspire people to never give up,” said Robin Hood 702. “Just when you think every door has closed on you … God throws something your way.”

“A lot of Americans are hurting because of the economic problems we’re having,” Schulze said. “When we’re having times like this, I think it’s important that we take care of each other.”  Robin Hood 702 credits his mother with inspiring his philanthropic moonlighting.  “She instilled these values in me,” he said. After she died, “this was the reason to go on.”

To learn more about Robin Hood 702, visit robinhood702.com

Source: http://www.goodnewsnow.com

People Helping People: Spotlight on ifixit.com

I fix it.  You fix it.  We can all fix it!  E waste (discarded computers, electronics, televisions, mobile phones etc.) is showing up in our landfills and contaminating our water, air and soil at a rapidly growing pace.  E waste consists of lead, cadmium and mercury, which is toxic to humans, plants and the planet.

ifixit.com is a free online service that offers manuals on how the average Joe or Jane can fix things themselves.  The site has manuals for ipods, iphones, ipads, cars, cameras, computers, toasters, nintendos, etc.  So instead of trashing your easily fixable new-age technology, simply put in a little time and effort, and participate in reducing toxic waste.

iFixit was started in 2003 by Luke and Kyle in a dorm room at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  Here is what they have to say: “It bugged us that most consumer devices lacked repair instructions. We think it should be easy for people to learn how to fix things.  So we wrote some instructions the first chance we got. And we posted them online, for free. For the first time, it was easy for someone with no technical background or experience to take apart a Mac. Our step-by-step instructions were enabling people to repair Macs they wouldn’t have been able to repair on their own…We thought the instructions would be useful to our customers, and they were. But it turned out that they were useful to a lot of other people as well! We’ve heard repair success stories from forensic detectives, field translators, and even kids. From New York to Alaska, Tibet to the Faroe Islands, people have used our guides to fix their stuff. They saved money, they kept their Macs out of landfills, and they did it completely by themselves.”

50 Years Later, Couple to Wed at Junior High School

It’s never too late for love…

An Iowa City couple is getting married at South East Junior High nearly 50 years after they met there as seventh graders.

Karen Wilcox and Mike Wilson were brought together in 1962 by an alphabetized homeroom seating arrangement. They dated in eighth grade, but broke up by high school. They stayed in touch on and off throughout their lives.

The two started dating again in January after Wilson moved back to Iowa City from Florida, where he’d lived after retiring as a surgeon. They’ll get married in the same room where they shared their first dance.

Source: http://www.goodnewsnow.com

Texas Teen Raises $1 Million for Hospital

Ben Sater, right, and his mother Kim, left, hold a check reflecting the amount raised by their organization Kidswing.

Ben Sater had vowed that before he went off to college, he would raise $1 million for the Dallas children’s hospital where he had received free treatments as a child.  After eight years worth of fundraising golf tournaments for kids, the soon-to-be Austin College freshman has reached the goal, with nearly $19,000 to spare.

Organizers announced Monday that they’ve raised $1,018,842 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, an orthopedic center that treats patients free of charge.  “We got it,” the now 18-year-old told the group of kids gathered in McKinney on Monday for the second KidSwing tournament of the summer.

Ben said he initially didn’t even consider the possibility of raising so much money. The first tournament in 2003 raised about $20,000, he said. “$1 million never even crossed my mind.”  But over the years, the tournament grew in popularity. Once the tournaments had raised around $500,000, he realized $1 million was possible.

The tournaments are for kids 7 to 18, so this was Ben’s last year to play. But he said the tournaments will go on and he’ll still be involved.  “It’s a little bittersweet,” said his mother, Kim Sater.

J.C. Montgomery Jr., president of Scottish Rite, said that the tournaments “stand out among fundraisers for the hospital because of the involvement of children…They run it; they raise the money,” he said.  The tournament has a kids committee and an adult committee. The children’s duties include choosing the T-shirt design and fundraising prizes and helping set the day’s program.  It has been a huge success.

Source: http://www.msnbc.com

U.N. Declares Access to Clean Water a Human Right

The U.N. General Assembly recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a human right.  After more than 15 years of debate on the issue, 122 countries voted in favor of a compromise to a Bolivian resolution enshrining the right.

The text “declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.”  The resolution laments the fact that 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation.  It points to the pledge made by world leaders in 2000 as part of the poverty-fighting Millennium Development Goals to reduce by half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

The resolution urges states and international organizations to provide financial and technological assistance to help developing countries “scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible, and affordable water and sanitation for all.”

Source: http://www.grist.org

Cheerleader to the Rescue: 16-Year-Old Tackles Would-Be Thief at Mall

An ordinary trip to the Penn Square Mall became extraordinary when 16-year-old junior, Kealey Oliver, a member of Moore High School’s cheerleading squad, tackled a full-grown man.  Kealey was on the phone with her mother when she saw the alleged perpetrator running in her direction.

“I was like, ‘Hang on, Mom,’ and I like put the phone down. And when he got close to me, I just got in his way and like grabbed him, and he kept trying to run, so I just slammed him on the ground,” said Kealey.  Her maneuver allowed the security time to catch up and apprehend the suspected shoplifter.

By the way, she was wearing a strapless dress at the time of the tackle. She says she was nervous, and if she had thought about it, probably would not have done it.  “At first, I thought I was just going to stop him, but he kept running. So, I was like, ‘OK, I guess you’re going to the ground.'”

The humble hero walked away from the incident with a scratch on her arm, a bruise on her knee, and a slew of fans.

Source: cbsnews.com