7 Ways Your Diet Can Keep You from Getting Sick
Sadly, summer is on its way out, and as much as we’re looking forward to rocking our fall looks and digging into some pumpkin-spice-inspired recipes, colder temps can bring unwanted colds. But with a strong immune system, you might have a better chance to stay healthy throughout the season. And a strong immune system is best built by adding lots of good-for-you vitamins and nutrients to your diet. So we caught up with Marci Clow, MS, RDN at Rainbow Light, to figure out the best way to get the most of antioxidant-rich foods and stay healthy all fall long.
1. Get the most vitamin C. According to Marci, vitamin C activity is destroyed with high cooking temperatures (think grilling hot and fast or quick frying in a pan). She says, “The best strategy for getting the most vitamin C is to eat fresh plant foods that are rich in this antioxidant, such as strawberries, red peppers, kiwi or broccoli raw.”
2. Use the right temp. “For vegetables which contain beta-carotene – colorful veggies like carrots & spinach, use moderate temperatures and short cooking times, as levels may increase with moderate heat,” advises Marci.
3. Know which cooking method to use. Marci notes that, for the most part, frying, pressure-cooking and boiling veggies typically leads to more antioxidant destruction when compared to griddling, microwaving or roasting. “As an example, artichokes retain antioxidants with all cooking methods, whereas zucchini or cauliflower are more sensitive to boiling,” she says.
4. Know which veggies can pull double duty. “Some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are antioxidant stars whether raw or cooked,” says Marci. She adds, “Raw broccoli is loaded with vitamin C and sulforaphane (which can help prevent certain types of cancers), and when cooked, another beneficial compound called indole is formed.”
5. Shop at the right places. This might seem obvious, but the closer you can get to the original food source, the better. “When possible, hit the local farmers’ market or try to find local produce. The fresher the better, as some vitamins are lost during transportation and storage,” adds Marci.
6. Don’t waste nutrients. “Water-soluble vitamins like C — in bell peppers and kale — and the B’s are best when cooked with a minimal amount of water or none at all, during roasting. If you boil or steam, save the nutrient-rich cooking liquid and add to sauce or soup,” suggests Marci.
7. Don’t be afraid to add a little fat. The good fat that is. “Fat-soluble vitamin (A, D, E, K) absorption may be increased by eating your veggies with a little oil. Try roasting vine-ripened tomatoes with olive oil, drizzling spinach salad with a vinaigrette or lightly stir-frying greens,” suggests Marci.
8. Just eat ’em. Seems obvious, but adding more fruits and veggies to your diet, no matter how you like ’em, is better than not eating them at all. “The best tip is to eat your vegetables and fruits no matter how they’re prepared, and try to balance raw choices with variations in cooking methods to provide the broadest spectrum of nutritional benefits,” advises Marci.
Tweet us your favorite way to get the most out of your fruits and veggies @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com