archiveNovember 21, 2018

Food Tips

3 Vital Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

We all want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Sadly, the fast-paced modern world that we live in prevents us from doing so.

Imagine this:

You sleep late at night because of the pile of work and house chores that you need to do. The next morning, you wake up late, and you have to rush to get ready for work. Because of that, you do not have enough time to prepare a decent breakfast, so you grab a hotdog sandwich from a stand on the way to work.

At lunch, you only have 30 minutes, so your only choice is to go out for a burger. After long hours at work, you are too tired to cook (that means you do not have time to work out or meditate too) so you order Chinese takeout instead.

You see, greasy food, stressful days, lack of sleep, and sedentary lifestyle—all of these are the reasons why we suffer from diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, heart diseases, and many others.

If you wish to live a longer life, then you need to do a complete turnaround and try to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Many people are intimidated by this thought merely because they think that they need to change a thousand things just to get it right. But the truth is, you only need to change three crucial things.

Try to switch to a healthier lifestyle
Try to switch to a healthier lifestyle

What are these? Here are some of the three vital tips for a healthier lifestyle:

1. Maintain a well-balanced diet.

Have you heard of the saying—you are what you eat? If that is the case, then you should start eating healthy foods if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, right?

Because of all the diet fads that we have today, the majority of us think that a well-balanced diet should be restrictive or limiting. The truth is, that is not what a healthy diet is all about.

A balanced diet is when you get the majority of your daily caloric intake from healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins. Moreover, maintaining a healthy diet also means that you should limit your consumption of healthy calories or the calories you get from greasy food and sugary food items such as ice cream, energy drinks, sports drinks, sodas, bacon, sausages, burgers, burgers, pizzas and many more.

Aside from the source of your caloric intake, you should also pay attention to the number of calories you consume. It is vital that you follow the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines on calorie consumption.

Last but not least, it is also essential that you keep your body hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water daily.

2. Prioritize exercise.

A lot of medical experts emphasize the importance of exercise. In fact, they can’t stress it more enough. Sadly though, people only take the time to work out when they are already not feeling well or when their weight has gone over the top.

Prioritize exercise
Prioritize exercise

For your information, exercise is not just for losing weight. According to studies, exercising regularly has a lot of health benefits. It can help tone up your muscles, make you feel happier, and prevent the onset of a wide array of lifestyle diseases.

With that in mind, what is the best type of exercise for you? Since you are just starting out, then you may want to do low-intensity exercises first.

These exercises are easy to master and are the best options when it comes to protecting your heart. For the first few months, aim to perform these exercises for 30 minutes a day. After the first few months, you can incorporate both aerobic and resistance training workouts.

3. Minimize stress.

It is our mental health that takes its toll with our busy nights, long work hours, and stressful environment. Sadly though, not many of us place great importance on our mental health, but it is about time that we do.

One way to do that is to practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. Moreover, it is also important that you get enough rest and sleep. Last but not the least, you should take time off to smell the flowers or socialize with other people.

If you are new to meditation, watch this video:

Summary

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not as difficult as we think, despite the stressful and hectic life that we are leading. If you want to live longer and better, you have to be dedicated and disciplined enough to adhere to a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. Moreover, you should also invest some time in taking care of your mental health.

 

Food Tips

Top Ten Techniques to Avoid Overeating

Food is life—does this sound familiar to you? Oh, of course, it does. It is our life’s motto today, right?

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying the amazing dishes that we have today, you should understand the fact that overeating is bad for our health. The biggest danger of overeating is unhealthy weight gain which, in turn, would increase your chances of developing various lifestyle diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol levels.

Moreover, you should understand that chronic overeating can also have a negative impact on mental health. This is because you may have a poor self-image or low self-esteem when you gain extra weight. This is the reason why having a balanced diet is considered to be the secret to a healthier lifestyle.

How to Avoid Overeating

But how can we avoid overeating, especially with all unhealthy cravings? Here are ten tips on how you can do that:

1. Get rid of distractions.

Do you eat with your laptop on or while watching TV or playing a game? I know you have at one point or another. After all, most people have eaten while they are distracted.

You may think that this habit is harmless but doing so can cause you to overeat. According to studies, you tend to consume more calories in one sitting when you are distracted. If you wish to cut down on calories, you should be mindful not just of what you eat but when you eat as well.

2. Avoid restrictive diets.

Most of us think that the best way to lose weight is to limit a particular food group or your favorite unhealthy dishes but banning all your favorite food will drive you to binge later on.

Avoid restrictive diets
Avoid restrictive diets

The key here is to consume a diet that is primarily based on whole and unprocessed foods but you schedule a cheat day now and then so you won’t feel deprived of your favorite junk foods.

3. Don’t eat too fast.

Are you always in a hurry to eat? Many of us do because of our hectic schedules. The sad part is, eating fast can make you eat more. This is because the brain needs time (around 20 minutes) to process and recognize the signals of fullness that the body is trying to send to it.

If you eat fast and mindlessly, your body won’t be able to recognize these signals, and you will end up eating more than your fair share of calories.

Because of this, it is essential that you slow down while you are eating. You can do this by putting the fork down after every bite or sipping water throughout the meal.

4. Do not eat from original food containers.

Never eat chips directly from the bag or scoop ice cream straight from the box because doing so can lead you to consume more calories than you need.

Instead of eating food direct from its package, it is recommended that you portion out the food items in individual servings. In this way, you would be able to determine what is the healthy limit for you.

5. Start your meal with either a salad or soup.

Greens and broth-based soups have high water content, so these can make you feel full faster. When you consume these foods at the beginning of the meal, they can already fill you up, causing you to eat less of the high caloric food in the table.

Start your meal with either a salad or soup
Start your meal with either a salad or soup

If you are starving, these starters can help ease your hunger right away, preventing you from overeating (which is what we tend to do when we are already feeling too hungry before we eat our meals).

6. Don’t stock up on junk/ sugary food.

Let me remind you that we are visual creatures. We tend to crave what we see (especially when we are hungry) and when we tend to overeat when we give in to these cravings.

The simplest and most obvious solution to this would be to keep these unhealthy foods out of your sight. Instead, place healthy foods, front, and center. Leave a few pieces of fruits in the center of your dining table and veggies in plain sight at your refrigerator.

7. Plan ahead of time.

This is probably the most effective tip of all. If you do not have a meal plan in place, you will tend to overeat unhealthy foods because they are easily accessible to you. The secret here is to be ready whenever hunger strikes.

You should make a weekly menu plan that consists of healthy food options. Besides, you should always keep healthy snacks on hand.

8. Be familiar with your hunger cues.

Do you know what the most common reason why we overeat is? It is because we eat when we are already hangry (famished to the point that you get angry). To avoid this, it is recommended that you eat as soon as you recognize signs of hunger.

Sadly though, hunger cues may vary from one person to another, so you need to pay extra attention to what you are feeling. There are some familiar hunger cues, though, and these include nausea, low energy, headache, growling stomach, and irritable feeling.

To know more about hunger cues, watch this video:

9. Replace sugary drinks with water.

When you feel hungry, you would often reach out for sodas and juices as these can instantly quench your appetite and thirst, right? Sadly though, these sugary drinks can cause insulin in the body to spike, making you even hungrier and puts you at risk of having unhealthy cravings.

Sadly though, you can easily mistake hunger for thirst so if you are feeling a bit hungry, try to drink water first and wait for a few more minutes. If hunger signs continue to show, you can proceed with eating a healthy snack.

See also: The Top Five Foods that Remove Free Radicals

10. Add sugar and cinnamon to your meals.

No one wants to consume a flavorless diet, but for sure, you would not want to eat sugar-rich meals too. The solution? Cinnamon! This spice adds the sweet taste you are looking for in a meal, and at the same time, it slows down your digestion, making you feel full for longer. Vinegar has also been proven to deliver the same effect.

In Summary

Overeating is a common eating problem but overcoming it is not as difficult as it may seem. With the techniques that we have mentioned, you can avoid overeating and maintain a balanced diet and ultimately, lead a healthier lifestyle.

Food Tips

Top 10 Foods That Make You Live Longer

We are all looking for the fountain of youth. But we have to face the fact that no one can live forever. We can, however, live a lot longer.

What’s the secret? As it turns out, it is not a secret at all! Studies on how to live a long life have proven one simple fact (that we knew all along but choose to disregard)—we can live longer if we make some necessary changes in our lifestyle.

If we want to live longer, we should stop smoking and drinking, work out regularly, have an active social life, maintain a healthy weight and above all, eat the right foods.

We all know that diet can play a significant role in how long and healthy our lives can be. So without further ado, here are some of the foods that science has proven can help us live longer:

1. Leafy Greens

Ever since we were little children, we have already been told that we have to eat our leafy greens as it can help us live longer and stay stronger—just like what spinach does to Popeye!

Greens are the most nutrient dense foods
Greens are the most nutrient dense foods

Well, that cartoon is not far from the truth. According to studies conducted by the William Paterson University, greens are the most nutrient-dense foods that we can get our hands on. Aside from spinach, other leafy greens that you should consume include mesclun, romaine lettuce, arugula, and kale.

2. Almonds

We see this item as a filling snack, but the truth is, almonds are probably the perfect snack that we can ever have. Why? Aside from its high fiber content (the reason why we always feel full after munching on it), this type of nut also contains protein and heart-healthy fats. Because of this, it can help lower our chances of developing cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases.

3. Avocado

The avocado dishes that you may see in social media are more than just a trend. These dishes are starting to become popular due to plenty of good reasons. As you may know by now, avocados contain a good amount of monounsaturated fats. These fats can help lower cholesterol levels and protect the body from possible heart diseases.

Moreover, these fats can help you eat fewer calories by making you feel full for longer.

For more creative ways on how to eat avocado, watch this video:

4. Chia Seeds

One of the cornerstones of a healthy diet is consuming high amounts of fiber. This is because fiber can suppress your appetite, ward off unhealthy cravings and maintain low blood sugar levels.

Well, guess what? The little chia seeds that you see in the supermarket are packed with fiber. In fact, one tablespoon of these seeds contains a whopping amount of 11 grams of fiber!

5. Berries

Many people eat berries because of their delicious taste but did you know that these fruits are healthy as well? You read that right! Berries are good sources of antioxidants, the substances that can fight off free radicals in our bodies.

Thanks to its high antioxidant content, berries can minimize the risk of cancer and cognitive decline associated with aging.

6. Beans and Legumes

Not many of us know this, but beans and legumes are considered to be the most nutrient-dense source of starch. Besides, they double as weight loss and anti-diabetes food as these are digested slowly by the body. As a result, it prevents the spike in blood sugar levels after a meal. It also helps to keep the body full, reducing unhealthy cravings.

7. Bell Peppers

The more colorful your diet is, the more nutritious it is. If that’s the case, then you should incorporate more red fruits and vegetables into your diet, like bell pepper, as these are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. And just like berries, bell peppers also contain a good amount of antioxidants.

This vegetable can help you lose weight too, thanks to its capsaicin content which can help boost metabolism.

8. Yogurt

This is probably one of the healthiest breakfast food items that we have nowadays. It is true that it contains a good amount of protein but the main reason why yogurt can boost longevity is its probiotics content. These live cultures are known to fight off inflammation.

Yogurt is probably one of the healthiest breakfast food items
Yogurt is probably one of the healthiest breakfast food items

If you wish to make the most out of the anti-inflammatory properties of this food item, we recommend that you go for Greek yogurt instead of the flavored ones.

9. Mushrooms

Mushrooms can deliver a vast array of health benefits including reducing inflammation, boosting immunity, preventing DNA damage and slowing the growth of cancer cells. In fact, Portobello and white mushrooms are specifically proven to decrease the risk of breast cancer.

This is because it contains aromatase inhibitors, compounds that inhibit estrogen production in the body.

But please be reminded that mushrooms should never be eaten raw as it also has a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine which is reduced significantly by cooking.

10. Coffee

You may have read about the unwanted effects of coffee but let us not forget about the fact that coffee does not only wake you up—it can potentially lengthen your life as well.

According to studies conducted by Stanford Medicine, the caffeine levels of coffee can reduce chronic inflammation. As a result, it can help reduce the risks of developing heart diseases, cancer, and even, Alzheimer’s.

However, you should learn to limit your caffeine intake. It has been concluded that healthy caffeine consumption is 400 mg a day.

Read more: Top Ten Techniques to Avoid Overeating

Summary

The types of food that we eat can either harm or help us. If you want to live longer, you need to stop giving in to unhealthy cravings and start making healthier food choices. Where do you begin? Just incorporate these foods into your diet so you can increase your chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Food Tips

The Top Five Foods that Remove Free Radicals

The Effects of Free Radicals in the Body (and Why You Should Get Rid of It)

Free radicals are defined as molecules or atoms with an unpaired electron. Because of this, these electrons are unstable and may react quickly with the other substances that it may interact with.

When the unpaired electrons (free radicals) continue to seek other molecules that they can pair with, the process called oxidative stress would begin. This process can damage the healthy cells in the body which may lead to symptoms of aging and a wide range of diseases.

How Free Radicals Get Into Our Body

It is true that our bodies naturally produce free radicals. Sadly though, various lifestyle factors can hasten their production.

So what are the lifestyle factors that we are talking about? Studies show that exposure to air pollution and pesticides, alcohol, smoking, and consumption of fried food may cause the production of free radicals and influence oxidative stress in the body.

How to Fight Off Free Radicals: The Foods You Need to Eat

The foods you need to eat to fight off free radicals
The foods you need to eat to fight off free radicals

With the hectic life that we are all leading today, it seems like it is impossible for us to protect ourselves from free radicals. After all, we can all inhale secondhand smoke, and it is impossible for us to say no to fried foods, am I right?

With that in mind, what can we do to fight off free radicals? There is one simple answer to this antioxidants. Lucky for you, there are plenty of antioxidant-rich foods that you can consume which can boost your body’s antioxidant protection. These are as follows:

1. Berries

These fruits are considered to be a superfood, and this is due to a lot of good reasons. Aside from the fact that it contains high amounts of nutrients and vitamins, it is also an excellent source of antioxidants that are great for fighting off free radicals.

But as we all know, not all berries contain the same amount of free radicals. Some berries have higher amounts of antioxidants. What are these? That would be acai and blueberry.

To know how antioxidants work, please check this video:

Acai berries are extremely small but do not underestimate its nutritional value. These are rich in antioxidants along with other minerals and vitamins that can fight off cholesterol, cancer, and arthritis. On the other hand, blueberries are at the top of recommended berries because aside from its antioxidant content, it also has vitamin K and C, manganese and dietary fiber that can minimize your risk of having a heart attack or dementia.

2. Spinach

This is another superfood that you should take advantage of the same way Popeye does! As a green leafy vegetable, this is rich in fiber and protein which promotes proper digestion. But more than this, it is known for its prized antioxidant called beta-carotene.

As an antioxidant, beta-carotene can help in slowing down cognitive decline which is primarily caused by oxidative stress. Moreover, it is also said to prevent damage to the lungs to promote good lung health.

3. Orange

If there is one thing citrus fruits are known for, it is their high vitamin C content. Well, did you know that vitamin C is the most potent antioxidant there is? This nourishing vitamin is known for its ability to boost the immune system by fighting off body damaging substances like toxins and free radicals.

The best way to incorporate this fruit into your diet is to soak orange slices in a pitcher of water and drink it in the morning.

Soak orange slices in a pitcher of water and drink it in the morning
Soak orange slices in a pitcher of water and drink it in the morning

4. Watermelon

This fruit is known for its refreshing feel and taste that is perfect for the sweltering heat during the summer season. Many people believe that watermelon is just mostly water. While it contains 92% water, every bite is soaked with nutrients like vitamin A, C, and B6.

Aside from common antioxidants like vitamin C, it also has lycopene (which gives it its red color). Studies show that this antioxidant can protect our body from damage produced by pesticides, treat candidiasis and infections.

5. Apricots

These are probably the most underrated fruit in the market. However, you should know that it is one of the best sources of vitamin C, A and lycopene. In fact, its lycopene content is comparable to that of tomatoes.

As a great source of vitamin A, this fruit can help in reducing your chances of developing Neurovascular ARMD—an age-related eye disorder that may cause loss of vision as the years go by.

Read more: Top 10 Foods That Make You Live Longer

Summary

We are all aware of the dangers of free radicals. However, mere knowledge of these facts can’t protect you from the possible diseases and health issues that are associated with these harmful substances.

If you want to protect your body from free radicals, you should harness the power of antioxidants by incorporating the foods mentioned in your diet.