17 September 2019

Switching To Plant-Based Eating Is Not As Hard As You Think

A healthy plant-based diet is not really all that different from a healthy omnivorous diet. If you are thinking about transitioning to a plant-based diet or wanting to incorporate more plant-based food into your nutrition, it's much easier than you may think.

A healthy diet, whether you eat only plants or combine plants with meat, consists of a healthy emphasis on fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes. Even those who call themselves vegetarians or vegans can eat unhealthy by not choosing the best plants to eat. For example, pizza and ice cream (for those who eat dairy) are vegetarian foods, but they are not healthy choices. Structuring your nutrition properly is important, and the basis of that should be around whole natural foods.

The largest difference between an omnivorous diet (one that contains meat) and a plant-based diet is where your protein is coming from. Other than that, 80% of the diet is going to be the same (because that's what everyone should be focusing on). Many people eat meat 2-3 times per day. The best place to start is to limit your meat consumption to 2-3 times per week.
The biggest myth in eating a plant-based diet is that you do not get enough protein since you are not eating meat. There are plenty of ways to get great protein sources from plant-based foods. The one food that has the most protein you will find is tempeh (soy protein). One cup of tempeh has as much as 41 grams of protein, more than you will typically find in a steak. One cup of lentils has as much as 18 grams of protein, kidney beans have as much as 13 grams. Chick peas are another one, which have up to 12 grams in one cup. Nuts are also a great choice. A quarter cup of almonds have up to 8 grams of protein; a quarter cup of sunflower seeds has 6 grams of protein. You may be surprised to learn that even broccoli has protein in it! One cup of cooked broccoli has four grams of protein.

Protein is in almost anything that is a whole natural food. Many people only count animal protein in their protein grams, but you can actually get more protein from a plant-based diet than you can with a meat-based diet. Supplements are also available in powder form where you can add your protein to something like a smoothie. Some great ones to start off trying are brown rice protein and hemp protein.

Challenge yourself to begin this process of switching to a plant-based diet by watching where your food is coming from over the next week. 80% of your diet should come from natural sources (not processed foods). As Michael Pollan made popular in his book, "Food Rules," if it's made in a plant don't eat it, but if it is a plant you should eat it.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

16 September 2019

5 Great Benefits to Get From a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet includes a high percentage of food sourced from plants rather than animals. This can mean eating nuts, whole grains, lentils, peas, beans, fruits, and vegetables. But, this style of diet does not need to be strictly vegetarian. Here are five of the health benefits that come from eating lots of plant foods:
Blood pressure
A plant-based diet offers a perfect source of potassium-rich foods which can help to naturally lower blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables, as well as most seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grain include a sufficient amount of vitamin B6 and potassium for healthy blood pressure. Animal foods like meat include minimal potassium and can lead to higher cholesterol and blood pressure.

A significant benefit of adopting a plant-based diet is the ability to lower cholesterol. Plants are cholesterol-free, even the more saturated types like cacao and coconut. For this reason, eating a diet that mostly consists of plant-based foods can offer a simple solution to lowering cholesterol. Great food choices to lower rates of heart disease and cholesterol include seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Blood Sugar
A highly effective method to control high blood sugar is to increase the fiber in the diet. A fiber-rich diet is perfect to help with slowing the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. An added benefit is the ability to control hunger throughout the course of the day. Also, fiber can help with balancing the level of cortisol in the blood stream, which is responsible for the feelings of stress. Many of the animal foods can have a significant hand in increasing the blood sugar level.
A plant-based diet that includes low-fat, whole food is one of the most efficient choices for helping to cut the risk of cancer. Certain cancers like breast and colon are at great risk for those that eat a diet mainly consisting of animal foods.
Weight Loss
A diet consisting of plant-based and whole foods, with minimal processed sugars and low in fat, is certain to help with cutting weight. A further benefit comes from a diet that is high in clean and raw whole foods. Weight loss is naturally able to occur when the daily diet includes a higher percentage of vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to proteins and animal fats. A well-planned plant-based diet has the potential to cut 4-6 pounds within a two-week period. This should also ensure you aren't left feeling hungry.

Eating a diet based on whole, plant-based food can reduce your risk of a broad spectrum of diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer. What we should eat is our main concern.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

9 September 2019

Dried Fruit Nutrition: Educate Yourself On The Top 5 Dried Fruits

With the increasing awareness of the need to improve diet and carefully watch the foods we eat and the food we give our family, it pays to educate ourselves on dried fruit nutrition. Dried fruit can keep for long periods, it is easy to store, it is convenient to carry as a snack, and it can be quite economical.

Just exactly what is dried fruit? Fruit with a large proportion of the water content removed. The fruit retains a high nutritional value. The drying process can either be done naturally under the sun, or artificially through hot dryers or food dehydrators. In additional to equipping a kitchen with a quality cookware set, many also invest in a quality stainless steel food dehydrator and process their own fruits and nuts.
In this article we will consider five of the most common and most popular dried fruits. Educate yourself on these five and see how you can benefit from the nutritional value by working them into your weekly diet, for yourself and your family.
Dried Apricots
Dried apricots actually contain more nutritional value than fresh ones simply because the nutrient content is much higher. Dried apricots contain a high level of carotenes, good for lowering the risk of some cancers. This dried fruit also is a good source of vitamin C, silicon, iron, phosphorous, calcium and potassium.
Dried apricots are rich in iron and therefore helpful in the fight against anemia. They can also act as a gentle laxative and help avoid constipation. They even help with digestion.
Dried Dates
Dried dates are packed with nutrients which include phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium. They promote the existence of healthy bacteria in the intestines and they can help ease the problem of constipation, acting as a mild laxative.

Dates are an excellent source of energy and they can provide a quick energy boost, being full of natural sugars. Dried dates have less calories than fresh dates and therefore can be included in a healthy snack for those wishing to maintain a healthy weight.
Dried Figs
Dried figs are rich in potassium and therefore help control blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of fibre and can be incorporated in a weight management regimen.

Other minerals present in dried figs are: manganese, iron, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Both copper and iron and important in the production of red blood cells in the body.
Dried Plums - Prunes
Prunes contain vitamins A and C, chromium, potassium and iron, lutein and fibre. In practical terms they help with healthy bowel movements, contribute to healthy hair and skin, help maintain proper blood sugar levels, provide energy, and the lutein even helps prevent eyesight failure.
And here is something of interest to all those trying to lose weight: prunes are an appetite suppressor! Why? Prunes can help slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach thereby giving the sensation that you are full. This can help in the fight against overeating.
Dried Grapes - Raisins
Raisins contain high levels of natural sugars, up to 72% of their weight. They are high in antioxidants - key factor in fighting cancer and heart disease. Why they can even contribute to healthy teeth and gums, fighting cavities and gum disease.
Raisins also help prevent constipation, and as they are rich in iron, help with the fight against anemia.

Motivation - Why Should I Bother?
If a family has been used to snacking on crisps, candy bars, and the like, it will take a considerable effort and mental shift to get out of unhealthy eating habits. However, thinking of the end result can be a powerful motivation. Dried fruit has a high nutritional content and when combined with dried nuts, it can provide a very healthy snack.
As with anything, it can take time to make an adjustment. If a person had a habit of putting sugar in tea or coffee and then decides to go without sugar, these beverages will taste unpleasant in the beginning. If the person persists however over the course of a few weeks, the taste senses actually change and become accustomed to beverages without sugar. After a period of time, when that same person is mistakenly given a cup of tea or coffee with sugar, they almost spit it out as a reflex action because it tastes so sweet!

So give yourself or your family a little time for the taste senses to adjust to your new healthy eating habits. It will pay rich dividends in an increased level of health, energy, and sense of well-being. Educate yourself on dried fruit nutrition and start improving your diet today!

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

6 September 2019

Running On Empty? 10 Top Tips To Gain Energy

Do you remember the energy, the drive of your younger days? Fatigue is a common complaint of almost everyone once they arrive at middle age. Rather than adapting to the feeling of being run down and out of gas... do something to gain energy and get yourself going again!
1. Check for a health problem - fatigue is a symptom that appears with many illnesses, things like diabetes, heart disease arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease and even sleep apnea. And don't forget to check the medicine cabinet... often drugs can contribute to those feelings of exhaustion. Suspect drugs for blood pressure, as well as antihistamines, diuretics or narcotic medications. If you're unusually tired after starting a new medication, talk with your doctor.

2. Exercise - even though it might be the last thing you want to do, many studies have shown that being active boosts energy levels. It sure gets your blood pumping, which improves your circulation, making it easier for blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain and muscles of the body. It's been found that those who are active have a greater sense of self-confidence, but also have stronger, more efficient hearts, lungs and muscles.
If you're struggling to get motivated, use an iPod or MP3 player to create a workout playlist of songs (120 to 140 beats a minute) to help keep you going. The tunes aren't just a distraction form all the sweating and straining, research has found that matching the tempo of your workout to music can increase you capacity for exercise by 15%.

Yoga might be especially effective for giving you more energy. A British study reported improvements in clear thinking, energy and confidence after only six weeks of once a week yoga classes. University of Oregon researchers offered yoga classes to 135 subjects (men and women) who were 65 to 85 years old, and at the end of six months, the subjects reported an improved sense of well-being and a boost in their overall energy levels.
3. Drink lots of water - dehydration takes away your energy and hurts your physical performance. It makes sense that being dehydrated can cause fatigue even when you're just doing things around the house and yard. Dehydration also has been found to decrease alertness and impact concentration. You will know if you're drinking enough water by the color of your urine - pale yellow or straw colored is okay, anything else is a sign you need to be drinking more water. Eating water based fruits and veggies is another great choice, but be sure to include a serving of a potassium rich food as well. Any non-alcoholic drink, water included, over ice is an almost instant pick me up.

4. Eat small meals, more often - some people battling fatigue might benefit from eating smaller meals regularly during the day as this helps to steady blood sugar levels. You will also want to choose whole grains and complex carbs as they take longer to digest and help keep blood sugar levels stable. And remember, more often does NOT mean bigger portions, be sure and keep an eye on the size of the meals. Small means small.
There's also been research that suggests low doses of caffeine during the day work are better than the giant cup to start the day. Researchers found that those who work odd hours got a better boost from caffeine when they drank small amounts, and they did better on cognitive tests.
5. Get enough sleep - sounds obvious, but lack of sleep is one of the main causes of fatigue, so if you're burning the midnight oil understand you can't do this forever. Eventually you'll need to get to bed early enough to catch up on your sleep. When those participating in a 2004 Stanford University study were allowed to sleep as long as they wished, they had more vigor and were less tired. Experts are also finding that good sleep habits may also have critical health benefits.

If you're up late on a regular basis, consider an afternoon nap. Hardly an indulgence, napping restores wakefulness and helps in performance and learning. A ten minute nap is usually enough to get you going again, but don't nap longer than 30 minutes or you're likely to impact your nighttime sleep.
6. Get some omega-3 fish oils - according to a 2009 Italian study, subjects who took a fish oil capsule for 21 days demonstrated faster mental reaction times than those who didn't take the capsule. The capsule-takers also said they felt more vigorous. Another fatigue busting food is dark chocolate (with at least 60% cocoa) as it contains a stimulant that boosts energy without giving you the jitters that come with other sweets, so you feel energetic for longer.

7. Be aware of your own body clock - some of us have all kinds of energy in the morning, others don't warm up until later on... at their best by the end of the day. You need to be aware of your own daily energy patterns and schedule demanding things when your energy level is up.
8. Lose extra weight - dropping a bit of weight can give you a major energy boost. Even small reductions help with mood, feelings of vigor and the overall quality of your life. The most pain-free weight loss comes from cutting back on your portion sizes, eating a balanced (lots of fruits and veggies) diet and being more active overall.

9. Get rid of clutter - all that mess lying around is a drain on your energy, reminding your silently of things you've yet to do. Working in small increments to clean up - say a half hour a day, or a bookshelf each afternoon - is the way to go, you'll see the progress but won't be overwhelmed by the task.
10. Change up your daily routine - doing the same things day after day drain your energy, instead switch things up and the reward chemical of the brain, dopamine, is released. This gets the body ready for action. Even just taking a new way to work, shifting up your workout routine, or eating outside instead of the kitchen table can be enough.

If all else fails experts suggest you fake it - slap on a smile, put on a brightly colored shirt or try a new perfume - by faking having energy, your body soon catches on and you actually gain energy. Research has shown that a simple smile releases endorphins and ups serotonin levels, and all this helps you come to feel the energy and vigor you're faking.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

3 September 2019

5 Tips To Help Stop Sugar Cravings And Start Losing Weight

One of the most difficult challenges to deal with when you start losing weight is stop sugar cravings. Sugar is very addictive and the more you eat the more you want. Here are 5 ways to help you stop sugar sugar cravings and start losing weight.

Trying to stop sugar cravings is one of the most challenging things to deal with when you start losing weight. Sugar is addictive and the more you have the more you want. It triggers pleasure points in the brain and leads to the production of endorphins and serotonin that makes us feel good when we eat it. But sugar is calorie heavy and if we eat too much of it we will put on weight, not lose it.

1. Substitute The Bad For The Good.
Your mind and body can't distinguish where sugar comes from. One way to stop sugar cravings that you get from of desserts, pastries or candy is to give your body healthy natural sugars like fruit. It is a great thing to eat when you want something sweet and it also delivers many other natural vitamins and nutrients as well.

2. Don't Miss Meals.
One of the worst things you can do to stop sugar cravings is to make yourself hungry. When you start losing weight it may seem like a good idea to miss out meals, but in the end, it just makes you hunger for those fast sugars found in sweets and cakes. Ensure that you eat healthy and nutritious meals and if you want a snack, go for healthy options like nuts, fruit or vegetables.

3. Exercise Regularly.
Exercise programs make your body releases chemicals called endorphins which drastically and quickly make you feel happier and healthier, much more than a sugar rush from a chocolate bar. Even just taking a short walk when you feel yourself starting to crave something sweet to eat can help. Being outside and away from tempting sugarly foods will help you control your craving.

4. Stress And Emotional Eating.
The feel good factor that you get from sugars make them very tempting to eat when you feel upset or stressed. You do need to manage what is causing these feelings. Managing your emotions can go a long way to stop sugar cravings and help you towards your healthy living weight loss goals.

5. Reward Yourself.
When you start losing weight, positive reinforcement is a great way to keep your diet plans on the right track. Instead of eating that big piece of chocolate cake as a reward, try treating yourself to different things to help stop sugar cravings. They can be simple things like watching your favorite TV show or a movie or more significant things like a new outfit or a day out with friends at a spa.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

2 September 2019

5 Reasons Why Greek Yogurt Is Good For Your Health

Many people think that yogurt is just the foreign name for curd. But that is not the case. Yogurt and its benefits are very different than that of curd. It actually is extremely beneficial for human body. Although curd and yogurt are both made from milk, both products are different. Let’s take a look at how exactly they are different.

Yogurt vs. Curd

Both the dairy products are made from milk, but the process differs. To make curd you have to boil the milk and cool it down to 30 degree celsius. Then you can add either lemon juice or vinegar to the milk. These acidic substances include a microorganism named as ‘lactobacillus’. The lactic acid curdles the milk and splits it into two parts, the solids and liquid. The solid which is extracted is the curd. The liquid part is called whey, which contains whey proteins and the curd contains milk proteins. Once separated the curd can be flavoured with sugars, salts, etc.

Yogurt is made by adding a different set of bacteria known as ‘Yogurt Cultures’. Yogurt cultures include two different strains of bacteria namely ‘lactobacillus bulgaris’ and ‘streptococcus thermophilous’. The addition of bacteria ensures quality of product because they make it homogenized. This dairy product also can be enhanced by the addition of different flavours.

Benefits of Yogurt

  • Good for digestion:
The addition of yogurt cultures makes it probiotic. The good bacteria helps in the digestion of food. Actually your intestine already contains microorganisms. Some are good and some are bad. When the number of bad ones increase, your health deteriorates. Probiotic drinks contains good bacteria. Thus, the good and bad bacteria remain balanced. Hence the da helps to avoid or cure diseases like constipation, diarrhoea, etc.
  • Boosts immunity system:
Consuming probiotics also helps to boost the immune system. These beverages also have proven to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is related to many diseases. As yogurt provides vitamin D to the body and the nutrient is said to provide antibacterial proteins to the body, we can say that it helps to enhance the immunity system.

As the digestive system improves, it keeps away bowel related diseases. And thus, it is said that probiotics keep our stomach immune from various diseases. A daily serving of the product also helps you to keep the cold away.

  • Helps to lose weight:
Yogurt contains proteins. Proteins with calcium helps to lower the appetite and thus keeps the weight in check. This improves your diet and makes you avoid the untimely snacks which we munch on mindlessly.
  • Maintains blood pressure:
Yogurt contains  potassium, which has proven to reduce sodium reabsorption. Thus the probiotics maintains heart health while lowering the high blood pressure.
  • Reduces bad cholesterol:
The product keeps you full longer and also keeps you well hydrated. This helps you to avoid yourself from consuming more calories by eating oily food. Hence, it is said to increase good cholesterol which promotes heart health. It also reduces the occurrences of heart diseases.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

23 August 2019

Elements Of Good Nutrition

You would think good nutrition is a mystery if you looked at the amount of information available about it. The truth is, there is no mystery involved in receiving the proper nutrients that your body needs. Why should you anyway care about getting the proper nutrients? 

Many people are under the misconception that the young have to eat healthy because they are growing. In fact, tissue and cells are constantly being renewed in both children and adults. The failure of these elements to repair themselves can result in diseases of lifelong misery or worse, death. To lower your risk of developing a disease, you need to follow three simple steps of good nutrition.
Proper Hydration
It is very simple. Your body needs water. Drinking lots of water will benefit you from head to toe. Water keeps your cells hydrated and flowing throughout your body. The benefits of drinking sufficient water are visible very quickly. Just a week of being hydrated and your skin will have a new glow. If you need to lose weight, water can help you achieve your goal. In many instances, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. Unless it's been a few hours since you have eaten, have a glass of water the next time you have hunger panes.

There are numerous guidelines on how much water you should drink. Consuming eight glasses of water each day is the most popular guideline. People have different needs. Your urine is a better indicator of how hydrated you are. When you are properly hydrated your urine is almost clear.
Eating Healthy
In addition to being hydrated, you need to eat a variety of foods. Say good bye to fat diets that restrict certain foods. The key to healthy eating is to eat in moderation and variety. Your food choices must include a large percentage from multifaceted carbohydrates, which is sufficient for energy. 

You should also consume several servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy every day. You should limit your servings of protein and fats to two or three servings in a day. By including all of these food groups in your diet, you are less likely to be hungry or have cravings for sweets and other non-nutritional foods.
Vitamin Supplementation
As long as you live in a country where food is abundant and produced safely, you should have no problem obtaining the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, food allergies, dislikes, and illness may prevent you from eating certain foods, resulting in an inadequacy of vitamins in your body. 

Some people, for example, are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. In these instances, supplementation should become a part of a plan for healthy nutrition. You don't need a prescription to purchase vitamins, but it is always advised that you consult your doctor to discuss your specific needs.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Switching To Plant-Based Eating Is Not As Hard As You Think

A healthy plant-based diet is not really all that different from a healthy omnivorous diet. If you are thinking about transitioning to a pl...