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The 4 Reasons Why (and How) You Should Incorporate Fat into Your Diet

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This is a guest post by This post was written by Ella Davidson of Coupons.org.

In modern times, our society is often overly focused on physical appearance so much so that many people forget about staying healthy. However, the truth is that even if you are trying to lose weight it is important to incorporate fat into your diet.

Despite popular belief, deciding to remove all fat from your diet is actually a move that is bad for your health, rather than good for it. It is not the total amount of fat in your diet that affects your weight or susceptibility to disease; rather it is the types of fat. Here are four reasons why and how you should incorporate fat into your diet.

1. Fat plays an important role in your body

Fat is a biological tool that has many functions throughout the body. It is involved in cell membranes and is the chemical starting point for many compounds, including the hormones estrogen and testosterone as well as vitamins, such as Vitamin D.

Removing all fat from your diet prevents these processes from occurring and can result in your body lacking in essential vitamins and under-producing important hormones.The key is to focus on the kind of fat you put into your body. More important is to focus on consuming a proportionately greater amount of unsaturated fats than saturated ones.

2. Unsaturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease

Fats can be broken down into two groups, unsaturated and saturated fats. Saturated fats are the type of fat that you find in foods such as bacon, cheese, butter and steak. Scientific evidence links this type of fat to an increased risk of heart disease and other negative health effects. However, research suggests that the most effective way to avoid these problems is not to cut fat out of your diet, but to replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat.

3. Unsaturated fats have a number of positive health benefits

Unsaturated fat is often referred to as the ‘good’ fat and has many positive benefits to the body, including reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels. There are two forms of unsaturated fats and both are required in the diet. Monounsaturated fats can be found in peanut, canola and olive oils, as well as foods such as avocados, nuts, and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. Polyunsaturated fats are in other oils, such as corn, flaxseed, as well as in flax seeds themselves, walnuts, and fish.

One very good way of incorporating unsaturated fat into your diet is to eat fish at least two times each week and to eat seeds and nuts such as those listed above, both of which are high in these fats. You can take some in a snack bag, or throw them on top of oatmeal or a fruit salad for something a little different.

4. Saturated fat has health benefits, too

Saturated fats are often promoted as something that should be entirely cut from the diet and that anything containing saturated fats should be avoided whenever humanly possible. However, this is not necessarily true. Saturated fats do play a beneficial role in the body when in small quantities. Saturated fat in the diet reduces the amount of lipoprotein(a). This compound has been associated with heart disease and cannot be lowered by any other known dietary means.

Saturated fat has been reported to increase the strength of bones, which is especially important in older men and women. Other benefits include increased lung health, brain health, and nerve signaling. Accessing saturated fat in the diet isn’t that difficult because most of the foods that people love to eat already contain high amounts of it.

Fat intake, like for most compounds, is all about maintaining a balance. While conventional wisdom tells us that we should remove all sources of fat from our diets, the truth is significantly different. The presence of a substantial amount of unsaturated fat, along with some saturated fat helps our bodies to work much better and to be healthier. It can also decrease our risk of getting diseases, such as heart disease, as well as increase the health of some organs.

This post was written by Ella Davidson of Coupons.org. Coupons provides authoritative couponing information along with top-retailer savings options. Changing your diet can be expensive, consider their directory coupons and deals to help you on your way.

References

- http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-full-story/

- http://bodyshapeshiftersonline.com/2011/04/30/why-you-should-eat-more-saturated-fat-in-your-diet/

Easy Ways To Give Your Family Their 5 A Day

Image by Chris Duffin

This is a guest post by Samantha Harvey on behalf of Tasty Bingo

It is important for families, especially kids, to get their 5 a day but it can be difficult to get them to eat their fruit and veg. Taking things slowly is the best way to gradually get them eating their greens, and you might even eventually convince them to even eat brussel sprouts. Here, we will look at easy ways to give your family their 5 a day.

Why Fruit and Veg?

Fruit and veg are important to stay healthy. Here are some other reasons why you should eat your 5 a day:

* They taste great

* They help reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and some cancers

* They are a great source of fibre and antioxidants

* They are loaded with vitamins and minerals

* They are essential for maintaining a healthy weight

Plan the Day

Perhaps the easiest way to get your family to eat their 5 a day is by planning the day’s menu. Think about how you can include fruit and veg in meals ahead of time, and you should be able to easily sneak in healthy foods without them even noticing.

* Breakfast

A cooked breakfast can give you several portions of fruit and veg if you have grilled mushrooms, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and a glass of unsweetened orange juice. If you give your kids cereal for breakfast, add some sliced bananas or strawberries.

* Morning Break

Take some fruit or a piece of veg (bite-sized celery or carrots are ideal) to work for your mid-morning snack. Don’t be tempted to snack on an unhealthy pastry or chocolate.

Remember that all children between four and six at Local Education maintained primary schools are entitled to one free piece of fruit or vegetable, usually given out in the morning break. When they are older, include a piece of fruit with their lunchbox. School Food Regulations require that fruit and/or vegetables are provided at all school food outlets, including breakfast clubs and vending machines.

* Lunchtime

Avoid junk food and try something healthier. A packed lunch with fruit and vegetables will help you avoid feeling lethargic and give you enough energy to make it through the afternoon. Think of creative ways to get your 5 a day, too.

A school lunch will give your son or daughter a piece of fruit and a portion of vegetables. Include dried fruits such as sultanas or apricots in their lunchbox (they count as a portion) and put tomatoes, lettuce or cucumber in their sandwiches. Remember that kids love to swap food, so talk to other parents and get ideas about how to give everyone their 5 a day.

* When they come back

Kids are usually famished when they leave school. Give them some fruit to help recharge until it’s time for dinner. When they’re so hungry, they’ll be more inclined to eat almost anything, so now is your chance to give them another of their 5 a day.

When you or your partner come back from work, eat a banana to get some energy for the rest of the evening. If you’ve had a stressful day, something sweet like grapes or raisins can help settle your mood.

* Dinner

Remember that vegetables in stews and other dishes count as a portion of your 5 a day, so try and include as many as possible. Avoid adding any extra fats or sugars, and use lean cuts of meat. Try to include at least two types of vegetable at dinner but don’t force your kids to eat them. Sometimes, just watching parents eating them might be enough to convince them.

Start Early

If you have young children, now is the time to get them involved. I often bring my 2-year-old son along on weekly shops to introduce fruits and vegetables, encouraging him to pick out something he’d like to try for dinner. He doesn’t always like them but being adventurous is a good step.

Pizza and other treats

You don’t have to give up pizza or other favourite foods. Simply add veggie toppings to give them a portion of veg. Here’s a recipe for red and yellow pizza fingers that the whole family can enjoy:

Ingredients:

for the finger bases

150g (5oz) of strong flour

3g (1/8oz) dried yeast

100ml (3 1/2floz) warm water

1/2tsp salt

1/4tsp sugar

2-3 drops of olive oil, to blend

For the topping

1/4 jar of ready-made tomato pasta sauce

1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced

1/2 yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced

1/2 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

55-85g (2-3oz) cheddar or redLeicestercheese, grated

A few basil leaves, shredded

Method

1. First preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7. Make a pizza dough by combining the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl, and stir in the warm water.

2. Remove the dough and knead for 5 mins. Place it on a floured surface and roll it out to form a long rectangle, pressing down with the palm of your hand to flatten.

3. Place the pizza base onto a greased, non-stick baking sheet. Spread a little tomato sauce onto the base. Scatter the red onion and pepper slices over. Sprinkle the grated cheese over and scatter the shredded basil leaves over the top.

4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 mins, or until the dough is crispy and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, cut into fingers and serve.

Make it Fun

Kids like being messy, so let your kids help you make fun meals with fruit and veg.

* Make fun picnics (have them indoors when it’s cold) with lots of raisins, sliced carrots, veggie packed sandwiches and sweet grapes.  Add tasty treats like mini sausage rolls and low-fat crisps.

* Use cookie cutters to make sandwiches in shapes they love.

* Make funny faces out of pizzas and other dishes.

* Use a cookie cutter to make craters in mashed potato and add a vegetable moon lander. A flag made from dried spaghetti is the final touch.

* Grow your own veg and let your family pick them.

* Make tasty smoothies with your kids.

Finally, here’s a delicious recipe for smoothie jellies with ice cream. It’s a great alternative to traditional jellies and is perfect for parties, too.

Smoothie jellies with ice cream

Ingredients: (makes 12 small pots)

6 sheets leaf gelatine

1l bottle orange, mango and passion fruit smoothie

Ice cream

Method:

1. Put the leaf gelatine into a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for a few minutes until soft and floppy. Gently heat the smoothie in a saucepan. Take off the heat. Lift the gelatine out of the water, squeeze out any excess water, then add it to the pan. Stir until smooth, then pour into 12 moulds, pots or glasses. Chill for at least 1 hour or until set.

2.Dip a tablespoon measuring spoon into a cup of hot water, then shake off the excess. Scoop the ice cream, dipping the spoon in the hot water each time. Serve each jelly topped with ice cream.

Post contributed by Samantha Harvey on behalf of Tasty Bingo the place to find great recipes and play bingo.

How Many Carbohydrates Should You Be Eating a Day

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Carbohydrates are in such a lot of food these days. We probably don’t even realise half the time how many we should or shouldn’t be eating. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with carbohydrates. We do need a certain amount in order to provide us with energy, but realistically, how many do we actually need?

The underlying problem with eating too many carbohydrates is when your body has enough of them, which is used to provide reserve and for your liver. Any that isn’t used results in spillage, which means your liver will take what it needs, and stores the rest, as fat, which is something, you don’t need.

If you are somebody who is very active and using lots of energy throughout the day. Then you may not notice, especially if you’re an athlete or something similar. However, a lot of us don’t fit into that particular category. So we’re going to need to watch how many we are consuming because we do not want to gain weight.

Here are some guidelines that I found on a blog called Mark’s Daily Apple. If you are eating more than 300g per day, then this is what he considered to be the danger zone. In other words, you are consuming far too many carbs, which is very easy to do in today’s society.

When you consider what we are consuming most of the time, carbohydrates are in quite a lot of food these days. They are in cereals, pasta, pancakes and so on. If you are consuming this amount of carbohydrate in your diet, then you are at risk of diabetes and inflammation, and he recommends that at this level, you need a sharp reduction in the amount of carbohydrates that you are consuming.

Next is 150–300 g per day at this level of consumption, you should expect the following, steady weight gain. If you have continued insulin dumps, which happen every time you eat food and even more so when you’re eating too many carbohydrates. The reason being is insulin interferes with the fat-burning  mechanism. When you are in this range, it can lead to an average a 1.5 pounds of fat gain per annum for a period of 40 years.

A more acceptable range is between 100 –150g per day, and tends to be based on your body weight and the amount of activity that you do each day. It allows for optimal fat burning and will help with muscle development.

Between 50 – 100g per day. This is supposedly the ultimate amount for promotion of fat burning and keeping insulin levels to a minimum, which is what you need to aim for. If you want to lose weight effectively eating this amount really ramps up fat metabolism. If you eat the average daily requirement of protein, which is based on the .7-1gram per lean body weight formula.

And by eating nutritionally rich vegetables and fruits. You will find it easy to stay in the range of 50 – 100 grams per day even if you eat quite large portions of food. If you do keep in this range y will range, it very easy to lose one or two pounds of body fat per week and keep it off as long as you stay within the above stated range.

Between 0-50g a day, this is okay for the odd day of intermittent fasting. Just make sure that you intake adequate amounts of protein, fat, and what other supplements, you may need. This would possibly be a good route for diabetics, but not recommended for a long time, practice.

Source material: Marks Daily Apple

Seventeen Immune System Body Boosting Foods

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In the past, I have found our daily newspaper to be sometimes quite inspirational. When it comes to writing content and today’s post is again no exception during the holiday period. There was an article within it, which was entitled Give Yourself a Body Boost and, as always being as it was so good I am going to put it into a post.

It starts off by saying that you are probably feeling a bit bloated may be sluggish, with the amount of food that you may have been eating over the Christmas period, coupled with going to bed late and moving very little watching too much television, and the list goes on.

So this list is designed to revitalise your energy in order to get you moving again, if needs be, and give you a much-needed  energy boost.

Brussels sprouts

The reason for eating Brussels sprouts is they are high in vitamin C, which is a boost for your immune system as well as your skin nerves and mucous membrane. Not only, that, they will help maintain energy levels as well as good fat as well as helping to protect you against asthma, migraine and possibly depression.

They tend to be rich in a particular thing called glucosinolates. These tend to help increase c enzymes within your body, which get rid of carcinogens, which help with cancer prevention.

Onions

Onions have natural inbuilt antibacterial properties, which in turn will help with lowering cholesterol levels as well as that they can help your body to dissolve blood clots, if you have some onion soup.  This can help with coughs and colds in the winter.

Avocados

Avocados are very good nutrition wise and have lots of benefits for your health. They are high in potassium, which is known to lower blood pressure. Furthermore, they are very high in antioxidants which mop up free radicals, which may be present from the environment and what you eat.

These can be toxic to your cells, so the more foods that you eat with high antioxidants, the better. Free radicals can be one of the things that can start cancer and heart disease.

Because of their high amount of phytochemicals avocados have anti-inflammatory properties. They help to prevent yeast infections avocados can help protect your skin from ageing prematurely and will help with keeping your hair in good condition. Furthermore, some new research says that avocados can help improve  your sperm health.

Oats

If you have a bowl of hot porridge this is a very good way to start your day. Oats are high in protein, as well as iron. The fibre in oats is known to help with lowering your cholesterol levels, porridge is also able to help with stress and tired nerves.

Soya

Soya has a lot of phytochemicals in which are great for mopping up free radicals, which will help in prevention of some sorts of cancers. Soya is supposedly able to help with both prostate and breast cancer and may help to prevent as well as treat heart disease.

Potatoes

If you have some potatoes left over from your holiday period, then you might want to consider using them if you’re feeling a bit anxious.

Apparently there good for soothing your nerves as well as helping with digestive problems, e.g. stomach ulcers, their nutritional value, which includes high B vitamins, potassium, iron, is present within their skins, so make sure that you cook them with the jackets on.

If you want something a bit more nutritious, then why not try their counterparts, sweet potatoes, these tend to be very rich in vitamin A, as well as carotenoids, which help support your immune system should you become infected, as well as keeping cancer at bay. Another benefit of these is if you’re going through a rest period. They can help to maintain healthy muscles.

Carrots

Carrots are full of great vitamin’s and carotenoids, which are beneficial to your eyesight. They also support circulation and healing of wounds. Carrots can help prevent cancer and heart disease if you have some pureed carrots. These can help with diarrhoea if your infant/child has it.

Bananas

If you’re anything like me, I like having bananas with my cereal. This is great if you want a quick energy boost. Bananas have lots of potassium in that will help to lower your blood pressure. Bananas are fibrous, which means that they will easily digestible and have the following health benefits. They keep you healthy skin, hair, nerves and bones, on the other.

Curly Kale

This green vegetable has three types of phytochemicals, which help in cancer prevention.  These are glucosinolates, bioflavonoids. These help to stimulate your immune system. Kale also helps with your health in the following organs your heart, muscles and nerves and also helps protect you against high blood pressure, as well as vascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have a lot of antioxidant goodness in them and help support your immune system. At the same time, they help to maintain energy levels, so this will make them a good choice for people who may have prostrate cancer and heart disease. They also boost your resistance to infectious diseases and help with healing.

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are something of a festive/holiday nut. They have high levels of vitamin E and selenium these two are essential ingredients for boosting your immune system. Both work together selenium on its own does the following. It activates an enzyme which prevents free radicals from forming, which can damage DNA, not only this; it  you against infection and will help suppress tumour growth.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a great detoxification fruit and works on your digestive system and liver. If your energy levels are low, then this is a good choice of fruit to eat. It also has the following properties. It aids in healing blood vessels help strengthen bones. The soluble fibre, which is in grapefruit can help to lower cholesterol levels, as well as other blood fats. It attaches itself to any excess cholesterol as well as bile acids and helps to remove them from the body.

Sage

This is an ingredient of stuffing, which has been left over. It has antiseptic properties, which help to improve the function of your mucous membrane. This tends to come into effect when you have colds and flu. It’s your body’s way of trying to get rid of the infection. It may also help to reduce perspiration.

Red Peppers  

Red peppers have a high level of vitamins C, as well as good antioxidant properties, which help to prevent certain degenerative diseases such as eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration.

Garlic  

The great thing about garlic is it has many antibacterial properties, which help to stimulate the production of white blood cells within your immune system and acts against a varied amount of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It also has an oil, which is volatile, which is excreted through your lungs.

Which is really helpful for respiratory problems such as bronchitis and whooping cough. Garlic also works in your blood, which helps to reduce body fat, as well as cholesterol and over a certain period of time will help to lower your blood pressure.

Spinach  

Spinach is a welcome addition to any salad that you may make its leaves are high in something called folate, which is important for healthy foetal development, which makes it an essential food for women who are pregnant, both before and during their pregnancy.

Spinach is high in the following vitamins A, C and K, which help to protect the skin and stimulate your immune system. It contains carotenoids,  which are powerful antioxidants, which will help protect you against cancer of the following lungs, breast and cervix. They also help with the eyes and liver function.

Oranges/Satsumas

Due to the high amount of vitamin C in oranges. They help to prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. They also can be beneficial to aid in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

Sources and references: This has been extracted from the book, Eat to Boost Your Immunity and was printed in the Daily Express newspaper onTuesday, 27 December 2011.

 

Avoid Empty Calories and Fast Food for Healthy Habits in the New Year

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Another winter season means another struggle to keep trim. It’s the never-ending question: how do I stay fit during the holidays and into the New Year?

The answer: develop healthy habits.

You can take as much advice from friends and read all the tips in magazines about how to lose weight. However, the best way to stay healthy, and not only over the holidays is to develop healthy habits.

The bad news: it’s hard. You can’t sugar coat the process of converting to a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard work to develop healthy habits. And there are no shortcuts you can take.

TED talk earlier this year.

For a healthier lifestyle, try something new for 30 days. See if it sticks. However, be vigilant: commit to making the change for one month. If you can do it, you’ve got a new healthy habit.

So what’s the payoff? In the end, the benefits you get from a healthy lifestyle are addicting. You’ll love the way you feel when you’re living healthy. You won’t want to go back to being unhealthy. You’ll be happier, healthier and it will be easy to stay that way, once you’ve developed those healthy habits.

Take the plunge into a healthy lifestyle in 2012: here’s how you can do it.

Alternatives to Empty Calories

So you’re in the habit of ordering a Starbucks White Chocolate Frappuccino with whipped cream. Instead, in 2012, try drinking tea at work for 30 days. Whether it’s hot or cold, you’re still getting the caffeine and a tasty drink. Plus, it will save your waistline and your wallet. If the habit sticks, then you’ve won. However, remember: it won’t be easy. The temptation of Starbucks will lure you in. Resist it by remembering your goal: develop good habits for a healthy lifestyle.

Alternatives to Fast Food

That fast food addiction should be the first thing to go in 2012. Though a Burger King Triple Whopper might taste great going down, your waistline is hurting from it. Kick the habit by bringing your own lunch from home for 30 days: see if your new habit sticks. If after 30 days, you’re still craving, find the best fast food nutrition  by comparing menu items side-by-side. There are healthy alternatives atfast-food restaurants,  and the key to a new lifestyle in 2012 is developing the healthyhabits. .

You can start developing healthy habits any time you want. Just commit to 30 days and see if it sticks.

Brandon Coakley is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara, and a business development manager at FindTheBest Health, which helps users find their best health options on everything from the Best Nursing Homes to Mammography Facilities.  

5 Vitamins That Do it All

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Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has jumped on the multi-vitamin train, but do the all-in-one-pills really give you everything you need? What about joint pain? Back pain? Is there some vitamin or mineral that is absent from your diet that could help with that?

From my experience, multi-vitamins are a good start, but they aren’t the entirety of the vitamin world. Here are five vitamins and minerals that do more than you thought they could.

1. Vitamin C for the immune system – It’s so simple that you might just miss it. Vitamin C is a miracle vitamin. You can’t overdose on it, and it cooperates with your body to fight off infection. What about pain? If you’ve ever had the flu, you know how illness can make your body hurt everywhere. Sometimes you don’t even recognize when you have an infection. Take vitamin C and fight it off before it spreads out of control

2. Dolomite for back pain – A type of calcium, this supplement is a natural source of magnesium also. The odd and delightful thing about Dolomite is that it helps back pain. Now, I’ve slipped a disk or two in my time, and I know what it’s like to experience real back pain. I experimented with all the pain meds and anti-inflammatories, but they did virtually nothing for me. Then I started taking Dolomite. A couple pills a day, and a month later the pain was gone just gone.

3. Dolomite for nerve pain – I know I’ve already spoken to you about Dolomite for back pain, but it works miracles for nerve pain also. Have you ever irritated your sciatic nerve? You know; the big one that goes down from your back into your leg? If you have, you have experienced nerve pain. Dolomite releases that pain. It works wonderfully for pinched nerves in your neck and shoulders also.

4. Chondroitin and glucosamine for joint pain – There are many variations of joint supplements, but these two ingredients are what to look for. They cooperate with your body to permit joints to move freely, without pain. Perfect for people with arthritis; the quantities may vary depending on the manufacturer, so follow the directions on the bottle.

5. Cranberry juice for kidney, liver, and bladder pain – I know; cranberry juice is not a vitamin or supplement. However, it does work. Get the whole fruit variety, and check the back to make sure it is not predominantly grape juice. Drink a few glasses a day and your pain will diminish. Urinary tract infections are very common, and agonizing, but regular cranberry juice cleanses will help to thwart them.

Vitamins are not panaceas. They can’t remedy everything. However, handling the underlying source of your pain is the first step to getting rid of it forever.  Try some of these supplements today, and give them a little time to work. You might be amazed by the results.

Nancy Parker was a professional nanny and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny background check tips etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015@gmail.com

 

Fourteen Spices and Their Health Benefits

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Sometimes our daily newspaper can be useful for information regarding health and a couple of weeks ago they printed an article about the health benefits of certain spices being as it was very informative I decided to write it up into a post, mainly because a lot of people may not know the health benefits of some herbs.

1. Allspice, this herb has a pungent sweet taste about it with a bit of a peppery kick. Apparently, in Japan, researchers found that these berries contain something like 25 active components called phenols all of these help in the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic health problem.

In some recent studies, which were conducted in Costa Rica. They found that this particular spice helps to lower blood pressure. The reason behind the thinking is it helps to relax your central nervous system, which helps blood flow in your arteries.

2. Thyme, they are a 100 varieties of thyme and they share all one thing in common. They contain an oil called thymol. This is one of nature’s own antiseptics and helps to kill germs when you apply it in or around your mouth. It is the main ingredient within the branded mouthwash Listerine

3. Some researchers in Switzerland tested thyme on people with people who had coughs as well as bronchitis and other colds and found that this particular herb was good at clearing up costs, except in 90% of cases

4. Sage, this herb packs one hell of a punch and should be included in your spice rack. It can help to enhance your mood, concentration and memory. Some British psychologists did experiments with 24 people, which revolved around some memory tests. These were repeated several times a day on three separate days.

When the participants had a sage supplement, they could  recall more information better than if they had taken not taken it. They also said to be feeling calmer, and content six hours after taking it.

5. Aniseed, this is used by Mediterranean people quite frequently in after dinner digestifs it is supposed to be very good for helping with digestion studies have found it contains certain compounds that have a calming effect on your digestive system. It works on the muscles of your digestive tract.

A study, done in Saudi Arabia found, aniseed stopped ulcers by preventing the acid that can irritate your stomach lining.

6. Cinnamon, if you are diabetic. Cinnamon is great news for you, but that doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t take it. If you aren’t diabetic in an American study, 109 people who had type II diabetes were split into two consecutive groups.

One of them had cinnamon once-a-day and other group just had a placebo. After three months, the researchers checked their data. The participants in the cinnamon group had lower blood sugar. Swedish researchers found that if you sprinkle cinnamon on your food. This will reduce your blood sugar levels after eating and reduce  sugar spikes.

If you want a bit of a brain boost, then chew some cinnamon gum, a professor at Ohio university found that when students either smelled or tasted it, they got higher marks on mental agility tests.

7. Horseradish,  broccoli is well-known for its cancer fighting properties. However, if you overcook it. The benefits can be lost If you, then add some horseradish. The benefits come back. Some scientists in Illinois University found by spicing up some broccoli, it increased absorption in the upper part of your digestive system, which gives it a boost.

Horseradish has certain compounds in which produce cancer protecting substances, so there are benefits to be had when you add some to a meal.

Ginger, a medical journal in the US, called headache found that, during a study, which involved 60 people whom were migraine sufferers which were treated with ginger, and something called feverfew it was found after taking it two hours later a third of the participants said they were pain-free. It’s been found that Ginger is good for preventing nausea in instances of travel sickness and morning sickness.

8. Juniper Berry, if you’re ever wondering where gin gets its taste from look no further, because it’s from this particular spice, its compounds are good for helping your kidneys to produce fluid that help to kill bacteria, which makes it ideal for preventing bladder and urinary tract infections.

Juniper Berry is good for your kidneys. Researchers at the University in California found that it helps kidney transplant patients with kidney rejection problems.

9. Cumin, if you’re one of those people who enjoys eating curry like me, then if you’re eating the right type of curry, this should be one of the ingredients in it. Researchers in India took some animals, which had type II diabetes, either cumin or an anti-diabetes drug worked more or less the same when it came to reducing levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are heart damaging blood fats.

The animals were also found to have a high level of reduction in blood sugar. Another study in India involving cumin found when diabetic rats were given it. It delayed them getting cataracts, which can be down to high blood sugar levels. Another health benefit of cumin is it has high levels of vitamins C and A which makes it a very powerful antioxidant spice.

10. Coriander, this is another spice that can be found in curries, depending on how they are made. Researchers in Portugal at the University found certain substances within coriander, have bacteria killing properties. G to patients in small amounts, it could help to treat E. coli and MRSA.

11. Basil, are you one of those people whom get stressed out regularly? Then why not try some basil. Some researchers in India found that this particular herb helps to normalise the amount of cortisol you have in your body and lowered blood sugar, which tends to be higher when you are under stress. Basil can help with protecting your heart and helps to lower cholesterol.

12. Clove, if you bite some clove. This will give you a slight numbing in your mouth very similar to an anaesthetic in the Journal of dentistry. They say that it has a similar effect as the drug, called benzocaine when numbing your mouth if you put some near a problem tooth.

It will dilate blood vessels, which will bring the blood to the surface and help soothe the pain. This particular herb has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial ones, which can help prevent gum disease, as well as cold sores.

13. Chilli, when you eat chillies, a compound is released called capsaicin, which will numb aches and pains that you may have it also releases a hormone that soothes inflammation

14. Fennel seed fennel is a vegetable, herb and spice, which tastes like liquorice. This herb is particularly useful for women who may have menstrual cramps. It is also beneficial to young children who may have colic.

This is extracted from a book called healing spices by Bharat, B Aggarwal.

Sources and references: www.dailyexpress.co.uk

 

Time for Pre-Christmas Trimmings With The Dukan Diet

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This is a guest post by Sara of Dukan Diet Meals

If you’re thinking that November is probably a bad time to start a diet, then think again. With just over a month to go until the Christmas holidays officially begin, now is a great time to slim down:

not only your body will have time to get used to eating less so that you won’t feel like over-indulging during the festive season but, thanks to the great results you will achieve, you will also feel more motivated to kick-start the weight loss again in January with a renewed commitment to shed extra pounds. On top of that, because you will have a limited amount of time and a deadline, sticking to the plan will be much easier from a psychological point of view.

The Dukan Diet for a Slimmer Christmas

Made famous by Jennifer Lopez, Giselle and Kate Middleton, the French Dukan Diet is the easy-to-follow and effective diet which could help you slim down before Christmas.

So why is it so effective? Well, one of the main reasons is that it does not require calorie counting and therefore eliminates a lot of the stress linked to having to carefully weight and record what you’re eating. There is a list of 100 core foods and you can pick and choose from and eat as much as you like.

The plan is very much a high-protein diet, however, unlike the famous Atkins Diet, it only focuses on low-fat proteins and introduces oat bran into the daily routine therefore making it much healthier in the long term.

Attack the Body Fat and Cruise to a Healthier You

If you decide to give the Dukan Diet a try, you will begin with the Attack Phase. This phase, which lasts between 2 and 10 days depending on how much weight you wish to lose, allows low-fat protein only in unlimited quantities: anything from poultry, lean meats, low fat dairy, to eggs and any type of fish is there for you to enjoy. Following the Attack, you will then switch to the Cruise Phase where you will alternate protein-only days with protein and veg days until you reach your desired weight.

To top it all off, include oat bran into your daily routine and drink plenty of water. Isn’t this the easiest diet you’ve ever heard of?

Step up your Fitness Regime

When it comes to exercise, the only thing Dr Dukan prescribes is a 30 minute walk. It’s easy to see here how, by just turning up your fitness regime a notch, you will be able to achieve even greater results. Combine the Dukan plan with a detailed fitness routine and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy if you’re not already used to exercising much during the week. Make a commitment to yourself and, for example, decide you will go swimming three times a week no matter what or you will go for a long walk everyday during your lunch break. Again, because you have a precise deadline, honouring this commitment should not come difficult.

Don’t Stop Having Fun

Although a month is not a long time, I cannot stress enough how important not avoiding social events for the sake of dieting can be. Because the Dukan Diet is so flexible, there is absolutely no reason why you should stop enjoying meals out with friends and family and ultimately have fun. By personal experience, I can tell you that the pounds will come off rapidly anyway and you won’t feel like being on a diet at all. With the run up to Christmas being a particular stressful period of the year, what better way to diet than eating as much as you like?

Guest post by Sara, foodie, serial dieter and editor of Dukan Diet Meals, a website offering advice and a collection of Dukan Diet recipes to anyone following the French diet plan.

 

 

How To Eat Yourself To Wellness

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Some of our forefathers were very intelligent people. One of them said let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food. This was quoted by Hippocrates years ago and still stands as a true statement even now.

So what foods can we eat, in order to be used as medicine? As the title suggests, to wellness.

Well, our daily newspaper comes to the rescue yet again, as they printed an article. Only last week with a list of ailments, and the foods to eat for them. And it was so good yet again I decided to make a post out of it.

Foods to eat for wellness

Anxiety

In everyday modern life, we all tend to suffer from stress at times in the most part it is quite unavoidable unfortunately. And if it gets to a point where you feel that you cannot cope. Then, it may be a good idea to seek professional help and get advice from your G.P or health care professional.

The type of foods that you need to eat, if you have this you need to be eating foods that have a low glycaemic load.  So you need to aim for things like, wholemeal bread and pasta, beans, pulses and different types of fruit and vegetables. The whole reason for eating these types of food is they will keep your blood sugar stable, which will stop you having mood swings.

If you want to prevent mood swings from happening. Then you need to watch how much sugar that you eat within your diet, because these are the sort of things that will make your blood sugar go all over the place.

Bad breath

If you have bacteria on your teeth, gums and tongue, then you could have bad breath. Another reason is you could have some kind of underlying problem within your digestive system, which could be gastroenteritis or being constipated.

Twitchy Legs

If you have legs, which tend to be twitchy or feel prickly and could feel uncomfortable. When you’re resting, then you could be suffering from restless legs syndrome, what causes this is unknown. However, apparently there are supposed to be links to levels of dopamine in your brain. There is medication that you can get, however, making simple lifestyle changes could be sufficient as well.

Eyesight

Our eyesight tends to get worse as we age, so it is quite normal for us to need to wear glasses around the age of 50. The foods you need to eat to help with this such as, cataract prevention are plenty of fish, pumpkin, blueberries, spinach, you will need to decrease your amount of fat that you take in especially the saturated types, as well as biscuit cakes, red meat, and full-fat dairy.

Varicose veins

Within your veins, you have small valves. When they stop working, you can get collections of blood, which will make them swell up various treatments are available for this problem, which are surgery and something called compression stockings.

The foods you need to prevent this from happening, are high in fibre like wholemeal bread, dried fruit. Eating these types of food will reduce constipation and relieve the pressure on your veins.

To stop this happening in the future avoid the following, white rice and white flour avoid foods that are low in fibre such as ready meals. Foods that are low in fibre do not encourage, regular bowel movements.

Depression

Throughout life, we have all difficulties, such as the loss of a family member losing your job, relationship break-ups. When you have chronic depression, you will have a lack of energy and may suffer with insomnia (lack of sleep). In order to prevent this get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet.

You will need to eat the following foods in order to prevent depression. Ones that have plenty of Omega three fatty acids in this means eating two to three portions of oily fish per week.

Furthermore, add to this any nuts that are high in omega three oils as well as avocados, seeds, folate, vitamin B12, magnesium. A lack of these will cause depression. In addition, make sure you get plenty of whole grains, dairy products, dried apricots, dark chocolate, and eggs.

Oral problems.

If your gums are bleeding, this could be a sign of something called gingivitis, which if you don’t have it treated it may turn into periodontal disease. If you are concerned about your oral health, deficiency in vitamin C will cause oral problems. You need to make sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Which are tomatoes, spinach, and carrots, red peppers, oranges and berries. Make sure you avoid sugary foods, as these tend to make plaque form on your teeth, which will affect your gums.

Cholesterol

We all need cholesterol, to a certain extent. However, there is a limit to how much we need. It is vital for hormone’s and nerve endings , if you have too much cholesterol, it will contribute to plaque within your arteries, which will make them narrower and blood flow won’t be as efficient. Eating the right foods, and getting plenty of exercise are key here. You need to be eating yogurts that have something called plant stanois.

Make sure you eat plenty of nuts, especially almonds as these can help to lower cholesterol levels, and fibre, which are in oats, bey beans and other foods, which can help to remove cholesterol from your body. The foods you need to avoid are meats that have a lot of fat in as well as butter, lard and ghee, which are used for making curries.

Insomnia

If you have some stress in your life, and anxiety and drink lots of coffee as well as alcohol. This may be. The reason for your sleepless nights try and establish a regular bedtime and stop watching TV.

And using iPads and mobile phones with high brightness displays as these interfere with the production of melatonin. Try not to sleep during the day, if you sleep for more than a couple of hours. You’re less likely to feel tired when you go to bed at night.

Have a high-carbohydrate snack before you go to bed. This will stimulate the release of insulin, which will help create amino acids. And as a result, produce more melatonin have something like some oatcakes or a small bowl of porridge four/oatmeal.

Anaemia

The bone marrow within our bodies, makes red blood cells, which carries oxygen around our bodies. When this doesn’t happen, we become lethargic and tired, you may also have fluttering of the heart. The foods that you need to eat, in order to combat this are red meat because of its high iron content.

Pay particular attention to, liver and kidneys and fruit wise dried apricots, eat the following vegetable’s ones that are dark green and eat folate which you will find in nuts and green vegetables.

Psoriasis

This is a skin condition that people suffer from, which is an offshoot of your immune system. What happens is your skin cells are replaced far more quickly than normal, which results in plaques of dry skin, which form on the surface as dry flaky skin.

You can get treatments such as ultraviolet treatment, and different creams, which can be steroid-based the foods you need to help psoriasis are ones, which are high in omega three oils such as olive oil, rape seed oil and different spreads.

Use herbs, turmeric, ginger, basil and rosemary these may help. You need to avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and sugars, because these contain something called Arachidonic acid, which is one of the things that can cause inflammation. Furthermore, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum as this can aggravate the problem.

Blood pressure.

In a lot of cases, there is no apparent reason for people having high blood pressure, but if you do have it, then you may be far more at risk for having a heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. If you eat the right foods, and get plenty of good exercise. This will help you to keep your blood pressure under control.

You need to eat, the following ginger, garlic, oily fish, foods that have vitamin D in, others you can eat are soya, garlic and ginger in a powdered form if you prefer. Things you need to avoid are salt, so if you eat a lot of ready meals. Make you check the amount of salt that they have in because they can tend to be high in salt.

If you have tinned soups checked the amount of salt in those, and if you eat grapefruit,  it  can interfere with certain drugs that are prescribed for blood pressure.

This has been extracted from the food hospital by Dr Geo Miletto, which is a TV series now on Channel 4, which started onthe first of November 2011. This was printed in the Daily Express Newspaper, dated Tuesday, October 25, 2011. If you have any thought’s opinions about this, then please leave your comments in the relevant section below.

Eating Plenty of Vegetables Can Give Your Skin a Healthy Glow

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57925008_7e7ef4dda4_mWouldn’t it be great if there was a better way to get a healthy looking glow without having to lie on a sun bed or in the sun for hours at a time. Well perhaps there is a way so read on.

This study was done at Nottingham University , which found that if you eat a diet which is high in fresh fruit and vegetables it gives your skin a healthy glow.

Dr Ian Stephen, who headed the research, had this to say.

“Most people think the best way to improve skin colour is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective”.

Dr Stephen found that the participants whom he monitored and ate a lot fresh produce their skin had a healthy glow about it similar to a suntan. The reason for this is a substance called carotenoids.

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