Low carb, no carb, it's enough to make us go crazy. Carbohydrates have become the enemy of many "healthy" eaters in the recent years, but we say it's time to bring them back. And we're not the only ones.
"We need carbohydrates!" exclaims personal trainer Kate Pearson, coach at Inside Out Fitness and Nutrition Coaching in Glasgow. "They are the main source of energy for our body. Complex carbohydrates are also often a great source of fiber, and a diet high in fiber helps prevent various diseases as well as keeping us feeling fuller for longer."
"Low carbohydrate diets have become popular in recent years and, whilst it's true that many of us in the country could benefit from eating less carbohydrates, it's generally not recommended to cut any of these food groups out entirely."
Much to our eternal disappointment, this isn't permission to eat pizza. Kate does admit that not all carbohydrates are created equal, and a diet high in simple carbs from refined, processed foods has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, stroke, and some cancers, to name a few.
But if you're reaching for the right ones, think brown rice or bread, vitamin-rich sweet potatoes, or nutritious grains like quinoa and barley, carbs are an essential part of a balanced diet, and you body will thank you for eating them.
So, how can you tell if you're not getting enough carbs??
You're always tired--We need carbs for energy, remove them and our body has to work harder to convert energy from fats and protein. You might wake up feeling sluggish and this won't improve throughout the day, nor will it improve with a good night's sleep.
You're not losing weight--Low carb diets will probably help you drop some pounds long-term, but Kate warns that most of that weight is water. Your liver will then try to make up for the sudden loss of sugar by producing it itself, and when blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes insulin, your fat-storing hormone, hence the plateau in the numbers on your scale.
You keep getting headaches--Keep reaching for the Nurofen? It could be because eating too few carbs causes your blood sugar levels to drop and this can cause headaches-a nasty side effect to a super low-carb diet, although, if your headaches are ongoing and the pain doesn't lessen when you do pick up some pasta, you should consult with your doctor.
You're concentration is suffering--Some small s;tudies have shown that low carbohydrate diets can affect you memory and make it harder to concentrate, Kate reports, so if you find your attention wandering at your desk, it might not just be that snoozeworthy report that's messing with your focus.
You're struggling with your workouts--This is especially noticeable if you're training hard, doing cardio or high intensity work, Kate adds. When your body doesn't have enough carbs it can quickly use, you won't be able to train as hard and your fitness will suffer. Some elite athletes, particularly endurance athletes, will occasionally do low card diets to complement their training, but most of our workout schedules do no look like theirs.
You're constantly cold--Chilly hands and feet can be a sign of a problem with your thyroid, which is another risk factor of cutting your carbs too sharply. This is only usually a serious issue if you've taken your low-carb diet to the extreme, but it's something people following plans like Atkins or Paleo sometimes complain of, so worth monitoring just in case.
You're totally hangry--Finally science proves what we all already know. Hangry is a real, legit thing. Restricting your carb intake does make you angry and irritable, because carbohydrates are essential for the production of your happy hormone serotonin, so reintroducing complex carbs is one of the simplest things you can do to rebalance your mood.
Your breath is bad--Bad breath is an unfortunate side effect of using fat as a primary fuel source. Want to test if yours is rank? Lick your wrist, wait five seconds, and then give it a sniff-that's what people are smelling when you speak. Upping your carb intake is one obvious way to freshen up, although you can also prevent bad breath by drinking more water.
You're constipated--Know what carbs are a great source of? Fiber. And guess what you need fiber for? Pooping. Restricting your carbohydrate sources often means a reduction in the amount of fiver you're consuming and that sadly causes constipation. This can be prevented by eating a varied diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
The EWG released its annual 'Dirty Dozen' and 'Clean Fifteen' lists.
The next time you shop the produce aisle you might want to beeline straight for the organic section--especially if strawberries, spinach, nectarines or apples are on your list. As it turns out, they're some of the most pesticide heavy fruits and veggies according to the Environmental Working Group. The EWG just released its 2017 list of the most and least pesticide ridden foods, aka 'Dirty Dozen' and 'Clean Fifteen'. Here's what you need to know.
To compile the ranking, the EWG analyzed tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration of more than 48 different types of produce. This year, the Dirty Dozen list includes, in order, strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, celery, grapes, pears, cherries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and potatoes.
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Spinach made a huge leap from eighth to second place, while pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last years list.
The 'Clean Fifteen', which outlines the produce with the fewest pesticides detected. Those 15 are sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit.
But before you start throwing out any fruits or veggies that aren't on the Clean Fifteen, remember that this list does not mean you are going to keel over and die just because you grabbed the cheaper, non-organic strawberries the last time you were at the store.
Eating fruits and veggies, even non-organic, is still a better choice than processed crap like potato chips and sugar-laden cereals, so use this list as a a guide, rather than something to live and die by. Even the EWG believes we need to keep things in perspective saying: "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure." Still, better to know which ones might need a more thorough wash!
A lack of vitamin D has been linked to everything from infertility to premature bone aging. If those long-term health concerns don't prompt you to look for ways to boost your vitamin D intake, consider the recent NPR report citing research based on 25 medical studies that found vitamin D intake may help prevent colds and flu. So, yes, a healthy dose of vitamin D can help you in the short term too.
But just how do you make sure you have adequate vitamin D intake? That's 600 IU (international units) per day for most adults, according to the National Academy of Medicine. Those over 70 years old are advised to get 800 IU per day.
Sure you can take multivitamins to help reach that threshold. Most of them have about 400 IU of vitamin D, reports NPR.
But there are plenty of natural ways to easily boost your vitamin D intake as well. Consider these 11 suggestions from experts.
1. Eat fatty fish: Fish are naturally rich in vitamin D. Here's how some of them measure up, according to a report by the Nation Institute of Health.
* cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon: 1,360 IU
* cooked swordfish, 3 ounces: 566 IU
* cooked sockeye salmon, 3 ounces: 447 IU
* canned tuna in water, drained, 3 ounces: 154 IU
* Two sardines, canned in oil, drained: 46 IU
2. Choose foods fortified with vitamin D: The NIH reports the following IU tallies for specific foods (check labels to verify amounts in individual brands).
* orange juice,1 cup: 137 IU
* nonfat, reduced fat or whole milk, 1 cup: 115-124 IU
* yogurt, 6 ounces: 80 IU
* margarine, 1 tablespoon: 60 IU
* ready-to-eat cereal, 3/4 to 1 cup: 40 IU
3. Cook up beef liver: This is not everyone's cup of tea, but the NIH reports 3 ounces of cooked beef liver delivers a luscious 42 IU of vitamin D.
4. Enjoy a slice of Swiss cheese: The NIH reports that 1 ounce of this cheesy goodness contains 6 IU.
5. Eat your eggs: One large egg yolk has 41 IU, reports the NIH.
6. Toss in some mushrooms: Various types of mushrooms--especially those exposed to ultraviolet light, deliver megadoses if vitamin D, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, 1 cup of brown, Italian or Crimini mushrooms has up to 1,110 IU. Portobellos contain close to 1,000 IU.
7. Think kid stuff: Remember the old commercials urging kids to drink Ovaltine? Well, it turns out that is not bad advice. One cup of Ovaltine powder, about four, 4 tablespoon servings, has 284 IU, an amount comparable with one ready-to-drink bottle of Nestle Boost Plus, which has 218 IU, according to the USDA.
8. Serve some ham: Non-fish lovers may enjoy a slice of extra lean canned cured ham, 140 grams of 1 cup by volume. That amount has about 130 IU of vitamin D, according to the USDA.
9. Dish out yogurt: A container of Silk plain yogurt has 120 IU of vitamin D, reports the USDA. Many of the other ordinary yogurts contained 80-85 IU of vitamin D per container, while the Greek varieties hovered closer to 50. Be sure to check the label to be sure of what you are getting.
10. Grab some turkey or pork sausage: Include links or patties with your breakfast. A serving of about 1 cup of these sausages delivers 103 IU, reports the USDA.
11. Get a little sun: The days of sunbathing without sunscreen passed years ago due to revelations about the skin cancer risk. You don't need to go overboard, 20-25 minutes of daily sun exposure can prompt your body to manufacture more vitamin D, according to Stephen Honig, director of the Osteoporosis Center of NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases, speaking to Shape magazine. It's important to go out into the sun, not catch rays through a window. To trigger maximum vitamin D production, expose as much skin as safely possible to receive the maximum benefit, taking into consideration your skin tone, the time of day, and the intensity of the sun where you live.
Sugar. It's the bane of many a weight-loss program. So sweet, so delicious and so tempting. And so calorie dense, nutrient poor, and unhealthy.
But how can anyone possibly give up all sweet treats?
Marketers from many companies want you to believe you can have your cake _and your soda, and your cookies), and lose weight too. All you have to do is replace sugar and sugar-sweetened foods with any number of popular artificial sweeteners, from sucralose to aspartame to acesulfame potassium, or AceK, to saccharin, and many more, and you'll get to enjoy the sweetness without the excess calories.
Despite compelling advertisements stating their products taste like sugar with none of the calories and none of the guilt, rest assured, these chemicals are anything but natural and may be just as likely--and in some cases, more likely--as sugar to prevent you from reaching your goals.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AND WEIGHT LOSS
While animal studies have linked artificial sweeteners to weight gain and obesity, a recently published article provides evidence that artificially sweetened diet soft drinks may have a negative impact on a weight-loss program. In a study, which had no financial ties to the beverage industry and was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Nottingham assigned 62 women, who regularly consume diet beverages, to one of two groups. Half of the women, were instructed to replace zero calorie, artificially sweetened beverages (diet soda) with water after their main meal, lunch, while the other half continued to drink diet sodas. The women in the latter group drank only one diet soda per day after lunch.
The researchers tracked the progress of the women for 24 weeks, and they were all instructed to follow the exact same weight-loss program including a reduced-calorie diet. As expected, at the end of the trial, all the women lost a significant amount of weight. However the women who replaced diet beverages with water lost, on average, 16% more weight than the women who drank diet sodas--and remember, they only drank one diet beverage per day. Not only that, the women who drank water experienced improvements in their insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate tolerance that were 70% and 42% greater, respectively, than the group who drank diet beverages. This study provides evidence that replacing artificially-sweetened diet beverages with water may lead to greater weight management and metabolic benefits during a weight loss program.
GUT-WRENCHING SIDE EFFECTS
You may also be surprised to learn that one of the most common sweeteners, sucralose, actually contains chlorine. Yes, the same chlorine that goes in swimming pools. Just like chlorine kills off micro-organisms in swimming pools, sucralose may kill of healthy bacteria that lives in your gut. That's healthy bacteria that's vitally important to virtually every aspect of your health.
Recently, a study at Duke University confirmed this very finding. The researchers found that animals fed sucralose--in realistic amounts well within the FDA's safety limits--for 12 weeks experienced a significant reduction in the amount of their "good" gut bacteria. Even after a 12-week recovery period, the quantity of beneficial micro-organisms remained significantly depressed.
Here's a direct quote from the study---"Sucralose suppressed beneficial bacteria and directly affects the expression of the transporter P-gp and cytochrome P-450 isozymes that are known to interfere with the bioavailability of nutrients. Furthermore, these effects occur at doses that contain sucralose levels that are approved by the FDA for use in the food supply."
Did you know that your digestive system houses over 70% of your immunity, which relies heavily on a healthy balance of gut bacteria? In fact, there are more than 110 Trillion living micro-organisms in your gut that control many aspects of your health, and due to things like artificial sweeteners, many people have created a substantial unhealthy imbalance of gut bacteria, called gut dysbiosis.
Here are some of the consequences that can result from gut dysbiosis if left unaddressed.
* Bowel irritation and digestive discomfort
* Skin issues
* Fatigue and low energy levels
* Lowered immune response
* Difficulty losing weight
* Poor carbohydrate management and suboptimal metabolic function
Perhaps you are thinking. "oh, that's just one sweetener." Not so fast. Another study published in the journal Nature found that humans consuming the artificial sweetener saccharin for just five days resulted in gut dysbiosis as well as reductions in carbohydrate tolerance.
THE KEY TO BEATING DYSBIOSIS
It's not all bad news, however. In fact, the great news is that you can actually supplement with healthy bacteria, more commonly known as probiotics, which support a healthy balance of gut bacteria and help your gut battle numerous threatening challenges, such as artificial sweeteners, aging, environmental factors, traveling, stress, poor food choices, and more. Research is now suggesting that supplementing with a quality probiotic supplement daily may:
* Help the immune system function properly
* Keep harmful micro-organisms in check
* Support healthy brain function
* Aid digestion, including breaking down difficult-to-digest foods
* Support healthy weight management
* Aid in nutrient absorption
UNFORTUNATELY, NOT ALL PROBIOTICS ARE CREATED EQUALLY:
You may not know this, but research has shown that after just one year on the shelf in a sealed bottle at room temperature, on average, only about 40% of many store-bought probiotics (which are delicate living organisms that are sensitive to heat, light, moisture, and acid) survive. What's more, due to the harsh environment of the stomach, another 80% of the remaining live probiotic cells may be killed off before they reach your gut (the "final destination" they must reach alive and well in order to provide you with their beneficial properties).
Furthermore, many products contain probiotics that are already dead within days or weeks of bottling due to poor manufacturing and storage practices that expose the cultures to high heat. In other word, a traditional probiotic supplement could be virtually worthless by the time you take it--what a waste of time and money.
AVOID THE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Despite how widely available artificial sweeteners are and the overwhelming number of products they're found in, the unintended consequences can be downright frightening and more likely to lead to a lack of success than the "sweet" benefits that savvy marketers may lead you to believe.
So, the next time you're looking for a sweet treat, consider your gut and the tremendous importance it plays in your overall health. Instead, reach for a delicious piece of whole, low-sugar fruit like strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, or apples, or try a snack sweetened with truly natural low-calorie sweetener like stevia leaf extract.
From acai bowls and bone broth, food trends come and go. More often than not, the of the moment foods can set you back a pretty penny too. So which are worth it?? Whether it's just overpriced or overrated, here are five food trends you many want to think twice about.
1. Cold pressed juices--Cold pressed juices have risen in popularity over the past few years, and with the hefty price tag tacked on them (one serving of juice can be as much as $12!) one would assume guzzling some would provide you with all the nutrients you could possibly need. Unfortunately for your wallets, and you diets, that is not the case. While made of whole, raw fruits and veggies, the fiver from these foods is often stripped during the juicing process. On top of that, fruits like apples can be added to cut the bitter flavor of leafy greens, which can bump the carbohydrate content up to 20-30 grams of carbs per juice! And because there is no fiber or protein in these juices, guzzling one can cause blood sugar levels to spike too, leaving you right back where you started: hungry and craving something nutrient dense.
2. Vegan cookies--Just because something is vegan does not make it healthy--or helpful for weight loss. The reason vegan cookies taste just as good, if not better than, some regular cookies is they can pack the same amount of calories and fat as their non-vegan counterparts. Think about it this way: A vegan chocolate chip cookie may be dairy free and/or made with organic or raw ingredients, but it can still be 240 calories with 39 grams of carbs, 19 grams of which come from sugar. A small order McDonald's fries has less carbs, sugar and calories than that! White sugar is vegan, flour is vegan, chocolate chips can be vegan, and just because a cookie is made with these does not mean it's worth you biting into.
3. Jackfruit--Because of it's meaty texture, this Asian fruit has gained recent popularity as a meat substitute. However, just because jackfruit can taste and look just like pulled meat doesn't necessarily mean it's a great source of protein. And in fact, it's quite the opposite. A 1 cup serving of jackfruit has less than 3 grams of protein, making it ess-than-ideal substitute for meat in the diet. Not only is jackfruit low in protein, but because it is a fruit, it is also a major source of carbohydrates and sugar. That same one serving packs in 31 grams of sugar, which is as much as an Original Single Milky Way bar! There's a place in the diet for jackfruit, but if you're looking for a vegetarian source of protein,tofu or egg whites are a much better bet.
4. Avocado toast-- Avocado toast may seem like the healthiest choice on the brunch menu, but if you're dissecting this trend form a weight-loss standpoint, you may want to pass next time you see it on a menu. While avocados are considered a healthy fat, and do provide health benefits, it's not necessary to eat more tha a serving a day to reap those health benefits--and a servingof avocado is really not much at all. A serving of avocado is a third of a medium avocado. Most restaurants make their avocado mash with the whole fruit though, so you can be looking at a toast that tallies around 300-400 calories, before the thick slice of olive oil drizzled bread. If you're craving avocado toast, try opting for a variety that uses egg whites and tomatoes in the mash for an added lean-protein and nutrient boost.
5. Matcha lattes--Between the specialty matcha shops like Cha Cha Matcha popping up and all the coffee joints adding matcha lattes to their menus, matcha is one food trend that has taken the mainstage--and for $5-7 a cup, it will set you back a pretty penny too. While matcha is packed with antioxidants and provides detox health benefits that cannot be disputed, ordering up a latte may not be the magic elixir you bargained for. A 12 ounce matcha latte from a popular coffee chain packs 24 grams of sugar and will set you back 190 calories. To put that in perspective, that's like taking your coffee cup and stirring in 6 extra teaspoons of the granulated stuff. This wouldn't be so bad, except matcha alone naturally has no sugar, or calories at all! Say later to the store-bought matcha lattes, and whip up your own cup at home with unsweetened almond milk and stevia. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your waistline will too!!
Sorry about the spellings errors, I was unable to correct them~~~
You're immune system needs to be strong enough to fight off germs and viruses lurking, well, everywhere. Eating nutrient-rich foods is a great way to keep your family healthy. But with tight schedules, many of us eat on the run and sacrifice good nutrition, which can undermine the health boost that a normally nutritious diet offers.
Colds and flu can sneak up on you and your loved ones. More than 200 viruses can cause cold symptoms. That is a lot of bugs to fend off.
Luckily, eating healthy may be just the immune-system booster you need to ward off illness. A healthy immune system is your best defense against pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and carcinogens that can make you ill.
Immune cells are found throughout you body, in your tonsils, lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. By focusing on nutrient-rich foods instead of high-calorie foods like cookies and ice cream, you and your family can ward off illness.
Here are 6 foods that boost Immunity.
1. Fish--For a stronger immune system, nutritionists suggest consuming at least two servings a week of fatty seafood, such as sardines, salmon, herring, and mackerel.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish and in other foods such as walnuts, flaxseeds and canola oil are known to boost the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body. They increase the activity of white blood cells called macrophages, which engulf troublesome bacteria. Monounsaturated fats in foods such as olive oil and wheat germ also protect our bodies from microorganisms, bacteria and viruses.
2. Protein--Zinc, a mineral abundant in meats like calf's liver, beef and lamb, works with the protein found in meat to help strengthen the immune system. In fact, certain types of immune cells, including white blood cells, cannot function without zinc.
In the winter months, most markets offer a wonderful array of fresh choices, from winter squashes, greens and root vegetables to cranberries. You can also reach for canned and frozen fruits and vegetables any time of the year. Processed just after the harvest, canned and frozen produce may actually have more nutrients than produce that has spent days in transit.
3. Citrus & Veggies--Go ahead and indulge in leafy greens, bell peppers, and citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, all rich in vitamin C. This vitamin inactivates histamine, the substance responsible for your runny nose and congestion, and helps reduce the inflammation that accompanies colds and viruses.
According to a study at the University of California at Berkeley of 160 healthy adults, those who took 500 milligrams of vitamin C a day for two months had a 24% drop in C-reactive protein, a compound associated with inflammation and chronic disease.
Brightly colored greens and other vegetables also contain large doses of immune-enhancing antioxidants that help fight wintertime illnesses. So load up on strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes--all a boost for you immune system.
To make vegetables more appealing, add them to soups, stews and sauces. And down a glass of low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice now and then--they are both great sources of vitamin C.
4. Nuts--Instead of chips or cheese doodles for an afternoon snack, reach for a handful of nuts or seeds. Studies show vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, fights respiratory infections, including colds. It boosts the responses of antibodies and certain immune system cells when we're under stress.
Try on quarter cup of sunflower seeds which has almost all the vitamin E you need daily, one quarter cup of almond provides 50% of your needs, Brazil nuts pack a whopping dose of selenium, a mineral that works with vitamin E to boost wintertime defenses.
5. Spices--Both garlic and onions contain compounds that rev up the activity of immune-system cells called natural killer cells and T-helper cells. While onions and garlic fend off colds, they're also helping defend you from cancer and heart disease.
If a cold does catch you and you get stuffy, a bite of garlic will also help clear your nose.
6. Yogurt--In a year-long study at the University of California, adults who ate three-fourths cup of yogurt a day had 25% fewer colds than those who didn't. Researchers found that yogurt cranked up the production of a substance called gamma interferon, which helps squelch virus reproduction, a death knell for your cold.
Dehydration can also lower your defenses. Drink at least 8 8-ounce glasses of water and other fluids every day. And if you're already sick, double that.
Now you know what to eat, but what foods should you avoid?
Skip sugar and Fat--Animal studies have shown that diets high in both sugar and fat reduce the numbers of natural killer cells. Even as little as two sugary sodas a day can lower the power of your cold-busting immune cells by 40%.
For a healthy immune system, health experts also encourage reaching a healthy weight, taking a multivitamin that provides essential minerals, like zinc and selenium, exercising 30 to 60 minutes most days, and sleeping at least eight hours every night.
If you're like most, you could probably use a change of pace in your diet beyond the regular ol' chicken breast. So, to spice up your diet, and your taste buds, here are 10 of our favorite foods high in protein you can begin mixing into your weekly meal plans.
1. Eggs--Eat the whole egg, not just the white. The yolk is actually the most nutrient-dense portion of the egg, providing a ton of vitamins and minerals, protein and healthy fats and it has the benefit of making the egg taste better.
2. Shrimp--Grill them, or saute them in some grass-fed butter or extra virgin olive oil. Mix with veggies and enjoy.
3. Salmon--An awesome fatty fish containing loads of protein and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Greek Yogurt--Greek yogurt packs twice the protein of regular yogurt. Go with the plain variety and sweeten with stevia, a little bit of honey, or better yet, some berries if you'd like.
5. Ground Turkey--Super lean and great for chili.
6. Pork--Known as the other white meat, it's as lean as chicken when you get the right cut. Go for the boneless chops and trim the outer fatty edge.
7. Chicken Sausage--You probably won't notice the difference between chicken sausage and regular sausage, but the former is a more concentrated source of protein.
8. Beans--Black beans, kidney beans, red beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, lentils and the list goes on, are the least expensive protein source in America--and probably every other part of the world as well--and they are crazy high in fiber with very little impact on blood sugar. Add them to your turkey chili, a salad, or whip up some hummus.
9. Bison--All the taste of beef while being incredibly lean and still packing a mean flavor punch.
10. Grass-Fed Beef--Grass fed beef is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a special type of fat that has been shown to result in fat LOSS. Eat this...tastes great, and it's great for your figure.
Water is good for you, we all know that. We hear no end that we should be drinking more and more water. After all, water is a vital component of our bodies, let's not forget that we are made up of 80% water!! Which is actually a very strange thought when you overthink it. Water basically maintains all of our everyday bodily functions form transporting vital nutrients and oxygen to helping with our day to day digestion of food. So we've successfully established we NEED it.
But fancy making your water even more helpful to your system? Just add honey, yes honey! I know what you're thinking, it's full of sugar... It's so sweet, how can it be healthy??
Fear not friends, honey is actually pretty darn good for you. Drinking a glass of warm honey water everyday can increase your health and even prevent against disease. Yep, you heard it right, this is what will happen if you start drinking honey water everyday...
Your gas will reduce--If you suffer from bloat or feel gassy on the regular, then a mug of warm honey water will help to neutralize the gas in your system. You'll feel half a stone lighter in no time.
You will boost your immune system--Honey owns some pretty impressive immune system boosting properties. Be sure to buy raw, organic honey to gain maximum benefits from the bacteria killing assets! It's full of enzymes, vitamins and minerals that will protect you against any nasty bacteria.
You will flush out toxins--Honey and warm water is one of the best combinations to flushing out waste from your system. Say goodbye to toxins and hello to a detox. Adding lemon will also help improve this even further by helping to increase urination.
Your skin will become clearer--Honey is a natural anti-oxidant which means it helps to flush away any waste and thanks to antibacterial properties, it helps to keep your skin clean and clearer than ever. (go to http://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1017621/beauty-benefits-of-honey) for an overview of why and how to get better skin by using honey.
You will lose weight--So your first thought is probably "but sugar??" Yes, there is sugar in honey, but it is totally different to white sugar, it's natural sugar! These natural sugars will help to satisfy your everyday sweet cravings for naughty treats such as cake, sweets, chocolate and cola. In fact, if you swap your sweetened packed drinks for honey water, you'll be saving up to 64% more calories.
Your sore throat will improve--There's a reason warm honey water is a winter favorite, it can help to soothe a sore throat and warm you up in the colder months. Honey is a natural remedy for respiratory infections and the common cough, so next time you have a pesky winter cold, reach for the honey (raw and organic of course).
Your blood sugar levels will regulate--As we've discussed, whilst honey does contain a fair amount of sugar, it's not the same as white sugar--the combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body to regulate your blood sugar levels, it's also said to lower cholesterol too. Not bad~~~
You'll be preventing risk of heart disease--The flavonoids and anti-oxidants in honey are also pretty handy at helping to prevent and reduce your risk of heart disease. Research has shown that honey slowed down the oxidation process of bad cholesterol in human blood--which can have a harmful effect on your heart leading to attacks and even a stroke.
*Make sure you let the water cool a bit (so it should be warm, not hot) before adding the honey so that it does not inactivate the natural enzymes in the raw honey*
So, what are you waiting for?? Make yourself a warm/cool glass of honey water~~~~
One of my favorite salty, crunchy, nutty snacks is pumpkin seeds. I especially love these because they are great if you happen to have a peanut or nut allergy. Pumpkin seeds are also powerhouse snacks full of amazing nutrition that you cannot get elsewhere. They contain great stuff like magnesium, zinc, copper, protein, tryptophan, and more. They also contain some very healthy fats and antioxidants, so they fill you up with low-glycemic protein, fiber, and add a powerful nutritional punch as well.
RICH IN MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is vital to about 300 or more of your body functions, and most of us are short on this incredible nutrient. Magnesium helps to create ATP, which are the energy molecules in your body, it helps to make RNA and DNA, the heart of each of your cells, regulates your heart beat, helps you sleep and relax, creates healthy bones, lowers your blood pressure and keeps you regular. Since about 80% of the population is in need of more magnesium and if you are an athlete, drink alcohol, take blood pressure medicine, need help maintaining your blood sugar, you need even more.
GREAT SOURCE OF TRYPTOPHAN
Tryptophan is a substance in foods that is the raw material for our bodies to make serotonin, the 'feel good' brain neurotransmitter. Serotonin not only helps with depression but it also alleviates anxiety, In fact, most antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs work to preserve serotonin as it is vital to feelings of well-being. Studies have been shown that foods containing tryptophan are definitely helpful in banishing anxiety and depression.
Tryptophan also helps to promote healthy sleep. Melatonin combined with serotonin help to create a restful, relaxing sleep and tryptophan provides the raw materials for both of these desired brain neurotransmitters. Try a handful or two of pumpkin seeds combined with some cherries for a bedtime snack, and you will sleep like a baby and wake rested!
ZINC, IMMUNITY, TESTOSTERONE, ETC
Pumpkin seeds also contain a hefty supply of zinc, which not only beefs up your immune system and helps you fight off colds and flu, but also serves as an important nutrient for brain and mood.
Zinc also helps with healthy cell growth and division and faster healing of wounds. Diabetics and overweight individuals should also take note as it helps to regulate blood sugar, and appetite.
And last but not least, zinc is vital to males for healthy sperm and testosterone supply. Pumpkin seeds have been associated with virility for many many years and zinc is also beneficial for prostate health and helps prevent BPH, or enlarged prostate issues.
Men with BPH often suffer from urinary frequency as it is often difficult to empty the bladder with an enlarged prostate. A diet high in pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil can offer dramatic relief from the urinary issues associated with BPH. Studies show a 40% increase in urinary flow and a 30% reduction in urinary frequency compared to a placebo.
Zinc deficiencies are common from crops that are grown in nutrient-depleted soil, vegetarian diets--especially those who eat a lot of soy foods, and those who eat highly processed starchy foods like grains and beans.
Nuts and seeds are often one of the best way to get plant-based omega 3 fatty acids in the form of ALA. Many vegetarians and vegans depend on this method of omega 3 fats, however it does take quite a lot of alpha-linolenic acid to convert to the usable EPA and DHA that we need, so it is advisable to get some omega 3 fats from animals or fish.
Pumpkin seed oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects that increase HDL (good cholesterol), lower bad LDL and overall cholesterol, fight heart disease, and decrease blood pressure, as well as helping arthritis.
Pumpkin seeds offer a tasty and powerful addition to your diet, and you don't have to wait until Halloween to eat them. But they are best and at their most nutritious eaten raw. Pumpkin seeds should be eaten organic if possible. The nutrients are the most available if they are sprouted or soaked which helps to remove the natural phytic acid in them that can block nutrient absorption. If you try to dry your own, it's a good amount of work to take the shells off of them, so we choose to purchase pre-shelled raw pumpkin seeds.
Try throwing a handful of pumpkin seeds into your next smoothie, or adding them to a salad, in your oatmeal or yogurt. They are also great in soups, stews and even meatloaf or cookies.
If you don't like to eat breakfast or you don't take the time to eat breakfast, you could be struggling with weight loss issues, brain fog, no energy, slow metabolism to name a few.
Listed are some reasons why skipping breakfast is NOT a great idea~~~
1. Breakfast is a literal word. With your morning meal you are "breaking" an 8-12 hour "fast" in which you body hasn't received nutrition for an extended period of time. It's a necessity during any weight loss program (with rare exception), not an option.
2. Breakfast is the meal that gets your metabolism going each day. If you're repeatedly waiting until lunch to eat, you're simply training your metabolism to remain slow for an extended portion of the day.
3. Breakfast if THE time to consume carbohydrates. Carbohydrate tolerance and insulin sensitivity are highest at breakfast. The absolute best time of the day to eat carbs (and get away with it) is in the morning.
4. Breakfast is energy for the day. You literally have ALL day to burn the calories that you eat at breakfast. It's very unlikely, unless you are making very poor food choices and eating highly excessive amounts of calories, that calories eaten during the first meal of the day will lead to appreciable fat storage.
Simply put, breakfast should be the biggest, not the smallest (or skipped) meal of the day, and if you're not consuming it on a regular basis, you really need to start.
Thank you for visiting my blog! I am so excited to be able to have this platform to educate the community as well as communicate with all of you. It is just as important for me to listen, so please feel free to comment on any of the blogs. We are all here to learn from each other and I am continuously inspired by all of you.