How to Resist Unhealthy Foods: Overcome Temptation, Bad Habits

How to resist unhealthy foods

Breaking Bad Habits: How to Overcome the Temptation of Unhealthy Foods

In today's fast-paced world, our dietary habits are often driven by convenience rather than health. The availability of quick, processed, and unhealthy foods is staggering, leading many of us down a road of poor dietary choices. This blog aims to guide you on a transformative journey to overcome the temptation of unhealthy foods, shows how to resist unhealthy foods and form new, beneficial eating habits.

Unmasking Misconceptions: Food Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Navigating the maze of nutritional information can be overwhelming, especially with the numerous food myths you shouldn't believe circulating. One such myth is that eating late at night leads to weight gain. In reality, it's the total calorie intake over time, not the eating schedule, that affects your weight. Always remember that critical thinking and informed choices are your best tools in the journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

Finding Support in Community

Finding like-minded individuals who are also striving for a healthier lifestyle can provide a much-needed boost. Whether it's a local group, an online forum, or simply a friend with shared goals, having a supportive network helps maintain motivation, share struggles, and celebrate victories in overcoming unhealthy eating habits.

Understanding Unhealthy Food Habits

What Constitutes Unhealthy Foods?

Unhealthy foods are typically high in saturated fats, sugars, and sodium. They often come in the form of fast food, pre-packaged meals, and sugary drinks. But the story doesn't end here. These foods are not just physically damaging; they also play mind games.

The Psychology Behind Food Cravings

Interestingly, our cravings for unhealthy foods are not merely about hunger. External factors, including stress and advertising, also play a role. We're wired to seek comfort, and sadly, that bag of chips or bar of chocolate often offers a tempting solace.

Unfortunately, the consumption of unhealthy foods carries health risks. From obesity to heart disease, the toll on our bodies can be significant.

The Power of Awareness and Mindful Eating

The Impact of Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is about creating a conscious connection with the food we consume. By focusing on our meals, we can better recognize our body's hunger and fullness cues. This awareness leads to more satisfying, controlled eating experiences.

Implementing Mindful Eating Techniques

Now, it's essential to put this knowledge into practice. Start by savoring your food; appreciate its taste, texture, and smell. Slowing down during meals also allows your body to register when you've had enough, helping to prevent overeating.

Reevaluating Your Relationship with Food

Nourishment, Not Diet

Making positive changes requires us to stop viewing food as a source of guilt or reward. Instead, consider food as nourishment. This shift in mentality can dramatically improve your relationship with food.

Pleasure in Healthy Choices

Furthermore, it's crucial to find pleasure in healthier foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains are not just nutritious but also delicious and satisfying.

Practical Strategies to Overcome Unhealthy Food Temptation

Reorganize Your Food Environment

Your environment greatly impacts your food choices. By removing unhealthy foods from your home, you eliminate immediate temptations. And if you happen to be moving to a new residence, it is a unique opportunity to create a healthier food environment. Our friends at Centennial Moving recommend looking at it like a fresh start, free from old habits, allowing you to stock your kitchen with healthier alternatives right from the beginning.

Make Healthier Swaps

When grocery shopping, opt for whole foods over processed options. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Not only will these foods speed up your metabolism, but they also keep you fuller for longer.

Meal Planning and Regular Eating Patterns

Planning meals and snacks ahead of time prevents impulsive unhealthy eating. Regular eating patterns also help manage hunger and keep your metabolism active.

Incorporating Regular Physical Activity

Regular exercise is not just about how to lose weight. It also plays a crucial role in regulating hunger and satiety hormones. Find an activity you enjoy to ensure you'll stick with it.

Addressing Emotional Eating

Emotional Eating and Its Impact

We often confuse emotional hunger with physical hunger, leading to overeating. Understanding this connection is key in our journey to overcome the temptation of unhealthy foods and an answer to how to resist unhealthy foods

Coping with Stress and Negative Emotions

Managing stress and negative emotions without relying on food is challenging but possible. Techniques like meditation, yoga, or simply taking a walk can be incredibly beneficial.

The Power of Hydration

Quenching Thirst or Hunger?

Often, we mistake thirst for hunger, reaching for a snack when a glass of water would suffice. Ensuring you're adequately hydrated keeps your body functioning optimally and helps regulate your appetite.

Reimagining Drinks

Rather than opting for sugary beverages, consider infusing water with fresh fruits or herbs. You'll be surprised by how a splash of cucumber, mint, or lemon can make hydration enjoyable and refreshing.

The Role of Sleep in Dietary Habits

Sleep and Your Appetite

Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your appetite, skewing hunger hormones and leading you to overindulge. Prioritizing quality sleep is as essential as your eating habits in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Creating a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. Maintain a cool temperature, keep electronic devices away before bedtime, and ensure your room is dark and quiet. These measures can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep, ultimately aiding your quest to adopt healthier dietary habits.

Success Stories

To inspire your journey, consider the stories of those who've discovered how to resist unhealthy foods and successfully transformed their eating habits. Their experiences show that with determination, a healthier lifestyle is achievable.

Conclusion

As we conclude, remember this: to overcome the temptation of unhealthy foods is to embrace a healthier, happier life. It requires awareness, commitment, and patience. So, dismiss any food myths you shouldn't believe, make smart choices, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. You are not just transforming your diet but your entire lifestyle. Let this guide be your companion on this exciting journey to wellness.

Power of Superfoods for Super You: Discover Nutrient-Rich Foods

Superfoods for Super You: Discover the Power of Nutrient-Rich Foods

The power of superfoods or nutrient-rich foods is undeniable and transformative. In our journey today, we'll unveil the mysteries of these food heroes that not only tantalize your taste buds but fortify your health as well.

Unraveling the Mysteries: The Science Behind Superfoods

The core of what makes superfoods 'super' lies in the realm of nutrition. Each bite of these extraordinary foods delivers a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and more. The beneficial effects are numerous: from bolstering the immune system to promoting radiant skin and even warding off chronic diseases.

Antioxidants, abundant in superfoods, play a key role in combating free radicals - the rogue molecules contributing to aging and diseases. Moreover, superfoods can contribute to a healthier metabolism, helping the body function more efficiently. Integrating superfoods into your diet is not merely a trend—it's a proven strategy for enhancing your health.

The Diverse Kingdom: Categories of Superfoods

The term 'superfoods' encompasses various foods, each bringing unique health benefits to your table.

Fruits and vegetables, the colorful treasures of nature, are often the first to come to mind. Think about berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, that are teeming with antioxidants. Then there are leafy greens like spinach and kale, packed with vitamins A, C, K, and B vitamins. And don't forget about other nutritious veggies like broccoli and beetroot, each holding its own in terms of health benefits.

Next on our list are proteins and healthy fats. Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, rich in Omega-3s, can contribute to a healthier heart and sharper mind. And let's not sideline nuts, seeds, and legumes—these are excellent sources of protein and fiber and provide essential minerals for various bodily functions.

Then come grains and cereals, such as quinoa, oats, and brown rice. These foods are a brilliant source of energy released slowly into your system, helping fuel your workouts and maintain balanced blood sugar levels.

Lastly, the category of other superfoods, like dark chocolate, turmeric, and green tea. These foods and beverages contain potent compounds that enhance health and overall wellness while bringing a unique taste to your meals.

From Knowledge to Action: Integrating Superfoods into Your Diet

Knowledge of superfoods is just the first step—the real magic happens when you incorporate them into your everyday meals. Imagine starting your day with a berry-filled smoothie or an oatmeal bowl topped with a sprinkling of chia seeds. A salad featuring baked salmon and a rainbow of veggies could be your pick for lunch. And for dinner, why not experiment with a flavorful quinoa bowl adorned with various colorful, nutrient-packed veggies?

Center Stage: Spotlight on Top Superfoods

In the vast arena of superfoods, certain stars undeniably steal the show. Berries, for instance, manage to pack an impressive amount of nutrition into their small, bite-sized forms. Their high antioxidant content promotes heart health, boosts cognitive function, and even supports skin health.

Then there are the leafy greens. These nutrient-dense veggies are low in calories but high in essential nutrients, making them an exceptional embodiment of the power of nutrient-rich foods.

Our spotlight also shines on fatty fish, particularly salmon, famed for their Omega-3 fatty acid content. Regular consumption of these fish contributes to brain health and may even help mitigate the risk of certain diseases.

Quinoa deserves mention too. This versatile grain is chock-full of all nine essential amino acids. Consuming this protein-rich food can help speed up your metabolism and support weight management.

Finally, we must acknowledge turmeric. This humble spice contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that can make you healthier.

Beyond Health: Superfoods and Sustainable Eating

The choices we make about food extend beyond personal health—they also impact the environment we live in. Choosing locally sourced, seasonal superfoods is a way to minimize our carbon footprint. Moreover, supporting local farmers and suppliers helps to sustain the local economy. Therefore, as you embrace the power of nutrient-rich foods, remember to make choices that nurture your health and our planet's health.

Separating Fact from Fiction: Misconceptions and Myths

The world of superfoods is, unfortunately, also a world of myths. The most common misconception? Viewing superfoods as a magic bullet for perfect health. The truth is, while superfoods are highly nutritious, they should not be seen as a replacement for a balanced diet or a healthy lifestyle. It's essential to include a variety of foods in your diet and maintain regular physical activity along with stress management. Superfoods can undoubtedly enhance your health, but they're just one part of the wellness equation.

For example, one of the most stressful life events is relocation, especially far distances. Moving to a new home not only requires you to plan your meals in advance but often marks the beginning of new habits. Let this be an opportunity to redefine your dietary habits as well. Stock your new pantry with various superfoods, turning a new leaf in your journey to health and wellness. However, as mentioned above, don’t rely on the power of superfoods only. Diversity in your diet will better help you overcome the stress of moving.

In Conclusion

The power of nutrient-rich foods is a compelling force for health and well-being. These foods, packed with essential nutrients, can serve as a robust defense against diseases and a promoter of overall wellness. However, remember that these foods complement a balanced diet—they're not a standalone solution. Harness the power of superfoods and let them be your partners as you embark on your journey toward a healthier, happier life. Enjoy the exploration, relish the flavors, and, most importantly, celebrate the improved health that comes with each nutrient-rich bite.

How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level

How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level

Background

Increased blood sugar level in the body is caused by incorrect use of insulin or insufficient insulin production in the body. High blood sugar levels cause many health conditions, and most notably, it can lead to diabetes, especially to people with a family history of the condition. Such people should reduce blood sugar level and always monitor their sugar levels to avoid running too low or too high.

However, even those without the disease should always ensure their levels are kept within the recommended limits. Adhering to some adjustments to your lifestyle and diet greatly helps maintain normal blood sugar and, thereby, possibly helping you evade future risks that might develop.

How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level

High blood sugars give rise to numerous health problems. There are several ways you can reduce blood sugar levels, in the body, to reduce the risks of developing complications. Herein are a few of them to help you curb the problem.

Monitor blood sugars closely

There are normally no notable high blood sugar levels in the body until they exceed 200 mg/dL. Close monitoring of blood sugars ensures the levels don’t get high that much. The home glucose monitor is the ideal device in the market to check your blood sugar levels. Your doctor will recommend to you the frequency you should check sugar levels during the day.

Reduce the consumption of carbohydrates

Research shows that diets low in proteins and carbohydrates reduces blood sugar levels in the body. Carbohydrates in the body are broken down into sugars that are later used as energy. They are essential elements in our diet, but excessive consumption might spike their levels high.

Intake of the right carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are of two kinds, the simple, and complex carbohydrates. They all affect blood sugars differently. Simple carbohydrates are contained in foods such as pasta, bread, and candy. They are broken down into sugars quickly and thereby spiking the level of sugars in the body rapidly.

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, comprise three or more sugars. The chemical makeup of complex carbohydrates makes the body take longer to break them into sugars. Thus, there is no rapid rise in blood sugars after taking them. Example of foods rich in complex carbohydrates includes sweet potatoes and whole grain oats.

Consider low glycemic index foods

Various foods are ranked by the extent they can trigger a rise in blood sugars by the Glycemic Index (GI) measure. Now, low glycemic index foods reduce the rapid increase of blood sugar levels in the body. Such foods have a score index of below 55 when measured on the glycemic index. Examples of these foods include legumes, sweet potatoes, non-starchy vegetables, low-fat milk, meat, leafy greens, and fish.

Other ways of reducing blood sugar levels:

  • Increase the intake of dietary fiber
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly

Foods that lower blood sugar

Consuming a healthy diet is a major way of controlling blood sugar. Research recommends foods that are absorbed slowly in the body as they don’t spike blood sugar levels rapidly. Below are a couple of foods that will help in maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

Whole wheat

An example of whole wheat rich foods is the bread we eat. These foods are high in carbohydrates, and they normally raise blood sugars rapidly. Therefore, they are among the foods that need to be avoided most. However, other kinds of bread, such as the pumpernickel bread measure low on the GI scale, since their ingredients undergo minimal processing procedures. The fibrous shells of cereals and grains are removed during processing, thereby slowing their digestion and stabilizing the level of blood sugar in the body.

Fruits

Most fruits measure below 55 on the GI scale except melons and pineapples. Fruits contain lots of fiber and water to balance fructose, the naturally occurring sugar in fruits. But then, the GI score for fruits increases when fruits ripen.

Fruit juices also measure high on the GI scale since the juicing process removes the fruit’s fibrous seeds and skin.

Some of the fruits that lower blood sugar include:

  • Lemons and limes
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Kiwis
  • Blackberries

Sweet potatoes and yams

These foods measure low on the GI scale, unlike the regular potatoes. The skin of sweet potatoes is enriched with fiber. Consumption of sweet potatoes and yams may lower some users of some conditions like diabetes. Even though there is yet no conclusive evidence that these foods can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body, they undoubtedly offer healthful nutrients that measure low on the GI scale.

Other foods that lower blood sugar levels include:

  • Oatmeal and bran
  • Legumes
  • Most nuts

Home remedies to reduce blood sugar levels

Home remedies will help you reduce and prevent you from risks associated with high blood sugar levels in the body. Below are three home remedies to try out.

Mango leaves

These leaves are undoubtedly among the best home remedies to help curb increased blood sugar levels. The tannins in these leaves, called anthocyanidins, help maintain low blood sugar and regulate insulin production well balanced in the body.

Blueberries

Blueberries are tasty fruits that serve as natural home remedies to help you maintain low blood sugars. Studies show that the consumption of blueberries enhances improved insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar levels.

Cinnamon

Usage of cinnamon is among the well-established remedies to lower blood sugar levels and prevent hyperglycemic responses. It has essential nutrients that measure low in the GI scale and thereby qualifies as a home remedy to try out.Other home remedies to try out include:

  • Bitter gourd
  • Aloe Vera

Lowering blood sugar levels quickly in an emergency

Different methods are in place to help people with high blood levels lower them quickly. These methods include:

  • Administer insulin
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eating snacks rich in proteins
  • Drinking a lot of water

Foods that lower blood sugar levels quickly

People suffering from increased sugar levels in the body should simply focus on eating foods that don’t support the rapid increase in blood sugars. Below is a list of important foods you need to include in your diet:

  • Magnesium-rich leafy greens: These are foods like spinach, turnip greens, dandelion greens, romaine, and kales, among others.
  • Seeds like flax, pumpkin, sesame seeds, chia, sunflower, and hemp.
  • The Cacao bean
  • Almonds nuts

Alongside the list, several other foods should be avoided to curb this problem. They include:

  • Baked foods such as bread
  • Pasta and rice
  • Corn and regular potatoes
  • Sweetened beverages

The Sugar Balance Herbal Supplement

The supplement contains 11 natural herbal ingredients combined with other ingredients to work together for the stabilization of blood sugar levels in the body. Sugar balance herbal supplement is also ideal for enhancing improved liver functionality.

The dosage of the supplement is one tablet three times a day alongside meals. It’s also recommended to drink plenty of water when taking this supplement.

What you should do when your blood sugar level is high

High blood sugar has turned out to be a common condition all over the world. People should remain aware of it and possible ways to lower it at large. Below is a guide on what to follow if you’re a victim of high sugar levels in the blood.

  • Carry out regular tests before and after eating.
  • Watch your patterns
  • Make changes on your dietary schedule and routine exercises

Overall, get the right procedure from your doctor how you should handle the problem to turn into normal levels.

Conclusion

Regular exercise, proper diet, and good night sleep are all the major blood sugar control measures to appear on top of your list. All these should be made as a habit; hey will help curb the problem in the shortest time and keep the levels always balanced. Remember to consult a dietitian before you make changes to your dietary schedule and monitor all symptoms that might require early checkups and medical attention.

Why You Need To Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

Why You Need To Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

First of all, eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the normal eating behavior for millions around the world. While the next popular eating behavior is either breakfast and dinner or lunch and dinner. However, drop in blood sugar levels between meals, or feeling stressed, or simply being idle, may make you hungry. Therefore, eating healthy snacks for adults relieves the hunger while taking away the temptation to eat unhealthy foods.

Above all, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that four to five or even six small meals spread across the day is better able to maintain blood sugar levels steady and stop hunger. Indeed, if people maintained an eating schedule and ate small healthy portions, they are more likely to maintain their weight. Moreover, small portions of healthy snacks between lunch and dinner may quell your hunger and keep you from overeating during dinner.

Why Eat Healthy Snacks for Adults

Above all, the primary reason people snack is hunger. But other reasons include:

  • Where you happen to be physically, such as walking by a bakery
  • The social environment you are in, such as a get together
  • The time of day, such as late afternoon
  • And availability of food, such as food left out in a common area at work

In fact, even if they are not hungry, people snack when there is easily accessible, appetizing food. Furthermore, a study found that overweight and obese people chose unhealthy snacks because:

  • Of the temptation
  • Followed by being hungry
  • Lastly, not having enough energy to do whatever they were doing

Finally, snacking can help people avoid becoming very hungry. When you go too long without eating, you become so hungry and you end up eating many more calories than you need.

How Healthy Snacks for Adults Effect You

Effect of Healthy Snacks on Burning Calories

Incidentally, snacking every few hours does not increase your metabolism. In fact studies show that meal frequency has no significant effect on how many calories you burn. For example, a study found that people who consumed an equal number of calories by eating either two or seven meals a day, burned nearly the same amount of calories.

On the other hand, another study found that a high-protein, high-carb bedtime snack may increase the metabolic rate the next morning.

Effect of Healthy Snacks on Blood Sugar Levels

Most noteworthy, it’s not necessary to eat frequently to maintain stable blood sugar levels. In fact, a 2014 study reported that eating only two large meals a day resulted in better insulin sensitivity, lower fasting blood sugar levels, and greater weight loss than eating six times a day.

Meanwhile, other studies found no difference in blood sugar levels when the same amount of food was eaten as meals or as meals plus snacks.

In fact, low-carb, high-fiber snacks have the best effect on insulin and blood sugar levels than high-carb snacks in people without diabetes. Also, snacks with high protein content may improve management of blood sugar.

Finally, a study showed that consuming a high-protein, low-carb dairy snack led to lower blood sugar levels before the next meal compared to a high-carb dairy snack.

Benefits of Healthy Snacks for Adults

Because healthy snacks are high in fiber and/or proteins they are more filling. Consequently, you may feel satiated faster and eat less healthy snacks or regular meals. Most of all, healthy snacks also provide you with valuable vitamins.

Also snacks with high energy helps you burn more calories, which is helpful if you are going to work out. On the other hand, snacks with better metabolism helps you quickly digest the snacks that you ate.

Features of Healthy Snacks for Adults

Above all, if you want to lose weight eat snacks that are low in salt, low in sugar, low in saturated fats, and low in simple carbohydrates. Also, snacks made from non-processed foods are better than snacks made of processed foods.

Moreover, snacks need to be low in calories but high in volume or density so that they take up more space in your stomach. Consequently, you feel satiated from your full stomach. Therefore, snacking between meals helps you manage your weight.

Next, healthy snacks for adults should be low in added fat, low in sugar, high in fiber, and high in water. For example, it’s healthier to eat an apple than munch on chips. In addition, eat whole-grain snacks such as whole-grain bread, vegetables, fruits or drinks made from fruits, and low-fat dairy.

Next, healthy snacks for adults have a combination of proteins and carbohydrates that keeps adults the fullest for the longest period of time. Finally, choosing healthy snacks high in protein and fiber are best to reduce hunger and keep you full for several hours.

Portion Sizes

Incidentally, when you eat healthy snacks for adults, look at portion size on the label and stick to that portion size. In fact, instead of eating straight out of the container, always portion out what you need. Furthermore, portion size should be enough to satisfy your hunger but not so much that you overeat and put on weight.

As an example, only eat the nuts in small portions. Because, eating straight out of the container, will make you most likely eat too many nuts and hence eat too many calories.

Healthy Snacks for Adults under 200 Calories

Incidentally, it’s best to eat snacks with about 200 calories and at least 10 grams of proteins to stay full till the next meal. Furthermore, if you are very active you may need to eat 2 to 3 snacks a day while if you sedentary, you may need at most one snack.

 A sampling of snacks under 200 calories, that you can try, follows.

Half a Slice of an Apple with One Tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter

First of all, this snack has 157 calories along with protein and fiber. Also, half an apple has 63 calories while one tablespoon of natural peanut butter has 94 calories along with 8 grams of fat. And, if you desire, you can use seed butter instead of natural peanut butter.

Ten Carrot Sticks with Two Tablespoons of Dip

Two tablespoons of creamy veggie dip is about 132 calories, while the inclusion of ten carrots add up to less than 200 calories.

Two 100 Calorie Bags of Popcorn

Two 100 calories bags of air-popped popcorn is a good source of fiber. And the air-popped popcorn takes up a lot of volume in your stomach, which makes you feel full.

10 Baked Tortilla Chips with ½ a Cup of Salsa

Ten baked tortilla chips has about 120 calories while half a cup of salsa is about 42 calories. Meanwhile, avoid salsa with a lot of sodium. Or, you can make your own healthy salsa using a masticating juicer.

½ a Whole-wheat Pita and ¼ Cup Hummus Snack

½ a whole-wheat pita has about 85 calories while ¼ cup hummus has about 93 calories. Whole-wheat pita provides the fiber while hummus provides the proteins.

Medium Sized Apple Together with a String Cheese Stick

A stick of low-fat string cheese is between 60 to 80 calories while a medium sized apple has about 126 calories. The string cheese provides calcium and protein so the blood sugar won’t rise too fast from the apple.

Half an English muffin and Two Tablespoons of Cream Cheese

½ an English muffin has 64 calories while 2 tablespoons of cream cheese has 99 calories.

¼ Cup of Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, or Pistachios

Unsalted, raw or dry-roasted almonds, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios are all protein and fiber rich with monounsaturated fats. But because the nuts are high in calories eat only small portions. For example, almonds have 132 calories per ¼ cup, walnuts have 131 calories, cashews have 39 calories, and pistachios have 173 calories.

Protein Bar

Get protein bars with very little added sugar, low calories, large amount of proteins, large amounts of fiber, and made with natural ingredients.

½ Cup of Frozen Yogurt Snack

Should have less than 150 calories per serving. Frozen yogurt has low-fat while supplying protein and calcium.

½ Cup of Cottage Cheese with Mandarin Oranges

Good source of protein and calcium with natural sweetness of the fruit. ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese has about 97 calories and one cup of mandarin oranges has about 72 calories.

½ Cup of Sorbet or Sherbet

Sherbet is about 140 calories while sorbet can range from 80 to 200 calories.

Two Large Hard-boiled Eggs

2 large eggs provides 12 grams of proteins and 155 calories. Moreover the 12 grams of proteins will make you feel full for a while.

Turkey & Cheese Roll-up Snack

Roll one ounce of turkey and one ounce of cheese for 140 calories. Lean meats like turkey are a good source of protein, while cheese is a source of calcium. You can choose a low fat cheese such as, for example, Swiss cheese. For lower sodium use baked turkey breast meat instead of the sliced deli meat.

English Muffin Pizza

First, toast English muffin, top off muffin with cheese and melt it in a microwave. One ounce of low-fat mozzarella has nearly 72 calories, one slice of tomato has about 5 calories, and ½ an English muffin has about 64 calories.

8 Ounces of Fat-free Chocolate Milk

Most of all, the 8 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk has 135 calories plus the milk provides protein and calcium.

Cereal with Nonfat Milk Snack

First and foremost, a cup of skim milk and a cup of cheerios has about 183 calories. Moreover, choose cereal with more fiber than sugar.

6 Ounces of Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt with Strawberries

First of all, a cup of strawberries provides vitamins and antioxidants along with 46 calories. Greek yogurt provides calcium, and 18 grams of proteins in a cup, while, a 6 ounce serving of Greek yogurt is just 100 calories. Also, it’s important to eat only nonfat plain Greek yogurt because other types of Greek yogurts carry excess sugar along with other unhealthy ingredients that don’t help you lose weight. And, for something different, you can add reduced sugar strawberry jam to the yogurt. Or you can even substitute other fruits like bananas, blueberries, blackberries.

Thin Sandwich with Turkey

Sandwich thins are about 100 calories and one 3 ounce serving of turkey is another 60 calories with 12 grams of proteins.

Fruit Smoothie

Meanwhile, try a fruit smoothie using a cup of frozen blueberries with about 83 calories, ¾ cup of nonfat milk with about 83 calories, and ½ cup of Greek yogurt with about 50 calories.

More Healthy Snacks for Adults

Celery with Cream Cheese

Simply spread one tablespoon of reduced-fat cream cheese on the stalks of celery. And, add a few raisins for some sweetness.

Cottage Cheese Snack

Most of all, cottage cheese has lots of proteins and calcium, making it a healthy snack. And for variety, you can pair the cottage cheese with fruits or vegetables.

Fruits and Vegetables

First of all, because they are full of vitamins and low in calories, fruits and vegetables are excellent healthy snacks for adults. Also, some whole-wheat crackers and cheeses are other good examples of healthy snacks for adults. Indeed, whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter gives you plenty of proteins and fiber.

Still more examples include apples, bananas, raisins, dried fruit puree without added sugar, carrots, snap peas, nuts, whole-grain dry cereal, pretzels, low-fat or non-fat yogurt, toasted whole-wheat English muffins, cherry or grape tomatoes, and pumpkin seeds in shell.

Lime Avocado

Cut a complete avocado with skin in half, remove the seed and sprinkle lime juice and black pepper on the avocado.

Chocolate Chip Yogurt Snack

Add 1 tablespoon of semisweet chocolate chips to a six ounce nonfat plain Greek yogurt.

Hummus

With its protein and fiber, hummus makes you feel full quickly. Or you can combine hummus with vegetables, such as carrots, for a greater punch.

Roasted Chick Peas

Because of their low sugar content, high fiber and protein content, roasted chick peas make for a healthy snack.

Edamame

Edamame is a legume with protein, fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Consequently, eating edamame makes you feel full while your body gets lots of good nutrients.

Air Popcorn with Cinnamon

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon on air-popped popcorn.

Snacks to Avoid

First and foremost, always avoid processed, high-sugar snacks because you will feel hungrier an hour or two later. In fact, definitely avoid snacks that list sugar as one of the first few ingredients. Next, avoid snacks and drinks with added sugar. Indeed, fresh fruit is better than a fruit flavored drink. Finally, foods and drinks that list corn syrup as one of the ingredients should also be avoided.

How to Handle Unhealthy Snacks

Above all, snacks such as candies, cookies, chips, and ice cream have to be avoided at all costs. Consequently, the best thing you can do is not to even have these in the house.

The second thing you can do is storing these tempting snacks so that they are hard to see and also out of your reach. For instance, store the chips, candies, and cookies in the back of the highest shelf while storing the ice cream in the back of the freezer.

And, instead of putting out a bowl filled with tempting candies, put out a bowl filled with fruits. Lastly, if you must snack when you are watching TV, just leave a portion of the snacks out for munching.

A Keto Intermittent Fasting Tip for Energy & Sleep

A Keto Intermittent Fasting Tip for Energy & Sleep

Description: Special dietary plans like the keto diet or intermittent fasting are gaining increased popularity. There are a lot of discussions about the health benefits of these diet plans. However, what is often not thoroughly discussed is how does the keto intermittent fasting affect sleep!

Some people say that a keto intermittent fasting should be exceptionally beneficial for sleep. Meanwhile, others claim that they experienced insomnia while being on a keto diet. So, where is the truth?

When looking at the keto intermittent fasting results, you will observe that in the long run, both of these dietary plans significantly improve sleep quality. However, you will also notice that they can disturb sleep shortly after you use it for the first time.

We are going to take a look now at what is going on when you start with the keto intermittent fasting. Also, we will look at what you can do to improve your sleep.

Sleep and the Keto Intermittent Fasting

So, once you start with the keto intermittent fasting diet, your body goes through different processes, and ketosis is crucial among them. But this keto-adaptation intermittent fasting can be quite a shock for the body when you are just starting. In fact, it can lead to something called keto flu and insomnia.

The main problem lies in the fact that the body isn't receiving carbs that are responsible for the supply of amino acid L-tryptophan in the brain. By the way, L-tryptophan is linked with the release of serotonin. This is an issue because serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to a better quality of sleep. Lack of carbohydrates subsequently means that you might have trouble sleeping during the first stages of an intermittent fasting keto schedule.

As we said, the longer you are following these dietary plans, the more your sleep will improve. But in the meantime, it is good to know some tips for better sleep that can help you speed up the process and allow you to sleep better and longer from the start.

Tips for Better Sleep

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drinking enough water with the best exogenous ketones during the keto intermittent fasting can help curb food cravings, sharpen mental focus, and increase energy levels. However, if you go to bed thirsty, there is a high chance that you will be restless and have trouble falling asleep. It also increases the possibility of snoring due to a dry mouth or nose. Therefore, be well-hydrated before going to bed to make sure you will sleep better and longer.

Eat Healthily

It may sound like we are asking to impose another kind of restriction besides the keto intermittent fasting. But in reality, we aren't – the only thing is that to make sure you enjoy a quality sound sleep during the night, you must consume the ingredients that are beneficial for your body. Try to eat as many whole foods, plenty of vegetables or freshly prepared vegetable juices, and so on.

Practice Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is relatively simple. You just need to breathe deeply and slowly while being focused on the breathing or do meditation that involves simple moves. It, however, helps a lot when you are figuring out how to do intermittent fasting on a keto. It also helps you sleep more soundly.

Conclusion

As you see, the keto intermittent fasting diet can be super beneficial for sleep quality. Of course, at the beginning, you might run into some difficulties, but here we discussed some ways to overcome them effortlessly. Do you have some tips on how to improve sleep quality?

Guest Author Bio: My name is Adam Reeve and I have been a professional personal trainer and fitness instructor for over 10 years. Also, I’m a life coach, wellness writer, and low carb diets, enthusiast. I can be reached at  <adamreevers@gmail.com

This infographic was created by Factor, a keto meal delivery service

How Good is the Nordic Diet

How Good is the Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet is based on locally sourced foods eaten in the Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Greenland, and Iceland. The philosophy of the diet is to eat locally grown, sourced, or available wholesome foods. As a result, the Nordic diet can be adapted to foods locally grown, sourced, or available wherever you live.

Emphasis of the Nordic Diet

Especially relevant, the Nordic diet contains less sugar and fat but twice the fiber and seafood, especially when compared to a typical Western diet. Furthermore, the Nordic diet’s emphasis is on the following:

  • 1
    Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains
  • 2
    Eat less frequently game meat, eggs, cheese, and yogurt
  • 3
    Hardly ever eat red meats and animal fats
  • 4
    Never eat added sugars, processed meats, food additives, refined fast foods, and beverages with sugar

Nordic Diet Guidelines

The Nordic diet is based on the guidelines described here.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

  • 1
    First of all, eat berries frequently. In fact, berries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help keep your veins and arteries healthy and flexible. As a result, anthocyanins help lower your blood pressure.
  • 2
    Also eat peas and beans often. In fact, peas and beans are a major source of fiber and complex carbs. Also, peas and beans are a good source of proteins. In addition, they provide vitamins like riboflavin and B6. Finally, they provide minerals like zinc, calcium, and iron.
  • 3
    Next, eat legumes, vegetables such as cabbage, root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, beets, and tubers like potatoes. Most of all, they are a source of fiber that takes a long time to digest and helps keep your blood sugar stable. In addition, they help protect your cells, lower your cholesterol and fight infection.

Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains such as oats and barley are an important part of meals. Another example is dark, dense sourdough rye homemade bread or from Denmark. In addition, eat snacks such as whole-grain crackers from Sweden. Most of all, they provide high-quality “complex’ carbohydrates that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to protect your cells.

Eat Fish

Fish from the ocean, seas, and lakes provide many healthy benefits. In fact, fish containing omega-3 fatty acids help you by:

  • 1
    Reduce your chances of heart rhythm problems
  • 2
    Cause less plaque buildup in the arteries, and
  • 3
    Cut down on triglycerides in blood

And, examples of these fish include:

  • 1
    Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna
  • 2
    Lean fish such as cod, haddock and halibut

Eat Meat

High-quality meat should be eaten in small amounts.

Eat Less of

Processed foods as well as less sugary foods.

Eat Home Cooked Meals

Home cooked meals using canola oil or rapeseed oil provide many benefits. Canola oil is low in saturated fat, high in healthy monounsaturated fat, and alpha-linolenic acid. In fact, alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 that helps protect your brain from such things as strokes.

Eat Foods from the Wild

Seek out more foods from the wild. For example, nuts and seeds are a good source of complex carbs and fiber. Also, they are rich in zinc, copper, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants, and mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats.

Eat Organic Foods

Whenever possible, use organic produce.

Avoid Food Additives

Instead, use herbs and spices.

Eat Seasonal Produce

Seasonal produce provides an opportunity to eat foods that are only available for short periods of time.

Reduce Waste

Minimize waste by eating more foods that comes with little throw away packaging.

Composing your Meals

Most of all, the Nordic diet doesn’t count calories, instead you calculate the meal’s carbs to protein ratio. Indeed, the ideal Nordic diet meal has a 2:1 ratio of carbs grams to protein grams.

Furthermore, the carbs to protein ratio is based on a combination of Low-Glycemic Index (low-GI) foods and moderately high-protein foods. Most noteworthy, high-protein foods include low fat dairy products.

First, low-GI foods cause a slower and lower elevation in blood sugars compared to high-GI foods. In addition, protein-rich foods make you feel less hungry. Therefore, by properly balancing nutritionally dense foods, you can:

  • 1
    Avoid weight gain
  • 2
    Reduce inflammation, and
  • 3
    Lower your risk of diseases like diabetes

Carbohydrates

Select carbs using the guidelines below.

  • 1
    Use low-GI foods such as fruits and vegetables other than potatoes.
  • 2
    Use low-GI carbs such as grains, bread, pasta, beans and legumes. In fact, rye is a whole-grain staple in the Nordic diet. Also, pumpernickel and sourdough bread are low-GI carbs while softer fluffy white breads aren’t. In addition, steel-cut oats have a lower GI than instant oatmeal.
  • 3
    Low fat dairy products

Proteins

Select proteins using the guidelines below.

  • 1
    Fish such as shellfish or white fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and sardines provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids
  • 2
    Lean cuts of pork
  • 3
    Veal and beef
  • 4
    Skinless poultry
  • 5
    Tofu and legumes such as lentils or beans

Fiber

Vegetables and whole grains provide fiber. And, for extra fiber add chia seeds to your meals.

Sample Meals

Above all, a one half of a typical meal would include vegetables, fruits and berries. Next, one quarter contains low-GI carbs. Finally, one quarter contains protein rich foods.

In fact, proteins should be included in every meal. Also, starches like rice and pasta are fine but in smaller amounts than plant foods, lean meats and fish.

Typical Nordic Diet Meal Plans

Breakfast

Breakfast would contain dry fruits, grains, berries, or porridge with oats.

Lunch

For lunch, eat rye bread, salads, pickles, herrings, eggs, mushrooms, asparagus, green peas, rhubarb, wild herbs and fruits.

Dinner

For dinner, eat fish, meat from animals hunted in the wild, and vegetables.

Midmorning or Afternoon Snacks based on Nordic Diet

These snacks can be low-GI toast made in a toaster, fresh fruits or their juice using a blender, and nuts.

How to User Nordic Diet when Eating Outside

When eating outside the home, eat fresh vegetables (instead of potatoes) and pasta salads. Also, eat lean protein and low-GI sides like chickpeas. Finally, drink plain water with every meal.

Benefits of the Nordic Diet

Most of all, the Nordic diet:

  • 1
    Helps you lose weight, especially belly fat
  • 2
    According to scientist, helps heart health because the diet lowers unhealthy cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and insulin levels.
  • 3
    Helps lower LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol
  • 4
    Reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • 5
    Helps cut back on inflammation. In fact, inflammation is linked to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Physiological Effect of the Nordic Diet

The Nordic diet can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, and inflammation.

Weight Loss From Nordic Diet

A 2016 study, with 145 participants, in the Journal of Proteome Research compared the Nordic diet to a Danish diet. Most noteworthy, the Danish diet is almost like an American diet. Also, the Danish diet, with more fat and less fiber, consisted of more meat, processed foods, and fewer plant foods. And, the study reported that after 26 weeks, Nordic diet participants were more likely to lose weight.

Another 2014 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effectiveness of the Nordic diet. Also, this study, which lasted six months, had 147 obese participants. And, the study reported that obese participants on the Nordic diet lost 10.4 pounds. While others on an average Danish diet lost 3.3 pounds.

Finally, a 2011 6-week study in the Journal of Internal Medicine reported the weight-reducing effects of the Nordic diet. And, the study reported that Nordic diet participants lost 4 percent more body weight than the standard diet participants.

Blood Pressure Benefits of Nordic Diet

The 2014 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, described previously, also looked at how Nordic diet affects blood pressure. And, the study found that Nordic diet participants saw greater decrease in blood pressure than the Danish diet participants.

Yet another 2014 study, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition had 37 metabolic syndrome participants lasting 12 weeks. And, the study reported significant ambulatory diastolic blood pressure reduction among Nordic diet participants compared to control diet participants.

Other Effects of the Nordic Diet

Next, a 2013 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine looked at insulin sensitivity and blood pressure. Moreover, the 24 week study involved 166 participants either on a Nordic diet or a control diet. And, the study reported no significant changes in insulin sensitivity or blood pressure between control and Nordic diet participants. However, the Nordic diet participants saw improved lipid profile and beneficial effects on low-grade inflammation.

Finally, a 2015 Journal of Clinical Nutrition study looked at effects of Nordic diet on individuals with metabolic syndrome. And, the study reported reduced inflammatory gene expressions in abdominal subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue compared to control diet participants.

Downsides of the Nordic Diet

Some of the negatives with the Nordic diet are listed below.

  • 1
    Preparing meals takes up too much time.
  • 2
    Consistently preparing homemade meals would be a strain for most people.
  • 3
    Finding locally grown vegetables or fruits throughout the year may not be possible, especially during the non-summer months.
  • 4
    Fresh vegetables or fruits are not always available in all grocery stores.
  • 5
    Difficulty trying to follow the diet when eating out
  • 6
    Difficulty finding foods meeting glycemic index
  • 7
    Need to consciously manage portion sizes to avoid putting on weight.

Popularity of the Nordic Diet

According to U.S. News and World Report the Nordic diet, in 2019, is ranked:

  • 1
    #3 in “Best Plant-Based Diets”
  • 2
    #6 in “Best Diets for Healthy Eating”
  • 3
    #9 in the category “Best Diets Overall”
  • 4
    #13 in “Best Heart Healthy Diets”
  • 5
    #15 in “Best Diabetes Diets”
  • 6
    #19 in “Easiest Diets to Follow”
  • 7
    #26 in “Best Weight-Loss Diets”
  • 8
    #33 in “Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets”

Healthy and Unhealthy Foods: Some are Good

Foods You Thought Were Unhealthy but are Actually Good for You

In today’s fast-paced world, where information spreads like wildfire, it’s easy to fall victim to popular beliefs and marketing tactics that label healthy and unhealthy foods. However, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction and make informed choices about something as significant as nutrition. Maintaining a healthy diet is vital to overall well-being, and debunking myths about it plays a key role in achieving this goal. By understanding the real benefits of these so-called “unhealthy” foods, we can make educated decisions that promote optimal health and vitality. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of nutrition, unraveling the truth behind avocados, dark chocolate, eggs, nuts, and more. Get ready to be pleasantly surprised by the remarkable health benefits these foods you thought were unhealthy can offer.

The Surprising Truth Behind Unhealthy Food Misconceptions

It’s no secret that certain foods have been unfairly stigmatized as unhealthy, leading many to believe that we should avoid them in pursuit of better health. The common perception surrounding these foods revolves around negative health implications, causing us to shy away from them. But why do these misconceptions persist? One reason lies in clever marketing tactics employed by the food industry, which sometimes prioritize profit over accurate nutritional information. Another contributing factor is the dissemination of outdated information that fails to keep up with the advancements in nutritional science. Additionally, misleading claims and sensationalized headlines often dominate media platforms, further fueling the confusion between healthy and unhealthy foods.

But, relying on well-conducted scientific research, rather than mere hearsay or trendy fads, you can understand the true impact of these foods you thought were unhealthy on your health and make informed decisions about what truly nourishes your body.

Avocado: The Nutrient-Rich Superfood

Despite its creamy texture and luscious taste, avocados have long been unjustly vilified for their fat content, leading to the misconception that they are unhealthy. However, facts that disprove this misconception may prompt you to inspect your diet and make some changes. Not only are avocados high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, but they’re also high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Scientific studies have consistently demonstrated the positive effects of avocados on cardiovascular health, as they improve blood lipid profiles, reduce inflammation, and support healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, avocados play a vital role in weight management due to their high fiber content, which promotes feelings of fullness and aids in digestion. These green powerhouses enhance nutrient absorption, particularly for fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin K. So, it’s time to give avocados the appreciation they deserve and make them a regular part of a balanced, nutritious diet.

Dark Chocolate: One of the Foods You Thought were Unhealthy 

Dark chocolate can potentially improve cardiovascular health and help with stress and inflammation.

When it comes to chocolate, the prevailing belief often links it to weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate offers numerous health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, it helps combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, potentially improving heart health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the consumption of dark chocolate has been associated with mood enhancement thanks to its ability to stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin. That’s why addiction recovery experts at Bright Futures Treatment Center recommend it to people undergoing rehabilitation. Exciting scientific studies have further revealed that dark chocolate positively affects blood pressure, cognitive function, and overall well-being. So, savor that piece of dark chocolate guilt-free. You are satisfying your taste buds but also nourishing your body and mind.

Eggs: Cracking the Myth of Cholesterol

One of the foods you thought were unhealth but are actually good is eggs. They contain numerous minerals, proteins, and nutrients.

For years, eggs have been unfairly stigmatized as unhealthy due to their cholesterol content, causing many to shy away from this versatile and nutritious food. However, it’s time to dispel the myth surrounding eggs and embrace their valid nutritional value. Eggs are a powerhouse of high-quality protein and essential vitamins like B12 and D. They also contain minerals such as selenium and choline, essential nutrients for immune health. Contrary to the long-standing belief, scientific evidence has shown that moderate egg consumption does not significantly impact blood cholesterol levels or increase the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals. In fact, eggs are now recognized for their positive contributions to a well-balanced diet, providing essential nutrients and promoting satiety.

Nuts: The Small Wonder That Packs a Nutritional Punch

Although it is true that nuts contain fat, which is why we often avoid them in our diet, they primarily contain heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that promote optimal well-being. Beyond their healthy fat content, nuts are abundant sources of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritional powerhouse. Scientific studies have consistently linked regular nut consumption to improved heart health, as they have lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, nuts can aid in weight management due to their high satiety value and potential to increase metabolism. Furthermore, their anti-inflammatory properties are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases. So, stop avoiding these nutrient-dense gems. Embrace them and reap the numerous health benefits they offer.

Coffee: Energize and Thrive

Coffee lowers your blood pressure, reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer.

Emerging research about coffee highlights its surprising nutritional benefits. Rich in antioxidants, coffee can boost cognitive function and enhance alertness. Studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption reduces the risk of certain conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and liver cancer. Also, drinking three or more cups of coffee lowers blood pressure. However, as always, we must practice moderation as excessive intake may lead to potential risks such as increased heart rate and insomnia. By enjoying coffee in moderation, you can harness its energizing properties and thrive throughout the day.

Conclusion

Throughout this article, we’ve explored the surprising truth behind foods you thought were unhealthy. We’ve debunked common misconceptions surrounding them, revealing their correct nutritional value and health benefits. It’s clear that these foods, perceived as detrimental to our well-being, actually offer a multitude of positive effects on our overall health and vitality. As readers, we must question prevailing misconceptions of healthy and unhealthy foods and seek evidence-based information. Relying on scientific studies and reliable sources can help us make informed decisions about healthy and unhealthy foods we choose or not choose to consume. So, let’s savor avocados, indulge in dark chocolate, enjoy eggs, and snack on nuts without guilt or hesitation. By doing so, we can cultivate a healthier relationship with food and maximize the benefits of these nutritional powerhouses in our daily lives.

Baby Food Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

Baby Food Myths You Shouldn't Believe

Nowadays, there's a lot of conflicting information on the best baby food. And many mothers are bombarded with all sorts of nutritional information. As such, choosing the right food can be daunting. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you wean your baby at six months, food-related myths prevent mothers from feeding their babies as required. For this reason, this article will discuss baby food myths that you shouldn't believe.

1. Introduce vegetables first then fruits later on

Most people believe that you should first introduce your baby to vegetables. But, this isn't true. If you give your baby fruits first, they are likely to reject or hate vegetables. Besides, they are sweeter than vegetables. However, there are no studies about this. Most of all, you should avoid allergy-causing foods and any other food that is unsuitable for the baby.

2. Giving your baby fruit juice is similar to providing fruits and vegetables

Pure fruit juice contains vitamins essential for the optimal growth of your baby. But, drinking fruits juice shouldn't be a substitute for eating fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain lots of fiber. If your baby drinks a lot of fruit juice, the baby may not feed well since fruit juice has a lot of calories and natural sugar. So, it's advisable to give the baby lots of water and a variety of fruits and vegetables instead. If, at all, you give pure fruit juice, make it yourself from fresh fruits and possibly dilute it with a lot of water.

3. You should introduce solids early

Most mothers believe that you should give the baby solid food early to avoid problems in the future. Failing to do so will make your baby refuse some types of foods in the future. However, this is one of the baby food myths. In fact, you should introduce solids at the age of six months.

Starting solids at 4 months or earlier makes the baby unable to digest the food entirely and can easily suffer from diarrhea. Your child will get used to a wide variety of foods when you introduce them gradually but at the right time.

4. Breast Milk contains insufficient iron

You should exclusively breastfeed your baby or give a formula for the first six months of life. However, some people presume that breast milk contains inadequate amount of iron, making it necessary to offer solid foods even when the baby is too young. Indeed, breast milk contains lesser amounts of iron than formula milk, but it's readily absorbed.

On the other hand, you need to increase iron in the formula to ensure that the baby absorbs enough. Also, introduce your baby to solid foods at the right time and offer iron-rich foods for additional iron.

5. All babies require vitamin supplements

A healthy diet should supply your baby with all the essential nutrients. So, vitamin supplements may not be necessary if you feed your baby food that is rich in energy and protein. But, a child with poor eating habits or from needy families can supplement their diet with micronutrients. Your choice of food affects the quality of your breastmilk, and your doctor may prescribe prenatal vitamin supplements if you're breastfeeding.

6. You shouldn't wean your baby with any other food apart from rice

Rice cereal is associated with numerous benefits. It rarely causes allergies; it's smooth and mixes easily. Also, it is ideal for the baby's first food. However, this doesn't mean that you can't start with other food types like pumpkin or strained apples. When introducing solids to your baby, you can give different types of food as long as it's safe and isn't likely to cause a reaction.

7. Growth hormones in milk or meat can make your child fat

Nowadays, kids have a sedentary lifestyle along with calorie-rich diets making them likely to be obese. Sadly, most parents blame this on growth hormones. Although they are useful in increasing milk production and lean muscle in cows, hormone products are safe. Hormones consumed in meat or milk are broken down and later digested. Moreover, they do not affect your baby's weight.

Final thoughts

Your choice of diet plays a major role in the health of your baby. So, seek information on the right foods to give your baby from a professional and shun any baby food myths that could hinder you from feeding your baby properly. By so doing, your baby will thrive and will be likely to fight off infections.

How to Keep Your Gut Bacteria Strong and Healthy

How to Keep Your Gut Bacteria Strong and Healthy

The GastroIntestinal or GI tract is made up of the stomach, the small intestine, and the large intestine.  Indeed this entire tract is filled with gut bacteria that is important to your health.

Bacterial Genera in the Gut

First of all, the stomach is home to the gut bacterium Lactobacillus, with a population that is less than one thousand colony forming units per milliliter.

Next, the small intestine is home to two gut bacteria: Enterococcus and Lactobacillus with a total bacteria population of one hundred to one billion colony forming units per milliliter.

Finally, the large intestine is home to eight gut bacteria: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, Bacteroides, Clostridium, Eubacterium, Staphylococcus, and Coliforms with a total bacteria population that ranges from ten thousand to one trillion colony forming units per milliliter.

Most noteworthy, a 2016 study at the Weizmann Institute of Science reported that the average human male has about 40 trillion bacteria, most of which resides in his digestive tract. Moreover, all of these gut bacteria may weigh as much as two to five pounds.

Benefits of Gut Bacteria

Most noteworthy, the benefits of these gut bacteria include weight loss, immune functions, and digestive health. Furthermore, these probiotic mixtures help treat irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, atopic diseases, immune functions, respiratory tract infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection.

In addition, a study in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility reported about the beneficial effects of gut bacteria.  In fact, probiotic lactic acid bacteria strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium likely help psychiatric disorder-related behaviors. Indeed, these behaviors include anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, along with memory abilities, including spatial and non-spatial memory.

Consequently, keeping your gut biome healthy is in your best interest. Indeed one way to keep the gut biome healthy, while also enabling its growth, is by eating healthy snacks. And snacks that help fuel growth of gut biome, while keeping it healthy, make up the healthy gut bacteria diet.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Bananas

First of all, bananas help stabilize gut bacteria. Moreover, a medium sized green banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, some of which is the Type 2 resistant starch, a carbohydrate. Especially relevant, neither the stomach nor the small intestines digest the resistant starch. Accordingly, the resistant starch feeds the growth of bacteria in the large intestines. Next, the bacteria breaks down and ferments starch passing through the large intestines producing short-chain fatty acids. And these fatty acids, in turn, may help prevent chronic diseases. Furthermore, use of fatty acids in treating ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea has been demonstrated by clinical studies. Meanwhile, a good way to consume green banana is as a smoothie.

Benefits of Cheese

Eating soft cheese is an excellent way to deliver probiotics to the large intestines. In fact, the pH of the cheese enables probiotics to survive and grow in the intestines. Consequently, soft cheese is better than yogurt at delivering probiotics to the large intestines. Most noteworthy, soft cheeses with fair amounts of probiotics include cheddar, parmesan, and Swiss cheese. However, Gouda cheese delivers the most probiotics to the large intestines.

Cold Potatoes for Healthy Gut Bacteria

Cold potatoes are potatoes that are washed, boiled, and then left to cool down. Next, as they cool down, cold potatoes form a firm texture. Indeed, this is the resistant starch forming. And, like green bananas, these cold potatoes contain Type 2 resistant starch. Also, like green bananas, the Type 2 resistant starch is an indigestible carbohydrate ending up in the large intestines. And, like green bananas, the resistant starch feeds gut bacteria, encouraging their growth and helping them flourish.

Surprising Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Next, a study in the International Journal of Food Microbiology reported that chocolate protected probiotic bacteria in the stomach.  As a result, the probiotic bacteria made its way to the large intestines.

Indeed, 22 volunteers, experienced significant increase in Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli population in their guts after consuming high-flavanol cocoa for four weeks.

In addition, scientist at the 2014 American Chemical Society meeting reported more benefits of eating dark chocolate. Most noteworthy, cocoa contains flavonols - antioxidant molecules that are too large for our body to absorb on its own.

However, Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, at the end of the digestive tract, ferments the antioxidants and fiber in cocoa into smaller, absorbable compounds that make their way into our bloodstream. Moreover, these anti-inflammatory compounds reduces stress on blood vessels and lowers blood pressure - thereby benefiting the cardiovascular system. Finally, these anti-inflammatory compounds increase insulin sensitivity – thereby reducing the blood’s insulin levels.

Meanwhile, the fermentation process results in short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and acetic acid. And these acids helps fend off harmful microbes while reinforcing the gut barrier against antigens and invaders.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Garlic

Above all, raw garlic is the best source of non-digestible prebiotic fiber. However you eat garlic (either raw or cooked), the stomach does not digest the prebiotic fiber in garlic. Consequently, the prebiotic fiber makes its way to the large intestines where it promotes growth of gut bacteria.

Meanwhile, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, fruits, vegetables, and beans are also all excellent sources of prebiotic fiber.

Honey for Healthy Gut Bacteria

Most of all, raw honey contains compounds like oligosaccharides that are not digested by the small intestines. Consequently, the oligosaccharide compounds end up in the large intestines, where they provide nourishment to the good bacteria. Most noteworthy, raw honey primarily encourages growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli bacteria. Moreover, the Bifidobacteria bacteria helps your body with digestion. While the Lactobacilli bacteria produces lactic acid, which prevents harmful bacteria from colonizing the intestines.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Oatmeal

First of all, oats contain beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Moreover, healthy sugars, such as beta glucans, are found in the cell walls of certain bacteria.  Furthermore, beta-glucan fiber encourages growth of good bacteria in the gut.  Indeed, according to researchers, eating oats results in significantly higher levels of Lactobacilli bacteria, and lower levels of Enterobacteriaceae along with other non-essential bacteria.

Benefits of Sauerkraut

Most of all, unpasteurized sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that is rich in probiotics. In fact, the probiotics are a result of the fermentation process. Also sauerkraut is a good form of dietary fiber while also containing vitamins C and K, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Finally, sauerkraut has bacteria that helps to fight inflammation and helps the immune system.

Sour Pickles for a Healthy Gut Biome

Next, naturally fermented pickles have plenty of good bacteria. In fact, the sea salt and water used to ferment the pickles causes good bacteria to grow. Above all, make sure the pickling process did not use vinegar. Finally, sour pickles hinder the growth of harmful gut bacteria while boosting the body’s defenses against infection.

Healthy Gut Bacteria Diet with Yogurt

Most of all, a very familiar healthy food for many is yogurt. Moreover, yogurt supplies probiotics such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus. In fact, Lactobacillus bulgaricus is also a bacteria normally residing in your intestines. Furthermore, Lactobacillus bulgaricus prevents harmful bacteria from growing in the gut while promoting growth of beneficial bacteria.

In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, Lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria may benefit some health conditions. These include liver disease, common cold, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, eczema, hay fever, colic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

Furthermore, yogurt also provides minerals such as phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and of course calcium for healthy bones.

Lastly, the best yogurt for weight loss is plain, non-fat Greek yogurt. In fact, some Greek yogurts have added probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei bacteria.

Myth Busted: Veganism is on the Rise

Myth Busted: Veganism is on the Rise

As a lifestyle choice, veganism is on the rise. In fact, veganism is gaining popularity all around the globe. Although there are people apprehensive about foregoing meat, and they believe that veganism doesn't offer the same nutrition that a regular diet does, this is far from the truth. A lot of people think one can get proteins only from meat and dairy. With vegans abstaining from meat, many people fear losing essential proteins if they want to choose this lifestyle. Unknown to them, there is some plant protein that is a part of everyone's daily intake and is a healthier choice by evidence.

This myth about veganism has made people disinclined to it. But, vegan diet constituents like soya, tofu and others are rich in proteins. Nuts and seeds, green vegetables, and lentils are all rich sources of protein too. They also are enriched with omega-3 fatty acids usually found in meat, making them a healthy alternative. The consumption of plant proteins is especially useful in weight loss. Not only are they loaded with nutrients, but they also contain less fat than animal proteins and more fiber. In fact, fiber is especially essential for weight loss. Plant-based proteins are also devoid of allergy-causing substances like gluten, dairy, nuts, and such.

The consumption of plant based proteins has become easier with them being available in many forms. The most versatile is protein powder derived from plants. This can be added to any meal and have no taste.

Now, that veganism is on the rise, plant protein has become a raging hit amongst fitness enthusiasts. Consequently, this has led to a boom in their production. They are now available for convenient consumption based on one's diet or regimen.

Protein Shakes

A protein shake is perhaps the best way to start the day. Vegan protein shakes use plant based protein combined with other nutrients to give a power-packed start in the morning. People who start their day by jogging can benefit from these protein shakes. For maximum calorie burn during a run, one can consume a protein shake before starting. Due to these protein shakes being plant based, they burn calories faster. They are also available in many flavors and brands offering non-GMO protein powders. Incidentally, they boost immunity as well.

Capsules

Many people with hectic schedules often find themselves skipping the gym or even forgoing their exercise routine altogether. People who cannot find time for exercise should at least switch to a more nutritional diet. Supplements aid in adding nutrition to the diet, ensuring all the necessary proteins are made available for bodily functions. Plant based proteins also come in capsule form to supplement an individual's protein intake. They are safe for all ages as they come from natural sources.

Protein Desserts

Everyone craves desserts at some point. Desserts are the ultimate comfort food. But, most desserts are usually loaded with calories and show up immediately on the weight machine. These fats are hard to get rid off as well. Substituting these desserts made with all-purpose flour by protein flour is a great way to ensure there is no additional weight gain. Protein flours are extracted from plants and nuts and don't affect the taste of the desserts either. Pancakes, mousses, puddings, virtually all types of desserts are now available in protein alternatives. For the home baker, they can purchase the flour and bake any dessert they wish to without guilt. While satiating the appetite, these recipes also contribute to one's daily nutrition intake.

One can incorporate plant proteins into any diet with many options available in the market. Many online nutrition supplement stores, with worldwide shipping, make healthy living achievable to anyone. These vegan options benefit not only the individual but also the planet as they discourage the growing of GMO plants and lead to greener farming methods, thus helping the entire world in the process.