Being Kosher And Healthy

According to an ADM report, as 2021 approaches, consumers will be focused on health and wellness, thus putting nutrition at the forefront. OU Kosher has hyper-specialized companies focused on nutrition. When taking a holistic approach towards the foods and beverages we eat, the benefits can be extraordinary. In Covid times, looking to strengthen the immune system, build energy and watch what’s put in the body is a wise strategy to remain robust and healthy.

There are numerous beverages that have optimal health benefits.

Water

Everyone would agree water is the healthiest drink to consume. As WebMD points out about water: “It prevents dehydration, constipation, and kidney stones. Plus, with no calories, it’s the best beverage for your waistline. If you add 1 to 3 cups of water a day to your diet, you could end up taking in less fat, salt, sugar, and up to 200 fewer calories per day. Too plain for your taste buds? Add a squeeze of citrus, a few berries, or your favorite herbs, like mint.”

Tea

In a Penn Medicine blog post, entitled, “The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea,” medical studies showed that “a variety of teas may boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and even ward off cancer and heart disease. While some brews provide more health advantages than others, there’s plenty of evidence that regularly drinking tea can have a lasting impact on your wellness.” Green and herbal teas are highly recommended. You will find the OU symbol on many teas. To be specific, one brand you can find serving up green tea and herbal tea is under East West Tea Company’s Yogi brand. You could get a Green Tea Passion Fruit Matcha or if you desired a Purely Peppermint Herbal Tea Caffeine Free (Japan).

Coffee

To some people’s surprise coffee has many health benefits. A Harvard Health report notes that, “researchers reported findings that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of depression among women, a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer among men, and a lower risk of stroke among men and women.” The Mayo Clinic also emphasized recent studies that show, “coffee may offer some protection against Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver disease, including liver cancer, and heart attack and stroke.” Finding kosher coffee is not difficult. The OU certifies many well-known brands including Starbucks and Keurig.

Grape Juice

OU certified Kedem Concord grape juice has many health benefits. Thehealthy.com noted that Concord grape juice has anthocyanins and antioxidants that help improve brain function. Grape juice is especially helpful in boosting energy. In an article titled, “Battling Fatigue? Try some Grape Juice,” by Vitality Chiropractic, it was noted that: “The most obvious way grape juice helps fatigue is by adding iron to your diet.” An article by observer.com notes that, “Concord grapes are a rich source of vitamin C and polyphenols, both which may play a role in supporting a healthy immune system.”

In terms of flour, baking goods, cereal, shakes and bars, there’s no shortage of nutritious choices. We will just look at a few.

Flour 

A lot of types of flour are certified by the OU. King Arthur Flour is an OU certified company that offers many nutritious options. They have recently been in the news due to their philanthropic work in helping the business clients. The OU is proud that they have used their business to help bakers that “buy” flour from them, when in fact King Arthur Flour is giving it to them at no cost and using the value of the sale to have the bakers purchase food for local food pantries. Whole wheat flour is a good nutritious choice as it is high in fiber (good for lowering cholesterol and helping the digestive tract) and a good source for antioxidants, magnesium. copper, zinc, folate, riboflavin and vitamins B-1, B-3 and B-5. They also have phytochemicals, naturally found in plants that help prevent disease. King Arthur Flour has many choices within the whole wheat genre.

Baking Goods

Northern Nutraceuticals Inc., an OU certified company, has many baking goods that fit the nutritious category. Hemp seeds serves as a base for many of their products and the nutrition value of hemp seeds are enormous. They contains all the essential amino acids and are an important source of essential fatty acids. Hemp seeds are also high in fiber and rich in minerals and vitamins. As one product example, Nelson Nutraceuticals Inc., offers Certified Organic Hempseed Cake/Powder which utilizes the nutritious hemp as an ingredient.

Cereal

You can be creative in how you want to fill your quota of nutritional foods and starting with breakfast is a good choice. “Many studies show the importance of eating breakfast to reduce risk for chronic disease and help maintain significant weight loss,” says Kathy McManus, who is a department head at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Stephano Group, an OU certified company has many nutritious cereals to choose from under their Brad’s Organic, Helps Yeah!, Millville, Seven Farms and Simply Nature brands. Some examples of cereals would be their Organic Fruit & Nut Granola under the Seven Farms brand and their Organic Flax Seed Oatmeal under the Brad’s Organic brand.

Shakes and bars

Arbonne International, an OU certified company, specializes in nutritious foods and beverages that offer the possibility of satiation with smaller portions. To get a feel for their products, they have a Protein Shake Mix, Chai flavor (US/CAN/AUS/NZ/UK/POL) under their Arbonne Essentials brand. For a bar, they have a Protein Snack Bar – Apple Cinnamon (US/CAN/UK/POLAND), also under their Arbonne Essentials brand. To add some more nutritional snacks to the repertoire, an innovative OU certified company, Edesia Inc. produces peanut butter snacks under their mewe brand.

Nutrition has taken on a greater significance in society and OU Kosher certifies products in this category that help prevent disease, boost the immune system and build energy. Fortunately, in today’s times, there need not be any compromise on taste and variety to achieve optimal health results.

 

Steven Genack
Steven Genack has worked at OU Kosher for nearly ten years with a specialty in ingredients. He is an attorney and former editor of a newspaper who continues to contribute articles to numerous Jewish publications. During a summer session at Harvard University, one of the disciplines he studied was journalism. He is the author of an upcoming book relating to his family’s Torah. He has a wide array of interests including playing tennis, golf and basketball and reading biographies and memoirs. He has worked with special needs children in the past and feels passionate about their causes. He is currently working on a few books.