Healthy Tips to Stop Smoking Naturally

cigaretteDo you smoke? You probably know about the consequences of cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for nearly one out of every five deaths in America. It is a major cause of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Maybe you are also aware of all these but you still have a problem: you simply can’t stop smoking.

We cannot blame you. Cigarette smoking is an addictive habit. Whenever you smoke a cigarette, nicotine is absorbed by your body through the blood and it enters your brain. Upon reaching the brain, there is a stimulant effect in the body brought about by a rush of adrenaline. Your heart rate and breathing increases along with your blood pressure. You feel more awake and you forget hunger.

The problem with nicotine is that it is an addictive chemical. Nicotine has the ability to activate reward pathways in the brain. This means that when you smoke a cigarette, you feel pleasure. This is due to the fact that nicotine increases the secretion of a chemical in the brain called dopamine, causing pleasurable sensations. When you don’t smoke, you feel bad and you experience withdrawal symptoms. This is what makes cigarette smoking a habit which is difficult to break.

So, how do you stop smoking in a healthier way? Here are some tips:

Face Your Cravings

You should learn the art of self-control. If you experience cravings, tell yourself to wait for 10 minutes before you give in. During that time you should be able to distract yourself. Delaying your cravings can actually drive your cravings away.

You should also avoid triggers. Cravings may surface out when you go with the same smoking crowd or when you go to certain places. You must avoid those places or those friends of yours. Also avoid parties and bars while you are on the process of quitting smoking.

Exercise

Getting physical very often can actually help ease cravings for smoke. You can walk, jog or play sports. You may also try relaxation techniques such as yoga. Whenever you crave for tobacco, try to practice relaxation techniques to drive away your cravings and distract you.

Get support

You can ask support from your family members and loved ones. Tell them to constantly remind you to quit smoking. Listen to the advices of these loved ones and lean on them for support whenever you feel weak. You can also join support groups for smoking cessation.

Get Replacements

Smoking alternatives such as nicotine gums or e-cigarettes can help reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor should be able to help you with these. Your doctor may also give you some medications to help you quit smoking.

Help Yourself

You hold the key towards your rehabilitation. You should constantly remind yourself of why you would like to stop smoking. Think of how smoking can kill you. Think of the cancers and lung diseases you may get if you continue to smoke. Think about the things you would like to do when you grow old and tell yourself that you cannot enjoy these things if you continue to smoke and shorten your life. You may write down your thoughts on a journal or a blog. You can say out loud what you have written to strengthen yourself. Remind yourself constantly and you will not fail.

Keeping Osteoarthritis Away with Healthy Eating

Healthy DietOsteoarthritis is a medical condition that is mainly caused by lifestyle factors. These include unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyle, over weight problems and previous injury. Osteoarthritis is highly preventable and all it takes is living a healthy lifestyle. One simple way is to start eating a healthy diet to help prevent or manage osteoarthritis.

Dietary supplements, information on osteoarthritis fighting foods and other natural treatments are also readily available to help people fight off this disease. Getting the right nutrients into your body is just one of the ways to minimize your risk for developing osteoarthritis. However, working with your doctor to develop a prevention or treatment plan still remains to be the way of keeping this disease at bay.

Building Stronger Bones and Cartilages

Vitamin C rich food is essential in developing a diet designed to prevent osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is an important nutrient responsible for building collagen and proteoglycans. These are the building blocks for stronger cartilage which helps cushion the joints. Vitamin C rich foods also contain powerful antioxidants that prevent toxin buildup in the joints that can damage the cartilage.

Fruits and vegetables are definite staples when it comes to osteoarthritis preventing diets. Eating a variety of frozen, dried and fresh fruits is a must but also keep fruit juices to a minimal since these contain large amounts of sugar. The recommended amount of vitamin C for example could easily be reached by eating an orange, a large banana, a quarter of dried peaches or other dried fruits.
Another essential food group includes nuts and seeds and fish. These are healthy sources of protein but do not contain the same high levels of fat seen in poultry or animal meat. Regular diets can easily provide much needed proteins but the trick is to get this from healthy sources. Fish and calamari for example contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids which has anti-inflammatory properties. Other ways of minimizing fats in your diet are boiling, grilling or baking. Cooking oils could also be replaced with healthier alternatives such as flaxseed and olive oils.

Eating dark green and orange vegetables are important for preventing osteoarthritis. The recommended amounts of daily intake may depend on a person’s age, activity levels and gender. However, adults in general are advised to eat two to three cups of vegetables daily. Broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash and beans are ideal.

Calcium is essential for building strong and healthy bones, which is important for preventing joint damage. Make drinking milk healthier by choosing low or no-fat milk. Adults are advised to drink three cups of dairy daily.

Foods to Look out For

There’s no shortage of information regarding the types of foods that could prevent or manage osteoarthritis. Eating a healthy and well balanced diet for example is not only great for reducing our risks for osteoarthritis but also for keeping us healthy in general.

One of the simple rules when it comes to healthy eating is to eat less as we grow older. We must not forget that factors for developing osteoarthritis are weight problems. A heavier weight means more pressure on the joints so be sure to avoid that. Changes associated with aging include slowing metabolism. You might be eating the same food amounts but the body is unable to burn fats effectively.

People who are suffering from osteoarthritis are advised to stay away from unhealthy and fatty foods. Keeping your weight within ideal limits minimizes the pressure, wear and tear on your joints. Fat can also increase your chances of inflammation which can worsen joint inflammation.

Stay clear from foods that contain large amounts of simple refined carbohydrates, saturated fats and trans-fats. Processed foods, fast foods, fried and sweets are also good candidates for increasing your risk for osteoporosis.

Animal meat and eggs contain saturated fat which can have negative effects on our health when taken in great amounts. It does not only increase your risk for osteoarthritis but also makes you susceptible to cancers and cardiovascular diseases. These foods also contain rich amounts of Omega 6 which if left unchecked could increase the pain and inflammation in the joints.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet is important for preventing osteoarthritis. A diet that includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish and complex carbohydrates is perfect for reducing your risk for osteoarthritis. It is a good diet that helps you maintain your ideal weight.

Switch to “good fats” or unsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are rich in antioxidants that can clear the joints from damaging toxins. Foods that are rich in vitamin C are good for strengthening the bones and cartilages. Improving the strength in the joints and prevents injuries.

 

 

 

Healthy, Younger Skin Naturally

sun safety 101People spend more for beauty and for the goal of looking good. Since looking good and looking young in today’s society may mean promotion, better work, more self confidence, better chances for relationship and even a jumpstart of positive outlook and raised self esteem, the  cosmetic and beauty industries have banked on it and evolved into giant industries. Expensive surgeries and treatments has grown and expanded.

So here are those skin friendly superfoods you may choose from.

Flaxseed. Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids which is a good kind of fat. These fatty acids strengthen cell membranes. It also helps prevent the absorbtion of harmful toxins in the body. Flaxseed helps cell membranes hold water which makes the skin look youthful and younger.

Tuna. Tuna when eaten in moderation may help in skin sagging. It has omega-3 fatty acids as well as selenium. These two helps prevent cellular damage while promoting elastin. Selenium can also be found in some beef, cod and turkey.

Other Fish oil. Coldwater fish can be a good source of protein, Carotenoids and omega-3 fatty cuds. These have anti-inflammatory effects and are very good for the skin. It also helps in fighting aging process.

Chia. Again, Chia can be very little seeds but it pack still some surprise for the skin. It helps in skin hydration and makes skin look healthy, young and well moisturized.

Green Tea. Not only can it help detoxify the body but it can also help prevent skin damage. Green tea has Polyphenols which is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. These components also help the body from absorbing the damages of the UV rays.

Low fat dairy. Low fat diary helps in preventing acne as well as in lessening wrinkles. Low fat dairy contains vitamin A, a known skin food. Plain yogurt is one with broccoli, liver, sweet potatoes and spinach among others.

Almonds. Almonds contain a hefty amount of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural sun blocker. Due to this, the sun’s effects can be neutralized and can have little damage on the skin once it gets in contact with it.

Sweet potato. Sweet potatoes may not be your thing but they can eventually smoothen your skin. It has high levels of vitamin C and supports collagen production.  Once collagen production gets better, a fuller appearance and a more youthful skin may be seen. In studies conducted, those who are ingesting more vitamin C may get to have smoother skin, with lesser wrinkles. Maybe it’s time that you add more carrots, citrus and papayas in your diet.

Avocadoes. Avocadoes are one for skin’s elasticity. It contains all the healthy fats and can protect the skin as well as prevent it from forming wrinkles and fine liens.  MUPAs when ingested and gets to befriend the body can help make the cell walls stronger.

Berries. Just every berry out there contains all the anti-oxidant which can help slow down the aging process while making your skin glow. Since it has various helpful compounds, it has the ability to protect the skin’s breakdown of collagen and elastin. Berries have compounds that are known to increase lifespan of the cells.

Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain lycopene. This anti-oxidant helps defend the body from sun damage and wrinkles. It is also under study as a possible cancer treatment. The lycopene helps the body neutralize the effect of free radicals as well as the UV rays from the sun exposure.

Beets. Beets contain phytochemicals and minerals. It helps the body fight infection, purifies the blood and helps cleanse the liver.

Kale. Kale is known to contain more nutrients than any other vegetables. It just is power packed with every nutrient that the skin will be thankful of.

Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate contains a higher amount of cocoa. Or if available, raw cacao can even be better. It is packed with anti-oxidants for a smooth and glowing skin.

Water is Important

Superfoods this good can never be enough though. It may need you to do all things right since a single superfood meal can’t combat a whole week of your consumption of processed foods. It has to be a lifestyle.

Now, for skin health, water hydration can be very important. You may have all the juices but water is still needed. Without water, skin may turn flaky, sallow and even dry. So make an effort in increasing your water intake to boost energy and of course to rehydrate your cells for glowing and healthy skin.

The Healthy Way to Keep Diabetes Away

Healthy DietYour most recent visit with your physician confirmed you have diabetes.  As an effort to fight off this illness, you educate yourself with useful information.  But in your search for aid, you stumbled upon tons of materials that lead you to false promises.  You must now turn to natural ways to fight off this unnatural condition.

Bad carbs

Start your battle by eliminating bad carbohydrates.  Avoid foods that contain white flour and refined white sugar.  They have been stripped of its essential nutrients.  These foods are the culprits for the increase in numbers of obese people over the past few decades.

Another type of sugar that contributed to American obesity rates is High fructose corn syrup or HFCS.  This carbohydrate ispresent in almost all frozen foods and baked goods.  You may also find this in sugary drinks.

As a solution to this, read the labels in every item before you toss it to your grocery cart.  Purchase items without HFCS.  Pick foods that have been sweetened with natural products.

Good fats

Another item to add in your diabetes check list is food items that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.  This includes albacore tuna, halibut, herring, calamari and squid oil and your favorite fish salmon.  Read the rest of this entry »

Must Not Miss Nutrients – Get that Healthy Body

eating healthyHow do you define a good meal? Is it a serving of fries followed by a quarter pounder burger? Is it that deliciously smelling bacon along with other “nutritiously” processed food that you are regularly having every morning? Well, even these types of foods spell comfort to you and definitely satisfy your appetite, you still have to be wary of your intake. Preservatives and too much calories are not friends especially if you aim for a healthy lifestyle.

 

Some food may be bland for our taste, but their health benefits are ultimately essential keep us going for the rest of the day. The human body needs a balanced eating plan to serve the best of its function, so if we are eating a diet that completes of our daily nutritional requirements, we are having enough nutrition in store to:

  • Heal and repair.
  • Boost immunity to fight against infections.
  • Grow and build muscles and bones.
  • Stay fit and healthy.

Eating various food groups can also reduce the risk of illnesses such as heart problems, cancers, stroke, join-related diseases, and diabetes. A good diet partnered with regular exercise can also slow down aging and keep the body’s youthful glow for a better physical appearance.

When ensuring a healthy diet, we have to go back to our basic food groups our health teachers and nutritionists had been discussing since elementary years. Though many of us are fully aware of them, we tend to forget these basics since that there already are limitless selections for available in the food stores. Let’s have a quick recap of the essential nutrients that we should never miss out in our diet.

Fruits: An apple a day keeps the doctor away is not a famous saying for nothing and it also applies in different types of fruits. Fruits are free of cholesterol, and are naturally low in fats and calories. It is packed with Vitamin C that is essential for our daily immunity boost.

Tip – Try adding a banana or mixed fruits in your daily oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. With all the types of foods

Vegetables: Vegetables like fruits are a fat-free source of nutrients.  Having a good amount for veggie intake daily can give you potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C and the important mineral Selenium.

Tip – Since veggies can be eaten raw or cooked, you can incorporate it in your diet as a healthy snack. Vegetable salads are great appetizer and can also be a filling for sandwiches. There are plenty of delectable recipes you can choose from soups to stir fries, to veggie patties and vegetable curries. Vegan recipes will never let you run out of creativity. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Ways to Battle Cellulite in Our Later Years

The skin has several layers. The outside epidermis is the part that covers the inner dermis. The inner dermis contains the hair follicles, blood vessels, nerve receptors and connective tissues. Under the connective tissues are the subcutaneous fat that is the main culprit for cellulite.

Cellulite usually builds up and gets worse at the onset of old age. And usually, it happens in women as men tend to have different skin configuration. Their epidermis and dermal layers are thicker than women.

Modern medical science has made it possible for us to get of these cellulite deposits quickly. Of course there are liposuction treatments which make it quick and easy.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite are those bumpy and dimply skins that appear in a woman’s thighs, back and stomach. Due to the fats push on the connective tissue, the skin puckers causing the orange peel appearance.

Cellulite may appear in age as early as 15 years old and may even get worse as one gets older. But what are the possible causes of cellulite? Here are some.

  1. 1.       Poor diet
  2. 2.       Lack of physical activity
  3. 3.       Hormonal changes
  4. 4.       Dehydration
  5. 5.       Obesity
  6. 6.       Slow metabolism

And as said, cellulite may tend to get worse as women age. But why? Here are some more reasons.

  1. When aging sets in, the skin gets thinner thus the cellulite appears more pronounced and even more visible.
  2. Skin loosens during old age. Tone decreases and collagen is reduced. These allow adipose fat cells to press toward the surface of the skin.
  3. Due to the years seen by the body, it tends to become less efficient when dealing with waste removal. Circulation also decrease thus cellulite are added.
  4. Weight gain can also be another factor in the worsening of cellulite. When one age, tendency is one may pick and gain more weight. This increases the problem again.

So how do you fight cellulite build up as you age?

Fighting Cellulite

Cellulite treatments can promise you to get rid of these bumps and orange peel look. But some of these treatments may just be hypes but some can be effective. Let’s take a look at them below:

  1. Cellulite creams. These have no scientific evidence. Sometimes, they can even be harmful as its treatment includes the narrowing of blood vessels and forcing of water from the skin. This is bad for the circulatory system and can cause allergic reactions.
  2. Change of diet. To cut down on toxins is one major advice to get rid or minimize cellulite. Refined and processed foods, artificial additives, dairy products, foods high in fats and sugar are several foods that should be avoided. Vegetables and fruits should be added in every meal.
  3. Change of lifestyle. Foregoing of smoking, alcohol and self induced worries can help a lot.
  4. Liposuction. Since liposuction is a procedure that can remove fat deposits, it can be a possible treatment for cellulite as well. But for caution, liposuction may not remove cellulite itself altogether but the deep fats.
  5. Vitamin and mineral supplementation. To be able to keep healthy, Vitamin, C, E, A and selenium should be included in your daily nutritional supplements.
  6. Massage. Massage and other spa treatments can help in minimizing cellulite; it can’t remove it altogether but can temporarily lessen it for a short time.
  7. Laser treatments. Laser has already been approved to be used as a cellulite treatment. Laser can melt the fat under the skin, break the fibrous bands below the skin and can even stimulate the collagen production.

Mesotherapy was originally used as a treatment to relieve pain from skin conditions that are inflammatory. Substances will be injected into the body such as amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It can help break down fat and can bring some improvement in the cellulite.

The Good and Bad Side of Fat

pie and ice creamAlmost all of us think that achieving a healthy and slimmer body requires burning and shunning away from fat. While this can be true for people who are tipping the scales on the extreme side, people who are within reasonable distance of their ideal weight should think about starving themselves of fat.

There are fats and there are fats. And when it comes to fat, not all fat is created equal. Fat is needed by the body as an energy source. It is also essential for absorbing vital A, D and E. In fact, some studies show that people ate a Mediterranean diet that is rich in monounsaturated fat were able to lower their risk for cardiovascular diseases.

The Good Fats

Monounsaturated fats increase the level of good HDL cholesterol and decrease bad LDL cholesterol. Major risk factors for cardio vascular diseases include clogged arteries which is a result of plaque buildup. Monounsaturated fats help clear plaque buildup improving blood flow. This type of fat could also prevent the buildup of fat in the belly area.

Monounsaturated fats could be found in almonds, peanut products, avocados, canola oil, sesame seeds and olive oil. It is recommended that people include two to three tablespoons of olive oil daily. This increases the levels of HDL to lower risks for cardiovascular disease.

Polyunsaturated fats also lower LDL or bad cholesterol. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is important for normal brain development, cell health and immune functioning. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties that prevent blood clots and can help people suffering from arthritis. Omega 6 on the other hand is necessary for keeping the skin and eyes healthy.

Rich sources for Omega 3 fatty acids include salmon, herring, mackerel and cold water fish. It could also be found in squid or calamari oil. Plant based sources for Omega 3 includes walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil. Omega 6 can be found in safflower oil, corn oil, farmed fish and beef. The benefits of calamarin oil and cold water fishes make them a perfect match for many healthy dishes.

Taking too much Omega 6 could have negative effects on your health. This can lead to inflammation and aggravate the condition of people suffering from arthritis. Your polyunsaturated fats should mostly come from Omega 3. These are essential for many normal brain growth and development. It also lowers your chances for stroke and heart disease.

The Bad Fats

Saturated fats increase cholesterol levels and risks for cardiovascular disease. It blocks arteries and decrease blood flow. These could be found in dairy products, coconut and palm oil, and meat. You should limit your daily intake of saturated fats at ten percent of total daily calories.

The Ugly

And you think it couldn’t get worse. Unsaturated fats often undergo chemical processes and are found in processed and packaged foods. This is to increase shelf life. It lowers levels of HDL or good cholesterol and promotes the buildup of LDL or bad cholesterol.

Recharging our Body Naturally

couch potatoEnergy and power drinks are a common way of boosting our energy levels after a long day at work or a grueling workout. These are quick fixes that don’t provide any real solutions to long term problems. You end up relying on energy foods each time you end up feeling exhausted.

A drop in your energy levels should not be ignored. It does not only leave your body feeling weak but it can also affect your psychological well being. Fatigue increases your stress levels which affects the quality of work and relationships.

Rather than relying on over the counter energy foods and drinks, energy boosting Superfoods can be a more reliable option. What it gives you is a steady source of energy to power your body throughout the day.

Negative Effects of Fatigue

The brain sends different signals when it feels the body is experiencing fatigue. It is manifested both physically and mentally.

  •  Sleepiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Stress
  • Decreased coordination
  • Irritation
  • Slow reaction time
  • Poor judgment

Fatigue and Poor Sleeping Habits

The incident of fatigue increases with aging. This is natural but could be minimized with the right amount of sleep and diet. Sleep allows the body to repair itself and stock itself with energy. A healthy diet provides the fuel for repairing and restoring energy levels during sleep.

Energy Boosting Superfoods

Spirulina Powder

Spirulina is power packed with nutrients. It is rich in iron, magnesium, B12 and protein. All of these are needed for giving your body a steady supply of energy daily. Having Spirulina in its powder form makes it easy for you to mix this with fruit or vegetable juice. It could also be used in shakes, salad dressing and soups.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains MCTs (multi-chain triglycerides), fats that are actually good for your health. These are easier to digest and could be easily converted for providing energy. Coconut oil is a flexible ingredient and can be used for baking and raw food recipes.

Cacao Powder

Cacao powder is a good substitute for those with sweet cravings. It helps satiates your cravings without the bad fats contained in common sweet delights. Cacao is rich in iron and magnesium that are essential for producing energy. It can also give that “sugar rush” to help elevate your mood. But just like its other sweet counterparts, too much cacao can be unhealthy.

Chia Seeds

Keep your energy levels charged up with Chia seeds. It helps sustain your body’s batteries to give you that extra energy. Chia seeds are loaded with calcium, magnesium, iron and good fats (omega 3). Chia seeds may appear small in stature but could easily double up when ingested helping you feel fuller.

Maca

Coffee has a natural effect of stimulating the brain and revitalizing the body. But for people searching for a healthier alternative, Maca has been proven to be quite as effective in providing a natural boost. It stimulates the production of energy to replace lost reserves.

Lifestyle Changes

Aside from eating a healthier diet there are simple lifestyle changes that could reinforce the change in eating habits. Maximize your energy levels by following these lifestyle changes.

  • The Numbers Game – you may not be aware that some foods actually require more energy to burn than what they give. Instead of feeling refreshed after a meal, you might actually feel tired and lethargic. Switch to unprocessed or whole foods and back this up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.
  • Stick to an Eating plan – we may not have the same working schedule. Some people’s working day start much, much earlier while others start in the evening. Develop an eating schedule that covers the three major meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). These can be customized according to your workday. Try eating meals at 3-4 hours to provide enough energy and keep you focused.
  • Avoid Quick Fixes – minimize your coffee, energy bars and drinks consumption and consider these as a last resort. Switch to healthier options like dried fruits, vegetable salads and nuts. These contain the same amount of energy without the added poundage.
  • Hydration – liquids are lost as we try to keep our body’s internal temperature cool. 2 liters of water a day is recommended. Make this healthier by adding fruit juices into the mix.
  • Exercise regularly – regular physical activities keeps your mind and body prepared for any emergency. It keeps your mind and body fit and ensures that is ready for a grueling day at work.

Live Healthier by Managing your Salt and Sugar

Yearly, 2.3 million death are attributed to excess salt intake while its 180, 000 death are attributed to sugar consumption. The salt statistics comes in second after alcohol and followed by car accidents as a cause.

Every year, the average American consumes 130 lbs sugar. Two of its major source is sodas and candies. And refined sugar found in many food people consumed today is linked to obesity, hypertension, diabetes, nervous tension, hypoglycemia, depression, headaches, acne and violent behavior.

Salt on the other hand, is consumed in excess by 9 out of 10 Americans. Too much of it may result to stroke, heart failure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, kidney problems and headaches. Its major sources include supermarkets and convenience store products and food in restaurants. Its recommended daily intake is 1,500 mg or less.

So say you are threatened by these mentioned medical conditions, how do you address this? Cut back on both. How? There can be simple yet effective ways to reduce salt and sugar intake.

Tips to Cut on Salt

Here are some simple ways to cut on salt.

  1. Reduce fast food. Fast foods such as hamburgers, pizza can carry a whooping amount of salt. Eat less fast-food, consume little salt.
  2. Ask for it. When eating in fine restaurants, you can request the chef to use or even omit salt from your menus. You can do the sating in your own through a controlled amount form the shaker.
  3. Read your labels. Sodium is always present in the goods you buy. When you have the option, choose those that have lesser ones compared to others. Your sodium intake as suggested should be below 2300mg per day.
  4. Use spices. Instead of salts, sue spices to keep up with your palates needs. Have some parsley, ginger, lemon grass, chives, etc instead. Dried spices are also recommended. It may help hide strange tastes from meat which what needs to sodium in the first place.
  5. Go for the frozen instead of the canned. Canned vegetables may contain sodium to help preserve it. Frozen ones are just frozen to preserve it and won’t need food to protect the food.
  6. Choose the right sauce. Some sauce contains more salt than the others. Or you can try to cut down on sauces.
  7. Practice to love less salty foods. Have yourself get use to foods that are less salty, reduce salt slowly everyday nod in no time you may find all foods enjoyable even minus the sodium.
  8. Put away the salt shaker. Salt shaker in the table is always a temptation. Keep it and use it wisely.

Tips to cut on Sugar

  1. Cut on sauce. Same with the salty sauce, many sauce options are filled with sinful sugary components.
  2. When craving, chew a gum. You can’t help it when you crave for sweets. But you can overcome it by keeping a chewing gum in your pockets. Chew n it as it can give you the initial sweetness.
  3. Instead of artificial sweeteners, go for dried berries and cinnamon instead. Their naturally sweetening and are healthy as well.
  4. Instead of a dessert, go for a fruit.
  5. Limit your daily sugar intake. Discipline mostly is the key. Have a daily quota and stick with it.
  6. Have some rules. Like no desserts for lunch or for dinner or both. Or you can only have it on weekends or odd days of the month. Until then, you may try to lessen and lessen sweets in your over-all diet.
  7. Don’t keep ice creams at home. An ice cream tub in the freezer is a temptation.
Image credit: “Fleur de sel1″ by Christian Mertes (Mudd1 12:26, 18 April 2007 (UTC)) – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fleur_de_sel1.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Fleur_de_sel1.jpg

Vitamin C Power-packed Foods

oranges vitamin c pills and orange juiceThere’s no shortage of natural supplements and vitamins that seem to contain all the Vitamin C we will ever need in a day. Some of us might ask why we should even go to the trouble of knowing which type of foods would be a good source of this all important vitamin.

First of all, no amount of supplement or vitamin could ever give us the feeling of being satiated or refreshed like good old food. Another good argument would be that vitamin C rich foods do not only contain this in good abundance but they’re also packed with other nutrients that are essential for a healthy body. But if you’re answer is that popping in a pill is simply more convenient then not having the time to appreciate the beauty of eating says a lot about the quality of life you’re living.

Why Take Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is not produced by the body and could only be taken by eating foods that naturally contain this vitamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is easily flushed out in our urine. It couldn’t be stored in the body hence a regular supply is required to maintain the recommended amounts in our body.

Boost your Immune System

Taking your recommend dosage of Vitamin C strengthens your immune system. This is not only great way of preventing common ailments but also keeps your body’s natural defenses working in tiptop shape.

Growth and Healing

Vitamin C is essential for proper wound healing. It is required for proper tissue repair. It is an essential component in the skin, blood vessels, tendons and ligaments. It also works with protein to build healthy bones, teeth and cartilages.

Anti-oxidants

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent dangerous toxin and chemical buildup. It could block free radicals that can cause cancer and other ailments. This has been found out to be a contributing factor to heart disease and arthritis. Free radical buildup could also hasten the aging process.

The Best Sources of Vitamin C

Plants and even some animals contain Vitamin C. However, the best food sources of Vitamin C remain to be plant foods. Although animals contain Vitamin C these amounts pale in comparison to their plant counterparts.

The first thing that comes into mind whenever rich sources of Vitamin C are citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, and grapefruits). These are the most recommended because they are not only rich in Vitamin C but are also refreshing and do not need any preparation. Other excellent non-citrus sources of Vitamin C include strawberries, kiwifruit, raspberries, watermelon, apples, bananas and pears. In fact, almost every fresh fruit could be used as a daily source of vitamin C. Having a wide choice of fruits makes these a healthy snack choice.

Fruits are not the only top sources for Vitamin C vegetables are also contain this vitamin in high amounts.  Vegetables in general contain large concentrations of vitamin C as well as other nutrients making them a well-rounded food choice. Winter squash, green beans and carrots are among the best. Herbs and spices are also rich sources of Vitamin C. With all the wide choices you might end up asking if you’re vitamin C supplements are really necessary.

Keep them fresh!

The amount of nutrients or Vitamin C contained in these food sources takes a drop as soon as it is picked. However, this could be slowed by proper storage techniques such as cooling. Studies have shown that food sources lose more than fifty percent of their Vitamin C content when allowed to sit at room temperature for a few days.

Canning another popular way of long term storage also has a detrimental effect on the amount of Vitamin C. Canned fruits and vegetables stored for more than half a year lose the original amount of Vitamin C contained before canning.

Cooking or the action of heat contributes to the loss of nutrient content. The amount of loss varies on the amount of heat applied and cooking time. Steaming vegetables for example is a good way since this reduces the amount of Vitamin lost. But when food is exposed for prolonged periods to heat even during steaming, its vitamin C content drops significantly. Steaming should be kept to a minimum or never more than 5 minutes.

The best way of maximizing the amount of vitamin C is to eat these as fresh as possible. Enjoy the natural flavor while getting that much needed dose of Vitamin C.