Eating Vegan to Cure Disease





There are many misconceptions and information being offered to people that may not always be completely accurate.

It can be hard for people to get all the facts they need when looking for answers to questions they have about health concerns and diet issues.

One of the common questions being asked is whether or not there is any merit to the suggestion of eating vegan to cure disease.

Vegan is Not Vegetarian

It is important to realize that a vegan diet is a subset of a vegetarian diet.

Where different forms of vegetarian diets can allow for eating some products that are derived from animals, the vegan diet does not allow for using or consuming any animal products of any kind.

A Nutritionally Complete Vegan Diet

As with any diet, a properly planned vegan diet can offer the basic nutritional needs, but if the diet is not planned well there can be a lack of vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iodine.

People who are following a vegan diet are encouraged to always seek medical advice and take any supplements as needed.

Can a Vegan Diet Cure Disease?

Whether or not following a vegan diet will actually cure disease has not been scientifically proven.

However, there is evidence that if followed properly, a vegan diet can offer better health and even help to prevent some diseases. Some of the common conditions that can benefit from a vegan diet include:

Diabetes. Contrary to what is often reported, eating a vegan diet will not cure diabetes. But, it does offer some benefits which may help to control and manage the disease itself such as keeping weight lower, possibly helping your body to become more responsive to insulin and even perhaps protect against some diabetes-related complications.

Since a strict vegan diet is low in saturated fat and generally cholesterol free, not to mention low in calories there can be many benefits to those suffering from diabetes.

Heart disease. Eating a vegan diet will help to lower cholesterol which can lead to heart disease. Vegan dieters have lower cases of heart disease, due to the fact that the foods they are eating are low in saturated fats and lower in cholesterol.

High blood pressure. It has also been proven in numerous studies that those who follow a strict vegan diet have significantly lower blood pressure than those who eat meat in their diets.

The benefits of lower cholesterol and less saturated fats, along with other benefits of the diet such as lower sodium levels help to keep blood pressure low.

Cancer prevention. Although research has not been able to understand the reason, people who are following a vegan diet seem to have lower death rates from cancer than those in the rest of the population.

It is suggested that perhaps since vegans for some reason have more white blood cells, which are referred to as natural killer cells, these cells are able to attack and fight the cancer cells.

Prevention of osteoporosis. Eating a vegan diet means not taking in any animal proteins which are known to cause loss of calcium in the bones. The result of not losing calcium in the bones means that there is less risk of developing osteoporosis. An added benefit is that vegan eaters have less kidney stones and gallstones.

It is very important to remember to always seek medical advice before deciding to follow a vegan diet as it is vital to be sure the body is still getting the needed elements that are needed to prevent other health problems.

Simply deciding to start eating vegan to cure disease is not a good idea until complete research has been done to determine any benefits there may be.

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deebraun - Eating Vegan to Cure Disease
Dee is an Adv. Certified Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Adv. Color/Crystal Therapist, Herbalist, Dr. of Reflexology and single mom who is dedicated to helping others any way she can.

One way she chooses to help is by offering information on the benefits and uses of natural health and healing methods for the well-being of both people and pets.

6 Reasons To Start Eating Asparagus Today

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Asparagus Image Design 1 - 6 Reasons To Start Eating Asparagus TodayWhen it comes to trying out new vegetables, there are certain ones that are better than others. Asparagus is one that’s often overlooked, but it’s one of the best for the whole body. It offers far more benefits than downsides, supporting every part of your body.

This should be reason enough, but I know you want details. After all, we always want to know the exact ways we benefit our bodies by choosing specific vegetables or ingredients in our meals.

It’s not always about health either. We want to know about the ease of adding the vegetables in and fun reasons to start eating something new. Here’s a look at six reasons you need to start eating asparagus today.

It’s Packed with Fibre to Keep You Regular

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If you’re struggling to pass stools, you’ll want to consider how foods affect your digestive system. Loose and hard stools both require fiber to make it better. While beans are often touted as the best option for keeping your bowel movements regular, asparagus is also at the top of the list.

There is plenty of fiber in the vegetable. In fact, this is what makes up most of the actual vegetable. Your digestive system will work effectively, helping you to absorb all necessary nutrients and push the waste through your system, but that’s not the only reason you need asparagus.

It’s also packed with asparagine, an amino acid that works as a diuretic. It works completely naturally in your body.

Not only are your stools regular, but your urination is more regular. Yes, it can make your urine smell stronger, but there is nothing unhealthy about this. It’s just the amino acid getting to work. By urinating more, you can get rid of excess salt in your body, keeping your organs free from harm. It won’t get rid of too many salts unless you only consume asparagus daily!

If you ever feel like you’re bloated from water retention or fluid retention, look at adding more asparagus into your meals for a few days. You’ll soon get rid of it, along with anything else causing problems for your digestive system.

A major benefit of getting rid of the excess water is to prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice is often recommended, but this is full of natural sugars. Asparagus is better on the sugar level and still just as effective and helpful. You’ll be able to get rid of the toxins that are causing the infection.

It’s an Excellent Addition for Weight Loss

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Losing weight is hard. You’ll hear all the time about how you just need to eat fewer calories, and you’ll start burning the fat. That is far easier said than done, right?

What if you could eat ingredients that encourage more weight loss? Some of the reason people weigh more is due to water retention. Remember the first benefit: you’ll get rid of the fluid that is causing the skewy numbers on the scales. However, that’s not the only benefit.

Asparagus spears contain just three calories each. They’re filling and satisfying. When you’ve finished a meal with them, you won’t want to eat another bite. In fact, you may decide you can’t finish the food you’ve made; they’re that good! This satisfaction comes from the fiberthat’s the vegetable. It will break down slowly throughout the day, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

By consuming foods that are low in calories but filling, you will find it easier to create a calorie deficit. You won’t notice that you’re not eating as many calories as you used to, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. This helps you remain happy with your new diet, so you’re more likely to stick with it.

Asparagus isn’t just an excellent addition to your main meals. It makes an excellent snack option. You don’t have to feel guilty for snacking throughout the day considering how few calories you’re eating. You’ll get the same satisfaction as you would from a banana at a fraction of the cost in calories.

Many can’t deny the fact that asparagus tastes good, which means you’re more likely to add it to your meals. Of course, taste is subjective, but most people look forward to asparagus on their plate. When you like something, you’ll find it much easier to stick to your diet without feeling like you’re missing out.

You Don’t Need to Worry About Organic

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If you’re looking at organic and worried about the extra costs, you’ll be happy to hear that asparagus is naturally organic. That means you can buy it straight from anywhere in the grocery store without worrying about pesticides and other chemicals added to them. While some pesticides are used, asparagus doesn’t absorb the chemicals. They are part of the Clean 15 list of foods.

A major benefit comes from the time of year that asparagus grows. It’s a spring vegetable and grows extremely fast. There’s not enough time for pests to cause a problem for the crops.

This is extremely beneficial when you want to put your family’s health first without worrying about the cost. Organic is good, but the extra costs soon add up. You can find you’re making a choice between different types of fruits and vegetables instead of being able to enjoy everything you want. You don’t have to worry about this when it comes to asparagus.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to buy organic if you want to. There’s no guilt if you don’t, but if you prefer to support the organic farmers then certainly go ahead and buy. You will get rid of all the pesticides completely.

It Promotes a Healthy Gut

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Let’s look at some of the health benefits of asparagus. One of the benefits is for the levels of bacteria.

Not all bacteria are bad. There are some that are needed in the gut to help with the absorption rate of other nutrients.  Good bacteria will get rid of the bad stuff, improve the digestive system’s actions, and boost the immune system. You can get more good bacteria by eating probiotics, but what if you don’t eat dairy? Well, asparagus is your next option.

Asparagus has a carbohydrate called Inulin. This helps to promote and support the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. It doesn’t quite create good bacteria from scratch, but it will help to promote the growth of whatever is there. The bad bacteria can’t overpower the good when you get enough Inulin in the body.

At the same time, the Inulin will help to encourage more activity from the good bacteria. It helps to push the good to take over the bad and improve the overall gut health. You’ll get far more active and feel better because of it. When your gut is healthy, the whole body feels better. Your immune system works more effectively, there is less inflammation, and your hormonal balance is better.

It’s Full of Nutrients for Overall Health

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It’s not just your gut that benefits. Sure, when your gut benefits, so do the rest of your health. However, asparagus will also offer the nutrients your whole-body needs. Asparagus is packed with vitamins like A, C, and K. It’s full of chromium and folate. You need to add all these to make sure every part of your body works as it should.

Chromium is an essential mineral that most people haven’t even heard of. It improves the insulin’s power, so glucose is removed from all cells within the body. Everyone can benefit from this, but it’s important for diabetics who struggle with insulin resistance and high blood sugar issues.

At the same time, the nervous system is supported by the extra folate. This mineral helps to boost the connections within the brain, support brain development in all. It is especially beneficial for apregnant woman, as it helps with the fetal brain development.

All the vitamins help to ensure the body’s immune system and overall health is protected. The skin looks healthier, the eyesight is supported, and even the liver is protected. Vitamin K helps to support natural clotting of the blood, while vitamins C and E support the immune system and make sure it fights against the viruses and diseases within the body. Vitamin A helps to avoid macular degeneration disease while supporting the growth and development of tissues within the body.

Then there is the glutathione, which is known as anti-cancer benefits. This agent helps to get rid of the carcinogens within the body, preventing them from damaging healthy cells and preventing cancerous cells forming. Meanwhile, the antioxidants also help to fight against free radicals, further offering anti-cancer benefits and preventing signs of aging. There is also research that suggests antioxidants can prevent dementia and other disorders and conditions.

It’s a Natural Aphrodisiac

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If you find your sex drive is slow or non-existent, you’ll likely consider the aphrodisiacs on the market. There are lots of ideas out there, but did you know asparagus is one of them? This is an ingredient that has been used for centuries around the world to help improve the sex drive.

More research in this area is required. That doesn’t mean asparagus isn’t that great for you, but that the area hasn’t been tested as much as others.

Some aphrodisiacs tend only to help males or females. Asparagus is one of those that help both genders. It’s especially beneficial for women, though. It can help to boost the libido during pregnancy and during menopause naturally. These are two times in life that the sex drive can slip because of the change to the hormones.

On top of this, asparagus has also been used in the past to increase the chances of getting pregnant. It’s unclear whether this is due to the balanced hormones, increased libido, or another reason. Again, research is needed to check the full benefits when it comes to this part of the benefits of asparagus.

Studies have shown that the vegetable can help to treat some of the symptoms of menopause, likely due to the hormonal link. The vegetable helps to boost the lubrication of the vagina, making it more comfortable before and during sex.

Adding Asparagus to Your Meals

This could be a reason within itself: asparagus is extremely easy to add to your diet. It’s one of the easiest vegetables to cook and prepare, without losing all the excellent nutrients.

One of the most common ways is through steaming the vegetable. You can then serve it as a bed for fish or chicken. It’s also commonly boiled or grilled. Try different seasonings to bring out a range of tastes and uses for the vegetable. If you want to keep the crunch to your asparagus, place it in a basket over water and allow it to steam that way. You won’t soak in as much water into the vegetable.

It is best to chop off the ends of asparagus. They tend to be chewy and difficult for the body to digest. However, you can eat the rest of the stalks and the tips if you’d like.

Most people can add asparagus to their diet without a problem. If you are on a very strict diet, you will want to discuss adding the vegetable with your doctor or dietician first. This will depend on the reason for your strict diet. You will also need to watch the amount that you eat in most of cases.

Now is the time to add asparagus to your diet. It’s one of the healthiest and cleanest vegetables on the market. Even if you don’t want to opt for organic, you can highly benefit from the addition of this vegetable into your diet. Don’t waste time reading anymore about the benefits. They’re certainly not all for your physical health, but also for your mental health.

Eating These 8 Anti-Inflammatory Powerhouses Helped Heal My Autoimmune Disease

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Seamus Mullen is an award-winning chef and restaurateur—and he suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that once landed him in the hospital. In his new book, Real Food Heals, he details all of the recipes that have contributed to his journey back to optimal health—here, he shares the eight foods that have made the biggest difference.

My relationship with food has always been a key component of my identity. I was born and raised in Vermont on a diet of fresh, whole foods, and was the pinnacle of youthful health. As soon as I left Vermont for boarding school, then college, then cooking school, however, my healthful habits devolved, and I began relying on junk food and carbs to get me through the long days. I soon found my health rapidly deteriorating.

Initially, I wrote off feeling like crap to the notoriously difficult life of the professional kitchen, but eventually it became clear that there was something seriously wrong with me. After several trips to the emergency room, I was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can affect your joints, skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

I struggled for years feeling generally horrible while following the conventional treatment for RA. Finally, I hit an all-time low and was rushed to the hospital once again. By the time I arrived at the emergency room, my temperature had hit 106 degrees. The only thing that kept my brain from frying in the intensive care unit was plunging in and out of an ice bath. I knew that something had to change or the next time this happened, I wouldn’t survive.

Through this experience, I began to understand the central importance of diet in improving one’s well-being. I met and became close friends with forward-thinking functional medicine doctors like Frank Lipman, M.D., and I realized that my poor health was directly linked to my carb- and sugar-driven diet. Thus, the Real Food Heals lifestyle was born. I started exercising and eliminated gluten and grains, refined sugar, factory-farmed meat, and dairy from my diet, instead eating mainly vegetables, good proteins, and fats. Since then, not only have I avoided the emergency room—I’ve shocked doctors and everyone who knows me with my great health. At every checkup, the biomarkers of my disease are now nonexistent. And I’ve experienced this incredible joy throughout the process because my transformation has revolved around mindfully cooking and eating delicious food.

While there are countless foods and ingredients that I consider important to a healthy diet, there are a few in particular that truly turned my life around:

1. Coconut.

I use coconut constantly in my cooking in its various forms, from unsweetened desiccated coconut to coconut oil and coconut cream. Coconuts are a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and are known to be antiviral and antibacterial as well. Additionally, coconut oil is a great replacement for highly inflammatory cooking oils like canola and corn oil, which can damage cells, especially in those with autoimmune disease. Plus, it tastes great!

2. Avocado.

Once upon a time, avocados were mistakenly thought to be an artery-clogging fatty fruit that should be avoided. Turns out, they’re one of the healthiest foods we can eat, thanks to their high nutrient value (a single 100-gram serving of avocado contains between 15 and 25 percent of your daily required amounts of vitamins K, C, B6, and E). They’re also dense with good fats, fiber, and potassium, while low in carbs, cholesterol, and sodium.

3. Asparagus.

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Photo: Tatjana Ristanic

Asparagus is a great source of fiber, folate, vitamins A and C, and prebiotics (foods that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the intestines). This nutrient-dense vegetable is particularly useful in coping with autoimmune disease because it’s a rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and free radicals, which helps fight against cancer and inflammation.

4. Eggs.

Eggs are a miracle food. Even though I’m not a big breakfast eater, eggs are often the first thing I have on any given day. The protein and good fats in eggs make them a filling and satisfying way to get your daily zinc; iron; and vitamins A, D, E, and K. No matter how you prepare them, eggs can help improve cardiovascular health; prevent metabolic disease; and boost eye, liver, skin, and brain health. A note: Both the yolk and the white are nutrient-rich, so make sure you’re eating the whole egg!

5. Oily fish.

Oily fish like anchovies, sardines, and mackerel have their fair share of skeptics, but these heart-healthy fish are a powerhouse, especially for people with RA. In addition to reducing blood pressure and preventing fat buildup in arteries, the consumption of oily fishes can also reduce joint pain and stiffness and has been linked to preventing and reducing RA symptoms in a study with middle-age participants. If you’re looking for a way to incorporate oily fish into your diet, the Deviled Eggs with Anchovies and Rosemary from my new book combine two of my favorite healthful foods in one.

6. Root vegetables.

Carrots, radishes, turnips, and other veggies in the root vegetable family are all staples of my new diet, especially as a replacement for grains. The vital nutrients found in root vegetables are key to fighting inflammatory-based diseases like RA (along with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes). I love to swap out traditional spaghetti for carrot, celery root, or sweet potato noodles made with the spiralizer.

7. Macadamia nuts.

Almonds and cashews may dominate the spotlight in the American diet, but the little-celebrated macadamia nut deserves some attention too. Macadamia nuts are a rich source of antioxidants and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which support gut health and can reduce the chronic inflammation associated with RA. I love to throw a handful of these powerful nuts into my granola, atop a fresh salad, or just munch on them raw as a midday snack.

8. Pastured chicken.

From a nutritional standpoint, chicken is relatively lean healthy protein. It’s still got some good fat on it, which is extremely important for overall nutrition, so I like to keep the skin on whenever I’m preparing it. That it’s delicious doesn’t hurt, either. As with all animal proteins, I always try to consume it consciously and with knowledge of where it’s coming from. The difference between factory-farmed and free-range birds is tremendous in both the quality of the product and the life of the animal. For me, that means buying chickens from small farms I trust that allow their chickens to openly roam the pasture.

Reducing inflammation can greatly help with the management of autoimmune diseases, so be sure to avoid these eight super-inflammatory foods! Plus, all of the ways Chef Mullen uses avocado in his daily diet.

The Benefits Of Avocado And How Much You Should Be Eating – Infographic

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The Benefits Of Avocado And How Much You Should Be Eating

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Avocado Image Design 2 1024x562 - The Benefits Of Avocado And How Much You Should Be EatingYou may have noticed that a lot of recipes for healthy eating involve avocados. These little green vegetables—or fruits, depending on your stance—do offer numerous health benefits. But you need to be careful that you don’t eat too many of them. They’re one of those vegetables that have numerous vitamins and minerals but also have a large amount of fat on them!

Just how will you gain from adding avocado to your diet and what are the limits that you should have. We’ll go through all you need to know about the vegetable and include some delicious recipes to help you make the most of them.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you like the taste of avocados right now. There are various ways that you can cook or use them, including making guacamole for your burritos!

Support Your Heart Health with Good Fats

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Yes, avocados do have fat. The good news is that they have healthy fat.

Wait, fat can be healthy? Of course, it can, and your body does need some of it to support the health of the heart. What you want to stay away from is saturated fat. The type of fat in avocado is unsaturated. This type of fat won’t clog your arteries, making it difficult for the blood to circulate through the system.

You’re lowering the risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.

There are a few studies that have shown how beneficial unsaturated fat is for the body. Saturated fats raise both good and bad cholesterol levels, while the unsaturated varieties help to lower the bad. Bad cholesterol clings to the arteries and causes friction, while the good cholesterol clings to protect the arteries from damage and creates a smooth surface for the blood to circulate past.

You’re not just getting fat from the avocados either, and that will move us onto the next benefit.

You Get Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals

Any veg is good for your vitamin and mineral intake, isn’t it? Well, there are certain vegetables that are better than others. In this case, avocados are better than many other vegetables.

They are high in potassium and antioxidants. These help with the oxygenated of blood, which links to the benefiting of the heart. At the same time, your immune system is supported, and your organs all get enough oxygen to work as they should.

Improved blood flow does wonder for your body as a whole. You will feel like you have more energy and can concentrate much easier throughout the day. That fatigue that you feel around 3pm can be wiped out because your brain gets the oxygen that it needs.

Potassium also helps to support the heart, kidneys, and many other organs by keeping the blood circulating properly. It prevents clotting at the wrong times and is recommended as a mineral to get by numerous health associations, including the American Heart Association.

It’s recommended to get 4,700mg of potassium a day at least. So make sure you get the likes of avocados, bananas, and leafy greens. By the way, you’ve likely heard that bananas are great for potassium levels, but avocados have more potassium in them!

One average serving of avocado (around 3.5oz) will give you 14% of your recommended daily amount of potassium. You’ll also get 26% of the recommended amounts of vitamin K to help with blood clotting, 20% of your recommended daily amount of folate, and 17% of your vitamin C recommended allowance. There are also excellent amounts of vitamins B5, B6, and E.

Getting the antioxidants will help your body fight off more diseases and help you get the energy that you need throughout the day. At the same time, they help to fight off the free radicals in your system, which lead to cancer.

This cancer-fighting benefit also comes from the lutein—a type of protein—in the vegetable. People who have a large amount of lutein in their body have a lower risk of developing oral cancer. There are also studies that have shown the protein helps to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Some studies have shown that there may be the reduction in the risk of developing some forms of leukemia too. More research is needed to see just how much avocados will benefit you when it comes to fighting this disease that currently has no cure.

And do you remember the vitamins C and E that are in an avocado? Both of these have been linked to helping prevent various cancers. They can also help to prevent other diseases, including kidney disease, eye problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Slow Down the Aging Process

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Don’t you just hate the idea of getting old? You just know that your hair will start greying and falling out and your skin will start to dry out and sag. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a way to slow down this aging process? Would it be great if there was a miracle cure?

Well, there isn’t quite a miracle cure, but you can slow down the process of aging through the use of avocado. This comes from various nutrients within the vegetable.

Let’s start with the lutein first. It doesn’t just help to fight against cancer, but also helps to support the body to slow down aging. It works with a compound called zeaxanthin. Together they help to reduce the damage that the UV rays do to the skin. UV rays speed up the process of aging, by causing dark spots, damaging cells, and reducing the moisture levels. If you can slow down the damage, you can slow down the side effects from the damage.

The fats in avocados also help to slow down the aging process. They help to support the oil production in the skin, which protects it from dryness. Not only will you slow down the process of aging, but you can help to ease some skin conditions. If you’re not going to eat avocados, add it to your topical treatments to help support your skin. Oh, and those oils will also help to improve the look of your hair! They prevent the hair from drying out and looking straw-like.

You’ll still need to drink plenty of water. Not only does the water help your body absorb all the nutrients, but it will also help to support your skin. The extra hydration will prevent it from drying out and keep the collagen levels up.

The aging process isn’t about the skin and hair, either. As we get older, our eyesight suffers. For some, it’s just the need for reading glasses, but others find that they have cataracts or macular degeneration. The antioxidants and proteins within the vegetable will help to reduce the chances of developing cataracts and can slow down the damaging of cells that lead to macular degeneration.

If you do currently have either of them, you may be able to halt or at least slow down the progression of them. Research is still being undertaken to see just how much our eyes can benefit from the use of avocados.

Support Your Weight Loss Efforts

What if you could lose more weight on a daily basis? Did you ever think a fatty vegetable could help you do that?

Remember that the fats in avocados are unsaturated, which means that they are better for your energy-burning process. The unsaturated fats will work within the liver to release ketones. These then help to support the fat burning process, so you have more energy to do things throughout the day. The fatter you burn, the more calories you burn so you can lose more weight.

Let’s also remember that avocados have plenty of protein and fibre. These two food groups are essential for building muscles, supporting the digestive system, and helping to keep you full. While you’re eating a meal with avocados, you’ll feel fuller sooner so you won’t feel the need to eat as many calories within a meal. You may even find that you can reduce the treats and desserts that you eat, so you don’t eat as much sugar throughout the day.

Because you feel full, you don’t get the same negative feelings when you say no to the sweet treats. You physically don’t feel like you can fit them anywhere, anyway. There’s that positive thought that you don’t need the sweet stuff to keep you satisfied. The healthy food has done it all for you.

If you have lost the weight, you’ll find it easier to keep the weight off afterwards. This again comes down to the thought of feeling satisfied. You can make lifelong changes that are good for your overall health.

Stop Worrying About Type II Diabetes

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We all know that chocolate, sweets, and refined sugar is bad for us. The problem is we have sugar cravings that we just need to get a grip of.

Avocados can make it much easier to deal with your sugar cravings, so you reduce your risk of developing Type II diabetes. And the nutrients within the vegetable help to reduce the amount of glucose in your body anyway, even if you do enjoy a sweet treat now and then. Avocados are full of fibre, which has been linked to slowing down the risk of diabetes.

Those who eat avocados tend to be more health conscious. They tend to eat fewer sweet treats anyway, which also helps to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.

Sure, this isn’t a magical cure to stop diabetes completely. However, it does help to slow down the progression and development.

Support for the Digestive System

Remember that fibre that helps to reduce the chances of developing Type II diabetes? Well, it also supports the digestive system. But you already knew that, right? You knew that fibre is great for keeping stools at the perfect consistency.

But did you also know that a high fibre diet can help to reduce inflammation within the body? Did you know that it can help to reduce the chance of developing some of the chronic pain diseases within the digestive system, such as IBS and even Crohn’s disease? There are still scientists looking into all the reasons these diseases develop, but inflammation within the gut is one of the considered reasons.

Every little helps, right?

If you don’t have one of the conditions, the inflammation can lead to bloating. Poorly supported digestive systems can cause blockages. You’ll need the fibre to grasp hold of anything that is in the way and push it through the whole system. Fibre—especially natural fibre—helps to keep the whole digestive and bowel system working as it should.

You can get too much fibre, so you’ll need to limit a number of avocados you eat to one or two a day. The average serving is around 3.5oz, which is the weight of an average small avocado. You’ll only need one or two of these a day to benefit from the fibre, especially when you get plenty of other fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet.

Reduce the Chronic Pain and Arthritis

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And let’s not forget that inflammation in the body isn’t just a problem for the digestive system. The fibre that reduces the inflammation will also help other parts of your body. You’ll find that chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis are lessened so you can get on with your day.

Eastern societies tend to use avocado extract in their diets to help ease inflammation and soothe chronic pain issues. In fact, it’s no secret that it is the western world that suffers from most of the chronic pain problems, which is why they are linked to a poor diet.

More research is needed in this, but so far the results are positive.

Absorb Far More Nutrients Than Ever Before

There’s no point in eating foods with lots of nutrients if you’re not able to absorb them! No, the body isn’t perfect, and there are some healthy foods that can go to waste because your body isn’t ready for or able to use them.

It’s not just about getting plenty of water—although that is important. You need to make sure you have enough soluble fat in your body to take in all the nutrients and get them where they need to be. Avocados have the perfect amount of soluble fat to be able to do that.

And it doesn’t just help absorb the nutrients within the avocado. You’ll find that the nutrients in all those other vegetables and fruits that you eat will be absorbed more effectively. This is why health experts suggest that you add avocados to your salads to improve some nutrients you get from all the other foods that you’re consuming.

You don’t need to add a whole avocado to your salad if you really don’t want. Avocado oil drizzled over your oil is an excellent alternative to olive oil and will help you get the exact same benefits.

But How Do You Get More Avocados In Your Diet?

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The truth is that avocado is one of the easiest vegetables to add to your diet. This is another great benefit of the vegetables that we won’t quite go into because…well, it’s easy to see right now what that benefit is.

It can be used for breakfasts, in main meals and even in desserts! Yes, there are tarts that use avocado for the toppings, meaning that you can cut down on the amount of dairy and other saturated fats in your diet.

Oprah Winfrey is currently raving about the new Weight Watchers diet because she can still eat avocados for her breakfast. She simple mashes the vegetable and spreads it on her toast and tops that with a poached egg on a morning. She’s getting all of the food groups, plenty of nutrients, and a filling meal to start her day.

There are others who opt for smoothies or will just add raw avocado to their salads. And we can’t forget that avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, which is great as a dip for your vegetable sticks!

But we know that you want practical ideas that will help to support your diet and health. That’s why we have a few recipes that you should try to make the most of the avocado in your diet.

Start Your Day with a Smoothie

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A green smoothie is definitely something that you want to add to your day. You’ll only need one to help your diet. Any more than that and you run the risk of taking in too many calories—you drink more than you eat because they’re easier to consume. The benefit though is that you will absorb more nutrients in this one helping by drinking.

Ingredients:

  • ½ an avocado, preferably ripe
  • 1 banana, preferably ripe
  • ½ a cup of low-fat yoghurt
  • ½ a cup of orange juice

Method:

Just put all the ingredients into a blender and combine them. It really is that simple!

Enjoy Your Mexican Night with the Girls

Make your own guacamole for your next Mexican night in with the girls using this very simple recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ red onion diced
  • 2 crisp bacon strips
  • Seasoning to taste

Method:

  1. Dice your peach and place in a bowl
  2. Mash the avocados and combine with the peach
  3. Dice the crisp bacon and add to the mixture
  4. Throw in your onion and mix together

That’s really there is to it. Now, what’s your excuse for not making guacamole?

There are certain recipes that will work for specific needs. Do you want to reduce your risk of Type II diabetes or support your kidneys or heart? Here are some of the recipes you’ll want to try out.

Avocado Recipe for Weight Loss

Let’s start with the main reason people choose avocados. You’ve likely found out that they’re great for your weight loss efforts, so now want the perfect recipe (that isn’t yet another salad!) to gain all the benefits.

This avocado panini will give you the filling lunch that you’ve been craving for. It’s also one of those that is great in the winter when you want something warmer. It’s one of those that can be taken on the run with you so you can eat it cold if you want.

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot/onion/garlic, chopped
  • 8oz Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups of kale leaves
  • 2 avocados
  • 8 pieces of wheat bread, the thicker, the better
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Seasoning to taste

Method:

  1. Place the skillet on a medium heat and melt the butter. Add your shallots and sauté until clear.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown.
  3. Add the tomatoes and kale and sauté until warm.
  4. Remove from heat and season.
  5. Mash your avocados and spread onto the slices of bread.
  6. Assemble all the other ingredients in the way that you like. Add in as many vegetables to your sandwiches as possible.
  7. Add the cheese.
  8. Place your sandwiches in your panini press and wait until cooked just the way you like.
  9. If you don’t have a panini press, you can always add your sandwich to the skillet again and fry lightly on both sides to create a grilled cheese sandwich instead.
  10. You can also eat this cold.

With this recipe, you get:

  • 332 calories
  • 2g protein
  • 5g fat (4.8g saturates)
  • 1g fibre
  • 1g sugar

Avocado Recipe for Heart Health

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When the health of your heart is the most important thing to you, you’ll want to try this delicious recipe. This may be a salad, but it is more than just adding avocado on top of a traditional pile of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. It’s cool, it’s delicious, and it’s hearty. And I can’t forget that it’s super easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small romaine lettuce heads, shredded
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 and a ½ cups of fresh corn
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • ½ redonion sliced thinly
  • ½ cup cilantro, preferably fresh
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3tbsp lime juice
  • ½tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Combine the lettuce with everything up to and including the cilantro.
  2. Whisk the oil and rest of the ingredients together.
  3. Place the salad on the plate and drizzle with the oil dressing.

This is great when served with potato chips, but you can cut them out if you wish.

With this recipe you get:

  • 466 calories
  • 14g protein
  • 18g fat (2g saturates)
  • 71g carbohydrates
  • 16g fibre

Yes, this is fairly high in carbohydrates, but they are the good kind. You’ll also get plenty of protein and fibre to balance them out.

Recipes with Avocados to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

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This is another salad, but it’s another that doesn’t just involve your usual ingredients. If you have kidney disease or you want to improve the health of your kidneys and support their function to remove toxins, then you want to opt for this salad once a week.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 400g can of kidney/black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 beef tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • Handful of coriander, chopped

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1 lime, juice, and zest
  • 1tbsp oil (olive, coconut, almond, or avocado preferred)
  • 1/2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Seasoning to taste

Method:

  1. Place all of your salad into a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
  2. Mix all your dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Put your salad onto the plates and then pour the dressing over the top.

Don’t pour the dressing over it until you are ready to serve. If you’re not sure if everyone will want it, put the dressing in a small jug and allow people to choose. You can use lime juice on the avocados to prevent them colouring while you wait.

You will get:

578 calories

27g protein

17g fat (3g saturates)

92g carbohydrates

28g fibre

This is another salad where the carbohydrates are relatively high, but they don’t all sugar. They break down slowly, so there isn’t the high risk of Type II diabetes and a sugar crash. Your fibre and protein arehigh enough to help balance it out.

Delicious Tacos to Fight Off Cancer

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When you want to ward off or fight against cancer, you’ll want to add in foods that are full of antioxidants and heart-healthy benefits. Tacos usually sound unhealthy, but they can be made in a way that is especially good for you. You get to pack them full of vegetables, and avocados should definitely be added to the list.

Hey! And this recipe isn’t a plain salad!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4lbs shrimp
  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ¼ cup of scallions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup of bottled salsa verde
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups of bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 8 tortilla wraps

Method:

  1. Combine the shrimp, avocado, scallions and beans and season with the pepper.
  2. Stir the salsa, lime juice, and cilantro together in a separate bowl. Add a quarter of it into the shrimp mixture.
  3. Microwave the wraps two at a time to warm.
  4. Place the peppers in the centre of the wraps and top with the shrimp mixture. Drizzle a tablespoon of the salsa on top and serve!

You can pop in some other salad if you want, but it’s really no necessary. Serve with wedges of lime and some extra cilantro for a bit of an extra kick.

You get:

  • 453 calories
  • 30g protein
  • 13g fat (3g saturates)
  • 58g carbohydrates
  • 13g fibre

This is one of the better options when it comes to carbohydrate and protein levels. It’s also very easy to make, and you don’t feel like you’re having yet another salad!

It’s Time to Add Avocados to Your Shopping List

If you haven’t already, start buying avocados. You can usually get them in netted bags, similar to tomatoes, oranges, and lemons. This will help to keep the cost down.

Avocados don’t just help you with your weight loss. They keep your overall health in check. Yes, there are fats in them, but these are healthy fats that do your heart some good. You’ll not just fight against heart disease, but you’ll keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check. Those silent killers don’t need to be anything to worry about.

And while you’re doing all that, you’re protecting your body from many of the diseases and ailments that happen with old age. The fibre within the vegetables helps to reduce the inflammatory response and you’ll be able to soak up far more nutrients that you ever could before thanks to the fat. Your bones get all the calcium and phosphorus they need, while your kidneys get the potassium to keep toxins at bay. Your organs get all the oxygenated blood they need, so you look and feel great.

There’s really no excuse for not adding avocados to your meals. Some people complain they are bland in salads, but you can make light dressings that will help to offer a slight bite to your meals. You can also use avocados to make smoothies or replace meat in certain dishes, like bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich. They’re extremely easy to use, you just have to check the recipes above for proof of that!

Now is your chance to put your overall health first. When you do that, you’ll feel better, and your mental health will remain in check. What’s your excuse for not opting for avocados?

How Healthy Eating Can Lead to Depression

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Depression Image Design 1 1024x562 - How Healthy Eating Can Lead to DepressionYou’ll hear all the time that to fight against depression you need to eat healthily. A healthy diet is supposed to give your mind and body all the nutrients needed. With a well-balanced diet, your blood flow will be improved, so your mind gets the oxygen it needs. You’ll also get a balance in hormones to help with the release of the right chemicals.

What if I told you that your healthy eating could do the opposite? What if I said that it could lead to depression?

Even if you have a healthy diet, you may not be getting the best foods for your mind. At the same time, you may not have the balance that you need to give your mind everything it believes you need and want.

Here’s a look at healthy eating and how it can lead to depression. This doesn’t mean you should focus on junk food all the time, but it will give you a better idea of how to use your healthy diet to make sure it does help you fight against depression.

Too Many People Cut Out the Food they Like

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When you hear, you need to follow a healthy diet, it’s very common to start thinking you need to eat just rabbit food. In fact, so many people get focused on eating the likes of avocados, tomatoes, oily fish, and everything else that is supposed to be good for them that they miss out on the food that they want.

A healthy diet doesn’t mean that you have to miss out absolutely everything that is “bad” for you. In fact, some of those supposedly bad foods for you can be good for you in moderation. Just look at the studies currently underway about how red wine, dark chocolate, and even coffee can be great for the overall physical and mental health.

We spend so much time trying to fit in the good food and focusing on a healthier lifestyle that we start saying no to the food that is meant to be bad for us. That just leads to us wanting that “bad” food more and more.

The more we tell ourselves no, the more we crave the food. It’s a never-ending cycle, and it leads to two things: you end up depressed about not getting to enjoy your meals and you start binging on the food that you keep saying no to.

It’s not just about a healthy diet, but also about a balanced one. Focusing on foods that are good for your health doesn’t mean that you must forgo the foods that you once loved to eat. You just need to get them into your diet in moderation.

Cutting them out means that you get fed up of the diet you’re on.  You start hating the fact that you can’t have the food anymore, and this can lead to chemicals dropping in your mind. Your brain can release the right levels of happy hormones. Instead, you get more stress hormones being released into your body, and this can be a cycle of depression.

So, when you do decide to follow a healthy diet, make sure you include some of those foods that you want. You’ll benefit from it in the long term.

For some, the cravings can be a temporary issue. In the early stages of the healthy diet, you’ll have to deal with sugar cravings and other withdrawals from the change in your diet. Once you get through the withdrawals, you’ll find it much easier to go through days without the sweet foods. But that still doesn’t mean you have to leave them out completely.

You’re also at risk of depression during the earlier stages. Not everyone will be able to work through this stage. It depends on your personality. It’s worth being aware of the possible downsides to cutting out all unhealthy food.

A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Mean Getting all the Right Food Groups

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How do you know that the food you’re eating is giving you the right nutrients? Even if you know you’re getting all the nutrients you need, do you know that you’re getting the right levels?

We focus so much on the food that we tend to forget about recommended daily amounts. After all, you can’t have too much of a good thing, right? Well, this is where many people are wrong. Yes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Let’s go back to the point above. You need to get the bad stuff in moderation, but that also applies to the good stuff. It’s all about a balanced diet.

One of the most commonly forgotten about nutrients is carbohydrates. We’re focusing so much on getting fiber and protein, that we forget or purposely miss out the carbohydrates—the food group that helps to give us all the energy that we need throughout the day.

But aren’t carbohydrates bad for you? This is a common misconception because we tend to think about carbs as evil—the things that sugar in our bodies and increase the risk of Type II diabetes. It’s all about getting the right types of carbs.

There are two types: simple and complex. The simple carbs break down quickly. These are mostly from your refined sources, like your chocolate, cakes, cookies, and other similar products. They can also be in white rice and white bread. Really, they’re in the foods that don’t have that much fiber. These are the carbs that will give you the instant energy boost but then cause the energy dip just hours later.

Complex carbs are much better for you. They break down in the body much slower, giving you sustained energy levels throughout the day. There’s no sugaring in the blood, which means you’re not as likely to suffer the insulin response and increase your risk of developing Type II diabetes.

Many of the complex carb foods are full of fiber and other nutrients. They include the likes of:

  • Brown pasta
  • Brown rice
  • Potatoes
  • Root vegetables
  • And Fruits

You will still get plenty of nutrients by adding these complex carbs into your diet. You’ll also get the sustained energy levels.

Drops and increases in the energy levels are bad for you. Consistent low energy levels are also bad. Your brain doesn’t have the power to function properly, and you end up with a release of the stress hormone. Just think about how down you can feel when tired. If this was constant, you’re running the risk of developing depression.

When you’re tired, you’re also less likely to do any exercise. The exercise is needed to help boost the happy hormones in the body. This is a never-ending cycle.

Some carbohydrates also help to give the brain a boost on their own. This isn’t about energy, but getting the right chemicals in your brain. There is tryptophan in complex carbs, which helps to boost the level of serotonin in the body. The serotonin is the happy hormone: that mood booster that we all need daily.

So, if you get more complex carbs, you will get this necessary nutrient. You will need to get amino acids to help with the absorption of tryptophan, so it is all about healthy and balance within your diet.

You may feel tired after eating some of the healthy carbs. This is again linked to the tryptophan and the levels of serotonin. The tiredness is a good one: you’re satisfied and ready for the end of the day. Just think about how you feel after your big turkey dinner at Thanksgiving or Christmas. You can counter this by doing some exercise during the day.

It’s not just the carbohydrates. Some diets recommend the complex carbs but want you to cut down on the protein. There are plenty of vegan or healthy vegetariandiets, after all. The problem is that by cutting out animal products, you run the risk of not getting enough protein in your body.

Protein helps the muscles to repair, but it’s not just good for that. It offers some sustainable energy because the protein breaks down in the body slowly throughout the day.

If you want to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, you can get your protein from legumes and beans. However, you will need to make sure that you get enough.

Likewise, you will still need to get some fat. A small amount of healthy fat supports the brain. Just think about the likes of omega 3 and fish oils. With the brain fully supported, it’s able to release more of the happy hormones daily. You’ll feel happier, rather than getting the stress hormones that can lead to depression.

A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Mean a Healthy Lifestyle

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We’re so focused on the healthy diet that we forget about other ways to help curb depression. It’s not all about the diet, but we start to put our whole focus into it. We’re forgetting about the hormonal balance, the need for exercise, and the need for an overall healthier exercise.

Your healthy diet can end up causing depression because you forgo all the other needs to fight off depression and prevent it.

It’s important to add exercise to your lifestyle. We’ve just looked at how exercise helps to boost the happy hormones, but do you know all about how it does this? When you exercise, your brain gets more oxygenated blood. The body must boost the blood flow to make sure your heart and lungs work properly while you exercise.

With your brain getting more blood, it’s able to function to its full potential. That means your body can release more of the happy hormones, including serotonin and endorphins. You don’t feel as much pain throughout the day, and you’re a much happier person. You’ll also find that your energy levels get a boost.

Sure, the diet can help with the boost of endorphins and serotonin, but it doesn’t do as much good as exercise. Make sure you completely change your lifestyle.

You should try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. This doesn’t mean running. You can do an activity that you enjoy and split up the 30 minutes throughout the day. Some people will do 7-minute exercises at strategic points of the day while others prefer to take a 30-minuteexercise class.

You’ll also need to consider other elements of your lifestyle. Do you smoke? Maybe you have an excess of stress in your life. Some people are just more susceptible to mental health issues. You may have another mental health condition or personality disorder that has a dangerous depression side effect. Some people need to take medication on a regular basis to help their mental health issues.

Stress levels are the most common reason for depression. A healthy diet doesn’t stop the stress in our lives. Some of theuse just struggle with the way to deal with worries and difficult situation. We may have money worries or family problems that lead to our cortisol levels increasing.

Stress is a silent killer. It raises the blood pressure and stops us sleeping that well. We’re at a higher risk of gaining weight, suffering from heart disease, and dealing with other health problems.

But how does the healthy diet fit in with all this? Some people stress over not being able to stick to the healthy diet constantly. We worry about what will happen with one day off or how that chocolate cake is going to cause a problem for our health. So much focus on sticking to this health diet leads to us being stressed over the situation.

It’s important to look at your overall lifestyle. Just focusing on your diet and not getting the medical attention you could end up needing will make you depressed. It will cause other health problems, too.

There’s Still a Risk of Skipping Meals

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Getting a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you’re following a healthy meal plan. You could get plenty of fruit and vegetables, but are you skipping meals? This is going to lead to depression if you do it on a regular basis.

When you skip meals, you don’t give your body the calories that it needs throughout the day. You run the risk of dangerously dropping your calorie intake, and your brain won’t like you for it. This is when you’re more likely to start craving for the high sugar foods that you know are bad for you. The benefit of them is that they’ll give you an initial energy boost. Right now, your brain is thinking about the current needs and not the long-term needs.

Skipping breakfast is one of the most common issues. We’ve all done it at some point, whether we haven’t had the time to make something or we think it will help us with our weight loss efforts. Often, it causes more harm than good.

Our bodies have been through a fast overnight.  Breakfast helps with managing the metabolic rate. If you don’t get the right amount of food, your metabolism will decrease because the body doesn’t know when you will get more food. It doesn’t want to use up all the reserve that you have.

But of course, you’re likely to be hungry throughout the day. Your body isn’t satisfied and will crave for all the foods that you’re not supposed to eat—those that don’t give you the nutrients that you need.

You can counter this problem. After all, skipping meals isn’t always something you can avoid. You may not feel hungry, or you may feel ill first thing on a morning so want to wait until later to eat. Planning head for this is important. Arrange to have smaller meals throughout the day to help you get the nutrients and calories that your body will need. You’ll get the sustained energy, which will help your mood.

It’s also important to make sure that any food you do eat is good for you. Your brain will make you want chocolate and cookies, but you need something that will sustain you for a longer period of time. Reach for the fruit or make a light, filling meal. Look out for foods that are full of protein and fiber to help you with this.

The drop-in energy levels will take us to the same problem as not getting enough complex carbs in our diet. We end up not doing enough exercise, and our overall lifestyle isn’t healthy. It doesn’t matter how healthy the food is that you eat (when you eat it) because everything else is working against your mental health.

The best thing you can do is avoid skipping meals as much as possible. Sure, there will be some days that you struggle with this, but don’t make it a regular habit of not all your meals. If you struggle with eating breakfast, opt for smaller meals throughout the day. You could also opt for a smoothie at the start of the day to help you get the calories that you need to start.

You May Not Get Enough Calories

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Even if you don’t skip meals, there is still the risk of not getting enough calories. When you think of healthy foods, many people instantly think of fruit and vegetables. In fact, there are a lot of diets that recommend focusing only on fruits and vegetables, with a few legumes and beans thrown into the mix. If you do this, just think about how few calories you’re going to get.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing. Getting less than 1,200 calories a day means that your body isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs. It’s not getting all the food groups, including fat (yes, fat, which we’ll get onto soon). By getting fewer calories, you’re not giving your body the full days’ worth of energy that it is going to need.

But can’t it get this energy from the stored calories? It will, but it must work slowly. Your body doesn’t know if this lack of calories is for one day, for a week, or for a whole month. After two days, especially it can start to go into a starvation mode, which is where your metabolism will slow down to make sure you have enough energy for the whole day.

A slower metabolism means that you don’t get all the energy that you once got. Your body isn’t burning as many calories, so some of the functions aren’t as good. The first thing you’ll feel is tired. You don’t feel like you can get as much done throughout the day, and could find that you need to sleep more. The problem is that the sleeping isn’t helping your energy levels.

You’re not going to get as much exercise, and you just don’t feel satisfied. You end up craving all the food that you once ate. Your body just needs a quick fix, even if that means getting a short-term energy boost. And when you don’t give yourself that energy boost, you slip into a depressive state.

All this because you want to eat healthier. You think that your healthy diet is good for you.

While you want to follow a healthy diet, you still need to make sure you get enough calories. Look at the food that you’re eating. If you’re eating healthy but feel like you’re not getting enough energy, there are high chances that you’re not eating enough. Tally up the calorie count throughout the day and make sure it at least reaches the 1,200 calories.

Remember that if you’re not getting enough calories, then you won’t be getting enough nutrients. This leads to depression, too. The brain isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to support the cognitive function, and you’re more likely to suffer the signs of aging.

A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Mean You’re Getting the Right Nutrients

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Like with the food groups issue, a healthy diet doesn’t mean that you’re going to get all the right nutrients daily. You can still end up missing out some crucial additions because of your poor food choices.

A deficiency in vitamin D is one of the most common issues. Most people associate it with poor bones and teeth, but a lack of it also affects your mental health. While you can get your vitamin D from the sun, if you’re living in an area that doesn’t get a lot of sun daily then you’ll need to get it from your diet.

Studies have shown that people who have a deficiency in vitamin D are more likely to suffer from depression. The brain has vitamin D receptors that need to be satisfied throughout the day. The depression is very common in the winter months, which is when the sun is less likely to be out to feed us the vitamin that we need.

But how does a healthy diet affect this? Well, some people choose to cut out milk from their diet. There’s belief that milk is unhealthy for us because of the natural sugars and fats in it. The truth is that it is full of healthy nutrients, including vitamin D and calcium.

It is still important to get the milk in moderation. Too much calcium and vitamin D can lead to kidney issues. But you need to get some in your diet to boost your brain healthy.

On top of that, a healthy diet doesn’t mean we’re going to get enough B vitamins. This is especially the case with vitamin B12, which is one of the hardest to get from food. There’s a reason many people will end up taking supplements to get this.

When we focus on a healthy diet, we can cut out foods that are high in fat. Sometimes we cut out foods that are high in protein. The downside is these foods also tend to have plenty of B vitamins. Studies have shown that a lack of B vitamins can lead to depression—or people with depression are more than likely to have a vitamin B12 deficiency.

You can get B12 from oily fish, lean meats, and legumes. It’s time to add them to your diet if you haven’t done already.

We also can’t forget about the levels of selenium. This is a mineral that many people forget about, and doctors rarely test for until they run out of other deficiencies to test for. A lack of selenium can lead to energy levels dropping because there isn’t enough blood passing through the system.

Selenium helps to support the heart and blood vessels, making sure the blood doesn’t clot, and it gets everywhere that it needs to go. The lack of energy is one of the first side effects noticed, but of course, is linked to so many other deficiencies. Your brain isn’t getting enough oxygenated blood because the heart and vessels aren’t supported enough without the selenium.

How does the healthy diet cause this? Selenium is found in the highest amounts in oily fishes and lean meats. Too many of use cut out these because we want to follow a healthy diet, without thinking what we’ve done.

Magnesium and iron are two other nutrients that can cause depression if you don’t get enough of them. With a healthy diet, you do run the risk of a deficiency in these, because of your diet choices. Iron is in abundance in red meat, which is where most of us get it from. What we tend to forget is that we can get it and magnesium from dark green leafy veggies. Even with a healthy diet, we may not get enough of these dark green vegetables.

Iron helps to support the oxygen levels in your blood. A deficiency is commonly noted by extreme fatigue, which we’ve already discussed can lead to depression.

A lack of magnesium affects the levels of serotonin in the brain. This is the mineral that helps to support the production of serotonin, so a lack of the mineral means a lack of the chemicals. Magnesium also affects the function, so even if you get enough, you end up running the risk of it not performing as it should because of your magnesium deficiency.

As a magnesium deficiency builds, there is a high risk of depression. You would need to correct the deficiency issue, so just following a healthy diet in other ways isn’t going to be good enough.

You can get more magnesium with whole grains, as well as in those dark green leafy vegetables. If you’re really struggling to eat the vegetables, you could opt for green smoothies instead.

Eating and Drinking the Vegetables and Fruits is Not the Same Thing

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The mention of green smoothies leads us onto another reason the healthy diet could lead to depression. When we’re trying to get more of the healthy fruits and vegetables, we start to look at drinking them instead. There are a few issues with this.

First, we’re more likely to consume more of the fruits and vegetables. Isn’t this a good thing? Doesn’t this mean we’re getting more of the nutrients that we need? Well, yes and no. In some cases, it could mean that we get healthy amounts. But remember that there is a problem with getting too many of the nutrients.

When we consume more fruits and vegetables, there is the risk of consuming more nutrients than we need. We’re running the risk of other health problems, and these could lead to depression.

Second, of all, the extra consumption leads to more calories being drank. We just don’t know when we’ve had enough as well as we would when be eating the fruits and vegetables. So, we end up consuming more calories than we need to.

But surely this is a good thing, right? We’ve already said that our healthy diets can lead to a lack of calories. What’s the problem with the extra calories? Well, there’s the risk of consuming more calories than we’re burning off. The calories are stored, and we end up gaining weight. Being overweight is linked to depression.

Drinking the fruits and vegetables will be dependent on the other foods that we eat through the day. Really, your smoothie is replacing a meal or a snack. It’s not the best option if you’re going to keep consuming your normal daily food at the same time.

Third, it will depend on how you drink your fruit and vegetables. There is the risk of missing out on the fiber. This is the big issue when it comes to juicing the fruit and vegetables instead of blending.

When you juice, you’re removing the pulp and the skin. You’re removing all the fiber in the fruit and vegetables, which means your body is just going to get the sugars. This is more of a problem with fruits, as they tend to be higher in sugars than vegetables.

By consuming more sugars, you’re going to create that instant energy increase. Your glucose levels increase and you end up with the insulin release. You get an energy dip later, and there’s a risk of developing Type II diabetes, among other health problems. Of course, these drops in the energy levels so quickly after eating will mean that you need more food. You’re going to try and stick to the diet, and you end up hating your diet. The depression is more likely to set in.

While you can still get some fruits and vegetables in liquid form, think about how much you’re consuming. You’ll also want to consider the way that you consume them. Focus on the smoothies rather than juices to make sure you get all your fiber. Stick to one a day to get more of the nutrients without the excessive calories.

There’s the Risk of Getting Bored of Your Diet

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How many times have you followed a healthy diet only to end up getting bored with it? Your brain starts to crave the other foods that you want, and you run the risk of developing depression later.

The issue is the lack of variety. It’s not actually the healthy food that causes the problem but the way that you use it. Be honest; just how many ways do you know how to use vegetables? When you initially think of them, you likely think about:

  • Salads
  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Stir fries

After a while, these dishes get boring. You want something new; something exciting. In fact, you need it, or you’re going to start craving all the foods that you know you shouldn’t eat a lot of.

So, it’s time to find some variation. You’ll need to spend some time looking up plenty of recipe ideas for your chosen diet. Don’t worry because there will be plenty of options available. There is breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even snack ideas that you can enjoy throughout the day. The more of these recipes you have, the more varied your food will become.

The healthy diet no longer feels like a chore. It’s no longer the thing that you must stick to, so you end up enjoying being on it. This instantly helps to give you a mood boost, because you feel like you’re not missing out in life.

This is also useful for weight loss, which will help to fight depression. Being overweight is depressing for many, but following a healthy diet isn’t just going to help you lose weight. You need to keep it off afterward. The benefit with a varied diet that you don’t get bored on is that you’re going to learn the healthy habits while you lose weight. You’re not ultimately saying no, but you won’t just instantly go back to the old habits when you’ve lost the weight.

Yo-yo dieting becomes a thing of the past. You won’t get as down about getting into your favorite clothes, only to gain the weight again.

Your Healthy Diet Doesn’t Completely Rule Out Depression

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There are plenty of studies that show a healthy diet helps to fight depression. What many people forget to realize is that it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t suffer from depression.

The problem is that we can get so complacent with the diet and believe that it does our minds all the world of good that we forget about other steps that we need to take. This can cause more problems because we rule out the likes of exercise or medication to help us fight the depression.

Our healthy diets are giving our bodies the nutrients were a need, but they’re not perfect. A healthy diet isn’t the entire answer to boosting the mood and helping to prevent depression. We start to get annoyed when our diet doesn’t do it all for us, and this causes bouts of depression.

Studies have shown that those who following a healthy diet are at a lower risk of developing depression. If you really want to make sure that you don’t suffer from it at all, you will need to take into account all of the above. Sure, follow a healthy diet but remember it’s about balance too. You need to have an overall healthy lifestyle and still allow yourself some of the bad at times.

While a healthy diet is good for you in most cases, there are problems with it. You do run the risk of some deficiencies, and you could end up causing a reduction in serotonin, rather than an increase.

It’s not all about the healthy diet. If you want to keep depression at bay, you need to look at your overall lifestyle. This is the best way to keep your mental health supported.

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Onion Not Less

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Onion Image Design 1 1024x562 - 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Onion Not LessOnions are known as “nature’s antibiotic.” They contain compounds which kill germs, so they function as medicine, while also delivering premium nutrition. Also, they add a lot of flavor to an array of recipes. Today, we’d like to share a lot of information about onions, including their nutritional profile and calorie count, as well as some great ways to enjoy them. We’ll also provide a list of 6 reasons why you should eat more of them every day and night.

Since there are plenty of different types of onions, as well as a range of ways to prepare them, you’ll find that incorporating more of them into your daily diet is simple and straightforward. By giving you the hard facts that you need, we’ll ensure that you’re an onion expert. These vegetables are great for human health, and everyone should know what they must offer.

Onions Are So Good For You

Onions contain a lot of nutrients. A typical onion will be a veritable treasure trove of nutrition, due to its biotin, manganese, copper, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, phosphorus and vitamin B1 content.

The calorie count for one medium-sized onion is only 64, so it’s not a high-calorie food.

As well, onions contain Allicin, which is known for its antibacterial properties. Therefore, so many people turn to onions when they are ill or when they want to prevent illnesses. Garlic also contains Allicin, and this compound is powerful protection against germs.

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Choose Your Favorite Onion

Onions come in a range of varieties, some of which are rather exotic and fun to try, such as the Italian heirloom onion known as the Bianco di Maggio. While most of us are more familiar with yellow onions, green onions, shallots and pearl onions, there is certainly no shortage of onion varieties to test out in the kitchen.

If you want a spicier onion which adds a lot of zest and spice to sauces, be sure to check out Owas. These onions are shaped like teardrops, and they deliver plenty of punch. As well, Thai shallots bring tons of flavor to pastes made from spices. A fine choice for grilling is the Tropea Lunge, which is Italian and smells fantastic when it’s grilled up and served.

Overall, there are more than thirty onion varieties, so you’ll have choices galore. It’s fun to experiment, and therefore we encourage you to try new onions and see which ones are most appealing to your palate.

How Onions Benefit Human Health

We’ve already shared the nutritional properties of onions and discussed their germ-killing benefits. Now, let’s talk more about how they help people to feel great. Onions contain phytochemicals which give the immune system more power. As well, the vitamin C content in onions supports a healthy immune system.

Also, onions are a fine source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Known for their ability to minimize or stop inflammation, as well as their ability to fight infections, onions are a superfood, and they are typically very affordable.

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s discuss 6 reasons why you should be eating more onion, not less…

Raw Onion Decreases LDL Cholesterol

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Cholesterol is linked to heart problems. When you consume raw onions regularly, you’ll find that they decrease the production of the type of cholesterol known as LDL. LDL is not good for the human body. In fact, it’s nickname is “bad cholesterol.” If you want to protect your health for the future and live to a ripe old age, eating raw onions will boost the odds of longevity, by decreasing bad cholesterol levels which threaten your health.

The right food is good medicine, and raw onions fall into this category. If you eat them often enough, you may find that your LDL test results become a lot more positive. In fact, some people choose this form of natural medicine, rather than relying on lab-created medications which may cause side effects. Also, because raw onion is such an affordable way to lower LDL levels, it’s something that everyone can access and consume.

Green Onion Tops are Loaded with Vitamin A

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Vitamin A is important for good skin and good eyesight. It’s something that you’ll access when you eat the tasty green stems of green onions. Since green onion stems are also delicious, it’s easy to eat them raw or chop them up and add them to recipes. If you want to access the healthy Vitamin A in green onions, why not make a nice stir-fry. Add cubed, extra-firm tofu to a wok and stir-fry it in a bit of olive oil, pepper, and soy sauce.

Chop up two green onions, plus their stems, and then add them to the wok. After you’ve cooked these ingredients for a few minutes, add your favorite chopped vegetables. Serve over rice or noodles. Another option is to chop up green onions and their stems and add them to tuna salads or lettuce or Kale salads. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, you’ll find that they boost your vitamin A levels.

Onions Help Prevent Cancer

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Onions contain Quercetin. This natural compound is renowned for its cancer-preventing benefits. Since hard science backs up the cancer-fighting benefits of Quercetin, eating onions on a regular basis will be an excellent way to access superb protection against this disease. Cancer is a menace, and anything that we can do to prevent is so beneficial. Eating onions will give you protection. If you are committed to preventing cancer, making onions a regular part of your diet should be one important part of your cancer prevention routine.

Onions Help People to Get Well

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If you have a cold or flu, adding some onion to your diet will allow you to access Allicin, which fights infections. The Allicin content in onions is probably the most famous property of these veggies. A lot of people realize that onions will help them to get well faster when they are ill, or stop them from developing illnesses in the first place. If you aren’t feeling good, consider making a chicken soup from scratch which contains plenty of chopped onions. This healthful meal will soothe you and fill your body with germ-fighting agents that are all-natural and drug-free.

Onions Power Up the Immune System

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Our immune systems are important. When our immune systems function at optimal levels, we have a much better chance of staying well and feeling good. The vitamin C content in onions supports optimal immune system function. Vitamin C is very powerful in general and getting good levels of this vital vitamin via eating onions will be a smart way to build a healthier body. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, you’ll find that onions deliver superb benefits. While raw is probably the best way to access all the immune system-strengthening power of onions, as veggies tend to lose a few nutrients during cooking, you’ll still access vitamin C when you consume cooked onions.

You’ll Get the Chromium That You Need

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Chromium is something that bodybuilders prize and try to get via supplements and their diets. They know that getting enough chromium helps them to feel more energetic and to perform better when they train. If you’re interested in feeling more energized and powering through your workouts, you’ll find that adding more onions to your diet is really smart. These veggies do contain chromium, so you don’t need to invest in expensive bodybuilding supplements to access their advantages. In general, it’s better to get what you need from healthy food. Since onions are loaded with beneficial properties, they offer tons of advantages to people who eat them.

How to Enjoy Onions

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You probably have a few recipes in your rotation which include onions. For example, red sauces for pasta often contain onions and garlic. As well, certain dishes, such as Stroganoffs and stews, frequently contain onions. The key to adding more onions to your diet is using your typical recipes and adjusting them to include onions if they don’t currently call for onions. For example, if you’re not used to putting onions in a stir-fry, be sure to add them. Green onions are great for this purpose. As well, if you’re making turkey burgers or hamburgers, add a thick slice of grilled or raw onion, as well as your preferred condiments. Steaks taste great when topped with onions which have been sautéed until they are golden and caramelized.

There are a million ways to enjoy onions. If you love experimenting with world cuisine, you’ll find that Libyan and sub-continental Asian cuisine often features plenty of onions. The truth is that Libyans eat over sixty pounds of onions each, per year. Most world cuisines have dishes which gain spice and texture from onions. Exploring global recipes which allow you to experience onions in brand-new ways will be a fun culinary adventure, and it will also benefit your health.

Hopefully, our detailed guide has helped you to understand just how powerful onions are as health-boosting veggies. They are tasty, they deliver tons of truly amazing benefits to those who consume them, and they usually aren’t expensive. Some “superfoods,” such as Kale, tend to get pricey because they are trendy and because it’s harder to produce them at farms. Onions are hardy, they grow well, even when soil conditions are less than ideal, and it’s possible to grow them on your own property without making too much of an effort. As well, a typical onion provides a lot of spice. Bigger onions offer a great deal of value, as a larger onion may be big enough to make two or three meals with, or even more. The smallest onions add a unique taste and the most exotic varieties are fun to try in the kitchen.

Now that you understand the importance of onions, which are one of nature’s perfect foods, you’ll be ready to move forward and eat more of them. It’s good to create a balance, by eating them raw sometimes and cooking them sometimes. The goodness of onions will help you to feel your best. As well, if you have kids, you’ll find that giving them dishes with onions on a regular basis may help them avoid the flu and colds which are always going around at schools and playgroups.

There’s no downside to eating onions. They are low in calories, and they are loaded with vitamins and other beneficial compounds. If onions are too pungent for you, consider sautéing them in a bit of butter until they become translucent. This type of cooking technique mellows and softens the taste of onions. While you shouldn’t use a lot of butter, just a teaspoon should be enough to sauté a medium-sized onion.

Shop for Onions Today

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You deserve premium nutrition, and onions will provide it. Therefore, we encourage you to shop for onions today. Whether you choose yellow onions, shallots, green onions or some of the more exotic onion varieties, you’ll find that they are easy to add to almost anything, except perhaps dessert. French Onion Soup is a great way to get lots of onions into your diet, and there is a host of recipes available online, for no charge. Once you’ve tried a wonderful homemade French Onion Soup, you’ll see just how great onions can taste.

There are also onion supplements. We think onions are very affordable and easy to use, so you shouldn’t need to rely on an onion supplement to feel good. It’s better to get the benefits of onions from your diet. However, you may turn to a supplement if you don’t enjoy the taste of onions, or find it hard to eat them on a regular basis. Now that you have the inside scoop on 6 reasons why you should be eating more onion not less, you’ll be ready to enjoy these delicious veggies.

 

8 Ways to Stop Comfort Eating Late At Night (Simple Solutions)

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Eating Late Image Design 1 1024x562 - 8 Ways to Stop Comfort Eating Late At Night (Simple Solutions)Plenty of people aiming for a healthy lifestyle – of which a quality diet forms a huge part – do so very well during the day: oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, salad, and protein for lunch, with maybe a run or session at the gym after work.

Then, they get home, and all resolve collapses. Even after an adequate dinner, a bag of potato chips seems necessary to plug that remaining hole, followed by some chocolate, and at that point, ice cream pizza starts to sound like the best idea ever. You’ve done so well for 12 hours straight, surely you deserve it?

The problem with this, especially for those trying to drop a few fat rolls, is that a calorie eaten at 11 in the morning is not the same as a calorie eaten at 11 at night. When you take on food energy in the morning, you have several active hours ahead of you during which your snack will be digested, and the resulting sugar used up by your muscles, brain and other organs. Snacking at night is completely different: the food is digested while you sleep, and the sugar has no place to go except to help form new fatty tissue. You might think that this fat will just be converted back into glucose the next day, but your body evolved in a time before supermarkets and is constantly afraid that you’ll suddenly run out of food. For this reason, it prefers to make you eat again instead of dipping into those fat reserves, by making you feel sluggish and hungry until you give in to it.

There are several steps you can take to reduce the need to pig out on empty calories before bed, however, and we’ve selected some of the most effective:

Substitute Healthy Alternatives

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Completely denying yourself your little pleasures may not be the best road to changing your bad habits. If you’re used to having an alcoholic nightcap before bed, try replacing it with a mug of cocoa, a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of milk, any of which will also leave you feeling more relaxed. Instead of finishing off an entire bag of potato chips each evening, pop some fresh popcorn (which you can flavor with natural herbs and spices).

One of the benefits of popcorn (or a bowl of peanuts) is that you can pace yourself and finish it slowly. A candy bar might disappear in three bites; you might want to finish a microwave taco before it gets cold, but munching popcorn keeps your jaws moving for a much longer time, helping to still your hunger pangs.

Another way to trick your body is to substitute flavor for bulk. If you can’t stop thinking about ice cream, a cup of mint tea might hit exactly the right nerve endings without adding a joule to your energy intake (scents such as peppermint and vanilla suppress food cravings, nobody is sure why). Similarly, sucking on butterscotch candy can satisfy a craving for both fat and sweetness.

Eat Whole Foods to Stay Full

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Much of the time, feeling hungry is a sign of temporarily low blood sugar. There’s an easy way to beat this, however: eating foods with a low G. I.

If your dinner was a stack of pancakes made with white flour and served with syrup, it will be digested very quickly. You might feel like you have lots of energy an hour after eating, but an hour or two after that, your meal has already been fully digested, and most of it stored in fat cells. This will make you feel hungry again, even though you’ve taken in enough calories.

In contrast, if your dinner contained a balanced mix of fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, it moves through your gut slowly and releases its energy bit by bit. You will feel satisfied for longer, while both your insulin levels and your mood will be much more stable.

The key point in selecting food with a low G. I. rating is to avoid a) sugar and b) refined carbohydrates. What is meant by “b” is any starch that doesn’t contain the whole grain: white rice, white pasta, white bread – pretty much anything that’s white when you see it on your plate but not in nature (opinion remains divided on potatoes).

Don’t Be Bored

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A lot of the time, people snack just because it’s something to do. If you suspect that this is happening to you, you are probably not getting the best use out of your waking hours in any case.

The subconscious is pretty easily distracted. If you find yourself craving something specific, like buffalo wings or a certain brand of candy bar, you can probably take your mind off it just by finding another activity to occupy it. Pause whatever is on the TV and go tidy your study – after ten minutes, you might not even remember what you were so desperately wishing for.

Make the Decision When You Shop, Not at Midnight

It’s just a fact that our willpower is not at its peak when we’re tired. Make this work for you by choosing to eat more healthily while that choice still is fully in your hands: don’t buy junk food that will end up pleading for your attention when you can’t resist.

Aim to have a few sweet snacks (like dried or fresh fruit), some high in fiber to fill you up (celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter or wholegrain crackers) as well as some containing some protein (low-fat yogurt or unsalted nuts). These three types should satisfy most any cravings you might experience.

Eat a Variety of Foods Throughout the Week

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A craving can sometimes signify lack in your nutritional palette, but unfortunately, our bodies aren’t especially good at telling us exactly what’s missing in our diet. Every guy who hankers for a steak and beer doesn’t have an iron deficiency, though he might well need a dose of vitamin C or calcium.

Skinless chicken, brown rice, and steamed broccoli are a healthy, balanced meal, but eating chicken, rice and broccoli for lunch five days out of seven is not something a dietitian would recommend. Bulk nutrients like carbohydrates and protein are pretty much interchangeable, but not all fruit and vegetables contain everything your body needs to function efficiently. Even if you feel you can’t live without bananas, try to eat other types of fruit a few times each week to cover the whole spectrum.

In this regard, some people recommend watching the color of the vegetables you eat. This may not be a 100% accurate, but if you have red (tomatoes), yellow (carrots) and green (spinach) on your plate, you are well on your way.

Keep to a Circadian Routine

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Of course, it is just not feasible for all of us to be in bed by ten, every night of our lives, but generally sticking to a timetable for when we eat dinner and when we go to bed can help control cravings. If you stay up later than usual, you’re almost certain to want a snack. Your body has no way of knowing that you’re about to want to sleep and that those extra calories won’t be needed, it just knows that dinner was a long while ago.

Limit the amount of screen time you subject yourself to in an hour or so before bedtime. Our eyes and nervous systems are sensitive to blue light, which occurs naturally during the day and is therefore associated with wakefulness. As such, it makes us feel more alert and less inclined to go to sleep – the problem with this being that the electronic screens of everything from smartphones to televisions emit a lot of blue light, potentially stopping you from falling asleep for some time afterward. Another benefit for those who tend to binge-snack is avoiding advertisements: food companies wouldn’t be spending millions on publicity if they didn’t think it affects your behavior, and you are more susceptible to suggestion when you’re already tired.

Additionally, especially if you suffer from occasional insomnia, a regular pre-bed routine can help you get to sleep faster and short-circuit your body’s demand for a chocolate-chip cookie. This can be as simple as doing a few stretches and drinking a hot non-caffeinated beverage just before lying down. Through some unknown mechanism, doing this regularly helps to form the correlation between the routine and the body knowing to relax and shut up about food. Here’s a fun fact for you: if you spend half an hour every night before bed reading an old-fashioned paper book, an average reader will finish a full-length novel every two weeks or so.

Don’t Feel Hungry

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Well, that’s just about the theme here, isn’t it? What is less obvious, however, is that many people suppress their desire for food during the day, either because they don’t make the time to eat, or because they think that starving yourself is the way to diet. Then, after the sun sets, they lose all control and eat like hyenas. Due to the difference in how food energy is absorbed during the day and just before sleeping, it’s just not possible to “save up” your calories for dinner.

A good eating plan starts with breakfast. Eating your first meal within 90 minutes of waking up, and making sure it contains a generous amount of protein, sets you up for the rest of the day. Eating three or four eggs for breakfast may seem excessive, but your body will have plenty of time to absorb them, and the protein boost will help suppress cravings throughout the day.

If you don’t keep feeding your body a reasonable number of carbs throughout the day, this will only lead to low blood sugar when you’re relaxing at home, making it that much more difficult to refuse a sugary, starchy, fatty treat.

Water, Water Everywhere

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A substantial number of people can’t adequately distinguish between being hungry and being thirsty. This is just the way we’re built, but it does someone trying to pursue a diet no favors at all. Consuming excessive amounts of additives like sodium can make the problem worse.

What many people don’t understand is that getting and staying properly hydrated is not something you do once a day and can then forget about. If you were to drink eight glasses of water this minute, your kidneys will simply see that as excess and get rid of it in the traditional way, even if other organs are dehydrated.

A good way to know that you are drinking enough water is if you urinate once every several hours. Some useful tips include drinking several glasses of cold water as soon as you wake up: this will help get you alert and replace the liquid absorbed by your tissues while you slept. Drinking water during or after meals slows down the rate at which it is absorbed, helping your body to get the most use out of it. Consider eating a thick, hearty soup for lunch or dinner. Not only is the food digested more slowly, keeping you energized and less hungry for longer, but the water remains in your system for a longer period.

Finally, drinking coffee, alcohol or soda can dehydrate you without you ever realizing it, so consume these in moderation.

Sometimes it seems like eating healthily consists of doing 99 things right every day while getting one thing wrong can ruin everything. Thinking in this way will only stress you out unnecessarily, ironically pushing you closer to giving in to your snack cravings.

The news is mostly not bad, however: every problem you might be experiencing is something thousands of other people have already struggled with and found solutions for. If you ate a whole tub of ice cream last night, it’s not the end of the world. Small, consistent efforts – and just a little self-discipline – will help you change your eating and snacking habits, producing spectacular effects over the long term.

 

The Truth About Binge Eating: Straight Facts Only

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Binge Eating Image Design 1 1024x562 - The Truth About Binge Eating: Straight Facts OnlyBelow we provide a straight fact guide to the truths about binge eating and binge eating disorders.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

“Is binge eating disorder even real?”

“Why don’t people simply stop putting food in their mouths?”

As it occurs far too often in our society, we as people dismiss things when we are not personally struggling with them.  For someone who has not suffered through periods of binge eating and binge eating disorder, it can be challenging to empathize or relate to what is going on.  Know this.  Binge eating disorder is very real.  It affects millions of Americans every year, and it can have serious ramifications.  If you believe that you are suffering from a binge eating disorder, then know that you are not alone.  There are services available, ways for you to address the underlying issue, and ways that you can successfully move on with your life.  It all begins with information.

Per the National Eating Disorder Organization and the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than 60% of American adults are considered overweight.  One in three adults is considered obese.  It is believed that many of the people listed in either or both categories have either unhealthy eating disorders or binge eating disorders.  While there is not much information out on a number of people who are currently experiencing binge eating disorders, estimates put it at a conservative 4 million Americans.  So, what is this binge eating disorder that so many people are struggling with?

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A binge eating disorder is when a person has repeated episodes they eat large amounts of food.  They often consume the food very quickly and often to the point of being uncomfortable.  It is incredibly common to feel a sense of loss of control during a binge eating episode.  Thus, the clear majority of people who suffer from binge eating disorders also suffer from the shame, humiliation, and loss of control that comes with this terrible disorder.  What people who do not have a binge eating disorder do not understand is that a person simply can’t stop the process.  It is a disorder because it occurs outside the control of the individual, who also does not want this to be happening.

A binge eating disorder usually comes into existence in late adolescence and even early adulthood.  It is more common in women than men, with one report suggesting that 3.5% of women and 2% of men deal with binge eating disorders.  While most people experiencing binge eating disorders will be overweight, it can also occur to people who are at or below weight and due to metabolism, physiology, or exercise, do not put on the weight in the same way as the rest of us.

Binge eating disorders are different from anorexia or bulimia in that they do not throw up the food they are eating.  It is common for people with binge eating disorders to eat more quickly during an episode, eat when they are not hungry, eat alone due to a sense of embarrassment, and feel disgusted or ashamed of their actions.

What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?

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There are 4 primary causes of binge eating disorder.  Below we review all 4 and then look at a psychological model that explains exactly why we do.  Also, this section is a lead into section V, where we discuss ways that you can reverse the binge eating trend and take back control of your life.  As a quick note, it is uncommon to have just one thing going on that starts binge eating disorders.  Often, several different things including those listed below can come together and create the perfect storm.

Biology: Brain chemistry can play a big role in why people develop binge eating disorders.  Binge eating disorder can occur in families and research is currently being conducted to see if there is a biological link.  Brain imaging scans reveal similarities in people with a binge eating disorder, leading to a hypothesis that neuro-chemicals and development may play a bigger role than first thought.  While an exciting line of research, it is still primarily in early stages and will take some time before the biological reasons provide solutions.

Coping Skills: Psychologically speaking, binge eating can be explained in part through improper coping skills centered around food.  When individuals have a challenging time handling emotions, they find ways to cope.  Some of these are more destructive than others.  As food, can provide a satisfying emotional experience, the start of a binge eating disorder be a way for the mind to deal with stresses it is otherwise unequipped to deal with.  The sad truth is that it will quickly become a major problem.

Depression: It is estimated that nearly 1 in 2 people with eating disorders are depressed.  Depression can occur due to emotions, moods, a psychological condition, disorders, diseases, dieting, and more.  While the causes of depression can be challenging to pin down, it leaves open plenty of possible solutions that when addressed will remove the underlying behavior behind binge eating.

Dieting: Dieting is an attempt to lose weight and return to a healthier state.  Sometimes, it can go dramatically wrong and lead to the exact opposite.  Whether people are binging because they are not eating enough food throughout the rest of the day, because they are skipping meals, or attempting to avoid certain foods, dieting can play a harmful role in causing binge eating disorder.

Why We Do It

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A field of Humanistic Psychology known as Self-Determination Theory provides an interesting model for why individuals engage in binge eating disorders.  The theory suggests that every person on the planet needs to fulfill 3 core values to be happy.  Every person must feel competent, related to others, and in control of their actions.

A binge eating disorder perpetuates itself in part because of the strong feeling of a lack of control.  Impulsive behavior is quite common among those with binge eating disorders, and it is very easy to feel as if we’ve lost the ability to regulate our own behavior.  When we feel like we have a lack of control, we can doubt any attempt for ourselves or others to help, causing the cycle to self-perpetuate.

It is also common for people with binge eating disorders to feel a detachment from others.  A lack of relatedness, feeling detached means being less grounded and increasing the risk of depression, anxiety, stress, fear, and insecurity.  It can lead to people feeling quite along and incapable of solving the problem.

Finally, competence is a big issue and many people who suffer from a binge eating disorder struggle to feel competent when every attempt they make to change is stymied.  This can lead to abusing alcohol and giving up on ever trying to get better.

While this is a lot for anyone to deal with, you have the power within you to work against these negatives and regain the sense of self you deserve.  We will talk about what you can do to help yourself further in this article.

What Kind of Health Consequences are There?

Image 4 5 - The Truth About Binge Eating: Straight Facts OnlyThere are countless reasons to address a binge eating disorder.  They include psychological, mental health conditions, physical damage, and more.

Mental Health Conditions

It is quite common for binge eating disorders to make existing mental health conditions significantly worse.  For example, it can lead to and perpetuate depression.  It can increase anxiety and lead to anxiety and panic attacks.  Other personality disorders will not benefit from the loss of control and emotional toll that mental health conditions take.  Solving a binge eating disorder, as a result, can dramatically improve one’s state of mind.

Physical Damage

Individuals suffering from binge eating disorders are most often overweight as well.  Thus, they are subject to a range of physical damage against their body, including Type-2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer, heart disease, gallbladder disease, and more.  Eliminating a binge eating disorder can make it dramatically easier to get your weight under control and to reduce the risk of these things happening.

How to Stop Binge Eating

Binge eating disorders are approached in a similar way too many other psychological disorders out there.  Extensive therapy is suggested first with drug-therapy being used if the underlying conditions cannot be fixed through traditional therapy.  For example, if the depression element of a binge eating disorder happens to be chemically biological, then an anti-depressant may be used to deal with this piece of the puzzle.

Therapy

Often, cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is used.  Conducted by an individual who is a clinical social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist, the therapist should have an underlying knowledge of binge eating disorders.  Through psychotherapy, you can approach the underlying issues that cause binge eating, work through the shame, fear, and guild that often comes up, and push through to re-establish control, a sense of worth, and a goal working forward.

Drug-Therapy

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Drug therapy is a good idea if the issues cannot be resolved with traditional therapy alone or there is an underlying issue that is biological or chemical in nature.  For some individuals suffering from binge eating disorders, anti-depressants are prescribed.  While they can be helpful, they also come with their own black box list of possible side effects that can be quite dangerous.  Before beginning any anti-depressant, it is imperative to have a doctor you trust work through what the prescription would be, and what kinds of side affects you might want to be aware of beforehand.

Nutritionist

A Nutritionist can help you to set up meal plans and goals that keep you on track now and into the future.  Nutritionists are great sources of information, capable of taking all the guesswork out of healthy eating.  If you happen to have access to one, then you should really consider taking up their services as it is often invaluable.

If nothing else, being open about your disorder and finding supporting family and support groups can be critical.  Reaching out and forming bonds with other people helps you know that you are not alone and re-affirms the progress you are making through this challenging period in your life.

Additional Resources

It’s never too late to address this serious medical condition.  Understanding the need for care services, there are a range of additional resources that you can take advantage of.

womenshealth.gov – for women, you can reach out and get information and assistance.

  • Phone: 800-994-9662
  • (TDD: 888-220-5446)

Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) – open to all, the organization is among the best placed to aid and additional information on what you can do to address your concerns.

American Psychological Association – the APA has a lot of information on disorders, including Binge Eating Disorder and is well worth using as a tool for more information.

National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, HHS – the government branch responsible for tracking and providing information on a wide range of disorders, the NIH can be a helpful place to gather information.

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) – NEDA is specially placed to aid as they have a great deal of experience dealing with all kinds of eating disorders.

The Obesity Society – another great source for those looking for additional assistance and information.

Your Next Step

The most valuable thing in the world is your life, happiness, and wellbeing.  But only you have the power to act on your behalf.  While the road ahead may be challenging and often feel impossible, you can do it.  Thousands have come before you, and thousands more will come after.  Your next step is in reaching out for assistance and in addressing what can be immensely painful and frightening.  Know that you are not alone and that you are well worth it.

Eating Disorders Myths and Facts (All You Need To Know)

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Eating Disorders Image Design 1 1024x562 - Eating Disorders Myths and Facts (All You Need To Know)People choose to have an eating disorder, right?

You may be surprised at some people who believe this! Yes, it’s one of the sad things about eating disorders and getting treatment for them. Too many people believe all the myths, and it leads to so many sufferers holding back from seeking the treatment they need.

If you know someone who has an eating disorder, whether its anorexia, bulimia or even binge eating disorder, you need to know the facts surrounding the illness. Yes, an eating disorder is a mental illness, and it’s time to remove the stigma surrounding it. We can’t always understand the person suffering from the illness or why they do, but we can take to understand the ways that we can help them.

For those who have been recently diagnosed with an eating disorder, this article will help you too. There are chances that you’ve heard the myths and don’t know the facts. You may be worried about seeking the right help or telling those close to you that you have an illness. There are high chances that you are worried about how people will react.

Here’s all everyone needs to know about eating disorders: both the myths and the facts.

Myth #1: Eating Disorders are a Lifestyle Choice

Image 1 3 - Eating Disorders Myths and Facts (All You Need To Know)Too many people minimize the seriousness of eating disorders with this statement. Yes, there will be some people who choose to count calories and limit their diets. But those with eating disorders are not the same. This is not a lifestyle choice.

Do you really think someone would choose not to eat enough to sustain their bodily needs? Would someone choose to be so strict with their diets that they run the risk of killing themselves from malnutrition?

Eating disorders are a serious mental illness. By understanding that, you’re helping those close to you get the mental health help that they desperately need. You support them while they struggle with the treatments.

Unfortunately, the treatment isn’t as simple as eating more. That would help to counteract the symptoms of the eating disorder, but will not help to treat the issue in mind. There is a voice telling them not to eat too many calories or to binge eat and then purge. There is something in their head telling them that they’re too fat or skinny and that food is the way to counter this.

The problem is treating the mind much harder than treating physical illnesses. You must get into the psychological reasoning behind the beliefs. It’s like trying to treat depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Before you consider the other myths about eating disorders, accept that the problem isn’t a lifestyle choice. This is a genuine illness and an extremely serious one.

Myth #2: Those with Eating Disorders Believe they’re Fat

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The most commonly spoken about an eating disorder is anorexia. You will hear stories about how people eat very little to lose weight quickly. Even when they look like skin and bones, they continue to believe that they are too fat.

Well, not all eating disorders are like that. Some people think they are too skinny. Even if they weight 400lbs, they can think that they need to eat more.

And then there are those who’s feelings aren’t even connected to their body shape or their weight. It’s not that they think they need to gain or lose weight. They have other compulsions that cause them to limit the food they eat or binge daily.

For some, it’s about getting the control in life through food. They may feel like their life is completely out of order and control the amount of food that they eat is the only way that they can bring some control back. They get meticulous about counting calories both in and out—yes, some will weight their feces to make sure they can count the calories that have left their body!

Now, do you see why this is so difficult to treat? Those helping someone with an eating disorder change the way they eat to understand why the person has the eating disorder in the first place! It’s not a simple illness and is certainly not that lifestyle choice myth #1 considers.

Myth #3: It’s Just a Normal Part of Dieting

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When you look at how eating disorders start, they do look like normal parts of dieting in many cases. That is certainly the case when it comes to adolescent girls in studies. Many have simply wanted to lose weight and have turned to the early elements of eating disorders to make it happen.

Some girls will fast for long period, or they will force themselves to vomit. They don’t think that there is a problem and that they’re just dieting to lose weight.

As those with eating disorders continue, they start to lose control. They don’t know when to stop, and they struggle with the mental illness side. At the same time, they think that they’re still just dieting.

Well, the early signs are not just normal part of dieting. A healthy diet will consist of losing weight slowly by getting enough nutrients to support the body. For those with eating disorders, it’s not about losing weight healthily and supporting the body but about getting to that one goal of being a smaller dress size.

Some dieting is normal for healthy people. These individuals know when to stop and how to maintain a healthy weight afterward. They follow healthy plans and partake in a regular and recommended exercise program. They will follow advice from the creators of the exercise plan. Those with eating disorders don’t do this.

And some with eating disorders won’t lose weight. Remember that there are some who think they are too skinny. The focus is on gaining weight, even if they are already at a healthy weight or overweight.

Myth #4: It’s Just a Phase or for Attention

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Many of the myths come from a time when mental illness was something to brush under the carpet. It wasn’t a real thing, and those with serious mental illnesses were stigmatized. Some people were given lobotomies or went through shock therapies to “get rid of the problem.”

When it came to issues like eating disorders, they were viewed as a phase. It’s worth pointing out that most sufferers are adolescent girls. This is due to the focus on weight, looks, and the food they eat. Girls would go through a phase of eating little so that they would be like their friends, and it was expected that they would “grow out of it.”

If it weren’t viewed as a phase, it would be viewed as attention seeking. After all, eating so little would attract the attention of their parents. It would pull the topic from other events onto why the personal wasn’t eating enough, was binging on food, or was constantly throwing up. There wasn’t a focus on getting help but on finding reasons for it happening.

While we’re on this topic, the eating disorders are not individuals being picky. It will be tricky to help them while they go through treatments, but they’re not choosing to make life hard for you. They need help with this serious illness.

Neither of these is the case with eating disorders. This stems back to the idea that this is just a lifestyle choice. Nobody chooses to stick to a dangerous diet. They’re not doing this so you will look at them or because they’re going through a phase in their life.

Anybody can suffer from an eating disorder. Young females are more common, but absolutely anybody can suffer at some point in their life. And they all need the same type of help. They are all suffering from the same mental illness.

You may find that someone with an eating disorder doesn’t make it clear at first—taking out the attention seeking argument from the equation. People with eating disorders hide what they’re doing. They will hide wrappers in their bedroom or make it look like they’re eating plenty. You may not realize until they start losing or gaining large amounts of weight in a short space of time.

Myth #5: Only White, Young Females are Affected

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From reading this, you should know that this myth isn’t true. The problem with this is that most stories you hear do involve young white females. In fact, the studies you read will mostly be about pre-teen or teenage females from white families. There are a few studies or TV shows that have focused on others, but these are the exceptions and not the norm.

It’s time to get this myth out of your head right now. Like with any other illness—mental or physical—this can affect absolutely anyone. Illnesses don’t discriminate.

Most people will be young, white females. Young people are the most impressionable. They’re still learning about the way of the world, and they are more likely to give into peer pressure. They are also the ones most likely to be bullied, which can lead to the need to get more control in their life.

White females also tend to be the most impressionable when it comes to weight and food. The media and others push on ideals on body shape and weight. These young females believe that they need to look like the stick-thin models they see or the way that people on TV look. They don’t realize that magazine images are Photoshopped or cleverly taken to miss out the real figures.

That doesn’t stop others from being affected. In fact, some studies show that 25% of anorexia sufferers are male and 40% of binge eaters or bulimia are likely to be male. These facts can be surprising, considering that there is a view that men should have more muscles. Remember that myth about eating disorders being connected to weight. This isn’t always the case!

Those who take part in sports, have other mental illnesses, or have high-stress lifestyles are more likely to suffer from eating disorders. They want to get the control back in their life, and the easiest way to do that is through the food they eat and the calories they take in.

Myth #6: The Families/Parents are to Blame

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This myth does have some truth in it but not in the way that you would initially think. We’ll get into the truth in a minute, but let’s focus on the reasoning behind the myth first.

This myth stems from the misunderstanding about eating disorders. Remember that myth about eating disorders being a cry for attention? Well, there was the belief once that parents or families caused the need for youngsters to cry out for attention or go through these phases. There was also the belief that strict lifestyles led to people suffering from eating disorders.

Stricter lifestyles can lead to children wanting to lash out. They are more likely to binge later in life because they didn’t get to do it when they were younger. Those who were belittled by their parents or had other pressures placed upon them may turn to anorexia to control their food and their calories.

But it’s not actually the parental methods. In fact, many sufferers will have supportive families. They came from positive backgrounds and had very little stress put upon them. At no point did their families contribute to their eating disorders.

So how do the parents connect? Well, this is in the case of the treatment. Those with eating disorders need support. It’s like those who suffer from substance or alcohol abuse and those with depression or anxiety. People with mental illnesses need to know that there are others on their side. In fact, the support from family members and close friends is crucial in overcoming the debilitating mental illnesses.

It’s no secret that family members are also affected by the eating disorders. They can feel distressed about the things that are happened, stressed over how to care for someone with an eating disorder, and guilty that they let it get so far or didn’t see the signs sooner. Some people are even scared of the daily routine, especially when it comes to food.

Understand the Myths and Learn the Truths

It’s time to distinguish between the myths and the facts. There are some truths to the myths. After all, your support could make a world of difference to the person with the eating disorder. When you are there to rally them through the treatments, they are more likely to feel like they can get through their mental illness. They see the light on the other side and know that they have someone to lean on when things get a little too hard.

By understanding the myths and learning more about the truths behind eating disorders, you are better able to support them. You can spot the signs earlier, encourage treatment, and understand more about the reasons behind the eating disorders.

Whether it’s anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating, eating disorders are not a way of life or a choice. They are serious mental illnesses that require treatment.