Nutrition // Category

Category based archive
16 Jul

Fitness goals are all about boosting the body’s metabolism. There are specific training targeting at boosting the metabolism. Why is metabolism so important in fitness?

Metabolism is the process in which the body makes energy in the living cells. It involves many chemical reactions that are necessary to keep the body healthy. It includes the chemical processes to breath, move, and think.

The basal metabolic rate is the amount calories needed to perform basic bodily functions like blood circulation and breathing. This rate is steady but more physical activities can increase the amount of calories burn thereby, increasing the metabolism. While exercising is the most common way to increase metabolism, there are plenty of food that can also help.

Coffee

Believe it or not coffee is a better metabolism boost than energy drinks. Energy drinks are packed with sugar but coffee contains caffeine. The caffeine in coffee gives the metabolism a short-term boost. Caffeine’s energy-boosting effect on metabolism allows the body to burn more calorie quickly. However, coffee alone does not make a large enough difference. It is best used as a companion to exercising. It gives the body the energy necessary to exercise harder and longer.

Chili Peppers

All spicy peppers – Cayenne, Jalapenos, hot pepper- contain capsaicin. Capsaicin is a chemical that can help boost metabolism by stimulating the pain receptors. It attaches to the pain receptors, signaling a burning sensation. This causes a mild inflammatory reaction to happen in order repair the cells.

Studies have found that chili peppers can also decrease cravings. They temporarily increase blood circulation and calories burning. To have the full effect, chili peppers should be eaten daily.

Green Tea

Similarly to coffee, green tea has caffeine that energizes the body and increase metabolism. Unlike coffee, they also contain catechins. Catechin is a bioactive compound that helps burn fat. It’s also an antioxidant and a disease-fighting flavonoid.

Whole Grains

Whole grains have plenty of protein and carbohydrate to boost metabolism. They stabilize insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar in the bloodstream. If it’s too high, it can cause the body to store extra fat. This increases weight and decrease metabolism.

Whole grains have low level of sugar. They also contain many nutrients that keep the insulin levels stabilized enough so the body can burn extra fat.

Avocado

Avocados contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote faster metabolism by reducing the leptin hormone. Leptin is a natural chemical that was found to slow down metabolism.

It helps regulating how much calorie the body takes and uses. It’s supposed to prevent starvation and overeating however, it falls short when telling the body to stop eating. Eating food rich in omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce the hormone thus, reducing the risk of overeating.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in protein. They increase metabolism for a few hours by requiring the body to use more energy to process them. Protein-rich foods are heavy so, the bodies use a lot of energy to break them down and absorb them. Also, they prevent overeating by keeping the body fuller for a longer period of time than the other food groups.

Spinach

Spinach and every other leafy greens are an excellent source of fiber. High fiber can help the body to burn fat by 30%. Spinach also contains iron. Iron is one of the nutrients required for the thyroid gland to function properly. The thyroid gland regulates metabolism. Iron is also necessary in the synthesis of DNA.

Fish

Fish is both rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients are important in boosting the body’s metabolism. Fatty fishes especially salmon can lower stress hormones and increase the body’s ability to burn fat. Omega-3 fatty acids can also lower inflammation and blood sugar which increases metabolism.

Nuts

Almonds and walnuts are high in fatty acids that help in raising metabolism. However, they are also high in calories so they should be eaten in moderate amount. Only a handful is needed per day and it would be enough to supply the necessary fatty acids and fibers to burn calories.

Water

Water is one of the most important nutrients necessary to raise metabolism. It is a natural appetite suppressant so, there’re fewer urges to overeat. Fluid intake speeds up metabolism while the slightest dehydration can slow it down.

Eight glasses of water is the popular advice but it is not always the truth. The amount of water necessary depends on the person. Each person should drink about ½ of their body weight in ounces of water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar works differently than most other food in helping to boost metabolism. It helps increase the stomach’s ability to produce Hydrochloric acid (HCl). Hydrochloric acid converts pepsinogen into pepsin that breaks down protein in our food. Therefore, it helps to digest food more easily and absorb nutrients better.

Apple Cider Vinegar also helps curb cravings by regulating blood sugar levels. However, it comes with many negative side effects so consumption should be limited. About 2 tablespoons a day should be plenty to have the benefits while limiting the risks.

Legumes

Legumes include beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts. They are very high in protein so, like eggs, they require the body to burn more calories to burn them down. They also contain fiber and resistant starch that nourish the stomach’s good bacteria. These good bacteria help in using stored fat as energy and maintaining sugar at a normal level in the blood.

They also contain a substantial amount of amino acids like glutamine and arginine. These amino acids help in burning calories and fat during digestion.

The rate of metabolism affects more than weight gain and weight loss. It can affect basic health including breathing and heart contractions. While exercising is the quickest go-to road to an increased metabolism, there are plenty of changes that can be made in a person’s dietary habits that can affect similar effects.

26 Jun

You’ve probably heard of the ketogenic diet by now, and if you haven’t, I’ll briefly summarize it. It’s a diet that requires you to eat foods low in carbs but high in healthy fats, and almost everyone has tried it at least once.

Don’t get me wrong, it sounds like an awesome diet; It sounds like it can really knock off those extra pounds you’ve been dying to get rid of. However, with everything good in this world, comes something bad on the other side of it. In other words, the ketogenic diet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; It actually comes with unwanted side effects, to say the least.

Let’s get into the details of the keto diet.

What is ketosis?

In order to understand what the ketogenic diet is, you must understand what the process of ketosis is. Ketosis is the process by which your body burns fat within the body and uses it as its energy source, especially when you’re starving.

In addition, the ketogenic diet omits carbs from everyday life. This, in turn, gives the body the opportunity to burn even more fat, especially considering that carbs within the body are technically burned first, if they’re present. In other words, with no carbs present, our body immediately goes for it’s second source: fat, to produce energy.

However, there are downfalls to this process. Let’s take a look.

UNWANTED SIDE EFFECTS OF KETOGENIC DIET

Your insulin levels may drop.

insulin and glycogen with model of pancreasWhen we eat and partake in normal diets, certain foods will increase our insulin levels (specifically foods that contain glucose). However, when on the ketogenic diet, your insulin levels drop significantly. This may seem good to you, due to the fact that lower insulin levels actually burn fatty acids from the fat tissue in your body, and in turn use it for energy production. However, low insulin levels are never necessarily a good thing to strive for.

You’ll be less hungry during the day.

Eating during the day speeds up your metabolism. When you’re on the keto diet, however, you don’t get too hungry during the day. This happens due to the fact that you’re eating more proteins. Proteins fill you up quick, and they take a long time to burn through the body. Therefore, not promoting hunger.

What’s more is that the keto diet makes you not so hungry during the day to the point that it can actually suppress your appetite, for a long time even. If this happens, there’s a possibility that your body will get so used to not being hungry during the day that you may be able to eventually skip an entire meal, and we all know that’s not good for a healthy body.

You can actually start to feel sick.

This may sound extremely odd but being on the keto diet can actually promote side effects associated with the ‘Keto Flu.’ Okay, so the Keto Flu isn’t an actual flu, but it does promote flu-like symptoms.

Typically, such flu-like symptoms will occur within the first few days of being on the diet. This happens due to the fact that you are getting used to not having carbs in your system. Specific side effects include headaches, muscle cramping, nausea, fatigue, and fogginess. These symptoms only last for about a week or so, but there’s always over-the-counter medications to help you out with the pain.

In addition, try hydrating as much as possible to get rid of these unwanted side effects. Also, getting a full 8 hours of sleep can really help with symptoms of fatigue and muscle cramps.

man checking for his breath odorYour breath may or may not smell bad.

People on the keto diet tend to carry breath mints and/or gum. Why? Because their breath can start to smell after a few days of being on the diet. Don’t worry, though. This doesn’t happen to everyone.

You may have difficulty pooping.

Being on the keto diet can lower your fiber intake. With that being said, you should always monitor your fiber and nutritional intake to be sure that you are getting an adequate amount of each.

Some people, while on the keto diet, experience difficulty and/or discomfort with digestive functions, specifically pooping. For instance, constipation has been known to come up here and there with people first starting off on the diet. This happens due to the low amounts of fiber your body gets while partaking in the ketogenic diet. It’s okay, though. It’s an easy fix. Go to your local drug store and pick up a fiber supplement and be sure to take it once a day.

Your body functions may slow down.

As with any diet, your body has to adapt to the new foods being introduced and the old foods being omitted. While this situation is going on, your body may feel a little bit more tired than usual. Even though it may take some time to adapt, you should be good as new in just a few days (it’s just hard getting over that hump).

Because of this, many professionals suggest not working out or partaking in too many moving activities within the first week. If you’re feeling weak, or even achy, professionals also suggest you take it easy on yourself while your adapting to the new body changes.

So, is the keto diet worth it for you?

Well, that’s a decision you, and only you, can make. Weigh the good and the bad and make your decision. I mean, the side effects aren’t all that bad, but they can be unpleasant at times.

Hey, even if you’re contemplating it, just try it out. If you find it’s not something you’re into a few days in, quit it and go back to your normal routine. There’s not much to lose here.

 

By Jenny Lyn

20 Jun

High-protein diets have a lot of following among bodybuilders, weight lifters, professional athletes, and those who are trying to lose weight. In various studies, a protein-rich diet has been shown to help people lose weight as well as retain and build muscle mass.

However, eating too much protein can also have adverse effects, especially if the diet isn’t balanced with other food types that are required by the body. Moreover, adhering to a high-protein diet for extended durations isn’t recommended because of various health concerns.

#1 Digestive System Problems

When you consume a lot of protein with little or no carbohydrates, it means your intake of dietary fiber is low. When you don’t eat enough fiber, it can lead to digestive problems like constipation. You may also experience diarrhea if you consume too much processed foods and dairy products, or if your main protein sources are fried meat or poultry.

#2 Weight Gain

If you’re following a high-protein diet to lose weight, you should know that the weight loss is often only temporary. Any excess protein that you eat is stored by the body in the form of fats.

This means that if you eat too much protein, you may just be adding to your body fat. This is especially true if you’re not accompanying your high-protein diet with sufficient exercise or if you’re eating too many calories as you try to increase your protein consumption.

A recent study showed that when you eat a lot of protein as a replacement for carbohydrates, it can actually lead to higher risks of weight gain. But if you’re eating proteins as a replacement for fat, you may be able to avoid gaining weight.

The problem is that if you maintain a high-protein diet for a long time, it can increase your risks of all-cause death. The study also showed that a high intake of animal protein can increase the risks of fatal outcomes.

On the other hand, if you eat a lot of plant-based foods that are rich in protein, you can lower your risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. In addition, you can also get a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from protein-rich vegetables.

#3 Dehydration

high protein food sourcesProteins contain nitrogen and when there’s an excess of nitrogen in the body, your body will try to flush the excess nitrogen out of your system with fluids and water. This means that when your consumption of protein is higher than recommended, nitrogen will accumulate in your body.

The more excess nitrogen you have, the more your body will try to get rid of it. And this can lead to dehydration.

#4 Bad Breath

When proteins are the main components of your diet, it can trigger your body to go into a metabolic state that’s referred to as ketosis. This metabolic state occurs when your carbohydrate intake is very low such as when you are following a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, ketosis results in bad breath and an unpleasant fruity smell emanating from your body.

#5 Calcium Loss

When you’re only eating proteins and meat, you may be missing out on various important nutrients like calcium. This unbalanced high-protein diet can cause calcium loss and can lead to deteriorating bone condition and osteoporosis.

#6 Kidney Damage

When you are on a high-protein diet, your kidneys have to work extra hard to get rid of the excess nitrogen and the other protein metabolism by-products. Thus, your risks of developing kidney damage and diseases increase.

#7 Cancer

It’s not just your risks of kidney damage that go up when you follow a high-protein diet for a long time. Your risks of developing various cancer diseases also go up. Prostate cancer and colon cancer are both associated with a high intake of meat.

#8 Cardiovascular Diseases

heart shaped high protein raw meatAdhering to a high-protein diet with meat and full-fat dairy foods as your main sources of protein can increase your risks of heart diseases. Red meat and dairy products usually contain high concentrations of cholesterol and saturated fat.

How To Balance Your High-Protein Diet

If you really need to follow a high-protein diet, you may want to take some precautionary measures to avoid the adverse effects of consuming too much proteins. What you can do is to use plant-based proteins as your main source of protein instead of red meat or processed meat.

The best sources of proteins are plant-based foods that contain all the essential amino acids that your body needs, just like soy beans and quinoa. Soy products like tofu are also great sources of protein. In addition, tofu also contains iron and calcium, so you can avoid calcium loss.

Another great source of proteins, lentils also contain a lot of dietary fiber, so you can be sure that you won’t be suffering from constipation if you add a lot of lentils to your diet. Plus, lentils also contain potassium, iron, and other important nutrients. Moreover, as an ingredient, lentils are versatile. You can add them to your salad, you can mix lentils in your stew, or you can use lentils as rice toppings.

Nuts like almonds and peanuts are also healthy sources of proteins. You also get vitamin E from almonds, which is good for keeping your skin young. In men, vitamin E also plays a special role in keeping sperm cells healthy and motile.

Chia seeds not only contain a lot of protein, they’re also a good source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, chia seeds are so easy to eat since you can just sprinkle them on top of your yogurt snack or add them to your morning smoothie.

If you’re taking protein supplements, make sure to check the label as your chosen supplement may contain high concentrations of sodium and sugar. You should also check if your protein supplement contains all the essential amino acids. If not, you will need to consume other complete protein sources like tofu.

If you’re following a protein shake diet, try to supplement your diet with plant-based foods like whole grains and leafy vegetables. These shouldn’t add much to your calorie count but should take care of your other nutritional requirements.

30 Apr

  Traditional types of tea made from Camellia sinensis leaves have long been among the most consumed drinks in the world. These traditional teas include black, white, yellow, oolong, pu-erh, and green tea which is the most popular. Herbal teas, on the other hand, are different from traditional tea because they are made from various herbs and spices as well as plant-derived chemicals.

Drinking herbal teas or tisanes is currently an emerging trend among consumers who are looking for healthy beverage alternatives. Note, however, that herbal teas have health benefits different from what you get from traditional types of tea since herbal teas have different ingredients. Take a look at these five popular herbal teas and find out how healthy these drinks are.

#1 Chamomile Tea

  If you’re experiencing sleep problems or having trouble falling asleep, drinking a cup of hot chamomile tea before going to bed just might be the solution you’re looking for. Chamomile tea has long been recognized as a relaxing drink and is popular as a sleeping aid. But is it really effective in helping people with sleep quality problems?

chamomile tea is herba  According to a 2016 study, chamomile tea may help reduce physical symptoms of sleep inefficiency as well as symptoms of depression due to lack of sleep. The subjects in this study were postnatal women who had poor sleep quality.

  Note, however, that when the researchers did a follow up four weeks after the initial test period, they found that there were no longer any significant differences between the group that drank chamomile tea and the other group. This suggests that the benefits of chamomile tea on sleep quality last only for a short time; and will no longer persist if you stop drinking the tea.

#2 Turmeric Tea

As scientists continue to study the health benefits of turmeric, it’s becoming clearer that turmeric is one powerful superfood with a lot of medicinal benefits. Because turmeric has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, drinking turmeric tea may help relieve symptoms of arthritis.

  Turmeric has also been proven to have anti-cancer properties. As early as 1985, scientists were already looking into the potential of turmeric in reducing the development of tumors in mice. Recent studies on turmeric show that it enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs. Curcumin, the main active constituent of turmeric, can help decrease tumor mass and can help prevent a relapse, according to a 2017 study.

  This doesn’t mean that only those with cancer should drink turmeric tea. Rather, it highlights how healthy turmeric tea is. Drinking this healthy beverage on a daily basis is also recommended for elder people. One of the recently discovered benefits of turmeric is its protective action against cognitive impairment which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. And even though there is no established cure yet for Alzheimer’s disease, you can prevent it from happening simply by drinking turmeric tea every day.

#3 Peppermint Tea

  Peppermint tea is one of the most popular types of herbal teas. Not only because of its flavor but also because of its many health benefits. For instance, peppermint tea can help keep your digestive system healthy.

  Moreover, peppermint tea contains antioxidants and it also has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties. Peppermint tea is also known as having analgesic properties which means it can alleviate pain. It has also been found to promote fat burning which is another reason why this refreshing tea is so popular with people who are wanting to lose weight.

  Peppermint tea is brewed from the leaves of Mentha piperita. The plant leaves contain rosmarinic acid and flavonoids which are antioxidants. In studies involving mice, it was found that peppermint tea helped relax gastrointestinal tissues. In humans, peppermint tea may help relieve irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Other studies show that peppermint can help stomach pain and indigestion.

#4 Hibiscus Tea

  The plant Hibiscus sabdariffa is the main source of hibiscus teas. The sepals of the plant contain many healthy nutrients such as pectins for dietary fiber, polyphenols for antioxidants, vitamin C, as well as other organic acids. If you’re looking for a flavorful and colorful tea, hibiscus tea is one of the healthiest pink-colored teas.

hibiscus tea all natural   It has been found that the polyphenols in Hibiscus sabdariffa can prevent the growth of melanoma cells which are associated with skin cancer. Previous studies have also shown that Hibiscus extracts may help fight leukemia and breast cancer. Hibiscus tea is also recommended for lowering blood pressure and for relieving oxidative stress.

  Hibiscus tea is also good for lowering cholesterol levels, to boost the immune and digestive systems, and to treat liver diseases. There have also been reports that hibiscus tea may speed up metabolism; which suggests that it can be good for people who are looking to shed off a pound or two.

#5 Rooibos or Red Tea

  Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) or red bush is a plant native to South Africa. Rooibos tea is made from the leaves and stems of this plant which contains high concentrations of vitamin C and a lot of polyphenols. It contains very little tannins, the compounds that make tea bitter. Instead of being bitter like black tea, rooibos is slightly sweet. This natural sweetness is one of the reasons why rooibos tea is popular.

  There have been several studies on the health benefit of rooibos. It was found that rooibos tea can help protect against oxidative stress. Moreover, rooibos can also help prevent liver damage, thanks to its high antioxidant content.

  Rooibos tea is also known to help cure headaches and asthma. It is also recommended for people with insomnia, bone weakness, and premature aging. For people with diabetes, drinking rooibos tea daily may help in reducing blood sugar levels. This is because aspalathin, the primary flavonoid in rooibos tea, has anti-diabetic properties.

  One advantage that rooibos tea has over green and black tea is that rooibos does not contain any caffeine. Thus, if you’re wanting to drink tea to help you fall asleep faster, rooibos tea can be your go-to drink. And you can avoid green and black tea because they contain caffeine.

24 Apr

          Just earlier this month, one company selling dietary supplements was involved in a voluntary recall after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found Salmonella during a routine sample testing of the dietary supplement. The dietary supplement contained kratom, a stimulant. The FDA also warned consumers about the common symptoms of Salmonella infection, which includes vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever.

         This highlights one of the main reasons why many people are ambivalent about taking dietary supplements. The first question that comes to mind is always about health safety. Consumers are concerned about whether the supplement is safe to ingest and if there are any side effects and contraindications. Despite this, the nutraceutical industry is still expecting significant growth, this year and in the coming years.

Significant Increase In Supplements Usage

According to the Hartman Group, one of the thought leaders in the food industry, supplements are playing a major role in how many consumers address their health and wellness needs. Here are some interesting trends based on the research and consulting company’s analysis:

♦  Between 2013 to 2017, usage of any supplement increased by 7%, from 59% to 66%

♦  A similar trend is seen in the usage of vitamins or minerals supplement which rose from 51% to 57% from 2013 to 2017

♦  From 2013 to 2017, usage of specialty supplements grew by 5% from 25% to 30%

Specialty supplements are those that are formulated to address a specific bodily function or health concern, such as omega-3 supplements, antioxidant supplements, or immune system supplements. Brain health supplements are also one type of specialty supplements.

Brain Health Supplements To Boost Growth Of Nutraceuticals Industry

nootropic supplement capsulesThe market for brain health supplements is currently valued at more than $2 billion. However, this number is estimated to balloon to more than $11 billion by 2024. As the awareness for healthy aging grows, more and more consumers are getting interested in enhancing and protecting their brain health.

Supplements that enhance brain health and cognitive function are generally called nootropic supplements. Consumers are taking nootropics not only to enhance their memory but also to improve their focus and attention, to be able to sleep better, and for longevity and anti-aging benefits. There are also brain health supplements that are touted to improve your mood, decrease stress and anxiety. And some are even promoted as stimulants for creativity.

Common ingredients found in brain health supplements include ginseng, DHA, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Bacopa monnieri, and Alpha-glycerophosphocholine or Alpha GPC. The latter is currently considered as the top-selling nootropic ingredient. Between now and 2024, Bacopa monnieri, also called water hyssop, is the one expected to grow the most in terms of market share.

Proper Nutrition For Brain Health

Depending on which expert you’ll ask, you may be given various advice for which type of food is the best in enhancing and protecting brain health. However, all the experts would agree that there is no single “best brain food”. Our brain has so many functions that it requires various nutrients to properly function. Indeed, eating the right diet goes a long way in helping our brains function better.

Although many of the nutrients needed by the brain can be taken directly from the food we eat, there are times when we need to take supplements. This is to make sure that we get the recommended amount of nutrients that we need to eat daily to keep our brain healthy.

Here are some examples of nutrients that are extremely important for proper brain functioning and are commonly found in many brain health supplements.

Choline and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

These two are extremely important during fetal development. They will affect how the baby’s memory and cognitive function will develop in the future. Specifically, these two help in the formation of the cell membranes of the neurons. In adults, choline is essential for memory and mental focus.

Folic Acid

This is another compound that plays a crucial role when it comes to the development of the neural tube, the structure that is the foundation for the development of the brain and the spinal cord. Thus, any deficiencies in folic acid may lead to problems with the development of the neural tube, which can then lead to congenital abnormalities.

Gamma-AminoButyric Acid (GABA)

doctor holding brain model and nootropic supplementGABA is important for proper stress response functioning. GABA actually functions as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Stress is often associated with lack of mental focus or being scatterbrained and absent-mindedness.

This is doesn’t mean that your brain has stopped working because you’re stressed. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Stress makes the brain very busy, which is why you have so many thoughts jumbled in your head at once. GABA tells your neurons to stop being too excited so you can calm down and relax.

Polyphenols and Flavonoids

Polyphenols are micronutrients found in plant-based foods and flavonoids are just one of the many types of polyphenols. Both have antioxidant properties that help protect the brain from the damaging actions of free radicals. These antioxidants also protect the brain from inflammation, promote the health of blood vessels, as well as boost immunity.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein is normally associated with eye health, however, it is good for brain health, too. In recent studies, lutein was shown to result in youthful neural responses. To keep your brain young, you now have more reasons to eat green leafy vegetables which are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid also found in the retina. Just like lutein, it also helps in both eye and brain health.

Turmeric

Many people know of turmeric only as a spice. However, turmeric is gaining popularity as an ingredient in many herbal products these days. One of the main active constituents that make turmeric valuable as a medicinal plant is curcumin. It’s a phytonutrient that is credited for turmeric’s brain-protective properties. Aside from being good for brain health, turmeric is also highly recommended for people with arthritis as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also has antioxidant properties and it’s good for your cardiovascular health, too.

20 Apr

Whenever there’s a discussion about health and nutrition, antioxidants are popular topics because of their varied health benefits. Antioxidants help get rid of free radicals in our bodies. These free radicals are usually referred to as reactive species, such as reactive oxygen or reactive nitrogen, because they react and bind with other compounds in our body.

However, these reactions and bindings are not part of our regular bodily processes, so when they do happen, they’re bound to cause diseases. Antioxidants basically prevent these reactive species from causing damage to our body. Through this action, antioxidants improve cell maintenance, contribute to DNA repair, and increase longevity.

It is only natural that we would want to eat foods that are high in antioxidant content. However, when we search the internet for foods that have high levels of antioxidants, we normally just see foods that are grown or available in the North America region. For instance, for berries, one would think that blueberries are the ones with the highest antioxidant content because that’s what we always see on the internet.

But did you know that blueberries cultivated in the US only have 1.65-2.79 antioxidant content in millimoles per 100 grams? And would you believe that there is a berry found in India that actually has 261.53 antioxidant content in millimoles per 100 grams?

In 2010, researchers developed the Antioxidant Food Database which lists more than 3,100 spices, beverages, foods, herbs, and supplements from all over the globe and their antioxidant contents. If you really want to know what are the best natural source of antioxidants, take a look at this global list of antioxidant super-rich foods. (Note: Antioxidant content is measured in millimoles per 100 grams.)

Spices And Herbs

antioxidant rich herbs and spices          Although you would normally use spices and herbs sparingly, this is one food category with some of the highest antioxidant content.

Herbs and Spices Antioxidant Content
Dried ground clove 465.32
Dried whole clove 327.77
Dried bearberry leaves 182.1
Dried peppermint leaves 160.82
Dried meadowsweet 154.05
Dried rose flower 153.9
Dried wild marjoram leaves 142.86
Dried green mint leaves 142.58
Dried ground cinnamon 139.89
Dried Alpine lady’s‐mantle leaves 130.36
Dried lemon balm leaves 125.33
Dried woodland geranium 113.27
Dried Purple Loosestrife flower and leaves 111.04
Dried red wortleberries leaves 102.07
Dried ground allspice 101.52

Herbal Or Traditional Plant Medicines

          Most of the herbal medicines or supplements listed here are either from India, Japan, or Mexico. Take a look at the first item on the list, the Peruvian sangre de grado with an unbelievable antioxidant content of almost 3,000 mmol/100grams. The sangre de grado is actually a tree, and the herbal medicine with the same name is made from the bark and sap of the tree.

Herbal Or Traditional Plant Medicines Antioxidant Content
Sangre de grado (Croton lechleri) liquid solution from Iquitos, Peru 2,897.11
Triphala, powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 706.25
Amalaki (Amla), powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 301.14
Arjuna, powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care 146.95
Cinnamomi Cortex by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 120.18
Goshuyutou powder from Japan 132.58
Scutellariae Radix by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 111.33
Neem Guard, powder in capsule from India 89.23
Tepezcohuite from Mexico 64.58
Cimicifugae Rhizoma by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 64.31
Paeoniae Radix by Tsumura Pharmaceutical Company, Japan 55.13
Eucalipto from Mexico 47.3
Cascara Sagrada from Mexico 47.15
Un Compuesto from Mexico 40.89
Tulasi powder in capsule by The Himalaya Herbal Health Care, India 39.67

Berries And Berry Products

antioxidant rich berries          Although berries and berry products common in the US were included in the Antioxidant Food Database, unfortunately, they pale in comparison to these exotic and not-so-familiar berries from different parts of the world. Watch out for amla berries from India, it’s already starting to gain popularity as a superfood.

Berries And Berry Products Antioxidant Content
Dried Amla berries from India 261.53
Dried whole dog rose from Helios, Norway 78.09
Dog roseshell flour from Risenta, Finland 75.84
Dog rose powder from Chile 54.3
Dried wild bilberries from Norway 48.32
Dried Loch Ness blackberries from Norway 37.08
Dog rose from Norway 34.49
Dried cultivated red whortleberries fromNorway 32.28
Amla, syrup from canned Indian Gooseberries 29.7
Dog rose powder from Sun Vita A/S, Denmark 28.49
Dried zereshk from Iran 27.3
Dog rose powder from Norway 20.82
Dried rowanberries from Norway 19.13
Dog rose from Spain 14.16
Wild black chokeberries from Norway 13.48

Fruit And Fruit Juices 

          For fruits, pomegranates top the list when it comes to antioxidant content, which explains why there are so many health benefits related to pomegranates such as lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and lower risks of prostate and breast cancers.

Fruit And Fruit Juices Antioxidant Content
Pomegranate yellow pith from Spain 55.52
Fruit from the African Baobab tree from Malawi 10.84
Pomegranate arils and carpellar membrane from Norway 9.05
Dried pomegranate arils from India 7.28
Whole pomegranate from Spain 6.54
Tasmanian dried apples from Australia 6.07
Dried pomegranate from Norway 5.51
Dried apricots from New Zealand 4.67
Dried sweet cherries from USA 4.06
Lemon skin from ecologically grown lemon from South Africa 4
Prunes from El Dorado 3.7
Black kalamata olives with stone from Regina 3.25
Dried plums from USA 3.24
Dried apricots from Norway 3.23
Black kalamata olives with stone from Iliada, Greece 3.13

Vegetables

          We usually think of broccoli or spinach when we think of vegetables that are rich in antioxidants. Unfortunately, compared to the vegetables in this list, broccoli just can’t catch up in terms of antioxidant content.

Vegetables Antioxidant Content
Crushed dry Leaves from the African Baobab tree from Mali 48.07
Dried Moringa Stenopetala leaves and stem from Ethiopia 11.9
Canned artichoke from Spain 4.76
Dry okra/gumbo from Mali 4.24
Red curly kale from Sweden 4.09
Sheep polypore mushroom from Norway 3.85
Sundried tomatoes in canola oil from Australia 3.59
Cooked blue cauliflower from Norway 3.52
Curly kale from Sweden 2.68
Cooked red cabbage from USA 2.15
Sundried tomatoes in oil from Norway 1.95
Orange bellpepper from Norway 1.94
Red bellpepper from Norway 1.81
Yellow bellpepper from Norway 1.79
Cooked red pepper from USA

1.64

 

12 Apr

Vegetables are extremely good for our bodies, especially when we’re trying to gain muscle mass, stay healthy, and supply our bodies with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Whether they’re fresh or frozen, vegetables can provide us with an efficient amount of nutrients (so long as they’re not canned and flooded in preservatives).

But, what are the best vegetables for our bodies, and why are they the best? Maybe it’s because of the vitamins and minerals they have within them, as stated above. Maybe it’s because of the amount of natural fiber present inside many of them. Maybe it’s because most of them have a low caloric intake. The benefits go on and on.

However, each vegetable has a different combination of benefits. Some may have more vitamins and minerals over others, some may contain more fiber than others, and still some may have less calories when consuming them versus others. Even still, many vegetables have amazing health benefits such as reducing inflammation or staying healthy from disease. But that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to tell you what vegetables are good to load up on, and why, or what impact, they have on your body. Let’s start in alphabetical order.

Asparagus

Asparagus has an excellent amount of magnesium present within it. Magnesium is better known for its ability to boost energy within the body. But, that’s not all asparagus can do for you. Its heavy amount of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, thiamin, selenium, and riboflavin provide great health effects for the body, including the ability to help with proper blood clotting mechanisms. While allowing all of these nutritious elements to enter your body at a low caloric rate, you are benefiting yourself.

Asparagus is a great agent to fend off against infections and diseases. It also aids in helping the liver recover from unhealthy products that enter your body, such as beer and hard alcohol, along with boosting good bacteria in the colon. Roast it, grill it, or steam it; They’re delicious!

Broccoli

broccoli, asparagus, cauliflowerThese little trees hold a massive amount of nutrients and health benefits. If eaten regularly, broccoli can supply the body with a sufficient amount of the mineral known as sulforaphane, which has been known to protect against the dreaded illness cancer. It is known to relieve chronic pain, too.

As a matter of fact, one little cup of broccoli provides the body with over 100% of the necessary vitamin C and vitamin K daily intake. Minerals such as folate and potassium come along with these health benefits. And, quick tip: if you aren’t the biggest fan of orange juice, substitute it with some broccoli; They have the same amount of vitamins and minerals, yet a hell of a lot less sugar. The best way to cook broccoli is to steam it. If you aren’t crazy about the flavor, add it into your next stir-fry or add in a peanut sauce made from scratch.

Brussels Sprouts

The first thought that may, or may not, come to your mind is: yuck! I know, I get it they don’t always taste amazing. However, they’re impeccably easy to cook and they hold health benefits like no other. As a matter of fact, they’re known to carry antioxidants that prevent cells from becoming damaged, whether it is from little to no oxygen reaching the cells, or it is from any type of chronic illness. Brussels sprouts are also known to help in the prevention of colon cancer due to its ability to detoxify the body from alcohol in a healthy way.

Besides these health benefits, brussels sprouts contain a great amount of vitamin A, C, K, and folate. To add to the list, these cute little cabbages have a low caloric intake and have the perfect amount of potassium that your body and cells need to maintain good health. When cooking, avoid boiling them as this leads to a gross kind of smell. Instead, bake them in the oven and add whatever sauce or type of healthy oil you’d like.

Carrots

Carrots are actually loaded with vitamin A. So much so that one-cup of the vegetable can supply your body with over 400% of the daily recommended dosage. As all the ads suggest, carrots are filled with the mineral known as beta-carotene that acts as an antioxidant fighting against cancer.

Along with these health benefits comes the great supplementation of a variety of vitamin B’s along with vitamins C and K, along with a sufficient amount of potassium. Cook them any which way you’d like.

Kale

Kale is a nice super vegetable that has amazing health benefits along with rich antioxidant effects on the body. One single cup of raw kale actually provides the body with a numerous quantity of B vitamins, along with efficient amounts of potassium, iron, and calcium. Vitamin A, C, & K daily intakes are met with one single cup of kale, too.

kale, spinach

Because it has a great number of antioxidant effects, it promotes a healthy heart. In turn, bad cholesterol levels are lowered. This can also potentially help those who have high blood pressure. Believe it or not, the best way to get your cup of kale every day is to make kale chips. All you have to do is bake the leafy greens in the oven and there you go: kale chips. Season them any way you think will taste good, but try to avoid salt.

Spinach

Spinach, however, is one of the healthiest vegetables to ever grow. The nutrients in spinach are outstanding. One cup daily provides you with more than half of your necessary vitamin A intake and covers your entire daily vitamin K intake while still providing a sufficient amount of vitamin C and folate. Plus, the caloric intake is less than 10 calories per cup, that’s insane!

And, if you’re one to have any chronic illnesses, spinach is the vegetable to eat. With its rich amount of antioxidants, spinach is sure to fight most battles in your body. Decreasing risks of cancer is common when eating spinach on a daily basis. Also, with its great amount of potassium and magnesium, it’s proven to lower blood pressure and in turn, helping with heart health. Steaming is the best way to cook this vegetable, as boiling it will decrease its health effects.

Tomatoes

Believe it or not, tomatoes are extremely good for your nutritional intake. Along with its amazing amount of vitamin A & C, and its efficient amount of fiber and potassium, this food contains cancer-fighting properties.

However, each colored tomato can help in different ways. For example, yellow tomatoes are low in caloric intake, green tomatoes have the most vitamin C within them, and orange tomatoes have the most vitamin A within them. The red tomatoes have the most potassium as well as the least amount of sodium. Heating a tomato just a tad will give it the best flavor along with the most beneficial impact on your body.

11 Apr

Nobody wants to set up a meeting with a nutritionist. Eating healthy is something that many believe they should be able to deal with on their own, and don’t see the value in a nutritionist. On top of that, you have to pay for the privilege of having someone else tell you what to do and what you can eat. Handing over that sort of control to your life is something that nobody is exactly enthusiastic about. There are certain situations, though, when seeing a nutritionist would be in your best interest, such as when thinking about adding hemp oil to your life, since it helps with stress and anxiety, as well as pain. You might have to swallow up a bit of pride, but if one of the following applies to you, it would probably be in your best interest to call up a nutritionist and make an appointment.

You Might Be Allergic to Something

food allergy, allergens, nuts, egg, seafoodIf you think you might have had an allergic reaction, then you definitely shouldn’t be taking any chances. Even if you think you know what you’re allergic to, if you want to be safe in the future, see a nutritionist. It’s possible that you’re mistaking the actual catalyst that you reacted to. Alternatively, even if you were correct in your guess, certain foods share the same allergens, so unless you want to have an individual reaction to each one, talking with a nutritionist will allow you to cut out entire food groups that might do damage to you. And it’s possible that you didn’t have a reaction at all; a nutritionist should be able to determine that, and send you to a doctor if need be.

You Feel Like You Have IBS

It’s not normal to get diarrhea frequently, or to go for multiple days without having a bowel movement, or to have stomach pains any time you have to go. It’s possible that you have IBS, which would require medical treatment, but it’s also possible that your diet is just wreaking havoc on your digestive system. A nutritionist might be able to get your bowel movements much more comfortable and regular without any need for medical intervention.

Dairy Makes You Feel Horrible

If your stomach feels twisted and bloated every time you have anything with dairy in it, it’s probably that you’re lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance has degrees, though, and you might not have to cut out dairy entirely, only limit it. If you want to have a more comprehensive answer, see a nutritionist for their expertise.

Weight Loss Plans Aren’t Working

There are all kinds of potential reasons why you can’t lose weight or keep it off. It might be a metabolism issue preventing you from making meaningful progress. You might be making some fundamental mistakes with your regime, miscounting calories or taking the wrong dieting advice. Whatever it is that’s holding you back, a nutritionist will help you identify it and overcome it.

You Can’t Manage to Gain Weight

If you’re at an unhealthy low weight, it can be a priority to put on pounds. Some guys can eat all day and never gain a single pound. A nutritionist will be able to make a plan for you to sustainably gain weight the healthy way.

You Get Heartburn Frequently

Heartburn or acid reflux isn’t just frequently uncomfortable, it’s actually very dangerous. It’s caused by stomach acids making their way up your esophagus, and that can have extremely bad long term effects on you. You might need to eventually see a doctor to fix the problem, but often times, heartburn is more of a diet issue than a medical one, and a nutritionist can help you get better.

Your Hunger Levels are Changing Drastically

If you’re absurdly hungry out of nowhere, or if your appetite has completely vanished, that can be a sign of something significantly wrong. See a nutritionist to find the source of your swinging appetite level.

You’ve Got High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is just one of a wide amount of issues that can be linked to your diet. High blood pressure can be a major health issue, and needs to be reined in immediately.

Your Cholesterol is Through the Roof

Correcting your cholesterol starts first with your diet. High cholesterol can back up in your blood vessels, eventually turning into plaque, and kill you with heart attacks or blood clots. Lowering your cholesterol will require creating a personalized diet full of heart healthy foods, and avoiding saturated fats and trans fats. Utilize a trained nutritionist to help you navigate these complex waters.

You’re Losing Weight but You Don’t Feel Well

man standing on scale, losing weightThere are lots of ways to lose weight, and not all of them are healthy. Losing weight is counterproductive if it leaves you less healthy than you were when you started. See a nutritionist so you can go over your weight loss plan, and find out what it was that you did wrong, and what you can do to lose weight in a more healthy manner.

You’re Obsessing Over Food

You really shouldn’t be thinking about food when you’re not hungry. If you constantly find yourself looking forward to your next meal, then that constitutes something a bit more serious than hunger. It’s likely indicative of a growing eating disorder, and you should try to deal with it as quickly as you can. With a nutritionist’s help, you can deal with your urges in a healthy way.

You’ve Had Numerous Stress Fractures

It’s not normal to get stress fractures frequently. What it speaks to the most is a calcium deficiency in your diet, so if you’ve had several stress factors, see a nutritionist so you can create a diet plan that will be better for your bones.

You’re Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic

Diabetes is the fastest growing disease in America, fueled largely by the obesity epidemic. If you have diabetes, or if you’re pre-diabetic, then it is vital to your health to see a nutritionist and set up a healthy meal plan. There are few lifestyles more dependent on a healthy diet than that of a diabetic.

12 Feb

What we eat plays a huge role in how our brain functions, and in turn affects many things we do. Headaches, cloudy thinking, decreased ability to retain information etc. are all affected by the foods that we eat.

Our food is what keeps us running optimally through the performance of various functions. This includes things like hormonal regulation, control of inflammation, immune responses etc. The brain consumes the most calories we eat if we look at energy used versus weight, making it even more important to make the correct choices when it comes to our diets.

fruits and vegetables for the brain

Obviously some foods are going to be better than others in ensuring that our brains are functioning optimally, so you need to know what to look for. Here are the best foods you can eat to keep your mind performing at its best:

Dark Chocolate

Before you run out to the store to pick up some chocolate, it is important to note that you need to be buying the dark chocolate varieties, preferably 70% cocoa or more. The health benefits of chocolate lies in the cocoa and not in the sugar and milk, so avoid milk chocolate which is loaded with calories.

Dark chocolate on the other hand is beneficial to brain functioning mainly because of compounds they contain called flavonols. These compounds act like anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories in that they neutralize harmful free radicals, while dilating blood vessels as well.

This helps to improve blood flow to areas of the brain, which helps prevent them from becoming oxygen poor and the death of brain cells. They also are great for cardiovascular health as well again because of their influence over dilation of blood vessels.

Berries

An important part of maintaining the health of the brain is removing all of the harmful particles from it that come in the form of free radicals. Anti-oxidants are what we have available to us to do so, so naturally we want to eat foods high in these compounds to maintain the best health of the brain.

bluberry, healthy food, salmonGoji berries, blackberries are particularly high in antioxidants, two of the richest foods in which we know of. Berries are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, all of which are known as powerful antioxidants as well as essential nutrients we need to perform other functions.
Ideally you want to be eating at least a cup of berries a day, and the more you eat the better. Most people are reluctant to eat too many because they are naturally high in sugar. However, because of their high fiber content the body ends up using more calories to digest and synthesize these nutrients than the berries themselves contain. This essentially puts you at a caloric deficit when you eat these foods, so have at it!

Eggs

When it comes to the egg, lately the egg yolk has been given a bad rap while the egg white has been hailed as superior. The egg white contains a good amount of protein without the fat and cholesterol found within the yolk, so many people view it as nutritionally superior to the yolk.

The problem with this thinking is that the yolk does contain a lot of the nutrients we are looking for as well, including ones like choline which can improve how our brains function.
This compound is important in nerve functioning, and as many of us know our brain is essentially a big bundle of intertwining nerve fibers. Eating these foods is going to greatly improve how we process information.

If you are worried about eating egg yolks because they are high in cholesterol, you shouldn’t be too worried. Traditionally we have believed that dietary cholesterol translates to blood cholesterol, however recent studies are showing evidence to the contrary.
There isn’t a definitive link between blood cholesterol and dietary cholesterol so don’t avoid eating egg yolks if you are concerned about that.

If you have high cholesterol chances are that you are going to need medication anyway, as cutting it completely out of the diet isn’t going to necessarily reduce your blood levels of cholesterol. The body produces cholesterol on its own as it is essential in process such as in the creation of hormones, which is something to keep in mind in regards to cholesterol consumption.