Fiber – Must Eat Food for a Healthy Body

Eating fiber-rich food is an important element when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fiber is commonly found in vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes. Food sources that have always been associated with numerous health benefits.

Fiber from plant-based foods, also known as roughage is something that the body can’t easily breakdown. It passes through the body undigested keeping the digestive system clean and healthy. This is why it is perfect for preventing and relieving constipation. It helps improve bowel movements as well as flush cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body. Fiber also helps lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Two Types of Dietary Fiber

  • Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that easily dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. This type of fiber can be found in nuts, beans, peas, and oats. Soluble fiber also helps in weight loss because it is not easily digested staying in the stomach much longer. This in turn makes you feel full for longer periods of time after eating.
  • Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material through the digestive system and increases stool bulk. This can help individuals suffering from constipation and irregular stool movement. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat cereals, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and whole grains.

Health Benefits of a Fiber Rich Diet

  1. Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels – soluble fiber lower blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein or commonly known as bad cholesterol.
  2. Regulate Blood Sugar Levels – eating soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugar and improves blood sugar levels. It regulates glucose levels by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream.
  3. Normalizes Bowel Movements – fiber increases the bulk of stool and facilitates its passage through the intestine more quickly. It adds more water to the stool making it softer and easier to eliminate. For those with loose and watery stools, fiber can also help solidify stool.
  4. Helps in Weight Loss – fiber rich foods are more filling which makes you feel fuller and eat less.
  5. Reduces Risk for Certain Cancers – fiber has anti-cancer effects that help reduce the risk for colorectal and breast cancer. It’s is also rich in anti-oxidants and phytochemicals that helps reduce overall risks for cancer.
  6. Healthier Gut Bacteria – fiber rich foods support the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Fiber which passes through the small intestine undigested are fermented by flora in the large intestine for food.
  7. Healthier Bones – fiber helps increase the absorption of minerals like calcium.
  8. All-natural Detox – high fiber diets naturally scrub and help eliminate toxins. It also soaks up potentially harmful compounds like unhealthy fats and excess estrogen before it can be absorbed by the body.

Stress Fighting Foods

STRESS.  We all deal with it at some point in our lives.  But having too much stress in your life can be very harmful to your health and can make you more vulnerable to everything from colds to high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Stress management is a valuable tool to learn when it comes to your overall wellness.  While there are many ways to cope with stress, eating stress-fighting foods is one good way to start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From boosting serotonin levels to lowering stress hormones, there are a number of foods that actually counteract the impact of stress on our lives.  The following foods should be part of your diet for stress management:

Complex Carbohydrates – All carbohydrates give a signal to the brain to produce that “feel good” chemical, serotonin.  To keep a steady flow of serotonin, dieticians suggest complex carbs like whole grain cereals, breads and pastas and oatmeal.

Oranges – Because they are a wealth of vitamin C, studies show that oranges are great stress-busting foods, as well as a great immune system strengthener.  Experts suggest taking 3,000 milligrams of vitamin C before a stressful event.

Spinach – It’s the magnesium in spinach that helps to regulate cortisol levels that particularly get depleted when we are in stressful situations.  Not enough magnesium can trigger headaches, adding to stressful situations.  One cup of spinach is the recommended amount, as the magnesium goes a long way.  Can’t do spinach? Try cooked soy beans or salmon instead, for the same effects.

Fatty Fish – Omega-3 fatty acids are important to prevent surges in stress hormones, as well as protect against heart disease.  Try fatty fish like salmon or tuna for your Omega-3’s.

Black Tea – Good for lowering levels of cortisol following stressful events, many experts swear by the healing powers of black tea.  Black tea helps you to recover quickly following stresses and helps you to remain calm.

Bug Management

Just like we have been cooped up all winter, so have been a number of those creatures that we’ve come to despise: insects.

With summer in full bloom, insects are also in full swing and are ready to attack when necessary.

So, what do you do to avoid these nasty creatures biting you?

Environmentalists suggest that the best way to deal with insect bites and stings is to prevent them before they happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways that you can avoid or prevent bug bites include:

  • Applying repellents to exposed skin. Do not apply repellents directly to your face, instead spray the repellent into your hands and apply to your face that way.
  • Wearing shoes when walking around outdoors.  Avoid going barefoot whenever possible.
  • Do not swat or attempt to hit a flying insect.  This will only make them mad and attack you more frequently.
  • Covering food when it is outdoors. Insects flock to food and the less chance you give them to get to the food, the greater your chance of avoiding them all together is.
  • Avoiding bright colored clothes when you are outdoors for extended periods of time as insects are attracted to bright colors.
  • Trying not to wear heavy smelling perfumes outdoors as insects are also attracted to the smells.

Keep these tips in mind before you head outdoors and you won’t be dealing with insects biting or stinging you this summer.

Bug bites are going to happen now and then, but enjoy your summer while it lasts …winter will be here before we know it!

Hair Loss – Myth vs. Fact

The statistics can be staggering… more than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 are experiencing some form of hair loss, making the hair loss industry worth more than 3.5 billion dollars.

And while many of the creams or treatments that are currently out there for hair loss that don’t work, it is hard to determine what is a fact and what is a myth when it comes to hair loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYTH: Hair restoration never looks natural.  There are plenty of great hair restoration techniques out there, compared to years ago when the hair restoration process was more noticeable than present day.

MYTH: Baldness comes from your Mother’s side. Your “hair future” is actually determined from both sides of your family and you are more likely to have a mix of your parent’s hair genes.

MYTH: Pull out a grey hair and three more will grow in its place.  Repeatedly pulling out hairs can cause traction alopecia, where the trauma of plucking hairs can actually scar the hair follicle to the degree where it will no longer produce hair.  So pulling them out on a regular basis can actually make your hair go away for good.

FACT: Mistreating your hair can cause hair loss.  Overworking your hair can damage your hair, make it weak and break easily.  Hair troubles can be caused by aggressive brushing, back combing, dying and straightening.  Shampoos and even too much UV exposure can also damage hair.

FACT: Propecia works.  The majority of hair loss falls into the category of male-pattern baldness.  This inherited condition makes a man’s hair follicles stop producing hair in reaction to hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  Propecia blocks an enzyme that would otherwise turn testosterone to DHT, although it has to be taken every day and may take up to three months to see any noticeable changes.

Five Minute Fixes

Tired of feeling like the path to health and wellness is a long, drawn out path?  Then start small!  Use these quick five minute fixes to boost your health and to reach your goals one step at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day.  Shoot for 10,000 steps per day.  If you aren’t reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.
  • Add jumping to your exercise routine – also known as plyometric moves – to build muscle and improve your bone density.  Try jump squats or scissor lunges in your next routine.
  • Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities – clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc.  Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.
  • Don’t be a creature of habit.  Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.
  • Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying – clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.
  • Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise.  Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.
  • Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.
  • Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind.  Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.
  • Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member.  This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.

Spotlight on: Tomatoes

Besides containing 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, it also contains 15 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, 8 percent of your daily value of potassium, and 7 percent of your recommended dietary allowance of iron for women and 10 percent for men.

Lycopene, what gives tomatoes their red pigment, acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells in the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Corn and Black Bean Salsa

  • 3 to 4 small ears of corn
  • 1 can (15 to 16 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
  • 1 large tomato, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely minced jalapeno or poblano pepper
  • Juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
  • Dash salt and pepper, to taste

Grill or broil corn to char slightly; let cool. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Cut corn from cobs and add to the mixture.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving time.Great alternative to sauces, and is especially tasty on grilled fish, chicken or pork!

Recipe: Tomato Casserole with Sweet Onions

  • 6 medium tomatoes, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 1 large Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill, or scant ½ teaspoon dried dillweed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or scant ½ teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Place peeled tomato wedges on paper towels to drain.  Peel onions and slice into ¼-inch rings.  In separate bowl combine dill, thyme, salt, pepper and bread crumbs.  Layer half of the tomatoes and onions in a lightly buttered baking dish and top with half of the minced garlic.  Sprinkle with half of the bread crumb and seasoning mixture, half of mozzarella cheese, and drizzle with half olive oil.  Repeat layers.  Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until bubbly.  The onion should still be a little crisp, but somewhat tender.

Summer 101: Great Summertime Fruits

Summer is a great season to partake in the numerous delicious seasonal fruits.  Not only do these summertime fruits taste great, but they also give you many nutritional benefits.Some fruits to enjoy before the season ends include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berries: the phytochemicals in blueberries, strawberries and blackberries all boost immunity, and protect against heart diseases and circulatory problems.

Peaches and plums: full of vitamin C and beta carotene, peaches and plums help to eliminate free radicals from the body.

Pineapples: being packed with the most vitamins and minerals, pineapples are also a great digestive aid.

Papayas and mangoes: both are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene and fiber.

Overcoming Obesity

Any way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable…

In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese. 

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity. 

There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity.

What experts are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with this disease is that obesity is not going to cure itself overnight.   There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

We, as a society, need to learn that losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment – a lifelong commitment – and something that won’t come easy to many people.

Weight loss is not a short term goal.  Instead it is a long term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen.

Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly: don’t give up!

Healthy Pain Management

If your most recent workout has left you with a case of aches and pains, you may find yourself reaching for the closest pain medicine.  But if you are looking to manage your pain without taking pills, fortunately there are plenty of other ways that you can do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some ways to treat post-workout aches and pains without popping pills:

Go see your chiropractor – Chronic and nagging pain can be alleviated oftentimes by a trip to your chiropractor.  There are many different pain patterns and chiropractors are trained to handle these pain patterns.  They can best determine how to handle your pain from the most invasive to the least invasive way.

Ice bath – An ice bath is perfect for reducing inflammation in your joints and muscles.  The ice bath helps to constrict your blood vessels, pushing your blood to your core and then that blood returns to your muscles after you get out of the ice bath.

Contrast therapy – Another popular “anti-pill” method of pain management is contrast therapy, or “3,3,3.”  This method consists of three minutes of heat and 30 seconds of cold, three times in a row.  The heat dilates all of the blood vessels, relaxes the muscle and lets in nutrients and oxygen.  The cold does the exact opposite and pushes the fluid back out.  The combination of heat and cold creates an “artificial pump” through the muscle – bringing in nutrients and pushing out the waste that causes the pain.

Anti-inflammatory diet – Inflammation causes much of the pain that people feel, so by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, with plenty of whole foods, this will help cut down on your discomfort.  Choose lean foods like chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Foam roller –Pain can be caused by adhesions, scar tissue or even repetitive use, and the body needs collagen to heal.  Foam rollers help to smooth out and realign fibers that are damaged in your tissue and promote healthy collagen growth.

Exercise Your Brain

Despite what many people think, our brain can remain sharp, active, vital and creative no matter what our age.

Our brain can create new brain cells and new connections between them over the years, but our brain vitality is completely up to us.  Maintaining that vitality is truly a “use it or lose it” situation.

Studies done by a number of schools of medicine suggest that the more stimulating and intellectually challenging that we make our lives, the better our odds are to keep our brain sharp as we get older.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some ways to keep our brains sharp include:

Reduce stress: stress can wear down the hippocampus, which plays a major role in memory function.

Exercise regularly: exercising delivers more oxygen-rich blood to the brain which is vital for producing new brain cells and preventing atrophy.

Eat low-fat and healthy: glucose spikes and fatty plaque deposits due to overeating can damage the brain, so a lower-calorie diet promotes better circulation and helps to control weight.

Challenge your brain: challenging your brain by learning and doing something new every week helps to create new neural pathways, helping to make your brain more versatile and able to multi-task.