Thursday, August 21, 2014

What does America have for breakfast?

man consuming a banana
Imagine an American breakfast and what comes to mind? Ham and eggs, with hash browns? Pancakes with maple syrup and bacon? The reality tends to be simpler. Cereal and fruit juice have been breakfast staples for generations - though that now seems to be changing.
The breakfast cereal behemoth, Kellogg, announced in July that quarterly global earnings had fallen by a sizable 16% over the year before. That same month, orange juice sales plummeted to the lowest in a decade, according to the Florida Department of Citrus.
Two pillars of the everyday American breakfast, seen for decades as part of a well-rounded morning meal, seem to be slowly losing their appeal to US consumers. But what foods are Americans turning to instead?
One telling sign was the departure last year of the head of Kellogg's US breakfast-foods division, who took up the helm of yogurt maker Chobani Inc. As Kellogg's sales have dropped, Chobani's have skyrocketed to nearly $1bn a year.
According to Harry Balzer, a food industry analyst for market research firm NPD Group, yogurt like Chobani's is a "perfect replacement" for cereal. It's a nourishing dairy product - and it's also portable.
Balzer has been studying changing food trends for more than 30 years. And one thing remains constant, he says: people are looking for products that save them time.
To break into the breakfast market, "you have to give me something new that makes my life easier", he says.

Start Quote

We're telling people you have to eat in the morning so you don't weigh as much”
Andrew BrownUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
Balzer says the rise of easy, portable items like yogurt, breakfast sandwiches, toastable pastry items, fruit, and breakfast bars have all been responsible for stealing cereal's lunch, so to speak.
"Time-saving for my great grandmother was having eggs delivered to her house for the ham and eggs she was going to make for her family," he explains.
"And by the time it came to my mother, maybe it was about the cereal and whether the kids could make the cereal on their own. And by the time it came to me, maybe it was can we stop and get a breakfast sandwich, an Egg McMuffin," Balzer adds. "And when you get to my daughter… she may be looking at it as, 'Can I just give the kids some yogurt and fruit and a bar for breakfast.'"
Some 80% of Americans still eat breakfast inside the home, according to Balzer. An estimated 10% report they skip the meal entirely - people aged between 18 and 35 are most likely to do this - while another 10% get breakfast elsewhere.
And it's that last 10% that have restaurants in a feeding frenzy. In fact, the only area where the crowded restaurant industry has seen growth in the last decade has been on take-out breakfast, Balzer says.
Takeaway breakfast
McDonald's, which began selling the Egg McMuffin in 1971, is still king with more than 19% of all fast-food breakfast sales in the US - sales that are worth $40bn per year. Burger King gobbles up nearly 3%, according to the Wall Street Journal, but companies like Subway and Taco Bell are entering the fray with items such as the new "waffle taco".
Some consumers are looking for a low-fat, low-calorie breakfast, though, or one that matches their personal definition of what a "healthy" breakfast should be. One of the reasons cereal and orange juice have had the pulp beaten out of them is because of a shift away from sugar and carbohydrates toward yogurt and sandwiches with protein-rich fillings.
Breakfasters in Britain have also jumped on the higher-protein trend with eggs showing a 13.7% rise in consumption in the last year. Eggs' perfect partners, bacon and sausage, have also seen a rise in popularity as cereal sales declined, according to The Grocer.
In both countries, the link between weight loss and breakfast is constantly debated. Every year, conflicting studies are released touting breakfast as a must for fighting obesity, or skipping breakfast as the key to keep weight down.
Andrew Brown, a scientist at the The University of Alabama at Birmingham Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, investigated more than 100 different studies in this area and found there was no clear link.
boiled eggline
Breakfast in the UK
  • Cereal, tea and bread are the three most common breakfast items, though cereal and bread have been in long-term decline
  • Eggs are now being eaten 13.7% more often at breakfast than they were a year ago - they feature in about one in 13 breakfasts - partly because of reports that they help people feel full for longer
  • There has also been a 7.1% increase in bacon consumption at breakfast in the last six months
  • One in three people regularly skip breakfast
  • Consumption of on-the-go breakfast products - taken from home to be eaten elsewhere - was down 9% over the six months from December to May, compared with a year earlier
Source: The Grocer
"There's a halo around breakfast, that if you want to lose weight, you have to eat breakfast," Brown says. "[But] there wasn't a lot of good strong evidence to support it."
What he and his colleagues did find was that American attitudes about breakfast have changed significantly over the last century.
In historical literature from the early 1900s, "you've got these gigantic breakfasts with steak and eggs and oatmeal - so many calories - and it talks about that you must have this energy or you'll waste away, that you need to be able to be fuelled for your day," he says.
"And now we look at the narrative and we're telling people you have to eat in the morning so you don't weigh as much," he says. The theory just wasn't borne out in his study's data.
One thing experts do appear to agree on is the difficulty in determining just what, exactly, Americans do eat for breakfast on any given day. The reason? Most people, when surveyed, tend to lie about it to avoid negative judgement.
According to Balzer, what people say they eat says just as much about them as, say, their choice in fashion. They say "what they want you to hear," he says. "They want you to hear they're eating quinoa."

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In Health,
The Naturally Botanicals Team

Thursday, August 14, 2014

15 Health Benefits of Eating Avocados

Repost from Health Digezt | Posted by: Roxy Lara

Many of us do not have to be sold on the benefits of avocados—their silky texture and versatile flavor make them hard not to love. But when studies show that avocado-eaters are healthier overall than their counterparts, we feel justified in our love-affair with the green fruit. And the research may even convince some non-avocado-eaters to cross over to the other side.

Avocados are also considered as one of the healthiest foods in the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocados also contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which may protect against various disease and illness.

15 Health Benefits of Avocados:

Maintain a healthy heart

Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.
Lower cholesterol levels

Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Control blood pressure

Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.

Anti-Inflammatory properties

Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.

Promote eye health

Avocado is an excellent source of carotenoid lutein, which known to help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Regulate the blood sugar levels

The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.

Prevent birth defects

Avocados are rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.

Reduce strokes risk

The high levels of folate in avocados may also protect against stroke. A study has shown that individuals who ate a diet rich in folate had a lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

Protect against cancer

Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The oleic acid in avocado is also effective in preventing breast cancer.

Fight free radicals

Avocados contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidants that helps fight free radicals in the body.

Anti-aging properties

Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boosts immune systems, slows aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.

Cure bad breath

Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It is cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.

Increase nutrient absorption

Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados.

Skin Care

The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation.

Weight gain

The avocado has 200 calories for 100 grams. Typically, fruits has approximately 60-80 calories for 100 grams. Due to the high amounts of calories, avocado is a best diet for people who want to gain weight. Avocado is a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that may contain excess saturated fats and sugar.

This Month's Featured Product:
(available in 2 sizes)

In Health,
The Naturally Botanicals Team

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five natural antibiotics that fight illness and promote health

Friday, August 08, 2014 by: Sandeep Godiyal

(NaturalNews) There are many herbs and foods that can treat and prevent a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. Many people are beginning to use natural antibiotics and remedies for these illnesses rather than relying on traditional Western medicine with risks and side effects.

Natural antibiotics can be powerful treatments for illnesses, preventing disease and keeping the body's health in balance. Natural antibiotics, such as honey, ginger and Echinacea, among others, are powerful remedies to a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

Local honey

Honey has natural antibiotic properties. Spreading it on wounds and burns can fight infection and promote faster healing. Using locally sourced honey can also combat seasonal or environmental allergies. Since bees use local pollen to make their honey, people with pollen allergies can find relief by consuming local honey. As a natural sweetener, adding honey to tea is an excellent way to get its health benefits.


Garlic is an herb used commonly in cooking, but it can also be used as a remedy to fight off infections and diseases such as ear aches, colds, flus, and pneumonia. The herb can help boost the immune system and reduce risk of heart disease, and it contains lots of vitamin C, which is beneficial to people's health. Because it is used so widely in cooking, garlic is readily available for anyone who needs it.


Ginger is used in more than half of traditional Chinese herbal medicines. In addition to the power that it has to heal diseases and illnesses, ginger is well known for its ability to calm upset stomachs, and can be quite comforting when brewed as a tea. It is also used frequently in cooking.


Echinacea is often used to treat wounds and bacterial infections. Not only can it help prevent illness by boosting the immune system, but it can shorten the symptoms of illnesses. Applying Echinacea topically can disinfect and treat eczema and psoriasis. It is also an excellent natural remedy for sunburns.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin for a healthy body. However, it can also be used to combat bacterial infections and many illnesses. Taking vitamin C at the beginning of a cold can help the body heal much quicker, or can prevent getting a cold in the first place.

As more and more people look for safer, natural alternatives to chemical-based medications and treatments for illnesses and diseases, natural antibiotics and remedies are becoming more popular and accessible. These treatments not only combat common illnesses people face frequently but can help boost the immune system to prevent future illnesses.


This Month's Featured Product:
(available in 2 sizes)

In Health,
The Naturally Botanicals Team