Category Archives: Eating Habits

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The 20 Best Foods For Top Health

A trip to your local grocery store puts literally hundreds of food choices before you. Some you can tell are healthy; others are labeled that way, but may not measure up to those healthy claims when you get right down to it.

To help you choose more wisely, here are 20, in alphabetical order, of the best foods you can get.

1. Almonds are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. They may also lower cholesterol.

2. Asparagus is loaded with anti inflammatory nutrients and high amounts of folic acid, and has even been shown to halt the formation of cancerous tumors.

3. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, known to be good for your heart. They are also exceptional carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Eating them helps you heart stay healthy, and regulates blood sugar and may even have anti cancer benefits.

4. Berries, no matter the color, are naturally chock full of antioxidants that help your brain and eyes. Recent studies have found that strawberries, raspberries and blueberries have properties that help to bring down the risk of both breast and cervical cancers.

5. Bell peppers are a natural source of antioxidants (the vitamins A, C and E) and may help the body in neutralizing free radicals, cutting your chances of disease.

6. Black beans have all the same beneficial compounds you find in berries, tea and red wine, lots of protein and fiber. They’re an affordable way to keep your heart healthy, your body cancer free.

7. Broccoli is loaded with vitamin C and K, plus the phytochemical indoles and sulforaphane thought to be cancer-fighting nutrients. This crunchy veggie has also been shown to be good for the cardiovascular system.

8. Brussels sprouts are another of the cruciferous veggies that are a natural source of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, E and K and the mineral selenium that’s known to help the body fight free radicals.

9. Butternut squash is full of vitamin C, and low calorie too. Plus it has beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, nutrients that have been shown to lower risk of developing lung cancers.

10. Chicken breast is a fantastic source of lean protein as well as the coenzyme Q10, essential for the turnover of skin cells. It’s a great muscle food.

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The 20 Best Foods For Top Health Continued…

11. Edamame is a Japanese soybean that’s loaded with vitamins B and C, and is one of the only natural sources of vitamin E. These beans are also a natural protein source and are loaded with antioxidants and isoflavones.

12. Eggs are high in protein, always available and affordable too. Research has linked the intake of eggs with better brain health, lower inflammation and improved heart health. There’s even a finding that eating eggs can help your cholesterol levels, and that’s good for your heart.

13. Flaxseed can be sprinkled over your morning cereal or blended into a smoothie to give you an abundant source of calcium, magnesium and fiber. The seeds also boast high levels of lignans and have been associated with the prevention of many health conditions, including heart disease.

14. Garlic is known to cut your cholesterol and triglyceride levels while also protecting blood cells and vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress. The natural compounds in this herb might also protect against the cellular changes that lead to cancerous tumors or help them grow.

15. Onions are naturally loaded with sulfur-containing substances so they aren’t great for your breath, but they do wonders for the rest of you. More than one study has found that eating onions can have benefits to your heart as in protection against heart attack when eaten as part of an overall heart healthy diet.

16. Spinach is a leafy green that is one of the most nutrient dense items you can buy. Add to a salad or steam it as a lunch or dinner side dish and you’ll get your daily dose of vitamin K and so much more, perhaps even protection from an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

17. Salmon is a fantastic choice with lots of lean protein and omega-3 heart healthy fatty acids that have been shown to lower the risk of death due to heart disease. Wild caught salmon is the most nutritionally pure and doesn’t have the food coloring and antibiotics of farm bred.

18. Sweet potatoes are full of complex carbs and phytochemicals and are a fabulous source of many vitamins, beta-carotene and fiber. Multiple studies have found a parallel between eating this tasty sweet veggie and having healthy eyes.

19. Tomatoes are a natural source of antioxidants and are low in calories too. They have lots of lycopene, a substance that might bring cardiovascular benefits and may also protect your skin from damage by the sun. Regular tomato consumption in men might even help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

20. Yogurt is one of the top ways to eat dairy and still drop a few pounds. Many studies have linked the consumption of yogurt to better digestive health and an overall lower amount of body fat. Some yogurts can have lots of sugar, so you might want to try Greek yogurt for a more natural alternative.

To your good health,

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How To Get Back On Track After Overeating

Over the holidays the temptations to overeat are huge, from Halloween to New Year’s there are delicious goodies all around, in easy reach. It can get hard after a while to resist, to keep up those healthy eating habits, the daily exercise routine. The thing to keep in mind is that while overeating on some days happens to everyone, a single day’s slip isn’t going to turn you obese overnight.

It’s the decisions you make over time that will keep your weight under control.

Experts suggest that one thing you can do before heading out to a holiday event is to think about what’s behind the reasons you tend to overeat at this time of year… the emotions or memories that are at the heart of the urge to eat, eat, eat. This time of year bring up many feelings, some good, some not so good. By reflecting on what triggers you to overeat, you can take steps to keep indulging from over indulging.

Before you head out…

-Remind yourself why you’re trying to lose weight: use flashcards or anything that works to show the reasons you want to eat healthy, lose weight.

-Be flexible in your eating plans for each holiday event… sometimes you can limit the number of deserts you’ll eat, another time you might have to limit things by courses.

-Give yourself permission to have three foods you truly love, and enjoy them, guilt free.

At the event…

-Be mindful: keep yourself in the moment, the here and now. Pay attention to what you’re holding, the sights and smells around you. When you eat, take time to focus on chewing, enjoy each and every bite.

-Watch out for food pushers: well meaning family, friends or people at work who refuse to take “no” for an answer when it comes to offering something fattening.
It’s an insult to refuse. The best bet, according to experts is to keep up the “no”, polite but firm, as eventually they will get the message.

The day after overeating…

You’ve got to get back on track right away. No skipping meals to “make up” for what you ate. And don’t let yourself fall victim to the idea that one mistake means you can blow off your long-term goal of healthy eating and losing weight. That’s the thinking that get’s you nowhere.

Here’s what to do that next day…

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

Are several members of your family overweight and you just figured, you were stuck that way too? Well, I have great news. Recent studies reveal that being overweight has NOTHING to do with genetics and EVERYTHING to do with your lifestyle.

BUT, if you make the wrong choices… well, you know how that ends.

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How To Get Back On Track After Overeating Continued…

- Eat breakfast: even if you wake feeling full, make yourself start the next day off with a good, healthy breakfast. Not only will this reseat your metabolism, it will also help you get back into the eating healthy mindset.

-Drink lots of water: as staying hydrated will also help you feel full the day after a binge, and keep you from feeling as tempted to continue overeating.

-Stick to your scheduled workout: even if you only manage a light workout, it’s better than no exercise at all. Getting up and moving will have you feeling so much better, and will also reinforce your commitment to those weight management goals.

-Have a salad for lunch: the water in the veggies in a typical salad will also help hydrate your body and ease that groggy, sluggish, ate too much feeling.
A healthy, balanced lunch also reinforces your decision to get back on track and eat right.

-Eat an afternoon snack: you’ll need to keep your metabolism going so you don’t “crash” and trigger another overeating binge. Try a handful of nuts and a piece of fresh fruit for something delicious and nutritious.

-Don’t eat out: if you cook dinner at home you can control what you eat and how it’s prepared. Try for broiled fish with roasted veggies with a whole grain such as quinoa or barley. This gives you nutrients without all the processing and super large portion sizes that are part of eating out.

To your good health,

woman doing yoga 10 L1

10 Unexpected Things Harming Your Immune System…

You’re doing all you can to keep yourself healthy, and yet you still come down with a cold… fever or worse yet, the flu. There are things that aren’t all that immunity. So keep washing your hands, drinking all the orange juice you like, and avoiding close contact with anyone who is obviously sick, watch for these added immunity sappers.

You’re breathing polluted air: The smog in the air isn’t doing
your lungs or your immune system any good. Research has shown that dirty air causes inflammation in the body and suppresses T cells, essential in terms of your immunity.
Invest in an air purifier for your home or office so you can breath easy inside.

You’re sitting too much: If you have a desk job, you likely spend
lots of time in the chair at your desk. This can slow down your
metabolic rate, causing your body to naturally absorb immunity
boosting nutrients at a slower rate than normal. Every hour and a
half, get up and step out of doors for a five-minute break. The
movement will activate your muscles, fire up your metabolism, and
the fresh air will wake you up, make you feel more alert.

You’re using the wrong beauty products: Things like foundation,
concealer and lipstick not only sit on your skin, they are absorbed into the body all day long. Some of these products have artificial ingredients that your immune system isn’t used to breaking down, so the bad stuff can readily slip past your internal defenses. Go all-natural with as many products as you can. The fewer ingredients a product lists, the safer it is for your body and immunity.

You’re eating too much white flour: The white flour in some
baked goodies actually impairs the T cells and B cells, both key illness fighters in the body. Make sure the grains you’re eating are
primarily whole grains, as they have lots of immunity building fiber.

You don’t make sleep a priority: If your body doesn’t produce
enough melatonin naturally as you sleep, your immune system isn’t
able to make the white blood cells it uses to fight off bacteria
and keep your body in good repair. Try for seven to eight hours of
sleep each night, and make getting that a priority, not a luxury.

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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

Also, discover how a Licensed Psychologist, Sharon Stein McNamara, Ed.D.fromMinnesota broke her insomnia cycle.

Click through today to discover the 7 mistakes that are killing your sleep, and how overcome them…
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10 Unexpected Things Harming Your Immune System… Continued…

You’re eating too much animal protein: Too much animal protein
causes the body to naturally produce more of the IGI1 hormone, known to speed up the aging process and impact your immunity. Try to keep your intake of meat and dairy to 10% of your daily intake of calories. You might even consider cutting animal protein consumption even more, to about 5% of your daily intake, and you should see a difference.

Your diet doesn’t have enough good fat: Healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats from fish, avocados and nuts do have anti-inflammatory properties that help improve your immunity. So avoid the processed foods, limit your intake of animal protein,
but try and add foods such as salmon, sardines, almonds and kale.

You’re lonely: Lonely souls tend to be less resilient in terms of stress, which causes the immune system to struggle. If this is you, schedule some time with those you like, friends, co-workers, neighbours, members of groups of like-minded people. People who have more relationships in their lives also appear to have a greater resistance to infection.

You think you thrive on stress: People think they work well under pressure, but long term stress brings up cortisol levels, and this reduces levels of other hormones like testosterone and estrogen.

When hormones are out of balance, your immune system can’t react to threats as quickly. Learn how to stress less, or find quick ways to relax.

You’re not doing yoga as part of your workout
: This type of workout appears to have the most impact on Immunity as it stimulates the body’s circulatory, digestive, endocrine and nervous systems, and these all work together to make the immune
system stronger. There are tons of tips out there for beginners so there’s no reason not to give yoga a try.

To your good health,

OpenClips / Pixabay

9 Myths And Facts About Your GI Tract

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know a whole lot about your digestive process and the gastrointestinal tract that makes it all happen. Myths are often repeated as fact by people who seem to know what they’re talking about. It’s only when you start to have uncomfortable (embarrassing) digestive symptoms that you have to search out the truth so that you can help yourself feel better.

So let’s de-bunk 9 of the most common myths…

1: Digestion happens in the stomach. False, the biggest portion of the digestive process actually happens in the small intestine. The stomach takes in food, churns it and breaks it into smaller particles, unappealingly named chime. This is then released in batches to the small intestine where a good deal of the digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs. Foods don’t digest in the order you eat them – rather it’s all mixed together and sent along its way.

2: Cut your food intake, you’ll shrink your stomach. False. Once you reach adulthood, your stomach is pretty much the same size, unless you have surgery to shrink it. Eating less will not shrink your stomach. Eating less will help you reset your appetite thermostat so you may not feel as hungry and it’s easier to stick to healthy eating goals, resist snacking.

3: Thin people have naturally smaller stomachs. False. It might seem hard to imagine, but the size of the stomach is not related to weight or dieting. You can be naturally thin and have the same size (or larger) stomach than those who fight the battle of the bulge for a lifetime.

4: Exercise cuts the size of your belly. It doesn’t. Exercising does not reduce one area of fat alone, though it does help burn fat all over the body. It’ll also help tighten the abdominal muscles so that you’ll look leaner.

In truth, the most dangerous part of fat is the kind you can’t see, the fat in the omentum, a sort of sheet that lies over and all around your internal organs. If you’re really overweight you probably have a lot of fat over and around your organs. The danger with so much weight lies in that the liver can be so packed with fat that a form of hepatitis can develop.

Luckily making changes to a more healthy way of eating can really help in shedding the weight you see, and the stuff you don’t.

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3 critical reasons you have cellulite…

Joey Atlas, a Women’s Body Enhancement Specialist is sharing his 4 step method to reducing cellulite.

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9 Myths And Facts About Your GI Tract Continued…

5: Foods with insoluble fiber cause less gas and bloating. False. Gas and bloating actually come from intestinal organisms that are needed to digest soluble fiber. What you may have thought to be an easier form of fiber (soluble) can actually cause more gas and bloating than insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested, thus no involvement with intestinal organisms – so no embarrassing gas or uncomfortable bloat.

6: Ease acid reflux symptoms by losing weight. True. Losing just a bit of fat in the abdominal area makes a difference in your symptoms. Less fat means less push against internal organs, less heartburn, a bit of relief. Since most people lose weight in the tummy area first, you’ll see some change in your symptoms in just a few weeks after you start trying to lose weight.

7: Eating before bed makes you gain faster than if you ate the same foods during the day. False. Gaining weight comes down to taking in more calories than we burn, and weight gain isn’t based on the 24-hour clock as we understand it. There isn’t any science that says eating at a specific time can influence weight gain all by itself.

But you should know that eating before bed, especially if you’re stressed, can make digestion more difficult. You might experience gas, bloating and painful heartburn. Later in the day, the digestive system, like the rest of us, is tired, so it contracts less, moving food through the system more slowly.

8: A 200-calorie snack of peanut butter and crackers is better able to control your appetite than eating a 200-calorie serving of crackers. True. Fats digest more slowly than carbs, and they stay in the stomach longer which leaves us naturally feeling fuller, longer after eating a snack that has a bit of fat. By contrast, simple carbs give you a quick increase in blood sugar, but can have you dropping just as fast.

9: Beans cause everyone to make gas, and there’s nothing you can do. True. Beans are naturally loaded with a kind of sugar that needs a certain enzyme to digest. Some of us have more of it, some less and the less you have the more gas will be made during your digestion of beans. Over the counter gas remedies or charcoal tablets can help if you take them before you dig in.

To your good health,

obsidianphotography / Pixabay

Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways

If you want to help your brain (and who doesn’t?), there are things you can do to help grow your grey matter and improve your IQ (Intelligence Quotient) by no less than 17 points over a single week. You’ll be able to hold your own in intellectual conversations, feel more confident and empowered by taking just a few simple steps every day.

IQ is a measure of your mental agility or comprehension speed, and that this number can be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. An average score is 100 and this usually stays stable upon reaching the teen years. The score comes as the result of a set of standardized tests (language fluency, three dimensional thinking, etc.) that measure your thinking abilities in relation to your age.

A higher IQ is related to attainment of education, income and other socioeconomic factors that are key to success in life. Here we bring you seven scientifically proven ways to add points to your own IQ.

1. Play board games – having fluid intelligence is a big part of every IQ tests, and is tied to your working memory. In research, just 25 minutes of play each day will bring your IQ up by 4 points. Puzzles, Dual N-Back games are good choices.

2. Take supplements – taking 5g of creatine a day can give you an extra 15 IQ points over a six week time period. Creatine gives a big boost to brainpower and raises the energy levels that are available for computation in the brain.

3. Play social games – any activity that involves a diverse range of skills plus social interaction will add an IQ point to your total. You can play online on your own, or with friends, to keep on top of your game.

4. Blast some bad guys – a study at the University of Rochester confirmed a link between first person video games and better visual awareness in the real world. That’s a crucial building block for IQ and can add up to two points to your own number.

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Overweight? Shocking Proof that it may not be your fault

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Improve Your IQ With These Seven Solid Ways Continued…

5. Do cardio workouts – a Swedish study proved that cardiovascular fitness can bring up your verbal intelligence by 50%. Better cardiovascular fitness was linked to better cognitive scores, an increase of 5 (or more) IQ points, while muscular strength was only weakly associated with intelligence.

6. Perform practice IQ tests – retaking IQ tests can actually up your score by as much as 2 points. This proven technique gives you a chance to prepare and be more confident during the next test.

7. Go vegetarian – like it or not, there are a number of studies that have linked higher IQ with a vegetarian diet. The lifestyle and food choices of vegetarians are linked with strong intellectual functioning and a slowed cognitive decline. Doing what you can to fix you diet could bring back 10 years of IQ age, and that isn’t anything to scoff at.

You see… not so difficult. And the payoff may well be huge.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

5 Facts To Know About Low Carb Diets

Low carb diets don’t work according to some experts. Others, equally sure, swear by them, and insist we just don’t understand or aren’t depriving ourselves enough. Most nutritionists will tell you that people crave carbs, and if you eliminate them from your diet, you’ll only want them all the more. Forbidden fruit.

Here are five simple, solid tips from The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook that may have you rethinking that ban on carbohydrates you’ve been struggling to stick to.

1. Low carb diets leave you feeling stressed and sad. A recent study by Australian researchers that appeared in the Archives of Internal Medicine followed 106 dieters for a year, half were on a low carb diet, the others were on a carb-rich diet. At the end of the year, the carb eaters were feeling happier, calmer and more focused than those who’d deprived themselves. Carbs are known to up the levels of mood regulating stress reducing brain chemicals, while high protein fatty foods might cause these levels to drop.

2. Low carb diets leave you fatter, not thinner. The stress and depression that most low carb dieters feel is enough, over time, to thwart even the best efforts to stay on track. The reason? Stress produces lots of hormones, like cortisol, that increase your appetite and make you vulnerable to binges according to obesity expert Elissa Epel, Ph.D. who is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

3. Low carb diets can’t be sustained over the long term. Most people can tough out a low carb diet for a time, but it’s quite another thing to do it for a lifetime. Studies show that people have a harder time sticking to low carb, as opposed to high carb, eating plans. In a recent Harvard University study of 322 dieters, just 78% stuck with their diet for up to two years, while almost 90% of those on a high carb diet were still following the eating plan at the end of the study period.

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3 critical reasons you have cellulite…

Joey Atlas, a Women’s Body Enhancement Specialist is sharing his 4 step method to reducing cellulite.

No creams, vibrating machines, pill or special underwear…

Cellulite is not all about bad genetics… Learn subtle moves to wipe-out nasty dimples & bumps quickly.

Take a look at what women across 193 different countries have learnt makes the difference.

Click through now and discover how Joey can help…
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5 Facts To Know About Low Carb Diets Continued…

4. Low carb diets bring bloating to your belly. According to the National Institute of Digestive Diseases, belly bloat is a key sign of constipation, and this is a common side effect of that low carb diet. In one study as many as 68% of participants on a low carb diet were complaining of constipation, compared to just 30% of the non dieting population, and 35% of dieters who were eating more carbs.

5. Low carb diets make people feel deprived, making dieters start to crave carbs according to a University of Toronto study of 89 women where half restricted the amount of carbs they ate, and the other half did not, When fed a test breakfast three days later and told to eat as they wished, the low carb dieters stuffed themselves, while the other women kept to their diets. The bottom line? Cut out carbs and it’s nearly impossible not to binge when you relax your guard.

While low carb diets are known for fast weight loss, much of what you lose in those early days is water, not fat. In the long run, the picture is not so clear and experts are likely to continue to argue the point. Remember, when it comes to weight loss, it’s the cutting of calories, and the increase in regular physical activity that is the tried and true formula for weight loss.

To your good health,

OpenClips / Pixabay

Saves Lives By Screening For Colorectal Cancer

Although colon cancer is a preventable and even highly curable disease, it remains the second source of cancer deaths in the U.S. according to gastroenterologists Dr. Felice Schnoll-Sussman and Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl. Why? Not nearly enough people are getting screened, and experts want to get the word out that with screening cancer of the colon, a disease often without symptoms, can be detected early and even prevented from developing at all. Amazingly one in every three American is NOT getting screened for colorectal cancers, even though the screening tests are available everywhere.

Colon cancer is defined by your doctor as a malignant tumor that grows from the inside wall of the colon, also known as the large intestine, the long coiled tube that takes water from food after it’s been digested. Rectal cancer is a cancerous tumor that forms in the rectum, which is the medical term used for the last 6 inches of the large intestine where stool is stored before leaving the body. These two cancers share lots of risk factors, symptoms and the type of screening that’s done to detect them. It’s the treatment plans that are typically different. Colorectal cancer is a term that covers both colon and rectal cancers.

Here are five facts to think about before you put off a colorectal cancer screening…

1. Screening for colorectal cancer can save your life, finding a cancer very early on or spotting polyps before they get a chance to be cancer. Screening should start at 50 for both men and women. In years to come there may be a new test to detect colorectal cancer involving a breath sample, a method just presented in the December 2012 British Journal of Surgery.

2. Have screenings when you are feeling well because early colorectal cancers don’t have symptoms and you feel just fine. Screening before symptoms is the key, by the time you’re having symptoms the cancer is no longer in its early, most treatable stages.

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Saves Lives By Screening For Colorectal Cancer Continued…

3. Know the risks for colorectal cancer and talk with your doctor about getting screened earlier than 50 years if you have reason to do so. Your risk can go up if you have inflammatory bowel disease, a personal history of colon cancer or polyps, a family history of colon cancer or polyps or conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome that can cause colon cancer.

4. Live healthy – stop smoking, get moving and start eating better (avoid red and processed meats, eat lots of fiber) to bring down your risk of being diagnosed with this type of cancer. Exercise especially is linked with lower rates of colon and breast cancers according to research in the May 2012 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

5. This type of cancer doesn’t discriminate; one in every 20 is diagnosed with colorectal cancer sometime in their life. This disease affects both men and women equally.

In this year alone, an estimated 102,480 cases of colon cancer, another 40,340 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed. You can keep yourself from being one of them by making the call to schedule that screening, and making lifestyle changes that reduce your risk of disease.

To your good health,

succo / Pixabay

The Best Plant For Your Intake In Potassium

As the main ingredient in an American favorite, French fries, the white potato has something to boast about – beating out the banana in terms of potassium. A study released at the Experimental Biology 2013 annual meeting finds that consumption of white potatoes is tied to higher intake of potassium. For each added kilocalorie of these potatoes eaten there was a 1.6 mg increase in potassium for adults over 19 years old, a 1.7 mg increase for children and teens aged 2 to 18 years old. Gender, age, education and race/ethnicity were highly predictive of potassium intake, while income and body mass index were not.

A small white potato, with the skin, gives you 738 mg of potassium and 128 calories. By contrast, a large banana, a well-known potassium powerhouse has the same number of calories but only 487 mg of potassium. Surprise! Even with the skin off, the inside of the white potato is a fantastic source of potassium. One cup provides 477 mg of the nutrient.

Potassium is an electrolyte mineral, a key nutrient that most of us, an estimated 97% of Americans, don’t get enough of in our diets. It helps control blood pressure, key to keeping the heart healthy. Since the vast majority of adults will get high blood pressure sometime during their lifetime, getting enough potassium is vital to counter this. It’s also essential for a healthy skeletal system and regulating the actions of muscles and nerves too.

A diet that doesn’t have enough potassium brings plenty of problems to the body. When potassium is low, the body holds onto extra sodium, too much sodium brings up blood pressure. When you get enough potassium in the foods you eat, the body gets more efficient at getting rid of that extra sodium.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines advisors agree that there is much evidence that higher intakes of potassium are linked to lower blood pressure in adults. Foods that have lots of potassium and are low in sodium may cut the risk of silent but dangerous high blood pressure and devastating stroke. White potatoes fit the bill; they have lots of potassium and are naturally low in salt, free of fat, saturated fats and cholesterol.

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Unfortunately, the most recent data from the well regarded National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009-2010 examined by the team included
the nutrient intakes of children and adults. The authors found that intakes of
potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D for these groups were all below
the recommended daily allowance or even the adequate intake levels called for
by the Institute of Medicine. This is a real world warning that kids, teens and
adults are not meeting dietary recommendations for important nutrients even in
a nation of abundance.

Some of the symptoms of potassium deficiency include confusion, irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue and heart disturbances. You might tire more easily during exercise. Too much potassium can be toxic and may bring on an irregular heartbeat or even heart attack. So long as you stick to dietary sources of this substance, your body will keep the balance of potassium within a tight, effective range.

The recommended daily allowance for potassium is 4,700 mg for adult men and women. Some other natural food sources of potassium, besides white potatoes and bananas, include sweet potatoes, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, dates, yogurt, tomatoes, raisins and clams.

To your good health,

bykst / Pixabay

How Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight

Water is truly a miracle beverage. Not only does is quench our thirst, but it is a significant part (60%) of our body makeup and can play a rather important role in weight loss. While the body can go without food for some time, water is essential to life and we cannot survive without it. Cells, the temperature of the body, the lubrication of joints and the internal transport system rely on water to work properly. There’s also evidence that even mild dehydration may be a factor in some deaths, and that treating it might prevent some serious chronic conditions.

Yet many people just don’t drink enough water during the day to stay properly hydrated, or support their weight loss efforts. To help out, here are some facts about water and weight.

Water and feelings of fullness – studies have found that people who drank two cups of water before a meal lost more weight (5 pounds more over 12 weeks, in fact) than those who didn’t drink water but otherwise followed the same diet. This is called water pre-loading and it does seem to play a part in satiety. The two glasses pre meal help you feel less hungry and therefore you eat fewer calories at that meal.

You can try this for yourself, and see how full you feel. You will want to be careful to avoid too much of a good thing – water intoxication can be fatal. Signs (often unrecognized) include confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting, changes in mental state, even psychotic symptoms. Early detection of this state is crucial to prevent the onset of seizures, coma and death.

Even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism – not having enough water reduces blood volume, and thus the supply of oxygen to your muscles. This often leads to feelings of both physical and mental fatigue, which makes staying active far less likely, and certainly makes keeping your motivation up more of a challenge. Drinking water can help your body burn fat according to a study that found drinking 500 ml of water made metabolic rate rise by 30% in healthy adults.

Water and detoxifying the body – water plays an important part in natural detox and elimination, as it is the element where many of the body toxins go to be eliminated. Drinking enough water flushes your system and gets rid of waste products more efficiently… normal wastes or byproducts of metabolic processes.

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How Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight Continued…

In fact, a well hydrated body is less likely to hold onto fluid, and fluid
in body tissues can add a few pounds to the number you see on the scale.
And have you feeling sluggish and bloated to boot.

Not surprisingly many people find they just feel better, and stay more regular too, when they drink the right amount of water each day. Some report less chapped lips during the winter, as well as improvements in how skin looks.

Here are some simple tips to drink more water.

- Keep a tall glass by the coffee pot so that you drink it upon waking.

- Keep a water bottle with you and sip all during the day.

- Set an alarm (or use an app) to remind you to drink a glass of water.

- Track how many glasses you’ve drunk each day and keep a running log.

- A glass of water before bed is also a good idea.

These are just suggestions, in the end you need to find the strategy you can use to up your water intake and stick with it. Before long you’ll be feeling better, less bloated, and very likely seeing the results on the scale and in how you feel.

To your good health,

bohed / Pixabay

Seven Smart Ways To Beat Stress Fat

We all agree that stress is an unavoidable part of life, but surprisingly research also finds that it’s a part of fat as well. If you eat right and exercise regularly, chronically high levels of stress can keep you from losing weight, maybe even add on a few pounds.

Here’s how it works. Our bodies react to all stress in the very same way, the brain instructing the cells to release some pretty potent hormones. There’s adrenaline to tap into stored energy so you can “fight or flee” as well as a surge of cortisol that urges the body to replenish the energy even though you haven’t really done anything yet. The body keeps pumping out the cortisol as long as the stress keeps up.

And there are very few of us who respond to stress by reaching for some kefir – instead we want the high fat, salty sweetness because this stimulates the release of pleasure chemicals in the brain. These chemicals help to reduce tension, which is why eating junk food seems to be helpful, comforting. Over time, it’s easy to see why this can become addicting – anxious feelings cause you to reach for something fatty and tasty for immediate comfort.

With all the cortisol being pumped out while the body is under stress, the testosterone production slows. Over time this drop causes a decrease in muscle mass, which has you burning fewer calories. This is a natural fact of aging, but having high cortisol levels accelerates the process. Cortisol also makes it easier for your body to store fat, especially the dangerous visceral fat, the kind that sends fatty acids into your blood, ups your cholesterol and insulin while also making conditions right for both diabetes and heart disease.

Of course no one is suggesting we remove all anxiety and stress – this is impossible. But there are things you can to do help get those stress levels under control. This will help with cortisol levels and you may also see the impact on your weight and your overall health as well.

Now for the seven stress beaters…

1. Move your muscles, vigorously, as this is an instant stress reliever that really works. It fools the body into thinking you are getting away from your stress, while also helping your blood circulate and flush out the cortisol.

2. Eat slowly at meals, paying attention to each bit, savoring the taste, smell and texture of what you’re eating. Be open to feelings of fullness as this can bring down cortisol levels and cut the amount of food you eat.

3. Do not follow strict dieting as research has shown always dieting can raise cortisol levels by 18%. This makes blood sugar become variable so you feel cranky and are absolutely starving.

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Seven Smart Ways To Beat Stress Fat Continued…

4. Give in, a little, to cravings, as it’s far better to indulge in a small way and limit your cortisol response before it takes over.

5. Cut caffeine as combining stress and caffeine raises cortisol levels more than does stress on its own.

6. Eating a nutrient rich breakfast helps provide the body with B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Without enough of these come higher cortisol levels and food cravings.

7. Sleep, getting enough (7-9 hours/night) is amazingly beneficial. Being sleep deprived ups cortisol; appetite and naturally, weight gain as well. Getting enough sleep for several nights in a row will restore the balance.

To your good health,