Archive for September, 2017

Superfoods – Spotlight on Avocado

What does it take to be called a superfood? For one, it should be packed with nutrients almost making it a must eat for a healthy body. And if this is one of the yardsticks used for measuring superfoods, it seems that avocado makes a strong case since it is definitely loaded with essential nutrients.

Before you go overboard and start grabbing avocados every time you have the opportunity you must first understand that a single avocado contains approximately 215 calories. And when you mention calories into the mix, especially with this amount people might start thinking weight gain. Yes, avocados do contain more than the average calorie content for most fruits but this is of the healthier kind.

The recommended daily intake for avocados is 30 grams or a fifth of the fruit. But consuming half the fruit or 68 grams is still considered to be within healthy limits. On average an avocado contains:

Amount per 100 grams

Calories 160
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15 g 23%
Saturated fat 2.1 g 10%
Polyunsaturated fat 1.8 g
Monounsaturated fat 10 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 7 mg 0%
Potassium 485 mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3%
Dietary fiber 7 g 28%
Sugar 0.7 g
Protein 2 g 4%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 16%
Calcium 1%
Iron 3%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin B-6 15%
Vitamin B-12 0%
Magnesium 7%

 

Avocado Health Benefits

  1. Keeps the heart healthy – avocados do contain a healthy share of fats but most of these are of the healthy kind. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats which prevent the development of arteriosclerosis or the hardening of arteries.
  2. Healthy, glowing skin – avocados are nature’s answer to moisturizers. It can be used to keep our skin looking young and healthy. It is also rich in antioxidants which fights against toxins and helps protect our skin against harmful UV light. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated and fat-soluble vitamins that helps the skin and hair glowing.
  3. Helps you lose weight – diets low in carbohydrate and high in healthy fats actually improve weight loss. Fat rich food helps you feel fuller longer. These make you feel fuller and decreases the frequency of meals.
  4. Lowers your risk for cancer – some studies have suggested the correlation between phytochemicals in avocado and cancer. Phytochemicals in avocado help prevent further growth of cancer cells. Avocado is also rich in antioxidants that prevent unhealthy toxin buildup which reduces further risks for cancers.
  5. Helps improve digestion – avocados are rich in fiber. This helps improve digestion and reduces risk for colon cancer. It also helps get rid of toxins in the intestines keeping them healthy.

Losing Weight and Aging

Remember those times when we could almost get away with eating anything and still manage to keep our figures slim? It seems that each year brings more and more hurdles making it difficult if not impossible to keep those fat deposits at bay.

The easiest solution is to deny ourselves the pleasures of eating often opting to take a small bite of our favorite cake. Keeping slim has become so difficult that even our best efforts seem futile. Each year we grow older seems to add a corresponding inch to our waistline making weight gain synonymous with growing old.

Accept this change

The first step towards keeping a slimmer body is to accept these changes and plan accordingly. Preparing yourself mentally for the difficult tasks ahead will give you a better perspective of your condition. In the past, aging did not mean gaining weight. This was because people were actively had more active lifestyles and the food was generally healthier.

With all these modern conveniences that makes people soft and all the abundance of processed foods and sugary drinks keeping our body slim has become a challenge. Be conscious about the changes that aging brings and live your life accordingly.

Medical conditions

Weight gain may not be the direct result of aging. An underlying medical condition such as metabolic related diseases could be the culprit. Years of abuse on our body caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits can be responsible for weight gain in our advanced age.

Metabolic conditions such as those associated with the thyroid makes it almost impossible for people to lose weight. One of every five people over the age of 40 suffer from hypothyroidism. This tiny gland is responsible for regulating metabolism or how effectively we digest food. Visit your doctor regularly and have a thorough medical exam. You might never know if your weight gain is the symptom of a medical condition.

Eating Schedules

Living a healthy lifestyle is not denying or starving yourself. If you’ve already switched to a healthy diet and don’t see any results then eating small frequent meals could do the trick. Accept that your body might not be as efficient in digesting food. Eating small frequent meals makes it easier for your body to convert food into usable energy rather than converting it into fat deposits. A light breakfast followed by a healthy snack before lunch is recommended. Just remember to keep this within 3 to 4 hour intervals.

Keep yourself satiated, extreme dieting could lead to binge eating which only makes your weight condition worse. Food taken after 8 pm is more likely to go into in your waist or belly. Never skip breakfast. It still remains the most opportune time for our metabolism. Breakfast fuels our body for the rest of the day.

Aging and our Body

Reaching 40, our body undergoes numerous physical changes which can affect how our body works. This is evident not only in our outward appearance but more importantly our internal processes. The changes are subtle and are not readily seen. This is mainly due to hormonal changes, other factors that affect digestion and metabolism.

Spinach – Muscle Builder and More

Mention the word spinach and images of Popeye chomping down on a can of this vegetable instantly comes into the mind of children. Well, this might not be far from the truth as spinach is definitely one of the healthiest sources of nutrients and protein for building muscles.

But spinach is more than building muscles. This vegetable is also an excellent minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.  Aside from being a rich protein source for building muscles, spinach also helps improve eyesight, keeps the heart healthy, promotes optimum child growth and keeps the skin healthy.

Better Brain Functioning

Spinach is a potent antioxidant, contains potassium and folate all of which contributes to keep the brain healthy. Folate helps reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Potassium on the other hand helps improve blood flow to the brain. More blood flow means more energy and oxygen is sent to the brain for optimum functioning.

Stronger Bones

Spinach contains Vitamin K which helps the bones retain calcium. Improved calcium retention leads to bone mineralization. Spinach also contains copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese. This keeps our bones strong and healthy and reduces our risk for developing osteoporosis.

Optimum Child Growth

Protein is an important building block of the body. This is why parents are encouraged to include spinach in their growing child’s diet. Spinach is also rich in minerals and phytonutrients all of which is essential for a growing child’s body.

Cancer Prevention

Spinach contains tocopherol, folate and chlorophyllin. These are currently being studied as a possible treatment for prostate, lung, bladder and liver cancers. Spinach is also being studied as a method for reducing tumor activity and preventing the spread of cancer in the body. However, one sure thing is that spinach contains antioxidants which are very effective in eliminating cancer-causing toxins in the body.

Reduces Inflammation

Painful conditions such as arthritis and gout are caused by severe inflammation. Instant relief for these conditions can involve taking anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pressure. Spinach is a rich source of natural anti-inflammatory compounds which helps reduce inflammation in the body. This is not only effective against arthritis and gout but also protect the heart from inflammation.

Ulcer Prevention

Vegetables in general has been proven to keep our digestive system healthy. It helps prevent colon cancer and prevents gastric ulcers by protecting the mucous membrane of the stomach.  Various compounds found in spinach has also been found to strengthen the digestive tract lining. Its anti-inflammatory properties also prevents harmful conditions from developing in this area.

Muscle Builder

Spinach is one the healthiest and riches sources of protein. It helps feed those protein-hungry muscles while keeping almost every part of the body healthy. Spinach is certainly a healthy and cheaper alternative to meat and expensive protein supplements.