How to Replace Empty Calories with Healthier Substitutes

junk food vs fruits and vegetables swapping empty calories

        When you decide to go on a diet, you might have to stop eating some of your favorite foods. However, avoiding certain types of foods does not mean you should skip meals or force yourself to get too hungry because, by putting your body in starvation mode, you can actually make it more difficult to stick to your diet plan. While you might want to watch the quantity of food on your plate, it is more important to replace unhealthy food choices with healthier substitutes.

Replace unhealthy salad ingredients with choices that are lower in calories.

        Salads are definitely good for you because you need those fruits and vegetables. If you absolutely refuse to eat salad without adding dressing, then drizzling on some dressing will not destroy your diet plan. However, it is still better if you can avoid salad dressings, especially creamier dressings because have a significant amount of fat and salt. Flavoring your lettuce and spinach may be healthier than avoiding lettuce and spinach altogether, but store bought salad dressings tend to have processed ingredients that cause you to gain weight and slow down your workout routine.

        Therefore, use fewer amounts of dressing than you are used to and stick to dressings that are lower in calories. You can also use homemade salad dressing. Some combination of olive oil, vinegar, or lemon juice can be a healthier alternative to salad dressings. Make sure your olive oil is extra-virgin because, otherwise, it will contain some processed olives. Additionally, your salad should not have croutons because croutons have a lot of carbohydrates and calories. They are also often cooked in butter, which means they contain unnecessary fats. Instead of croutons, you can use other crunchy toppings. For example, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, and roasted chickpeas are all healthier substitutes. Just make sure the nuts are not glazed and kettle cooked with sugar.

Replace certain meats and toppings with unprocessed protein sources.

healthy protein sources are good along with Progentra        Protein is probably going to be an important component to your diet because it can speed up your metabolism and it fills you up so that you are not hungry later. You can get your protein from fish, tofu, beans, milk, cheese, and nuts. However, the most common source of protein is meat. Many types of beefs and poultry are perfectly healthy sources of protein, but you need to be careful about how certain meats are served. For example, plenty of burgers can good for you, but those buns that usually come with refined flour and empty calories. Ketchup also contains a lot of sugar, so you want to avoid putting that on your burger.

        Additionally, you should stay far away from processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, cold cuts, corned beef, sausages, beef jerky, and ham because they are high in salt and fat. If you eat too many of these processed meats, you increase your risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure. Furthermore, when processed meat is fried or grilled, it usually contains high levels of carcinogens that have been linked to cancers in your digestive tract. Smoked meat also has certain carcinogens that have been linked to lung cancer. Chicken, veal, lamb, and roast beef are going to be good choices if you want to get your protein from meat.

Replace your snacks with fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

        Neither gluten free junk food nor granola bars are healthy, even if they might be good at pretending to be good for you. The reality is that eating anything gluten free probably will not be particularly beneficial to your diet unless you have certain gluten sensitivities. Gluten free snacks tend to have lots of sugars to make sure that the food is still tasty without any of the usual grains, so do not allow gluten free fad diets to fool you into thinking that gluten free junk food is better for you than other types of snacks.

        Additionally, you should avoid chips, crackers, and other salty and fatty snacks. While tortilla chips are slightly less harmful than potato chips, tortilla chips still contain oil and empty carbohydrates, so you probably want to avoid them as well. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts choosing fruits as snack over junk food with empty caloriesare going to be your best choice in snacks. You can also eat low sodium guacamole or peanut butter to make things more interesting. You can even put cacao in your peanut butter because it does not contain any of the sugar normally present in chocolate, but it does contain crucial antioxidants and other nutrients that can fight off many diseases.

Replace decaffeinated sugary coffee with caffeinated black coffee.

        The literature on whether coffee is healthy or harmful is extremely controversial. Some studies demonstrate that coffee can kill you and cause you to develop many chronic diseases, while other studies suggest that coffee can actually prevent certain medical concerns. The most recent scientific studies that control for the most variables seem to suggest that, when taken in moderation, caffeine is beneficial to your health because it provides you with many important nutrients and it helps you focus. It also gives your metabolism a boost, but the effects seem to wear off after a while.

        As a result of these studies, many caffeine powder supplements have popped up in local pharmacies, but most healthcare providers would not recommend trying to ingest caffeine powder because the studies on caffeine are still largely inconclusive. Additionally, the doses in these supplements are often much higher than necessary. If you are a coffee drinker, then your daily dose of caffeine is probably good for you as long as it is not too decaffeinated, but there is no reason to go out of your way to drink an extra cup or to buy caffeine powder supplements. Additionally, if you are adding too much milk, sugar, and creamer to your coffee, then the coffee is probably doing more harm than good. Blacker coffee is going to provide you with benefits, but anything else will only provide you with extra calories.

 

        If you want to start living a healthier lifestyle, then you are going to have to make changes to your diet. You will want have to replace empty calories with key nutrients from unprocessed foods. You can always talk to a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about which diet choices are going to work best for you.

Foods You Should Eat To Prevent Brain Shrinkage

small brain model between man's index finger and thumb

A healthy diet can help prevent brain shrinkage. In a recent study wherein scientists investigated the relationship between diet quality and brain volume, the results showed that those who maintain a healthy diet had larger volumes of gray and white matter. Moreover, the volume of the hippocampus and overall brain structure were also larger in those who had high diet quality scores.

The authors indicated that what you eat influences the effects of neurodegeneration through the brain’s structure. When you eat healthy foods, your brain cells are protected, thus you get to maintain your brain volume and ward off brain shrinkage. Check out what foods you should eat to prevent your brain from shrinking.

 

Foods Rich In Omega-3

You can get all sorts of nutritious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from vegetables. And for better brain health and larger brain volume, you’ll need to increase your intake of green leafy vegetables like watercress, spinach, and kale.

These vegetables contain high concentrations of antioxidants that help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress damage to the brain. When you eat foods that contain high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA, you help protect your brain from inflammation.

Vegetables and other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids basically help prevent the death of your brain cells. This, then, helps you maintain your brain volume.

doctor holding brain model and omega 3 capsule supplementOmega-3 fatty acids also help improve the efficiency of neurotransmitters in the brain. When your brain cells are smoothly communicating with each other, you won’t have any problems with memory or cognitive functioning.

However, when your brain cells are not able to communicate or signal each other because your brain lacks the right balance of neurotransmitters, it can lead to memory and executive function impairment.

You can also get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. If you like snacking on walnuts, they’re also great sources of omega-3, just like chia seeds and flaxseeds. Eggs, soybeans, and enriched dairy products are also some of the most common dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Foods Rich In Antioxidants

Antioxidants help ward off age-related brain degeneration by preventing free radicals from damaging the brain cells. There are many types of antioxidants but when it comes to brain health, flavonoids top the list.

Flavonoids help protect brain cells from neurotoxins. Aside from suppressing neuroinflammation, flavonoids also help improve learning and memory as well as overall cognitive function. These potent antioxidants also help increase blood flow to the brain in a way that helps promote the growth of new hippocampal nerve cells and the formation of new blood vessels in the brain.

When it comes to flavonoid content, most fruits and vegetables have high concentrations of flavonoids. As long as you’re regularly eating these healthy foods, you can be sure that you’ll get a lot of flavonoids from your diet.

If you’re planning to really increase your flavonoid intake, try eating more colorful fruits. Berries such as blueberries, apples, citrus fruits, and tropical fruits like mangoes and papayas are also excellent sources of flavonoids.

When it comes to veggies, cruciferous vegetables and other leafy greens are some of the best sources of flavonoids. Broccoli, lettuce, kale, and other dark green veggies contain a lot of flavonoids and other antioxidants.

If you’re not sure which fruit or veggie you should include in your diet, just go for the more colorful ones as these are the ones that contain high concentrations of antioxidants like flavonoids. Aside from fruits and veggies, tea, cocoa, and wine are also good sources of flavonoids.

 

Foods Rich In Vitamin E

Vitamin E also works as an antioxidant that helps protect the brain from degenerating. In fact, vitamin E can help prevent the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Tocotrienol, one type of vitamin E, also helps prevent the formation of white matter lesions in the brain.

When you have these lesions, you’re more likely to have a stroke or develop Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, tocotrienol helps lower your risks of these diseases by protecting the brain from lesion formation.

vitamin E rich food sources for the brainNeurodegenerative diseases often cause brain atrophy which leads to the death of brain cells and the shrinking of the brain. By protecting against neurodegenerative diseases, vitamin E helps prevent brain shrinkage.

Cognitive performance is usually better in people who have high levels of plasma vitamin E. This is because vitamin E is not just an antioxidant, it provides other benefits to the brain on top of its antioxidant functions.

For instance, alpha-tocopherol, another type of vitamin E, is associated with better neuron signaling. Vitamin E also plays a crucial role in membrane fluidity in the brain as well as in the regulation of genes. As part of its gene regulation function, vitamin E hinders the expression of genes that are associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s.

If you’re planning to increase your vitamin E intake, one delicious way to do it is to snack on nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pecans. For people who are not fond of nuts, leafy greens are great natural sources of vitamin E. Vegetables that contain high concentrations of vitamin E include dandelion greens, turnip greens, and spinach.

If you prefer eating seafood over vegetables, you can include Atlantic salmon in your diet and that will help take care of your vitamin E and omega-3 requirements. Abalone, cod, octopus, and fish roe are also excellent sources of vitamin E.

If you’d rather get your vitamin E from fruits, then avocado is your best bet. Other fruits that also have high concentrations of vitamin E include mangoes, kiwifruit, blackberries, olives, apricots, and raspberries.

 

What You Need To Avoid

There are various foods and drinks that can cause your brain cells to die and your brain to shrink. Alcohol consumption, for instance, is associated with brain shrinkage.

Alcoholism can cause almost all parts of the brain to shrink although the areas most affected are the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus. Aside from alcohol, red meat and sweetened beverages are also linked to smaller brain volume.

Foods That are Surprisingly Good for You

red wine and cheese platter

        To the average man, nutrition can almost seem like a dirty word. Now, the average man isn’t exactly the most reputable of opinions these days, but that is a mostly valid opinion. Nutritionists certainly aren’t helping, as they peddle “easy” health plans that include but are not limited to: throwing out most if not all of your food, limiting the number of foods you can consume to single digits, and denying yourself any sensation of taste, pleasure, or enjoyment when it comes to food, ever again.

        Attractive offer, isn’t it? But let’s say, hypothetically, that spending the rest of your life eating kale and drinking water just because some gel haired fraternity reject said so isn’t your ideal way of living. You needn’t worry, you can still eat healthy, and chances are, you’ve got all you need in your pantry. If you’re a man in your mid to late 20’s, looking for a way to keep healthy, here are some common foods that are shockingly healthier than you may have been led to believe.

Potatoes

         No, that does not mean that you can gorge yourself on French fries. In fact, many forms of potatoes really aren’t healthy, despite being delicious. However, cooked the right way, they’re an excellent source of potassium. So how do you eat them for the maximum effect? In the wise words of Tolkien: boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew!

Popcorn

         What we often forget about popcorn when we think about healthy food is that, well, it’s corn. And therefor it contains a whopping 3.5g of fiber, which is a great dosage. And as long as you don’t go crazy on the butter, you can still enjoy buttered popcorn during family movie night. However, too much popcorn actually can be unhealthy, but pretty much all of the major popcorn companies sell versions of their bags that are half the usual size, so you can just use those.bowl of popcorn

Cheese

       Cheese is spoiled milk laced with stomach enzymes and curdled until it solidifies into a material that most people wouldn’t touch with a 10-yard pole. This sounds like the least healthy thing on the face of the planet, but under the right circumstances, it’s one of the healthiest things we consume every day. The right circumstances are, of course, organically created and grass fed. Under these conditions, cheese offers you a huge spike in vitamins and omega – 3 fats, as well as a myriad other nutrients that help your body.

Red wine

         While most commercially available alcohol is in fact bad for you, red wine is another matter. Having a regular glass or two of red wine will actually help to guard your heart from various heart diseases. This is due to the anti-oxidants that populate red wine, giving it its deep red color and tangy taste. One last thing, it’s understandable if you want to abstain from alcohol altogether (your reasons are your own) but science has conclusively proven that a total lack of alcohol in your system can actually shorten your lifespan long-term.

Oysters

        For the seafood lover, you can’t go wrong with a hearty amount of oysters in your diet. Oysters contain and downright ridiculous amount of zinc and vitamin D. Now this may seem disgusting, and if you’re not a fan of seafood, this dish is not going to change your mind. However, if you love the ocean’s beautiful little critters so much that you could just eat them up, this is an excellent and healthy addition to your diet.

Chicken wings

buffalo chicken wings        Some of you may have your eyebrows set firmly to “raise with suspicion” and it’s not hard to see why. Between the breading, drenching with sauces, and a million other alterations, we as a society seem determined to make an otherwise healthy dish as unhealthy as humanely possible. But rest assured that chicken wings aren’t just healthy, they’re really healthy. Chicken in general is a good source of protein, but the wings are where the majority of it lies. So next family cookout, take the skin off of those chicken wings, throw them on the grill, and enjoy.

Dark chocolate

         Ah, dark chocolate, the black sheep (pun utterly intended) of the world of sweets. When you were a little boy, you probably dreaded 3 things on Halloween night: smarties, circus peanuts, and dark chocolate. However, you may want to rethink that stance. While overdoing it with dark chocolate has the same general result as overdoing it with any sweet (or any food for that matter, which is why any diet must have a widely varied pallet) dark chocolate has been recorded to have some antioxidizing effects. But while that hasn’t been conclusively proven, what has is its ability to lower your blood pressure, improve your vascular functions, and make you feel all fancy when you want to eat chocolate but not feel like a glutton.

Chili

         The trick to a healthy chili meal is very simple: take normal chili, and just shift the balance of meat and beans to more favor beans. Now, not only are you still having warm, spicy, delicious chili, but now you’re getting a healthy dose of fiber. Just be sure you don’t put it on a hot dog, as that may negate the benefit.

Guinness Beer

        If you’re a man, chances are you’ve been goaded into at least trying a beer before. Whether or not you liked it is another matter, of course, but it is a very male-coded beverage in general, isn’t it? Shame then that it’s so unhealthy for anyone trying to eat and drink right. However, if you still want a good, strong beer every now and then, Guinness beer only has around 125 calories, about on par with the light, watery stuff. So when it’s time to party, pour yourself some liquid luck of the Irish, and enjoy.

        These commonly consumed, easy to make/procure foods we have every day are much healthier for us than some nutritionists let on. As long as you pace yourself correctly, and prepare them just right, you can eat healthy, without sacrificing good food along the way.

What Happens to Your Body When You Rarely Eat Fruits and Vegetables

variety of fruits and vegetables
For many people, eating fruits and veggies isn’t their favorite part of the meal. Fruits are delicious but others would say that there’s nothing like the succulent cupcake. As for the vegetables, eating them can feel like a chore for those who prefer eating meat.

That’s unfortunate since you’ll definitely miss out on a variety of nutrients that fruits and vegetables are widely known for. Due to people’s eating habits that are typically based on convenience rather than their quality, hence, the rise of fast food; it’s no wonder poor health and vulnerability to diseases are nothing new.

Here are 8 things that can happen to the body when you constantly ignore fruits and veggies:

1. You could have vitamins and minerals deficiency

Most of the essential nutrients that exist come from fruits and vegetables. The dismal thing is studies show that most people don’t consume three servings of veggies and two servings of fruit each day, which is the recommended amount to get all the nutrients that your body needs.

basket full of fresh fruit and vegetableThis results in nutrient deficiency, apparently. One of the diseases brought about by not eating enough fruits and veggies is scurvy. Though it’s rare these days, anyone can still get scurvy when consumption of vitamin C is lacking. Symptoms of the illness include bleeding gums and shattered capillaries.

There are also other deficiencies and their effects are just as bad. For instance, lack of folate can result in anemia and GI tract decline, insufficient vitamin B6 can cause depression and mental fog, and inadequate vitamin can trigger night blindness. The list goes one.

The bottom line is that your body suffers when you don’t get enough vitamins and minerals and these nutrients are prolifically provided by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Sure, you can still get essential nutrients from other foods but vegetables and fruits have high concentrations of them.

2. You could have digestive issues

Without incorporating veggies and fruits into your diet, your likelihood of suffering gut-related problems such as constipation rises. This is because fruits and veggies have cellulose that heightens stool weight, alleviates means of access, and decreases passage time.

Plus, they have fiber that helps to avoid constipation and rouses the GI track muscles so that they’re consistently strong. Fiber also helps decrease pressure on the lower bowel, which lowers the likelihood of rectal veins to be inflamed.

3. Your risk of cancer heightens

When it comes to protecting your body from cancer, there’s nothing more potent and helpful than the nutrients you get from fruits and vegetables. For one, they contain antioxidants such as vitamins E, and C, as well as carotenoids, which are powerful enough to shield healthy cells from free radicals.

fit man eating fresh salad

Fighting off free radicals only means you have decreased cancer risks. Besides, high intake of fat has been associated with cancer. So, replacing your fat consumption with something healthier like fruits and vegetables will definitely help to significantly cut your risk.

4. You could put on weight

If you’re not into fruits and veggies, you’re more likely to stuff your body with something fatty and high in calories. Several studies demonstrate that overweight and obese people don’t eat much fruits and veggies and that this led to their significant weight gain. On the other hand, those who try to lose weight incorporate more fruits and veggies because they have low calories.

It’s not surprising since most people prefer eating burgers and fries and other fattening foods rather than having some apples or berries to fill them up. It is only natural that calorie-laden foods can make you gain weight fast. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are filling options that are actually low in calories and energy density.

5. Your risk of diabetes also increases

Since weight gain leads to diabetes, your occasional consumption of fruits and veggies could also increase the risk of the said disease. Basically, being overweight is the most crucial risk variable for type 2 diabetes and research has demonstrated that a boosted ingestion of these nutritious foods could in some way lower the occurrence of the disease. If you already suffer from diabetes, not getting the nutrients that fruits and veggies offer can aggravate it even more.

6. Your blood pressure may augment

If you’re more into foods that are loaded with sodium rather than fruits and veggies, a high blood pressure is likely. In studies, it’s been shown that a diet packed with fruits and veggies decreased cases of hypertension. Plus, the more intakes of potassium, calcium, and magnesium you have, the lower the sodium the body has as well.

7. The threat of heart disease also increases

Blood pressure is connected to risks of heart disease and stroke. So, if eating fruits and veggies reduces blood pressure, it also lowers the possibility of heart-related afflictions. Besides, fruits and vegetables don’t contain cholesterol so that’s definitely a huge plus.

8. Depression becomes a possibility

In the present, the link between people’s diet and their mental health are strengthened by some studies that attempt to substantiate that there’s a solid correlation. It is said that not getting enough pantothenic acid and vitamin B6, which you can get from high consumption of fruits and vegetables, could potentially lead to depressive symptoms. What you can do to increase your intake if you don’t like eating them is by making homemade smoothies and juices. You can even add fruits to your salad and conceal some veggies in your sauces.

Health Benefits of Garlic-Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More

garlic cloves

Garlic as definitely earned its place as a super food among culinary professionals, nutritionists, and dietitians alike. There are literally thousands of scientific articles which support the findings that garlic is one of the most beneficial foods out there which we can consume, due to the wide variety of beneficial nutrients which it contains.

Garlic is not only good at maintaining our overall health in providing us with the nutrients we need, but has also shown the ability to protect us against disease as well. This includes minor things such as your average skin infection, to much more serious issues such as cancer, stroke, heart attacks.
Unless you’re one of the rare few people that has some type of allergy or sensitivity to garlic, you should be consuming this super food on a regular basis. Here are some of the major health reasons why you should be consuming more garlic at how can provide you with excellent nutrition.

1. Improves Heart Health

Garlic has shown the ability to protect our heart and cardiovascular system against a whole variety of different types of diseases. This can prevent things like the buildup of plaque in our blood vessels, otherwise known as atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, thrombosis, and many other diseases which affect the cardiovascular system.

cloves of garlicIn addition to its ability to prevents these potential diseases, there is also good news for people who are overweight, obese, or those of us you already have preexisting are conditions. Garlic has shown the ability to reduce things like plaque buildup in our arteries and other blood vessels.

This means that’s whether you are someone who is already in good health or someone who is in poor health, garlic can help people in both of these groups in great capacity.

2. Effective Cancer Fighter

Garlic is also well known for its organosulfur compounds, which recent studies have shown have the ability to fight
cancer. While the exact mechanism year is still unknown, it is believed to have something to do with the presence of sulfur and these compounds being able to retard or completely stop the growth of these cancerous cells.
This is good news for anyone who suffers from any type of cancer, as these compounds are not specifically beneficial to particular type of cancer. These compounds can be beneficial in fighting many different types of cancer, increasing the value of garlic to our health.

3. Reduces Blood Pressure

While the effectiveness of garlic and its ability to improve our health has already been discussed here, it is important to note that it is especially effective in reducing individuals blood pressure. As many of us know there are many different types of blood pressure medications out there, which is an indication that they are not a one fits all type of solution.

garlic cloves on chopping boardMany of these drugs are simply not effective at all which can be problematic for people who have high blood pressure and don’t have an effective medication.

Studies have shown that garlic on its own can be more effective in reducing individuals blood pressure than even some blood pressure medications specifically designed to do just so. Is importing note here that specifically aged garlic was used in these studies so make sure you to purchase the proper type of garlic in order to get the effects you are looking for.

4. Fights Degenerative Disease

Some of the most least understood illnesses that’s people experience have to do with ones that effect the mind, which affects a person’s cognitive ability and quality of life. The high concentration of anti oxidants found within garlic is believed to help reduce the instances of Alzheimer’s and improve the functioning of the brain.
It is believed that garlic is able to do this by helping to reduce plaque buildup around the now runs or nerve cells which reside within the brain. Plaque buildup on these nerve cells can disrupt the firing of nuns and Forst communication within the brain, which is believed to be a major cause of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases.

5. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

A huge health problem which many people have is diabetes. It is such a persistent problem and one that is tied to our poor diet, and the rise of obesity. Diabetes is caused by having high levels of sugar within the blood, to the point where an insulin resistance builds up in the body is unable to take care of the problem on its own.
Garlic as shown the ability to reduce blood sugar levels, as well as reduce levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood which is going to further improve circulation. Even call it on a regular basis is an effective way for diabetics to get a control on their blood sugar levels.

5 Nutrition Rules to Live By Daily

 

We’re fully aware that nutrition plays an important role in our health and lives in general simply because health troubles automatically constitute a lower quality of life. The choices we make when it comes to the food we eat shape how the body functions, which in turn, directly affect our overall well-being.

For decades, people’s eating habits have been the subject of several studies. Though nutritional research has helped form nutritional recommendations to guide us in our quest to stay healthy, this has also lead to perplexity about which one is really healthy and which one isn’t.

Courtesy of varied nutritional studies, multiple forms of diets have become popular. Dieters can choose from vegan, paleo, gluten-free, pescatarian, or vegetarian. These are just some of the mainstream diets people can choose from. It even becomes more confusing when media gets into the picture and makes numerous conflicting suggestions. The bottom line is that food can be complex.

A specific diet may work for some, but it doesn’t guarantee that it may work for others. Thus, it’s tough to assign a diet regimen for everyone simply because every individual is different. Nonetheless, we’re provided with information about certain eating habits that uphold a healthier body and life as a whole.

While food can be complex when explored in its most technical sense, we can get a glimpse of what is generally healthy and not. Somehow, knowing what’s good for us is also common sense. We’re able to see which foods and habits are great for our health. That’s why it is more important to concentrate on the quality of your food and how your body reacts to it rather than counting calories and carbs.

In order to help you concentrate on nutritious food and re-establish a connection with your body, here are 7 nutrition rules to live by to feel good inside out.

1. Give up processed food

Surely, you have heard on several occasions while you were growing up how junk foods are bad for you. A cliché this warning may be, it doesn’t lessen its importance and the grave danger your body could be in if you keep on devouring processed foods such as sodas, sweets, and fries, among others.

Processed foods are linked to heightened risk of obesity, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions. Consumption of junk foods is already detrimental, but the worst thing they can carry out is to leave you without the nutrients your body requires in order to flourish. By giving up processed foods, you’re giving your body the chance to consume genuinely nutritious foods for it to develop and thrive.

2. Settle for plant-based options most of the time

Focusing on a plant-based diet can positively and significantly change your health. This means not just occasionally eating them, but making them the core focus of your diet. You don’t need to be a vegetarian or a vegan to eat higher amounts of veggies. Regardless of the diet you’re currently practicing, it’ll do your health a great deal if you eat more vegetables each day.

Moreover, a plant-based diet has been associated with lower blood pressure, BMI, and even a slower mental deterioration. It can also help with the prevention of cancer. Many people think that focusing on plants as food can lead to nutrient deficiencies, but this isn’t the case. The fact that the WHO announced processed meat and red meat to be potentially cancer-causing gives you the more reason to focus on fruits and veggies.

3. Consume healthy fats

Not all fats are bad. There are fatty acids which are actually vital for the normal functioning of the cells in your body. The best fats you can have are unsaturated fats, which are segregated into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These good fats are useful in lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure. To consume healthy fats, eat more avocados, fatty fish, and nuts.

4. Don’t overeat

Your stomach sends a message to your brain if you’re already full or not 20 minutes after you begin eating. If you’re not attentive and disregard your body’s signals of satiety, you’ll end up consuming more than what your body requires. Of course, overeating leads to digestive problems such as bloating. It also leads to weight gain.

The more you eat over time, the less satiated you’ll feel, which causes you to overeat more. People with obesity are resistant to the body’s satiety signals compared with those who have healthy weight. Hence, not paying attention to your body’s sign of fullness leads overeating and overeating results in weight gain.

5. Don’t do crazy diets

You’re doing your body a favor by not falling into diet fads. It’s not good to deprive your body of food, do liquid diets or stop eating for days for the sake of shedding pounds. These diets frequently do more harm than good as it deprives your body of the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

Such diets are also hard to sustain that it’ll likely backfire by putting you in a binge-eating mode because of the deprivation that you put yourself into. Unbalanced eating habits are also bad for both your physical and mental self as these can intensify your obsession with calorie consumption and your weight.

A Review of the Product Alive Calcium

Product Introduction

It is known that bone health is vital for the sustenance of our overall health and longevity. This is even more significant in the present times where our bodies become more exposed to toxins and other harmful chemicals we get from food and the environment. Bone health becomes even more crucial with aging since this is the time where we become more vulnerable to bone problems. As we get older, our bone health deteriorates. We also experience other unpleasant effects, such as heightened exhaustion, lower energy levels, and instances of digestive and other medical problems. One of the greatest methods to enhance or sustain bone health is by possessing sufficient calcium in our bodies. This can be accomplished by consuming foods rich in calcium, such as green veggies, milk, and other dairy products.

The predicament is that with the lifestyle we’ve gotten ourselves used to these days, it becomes harder to reach the required daily calcium consumption from the foods we eat. Most of the foods we eat for the sake of good taste and convenience don’t really have calcium and other nourishing components. For this reason, people nowadays have poorer health, which make more susceptible to medical problems. The good news is that there are several nutritional products accessible for the purpose of helping people meet their needed nutrient. In this review, we’ll evaluate one brand that purports to help with the enhancement of bone health.

Ingredient Profile

100% whole food calcium

Vitamin D3

Vitamin C

Vitamin K2

Magnesium

Boron

Synergistic minerals

Alive Calcium Mechanism

This nutritional supplement purports to deliver 1,000 mg of calcium, the suggested daily consumption for people below 50 years old. The greatest feature of Alive Calcium is that it also has other primary components that will ascertain maximum calcium assimilation. Researches show that Vitamin D3 increases the body’s capacity to assimilate and utilize calcium. This is why the formula of this specific product also involves the said ingredient. Moreover, the calcium in Alive Calcium comes from plants, which are easier for the body to take in when compared with calcium that comes from animal sources or limestone rock.

Product Features

Alive Calcium is from a well-known manufacturer that also develops a great assortment of nutritional products.

Its calcium content comes from plant sources, which are easier for absorption.

This nutritional supplement also contains active components that increase calcium assimilation in the body.

Alive Calcium is gluten-free.

It can be acquired on many online retailers, making its purchase expedient.

Alive Calcium has been in the market for a significant period of time.

The feedbacks on Alive Calcium are mostly positive.

Suggested Dose

The recommended consumption of this supplement is four tablets every day, which many people can find inconvenient and tough to maintain.

Precautions

In the case of pre-existing health conditions, such as kidney failure, you need to speak with your physician first prior to taking Alive Calcium. The same should be done in the case that you’re under medications for a medical problem. Women who are expecting and breastfeeding should ask their healthcare provider firsthand before using the supplement.

Bottom Line

This nutritional supplement, as mentioned, has been in the market for some time. Its tenure in the industry and the fact that it’s manufactured by a well-known company can add to its reliability as a product. Generally, Alive Calcium is a decent dietary supplement for the purpose of bone health sustenance and enhancement. Purchase of this supplement is also pretty much simple since it’s widely accessible online and even physical stores.

What You Should Know About Lamb Meat-Is It Healthy for Consumption?

Sources of red meat have come under fire lately as the crusade against red meat has intensified. There has been evidence mounting showing the link between red meat and various forms of cancer, and cardiovascular issues; however much of this was focused on meat from cows.  What about lamb meat?

Lamb is a meat that isn’t too popular in the United States, and is much more popular in some european countries, especially along the Mediterranean in places like Greece and Italy. Lamb seems like it can be another potential alternative to beef, but how healthy is it?

Lamb meat is considered to be red meat, which is so because of the amount of a compound found in these meats, which gives them their distinct red color when it comes in contact with oxygen in the air.

The most beneficial aspect of red meats when compared to other food sources is how rich they are in trace minerals we need to function, such as zinc, iron, and selenium to name a few. Lamb contains the most zinc and iron out of all the meats per pound, making it something beneficial to eat from time to time in moderation.

Another benefit to eating lamb over other meats like beef is that generally speaking it is a leaner cut of meat, however you are still getting a good amount of protein in the process. Again how lean it the meat is depends on the cut, and these number can vary greatly. With that being said it is possible to get about 22g of protein from lamb in as little as 175 calories, giving it a pretty decent nutritional profile.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Lamb?

Comparisons to other red meats aside, lamb still provides plenty of benefits on its own. Here are some of the best reasons why you should be eating lamb.

1 – Excellent Source of Trace Metals

With all of the new health trends moving towards vegetarianism, veganism and generally in a direction away from meat consumption, it tends to leave some people really deficient in a particular group of nutrients.

Meats are great sources of these trace minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and zinc. These minerals are essential in performing many processes within the body. Zinc for example is essential in providing immunity in the body, and for maintaining sperm count.

Iron on the other hand is a required component in the production of our red blood cells, which bind to and carry oxygen throughout our body to various tissues and organs. Lamb is particularly rich in iron, more so than even beef or venison.

2 – Provides Plenty of Healthy Omega 3 Fatty Acids

When people think of meat, especially red meat, healthy fats aren’t the first things that come to mind. The thing is, most meats do produce omega 3 fatty acids if fed a natural diet. Cows fed corn for example will exhibit omega 6 or “bad” fatty acids, while cows fed their natural feed of grass will produce the omega 3’s. Basically it all depends on the animal’s diet, so know where your food is sourced from what they have been fed if at all possible.

When people think of meat, especially red meat, healthy fats aren’t the first things that come to mind. The thing is, most meats do produce omega 3 fatty acids if fed a natural diet.

Cows fed corn for example will exhibit omega 6 or “bad” fatty acids, while cows fed their natural feed of grass will produce the omega 3’s. Basically it all depends on the animal’s diet, so know where your food is sourced from what they have been fed if at all possible.

3 –  One of the Best Sources of Protein by Weight

One of the nutrients lamb is the richest in is protein. Just one small 3 ounce serving of lamb can provide about 23 grams of protein, which is about the same amount you would get from a cup of Greek yogurt. This is approaching the upper limit of protein per weight based on what food sources we have available.

Another important aspect of lamb meat like other meats is that it has a complete amino acid profile, containing all the necessary amino acids we need, unlike most plant sources of protein.

Eating lamb periodically, say once a week or every other week can be really beneficial in providing these important nutrients.

What is Taurine and Is it an Effective Weight Training Supplement?

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Taurine is a common ingredient in many energy drinks so naturally people who are unfamiliar with taurine assume that it is some kind of stimulant which makes sense in theory. However though, taurine is not only not a stimulant, it is believed to have relaxing properties.

Taurine is in actuality an amino acid that is used by our bodies to carry out a variety of processes including the synthesis of larger protein molecules. Taurine is beneficial in that it is an antioxidant and fights against harmful free radicals that are present in our bodies.

Taurine also offers better performance for athletes in that it stimulates the muscles more as well as relaxing effects which can help those who suffer from neurological disorders.

Taurine has had a bad reputation as of late because of the negative press that energy drinks have been receiving. Drinking energy drinks that are full of stimulants like caffeine can have serious health effects and can even lead to death.

This is the case for not only people with pre existing health conditions, but in healthy individuals as well. It is no wonder why there is a negative stigma around taurine, yet taurine itself is not responsible for this stimulation and can in fact be beneficial.

What Are the Benefits of Taurine Supplementation?

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One of the main reasons why many people take taurine is because of the boost to athletic performance that it provides. Again, may people incorrectly assume that taurine is a stimulant because it is found in many energy drinks, however it doesn’t benefit us in that manner.

Taurine is most effective when it comes to long distance endurance events like marathon running, and has been shown to cut off a few seconds from the athlete’s finishing time. A few seconds may not seem like much, but in the world of professional sports when the difference between first and second place is a matter of milliseconds, it is a huge advantage.

Not only did taurine improve the finish times of these endurance athletes, but it also had no other negative effects on the cardiovascular or circulator systems making it safe for use in these situations.

Another reason why people use taurine as a supplement is to fight metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a disease where the way in which your body breaks down and synthesizes food is abnormal, and thus almost every bodily process is altered as a result.

People who have metabolic syndrome are at risk for many different diseases and sicknesses such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. It is believed that the key lies in taurine’s ability to lower triglycerides and cholesterol which relieves the problems associated with cardiovascular problems and obesity.

Taurine is also taken by many people because it is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants fight against free radicals which can cause problems in the body including cancer. Taurine is especially effective in those with compromised immune systems, like those suffering from HIV and AIDS.

In patients with HIV or AIDS, taurine was shown to improve the antioxidant levels of the patients which helped them improve in regards to recovery time.

Where Should I Get Taurine? What Are the Best Sources?

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The best sources of taurine come from meat and dairy products so if you eat a balanced diet you shouldn’t need a supplement. However if you looking to take more taurine for performance boosting ability for example, then taking a concentrated supplement of taurine would be a good suggestion as well.

The only thing to worry about in regards to your taurine consumption is that there is an upper limit that you shouldn’t surpass each day, that being about 3,000 milligrams per individual. Your body excretes taurine through urine thus via your kidneys, so don’t exceed this amount if you want to keep them healthy.

To give you an idea of how much this is, there is about 100-300milligrams of taurine per 100 grams of weight of meat. Typically a serving of meat is about this size, so you would need to eat over 10 servings of meat this size to surpass that 3,000 milligram mark, which is a pretty decent amount of meat.

If you don’t like meat or dairy, seafood is another alternative which provides you with 800 milligrams of taurine on average.

7 Reasons Why Breakfast Should Never Be Skipped

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Many people forego the first meal of the day because they’re running late to their classes, appointments, etc. Some have time but choose to use it for something else, like staring at nothing thinking of how tired they are even though their day hasn’t started yet. Some also don’t find themselves hungry in the morning. It’s probably because they’re already used to of leaving the house on an empty stomach.

Unfortunately, this is a poor habit that needs to be rectified. People who skip breakfast are bringing potential problems into their health. Even various studies support the need to eat something healthy in the morning before you set off for your journey, whatever it is.

So, are you guilty of skipping breakfast every day? Here are 7 reasons why you should be:

People who are breakfast eaters are generally in good health

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There’s the misconception that by not eating in the morning, you’re saving calories that you can utilize in the latter part of the day when you become hungry. This is not a fact. Eating a healthy meal in the morning actually normalizes your blood sugar levels. Not eating first thing during the day may lead you to get hungry more quickly simply because there’s nothing in your stomach.

Eating breakfast can help with weight management

If you want to shed pounds or maintain the weight you’ve just lost, skipping breakfast is certainly a no-no. Eating a light, yet healthy breakfast can help you control hunger throughout the day. Furthermore, when you already have nutritious food in your system, you’re less likely to crave for junk and processed foods.

Breakfast makes you more energetic

If you constantly skip breakfast and you’re always low on energy, guess you know the likely culprit now. In order to have energy to fuel your body for those tasks that need to be done, you need all the nutrients that a healthy breakfast can give you. Essentially, your muscles require glycogen for energy. It will be used up if there’s nothing on your stomach.

Eating breakfast increases your mental focus

Everyone wants to be mentally sharp during the day. It enables you to finish your tasks efficiently and help you increase your productivity. The good news is that there are certain foods for breakfast that can improve your brain’s functions, allowing you to perform better.

Skipping breakfast means skipping vitamins and nutrients

Once you’ve missed those vitamins and nutrients you could have gotten from eating in the morning, there’s nothing that can make it up. It’s basically a missed opportunity of providing the nutrition your body needs.

Breakfast makes you less hungry throughout the day

shutterstock_170157644If you’re on a weight management plan, hunger is surely one of those needs you hate to feel. Eating a healthy meal in the morning can help you shake off bouts of hunger later in the day. This can also help you avoid binge eating, which only brings you nothing but unwarranted calories. In addition, overeating throughout the day is directly associated with weight gain. So, if you’re on a weight loss program or you want to stick to your newly reduced weight, start your day with a nutritious breakfast.

Eating breakfast in the morning teaches others to do the same

This is particularly important when you have a family. When your kids see you ignore breakfast in the morning, they’ll likely follow and think nothing of it, but only as an impediment to their daily routine. On the other hand, having breakfast with your family not only shows the importance of eating a healthy meal before each one goes about his/her day, it also helps the members of the family bond. As a parent, you need to show your children the significance of proper nutrition, which starts during breakfast.

The bottom line is that although we can choose to skip breakfast because it’s not just our priority, we can’t go around the negative effects that missing the first meal of the day can lead to.