Archive for February, 2016

Lowering Your Blood Pressure through Diet

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Food for Thought

 

 

Lowering Your Blood Pressure through Diet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to a recent study done by the American Heart Association, one in three adults suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure.  While many people are prescribed medication to help reduce their blood pressure, nutritionists say that simply by eating your fruits and vegetables that you can help reduce your blood pressure naturally.

Fruits and vegetables are chock full of great vitamins and nutrients that will help to lower your blood pressure, and combined with medication and exercise you will be back on the healthy track.

Physicians recommend 4 to 5 servings of vegetables per day and 2 to 3 servings of fruit per day.

The following are some great blood pressure lowering options:

Vegetables: swiss chard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce.

Fruits: citrus fruits, bananas, and apples.

While all fruits and vegetables are good for you, the above contain the appropriate amounts of the right vitamins and nutrients that when added to your regular diet will equal out to a heart-supportive diet.

By simply making some small changes to your every day eating and making sure to get the appropriate number of foods and vegetables in your daily diet, you will see your blood pressure numbers gradually decreasing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the “Toes” Know

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Healthy Living

 

What the toes knows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As odd as it may seem, your feet may be the window to your overall body health. Here are some things to look for regarding your feet that will give you clues that there may be other important body issues to look into.

Thick, yellow toenails – Toenails are not supposed to be thick and/or yellow.  Thick, yellow nails are most often an indication of a fungal infection living beneath your toenails.  People that have other medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other immune deficiencies are more likely to get a fungal infection than those that do not have these conditions.  To treat thick, yellow toenails, you will need to consult a podiatrist.  While there are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for thick, yellow toenails, by the time your nails are already discolored and thick it is too late for any over-the-counter creams or medicines to work. You must discuss your options with a professional.

No hair on your feet or toes – If your feet or toes are lacking hair, it can be a sign of having poor circulation because of vascular disease.  If you notice that your feet and toes do not have any hair on them, you will want to consult your doctor to find out ways to improve your circulation thereby reducing your risk of acquiring vascular disease.

A wound that won’t heal on your foot – Wounds on your feet that just won’t heal could be an indication of diabetes.  Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious nerve damage in your feet and because of this damage you may not feel when you have a sore or a wound on your foot.  If your wound continues to go unhealed there could be major problems, including amputation.  If you notice a wound that won’t heal on your feet be sure to contact your doctor to discuss your wound.  If you are currently living with or being treated for diabetes, be sure to check your feet often and mark any changes.

 

Obesity and Your Heart Health Risk

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

In the News:  Heart Awareness Month

 

Obesity and Your Heart Health Risks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a well-known fact that being overweight increases your chance of being at risk of a number of chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  But research shows that even a small amount of weight loss can lessen your risk of falling victim to these deadly diseases.

Research also shows that, unfortunately, eating just 100 more calories a day than you should, can cause your body weight to be in the obese category and not just the overweight category.

To determine whether or not you are overweight or obese, use a BMI Calculator.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI between 30 and 39.9 is considered obese.

If your BMI is greater than 25 and you are older than 30 years old, you should strongly consider losing weight to reduce your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

In recognition of American Heart Month here are some important statistics regarding heart health:

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a coronary attack.
  • The average age for a first heart attack for men is 66 years.
  • Many cases of heart disease can be prevented. Learn more at cdc.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast and Easy Fat Busters

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Fitness for All

Fast and Easy Fat Busters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sure there are lots of people out there that want to lose weight and everyone knows that diet and exercise are the key components to achieve this goal.  But while the dieting can be done at any hour of the day, many people find that it is the exercise part that they have a hard time finding time to accomplish.

But what if you could burn fat, burn calories, and lose weight with easy, fast exercises?  Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

The next time you are short on time and need to get a quick exercise or two in, consult this list of easy fat burners to kick start your regimen and get you on your way to achieving your goal as soon as possible.

 

Some fast and easy fat busters to try include:

Jump rope as fast as you can – burns 68 calories.

Do walking lunges down a hallway – burns 45 calories.

Run around the block – burns 62 calories.

Do some Wii Zumba – burns 45 calories.

Vacuum the biggest room of your house – burns 20 calories.

Walk up and down the stairs – burns 36 calories.

Bounce on a stability ball during the commercials of your favorite show – burns 58 calories.

 

 

 

 

Ways to Avoid Comfort Eating This Season

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over eating seems to be inevitable this time of year. The stress that comes with shopping, cleaning, and cooking make it easy to turn to food for relief. Resisting the urge to eat because of emotions rather than to satisfy hunger can be difficult. Here are some tips to avoid comfort eating during the holidays:

Continue usual routines: Sticking to an everyday schedule helps to keep anxiety at bay. If you only eat three meals and a snack before the holidays, keep it that way. Working out can also divert you from the tempting leftovers in the refrigerator. It helps your mind stay active and distracted.

Identify your triggers: Knowing what specifically drives you to emotional eating can make an incredible difference. Stress and boredom are  the main causes for most people. Keeping

yourself calm yet entertained can significantly reduce the want to munch on some unhealthy treats.

Respond, not react: After immediately having a craving, most of us go straight to the pantry to fulfill it. Allowing yourself to take a moment and think about what you are about to do and the guilt you will have afterwards can stop the craving all together. Have some nutritious snacks ready and waiting, so during that pause, you have the time to remember that you have a healthier option.

Moderation: There has to be a balance in your meal plans. Sometimes, it can be impossible to avoid the comfort foods, so only have a small portion. Giving yourself a taste of what you have been yearning for can satisfy those cravings without blowing your diet.

 

Spotlight on: Carrots

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Eating Healthy

carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a well known fact that if you eat your carrots you are working wonders to improve your eyesight, but there are many other great benefits to eating carrots that many people overlook.

The beta-carotene in carrots is an antioxidant combating the free radicals that contribute to conditions like cancer, heart disease, and a few other conditions.

Cooking carrots actually raises the nutritional benefits of this great vegetable.  By cooking them you free the beta-carotene from the fiber, thereby allowing your body to better absorb the beta-carotene.

If you eat just a half cup of carrots each day you will get more than the recommended dosage of beta-carotene in your diet.

Recipe: Banana Zucchini Carrot Bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and pour into large bowl.  Add bananas and mash.  Add grated zucchini and shredded carrots.  Mix well.  Add sugar, vanilla and beaten egg.  Sprinkle in baking soda and salt, and mix.  Add flour and mix well.  Pour in 4×8 loaf pan to two large muffin pans.  (Yields one loaf or 12 large muffins.) Bake loaf for 60 to 75 minutes.  Bake muffins for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool and serve.

 

Recipe:  Creamy Carrot with Curry Soup 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds peeled carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: Chopped pistachios

Heat oil in sauté pan until shimmering.  Add carrots, then onion, sauté until golden brown (about 7 minutes).  Reduce heat and add butter, sugar, and garlic; continue cooking about 10 minutes longer. Add curry and sauté a minute longer. Add broth and simmer.  Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes.  Using a blender, puree in a blender for about a minute.  Return to pot and add enough half and half so the mixture is soup-like, yet thick enough to float the pistachio garnish.  Add salt and pepper as needed.

 

 

 

 

 

Colon Health 101: Corn vs. Canola Oil

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Colon Health

 

In a recent animal study, it was found that diets that included canola oil rather than corn oil had less of a chance of growing colon tumors.

One of the reasons that gives canola the edge is the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, where corn oil is higher in omega-6 fatty acids.  In the animals tested, researchers charted the size and number of colon tumors and tested their blood for its fatty acid amount.  When comparing animals whose diets contained corn oil verses canola oil, the animals whose diet included canola oil had fewer tumors and much smaller tumors on average.

 

While researchers will next attempt this same study on humans, researchers and nutritionists alike agree that only good can come from including more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.