Understanding the Red Foods For Better Nutrition

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You will hear a lot about how certain foods are better for your health. Most people will focus on foods that have certain vitamins and minerals. You will hear about how spinach and kale are good for iron and calcium, while lemons are good for vitamin C.

Did you know, though, that you can make your food choices through the color of them? Color of ingredients will tell you a range of things about the vitamins and minerals found in them.

Red foods are one of the best options for your diet. Not only do they look good and taste good, but they have a range of nutrients that make them this bold color. These nutrients will support your health in more ways than you could ever imagine.

Here is a look at just how red foods will support your health. By understanding more about them, you will learn why they are so important in your diet.

Get More Lycopene in Your Diet

Lycopene gives red foods their colors. This is the most important nutrient from this color of food and the reason you should start eating more from this section. It is a nutrient that you will find difficult to gain from other colored foods, which means missing out on some health benefits.

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The form of carotenoids is an antioxidant, which has already shown results in protecting against some cancers. The antioxidant will get into the cells to help prevent damage and abnormal growths. You can reduce the effect oxidative stress and carcinogens have in the cells. Some of the most common cancers prevented include breast, skin, esophagus, lung, and colon cancers. These are extremely dangerous, and some can go undetected until it is too late to treat them.

Studies have shown that adding more lycopene to your diet will help to reduce gastric cancer by as much as 50%! There are also positive results for men, as the antioxidant reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

On top of that, the lycopene can help to protect the skin and not just from cancer. The skin is more resistant to damage from the sun’s rays. This is not only against the cancer-causing UVA rays, but also against the UVB rays; the ones that cause dark spots, burning, and signs of aging. You can keep your skin healthy, soft, and youthful for much longer.

Of course, this benefit does not mean you can avoid using sunscreen. However, the antioxidant will help to add extra protection when you are out in the sun. If you only get 15 minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure for the vitamin D, you will protect against potential damage with extra lycopene.

More research is currently being undertaken to understand all the skin benefits when lycopene is added to the diet. So far results are looking good and adding more lycopene has shown no disadvantages.

You Can Have Cooked and Processed Red Foods

With many nutrients, you will hear that raw is the only form you should eat. Any other form will destroy the nutrients within the foods. Well, that is not the case with lycopene. The body can gain more of the antioxidant through cooked and processed forms of the red foods. That means ketchup and puree are allowed. You can get away with readymade sauces and eating fried tomatoes for breakfast. Do not worry about adding canned tomatoes to your Bolognese sauce!

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Other studies have shown that adding fats to the red foods will also help with the absorption process. Some studies showed that tomato puree mixed with olive oil help to protect against sun damage better. Drizzling your salad with a bit of olive oil or adding mozzarella to your tomatoes will help to support your health better.

Opt for healthy fats when you use them with red food. Unsaturated fats will help to reduce blood pressure and ease the flow of blood, helping to reduce heart disease.

Do not Forget the Anthocyanins

While lycopene is one of the most important antioxidants in red foods, it is not the only one you will get. Red foods are also high in anthocyanins, which are also found in purple and blue foods. You can get this antioxidant from most berries, red onions, radishes, and red plums.

The anthocyanins help to give the foods their red color too. They support the health by protecting the cells from damage, similarly to the lycopene. However, anthocyanins also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits.

They can help the immune system fight off more infections and reduce the risk of catching common colds. The antioxidants can help to reduce pain in the body, as the inflammatory response is not as likely to occur. Without inflammation, there is less pressure on the nerves, and you can reduce the feeling of bloating and cramping in the digestive system.

Reducing the inflammatory response can help the digestive system absorb more nutrients from food. You gain an overall healthier body.

Some studies have also shown weight loss benefits. The studies in this are still in their infancy, but so far show that mice gain less weight when they have high-anthocyanin diets than when they do not include the nutrient.

Most Are Full of Fiber

Most of the red foods you will buy are also full of fiber. This is the case when you use them whole, chopped, or blended. If you buy juices, then you will lose the fiber count.

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Fiber is an essential nutrient for the body. It supports the health of the digestive system, making it easier to pass stools and avoid bloating and irritable bowels. The fiber will also help to balance the natural sugars in many of the red foods, preventing your blood sugar levels from spiking. Therefore you want to avoid juices as much as possible, although in small doses they can be beneficial.

More fiber in the diet will help with the absorption of all the other nutrients. The digestive system will have more good bacteria and a healthier lining to soak in more from everything you eat.

Getting the Benefits Naturally Is Better

Getting the anthocyanins and lycopene through natural forms is far better than getting them through supplements. There is no reason not to get them, considering there are so many red foods available.

However, why is naturally better than supplements? Well, research has considered the natural forms of the antioxidants. There are very few studies that consider the supplements and how they can help the diet. They often contain synthetic strains, which are not as easily absorbed and can cause some reactions within the body.

You can stock up on red foods throughout the year. Do not worry about opting for frozen options so that they last. You can buy the processed options, although do watch out for the added salt and sugar to them! When purchasing raw fruits and vegetables, consider the seasons to make sure you buy the best quality options.

List of the Best Red Foods for Better Nutrition

Here is a look at all the best red foods to improve your health and support your nutrition. We include the best time to buy, but when they will be available in your local stores. There are extra benefits to the red foods not already mentioned so we will consider these as well.

Strawberries for more folate. Strawberries are in season during the summer months, but you will find them available in stores throughout the years now due to importing. If you want to grow your own, focus on May and June as the months to do so.

Strawberries are naturally sweet and make excellent added-sugar alternatives. They are delicious with homemade ice creams and frozen yogurts for a dessert. You can also use them with other ingredients to create cakes, pies, and tarts. Of course, just eating them on their own is good for a healthy snack. The natural sugars help to avoid sugar cravings to support weight loss efforts.

As well as the antioxidants, you will get plenty of folates. This is also known as folic acid and something your doctor will recommend increasing if you are pregnant. Folate helps with the development of the nervous system in developing babies and reduces the risk of some birth defects. It can also help to support the heart health in adults.

Of course, there is also vitamin C in strawberries. The vitamin will work with the antioxidants to support the immune system and ward off infections.

Blend strawberries into your smoothies for a quick breakfast. You can also chop whole strawberries up and add them to the top of your porridge oats.

Cherries for more fiber. While popular in the summer months, you will be able to get cherries throughout the year. Dried cherries are often added to trail mixes. While you get rid of the water content, you will still benefit from the fiber.

Most of red foods will have fiber, as we have already mentioned, but cherries are one of the excellent sources. The skin is tough with extra of the nutrient. That is why dried cherries are so good, since you do not remove the skin! Blend cherries whole if you are going to use them in smoothies for extra benefits.

Cherries are also packed with potassium. This electrolyte helps to maintain the blood pressure and energy levels. It can also help to prevent spasms and cramps in the muscles, reducing pain and the effects of restless leg syndrome.

Cranberries for more urinary tract infections. Cranberries are extremely popular around Christmas and Thanksgiving. There are high chances that you get cranberry sauce to go with your turkey dinner. While cranberries and the sauce are available throughout the year, you will find packets of fresh and dried cranberries more easily between September and December.

You want to stock up on more cranberries and use them more in the winter months. They offer excellent cancer-prevention benefits and not just from the antioxidants already mentioned. All the antioxidants together help to prevent the growth of free radicals, which have been linked to cancers.

The fruit can also help prevent stomach ulcers. Bacteria called H pylori can become stuck to the urinary tract walls, which leads to ulcer growth and infection. Cranberries prevent this from happening thanks to an antioxidant known as proanthocyanidin.

Urinary benefits are why many people are recommended to drink cranberry juice if they have a tract or kidney infection. The juice will help to remove the reasons for the infection. Continue to drink the juice afterward to avoid further infections in the future.

Raspberries for lowering cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are a major health concern. They lead to cardiovascular problems and can lead to stroke risk. You can reduce your bad cholesterol levels by adding more raspberries to your diet.

One of the best things about raspberries is that you will find them throughout the year. While fresh raspberries are delicious between August and October, you can stock up on them easily through the freezer section. Put them frozen in your porridge, and they will melt and release their juices as you eat. You can also blend raspberries into smoothies to get all the health benefits directly.

The lowering cholesterol benefits come from the amount of fiber that is found in raspberries. You do not increase the good cholesterol levels, which can become too high and cause health problems.

Watermelon to fight against macular degeneration. Worried about your eyesight getting worse in later life? You want to stock up on more watermelon throughout the year. It is one of the best fruits to eat in the hot summers, due to the high-water content.

The benefits do come from the lycopene that gives watermelon the red color on the inside. The antioxidant can help to protect the cells in the eyes from deteriorating. When these cells become damaged or die, the eyesight starts to fail. There is no way to improve the eyesight after this, so all you can do is work to prevent the macular degeneration from getting worse. Preventing it with the right diet is your best option.

You will also gain weight loss benefits through a watermelon. Most of the fruit is water, with the rest made up of antioxidants and fiber. It is a fruit that will fill you up extremely quickly, without adding too many extra calories. Plus, you get the natural sweetness that will help to curb sugar cravings. You will want to eat less through the day and require fewer added sugars that raise your blood sugar level and affect your metabolism negatively!

Watermelons are best during the summer months. They are available throughout the year, but they will not be as juicy as they are in the summer months.

Pink grapefruit for lowering cholesterol levels. Raspberries are not the only fruit good for lowering. Pink grapefruit is something you will want to stock up on, especially when you want something a little different.

Pink grapefruit, available between October and May, will offer more pectin to the diet. This is a nutrient that actively helps to lower the cholesterol levels. While white grapefruit can also offer this benefit, the red is better for the lycopene at the same time.

You can juice pink grapefruit to help get the nutrients easier, but you will lose the fiber count. When eaten whole, the grapefruits take longer to digest and leave you feeling fuller for longer. You will find they are excellent for your weight loss efforts.

Have half a grapefruit every morning to improve your health. You can chop on in half and use a spoon to scoop out all the pectin goodness. Alternatively, chop the grapefruit into segments and eat like an orange.

Tomatoes for more potassium. Looking for ways to add more potassium to your diet? It is time to turn to one of the most popular fruits/vegetables (depending on the side you are on) in the world. Tomatoes are used so much for cooking and in salads, and there are so many varieties.

Whether you love sweeter cherry tomatoes, want big beef tomatoes for your sandwiches, or need canned tomatoes for your sauces, you will gain extra potassium. The tomatoes are also packed with vitamin C to help support your immune system, along with other antioxidants. Your whole health will benefit from all the nutrients within the small powerhouses.

One thing that makes tomatoes so powerful is that they have often cooked. This releases more of the nutrients within them!

While they have popular in the summer, you will easily find delicious tomatoes throughout the year.

Peppers for the vitamin A. Red peppers are another extremely popular fruit/vegetable (again, depending on the side of the debate you are on). Most people do not realize that red peppers are full of vitamin A. This is necessary for building strong teeth and bones and supporting the health of the skin. The vitamin A will support the development of tissues and collagen in the body.

On top of that, you will get plenty of vitamin C. In fact; one pepper will give you just as much vitamin C as an orange!

Chop your peppers to add to salads. When raw, they have a sweet taste that can help to curb sugar cravings. You can also add them to casseroles, soups, stir-fries and more. If you want something different, take the top off pepper and stuff it with Bolognese, cheesy dishes, and more.

Red peppers are one of the only fruits and vegetables that grow well throughout the year.

Stock up on as many red foods as you can. They are filled with antioxidants that you will find harder to get from other sources. Your health will thank you in more ways than one with a simple change to your diet.

5 Bad Foods That Are Actually Good For Your Body

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Bad Foods Image Design 1 - 5 Bad Foods That Are Actually Good For Your BodyYou’ll hear all the time that you should eat certain foods. At one time, fat was the demon of all food groups, and then the focus turned to carbs. Now the focus is on how sugar is making us fat. There are low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber, and many other types of diets. It’s often hard to stay on track with the food that you should and shouldn’t be eating, right?

You can decide to follow your own beliefs on food. You’ll do your research, but you still come up with the idea that certain foods are bad for you. The peanut butter and jam aisles are completely avoided, and you walk past the cereals with caution. After all, you don’t want to do your health any damage with your food choices.

What you may not realize is certain foods that come across as being bad are full of goodness for your body. You can do yourself more harm by completely avoiding them! You need to add in food in moderation to make sure you put your health first. Anything you consume should be done in moderation to create a healthy and balanced diet.

Why Do We Struggle with “Bad” and “Good” Food?

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Back in the 70s, your parents and grandparents would have eaten anything they wanted. They had a variety of ingredients at their disposal and would have found creative ways to use them. Meat and two veg was still a focal point, but pastries, pasta, potatoes, and many other foods that are now considered bad for you were eaten.

Then came the research. Scientists learned that eggs were full of cholesterol and that fat clogged up the arteries. After that, researchers learned about the eggs and fats in more detail. They learned that some could be good, and others would be bad. They learned that not every calorie was made the same.

Suddenly finding your way around what to eat became a minefield. Which piece of research did you believe?

It’s still a problem. There are now views that all fat isn’t bad. In fact, some saturated fat can be okay in the diet. It’s all about sugar and refined carbs.

Now you need to delve into the details of the food. Some of those ingredients you gave up can be added back to the diet. They are food for you. Here’s a look at five that you need to add back in, because while they initially seem bad, they are very good for the body.

Don’t Skip All Pasta and Rice

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Let’s start with the carbs. You’ve likely heard of the Atkins and south beach diets. They push people into giving up carbs, in favor of protein and fiber in their diets. The view is that carbs increase the blood sugar levels and affect the metabolism.

There are certainly concerns about some carbs. Refined and processed foods are best left off the menu. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all carbs. Carbohydrates are essential in the body. They offer the instant energy that the body needs to use. When you’re feeling a slump in energy, carbs can help offer a pick-me-up. If you’ve had a hard workout in the gym, the carbs can help to replenish those levels instantly.

But you want to get the right types of carbs.

Too many people give up rice and pasta, both white and whole wheat. It’s time to stop! You want to add them to your diet.

White rice is extremely healthy. There’s a reason the people of Japan eat it and live if they do. Research shows that those who eat rice are less likely to struggle with obesity.

Isn’t rice high on the glycaemic index scale? Well, yes, but this is only a major problem if you eat rice on its own. How often do you make a bowl of rice just to eat? It’s usually a base or a side dish for other meals. When you bulk your rice with vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and other nutrients, you won’t have the issue of the high GI.

There’s more good news. Rice that you get in the U.S. and most other Western countries are enriched with other nutrients. These nutrients are the ones that are lost during processing, so you end up getting more nutrients than you would if you opted for brown or even wide rice. In fact, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than its white sister.

As for pasta, there are similar reasons to eat it. Again, it’s one of those that you want to eat with other foods, which certainly isn’t a problem. It’s in the middle on the glycaemic index scale, which means it breaks down slower than initially believed. You’re left feeling fuller for longer, which means you consume fewer calories throughout the day and find it easier to stick to a healthy and balanced diet.

You don’t need a lot of rice or pasta to fill out your meal. Just half a cup of cooked pasta and a cup of cooked rice is enough for your portion sizes. You’ll likely be served more than this in a restaurant, so keep that in mind when ordering a pasta dish. It’s usually the sauces that are worse for you, so look out for tomato-based sauces for the best measure.

Add Eggs to Your Meals

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Eggs were once the food of the devil. People blamed them for health issues like heart disease and blocked arteries, due to the levels of cholesterol within them.

There are two types of cholesterol: good and bad. The bad stuff will block the arteries, causing friction and clogs. However, the good type will layer the arteries in a smooth, protective layer. It helps to keep the blood flowing smoothly. Getting high amounts of good cholesterol will help to get rid of the bad.

But at one point in time, eggs were full of bad cholesterol. In fact, all cholesterol was considered bad. Then that moved to egg whites being safe but the egg yolks to be the part to avoid. Now it’s safe to eat all eggs. In fact, it’s recommended unless you have an egg allergy.

Eggs aren’t just packed with the healthy cholesterol. They’re also full of protein without relying on meat products. This is excellent for vegetarians who struggle to get protein in the body.

Protein is essential for building muscle, tissues, and other parts of the body. Animal forms of protein usually have saturated fats too, whereas eggs don’t. Studies have shown that those who consume eggs for breakfast rather than cold cereal will find it easier to stick to a balanced diet. They’re left feeling full for longer because the protein breaks down much slower in the body.

At the same time, egg yolks have vitamin D. This is a nutrient that many people overlook but is essential for absorbing calcium and building strong bones. If you’re in a country with little sun, you want to get more eggs!

There are many other nutrients, including selenium, choline, and phosphorus. All the nutrients work together to keep the body healthy.

Stock Up on Your Avocados and Other Healthy Fats

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Like carbs, fats have been considered bad for the body. It’s now clear that there are two main types of fats: healthy and unhealthy. These facts are broken down further, but it’s important to remember that the body needs fats.

When you eat fat, it’s passed to the liver. The body can then create ketones, which will help with the energy levels. If you have a low carb diet, you want to consume more fats. They will add more immediate levels of energy to the body rather than the proteins and fibers.

Avocados have been considered bad for a long time. They’re extremely healthy for the body, and not just for the healthy fats. Avocados are packed with multiple vitamins, including C, D, and E, potassium, fiber, and much more. They’re full of antioxidants that keep the health of the cells, include carotenoids to help protect against macular degeneration, and have plenty of monounsaturated fats to protect the health of the heart.

Avocados can be added to your diet in a multitude of ways. You can mash and spread your toast or use avocado oil in your cooking. It’s also possible to blend into a smoothie.

Likewise, add other healthy fats to your diet. Olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil make excellent alternatives to vegetable and corn oils.

Don’t Overlook the Goodness of Nuts

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Have you cut nuts out of your diet? Many people have due to the fat content. They’re considered high in calories and bad for weight loss, but they couldn’t be more opposite. In fact, nuts in a balanced diet can help you stick to a weight loss plan and encourage more weight loss. It’s just a case of in moderation.

Nuts are full of healthy fats, and we’ve already looked at that with the avocados. More than that, they’re full of selenium. This is a nutrient that’s often under-consumed, leaving us struggling with energy levels. We think of low iron as the problem, but it is more likely your selenium. You can get your full day’s recommended amount with just one Brazil nut!

Nuts are also packed with protein. You’ll help to support the growth and strength of muscles and connective tissues. You’ll also help to support your nerve tissue growth.

And we can’t overlook the benefits for the brain. Nuts have anti-inflammatory properties. They will help to improve the cognitive health, pushing off dementia and other age-related diseases.

It’s not just nuts specifically, but nut butter that is also good for you. In moderation, you can control your hunger levels and cravings through some peanut or almond butter. The fats and proteins will make you feel fuller. Some of the butter has a slightly sweet taste, helping to curb your sweet cravings as you trick your body. When you feel fuller, you eat less throughout the day.

Those who eat peanut butter or nuts are almost 25% less likely to be overweight or obese! You only need a serving or two throughout the week, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Stock Up on Your Fruit

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Out of all fruit, bananas have had a bad reputation for years. They’ve been considered high in sugar and bad for dieting. They certainly aren’t! In fact, all fruits, in general, are necessary for the body’s health.

The problem for some people is the natural fruits. There’s a view that they are bad for your sugar levels, but the fiber within the fruit helps to balance this out. When added to a healthy and balanced diet, fruit is one of the best sources of nutrients.

You’ll get all your vitamins, plenty of potassium, numerous antioxidants, and more from every serving of fruit. You can eat them whole or blend them into a smoothie; either way, you gain the benefits. Do make sure you blend the whole fruit. Avoid juicing as this gets rid of the fiber and means you end up with just the natural sugars, and this is bad.

The fiber is something to concentrate on. With enough fiber, you’ll keep your digestive system in full working order. Your body can support the passing of stools and keep your bowel movements regular. You’ll also find you have fewer stomach discomforts throughout the day.

Are You Ready to Add Foods Back to Your Diet?

It’s time to stop listening to the lies. There are certain foods that look bad for you, but they’re exceptionally good. In fact, they’re necessary for your health. Add the five foods above back into your diet for full support. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel on a day to day basis!

12 Foods With Incredible Mood Boosting Benefits

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Last Updated: 30th September 2016

What is it about food that makes us so happy?

There’s something amazing about a nice meal, whether with friends, family or that special someone in your life!

Time simply flies when you’re eating with the right people.

The social aspect of meals plays a large role in the happiness. Studies have proven that social activity and interaction with others can help to reduce your risk of depression and boost your mood. Sitting around the table with people you like/love definitely will make you happier.

But did you know the food you eat can also make you happy?

There are a number of foods that can affect your mood positively, helping to drive away feelings of anxiety, stress, worry, and depression.

Here are twelve of the best foods with incredible mood-boosting benefits:

1. Chocolate


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This one probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, why else is chocolate one of those “comfort foods” we all crave when we’re feeling blue? There has to be something about chocolate that’s guaranteed to make you feel happy, right?

Chocolate contains compounds that are similar to valproic acid, a compound that is commonly found in mood stabilizing and anti-convulsant drugs. Dark chocolate (70 to 95% cocoa) can help to enhance your mood, putting you in a “positive mood state”–according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

However, be warned: researchers from the UCSD found that people who eat a lot of chocolate tend to increase your risk of depression. Stick with no more than 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day!

2. Turkey


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When you think of turkey, no doubt you immediately picture a Thanksgiving dinner with your whole family. There’s something amazing about sitting around a table, giving thanks to all the important people in your life.

Perhaps turkey is the reason you feel so good at Thanksgiving…

Turkey is one of the best natural sources of tryptophan, a chemical that is used by your brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurochemical that stabilizes and controls your mood. Getting more tryptophan is the key to raising your serotonin levels, meaning you feel better.

Don’t keep turkey only for your Thanksgiving dinner, but eat it on a regular basis to improve your mood. You’ll feel happier after a big turkey meal, and you’ll find that you sleep a lot better as well (tryptophan helps you to sleep).

3. Carbs


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Have you ever stopped to look at the common ingredient in just about every single “comfort food” on the planet? From the fairy bread of Australia to the treacle pudding of Britain to American apple pie, almost all comfort food contains carbohydrates–either in the form of a grain of some sort (wheat, rice, oats, etc.) or sugar.

Make no mistake: comfort food is usually NOT healthy. It tends to be high in both calories and carbs, which can increase your waistline.

That being said, carbs are some of the best food to help boost your mood. In the Archives of Internal Medicine, a study was published that detailed how people on a low-carb diet are more irritable and more prone to negative emotions: anger, depression, confusion, and hostility. Those on a low-fat diet tended to have a more positive mood.

Why is this? It’s believed carbs are needed for the production of serotonin, which improves your mood and makes you feel happier. If you’re feeling a bit blue, have a slice of bread or a bowl of oatmeal!

4. Fish


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The oilier, the better!

Fish is pound for pound, the healthiest protein on the planet. It contains a hefty dose of muscle-building amino acids, but it’s also packed with minerals and healthy fatty acids. One of these fatty acids is Omega-3, which plays a vital role in mood and emotional states.

A 2006 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry proved that an Omega-3 deficiency can be a “contributing factor” in mood disorders. It suggests that increasing Omega-3 intake could be a viable treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, and even for unipolar and bipolar depressive disorders!

Which fish should you be eating?

Salmon is the best source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but mackerel, herring, Bluefin tuna, sardines, and albacore are all good options.

If you want to feel better and happier, add more fatty fish to your diet!

5. Brazil Nuts


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Image Source: Nuts

All nuts are a good source of fatty acids (including Omega-3s), making them a useful addition to your diet. However, one specific type of nut stands out from the rest: Brazil nuts.

Brazil nuts are an epic source of selenium, a mineral linked to depression. In one study, men who didn’t get enough selenium in their diet suffered from depressed moods. An extra-high intake of selenium won’t necessarily make you feel better, but it can help to PREVENT bad moods, depression, and “the blues.”

A single Brazil nut contains a whopping 160% of your daily recommended selenium intake. Just a few of the nuts can go a long way toward reducing your risk of depression and mood disorders.

Bonus: The high-fat content of Brazil nuts can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

6. High-Fiber Foods


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Image Source: BodyBuilding

It may be a bit hard to believe, but there is actually a link between high-fiber foods and a better mood. How do you ask?

According to the journal Nutrition, one Canadian study found that a low-fiber, low saturated fat, and low Omega-3 diet was linked to an increased risk of suicide attempts. While it’s a well-known fact that fatty acids can help to balance mood, it was surprising to discover that dietary fiber could have any effect on mood. Perhaps it’s that fiber helps to balance out digestion, promoting healthy absorption of those important fats. Or, it may be that a diet rich in whole foods can help to protect you against depression–as a 2009 study indicated.

Either way, adding more high-fiber foods to your diet is the way to go! Not only will it help to improve your mood, but it can promote weight loss, reduced appetite, and fat burning. It can’t hurt to try it!

7 Saffron


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Image Source: NY TIMES

Did you know that Saffron is the single most expensive spice in the world? It can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 per pound! That’s a lot of money to pay, but once you taste the spice (used in Spanish paella), you can understand why it’s so pricey.

One of the benefits of saffron is its ability to improve your mood. Saffron has historically been used to treat depression, and a 2007 study posted in a German medical journal provided the proof that saffron can have anti-depressive effects–both in vivo and in a number of pilot clinical studies.

Pricey it may be, but it’s definitely worth consuming in order to improve your mood. The good news is that you only need to use a small amount of saffron to add flavor to your food, and even small doses can help you feel better.

8. Coconut


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Coconut is one of the healthiest high-fat foods on the planet. Coconut oil is a highly popular “cure all” remedy, and it’s a wonderful addition to your meals. Thanks to its high unsaturated fat content, it’s a heart-smart oil that just tastes delightful.

But in this case, it’s the SMELL of coconut that has the effect on your mood. In one 2010 study, the scent of coconuts helped to improve heart rate and heart period variability among those performing stressful tasks. Despite the stress, coconut oil helped to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Feeling stressed and depressed at work? Get some coconut fragrance in your office or home, and you’ll relax. No stress can get you when you’ve got the smell of coconut wafting through the air! Plus, your room will smell like a tropical beach. What’s not to love?

9. Lentils


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Lentils are a high-carb, high-fiber food, meaning they can help to improve your mood. However, they’re also low in fat and rich in protein, making them–along with beans, garbanzos, and other legumes–some of the healthiest foods for you!

These little legumes also contain a wide range of polyphenols, antioxidants that can improve your mood. In Nutritional Neuroscience: An International Journal of Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System, a 2012 study examined the link between polyphenol consumption and better brain function. These antioxidants help to increase the plasticity of your brain synapses, improving overall function and increasing your brain’s ability to produce neurochemicals–including serotonin.

If you want to have a happier, better-functioning brain, it’s a good idea to eat polyphenol-rich foods. Lentils just happen to be one of the best!

10. Tea


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There is an endless war for dominance between tea and coffee. Tea is the single most consumed beverage in the world, with coffee coming in somewhere after water and beer. Americans love their coffee, but perhaps the rest of the world has it right by drinking tea…

A 2008 article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that it’s the theanine in tea (black, green, and white tea) that helps to improve mood. The mixture of caffeine and theanine helped to not only improve heart rate and increase energy levels, but it also helped to relax subjects, dilate blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and even improve mood.

Want to feel better? Do as the British do and have a cup of tea! Add a bit of sugar to obtain the mood-boosting benefits of carbohydrates, and stir in some milk to add calcium (another mood-boosting nutrient) into your drink.

11. Oysters


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Oysters: you either love their elegant sophistication or hate their slimy saltiness!

Whether you love or hate them, oysters are one of the best mood-boosting foods around. No, it has nothing to do with their flavor or texture, but it all comes down to one simple nutrient: zinc.

Zinc plays a vital role in your emotional health and mood. Low zinc levels in your blood are a contributing factor to depression, and getting more zinc in your life can have an anti-depressant effect. In one study, women who increased their zinc intake showed less hostility, were less angry, and were happier than women who did not.

Not an oyster fan? Here are a few more foods to try:

  • Veal liver (11.9 mg per 100-gram serving)
  • Dark chocolate (3.3 mg per 100-gram serving)
  • Sesame seeds (10.2 mg per 100-gram serving)
  • Pumpkin seeds (10.3 mg per 100-gram serving)

12. Dark Greens


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Image Source: The Woks of Life

Dark, leafy greens like broccoli, chard, spinach, and arugula are all excellent foods to add to your diet. Thanks to their high-fiber content, they can reduce your appetite, prevent hunger pangs, and improve digestion. However, these foods also contain another vital nutrient: calcium.

Calcium plays a vital role in the absorption of fatty acids–like Omega-3s, which improve mood. Way back in 1994, a study was published that detailed the results of two experiments. Both proved that calcium supplementation helped to “greatly elevate mood” over the placebo.

It’s believed that calcium deficiency is linked to PMS-related depression.

It’s vital that you get enough calcium, no matter who you are. Calcium plays a role in fat burning, bone health, and brain function, as well as regulating your mood.

Yes, dark greens are the all-around healthiest sources of calcium. However, you can always get more from milk, yoghurt, cheese, and ricotta

The more calcium, the better!

Whichever you try, make sure that you’re making ​yourself feel awesome (inside and out) in the process!

It really helps if you choose what you eat. Not only do these foods boost your mood, but it also greatly affects your overall disposition. It’s great to know that you’re keeping yourself healthy while projecting positive vibes.

Do you have any foods that we missed?

Let us know in the comments below!​

12 Gut Cleansing Foods To Include In Your Diet

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Last Updated: 5th October 2016

It’s amazing the horrible things we put in our bodies–often without knowing it.

Every time you take a sip from a plastic bottle or a metallic can, every bite you take of processed food and junk food. Every time you eat out at a fast food restaurant, every time you apply cosmetics or lotions, and every time you walk down the street, you are exposed to a terrifying array of toxins, chemicals, and pollutants. These dangers are far too small for your eyes to see, but they’re there!

The pollution in the air (courtesy of cars, cigarettes, and smoke stacks) and toxins in our cosmetics are nothing compared to the garbage in fast, processed, and junk food. These foods are packed with artificial flavorings, preservatives, emulsifiers, and enhancements. With every bite you take, you pollute your body a little bit more.

Don’t let your body suffer because of poor food choices! Take steps to eat the right foods: the natural, healthy, and raw foods that your body needs to function. Most important of all, eat foods that will cleanse the toxins and chemicals from your gut and restore healthy digestion.

If you want to have a properly-functioning digestive system, here are a few gut cleaning foods to include in your diet:

Herbs


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Herbs are so much more than just a delicious addition to your meals! They are also wonderful to help cleanse your gut and promote a healthy internal balance.

Which herbs should you add to your meals?

  • Fennel — Fennel seeds can help to reduce mucus buildup in your gut, and it will promote healthy elimination of wastes. How else does your body get rid of toxins and chemicals? Via your waste material (feces and urine), of course!
  • Oregano — Oregano can kill off both viruses and fungi, along with any harmful bacteria attacking your intestines. To improve digestion and cleanse your gut, eat oregano (meaning pasta sauce!) regularly.
  • Peppermint — Peppermint can help to soothe your stomach and reduce bloating. If you’ve got digestive problems (like IBS or indigestion), it’s a good idea to have a bit of peppermint after your meals.

Add these herbs to your diet, and you’ll give your gut the good scrubbing it needs!

Yogurt


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What makes yogurt such an awesome option for a healthy gut? Simple: it’s all about the bacteria!

Lactobacillus bacteria transforms milk into yogurt, but did you know that it’s very similar to the bacteria living in your intestines? These gut bacteria are responsible for breaking down your food, but they also act as your body’s first line of defense against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens you ingest. Basically, 70 to 80% of your daily immune activity takes place in your gut.

The bacteria in yogurt acts as reinforcements, ensuring that the beneficial bacteria in your gut are able to fight off any harmful pathogens ingested via your food and drink. Yogurt with active cultures is one of the best gut-cleansing foods you can add to your diet!

Apples


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You know the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? This is mainly because eating apples help to improve your digestion, thereby ensuring healthy overall body function.

Apples are packed with carbohydrates that provide your body with energy, but they’re also rich in dietary fiber. Pectin is an important type of fiber, as it binds with toxins and chemicals and prevents them from being absorbed into your body. The fiber is then shunted along your digestive tract and expelled, eliminating the toxins in the process.

But the benefits don’t stop there! Pectin can also strengthen the lining of your intestinal walls, and can help to eliminate built-up waste matter. It’s also an effective antitoxin that can combat heavy metals and chemicals.

Bonus: Apple cider vinegar is an amazing gut-cleansing food! It increases the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes, thus promoting healthy digestion. It has anti-parasite, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Definitely, food to add to a gut-friendly diet!

Chia Seeds


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Chia seeds are all the rage these days. You can’t walk into a health food store without hearing about the remarkable benefits of these little seeds.

But it’s not just hype! In fact, chia seeds are one of the best foods you can eat for a healthy gut. Why is that?

  • They’re packed with fiber — Chia seeds are LOADED with dietary fiber, a particularly soluble fiber that can absorb water, sugar, toxins, and cholesterol. When the thread encounters the toxins and chemicals in your gut, they absorb them and send them down toward the waste disposal exit. They also contain insoluble fiber that will scrub the waste from your intestines.
  • They’re rich in Omega-3 fatty acids — These fatty acids help to stabilize the cells of your intestinal walls, protecting them from damage by bacteria and other harmful pathogens. At the same time, they also reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestion.

The beauty of chia seeds is that you can add them to just about anything! They’re small and tasteless but will do wonders for your gut health.

Bonus: Chia seeds may be the best, but flax seeds aren’t far behind. They contain more Omega-3 fatty acids than chia seeds, though not as much fiber. Not the tastiest of seeds, but a good addition to your diet.

Aloe Vera


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Remember when you were a child and got a bad sunburn, or you burned yourself on a hot stove? Your mother no doubt applied Aloe vera–nature’s most amazing remedy.

Aloe vera is useful for so much more than just burns, and it’s a digestion-friendly remedy you’d do well to try. The anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe vera will help to protect your digestive tract from bacteria and harmful pathogens. For those with IBS, leaky gut syndrome, and other digestive health problems, Aloe vera can help to soothe the irritation and pain and even reduce bloating.

As a bonus, Aloe Vera will also increase the production of the Lactobacillus bacteria in your gut. One study found that a 5% concentration of Aloe vera juice helped to promote not just lactobacillus growth, but many other types of beneficial bacteria as well. Basically, the study proved that Aloe Vera could be a useful therapy for digestive disorders, particularly when combined with probiotics. If you’re eating more probiotic foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.), adding Aloe Vera into the mix will make the beneficial bacteria more efficient!

Green Tea


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Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It contains as few calories as water, and the caffeine can help to boost your metabolism–though without the nervous system effects caused by coffee. It even helps your body to target belly fat for more effective fat burning.

Green tea is also an amazing gut-friendly food. The tea contains a lot of polyphenols, plant-based compounds that feed the bacteria living in your gut. Feeding the bacteria helps to encourage the growth and spread, giving your body better control over your digestive tract and its function.

How much tea should you drink? With just 2 or 3 cups of green tea per day, you can promote a healthy gut bacteria balance.

Garlic


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Garlic is one of those foods you can’t help but love! It provides an amazing base flavor for just about every dish you prepare, but did you know that it’s also one of the healthiest foods on the planet? It’s heart-smart, packed with minerals, and is even a gut-friendly food.

Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur compound that can help to protect your body against a wide range of harmful bacteria. You’ll find that it’s one of the best immune-boosting foods around. Of course, given that a large amount of your immune activity takes place in your gut, it’s no surprise that it’s also a gut-friendly food!

Garlic can help to protect you against food-borne illness, and basically acts as a natural antibiotic. Garlic can also help to promote peristalsis, the contraction of your intestinal muscles that pushes waste toward the exit. It’s also a diuretic, meaning it will help to flush waste (urine) from your body, taking all the harmful toxins with it.

Basically, eating more garlic is a key to having a healthier body!

Veggies


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All veggies are good for you, but some are “good-er” than others:

Dark, leafy greens — Spinach, kale, chard, and other dark-colored leafy greens are packed with important minerals like Vitamin C, iron, and folic acid. They’re also an amazing source of polyphenols, which help to enhance digestion and promote better immunity. They contain chlorophyll, a fat-soluble nutrient found in all plants that helps to cleanse your colon. When the chlorophyll bonds with fat, it clings to the walls of your intestines and protects from bacterial infections and growths. It can even help to eliminate old waste and bacteria, and heal your intestinal lining.

Cruciferous veggies — The crunchier, the better! Cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are just a few of the cruciferous veggies that can give you up to 40% of your daily dose of fiber. The fiber will promote healthy elimination of wastes, getting rid of toxins and built-up waste matter from your colon.

If you want to be healthy, it’s always a good idea to eat more veggies.

Sauerkraut


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Sauerkraut is another awesome probiotic food, meaning it contains bacteria that will reinforce your gut flora. “Fermented cabbage” may sound like an odd thing to eat, but anyone who’s had it on bratwursts or sausages knows how delicious it can be. Thanks to the active bacteria in the fermented food, you can give your gut bacteria the reinforcement needed to flush out toxins, chemicals, and harmful pathogens.

Kombucha


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Kombucha is another “hyped up” health product, and it’s certainly not the best-tasting of foods! It’s basically fermented sweet black tea, but the fact that it’s fermented means that it’s loaded with beneficial bacteria.

Not only can the Kombucha help to improve your gut health by reinforcing the beneficial bacteria in your intestines, but it can control Candida yeast growth, improve absorption and breakdown of food particles, and promote waste elimination. It may even help to heal leaky gut and manage other digestive disorders.

It may be odd, but it’s worth a try if you want to have a healthy gut!

Legumes


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Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are amazing sources of protein, fiber, and minerals, making them excellent for your gut health!

Legumes are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber:

  • Soluble fiber soaks up the toxins, sugar, fats, and cholesterol, and prevents them from being absorbed into the body.
  • Insoluble fiber works like a scrub brush to eliminate the waste matter clinging to the walls of your intestines.

The fiber in legumes will get rid of A LOT of the waste matter built up in your body, and will do wonders to cleanse your gut. The starch in legumes also acts as a prebiotic, which means it will feed your gut bacteria. This causes the good bacteria to multiply and control the harmful pathogens introduced via your food and drink.

Lemon


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Ever wondered why people love lemon water so much? It’s mostly thanks to the fact that it helps to improve your digestive health:

  • It acts as an antiseptic, killing off infections and controlling harmful pathogens.
  • It boosts your immune system, sending reinforcements to your gut bacteria.
  • It increases the production of stomach acid, making it easier for your body to break down food for digestion.
  • It enhances digestive enzyme production, enabling your intestines to absorb food more easily.
  • It helps to neutralize toxins and free radicals in your digestive tract.

Basically, lemon in ANY form will do wonders for your gut health. Try fresh-squeezed lemonade, warm lemon water, or even a few drops of lemon in your chicken noodle soup. However you eat it, it will promote a healthy, cleaner gut!

Including these foods in your diet will help you balance the nutrients your body needs. It is important to be mindful of this balance to avoid risking your health especially as you grow older.


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9 Of The Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods To Put In Your Kids’ Diet

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Last Updated: 10th October 2016

Inflammation is the way that the human body reacts to infections and injuries. Often, inflammation and infection go together. However, they are not the same thing. Inflammation happens when the body goes into a protective mode when infection is present. It’s a process which involves an array of “signal” molecules, as well as a range of proteins (which have the capacity to clot) and an assortment of immune system cells.

What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?

Swelling, redness and warmth are typical symptoms which indicate the presence of inflammation. Some foods will trigger or exacerbate inflammation in children, so it’s important to ensure that these foods aren’t a part of your child’s diet. At the least, they should be given to your child sparingly, rather than being a main feature of meal plans.

Ingredients and foods to avoid include “trans” fats, sugar, white bread, gluten, MSG, and cheeseburgers.

Today, we’re going to talk about the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your child’s diet. Focusing on these power foods will help your child to experience fewer incidences of inflammation…and this is a good thing!

Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Foods


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Inflammation makes children feel uncomfortable, and it may intensify the symptoms of certain pre-existing health conditions, such as juvenile arthritis. For this reason, adding foods which soothe and/or prevent inflammation will be a sensible approach to safeguarding your child’s health. Foods which inhibit, stop or prevent inflammation keep warmth, redness and swelling minimal and may even eliminate it entirely.

Chronic inflammation may develop when a child has a genetic predisposition and/or when he or she eats too many foods which trigger inflammation. In other words, it’s often a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental stuff is easier to tweak by changing diet and so on. An infection may also be causing the problem.

Examples of health issues in kids which are linked with inflammation include lupus, vasculitis and juvenile arthritis. Naturally, a doctor is the best person to consult with about any health concerns which are related to your son or daughter.

By learning which foods calm or prevent inflammation, you’ll be able to create meals and snacks for your child which will also serve as bona fide health treatments. We are here to show you which foods provide optimal anti-inflammatory benefits. These foods are tasty and nutritious, so they are fine choices regarding pleasing your child’s palate and offering holistic, “whole body” benefits.

In other words, they are great for kids and good choices for grown-ups, too! Now, let’s talk in detail about which “power foods” help to relieve or prevent the symptoms of inflammation…

Power Foods Which Battle Inflammation

9.) Tomatoes are Great Choices


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Tomatoes are juicy, flavorful and very versatile. Use them in healthy salads, turn them into rich and zesty sauces or simply slice them up after washing and then serve. However you use tomatoes, you’ll find that they are a great way to soothe inflammation in your child. Anti-inflammatory benefits should remain intact whether tomatoes are consumed raw or cooked. Fresh, organic tomatoes will probably provide the most anti-inflammatory benefits.

Most kids do like tomatoes. After all, they are used to eating tomato sauces on pizza and another kid-friendly fare, such as pasta and lasagna. Since the gluten in pizza crust and pasta noodles tends to boost inflammation, you may want to consider finding gluten free pizza crust recipes (lots of them are available for free online) and experimenting with gluten-free pasta. Then, you’ll be able to make kid-friendly versions of these favorites and load them with anti-inflammatory tomato sauce.

8.) Olive Oil is Very Beneficial


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Olive oil is so easy to cook with, and it’s also a great choice as an ingredient in marinades and dressings. This healthy Mediterranean oil is derived from olives and the best and purest examples of olive oil are the cold-pressed, organic varieties. With Olive Oil, a little goes a long way, although it’s not one of the cheapest food items on our list.

The anti-inflammatory power of Olive Oil comes from its high anti-oxidant content. One anti-oxidant in Olive Oil, Oleocanthol, is proven to relieve swelling the same way that the OTC medication, Ibuprofen, does.

It’s pretty easy to add this power food to your kid’s diet. Drizzle it on gluten-free pasta or pizza or use it in salad dressing. Also, you may cook lean proteins in Olive Oil or baste veggies in this great-tasting oil and then bake or stir-fry them.

7.) Almonds and Walnuts are Power Foods


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Nuts have protein, and some of them are also anti-inflammatory. The best choices for children (providing that they do not have nut allergies) are almonds and walnuts. Almonds are loaded with Vitamin E, and they are also good sources of non-saturated fat. Both of these components assist with the reduction of inflammation. They are recommended by experts for those who want to soothe inflammation, no matter their age group. Of course, your child should be old enough to eat nuts safety if they are going to be served whole and raw.

Walnuts are loaded with fatty acids, and they are also believed to assist with the inhibition of neurotransmitters which trigger inflammation discomfort.

Offering these nuts raw is a smart strategy. A scant handful should be enough to provide your child with anti-inflammatory benefits. However, you may also utilize nuts in a variety of recipes, such as gluten-free muffins and cookies. Almond and walnut butter are also fun choices – serve them with apple slices for an easy, fresh and healthy snack.

6.) Fresh Greens Work Wonders


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While kids are occasionally resistant to eating fresh greens (although some kids may find them tasty!), you’ll find that adding certain greens, such as Kale, Collards, and Spinach, is the key to unlocking anti-oxidant benefits for your son or daughter. If your child does resist these types of foods, you should know that it’s possible to “hide” them in smoothies and other recipes. In particular, Kale and Spinach tend to blend well with other ingredients, so that their taste is almost unnoticeable.

Kale has fatty acids which fight inflammation. Spinach features Carotenoids and these are inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

Salads are probably the easiest way to give your child anti-inflammatory benefits from these ingredients. However, there are other options. Experiment to find something which works for you!

5.) Fatty Fish is a Smart Pick


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If your child likes to fish, be sure to add fatty fish to his or her diet. Types of fatty fish which may help your son or daughter to battle inflammation include Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, and Anchovies. While some kids will balk at eating these sorts of fish, which admittedly have a strong taste, there are some who will enjoy it. The fish that we just named have very high fatty acid contents, which is a great thing regarding promoting fewer incidences of inflammation.

To make these types of fish more palatable, consider adding Panko crumbs and raw egg in order to create a light and tasty batter. After you brush on an egg wash and add crumbs, bake the fish. Making these types of fish taste more like commercial “fish sticks” will probably be a smart strategy. You might also want to try adding anchovies to a gluten-free pizza!

4.) Some Fruits are Great Options


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Fruit is healthy, and most kids enjoy eating it. This is why you’ll greatly benefit from discovering which forms of fruit are most beneficial for the purpose of reducing inflammation. We recommend oranges, cherries, blueberries and strawberries. The antioxidants in these types of fruit support better immune system function. When you add these fruits to your child’s diet regularly, he or she will make more “killer cells” which boost immune system function and fight inflammation.

It’s pretty easy to serve these fruits raw. Just wash them if they don’t have a peel. Also, they are fine choices for juices and for dessert recipes. Change it up or consistently offer your child the fruit that he or she loves best.

When you do, you’ll be helping your son or daughter to remain healthier.

3.) Soy-based Foods are Good Choices


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If you want to help your child experience less inflammation, you may want to have a few more “Meatless Mondays”. Adding more tofu-based suppers to your week, (such as stir-fries with marinated tofu and chopped veggies) will be beneficial as soy products are linked to reduced inflammation.

The isoflavones in soy products mimic the effects of estrogen and, by doing so, stop the bad effects of inflammatory problems. Try to find soy products which aren’t processed too much. The fewer additives, the better!

Soy milk on gluten-free cereal is one breakfast idea. There are soy-based cheese substitutes and an array of soy-based products. Experimentation will help you to find what is best for your child. For example, boiled soybeans are known as Edamame, and they are fun snacks which a lot of kids like!

2.) Low-fat Dairy is Anti-inflammatory


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Kids tend to love dairy products, although some of them may be lactose intolerant. If your son or daughter enjoys dairy, you should know that giving him or her low-fat dairy products will be the best way to fight inflammation. Examples of low-fat dairy products include low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, one percent and skim milk, reduced-fat cheese and so on.

Dairy is easy to use in recipes, and it’s also versatile. Pour your child a tall glass of cool, low-fat milk or offer something more elaborate, such as homemade, gluten free mac n cheese. How you use dairy is up to you – just be sure that it’s a low-fat version.

Low-fat dairy eases inflammation by lowering uric acid levels.

1.) Gluten-free Whole Grains


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You won’t need to put your child on a low-carb diet (which definitely promotes weight loss) to help him or her fight inflammation. You may offer gluten-free carbs instead and the best examples, such as quinoa and brown rice, will give your child needed calories for energy, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. Gluten-free whole grains are pure because they are stripped of nutrients during processing. They add bulk to meals to boost satiety (fullness) and also help to soothe swelling and redness due to their protein and amino acid content.

It’s really easy to use brown rice and ancient grains, including Kamut, in place of bleached wheat flours and white rice. Doing so will be beneficial to your son or daughter.

Start a New Meal Plan Today

You’re a very caring and responsible parent and the fact that you’ve found this guide today shows just how important your child’s health is to you. We’ve provided you with practical information which will help you to design the best meal plan for fighting inflammation. If you experience inflammation problems, just as your child does, you may find that adding these foods to your diet is really helpful. In this sense, our comprehensive guide will be beneficial to the whole family.

Add a few of these foods or add all of them. Then, track your results. Seeing how your child feels based on changes to his or her diet is sort of the opposite of an elimination diet, and it’s an effective way to test out new strategies.

Of course, your child should be able to have some say in what he or she eats. So, give your son or daughter a voice. There should be some foods here which he or she loves or hates. There’s no point in trying to force your child to consume things that he or she detests. Instead, focus on adding anti-inflammatory foods that he or she enjoys consuming.

It can’t be easy sometimes especially if your kids have not been used to eating these anti-inflammatory foods. It would be up to you to find ways to make these foods look appetizing or you can even mix it with their meals without them having to notice it. The important thing is that they have consumed the foods and the nutrients would be absorbed by their bodies.

Hopefully, our guide has given you the direction that you need. Reference our handy list the next time that you go to the grocery store to stock up on anti-inflammatory power foods. It’s a great way to help your child and all of these foods are healthy options overall!

Resources

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/21/inflammatory-foods-worst-inflammation_n_2838643.html

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/top-10-anti-inflammatory-foods.html

http://www.runnersworld.com/fuel-school/eat-whole-grains-to-fight-inflammation

The Best Foods For An Anti Inflammitory Diet – Infographic

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Copyrights © 2016-2017 Positive Health Wellness. All Rights Reserved.

Important Disclaimer: The information contained on Positive Health Wellness is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Any statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and any information or products discussed are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease or illness. Please consult a healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet or taking supplements that may interfere with medications.

All writing and content on Positive Health Wellness is simply the opinion of the author and should not be treated as professional medical advice.

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How To Boost Your Weight Loss With Super Foods

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Super Foods Image Design 1 1024x562 - How To Boost Your Weight Loss With Super FoodsHave you ever heard of the term super foods? While looking for ways to boost your weight loss, you may have come across the term in passing.

It’s a popular term when talking about certain types of food, such as fruits and vegetables. They’re known as the unsung heroes of the diet to help improve the metabolic rate, keep the body going, and provide energy when you need it the most.

The problem is that when you look at them, initially it can seem like they are boring. It may feel like you have no variety, and that makes it very difficult to lose weight. But this certainly isn’t true. With the majority of super foods, you can add them to meals to spruce them up! You’re not cutting other foods out of your diet at all, but adding in the super foods to boost your weight loss efforts.

While they’re not a miracle cure, they are beneficial. They also help to boost the health while you are losing weight.

Here’s all you need to know about super foods and using them for your weight loss efforts.

It’s Not All About the Fruit and Veg!

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There are a lot of misconceptions about super foods. When you take a first look at the list, you will find a lot of plant based foods. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy, which can make the list seem boring and unadventurous.

Want some great news? It’s not all about the fruit and vegetables. Sure, these foods make up the base of the list, but there are dairy and fish products on the list too. Salmon is just one of the best options you can add to your diet.

That’s all great, but what’s so important about eating these so-called “super foods?” What exactly do they do and how exactly do they help your diet?

Honestly, the term is more for marketing purposes. Give something the title of being super, and everyone wants to jump on it. People want to be superheroes, while they know that super villains are extremely powerful. It makes sense when they hear the term super food that they want to jump in on that, too.

The term is focused on the type of benefits that someone gets from eating the type of foods. They are extremely healthy for a person, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that the body desperately needs.

Super foods are often marketed as weight loss miracles. Really, they just help to get the body in the best shape possible to lose weight easily and keep it off in the long term. They are lower in calories while offering the protein and fibre that the body will need to feel fuller, so you don’t end up eating as many calories throughout the day. Your body creates that needed calorie deficit to burn the extra calories you’ve held over the years.

There isn’t quite a medical definition for super food. That doesn’t mean they don’t offer medical benefits, but there isn’t quite a term in the medical dictionary that encompasses why we need to eat them or what they will do for the body.

Studies have shown that certain types of foods help to battle against chronic disease. They can prolong life and help someone get the antioxidants they need to fight against cancers and dementia.

They’re Easy to Get Into Your Diet

One thing you may not realise is that super foods are extremely easy to get into your diet.

We know deep down that fruits and vegetables are good for us. We know that we need to eat more of them, but we often think that they’re difficult to get into our diets. All the fatty foods just seem so much easier.

The truth couldn’t be further away from those thoughts. Really, fruit and vegetables are extremely easy to get into our diets.

Like Ive said above, this isn’t about completely changing your diet only to focus on super foods. The whole benefit of super foods is that you can add them into your normal, everyday life. It’s all about adding them into your current lifestyle to boost your efforts.

This could be through adding one or two extra vegetables to your salads or pasta dishes. You may decide to throw in some fruits to your snacks or add something extra to your sandwiches for work. You really can seamlessly add in the super foods to your diet.

Just which Super Foods do You Need to Get?

Now that you know what super foods are and how easy you can get it into your diet, it’s time to look at the foods you need to add in and what you gain from them exactly. You may be surprised at the number of foods that are on the list to give you variety in your diet.

Get Lycopene from Tomatoes

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Egg and Tomato Salad

The first superfood to add to your list is tomatoes. You likely already get these in some of your pasta sauces, salads, and sandwiches. It’s worth making sure you have them every other day or so.

Tomatoes are full of an important antioxidant called lycopene. This antioxidant is what makes eating tomatoes so important: it’s very hard to get lycopene from anywhere else. There have been studies that show you can protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun just by getting this antioxidant into your system. It’s one of the best defences against skin cancer. You’ll also find that it fights against some other cancers and aids with reducing cholesterol level.

High cholesterol leads to problems with blocked arteries, high blood pressure, and heart disease. So, not only are you losing weight with this super food, but you’ll also improve your longevity.

On top of that, tomatoes are very low in calories. They are mostly water based, and offer plenty of vitamin C without all the extra acids and bitterness that some oranges and lemons have.

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of fibre. Eating them with other fibre and protein filled foods will help you lose weight since you’ll be encouraged to eat less throughout the day. The fibre breaks down slowly, which also helps to keep the blood sugar levels and insulin response down.

I really can’t stress just how easy it is to get this super food into your diet. You likely already eat it without even realising, because it is one of the simplest and cheapest options available. If you don’t, consider getting it through tomato based pasta sauces, salads, sandwiches, and even just eating them on their own as snacks!

Get Phytonutrients from Blueberries

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Blueberry Cobbler

Out of all the super foods, you’ve likely heard about blueberry benefits the most. Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants to help right against cancer, dementia, and other age-related problems. Antioxidants are essential to the body, but we tend not to get that many because we don’t eat the right type of foods. Fruits are full of them without you having to think about portions really. Blueberries and other types of berries are especially beneficial.

The antioxidants in blueberries are more specifically known as phytonutrients. Rather than just fighting against the development of free radicals in the body like many other antioxidants, they neutralise them. They actively help the cells to grow back normal and healthily, preventing many of the signs of aging and problems with cell damage in the future.

Like tomatoes, blueberries are extremely easy to get into the diet. They’re delicious when baked into muffins and bread, and you can add in many other antioxidant-filled fruits at the same time. Mixing them with black berries and raspberries tend to work out the best since they all have similar textures and juices.

You can also throw in a handful of blueberries to salads, your morning porridge, or even into a tub to snack on throughout the day. They also work blended with a green smoothie so you can benefit from many superfoods at the same time.

Throw In the Acai Berries

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Acai Berry Smoothie

Blueberries and raspberries are among the best fruits that you can get easily from the grocery store. But they’re not the best fruits for antioxidants when it comes to world fruits. Acai berries are among the best options around, and you can get them from the majority of health stores or online. In fact, they have become so popular that a lot of grocery stores are now starting to stock them in larger amounts.

Acai berries are a dark red in colour, but you can buy powders and acai supplements from some health stores. They are full of various antioxidants that help to fight against the free radicals in your body and improve your circulation. You’ll also find your immune system is better supported.

As well as the antioxidants, they are full of vitamins A and C, helping to support tissue and cell growth. There are also claims that the acai berries help to support weight loss by encouraging the body’s metabolism to speed up. These claims still need to be researched, but the fibre in them will at least make you feel fuller.

And getting this super food into your diet is extremely easy. You can add the fruit to others and enjoy a super food fruit salad or throw them in with vegetables. It’s also possible to crush them to make juice. You just need a glass or two of acai berry juice to gain all the health benefits you could possibly need.

Pour some acai berry juice into a traveling mug and drink it on the way to work. You really have no excuse with this one.

It is also possible to make the juice into ice cubes. You can then add them to your water to give a little hint of the flavouring while you drink it.

Switch the Spinach Out

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Stir Fried Spinach

Right now, you may eat plenty of spinach. You’ve heard it’s great for iron levels and is an excellent source of calcium, zinc and many other minerals.

Well, it’s time to make a change to its cousin kale. Kale is full of some of the same phytonutrients as blueberries, which means it fights against the likes of cancers and dementia. As a woman, you may worry heavily about the development of ovarian or breast cancer. The phytonutrients within kale have been linked to neutralising the free radicals that cause both of these female cancers, meaning you can live a long and happy life.

Studies have shown that the phytonutrients also help to boost the liver’s ability to produce enzymes needed to fight cancer. So, if the free radicals still get into the cells and damage them to the point where they become cancerous, you have a better chance of fighting off the disease.

It is also full of the minerals like calcium and iron. If you have low iron problems, especially during certain points in your menstrual cycle, it is worth getting more kale into your diet. You’ll naturally boost the amount of iron in your body for it to absorb and get into the bloodstream. While all dark leafy vegetables are food for this, kale is one of the best options available as it is chock full of iron.

Likewise, it is full of calcium. Many people believe that calcium is only available through dairy products, but that is certainly not the case. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth. By getting more through your diet, you reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in your life.

So, how do you get kale into your diet? It’s another one that you can do without thinking. When making salads, switch lettuce for kale. It does have a slightly more bitter taste, but you can counter that with your other salad vegetables. You can also add kale into your omelets, pasta dishes, and much more. Kale is also a great base for your green smoothies if you want to try them.

Get Protein through Beans

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Black Bean Mexican Rice

No, you can’t use any beans. When it comes to superfoods, black beans are the ones that you want to get. Just a cup full will give you 15g of protein, without even thinking about meat if you’re a vegetarian. You can also get fat, but not the saturated kind.

What does that mean for you? Well, you don’t have food that will clog up your arteries. While the body needs fat, it needs the right kind. Saturated fats just lead to the arteries being clogged up with fat. The blood can’t get through the arteries properly, so your heart struggles to get everything it needs and get the right amount of blood to the rest of your organs. You’re at a higher risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.

Black beans are also full of fibre. With both protein and fibre working together, you’ve got one of the best super foods to boost your weight loss efforts. The two food groups that break down the slowest are in abundance on this one food!

Fibre is also an excellent way to keep your digestive system working in full. When your digestive system is backed up, you can end up feeling bloating. Your mood slumps, as you try to work through the food that has caused all this. With this super food, you don’t have to worry, which offers that little extra to aid with your weight loss efforts.

And then there’s the iron and antioxidants that are in large amounts with your black beans. Antioxidants help to keep your immune system fully functioning. When you feel 100%, you’ll find it easier to stick to a diet. You don’t reach for the bad stuff as much so you can create a better calorie deficit. You also feel well enough to move more, helping you burn more calories and tone your muscles.

The iron will also help with energy levels. When your iron levels drop, you will start to feel fatigued and suffer from a shortness of breath. The last thing you want to do is hit the gym! By getting more black beans in your diet, you’ll have better energy levels to go for your runs or make it to those aerobic classes—whatever it is you do for exercise. You’ll find it much easier to stick to an exercise plan and still have the energy to make your meals and enjoy your food.

But how do you get black beans in your diet? It’s not as difficult as it may initially sound. The first thing is to look at making a chilli or pasta dish that incorporates them. Add them in instead of or with your kidney beans and throw them in with the tomato based sources: two super foods for the price of one!

You can also throw black beans into salads, especially bean salads. They work extremely well with white beans, kidney beans, and much more. All these other beans are also excellent sources of protein and fibre, just not as much as the black beans.

If you’ve never tried black beans in the past, use this chance to explore something new. This helps the super food boost your weight loss efforts even more. We tend to get bored of following the same foods and meal plans, so adding something new and exciting helps us stay on track a little easier.

Reduce Cancer Risk with Broccoli

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Broccoli Cream Soup

You’ve heard that broccoli is good for you. The problem is you never really wanted to believe it. It looks like mini trees, and who really wants to eat that?

Well, you should start to add it to your diet. Broccoli really is one of the best vegetables for your health needs, and it will help you with your weight loss efforts. It’s the super food that extremely cheap and versatile at the same time.

Did you know that you can get the majority of your daily intake of folic acid with just a cup of broccoli? If you’re pregnant, there’s never a soon enough time to add it to your diet. You will make sure your little one grows perfectly. And one cup full really isn’t that much when you consider the size of broccoli!

It’s also chock full of vitamin C, which is one of the most important vitamins to add into your diet. The body can’t make this one or store it in any way. That means once you eat it, it will be absorbed and used. If you go a week or so without vitamin C, your body doesn’t get it at all. You’re left with an impaired immune system, so you’re more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.

On top of all this, broccoli is full of phytonutrients that help to prevent the growth of tumours. They can also help you recover from tumours if you have them and are facing some treatments because of them.

You also get plenty of iron, calcium, and many other nutrients. Overall, broccoli is one of those vegetables you should add to your daily intake if you want to live a long life, full of strong bones and energy. And when it comes to weight loss, strong bones and energy are essential. You’ll have the ability and mindset to get out and exercise, while you stick to a healthy and balanced diet.

Getting broccoli to your diet is extremely simple. You can switch your chips and dips for raw broccoli sticks. Add in some carrot and cauliflower for a few more nutrients. Create a tomato salsa to dip your broccoli into so you can get rid of some of the bitterness within the vegetable.

Cooking it is also a simple option. Throw it into your stir-fries and other Asian-inspired dishes. You can also add it into pasta bakes or just enjoy it on the side of your fish or meat with your potatoes.

Get Healthy Fats on a Daily Basis

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Healthy Homemade Avocado Toast

Have you heard that avocados are worth adding to your diet? They are certainly one of the super foods to think about adding to your diet on a daily basis.

This vegetable/fruit—which one do you class it as?—is full of healthy fats. Yes, your body desperately needs some fats, but the right type. Saturated fats aren’t healthy, but that’s not what you get with this green ingredients. They don’t saturate in the body, meaning that they don’t clog up the arteries. However, the fats do help your body absorb all the minerals that you take in with all the other super foods.

The downside is that avocados are higher in calories than most other fruits and vegetables. That is if you eat a whole one on a daily basis. You can get away with half or a quarter of an avocado with your salads or to add to your sandwiches. You can also throw some into your omelettes or even into pasta dishes and green smoothies.

Instead of making your traditional sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, opt for avocado and tomatoes and get two super foods in one.

You can Switch Avocados for Olives

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Vegetable Salad in Olive Oil

If you don’t like avocados—they can be bland and bitter for some—then you could opt for olives instead. Whether you love green, black or white olives, you’ll get the same monounsaturated fats from the super food.

Olive oil is created from olives, and it is considered one of the best types of oils to use in your cooking. However, olives on their own are much better for you when it comes to your weight loss efforts. One olive has just 7 calories, so you get all the benefits without the majority of the extra energy!

And olives still have all the fibre within them. When they’re breaking down in your body, they’re not as likely to create the insulin response since there won’t be the glucose. You don’t have to deal with the sugar crash, which often leads to you eating far more calories than you really need to. On top of all this, you’ll have the energy throughout the day to keep your exercise efforts up.

To add olives into your diet easily, just throw them into a salad or add them to your pasta dishes. If you’re a pizza fan, you can also add them in with your other toppings or just have them on their own for a snack. Many restaurants will offer olives as a side or starter dish, so consider opting for them when it comes to your next meal out.

Boost Your Blood Clotting Capabilities

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Kale Salad

While kale offers larger amounts of iron and other minerals, there’s one thing that it’s not as good as compared to spinach: helping you to clot your blood. Spinach is full of vitamin K, which is a necessary vitamin that many people forget about. It’s because of this that we create the white blood cells needed to clot blood and keep it thicker in our bodies.

Clotting the blood helps to build stronger bones, too. This is necessary if you want to live a long and happy life while losing weight. You see, if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, losing weight can lead to osteoporosis and cause your bones to become brittle. While you’re exercising, you may find that you’re more susceptible to broken bones.

It’s time to avoid these problems by adding this superfood to your diet. Spinach can be drunk through a green smoothie, or you can opt for throwing it in salads instead of lettuce. You could even consider replacing lettuce in sandwiches with it or opting for using it as a bed for your cooked salmon and other super foods.

Get Your Omega-3 Each Week

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Salmon Steak

I’ve already mentioned salmon in passing. This is definitely one of those super foods that you want to add to your list, but you don’t need to eat it every day. The best thing about fish is that you just need to have it twice a week to get all the health benefits.

Salmon isn’t the only super food for omega-3 fatty acids. All those oily fishes, like mackerel and tuna, are worth opting for on a regular basis. And they can easily be added into your diet. The downside is they tend to be quite expensive. This is why only adding them in once or twice a week is great. You can get a large selection of frozen oily fish and only defrost a little at a time.

Omega-3 is a necessity. It balances out the omega-6 in the body, helping to reduce inflammation and improve the circulation throughout your system. Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of chronic pain. Our body reacts to something—often something that is good for us—and creates pressure on various nerves. Carpel tunnel, fibromyalgia, and more are all linked to inflammation in the body.

Of course, the inflammation also makes it difficult to keep the blood flowing properly. The organs don’t get everything they need, and this can lead to them not working as they should.

On top of all this, high levels of omega-6 are linked to high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and more. We’re more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Let’s not forget the benefits to the brain with omega-3 fatty acids. They help to keep inflammation within the brain down, improving memory function and protecting the cells within this part of the body. You’re at a lower risk of developing age-related brain diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by getting more oily fish into your diet.

Salmon, in particular, is full of B vitamins and selenium. The selenium has been linked to the prevention of cell damage. Not only does this help protect your mind, but you also protect your body from the development of cancer.

And how do you get salmon into your diet? Well, first you can cook a salmon fillet and enjoy it with those healthy vegetables already mentioned above. You can also add some to your breakfast or flake it up into some pasta with a tomato based source.

Fill Up with Fibre-Filled Oats

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Apple Mango Cream Cheese Oat Bars

Now we can’t forget the health benefits of getting more oats in our diets. They are another super food and have no link to fruits and vegetables! See, I told you there were some different types of foods.

Oats are packed full of fibre, making them a great way to start your day. After that long fast while you sleep, your body needs energy, and it wasn’t nutritious energy. By getting oats, you’ll give your body something to break down slowly, making you feel full all the way up to lunch time. You can even add plenty of fruit to add yet more fibre and plenty of nutrients. Remember when I mentioned blueberries and porridge just above?

Fibre isn’t all made up the same. Oats include a special type, which has been linked to lowering your cholesterol levels and lowering the risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

And oats aren’t just good for the fibre. They’re full of potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients. The magnesium levels help with the regulation of blood sugar within the body, especially if you opt for wholegrain oats. At the same time, that fibre is helping the Oats digest slowly, which also encourages the oats not to sugar so quickly. Your body releases less insulin, so you aren’t at as high a risk as others of developing type 2 diabetes due to your body not becoming insulin resistant.

You don’t have to worry about eating porridge every single morning for the rest of your life. Oats are great for making healthy snacks, including oat biscuits and adding into muffins. You can pack your healthy snacks full of nuts, seeds, and other super foods to keep you going through the day.

Don’t Forget the Eggs

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The debate over whether chicken or eggs came first doesn’t matter. When it comes to superfoods, it’s the egg that you want to focus on.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, especially the yolk, with just 72 calories. In fact, if you cut out the yolk you will still get a great amount of protein into your diet. For those who are vegetarians but still eat eggs and other similar types of animal products, they are a great way to make sure you keep your protein levels up.

Research has even shown that this superfood will help you lose weight. You just have to add it to your morning routine, and you’ll be good to go! And there are so many ways that you can do this.

Eggs can be high in cholesterol, but this is the good cholesterol that you want. Good cholesterol will protect your arteries by creating a barrier and allowing the blood to flow through the arteries freely. Having a high amount of good cholesterol in your body can help to remove the bad cholesterol from it. The downside is many tests will only check your overall cholesterol, rather than tell you which type is higher.

The most effective way of adding anegg to your diet is by opting for an omelette. You can throw in all the other super foods mentioned above, including kale and beans. Raw egg is sometimes added to green smoothies, but do be careful with this addition. Unfortunately, there are health risks, and you should always consult your doctor first. You can also boil eggs and add them to your lunchtime salads if you want a little variety.

Stronger Bones with Prunes

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Traditional Czech Cake With Plums And Prunes

Did you know that it’s not just the calcium that helps to build stronger bones? Polyphenols are an excellent addition, and you can get them through eating dried plums—better known as prunes!

Okay, so they sound like the food to eat when you get old, but they are definitely something you should add to your diet a little more often. Just try adding them once a week at first. It’s best to limit the amount, anyway. While they are a super food, prunes are dried fruit and contain a lot of sugar. The benefit of prunes compared to other dried fruit is that there is still plenty of fibre and other nutrients that aren’t lost through the dehydration process.

The amount of fibre is definitely beneficial. We’ve already looked at how this can help boost your weight loss by feeling fuller.

Prunes are among the easiest super foods to add to your diet. Throw them into a tub with some nuts and seeds as a snack while you’re at work. You can also blend them up with some Greek yoghurt or almond milk to create prune juice. Of course, you could just eat them on their own when you really want a snack.

Throw in Some Walnuts

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Pumpkin Cheesecake With Almonds And Walnuts

While oily fish is a great way to get the omega-3 fatty acids into your body, you do need to watch out for the amount that you eat. Yes, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.

So, when you still need to get those omega-3s, take a look at adding some walnuts in your diet. Do I need to go into the reasons why? Omega-3 is one of the best fatty acids to add into your diet, and it really doesn’t matter where you get it from, as long as you get it!

The benefit of walnuts is that they also contain plenty of fibre to help keep the digestive system working. The fatty acids also help to improve co-ordination.

Just throw some walnuts in with those fruits that we’ve already mentioned above. You can also add them to salads or just eat them on their own. Consider blending them up into some homemade smoothies and if you’re going to bake cakes or muffins, don’t forget to include them!

The downside to walnuts is that you may be allergic to them. If you have a peanut allergy, you’re not necessarily going to be allergic to other nuts. Talk to your doctor to find out what it is about the peanuts that you’re allergic to and consider another testing to find out.

Super Food Recipes You Need to Try!

Now that you have a list of great super foods to add to your diet, it’s time for some new recipes to try out. There are just so many ways that you can mix all the ingredients together, and none of them is really that difficult to do in the kitchen. You just need to be able to follow the instructions.

Kale, Almond, Banana Smoothies

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Let’s start with something simple, like a smoothie. You’ll just need a blender to mix everything together.

Start with:

  • A cup of kale
  • A half cup of chopped almonds
  • A banana
  • A cup of soy milk (better than almond milk for weight loss, but you can add almond milk instead if you want)

Pop all of them in the blender and just mix together. You can pour straight into your glass and be on your way. Store any extra in the fridge and have later on.

You could add some acai berries or chia seeds to this recipe if you want to add a few other superfoods to the mix. If you don’t like almonds, considering substituting for walnuts or sunflower seeds instead.

Sweet Potato and Egg Hash

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Eggs are your excellent source of protein, while sweet potatoes give your body the complex carbs with that little bit of sweetness. They’re better for you than regular potatoes, and can often curb the sweet craving so you keep the calories down and boost your weight loss efforts.

There’s no need to follow an exact recipe for this. Just throw in a mixture of your favourite super foods into the mix. This can include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Spinach/kale
  • Olives
  • And maybe even some salmon

Just make sure you have three or four sweet potatoes (depending on size) and four eggs.

You can also add some cayenne pepper and other spices if you want to add that little extra bite to your morning meal.

How do you make it? It’s simple:

  • Chop up your sweet potato into cubes. Add them to a frying pan with a drop of olive oil.
  • Throw in your other ingredients, except the eggs. You’ll need to cook until softened and slightly brown.
  • Crack your eggs over the top of your hash in the four corners of your frying pan. Cook until your eggs are just the way you like them.

Breakfast is served! You can enjoy with a morning cup of coffee and know that your stomach is satisfied all the way until lunchtime.

A Delicious Salmon and Avocado Salad with a Stacking Twist

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When it does come to lunchtime, consider adding some fish to your diet. You can create a salmon salad but with a slight twist. Instead of throwing it all together on the plate with either your salmon on top or crumbled among the vegetables, create a stacking sandwich with your fish acting as the bread.

You just need some avocado, tomato and spinach with your salmon breast. Slice the breast through the middle lengthways, and layer your avocado, tomato and spinach within in. Create the sandwich and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon over the top.

It really is simple, and you can prepare it before you go to work. It will take just five minutes if you need to do it at lunchtime.

For something a little different, you could add some butternut squash slices into the vegetable mixture too and sprinkle with some almonds, walnuts or even basil pesto.

Make a Banana Sushi Snack

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Banana sushi is just something fun to create and allows you to pack together some different types of super foods.

Just peel a banana and then cover with your favourite nut or seed butter (depending on your allergies). You can then top with some hemp seeds, chia seeds, acai berries and walnuts. Just throw in a mixture to get some different tastes and enjoy your superfood snack.

Slice up the banana, so it is easy to pick up pieces with your fingers and eat as a snack. It’s also a great option to add for guests in your home.

This isn’t really an option for work but is great to have with your kids in the house. They can realise from a young age that healthy can be fun and interesting.

Create a Super Food Trail Mix

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Trail mixes are great for snacks and lunch boxes. You can make your own superfood version, by taking a mixture of super food snack items and throwing them into a bag.

Some of the best options include:

  • Walnuts
  • Dried plums
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Acai berries
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Raisins
  • Cranberries
  • Hazelnuts

All of them have their own benefits and ways that they will help you lose weight. The best part is that you won’t need to eat too much of it before you feel full. The trail mixes are also great alternatives to bags of crisps or bars of chocolate when you want to eat something late at night or while you’re watching a movie.

It’s Time to Get Super With Your Food

Now is the perfect chance to start adding some super foods to your diet. There are just so much available, and they’re not all fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to find inventive ways to get them into your diet, and you likely already include plenty of them.

Put your health first while you boost your weight loss efforts. The benefit of many of these foods is that they are full of fibre and protein, which are both essential for helping you feel full throughout the day.

The Best Foods for an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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Anti Inflammatory Diet Image Design 1 1024x562 - The Best Foods for an Anti-Inflammatory DietInflammation in the body is a bigger problem than you would initially think. It’s been linked to numerous conditions, including chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Doctors don’t know everything about inflammation and the problems that it causes. They don’t know exactly how it is caused and whether the diet is connected to it. The problem is that food and science had advanced, but there is still a lot to learn. Symptoms aren’t always the same, and people have different thresholds and intolerances.

That doesn’t mean we can’t take a few steps to make our lives that little bit easier. We know in ourselves if foods are causing problems. We’ll know if a certain lifestyle has an effect on us or whether our bodies are just a little out-of-the-ordinary now and again.

We’ll know deep down when inflammation is cropping up and causing problems for us. And scientists have worked out that there are some diets that do cause this problem. Scientists have found ways around issues and worked out which foods are better for us.

This brings us to today. It’s time to learn everything you can about inflammation and the anti-inflammatory diet.

Why Does Inflammation Occur?

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What’s the point in inflammation? If it’s bad for us, why do our bodies do it?

In simple terms, it’s response by the immune system. When our bodies try to fight off an infection, are trying to heal ourselves, or need to repair damaged tissues, it will inflame and become red or sore. It’s a necessary part of the healing process. Without it, the immune system will leave wounds to fester, and any infections we have can’t be fought. We end up much more poorly than we would have done without the inflammation taking place.

But our immune systems aren’t perfect. Sometimes they will attack things that aren’t bad for us. They just don’t realise that some bacteria are good for us or that foods we eat aren’t won’t cause a problem. Some of us suffer from this more than others. The body gets the message that there is an issue and it doesn’t question. It sends the emergency chemicals to take care of it first and then the rest of the body kicks in when necessary.

Of course, if the body reacts when it doesn’t need to, the inflammation leads to more harm than good. It can create chronic pain, as our nerves are trapped or cut off. Blood supply can be restricted, and we can end up with aching joints as the cartilage and tendons are affected.

And annoyingly, pain is part of the healing process! It’s the sign that our bodies need to stop and heal. Fever is another part of the healing process to get us to slow down when we need to. But when inflammation is occurring for no reason, we end up being slowed down without any healing going on.

Do You Suffer from Chronic Inflammation?

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There are two types of inflammation that can take place within the body. The good type is acute inflammation. This is the type that you get when it’s healing parts of the body, such as helping you recover from surgery or helping you fight a genuine infection.

Chronic inflammation is the long-term type that happens when you have those long-term, sometimes incurable conditions. These could be autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and even allergies. Things like your environment can set off the chronic inflammation, or your lifestyle could play a part. Scientists don’t know the full reason, but they have linked smoking, poor oral health, stress, and poor diets to factors that lead to inflammation.

Some experts call chronic inflammation the “bad” type because it isn’t curing anything. Instead, it is causing more problems. There isn’t something for it to tackle, but the body is confused and can even start attacking itself. You can be left bed-ridden because of fatigue or pain. You see, once the white blood cells start working in the body, they need to do something. They don’t care what they do, as long as they get to do it. They think that the body has sent them because they have a job, so they will attack healthy tissue and organs believing that there is something there that’s bad.

The Problems Your Inflammation Could Contribute To

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Not all inflammation is visible. It happens within the body. Turn on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and you will hear about the doctors discussing inflammation somewhere within the body, and it can’t be seen until the body is opened up.

There are many invisible diseases and conditions that occur because of inflammation. Even the healthiest person will likely get them at some point in their lives because there is very little that we can do about some of the reasons. We don’t have full control of the environment around us. We can’t stop the pollution ourselves or control the amount of allergens in the air.

Knowing the conditions that can be caused due to chronic inflammation won’t necessarily help us cure the conditions, but we can take some action. We can make changes to help reduce the risks to our health and reduce the pain we feel on a daily basis.

More Inflammation Means a Higher Risk of Heart Failure

Heart disease and other cardiovascular problems are connected to inflammation. The immune system starts to attack the cholesterol in the blood vessels, which leads to swelling. The blood can’t flow as it should, and more fatty plaque builds within the vessels. We’re at a higher risk of clots and blockages, which leads to a higher risk of heart problems.

The problem with this issue is that it’s a silent killer. One of the only symptoms our doctors will get is the high blood pressure at regular checks—and how many of us can honestly say we get regular checkups with the doctor?

We don’t get any other symptoms, and we’re left with a problematic cardiovascular system because we don’t realise there is inflammation there.

And it’s not just the heart that is affected. Our lungs also suffer because of inflammation. As the lungs inflame, fluid collects inside, and this leads to numerous health problems. We’re more at risk of developing the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. If you smoke, you’re already at a risk of these, so the inflammation is just increasing that risk ever further.

Inflammation can also increase the risk of us developing infections like chronic bronchitis. And even without the fluid, the inflammation makes the airways narrower, which naturally makes it harder to breathe.

Insulin is Released When it Doesn’t Need to Be

Inflammation sends a signal to the body that it needs to release insulin. Now we know that insulin is needed to help reduce the amount of sugar in the blood. When insulin is released without something to do, our blood sugar levels spike and this leads to the white blood cells attacking more of the body. Inflammation continues and our bodies release more insulin.

We’re at a higher risk of developing diabetes because of our inflammation. We become resistant to the insulin because it’s always in the blood. This leads to the risk of weight gain and we end up in a dangerous cycle of making diabetes worse.

Of course, when the inflammation also leads to pain, we tend to eat more to help settle our mental health. We never reach for the health food. It’s always the chocolate, cakes, and anything we think can boost the energy levels and mood. These are usually high in sugar, which releases more insulin yet and makes diabetes worse.

Higher Risk of Bone Problems

The white blood cells need to do something, so they tend to attack healthy tissue. This can include the bones. Experts suggest that a form of remodeling happens within the body because of the inflammation. Old and damaged pieces of bone are replaced with new ones. This can seem like a positive thing, but the new pieces aren’t necessarily going to be strong enough.

Inflammation makes it much harder for us to absorb the essential nutrients to improve the strength of our bones. We can’t get the likes of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, even if we have the perfect diet. And there are high chances that we’re not eating the healthiest diet because of pain that we feel.

Our bones start to feel weak and painful. We’re at a higher risk of fractures and joint pain. Some of the old bones may not even repair at all.

There is the Potential for Tumour Growth

It seems now that everything causes cancer. Scientists don’t know if inflammation does lead to cancer, but there are theories that the white blood cells attacking healthy tissue can be a major risk of tumour. The immune system attacks small tumours, trying to destroy it. However, the system gives the tumour the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow bigger.

And remember that we don’t get the nutrients in the body as well as we would without inflammation. Our bodies don’t get the proteins that it needs to repair cells and DNA after it has been damaged. Genes mutate, and we end up with the growth of cancerous cells and tumours.

Our Bodies Suffer from Chronic Pain

Have you ever had pain that lasts for days on end and you just have no reason for it? No matter what you do, the pain doesn’t shift. It’s deep within your joints and into your bones. It just feels like your whole body is on fire.

Chronic pain is a major symptom of inflammation. Everything inside swells so much that the nerves are cut off or pressed upon.

Some people will feel the pain in specific parts of their body. It could be carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist that causes pain up the forearms, or you may have issues within the knee joints from arthritis that has caused swelling. Fibromyalgia is a condition that is rooted in inflammatory problems and right now has no treatment or cure.

Some Digestive Conditions Can be Linked to Inflammation

Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, gluten allergies, or even Crohn’s disease? All of these have been linked to inflammation within the digestive system.

The body can’t absorb the fibre that our bodies need. That means the intestinal lining isn’t protected and the whole digestive system doesn’t work as it should. White blood cells attack all the bacteria in the gut, including the good bacteria. We’re left with no protection at all and items in food end up affecting us in ways that they shouldn’t.

And chronic pain within the digestive system leaves us unable to do anything at all. There’s no always something we can do, either, especially if our bowel movements are affected too.

The Mental Health Suffers Detrimentally

Of course, not feeling our best leads to mental health issues. The inflammation causes pain throughout the whole body, and all we feel like we can do is slouch in bed or on the couch.

And it’s not just how our bodies make us feel. Inflammation occurs in the brain, too, which affects the type of hormones that are released. The right chemicals can’t pass around the body, which means we can suffer from negative thoughts. Stress increases, which can make inflammation worse, and all we want to do is sit in a dark room.

Around 30 percent of people with depression had brain inflammation in one study conducted last year. Depression then leads to a poor diet, sleep problems, and many other health conditions.

Depression isn’t the only problem either. One study has shown that people have more aggressive behaviour or anger disorders because of the inflammation affecting the hormonal responses. Right now more research is needed, but it does show the potential issues.

It’s Time to Find a Way to Combat Inflammation

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So, why do some people suffer from more inflammation than others? What is it that’s causing the problem in our bodies?

As I’ve said, scientists don’t fully know. While technology and science have progressed, there are still some major discoveries still to be made. Bodies are different. The way our brains react and the amount of pain we can withstand differ between individuals, and this can make studies extremely hard to conduct.

There are some who say that inflammatory problems and the diseases linked to them didn’t exist during the palaeolithic period, which is why many suggest that it is our diets that cause it. While this is possible, it’s also worthwhile pointing out that there wasn’t as much medical knowledge during this period either. We can only do so much with bones and tissue found all these years later.

Others suggest that the drugs and chemicals used in food are the real reason behind inflammation. Some people blame our unhealthy lifestyles and the pollution in the air.

It is possible that everything working together is the real reason. We are more sedentary, and there is far more pollution than ever before. People suffer from more allergies than they used to, and it could be pharmaceutical products that we take or the food we now eat that causes all this.

While we can’t change everything about our lives, there are certain factors that we do have control over. The diet is one of those, and people have taken control and focused on healthy and balanced diets. They want to cut out the potential bad and focus on the good.

This is why an anti-inflammatory diet has been created. While it’s not a strict weight loss tool like most other diets, there are certain foods that are cut out completely to focus on a healthier way of life. There are certain foods promoted to help protect the digestive system and support the immune system.

The Best Foods for the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

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One of the best diets for reducing inflammation is the Mediterranean diet. This focuses on fish, vegetables, fruits and even some fats to promote weight loss and protect the overall health. Even the Mayo Clinic recommends following this lifestyle. The good news is a little bit of alcohol is allowed; just think of the way that the people in Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries live.

The thought is that the omega-3 in the diet helps to reduce inflammation in the body. There are certainly studies that show this is possible. Omega-3 is found in mostly fish and helps to protect the brain. It reduces inflammation and can help to reduce the risk of the likes of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and mental health issues.

If it helps to reduce inflammation in the brain, it is highly likely that it can help to reduce inflammation elsewhere in the body. The omega-3 can also help to protect the body from some damage, which means the symptoms and conditions from inflammation are lessened. The white blood cells don’t attack as much or cause as much damage.

Scientists have found that omega-3 is a natural form of aspirin.

What exactly is involved in the Mediterranean diet? Here’s a breakdown of the foods to add into your diet more and the ones to leave out as much as possible.

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Fish and shellfish: Both of these are consumed in high amounts in the Mediterranean. They’re easy to get out here, with plenty of choices. Cold-water fish such as mackerel, tuna, and salmon are the favoured options. These are the ones higher in omega-3 fatty acids. However, you can also benefit from the likes of cod, halibut, prawns, and crab.

Try not to eat too much fish, as there are risks to your health due to the mercury levels. Doctors recommend two to three servings a week.

What should you eat when you don’t have fish? Try out more vegetarian dishes where you can. You could also look at adding some poultry but try to lay off the red meat. Some meat substitutes could work for you but watch out for any gluten in them. This can set off an inflammatory response.

Avocado: This is one vegetable that you want to add to your diet regardless of the reason for your change in lifestyle. Not only does avocado contain anti-inflammatory properties, but it also has antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and much more. All these elements help to protect the whole body through layering the intestines, protecting the organs, and supporting the immune system,

When specifically talking about inflammation, avocados have polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols and carotenoid antioxidants. Along with omega-3, these two components are linked to reducing the inflammation in your body. With less inflammation, the white blood cells won’t be sent to attack something that isn’t there.

You don’t need to cut out foods to add in avocado, although this would be healthier. Studies have shown that just adding an avocado can lower the levels of inflammation, even if you eat hamburgers, fried foods, and more!

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Dark green, leafy vegetables: If you’re not going to add avocados to your body, at least eat more dark green, leafy vegetables. These contain so many nutrients that you can forego the likes of dairy and grains! We wouldn’t suggest you cut them all out completely as healthy, and balanced diets are recommended, but it just shows how powerful the nutrients are.

Broccoli, kale, spinach, and other similar vegetables are full of sulforaphane. This nutrient blocks the enzymes that are linked to the deterioration of the joints. As the joints deteriorate, the body’s response is to swell. The immune system knows there is a problem, but the white blood cells don’t have anything to attack. The inflammation makes pain and the condition overall worse.

There are also studies that show the sulforaphane can help to prevent the blood vessel linings becoming damaged, whether due to blood sugar or cholesterol. It is also possible to reverse some of the issues. Not only are you protecting yourself from more inflammation but also helping to reduce your risks of heart problems.

And let’s not forget that you take in more nutrients. If you can reduce the inflammation, you can absorb more of these nutrients. This will help your overall health.

Walnuts, olive oil: Both of these are full of omega-3 fatty acids. I won’t repeat everything that Ive just said.

What I will say is that walnuts specifically are full of fibre. This is a necessary component to help protect the digestive system. You could see some of your chronic digestive problems subside because there is a protective layer and the fibre helps to keep the digestive system working as it was designed to.

And don’t forget the protein in walnuts. Remember when I said that protein helps to repair the DNA? It’s an important food group, even if you’re not trying to beat the inflammatory response.

Onions: You may have heard that onions have a strong scent because they are so good for you. It’s no lie. In fact, garlic is also the same.

Both of these foods are full of anti-inflammatory properties. They’re used in numerous home remedies to help cure ailments like asthma and chronic pain. People around the world for centuries have included them, and they’ve worked in herbal medicine so there must be some backing to them.

Onions specifically are full of quercetin, which is a type of antihistamine. It stops the chemicals in the body that cause inflammation and allergic reactions.

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Watermelon and berries: Fruits like these contain lycopene, polyphenols, and choline. These chemicals help to reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system.

The chemicals are also antioxidants. They work to eliminate free radicals, which are usually mentioned when it comes to preventing cancer. Free radicals are also linked to dementia, cell damage, and inflammation. If you can neutralise the free radicals, you stand a better chance to stop the swelling response within the body.

Ginger, turmeric, oregano, and more: There are certain spices that tend to be used in herbal remedies. This is due to the anti-inflammatory compounds found in them. They stop the actual biochemical process that leads to the swelling and all the problems.

Some of these spices have also been linked to easing the pain in the body. They’re used in topical treatments to apply directly to the affected area. When it comes to breathing issues, the essential oils can be added to steaming water, and it is possible to add them to hot water for tea.

Like onions and garlic, these spices have been used for medicinal purposes around the world. There’s a reason they’re still added to Eastern medicine.

Whole grain foods: You may remember that pasta and rice dishes are popular in the Mediterranean diet. But don’t these food groups cause the stomach issues?

It’s likely the type of pasta and rice you’re eating. You want to focus on whole grain options rather than the white varieties. Brown rice, bulgur wheat, and quinoa are all popular items for the Mediterranean diet.

Studies have shown that there is less inflammation in those with a diet that includes some whole grains. This is likely due to the fibre since it protects the digestive system and supports the whole body. It helps to add good bacteria to the body, which is needed to prevent the growth of bad bacteria that sets off the immune system!

Yes, You Can Have Some Alcohol!

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We all know those in the Med drink some alcohol. Yes, you are still allowed to have a couple of drinks, but do follow the healthy guidelines and limit the amount you drink. Women don’t need more than one unit a day. That’s only one small glass of wine.

When you do drink alcohol, think about the type that you’re having. There have been studies that show one glass of red wine a day is good for you. The studies show that one glass of any wine is good for the heart, but the red wine is better because there are fewer sugars in it.

Wine can help to reduce blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. It has also been linked to reducing the risk of Type II diabetes, stroke, and cataracts.

Is There Anything Worth Avoiding?

To lower your automatic inflammatory response, one of the best things you can do is lower the amount of saturated fats and trans fatty acids in your diet. It’s also worth lowering the amount of omega-6 foods and refined carbohydrates.

We all know that these are bad for our health, but they can also make the inflammatory response in the body worse. They can encourage the immune system to work when it doesn’t need to.

Refined carbs or refined sugars end up breaking down sooner because they don’t have the fibre to work with them. They glucose in the body and that leads to the insulin response. This can lead to more inflammation and then more insulin, and we already know the risk of diabetes due to inflammation!

We can quite easily make these changes to our bodies. There are lots of other healthy options, and we can still get our carbs and fats; we just get the healthier ones.

Only You Can Make a Difference

The diet isn’t the only thing that you can change to reduce the inflammation in the body. You can also improve your exercise levels, lower your stress, and even cut out smoking and excess drinking.

While you can’t cut out the pollutants, you can change much more to help reduce your inflammatory responses. And only you can make some of these changes.

The diet is one of the easiest and quickest changes that you can make. Start cutting down on the red meat you eat and incorporate more fish and vegetables. The list of foods above can be added to your diet first before you cut out to help make this change easier on your body and mind. It’s time to put your overall health first.

12 Best Foods To Help You Sleep Like A Baby

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Best Foods Image Design 1 1024x562 - 12 Best Foods To Help You Sleep Like A BabyNothing is more annoying than spending the better part of the night tossing and turning in bed instead of getting vital and much-needed sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, you keep waking up, or if your sleep is not restorative, then you have insomnia. Insomnia affects millions of people across the world, and its incidence tends to rise with age.

Via: https://g9sleeptight.com/drooling-people-drool-sleeping-2016/

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Many things can contribute to insomnia, but the food you eat is one of the main factors when it comes to sleep. Most people know that they should avoid caffeine and anything with alcohol, but fewer know that there are different kinds of foods that you can eat to help you sleep like a baby. What you eat will determine if you sleep well or not and so you should consider including the following foods when planning for your next dinner or bedtime snack.

#1 Pistachio Nuts

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Pistachio nuts have an amazing taste, and you will probably want to eat more and more, but the best thing about them is that they can also help you sleep well. These nuts are very rich in vitamin B6 which is an essential element for sleep. Although this essential vitamin is available in different types of food, these nuts should be your first pick because they preserve almost 100% of their B6. For most other types of food, more than half the amount of the vitamin will be lost through storage and also when cooking.

B6 is a super element when it comes to aiding sleep because it helps in the synthesizing of serotonin. The science behind it all is a little more detailed but to make it simple to understand the vitamin serves as a co-enzyme that will ensure that the Serotonin converts to melatonin which scientists describe as the fuel that drives your sleep engine.

#2 Leafy Vegetables

You will hardly find a nutritionist or any other diet expert that will not recommend leafy vegetables as part of healthy eating. Kales, spinach, and other leafy vegetables have many health benefits but what most people do not know is that they can also help with sleep. If you are having difficulties sleeping at night, some steamed vegetables might work wonders for you.

These veggies have high amounts of sleep supporting minerals such as potassium, lutein, and calcium. The calcium in the vegetables will aid the body in using tryptophan to produce the sleep-inducing melatonin. If you do not like steamed vegetables, there are still many ways of consuming them such as adding a few baby spinach leaves to your sandwiches. Also, there are still other options such as mustard greens if you do not like kale or spinach.

#3 Oats

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Oats always make a part of a healthy breakfast, and most people cannot step out of the house without having a bowl of oatmeal. However, they are not just for breakfast because you can also have them as a bedtime snack. Oats are rich in carbs, and this means that they will help you sleep well by filling your blood with serotonin. A bowl of oatmeal at night will also make you feel relaxed, and so it will be easy to fall into deep sleep.

It is important to remember that although oats contain carbohydrates, they are the slow-digesting type and so they will not affect your blood sugar level. Also, it is not just the carbs in the oats that will help you sleep well but also the warmth of the meal. Although scientists are still not able to explain it well, there exists a relationship between the heat in foods and sleep.

#4 Bananas

Sometimes you may have a craving for something sweet before bed and when this happens you should grab a banana instead of going for foods with refined sugars. A banana is not only healthier, but it will also help you sleep fast and for long. This amazing fruit is full of muscle-relaxing elements such as magnesium and potassium, and this alone is enough proof that it is a useful sleep aid. Apart from this it also has tryptophan which will convert into melatonin to promote the feeling of relaxation in your brain.

Bananas might taste good, but some people still do not like them, but this should not be a problem because there are many ways of consuming them. You can cut them into small pieces and mix with your favorite fruits for a simple bedtime fruit salad or blend it with soy milk for a healthy smoothie.

#5 Cherries

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Cherries might not be your favorite fruit but if you are having trouble sleeping it is a good idea to take them. Eating cherries at night is one of the surest ways of inducing sleep, and a bowlful of them is an almost guarantee that you will not only sleep well but also for long. Cherries are among the few plant sources of naturally occurring melatonin and so having the fruits means the body does not have to convert anything to produce this essential element.

A recent study shows that cherries can help people with insomnia and other related conditions sleep for an extra one and a half hours. The additional melatonin that you ingest from the fruit can also fix your biological clock, and this is more so with those that come with a jet lag. If the fruits are not in season, you can also have cherry juice as it is still very useful.

#6 Almonds

Almonds are one of the best snacks that you can chew on before bed to ensure that you get a perfect sleep. They are not only enjoyable to crunch on, but they also have a high amount of magnesium. Magnesium repairs your worn out muscles and relaxes them so that your body can rest well. Apart from this, magnesium has also been proven to have some sleep inducing characteristics.

These nuts also have a decent amount of tryptophan, the amino acid that helps the body produce melatonin and serotonin. The two compounds will help in regulation of your biological clock and also slow down your body functions when you are about to sleep. Another significant advantage with almonds is that they have a slow digesting protein that will keep your blood sugar level in check as you are sleeping.

#7 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes not only taste nice but they are an excellent sleep aid. These potatoes have potassium and magnesium which will help the body relax in different ways. The magnesium relaxes the muscles and the nervous system and hence reducing the stress hormones so that your body can rest well. Potassium on the other hand also calms the body and lowers the blood pressure which are two vital things for a good sleep. Sweet potatoes are also full of complex carbohydrates that digest slowly while also releasing energy to repair the body when you are asleep. These potatoes will also not raise your blood sugar level, and if you roast them, they can help clear acidity from your body.

#8 Dairy Products

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A warm mug of milk before bed will make you feel sleepy. However, this also applies to all other dairy products. For example, cottage cheese (low-fat) will help fight acid reflux, and it also has calcium that regulates the production of melatonin which is essential for sleep. Cottage cheese has casein protein that is slow-digesting. This kind of protein provides the body with some essential amino acids that help to repair the muscles.

#9 Lean Proteins

There is a Thanksgiving myth that says that turkey will always make you feel sleepy. Although most people might just think of it as a myth, there is a lot of truth in this because turkey is a lean protein. Lean proteins such as turkey, fish and chicken have the amino acid tryptophan that helps in the production of serotonin and melatonin which relaxes the brain and make you feel sleepy. However, these proteins should always be a part of a healthy diet because eating them without anything else will only lead to weight gain.

#10 Lettuce

A few leaves of lettuce on a salad or a sandwich will always make them taste good. However, these tasty and healthy leaves can also help you sleep like a baby, and the good thing is that their taste means that you will not have a problem eating them. Lettuce has lactucarium (the milky substance that comes from the base of the leaf) and according to some research findings it causes a mild euphoria sensation. If you do not like eating the leaves, you can soak them in boiling water for a quarter an hour and drink the juice.

#11 Bowls of Cereal

There is a popular misconception that cereals are only for breakfast. Although even the manufacturers make them as a breakfast dish, you can have them anytime that you want and research proves that they can help you sleep fast and continuous. A bowl of cereals with warm milk before bed will not only make you full but also sooth and relax your body to ensure a restorative sleep. Cereals have a high glycemic index and so having them will cause a natural spike in the blood sugar level. Insulin levels will also spike and this will shorten the time that it takes for you to fall asleep.

#12 Honey

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A tablespoon of honey on your herbal bedtime tea will not just sweeten it but will also make it more useful as a sleep aid. If you do not like herbal teas, you can still take raw organic honey as it is still effective. Honey works by raising the body’s insulin level and making the entry of tryptophan into the brain easier than usual.

What you eat is what determines whether you will sleep like a baby or spend many hours tossing and turning in bed. Instead of just avoiding different types of food you should also know the right ones to eat for a restful and restorative sleep. However, the best advice is to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet so that your body can have all the essential ingredients it requires for melatonin production.

About the Author

I am Jane Collins, a blogger at G9SleepTight. I love sharing many useful tips and solutions to help you have a good night’s sleep. Follow me on Twitter, @g9sleeptight.

 

5 Foods to Eat Daily to Make You Look 10 Years Younger

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10 Years Younger Image Design 1 1024x562 - 5 Foods to Eat Daily to Make You Look 10 Years YoungerWouldn’t you love if the food you ate could do more than nourish your body? What if it could make you look younger?

Could you even imagine getting rid of those wrinkles and darks spots? What about getting rid of dry skin and other common, annoying signs of aging? Well, it can happen.

Yes, there really are foods out there that can help you look younger. In fact, it’s possible to knock 10 years off your life by making some simple and quick changes to your diet.

None of this means cutting out your favorite foods. The aim is to add the good food to your diet to get the extra nutrients. Of course, food isn’t the only way to do it. You’ll need to make sure you get plenty of exercise and water at the same time—but we’ll cover that right at the end!

Here’s a look at five foods that you need to add to your diet on a daily basis to look 10 years younger.

Add Some Watermelon to Your Diet

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What to eat to look younger? What if you could gain benefits from eating watermelon? During the hot summer months, this will be all that you want. The great news is that you should get much more of it in your diet.

Watermelons are full of water. That means you’re getting fewer calories and hydrating your body at the same time. By reducing the amount of weight you gain and boost your water intake, you’ll already reduce the signs of aging. You’ll also feel better for it all.

The water will mean that your skin’s elasticity is improved. There’s more collagen production, so fewer dimples, marks, and tears within the skin layers. Those stretch marks and wrinkles are all a thing of the past. You may even be able to improve the look of your stretch marks from previous years by improving the elasticity in your skin.

But that’s not the only way that watermelon will help you. You know the red color? Well, this is a really important factor in helping you look younger. The redness comes from an antioxidant called lycopene. It’s the same antioxidants found in other red foods, like bell peppers and tomatoes, and it’s essential for improving the look of the skin.

Lycopene helps to keep the UV rays from damaging the skin, which means you’re less likely to suffer from sunburn. If your skin is burned, there is less damage overall, especially when it comes to the harmful and cancerous effects of UV rays.

While tomatoes are highly recommended for fighting off aging and protecting the skin, watermelons are better. Researchers have found that they have 40% more of the antioxidants than tomatoes. There’s even an SPF factor of 3 within the fruit, which is more than many other fruits and vegetables out there. So you can boost the effect of your sunscreen.

Watermelon is also refreshing. Not only will you look younger, but you’ll feel years younger, too.

Get More Vitamin C with Pomegranates

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What to eat to look younger? Pomegranates are often overlooked in the grocery store. It’s understandable, really. The seeds can be tricky to get out, and not everyone wants to sit there and pick them out with a toothpick at the end of their day. However, it’s time to find a way to get the seeds out to eat on a daily basis.

This fruit isn’t just full of antioxidants—remember, the color and where the red comes from—but also full of vitamin C. Both working together will mean that your immune system gets a boost. All those ailments you’ve been suffering from can be fought against much easier. You’ll feel like you’re a decade younger.

But what about the way that you look? Well, yes, the vitamin C can help with making you look 10 years younger, too. The vitamin C helps to keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay. The antioxidants also help, because they fight against the free radicals within the body. Free radicals cause damaged cells to repair abnormally. Sometimes the cells can clump together and hinder the production of collagen.

This fruit also has ellagic acid, which is a natural chemical and nothing to be worried about. In fact, this type of acid helps to reduce inflammation in the skin that is often caused by UV damage. You can remove the redness and help promote the healing if there is another sun damage.

Pomegranates are also full of anthocyanins, which help with the production of collagen. The more collagen you have, the firmer and more flexible your skin will be. Wrinkles won’t be an issue, along with stretch marks and other negative signs of aging.

Not Just Any Shellfish, but Lobster

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What to eat to look younger? Okay, so lobster isn’t going to be something to add to your daily diet, but it is something to include more. This shellfish is the best of the lot, but it just happens to be the most expensive of the lot too.

The benefit of lobster is within the minerals. Unlike other shellfishes, lobster is full of zinc, which is excellent for skin problems. The healing properties in zinc help with the reduction of symptoms of skin ailments like eczema and psoriasis, while helping to reduce acne and other signs of aging. This is because the zinc helps with the renewal of the skin cells, which will naturally die. The problem with aging is that the regeneration of cells can be hindered and slowed down.

When you have lobster with other foods already mentioned, you’re boosting the renewal of skin cells and preventing the cells from turning cancerous, since you’ll get rid of the free radicals in your body.

The renewal of skin cells doesn’t just help with improving the look of wrinkles and fine lines. The cells will help to prevent pores from becoming blocked and can ease the hormonal side effects like acne. Zinc is actually an ingredient in many acne products on the shelves, but you can cut out the need of buying them by getting the shellfish instead.

You’ll want to watch out for shellfish that you consume and make sure that it is fully cooked. There are bacteria present in all types of fish and shellfish, and they can cause food poisoning. If you’re pregnant, you’ll especially want to make sure that the shellfish is cooked to ensure you’re not putting your baby at risk.

Don’t Forget About the Protein in Eggs

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What to eat to look younger?  It’s not just about getting the right vitamins and minerals. Your diet also needs to include plenty of the first food groups. Too many of us tend to forget about protein, especially if we’re following strict diets for our health or weight loss efforts.

Protein helps with the building of muscles, tendons, and all the other structures holding our bodies together. It’s because of the protein that our bones are supported and that we have the strength to do things on a daily basis. Our nails—fingers and toes—are made up of protein and protein only. It makes sense that we need to get it in our diet to make sure they remain strong.

If you don’t get enough protein, you’ll find that your nails snap and cracks. They can look damaged and old, making the rest of you look and feel old.

The protein will also help with hair and skin cell growth. So, by getting more, you will help to improve your overall look, so you look 10 years younger than you are.

Eggs are one of the best sources of protein. You can get the amino acids from the yolk and the egg whites, so if you want to cut out the calories then you can make strong, egg white omelets to get the food group. If you are pregnant, make sure you have cooked eggs only.

It’s worth trying to get organic eggs as much as possible. Organic don’t have any growth hormones or antibiotics within them, which means they won’t affect your health.

If you’re a vegan, you won’t eat eggs. You can get the protein in other ways. Legumes and whole grains are excellent sources of protein. You should consider various types of beans in your diet, including kidney, white, and black beans.

Use Walnuts to Prevent the Grey Hair

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What to eat to look younger? It’s not just the skin and nails that make us look older. As our hair turns grey, we give that appearance that we’re heading into our 50s and 60s. While we can dye our hair, some of us want to keep it natural but make sure it still looks good. Well, this is where certain foods come in.

Walnuts are great for fighting off the grey hair. This is due to the copper within the nuts. The Copper is a mineral commonly forgotten about, and it’s not always easy to find in food. It helps to keep your natural color bright and radiant, whether you’re a brunette, blonde, or even a red-head.

And it’s not just the copper that will help. There are also vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts. These two nutrients help to keep the hair strong, so while they look their natural color they also look shiny and sleek.

Your hair will look full, which helps to get rid of one sign of aging. After all, admit it that you’re worried about your hair falling out.

You only need a quarter of a cup full of walnuts to take advantage of this health benefit. You can also get many of the same nutrients from other nuts, including almonds and chestnuts. You could even opt for the legume peanut to get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids and protein to help strengthen and thicken your hair.

It’s Not All About Your Diet

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What to eat to look younger?  While you’re focusing on your diet, you will also need to make sure that you focus on other ways to keep your hair, skin, and nails looking better. With the right lifestyle, you can look a decade or younger than you are.

Let’s start with exercise. This is an essential part of your lifestyle. Experts recommend that you should get 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. This is the same as 150 minutes a week, which you can split up in other ways if you find it easier. If you’re going to do high-intensity workouts, then you will get away with 75 minutes of exercise a week. For those who want to lose weight, you’ll want to double the amount of exercise you do to help with the burning of calories.

You don’t need to get to the gym or start taking up running. There are all sorts of ways that you can exercise, so you enjoy it. This is the best way to keep it up.

Exercising regularly won’t just help to control your weight. It gets the blood pumping around the body, which means the skin gets more.You’ll find that your skin looks pinker and the collagen levels are supporter. The exercise also builds the muscles, so you’ll tone your shape and help to eliminate some of the wrinkles and fine lines.

Another important part of your lifestyle is to get more water. We’ve already looked at how hydration helps to make you look younger. You can’t rely on it all from your food. Make sure you get around eight glasses of water a day at a bare minimum.

Are You Ready to Look 10 Years Younger?

What to eat to look younger? Now it’s all up to you. By including the above five foods in your diet daily, you will improve the way your skin, nails, and hair all look. Okay, so some of the foods can’t be included daily, but you should get them more.

Get the right levels of zinc, copper, omega 3, and protein in your diet. Make sure you get the vitamin C and antioxidants. When they all work together, your body will fight off the free radicals, support the regrowth of cells, and keep your face and body looking younger than ever before.