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A Guide to Vitamin Supplements for Men

By | Diet Tips\, Eating Healthy, Health Tips | No Comments

Vitamin deficiency is not a distinctly third world problem, and even in developed nations, many men are not receiving the best vitamins. Ideally, one should eat a daily diet consisting of plenty of vitamins and organic minerals, but this isn’t always possible. The majority of men tend to have a diet that consists of processed foods that rarely include enough veggies and fruits. According to a recent report by NBC News, 77% of all men suffer from micronutrient malnutrition, specifically magnesium and vitamins D and 2. This glaring statistic explains why there is a prevalence of susceptibility to illnesses among men. 

Micronutrient deficiency among men results in a decreased libido and sexual performance, slow metabolism, lethargy, low muscle strength, bloating, obesity, insomnia, and a horde of cardiovascular conditions. The prevalence of these deficiencies calls for men to take a closer look at their diet and infuse it with vitamins that address their manly problems. 

Essential Vitamins for Men 

Ideally, men wouldn’t need to use multi-vitamin supplements, however, it’s a fast-paced world we live in, which means it’s a tall order to ask most people to keep their fridges stocked with organic produce that can quickly go bad. When shopping for these multi-vitamins go for the organic and fermented options.  

Fermented vitamin supplements are a quick fix for micronutrients deficiency. In the state of fermentation, the vitamins are ‘pre-digested’ which makes them easily absorbed into the bloodstream. When shopping, be sure to check out multivitamins crafted from organic foods such as ginger, saw palmetto, and other vital plants.   

Given the startling stats and the many nutritional problems men are facing, the following is a breakdown of the essential vitamins for men to best nourish their bodies. 

Vitamin D3 

A study documented in the publication Scientific American showed that 75% of all adults in the U.S. suffer from vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D3 is vital for men to maintain bone strength, prevent depression, produce enough testosterone, and in the healthy regulation of both cholesterol and blood pressure. 

Let us further dissect this matter; the internet is flooded with people selling testosterone supplements. The known reasons why men would want to use testosterone supplements is to increase their raw power in physical activities and enhance their libidos. The increasing vitamin D deficiency correlates with the rising numbers of men looking for testosterone supplementation. 

The solution to this lies in maintaining proper Vitamin D3 intake. Not only can it help in increasing libido, but you will also have an active and healthy heart that is protected from attacks and other debilitating conditions. Using Vitamin D3 regularly will set the foundation to have stronger bones and a sharper memory even when old age creeps in. 

Vitamin D3 also helps to reduce inflammation, to maintain a moderate blood pressure level, and control blood cholesterol content. The best thing about this vitamin is that you can get it by spending just 20 minutes in the sun in the early morning or late afternoon. Time outdoors should be considered an added bonus. Endeavor to eat fresh foods like eggs, mushrooms, and dairy products. If you aren’t able to receive adequate Vitamin D3 from both foods and the sun, then you should definitely consider supplementation.  

Antioxidant Vitamins (A, C and E) 

Antioxidants foods include fruits and vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and nuts and seeds. The antioxidants vitamins cannot be made within the body, which is why you need to get them steadily from your diet. Vitamins A, C, and E help in combating free radical damage, a process that speeds up aging, memory loss, cardiovascular diseases, and vision loss.  

Antioxidant vitamins are so crucial, especially as men get older. The vitamins mediate against muscle wasting, tissue loss, and artery damage. They reinvigorate cells and prevent cell mutation, while at the same time working in the skin and sight. Deficiency of these essential vitamins will manifest in the form of nosebleeds, swollen gums, and a generally weakened immune system.  

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 comes in handy for endurance and strength building, equipping men with the energy they need for intense physical activities. These micronutrients also function to prevent heart attacks and dementia, among other health conditions. There is a general deficiency of vitamin B12 among men and women. The problem, however, is not in consumption but absorption. Most men get their daily dose of B12 from foods like poultry, fish, beef, salmon, and eggs, but absorption is hindered because of several factors. 

For starters, medications such as antacids and those used to control blood pressure interfere with the breakdown of vitamin B12 in the body. As men grow old, they develop a condition known as atrophic gastritis: where the stomach cannot produce enough digestive juices, including HCL (hydrochloric acid). HCL acid plays a vital role in disintegrating B12 vitamins from the protein. The US Office of Dietary Supplements estimates that the atrophic gastric condition affects around 30% of all older adults. 

Other factors that slow down the absorption of vitamin B12 include pernicious anemia where your immune system attacks your normal body cells instead of bacteria and viruses. Intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the intestinal walls) and Celiac disease (gluten allergy) can also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.  

Vitamin K 

This vitamin works to strengthen and maintain bone structure, to help in blood clotting and healing of injuries, and to prevent heart disease: the notorious cause of death among adult men in the US and many other developed nations. Men need to consume enough veggies and fruits or take supplements if they suffer from intestinal disorders that would prevent absorption of Vitamin K. 

You get vitamin K1 by eating green vegetables, and vitamin k2 from dairy products. Ensure your diet contains at least one of these things: cabbage, broccoli, fish, eggs, milk, vegetables, and collard greens. 

Vitamin K1 is found in many green vegetables and vitamin K2 from dairy products. To prevent vitamin K deficiency you need to eat a variety of veggies, including green leafy vegetables, broccoli, collards, and cabbage, plus some wild-caught fish and cage-free eggs too. 

Aside from the vitamins mentioned above, the best diet for men should also contain the following minerals: 

Essential Minerals for Men 

Magnesium 

Magnesium helps to regulate other electrolyte levels in the bloodstream. It is useful for blood pressure regulation, preventing muscle spasms, migraines, and heart disease.   

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle twitching, difficulty going to the bathroom and insomnia. You can get magnesium from leafy greens, algae, beans, nuts, and seeds. Supplementation is necessary to make up for slow absorption and excess urinary loss of magnesium. 

Omega-3 Fish Oils 

You can get these minerals by eating fish such as salmon, tuna, halibut, and sardines, in addition to eggs, nuts, and seeds. Omega 3 Fatty Oils are anti-inflammatory, as opposed to the Omega 6 Fatty Acids that are found in many processed foods and vegetable oils. 

Data shows that most men are consuming an alarmingly high amount of Omega 6 Fatty Acids when compared to their Omega 3 Fatty Oils intake. There needs to be a balance between the two if men are to have healthier hearts, proper functioning brains, and active immunity. That means if you cannot eat wild fish at least 3 times a week, then look into an Omega 3 fish oil supplement. 

Potassium 

You are at a higher risk of cardiovascular conditions, like high blood pressure, if your potassium levels are low. High blood pressure is already a common condition among adult men in western countries. But that’s not all; low potassium levels can also slow down your metabolism which will lead to obesity, fatigue, indigestion, and muscle spasms. 

Men who are on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, and coronary heart disease run a high risk of potassium deficiency. These drugs interfere with the absorption of the mineral. Additional risk factors include alcoholism, kidney disorders, and intense physical activities-all these are can cause low potassium levels among men. 

A potassium-rich diet includes foods such as avocado, beans, sweet potatoes, salmon, bananas and grass-fed beef. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include diarrhea, dehydration, and fever. 

Risk Factors for Vitamin Deficiencies in Men 

The high rate of vitamin deficiency among men could be as a result of:  

  • Eating processed foods – no time to prepare meals at home 
  • Low economic status – cannot afford the right amount of foods or supplements 
  • Aversion to fresh vegetables and fruits  
  • Following a vegetarian or vegan diet and avoiding animal products 
  •  Food allergies that interfere with the absorption and metabolism of vitamins  
  • Lack of education  
  • Digestive tract disorders 
  • Medications that interfere with the absorption of vitamins 

Have You Considered Vitamin Supplements? 

Chances are you try to include all the variety of vitamin-rich foods in your diet. But to avoid any risk of vitamin deficiency, supplements are necessary. More so if you fall into the category of men listed below: 

  • You rarely eat seafood, meat, and eggs 
  • You have inflammatory bowel diseases, food allergies, or impaired digestive functions 
  • You are taking antacids and antibiotics  

Men need a regular diet that includes vitamins D, B12, A, C, E, and vitamin K. On top of that; the food should be fortified with magnesium, potassium, and Omega 3 fish oils. To ensure you get all of the proper nutrition your body needs then supplements need to be on your radar as a viable option.  

 

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How Proper Dieting Can Prevent Chronic Disease  

By | Diet Tips\, Eating Healthy, Health and Fitness, Health Tips, Weight Loss | No Comments

This morning, Dr. Oz paid a visit to the Today Show to discuss a recent critical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by investigators at the Tufts Friedman School of nutrition. Researchers analyzed the information concerning what Americans consume and what kills them and found a strong correlation between certain foods and the risk of disease. Researchers discovered that 10 dietary factors could be attributed to 45% of the approximately 700,000 deaths from diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. 

The research shows that by just changing our eating habits we can significantly reduce deaths related to such diseases while also reducing the price of health care at the same time. The savings can be a lot since it is estimated that people spend around $80 billion on these conditions annually. 

Deaths from heart disease, diabetes, and stroke aren’t strictly due to consuming too much junk food. A lack of enough healthy and nutritious foods in our diets has also contributed to disease-related deaths. Below is a list of nutrient-rich foods you should add to your meals: 

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are the omega-3 fats present in salmon as well as small fatty fish such as sardines. Research has shown that due to their anti-inflammatory properties people with high levels of these fats in their bodies have a reduced risk of heart disease and better brain health. The ideal daily serving is 250mg. By eating one salmon serving you can receive seven days-worth of healthy fats. 

Seeds and Nuts 

Nuts have fatty acids which are mostly unsaturated and healthy for your body. They also contain complex carbohydrates such as fiber, as well as proteins and other important nutrients. A recent study suggests that nuts may be essential for weight loss because that can help you feel full for longer. Researchers have discovered an inverse link between eating nuts and gaining weight over time. The Journal of the American Medical Association paper proposes that the optimum number of nuts in your diet is approximately five 1 oz servings each week. 

Plant Oils

Oils sourced from corn oils and soybeans contain polyunsaturated fats. You should replace simple sugars and animal fats with these fats. Dr. Oz is a major proponent of olive oil, which has mostly mono-saturated fats as well as other phytochemicals such as flavanols, though this was not evaluated in this particular study. The senior author of the Journal of the American Medical Association paper, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, who also happens to be the Tufts Friedman School of nutrition Dean, said that while we normally call these vegetable oils there are actually almost no literal vegetable oils. Almost every healthful oil is derived from nuts, fruits, or seeds: extracts from bioactive-rich foods which give rise to life.  

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits & vegetables have a lot of fiber (unless they are juiced), phytonutrients, and prebiotics. The people who have lived to be oldest all ate plant-based meals, meaning that most of their diet was centered around fruits and veggies. According to this study, you need to be consuming approximately 14 oz of vegetables daily. This is approximately four servings of vegetables, which is equal to 2 cups of veggies prepared cooked or 4 cups of veggies prepared raw. You should also eat about three servings of fruit each day, which is equivalent to 3 cups of fresh fruit and 1 ½ cups of dried fruit.  

Healthy Meal

Whole Grains

Whole grains include foods like whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, and faro. They contain more nutrients than refined white grains and flours which are broken down at a much slower rate by the body so you don’t get a massive rush of blood sugar. The study states the ideal amount of whole grains is approximately 4.5 oz daily. For reference, one piece of whole wheat bread is about 1 oz, and one pasta serving is 2 oz. Be sure to read about the ingredients on the label of whole grain meals carefully since packaging can at times be misleading, and make sure you look for 100% whole grains while at the grocery store for a great source of nutrition. 

There are many amazing healthy foods we should be eating more of, though there are also some we need to cut back on if we want to decrease the number of deaths associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The following are foods you should be trying to cut out of your diet: 

Reduce Your Salt Intake  

Sodium is linked to elevated blood pressure and heart conditions. Fast food and junk food contain lots of salt making them the most likely culprit for how so many people consume too much sodium. Avoiding these foods can be helpful. If you’re used to consuming foods with lots of salt, it won’t be easy to quit, but there are many online resources available to help you manage your sodium intake. According to the research, the optimal amount of sodium is 2000mg every day, which is approximately one teaspoon of salt.  

Reduce Sugary Drinks 

These drinks include sports drinks, juices, and sodas. In this study, it is said that the optimum sugar intake is zero. These are empty sugar calories. The ideal drink to nourish your body is water. You can try drinking sparkling water if you think plain water is too boring. Tea and coffee can also serve as good sugar-free alternatives, just keep an eye on the ingredients to be sure they don’t have any added sugar and be wary of caffeine.  

Forgo Processed Meats & Unprocessed Red Meats  

Unprocessed red meats are not of extreme concern, in fact, according to this study, the least number of deaths were linked to unprocessed red meats, though moderation is always key so don’t consume too much. The ideal amount is said to be one 3 oz serving each week. Processed meats, on the other hand, have lots of salt, nitrates and other components that can put your health at risk. According to the World Health Organization, they increase the chances of having these conditions. Moreover, they elevate the risk of dying from a heart condition, diabetes, or stroke. The study says the optimum amount of processed meat is zero.  

Try leading a healthier life by following this guide. It will reduce the chances of you suffering from a chronic illness that can prove to be both painful and expensive. You can also save money because these diseases are very expensive to treat. Improve your quality of life by making healthy and nutritious dietary choices.

Maintain Your Summer Body

Best Tips to Maintain Your Summer Body Over the Holidays 

By | Diet Tips\, Eating Healthy, Health and Fitness, Health Tips | No Comments

There’s nothing quite like Fall. With the bright sun shining down on Fall foliage, this is the best weather for all sorts of fun, parties, holidays, and drinking. Nonetheless, while these activities afford every reason to get loose, it makes it quite challenging to maintain the fit Summer body you spent all year working so hard for. It is essential to ensure that all the festivities are not detrimental to your health.  

Although it is not an easy feat, you can take good care of yourself and still have fun during the Holiday Season. By adopting a few habits to keep your body healthy, fit, and happy, it is possible to have a fit body even during the Holiday season. How? 

Check out these seven tips:  

Proper Dieting  

Eating right is an integral part of building and maintaining a fit body.  Your Fall diet should comprise plenty of vegetables and fruits. In fact, looking at Harvard’s Public Health School, your everyday meals should contain about nine daily servings of vegetables and fruits or 2 ½ cups of vegetable and 2 cups of fruit. Using this as a guideline, you should be aware that this is a minimum estimation, and that you can take in as many vegetables and fruits as you please.  healthy eating

Additionally, you need to pursue eating the proper amounts of good carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Usually, brown rice, quinoa, rye, barley, and whole wheat are among the right (healthy) carbohydrates. Conversely, bad carbohydrates can be found in processed foods such as French fries as well as refined (white) bread. The necessary amount of consumption depends on various factors including weight, height, level of activity, and age among others.  

Generally, the best idea is to refrain from fast foods as they contain added sugar and trans fats. For burger lovers, you can pick up turkey dogs and turkey burgers as alternatives to typical hotdogs and hamburgers.  

What’s more, you can also try grilling shrimp and salmon as opposed to bratwursts.  Grilled peppers, salad or onion, and zucchini are also grilled vegetable alternatives to potato chips and French fries. Finally, for your dessert, you can always go for fruit salads which make excellent alternatives to cake and ice cream.  

Proper dieting is more often than not misunderstood. This is why it calls for awareness and discipline. Contrary to popular opinions, proper dieting does not restrict you from consuming potato chips, or hamburgers or cookies. It means that you consume healthy foods on a regular basis while understanding you can treat yourself every once in a while.  

By strictly following a proper diet, it will only be a matter of time before you notice how much better it feels to eat clean and healthy. In fact, don’t be surprised to see yourself shunning processed foods such as hot dogs.  

Keep it Light 

Don’t make yourself upset over the holidays by starving yourself. Eat until you are full! When you feel hungry, go ahead and eat. However, monitor how much you are eating, but don’t overdo it. Usually, after eating to a certain point, we start to feel full and satisfied. It is this point which we should strive to not go beyond.  

Try taking several small meals throughout the day. You can start out by eating a heavy breakfast and then consuming smaller quantities throughout the day. This way of eating is excellent, especially if your goal is to lose some pounds or get yourself more toned. However, even with the smaller portions in place, you should remember ONLY to eat the right and healthy foods. Proper dieting and keeping it light go simultaneously.  

Stay Hydrated  

Water is essential to our health, hence the need to drink an adequate amount. The significance of staying hydrated cannot be understated. The American Heart Association underpins the importance of staying hydrated to maintain good health. According to the association, staying hydrated allows the heart to efficiently pump blood through your blood vessels and down to the muscles. This, in turn, ensures your muscles work effectively. More importantly, enough water is essential for the proper functioning of your heart.  

The adequate amount of water varies depending on many different factors. One way you can determine if your body gets enough water is to assess your urine. Typically, if you are drinking enough water, your urine will assume a light color. Conversely, the darker it is, the lesser amount of water you are taking. Additionally, you can also look at how constantly you visit the washrooms to evaluate if you indeed take enough water. And while this is not to push you to drown yourself, the idea is to ensure your body remains appropriately hydrated.  

Staying out in the sun for some time can lead to dehydration. However, you can counter these effects by taking in a lot of water. What’s more, it is also a practice you should adopt if your itinerary includes drinking alcohol or other liquids which result in dehydration. Ultimately, you need to have an adequate water supply in your body during the Fall, notwithstanding what your activity is.  

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise 

Our bodies are not meant to remain sedentary. As such, stay active by exercising. Even in the Fall months, there are numerous ways that you can exercise effectively. Whether you choose to walk, to run, or hike, there are multiple forms of exercise that suit the Fall weather.  However, only do such if you have no health restrictions.  

Remarkably, Fall presents the ideal time to take your exercise routines seriously. Why? Exercising needs perfect weather conditions and it can usually get challenging to follow an exercise routine during frigid winters and scorching summers since they have otherwise unfavorable and cold weather conditions.   

Exercise is not only about strength training and cardio. In fact, you can play skate at your local park, swim in an indoor pool, or even take some long walks along a trail. Take full advantage of the crisp Fall weather and give your body the best treatment.  

Finally, set up a goal. What type of body are you looking to achieve? Is your objective to lose excess body fat or it to remain more active and fit?  Align your exercise routine to suit your personal needs.  

Work on Your Core  

Every stable and strong house is centered on a firm foundation. Similarly, your body remains stable and strong by courtesy of your core.  Whatever your ideal body goal, whether it is to get a six pack or get stronger; your activities should always take your core into consideration as it is the section that holds everything together. Your body is only as healthy as your core is strong as.  

In your usual exercise routine, incorporate a few exercises that work on your core and do them 3-4 times a week. And just like your regular routine, it does not need to be extreme.  Treat your core with as much importance as your overall body shape and health.  

There is much more to a strong core than just getting a toned body. Mayo Clinic outlines that with strong core muscles, you can engage in any physical activity. Generally, weak (core) muscles result in muscle injury, lower back pain, as well as poor posture.  

Building a strong core is essential since it helps your body remain healthy. And luckily, it is suitable for any age group.  

Reduce Your Alcohol Intake 

Nothing beats the delight of drinking with friends and family you may have not seen all year to celebrate the holidays. However, take alcohol in moderation. While it can be tough to take lesser amounts of alcohol, especially during the holidays, it is nonetheless for your good.  Work on limiting how much alcohol you consume as well as keeping track of what you drink.  

If you are looking to get or maintain a fit body, then limiting the amount of beer you take is a definite MUST. While beer is, of course, a refreshing drink, it still contains numerous empty calories that can be dangerous to your body. Also, go slow with liquors such as rum and whiskey because they usually include added sugar (and in large amounts). Alternatively, you can go for light liquors like vodka and gin if part of your Holiday excitement is frequent drinking through the season.  

Get Adequate Rest 

Lastly, our bodies need rest. As such, it is essential that we afford them ample rest.  Although staying up all night partying sounds like quite an adventure, it is, however, necessary to ensure that we get plenty of sleep.  Similarly, this applies to exercises too. Don’t go so hard and incessantly. It is vital for the body to recuperate and of course strengthen, hence it is necessary to make downtime for rest. Manage your time such that all your activities, including exercising, having a good time, as well as relaxing fit within your program.  This way, you can not only have as much fun as you expect, but you also maintain your body all year long.  

nutrient rich foods

4 Types of Vitamins Every Woman Should Take 

By | Diet Tips\, Eating Healthy, Health Tips | No Comments

When it comes to proper nutrition, there is no single route to ensuring your body has all the vitamins and minerals it needs to flourish. This is especially true when it comes to women because their dietary needs are slightly different. Over 30 % of all women in the US suffer from a nutritional deficiency despite having healthy diets consisting of nutrient-dense meals. Even more worrying, an estimated 75 % of all women depend on supplemental vitamins to stave off these deficiencies. A lack of commonplace vitamins such as K, E, A, D, C, and B is plaguing US women, and the threats these deficiencies pose to their health and wellbeing is significant.  

The Population Report Bureau published a report that revealed the stark reality of the matter. Nutritional deficiencies have particularly ghastly effects on women as it compromises their ability to bear children and reduces their overall immunity. Supporting evidence shows that post-menopausal women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis when their vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, and calcium reserves are low. This same group of women stands a greater chance of losing their ability to see if they lack vitamin A and C. 

nutrient rich foods

The more women are opting for dietary supplements to stay healthy, the harder it’s becoming to know which supplements to pick. Diet experts recommend fermented supplements over synthetic ones because the former is more readily absorbed by the digestive system. For an additional nutritional boost, some vitamins come combined with ingredients comprising of superfoods such as chia seeds, camu camu, spirulina, and apple cider vinegar. 

1. Vitamin K

Part of the reason why vitamin K is so important is that it aids functions in three vital parts of the body: the bones, the blood, and the heart. Vitamin K strengthens bones and is a crucial component in the blood-clotting process. However, it plays its most significant role by preventing heart disease. Research-backed findings show that people with a vitamin K deficiency are at a higher risk of suffering cardiovascular illnesses including heart attacks and arrhythmia. 

Vitamin K exists in two variations, each of which come from different sources. Vitamin K1 is present in green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli, but it is also present in eggs fish and cabbage. Vitamin K2, conversely, is most commonly present in dairy products like milk, cheese, and ghee. 

Taking antibiotic medication for a prolonged period of time can reduce vitamin K levels critically, and so can cholesterol-cutting drugs and intestinal illnesses like IBS. Vitamin K is best obtained from its natural sources.  

2. Antioxidants

Free radicals can wreak havoc to our cells, and this damage usually becomes apparent in the form of wrinkled or damaged skin. Free radical damage, however, extends deeper than the cells of the skin and is known to cause cellular degeneration even in the cells of vital body organs through a process we know as aging. It is for this reason that it is extra important to give your body enough antioxidant vitamins, specifically vitamin C, A, and E. 

The National Eye Institute emphasizes the importance of each of these vitamins especially in preventing the macular degeneration that comes about as we age. Women are at a high risk of developing eyesight issues such as cataracts without the help of these vitamins. 

In addition to fighting the main causes of aging, each of the three vitamins come with their own set of benefits. Vitamin C, for instance, consolidates the immune system against flu infections, protects your skin by reducing free-radical damage on your skin cells, enhances your vision, and counteracts the effects of UV rays on your skin. Vitamin A and E are known as antioxidants as well and they also improve vision. More importantly, antioxidant vitamins prevent cellular mutations that give rise to cancerous cells. 

3. Vitamin D

While we can still get vitamin D from foods such as mushrooms, eggs, and a select few dairy products, the best source of this essential vitamin is still the sun. The risk of suffering from vitamin D deficiencies is higher these days because we spend almost all our time indoors. Estimates show that well over 70% of the adult population in the US could be lacking this vitamin due to limited sun exposure and constant use of sun-blocking creams. 

In addition to aiding bone development, vitamin D is needed by the brain to regulate moods and prevent hormonal imbalances. The best source of vitamin D is the sun, so it is important to bask for at least 15 minutes a day to get your daily dose of vitamin D. While sunscreen is helpful when blocking harmful sun rays, it can hinder your body’s ability to form vitamin D.  

4. Vitamin B and Folate

B vitamins such as B12 and folate aid in general functions such as maintaining cognitive health and reducing body fatigue. However, when it comes to body processes, these vitamins are invaluable components that are necessary for a number of important bodily functions. 

B vitamins are heavily involved in various cellular processes. In addition to that, they are important in the formation of red blood cells and play a part in converting the food we consume into energy. Folate, or folic acid when it’s made synthetically, is essential during pregnancy. Developing fetuses need folate for brain and spinal cord development, so it is crucial in preventing birth defects. A folate deficiency can result in serious birth complications and post-partum birth defects that may affect the baby their entire life. 

The best sources of vitamin B are animal products like eggs, dairy, and fish. This poses a problem for women who are vegetarians as the best alternative would be a dietary supplement. Nevertheless, consistently taking your supplements is enough to ensure you have sufficient vitamin B and folate levels, which are especially crucial if you’re expectant. Folate can be obtained from spinach, citrus fruits, beans, and melon fruits. 

Synthetic folate (folic acid) is not as rich in nutrients as fermented folate. Be wary of vitamins with the synthetic version of the vitamin and instead, try to go for supplements with fermented folate. You’ll find that these are much safer to consume. 

In Conclusion: 

  • Though it is possible to get your nutrition entirely from the food you eat, you are at risk of developing one of many nutritional deficiencies because some vitamins cannot be obtained properly without supplementation. 
  • Fermented supplements are often the best choice since they are more readily absorbable by the digestive system. While synthetic vitamins still have their benefits, women who opt for fermented supplements find that they tend to be more nutritious. 
  • Women are especially susceptible to some nutrient deficiencies due to the nutritional requirements of their bodies. For example, vitamin B is important because it aids in pregnancy, fetus development, and childbirth, thus expectant women are more likely to need it in larger quantities than usual. 
  • Post-menopausal women stand a greater risk of developing problems like osteoporosis and loss of vision if they do not keep their nutrients intake in check. 
  • Supplements are available in their natural fermented state, but can also be mixed with superfood ingredients for additional nutrition. Whether you opt for these types of supplements or not is entirely a matter of personal preference.
FitClub Keto Platinum

The Complete Lowdown on the Keto Diet 

By | Health and Fitness, Health Tips, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Supplements | No Comments

Looking young, staying fit and keeping healthy is all the rage these days which has led many to look for solutions in various new diets which are almost seemingly cropping up by the day. Keto, short for ketogenic, is one such diet people are experimenting with and it basically involves taking meals with a lot of fat and low amounts of carbohydrates. Physiologically, this diet boosts brain functioning while triggering weight loss through a process known as ketosis.   

Keto Diet Varieties 

There are basically four types of keto diets namely targeted, cyclical, standard and high protein alterations. The standard type encompasses an increased fat intake, a moderate amount of protein and a maximum carb content not exceeding 50 g every day. If you’d like to shed off some extra pounds but don’t have a very active routine, then this is the plan for you. 

The cyclic keto program, on the other hand, is meant for those active individuals such as bodybuilders and it essentially involves taking keto diets on designated days while maintaining your usual menu for the rest of the week. For example, you can stick to your normal meals during the weekdays and switch to a keto diet over the weekends. 

As for the high protein keto diet, the difference comes in the protein percentage which tends to be a little higher than that of your standard keto meal. While the latter has 75% fat with the protein content getting 20% of the nutritional pie, the former has 15% less fat and 15% more protein. All in all, the carb ranges between 20 and 50g in both cases. 

Finally, there is the targeted keto diet that is suited to those who are highly active or participate in high-intensity exercises. It is designed to provide the carbs hence the energy needed for such demanding physical activities and these meals are taken 30 minutes prior to the routine or exercise. 

In a nutshell, high protein and cyclical diets are great for bodybuilders and athletes while the other two options are for those who led an averagely active life. 

Top Keto Supplements You Should Try 

When looking for the right supplement, it’s important to look into what others have to say about it. For example, simply by reading FitClub Keto Platinum’s reviews you can gain insight into real people’s experiences with the product. 

FitClub Keto PlatinumPicking out the right product can but an uphill task in a market flooded with countless keto supplements but we’ve singled out the best brands to make things a little easier for you. Here’s how they line up: 

1)  FitClub Keto Platinum 

BHB, otherwise known as Beta-Hydroxybutyrate, is the formulation in the FitClub Keto Platinum that triggers an accelerated ketosis whilst naturally instigating weight loss without interfering with your body’s other physiological processes. It is an excellent choice if you’re for looking for an effective yet natural dietary supplement. 

Not only does FitClub Keto provide their customers with a stellar product, they also have tons of advice and recipes on their FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest pages regarding all things keto! 

2)  Perfect Keto 

Dr Anthony Gustin is the brains behind this ingenious new product that can be taken with milk, chocolate or a cup of coffee. Perfect keto is a professional and effective supplement devoid of any artificial contaminants such as chemical flavorings with the manufacturer instead opting for the natural, invigorating flavor of stevia. 

3)  Keto Force 

This supplement is so named as it is designed to instigate ketosis at a faster rate than most supplements of this kind. It’s not a bad alternative however it is quite costly while the taste needs a little work though you can soften the blow by adding a couple of drops of lemon or grapefruit to the recommended dose of three cups a day. 

4)  NutriGold 7-Keto 

This product incorporates 7 DHEA components that work hand in hand to elevate metabolism through increased burning of fat which is turned into useful energy. Aside from aiding weight loss, NutriGold also boosts the body’s immunity. 

5)  BulletProofKetoPrime 

KetoPrime works to increase carb digestion and fat burning by improving cellular metabolism with the product also serving to ward off fatigue, increase alertness, improve brain function and enhance bodily energy. 

Keto Diet Side Effects 

A few mild side effects- which last barely more than 7 days- of switching to a Keto include: 

  • Excessive thirst
  • Constipation
  • Being sluggish
  • Fatigue

That said, here’s a list of some of those ingredients you should be looking out for in good keto supplement: 

  • Beta-Hydroxybutyric acid
  • Creatine
  • Carnitine
  • Magnesium
  • Hydroxymethylbutrate (HMB) 
  • Fish oil
  • Potassium and Sodium
  • Chromium
  • Vitamin D

Are Keto Supplements for everyone? 

While it’s not a must that you use these supplements with a Keto diet, they can cushion the side effects of the program as well as provide your body with the resources it needs to keep going.  

Conclusion 

Buying keto supplements via a trial-and-error or pray-and-hope approach is putting your health at great risk. You should, therefore, stick to only proven brands and this guide has broken it down elaborately enough for you to make the right decision.  

The Keto diet is great for your body as it holds countless benefits and a good supplement to match; such as the FitClub Keto Platinum and others mentioned, can make it even better.

How Mindfulness can Help with Diet and Weight Loss

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While there is a lot of information about the best food to eat, there is very scarce information that teaches us how to take a mindful approach when consuming food. Although we are all taught the food pyramid, which consists of four groups of food including dairy, fat, fruits, and proteins, we are not taught how to eat. Yes, we are taught what to eat and what not to eat; however, we don’t have any lessons on how to eat in a typical day. This has led to a systematic increase in weight and ultimately to today’s obesity epidemic.   

Mindful eating is not taught in any school or university, so applying it to our daily lives is something that many of us may struggle with. For this reason, a lot of people have many misconceptions about food and the role it plays in our health. This has led to many people using food as a substance for pleasure rather than nourishment. In this article, we are going to discuss mindful eating habits and their benefits.   

What is Mindfulness? Religion or Practice?   

Mindfulness is something that is often associated with meditation and religion. Other people may just consider it a weird way of thinking. However, Mindfulness is not weird thinking or a form of religion. Rather, mindfulness is a state of active and open attentiveness to your environment and the present moment. This is a practice in which you observe your thoughts without any judgment.   

Additionally, this practice ensures that life doesn’t rush past you. It’s human nature to keep our mind so preoccupied with the past and plans for the future that we often neglect to live in the moment.   

How Mindful Eating Reduces Obesity   

According to the latest statistics, Adult obesity in the US is over 35 percent in 5 states, 25 percent in 46 states, and 30 percent in 25 states. As reported in the US National library of medicine, about 300,000 deaths annually are caused by obesity. These alarming statistics are certainly good reason for concern.    

When we become mindful of the food we eat, we will adopt healthier habits, which will prevent unnecessary weight gain. Various studies have been conducted on obesity and mindful eating. The best thing about these studies is that they have shown positive results for participants looking to lose weight.   

Mindful eating it the practice of eating mindfully. This means that you need to be fully aware of what you are experiencing. Are you able to differentiate between the physical cues telling you that you are hungry, or just experiencing a craving? Differentiating the two will help you eat your food when it is necessary, and not just for pleasure.   

When thinking of these physical cues, you should pay attention to things such as how full you feel when consuming food. When you are practicing mindful eating, you know when to stop, which goes a long way in weight management.   

 How Mindfulness Makes You Healthier  

According to Harvard health records, mindful eating brings about many positive changes to patients suffering from weight complications, anxiety, stress, and depression. Additionally, research shows that using mindfulness-based stressed reduction therapy can help in the reduction of the cognitive processes that underlie the aforementioned clinical issues.   

Practicing mindfulness can put you back in touch with your body, improve your capacity to treat yourself and others with patience and compassion, boost productivity, and reduce stress.   

How to Start Eating Mindfully  

Would you love to begin eating mindfully, but don’t know where to start? If your answer is yes, you’ve already completed half the battle. Starting this process means that you are ready to embrace change. You will not receive the desired results if you approach mindful eating as an obligation. Having a strong support system will increase your chance of success. It’s always easier to reach our goals when we have someone else to hold us accountable and encourage us along the way. Below are some tips to help you get started.   

Start Slow and Make Gradual Changes  

When beginning mindful eating you should start doing this with one meal per day. After this, you can gradually increase it to two meals daily and then three meals when you have refined the habit.   

1.  Eat in Silence   

Turning off any noise that may distract you while eating will ensure that you are maintaining mindfulness without any distractions. You will also grow to appreciate your time and the effort spent preparing the meal that you are eating.   

2.  Avoid Eating Fast  

Consuming your food slowly will give your body time to communicate with the brain. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes for your brain to tell your body that it is full.   

3. Chew your Food Slowly  

While this might sound silly, eating your food fast will not only mean that your food is not well-chewed but also you will not actually have time to appreciate its flavor. Improper chewing can lead to various complications in food digestion such as gas, bloating, and indigestion. Being mindful when eating allows you to chew your food well and gives your stomach an easier time.   

4. Turn the Senses On  

Embrace your sense of taste by trying to identify all the ingredients and spices that are in your food. This will actually help you enjoy your meal more.   

5. Be Thankful  

As stated earlier, being mindful is related to appreciation. By adopting a grateful attitude, you can remember how the food you’re eating will sustain your well-being.  

What to do when your Family and Friends don’t Understand your Mindfulness   

Most often when we make a sudden lifestyle change your friends and family might have a hard time understanding you. Change is not welcomed by many, for this reason when changing the dynamic of something as socially vital as mealtime, some of your family members might not take it very well. However, finding a supportive social environment will make this transition smoother. Below are some of the tips that can help your family understand the need for a change.    

1. Help them Understand why you are Making the Changes  

The first thing to do is to let your family and friends understand why you decided to make the change. You can also communicate with them what type of support you need from them and why this is important for you.   

2. Assist them in Understanding the Importance of Mindfulness  

Take it upon yourself to teach your family and friends the importance of mindful and mindfulness eating. By letting them understand the benefits and positivity associated with your decision, some of them might even join you.   

3. Educate and Spread Awareness  

Don’t assume that just because your family and friends may not join you on the journey of mindfulness that they will not want to learn what mindful eating is. By sharing your experience, they can accept that this has become part of your life and while ensuring they still feel involved.   

4. Avoid Being Pushy and Respect their Views  

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions. For this reason, don’t expect that everyone will embrace mindful eating. While it would be great if everyone appreciates and starts practicing mindful eating, you should still respect their perspectives and views.    

5. Start Doing things that Relate to Mindfulness as a Group   

Experience is the best teacher. By demonstrating something that relates to mindfulness you can not only help others learn but improve your own understanding in the process     

Conclusion   

Mindful eating is a great practice that can help transform various aspects of our lives. By practicing mindful eating regularly, we can minimize unhealthy eating habits that lead to obesity and illnesses related to being overweight. Mindful eating is also the only pathway to conscious living. Being conscious of your eating habits will ultimately help you adopt healthy eating habits, which is great for your overall wellbeing.

Health Foods That You Should Always Avoid

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Deceptive advertisements in the health industry are becoming increasingly pervasive. For many years, companies have produced what they call “health” food items that are often ineffective or borderline dangerous. The incessant flow of trends and industry buzzwords like “diet,” “organic,” and “sugar-free” can make it confusing when trying to improve your lifestyle. This means that a good number of people who want to eat better are actually incorporating foods in their everyday meals that they should not be consuming. Below we will go over a comprehensive overview of health foods that you should eliminate from your diet.

Farmed Fish

Farmed fish, including Atlantic salmon or farmed Tilapia, are often touted as great healthy foods. However, you should avoid these fish at all costs. A study at the University of New York indicated that farmed salmon contained 11 times more dioxin than wild caught salmon. It can take several years for your body to flush out dioxin, allowing it to wreak havoc on your health. Dioxin is an environmental pollutant that can cause cancer, immune system dysfunction, and even organ damage. It was also recently discovered that the omega-3 fatty acid levels in farmed-raised salmon are declining fast. There are also concerns regarding the contamination of man farmed fish. The amount of organic pollutants tends to be very high in farmed fish. These fish are treated with dangerous pesticides, and their production is detrimental to the natural ecosystems surrounding the farms. Fish does contain significant health benefits, just always opt for the wild-caught options.

Fruit Juice

It is a general misconception that any food item with the word fruit in it is automatically good for you. The truth is that fruit juice is just as unhealthy as soda if consumed in large amounts since it often contains just as much sugar and calories. An 8-ounce glass of fruit juice is the equivalent of eating four oranges. Additionally, fruit juice is devoid of very important fiber contained in whole fruits. The actual ‘fruit’ contained in fruit juice is about 5 to 10 percent. There is simply no substitute for consuming fruits in their entirety. Fruit juices also have high levels of fructose; about 46 grams per liter according to a 2014 study.

Fruit Bowl

To put this all into perspective, soda contains 50 grams of fructose per liter. The human body cannot handle these fructose levels for energy production. The fructose will be processed in your liver where it will be converted into fat.

Seitan

Seitan is a popular health food, especially among vegetarians. On the surface, it seems like an ideal replacement for meat. However, two specific properties of seitan make it particularly bad for you. First, seitan consists almost entirely of wheat gluten, meaning it can increase the risk of gluten intolerance and gluten allergies. Secondly, it has a very high sodium content. A half cup of seitan can contain up to 580 milligrams of sodium. This is definitely a food to avoid. The recommended alternative for seitan is tempeh.

Unfermented Soy Products

Soy products have been touted as health foods for many years, but there is nothing healthy about unfermented soy products. This includes soy milk, edamame, and soy protein. Fermented soy is a highly recommended dietary option. In the US, most soy is genetically modified in order to withstand compounds found in specific weed killers. One of these chemical compounds is glyphosate. US soy contains dangerously high levels of glyphosate, which is detrimental to human health and can cause cell death. Long-term consumption of soy protein is linked to a number of health problems. These include asthma, hay fever, breast cancer, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, and urinary bladder cancer.

Margarine

The misconception that margarine is a healthier dietary option than butter has persisted for decades. The idea arose from the notion that the lower saturated fat content of margarine makes it healthier. Research has consistently shown that it is actually the opposite. Margarine initially contained Tran’s fats. Tran’s fats are a major contributory factor in cardiovascular disease including thousands of heart attacks each year. These types of fat also increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Most margarine produced today do not contain Tran’s fats. Instead, they have been replaced with high processed industrial fats that are nearly as dangerous for your overall health. Butter and grass-fed ghee are better options for a spread.

Vegetable Oils

Most vegetable oils find their way into the category of ‘healthy fats’. Unfortunately, there are some vegetable oils that you should not be consuming, such as canola oil. Many vegetable oils are sourced from genetically modified crops and are partially hydrogenated. Aside from being highly inflammatory, vegetable oils have been linked to several diseases and conditions. These include cancer, diabetes, liver ailments, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, birth defects, impeded growth, high cholesterol levels, tendon ailments, immune system disorders, skin ailments, obesity, bone problems, low birth weight, and sexual dysfunction. Given this long list of risks, you should make the switch to pure unpasteurized coconut oil. It is the much healthier cooking alternative.

Artificial Sweeteners

When sugar replaced fats as the worst dietary enemy, most people looked towards artificial sweeteners including sucralose, aspartame, neotame, saccharin, stevia, and acesulfame as new viable options. Due to their low glycemic index, they are recommended for diabetics. However, recent research has revealed that artificial sweeteners interfere with flora in the digestive system and may actually contribute to causing diabetes. In addition, these sugar alternatives have been linked to allergies, brain tumors, breast cancer, bladder cancer, weight gain, seizures, high blood pressure, leukemia, and headaches.

Garcinia Cambogia

With obesity rates on the rise all over the world, overweight individuals are always on the lookout for foods that supposedly aid in weight management. Unfortunately, some of these so-called “superfoods” come with unforeseen side effects even if they are effective. One of these foods is Garcinia Cambogia, a pumpkin shaped fruit whose extract is often used in weight loss supplements. It does help you lose weight quickly, but it has also been linked to liver failure. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid this weight loss food and opt for better risk-free weight management methods.

Fad Coffee Drinks

Coffee actually has considerable health benefits to offer. It can increase your energy levels, help you burn fat, and lower your risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It also has protective effects on your liver, helping guard against liver cirrhosis. However, you will not be able to reap these health benefits if your coffee contains certain added ingredients. Excess sugar is a staple in today’s popular lattes, usually coming in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. A typical latte contains up to 50 grams of sugar. These sugar levels wreak havoc on your liver and can cause fatty liver disease. Carrageenan is also found in most coffee drinks. This ingredient causes problems in the digestive system. Always go for traditional unsweetened black coffee.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is among the top health foods in the US market. However, a brief look at this food items reveals that it has no health benefits to offer, and is, in fact, detrimental to human health. Of all commercial sweeteners out there, agave nectar contains the highest amounts of fructose. High fructose levels in the body are very taxing on the liver. They cause your body to go into a fat storage mode, which is counterproductive to those of you trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Sugar Alcohols

Sugar replacements, like sugar-free baked goods and sugar-free chewing gum, contain sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, lactitol, maltitol, and isomalt. These products are marketed as healthy alternatives to their sugar-laden counterparts, but you should avoid them altogether. The ingredients are called natural but really, they are just processed foods. Some ingredients are derivatives of genetically modified corn and other crops. Sugar alcohols have been linked to several health conditions including rashes, allergic reactions, IBS, headaches, and digestive disorders.

Overall, it is essential to stay informed on the actual ingredients contained in the food items you purchase. Be a label watcher and always opt for food products that are unprocessed, organic, and grass-fed.

phenofen

Top 11 Nutrition Myths from the Media

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Top 11 Nutrition Myths from the Media

Today, you will find almost any health and nutritional advice in the internet. In fact, there are endless health solutions on the internet every day. Bloggers, pharmaceutical companies, food associations, and food companies keep feeding people with lies regarding what they think is right or wrong. You will come across information on food that you should avoid when you want to lose weight such as adhering to a certain number of meals or even a diet to follow when you want to drop pounds quickly. A lot of this information is wrong and you might, in fact, end up following the wrong nutritional diet or worse, end up gaining weight as a result of bad advice.  

If you asked people what they think is right or wrong regarding a particular food, even without surfing the internet, you would definitely get different answers. The people are not to blame because most of them will give you information depending on what they have been told or what they have read. Confusion on nutrition and diet is getting worse and worse each day, and medical researchers and dietitians are working to debunk such myths by researching in relation to what people think about certain foods and diets. 

This article will review 11 of the most common misconceptions that you will find on the internet, outline the myths, discuss the truth and about it, and provide you with the ultimate and valid solution. The analysis is dependent on various research that has been carried out by professional medical health researchers and dietitians. 

Myth 1: Saturated fat is not good for you. 

There has been a lot of information relating to the consumption of saturated fat with increased risks of heart disease. For this reason, people have been doing almost everything possible to eliminate saturated fat from their diet. Recent research, however, found out that eliminating saturated fats from your diet does not actually reduce the chances of a person getting heart-related diseases. 

Truth: You need saturated fats for normal body function. 

The myth on saturated fats was propelled by the sugar industry when they funded Harvard to document information that saturated fats are related to heart diseases. However, this discovery was made when quite a number of people had already opted out of using saturated fats and had, in fact, started using partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils. At this point, a lot of damage had already been done. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (like margarine) have much higher ratios of omega 6s to omega 3s leading to an imbalance of the 2 in the body. This imbalance leads to chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation leads to disease such as cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. 

Additionally, in a study by The Women Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial of postmenopausal women that was conducted over a period of 8 years, it was discovered that contrary popular misinformation, a low-fat diet does not reduce colorectal cancer. Another study that was conducted on out on about 50,000 postmenopausal women indicated that consuming low fat had no relation to the reduction of breast cancer. 

Lastly, the Mediterranean diet has been controversial and resulted in a lot of debate and research. The truth, however, is that Mediterranean diet high in good fats and has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 

Diet hack: Incorporating healthy saturated fat in your diet is good for your health. 

You may have come across information on coconut oil from the American Heart Association criticizing coconut oil. The truth is that coconut oil is among the healthiest food, is easily digested, comes with anti-microbial properties such as lucid acid, and is heat resistant. 

Another common healthy fat is ghee which comes with fats soluble vitamins A, D and E. If you need oil for raw applications, avocado oil, almond oil, and olive oils can come in handy. 

Myth 2: Keto diet is not good for you. 

The myth with regard to keto has always been a blurred one. The first is the primary reason for one going into the ketosis. Initially, the keto diet was been associated with losing a lot of weight. The keto diet however, primarily improves how the brain functions. Ketosis has been associated with the reduction of epilepsy. Ketosis is not the same as diabetic ketoacidosis, a dangerous symptom experienced by some diabetic patients. 

The primary source of energy in the body is glucose. During ketosis, however, the body utilizes ketones as the primary source of energy instead of glucose.  

The keto diet can reverse some disease symptoms and can also help you lose weight. The ketogenic diet is good for exercise, improving energy, building muscle mass, and also beating brain fog and, on top of all of these great benefits, you will definitely lose weight. By eating keto-friendly foods, you can limit the carbohydrate intake which in turn transitions the body to a fat burning state. 

Truth: You can lose weight by going keto and reverse disease symptoms. 

By following this diet, you will be veering from common myths regarding weight loss such as counting your calories. It is also helpful for avoiding and treating diseases such as diabetes, abnormal cholesterol levels, epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, manic depression, autism, PCOS, and cancer (especially brain cancer). 

Diet hack: Try a 30-day keto diet. 

You can try following the keto diet in your daily life periodically since it can significantly restrict the health benefits you can get from foods such as sweet potato and quite a number of fruits. Try cycling it with other healthy diets for 30-90 days at a time. If you have diabetes, on the other hand, you should consult your health provider for a perfect guide. 

Myth 3: Buying organic foods is not worth the extra cost. 

Despite the fact that organic foods are more expensive, you can always start by replacing the top most toxic inorganic foods with organic. If you study the information released by the Environmental Working Group, you will notice that you might have been consuming a lot of dangerous and contaminated inorganic foods. Each year, they publish the Dirty Dozen list which includes the top 12 most toxic foods. Start by switching to organic for this list to lower your toxic load.  

Truth: You will save thousands of dollars by buying organic food. 

Animals raised for meat are always fed with a lot of antibodies as well as injected with dangerous hormones while the vegetables and fruits are sprayed with a lot of pesticides chlorpyrifos, and neurotoxic. All these can be detrimental to your health as much as they can be cheap. In turn, you will end up spending a lot of money to pay hospital bills after contracting diseases from the foods. 

Diet hack: Buy organic when you can. 

When buying organic, you can use a list from the Environmental Working Group to avoid the items in the dirty dozen lists. When buying meat, on the other hand, you should avoid buying processed meat which are loaded with a lot of chemicals. 

Myth 4: Too much protein is hard on the liver and kidney. 

It is common to hear people assert that eating a lot of protein may result in one developing kidney and liver complications. In fact, some people relate the issue to osteoporosis. This is however not true, although it has led to many people avoiding proteins to curb kidney and liver problems. 

Truth: You need proteins for hormone building and bone health. 

The cell building process requires proteins. You also need proteins for building your bones because they have essential amino acids which promote bone health.  For your body repair, you need enough proteins, and lack of adequate protein can lead to osteoporosis  

Diet hack: It is essential to add protein to your diet. 

Adding protein to your diet is essential. You should, however, ensure that you rely on organic proteins and avoid conventional meat and other inorganic proteins. 

Myth 5: All fish is healthy. 

When choosing your fish, it is essential to consider the process through which the fish has been sourced. You may be eating fish that is toxic, this list includes the majority of the farmed fish which often contains high levels of mercury. Additionally, farm raised fish such as tilapia is associated with a bad balance of omega 3: omega 6 ratio (too much omega 6s to omega 3s. 

Truth: The type of fish/seafood you get is important. 

You need to consider quite a number of things when purchasing seafood as many other problems, in addition to mercury poisoning and improper omega ratios, have arisen from bad fish farming practices. You can consider things such as the manner in which the food was sourced.  

Diet hack: Opt for uncontaminated and sustainable fish products. 

Instead of going for fish that is not good for your health, you can go for fish such as Pacific sardine’s sablefish, Atlantic mackerel, and woven wild-caught Alaskan salmon which are all high in Omega 3s and sustainably sourced. 

Myth 6: Eggs are unhealthy and cholesterol is bad. 

It was only recently, in 2016, when it was discovered that there is no relationship between coronary heart disease and consumption of eggs. Initially, it was believed that the saturated fat and cholesterol in eggs were related to heart disease. 

Truth: Eggs are not the enemy, and cholesterol is important. 

According to a study published by the journal of clinical nutrition, it was discovered that there is no relation between egg yolks (which contain all of the fat and cholesterol, as well as many vitamins) and heart disease. In fact, eggs can significantly help in increasing lutein and zeaxanthin levels which are good for the eyes. 

Diet hack: Enjoy eggs from farm-raised or free range chickens, and monitor cholesterol levels. 

Eggs are extremely good for you since they are always packed with vitamins A, B5, and B12, fats, phosphorus, and folate. They also have the added benefit of being quick and easy to cook! When choosing your eggs, however, you should opt for farm fresh or free-range eggs. The healthier the chicken, the better for you and better tasting the eggs will be! 

Myth 7: Eating five to six meals a day is essential and stimulates metabolism. 

A lot of people believe that consuming small meals throughout the day can actually boost your metabolism, increase the process of food digestion, and lead to weight loss. This is a false belief, and the truth is that it is the total amount of food that you eat in a day that will impact your metabolism. Some people may even find that intermittent fasting works best for them. 

Truth: Eating frequently may interfere with burning fat, and it does not increase metabolism. 

Recent studies have shown that eating frequently throughout the day really doesn’t help your body lose weight. To the contrary, intermittent fasting has shown to really help in the metabolism process since it increases the rate at which fats are burnt. More about the different types of fasting and its health benefits can be found here 

Diet hack: Be careful with your daily diet and try intermittent fasting. 

You can easily incorporate intermittent fasting into your routine. For instance, you can simply forgo breakfast then start eating at around noon until about 8 pm. This schedule leaves your body 16 hours to fully digest everything you have eaten and go into a fasting state. For women, fasting can be a little more difficult since they can experience hormonal changes if they practice IMF on a daily basis so it may be better for them to do it every other day instead. It is advisable that they seek the advice of their health provider in advance. 

Myth 8: All sodium is bad for your health. 

For a long time now, people have used salt or sodium as a scapegoat for heart complications. The Dietary Guidelines for America suggests that one should take eat/drink no more than 2300mg of salt per day, with the preference below 1500mg per day. This is just over 1 tsp of salt per day! However, you actually need sodium for your health and your heart. 

Truth: You should probably reduce your salt intake but not as low as the guidelines suggest. 

The dietary guidelines tend to quote a lower amount of salt than one needs, although most Western diets contain far more salt than we need already. Research shows that the ideal amount of salt per day is about 3200-6000mg or 1.5-3 tsp. When you lower your salt intake, you can reduce your blood pressure but if you reduce it too much, you can put yourself at risk for several other health complications such as insulin resistance, increased risk of death with diabetes, and added risks for heart disease. On the other hand, you should avoid excessive salts since it may lead to diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney stones, high blood pressure and autoimmune diseases.  

Diet hack: Be careful with salt intake. 

Apart from being careful with the salt intake, you should also consider not using iodized table salt and instead opt for other options such as Celtic sea salt or even pink Himalayan salt as these will provide you with the healthy sodium you may need.  

Myth 9: All sugar is bad. 

People tend to avoid sugar because they believe that it is terrible and can cause diabetes. However, not all sugar is bad for you. Instead, only refined sugar is bad since it is high in calories and affects the production of insulin which can lead to type 2 diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and heart disease. 

Truth: Natural sugars actually have some health benefits. 

All sugars are not bad as much as you have been led to believe your whole life. Your body actually needs various nutrients to thrive and natural sugars are one of them. 

Diet hack: Use natural sweeteners, but not too much. 

There are a lot of varieties of natural sugars in the market. Instead of using artificial sweeteners such as sweet ‘n’ low or splenda (which are horrible for you), you can choose to use natural sugars, but with a lot of moderation. Examples of natural sugars include raw honey, manuka honey, or even blackstrap molasses which have a lot of vitamins, minerals, and even several other health benefits such as boosting the immune system.  

Myth 10: You can compensate bad diet with supplements. 

This is one of the most common myths you will find on the internet today. Masses of people try to compensate for their bad diets, consisting of processed foods, refined sugar, or even whole grains which do not have the nutrition and fiber your body requires. 

Truth: Choose nutrient-dense whole foods. 

While there are certain vitamins and minerals that can be properly supplemented (as needed, due to a deficiency) outside of food (such as probiotics, magnesium, B vitamins, and calcium), you cannot use supplements to compensate for a bad diet. You need to get as much nutrition as you can from real food. The body needs fiber, fats, oils, carbohydrates, and proteins and supplements cannot supplement all these. If you do choose to take supplements, be sure that they are food based which will make them more easily absorbable by the body.  

Diet hack: Eat whole healthy foods. 

One of the most important reasons why you should focus on whole foods is because they are easy to digest and they produce the greatest amount of nutrients the body requires. If you must use supplements, only use them when you have, but you also need to reverse the deficiency with the whole foods. 

Myth 11: Counting calories are the only way to control your weight. 

Quite a number of people are into the calories in/calories out a diet which they believe (as this has been widely taught for years) is the only way to control their weight. As much as controlling weight is important, there are a lot of other options apart from counting calories 

Truth: There are better ways to lose weight than counting calories in and calories out. 

While exercise and diet are important, if you want to reduce obesity level, then you need to take note of the types of food that you consume and not necessarily the amount of food you eat. For instance, 300 calories of chips are not processed the same way as 300 calories of raw nuts! 

Diet hack: Focus on the quality of food, not the quantity. 

Rather than focusing on the amount and portions of the food you intake, you should ensure that you consume the right quality of food. The best way for one to lose weight is by choosing to reduce the carbohydrate intake and increase the intake of healthy fats in the body. By eating nutritionally dense food, you will get full and stay full longer.  

Bottom-line 

Instead of getting hammered with false information on a daily basis, you should consider doing some proper research from credible sources. Most importantly, avoid picking up random information along the way and believing it: You may be inviting more diseases into your body. Consider trying out Phenofen, along with a healthy diet and exercise routine, to increase you weight loss results. 

Healthy Kids Playing Ball Outdoors

Childhood Obesity Prevention Tips for Parents

By | Eating Healthy, Exercise Tips, Health Tips | One Comment

It’s vital for children to maintain a healthy weight. One of the most effective ways to guarantee this is a balanced diet. Balance is particularly important when it comes to the number of calories your child consumes and what kinds of foods they eat. As a parent or guardian, it’s your role to ensure you balance the calories your children drink and eat with those they use during normal growth and physical activity.  

Teaching your kids healthy eating practices, including how to reduce empty calories like soda and candy, can make all the difference between your kid living healthily or struggling with their weight. Obese and overweight kids and teens alike need to learn how to eat a healthy, balanced diet that will prevent unhealthy weight gain while nourishing their bodies and promoting normal development and growth.  

For most kids, being overweight is a result of unhealthy eating patterns, including excessive intake of calories, coupled with little to no physical activity. These habits can form early in childhood, making it necessary for parents to teach their children healthy practices from an early age.  

This article suggests some lifestyle changes that can promote your kid’s health well into adulthood. Make sure to focus on improving your kid’s health, not simply reducing their weight. Unhealthy, restrictive relationships with food can result from too much focus on changing your child’s appearance rather than simply helping them live a healthier lifestyle. Your goal is to help your kid be healthy, happy, and energetic! Before putting your kid on a weight-reduction diet, be sure to speak with their pediatrician to ensure it’s being done in a healthy way. 

Balance: Helping your kids establishing healthy eating habits 

Introduce healthy eating habits into your kid’s regular diet. You can start this by offering nutritious snacks and meals with an appropriate number of calories. You can also help your kids establish healthy eating habits by making their favorite meals healthier, as well as curbing any unhealthier temptations. Some ways to do this include:  

   1. Promote healthy eating habits.  

Small alterations to the usual diet can ensure your kids adapt and stick to a healthy dietary routine.  You can accomplish this by incorporating the following simple changes:  

  • Include plenty of fruits, whole-grain products, and vegetables 
  • Offer low-fat milk, or milk alternatives such as almond, soy, or oat milk 
  • For protein, serve lean meats or protein-packed vegetables like fish, poultry, beans, and lentils 
  • Serve appropriately sized portions, and set an example with your own portion sizes 
  • Hydrate: encourage your entire family to drink large quantities of water 
  • Go easy on the sugar, sweetened beverages, saturated fat, and sodium 

    2. Make their favorite dishes healthier 

Making changes to eating habits doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out your kids’ favorite foods. You can tinker with some of these recipes to make them healthier. Add in vegetables, or use fortified ingredients like pasta made with extra vitamins and vegetables. Blend cooked cauliflower into mashed potatoes. You can also introduce several new healthy and delicious dishes which can, in turn, become favorites.  

   3. Reduce any calorie-rich temptations 

There’s nothing wrong with treats – they’re a great way to teach your kid how to indulge without overdoing it. While moderation is crucial, we have to be sure not deprive our kids of occasional treats. If we do restrict them too much, it can inspire them to overeat rather than practice healthy regulation. You can start out by reducing high-sugar, high-fat, and high-salt snacks. This can help your kids learn healthier eating habits. 

Here’s some easy, tasty snack options with low fat and sugar to offer your kids  

  • Apple, medium size 
  • Blueberries, 1 cup 
  • Banana, medium size 
  • Carrots, 1 cup 
  • Grapes, 1 cup 
  • Bell peppers, or broccoli, with hummus (2 tbsp.) 

    4. Teach your kids why exercise is essential 

Our bodies aren’t made to sit still all day, but that’s what many of us do at work or school. As a result, it’s important to make sure you and your kids stay physically active. Physical exercise has a multitude of health benefits, and it’s crucial that your kids know this too. Some of the benefits of exercise include 

  • Strengthening bones 
  • Reducing stress and anxiety 
  • Lowering blood pressure 
  • Boosting self-esteem 
  • Promoting a healthy weight 

    5. Help your kids stay active:  

Physical activity is so important. Kids and teens alike need to practice regular moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week, or on a daily basis if possible. You can introduce various routines to inspire them to stay active. Include exercise in your own daily routine and encourage your kids to participate. You can also inspire your kids to sign up for organized sports or physical activities, like swimming or soccer. Some common, effective moderate-intensity physical activities include:  

  • Jumping rope 
  • Brisk walking 
  • Playing soccer 
  • Playing tag 
  • Dancing 
  • Swimming 

    6. Minimize sedentary time 

After a long day at school or playing outside, it makes sense for your kids to want to spend some time relaxing. While some quiet time doing homework, reading, or resting after a busy day is fine, what you need to discourage and ultimately limit is unnecessarily long idle time. Minimizing sedentary time helps boost physical activity. You can reduce screen time (video games, TV, internet) to only a few hours per day. According to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), children two and younger should not watch TV or have screen time, as this is a crucial time for physical and mental development. 

Encourage your kids to choose fun physical activities that they can do with family, friends, and alone to help them stay active. 

Why it’important to maintain a healthy body weight  

The importance of attaining and marinating a healthy body weight can’t be understated. While it may seem easy in theory, it can be quite a challenging task. Focusing on small, but long-term changes to diet and exercise habits is a more effective strategy in comparison to drastic but unsustainable changes that only last for a short while, such as strict diets and exercise routines.  

When helping obese or overweight kids, you should focus on ensuring that they maintain an appropriate body weight for their age, height, and individual needs. Weight gain should generally be proportional to height increase. 

Success predicting factors:  

  • A healthy diet that kids and parents both participate in 
  • Strong social support of healthy habits, especially from those close to the child  
  • Strong support for physical activity and participation of the whole family 

Summary:  

While adopting new lifestyle changes can be exciting and challenging at first, it’s worth noting that these changes only serve their purpose if you and your kids stick to them. As such, it’s important to emphasize the need for the entire family to keep up with these lifestyle changes. The best way to help your kid achieve a healthy weight is by doing it gradually.  

Parents and guardians alike can protect their kids from early childhood obesity by offering healthy snacks and meals, encouraging everyday physical activity, and teaching them about nutrition. Healthy snacks and meals afford growing bodies the right type of nutrition while also promoting healthy attitudes and eating habits. By eating healthy, it’s easy to manage weight and improve overall health.  

As for increased physical activity, it’s essential for health. Along with reducing many health risks, it helps regulate weight. It’s essential for parents to teach their kids about nutrition and healthy eating habits. With nutritional education, kids can know what proper nutrition is, its importance, and adopt healthy habits for a lifetime.  

Why Fasting Is Good for You: Types and Benefits of Fasting

By | Eating Healthy, Health Tips, Weight Loss | One Comment

Why Fasting Is Good for You: Types and Benefits of Fasting 

Is counting calories and adhering to a specific diet difficult for you? If so consider fasting as it can save you from this trouble. It boosts your metabolism and reenergizes your system among other benefits.  

What is Fasting?  

There is a common misconception that fasting is about starving yourself. No. It is about not eating within selected intervals of time. You will come across many diet tips with some contradicting each other. It can become overwhelming and you may end up giving up on the tips. It is a different case with fasting. It is about not eating for a given period.  

Instead of eating three meals a day or small meals spread out through the day, you will set aside a given timeframe for eating. It can be certain hours during each day or given weekdays. Within this time, you are allowed to eat healthy meals.  

You cannot feast on processed sugars and junk foods and still expect fasting to work for you. You must still adhere to a healthy diet loaded with nutritious whole foods such as whole grains, raw dairy, vegetables, fruits, proteins, and good fat. You can still enjoy some cheese and dark chocolate if you like! 

Fasting does not tie you down to one way of living or eating. This is where different types of fasting come in. Continue reading. 

Types of Fasting 

Remember, we said fasting is all about eating within set periods. It depends on how long you are to go without eating.  

1. The Daniel Fast 

Fasting has a religious connection. According to the Bible in the book of Daniel, he fasted. The Daniel Fast involves consuming only whole, plant-based foods for 21 days. Foods you can eat include vegetables (should be the basis of the diet), fruits (1-3 servings a day), whole grains (in moderation, ideally sprouted), beans and legumes (in moderation), and nuts and seeds (sprouted are best). During this time, you are not to consume any animal product including meat and dairy, processed foods, sugars/sweets, or oils. You should also only drink water, fresh pressed vegetable juice, almond milk, coconut milk, and coconut water (all unsweetened). This type of fasting does not allow you to drink coffee, juice, or alcohol.  

2. Intermittent Fasting

This type of fasting ranges from 14-18 hours per day of not eating. For example, you may only eat from noon to 6 or 8pm at night. However, if you have the energy, you can go to a maximum of 32-36 hours without solid food.  

3. Time-Restricted Fasting

Many people adhere to this type of fasting without knowing they are fasting. Usually, you refrain from food for 12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast. For example, most people take dinner at 7pm or 8pm then go to sleep until say 7am. Some people may forget to eat breakfast until around 10am. If you count the hours such a person goes without eating, they fall into the time range of time-restricted fasting.  

However, when the time to eat comes, make sure you are eating healthy meals and as much as your body needs but without overeating. Eating more than you should causes unnecessary weight gain. This type of fasting is easy to adhere to and does not require you to make big changes in your eating routine.  

4. Alternate Day Fasting  

Alternate fasting is about having fasting and non-fasting days. They should alternate. Therefore, there are days you eat and others that you do not. It can be difficult following such a routine but it is possible if you are willing.  

However, alternate fasting does not necessarily mean that you refrain from food altogether. You can reduce your calorie intake to quarter of your usual intake. If you consume 1600 calories on your non-fasting days then only eat 400 calories only on your fasting days. It is only reasonable that your body will need some food to carry out its normal functions during your fasting days.  

Alternate day fasting should not last long as it can be hard to follow. Try it and see how far you can go in implementing it. 

5. 5:2 fasting  

This type of fasting is about eating your normal way for five days of the week and then limiting food intake during the remaining two days. During the two days, you only take in about 500-600 calories per day.  

6. Warrior fasting  

This entails you eating fruits and vegetables only during the day and the eating a large, healthy, balanced meal in the evening.  

Helpful Tips for Fasting

Fasting does not have to be hard as some people make it sound. It is simpler when you have a guideline on how to do it. 

First, identify the type of fasting you would like to engage in. Time-restricted fasting would be a good place to start considering it is more achievable than other fasting types. 12-16 hours of not eating will likely be easier than the other types, as you will be asleep the better half of the hours. The rest you can fill up during the day. If you have ever done time-restricted fasting, then you can advance to the other challenging types. 

Second, come up with goals. What do you want to get out of fasting? Is it losing weight, having more energy, being healthier, or feeling better? Jot down your goals and place them somewhere you can easily see them as you fast. Doing so encourages you to achieve your fasting goals 

Third, you need to plan your meals and buy the groceries that you will need. Planning has to do with what you will be eating each day and when you will be eating. A meal plan keeps you disciplined so you only eat what you should and when you should eat. With time, you will acclimate to it. 

Fourth, your body is everything. It is the key to feeling well when fasting. Listen to what it is telling you. If you are a beginner in fasting, it will take a few days for your body to adjust to the new routine.  

Therefore, even when the 12-16 hour fasting takes a toll on you and you feel that you need to have a snack, eat something small. If you are not hungry after your fasting hours are up, you do not have to eat just because it is non-fasting time. This shows that your body is adapting to the change in your lifestyle. 

Monitor your fasting and write down your experiences. Identify any patterns and your general feeling each time you fast.   

Frequent Questions Regarding Fasting 

Fasting attracts common questions amongst newbies as well as those who have tried it before. 

1. How long do I need to fast? 

Fasting does not involve ridiculous rules. It is as simple as it gets. It is not about the hours you put in but about how comfortable you are with a given type of fasting. Intermittent fasting is manageable, even for beginners.  

One of the tips to help you fast accordingly is eating when you feel hungry. Avoid starving your body. If you feel you need a snack then have one. It would be a bad idea to fast when preparing for a marathon. If you are changing your diet, do not put pressure on yourself to get it right overnight. Instead, make small changes gradually until you are used to your meals containing whole foods only. Then, you can consider fasting.  

2. Which liquids should I drink when fasting?   

The kinds of liquids you drink depend on the type of fasting you choose. During fasting hours, it is prudent to stick to drinks low in calories such as tea, coffee (without cream or sugar), and water. This is for time-restricted fasting.  

Alternate day fasting and other types allow you to drink any liquid as long you watch the calories. For example, drink fresh pressed vegetable juice or bone broth during no-eating periods.  

At all means, avoid drinking alcohol and sugary beverages. They will not do your fasting efforts any good.  

3. Should I exercise as I fast?  

Time-restricted fasting is excellent for exercise. When you wake up at 7am, you can exercise before eating anything. If you feel energized in the morning, this would be a great time to work out before heading to work.  

However, for the other fasting types, exercising can be difficult considering they lower your energy levels due to your low-calorie intake. Therefore, running or lifting weights likely would not be doable but going for a walk or some light yoga would be possible.  

What Benefits Do You Gain from Fasting? 

We have so far covered a lot about fasting. The one question that remains uncovered is what are the benefits of fasting?  

1. Fasting and weight loss 

There are studies showing that fasting helps with losing weight. It does so by cutting weight and reducing excess body fat. Fasting also lowers inflammation, enabling your body to fight issues such as acne. It allows you shed belly fat while retaining your muscle mass.  

2. Boosting production of human growth hormone (HGH)   

The human body releases the growth hormone which curbs obesity, fosters muscle-building, and burns extra fat. HGH strengthens your muscles to better your workouts. If fasting boosts the production of the growth hormone, then your system will have more amounts to ensure it carries out its functions in a more effective manner.  

3. Fasting and athletes 

Fasting is good for athletes. For example, it helps them build muscles, lose fat, and strengthens them which improves their performance. However, it is important for athletes to eat quality protein 30 minutes after workouts which enhances muscle build-up and burns fat.  

4. Enhancing insulin sensitivity 

When you consume too many carbohydrates and sugars, you put yourself at risk for type-2 diabetes. Your body might become resistant to insulin, decreasing response to it. Fasting ensures that your body remains sensitive to insulin enabling your body to react as required when it releases insulin, which is to convert sugars (glucose) into glycogen for storage.  

5. Controlling the hunger hormone 

Restrictive diets increase the production of the hunger hormone. The hormone tells your mind that you are hungry. Increasing the amount of the hormone means you are likely to feel hungry more often than you should. Once you get used to fasting, it can assist you normalize the hormone. This way, you only want to eat when your body needs to, as the hunger hormone will be under control.  

6. Lowering cholesterol levels 

Bad cholesterol is never good for your body, it is linked to heart diseases. Fortunately, fasting allows your body to burn cholesterol, therefore reducing its levels in your system. 

Fasting Precautions  

Fasting is not for everyone even with its helpful benefits. For starters, people with diabetes and hypoglycemia should never fast. It will adversely affect their glucose and insulin levels. They should wait until the two components are normalized.  

If you are expectant or breastfeeding, avoid fasting. Pregnant and nursing mothers need calories to sufficiently meet nutritional needs of their unborn babies and infants respectively. Cutting on calories, which is what fasting does for some part of the day, would be detrimental. Your body needs the calories to ensure it provides enough food for you and your unborn child or nursing baby.  

If you are suffering from a certain health condition or you are using other medications, speak with your doctor about fasting. Nevertheless, for many people, fasting is beneficial to their health and general wellbeing.  

Summary  

  • Fasting requires you to not eat during certain periods.  
  • Intermittent fasting entails other types of fasting such as time-restricted and alternate day. 
  • To successfully fast, remember to choose a particular type of fasting, set goals, and purchase the foods you will need. 
  • Fasting comes with various bodily benefits such as reducing body weight, lowering bad cholesterol levels, ensuring sensitivity to insulin, and encouraging secretion of the human growth hormone. 
  • Fasting is not for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Those with diabetes and hypoglycemia should not fast. If you are using any drugs, consult your doctor about whether you should fast.

For additional help with your weight loss and health goals, consider trying Phenofen. It acts as an energy booster, supports weight loss, and promotes stress release.