The Ultimate List Of Healthy Seasonal Foods

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Seasonal Foods Image Design 1 - The Ultimate List Of Healthy Seasonal FoodsChanging of seasons provides us with a unique opportunity to buy nutritious foods that are only available during that season. The seasonal foods offer a natural diversity that you should take advantage and use it for your well-being. After all, what’s better than a vine-ripe heirloom tomato, juicy organic summer peach or sweet strawberries grown by your local farmer?

When you purchase local foods in the season, they are

  • Cost-effective
  • More delicious
  • Healthier
  • Greener

Cost effective: Foods are easier to grow in theproper season making it more abundant, less time intensive and more affordable for customers.

More delicious: Seasonal food is more delicious than food grown out of season. The fruits and veggieshavea chance to fully and naturally ripe before you pick them.

Healthier: When you grow the produce in its correct season, under the appropriate growing climatic conditions, it possessesall its natural nutrients. Research has shown that some crop has three times more nutrients when grown in season.

Environment-friendly: Seasonal and local foods travel much shorter distances.Plus, seasonal foods have fewer chemicals. Sometimes foods are given chemical ripening agents, wax coating, and other preservatives to make them more appealing. Seasonal eating mostly reduces the need for these practices.

You can check out this link to know about the various seasonal foods. We’ve charted down some of the healthiest foods on the planet for your convenience.

January

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Veggies

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Fruits

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Tangerines

Broccoli: It helps to prevent osteoarthritis. Cellophane present in broccoli kills the cancer stem cells. Broccoli reduces blood pressure and improves kidney function.

Cabbage: Being an excellent source of vitamin K, cabbage helps in bone metabolism and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

Cauliflower: With a delightfully fresh flavor and a satisfying crunch, cauliflower boasts anexcellent amountof vitamin C and good amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, protein, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin and phosphorous.

Grapefruit: Fresh red grapefruit positively influences your blood lipid levels, especially triglycerides.

Oranges: One orange provides a staggering amount of 130percent of vitamin C needs for the day.

Lemons: Contains more potassium than apples, lemons are also rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, citric acid, calcium, B-complex vitamins, iron, copper and magnesium.

Tangerines: Also known as mandarin oranges tangerinesare packed with flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

February

Veggies

Fruits

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Oranges

Fish

Fish: It is high in vital nutrients, lowers your risk of heart attacks and strokes, and contains omega 3 fatty acids that are crucial during development.

It protects you from age-related brain deterioration, fights depression, is a good source of vitamin D, reduces the risk of autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, improves sleep, and prevents asthma and macular degeneration.

March

Vegetables

Fruits

Fish

Lettuce: contains anti-inflammatory properties that help in controlling inflammation, protects neuronal cells, lowers cholesterol, induces sleep, controls anxiety, fights leukemia and breast cancer.

Mangoes: the king of the fruits helps prevent cancer, lowers your cholesterol levels, clears clogged pores, improves eye health, boosts theimmune system, fights heat stroke, improves digestion and alkalizes your whole body.

Pineapple: rich in vitamin C and manganese, pineapples supports your immune system, promotes healthy bones and connective tissue and boosts eye health and digestion. It contains bromelain that reduces severe inflammation, lowers blood clots and fights sinus inflammation.

April

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Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring peas
  • Zucchini

Fruits

Fish

Artichokes: Considered a superfood, artichokes are rich in dietary fiber. They support digestion, reduces cholesterol, boosts brain and liver health. Being rich in folic acid they prevent neural tube defects in babies.

Asparagus: being low in fat and calories asparagus helps in weight loss.It contains asparagine making it a natural diuretic. Asparagus isfull of antioxidants and can ease a hangover.

Rhubarb:it improves blood circulation, prevents cancer, improves bone health, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, aids digestion, treats cardiovascular diseases and promotes weightloss.

Spring peas: support blood sugar regulation, maintains a healthy heart and protects against stomach cancer.Sauté snap peas with shiitake mushrooms to make it more delicious.

Zucchini: Maintains optimal health, helps to lose weight, promotes men’s health and protects your cardiovascular health.

May

Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Potatoes
  • Radish
  • Rhubarb
  • Spring peas
  • Zucchini

Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Cherries
  • Pineapple
  • Rhubarb

Carrots: this root vegetable is a good source of antioxidants. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and fiber. They prevent heart disease, lowers blood pressure, fights macular degeneration and enhances eyesight.

Okra: potassium, vitamin B, folic acid, vitamin C, and calcium are present in okra. It helps to manage your blood sugar levels, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Potatoes: rich in vitamin B6 potatoes builds your cells, lowers your blood pressure, and boosts your brain cell and nervous system activity. They significantly improveathletic performance.

Radish: they provide 25% RDA of vitamin C, helps to rebuild your tissues and blood vessels. They keep your bones and teeth healthy.

Apricots: protects against free radical damage, has high amounts of carotenoids and xanthophyll and protects your eyesight, fights inflammation and they are an excellent source of dietary fiber.

Cherries: gives you antioxidant protection, contains cancer-preventive compounds, reduces inflammation and risk of gout, promotes healthy sleep, reduces belly fat, reduces post-exercise muscle pain and lowers risk of stroke.

June

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Vegetables

  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Potato

Fruit

  • Apricot
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Beans: reduces therisk of colorectal cancer and coronary heart disease. They are a good alternative to high-fat protein sources like red meat. They significantlydecrease therisk of type 2 diabetes.

Cucumbers: they provide you with excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Cucumbers have potential anti-cancer benefits.

Blueberries: rich in iron, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin K, blueberries enhance your bone health. They lower blood pressure,managediabetes, wards off heart disease,prevent cancer, boosts brain power, improves digestion and aids in weight loss.

Cantaloupe: They have an excellent nutrient diversity, Cantaloupes are rich in vitamin C and A. They are good sources of potassium, a host of B vitamins, magnesium, fiber and vitamin K. They prevent metabolic syndrome.

Peaches: the pulp and peel possesshigh antioxidant properties. They contain potassium essential for nerve signaling and cellular functioning of your body. Peaches prevent cancer, promotes healthy skin, boosts eye health, ensures asafe pregnancy, supports digestion, calms your nerves and treats obesity.

Peaches boost overall immunity, lowers cholesterol, has anti-aging properties, promotes healthy bones and teeth, detoxifies your body, enhances cellular health and fights neurodegenerative disorders. The inner kernel of peaches treats blood stasis in which the blood becomes inactive.

Strawberries: antioxidants such as flavonoids, ellagicacid, and phenolic phytochemicals are present in berries. They improve your eye health, boost immunity, treat gout and arthritis, prevent cancer, andincrease brain function. They reduce hypertension, improve heart function, promote weight loss, preventcongenital disabilities and reduce inflammation.

Watermelon: being a delicious and refreshing fruit it pops up your hydration levels, lowers risk of heart disease, prevents chronic inflammation, encourages healthy digestive tract, promotes thegrowth of new collagen and elastin cells, reduces muscle soreness and improves athletic performance. The antioxidant properties help to reduce cancer risk.

July

Vegetables

  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes

Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries

Corn: the kernels of corn helps prevent hemorrhoids, promotes growth and development, provides essential minerals, is a rich source of calories, protects your heart, prevents cancer, prevents anemia, lowers LDL cholesterol, controls diabetes and enables eye and skin care.

Eggplant: A native of the subcontinent, eggplants improves digestion, helps in weightloss, prevents cancer, improves bone health, fights anemia, boosts brain power, improves cardiovascular health, manages diabetes and prevents congenital disabilities.

Nectarines: They provide you with antioxidant defense, treat obesity, improve vision, prevent hypokalemia and improves cardiac health, Nectarine prevents cancer, boosts immunity, enhances skin care, aids digestion, promotes cellular health and prevents neural tube defects during pregnancy.

Peppers: both hot and sweet peppers improveweightloss, protects against the buildup of cholesterol, keeps arthritis at bay, lowers your risk of breast cancer, enhances your cardiovascular health and prevents stroke.

Tomatoes: they are a treasure of riches when comes to antioxidant benefits.Tomatoesreduce therisk of heart disease, supports bone health and has anti-cancer benefits.

Summer squash: the yellow squash is low in calories and carbohydrates. It contains little fat, is cholesterol free, and has generous amounts of iron, folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein.

Kiwi: adding a dramatic tropical flavor to any fruit salad kiwi’s phytonutrients protects your DNA. Kiwi offers maximum antioxidant protection. The concentratedfiber in kiwi controls cardiovascular andcolon health. It potentially protects against asthma and macular degeneration.

Plums: possessing unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic, and chlorogenic acid plums offerexcellent antioxidant benefits. Plumshelp in better absorption of iron, normalizes blood sugar levels, helps in weightloss, lowers cholesterol and protects your intestines.

August

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Vegetables

  • Beans
  • Cucumber
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Tomatoes

Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Early apples
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Fish

  • Crab
  • Halibut
  • Kipper
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon

Early apples: Being rich in fiber apple aid in digestion and prevents cancer. It improves intestinal health, treats anemia, reduces weakness, controls diabetes and promotes dental health. Apple fights Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, treats respiratory issues and rheumatism, fights heart disease, improves vision, promotes weight loss and aids in skin care.

Raspberries: They promoteweightloss, reduce wrinkles and prevent macular degeneration. Raspberries fight infection and cancer, promotes optimal health, enhance feminine health, strengthens theimmune system and has excellent phytonutrient content.

September

Vegetables

  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Lettuce
  • Pepper
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes

Fruits

  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon

Pumpkin: Boosts vision, lowers blood pressure, keeps your stomach full, promotes sleep and enhances heart health.

Spinach: it is high in niacin, zinc as well as vitamins A, C, E and K. It lowers blood pressure and boosts cardiovascular health.

Sweet potato: it improves heart health, controls blood sugar and maintains energy. Sweet potatoes fight stress and enhance your immunity.

Grapes: it prevents cancer, heart disease, reduces high blood pressure and fights constipation. Grapes alleviate symptoms of allergies and fight diabetes.

October

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Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranates

Winter squash: they are a rich source of carotenoids and contains essential antioxidants. One cup of baked winter squash will provide you with 340 milligrams of omega-3 fats in the form of alphalinoleic acid. Winter squash promotes optimal health and regulates your blood sugar levels.

Cranberries: the best-known role of cranberries is thatthey prevent urinary tract infections. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The proanthocyanins in cranberriespromote oral health. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Pomegranates: they are an excellent source of vitamins especially vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E as well as folic acid. They contain three times the antioxidants as present in both wine or green tea. Pomegranates cure stomach disorders, heart problems, prevents cancer, helps reduce dental plaque, fights atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. They treat anemia and improve men’s health.

November

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Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Mushroom
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash

Fruits

  • Cranberries
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Tangerines

Mushroom: if you’re vegetarian then you can get your selenium from mushrooms. They lower cholesterol levels, treats anemia, prevents breast cancer and prostate cancer. Mushroomsprevent diabetes, boost bone health, and help in nutrient absorption.

Theyoptimize your immune system, lowers blood pressure, increases iron absorption and aid in weightloss.

Pears: With a sweet taste and a fibrous center, pears are excellent sources of antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber. They pack these all in a fat-free, cholesterol free, 100 calorie packages. Pears help in treatingdiverticulosis and aids in weightloss, They fight cardiovascular disease and cholesterol andlower risk of diabetes. Pears substantially supports digestion and helps in detox.

December

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes

Fruits

  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines

Cauliflower: Described as a superfood cauliflower fights cancer, boosts heart health, provides anti-inflammatory benefits andincreases your brain health. Itprovides detoxification support and promotes digestive health. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals. Itprovides exceptional antioxidant and phytonutrients benefits.

Conclusion

In the spring focus on leafy vegetables, represent the greening that occurs in spring by the greens on your plate. Include Swiss chard, spinach, fresh parsley, romaine lettuce, and basil.

Stick with light cooling foods during summer; they include strawberries, apples, plums, pears, and veggies like broccoli, summer squash, cauliflower, and corn.

During the fall shift your focus towards the most warming autumn harvest foods. They include sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Give importance to more warming spices including ginger, mustard seeds, and peppercorns.

In winter turn to even more warming foods. All the animal foods fall into the warming list including fish, chicken, lamb, and beef. Rootveggies such as carrots, squash, potatoes, onion, and garlic fall under this category.So, plan your diet according to the seasons and enjoy maximum nutritional benefits.

The Best Natural Laxatives For Women In Their 30’s

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Laxatives Image Design 1 - The Best Natural Laxatives For Women In Their 30’sThere are times that our digestive systems end up a little sluggish. It could be due to the food we’ve recently eaten or a medical issue. Either way, feeling constipated is annoying and painful. You start looking for ways to improve your ability to pass stools daily.

While there are plenty of over the counter remedies to try, you will want to find something natural. This is especially the case if your constipation and the sluggish digestive system are due to pregnancy. Here’s a look at the best natural laxatives that you want to try right now.

Start with Leafier Green Vegetables

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Whenever you look for ways to get more of anything in your diet, you’ll likely come across dark green, leafy vegetables. This is because they are packed with everything your body could need.

When it comes to constipation, there are high chances that your body is deficient in magnesium. This is a very highly common deficiency in adults and is linked to not getting enough dark leafy greens. The magnesium acts as an electrolyte, helping to draw water from your gut to your stools to soften them. The stools will find it easier to move through your body and out of it through your bowels.

At the same time, the dark leafy greens are packed with fiber, which will help to keep your digestive system in working order. The greens are full of soluble fiber, which helps to soften the stools further and keep them moving out of your body.

It is possible to add too much magnesium to your diet through dark leafy greens. You’ll know by the softness of your stools. You’ll want to find a balance between the two to make sure your digestive system is working at its optimum level.

Add More Probiotic Foods to Your Diet

Probiotics foods are often overlooked for their goodness within the gut. Most people will eat them because they taste good and help to get more calcium, but not the digestive system benefits. Probiotics are full of good bacteria. When you get more of them in your diet, you’ll balance out and get rid of the bad bacteria that grow.

Too much bad bacteria lead to inflammation, spasms, and other health problems. They’re the main reason for diarrhea and constipation in women. You can end up with a world of digestive problems that cause bloating, gas, and discomfort.

You need the good bacteria to fight against the build-up of the bad. The great news is you can easily add probiotics to your diet naturally. You just need the probiotics yogurts, sauerkraut, kefir, and other similar foods. You’ll find them all in the international foods aisles of your grocery store.

It’s also possible to lower a number of bad bacteria that grow in your digestive system. Opt for organic dairy products all the time, as they are much easier for the digestive system to handle.

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, you’ll want to avoid the dairy products even for the probiotics. It’s not worth the pain and discomfort afterward!

Stick to a High Fibre Diet

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We’ve already touched on dark leafy greens and the fiber. This macronutrient is one of the most effective laxatives in the natural world. You want to make sure your diet is full of fibre to keep the digestive system working. Not only will the fiber help with passing stools but will also help to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day.

You’ll want a mixture of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble is easy to digest and mix in with the stools. It specifically softens them for easier waste removal. The insoluble stuff helps to push the waste through the body physically. It purposely keeps the digestive system working to cleanse and detox.

The fiber will also include some antioxidants. They help to keep your body healthy and support your immune system. You’ll reduce inflammation, helping to avoid other digestive problems.

You can get a mixture of goodfibers from fruits and vegetables. Add more soybeans, chickpeas, apples, apricots, berries, prunes and more to your diet. You can have them as snacks, or you can choose to add them to your meals.

It’s also possible to get fiber through whole grains and oats. Try a breakfast with porridge oats and berries for filling and gut cleansing meals.

When considering fruits, opt for apples and pears. They have pectin fiber, which helps to stimulate bowel movements.

Don’t juice your fruits and vegetables. This will remove the fiber by removing the pulp, so you end up with none of the benefits. Smoothies can work, as they still include the fiber.

Drink More Coconut Water

Any water is going to be good for your digestive system, but the best natural laxative is coconut water.

Just increasing your fluids will help to soften the stools. You push the waste through your body and make it easier to pass the stools. You can also get rid of toxins that can cause constipation and prevent the digestive system working effectively.

While some people will suggest fruit juices, they’re just full of sugar. Coconut water doesn’t have that. It has all the goodness of water without the negative sugars that will just cause insulin issues. Coconut water is also an electrolyte, which means it works in the same way as the magnesium from the dark leafy vegetables. You’ll also get plenty of potassium for your energy levels and metabolic rate.

If you do want something that isn’t quite coconut water, you can opt for some coffee. If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to limit yourself to just one cup a day. Even when not pregnant, try to avoid drinking more than two or three cups a day. Caffeine is a stimulant and can cause energy crashes.

Coffee will stimulate the colon, which helps with the removal of waste from your body. The coffee helps to break down protein much easier, helping to turn it into waste and get rid of it. You’ll find you don’t suffer from as many digestive upsets. It’s quite quick at reacting too!

Another option is kombucha, which is a “magic elixir” in some parts of the world. It’s a fermented tea, usually found in the grocery store’s fridge section. You can make your own if you want. It’s full of probiotics, helping to cleanse the gut and support the good bacteria levels. It’s shown results in studies to improve the digestive system and get rid of the waste. Studies have also shown that it can help to improve the body’s ability to fight against staph and E. Coli bacteria.

Try Horseradish with Your Meals

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You likely add a little horseradish with your beef for your Sunday dinner, but did you know it does more than adding a little flavor? It’s one of those excellent natural laxatives. You only need a tablespoon of it for the best results! You’ll get the best results if you make it part of your routine after each meal.

You can just add a tablespoon of horseradish to a cup of boiled water. Drink it all and after each meal. If you don’t fancy that, you can add it to your meals, spicing up your foods and your salads.

The horseradish is full of fiber, as well as spicy ingredients that help to breakdown the waste and push it through your system. Your body temperature increases, which helps to improve blood circulation and other systems.

Try Getting More Seeds into Your Diet

Whether you add chia seeds or flax seeds to your diet, you want to incorporate them frequently. They really will help to improve the digestive system and get rid of the feeling of constipation.

Chia seeds are one of the most effective ingredients for all types of problems. They’re full of protein and fiber, antioxidants, and much more. They boost the metabolism, support the immune system, get the digestive system working, and give you far more energy throughout the day.

Chia seeds expand within the digestive tract. They’re a form of insoluble fiber, and absorb the water within the system. As they move through the digestive system, they collect the waste as they move their way through.

If you want chia seeds to work effectively, make sure you drink plenty of water. Remember they absorb the water, and that’s how they work best. So, you want to make sure there is enough to hydrate the body and benefit fully.

Flax seeds are much easier to find in the store and often much cheaper. They work in the same way as chia seeds.

Both types can be sprinkled over food, added to smoothies, or even eaten raw. It’s completely up to you!

Try Aloe Vera daily

If you’re still struggling with constipation and a sluggish digestive system, then you want to add some aloe vera to your diet. This is more commonly used in skin care, but it has recently been added to many weight loss diets. It helps to detox and cleanses the system, boosting the metabolism and improving the health considerably.

Aloe vera is full of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps to repair and heal damage. However, that’s not the reason why this natural laxative needs to be eaten.

It’s full of other vitamins, enzymes, and electrolytes that will help to heal the gut. The aloe vera will release anthraquinones, a compound that acts as a laxative. The compound helps to increase the amount of water in the intestines by stimulating the secretion of mucus. It will also break down the food naturally, helping to encourage more waste being removed from the system.

There are anti-inflammatory properties, which are extremely important for good digestive health. The intestines won’t be as swollen or bloated so that they can function more effectively.

On top of these benefits, the aloe vera helps to balance out the pH levels within the body. There will be less yeast and bad bacteria, helping with the natural growth of good bacteria in the gut. Everything works together to keep your whole system working as it’s supposed to.

Add More Exercise to Your Weekly Routine

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Did you know that exercise is a natural laxative? And it’s not from the jumping up and down to dislodge anything within your digestive system! It all comes from the range of benefits of exercise to the whole body.

When you do more exercise, you increase the amount of blood flowing through your body. This helps to boost your metabolism, meaning that you can burn more calories. Your digestive system needs to break down more food in a shorter space of time, getting rid of any building within your gut. The body can flush out far more toxins daily, creating a healthy and balanced space. There will be less inflammation, bloating, and issues with working intestines.

You don’t need to do a lot of strenuous exercise for the best results. Opt for some yoga or swimming. The movement and increased heart rate will help to get the blood pumping. You’ll gain far more long-term benefits too, as the exercise will increase flexibility, strength, and stamina. There are the mental health benefits on top of that, which can affect the health of your gut! Add 150 minutes of exercise a week to get the best results, which is only around 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

What’s the Best Natural Laxative?

The best way to improve your digestive system and bowel movements is through mixing all the above natural laxatives. They all worked together efficiently, softening the stools, pushing out the waste, and encouraging a healthy gut. You’ll feel better within days and in some cases within days, and not just in your gut!

9 Fitness Tips Proven To Help You Build Muscle And Lose Fat

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Muscle Image Design 1 - 9 Fitness Tips Proven To Help You Build Muscle And Lose FatWhile there are some fitness tips that help to build muscle, they don’t always help you lose fat. Then there are others that work the opposite way around. You can lose all the fat in the world, but you have no muscle left either by the end of your workout or your diet.

It’s time to work on losing fat and building muscle at the same time. This is going to be more than just about the exercises that you can do. Your weight loss efforts are only 20% exercise.

Here’s a look at all you need to make sure you build muscle and lose fat. Are you ready to take the plunge with these nine proven fitness tips?

Lower Simple Carbs but Increase Protein and Healthy Fats

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It seems like an odd consideration: you need to eat fat to lose fat. What you want to focus on is the term healthy fat. There are two main types: saturated and unsaturated. We won’t get into all the subcategories from there. You want to stock up on more unsaturated fats. These are the ones that line your arteries in a healthy way, keep your heart working effectively, support your brain functions, and burn more energy throughout the day.

Don’t just stock up on more protein when you reduce your carbs. The protein helps to build the muscle, but it doesn’t quite give you the energy you’ll need. The healthy fats are turned into ketones, which are then used up by the metabolism to get you through the day.

But this doesn’t mean you need to stop eating all carbs. Like fats, there are two main types: simple and complex. Simple carbs tend to be refined and will lead to sugar rushes. You want to cut them out and opt for complex carbs that break down slowly and support the health of your gut.

Protein is still important for the building muscle. Focus on a diet that is no more than 60% complex carbs, 30% protein, and 10% healthy fats. If you’re going to reduce your carbs, increase the healthy fats that you eat.

Don’t forget about the micronutrients. You need to stock up on potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, and your vitamins. All together your nutrients will help to improve your recovery time, build muscle, boost your immune system, and support your metabolism. You’ll find you continue to burn calories for hours later with the right balance.

Your diet makes up for 80% of your weight loss efforts. It’s extremely important for fat loss and muscle building.

When you get the right diet, you will naturally need to eat less. You’re not just eating fewer calories, but burning more throughout the day. And you don’t need to eat the excess calories like you think you do when you’re eating too many simple carbs. Your diet will be much easier to stick to, healthier for your overall body, and help to build muscle.

Eat Simple Carbs After a Workout

While simple carbs should be reduced, there’s no need to cut them out completely. After all, they give you an instant energy boost when you need it. What you want to do is focus on the right times to eat these simple carbs.

Right after a workout, you want to add some simple carbs to your protein. The two nutrients together will give you an instant energy boost while getting a long-term boost to build your muscle.

By keeping your energy levels and muscles satisfied, you will find it much easier to stick to whatever diet you create. You will also boost your hormone release, as your mind doesn’t slump from the tiredness after the workout.

At the same time, your recovery time improves. This means you won’t feel pain for as long. Working out again will be much easier, and you’ll gain far more benefits from your exercises.

Work on Your Legs for the Rest of Your Body

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70% of your muscle is in your legs. You need to work on this part of your body if you want to work on the rest of it. Yes, it seems like an odd connotation, but we’ve already busted the myth of fat makes you fat, right? This is just another one to bust.

When you build the muscles in your legs, your body will start to release hormones to help build on the other parts of your body. You’ll find it easier to build on your arms, your chest, and your back. Plus, great looking legs will give you more confidence anyway, and you’ll find it easier to run and do other cardio workouts.

Do more squats, deadlifts, lunges, and more. Make sure each of your workouts focuses on this part of the body for some of it, and the rest will become easier. You can always add some arm exercises while you do some of the leg ones. This will kill two birds with one stone.

Do a Mixture of Cardio and Strength Training

You’ll hear a lot about how you need to do more strength training for weight loss and muscle building. While this is certainly true, you can’t forget about cardio workouts completely. You want to do a mixture of the two with each of your workouts. Interval training is one of the best types of exercises to do, and this incorporates a mixture of both cardio and strength training.

Cardio workouts will help to build the lungs and heart. They will increase a number of calories you burn at that time and offer a range of other health benefits. When you do the right type of cardio workouts, you can work on all your muscle groups, support your core, and improve your hormone balance.

The downside of cardio workouts is that you don’t have the after-work out calorie burning benefits that strength training offers. When you’ve finished working on your muscles, your metabolism is still required. Your muscles need help to repair the damage, creating strong muscles that will continue to burn more calories. You can increase your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a strength training workout.

You just don’t get the large instant calorie burning during your strength training. You also don’t get all the hormonal benefits, as the workouts tend to take up less time from your day. However, you will get support for your joints and flexibility.

Opt for circuit training and interval training to help combine the two types of exercises. Do bodyweight exercises with running or jumping in between. You can also increase the cardio aspect by doing jump squats, jump lunges, and other similar exercises.

Alternatively, you could opt for cardio straight after your weight training exercises. Opt for a swim to stretch the muscles and help with the recovery period. On your days off, enjoy a walk around the park or add a swim to your day.

There are many worries that weight exercises will make women bulky. This isn’t the case. Sure, they can, but it will depend on a number of weights you lift. The right exercises will help to tone and strengthen your muscles, toning your body for after you’ve lost the fat. Keep your protein levels healthy and avoid steroids and you won’t create the bulky, weightlifter look from your strength training!

Eat Little and Often Every Day

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While our ancestors ate three big meals a day and snacked throughout the day, there is now a move into eating little and often throughout the day. Drop the three large meals rule and opt for five or six small meals more regularly throughout the day. The portion sizes will drop, but you will find that your energy levels are more sustained.

The body needs refueling every three or four hours, or so. If you don’t eat regularly enough, your metabolism will start to go to your energy reserves. This is a good thing, right? Well, it can also lead to you snacking more and eating bigger portions for your next meal. Your brain starts to worry when your next meal will come. Thisis based on how the body reacted back in the past when food wasn’t as easy to come by.

You’ll also get a drop in your energy levels. Your metabolism will slow down slightly until you get your next meal.

When you eat every three or four hours, you will sustain your energy levels. As your metabolism uses up the last calorie, you give it more to burn.

Doesn’t this stop you from losing fat? Not at all. You can still opt for a calorie deficit, so your metabolism still should take some calories from the stores. Instead of dropping its rate, the metabolism will use a few and then be replenished with your next meal. You’ll also eat less sugary ingredients because you don’t get the cravings for the quick energy boosts.

Avoid Skipping Breakfast

When losing weight, it’s common to look for ways that you can reduce the amount that you eat. Many people will choose to skip breakfast. This isn’t good for you.

There’s a saying to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. This is because your body needs more food to start the day than to end it. When you wake up, you’re waking up from a 6-8 hour fast. Your body’s metabolism has had to take from the reserves, and your blood sugar levels are increased. Eating first thing will help to lower your blood sugar levels and give you the energy you need to start your day.

When you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to snack before lunch. And your snacks are never going to be healthy choices. Your body wants something that will give it an instant energy boost. You add extra calories from the sugary foods and don’t offer the right nutrients to help with fat loss and muscle building.

So, yes, cutting out breakfast may reduce your calories, but it’s not necessarily going to help your weight loss efforts. It may help you lose fat, but it isn’t going to help you build muscle at the same time.

Change Up Your Workout Routine

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Your body will get used to the same workout routine day in day out. You’ll need to make sure you make some changes to the exercises that you do. Well, you need to change the order that you do them. Don’t just increase a number of reps or how heavy your weights are.

When your body gets used to a routine, the exercises become less effective. Your muscles know what they’re doing and won’t break down to rebuild. Yes, your muscles will tear when you’re exercising. This is normal. When they rebuild during your recovery period, you’ll find that they rebuild stronger.

Of course, there is a limit. You shouldn’t feel pain while working out. You won’t feel the muscles tearing. You’ll just feel an ache as they repair afterward.

By changing up your routine, your muscles don’t know what to expect next. They’ll work harder, and that means they can build better later one. You’ll burn more calories in your workout and afterward, helping to lose more fat and build more muscle in the long term.

At the same time, changing your routine will prevent you from getting bored of it. When you get bored, you’ll put less effort into your exercise routine and are less likely to quit partway through. By changing things up, you have something to look forward to every day.

You don’t need to change things every week. Opt for the same routine for 6-12 weeks and then change things.

Don’t Work Out Too Much

Like eating less, there is the theory that the more you work out, the thinner you will be. After all, you’re burning more calories, right? Well, you could cause more health problems for your body. While you may lose some fat, you won’t build the muscles as well as you could.

Over-exercising is a major problem. Your muscles don’t get the rest that they need. You’ll constantly feel muscle fatigue, and you will find that you can’t do as many reps or lift heavy weights as you used to be able to. You don’t get as much out of your workouts after all.

There are a few ways that people over-exercise. Some will opt for exercising seven days a week, without a break. Each day is an attempt to beat a record set the previous day, and you’ll not even take time off during vacations. In fact, your addiction to exercise can get so bad that you’re scared of taking a day off.

Other people exercise for too long. For optimum results, you only need to exercise 30-60 minutes a day, and that’s if you’re doing moderate exercise. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts, then 15-30 minutes could be enough! It’s all about the quality of the exercise and not the amount that you do.

Make sure you create a weekly routine that gives you at least one day of rest. Two days is better. That doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk or a light swim, but these rest days are for recovering and not fat burning or muscle building.

You’ll also want to make sure you rest plenty on a night. Your body needs sleep to recharge and heal. Without adequate sleep, you won’t build the muscles or lose the fat that you want to. You’ll feel fatigued, hungry, and depressed. Everything works together, causing you to crave more sugar and over-consume calories. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are genuinely tired, don’t exercise!

Get Plenty of Water Throughout the Day

Like sleep, your body also needs plenty of water throughout the day. This means you need to start drinking more. We’re all likely a little dehydrated. Very few of us will get at least eight glasses of water a day. If you’re exercising or it’s hot, you’ll need a few more glasses!

Plain water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated. Fruit juice is full of unnecessary sugars and calories, while coffee can be dehydrated and cause issues with the caffeine. Of course, nothing is going to be completely banned from your diet, but you want to opt for everything in moderation.

If you want to add more flavor to your water, opt for some sliced or chopped fruit. You can now get infusion water bottles to keep your fruit and water separate, so you don’t end up drinking mushy fruit accidentally. With the fruit slices, you just get some of the natural fruit flavors without any of the calories. It’s refreshing and delicious.

It’s Time to Build Muscle and Burn Fat

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With the above tips, you can burn the fat and build the muscle at the same time. Your new lifestyle is more than just exercising. You need to use diet and exercise together while looking after your whole body. Feed it with the right nutrients, and it will work with you to reach your goals.

Burning fat isn’t just about losing weight. You need to support your metabolism, immune system, heart health, and much more. It’s important to build the muscle to help tone and shape your body while you get rid of the fat. You’ll have much more success in the long run and feel healthier for it at the same time. What are you waiting for?

5 Simple Healthy Lunch Boxes For Your Preschoolers

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Lunch Boxes Image Design 1 - 5 Simple Healthy Lunch Boxes For Your PreschoolersPacking lunchboxes can be quite challenging, especially when mornings are busy and rushed. Parents end up putting together meals without over thinking about them. Because of this, children eat the same lunches every day. Either that or they end up eating unhealthy food, which is worse!

Packing lunchboxes for preschoolers don’t have to be too complicated. After all, little kids prefer simple food which they are used to eating. Also, if the presentation of the lunchbox is colorful, it becomes appealing to them. Preparing healthy lunchboxes becomes easy with a little innovation and creativity.

This article is all about planning and preparing healthy lunchboxes for kids. And the best part is, they’re extremely easy to make.Involving the children in planning their daily lunches is fun too. It gives parents a chance to communicate with their children. It helps parents get to know the children better too.

Benefits of Making a Healthy Lunch Box for Your Preschooler

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The best way to make sure that your child is eating healthy food is to prepare his/her lunch yourself. There are many ways to put together simple meals which contain the most robust of food choices. It gives parents a chance to be creative and open to their children. Aside from that, it’s beneficial for the kids too. Here are some advantages of making your preschooler’s lunch:

Parents can include all the essential nutrients in each meal. Lunch serves as one of the biggest meals preschoolers consume within the day. It’s essential that it contains the key nutrients. When parents prepare their own child’s lunchbox, they can choose which food items go into it. If parents pack healthy foods into the lunchbox, then the child remains healthy too. Also, the child learns healthy eating habits when given healthy lunches daily.

Parents can limit the child’s daily fat intake. Nowadays children are exposed to too much unhealthy food. Processed food is a lot easier to come by and more readily available. Unfortunately, these kinds of food contain a lot of unhealthy fats. These fats can be dangerous to children’s health. But if parents plan out what they will give to their child, this issue can be easily avoided. Parents can prepare healthy and colorful meals for their children. This makes it appealing to kids, making them more willing to finish everything in their lunchbox.

It helps maintain the child’s proper body weight. Children who overeat processed or unhealthy food tend to gain weight at a harmful rate. In the past few years, the number of obese children has increased steadily. Part of the problem is because their daily food intake isn’t monitored well. This won’t be an issue if parents pack their own kid’s lunchboxes. It may take more effort, but it will positively impact the child’s health.

It gives the child sufficient energy levels. Finally, planning a balanced, healthy meal is sure to give the child a good amount of energy. Children who eat healthy food are more active and focused at school. This leads to better performance too, which is a bonus.

It’s beneficial for parents to plan out and prepare their preschooler’s lunchbox. It’s also a lot more economical than paying for lunches from school. Aside from that, parents are also sure of what their kids are eating every lunchtime. Here are some simple ideas for healthy lunches to pack:

Peanut Butter, Banana & Jelly Burrito

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This simple treat is fun, delicious and healthy. Preparing and packing this meal is easy enough to do in just a few minutes. Children can even help in preparingthe burrito. They can choose how much peanut butter, jelly, and bananas go into it. This is a versatile meal which parents can change up to add variety and keep the kids interested. Just change the burrito’s fillings, and it becomes a brand-new dish!

To make the burrito, start with a whole-wheat wrap. Toast it lightly and spread some peanut butter on it. On top of the peanut butter, spread on some jelly. Then, add some banana slices and wrap it up like a burrito.

For a different version, place a whole banana on the edge of the wrap. From that edge, start rolling the burrito until the other end. It’s great to pair this lunch up with the child’s favorite box of milk.

Noodle& Peas Fritters

This is a savory lunchbox treat which camouflages the fact that it contains vegetables. It takes about 10-15 minutes to prepare and another 10-15 minutes to cook all the fritters. Children will love these crispy vegetable fritters because they’re delicious. They taste great whether freshly cooked or not. This lunch idea requires a few ingredients:

  • boiled peas (make sure they’re tender)
  • fresh noodles (Hokkien works best, but you can use any thin noodles)
  • eggs which have been lightly beaten
  • self-rising flour
  • milk
  • finely chopped red onions
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • healthy oil for frying

To start off the preparation, place the boiled peas in a bowl and mash them. Add in the noodles, eggs, self-rising flour, milk, onions and parmesan cheese. To make it tastier, sprinkle some salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients around to combine them well to make a batter.

Shape the fritters and start frying them over medium heat. Cook the fritters until they’ve turned golden brown. Then, take them out of the pan and place them on a paper towel. Doing this soaks up the excess oil. Pair these fritters with some baby carrots or celery sticks. These crunchy vegetables will compliment the fritters well. Also, add in the child’s favorite juice box to go with the healthy lunch.

Colorful Veggie Pasta

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Everyone loves pasta, even kids! Making this treat using colorful pasta makes the experience more fun for the child. As we’ve mentioned previously, children find colorful food a lot more appealing. It’s easy to prepare this pasta. It tastes great and contains vegetables to keep your preschooler healthy.

For this dish, cook some rotini pasta (the tricolor variety). Once cooked and drained, combine it with cooked peas (make sure they’re tender!), sliced cherry tomatoes and a small amount of melted butter. Season it with salt and pepper to enhance the taste.

It’s best to serve this pasta with some applesauce for a different flavor. Baby carrots work well too as they are vibrant in color and provide a different texture. Finally, pack a box of milk or juice with the pasta to make it complete.

Mini Cream Cheese Sandwiches 4 Ways

Sandwiches are another type of versatile food which can serve as lunch for kids. Cream cheese sandwiches don’t have to be boring. There are many ways to prepare cream cheese sandwiches because they go well with different flavors.

There are different kinds of bread which are healthy for children to eat. Pair them and combine them with different fillings to have endless sandwich possibilities. Here are some suggestions for cream cheese sandwiches 4 ways:

  • cream cheese sandwiches made with whole wheat bread, thinly sliced cucumbers and mint
  • cream cheese sandwiches made with Jewish rye, salami and pickle slices
  • cream cheese sandwiches made with pumpernickel bread and thin tomato slices then seasoned with salt and pepper
  • cream cheese sandwiches made with seedy bread and some apricot jam

These are some ideas for cream cheese sandwich combinations. They’re healthy and oh-so-delicious. It’s a good idea to cut up the bread and present them as mini sandwiches. It’s also great to pair them with homemade chips. Healthy, crunchy chips will compliment the sandwiches well. Milk, water or juice will go great with this lunch treat.

Pizza Bento Box

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Finally, there’s a bento box. This is a trendy way to prepare lunchboxes. Bento boxes are colorful and fun to eat. With such a meal, the child will surely devour every single element inside the box. Making a pizza bento box is easy. And because all the components are homemade, it’s sure to be very healthy.

Make the crust for the pizza using a piece of bread. Any bread is okay; an English muffin will work well too. Cut the bread into a circle shape then spread on some sauce. Sprinkle some grated cheese and the child’s favorite pizza toppings.

Toast the mini-pizza and arrange it tastefully in the lunchbox. Then comes the fun part. Add in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables around the pizza to make it stand out. Use different berries to add color and sweetness to the box.

Using small cookie cutters to cut up vegetables will make them more fun and appealing for kids. Parents can ask their child to help build the bento box. In doing this, the child gets more excited about showing it off then eating it.

This is just one idea for a bento lunchbox. There are a lot more ideas in making these creative meals. They do require more time and effort to prepare, though. But when the boxes come home empty, it’s worth knowing that your child had a blast eating a healthy meal at school.

The Best Sides for Healthy Lunchboxes

There are many healthy food options to choose from when preparing lunch boxes for kids. But sometimes, it can be quite challenging to pick out the best ones. It’s helpful to know which foods are healthy to be able to mix and match them up when assembling lunchboxes. Here are some of the finest healthy choices:

  • Fruit is one of the best options. It’s best to use fresh fruit since they are healthy and delicious. Also, there are many varieties of fruits to choose from. Because of this, parents can give their children different fruits on different days. They can even color-coordinate the fruits with the rest of the food in the lunchbox.
  • Vegetables are also a must-have in healthy lunchboxes. Vegetable sticks with dip is a fun side to accompany the main meal. A small, kid-friendly salad is great It’s much easier to include veggies if the parents know which one their child likes.
  • Yogurt or custard are healthy and yummy options too. When packing these in the lunchbox, it’s best to wrap them in a cloth. Do this to keep them chilled until lunchtime.
  • Bread is another great option. There are many different varieties of bread and some are healthy. Make sandwiches using different types of bread to keep the child interested.
  • Treat the child occasionally with a lunch of biscuits with cheese or dips. Assembling cheese and crackers from home guarantees that they are healthy. Make homemade dip beforehand and store it in the refrigerator. That way, you have a quick option to prepare when there is little time.
  • Homemade cakes and muffins can also count as an occasional treat in a preschooler’s lunchbox. When these are made from home, parents can choose what goes into these treats, ensuring that all ingredients are healthy.

An important thing to remember is to vary the food. That is unless the child prefers to eat the same meal repeatedly. But in most cases, it’s better to mix things up to keep mealtime fun and interesting.

Tips for Preparing Your Preschooler’s Lunch Box

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An important thing to remember when packing a child’s lunchbox is that the child won’t eat it right away. Most times, it’s stored away for a few hours until it’s time for lunch. Because of that, it’s essential to know how to pack the lunch well. Here are some helpful tips:

  • If the food in the box needs to stay cool, place it in a lunchbox which is insulated.
  • Always prepare the child’s food with hygiene in mind. This helps keep the freshness of the food.
  • When preparing the lunchbox, the night before, make sure to store it in the refrigerator overnight.
  • If perishable foods are part of the meal, make sure that the lunchbox stays cool. Also, avoid packing these types of food right after cooking them. Let them cool down first, so they don’t spoil.
  • Tell the child what’s inside the lunchbox. Do this in a fun way to encourage the child to eat everything in it.

The All-In-One Guide To Vitamin Sources (Plant Based Diet)

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Vitamin Sources Image Design 1 - The All-In-One Guide To Vitamin Sources (Plant Based Diet)Nowadays different kinds of diets and eating lifestyles are emerging. No matter what diet you choose to follow, adding plants into your daily diet is very beneficial. Plants, such as fruits and vegetables,make the body stronger and healthier. This is because they contain essential vitamins and nutrients that the body needs.

Of course, going on a strict, plant-based diet is a different story. People who follow these diets stick to fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, as well as seeds and nuts. They can also consume dairy products and eggs at times if they choose to. However, the main concern of people who stay on a plant-based diet is getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients in the right balance.

Although fruits and vegetables are very healthy, not all of them contain these essential components. That’s why it’s very helpful to learn the different food sources so you can balance your daily meals correctly. But before going into the food sources, let’s take a look at the benefits of such a diet.

Benefits of Following a Plant-Based Diet

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It’s quite beneficial to plan out meals focused on plants. These are the healthier food options, and they come with a lot of other advantages as well. Consider these benefits:

  • Studies have shown that diets which are high in plants and plant products help people become healthier. Right now, a majority of the population suffers from illnesses related to poor dietary choices. This is an issue which can easily be solved by adding more greens to the daily food intake.
  • It’s a fact that animal products are a lot pricier than plant products. Sostaying on this diet proves to be a lot more economical, as long as you know which products to buy.
  • A lot of people who go on a plant-based diet do so because of ethical reasons. They usually have strong feelings about how the animals are killedas well as the person killing the animals. They may also have issues about how animals are treated in the food production industry.
  • Other people also opt for this kind of diet because of their religious beliefs. Some religions prohibit the consumption of any meat. Others merely control the kinds of meat allowed. Either way, this can be a reason why people opt to cut out meat from their diet completely.

Most Common Vitamin and Nutrient Deficiencies

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People who aren’t aware of the proper food sources may find themselves deficient in some of the major essential vitamins. To be able to avoid that, it’s helpful to learn from what kinds of food you can get these vitamins in such a diet.

Iron

Iron is one of the most common deficiencies of people on a plant-based diet. Fortunately, a lot of plants are rich in iron – you just have to know which ones they are. Leafy vegetables which are dark green have a lot of iron in them. Other sources include:

  • seeds and nuts
  • soybeans and lentils
  • oats
  • whole wheat
  • dried apricots
  • blackstrap molasses
  • dark chocolate
  • cocoa powder (dark or raw)

There are plenty of iron sources from plants. But there are debates on how well the iron from these sources gets absorbed as compared to the iron from meat or fish. Although there are no clear answers yet, it’s important to note that phytates affect the absorption of iron from these plant sources. A lot of plant sources contain phytates. These include some vegetables, seeds, legumes, nuts and whole grains. The phytates combine the minerals, making them more difficult to absorb by the body. Of course, there are different ways to release iron from these food sources. In doing this, the body can absorb the iron better.

Toasting seeds and nuts help break the phytates down. Soaking and sprouting the seeds and nuts does the same to them. Both processes release the minerals from their bonds, making them easier to absorb. Fermentation is another process which can effectively break phytates down. This is a common procedure for food such as miso, tempeh, sourdough bread, kimchi, and sauerkraut, all of which are excellent iron sources.

 

Including vitamin C to your daily meal intake also enhances your body’s ability to absorb iron. This is something to think about because a lot of plant sources contain vitamin C. It’s also helpful to avoid drinking coffee or tea when you’re consuming a meal which is rich in iron. This is because the tannins in these beverages bind minerals, making them harder to for your body to soak them up.

Vitamin B12

 

This particular vitamin is not common in a plant-based diet, that’s why people usually end up with a deficiency of it. So, it’s essential to take supplements or consume foods which are fortified. People who have a vitamin B12 deficiency are at risk for dangerous health complications. When looking at it long-term, it can even be the cause of neurological damages.

People who include eggs and dairy products in their plant-based diet may not be too concerned with this issue. This is because eggs and dairy contain vitamin B12. However, it’s a different story for people who don’t eat any animal products. They have to search for fortified foods to add into their diet. These include some kinds of cereals, non-dairy milk, yeast powder and meat replacement products. When searching for these food sources, it’s also important to go through the labels to ensure that it has vitamin B12. The recommended daily intake of this vitamin is 5-10 mcg for adults, daily. This is important to avoid the deficiency of vitamin B12 in the body.

 

It’s also worth considering supplements for vitamin B12, especially for people who are already low in this essential vitamin. The best choices for supplements are the sub-lingual or chewable ones. This is because the body absorbs them better.

Calcium

This is another essential nutrient found in dairy products. So, people on a plant-based diet who don’t consume such may be at risk for a calcium deficiency. It’s important to find food sources which contain calcium because it’s essential for one’s health. It’s mainly vital to keep the bones healthy. Aside from that, it’s also essential for the transmission of nerve cells and the efficiency of muscle relaxation.

A lot of people may not know this, but a lot of plant-based food sources contain calcium. So it’s good to consume at least 4-5 servings of these food sources daily. Vitamin D must also be consumed along with the calcium-rich food. This is because vitamin D makes the body more efficient at absorbing calcium. Here are some of the best calcium-rich foods:

  • leafy vegetables which are dark green
  • oranges and dried figs
  • sesame seeds and chickpeas
  • tofu and sweet potato
  • fortified milk (non-dairy)

Protein

Here’s another essential component which isn’t present in many foods in the plant-based diet. A majority of plant-based foods contain incomplete proteins. This is because of the absence of all the essential amino acids. Some of these foods contain a low amount of these or some of them are even lacking. Without these amino acids, it affects the amount of protein the body can absorb.

Unlike protein found in plants, animal proteins are complete. This is because they have a good amount of all of the essential amino acids. Fortunately, there are also a few options for plant-based food sources which have complete proteins. Because of this, the food sources should be part of the daily diet. These food sources include:

Quinoa. This is a type of grain that has a somewhat nutty taste. It’s a protein-rich food which also contains iron, fiber, manganese, and magnesium. It’s one type of food which is gradually growing in popularity because of how healthy it is.

People often consume quinoa in place of rice. It’s prepared the same way and can be eaten with different sides. This versatile food is great on its own or even used as an ingredient indifferent dishes.

Quinoa flour is also rich in protein, making it excellent for baking. Nowadays, different food products also contain quinoa. These include crackers, snack bars and even some types of cereals.

Soya. This is another food source which is rich in protein. However, it’s important to “go natural” when consuming soya products. A lot of products which contain soya are highly processed, making them less healthy.

It’s a good thing tofu is also made from soya beans. This is another natural and versatile food source. People eat this on its own or put add it to more complicated dishes. There are different kinds of tofu. People use these varied types in making savory or sweet dishes.

Buckwheat. This comes in flour form and grain form. The gluten-free flour is ideal for baking. It’s combined with other types of flour to come up with different baked creations. The grain form is usually boiled then used as a stuffing for other vegetables. Some people also soak then cook the grains then make it into a breakfast pudding.

Amaranth. This is another type of grain which has a nutty taste. It’s often toasted to enhance the delicious natural flavor. Once toasted, it’s a great addition to salads – giving them a different flavor and texture. Just like buckwheat grains, amaranth can also be made into a pudding for breakfast.

Other Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

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Aside from the previously enumerated vitamins and nutrients, there are other essential compounds to look out for. These vitamins and nutrients are important in keeping the body healthy even while staying on a plant-based diet.

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential. They have a wide variety of amazing health benefits. These benefits are essential for the brain and the whole body.This is why omega-3 fatty acids are always a

In fact, few nutrients have been studied as thoroughly as omega-3 fatty acids. In plant food sources, omega-3 is found in Alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. There are some plants which contain ALA. These include:

  • chia seeds
  • linseed or flaxseed
  • other types of seeds and nuts (they contain minimal amounts)
  • soya
  • leafy vegetables with a dark green color

People following a plant-based diet must consume any food source which contains omega-3. The seeds mentioned above go great in salads, soups, porridges and even cereals. Chia seeds, in particular, can be used for making pudding for breakfast and some desserts. Sometimes, people also choose to take omega-3 supplements just to meet the daily requirement. This is okay too, but of course, it’s better to get the vitamins and nutrients from the most natural sources.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is important because it gives the body a lot of health benefits. Just like calcium, vitamin D keeps the bones and teeth healthy and strong. It’s also effective in protecting the body against serious illnesses. These illnesses include diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.

The best source of vitamin D is sunshine! And the best part is, it’s always readily available. Vitamin D is easily acquired from exposure to the sun. Just make sure to do it at the right time and limit your exposure too. Remember that too much time under direct sunlight is harmful too.

Zinc

Although the daily requirement for zinc isn’t much, the human body still benefits from those small amounts. Zinc helps the body stay healthy and carry out essential body functions daily. It ads in the production of hormones, it helps in body repair and growth, it makes digestion easier and it even boosts the immune system.

Different types of legumes, whole grains, and beans contain zinc. But just like with iron, it’s better to soak or sprout these food sources first to break the phytic acids down. Then the minerals become easier to absorb.

Iodine

Finally, we have iodine. This is another important compound which aids in body’s normal development and growth. The majority of iodine in the human body is found in the thyroid gland. This is in charge of producing and secreting hormones which control the body’s metabolism.

Plant-based food sources which contain iodine are leafy vegetables, asparagus, sea vegetables, and kelp, as well as iodized salt.

Getting the Most out of Your Plant-Based Diet

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As you can see, following a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you’re missing out on anything. Finding the right food sources is key to be able to balance the daily vitamin and nutrient requirements. Here are more useful tips:

  • Instead of meat, go for healthy meat substitutes. These include tempeh, tofu, wheat gluten and even edamame beans. These will provide the body with protein and add texture to the dishes too.
  • Legumes are a rich source of different vitamins and nutrients. They contain carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. They also keep the body feeling full while keeping the energy up and maintaining the weight. Legumes are also great in maintaining the blood sugar levels.
  • Aside from meals, smoothies are also great sources of vitamins on a plant-based Choosing the right fruits and vegetables and blending them up will surely make a great snack or light meal.

 

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients

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Macronutrients Image Design 1 - Everything You Need To Know About MacronutrientsMacronutrients are essential components the body needs for energy. There are 4 main types of macronutrients. But, only 3 of them are healthy for the body. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are 3 of the healthy macronutrients needed by the body. The fourth one happens to be alcohol, but it’s not necessary to keep the body healthy.This article takes an in-depth look at these 3 types of macronutrients.

Nutrients are components found in food sources. They are essential for the growth, energy and overall functions of the body. The body needs these nutrients in varying amounts to stay healthy. The nutrients organisms need in bigger amounts are the macronutrients. The 3 main types of macronutrients give the body energy. This energy comes in the form of calories, and they vary depending on the type of nutrient:

  • There are 4 calories in each gram of
  • There are 9 calories in each gram of fats.
  • There are 4 calories in each gram of

It’s important to know this information. Especially for people who like to count their caloric intake. The foods consumed daily contain these essential macronutrients. The body needs them for energy as well as for healthy growth and development.

Carbohydrates

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This first type of macronutrient is important as it gives the brain and body energy. Without sufficient energy, the brain and body won’t function well. Although there are other sources of energy, the best source are carbohydrates. Fiber, starch, and sugar are the 3 kinds of carbohydrates. While fiber doesn’t provide much energy, starch and sugar are excellent sources. Here’s more information about these 3 kinds of carbohydrates:

Fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate which is essential in digestive processes. There are 2 kinds of fiber namely, soluble and insoluble. The difference between these 2 kinds is the former can be broken down with water while the latter cannot. Both these kinds of fiber are essential in one’s diet. However, fewer kinds of foods contain insoluble fiber.

Many kinds of foods have soluble fiber. These include cereals, cakes, cookies, pastries, and other foods which are processed heavily. Healthier foods contain insoluble fiber. These include rice, carrots, chickpeas, and even whole meal bread.

The body needs more insoluble fiber. The reason for this is that insoluble fiber helps in digestive properties. It also aids in removing toxins from the body’s digestive system. When a body is low in this kind of fiber, it causes a variety of digestive problems. A person who doesn’t get enough insoluble fiber may experience hemorrhoids, constipation, and even a higher risk of cancer of the different organs.

Starch. This kind of carbohydrate is harder for the body to break down. This is because starch is a more complex version of sugar. The body digests starch at a slower rate because of its complexity.

Fruits have little amounts of starch in them while vegetables contain more. Legumes and grains, on the other hand, contain the most amount of starch in them.

Sugar. This kind of carbohydrate is the easiest to break down by the body. Also, it goes into the body’s bloodstream rapidly. But, there are different kinds of sugars. These sugars go into the bloodstream at different speeds. Sugars are classified as monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. They all differ in complexity.

Carbohydrates should be the majority of a person’s daily caloric intake.It’s recommended to consume complex carbohydrates as they are healthier. They are beneficial to the intestines, and they help reduce the levels of cholesterol. Here are some of the best and healthiest sources to include in the daily diet. This list also contains the calorie percentage from the carbohydrates:

  • raw bananas give 93%
  • raw tomatoes give 70%
  • cooked broccoli gives 73%
  • cooked lentils give 70%
  • cooked chickpeas give 68%
  • raw spinach gives 56%
  • skim milk gives 53%
  • avocadoes give 19%
  • walnuts give 9%
  • hard-boiled eggs give 3%

The body stores carbohydrates in 2 ways. First, the body can store this as glycogen. Glycogen stores found in the liver give the body energy when performing physical activities. Whenever a person eats a meal which is rich in carbohydrates, the stores get restocked. Second, the body can also store carbohydrates in skeletal muscles.

Fats

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This second macronutrient contains the biggest number of calories at a whopping 9 calories in each gram. The body needs fat too because it absorbs different micronutrients which are fat-soluble. These micronutrients are carotenoids and different vitamins. Fats are also essential in preserving cell membranes. They aid in the healthy growth of cells. Fats stored in the body help keep it warm. It also supplies energy to the body when food is not enough.

Fats function by helping the body grow and mature. Therefore fats are more important in kids and teenagers since they are still growing. Also, women who are pregnant need slightly more fats than other adults. The recommended daily intake of fats is about 10% of the caloric intake.

Many foods contain fats, but only some of them are healthy. It’s important to regulate fat intake because too much of it in the body is detrimental to the health. Here are some healthy sources of fat to consider. This list also contains the calorie percentage from the fats:

  • walnuts give 83%
  • brie cheese gives 73%
  • avocadoes 70%
  • hard-boiled eggs give 62%
  • cooked turkey gives 50%
  • raw spinach gives 14%
  • cooked chickpeas give 13%
  • cooked broccoli gives 10%
  • raw tomatoes give 9%
  • skim milk gives 5%
  • raw bananas or cooked lentils give 3%

Fat is the flavor source for a lot of different dishes. They are either solid or liquid in form. Fatty acids, on the other hand, fall into 3 different categories. These are polyunsaturated, omega-6, and omega-3.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are the “healthy” fats. That’s why a lot of people include them in their diets, especially when they want to keep healthy. Some kinds of fish, oils, and nuts contain good amounts of these fatty acids.

The body also needs unsaturated fats. These are essential in controlling metabolism. They are also key in maintaining the flexibility of the membranes of the cells. They are important for the growth and development of cells. They are important for cell growth and regeneration. Finally, these fats also boost the flow of blood.

The body also needs some amount of cholesterol. It’s essential in the production of hormones. It’s important to note, though, that the body doesn’t need much of this. Too much cholesterol can lead to a variety of cardiovascular issues. So, when it comes to fats, make sure to consume them in moderation. And when possible, go for the “healthy” kind of fats.

Proteins

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The last healthy macronutrient is protein. Each gram of protein holds 4 calories. The body needs protein for it to grow. That’s why it’s especially important for kids, teens, and women who are pregnant to consume the right amount of protein each day. Protein helps strengthen the immune system, and it also helps repair damaged tissues. Aside from this, it helps boost the production of vital enzymes and hormones. Protein serves as the body’s last source of fuel.

This macronutrient consists of different amino acids. There are about a hundred types of amino acids, but only a few of them are active in the body, 21, to be exact. The human body can create about half of these amino acids. Adults must put away 8 of the essential amino acids which children have to consume at least 9. This is because they are still developing so they need it more.

The 8 amino acids adults must consume are the “essential amino acids.” In the body, these essential amino acids are broken down to create simpler forms. Then, these simpler forms produce the rest of the amino acids which people don’t normally obtain from their diets. A lot of substances can be created by using these essential amino acids.

There are 2 kinds of proteins – complete and incomplete. A complete protein is any food which carries all the 8 essential amino acids. A good example of a complete protein is meat. Incomplete proteins, on the other hand, lack or contain a lesser amount of the essential amino acids. A lot of plants are usually considered as incomplete proteins. However, not all plants can be classified as such. There are certain kinds which do contain all the essential amino acids, making them complete proteins.

It’s recommended that 10-20% of the daily caloric intake should come from proteins. But this depends on a person’s lifestyle. People who lead active lifestyles may need more than just 10-20%. The recommended levels of protein also depend on the protein sources. It’s okay if a person consumes more protein if it comes from plant-based food sources rather than animal products. This is because proteins from plants and animals have different effects on the body. Too much animal protein increases the risk of diseases such as cancer.

A lot of foods contain protein, whether plant-based or animals. Finding the right balance between these foods is key. Each day, a person must consume the right amount of proteins with the essential amino acids to remain healthy. Here are some of the sources of protein. This list also contains the calorie percentage from the proteins:

  • pan-broiled lean beef patties give 67%
  • cooked turkey gives 50%
  • skim milk gives 42%
  • hard-boiled eggs give 35%
  • spinach gives 30%
  • brie cheese and cooked lentils give 27%
  • cooked chickpeas give 19%
  • cooked broccoli gives 17%
  • raw tomatoes give 12%
  • walnuts give 8%
  • avocadoes and raw bananas give 4%

Proteins are important for the body to function well. Protein can work as an antibody, a hormone, and an enzyme. They are also part of the different structures in the body. These include the muscle fibers, tissues, skin, and hair. Most of the protein in the body is in the muscles. Protein which is storeddoesn’t serve as energy sources directly. Instead, they act as building blocks for body structures.

The amino acids in proteins can be classified as essential, semi-essential, and nonessential. Since the body cannot create all the essential amino acids, it’s vital to consume protein to make up for what’s lacking.

How Does the Body Use the Macronutrients?

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The body uses these macronutrients in different ways. These macronutrients are very different from each other. So, their functions in the body vary widely too. First, let’s look at how the body makes use of carbohydrates:

  • The body converts carbohydrates to glucose. This serves as the brain and body’s fuel source.
  • The body stores carbohydrates in the liver and the muscles to be used when performing different physical activities.
  • The body uses carbohydrates for the smooth operation of the brain, the muscles, the kidneys and the rest of the central nervous system.
  • The body uses carbohydrates in controlling insulin production.
  • The body uses fiber (which is a kind of carbohydrate) to regulate digestive processes and levels of cholesterol.

Now let’s look at how the body uses fats:

  • The body uses fats for energy.
  • The body uses fats to facilitate normal growth and the regulation of hormones.
  • The body uses fats to maintain the cells and their membranes.
  • The body uses fats to absorb vitamins which are fat-soluble.
  • The body uses fats as a cushion for the vital organs.

And finally, let’s look at how the body uses proteins:

  • The body uses proteins for muscle growth and muscle repair.
  • The body uses proteins to produce the essential hormones and enzymes.
  • The body uses proteins to strengthen the functions of the immune system.
  • The body uses proteins to maintain muscle mass.
  • The body uses proteins for energy when other sources are not available.

All these macronutrients are important in keeping the body healthy and functioning well. When the body doesn’t get enough of one or more of the macronutrients, some parts and functions of the body may suffer. That’s why it’s vital to keep a healthy and balanced diet.

Top 8 Herbs Proven To Cure Inflammation

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Inflammation Image Design 1 - Top 8 Herbs Proven To Cure InflammationIn general, herbs are good for the body. This is mainly because a lot of them have antioxidant functions. They also have many other health benefits. This article is all about herbs which have great anti-inflammatory functions. A lot of chronic illnesses are caused by inflammation of one or more systems of the body. Therefore, it is vital to learn which food reduce or cure inflammation.

Lowering the body’s inflammation is essential for the body to function well. It’s necessary for heightened immunity, mental clarity, and good energy levels. When the body is hindered because of inflammation or the pain caused by it, then it will be prone to diseases.

Consuming different kinds of herbs can help reduce or cure inflammation. This is because they are a lot more potent than other foods. So, when you add the right herbs to your daily dishes, it can boost the health benefits of your meals. Aside from that, herbs also add interesting flavors to dishes, especially when used correctly.

What Is Inflammation?

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Inflammation is a normal process of the body. This happens when the white blood cells of the body protect it from viruses and bacteria. However, when the inflammation gets out of hand, then it becomes harmful. One of the biggest causes for this is the person’s dietary habits. When the inflammation becomes chronic or severe, then it’s a major cause for concern.

Chronic inflammation is a very dangerous illness. This is because it leads to a lot of other serious diseases. These include obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. It’s one of the major causes of death in the world.

A lot of foods are famous for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One variety of which is herbs. It’s vital to know which herbs will help reduce inflammation. Especially for people who are experiencing it regularly. Adding these herbs to the daily meals will help make the body healthier.

The Importance of Reducing or Curing Inflammation

As previously mentioned, chronic inflammation leads to a wide variety of dangerous illnesses. And one of the main causes of chronic inflammation is poor food choices. When a person constantly consumes foods, which are rich in fat, the body functions overtime just to digest all of it. Such foods are rich desserts, buttery pastries, and red meat, just to name a few. If the body receives these kinds of food regularly, it works hard to get the toxins out of the system. As these foods pass through the arteries, they become irritated. When that happens, cholesterol can pile up within them. If this doesn’t stop, the arteries become sticky and inflamed.

A lot of people believe that genes play a role in how one’s future health. But studies have shown that this isn’t entirely true. Just because a person’s family has a history of heart disease, that doesn’t mean that person will suffer the same illness. If people live healthier lifestyles, then the risk of these diseases happening decreases. That is why it’s vital to choose a healthier lifestyle along with healthy foods.

Research has shown that people who have lived long lives without contracting Alzheimer’s or dementia have brains with a common feature. All of them have very little to no inflammation in the brain. This is also a less frequent occurrence in people who maintain the right weight. People who have a healthy weight are less prone to inflammation than people who are overweight or obese. Also, people whose diets are rich in plants are also less at risk for inflammation.

Advice for reducing the occurrence of inflammation in the body are like those who are suffering from heart disease and other chronic illnesses. The main solution to the problem is a healthier lifestyle. Nowadays we are more exposed to unhealthy food sources. These unhealthy foods are more convenient and readily available. Because of busy schedules, a lot of people opt for the faster and easier choice. Unfortunately, this choice is not the ideal one.

People who suffer from chronic inflammation will benefit a lot by choosing healthier food options. In doing this, the risk is lowered, and inflammation can even be cured. As previously stated, one of the most potent kinds of food great for curing inflammation is herbs. Here are some of the best herbs and spices to look out for. They all have anti-inflammatory properties, making them a must-have in the daily diet.

Sage

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Sage is one of the healthiest herbs. Especially regarding its ability to reduce the effects of inflammation in the body. This herb is very beneficial because it contains anti-inflammatory molecules. The molecules carnosol and carnosic make sage healthy. They also add to its distinct aroma and flavor. A lot of research has been done on this herb. This is because of how well it protects the body from neurological conditions which are inflammation-based.

This herb is promising. This is because it improves concentration and memory, aside from the anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also rich in antioxidants and has beneficial effects against cancer.

Sage goes well with a lot of different dishes. It’s a popular herb which, as you can see, helps reduce the effects of inflammation. So, it’s worth adding to dishes for that extra flavor and the added health boost.

Rosemary

Here’s another healthy herb which adds flavor to a wide variety of dishes. Rosemary is another well-known herb. It has a lot of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. Just like sage, this herb acts by heightening the activity of an essential enzyme in the body. Superoxide dismutase is an essential enzyme which eliminated superoxide. This is a powerful free radical which is linked to chronic inflammation. The activity of the herb works better when cooked. So, make sure to flavor meats, vegetables and other dishes with this healthy green.

Even uncooked though, rosemary is also beneficial. This is because it contains flavonoids which have many health benefits. These flavonoids include apigenin and diosmin. The former compound is useful in slowing down the development of pancreatic cells. The latter, on the other hand, puts a stop to hemorrhoids.

Just like any other anti-inflammatory foods, rosemary blocks the pathways which initiate inflammation. One helpful tip – when cooking food using oil, add some rosemary to it. This allows the antioxidants in the herb to aid in protecting the oil from getting oxidized.

Chamomile

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Ancient physicians used to advise people suffering from inflammation to drink more tea. This was especially suggested when the inflammation was found in the mouth area. One popular kind of tea is chamomile. The leaves for making this tea come from the chamomile plant which flourishes in the sun.

It’s a fresh plant with flowers that smell like apples. The oils distilled from chamomile flowers contain components which help reduce inflammation. These components are chamazulene cyclic sesquiterpenes and a-bisabolol. The oil also contains oxides which are anti-inflammatory. Aside from that, they also have characteristics which are antispasmodic.

Basil& Holy Basil

Basil is the next healthy herb on our list. This one is also great for problems with the body’s digestive system. It effectively eases pain from nausea, gas, and stomach cramps too. Aside from this, it contains an important component which reduces inflammation. Eugenol, which is found in basil, effectively aids in reducing inflammation. It hinders the enzyme which causes inflammation the same way Tylenol and Ibuprofen do.

Another type of basil called holy basil is found in India. This herb is commonly used in Indian dishes as well as a medicine to treat different illnesses. Holy basil also has a lot of medicinal properties. That’s why it’s also useful in reducing inflammation. It’s a great herb which can effectively reduce the effects of high cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis and such, which are all related to inflammation. These leaves come in 2 different forms – either ground or dried. Holy basil is available online or in specialty stores.

Boswellia

This herb is not as common as the previous ones discussed. It’s another healthy herb which comes with a long history. It’s effective for pain relief as well as for reducing inflammation in the body. Just like the other herbs, this natural remedy doesn’t come with negative side effects.

Boswellia helps reduce inflammation by controlling the production of the 5-LOX enzyme. This enzyme is pro-inflammatory and when produced in excess, has harmful effects and diseases. Since boswellia effectively reduces this enzyme, it’s very beneficial for easing inflammation and the pain that comes with it.

Neem

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Here’s another unfamiliar herb on the list. It may be unknown to the rest of the world but not in its native India. Neem oil is effective in calming inflammatory conditions on the skin. It’s also extremely effective in easing joint and muscle pain. Extracts from the seeds and leaves of these plants have other health benefits too. In fact, every part of this plant is useful. In India, people cook and eat the flowers and shoots like vegetables. Leaves spice up the food and give dishes a distinctly bitter taste.

Turmeric

Herbs have a lot of health benefits, but so do spices. One of the best examples is turmeric. This is becoming more and more popular because of its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a yellow root which is more commonly known for its powdery form. Turmeric gives curry dishes their yellow color and distinct flavor. A lot of food manufacturers also use turmeric to give color to cheese and butter. This is very popular with traditional healers. They’ve been using turmeric for more than 4,000 years now. And that’s because of its different health benefits. It’s useful in relieving inflammation, for fighting infections and to treat problems with digestion.

The major ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. This active component is a powerful antioxidant. It helps eliminate harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are very harmful to the body. They damage the cells and cell membranes, leading to inflammation. These affect the body’s DNA negatively, causing the cells to die. Aside from this function, turmeric also reduces the levels of 2 types of enzymes in the body. This is beneficial because these enzymes cause inflammation too.

Turmeric is a popular spice commonly found in different Indian cuisine. It’s known for its bright yellow color, and it’s easy to spot in supermarkets. For years, this spice has been utilized as a type of medicine. It’s used to treat colds, infections, wounds, and even diseases of the liver. The reason why it’s good for treating inflammation is that of curcumin; it’s major ingredient. It’s powerful enough to reduce the pain and other effects of inflammation, especially when in the acute stages. It’s so potent that it can be considered equally effective as cortisone in treating inflammation.

One-way curcumin hinders inflammation is by blocking a specific molecule. The molecule known as NF-KB travels straight into the nuclei of the cells. This activates the genes which promote inflammation in the body. So, curcumin blocks the pathway of inflammation even before it begins. So, to reduce pain and the effects of inflammation, it’s essential to add turmeric into the diet regularly.

Ginger

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Just like turmeric, ginger is another root which has been used for years in traditional medicine practices. It’s well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its other health benefits. Studies have shown that ginger reduces the pain associated with inflammation and other related diseases. Not only that, but ginger also eases the feelings of nausea and an upset stomach.

Ginger is a spice which has been used for centuries. Healers who use traditional medicine gave ginger to treat headaches, infections and upset stomach. It’s easy to find ginger in grocery stores, and it’s worth adding to the regular grocery list. People who suffer from chronic inflammation will benefit a lot from adding ginger to their diet. It hinders pathways of inflammation and enhances anti-oxidant levels of the body. Aside from that, it also promotes good circulation of blood and shortens healing time.

Ginger is highly versatile. It’s easy to add in different dishes; it can be juiced, cooked and even taken as a supplement. Consuming this powerfully healthy spice regularly will improve the overall health of the body.

How Do Herbs Help Cure Inflammation?

Traditional medical healers have used herbs and spices for centuries. They used these plants to treat a wide variety of illnesses and ailments, just like inflammation. These herbs and spices have amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So, it’s no wonder they’re still being used today.

One huge cause of inflammation is the presence of free radicals in the body. These harmful free radicals damage the cells of the body, leading to inflammation. Inflammation blocks other essential pathways in the body, giving way to more serious conditions. Fortunately, many herbs and spices can combat these effects.

Herbs and spices are very effective in reducing inflammation because they are extremely potent. Adding these to food and beverages will enhance the benefits significantly. Taking in these herbs and spices will significantly help reduce any inflammation happening in the body. Because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, these herbs and spices will augment the body’s overall functions.

6 Tips To Building A Healthy Meal Plan

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A lot of times, people don’t have the time to prepare healthy meals for each day. Because of this, they end up going for the fastest option come meal time. But most of the time, these fast choices aren’t the healthiest options. Aside from that, eating out rather than cooking meals at home can cost a lot more. Cooking meals at home are very beneficial. That’s why some people choose to plan their meals of time. When meals are already prepared, and on hand, then life becomes a lot easier.

Building a healthy meal plan is easy. However, a lot of people struggle with doing. That’s because they forget the most important thing – organization. Those who are successful at building healthy meal plans make sure they are organized. After all, planning is a big part of creating such a plan.

Beginners at meal planning can start by planning meals for a few days or a week. Then as time goes by, the process becomes a whole lot easier. Planning meals do take time, effort, and careful consideration. Fortunately, there are helpful tips to guide even the most inexperienced meal planners.

What Is a Meal Plan?

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Simply put, meal planning is a process of organizing how you think about, prepare for, and cook meals. Meal plans can involve all the meals in one day, from breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The whole process involves writing down the meals, preparing the shopping list, and purchasing the items on the list. Going further, it can also involve preparation, cooking, and store the meals. This is especially useful for people who work and have no time to prepare every meal.

There are no set rules for meal planning. It’s a flexible process. People may plan meals a certain way, and these ways may not work for others. It all depends on the person who is planning and what works for him/her. Building a meal plan can be a fun and educational experience. A lot of people who start this practice end up enjoying it. They also start looking for recipes and getting more creative with their daily, weekly, or monthly meals.

To be able to plan meals well, the person needs to formulate some strategies. Each time the person plans, he/she can keep the strategies which work and replace those which don’t. Here are some helpful tips for building a healthy meal plan:

Reflect and Check First Before Planning

First off, it’s important to set one’s mind to the task of planning meals. There are many things to consider in meal planning. These include family members, work schedules, daily activities, and even plans for traveling.Write the plans on a piece of paper or type it onthe computer or laptop. Think about the right time to plan meals. People usually do this at the end of the week, to plan for the week ahead.

One thing to consider is the type of meals to prepare. Cooking healthy meals, you or your family won’t like defeats the purpose of meal planning. People who do this end up ignoring the meals. When this happens, the money and the food end up getting wasted. When planning meals, it’s also helpful to ask the members of the family. This way, everyone agrees with what’s on the plan. So, there’s no reason not to finish off the food which has been prepared ahead.

After planning the meals, it’s time to plan the items on the grocery list. Before doing this, check your stocks to see what you already have. A lot of times, people buy food and ingredients then forget to use them. Then when a recipe calls for these ingredients, they still end up on the weekly grocery list. Also, before using any foods in cooking, make sure they haven’t gone bad yet. This is very important as spoiled foods can be harmful. Do a quick check of your stocks before writing down your grocery list.

Set a Regular Time for Meal Planning

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Meal planning is easy when it’s part of the weekly routine. Setting a regular time for meal planning is key to building a healthy plan. Planning can be done once a week, once a month or every few days. Setting a time means committing to the task. People who successfully make meal plans sit down and think about what they want and what they need for the next few days or weeks.

When planning meals, think about all the meals of the day, from morning until night. These include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between. It’s important, to be honest when planning meals. In doing this, all mealtimes are covered. When a person is honest in planning his/her meals, the whole process becomes more successful. This is especially true when planning healthy meals. Include the desserts in your plans too. They don’t have to be indulgent or unhealthy. There are many options for healthy desserts and many resources for recipes.

Some people make the task more fun by assigning a theme to some days in a week or month. One day can be reserved for pasta, another for seafood, and another for international cuisine. Granted, this takes more effort, but it’s a lot more fun too. Also, it keeps mealtimes interesting, which is beneficial, especially for kids.

Of course, the meal plan also needs to be flexible. Whether the plan is good for a week or a month, it’s helpful to expect the unexpected. Getting dinner invites or party invites are examples of these unexpected events.When these happen, just move your plan around to remain on track. Straying from the planoccasionally isn’t bad.Just make sure it doesn’t often happen, so the food doesn’t go to waste.

Many people do this task in the morning when the household is most quiet. Then completing the task becomes easier and faster. When the rest of the family is up, feedback or ideas can be used to modify the meal plan, if needed. Once the planis finalized, then it’s time to make the grocery list to prepare for shopping.

Find or Create Recipes

This is another fun part of meal planning, especially for people who love to cook. While building meal plans each week or each month, build a recipe book along with it. In doing this, there will be a lot of options to choose from when planning meals. It can be a go-to recipe file to help with the whole process. Print out the recipes and place them in a folder or save them on the computer.

When planning to cook different recipes, make sure to consume the ones which contain the most perishable ingredients. Each week, choose recipes which have similar ingredients to save more money when shopping. This also helps control purchases and minimize waste.

There are many kinds of recipes and many resources to choose from. People post recipes online every day. Because of the growing health trend, a lot of the recipes online come with nutritional information and health benefits. Choose wisely but be flexible too. Mixing in an indulgent recipe occasionally is okay, just don’t do it too often.

Another important thing to think about when finding and choosing recipes is how healthy they are. After all, one of the most important benefits of planning meals is to have healthier food choices. There are a lot of sources for recipes online, and they usually come with brief descriptions. Choose those who have fresh ingredients and have many health benefits.

When following recipes, make sure to get the portions right. Recipes come with the yield so just add the quantity of the ingredients to make more and subtract to make less. Keep any leftover ingredients in the refrigerator. And for the next planning, make sure to include the leftover ingredients so they don’t go to waste.

Make a Shopping List Based on the Set Budget

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Right after finalizing the meal plan, the next step is making the grocery list. Before doing so set a budget and stick to it. People planning for family meals are more conscious of sticking to budgets. It’s a great practice. Set a monthly or weekly budget and make the daily meals part of it. People who do this have a good idea on how much they can spend on food. They can then list down food items accordingly.

When making a shopping list, it’s more effective to do so with a grocery already in mind. Create the list following the layout of the grocery. Then, start shopping from one end of the store all the way to the other. This is a more efficient way to shop as you pass by all the sections without missing out on anything.

After making a meal plan and a list, shopping should be done purposefully. Doing this helps you stick to the budget. It’s even a great idea to keep the set budget in mind while making the meal plan. This makes the planning process easier.

Set a time to do the shopping too. Never shop hungry or when in a rush. People who shop while they’re hungry tend to take items which are not on the list. On the other hand, shopping when there’s not enough time makes people careless. They either miss out on some items or grab items which aren’t on the shopping list.

Prepare or Cook the Food Right After Shopping

When the shopping is done, it’s useful to prepare and cook the food right after. This is especially advisable when planning to store meals for the whole week. It’s also important to prepare and cook meals immediately. Do this to preserve the freshness of the ingredients.

People who plan meals and stock them often set one day for preparing and cooking everything. For working individuals, this is usually done on the weekend. Set one day or half a day out of the weekend to do the shopping. Then cook all the meals before storing them in the refrigerator.

When preparing ingredients, refer to the recipes. The same ingredients might appear in different recipes. Take note of how to prepare them before doing so. Wash, dry, and cut up the ingredients as specified in the recipes.

After preparing the ingredients, start cooking your dishes. Be organized when cooking, so the recipes don’t get mixed up. After cooking a dish, place it in a container for storing. Allow the dish to cool down first before placing it in the

Store Meals the Smart Way

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When storing meals is part of your planning, then it’s important to have a great freezer. This is because any stored food is best kept in the freezer to increase the shelf-life. Storing food in the freezer will keep it fresh and delicious for weeks or even a month. Be careful not to overstock the refrigerator though. Also, when restocking, make sure to take out all the old stocks and place them in front. This way, it’s easier to remember to consume the older stocks before starting on, the fresher batches.

Storing food doesn’t only happen in the freezer. It’s also smart to keep the pantry stocked with the basic ingredients. People who do this don’t run out on the essentials. So, when cooking different dishes, the basics are already on hand. These basics include olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, and other such ingredients.

The Benefits of Building a Healthy Meal Plan

Planning meals are very beneficial. It’s not only economical, but it’s healthy and efficient too. People who plan their meals canmake healthier choices. Here are some of the other benefits of building a healthy meal plan:

  • The main benefit of planning meals is getting to choose what goes into the daily diet. It’s a fact that food matters. Food doesn’t only sustain the body, but it provides the essential nutrients too. So, planning meals allows one to make healthy food choices.
  • Planning meals also save a lot of money. Dining out is more expensive than preparing and cooking meals from home. Planning can also involve looking for discounts and sales on food and cooking ingredients in supermarkets.
  • Building a healthy meal plan also allows for flexibility and variety. People who plan their meals choose their foods. So, when a person wants pasta, he/she includes it in the plan. If a person wants to eat salads the whole week, just add it into the meal plan. And when there are any changes, it’s easy to move things around.

These are just some of the benefits. There are a lot more, which is why more and more people are choosing to plan their meals. It’s a healthytrend, and it looks like this trend is here to stay.

The All-In-One Guide To Organ Meats & Their Benefits

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Organ meats Image Design 1 - The All-In-One Guide To Organ Meats  & Their BenefitsAt one point or another, you’ve probably heard the term “superfoods.” It’s often mentioned in health-related articles and conversations. Yogurt, nuts, and berries are usually classified as superfoods, so you may have already tried eating them. Aside from these organic, natural foods, there are certain kinds of meat which can be classified as superfoods. These are what we call the organ meats.

Organ meats are animal-based foods which come with a lot of health benefits. Therefore they can be classified as super! Think about how predators consume other animals in the natural world. Once a predator catches its prey, it immediately devours the kidneys and the liver first. Then it continues to the muscles and the other meaty parts of the animal. Although a lot of people may cringe at the concept of eating organs, it’s like eating the outer muscles and meats of an animal.

These organ meats are dense parts of the animal. They contain a lot of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. These healthy components include iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, and so much more. And when prepared the right way, these meat parts can be delicious. Consuming dishes with organ meats would be like consuming meals at a high-class restaurant.

Organ meats are the edible parts of the animal’s skeletal muscles. They are also known as “offal” which stands for “off fall.” These are the pieces that fall off the animal’s carcass during the butchering process. These parts are the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and other such organs.

In America, organ meats refer to giblets, which are parts that come from birds. They can also refer to sweetbreads which refers to the pancreas or thymus gland of a young pig, cow or lamb. This article contains everything about the most common organ meats. From the kinds of the nutritional information, there is a lot to learn.

The Organ Meats

Brains

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Take away the zombie jokes, and you’re still left with a controversial kind of edible organ meat. It may seem strange (and somewhat gross), but brains are very beneficial. The downside of this type of meat contains a specific type of protein linked to mad cow disease. Aside from that, it also contains more cholesterol than any other kind of food.

Even with these drawbacks, brains also happen to be the most nutrient-rich parts of any animal. They are filled with healthy oils which may strengthen brain power. This is because brains contain DHA, an oil which is rumored to make people smarter. Brains also contain vitamin B12, another beneficial component. This vitamin helps prevent anemia, depression, and fatigue. It’s also known to increase a person’s mental abilities.

Usually, the brain is lightly coated in flour then sautéed. This presentation gives it a better texture for eating. To prepare the brain for cooking, make sure to take out the film and any veins surrounding it. Once that’s done, soak the brain in water for some hours, making sure to change the water every hour. After soaking, blanch the brain in boiling water and cut it up. Toss the pieces in flour then sauté in butter until the pieces have turned golden brown. Brains can also be poached, scrambled, used in sandwiches, and even cooked in savory stews.

The best animal sources for brains are pig, lamb, cow, and rabbit.

Heart

The heart is a muscle, which means it’s quite like other kinds of meat. But the great thing about the heart is it costs less than ground beef, roasts, and steak. Heart contains more protein, folate, thiamine, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and CoQ10 than the meats it’s like. It also contains a lot of B vitamins and amino acids which can enhance the body’s metabolism. Hearts also contain elements which help the body produce elastin and collagen. These are essential in slowing down the aging process. All these components in this type or organ meat help the body store energy, build muscle and boost endurance and stamina.

When purchasing beef heart, make sure it has a deep reddish-brown color. It should also have a thin layer of fat near the top part. Just like most organ meats, the heart is quite delicate, so it must be cooked gradually. It’s also best to serve it medium rare.

To prepare this type of organ meat, carefully cut away the fat, valves, tendons, and other connective tissues. Then, slice it and rub salt on it. When that’s done, soak the heart slices in a marinade that’s acid-based. Keep it soaked for an hour or two. This process makes the heart tender and more flavorful. After marinating, grill the heart slices and serve them with a tangy vinaigrette. Other animal hearts can be prepared the same way. Although for chicken hearts, you don’t have to slice them up.

The best animal sources of the heart are chicken, cow, and lamb.

Kidneys

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Kidneys are another healthy type of organ meats. These contain high amounts of protein without any of the fat. Kidneys also contain iron, riboflavin, and lots of B12. Aside from these, kidneys also have folate, niacin, and a good amount of vitamin B6.

When searching for kidneys, make sure that they’re glossy, plump and free of foul odors and discolorations. Select kidneys which have a deep-red color. But if you’re choosing veal kidneys, go for those who are tanner in color.

Rinse the kidneys in cold water and take off the thin outer membrane. Slice the kidneys in half and soak them in water with a bit of salt for an hour or two. This makes the flavor subtler, not too strong. Kidneys are typically sautéed with olive oil or butter. They can also be used in casseroles or baked into savory kidney pies.

The best animal sources of kidneys are cow, pig, and lamb.

Liver

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The liver is the most common organ meat. It’s consumed by a lot of people, and it’s not as bizarre as the other types. This organ meat is an excellent source of protein, along with other beneficial nutrients. Liver contains copper, vitamin A, iron, and folic acid. It also contains CoQ10, which is essential for the functionality of the cardiovascular system. The liver is popular with athletes because it enhances the blood cells’ capacity to carry oxygen in the body. This, in turn, enhances their fighting fatigue, strength, and endurance. It also contains B vitamins which help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

The liver can be quite tricky to prepare. This is because it also contains toxins. These toxins come from chemicals and drugs the animals ingest. Therefore, it’s better to purchase liver from grass-fed animals. When preparing liver, it’s advisable to soak it in milk or lemon juice first. This reduces the strong natural taste of the meat. When you’re done soaking the liver, sear it in a pan until it turns light pink. Then, it’s best to top it off with some caramelized onions. If you cook liver too long, it ends up with a rubbery or tough texture. Overcooking it also releases a lot of the digestive enzymes and nutrients contained within.

The best animal sources of the liver are chicken, fish, cow, lamb, duck, bison, and a lot more.

Although liver is commonly eaten, a lot of people are still cautious of this organ meat. This is because the liver filters the toxins from the blood, whether in humans or animals. A lot of people may find this troubling, especially when you think about eating it. But, the liver is totally safe to eat. The toxin levels in theliver are the same with the rest of the animal’s body.

This is because the liver doesn’t filter toxins. It’s more like a processing plant. It makes the toxins inactive, therefore making them useless. This means, if your liver contains a lot of toxins, so does the rest of your body. The same goes for animals too. If the animal is free of toxins, that means its liver is toxin-free too. So, you can safely consume any of its parts, including the liver.

Other Organ Meats to Try Out

The 4 organ types of meat discussed are the most well-known and widely consumed. But there are more types to choose from. In this section, we’ll go through 3 more types of organ meats along with their benefits.

Tongue

The tongue is in fact, a muscle. It’s a tender and delectable piece of meat which contains a lot of fat. This organ meat contains B12 and a lot more B vitamins. The most common sources of tongues are cow and veal. Usually, tongue has a firm and grainy texture along with a grayish-pink color. It can be poached, roasted, boiled, and even pickled.

Beef tongue is the most common kind used in cuisines. It’s very tasty and works well in different kinds of soups. But, being very versatile, it can also be grilled, ground for tacos, and even used as sandwich filling. This meat contains choline, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc, and iron. It’s a complete protein which enhances the body’s immune system.

Tripe

This organ meat is the lining of an animal’s stomach. Usually, tripe is taken from cattle, and it has a chewy texture. Tripe has a honeycomb texture on the surface, like dish rags or towels. But, it’s considered as a delicacy for years.

Reticulum is the most common type of tripe. This honeycomb variety of trips is taken from a cow’s second stomach. Aside from this, there’s also rumen, which is taken from a cow’s first stomach. The most challenging part of eating tripe is handling the chewy texture and the gamey taste. If you can get past that, you can be sure you’re eating a healthy meat. It contains high amounts of protein as well as potassium, and other healthy components.

Tripe takes a lot of time to prepare. For most dishes, this needs at least 12 hours of gradual cooking time. This organ meat adds texture to soups and stews. It also soaks up all the flavors of the broth, giving it a rich taste. It’s low in fat and calories but very high in protein. It also contains B12, zinc, and selenium.

Sweetbreads

Sweetbreads aren’t what you think. They aren’t a type of bread, and they aren’t sweet. They are made from organ meats, usually the pancreas and thymus gland. Sweetbreads contain a lot of protein. But they also contain a lot of cholesterol and fat. The best animal sources of sweetbreads are cow, pig, and calf. These organ meats are usually coated in flour then sautéed. When done the cooking, they’re crispy and golden brown?

Sweetbreads also contain essential amino acids, aside from all the protein. You need these to help repair the tissues in your body. You can pair sweetbreads with bacon to add flavor to it. Aside from this, you can even place them on skewers and grill them.

Organ Meats Are Truly Beneficial

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There are different types of organ meats, and they all come with their benefits. Some types are more beneficial than others. But nobody can deny that they are all healthy food options. Here are some of the general benefits of consuming organ meats:

  • All organ meats are excellent sources of iron. These meats contain heme iron, which is absorbed better by the body.
  • Consuming organ meats keeps you feeling full for a longer time. Studies have shown that diets which are high in protein can help reduce the appetite. Organ meats may also aid in weight loss as they enhance the body’s metabolism.
  • These meats also aid in retaining the body’s muscle mass because they contain high levels of protein.
  • Organ meats are also excellent sources of choline. This component is important for the health of the muscles, liver, and brain.
  • Finally, organ cuts are cheaper and consuming them reduces food waste.

These are only some of the benefits of these superfoods. There are a lot more. The bottom line is that these meats are cheaper, healthier, and can be prepared different ways to make them tasty. All these reasons should be enough to make people want to try them at least out!