12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

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Apple Cider Vinegar Image Design 1 - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has become quite popular lately. For centuries, this product has been known to be beneficial to the human body. Some of the things it can help you with include controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, and it can heal scars and remove acne.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made of fermented apple cider. This process develops probiotics and enzymes that promote good health. The fermentation process causes this product to have fewer calories when compared to apple cider or apple juice. You only need to take just one or two tablespoons of this vinegar in order to take advantage of its health benefits. This is about 3-5 calories as it has only a small amount of sugar.

But what can you do with apple cider vinegar?

There are so many things that you can do with ACV. You can use it to soothe sunburns and some people even say that helps treat cold and flu. It’s also helpful if you happen to get seasonal allergies and it’s great for acid reflux and gut health.

ACV is just one of those things that you must have in your medicine cabinet because of the various uses that you can put it to and the many benefits that it provides.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

One of the most studied aspects of ACV is its ability to control the blood sugar level.

According to many research studies, it was revealed that ACV is able to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 31% after eating bread. In another research that was done n diabetic rats, it was found that giving the rats the vinegar for a period of 4 weeks brought down their blood sugar levels.

Insulin is the hormone that’s used to transport sugar from the blood to the tissues where it’s needed. Using the vinegar helps to enhance insulin sensitivity. Trying to keep up the level of insulin can lead to insulin resistance, which might lead to high blood sugar and subsequently, diabetes.

According to research that was done by Diabetes Care, it was found that apple cider vinegar helps boost sensitivity to insulin by up to 34% in people who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.

To help stabilize your blood sugar, dissolve one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and drink it before meal times. In addition, reduce carbohydrates and increase your protein intake. Also, take lots of fiber and water and make sure you work out on a regular basis. All these will help you keep your blood sugar levels low.

Helps with Weight Loss

A lot of fitness experts and nutritionists recommend the use of apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss.

But is ACV really as good as they say it is when it comes to weight loss?

Lots of research has been done on the link between apple cider vinegar and weight loss. In one research that was done, it was observed that by just taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for 14 weeks participants experienced a loss of 4 pounds. This happened without even having to make any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.

Research has proved that when you take apple cider vinegar, you will feel fuller for longer. This will result in you eating less food, which will make a great difference when it comes to weight loss. According to one study, consuming apple cider vinegar reduces the total number of calories taken by 275 in a day.

Lowers Cholesterol

When you have high cholesterol, it means that your blood vessels will have to work extra hard to pump blood through your veins and arteries. This is because cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs the blood vessels, making them narrower.

Apple cider vinegar helps a lot with these cases and keeps your cholesterol levels low. A research study that was done on Iran on rats showed that using apple cider vinegar helped minimize the bad LDL cholesterol, while it increased the good HDL cholesterol.

There are certain steps you can take to keep your cholesterol levels low. This includes taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. Also, reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you take. Take lots of healthy fats and include fish in your diet on a weekly basis.

In order to maximize the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, it’s important that you don’t just use it as your only weight loss strategy. Combine it with other weight loss programs so you can experience significant weight loss. Eat a healthy diet and exercise more.

Improves Skin Health

Apple cider vinegar is also great for your skin, especially if you have acne or scarring because it has anti-bacterial properties. Since acne is caused by bacteria, the vinegar will act on this bacteria and destroy it.

Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. All these acids work to prevent Propionibacterium acne from developing even further.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure is quite risky for your heart. This is because your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to weak heart muscles. This can cause damage to your heart over time.

Apple cider vinegar is quite good at keeping your heart strong and healthy. In a research that was done in Japan on rats, it was found that when the rats took acetic acid, which can be found in apple cider vinegar, it helped lower their blood pressure. In a different research that was done on animals, it was discovered that apple cider vinegar works by blocking a certain enzyme that’s responsible for increasing blood pressure.

There are other things that you can do to lower your blood pressure. This includes taking more potassium and magnesium. You also need to take more fiber and reduce salt and processed foods. Instead, consume whole foods.

Relieves Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux is referred to as Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. When you have this condition, the acid flows back from your stomach and up your esophagus. This will result in you experiencing several symptoms such as heartburn, burping, and queasiness.

People who have low levels of stomach acid are the ones who tend to suffer more from acid reflux. If you’re suffering from this condition, you can increase the amount of acid in your stomach by taking apple cider vinegar. This will relieve you from acid reflux problems.

In such a case, you need to take one or two tablespoons of apple acid vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Drink this mixture before meals. In addition, you need to eat foods that will minimize the reflux, such as vegetables, good fats, and fermented foods.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Good for Gut Health

You can introduce healthy bacteria into your gut by taking raw organic apple cider vinegar. You will greatly improve the health of your digestive system. You will also be able to better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. You can start by introducing a tablespoon or two of the vinegar into your daily diet. In addition, take fermented foods like kombucha or kefir for better results.

Soothes Sunburns

If you have been exposed to the sun for too long and have subsequently suffered from sunburn, consider using apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of coconut oil and some lavender oil. Add this mixture to lukewarm bath water and soak yourself in it. You will get some relief.

Regulates Blood Sugar

You can control your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity by taking apple cider vinegar. Mix one or two tablespoons of vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink it just before meals. This will help stabilize your blood sugar level.

Fights Fungus

There are so many fungal infections that you can get. This includes athlete’s foot, jock itch, toenail fungus and yeast infections. You can easily deal with these by using apple cider vinegar. You can make your own anti-fungal spray by using apple cider vinegar and by combining it with other ingredients that have anti-fungal properties. This way you will relieve the symptoms experienced.

Improves Skin Health

Some of the major skin issues that apple cider vinegar can help treat are acne and scarring. This is due to the antibacterial properties that this vinegar has and its healing properties. This vinegar will destroy bacteria that are usually responsible for causing acne. If you want to improve the condition of your skin, use an apple cider toner.

Enhances Circulation

According to research, applying apple cider vinegar on varicose veins can help relieve the symptoms of this condition. You can also combine this vinegar together with witch hazel and rub it on the affected area in circular motion. This will help you enhance circulation in that area.

Treats Warts

If you have a wart that you want to get rid of, treat it with apple cider vinegar. Soak a ball of cotton wool with apple cider vinegar and then apply it on the wart and fasten it on with a bandage. Leave it overnight. Keep doing this on a daily basis and the wart will eventually fall off.

Heals Poison Ivy

If you have a poison ivy rash, use apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. The vinegar helps to reduce inflammation because it has potassium, which is great for treating poison ivy. Apply one teaspoon directly on the affected area until it heals.

Kills Bugs and Fleas

If you have pets and you notice that your dog or cat is scratching themselves on a continuous basis, consider using a natural remedy instead of chemical sprays. Make your own spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray it on the fur of the animals daily until the fleas and bugs disappear. You can also spray this mixture onto your own skin to help you get rid of insects and bugs.

Prevent Seasonal Allergies

Some people suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are one of those people, use apple cider vinegar to ward off the allergies. Dilute two tablespoons of the vinegar with water and rink it up the next time you get the allergy. The vinegar works perfectly because it has healthy bacteria that helps strengthen your immune system. It also encourages healthy lymphatic drainage.

Acts as a Natural Deodorant

The natural area under your armpits is fertile ground for bacteria to breed. This can lead to a strong body odor. Due to the natural antibacterial properties of this vinegar, you can use it as a deodorant. Just apply a little bit of it on your fingers and then dab it under your armpits. It will greatly reduce odor and leave you feeling fresh.

Keeps Hair Shiny

If your hair is dry, use apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of shine. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water that you are using to rinse your hair and it will make your hair smell nice and look shiny.

Speeds Up Weight Loss

Make your own weight loss drink by mixing apple cider vinegar with a green smoothie. This will make you feel fuller for longer. It will also kill off any food cravings that you have.

Reduces Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux, take apple cider vinegar right before you have your meals. Mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink it up.

Balances your pH

The acetic acid that’s found in the vinegar will create an alkaline environment in your body. Taking a couple of tablespoons a day can help balance your pH levels and improve your health.

Can Be Used for Cleaning

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and use this mixture to clean your house. This mixture is great for killing germs due to the antibacterial properties that vinegar has. It will leave your house germ free and clean.

Whitens Teeth

If you want to enhance your smile by having whiter teeth, use apple cider vinegar. Use the vinegar to brush your teeth once in a while and then rinse it out. Considering that vinegar can cause wear and tear on your teeth enamel, use it once in a while and only use a little amount at a time.

Relieves Cold Symptoms

When you feel that a cold is coming, take a few tablespoons of vinegar as a natural remedy for the symptoms. Since the vinegar can help improve your immune system due to the antibacterial properties that it has, it will give you a boost and prevent you from feeling ill and fatigued.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. This acid is known for its ability to reduce blood sugar. It’s also great for boosting heart health. If you want to lower your blood pressure, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and then drink this mixture three times in a day.

Helps with Detoxification

This vinegar is actually quite great for detoxification. This is because it can help balance your body pH, enhance lymphatic drainage and improve circulation. You can mix one to two tablespoons of vinegar with water and drink it a couple of times a day. There’s also a secret detox drink that you can take if you want to get a really concentrated mixture with large quantities of ingredients that are great at detoxification.

Apple Cider Vinegar Types

When talking about apple cider vinegar, you might have come across terms such as raw or organic vinegar. This can be quite confusing when you are deciding what you want to buy.

In order to get the maximum benefits from apple cider vinegar, go for raw, organic and unfiltered vinegar whenever you get the chance. This will give you value for your money.

Here’s a better definition of those terms and why going for raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best option:

  • Organic. Organic means that the vinegar hasn’t been genetically modified nor any additives added to it. This is because these substances can negatively affect your health.
  • Raw. This is apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been heated or processed. The “mother” is still intact. The “mother” is a bunch of proteins, enzymes and useful bacteria that are usually removed during processing.
  • Unfiltered. Filtering removes the “mother” and the entire residue. This leaves you with a clear and orangey looking vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Is apple cider the same as apple cider vinegar and can you use one in place of the other one?

Apple cider is made out of apples that have been freshly pressed. However, it’s not the same as apple juice as it’s processed differently.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is made of fermented apple cider. It’s fermented using yeast and bacteria. This helps to convert sugar into alcohol. Another fermentation process is carried out. In this second process, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.

The fermentation process is what makes apple cider vinegar quite advantageous to use. While apple cider might taste quite nice, it doesn’t have the same benefits that apple cider vinegar has.

History and Facts

History and Facts - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years. In fact, its fermentation dates as far back as 5,000 B.C.

In the past, this vinegar was put to so many uses. For example, it was used to detoxify the liver, purify the blood, cleanse lymph nodes and enhance immunity. Hippocrates had his own prescription in which he mixed apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to help deal with cold and flu.

Apple cider vinegar was also used in the 17th century Europe as medicine. It was added to syrups and antiseptics and gargled to kill germs.

Currently, apple cider vinegar is starting to become popular once again due to the health benefits that it provides. Not only this but it can also be used for household cleaning, given the fact that it can kill all kinds of germs and act as a disinfectant.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne?

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties. This means that it kills all kinds of germs. It has been proven to kill germs up to 90% and viruses up to 95%.

Acne is caused by the Propionibacterium acnes (p. acnes) bacteria. There hasn’t been done much research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the p. acnes bacteria. However, there have been studies done on some of the components of apple cider vinegar. This includes acetic acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid. All these acids have been proven to be effective when it comes to killing the p. acnes bacteria.

In one research study that was done some time ago, 22 participants applied lactic acid on their face twice a day for one year. The participants experienced a drastic decrease of acne on their faces. Only two people didn’t experience a reduction of at least 50% acne on their face.

This research shows that applying apple cider vinegar can be quite effective when it comes to fighting acne. However, there’s a need for more research to be done on this subject matter.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Using apple cider vinegar can result in some side effects. This is especially if you use it in large quantities. It’s generally okay for you to use this vinegar in small amounts, as you won’t experience many side effects. However, using it in large quantities can result in some problems and can even be harmful.

Delayed Stomach Emptying

One of the ways that the vinegar is able to prevent a blood sugar spike is by delaying the process of food passing from the stomach into the small intestines. This delays the absorption of food into the bloodstream.

If you have a condition known as gastroparesis, then apple cider vinegar can make things worse. This is a condition that most people who have type 1 diabetes experience.

Food in the stomach is emptied at a slow rate in case someone suffers from gastroparesis. This is because the nerves that are in the stomach are not functioning right. Therefore, food will stay in the stomach much longer than it usually does.

Signs that you have gastroparesis include nausea, heartburn and bloating. This makes it quite challenging for individuals who have type 1 diabetes to time their insulin with meals since it’s hard to predict when meals will be digested and absorbed by the body.

A controlled study was done where 10 patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis were placed under observation.

When these people were given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in water, it was observed that food stayed longer in their stomach than usual. This is compared to participants who just drank natural water.

Digestive Side Effects

Some people who take this vinegar might experience feeling full for longer and a decreased appetite, leading to fewer calories being consumed.

In another study that was done, it was found that indigestion is what leads to decreased appetite and less food intake.

Individuals who took 25g or 8 ounces of the vinegar experienced loss of appetite and got nauseated, especially when vinegar was mixed with an unpleasant drink.

Low Potassium Levels

Not a lot of research has been done on the effects of ACV on potassium and bone health. However, there was a case where low potassium levels and bone loss was reported after an extended intake of large quantities of apple cider vinegar.

A female, 28 years old, used to take 250 ml (8 ounces) of ACV for six years every day.

She got admitted to the hospital. She had low levels of potassium and her blood chemistry was abnormal.

It was also found out that she had osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is a condition that rarely affects young people.

Tooth Enamel Erosion

Consuming acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion. This is especially because of the acetic acid in vinegar. In a research study where wisdom teeth were immersed in different kinds of acid with different levels of pH varying from 2.7–3.95, it was found out that there was an enamel loss of between 1-20% after four hours.

However, this is a bit different since the saliva helps to protect against acidity. Still, taking too much vinegar can erode your teeth.

Also, a 15-year-old girl experienced dental decay as a result of consuming 237 ml (one cup) of concentrated apple cider vinegar in an effort to lose weight.

Throat Burns

In a research that studied liquids that caused throat burns in children when accidentally swallowed, it was found out that acetic acid has this ability. However, there’s no research that shows that apple cider vinegar can cause throat burns itself.

There was a case where an apple cider vinegar tablet got stuck in the throat of a woman who was swallowing it. She said that she experienced throat burn and had difficulty with swallowing for six months after that.

Skin Burns

There are even cases of skin burns reported when apple cider vinegar was applied directly on the skin.

In one case, a female applied a few drops of the vinegar on her nose to get rid of two moles on her skin. She got erosions on the affected area.

Another 6-year-old experienced skin burns when his mum tried to treat an infection on his leg by using apple cider vinegar.

Drug Interactions

There are some drugs that interact with ACV.

These include:

  • Diabetes Medication. If you take insulin medication or drugs that stimulate insulin and you also take ACV, it might lead to very low levels of blood sugar and potassium.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin). Since this drug reduces your potassium levels, if you take it together with ACV, it can dangerously lower your potassium levels.
  • Diuretic Drugs. Since some diuretic drugs lead to the excretion of potassium from the body, taking ACV with the drugs can lead to a drastic decrease of potassium.

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Here are some guidelines that can ensure that you take ACV safely:

  • Take small amounts of the vinegar. Don’t go past two tablespoons in a day.
  • Reduce chances of acetic acid coming into contact with your teeth by diluting the vinegar with water and then drinking it with a straw.
  • Always rinse your mouth with water after you take it and then brush your teeth after half an hour.
  • If you have gastroparesis, then don’t take ACV or limit the intake to 5ml when used as a salad dressing.
  • In case you have an allergic reaction to it, stop using it with immediate effect


There are so many advantages of using apple cider vinegar. However, take the necessary measures to stay safe and protect yourself from the side effects by controlling how much of it you consume. Just because a little bit of ACV is good, it doesn’t mean that you should take it in large quantities.

Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

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Garcinia Combogia Image Design 1 - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

One of the most popular weight loss supplements at the moment is Garcinia Cambogia. Garcinia Cambogia is obtained from a fruit called Garcinia gummi-gutta, also known as Malabar Tamarind. In weight loss, one of the most important active ingredients is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is found in excess quantities in the peels of this fruit.

In this article, we will take a look at Garcinia Cambogia, and provide more insight into its use for weight loss, and how it can help you.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

What is Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia gummi-gutta is a small fruit, greenish or yellow in color, and shaped like a pumpkin. It’s a sour fruit so it’s usually used in the kitchen for sour flavoring. Weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia are derived from peels of this fruit, which as mentioned earlier, contain excess amounts of HCA.

Generally, weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia have between 20% and 60% HCA. According to the latest studies, however, for the best weight loss benefits, you should go for supplements that contain at least 50% HCA.

How Garcinia Cambogia Works?

How Garcinia Cambogia Works - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Many studies have shown that HCA helps in weight loss by burning fat and lowers your appetite. This is done by blocking the action of the citrate lyase enzyme. This is the enzyme responsible for generating fat in the body. HCA also increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which inhibits your hunger pangs.

While all this is possible, the true weight loss results from Garcinia Cambogia are not exactly commendable. According to a review in the Journal of Obesity, those who took Garcinia Cambogia in a study shed around 2 pounds more than those who didn’t What the researchers could not account for, however, was whether the loss was as a result of the supplement or not. In that study, there was a possibility that the weight loss might have happened as a result of exercise routines that the participants engaged in, or the low-calorie diets they were put on. As a result, more studies into HCA are required to prove that it can help not just in weight loss, but also in keeping the weight off.

High Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes

High Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia helps the body absorb glucose better. The body needs this to produce energy. A study that involved mice revealed that those who received Garcinia Cambogia had a lower level of blood insulin than those who didn’t. It’s for this reason that people who have diabetes have expressed interest in Garcinia Cambogia.

For people taking medicine that controls blood sugar levels, using Garcinia Cambogia might not be advisable because the level of glucose in your body could become very low. There are studies that suggest the use of Garcinia Cambogia in improving the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body, by reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). However, in case you’re already taking prescription medication for cholesterol, you shouldn’t use Garcinia Cambogia.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss?

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia helps you lose weight in two ways:

  • May Reduce Appetite. According to recent studies in lab rats, those that took Garcinia Cambogia supplements ate less than those who didn’t. The same has been experienced by different studies on individuals which goes to suggest that Garcinia Cambogia can help suppress the appetite, giving the illusion of satiety.

It’s not yet clear how Garcinia Cambogia brings about this effect on the appetite but based on controlled laboratory studies, Garcinia Cambogia increases the presence of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin naturally suppresses the appetite. Therefore, increasing the amount of serotonin in the blood level is expected to have a similar effect on the appetite.

While this might be the case, these results are not conclusive yet. There are studies that have revealed no change in the appetite of people who took a placebo and those who take Garcinia Cambogia supplements. Therefore, there’s a possibility that the effect of Garcinia Cambogia in reducing appetite might be linked to other factors unique to individuals.

  • Blocks Fat Production. Studies conducted in the recent past have proven that Garcinia Cambogia can help with fat loss, but only low amounts of fat. The effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia, however, is not consistent or strongly convincing, according to these studies.

Case in point, a recent study suggests that HCA operates in the body by preventing the action of the adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase enzyme, responsible for the formation of fat cells. However, other studies indicate that this might only yield no more than two pounds in weight loss.

These findings have been explicitly mentioned and were published in a 2011 release of the Journal of Obesity. For individuals who want to lose weight, a comparison between those who took Garcinia Cambogia and those who didn’t reveal a very small difference. Besides, it’s not convincingly possible to attribute the 2 pounds of weight loss to Garcinia Cambogia.

12 different trial studies were carried out using Garcinia Cambogia, and statistically, there wasn’t much difference in those who used Garcinia Cambogia supplements compared to those who used a placebo. In fact, some of the studies revealed that those who used supplements with HCA experienced gastrointestinal adverse events more often than those who were on the placebo.

Over the years, there have been mixed results from studies into the use of Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. One such study revealed a considerable loss in fat mass in the HCA study group than the placebo control group. Two other studies revealed a reduction in subcutaneous fat, visceral fat and total fat in the HCA study group than in the placebo control group. At the same time, two other studies revealed no considerable difference between the HCA group and the placebo group.

Based on these studies, therefore, researchers believe that there’s a very small chance of seeing results when using Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. In fact, there’s no certain clinical relevance to its continued use. The recommendation is more studies should be carried out in the near future. In case you plan to lose weight and intend to use Garcinia Cambogia, you might not get the results you are after.

  • Lowers Cholesterol. Garcinia Cambogia is thought to help the body reduce the level of triglycerides and increase the level of good cholesterol. While Garcinia Cambogia helps increase the level of HDL, it’s not advisable for people who are currently on any medication that might affect the level of cholesterol in the body. That being said, however, the effects are not so strong or reliable either.

According to relevant studies, Garcinia Cambogia doesn’t have a significant impact on the level of triglycerides in the body or glucose. However, there’s a noticeably small effect on reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. Considering the fact that there are several other ways of keeping your cholesterol levels in check naturally, you could be better off trying those, including exercise and watching your diet.

  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels. What about the effect of Garcinia Cambogia on the blood sugar levels? There’s some evidence pointing to the fact that Garcinia Cambogia can control the level of blood sugar. It improves the rate of glucose uptake, which essentially increases your energy levels.

Based on this, Garcinia Cambogia will eventually prevent the action of the pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes, which eventually help with weight loss. This affects glucosidase and alters the synthesis of fatty acids, which eventually affect carbohydrate metabolism.

This process makes it easier for the body to respond to insulin, even though researchers warn that it might also increase the risk of low blood sugar in some cases. If you have a history of unstable blood sugar levels, you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, or if you are using medicine that affects the level of insulin in your body, you should avoid Garcinia Cambogia because it might make your blood sugar levels drop to dangerous levels. For this reason, it’s advisable that you consult with your doctor before you start using Garcinia Cambogia.

  • Potential Side Effects. Generally, most people don’t experience adverse side effects when taking Garcinia Cambogia. However, there have been cases of patients being hospitalized with liver failure, and in dire need of liver transplant.

In an article published by the Mayo Clinic Transplantation Center, millions of Americans use herbal supplements regularly, either as pills or other forms. However, most of them are not aware of the full effect that these have on their bodies. A lot of the drugs touted for weight loss have potential risks that affect the liver, as a result of hepatotoxicity.

Garcinia Cambogia is a substance that can be easily abused, especially since it has not been properly regulated. There are manufacturers who recommend multiple doses a day for extended periods of time, which might not be good for your body in the long run.

Other than damage to the liver, the following are some of the side effects that you may experience when taking Garcinia Cambogia:

  • Skin Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Low immune function
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

While looking at the side effects, it’s also important to address some of the potential drug interactions.  Considering the effects above, you should steer clear of Garcinia Cambogia if you are in any of the following situations:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Suffer from kidney or liver damage
  • Are using diabetic medication
  • Are asthmatic or take medicine for your allergies
  • Are anemic
  • Take medicine for pain relief
  • You suffer depression or anxiety
  • Use blood thinners
  • Use drugs that lower your cholesterol level

How to Maximize the Benefits

How to Maximize the Benefits - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Before deciding to use Garcinia Cambogia either for weight loss or for some of the other benefits, the following are some important facts you need to know about dosage recommendations, especially for any product that has HCA:

  • Garcinia Cambogia studies have often been conducted against a variety of doses, most of which involve between 1 and 2.8 grams administered daily. Normal dosage should be between 250mg and 1000mg a day.
  • The duration of the studies also varies, with some lasting only two weeks, and others going for up to three months.
  • The ideal HCA dose is still a matter of opinion. This is because a high dose of HCA might not always translate to similar bioavailability upon consumption.
  • There’s a convincing connection between weight loss and the HCA dose, which means that you might have better results with a higher dose.
  • Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most commonly used supplements in studies that try to find the benefits of using HCA. Other than this, however, another popular source of HCA is Hibiscus Sabdariffa.
  • Since most of the studies on average last 8 weeks, experts believe that this is a very short time to convincingly investigate the impact of HCA on your body.

In order to be safe, when you’re shopping for supplements, steer clear of supplements or formulas that contain Garcinia Cambogia, but don’t report on some of the other ingredients that are used in their formulation, or those that don’t report the exact level of HCA contained.

In order to keep the costs manageable, most manufacturers who make proprietary formulas only use a portion of the active ingredient. That’s why you need to be very careful with the labels. Choose products that state “Pure Garcinia Cambogia and Hydroxycitric Acid Extract” on their labels.

If you go for blends, you must also be careful about the label instructions. Don’t buy anything that has an ingredient listed without a mention of the quantity of that ingredient, because you wouldn’t know exactly what quantity you are ingesting.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract Diet Pills

Garcinia Cambogia Extract Diet Pills - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

For people who are looking for the fastest way to lose weight, you might have come across Garcinia Cambogia diet pills. You must avoid these at all costs. Garcinia Cambogia diet pills have often been adversely mentioned in the media, linked to severe side effects, and in some cases, fatalities.

In 2017, the FDA warned against using the supplement Fruta Planta Life which contains Garcinia Cambogia extracts. This is because one of the other ingredients in this supplement is Sibutramine (Meridia). This is an appetite suppressant that was banned in 2010.

Why was it banned?

Sibutramine was banned because it increased the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and could cause seizures and jaundice.

What is the Garcinia Cambogia extract, and what are the weight loss benefits?

This is a tropical fruit that’s popularly known as Tamarind in Indonesia. It’s a delicious fruit and has a number of health benefits. It’s rich in iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, and niacin.

The peels of this fruit contain the hydroxycitric acid (HCA). According to researchers, HCA helps the body by suppressing your appetite. It also prevents the body from stashing food away in the form of fats.

A study in 2015 revealed that Garcinia Cambogia might help with weight loss through appetite suppression. However, this is not as definitive as most people might think. There are several Garcinia Cambogia extract diet pills in the market, including popular brands that have in the recent past failed lab and quantity tests to prove this. Other than that, according to Sue Decotiis, M.D, who is an expert at weight loss, we are yet to see large scale studies and trials that compare other supplements to Garcinia Cambogia or placebos. In fact, there might probably not be any objective information on Garcinia.

To make things worse, the FDA hasn’t reviewed or regulated the safety and effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia extract diet pills given that they are not drugs, but supplements. The FDA only intervenes in situations where the use of such products has resulted in several cases of hospitalization. Because of this reason, the amount of Garcinia Cambogia extract that’s included in the pills released to the market is under the sole discretion of the manufacturers, together with any other ingredient that they might include in the product, such as Sibutramine.

In 2017, the FDA intercepted some mail shipments, and upon testing, found Sibutramine in the supplements. They warned against the use of these products, given that Sibutramine is known to increase the blood pressure and heart rate. In fact, when used with other medicines, the effects can be fatal.

In 2010, Abbott Laboratories was mandated by the FDA to remove Meridia (Sibutramine) from the market. This was after clinical tests revealed that this drug could induce strokes and heart attacks.

Other than this, there are lots of other reasons why you need to avoid using Garcinia Cambogia extract pills. In a 2015 study, the extracts were heavily connected to liver damage, brain fog, and diarrhea. The cause of these problems hasn’t been convincingly linked to Garcinia Cambogia in any study so far though.

When taken in high doses, a food and chemical toxicology study in 2005 revealed that Garcinia Cambogia can cause testicular toxicity and testicular atrophy in mice. This is enough information to make you rethink about using the product.

To make matters worse, there are shady individuals who would do anything to promote harmful products online. In 2013, the Women’s Health brand was illegally used in a scam where their name was used to promote harmful Garcinia Cambogia extract pills.

To be on the safe side, when choosing your diet supplements online, you need to be very careful about what you buy and you should do a lot of research. In fact, forget about all the fads out there, and instead, choose natural ways to lose fat, without using pills.

The History of Garcinia Cambogia

The History of Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most popular fruits in Southeast Asia. Depending on the region, there are several names for it, including Gambooge, Assam fruit, Malabar Tamarind, Garcinia Gummi-Gutta, and Kudam Puli (Pot Tamarind). However, it’s commonly referred to as Garcinia Cambogia.

There are several types of the Garcinia fruit that grow in the sub-tropics. It’s mainly found in forested lands in Southeast Asia like in India, the coast of Kerala, Central and Western Africa etc. It has a thin skin, though the vertical lobes are very prominent. It grows in different sizes and can become as big as a large grapefruit or as tiny as a small orange.

Garcinia Cambogia is also available in different colors, ranging from a reddish pumpkin color to a yellow-green color.

Over the years, Garcinia Cambogia has been used in many ways. If you love Indian cuisine, you will find it being used in chutneys and curries. It’s also popular among healers for its herbal and medicinal values. There are claims that it helps treat parasites and worms.

Other than preservation and meal preparation, Garcinia Cambogia features in traditional medicine as a mild natural laxative. When taken in excess amounts, Garcinia Cambogia, like any other fruit, can help with constipation.

A random study was conducted in 1998 into the effects of HCA as an active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia in 135 people, in an attempt to reveal the anti-obesity properties. According to the researchers, HCA, when administered in high doses, can suppress the accumulation of fats in the epididymis. Later on in 2012, Garcinia Cambogia was endorsed by Dr. Oz.

Is Garcinia Cambogia Approved by the FDA?

Is Garcinia Cambogia Approved by the FDA - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Usually, people lack access to the right information when shopping for items online. As a result, they end up buying the wrong products. Before you place an order or ask for information about anything, it’s always recommended to do your own research first. Find out as much as you can about the product, and more importantly, the company behind it.

Read through as many websites as possible to find out about the certifications and any approvals necessary before you commit to a purchase. When searching for information on Garcinia Cambogia, you will never see or should never see an FDA approval.

The reason for this is because the FDA doesn’t approve healthcare laboratories, facilities or manufacturers. They don’t inspect the manufacturer premises to ensure that they adhere to strict manufacturing codes of conduct or ethics.

That being said, however, the establishments involved in the production, packaging, and labeling of products within the US must be registered by the FDA. What this means is that the FDA doesn’t approve Garcinia Cambogia, but it can be made in the US in a laboratory that’s registered by the FDA. You must also try to find out as much information about the company, to make sure they have certifications like the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) stamp.

Any company of credible reputation must have a link on their website that shows their position with the FDA.

Avoid These Foods When Taking Garcinia Cambogia

Avoid These Foods When Taking Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

It’s no secret that Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most sought-after supplements in the weight loss industry. It prevents the formation of fat in the body and suppresses your appetite, which helps you avoid overeating.

HCA is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that’s of utmost importance. It’s the ingredient that’s responsible for shedding off excess fat from the body and losing weight. HCA, as an appetite suppressant, tricks the body into feeling you are satisfied, even when you have eaten very little food. Therefore, you won’t have urges to overeat.

When using this supplement, you can lose close to 10 pounds in a matter of weeks. There are people who have noticed good results when using the extracts, and all this without having to follow a diet or exercise.

One of the best things about using this supplement is that there are no side effects that you need to worry about, given that the ingredients are 100% natural, safe and highly effective. The supplement doesn’t contain any filler substances, so you can look forward to easily losing weight. That being said, it’s also important that you know the types of foods that you will need to avoid when using Garcinia Cambogia.

In order to get the best results when using Garcinia Cambogia supplements for weight loss, you must also pay attention to your diet. Proper diet control is mandatory if you want to achieve your weight loss results better and faster.

However, before you do this, you must also research and know the kind of foods that you need to stay away from when using Garcinia Cambogia. This will help you enhance the efficiency of the supplement. Naturally, fiber-rich foods are good for the body since they help with digestion, prevent diseases and enhance your wellbeing. However, you should avoid them when using Garcinia Cambogia.

Why Should You Avoid Them?

Why ou Should You Avoid Them  - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

The action of dietary fiber in the diet will prevent the absorption of HCA in the body. Since HCA is important in weight loss, the dietary fiber will essentially impede the weight loss process. If you cannot stop eating these foods, you still need to monitor the intake so that you can still have some good results in your attempts to lose weight.

By carefully monitoring your consumption of some of these foods, you should be able to enjoy proper absorption of HCA into the body. While doing this, you also need to monitor your calorie intake so you need to keep away from fatty foods or sugary foods. Foods like chocolate, sweets, spreads, dips, potato chips and sauces generally increase your weight by increasing the accumulation of fat in the body.

Apart from these, you also need to stay away from gummy and hard candy because they are starch-based items. As a result, they negatively affect the efficiency of Garcinia Cambogia, and this is why you need to avoid them completely.

Like any other weight loss supplement or regime out there, for you to enjoy the ultimate weight loss benefits when using Garcinia Cambogia, you must support your efforts with a properly balanced diet. This will speed up the weight loss process. You must drink a lot of water too, of course.

However, there are some other parameters that you must consider when choosing the food you will remove from your list and the ones you will be consuming. Think about things like your lifestyle, your level of activity, age and so forth, because this will help you determine the appropriate amount of weight you will shed off when taking Garcinia Cambogia.

By removing high-calorie foods and snacks from your diet, you should be able to maximize the effects of Garcinia Cambogia in weight loss. This will enable you to burn fat faster and reduce weight in the process so you can get in a perfect weight and shape for your body.

You need to restrict the number of calories you are eating so you have less fat accumulating in the body. Your diet should also be focused on burning carbs to increase your energy levels, and help you get the best results.

In order to get the best results when using Garcinia Cambogia, you need to keep some of these foods out of your diet:

  • Reduce the Intake of High Fiber Foods. Vegetables and fruits are quality sources of natural fibers, which help in digestion and enhancing your wellbeing. However, according to recent studies, consuming too much fiber and low-calorie foods will prevent the action of HCA in the body. For this reason, you need to rethink your diet so that you don’t consume high fiber foods on a daily basis, like papaya, plantain, pineapple, bananas, apples, and oranges.
  • Consume a Diet with Calorie Restrictions. It’s important that you keep an eye on your daily calorie intake when you’re taking Garcinia Cambogia. Some of the foods you should have in your diet include potatoes, confectioneries, rice, pasta, bread or any flour baking. High-calorie foods you should limit or avoid altogether include high-fat cakes, fried food, chips, and chocolate. If you can avoid dairy products, do it. If not, you should stick to low-fat milk.
  • Consume Foods Rich in Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important in weight loss, especially when the body doesn’t turn them into fat. HCA prevents the body’s ability to convert fats into carbs. Because of this reason, you should consider adding a lot of carbs to your diet. Some of the foods you should look into include barley, wheat, rice, oats, and millet, especially when you are supplementing with Garcinia Cambogia.

In case you have been thinking about your health in general, and plan to lose weight naturally without straining or having to worry about side effects, you should consider using Garcinia Cambogia. This is a natural, powerful herb that will not just help you with weight loss but will also help you live a clean, rejuvenated and productive life.


Most of the studies available currently have differing views on the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia regarding weight loss. There are studies that have shown that Garcinia Cambogia can help you achieve weight loss without using any supplement. However, this is still subject to confirmation. One area where Garcinia Cambogia does stand out is the positive impact it has on blood fats.

Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

bede30901626bf4748835074145ebc6c - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

image2 - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the WaistlineLactobacillus gasseri is a key probiotic strain which has been shown to optimise weight loss and refine body shape.

The ability of the microbiota to boost the immune defences, both preventively and curatively, is widely recognised and documented. But its role doesn’t stop there. There’s increasing confirmation of the importance of its quality and activity in supporting weight loss. This growing scientific evidence demonstrates the link not only between microbiota quality and weight gain or weight loss, but also between microbiota and type 2 diabetes, and microbiota and obesity: it seems a revolution in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the way.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplements for Activating Weight Loss

A Japanese study in 2010  highlighted the benefits of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri, found naturally in breast milk, on weight loss and loss of intra-abdominal fat. On average, subjects supplemented with L. gasseri for 12 weeks saw average decreases of 4.6% in abdominal fat, and 3.3% in subcutaneous fat. Their weight fell by 1.4% and their waistline decreased by 1.8%.

These results were confirmed in a more recent study.

The probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri:

  • rebalances and maintains gut flora;
  • boosts the immune system;
  • facilitates digestion and the elimination of fats;
  • improves metabolism to store less fat;
  • promotes weight loss

Start a course of L. gasseri supplementation.

Do All Probiotics Offer the Same Weight Loss Benefits?

The answer is no, each strain has specific effects. While there is a confirmed link between weight and the microbiota, it nonetheless depends on the particular species of bacteria and on the individual.

In 2012, a team at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) reviewed 82 studies into the effects of lactobacillus on weight in humans and animals. They concluded that certain probiotic strains tend to make us gain weight while others, including Lactobacillus gasseri, may reduce intra-abdominal fat, amongst others. Among the key results, it’s notable that taking:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria was associated with significant weight gain, both in humans and animals, while
  • Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria was associated with weight loss in obese humans and in animals.

Quick Recap on Probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms, usually bacteria, which when administered in sufficient quantities, exert beneficial effects on the host’s health, improving in particular the quality of the microbiota, and boosting the immune system and general well-being.

To be effective, probiotics have to be ingested in sufficient amounts and have to withstand the stomach’s acidity in order to be able to act in the gut. It’s important to take them without food: for optimal effects, the active ingredients need to reach the gut and colon as quickly as possible and not remain in the stomach with the alimentary bolus.

For Effective, Lasting Weight Loss and a Slimmer Waist

It is yet more proof that it is too simplistic to think that reducing your food intake and increasing your energy output is enough to achieve sustainable weight loss; it’s well-known that low-calorie diets are not the solution as they lead to the yoyo effect.

To lose weight as well as inches off your waist, you need to:

  • take back control of your diet (vegetables with every meal, avoid refined sugar, stay well-hydrated …)
  • get moving again
  • take care of your digestive system, especially your microbiota, and give it a boost by supplementing with lactobacillus gasseri for its probiotic effect and weight-loss benefits

To quickly get your lactobacillus gasseri ‘treatment’ up and running, the  Supersmart laboratory offers Lactobacillus gasseri  at a dose of 6 billion CFU per 2 gastro-resistant capsules, to be taken on an empty stomach.

Efficacy of Weight Loss Probiotics: The Latest Scientific Research

As a result of their many benefits for weight loss, ‘slimming’ probiotics are increasingly the subject of new scientific studies. One research team recently evaluated the efficacy of the strain Lactobacillus gasseri in combatting excess weight and obesity. Their 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 90 volunteers aged 20-75 who were overweight or obese. At the end of the study, the researchers observed a number of significant improvements among those subjects taking the Lactobacillus gasseri. They included in particular:

  • a significant decrease in visceral adipose tissue;
  • a reduction in waist circumference.

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in April 2018, these findings are very encouraging and support the anti-obesity potential of Lactobacillus gasseri.

Lactobacillus Gasseri: Its Benefits for the Balance of Gut Flora

In addition to its weight-loss benefits, the Lactobacillus strain of probiotics offers other advantages for our health. Scientifically-studied for several decades now, this probiotic strain plays a key role in maintaining the balance of our gut flora.  As noted by scientists from Inserm (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), this intestinal microbiota is directly involved in many of the body’s essential functions:

  • digestion of food and absorption of the nutrients it contains;
  • regulation of metabolic pathways such as absorption of fatty acids;
  • immunity, ie, the body’s defence system against pathogens.

According to the Inserm scientists, there may be a link between an imbalance in gut flora and the development of obesity, as well as of certain types of cancer, inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s disease, haemmorhagic rectocolitis) and neuropsychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, bipolar conditions …).

In other words, by helping to maintain or restore balance to the gut flora, supplementing with oral Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics may offer significant preventive and curative potential.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Probiotics from Supersmart: Innovative Capsules for Superior Efficacy

As pioneers in Europe’s nutritional supplement market, Supersmart has considerable experience in the field of probiotics. The result of many years’ research and unrivaled expertise in formulation, Supersmart’s Lactobacillus gasseri supplement offers a number of significant advantages. Alongside an optimal dose, it capitalises on the latest innovations with its delivery in DR Caps™. These have the particular feature of forming a protective barrier for the probiotics. Lactobacillus gasseri in DR Caps™ are referred to as gastro-resistant; in other words, the capsules protect the probiotics against harsh stomach acids, enabling the gut flora to benefit fully from their effects.

It’s worth noting that the efficacy of Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics can be further enhanced in different ways. For instance, in order to get the most out of the product’s optimal dosage, it’s best to keep it refrigerated after opening. It can also be even more effective when prebiotics such as fructo-oligosaccharides are taken at the same time. These nourish and promote the growth of probiotics in the gut flora.

About Supersmart.com

The Supersmart.com brand was one of the very first in Europe to market dietary supplements.

Since 1992, we have offered a printed, mail-order catalogue, and have made our famous “Smart Drinks” available for sale in pharmacies.

In 1996, the Supersmart.com website made its first appearance on the world wide web.

Initially, the company imported products from the United States. But we very quickly developed our own formulations and packaging in order to offer our customers even greater value-for-money.

Supersmart.com, an International e-commerce website and a top European leader commercialising a wide and diverse range of high quality supplements.

Our Amercian website is https://us.supersmart.com/ and our office is situated in Miami.

The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

05e868dc08982f3593b47e998e7c352a 2000x1200 - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Gourmet Cooking Image Design 1 - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Spicing up foods can often be intimidating, unknowing what the end results could be. One may be trying on a new recipe or improvising on an old one. Whichever, the exotic flavors of spices will at most add that magical zing that could raise the recipe list to a higher level. In the beginning, one may go through a trial-and-error phase but as he gets more experienced and gets acquainted with the unique tastes and aromas of varied spices, he will be more certain of what needs to be added to a recipe. It will take a lot of practice but in time, it will be all worth it.

The Benefits of Using Spices for Gourmet Cooking

The Benefits of Using Spices for Gourmet Cooking - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Spices have been used for centuries, especially in the East and there are no limits to their importance in cooking. One can have spices with flavors that can add sweetness to foods or even heat. It’s even possible to add them for health benefits. Cooking with spices could be turned into an art, although many would contend it already is. The person cooking will be the artist, the dish his canvas, and the spices will be the colors. Artists are usually creative and daring. From a bland dish, anyone can create a work using spices that can transform an ordinary dish into an extremely palatable one. Spices do serve several purposes and here are some of them:

  • Enhance the Aroma and Flavor. With the range of flavors spices have, an ordinary dish can be transformed into something much more delectable, not just to taste but to the sense of smell as well. Each spice has its own distinct flavor and aroma and these properties can be the determining factor whether one would eat a dish or not.
  • Improve the Taste of The Dish. Traditionally, we just dash our foods with salt to give it a semblance of taste. With spices now, foods can smell and taste so much better. Some of these can even draw out the natural flavors of food.
  • Change the Color or Enhance It. If a person really wants an exotic experience on how spices can transform foods, he should try going to a local Indian restaurant. Entering one would already give him a sense of what’s coming. The aroma, then the taste. Then the person can now include the colors brought about by spices as they would pass right in front of him in red, orange, and yellow colors Spices like cumin, turmeric and paprika are mainstays in Indian cuisine and they give Indian foods their vibrant colors.

The Most Common Herbs and Spices Used in Cooking

The Most Common Herbs and Spices Used in Cooking - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Most international cuisines can never go without spices. In the different countries, spices have transformed cuisines into delightful, aromatic, and delicious dishes. There are thousands of known spices, but a handful is the most used because of the flavors and aromas they add to food.

  • Basil. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea are famous for their dishes using basil. The spice belongs to a plant group which includes mint. It has a flavor and scent like clove or floral anise. Basil can be used in many kinds of meat and seafood dishes. The sweet type pairs with tomatoes naturally when making sauces.
  • Cayenne Pepper. Anyone who wants his dishes to pack some heat should add a dash of cayenne pepper to it. It also adds a touch of sweetness to almost any kind of dish. Cayenne pepper is made from dried red chili peppers which are grounded.
  • Chives. This spice has an aroma and taste like that of onions but milder. It’s typically used to garnish dishes because of the bright an elegant green color. To maximize its color and flavor, add the herb at the very end when preparing a dish.
  • Cilantro. This is one of the world’s most popular herb especially true in the Latin Americas and in Asia where people seem to have an addiction to its refreshing flavor. Almost all the plant’s parts are used in cooking. Stems and leaves are often preferred raw, being added to dishes when cooked. The seeds are also used in cooking, the roots as an ingredient in making Thai curry paste.
  • Cinnamon. Although used more popularly as a spice for desserts because of that spicy warmth it brings, cinnamon can also be used as an ingredient in many savory dishes. Many consider cinnamon as one of the most versatile sweet spice.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes. Give dishes an extra kick with a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. This may not pack as much heat as cayenne pepper, but it nevertheless has its own punch. Sprinkle some on pizza, pasta, and even on green salads.
  • Crystal Kosher salt. Salt is an essential ingredient in almost all dishes but do people use the best kind of salt? This, of course, is not a spice but crystal Kosher salt is preferred as a seasoning for dishes because its texture can add some good crunch to finished foods.
  • Cumin. This cornerstone spice is a mainstay in almost all culinary kitchens. It’s known for its very nutty earthiness and is an ingredient to most dishes in Asia, the American Southwest, and many more.
  • Dill. This spice is best used to compliment the delicate flavors of seafood dishes although it can also be an ingredient in soups, sauces, and salads. When fresh, dill would exude a strong scent and can be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  • Mint. This herb has a refreshing peppery bite which makes it an ideal ingredient for salads and sauces. It’s also a great garnish for fragrant teas. Although commonly used in sweet treats, this herb can also liven up the flavor of many dishes. It’s also used to temper many spicy curries because of its cooling flavor.
  • Oregano. Another herb that is popular in Mexican and Mediterranean dishes is oregano. This is a pungent spice which can be used either dried or fresh. It’s much easier finding the dried type which has a more concentrated flavor.
  • Parsley. This is also a very popular herb used mainly for garnishing. It’s a very versatile herb and is frequently used in Western cooking. The flavor is slightly peppery and compliments well with other seasonings. Aside from a great garnish, parsley is also used to flavor soups, salads, and more. For cooking, the flat-leaf or Italian parsley has the best texture and flavor to boot.
  • Rosemary. Here’s another popular herb with a strong flavor. Like oregano, it can be used dried or fresh. It’s an ingredient in many soups, stews, sauces, and meats. When using rosemary, do so sparingly because it has a strong flavor.
  • Sage. This herb is a mainstay during the Thanksgiving season in the USA as it lends flavor to the dinner turkey and its stuffing. But it’s also an ingredient in many dishes and some sauces. Dried sage has a stronger flavor than the fresh type, so like rosemary, start off by using small amounts.
  • Smoked Paprika. This spice adds flavor and color to dishes and is perfect for making hearty stews and roast chicken.
  • Thyme. This is a versatile spice which can be used for any kind of fish, meat, vegetable, and poultry dishes. Fresh thyme can stay usable in the refrigerator for up to a week. The herb is popular in both American and European cooking.
  • Whole Black Peppercorns. When buying black pepper, don’t opt for the pre-ground stuff because this can go stale quickly. Buy the whole black peppercorns as they will last longer. Also, these have those complex fruity aromas when freshly ground. The spice is a great addition to soups, sauces and almost any kind of dish.

Pairing Herbs and Spices

Pairing Herbs and Spices - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Making a dish will often require not just one spice but a combination of them. A spice on its own will not make much of an impact to taste. But in combination with others would spell a great difference. Usually, there are combinations that work well together, and experience will tell which ones could bring out the best harmony in dishes. Knowing these, one could create wholesome and authentic international cuisines, starting from scratch.

For beginners in cooking, it may become confusing to learn which herbs go well together. After all, there is a wide array of spices and herbs available and discerning which goes with what can become a daunting task. For neophytes, it’s recommended to start with the basic and essential spices and herbs. These will include garlic, chili, basil, coriander, parsley, and ginger. These alone can make anyone come up with a dish that is special. Always have these ready in the fridge door storage. Here are some herb and spices pairing tips:

  • Basil goes well with garlic, parsley, lemongrass, rosemary, and coriander, and oregano
  • Chili is great with coriander, basil, garlic, oregano, lemongrass, and parsley.
  • Coriander goes well with garlic, chili, ginger, parsley, basil, and lemongrass.
  • Garlic goes great with coriander, basil, parsley, ginger, chili, turmeric, and dill.
  • Ginger goes great with chili, coriander, garlic, lemongrass, and mint.
  • Parsley goes well with garlic, basil, chili, oregano, lemongrass, and dill.

How to Choose and Handle Spices Properly

How to Choose and Handle Spices Properly - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

After salt and sugar, people’s love for spices comes next. Spices have been with us for centuries, dating back in prehistoric times. They have been used not only for cooking but also in sacred rituals, masking the taste of spoiled foods, and more. In the past, people traveled long distances to bring spices to their homelands. The spice trade was born because of this demand moving from India and Asia to the West. As a matter of fact, in medieval times, spices became as valuable as gold.

To this day, spices are still with us and as valuable, not so much in terms of money, but in terms of what they can do to food. Just a small amount of spice is needed to create a haunting and heady aroma and taste to any food. Presently, India and Indonesia are the two leading countries who use the widest range of spices.  Other countries like Spain, Mexico, Ethiopia and North Africa also depend on their own spice ranges to perfume their foods. It is an ancient reflection of their connections to Arabic cuisine. Northern Europeans have their share of spice madness as well and they use their spices on both sweet and savory dishes. To be more adept at cooking with spices, here are some tips:

  • Selecting the Spices. Ideally, it’s best to buy spices whole spices which can be freshly grounded when needed. For convenience sake, spices are now offered either whole or grounded. If one must buy grounded spices, it’s recommended to buy only in small quantities because this type loses their flavor and become stale in time.
  • Storing the Spices. Spices should have tightly sealed containers and must be kept in a cool, dark place such as the pantry. Don’t place them in places in proximity to heat sources. Do a little organizing. To make it easy to locate your spices, arrange them in alphabetical order. If buying in bulk, also buy some containers for storing them. Whole spices can last to up to a year, ground ones should be replaced after six months.
  • Preparing the Spices. One can either use a pepper mill grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind small quantities of whole spices. An electric grinder can also be used but use this exclusively for grinding your spices.

Grind only what is required in the recipe. If adding whole spices in a recipe, one can either bundle the spices in a cheesecloth square or place them in a tea ball for easy retrieval. When the recipe calls for an orange or onion and cloves, stud the cloves into the orange or onion. Finally, crack or bruise whole peppercorns before using them.

Re-Create the Flavors from All Over the World in The Kitchen

Re Create the Flavors from All Over the World in The Kitchen - The Ultimate Guide To Spice Selection For Gourmet Cooking

Anyone can purchase spices as standalone items. People can also buy them as spice blends. These are combined complimentary spices which could have a flavor of their own. Although people can re-create their own spice blends, it is recommended to leave this to the masters to make the blends. A person’s blend can have two or more spices, but this will depend on his favorite cultural cuisines.

Ethnic cuisines are famous because of the spices which are used when preparing them. For instance, Mexican cuisine typically uses spices that are native to them and these can include cumin, oregano, coriander, cinnamon, chili, and garlic. A combination of any of these can create the traditional flavors of Mexican food that we all love so much. If a person prepared a dish using such spices and still come out with a bland dish, just add more spices that come from that cuisine until the desired taste comes out. People who are familiar with ethnic combinations of spices should be able to come up with dishes from all around the world. Remember that practice makes perfect, a perfect culinary artist, that is. Don’t be afraid to try new things, just trust the taste buds. Spice it up and start cooking!



Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

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Caffeine Image Design 1 - Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

There are all types of reports and opinions about caffeine. Some tell you that it’s entirely bad for you and should be banned, while others have found positives about the stimulant. There are times that you will want to cut it out or at least cut-down, and the truths about damage and effects will depend on your medical health.

We all likely consume caffeine in some way. While it’s most commonly associated with tea and coffee, it’s found in other drinks and food. You may unknowingly consume it if you don’t think about your food or drink choices fully. Did you know the average American will consume 2-3 cups of coffee a day, which is about 280mg of caffeine? In one year, 12,000 tons of caffeine is consumed, with 54% of that coming from coffee. Another 43% comes from tea, and the final 3% is from food and other products.

Before you start changing your coffee or tea intake, you’ll need to make sure you know absolutely everything possible about the stimulant. We’re delving into the full truth about caffeine, looking at everything you need to know about it. You may be surprised by the end.

What Exactly Is Caffeine?

What Exactly Is Caffeine - Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

Caffeine is a chemical called 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. Remember that saying that if you can’t pronounce something because of its scientific name being bad for you? Well, that’s not quite the case, but there are chances that you couldn’t pronounce that without really thinking about it and you likely didn’t know what it is.

It’s a completely natural chemical, found in tea leaves, coffee beans, yerba mate, guarana and kola nuts. A study has shown that 90% of Americans consume some caffeine on a daily basis, even those who cut out coffee. It’s only when you follow a strict caffeine-free diet that you’re able to cut it out entirely.

While it’s considered a drug because it’s a stimulant, it’s a chemical. You can extract it through pressure cooking the leaves and beans to turn it into a powdered drug form, but for the most part, you’re getting a natural chemical. However, it is highly addictive, which is where the true idea of it being a drug comes from.

While coffee and tea are the most popular ways to get caffeine, you can also find it in chocolate, energy drinks, soda, some snack bars, and even ice cream.

How Does Caffeine Work?

Caffeine increases dopamine levels and suppresses the adenosine receptors. This can lead to feeling happier and not as sleepy—the stimulant part of the drug. It can also help to leave you feeling more relaxed, improve your clarity in mind and even helps to improve the memory. However, these benefits are all temporary.

When the caffeine wears off, the body can go into what is called a caffeine crash. You feel more tired than you did before it and you can go into a slump.

There are some who link it to cocaine and heroin, because of the downsides associated with caffeine. After all, the effects are very similar, but on a much milder scale compared to the illegal, hard drugs.

What Are the Downsides of Consuming Caffeine?

What Are the Downsides of Consuming Caffeine - Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

It’s worth getting the downsides out of the way first. Some are extremely serious, but there are others that are just a little more annoying. The severity of the downsides will depend on the amount of caffeine you take in daily.

Those who consume too much caffeine can suffer from insomnia. This is linked to the adenosine receptor blocking since the caffeine is used to help prevent you feeling drowsy. The chemical can also lead to your brain becoming overactive, which then leads to lack of sleep. You can’t switch off, and it can lead to mental health problems like depression.

Many people who drink a lot of coffee and tea or consume large amounts of caffeine can also find they struggle with the bowel movements. The caffeine speeds up the metabolism and digestive functions, but not in a healthy way. It’s possible to push through the waste and cause diarrhea. It’s also a diuretic, which makes you need to urinate a lot, which can also prevent you from sleeping well.

While your metabolism is boosted, so is your heart rate. Many of those who consume large amounts of caffeine experience shaking and a higher heart rate. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for those who suffer from health problems.

Some studies show that drinking too much caffeine can raise your risk of some other health problems. One study has shown a potential rise in the risk of dementia. This is possibly linked to the effect on the brain and the cognitive functions. Too much caffeine can leave your cognitive functions impaired, and you can also suffer issues when you come down from your caffeine high.

There is also the higher risk of inflammation within the body. Many people who drink a lot of coffee have stressful jobs. The stress and the caffeine linked together to create an imbalance in the hormones, and that can set off the immune system’s inflammatory process.

Are There Any Positives?

With all that in mind, you can wonder whether there’s any point in consuming caffeine. Well, there are some major health benefits, if you consume caffeine in a small amount and you follow your doctor’s orders.

Let’s start with your mental health benefits. In a small amount, caffeine can help you feel more awake and alert. You’ll find that a lot of students who cram for exams drink a lot of caffeine and writers tend to enjoy a lot of coffee. This isn’t because it’s a stereotype and they feel the need to fit in, but because of the mental clarity and alertness, they gain when using it for their work.

Athletes can also benefit highly from sensible use of caffeine. The chemical helps to boost energy levels and metabolism, making it easier to make the training easier. Caffeine has also shown benefits to burn fatter and reduce glucose, helping to maintain a healthy weight and improve performance. However, because of the benefits being viewed as a potential advantage in the competition, the Olympics Committee has banned caffeine products.

There are studies that show caffeine can be helpful for weight loss. In fact, a lot of diet pills will include caffeine. The stimulant boosts the metabolism and fat burning, helping you to burn more calories in the space of the day. Coffee and tea are also zero calorie drinks, without the sugar and milk. You can keep your water intake up without sacrificing the calories. However, you will still need to follow a healthy diet to take advantage of all the benefits.

Is There a Risk of Addiction?

Is There a Risk of Addiction - Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

Caffeine addiction is a real thing. While it may not be an illegal drug, it is possible for people to become hooked on the benefits and the brain craves more of it. It’s also possible for caffeine to kill someone if given too much in a short space of time.

However, someone would need about 100 cups of coffee in the space of four hours to get to the point of death. The real danger is if you take a lot of caffeine pills. In 2007, one man took 30 No-Doz pills, which have caffeine, and died from an overdose.

It only takes 30-45 minutes for all the caffeine in a product to be absorbed. The effects will last for around three hours. The withdrawals from the caffeine can start within 12-24 hours of the last dose of the stimulant and last for 2-9 days, depending on the severity of the addiction. These withdrawal symptoms are all very similar to other addictions, including irritability, depression, extreme tiredness, headaches, and a decrease in energy levels.

Decaffeinated Doesn’t Mean Caffeine Free

If you want something that is completely void of caffeine, you will need to make sure you drink products labeled “Caffeine Free.” Decaffeinated doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any caffeine in it at all. In the U.S. a product needs to be less than 2.5% caffeine to be classed as being decaffeinated.

However, by drinking decaffeinated, you will be able to consume more. The taste usually isn’t changed, especially when it comes to coffee. In tea, there can be a slightly different taste, which can put some people off.

Green tea isn’t caffeine free. The leaves still have some caffeine in them, but the amount is usually much lower than coffee and black tea. If you want completely caffeine free tea, then you’ll need to opt for herbal or rooibos tea.

How Much Caffeine is Considered Safe?

How Much Caffeine is Considered Safe - Everything You Need to Know About Caffeine

The exact amount of caffeine that is safe will depend on your health status. Some people have a higher sensitivity to caffeine than others. Those with a history of heart attacks, high blood pressure, or those who are pregnant should reduce their caffeine levels considerably compared to the average American. Those who have depression, anxiety, and sleeping issues will also find their doctor recommends reducing the amount of caffeine they consume.

Your doctor will discuss your risk if you have certain health conditions. If you take some medication for high blood pressure or diabetes, you may also be recommended to keep your caffeine intake to a minimum.

Caffeine isn’t essential for a healthy diet, but it can provide the benefits mentioned above. There’s no need to consume more than 300-400mg of caffeine a day to get the benefits. This is about 3-4 cups of coffee, which is plenty to get you through the day. Tea has less caffeine, so you may be able to double your intake, but it will depend on the type of tea and your sensitivity to the caffeine.

Energy drinks are often touted as being much higher in caffeine than coffee. This isn’t completely true. Eight ounces of an energy drink will have the same amount of caffeine as eight ounces of coffee. However, the can of energy drink is likely to be larger than a cup of coffee, so you end up taking in more during one sitting.

Caffeinated beverages will add to your water intake for the day. Contrary to popular belief, caffeinated beverages don’t cause dehydration. However, you still want to focus more of your water intake on plain water. This is far healthier in the long term.

Can You Have Caffeine While Pregnant

As mentioned, pregnant women need to reduce their caffeine intake. There’s no need to cut it out completely, but you will want to weigh up the risks and make your own decision. If you can switch to decaffeinated options that will be better for you.

Food safety experts in both the EU and the U.S. have confirmed that some caffeine is safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms. You want to limit yourself to just 200mg per day, which is about two cups of coffee in the home (in the coffee shops, the caffeine will be higher) or about four cups of black tea.

Studies show that caffeine in this low amount is unlikely to increase the risk of preterm delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, and congenital disabilities. However, in large amounts, the complications listed above will become a risk. Your doctor will let you know if there are other reasons not to take in caffeinated beverages.

Do You Have to Swear Off Coffee?

The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor. Studies show that caffeine can offer benefits, but it can also be bad for you. If you have a health problem or are pregnant, your doctor will run through the amount of coffee is safe for you or whether you should cut out all caffeine. Otherwise, it’s safe to drink in moderation. You don’t need more than 400mg per day as a healthy adult. Any more than that and you run the risk of the side effects mentioned above.

9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

e7c4e93a00bd935fa26ebf332b5bbe6b - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Late Night Sandwiches Image Design 1 - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working OvertimeIn every refrigerator, there are tasty treats at the back of the freezer that could quench hunger. Often, when people haven’t had any food for hours, their stomach will wake them up in the wee hours of the night. It’s telling the body that it must have some food. The grumbling continues, but there is some reluctance part because the person knows that Ben and Jerry, despite its delicious and tantalizing flavor, isn’t healthy him. Usually, a person would go on a diet to shed some extra baggage. Everyone has been there before.

That pint is so near and yet so far away. Is there a way out of this predicament? Hunger’s remedy is simply food, and if a person makes the right plans, he can still relish late-night snack without the fear of adding extra pounds. If one chooses the right foods, he can stave-off his hunger cravings. Also, the person won’t be tempted anymore by that Ben and Jerry pint at the back of his freezer. Consider these meritorious suggestions:

Lean Meat Sandwich

Lean meat sandwich - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

No one can wipe that content off one’s face when he starts taking bites out of a lean-meat sandwich. It’s healthy, guilt-free, and can satiate the late-night craving. If one wants to make, it tastes better, spread on some light cream cheese or even peanut butter. There are several varieties of lean meats available, like ham and turkey, that can make a great sandwich.

Looking at a sandwich with just lean meat in between can taste flat and may not suffice to satiate the craving. No problem still. Add some slices of tomato, onions, and avocados. Garnish with lettuce, mustard, and spinach. Talk about indulging healthily! But one also needs to watch it as a heavy sandwich can turn into a meal, instead of a snack and may sabotage the diet.

Veggie Sandwich with Hummus

Veggie sandwich with hummus - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

A lot of people see hummus as a dip for celery, carrots or other types of veggie sticks. But it’s also a great spread which will add flavor and protein to a sandwich! Make one use whole wheat bread. Then add some raw vegetables like avocado, onion, and tomato—but one can also add any of his favorites. The person can acquire healthy fats from the avocado and the vitamin C from the tomato will help him re-energize while working late at night.

Grilled Cheese and Mushroom Melt

Grilled cheese and mushroom melt - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

It could be debatable that grilled cheese isn’t exactly that healthy. How about mixing it up to make it more palatably-healthy? Sautee some mushrooms and add some cheddar cheese that’s low in fat. Spread this out on whole bread then cook it on a grill pan rather than on a buttered skillet. The mere thought of this sandwich can bring back the childhood favorite.

Avocado, Edamame, and Lemon Sandwich

Avocado edamame and lemon sandwich - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Anyone can dare to be adventurous by trying this next sandwich. This one has lemon, edamame, and avocado. Spread the edamame on wheat bread that is loaded with flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Then add some lemon and avocado slices. Enjoy the new exciting flavor but be sure though that the ingredients won’t contain any preservatives. That would make it one healthy and stellar sandwich.

Tuna Sliders

Tuna sliders - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Health-wise, fish burgers are far healthier than hamburgers because they contain fewer calories and fats. Tuna is often the fish of choice. Make the burgers with tuna, some Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Don’t use oil to cook the burger, instead, use cooking spray on a non-stick skillet. Lay the burger on a half whole wheat bun. Then garnish with some onions, more mustard, and some arugula.

Chicken Salad Sandwich (with Greek Yogurt)

Chicken salad sandwich with Greek yogurt - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Another classic salad sandwich involves chicken and some Greek yogurt. What makes this different is that it uses Greek yogurt instead of the usual mayonnaise. Yogurt contains much more protein than mayo. Furthermore, it gives the sandwich a different yet more appetizing flavor.

Roasted Veggie Baguettes

Roasted veggie baguettes - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

This is a popular sandwich in the Mediterranean area and one can use a baguette for its base. Make the filling mainly with roasted vegetables which include peppers, zucchini, and red onions. Roast the veggies with garlic and rosemary then top the sandwich with a sprinkling of feta cheese. For a late-night snack, it sure will be filling and healthy.

Turkey and Beet Hummus Sandwich

Turkey and beet hummus sandwich - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Surprisingly, beets can be made into hummus and its paste, with its vibrant pink color, makes it the star of this sandwich. Beets also have its healthy attributes and there are many. Its fiber content can help lower blood pressure levels and fight inflammation and cancer. Beets can also help in boosting the immune system.

Spread the hummus paste that on the sandwich. But what are the other ingredients of a turkey and hummus sandwich? Turkey lean meat goes with it. Also, tomatoes, which provide a great dose of vitamins A and D, and folic acid. The sandwich can also include feta cheese, which is a great source of calcium and protein. Use baby kale sprouts which is a type of superfood that will provide high levels of folate acid which can boost brain power. The bread used in making the sandwich may not be that recommended but it will certainly keep everything together and will make the sandwich taste good.

Roasted Eggplant Sandwich

Roasted eggplant sandwich - 9 No-Guilt Late Night Sandwiches When Working Overtime

Here’s a very simple sandwich that’s easy to make and is calorie-limited. You can use hummus or white bean spread on whole wheat bread. Then top it with roasted vegetables like eggplants and red onions. It’s a vegetarian’s way of eating late-night snacks sans those unwanted calories.

What Types of Food Should You Avoid?

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Recommendations have been made on what right foods should be considered for late-night snacks. Now let’s discuss those foods that are NOT recommended. It’s assumed that sleeping right after dinner time is a mistake. If a person does this, choose foods that are light to the stomach and don’t have high-fat contents.

It’s advised to ingest foods that are quickly digested or those that can help with weight-loss. Never go to bed immediately after eating spicy, sugary, and caffeinated foods. In doing this, one will most possibly stay awake longer, and this will disrupt his sleeping schedule. An empty stomach will make anyone crave for the wrong foods. Have self-control on the foods eaten so that the sleeping habits will not be compromised.

When one craves for a late-night snack, be sure that it’s just that – a snack. Don’t make this snack a plate that’s full of food and much worse, the wrong types of food. A few hours ago, the person just had his dinner. A big one after is like eating two dinners on the same night. Obviously, this can become an unhealthy habit as it will be adding more pounds to the weight instead of losing them.

If one is calorie-conscious, be sure to consume no more than 200 calories for a night snack and, be sure the snack contains proteins and complex carbohydrates. The combination of this food groups when ingested can produce amino acids that could help one sleep more soundly at night.

There are a variety of foods that one can snack on at night. But the snack at night should never be a meal and imprint that in mind. It’s best that a snack is protein-high and fat-low. Eating foods packed with calories will most certainly wake one up in the middle of the night. The person should remember that he’s eating a snack and that he is on a diet to stay in top form.

Other Healthy Snacks to Consider

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To ensure that the late-snack does not ruin one’s diet, he will need to have self-control and to eat the right foods. Foods that are high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrate contents are good snacks. Before embarking on that late-night snack, one should ask himself the question:  Do I need the snack or do I want it? The first question will treat a craving; the second one is just folly.

Food can be used to unwind from a very busy day and end up with a quiet night’s sleep that can numb-out the day’s stresses. Or maybe we are too tired even to consider food and all we truly need to do is go back to bed.

Why do people experience cravings late at night? We should delve into this question and find out why we have and how do we control these irrepressible urges. Truly, these cravings can really act like beasts, and they should be controlled. How to make the urge into a “treat” rather than a “threat” of mindless and compulsive eating could be a beneficial undertaking. Here are more snacks that one can consume without feeling guilty:

Breakfast cereals. One can also have cereals as his night snacks. The throw in some strawberries and blueberries to make it healthier because these fruits are loaded with antioxidants which can do wonders for the health. Remember, cereals are not just for breakfast but late snacks as well.

Cottage cheese. This is another superfood that contains a lot of whey proteins and is high in casein levels. Both substances are important in the building and repair of body tissues. Eating this food will make one feel full and crave for food less. Snack on these when the urge occurs, and one will be ensured of a good night’s sleep. String cheeses are also good alternatives because of their protein content.

Eggs. Because eggs are rich in both proteins and fats, snacking on them will make a person feel full and guilt-free. The best thing about eggs is that they are so easy and quick to prepare in so many ways.

Fruits. Here’s another great late-night snack. As eggs, they are easy and quick to prepare, if at all. With fruits, a person can wash, peel or slice and they are good to go. Of course, most fruits also have many nutritional values.

Dried fruits are a great alternative to fresh ones. The best thing about them is the least minimal preparation as they can be readily eaten. The nutrients in them are many, and all can do wonders for your health. One can have a choice of dates, figs, apricots, prunes, and much, much more.

Gelatin. Gummy treats are not just for kids, we can have them too as adults and can have them as late-night snacks. If a person prefers making his gelatin treats, just go online for recipes and start making them in the kitchen. Be sure that the ingredients are healthy, and these can include raw honey and lemon, lime, and orange juice.

Milk. Mom always brought us a nice glass of warm milk before bedtime because it can help us sleep better and grow faster. Of course, mom was always right. Milk contains tryptophan which stimulates the production of serotonin in the body, a compound that can induce sleep.

Nut Butters. It’s obvious that these goodies are made from nuts and make for very satisfying treats because they are healthy, nutritious, and very delicious. Add them to the night snacks for even more nutrition and really good flavor.

Nuts and Seeds. We already should be familiar with the antioxidant properties of nuts and seeds. And of course, they are good sources of protein. When taken as a late-night snack, they stimulate serotonin production in the body and this compound will help induce sleep.

Popcorn. Only the plain ones, please. No other flavors and less salt. Now, that is an ideal night snack. For a healthier option, look for the whole-grain variety.

Tortilla chips and homemade dip. Some people would think, aren’t tortilla chips not good for health? Not if the person chooses the right kinds. Sprouted tortillas cooked in coconut oil are healthy and delicious as well. Tortillas made from sprouted grains are easily digested by the stomach and have more nutritional value than the regular ones. To go Mexican on this one, make some homemade dip and choose the healthiest ingredients. Salsa and guacamole should do fine.

Vegetables. Try vegetables as the late-night snack. We all know they are filling and are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and of course water, a very effective way for hydration.

Yogurt. Not many people want to eat yogurt. They may be missing a lot, taste and health-wise. Just a single cup of this food will provide a lot of calcium and vitamin D. Aside from that; it’s also protein-rich and low in sugar content. What makes it good as a late-night snack is that it will make one feel full and that means less food craving. It’s easy to improve the taste by mixing it up with some blueberries or strawberries. Those who don’t like this healthy food surely are missing a lot.

The body will usually tell the person when it needs to be fed, and the usual sign is feeling hungry. One will have to respond by ingesting food that will fuel it to function. Eating is important but as important is the right choice of foods. When the body should crave at night, foods high in protein and low in fats are the healthy choice and always remember that late night snacks are just that, snacks.

12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

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Clean Eating Image Design 1 - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should KnowClean eating is one of those things that you likely hear a lot about. You’ll hear people tell you that it’s all about raw foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients, while others tell you that it means you need to eat foods that have no additives.

The real definition of clean eating is the latter. You’re taking out all additives, chemicals, toxins, and other similar items. You want to stick to natural foods and not the processed options you can get in stores. All food should offer health benefits.

To be able to follow a clean eating diet, you’ll need to make changes to your lifestyle, and this will involve changing the way you buy and store your food. It will also mean setting some clean eating goals that you can stick to throughout the process. The goals will make it much easier to follow the new diet and find something to focus on when you have a bad day.

Here are 12 clean eating goals that you should know about.

Set SMART Goals

Set SMART Goals - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

You don’t want to say your goal is to “start eating cleanly.” That’s not a goal that you can effectively stick to, as what do you do once you start? How long will you do this for? What are the steps you’ll take and what exactly does it mean?

Your goals need to be SMART. This means they need to be sensible, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. That means they need to be goals that you can meet, but still push you out of your comfort zone. If you decide to set a goal that you will never have a cheat day, that’s not exactly doable. We all have bad days, and there is going to be a day that you throw it all out of the window. While you don’t want that day to happen, it will at some point and knowing that you’re likely to break the goal will set yourself up for failure.

With timely and measurable goals, you will have an idea of the time you’ll be on the diet plan. It’s possible to see your results, which will help you stick to the new lifestyle.

Make Goals For Your Health

Clean eating isn’t just about weight loss, so your goals shouldn’t all be orientated around that. At the same time, you don’t want goals that are just about the types of foods you do or don’t eat. It’s important to make your goals more health orientated. After all, this is one of the more important benefits of clean eating diets.

For example, have goals for your blood pressure or blood sugar levels. You can opt for goals about the amount of visceral fat you have or goals about your heart rate and cholesterol levels. Your doctor will be able to check these regularly for you to see if you’re on track to meet your goals.

At the same time, set goals that you can track on a weekly basis about your health. What about your energy levels? Have a scale that you can measure your energy levels by, maybe based on the number of flights of stairs you feel (or can) walk or the miles you can run. This doesn’t have to be exact but based on the way you feel within yourself.

You can also set goals on how happy you feel and the way your mental health is supported. If you regularly take painkillers, consider the number of tablets you take and maybe use them as a basis for your health levels. As you eat more clean foods, you should find your painkiller levels decrease.

Think About a Kitchen Goal

Think About a Kitchen Goal - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

Like with your health, your kitchen is another goal you’ll want to set for your new clean eating diet. If you cook in a disorganized or cluttered kitchen, you will find it much harder to stick to any healthy eating plan you set. You want your kitchen to be optimal for your needs, and that means keeping things clean, tidy, and set up in a way that makes sense to you.

Plus, you need the right items. If you’ve been so used to processed foods and packages, pre-cooked items, you may not have all the utensils and items you need for cooking. You’ll want to investigate good chopping knives, casserole dishes, pans, and even a slow cooker (this is a lifesaver for so many on the clean eating diet).

Make one of your goals focused on decluttering that kitchen. You want to give yourself a makeover.

Start with a binder. This will be the place to stock all your recipes, so you always have something new to make. You can even store all your goals in here to make sure you’re on track to stick to your diet. Then consider a clipboard or whiteboard for the fridge to make a note of items you need to pick up the next time you go to the store.

Rearrange your fridge and cupboards to make it easier to grab the good food, especially if you’re going to stock up on some of the bad food. Don’t forget about setting up a basket, so you have healthy snacks when you need something!

Set a Healthy Fat Amount to Eat

While eating cleanly, you will need to focus on certain types of foods. While you want to cut out processed foods (which tend to have a lot of fats), you won’t want to cut out all fats. Your body needs some healthy fats to remain healthy, especially when it comes to the skin, brain, and immune system.

Set a clean eating goal that involves more healthy fat. Don’t say you want to eat more healthy fats. Look at adding as set amount of healthy fat to consume daily.

To start with, 26g of healthy fat is a good amount to look at. This is about 20% of your daily calories coming from unsaturated fats if you’re eating 1,200 calories. You’ll likely eat more calories but starting with a small amount of healthy fats is a way to start since you won’t necessarily be used to eating them. As you get used to it, you can work your way up to around 40g, which is 20% if you eat 1,800 calories per day.

There are some quick and easy ways to add the new type of fat to your diet. The first is to know what you need to eat: reach for more monounsaturated fats. Look for foods such as fish, nuts, avocados, and olives (and even olive oils). There’s no need to stop enjoying your favorite meals, but the changes will help make your food choices much better for you, especially since they are all clean options. You’ll naturally start eating more clean foods for this benefit.

Goals to Up for Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Goals to Up for Fruit and Vegetable Intake - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

The best way to start clean eating is to change the number of fruits and vegetables you eat. After all, most them will come natural and unprocessed. There are some vegetables and fruits that you can even choose without paying extra for organic, as they’re considered the Clean 15!

More fruits and vegetables are especially good for your health. They can help to boost your immunity, improve your cell health, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

You’ll hear a lot about eating your “five a day.” This is somewhat old news. You should reach for around seven or eight portions a day, with five or so from vegetables. Vegetables are lower in natural sugars, which will help to minimize blood sugar rises.

Set a goal to eat your five a day first. Make two portions fruit and the other three vegetables. You can then work your way up to eight or nine portions of fruits and vegetables a day.

While you want natural and unprocessed, the great think about fruits and vegetables is that you can use frozen and canned! Frozen and fresh are better than canned, but there is nothing wrong with picking up canned corn, peas, carrots, and more!

You can even dry your fruit and vegetables—and even buy dried. Watch your intake, as the dried will take out the water content and leave you more likely to suffer from the natural sugars.

When you do get frozen, canned or dried, look at the packages of anything you buy. Packed items can have added sugar, salt, and oil. You want to look at those with no added ingredients and in water or brine.

Change the Type of Protein You Use

Make it a goal to change the type of protein you use. While meat is a good source, it’s not necessarily the best source. This is especially if you eat a lot of beef and pork. The two meats are full of saturated fats, which aren’t good for you. You can also find that meat is more likely to be contaminated with something.

A lot of animals are pumped with antibiotics. Chickens and turkeys aren’t kept in the best conditions. Fish isn’t always allowed to roam free. You want to find out about the best sources of meat; those that are antibiotic free and wild.

It’s much harder to find these types of meats, so you’ll want to investigate the other lean sources of protein. Legumes, beans, quinoa, and soy are good options for you. Soy and quinoa are complete proteins, which means they have all the nine essential amino acids your body needs, so you want to start adding them more to your diet.

Make it a clean eating goal where you opt for a meatless day. This is one of the quickest ways to start making changes. You may find that this is something you can do much more easily than you thought, so you could start looking at adding other meatless days.

Meatless days means that all your meals are meat-free. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner all need to be vegetarian options. There are many options out there, so you won’t be stuck for choice.

Pump Up the Protein

Pump Up the Protein - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

Start your day right with a good source of protein. This can be meat if you want, but you can also get it from the other sources mentioned above. To set your clean eating goal, you want a set amount to eat in the morning.

Try 15g of protein at breakfast. Experts recommend that you eat 25% of your daily protein at breakfast, and this is a good amount towards a healthy level if you eat 1,200 calories per day. You can build up that protein slowly, as you get used to clean eating.

Make sure your protein comes from clean sources. It’s time to get rid of the processed meat if you use it. Opt for eggs, Greek or Natural yogurt, cheese and other dairy sources, and even some diced chicken. You can also use soy as a good source if you’re on a meat-free day or you want to try a vegan diet.

Nuts are good sources of protein if you’re not allergic. Consider adding walnuts to your porridge oats or some almonds to your cereal.

Why so much protein to start your day? It gives you the nutrients your muscles need to build strong and well. You will also get something filling to start your day, so you don’t snack as much throughout the morning. Protein is also a good way to give your blood sugar the balance it needs to reduce on a morning, supporting your overall health.

Try More Spices in Your Diet

As you opt for clean eating, you can worry that your food is going to be tasteless. After all, isn’t it the additives that create tastier meals?

While the additives can make your food taste of something, the tastes aren’t natural, and there will always be something off. The best thing you can do is stick to natural flavors, and this is where spices come into play. Herbs are also good options for your diet.

Fresh herbs and spices are better, but you can make the most of dried too. Like with canned and dried fruits and vegetables, make sure the dried herbs and spices don’t have the additives or any extra chemicals or salt. Most them don’t but check to make sure.

Adding spices and herbs to your meal can be a little bit of a case of trial and error. There are some that you won’t like, others you’ll love, and some you can’t get enough off. Start off small and work your way up.

For a SMART goal, opt to try one new herb or spice a week. You can use it with a range of your dishes and see how much the right amount is just. This will also give you a chance to trial which dishes the herbs or spices work with. The next week, you can move onto another herb or spice and even see how it mixes with the previous one.

Must recipes for clean eating will have a list of recommended herbs and spices. Follow these recipes to get a good idea of the amount that tastes good and whether you like them. The recipes also tend to offer alternatives, especially if the spices or herbs are strong.

Set some Meals to Eat at Home

Set some Meals to Eat at Home - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

Eating out is fun, but it’s not clean eating. The restaurants use all types of additives and ingredients. They’re not in the business of clean eating, unless they’re a restaurant set up for something like that.

The best way to stick to your diet is to make your meals at home. You have control over all ingredients, portion sizes, and any alternative spices or herbs you use. There’s also the control over the meal plan that you follow and whether you bulk makes your meals at the weekend to give you something for the week when you don’t feel like cooking.

Set a clean eating goal to eat a set number of meals at home. For example, this could be four evening meals in your own home. The other three can be takeout or in a restaurant. As you get used to cooking and want to add clean eating into your whole lifestyle, you can then start looking at increasing the number of times you eat at home.

Eventually, you can get to where you eat out once or twice a month. The rest of the meals are prepared at home.

This is a good way of helping your children stick to the clean eating diet. You lead by example, and they don’t feel too much different from their peers.

Goals for New Recipes

Another idea is to set a new goal for the number of recipes you try in a week. One of the dangers of a new lifestyle is that it starts to get monotonous. You choose the dishes you know how to make and have time for, but eventually, you end up fed up with the meals. This is when you’re more likely to fall off the wagon, searching for something else to eat; and it’s usually the processed, artificially-filled foods you’ll reach for.

You don’t need a lot of new recipes each week or month. Set a goal of trying one or two new recipes per month. As you get used to adding them to your meals, you can then build up to adding more to your weekly schedule. You may find that you eventually add one or two new recipes a week to keep the variety in your diet.

The great thing about adding new recipes is that you also improve your cooking skills. Your children can also get involved, which will help them learn more about the lifestyle and why it’s so good for them.

Not interested in buying books? Don’t worry about it! Many vloggers are now showing you their recipes through video. You must follow the step-by-step instructions.

Journal Your Journey

Journal Your Journey - 12 Clean Eating Goals You Should Know

You’ll have good and bad days when you’re on the clean eating plan. This is perfectly normal—and happens with all types of diets. Sometimes your mind works against you, telling you that it’s time to try something different.

It’s important to keep a journal. This is something you want to aim to do daily, but you can start off small.

Start by tracking all the meals you eat daily. This is best done after each meal or snack when the food is still on your mind. You can even put ticks and crosses next to them if you feel like using them again in your plan. Then once a week, have a goal that you write more about your week. Make this the point that you share how you’re doing with the new lifestyle, anything you tried you want to do again, or anything you found hard.

When you get into a routine, you’ll find it easier to journal in detail daily. You can track the food after each meal and then at the end of the day have a longer blurb about the successes and failures at the end of the day.

When you do have a bad day, you can look back over your journal and see how far you’ve come. This is also a good way to look back at your journal to see when you last had a bad day and what you did to overcome it.

Make It About Exercise

Finally, you want to set a clean eating goal that is aimed at your activity levels. This will help your body process the food better and kick out any toxins that you do pick up. After all, you can stop all toxins from entering your system, as some are from the air around you.

Opt for a goal that is about adding a set amount of exercise to your week or day. You can aim for 30 minutes of exercise twice or three times a week to start. As you get used to this, you can increase to 30 minutes of exercise four or five days a week and even increase the 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

All types of exercise are open to doing for this goal. Track the exercise you do, the amount of it that you do, and the intensity. You’ll want to track things like distance run, heart rate afterward, repetitions of an exercise done, for example. You can then set measurable goals for each of your exercise sessions, improving your whole lifestyle.

Clean Eating Is More Than Just Food

Opting for a clean eating lifestyle is more than just opting for a change in your diet. It’s a change in everything about you and for the better. You will benefit regarding health and weight, but you don’t want to focus all your goals on the types of food you eat. Set SMART goals on the amount of each type you eat, and your exercise and you are well on your way to success.

7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

2781fa07e7ea16324f143515c3af8a36 - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Healthier You Image Design 1 - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier YouWhen you want to follow a healthier diet, there’s a chance that you’ll hear about all types of foods you should start adding to your diet. People will tell you about how a certain fruit or vegetable has helped them shed the pounds and others will tell them that their doctor recommends a certain type of meat or gain.

Experts routinely investigate different types of ingredients to see if they’re still good for us. Something that was considered bad for us in the 70s has become a must-have in the kitchen now. Then there are the ingredients that are good for you put tend to be ridiculed—or those eating them are ridiculed because of the costs.

It’s time to look at foods that aren’t just good for you but will also keep your bank balance in check. After all, with a healthy bank balance, you’ll experience less stress. So here are the seven foods you need to stock up on for a healthier you.

Get Stocks of Broth from the Store (or Make Your Own)

Get Stocks of Broth from the Store or Make Your Own - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Whether it’s beef, chicken or even vegetable, you want to stock up on the broth in your kitchen cupboards. You can even make your own from the bones of the meat you cook, which will help to keep the costs down even more in your shopping budget.

The major benefit of stock is that it lasts for weeks when open. When sealed, it will last for months. You can bulk buy while it’s on offer and benefit hugely from it.

Then there’s the benefit that it’s so inexpensive. Even the low sodium options are affordable for all, meaning that you get to look after your physical and your financial health. You can easily get the cheap options in the store, and they taste as good as the branded types.

The broth is also extremely easy to use. It’s perfect for soups, stews, casseroles, and more. You can even make it as a warm drink in the middle of the winter if you need. In fact, you can pick up grains or jarred broth that you add hot water to if you do want to make a drink to keep you feeling better throughout the winter months.

Chicken and beef broth tend to be the best for protein benefits. You can get as much as 5g of protein in a serving of broth. If you get vegetable, you can lose out on the protein, but there is fiber. You’ll only consume around 38 calories in a serving of broth too, making it the perfect diet option.

Get Turkey or Chicken Mince for Your Dishes

Get Turkey or Chicken Mince for Your Dishes - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Rather than stocking up on the beef and pork mince, look out for the turkey or chicken. This is slightly more expensive, but not by that much. You’ll also benefit in your health so much more than if you opted for the ground beef. Even if you opt for lean ground beef, you’ll find the chicken and turkey are better options when it comes to saturated fat.

Turkey and chicken mince can be used in the same way as beef. You can make all types of dishes, including tacos, meat sauces, rice bowls, and even stuffed peppers. You can also opt for your chicken or turkey burgers, mixing in a bunch of herbs and spices (look out for these next).

By reducing the amount of saturated fat in the diet, you naturally improve the health. You’ll reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and artery-clogging problems, helping to keep the blood flowing through the body and boosting the heart health. Blogged arteries increase your blood pressure and your risk of heart disease and stroke.

At the same time, you make more use of the protein in the food. It’s easier for your body to digest the protein without the saturated fats, so you absorb more, and the body uses it to build the muscles.

When you do buy ground chicken and turkey, buy in bulk and freeze into separate portions. You can use cling film or ziplock bags for this. By freezing in portions, you only defrost the amount you need, so you don’t waste meat. If you do want to defrost extra portions to bulk make your food that is always a possibility.

Plenty of Herbs and Spices Will Do the Trick

Plenty of Herbs and Spices Will Do the Trick - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Nothing tastes worse than bland food. Well, okay, go off food and really bad food tastes worse, but nothing’s as boring and off-putting as bland food. You don’t enjoy your meal, and that leads to never wanting to try it again. If this is your first step into healthy eating, you can start to rethink your options.

Well, it’s time to make anything taste amazing. Herbs and spices are the things you want to consider adding to your cupboard as a staple. Fresh herbs and spices are good, but dried are great for the long-term use. The fresh options are great when you know you’re going to use them on a night or when you want to add them to your water for a better taste.

There are certain herbs and spices that you’ll likely want to add, to begin with. Rosemary is excellent with chicken and turkey, while sage is popular with some meat dishes and stuffing. You can opt for curry powder and chili flakes for your curries and chilies, and don’t forget the tarragon to add a little extra to your roast potatoes.

You can use herbs and spices in all sorts of ways. Don’t rely on them for your main dishes!

Why are they so good for your health, though? Well, they add flavor without the nasty stuff. You have no added salts, sugars, and oils. Of course, buying dried, you’ll want to make sure the manufacturers haven’t added anything to them. They’re also packed with other health benefits. Turmeric is good for curing illnesses and boosting the immune system (as well as cleaning the teeth), while mint can help to boost your alertness and cognitive functions.

Once you know the types of herbs and spices that are delicious, you can start growing some. That will cut down on the money you spend in the store, and they’re great even for the apartment!

Stock Up on the Eggs

Stock Up on the Eggs - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Eggs were once demonized for being the worst thing for your diet. They are full of cholesterol, and that was instantly viewed as a bad thing. Then we started to understand more about cholesterol and realized there were good and bad forms. The type of cholesterol eggs have is the good stuff, so you want to add them to your diet.

The good cholesterol helps to reduce some of the artery-clogging that can happen in the diet. Your arteries will be lined with a smooth, protective layer of the good cholesterol chains, helping the blood to flow through the body better. It’s easier to get the blood to all the organs, improving the overall health and keeping the blood pressure to a minimum.

Protein is another important food group that you find in eggs. This offers the same benefit at the protein from meat. You’ll boost your muscle health, as well as the health of all the tissues in the body.

Of course, you can still get too much of a good thing. You don’t need more than 2-3 eggs a day. If you opt for egg whites only, you get the protein without the cholesterol, offering even more benefits from eggs!

However, you want to stock up on them. They will last for at least two weeks, especially kept in the fridge.

You can also make a wide variety of dishes with them. Omelets, quiches, frittatas and even scrambled eggs are all popular when you’re in a rush for all meals. You can also make hard boiled eggs to use in your salads or thicken your stir-fries with some scrambled eggs.

Add Popcorn Kernels to Your Shopping List

Add Popcorn Kernels to Your Shopping List - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

This will likely be one of those items that you buy every month or two because the kernels will last. Quite honestly, popcorn is the best snack or dessert you could have. It’s virtually calorie-less.

But why is it so bad for you in the movie theaters? Well, that’s linked to the toppings that are put on them. The actual popcorn is just air, but it’s filling the air. When you eat a bag of popcorn, you’ll barely want anything else afterward. So, if you get the munchies on a night, topping up on popcorn is a good idea.

You don’t have to put up with tasteless popcorn. This is where your herbs and spices will come into play. You can add them to the popped kernels and mix them around. Try some rosemary and thyme or opt for a bit of sage or garlic powder. The savory tastes will help to keep the sweet cravings to a minimum, and you’ll enjoy the snack, especially knowing that it’s good for you.

Coconut or almond oil tend to be good options if you like more buttery-style popcorn. They are unsaturated options, so will help to improve your health.

Of course, because you’re eating popcorn, you’ll also trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating something naughty for you. But you know that you’re eating good food, so you’ll not feel guilty but will get rid of the cravings for other food.

Make a Note of Avocados

Make a Note of Avocados - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Put Avocados on your shopping list. This is one of those ingredients that millennials are told is a stereotypical, money-wasting purchase, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Okay, so they may be more popular with millennials, but that is linked to the health benefits that you gain from them.

At one point, avocados were viewed as an unhealthy option to add to your diet. After all, they’re full of fat. The difference is the type of fat, as experts now realize that unsaturated fats are good for you. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which will help to boost the health of the brain and joints while reducing inflammation and supporting the health of the liver. They’re the most popular additions to the keto diet.

You will also get plenty of other nutrients from avocados. They’re packed with vitamins A, C, and E, helping to support the immune system, skin health, and much more. The B vitamins in the fruits (they’re technically a fruit because of the stone) are helpful to boost the brain function.

Then there’s the fiber, and this is partially why they’re so good for weight loss. You feel fuller much quicker when you eat a dish with avocados. The fiber breaks down slowly, so you don’t eat too much, and you won’t feel the need to eat afterward.

Avocados will last in the cupboard or the fridge and can be used in a variety of ways. This is one of the best ways to start your day with plenty of healthy fats and fiber. Add them to your smoothies or mash and place on toast. You can also chop up for lunch to serve with a salad, add them to meat sauces, or just eat as a snack.

This is going to be the most expensive item on the list, but it’s also one of the most valuable for your health.

Opt for a Whole Grain or Two

Opt for a Whole Grain or Two - 7 Foods You Need to Stock On for a Healthier You

Whole grains are must-haves in your kitchen. They are perfect for your pasta, rice, and oriental dishes. Think about stir-fries, curries, risottos and more.

You likely use white rice and pasta right now, but it’s not the best option for you. While not as bad as white bread, the white versions of pasta and rice will cause the blood sugar levels to increase. When you opt for brown versions or whole grains like quinoa, you end up with more fiber in the dish. The fiber will help to reduce the chance of the carbohydrates sugaring quickly in the body.

Quinoa is certainly a whole grain you want to investigate. This is a complete protein, offering you the nine amino acids your body needs. Only quinoa and soy offer this outside of animal products. If you’re planning on following a vegan or vegetarian diet, add it to your shopping list.

Whole grains are cost effective. They don’t go off, so you can store in airtight containers and keep them in the cupboard until you need them. If you use them regularly, you’ll find you need to top up on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. This is a great way to keep your food budget to a minimum, without feeling like you’re going hungry.

Make Up Your Shopping List Today

Now is the time to put your shopping list together. You want to check on your stock of the above seven foods. They are all good for your overall health and your wallet. By stocking up on them each week, month, or half a year (depending on the item and use), you’ll feel more confident, support your brain and body, and lose weight. What more could you ask for?

7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

47d9ab0122892d1b9e60f58a82f28152 - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

Food Expenses Image Design 1 - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food ExpensesIf you’re taking steps to cut back on spending, one area you’ll want to look at is your food budget. The grocery shop can easily start to increase without you realizing. Food costs increase in small increments, there are always deals on, and you start thinking “one extra item won’t hurt.”

The truth is that one extra item turns into two and three and four. Before you know it, you’re adding $10, $20 and even $50 to your food expenses.

And that’s just in your weekly grocery shop. What about the one-off expenses during the week, when you’re topping up the bread and the milk? What about those late-night dinner choices or the one-off bottles of pop and bars of chocolate? They don’t remain one-offs, and you soon find you’re adding more and more to your grocery bill.

It’s time to make some small, smart changes to limit your food expenses. These seven tips aren’t going to be overly difficult. You’ll need some willpower for some, but they’re worth it. They are all tips that others have used to cut down on the costs of their food expenses successfully.

Use a Grocery List Every Single Time

Use a Grocery List Every Single Time - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

Don’t go to the grocery store without making a grocery list. And when you’re at the store, only buy anything that is on the list. There’s no need to top up on ice cream, chocolate, and extra creamer if it’s not on your list. If you struggle with buying bulk, you can even mark down the exact number of items you need to buy when you’re in the store.

This is something the children can help with. They’ll love sitting in the trolley and marking off anything that’s on the list. You’ll even find they’re great at reminding you that something isn’t on the list, so you don’t need to buy it.

It’s possible to save as much as 23% on your food bills by taking this step. You get rid of the impulse purchases. Just because something is on “offer” doesn’t mean it needs to be purchased. What’s this regarding dollars? Well, it can be as much as $2,650 per year. That’s an extra $2,650 better in your pocket.

Not only does the grocery list help you reduce your food expenses, but you’ll also help to support your weight loss efforts. It’s easier to make healthier choices in the store since you’re not picking up something that looks tasty just because it’s there. You’ll limit the purchase of the chocolate and crisps because they’re not a necessary part of the weekly household shop.

You will also make sure you have everything you need. This helps you keep track of bread, milk and other small item purchases. It’s possible to plan your meals out for the week, bulk cook on the weekends, and have more time to yourself and with your family in the future.

As you get used to writing out a list, you’ll find that it stays the same time and time again. You’ll get into the habit of your food choices and find it easier to make choices when you’re out. Over time, you will forget about the extras you used to buy. They no longer seem necessary, and you don’t get the cravings for them. You’re protecting your budget and your waistline at the same time. Why don’t you want to make a list?

Stop Purchasing the Brand Names

Stop Purchasing the Brand Names - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

Okay, there are times that the branded names taste better than the others, but that’s only the case in small instances. Most of the time, you don’t need to get the branded products. You can go with generic or no-name brands to save money on your grocery bills. In fact, you can save 25% on your groceries by choosing a generic brand.

If you’re not sure about this right now, do it with the cleaning products first. This is where you’ll see little changes in your daily routine, so you’ll find it easier to get out of the habit of believing brands are better. All brands are good for is increasing your food bill.

You can then move onto some of the ingredients that get mixed in with other items. Opt for no-name beans and canned vegetables instead of the branded options. The tastes get mixed in with the other foods, so you’ll forget that you even had a non-branded item. As you get used to this, you can start opting for other non-branded items, such as your cereal, porridge oats, ice cream and more. You’ll be surprised at the benefit you gain over the downsides.

The only reason the brands are more expensive is that they get to charge that. You’re usually paying for the name or the packaging. You’re not paying for the quality. In fact, some of the non-branded options can work out better for your health!

Branded products should only get added to your shopping trolley for one reason, which we’ll move onto now.

Use Coupons and the Weekly Offers to Your Advantage

Use Coupons and the Weekly Offers to Your Advantage - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

Start shopping at a place that offers to price match. You can then find something cheaper in another store and buy it for that price in your preferred shopping place. Everything is in one store without feeling like you need to spend more money for that luxury.

Now take the leaflets and flyers each week. You may even be able to download an app on your phone to check the current listings on a weekly basis.

Once you’ve made your grocery list, pull out the flyers and look for your items on them. You won’t always find them, but sometimes you will come in lucky. Circle items that you’ve found and then take the flyers with you to the store. You can check which will work out cheaper and choose the best option.

This is even something you can do with meat. You’ll likely need to find the brand or exact item, but at least you’ll save money. It’s possible to save $20-$50 at a time if you’re savvy enough with the flyers, especially when it comes to the cost of your meat.

Only buy the items that are on your list in the flyers or coupons. The only time you may want to buy ahead is if you find something that doesn’t go off on offer. Coffee, cleaning products, and toilet paper can all be beneficial if you buy in the flyer a week or two ahead than normal. You’ll save money over the course of the month.

Non-perishables are those that you want to stock up when you can. Keep an extra amount aside just for the good weeks when your most common non-perishable needs are on offer. You’ll find you have something should the grocery store have a delivery problem, the weather suddenly turns, or you can’t get to the grocery store for some reason.

This is also when getting the branded products can be worthwhile. Now and then, you’ll see that the brands put their products on offer, so you can save money by choosing them. You’ll still want to compare the prices across the board to make sure you’re putting your budget first.

Do make sure the coupons are going to work in your favor. Look out for the catches. You’ll find that some offers are where you save money by buying more than X amount of a product. Buying three of something can still work out cheaper than getting four if three is all you need. However, five can work out cheaper than getting four in total, so if you were buying four then you’ll want to consider the extra!

The companies want you to buy. They want you to think that you’re saving money, even if you end up spending more because you’re getting items you don’t need or want. This is also how they get you to buy the junk food—they make you think you’re saving, even though you weren’t going to buy it in the first place!

Consider the Dollar Store

Consider the Dollar Store - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

It may not sound glamorous, but it’s something you want to consider. The Dollar Store offers more than just a few stationary items and cheap birthday cards. You can also get some of your more common staples there. Things liked canned goods, wet dog food (and treats) and cleaning products are all widely available, and sometimes you can get the brand names without the extra cost.

Make it a habit to try your Dollar Store regularly. Look down the canned aisles and look at getting your cleaning products from there. It’s the cleaning products you’ll save the most on, especially if you have kids and need a lot of bleach for accidents and spillages!

You can do a quick search online before you visit the store. Most of these discount stores are available online, so will make sure you save compared to your usual shop.

If the Dollar Store isn’t any good, look out for the discount produce stores and your farmer’s markets. You’ll more likely get locally grown vegetables and fruits, which are far healthier for you and taste better than the stuff you get in the store. It’s possible to save as much as 32% on your grocery shop by opting for the right places.

Do your research first and make sure you are saving money. The great thing about the internet is that you can double check your prices to ensure you save money on your items.

Go Fresh, Not Pre-Packaged

Go Fresh Not Pre Packaged - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

It’s time to get out of the trap of eating the pre-packaged, processed foods. They can look cheaper at first, but they’re not in the long run. Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish, are all far better for you—both financially and health-wise. Plus, you’ll like the taste of your food more, so you’ll feel more satisfied in the long term.

Think about it; when you get the pre-packaged ham, you will usually find it lasts you a couple of days at most. If you get the real ham, you can slice it up when you need it and store it in the fridge or freezer (just remember to defrost!). It’s possible that the ham you need to cook, and slice will last a few dinners in the week and even months into the future if stored right. You save money by making your ingredients last longer.

The only time you may find packaged is financially better than fresh is when you look at canned or frozen items, especially frozen fruit and canned/frozen vegetables. The frozen vegetables and fruits can last for months, and you only need to use a handful at a time. You get all the same nutrients but at a fraction of the cost.

Frozen fruits are especially beneficial when you want raspberries, blueberries and other fruits you won’t eat as often. You don’t have to feel guilty when you don’t quite get the full packet before they go off, because they’re stored to last months.

Buy in Bulk and Separate Before Storing

Buy in Bulk and Separate Before Storing - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

There’s nothing wrong with buying your food in bulk. You can get a bulk of meat on offer and then use it over the course of a few weeks. This is the best way to save money on many of your purchases, but you need to make sure you store in the right way.

As soon as you get home from your grocery shop, split up your food into portion sizes. This is important for meat, so you can freeze in the portions and only defrost the amount that you need for each meal you make. It saves you defrosting too much, so you end up wasting it all.

If you’re not sure on the portions because you choose not to meal plan (or it doesn’t work for you) then freeze in individual portions. You can defrost big or small amounts depending on the meal you’re making.

This tip doesn’t work for meat. You can do it with vegetables and fruits too. Some of them will freeze well, and you can defrost them when it comes to needing them. Not all fruits and vegetables work for this. Sometimes it is worth going for the pre-frozen already.

When you are defrosting your food, make sure it’s fully defrosted to cook properly. Only re-freeze when the meat is cooked to avoid food poisoning. Once that dish has been defrosted, you won’t be able to freeze it again. Bacteria grow during the defrosting period, which can leave you extremely ill.

Leave the Credit Cards at Home

Leave the Credit Cards at Home - 7 Smart Ways to Limit Food Expenses

When you know you have a budget, opting for paying in cash for everything can be extremely beneficial. It’s time to start planning and only to shop with cash when it comes to your grocery shop. This can save you almost 20% on your grocery shop.

Buying on card leads to many of us overspending. We don’t see the physical money leaving our bank accounts, and it’s much harder to track. More one-off items are likely to land in the shopping trolley, which means you’re buying off your list and spending far more than you initially wanted to. This could see you spend more than you have available in your food budget, so you must take the money from another budget.

When you buy in cash, you see the money being handed over. This will help to keep your money needs in mind. You can’t put anything extra in the trolley, because you know you don’t have the money available for it.

This will take some time to get used to. In fact, it’s likely the hardest tip on the list, because you need to get an idea of the amount your usual food shop costs. You’ll also need to keep an eye on increasing costs.

One way to make sure your shop doesn’t go up is by having a calculator on hand. This is easy now with a phone, so it looks like you actually price checking if you’re worried about what other people think. You can stay on track throughout the shop and see if there’s any money left over for something extra. You’ll also watch if you’re getting close to deciding if you need to take something out of the trolley at a later point, rather than getting to the checkout and realizing you don’t have enough money.

Eventually, this will get easier. You’ll find you get an idea of the price of your food. The good thing about having cash is that you become more mindful of the amount you spend. You can also use the roll-up method easily. Any cash that is left over can either go back into your food budget, or you can put into a savings account or piggy bank, so you save more money over the course of time.

If you don’t feel ready to do this with your grocery shop right now, try it with your top-up shops. Take the money the next time you go to the corner shop, or you decide to buy a one-off bar of chocolate. Have cash when you want to pick up lunch at the store or grab a quick coffee. You’ll start to become more aware of the amount you’re spending, which helps you stick to budgets better.

When you do use the card, get into the habit of tracking your payments weekly. Make a budget and take steps to stick to it.

Are You Ready to Save Money on Your Grocery Shop?

Limiting your food expenses doesn’t mean you have to stop spending money. You don’t have to give up all your favorites. What it means is looking at the way you shop. You want to reduce the amount you spend on a weekly basis and make sure you only buy what you need.

With the top seven smart tips, you will find your grocery shop reduces, and you get far more for your buck. Your food will last longer, and you’ll feel healthier. You’ll also find that you spend more money on fruit and vegetables, rather than the processed food that can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued.

5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

41f0aa5332cc4d8cd3b582b07ae76cde - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Healthy Eating Image Design 1 - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At HomeHealthy eating habits start when children are young. If you can encourage them to make good choices when they are still at home with you, they’ll make better choices when they get older. It’s not just about forcing them to eat their vegetables but sharing why it’s important and finding fun ways to make “boring” food look and taste great.

You’ll be surprised that younger children won’t have a problem with eating healthy options at home. In fact, many will choose sweetcorn, carrots, and peas over the likes of meat, potatoes, pasta and more. This is because the colors draw them in. The bright colors look good, and that must mean the food tastes good.

It’s as they get older that you’ll want to push more for healthy eating. That will mean making some changes to the way you stock your fridge and the items that you buy in the grocery store. You can also encourage different practices when it comes to making the food.

Here are five steps you want to take to ensure healthy eating at home. You’ll find children grow up with the good habits and an understanding as to why they’re so important.

Making Eating Healthy Food Fun

Making Eating Healthy Food Fun - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Let’s start with making the food and choosing the ingredients. You want to make trying the healthy food a fun part of the day. If children think the good food is the fun food, they’re going to want to eat more of it.

Avoid making statements about “I don’t think you’ll like it” or “you may not like this.” Those types of statements are encouraging your children to dislike the food without even giving it a try. Over time, they’ll start to avoid trying new food, because they always have the initial negative thoughts about being unsure as to whether the food is good or not.

When they are picking the healthy food, get them involved. Ask your kids to help choose the individual apples at the grocery store or choose between pears and oranges during the trip. Ask them to help find individual items on the list and even let them pick one item up to put in the trolley themselves. You can find something age appropriate for your children.

Children who feel more involved in the shopping process are more likely to try the food at home. They want to see what their hard work has created.

You can continue this in the cooking. Ask your children to help make dinner. It can be something as simple as washing the potatoes or picking the tomatoes out of the fridge. As they get older, they can do the jobs with the sharper objects and even move into cooking with you. Again, children who make the food are more likely to eat it. They want to taste what they’ve made and will appreciate the work that goes into making something more.

You can also make the plates look fun. Younger children work with the way the food looks. If it looks bland and boring, they’re going to avoid trying something. Try to present the food as well as possible. No, it’s not for an award show, but to make a point of colorful plates and fun designs. Just a simple smiley face goes a long way for the kids.

When you are trying something new, don’t make it all overwhelming. Opt for one new thing in a meal, so your children know there is other food they will enjoy. Never make a huge deal about them trying it until the end when they get praise for their hard work.

Encourage by Example

Encourage by Example - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Your children will follow your example. If you want them to try something new, then you need to try it too. After all, why should they do something that an adult isn’t willing to do? It’s not fair, is it?

This is where having meal times together becomes very useful. You’re only making the one meal, and you encourage your children to eat the same food you eat. They’ll see that you have a plate of vegetables, so they’ll pile more on themselves. Your children see that other people are clearing their plates, so they’ll be encouraged to do the same.

There may be some foods that you don’t like. You may try new things yourself and decide that you’re not interested. This doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to eat them. Allow your kids to try the food first and decide if they want it. If they do, you can then leave yours to one side. Don’t make a huge fuss about not liking the dish, because that encourages your children to stop eating what they’ve already stated they enjoy.

When you have the meal again for the kids, opt for a substitute that’s healthy. For example, if you don’t like broad beans, substitute for peas or sweetcorn. If you don’t like tomatoes, substitute for another vegetable or fruit. Your children will see that you can make a switch, but you’re still switching to something that’s good for you.

As children get older, they’ll understand that not everyone likes the same things. They’ll start to understand that you may not like the same vegetables, but they’ll see that you substitute with something healthy. This encourages them to make similar substitutes.

When they get older and understand more about choices, you can also explain more about the substitutions. Explain why you stick to certain food groups and what the food offers. You’re showing how they are good for you, so you lead by example. Children go away with a deeper understanding as they grow up.

Leading by example isn’t just what you do when you’re sitting at the table. You also need to lead through cooking. Now and then a takeaway or eating out isn’t too bad, but you don’t want to do this every night. Most nights you want to cook, and it’s best to cook from scratch. That means to step away from the processed and packaged foods and use fresh ingredients. Your children will get used to this, so it all becomes a habit when they grow up.

Eating at home and making from scratch will give you more control over additives, extra calories, and portion sizes. Your children understand more about the reasons to avoid certain foods and the difference in tastes.

Opt for Spices and Herbs Instead of Salt

Opt for Spices and Herbs Instead of Salt - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Salt is often added to food to add a little taste. The problem is that salt isn’t that healthy for you. Okay, so in moderation, it isn’t going to be too bad. But most food already has salt in it, especially when it comes to meats and some canned vegetables and products. So, you want to reduce the added salt as much as possible.

But you don’t want to cut out all the flavor of your food. It’s important to find this balance that works for the whole family.

Herbs and spices are the options you want to turn to. You can opt for either dried or fresh and you will still get many of the same benefits. Look out for those that are salt-free to help reduce the amount of salt you add to your diet for no reason.

Your children will have fun helping you with the herbs and spices. They’ll enjoy buying them and trying different flavors. Your children will want to try something different each time and get to know all the different tastes and scents that come from them. And they may even want to see the difference between fresh and frozen.

As your children grow up, their taste buds will be used to the lower levels of salt. When they have salt elsewhere, they will certainly taste the difference and likely prefer the healthier options at home.

You can also discuss all the health benefits of herbs and spices. This is especially the case for the likes of mint, turmeric, chilies and others that are good for boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and more.

It’s also possible to use fruits to help flavor some of your dishes. Instead of using salt in baking, you can opt for a little lemon juice. You can also use it in some of your water-based means to add a bit of zing to your meals. Lime is another popular option.

Lemons and limes are especially beneficial for water. They help to flavor in a natural and healthy way, boosting the health of those who drink it. If your children get used to seeing you drink lemon water and have it themselves, they’ll feel like soda, and other flavored drinks are a waste of time and money.

Encourage a Meatless Day Once a Week

Encourage a Meatless Day Once a Week - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Meat isn’t a vital part of the diet, if you substitute it with a high-protein option. Once a week, you can drop all the meat and opt for delicious vegetarian (and even vegan) dishes. It’s all about some pre-planning.

How does this help to encourage healthy eating at home? Well, you cut out a lot of saturated fats and sodium. This is especially the case if you eat a lot of red meat, which is the unhealthiest kind. Your kids get used to having no meat one day a week, and it becomes a normal part of their lifestyle. They can continue this as they get older because a meatless day isn’t daunting or worrying.

Instead of red meat, opt for legumes and beans. You can also add some soy (such as tofu) and quinoa. The two are complete proteins, so excellent substitutes for meat, especially if you want to try a meatless week and not just a meatless day.

On the days that you do eat meat, look at the types of meats you have. Skip the red meat as much as possible and stock up on more lean chicken, turkey and some fish. You can get a mixture of health benefits by getting rid of the fatty meats. Fish is full of omega 3 fatty acids (which are the good fats), while chicken and turkey are packed with lean protein for strong muscles and bones.

Your children will likely ask why you’re opting for meatless days and why you skip over certain types of meats. Discuss the pros and cons of the different options and how they affect the health. The more your children understand and get into good habits, the more they’ll continue these habits in the future.

Plan Your Meals Each Week

Plan Your Meals Each Week - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Meal planning is an important way to make healthy eating work in your lifestyle. It seems now that we spend all this time rushing around for work, the kids, and everyone else that we don’t have time to choose a meal. There isn’t time to create something delicious and good for you. Even when there is, it’s the last thing you want to do!

Planning will help you get into the habit of eating healthily. You also encourage others in the house to eat well. They can work out a meal plan with you and then will know exactly what they’re having and when. By planning out your meals for the full week, others can look at the plan and determine whether that snack is worth it.

You can also make your meals in advance when you plan. It’s possible to bulk cook on your day off work (getting the kids involved as much as possible) and separate the meals into portions. You can store in the fridge or freezer and then reheat on the days that you’re ready for the meals. Because you’re just reheating on the busy days, you’ll find it much easier to stick to the plan.

Meal planning will also help you eat healthily on a budget. You create a list of the ingredients you need when you go shopping, and that helps you cut out the processed junk in the stores. You spend less money on impulse buys because they’re not on the list. Your kids also get used to using a grocery list on the way around and get used to not buying off the list. However, keep in mind the first point. You want to get them involved in the food shop.

When you cut out the junk in the home, you’re less likely to eat it at all. You don’t want to go on a trip to the store when you decide you do want something, so you end up saving on the calories. This also helps you save on the junk food and damage it can do to your health.

You Can Eat Healthily and Set Your Kids Right

It’s time to encourage more healthy eating in the home. Your children will learn from when they’re young and pick up your habits. By setting them up with good habits, you make it easier for them to follow through with them in the future.

Don’t be afraid to get the kids involved in the grocery shop. You’ll find that when they’re involved they enjoy it and they want to do it more, which will make your life much easier and healthier!