The Ultimate List Of Healthy Comfort Food For Teens

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Teens Image Design 1 - The Ultimate List Of Healthy Comfort Food For TeensBeing a teenager is a difficult time. There are many expectations and stresses at such a young age. At the same time, the hormones are completely out of balance. It is difficult for many, especially young women, to know what is happening in their lives. They cannot control some of the cravings they have, especially with food.

Because of the out of sync hormones, teenagers tend to crave the likes of chocolate and sugary foods. Teens also turn to food to handle some of the stressful situations they face. The problem is these foods make the hormones worse,and they contribute to numerous health problems. This can also be when their weight can become an issue, partially because of the types of foods they have turned to.

You want your teen to live a healthier and fulfilling life. It is time to encourage more healthy foods in the diet. They can be comforting and replace the many unhealthy comfort foods and cravings they get. Here is an ultimate list to help you get the best options for your teens. Some of these are family favorites with a healthier recipe,and others are aquick one-off, healthier snacking options.

Grab a Healthier Mac and Cheese

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Mac and cheese is a firm favorite for many teenagers. It is quick to make and super to fill. However,it is not one of the healthiest options available. While it is a comfort food, it misses out on some of the most nutritious ingredients. You need to opt for a healthier version to help your teen grow up strong and supported.

However, the base of mac and cheese is good. White pasta is not as bad as many people make it out to be. Likewise, cheese can offer numerous nutrients like proteins and calcium to build strong muscles and bones. It is the other nutrients that you need,and you can easily add them to your dish to create a healthy option.

One of the best things you can do is add vegetables to the mac and cheese. Since they end up being addedto the cheesy sauce, they often go unnoticed by some. Teens just want something that is going to solve their craving, keep them warm, and make them satisfied. They want something that will soothe their stresses and make it easier to deal with whatever situation is thrown their way.

Add peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and even peppers into the mac and cheese. They will help to add flavor and mix in well with the small bits of pasta. They will also add various nutrients, including iron, necessary B vitamins, and vitamins C and E. Sweet peas are also a great way to curb some of the sweet cravings naturally, while also getting plenty of fiber into the diet.

If you want to add more fiber, you can switch the white pasta for brown pasta. While white is not too bad, brown is certainly better. You will just have to cook it for longer, as it tends to keep some of its solidness due to the extra starch.

Enjoy a Healthy Cottage Pie

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Cottage or shepherd’s pie is one of the most popular home-cooked meals. It is delicious on a cold winter night and easy to make. For the most part, cottage pie is not that bad for you, especially if you choose the lean or extra lean mince in the grocery store. However, you can make it healthier for your teen’s comfort food.

Start by adding some beans or legumes to your mince. Many people in Scotland will just add a tin of baked beans for extra fiber. It is additional nutrients without a big extra cost. However, you can add other legumes, such as split peas or lentils to the recipe. The extra fiber helps to make the dish far more filling and comforting. Your teen will not feel the need to eat as much, as they will be satisfied much quicker.

Another option is to add something to the mashed potatoes. Opt for some cauliflower or parsnips. They can be steamed and then mashed into the potatoes. You will add more nutrients to your carby topping, making it far better for the family’s health.

Want something a little different? A sweet potato topping is an excellent option. You get far more nutrients from sweet potatoes, especially when it comes to antioxidants that will help to support the immune system. Sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, far more than in bananas. You also get the sweetness of the potatoes, helping to curb the sweet potatoes when your teen is looking for comfort.

Make Your Pizzas

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Pizzas get a terrible reputation for being unhealthy and fattening. While the ones that you get from the takeaway are not great, you can make your own healthier options. The best thing is these pizzas can take just 10 minutes to create in the oven. There’s no need to roll out the dough and make your pizza base!

The one thing you want to do is grab some tortilla wraps. Whole wheat tortilla wraps are better, as they are stocked with more fiber to help avoid sugar rushes. They can also be tastier when creating pizzas.

Your tortilla wraps are your pizza bases. You can then top with some tomato paste and as many vegetables as you want. Opt for a little cheese on top. If you want to make a meat eater friendly pizza, you can always shred some of your leftover roast chicken from Sunday’s dinner or get some ham slices to throw on. Opt for as fresh as possible to avoid the packaging and processing chemicals.

Since these homemade pizzas take just 10 minutes in the oven, they have become firm favorites with teens. It feels to them like they are eating something naughty,but they know that they are going to be good for the health and the waistline. They can also be fun additions for house parties with friends.

Create a Healthier Sloppy Joe

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Sloppy Joes are a mainstream meal for middle schoolers. It is normal for your teen to be drawn to them, as a connection to their childhood. There’s no denying that sloppy Joes are also filling and delicious.

Apart from the hamburger bun, sloppy Joes are not too bad for the health. However, you can make them much healthier.

Start by switching the beef mince for pork or turkey. Look out for lean mince, too. This will get rid of most of the saturated fats so that you can gain from all the amino acids and proteins in the food. Then add plenty of vegetables and legumes into the mix. You will get far more nutrients and fiber, supporting the health instantly.

What about the burger bun? Well, you could just make an open sandwich. They are not quite the same as a traditional sloppy Joe, but you do get rid of some of the carbs that accompany the burger buns. Alternatively, you can choose a whole wheat wrap or pita bread instead. They are better for the fiber and will help to give a similar sloppy feeling since they can be eaten with the hands. They tend to be a little easier to eat!

Make a Vegetable Lasagne

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Lasagne is another popular home dish that adds comfort at the end of the day. The problem is the pasta sheets. While white pasta sheets are not as bad as they were once considered, there are better options to use. Your teens will hardly tell the difference. Opt for layers of courgette or aubergines instead of layers of pasta sheets.

If you do not want to replace all the pasta with the vegetables, you can mix and match. Do a layer of vegetables and then a layer of pasta and keep alternating. Add a top layer of pasta to make it look like this is the usual home-cooked meal. Your teen will get the feeling like they are eating their typical dish, so they do not subconsciously turn their nose up to it.

It is not just the pasta layers that you can replace either. It is possible to make a whole lasagne with vegetables if you like. Switch out the mince with some tofu if you would want. You still get the proteins, but you do not get the unsaturated fats.

Want to keep the meat? We do not blame you! You can opt for lean turkey mince instead of beef. You will get a similar taste without as many saturated fats. Do not forget to add some vegetables and legumes to your meal to add more nutrients and fiber.

This healthier option will help you get the warm comfort with extra nutrients. Your teen will hardly tell the difference.

Make a Healthier Banana Ice Cream

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Frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream, but you can go one step further for a healthier, comforting ice cream. It is time to turn to banana ice cream.

Peel your bananas and wrap them in foil, before putting them in the freezer. Leave them there until they are solid and ready to much into an ice cream. Just blend them down. You can add a little milk if you want, but most of the time you will not need it.

Bananas are naturally creamy and will give you the same cold texture as ice cream. You can also freeze other fruits, especially berries, and mix them in with the bananas. You get a delicious mixture of flavors that are naturally sweet. The benefit for your teen is that the sweet cravings are naturally curbed.

Is it a chocolate craving you need to get over? Well, you want to turn to a little cocoa. Add it to the bananas before you blend. Alternatively, you can get some dark chocolate and melt it down. Opt for at least 70% cocoa to get rid of the unnatural sugars added to chocolate. Drizzle over the top of your banana ice cream for a sundae.

Make Chocolate Chip Cookies without the Flour

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Cookies are a popular comfort food. They solve the sugar cravings but are not exactly healthy. You can get the same craving curbing without adding flour to your homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Get some flaxseed and quinoa to mix and add in some bananas. The bananas will help to gel everything together without the need for milk, while the quinoa and flaxseed replace the need for flour. The bananas will also help to add a natural sweetness, curbing the cravings without refined ingredients. On top of that, you get extra proteins through the quinoa and extra fiber through the flaxseed.

What about the chocolate chips? Get some dark chocolate chips for your cookies. They have fewer added sugars to them, making the healthier options. The cookies are extremely easy to make,and they will last up to a week in an airtight container. Your teen will just think they are eating normal chocolate chip cookies, tricking the brain that all cravings are being satisfied.

Do not Forget the Popcorn

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Contrary to popular belief, popcorn is healthy for you. It is the ingredients added on top of the popcorn that is bad for you! If you want to offer a comfort food for watching movies, stock up on your popcorn kernels and invest in a popcorn machine. They will last for years, and you will get some use out of them.

Popcorn kernels are full of fiber and nutrients. What you want to do is avoid the sugar, salt, and toffee added to the popped kernels.

You do not need to eat plain popcorn, however. That would be boring! Add your spices and herbs instead. An Italian seasoning can give a unique taste to the popped kernels. You can also add some cayenne pepper or some of your cheddar cheese. If you want some salt, opt for sea salt instead. There are some extra nutrients that table salt does not have, but keep the amount to a minimum.

It is Time to Curb the Cravings for Real Comfort

Most comfort foods are full of unhealthy ingredients, but that does not mean they have to be completely banned. You can opt for healthier versions of your teen’s favorite comfort foods. They will still offer the same comforting benefits, but add some health benefits at the same time.

The list above will help you turn all your home comforts into healthier versions. You can even enjoy them yourself to add more warmth and healthy comfort to your day. Most of the time your teens will not even realize you have made some changes.

Are you ready to change the way you look at foods in the house? The changes will not cost you much money, but they will make you physically feel comfort rather than just temporarily mentally.

How Diet And Exercise Can Help Combat Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis Image Design 1 - How Diet And Exercise Can Help Combat Multiple SclerosisIf you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can find yourself struggling just to do the normal day to day things. Many people think their life is over and worry about relapses or harsher bouts in the years to come.

While you cannot avoid MS completely, there are some steps you can follow to combat it. These steps involve your diet and exercise, and will not just help to deal with the symptoms but will help to avoid some relapses.

You can take control of your life. Here’s a look at the things you need to do. We will also look at the various claims about diet and exercise and how they affect MS. Not all diets are worth the marketing budgets they have gained.

Studies Are Still Taking Place in Both Diet and Exercise

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It is worth noting that there are no concrete tips to combat MS. Research continues in both diet and exercise, especially since there have been some positive results. The results have been mixed, especially when it comes to a mixture of diets considered good for MS patients.

Many other factors go into the autoimmune condition. One of those is stress! It is important to look after your overall health. The benefit of diet and exercise is they contribute to good health and a good immune system. This can help to limit the number of negative hormones and chemicals in the body that are linked to MS symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the immune system, which is why it is known as an autoimmune system. The immune system starts attacking healthy components in the body, wrongly identifying them as bad for you. In the case of MS, the immune system affects the nerve cells, by attacking their myelin coating. The process is known as demyelination.

You are likely to suffer from muscle spasms, walking problems, tingling/numbness in parts of the body, and fatigue. Your nerve cells are responsible for sending messages throughout the body and help with the control of the muscles, so the symptoms are not surprising. What you want to gain from any treatment is to support the health of the nerve cells. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.

Now that we have got the negative out of the way, it is time to look at diet and exercise. Let’s look at the positives of how they help so you can make the best choice for your health.

You do not Need to Join a Gym If You do not Want!

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Let me make one thing clear when it comes to exercise. You do not have to join a gym. There’s no need to push yourself until you are ready to drop. Exercise gets a bad name because of the view that you are in a gym where everyone is watching you. In a good gym, that is not the case anyway. You will find plenty of people supporting you and helping you become a better and healthier version of yourself.

However, if you are entirely against the idea of joining a gym right now, don’t worry about it. You can do plenty of activities in and around the house. Some of these can be done while you suffer from symptoms to help keep the muscles as strong as possible. Some exercises and activities can help to ease painful muscle spasms and boost your energy levels.

Why not try starting with some walking? Initially park your car further away from the shops when you are not suffering from bad MS symptoms. You will get more steps in to get into the shops, helping to increase the amount of activity you do slightly. Parking further away from work and even the home can help too.

Then you can move onto taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Not sure you can get right to the top? Look at taking the stairs halfway and then call for the elevator. Before you know it, you will be at the top of the stairs and feel amazing for it.

These types of movements will get easier. You can then move onto slightly more extensive forms of activities. Cleaning the house really will count, just like gardening. Think of the movement you have to do for both. You can also go for walks with your friends or walk the dog to get more activity in.

Get an Exercise Program Made for You

If you are ready to move onto more exercises and activity, look at getting a program made especially for you. You will want something created that can be done when you are feeling fit and healthy and other exercises to do when you are suffering from symptoms. This way, you keep your mind focused and positive. Just because you have some muscle weakness, or some spasms does not mean you need to avoid all exercise.

Personal trainers may not be able to help, as it will depend on their qualifications. You may need to talk to a physiotherapist to make sure your exercise program is created with your specific needs and symptoms in mind.

Yoga is considered a good option because it does more than build strength. With yoga, you can improve your flexibility and focus on reducing stress. Stress is linked to MS symptoms, due to the hormonal change and inflammation within the body. If you can keep stress to a minimum, you may make handling the symptoms easier or decrease the number of flare-ups you suffer from.

Look Out for Strength Training

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There’s no need to force yourself to run a marathon. You are not training to be the fastest and greatest. You want to improve your muscle strength. This will help to reduce bouts of symptoms, as the nerves will also gain strength.

This means you want to focus more on strength training than cardio. You can still do some cardio, like walking, but make sure most of your training is based on improving your tone and density of your muscles.

No, we are not talking about bodybuilding! You do not need to start deadlifting 100lbs. Just some bodyweight exercises in your own home or some yoga will help to build your strength and flexibility.

Strength training is something you can build up. Start low, especially if you have not exercised in a long time or are worried about making your problems worse. You can then build up slowly over time. As exercises start to get more comfortable, hold them for longer or increase the number of weights you use.

Listening to your body and your mind is essential. If there’s pain, slow down and stop exercising for now. While you should feel some tiredness, you should not feel pain during the exercises.

Warning Signs of Exercise

While some exercise can be good for your MS and combating symptoms, it can also cause some problems. This comes from over training.

You will naturally feel some fatigue after exercise. Healthy people feel the same. However, the fatigue is temporary. You can often feel like you have a burst of energy and a positive mood because of the exercise you have done. Your muscles just feel tired of how you have pushed them.

This fatigue should not continue for longer than two hours. If it does, you may have pushed your muscles too much. It isimportant to listen to your body and make changes to your exercise routine where necessary. Reduce the frequency, intensity, or duration of your exercise to help avoid long bouts of fatigue afterward.

Watch Out for Dangerous Diets

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When it comes to diets, you need to look out for the dangers of some. Many diets will omit vital nutrients. These are touted as being good for MS, but are detrimental to your health and can make your MS worse. While you will want to lessen your symptoms, you need to think carefully and consciously when it comes to trying diets.

Not all diets that are healthy have shown positive outcomes for MS either. While the diets will help to encourage an overall healthy lifestyle, they haveshown no abilities to curb symptoms or lessen the frequency of flare-ups of the condition. However, studies have shown some diets positive.

It is not really about the exact type of diet you follow. You can combat MS and symptoms by focusing on specific foods.

Multiple sclerosis is linked to the amount of inflammation within the body. Since MS is an autoimmune disease, you need to prevent the inflammatory response within the system from occurring. This means eating foods that offer some anti-inflammatory benefits.

One of the best options is oily fish. It is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep the levels of omega-6 in the body down. You do not just need to eat oily fish, but the likes of salmon, mackerel, and tuna have shown positive outcomes. Some bread and cereals are also fortified with the fatty acid.

You can also use other healthy fats to help reduce inflammation and support the health. Olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil are all considered healthy options. Stocking up on more nuts can also help to keep inflammation down.

There have also been some studies that show vitamin D can help to reduce MS symptoms. In fact, studies have shown that low levels of this nutrient can lead to autoimmune diseases to become more prevalent and severe. Vitamin D can limit relapses and affect lesions in the brain. Studies are still ongoing, but so far looking good.

Besides, you want vitamin D in your diet, and it is something that most people are deficient in. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, so supports the bones. This is essential if you want to support the muscular system. You can get vitamin D from the sun, as well as from egg yolks and some fortified milk. Your doctor will help you decide whether vitamin D supplements are worthwhile.

There are also studies that show antioxidants can help. They can help to support the immune system, reduce the amount of inflammation in the body, and also support the development of new cells. If the nerves are being damaged, new cells will help to repair them. This can help to lessen symptoms and reduce the number of relapses of the condition.

Do You Need to Cut Out Gluten?

You may have heard that you need to get rid of gluten from your diet. Cutting down on gluten could be helpful, but it is not necessarily going to solve your issue. While some people are sensitive to gluten, it could be something else your body is reacting to.

Your doctor may recommend an elimination diet. This can help to determine if a specific food is causing the inflammation in your body. However, a specific food is unlikely to cause the immune system to attack the lining around your nerve cells.

So far, research is conflicting about gluten and other foods. You will want to take anything you hear with a pinch of salt until you discuss your options with your doctor.

There is much support for the paleo diet. This does advocate the removal of gluten from the diet, along with anything processed, grains, and other foods that weren’t available when our Palaeolithic ancestors were around. The paleo diet has been linked to some health benefits, but studies are still inconclusive about managing and combating MS symptoms.

Two things to cut down on and even eliminate from your diet are bad cholesterol and refined sugars. Both offer no goodanyway and have been linked to making autoimmune disorders worse. Sugars raise the blood sugar level and cause the insulin response, which can lead to inflammation and the immune system reacting at the wrong time. Bad cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and high blood pressure, which can lead to other health problems.

There’s Still No Treatment for MS

Unfortunately, there is still more research needed into MS and ways to treat it. So far, there is no conclusive evidence that anything will work. The studies just show that diet and a healthy diet can help to combat symptoms and minimize relapses.

Everything You Need To Know About Fiber Supplements

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Fiber Supplements Image Design 1 - Everything You Need To Know About Fiber SupplementsYou know that fiber is an important nutrient for the body. There are high chances that you have seen how weak your digestive system can become without it. Fiber helps to keep the whole digestive system working effectively. It ensures waste is removed, stools are comfortable to pass, and nutrients are absorbed into the body.

If you feel like you are not getting enough fiber in your diet or there’s an issue with allergies and sensitivities that make it hard to get fiber, you may look towards supplements. They can help increase the amount you get daily quickly and effectively.

However, they are certainly not a one size fits all option for getting more fiber. Here’s everything you need to know about fiber supplements to make sure they are safe for you.

There are No Proof Supplements Harmful

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You may hear many people telling you that supplements are not good for you. When you can get a nutrient naturally through your diet, why would you want to take something that’s human made? Many people view supplements as harmful ways to upset your hormonal balance. People view supplements in the way that they view pharmaceutical remedies for illnesses.

Well, don’t worry too much about taking the supplements. There is no evidence that the supplements are harmful to your health. In fact, the studies have shown the exact opposite.

Fiber is so good for your body that many doctors recommend that you take supplements to improve your health. Fiber helps to keep your bowel function normal.

Sure, it is better to get fiber from your food. You will also get a range of other nutrients through your food. When your digestive system is working efficiently, you will gain far more from the ingredients since you will be able to absorb more of the extra nutrients. Supplements do not offer other minerals, vitamins, and macronutrients as real food does.

However, that does not mean you should skip the supplements. Just because you eat foods with natural fiber,it does not mean you are going to see health benefits. Your body needs to be able to absorb it all. You need to get enough fiber through your food, and this is something that many people fail in.

Supplement Your Natural Meals with Man Made Fiber

The trick to gain everything is by using supplements the way they were designed. They are not to replace your natural fiber intake, but to supplement it. The clue is the name, right?

When you supplement your meals with the human made fiber, you will increase the amount of fiber that you get into your diet. You still get the vitamins and other nutrients from your food, but you get more fiber than you would have gained naturally. There is more of a chance of supporting your whole digestive health to take in all the other nutrients that you are getting.

It is worth looking at the amount of fiber you get naturally. You can then determine how much you are missing from your recommended daily allowance. This will help you find a way of using fiber supplements to contribute to your daily intake, so you are not stressing about the amount that you gain.

Fiber Supplements Do Have Some Side Effects

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While there is no proof that the supplements are harmful, not all the studies have only shown positive results. There are some side effects that you need to be aware of. This is especially the case if you take medications. If you suffer from certain health problems, you will need to talk to your doctor before you start taking the supplements as they could interact with your medications.

Fiber supplements can make it harder for your body to absorb some medications. This is common in those who take aspirin or carbamazepine medications. If you need these for a medical problem, you will want to make sure your doctor is aware of changing the amount you take in a day and find other ways to manage your medical conditions.

If you have insulin for diabetes, you will want to discuss fiber supplements with your doctor. The fiber can help to reduce your blood sugar levels, which could have a positive effect if you suffer from high blood sugar. You may find that you can reduce the number of medications you take for your health problem. However, this can make the fiber supplements a little dangerous if you naturally have low blood sugar levels. Your doctor may need to adjust your medication up to make sure your blood sugar levels remain healthy.

Other side effects are not as dangerous. Most people notice a little gas and bloating at first. This is because the body is getting more fiber than it has had in the past. It takes some time for the digestive system to get used to this and use it effectively. If you continue to take the supplements, you should find that the discomfort comes to an end after a few weeks.

You can minimize some bloating and gas issues using water. Make sure you take your fiber supplements with water and drink plenty of it throughout the day. The water will work with the fiber to keep your digestive system working effectively.

There Are Different Types of Supplements

While you likely initially think of pills that you swallow whole, there are many different types of fiber supplements. If you have mentioned taking them to your doctor, they will likely want to know which type you are considering. Make sure you go in with all your options that sound best for you to help your doctor determine if they are right for you.

Synthetic fiber is one of the most common. You can get powders that you add to your water, capsules that you take like painkillers or chewable forms that are more like candies. These supplements offer a “functional fiber” that will help to get to work on your digestive system immediately. While most of these forms are synthetically made, you can get some natural sources.

Natural extracts are popular options for those looking to avoid issues with their health. You just need to know the form of natural supplement you start to take. Lignin is one of the most popular as it is easy to extract. It is a compound that is naturally made of plant cells.

However, you can also opt for cellulose, pectin, or gum. These are sugars found in different sources. Cellulose is from the plant cells, pectin is from berries and fruits, and gum is from seeds.

Another option is psyllium. This is from Plantago plant husks and has shown excellent benefits against bad cholesterol levels in the diet. By lowering the bad cholesterol, it is possible to protect the heart and whole cardiovascular system. Studies have only shown this form of natural and unnatural fiber is beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol levels.

Taking a Right Amount of Fiber

Make sure you get the right amount of fiber in your diet. Adding too many supplements into your diet can be dangerous. Your body is not used to the amount that you get, and you can end up with many uncomfortable side effects. It is not just about the bloating and gas. Some people have more cramping, as their digestive system tries to handle everything.

Thisis not just a side effect of supplements. Increasing your natural fiber intake through your food can lead to the same side effects.

Doctors recommend that you increase the amount of fiber you get slowly. Allow your body a chance to adjust and then add a little more fiber. Listen to the way your body feels, especially when combine natural and supplemental fiber into your diet.

Experts suggest that you get around 14g of fiber for every 1000 calories that you eat. Women only need around 25g of fiberdaily for a healthy digestive system. When you get older, you can decrease the amount to approximately 21g. Taking a little extra is not going to do much harm, but you will want to avoid overdosing on this nutrient.

You do not need more than 50g of fiber in your diet daily. Studies have shown that any more than this can negatively affect the way your body absorbs all the nutrients that you give. You want to improve the natural absorption of other nutrients, not make it harder!

Too much can also lead to another discomfort in the gut. You can make the stools too lose or cause more cramping, as your digestive system struggles to manage the amount you are giving it.

The side effects are why it is so important to talk to your doctor before taking supplements. This is even the case if you are healthy. You want to make sure you do not cause other health problems by taking too much fiber daily.

Always make sure you take the fiber with water. You want to remain hydrated throughout the day. The fiber will absorb more water, which will leave your body without it in areas that it needs it. The best thing you can do is add extra water, especially in the beginning. Give your body a helping hand that you can for a healthier lifestyle.

Get Plenty of Other Nutrients

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You cannot just focus on the fiber in your diet. It is essential that you look at all the other nutrients, both macro, and micronutrients.

A high protein diet is essential for a high fiber diet. The two nutrients work together to avoid loose stools and ineffective digestive systems. They both break down slowly but help to absorb more nutrients into the whole body. The protein will help to keep your muscles building, while the fiber helps with digestive complaints and other health problems.

At the same time, you will need to think about vitamins and minerals. Remember that the fiber supplements will not include these. While you can take other supplements, it is best to get as many nutrients through their natural forms. Think about the food you eat daily to help improve your overall health.

Don’t Worry About Initial Weight Gain

You have likely heard that fiber can help you with weight loss. The nutrient takes longer to break down, so you feel fuller sooner than you would with some other nutrients. The nutrient also takes longer to break down over time, so you do not feel as hungry throughout the day. You can eat less throughout the day, helping to create a calorie deficit.

However, you will not initially see a weight loss because of the nutrient. Your body needs to adjust to the amount of fiber you are now adding in. You can find that you gain a little weight at first, as your body handles the digesting of the nutrient and you change the way and amount you eat throughout the day.

Bloating can make you feel heavier than you are. You can find that clothes do not fit well, despite the scales telling you that you have not gained any weight. This is your body adjusting slowly and managing the new levels.

Don’t worry too much about the initial weight gain. You will often find that after a few days the weight comes off and you do not feel as bloated as you once did.

You can minimize the feeling of bloating and weight gain. Start by increasing your fiber amounts slowly. This will give your body time to adjust. Drinking more water can also help, as your body can push the fiber through quickly and effectively.

Will You Add Fiber Supplements to Your Diet?

Fiber supplements are a popular way to add more of the nutrient to your diet. They are not necessary, but they can be useful. Make sure you follow the recommendations for fiber that you get and look at both natural and synthetic options.

There are no studies that show long-term health problems, but this will depend on your current health. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet to protect your overall health.

7 Food Scientifically Proven To Improve Blood Circulation In The Lower Body

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Blood Circulation Image Design 1 - 7 Food Scientifically Proven To Improve Blood Circulation In The Lower BodyThe blood does more than just keep your alive. It helps to give you energy and keep the organs efficiently functioning. The blood is where the oxygen is to get to even the extremities. You need to keep the circulation good if you want a healthy lifestyle.

One area of circulation commonly overlooked is in your lower body. It is common to believe that this area is not as important as the middle since there are no organs. While you know some blood is needed, you may not realize just how much until you find yourself struggling with health problems.

It is Not All About the Food

I do want to start by saying that food is not going to be the only way to boost the circulation within your legs. There are other things that you can and need to do to keep an overall healthy body.

You will know that poor circulation is extremely common on planes. Doctors recommend that you get up during flights to walk around the cabin. It is annoying to some passengers, but they are not the ones who live with your health problems afterward.

However, it is not just during flights that you will need to keep your legs moving. One of the best ways to boost circulation is through exercise. You do not just get it to your legs, but to the whole of your body. This does not mean you have to hit the gym every single day of the week. You do not need to sign up to do your first marathon. If running just isn’t your thing, then don’t do it!

Look for exercises that you enjoy doing. Swimming, yoga, or even kickboxing can all be beneficial. If you are just interested in walking, then go for it. It isimportant to get the blood pumping through something you like. You are more likely to stick to the plan and have a healthier lifestyle overall.

You can also gain circulation benefits in the shower or bath. A louder is one of your best friends. Exfoliating will also help, along with dry brushing. The process of exfoliating and scrubbing helps to stimulate the blood flow to the specific area. You also get rid of dry skin, so your legs will look better than they have done in the past.

However, the diet does play a part. You want a diet that is full of antioxidants and omega 3 fats. They will help to get rid of free radicals and remove the toxins that cause an issue within the body and the blood. You want a diet that is alkaline rich, as the blood is more towards the alkaline level of the scale. Are you ready to start grabbing the best ingredients for your meals?

These are seven foods that have been scientifically proven to improve blood circulation in the lower body.

Start with the Celery

One of the best foods in your diet is celery. It is extremely low in calories; to the point where it takes more calories to digest it than you gain from eating it. It is full of nutrients that you will gain. The most important nutrient for the blood circulation is vitamin K.

We tend to overlook vitamin K. In fact, unless you are pregnant or have been pregnant, you may not have even heard of the vitamin. It is one that is barely mentioned when consideringdiets because if you follow a healthy diet, there are high chances that you get enough of it!

Vitamin K is neededforgood blood flow. Ithelps to encourage clotting in times of injury, preventing the blood from a continuous flow, so youare left with none! It can also help to keep internal bleeding to a minimum unless you have experienced a life-threatening trauma. You want to keep your vitamin K levels up to help ensure your blood flows but stops when it should!

On top of that, celery is full of electrolytes. These help to keep the kidneys functioning properly. While you need to remain hydrated, your body needs electrolytes to process all the toxins and get them out of your body. The electrolytes are your body’s natural diuretic, so will help to get rid of the toxins in your body. Removing the toxins will help to keep your blood free and improve the circulation.

Celery is easy to eat. You can opt for it raw or cooked; although raw is better as you keep all the nutrients. Add some hummus or cream cheese to the middle of the celery, so it is like a boat, and enjoy as a snack. Alternatively, blend up into a smoothie or make juice with it. You can also add it to stews and soups if you want to mask the taste!

Grab Oats on a Morning

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Start your day with a bowl of porridge oats. There is nothing better for you! While you likely hear about oats for your digestive system, they are also excellent for boosting the blood flow to your legs. Gluten-free oats are the best option. The good news is that raw oats will usually be naturally gluten-free.

Oats are packed with antioxidants. They will get into the system and cleanse out the free radicals. You willreduce the amount of oxidative stress that occurs in the body, helping to reduce the signs of aging and improve the blood flow throughout the body. Oats are also useful for removing cholesterol from the body.

It is the effect on the cholesterol that’s the most beneficial for the blood flow to the lower body. When the cholesterol levels are low, the arteries remain smooth. They do not cause friction in the blood, making clots and clogs more likely.

On top of that, oats offer an anti-inflammatory benefit. We have already mentioned as inflammation can cause a problem for the blood flow. The inflammation restricts the arteries, preventing the blood from getting where it needs to. While the vitamin K from the celery can help improve the blood flow, the arteries need to remain wide enough! Reducing inflammation ensures that, so your lower body does not suffer from pins and needles, fatigue, and coldness.

Many people will use water or milk to make porridge on a morning, but that is not the only way you have to use them. Try out some overnight oats. You add a layer of oats, fruits of your choice, and then some plain Greek yogurt into a bowl or mason jar and leave them overnight. Don’t stir until the next morning, so the fruit and yogurt have a chance to seep into the oats and mix better.

Add a Variety of Citrus Fruits to Your Diet

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Citrus fruits are excellent options for all types of health problems. When it comes to poor blood flow in the legs, you will want them for their natural but low sugars, as well as their anti-inflammatory properties.

We have already considered the inflammation issues and blood flow, but what about the low sugars? Well, high blood sugar will cause an insulin response. This can also lead to inflammation of the body. While you may have food that works as an anti-inflammatory, you need food that isn’t going to react against it. The natural sweetness will also help to curb your sweet cravings throughout the day.

Then there’s the alkaline benefit. The blood is naturally slightly alkaline. It needs to be like this for good blood flow throughout the body, including in the lower section. An alkaline balance will help to keep some health problems at bay while helping to gain all the benefits from the nutrients your body absorbs through other foods.

Moreover, you get the vitamin C content. There’s no denying that vitamin C is good for you. It is a natural cleanser, helping to remove the toxins that cause problems for your blood flow.

You can get a range of citric fruits to help improve your blood flow. Opt for oranges as snacks or start your day with half a grapefruit. You can also opt for some lemons to make your natural lemon juice or create smoothies with a range of citrus fruits. Healthy dressings are other options! Lemon water is one of the most beneficial ways to start the day before you think about eating anything.

Don’t Forget About the Whole Grains

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Your blood circulation will need fiber. The fiber helps to keep your heart health, which will help to make sure the blood passes throughout the body. Fibre will also help to keep your cholesterol low, which will help to gain better circulation in all extremities, including your toes!

Soluble fiber will turn into a gel when absorbed by water. It helps to soften the stools and slow down the digestive system, supporting it at the same time. Your body can gain all the nutrients you gain from the food you eat.

The lower cholesterol levels will not just help the blood circulation in your lower body. It will also help to improve your artery and heart health to avoid cardiovascular disease.

You can gain whole grains from all types of foods in the grocery store. Bread and cereals are often considered, but look out for lentils, peas, and other similar foods. They are not quite grains, but they offer some similar benefits without some of the downsides of bread and cereals.

Whenever you choose bread, cereals, and other grains, you will want to check the amount of grain in them. Make sure they say 100% whole grain for best results. Others can cause some issues to other parts of your health.

Add More Fish to Your Diet

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Most people do not get enough fish in their diet. We spend much time focusing on chicken, pork, and red meat but then forget all about the fish. However, the latter is full of the necessary omega three fatty acids that will help to improve circulation throughout the body.

Omega 3 will help to reduce the amount of inflammation within your body. This helps to decrease the number of blood clots that form and will help to reduce the cholesterol. The fatty acids will also help to reduce the amount of plaque building up in the arteries, which leads to high blood pressure and poor circulation.

Blood clots in the leg are common, especially if you fly a lot. These blood clots can be fatal, so you want to reduce the risk of them as much as possible.

You only need two portions of fish or seafood a week for the healthy results. Opt for oily fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon for the best results.

Use Garlic to Season More

tip 5 - 7 Food Scientifically Proven To Improve Blood Circulation In The Lower BodyWhen seasoning your meals, look to see if garlic can be added. It is one of the most beneficial ingredients in your diet and something that you can use on a daily (and more) basis. It does not just help blood circulation but also aids in reducing cold symptoms and boosts the immune system.

When it comes to the blood circulation, the benefits come from the lowering of cholesterol. Studies have shown that garlic is as good as drugs called statins for reducing the cholesterol. While they are not as potent, they do not have the side effects that drugs do, which makes them just as good (if not better.

Garlic can also help to relax the legs’ blood vessels. This will help to reduce clotting risks, which means you are not putting your health at risk.

Look out for more dishes that contain garlic. You can also make garlic tea, which is highly beneficial if you are ill and want an herbal remedy to help.

Stock Up on Your Dark Leafy Greens

tip 6 - 7 Food Scientifically Proven To Improve Blood Circulation In The Lower BodyWhether you want kale, spinach, or even collards, you need to stock up on your dark leafy greens. While citric fruits are good for alkalizing the body, the dark leafy greens are better. They also contain plenty of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and K. Together, all the nutrients will cleanse the blood and help it to flow better throughout the legs.

Of course, there’s the fiber content too. There’s no denying that the leafy greens will help to keep your digestive system working to keep the cholesterol levels down. They will also help to reduce the inflammation in your body.

A major benefit of dark leafy greens is the way you can get them into your body. They can be eaten both cooked and raw. While rawly is better, you do not lose too many nutrients eating them cooked.They are great in omelets, stews, and more. You can opt for them in wraps to replace lettuce or eat them in a salad. Another option is to blend them down and enjoy a healthy green smoothie every morning.

It is Time to Boost Your Blood Circulation

Improving the blood flow to your legs is essential. Blood clots are extremely dangerous, and they can go undiagnosed for some time. Make sure you stock up on the foods listed above. They have all be scientifically proven to help improve the blood flow for various reasons. You can enjoy them all together or separately, the choice is up to you.

The benefits you gain aren’t just for your blood circulation. They help your whole health.

The Ultimate Guide To The Mediterranean Diet And Improving Brain Power

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Last Updated: 11th October 2016

The Mediterranean diet is one of those diets that means a complete lifestyle change, rather than just focusing on the food you eat. While it can seem like a shock to the system, it is a diet that offers many health benefits and is something you want to consider following for the rest of your life. One of the biggest benefits is improving brain power, as well as many other physical and emotional benefits.

Before you just make the switch, you need to know more about the diet and what it will mean for you. Just how will you benefit and what do you need to do to follow it?

Here’s your ultimate guide to following and benefitting from the Mediterranean diet and why you need to follow it right now.

What’s Allowed or Not Allowed on the Mediterranean Diet?

One of the greatest things about the diet is that it’s not too restrictive. Think about the foods that people in Italy, Greece and Spain enjoy. These are all foods that you can have, so there’s no need to give up alcohol, healthy fats, meats and sweet treats. It’s all about moderation and focusing on the healthiest options for the long term.

Wait! Is alcohol allowed on the diet?


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This is a point that will shock some people. The benefit is in drinking wine, especially red wine. However, there are limitations. Remember, this is all about following a healthy and balanced diet; there’s the element of moderation. The wine offers numerous benefits to the health, which we’ll look at later in this guide. You will only get those benefits when you stick to a glass or two a day and drink it with your meals rather than before or afterwards.

The main focus of your diet is vegetables, beans, fruits and whole grains. These are all the foods that give you the nutrients that your body really needs, whether you’re focusing on vitamins and minerals or want to make sure you get enough protein, fibre, and healthy carbs.

While you increase those foods, you want to keep the red meat intake to a minimum. Fish or poultry are better for the health. You’ll find many Mediterranean diet recipes will be fish based because it is so much easier to get access to the food when over there.

It’s also important to reduce the amount of refined or ready-made food. The keyword here is “reduce.” There’s no need to cut it out completely, but you want to cook from fresh as much as possible. You’ll know what goes into all your food to limit your sugar and salt intake on a daily basis. That being said, one fast food meal every two to three weeks isn’t going to do you that much harm. As you get into the lifestyle and feel the benefits, you’ll find that you want to eat the fatty and readymade foods much less than you do right now.

What can you have for snacks if you can’t enjoy the refined options? Well, ditch the cakes and opt for dried or fresh fruit and focus on nuts and seeds. These are full of the nutrients that your body desperately needs. The fruits are sweet enough, especially some of the Mediterranean options, to counter those sweet cravings when you start the diet.

Getting some fat is important, but you want to get the healthy fats. Switch out the lard and butter and focus on the olive, rapeseed or even almond oils. Look for ones that are monounsaturated, as they won’t cling to the arteries as much and cause problems with the growth of visceral fats. They’ll give the body the energy and protection it needs.

What about dairy products? Do you need to cut them out completely? This isn’t necessarily something that you must do, but it is worth limiting them. Cheeses tend to be the most favoured in the diet, but you can still enjoy some yoghurts and milk. Eat all of these in moderation, and don’t worry about your calcium intake; you’ll get enough from your vegetables.

As for drinking, you can enjoy some tea and coffee. There are some health benefits, but you still want to enjoy them in moderation. Opt for water instead, especially lemon water. This is a great way to enjoy more health benefits on a daily basis and get them with too much hassle. You may find it difficult at risk, but you’ll soon get used to the refreshing feeling of drinking water.

What Else Is Involved With the Diet?

As mentioned, this isn’t just about focusing on a healthier diet. This will involve a change to your lifestyle, and one of those changes is to do more activity. Whether it is a trip to the gym or a 30-minute walk a day, getting some more exercise in your life will help you gain all the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle.


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It’s best to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week. You don’t need to do it all at once! You can split the time up however you want, whether you want to do 30 minutes a day or 15 minutes on two days and then 30 minutes on the other days. There’s more to come about how to fit exercise into your daily lifestyle to really take advantage of all the benefits.

Another part of the diet is to focus on getting enough sleep. You’ll be surprised by the way that sleeps benefits you. Start easing up on the stress and focus on the positives in life. You’ll find that it is easier to sleep.

This is a healthy way of life, and that means cutting out the unhealthy elements that you’ve added in yourself. If you smoke, now is the time to give it up. The benefits you get from the diet will be things you can take advantage of much more when you’re not risking your health through smoking—and this includes vaping, as the jury is still out on the pros and cons of this.

Visit your doctor regularly to keep on top of your health. This is especially the case with your blood pressure, which you should see is more manageable on the diet.

How to Make the Changes in Your Lifestyle

With all this in mind, you may be worried about even getting started. How do you go about making all these changes and taking advantage of the health benefits?

The first thing to know is that you don’t need to do it all at once. Set mini goals for when you make some changes, such as cutting down on your alcohol consumption or reducing the red meat that you eat. While doing that, you’ll naturally increase your water, fruit and vegetable intakes. Make it a goal to try out new Mediterranean diet recipes while making these changes, so you find it easier to get through this period.


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When it comes to snacking, start looking for alternatives. You don’t need to miss completely out, but you want to limit the sweet treats to every now and then. Switch your crisps for vegetable sticks and the ranch dip to salsa or homemade hummus. Get rid of the white rice and pasta and enjoy quinoa and other grains instead. You can still have some sauces to help you get used to the new texture and taste. Opt for tortillas instead of bread for sandwiches and use milk for your puddings instead of using ice cream (of course, this you can enjoy in moderation, especially if you make your own).

If you do want pasta or rice, it’s okay to add them in. The trick is to switch for whole wheat options. In fact, as you start, it may be worth focusing on the starchy carbs first and build your meal around them. Just don’t forget your vegetables, fruits, and poultry or fish.

When it comes to margarine and butter, opt for healthy oils instead. These are also good to replace traditional cooking oil, which can be full of saturated fats.

Have plenty of snacking foods in the house that is healthy for you. This will stop you reaching out for the bad options. Nuts, dried fruits, seeds and vegetable sticks are all great options. The best thing about these is you can put them in bags or tubs that you can seal to take your snacks to work. When there are refined sugary snacks in the office, you’ll find it easier to fight the cravings.

Don’t instantly tell yourself no. Stopping yourself from eating some things will not help you stick to the lifestyle. You’ll start to crave the food you’ve banned, and then run the risk of binging later on. While saying “not right now,” you’ll look forward to the food when you do have it, and the cravings will be easier to handle.

Tips to Increase Your Exercise

Exercise is an important part of the lifestyle, so now you need to find a way to increase the amount that you get. There is one simple way to do this: make sure you do something that you enjoy.


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If you do an exercise that you think you should do but don’t enjoy, you’ll only end up wasting money and time. You won’t want to keep going with it, and you’ll get a negative view of exercise as a whole. The chances of sticking to a plan are very slim so you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits that plan could offer. When you do an exercise you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it and will want to push yourself more.

It’s best to build your exercise up. If you don’t currently do any activity, start with a couple of days a week, fitting 30 minutes in. You can then go to three, four and five days. If you already do some, add an extra day or so.

There’s no need to do all 30 minutes at once. Split up your time in a way that is manageable for you and your current daily routine. It could be 10 minutes on a morning, 10 minutes at lunch time and then 10 minutes on an evening. You may find that two blocks of 15 minutes are better for your day. However you fit it all in, you will still benefit considerably.

Now that you know more about the diet and how to get it into your life, it’s time to check out all the health benefits you’ll be able to take full advantage of.

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke


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One of the biggest benefits of the Mediterranean diet is to your heart. You’ll lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by 30%, according to some studies. This is due to numerous elements of the diet, including the moderate amounts of wine and the nutrients from the fruit and vegetables.

Levels of bad cholesterol will be lowered, while levels of good cholesterol are increased. You’ll find that your arteries are less likely to be clogged by fatty elements, and your blood will flow properly, keeping your heart working and getting to all of your organs.

The reduction in red meat and hard liquor has also been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, along with the reduction in refined sugars. All of these are limited to the diet, boosting your health.

The extra activity that you do will also help reduce your risk of heart disease. Exercise keeps your heart pumping, so the muscle gets stronger.

Reduce Your Diabetes Risk


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Have you started to worry about your risk of type 2 diabetes? If you’ve been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic or had your doctor say something about the disease to you, it is common to start thinking about diets that will lower your risk of developing it. This is something that the Mediterranean diet can offer.

When you follow the diet, you reduce the refined sugars you eat. The sugars you do end up consuming are natural from ingredients like fruit, and they will be mixed in with large amounts of fibre. They break down in the body much slower, leading to lower levels of glucose and less need for insulin. The body isn’t as likely to create the resistance to insulin, causing diabetes.

You may find that if you currently suffer from diabetes that you can reverse it. This is something to monitor with your doctor to see whether you can reduce or stop taking your medication.

Promote Weight Loss


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When you’re looking for a diet to lose weight, the Mediterranean diet is one to consider. There are many myths surrounding the diet, and one of those is that you’ll eat a lot of bread and pasta. The truth is the diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. There are some carbs, but they are complex, starchy options to help with weight loss.

You can create a calorie deficit much easier with the Mediterranean lifestyle. This is especially the case when you add in some exercise and get a good night’s sleep. Your body’s chemicals and hormones are back in balance to help you take all the benefits of the healthy diet.

Prevent Muscle Loss


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There are some worries that diets will create muscle loss. This is definitely not the case with this diet because it’s more of a lifestyle. There is the promotion of exercise, as well as eating foods that are high in protein and fibre. The protein will help to build and tone muscle, while you create a calorie deficit to burn the fat.

Some signs of aging are fought against, including the likes of osteoporosis. Not only will you boost the muscle, but also the bone strength. While dairy is consumed at a smaller amount, there is plenty of calcium in many other foods that you will consume in large amounts.

Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease and Cancer


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There are some diseases that you may think there is nothing you can do about. Parkinson’s disease or cancer are just two of them, but the Mediterranean can help to reduce the risks. The benefit is in all the antioxidants that you will get from the foods.

Remember that this diet is all about the fruit and vegetables. These are full of antioxidants, which will fight against free radicals that cause the cells to grow back or develop abnormally. Some studies have shown that the antioxidants in the Mediterranean diet can help to fight against breast cancer in women and liver cancer in both sexes.

The nutrients also help to protect against oxidative stress, which is one of the reasons Parkinson’s disease is created, according to researchers.

Boost Your Brain Health


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One of the first things mentioned in this guide is the benefit to your brain health. The Mediterranean diet is one of the best lifestyles out there for the brain health, and that is linked to all the healthy fats that you will consume.

There is a focus on getting more monounsaturated fats from olive oils and rapeseed oils. You’ll also get omega 3 fatty acids from the fish that you eat. These oils and fatty acids feed the brain and help to keep the arteries unblocked.

Your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease will be reduced considerably. You may also find that your mood swings are kept under control. The release of the good chemicals from the brain will be promoted, while the bad chemicals are kept to a minimum.

Exercise also helps with the brain health, along with getting enough sleep on a night. The exercise will release more serotonin and endorphins from the brain, keeping the cortisol under control.

Your body also gets all the nutrients that it needs. Elements aren’t taken from other processes to help keep the necessary parts working at one time.

Myths About the Mediterranean Diet


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While there are many facts and benefits shared about this lifestyle, there are also many myths. It’s so important to separate the myths from the facts, so you know what you can believe and trust. This will help you make the most of your new healthy lifestyle.

One of the myths is that the diet is the most expensive to follow. While fruit and veggies always seem more expensive than refined products, it won’t cost you a fortune. There are also plenty of ways to get the nutritious foods at a lower price, whether you go to a local source or grow your own. Fish can be expensive, but chicken and turkey are affordable. You can also rely more on the legumes and beans for your protein on a daily basis, and enjoy fish once or twice a week. It’s best to limit your fish intake, anyway, as some do contain high amounts of mercury.

Pasta and bread aren’t the way of life in the Mediterranean, as much as this myth is used in TV shows and movies. The Americans tend to bring in more pizza, pasta, and bread. The truth is the Mediterranean people will focus more on the fish, salads, fruits and legumes. Pizza is enjoyed now and then, and you can still have some pasta, but they’re not the core focus of the diet.

A third myth is that it’s all about the food. As already proven above, this isn’t a diet that’s just about the things you eat or drink. It’s about creating a healthy lifestyle, and that includes following an exercise plan and creating a good night routine so you get enough sleep. When you’re in a good mindset, you’ll find it much easier to stick to a diet.

Drinking more wine won’t benefit you more. Wine is only good for you in moderation, and it’s best to stick to it with a meal. Over consuming alcohol has been linked to numerous health risks. You only need one glass a day to see all the benefits.

Be aware of the myths out there to help you make the most of the Mediterranean diet. Don’t believe everything you read!

When Should You Make the Switch?


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Now that you’ve decided the Mediterranean lifestyle is for you, it’s time to look at when to make the switch. The truth is that there is no wrong or right time. Whether you have a holiday coming up or a big event, making healthy changes to your lifestyle is something you can do at any time.

The best thing to do is pick a date and stick to it. Find the best time to make that switch for you, and commit to working towards that goal. Don’t say “someday” or generally, say “next week,” actually sit down there and plan out your change. Make a list of all the things you need and circle a date on the calendar to start. With that date set, you’re more likely to stick to it.

This is one of the best diets you can follow. It is full of nutrients, and will help to protect your heart and brain health. There’s no time like now to get started, and remember it’s not all about the food! Enjoy your new lifestyle and boost your overall health.

Always keep in mind that getting used to this diet can be beneficial to your health especially if you stick with it. Couple it with exercise and you’re sure to get the best results that would last for a long time.

The All-In-One Guide To Elimination Diet

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Elimination Diet Image Design 1 - The All-In-One Guide To Elimination DietUnlike many other diets, the elimination diet is not one to help you lose weight. Well, weight loss may be a side effect of the diet, but that is not the main goal.

You know that not all food is good for you. Many people have already cut down on the amount of chocolate, candy, and chips that they eat throughout the day. They know that refined sugars are bad and that saturated fats just aren’t that healthy.

However, did you know that healthy food can also be bad for you? Did you know that some of the food you eat could be gradually making your health much worse? At first, you do not realize the problem and then suddenly you find yourself in the discomfort or even pain because of a particular type of food you have eaten.

You may not know which food or ingredient is causing a problem. This is what the elimination diet is for.

What Exactly Does the Elimination Diet Involve?

When you need to work out the food that is bad for you, you will need to cut out all the possible reasons. There are certain types of ingredients that have proven more damaging to the health than others. Some of the most problematic foods include anything with wheat, gluten, dairy, and nuts.

The elimination diet is precisely what it sounds like it is: you are eliminating the foods that are a problem for your health. Not all problems are life-threatening. Some may be allergies, but others can be intolerances or sensitivities, especially at first. They can cause some digestive complaints that you initially don’t even consider. You are just used to feeling bloated after a meal, even if you do not overeat.

That is not the way you should feel after a good meal. Your digestive system should be supported rather than hindered.

With the elimination diet, you cut out everything that could be causing a problem and gradually test one at a time. If you find you get your symptoms back, then you have proven the food is bad for your health. If you do not get any symptoms at all, then you can continue eating the food. Either way, you can move onto the next food on the list.

Of course, you cannot just scrap all food and work your way through an arbitrary list. It is important to discuss the elimination with your doctor so that you can get help from a dietician. Not only will you make sure you cut out all the potentially harmful foods, but you also find out more about where your nutrients will need to come from.

When you do start the elimination diet, you will need to follow this all-in-one guide to help.

Step 1: Make a List of All Your Health Complaints

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Let’s start with everything that is currently wrong with your body. You need to know all the symptoms that you are suffering to know if you have got rid of all the damaging foods from your diet.

Many people incorrectly assume that food is just going to affect your digestive system. They think all about the symptoms linked to their intestines or their bowels. They will look out for foods that cause pain or bloating. They will think about the loose stools or constipation.

Sure, these are certainly symptoms, but not the only ones. Some of the symptoms of allergies or intolerances involve your head, your skin, and your mind.

For example, many people will intolerances can suffer from headaches or brain fog. They do not feel like they areall together there mentally. This could be due to inflammation within the body that puts pressure on the nerves. The connections within the brain are affected, so they do notwork properly and pass the right messages through. Pressure can also lead to more pain experienced in the head and throughout the body.

Food sensitivities and allergies can also lead to issues with the skin. You can end up with more dry or oily skin problems, see more breakouts, and even suffer skin conditions that you have never had in the past. Thisis often linked to the hormonal changes that occur because of food sensitivities and problems. The hormones affect the natural oil production. When the oil production is imbalanced, the skin dries out or becomes excessively oily. You can end up with blocked pores or see breakouts of stubborn cystic acne.

Joint pain is also a very common symptom. You may push it off as a sign of aging, but it is your body telling you there’s a problem somewhere within. Remember that food allergies and intolerances can lead to inflammation. Inflammation of the joints means they become stiff and difficult to move. You can end up with the feelings of arthritis setting in.

Moreover, then there’s the effect to your energy levels. Your body is not able to absorb all the nutrients that it should come from food since your digestive system is not working properly. Your metabolism becomes slugging, your mental health is affected, and you do not have enough oxygen pumping around your body. The lack of nutrients will upset all over.

Before you even start eliminating anything out of your diet, you need to know your symptoms. The best way to do that is by writing them all down. Get a diary that you can use throughout your elimination diet. Create a page of all your symptoms right now. If you are not sure, talk to your doctor to find out all the symptoms of food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies. Your doctor will help make sure you have a thorough list.

Make a note about how strong or subtle your symptoms are. Note how long you have had them. While many problems are symptoms of food intolerances, they can also be a symptom of another condition. This is something your doctor will help determine before you start your elimination diet.

Step 2: Eliminate Everything Possible Right Away

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Cut out all the food that you could have an intolerance or allergy to. This means all the usual suspects. Your diet is going right back to basics.

You will need to cut out:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Red meat
  • Corn
  • Other nuts

Other nuts have been listed separately from peanuts because they are not the same. Peanuts are a type of legume and one of the most common allergens. While you may have an allergy to peanuts, you may not have a problem with eating other nuts.

You want to cut everything out for 30 days. This will give your body chance to get used to your new diet and get rid of all the symptoms. If you do not find all symptoms disappear, talk to your doctor to find out if there are other medical issues or there could be anything else in your diet that you are sensitive to.

So, what can you eat if you have cut everything out? You may be surprised that there are plenty of healthy and nutritious options on your list of foods to eat. We are just programmed now to believe that fast food, gluten, wheat, and red meat are all necessary.

You can still eat poultry and some fish. You are cutting out shellfish, so tune, salmon, cod, and other fish are right for you. The majority of fruits and vegetables are still good to eat, as they contain nothing on the list. Likewise, some legumes are always going to be on the allowed list. With all these foods together, you will be able to get something from all your food groups and all the essential vitamins. It is possible to live a full life with just this diet if you choose to, but you want to find out if there’s anything else you can add in to make it not as restrictive right?

The first three weeks of your basic elimination diet is going to be difficult. Your food preferences are ahabit. It takes 21 days for new habits to form. It then takes six weeks for your body to get used to these new habits and for them to become just like new! The 30 days will give you time to get over the initial shock of your basic food list.

Keep your diet to 30% protein from lean chicken, pork, lamb, and fish and then 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and grains that are gluten-free. If you have already had tests on other nuts, you can also add them to your diet.

Step 3: Plan Out Your Meals

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One of the best things you can do is plan out your meals. You want to cook as much from scratch as possible. Avoid packaged and processed foods as much as you can. Too many companies add sugar, additives, and preservatives. You might be surprised to find out there’s gluten or nuts in something, which isn’t there if you made it yourself.

Avoid the gluten-free varieties of bread and crackers. They tend to be worse for you in sugar content to make up for the lack of gluten. There are plenty of gluten-free grains out there, including raw oats!

Look out for recipes that include plenty of healthy fats and fiber. They will help to protect your metabolism and digestive system. There’s nothing wrong with eating avocados and getting olive oil or coconut oil in your diet, contrary to popular belief. Unsaturated fats are extremely good for your health in moderation.

Step 4: Start Adding In One Food at a Time

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Once you get to Day 31 of your elimination diet, it is time to add food to trial. This is much easier than it initially seems.

Choose one food from your list of banned foods. Only add in one at a time. Adding two can lead to a reaction, and you do not know which food caused the reaction.

See how you feel over the course of four days. This will give the food time to work around the body and digest fully. If you do not react after four days, try that same food again. Give yourself another four days to see if you react. Any food that gives you no reactions after two attempts should be good. You can incorporate it back into your diet. You may choose to keep the amount you eat to a minimum, but the lack of reaction is a good sign.

If you have any reaction, it is a sign that this food is something you are sensitive to. Cut the food out and make a note of it in your diary.

Once you have done this with one food, you are ready to move onto the next. Repeat the process with each food at a time, following the same steps. Anything you find you get a reaction to, put it on the banned list.

After a while, you will find that you have a full menu of ingredients that you can and can’t eat.

You may want to give yourself 30 days between foods that give you a reaction. This helps to get rid of the antibodies created during the testing to help you get back to the start.

Be prepared to find that not all symptoms are bad for you. One of the benefits of the elimination diet is they expand your food preferences and tastes. You may find food that you never considered before is on your allowed list, encouraging you to try it.

Step 5: Keep Reporting Back to Your Doctor

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You should only do elimination diets when under the care of your doctor. This will help to ensure you do not put your health at risk through lack of nutrients. Your doctor will likely want to see you on a bi-monthly or monthly basis. They will ask to see your food diary or for you to share some of the findings that you have gained. This will include the foods you have tried and symptoms you have had.

During the diet, the doctor can also keep an eye on any symptoms that have stuck around. This will help to eliminate other health problems.

As you get used to the diet or as you come to the end of it, you may find your doctor does not want to see you as often. This is a good thing! It means your doctor is happy for you to go on your way with the diet, following the list of foods you have found are good to eat.

How Long Will the Elimination Diet Last?

It can take eight weeks to get through the full list of food. In some cases, it can take longer. This is a restrictive and difficult diet at first, and it will take some effort from you. While you may see some weight loss from the diet, this is not a diet to follow for the sake of dieting. The aim is to protect your health. What you may find is the diet helps you keep weight off, since you will not have as much bloating.

Don’t feel tempted to rush your way through the diet. You may be tempted to try a couple of foods at the same time. If you get a reaction, you will not know which food caused it, and then you have to try them separately, adding more time to your diet.

The All-In-One Guide To The Health Benefits Of Basmati Rice

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Basmati Rice Image Design 1 - The All-In-One Guide To The Health Benefits Of Basmati RiceYou may hear a lot about white rice being bad for you. Basmati rice is considered something to avoid, especially by those who advocate a low carb diet. The truth is that basmati rice may not be as harmful as once believed.

After all, there must be a reason the people of Asia eat rice on a regular basis. They do not look out for brown or wild varieties and opt for white basmati rice daily. These individuals do not have the high risk of diabetes and other health problems linked to wheat and carbs as we do in the west. Why is that?

Well, there have been scientifically proven benefits to eating basmati rice. Out of all the pasta and grains, you will hear that basmati rice is one of the best and something worth considering, even in a low carb diet. Want to know why? Here’s your all-in-one guide to explain the health benefits of basmati rice.

It is Packed with Fibre

Compared to all the other rice varieties out there, basmati rice is the best when it comes to fiber content. Despite having a fair amount of carbs, the fiber helps to keep the food low on the glycemic index. This means that it is not as likely to cause sugar rushes or lead to an increase in insulin in the body. The food digests slowly and releases the sugars over a prolonged period.

High fiber foods are also essential for the digestive health. When you get a good amount of fiber, your digestive system works as it should. Itis able to process the waste and push it through the system while taking the nutrients from the food and absorbing them into the right places within the body.

On top of that, a good working digestive system means an overall healthy body. Around 80% of your immune system is in the digestive system. When the digestive system reacts badly and becomes inflamed, the immune system is not able to work effectively. This means that it cannot fight against the real viruses and bacteria within the body. High fiber diets helps to prevent that, so getting basmati rice into your diet will be good for you.

Brown basmati rice is better than white for fiber compared to white. However, both are better compared to other types of rice.

Good levels of fiber will also help to improve the consistency of your stools. If you suffer from constipation, you will find a high fiber diet highly beneficial. Soluble fiber is exceptionally useful. It helps to soften the stools to make them easier to pass through the colon and out of the body. Insoluble fiber will help to force the waste through the intestines and into the colon to pass.

Fibre can also help to prevent hemorrhoids. This is because your rectal muscles do not have to work as hard to remove stools from your body. You can keep the pressure off the rectum, protecting the whole area from damage and discomfort.

You will want to watch the levels of fiber you get. You will still need to balance it out with other food groups to avoid your stools getting too soft!

Support Your Weight Loss Attempts

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Many people on diets will raise their eyebrows at the idea of eating rice and losing weight. This is where basmati rice is beneficial, especially when you opt for boiled rice. Of course, if you have fried rice then your weight loss benefits are negated slightly.

The benefit for your weight loss comes from the fiber amounts. Fibre breaks down in the body slowly. You end up feeling fuller for longer, meaning that you eat less throughout the day.

The rice also has high levels of amylase than other types of rice and many different types of food. This is a type of carb that is difficult for the body to digest. Not only does it take time for the body to absorb the fiber, but also this specific carbohydrate, meaning that you are left with decreased hunger levels throughout the day. You will eat fewer calories at meal times and snack less, further helping to reduce your calorific intake.

When you feel fuller, you will not feel like you are on a diet. You do not deny yourself anything, which means you are more likely to stick to the plan. This will also help you maintain your weight loss afterward since it is a plan you can stick to for the long term.

Basmati rice also has a better taste compared to other types of rice. Not only do you feel fuller, but you will feel more satisfied with thetaste. You will not want to eat as much since you are happy with the food that you are eating. Sticking to the diet will be more comfortable since you will like the food that you consume.

At the same time, basmati rice has fewer calories in a serving compared to its cousins. You can consume at least 20 fewer calories within just one serving. If you ate three portions of rice a week, you are saving 60 calories over a week. That would equate to 3,120 calories per year that you have saved by making a switch on your rice.

The fiber will also help with weight loss and maintenance. Studies have shown that fiber can prevent the body absorbing fat. This is not an excuse to eat whatever you want, but the lower levels of fat you do consume won’t affect the body as much as they could if you did not have the higher fiber levels.

People with diabetes Can Enjoy It

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Many people with diabetes assume that their pasta and rice are off the menu when they find out about their diagnosis. That is not the case with basmati rice, and any dietician who tells you otherwise needs to do their research. More and more researchers have found that people with diabetes can benefit from the addition of basmati rice in their diets.

This is due to the low glycemic index, which we mentioned in passing above. The low glycemic index is essential for those who want a healthy lifestyle as a person with diabetes. The glycemic index gives people an idea as to how quickly food sugars in the bloodstream, turning into glucose. The food on the higher end of the scale will lead to more insulin needed by the body, which can cause health problems for all but specifically for diabetic patients.

Thanks to the amount of fiber, starchy carbs, amylase, and protein, basmati rice is low on the glycemic index. It breaks down over the course of the day, so there isn’t a problem with the glucose levels.

The same can’t be said for all types of rice and pasta.

Of course, while being low on the glycemic index, the rice is also satisfying. It aids in weight loss, which can also aid in reducing diabetes symptoms.

Researchers have also found that it can help to prevent diabetes. This is for similar reasons as to why it isgood for people with diabetes. The rice does not raise the blood sugars, which means lower insulin responses within a meal. This helps to keep the insulin resistance to a minimum. Pre-diabetic patients are often encouraged to eat more foods on the low glycemic index to avoid their condition developing into diabetes.

Improves the Health of Your Heart

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It is not just your gut that benefits. Your heart will also benefit from you eating more basmati rice. It is time to add a little more to your diet on a weekly basis.

Scientists have found that the fiber levels help to protect the health of the heart. Fibre prevents heart disease, especially when at least 25g of fiberis consumed per day. Those with lower risks of heart disease will also have a lower risk of suffering a heart attack.

Some of the benefits are due to the lack of saturated fats within basmati rice. In fact, basmati rice has some unsaturated fats, which are highly recommended for a healthy heart and body. Unsaturated fats are lower in bad cholesterol. They help to protect the arteries with a smooth lining, preventing clotting and the health problems that come with that.

A high fiber diet can also help to prevent a buildup of cholesterol within the bodies. The basmati rice supports the health of the heart two-fold.

Prevent the Formation of Cancerous Cells

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Have you ever wished you could eat food that would help prevent cancer? After all, it seems today that everything causes cancer, right? Well, it is time to turn to basmati rice. Again, we want to thank the fiber content, but there are also other nutritional benefits.

Basmati rice stores far more vitamins than other types of rice. The vitamins and fiber will help to prevent cancerous cells accumulating in the body. They help to fight off the free radicals that affect dying or re-growing cells, helping to make sure all the cells in the body are normal and healthy.

Preventing cancer is much better than trying to treat it. You can avoid all types of cancer, but especially intestinal and colon cancer using basmati rice in the diet.

Colon cancer can also be prevented in an extra way thanks to the fiber. The waste is not in the digestive tract for as long as it would be without the high fiber benefits of basmati rice. When waste sticks around it do more damage to the colon cells. By passing through the system quickly, the cellsdo notsuffer, and you can prevent the development of cancer.

You will Feel Happier Within Yourself

Think about how you feel when you are hungry. You are irritable and annoyed. You can be tired and fatigued and try to make healthy choices is difficult. You are more likely to reach for the unhealthy, sugar-rush food that plays havoc inside and causes problems for your diet. Your mental state just isn’t supported and will end up being worse.

This disrupts your hormones. You are more likely to feel stressed and anxious. Your body naturally starts to wonder when you will get your next meal and where it will come from.

Basmati rice helps to prevent that throughout the day. Remember that it helps to satisfy your hunger. It breaks down slowly, so you are not as likely to eat as much throughout the day. You do not feel the need to eat as much, which helps you feel happier for longer. You are not constantly thinking about your next meal.

Not only does sticking to a diet become easier but balancing your hormones does too. You are less likely to have higher stress levels, which plays havoc with your organs. You get more happy hormones pushing through your system, making you feel fuller, calmer, and healthier than ever before.

The floral fragrance and the taste will also help. You enjoy the food that you eat. There’s something to look forward to while you are cooking. You will want to eat more of it, which gives you something to enjoy while you are consuming it. You will be amazed at how that helps your overall mental health.

Adding More Basmati Rice to Your Diet Is Easy

The best thing you can do is make a switch to basmati rice. Take out the plain white, brown or red rice that you eat and make a switch to basmati. You will instantly save on the calorific intake as well as the glycemic index. You instantly gain health benefits with this one simple switch.

Basmati rice can be used in all the ways that your usual rice was used. You can add it to stir-fries, curries, and more. It works extremely well with chicken and fish due to the floral aroma and lighter taste. It is worth replacing potatoes and pasta with it on a regular basis.

You do not have to make a huge change to benefit. However, the smallest change will help you feel fuller for longer and happier with your diet. You will find it easier to eat less and stick to the diet for the long term. Not only do you lose weight, but you improve your health for the long term.

9 Surprising Health Benefits Of Bay Leaves

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Bay Leaves Image Design 1 - 9 Surprising Health Benefits Of Bay LeavesYou will see bay leaves mentioned in many recipes, especially when you look at Mediterranean, especially Italian, cuisine. They add a lot of aroma and flavor to dishes, even though you do not eat them. While cooking, the aromas and properties are released into the dishes to help add taste just like any other herb or spice.

They can also be ground into a spice, so you can add them to your cooking and leave them there. However, they are most commonly used whole and removed before eating. The oils from the leaves can also be extracted for aromatherapy needs.

However, did you know there are more reasons to use bay leaves in your cooking than just for taste? There are some ways your health will benefit from the use of the leaves. You may be surprised to hear just how they can improve your health.

Bay leaves come from a variety of different plants, but the real leaf comes from the Laurus nobilis. All types of bay leaves are full of various nutrients, but those from Laurel trees have the most. They are found in the Mediterranean and have been used for medicine for centuries throughout the world, even during the Roman period.

Here’s a look at nine health benefits that are extremely surprising to many. Are you ready to make your health better than ever before?

They Support Your Digestive System

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One of the most significant benefits of adding bay leaves to your body is for your digestive health. This is more than just helping to keep your digestive system working, which is something fiber can do. Bay leaves are a diuretic, meaning that they can stimulate urination and help to decrease the number of toxins that are in your body. The leaves help to encourage the body to release all the toxins through the urine, which helps with a weekly detox.

Another major digestive benefit is by helping to release toxins the opposite way. Bay leaves can encourage vomiting when something toxic or poisonous has been eaten. However, vomiting only happens due to toxicity in the body. In a healthy body, you will not feel the need to vomit after eating.

Like fiber, bay leaves can also help to keep the digestive system working. Some studies show the organic compounds can help to relieve upset stomachs, reducing the feeling of gas and discomfort after eating. Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and even celiac disease can find that their symptoms are no longer as bad after eating a dish with bay leaves. You can also benefit from the use of essential oils with bay leaves to breathe in for reducing some digestive discomforts.

Bay leaves aid with the digestive process, making it easier for the body to break down some of the complex proteins and starchy carbs in the diet. They will also make it easier for the digestive system to absorb nutrients within the food, offering extra health throughout the body. When the digestive system works better, there isn’t as much inflammation, which helps to reduce bloating and pain after eating.

Help to Reduce Inflammation Throughout the Body

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Inflammation is not only an issue within the digestive system. It is something that can affect the whole body.

The immune system has an inflammatory response to aid in healing. The problem is this inflammatory response can be kick-started for the wrong reasons. Some particles are wrongly presumed to be bad, so the immune system kicks in to get rid of them.

Eating bay leaves will help to release parthenolide, a phytonutrient that helps to reduce inflammation almost instantly. You do not just need to eat the bay leaves to get this phytonutrient. You can crush the leaves and gain the oils to help create a topical treatment. Topical treatments with bay leaves have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation around wounds and to ease the pain in joints due to arthritis.

Improve Your Respiratory Health

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Breathing problems are becoming more and more apparent. More people who have asthma than ever before. Some of the issues are linked to viruses or bacteria, while others are linked to an overactive immune system or inflammation and fluid within the respiratory system.

Bay leaves can help to relieve respiratory conditions. In some cases, they offer relief from the symptoms, but in other cases, they can help to get rid of the conditions. They can help to improve breathing overnight to get a better night’s sleep, especially when breathing problems are linked to a temporary illness.

You will find bay leaves are packed with antioxidants to help fight off infections. They are also a natural antibiotic, helping to overcome many chest infections.

While you can gain benefits from eating bay leaves, one of the best options is to use them through aromatherapy. You can use a bay leaf essential oil in hot water or burn. Breathing in the steam will help to get deep into the lungs to clear out the infections directly. Another option is to create a poultice that is spread onto the chest (and other infected areas) to draw out toxins and alleviate conditions.

Studies have shown that using the oil directly on wounds can help to clear out the bacteria and avoid sepsis. It is possible to help increase the speed at which a wound heals.

You can leave the poultice on overnight on the chest to help improve breathing throughout the night. Wash it off the next morning.

Protect the Heart Health

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While the lung and breathing health is protected, it is important to treat any heart conditions. You will always want to prevent some of the most life-threatening conditions.

Many types of foods will help to protect the heart. However, they tend to protect the arteries, which will, in turn, protect the heart. Bay leaves are slightly different. They help to strengthen the heart’s capillary walls. They instantly support and enhance the muscle that keeps your blood pumping.

This wall strengthening benefit is through a compound called rutin. It is released when you eat the bay leaf, or you can gain it through aromatherapy treatments.

Of course, bay leaves also help to reduce cholesterol levels to protect the arteries. This is another organic compound called caffeic acid. Rather than increasing the amount of good cholesterol in the body, like most other ingredients, the caffeic acid helps to get rid of the bad cholesterol. It is the bad that is most problematic for the heart health, so you want to get rid of it as much as possible.

Can Help to Prevent Yeast Growth

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You may have heard of a fungus called Candida. This is one of the most common types of fungi within the body. It is the cause of many fungal conditions, including vaginal thrush. If you want to avoid health problems, you want to keep the fungus at bay.

The problem is that the fungus can easily grow in the digestive tract. It isa yeast that can cause a variety of health upsets and discomforts. You can only get rid of Candida with the right diet. Bay leaves are just what you need.

Studies have shown that bay leaves have antifungal properties. Using bay leaf essential oil is the best, but you can also gain the properties through eating the ingredient or adding bay leaves to your dishes while cooking to release the oils.

The studies show that bay leaves can disrupt Candida adhesions within the walls of the cells. It is harder for the fungus to get through the membrane of the cells, so it cannot affect (or infect) the body.

Bay Leaves May Prevent Cancer

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When you look at a lot of healthy foods, you will see cancer prevention on the list. There is a big reason for this: antioxidants. The same applies to bay leaves, but there are other reasons for cancer prevention in this ingredient.

The antioxidants are certainly beneficial. When the body is packed with antioxidants, it will find it easier to fight against the growth of free radicals within the body. Free radicals affect the growth of new cells and can disrupt damaged cells to create strange ones. These free radicals are also linked to dementia and aging, so eating more bay leaves can prevent or slow them down.

However, it is not just the antioxidants that help to prevent cancer in bay leaves. They are also full of many other organic compounds, including phytonutrients, parthenolide, and linalool. They also fight against the growth of free radicals in the body. When everything works together, the free radicals do not stand a chance in the body.

Studies have also shown that bay leaves may help to treat cancer. The nutrients within bay leaves have shown that they can repair and remove cancerous cells. However, medical treatments are still encouraged, but bay leaves can be used alongside them. So far, the studies show most effectiveness in colon cancer patients, especially when the cancer is in the earlier stages.

Possible Help to Manage Your Diabetes

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If you have diabetes, you will look for foods and ingredients that will help to manage your condition. This is especially the case if you have Type I diabetes, which can be the hardest to manage. The good news is bay leaves have shown positive results in studies.

One of the biggest benefits of bay leaves is the ability to help regulate the blood sugar levels. They help to encourage the slower breakdown of food, meaning not as many sugars are released into the bloodstream. There’s no need to release as much insulin into the body. When insulin is needed, bay leaves have shown improved receptor function.

Studies show that by using ground bay leaf twice a day can reduce your blood sugars. Thisis not just good for those managing their diabetes, but those trying to prevent it. Adding ground bay leaves to your recipes is extremely easy. This study did involve the use of regular diabetes medication to help manage the condition.

Some studies have shown that regular use of bay leaves can help to prevent and reduce symptoms of Type II diabetes. In fact, it is possible to eliminate the condition. In one study, patients took bay leaf capsules over 30 days and showed that their serum glucose levels changed. Those who had the placebo capsules showed no improvement, suggesting that bay leaves are certainly beneficial.

Improve the Look of Your Hair and Skin

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If you suffer from dandruff or dry skin, you will want to consider the use of bay leaves more frequently. Don’t just eat the herb, but apply it topically to your skin and hair. You can just add some bay leaves to water to soak and then rub them directly onto the affected areas.

The chemicals and nutrients within the bay leaves are released. They are then absorbed into the layers of the skin and the hair follicles, helping to eliminate dry skin and hair conditions. You will want to wash your skin and hair first, allowing the skin a chance to absorb the nutrients throughout the day.

Topical treatments with essential oil have also shown some benefits. You can add drops to your bath water to help treat excessive dry skin conditions.

If you suffer from wrinkles or must deal with many acne breakouts, you will always want to use bay leaves directly. Boil them in water and then add them to a bowl. With a towel over your head, inhale the steam and allow it to get straight into your pores. This will open your pores, remove all the impurities, and add some moisture to help reduce the signs of aging. The steam will also help to improve any breathing difficulties, as you inhale all the health benefits.

The antioxidants will also help to relieve the look of your skin. They will fight the free radicals to help support the growth of collagen and prevent some signs of aging occur.

Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Other Mental Health Conditions

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Finally, bay leaves will not just help your physical health. There are plenty of studies that show the properties help to support the mental health. Stress and anxiety are the most common health problems treated, but bay leaves may be able to help others. You can also mix your bay leaves with some basil and thyme for extra benefits.

Bay leaves are packed with linalool, which has shown the ability to lower the number of stress hormones within the body. When the stress hormones are out of sync, you will feel more worried and anxious. Stress raises the blood pressure and puts much weight on the heart.

Use the bay leaves through aromatherapy practices for the best results. However, eating them will also help to release the nutrient within the body.

It is time to add more bay leaves to your diet. They aid your health in multiple ways, whether you are looking for a wound treatment, help to relieve breathing difficulties, or want to treat your stress problems. On top of that, they taste great and add much flavor to your dishes. You will not regret buying them, whether you get the leaves, ground leaves, or use an essential oil.

7 Ways To Make Fruits A Good Halloween Treat

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Fruits Image Design 1 - 7 Ways To Make Fruits A Good Halloween TreatHalloween treats are enjoyable, but the majority are unhealthy. While you want your kids to have fun over the once-a-year celebration, you also want to make sure they do not end up with too much candy. Fruit is an excellent alternative.

The problem is most kids just don’t want to eat fruit. It is boring. They know it is healthy and it just doesn’t look at appetizing as the chocolates, popcorn, and candy that’s on offer at other houses. You need to find a way to make fruit interesting. Make your children forget all about the nutrition in fruit and see and enjoyment in it.

You can easily make your fruit look more interesting. Here are seven ways to make it an excellent Halloween treat for the whole family.

Start with the Frozen Boo-Nana Pops

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Boo-nanas are a popular addition to any healthy Halloween party. They are fun, nutritious, and tasty for all. However, you can go one step further by making frozen pops with your boo-nanas. They are extremely easy to create, and you can make enough for the whole party without spending a fortune.

These can also become portable. You will just need some tin foil, cling film, or other types of wrap. The bananas will start to melt and become mushy when the kids are on their way to trick or treating.

Get the kids involved in making their tasty treat. They will want all their friends over for a Halloween party. There is chocolate involved, but very little. It is the chocolate that makes kids believe they are eating something unhealthy and Halloween-worthy.

The recipe below will make four boo-nana pops. You can increase the number of ingredients you have to create the number of pops you will need.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup of white chocolate
  • 8 chocolate chips
  • 4 popsicle sticks

Method:

  • Chop your bananas in half and then slice in half lengthways
  • Place the popsicle sticks into each banana quarter and then place on a cookie sheet with wax paper; freeze the bananas
  • Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in a mug until it is soft
  • Dip each of the frozen bananas into the melted chocolate, scraping off the excess
  • Put the bananas back on the cookie sheet and add two chocolate chips to each banana stick for the eyes
  • Put back in the freezer until they are hard

These are best eaten frozen. However, you can send them out to the kids. The chocolate will melt, so let parents know to put the boo-nanas back in the freezer before eaten or encourage them to eat on the way around!

Make Your Spooky Spider

Sometimes you need to create a more substantial dessert or snack out of smaller items. Grapes just don’t look as fun until you make them into something spooky and enjoyable. For Halloween, you want to use grapes to make a bid spider. The kids can grab a grape or two when they want to eat them.

This will be funafterschool project for the kids before they go out trick or treating. You can also create it in the middle of the treats table if they are having a home party with their friends.

Ingredients:

  • 1 plum
  • A few handful of grapes
  • 16 pretzel sticks
  • Dab of peanut butter/cream cheese
  • Two raisins

Method:

  • Grab the plum and add eight holes, four on each side
  • Place grapes over eight pretzel sticks, leaving enough space on one side to put into the plum
  • Add the other eight pretzel sticks to the last grape on each of the initial sticks
  • Fill the second set of eight pretzel sticks with the other grapes
  • Place the legs into the plum
  • Add a small dab of peanut butter or cream cheese at the front of the plum and add the raisins on top; creating the eyes of the spider

If you prefer, you can also do this with black olives. Make sure the olives are pitted. If you do not want to use pretzel sticks, you can opt for toothpicks to keep everything in place.

If the plum is too small for the eight legs, you can use two plums instead. It is not quite a spider with two parts of the body, but it is better than not enough legs, right? Join the plums together with extra pretzel sticks. If you add fewer legs, come up with a creative reason for the lack of eight legs!

Make a Few Apple Monsters

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Monster mouths are fun and easy to make, but you can go a little step further. Opt for full apple monsters instead. This recipe will use nuts for the teeth. If your kids are allergic, you will want to add seeds instead.

If you are not into the whole monster, you can create a monster vampire instead. There’s an excellent alternative under this first recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red apple of choice
  • Chopped nuts of choice, preferably almonds or cashews
  • Toothpicks
  • Marshmallows
  • Green icing

Method:

  • Start by chopping quarters out of your apple
  • In each quarter, chop a small section out of the skin, creating a mouth-like quarter of apple
  • Chop the nuts lengthways and then stick them into the apple, creating uneven teeth for the monsters
  • Stick two toothpicks on the top of the mouth and add a marshmallow to each toothpick
  • Finish with a dollop of the green icing on the marshmallows to create the eyes

The apple will brown if you just leave it out. Avoid this by spritzing it with some lemon juice or placing it in salt water.

Adapting for Vampire Mouths:

You can use the apples to make your vampire mouths if you want. Instead of adding all the nuts, you can use two seeds to place in the top section of the mouth, looking like the vampire teeth. Alternatively, you can use bits of straws, but you will need to remind everyone to take the teeth out before eating the mouths!

Make a Candy Corn Fruit Cocktail

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Sometimes you can trick kids into eating something nutritious without even hiding the fruit! It is all about creating something that looks appealing to them. A fruit cocktail looks more fun than eating the pieces of fruit on their own.

Make your fruit cocktail with a Halloween twist. This recipe does use cream and some candy, but not enough to cause a major health problem. After all, one piece of candy corn is going to be a drop in the ocean with all the fruity goodness.

You can choose whatever types of fruit you want, but I recommend using the same colors as the candy corn. It is possible to make your fruit cocktail look like a candy corn.

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple chunks
  • Orange segments
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 candy corn per cocktail for topping

Method:

  • Use a clear glass and add a layer of pineapple
  • Top with a layer of oranges
  • Add a layer of whipped cream on top and serve with the candy corn piece on the top

Place the cocktails in the fridge until you are ready to serve them. They make excellent snacks for the kids during the day, but they can also make excellent desserts for a Halloween dinner party. The kids will love getting involved in creating these dishes.

Make Your Grape Caterpillars

 

Fruit kebabs can be made to create all types of funky designs and monsters. For Halloween, you can create creepy crawly caterpillars with ease. It is all done with some grapes. You will need some kebab skewers or toothpicks, depending on the size of caterpillars you want.

These can be used for trick or treating. Wrap them in some cling film, so everyone gets to see the funky caterpillars in his or hertrick or treat bags. Parents will love that you have added something healthy with a twist.

Ingredients:

  • Green grapes
  • Cream cheese
  • Chocolate chips

Method:

  • Place as many grapes as you can on your kebab sticks, leaving a little space to grab the stick with your hands at the bottom
  • Add two small dollops of cottage cheese on the front grape
  • Top the cream cheese with a chocolate chip each

If you do not want to use cream cheese, you can use vanilla icing instead. Melted white chocolate will also work, but the cheese is just a little easier.

Get your kids involved in making these. Let them place the grapes onto the skewers. If they are too young to do this without catching the tip, help them with it. When kids get involved, they are more likely to enjoy their treats afterward.

Arrange Your Monster Fruit Bowl

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You do not have to get crafty with small bits of fruit. Sometimes it is all about the way your layout the fruit for kids to snack. You can create a delicious fruit bowl with a Halloween twist with ease. Look out for different types of fruits that you can throw together to create a bowl.

Start with this simple bowl. You can then find new and exciting ways to put your fruit bowl together. The best thing about this trick is you can convert the idea for all different seasons. You will never run out of ways to put the fruit together.

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Large oranges
  • Black grapes

Method:

  • Chop up your apples and oranges, leaving the skin on both
  • Layer the fruit, so the orange segments create the shape of a face, leaving a space for the mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Add most of the apple slices within the space for the mouth, creating it as gory as you would like
  • Add the grapes in the holes for the eyes and nose
  • Finish with a few apple slices to create the hair

Put the bowl of fruit out for your kids to snack on throughout the day. You will be surprised at how little is left by the end. Don’t worry if the treat tempts you. It is there for everyone to enjoy.

Create a Watermelon Monster

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This is one of the biggest projects and can take time to chop. You may find your kids cannot help at first, but they will enjoy putting it together once you finished the preparation. The main part of the dish is a watermelon that you are going to turn into a monster. It is hilarious for kids to look at and will make the perfect centerpiece for a Halloween party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 watermelon
  • Mixture of fruits of your choice
  • Two slices of cucumbers
  • Two black olives or grapes

Method:

  • Start by chopping the bottom part of your watermelon slightly, so that it can stand up straight without rolling
  • Now carve the bottom half of the front of your watermelon into a mouth shape; get creative as you would with a pumpkin without scooping the watermelon out as you will want the chunks for later
  • Chop up all your fruit into chunks
  • Place the watermelon at the back of the serving plate
  • Add the fruit chunks at the front, as if they are spewing out of the watermelon monster’s mouth
  • Finish by adding the slices of cucumber above the mouth of eyes with the olives as the pupils; secure with toothpicks or pretzel sticks

You can opt for chocolate drops for the eyes if you want. You will need some icing to keep the chocolates in place.

Being Healthy does not Need to Be Boring

One of the best things about fruit is the versatility of it. There’s no need just to give a piece of fruit and be considered a bore. You can make the fruit look fun. After all, it tastes so much better when it looks appealing.

The treats above don’t take too long. The trickiest will be the watermelon monster head, but that is more because of the carving. Kids will love getting involved helping to put together all the fruity creations and will be mighty proud when they have friends over. On top of that, the parents will adore you for healthy Halloween snacks!

12 Superfoods To Feed Your Teens

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Superfoods Image Design 1 - 12 Superfoods To Feed Your TeensTeenagers typically eat what tastes good or what’s within reach. Proper nutrition during the teen years is essential because their bodies are still growing and developing. A nutritious diet lays a strong foundation for a healthy future.

A Teenager’s Nutritional Needs

A surge in appetite around the age of 10 for girls and boys foreshadows the growth of puberty. Your kid’s body demands more calories during early adolescence than any other time of life.

Boys require an average of 2,800 calories per day and girls require an average of 2,200 calories per day.

Your kids need protein, carbohydrates, and fats as their body’s energy sources.

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Proteins. Teens need proteins for many reasons including building and repairing muscles, fighting off infections, promoting hair and skin health and carrying oxygen in the blood. Proteins are also essential to help create enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.

According to US Department of Agriculture males and females, ages 13 to 18 years old must get five to six ounces of protein per day.

  • Roughly 46 grams of teen girls and
  • 52 grams per day for teen boys

Carbohydrates. The carbohydrates found in starches and sugars get converted into the body’s primary fuel-the glucose. It’s essential that you give your teens complex carbohydrate foods, and reduce simple carbs.

Complex carbs provide sustained energy. The starches also deliver fiber and even some nutrients. Experts recommend 50%-60% of a teenager’s caloric intake must be from complex carbohydrates.

 Simple carbs, on the other hand, seduce your kids with their sweet taste andprovide abrief burst of energy. They have little to offer nutritionally. So you must minimize them in their diet.

Fat. The fat supplies your kids with energy and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E, and K. Fats should make up no more than 30 percent of your child’s diet.

The varying types of dietary fat are

  • Monounsaturated fat. It is the healthiest kind
  • Polyunsaturated fat. Found in safflower oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil and cottonseed oil.
  • Saturated fat. It is the most cholesterol-laden of the three.

Vitamins and Minerals. Vitamins and minerals are essential for your teenage kids because they support healthy growth and development, boost the immune system, and optimize the functions of the cells and organs.

Vitamins and minerals your children may need include:

  • Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 enhance wellness and mood
  • Vitamin B12 and folic acid essential for tissue development
  • Vitamins C, A and E for newly developed cells
  • Vitamins D and B6 for bone and muscle growth
  • Magnesium, calcium, and zinc to aid development of healthy bones

Superfoods For Your Teens

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Walnuts

One-quarter cup of walnuts provides more than 100 percent of the daily RDA of plant-based omega 3 fats along with high amounts of manganese, copper, biotin, and molybdenum- all essential nutrients during the growing years.

Walnuts contain the aminoacid L-arginine that offers immense vascular benefits for the developing heart. They containsome neuroprotective compounds including folate, vitamin E, omega 3 fats and melatonin and antioxidants.

Research studies show that walnut consumption may increase inferential reasoning among adolescents. Walnuts are the only good nut source of alpha-linolenic acid which increases blood flow and improves oxygen delivery to the brain.

Nuts help in weight control promotes reproductive health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

How to enjoy: Mix walnuts into plain yogurt and top it with maple syrup. Add walnuts to salads or healthy sautéed veggies.

Sweet Potatoes

The orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. They are rich in vitamin C which plays a significant role in bone and tooth formation, digestion and blood cell formation.

Sweet potatoes are rich sources of vitamin D which helps to build healthy bones during the adolescent years. Vitamin D is essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system. It boosts the energy levels of your teen kids and optimizes the function of nerves, skin, and teeth. It supports the function of thyroid gland.

Sweet potatoes contain iron and play a significant role in red and white blood cell formation, proper functioning of immune system and resistance to stress. The teen years bring about a lot of changes to young girls such as mensuration. And iron plays a significant role in preventing anemia.

How to enjoy: Puree cooked sweet potatoes with bananas, cinnamon and maple sugar and top it with some walnuts. Steam cubed sweet potatoes, broccoli, and tofu. Throw in some raisins and serve with cold or hot curried vinaigrette dressing.

Broccoli

These little mini trees are one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. They are rich in potassium which aids in building muscle and promotes heart health. The presence of sufficient amount of vitamin A boosts the eye health of your growing kids. Vitamin A also enhances immunity. Vitamin C helps in skin formation and wound healing.

Broccoli contains vitamin K essential for many proteins involved in blood clotting. Folate present in this cruciferous vegetable is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body.

How to enjoy: Toss pasta with steamed broccoli florets, pine nuts, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Whole Grains

Whole grains are essential sources of fiber, B vitamins Riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and folate. They contain minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium.

The dietary fiber present in them helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Consuming whole grains reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and prevents constipation.

High fiber foods provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories and keep your teens in the regular weight range. The phytochemicals present in whole grains maintain the optimal health of your kids.

How to enjoy: You can serve whole wheat bagel or toast at breakfast, a whole wheat bread sandwich for lunch or whole wheat pasta for dinner.

Cheese

Cheese is an excellent source of protein, an essential nutrient during the growing years. Alpha-casein is a unique family of proteins that help to lower blood pressure and contributes to absorbing essential minerals in the digestive tract.

Cheese is a concentrated source of minerals and vitamins. It is rich in calcium, vitamin B12, sodium, phosphorous, riboflavin, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin K2.

Regular cheese consumption improves the heart health and bone health. Protein-packed cheese is a smart way of building muscles, which are essential during the growing years. Eating cheese keeps your kid’s teeth healthier-thanks with the calcium and phosphorous.

How to enjoy: Stuff cheese inside meatballs or conceal it among layers of girdled ham, apples and French toast. Just hide it in a loaf of bread and enjoy.

Yogurt

Probiotic yogurt is good for your teens. According to a study published in Nutrition Research, regular intake of yogurt links up with better overall diet quality, healthier blood pressure, metabolic profiles and triglyceride levels.

Yogurt is an excellent source of potassium,calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins B12 and B2.

Health benefits

  • Yogurt supports healthy digestion
  • Lowers type 2 diabetes risk
  • Increases bone density
  • Reduces high blood pressure and bad cholesterol
  • Regulates mood
  • Boosts the immune system of your kids

How to enjoy: Layer plain yogurt with frozen or fresh fruit and sprinkle a spoon of crunchy high fiber cereal. Sweeten yogurt at home with your favorite flavors and nutty toppings.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries contain the best bioactive compounds such as anthocyanins, flavanols, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. These antioxidants are essential for the rapid growth that takes place during puberty.

Berries are potentially therapeutic for the skin when your teens are more concerned about their physical appearance. Berries fight skin damage from free radicals and reduce wrinkles.

They protect against cancer and significantly improve endothelial function. Endothelial cells which line the blood vessels aids in controlling blood pressure and prevents blood from clotting.

Acai berries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries are highly beneficial for your adolescent girls. These berries improve their heart health because they are the rich sources of polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins.

How to enjoy:

  • Top the berries over peanut butter sandwich.
  • To cool down a drink, add berry
  • Make berry bites with your favorite soft cheese
  • Blend frozen berries with orange juice for a perfect summer beverage.

Salmon

When its wild caught and not farmed, salmon is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Not only does salmon possess omega 3 but it also contains

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B3
  • Protein
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iodine
  • Choline
  • Vitamin B5
  • Biotin
  • Potassium

Salmon has a day’s worth of vitamin D in just one serving and ensures the overall wellness of your teens. Omega 3 foods help boost memory and brain function, vital for the growing kids.

Research studies show feeding salmon to preschool children reduces ADHD symptoms and increases academic performance.

Eating fish helps cure dry eye syndrome and age-related macular degeneration symptoms. Regular consumption of salmon reduces systemic inflammation and the risk of developing hypertension, atherosclerosis, and stroke.

Including wild-caught salmon in your child’s diet help them to develop a soft and supple skin. The omega 3 fatty acids present in salmon contribute to fighting cancer.

How to enjoy: You can make citrus baked salmon, serve your kids potato salmon patties or try a tasty dish of salmon flavored with garlic.

Eggs

Free range eggs are more nutritious and contain less cholesterol and saturated fat.Eggs are a significant source of high-quality protein and are essential during the adolescent years. They lower the risk of heart disease and improve cardiovascular function.

Research studies say that higher egg consumption decreases the potential for metabolic syndrome and has a significant positive influence on blood glucose and triglyceride levels.

Eggs contain naturally occurring carotenoids .So give your teens lots of leafy greens along with eggs for enhanced carotenoid absorption.

Eggs improve eye health, fights weight loss, maintains liver function and brain health and keeps skin healthy.

How to enjoy: Enjoy eggs with sunny side up or scrambled. Fold mushrooms and diced bell peppers into an omelet for a nutritious and veggie-packed dish.

Avocados

Avocados are excellent sources of vitamins C,E, K and B6 as well as niacin, riboflavin, folate, potassium, magnesium and pantothenic acid. Avocados contain healthy beneficial fats that keep your teens full and satiated.

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They possess a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of this sterol helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Avocados are great for eye health because of the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin. They provide maximum antioxidant protection to minimize damage,including those from ultraviolet light.

Avocados prevent osteoporosis because they are rich in vitamin K. Being a rich source of folate they prevent cancer and undesirable gene mutations in DNA and RNA cell division. Folate is essential for teen girls who may have started their mensuration.

Avocados lower risk of depression improves digestion, promotes natural detoxification and protects against chronic diseases.

How to enjoy: Use chopped avocados as a garnish for black bean soup.Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise.

Water

Since the brain is mostly made of water, proper hydration boosts your teen’s concentration powers.

Health Benefits

  • Water promotes weight loss
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Improves skin complexion
  • Maintains regularity and prevents constipation
  • Improve joint function and flexibility of muscles.

How to enjoy: To hydrate your growing kids try strawberry-cucumber water, tomato-basil water, and Pineapple-mint ginger water.

Mangoes

Called as the King of the fruits mangoes contain vitamins C, A, B6 and K and also folate and potassium. They contribute copper, calcium, and iron to your kid’s diet, as well as antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.

Mangoes reduce obesity, prevents heart disease and diabetes. It promotes healthy complexion and hair growth. It boosts energy levels and reduces overall weight.

Zeaxanthin present in mangoes filters out harmful blue light and protects the eye health. Mangoes prevent asthma and cancer. They promote digestion and increases calcium absorption essential for optimal bone growth during the adolescent years.

How to enjoy: Play with your creativity and make mango smoothie, frozen mango cubes, pancakes and mango salsa.

Conclusion

Encourage your teens to include whole grains, vegetables, and fruits in their diet. Cut back on fats, reduce the number of sweets and unhealthy snacks they eat. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit their fast food intake. Tackle their hunger with fiber and protein.

Chart out a strict sleeping schedule so they get the adequate shut-eye time. Inspire your kids to get moving and cut down the time of sitting around. Be a shining example to them by practicing a healthy lifestyle.