Tag Archives: diet

Best Plant-Based Sources of Zinc for Immune Support


Zinc is number 30 on the periodic table of elements, meaning that it’s both prominent in our world, and useful to scientific inquiry. A metal at room temperature, zinc is an element that has been absorbed into the metabolisms of most living things, and in fact we can’t live without it. 

Zinc is present in many foods, meaning that you probably have some in your diet, whether you realize it or not. However, it’s possible to be low in zinc, which could affect, among other things, the delicate balance of your immune system. 

Without getting too far into the details, zinc affects many different aspects of immunity, including the very production of immune cells such as natural killer cells. These cells have a tough name, and for a good reason – without them, our bodies couldn’t destroy numerous pathogens, leaving us open to all kinds of illness. 

There are tests available to learn about levels of zinc in your body. If you’re found to be low in this vital element, your primary care physician can work with you to help you recover. In addition to this, there are some natural foods that contain high levels of zinc that may be a good idea as part of a healthy diet. 


Legumes like lentils are some of the world’s best sources of dietary zinc. Unless you live in Canada or India, you’ve likely not seen a lentil in the wild. These tiny seeds grow in pods, and have been part of South Asian cuisine (among others) for many generations. A cheap staple food, lentils are high in protein and, of course, zinc. Use them as a base for grain salads, in soups, or ground into powder for inclusion in various traditional Indian flatbreads. 


Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans as they are sometimes called, are primarily grown in the plains states, at least in America. Firm and toothsome when cooked, chickpeas can be eaten on salads, pickled for a flavor boost in many meals, or can serve as the base ingredient for falafels. You can even grind chickpeas and use them as flour for gluten free bread! Versatile and nutritious, chickpeas are also a great way to get your zinc. 


There are numerous plant seeds that are great for dietary zinc. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds all make the list, and with so many ways to use each one, there’ll definitely be an easy way to incorporate one or another into your diet. Pumpkin seeds can be baked and salted for a tasty snack or salad topping. Chia seeds can be used in baking or in various tonic beverages. Sunflower seeds are another healthy snack or can be used as an extra crunchy ingredient. 

Tofu and Tempeh

There are many reasons to get to know tofu and tempeh – natural protein sources that don’t involve animals. Tofu and tempeh can be marinaded to take on any flavor profile you enjoy, then baked, fried, or grilled to perfection. 

You can use these foods as meat substitutes for many recipes, and they’re just as happy topping salads or going into various vegetarian and vegan recipes that have now become classics. They’ve got loads of zinc, too!

Zinc Supplements

If you feel that you’re already maxing out your dietary zinc, it may be time to consider supplementation. We can specifically recommend three products: 

Check out the ingredients in each product and where they source zinc from to decide which one is right for you. Each of the above brands has been carefully vetted before appearing on the Professional Supplement Center store to ensure that shoppers have access to the products that promote health and wellness each day. 

Here’s How to Follow the Blended Foods Diet the Correct Way


The world is awash with fad diets, and they’ve all got their dedicated practitioners. They’re our associates at the office, relatives at Thanksgiving, and friends on Facebook. However, just because a diet is trendy doesn’t mean it can’t also be effective. At their core, all popular diets are centered around caloric restriction and good nutritional intake.

The blended foods diet is much the same. Blended food living is about drinking tasty, easily consumable smoothies that you can enjoy multiple times a day. At the same time, you should be meeting your caloric, fiber, vitamin, and mineral needs. Blended foods are typically easy to digest since blending helps to break down the solids. They also don’t require much in the way of cooking prowess or knife skills. All you need are your ingredients, a blender, and a liquid of choice. Drink on schedule each day, and you should start to see results in the weeks to come.

But how do we go the distance with blended foods? And how do we make sure that we enjoy ourselves along the way? Success with a blended foods diet all comes down to planning, knowledge, and follow-through. Here’s how to pull it off!

Get the Right Stuff

If you want blended foods and smoothies to do the heavy lifting in your diet, you need to cover all of your dietary bases. You’ll need protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients to feel satiated. Missing one or two essentials can leave you feeling low-energy, shaky, or could even result in a nutritional deficiency.

If you aren’t feeling super confident about blended foods, you can consider a nutritional supplement from MegaFood to help fill those gaps. Their Daily Multi Powder Iron Free supplement is a good example of produce that you may want to try. Now isn’t the time to be stingy. You’re doing this diet to improve your nutrition and health, so make sure you have the high quality products on deck that will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Make Sure You Have Variety

When it comes to smoothies, variety is imperative. This is because, in a nutritional sense, variety helps to cover any deficiencies or oversights in our diet. In another sense, variety provides the novelty that keeps us interested enough to keep following our chosen diet. This is why you’ll definitely want to have several different sources for all of your macronutrients. Choose different sources of protein and carbs, greens and nuts, and for all of the supplements in your blended food pantry. NOW Foods Better Steveia Glycerate and Raw Energy Nut Mix are good places to start if you’re looking for novel sweeteners or nut blends.

Follow a Reasonable Schedule

Another important factor in sticking to the blended food diet is planning a reasonable schedule. To enjoy the most benefits of this diet, you’ll want to drink at least one high quality smoothie per day. However, you don’t want to be so enthusiastic and optimistic at the beginning of your diet that you create a schedule you can’t maintain. Choose a plan that you can perform fairly quickly, and a time of day that you can hit each day. Consistency is key, and a realistic plan will be the best way to achieve this.

We hope you have good luck with the blended food diet, and that this way of eating clicks with you and helps you to achieve your health goals.

The Non-Diet Diet

The Non-DietSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Come January first, many resolve to lose weight and exercise more days than not. For some, even the thought of dieting is depressing, especially those who have felt the effects of caloric deprivation in the past while diligently striving for permanent weight loss. But what if you could reach your body’s ideal or “set point” weight without feeling stressed, obsessed, deprived or excessively hungry? Could a better approach to weight management actually be a non-diet? What if we stopped all-consuming thoughts of what we can and cannot eat, and instead ate what we wanted when we wanted without guilt or shame? If that sounds like a radical concept, think of it as a healthy approach to eating based on intuitive eating principles. In other words, making peace with both your food and your body so you can stop obsessing and once again enjoy your food.

While not actually a new approach, intuitive eating may be particularly useful to chronic dieters, individuals whose dietary restrictions eventually lead to increased binging, an unhealthy relationship with food, lower self-esteem and ultimately, weight regain over time. It appears that weight regain is the typical long-term response to dieting rather than the exception. Yes, self-control matters, but not as much as one might expect. While willpower or self-control may play only a small role, there are theories as to why we regain the weight we struggled so hard to lose. One explanation holds that the body physiologically defends a genetically-based set weight. There is evidence for the idea that there is biological control of body weight at any given time. In our world of abundance, an intuitive lifestyle and mindfulness are preconditions for effective biological control and stable body weight.

We do know that calorie deprivation leads to changes in metabolism and hunger hormone regulation that can last for years, making it difficult to keep weight off. As well, caloric restriction can result in changes in cognitive and attentional functions that can lead dieters to become primarily focused on food. As compared to non-dieters, dieters feel hungrier due to a progressively more efficient metabolism, requiring a need to further reduce daily calories to continue to lose weight. Dieting is a common practice, especially among individuals who are persistently overconcerned with body shape and weight, and therefore restrict their food choices to achieve weight loss without success, or with temporary success and weight regain.

What is intuitive eating exactly? Basically, an intuitive eating approach consciously rejects the dieting mentality, allowing for a healthier, more authentic relationship with food. Some may think of this as a holistic approach that respects both physical and psychological wellbeing. Intuitive eating allows unconditional permission to eat and enjoy food, rejects the burden of chronic dieting, and advises listening to inner cues regarding hunger, satiety and satisfaction. Intuitive eating puts the spotlight on enjoying your food while tuning into your body’s health cues. While intuitive eating suggests you can eat what you like, it assumes that you respect your health and won’t see this as a green light to eat mainly non-nutritive processed and fast foods.

Although the intuitive eating approach doesn’t condemn any foods, those who eat mindfully know that the best way to support good health, fulfill hunger and maintain a feeling of satiety between meals is to eat whole foods containing fiber and protein. Ultra-processed foods high in unhealthy fats and added sugars should be eaten sparingly, but still without shame, to not overpower the normal hormone-driven fullness signals. Intuitive eating is meant to relieve the stress and guilt that often accompanies weight management. It rejects the diet mentality and honors hunger, fullness and health, allowing an intuitive eater to think of food as nourishment rather than the means to an end.

Those who truly progress toward better relationship with food find other ways to comfort and nurture themselves without appeasing their anxiety, boredom or loneliness by overeating. Leaving behind a preoccupation with thoughts of food, as well as an obsession with thinness, may be a difficult adjustment for some. After a few months of eating intuitively, many find they reach their natural set point weight, which may be higher or lower than imagined. Those who continue to take a respectful approach to nourishment tend to be less critical of their bodies, even with an increase in weight. Intuitive eaters report higher levels of overall satisfaction, as well as enhanced feelings of wellbeing and self-esteem.

An intuitive lifestyle means engaging in healthy behaviors yet having the freedom to enjoy that occasional slice of cheesecake without monitoring calories. The freedom to choose a natural healthy weight means that weight is most likely to be maintained. One does not need a perfect body to feel well, nor have a perfect diet to be healthy. Additionally, being physically active and taking note of how it good it feels to move the body shifts the focus towards the health benefits of exercise and away from the calorie burning effects. Minimizing weight loss as a motivating factor, encourages daily exercise simply for the energizing, strengthening and health benefits of movement. It appears that mindfulness and consistency over time are what really matter to long-term physical health and psychological wellbeing.

Why do dieters regain weight? https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2018/05/calorie-deprivation.aspx
The big diet this year could be no diet at all. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/article-the-big-diet-this-year-could-be-no-diet-at-all/
What Is Intuitive Eating? https://benourished.org/intuitive-eating/
10 Principle of Intuitive Eating. https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
A Point of References: Weight and the Concept of Set Point. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-gravity-weight/201506/point-reference-weight-and-the-concept-set-point
Metabolic assessment of female chronic dieters with either normal or low resting energy expenditures. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/71/6/1413/4729378
Is there evidence for a set point that regulates human body weight? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990627/