All-in-One Guide to Black Bean Nutrition

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Black beans are one of the healthiest foods that you can get without resorting to lots of fruits and vegetables. They are packed with macro and micronutrients and are extremely easy to add to your diet. Even if you opted for the canned black beans, you would find they offer far more benefits than many other legumes out there.

Studies have shown that black beans help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. The studies also show positive effects on your weight by adding more to your diet, while also helping your digestive system and immunity against diseases and illnesses.

However, how exactly are black beans so good for you? Let’s look at the full nutritional makeup and benefits in the beans to see why you need to start adding them to your diet.

The Nutritional Makeup of Black Beans

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In one serving of black beans, you will get at least a fifth of your recommended daily values of a variety of micronutrients. At the same time, you get a right amount of protein and fiber, while the calories remain low.

The macronutrients look like this:

  • Calories: 227
  • Protein and fiber: 15g each
  • Fat: 0g

As for the micronutrients, here’s a look at the percentage of your daily recommended amounts.

  • Folate: 64%
  • Cooper: 40%
  • Manganese: 38%
  • Vitamin B1: 35%
  • Magnesium: 30%
  • Phosphorus: 24%
  • Iron: 20%

These are just the primary micronutrients. There are many others thrown in. You will get a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin E, and other essential antioxidants.

That is all great, but how exactly does this equate to a healthy body? Just why do you need all the nutrients on a daily basis? Let’s look at just how the various macro and micronutrients will help you.

Protein Helps with Muscle Building and Heart Health

Let’s start with the protein amounts. You will get 15g of protein in a serving of black beans. This macronutrient is essential for healthy muscles, tissues, and heart health. You will also find weight loss easier, as your body will burn the fat rather than the muscle mass. When you build the muscles, your metabolism speeds up, so you will end up burning more calories daily.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can find it challenging to get plenty of protein in your diet. Few plant sources offer you enough. Legumes are good, but you need to choose the right type. Black beans offer you good levels of plant-based proteins that will help to slow down the aging process.

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The protein is through amino acids. Unlike other beans and legumes, black beans have the majority of amino acids that your body needs. However, you will still need to look at quinoa and soy for all the amino acids you will need.

While building muscles, the protein will help to add more energy to your body. You will feel stronger and more focused throughout the day. Muscle weakness can lead to illness and decay over time. You can also find you are more likely to suffer from eye issues since the muscles are not strong enough to work effectively.

Hormone imbalances are also an issue with a low-protein diet. Hormonal problems can lead to mood swings, immune system problems, and poor skin health. If you just want one reason to add black beans to your diet, this is the one that you want to consider.

Promote Healthy Digestion with Fiber

Remember that I said black beans are good for healthy digestion? Well, this is due to the fiber count. 15g of fiber is extremely good in one serving of one food. Considering you are likely to add plenty of other fruits or vegetables to your meals with black beans, you will find that you get plenty more for a meal.

When your body does not get enough fiber, the digestive system cannot push out all the waste. The stools become hard, and you find yourself constipated. You can also struggle with some digestive disorders, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. This is your body’s way of telling you that something needs to change in your diet immediately.

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The amount of fiber in black beans will help to soften the stools. You will get a mixture of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The former aids in softening stools while the latter will help to push more waste through your system. You are not just treating the symptoms, but you are getting rid of the reason for the poor digestive health.

At the same time, fiber will help to improve the health of the lining of your digestive system. Your body can only absorb all the nutrients in food if your digestion is working efficiently. When there’s a buildup of toxins or waste, your lining is affected and does not take in as much as it could. Proper levels of fiber will rectify that.

It is not just the fiber that will help to overcome some digestive problems. The micronutrients in your food will also help. Iron deficiencies have been linked to IBS and leaky gut syndrome. If you can absorb more iron into your diet from your meals, you can reverse some of the conditions.

On top of that, the fiber will help to slow down the digestive process. How is that good? Well, there are a few benefits.

Slowing down the digestive process will help to make you feel fuller faster and for longer than before. You will not need to eat as much throughout the day, supporting your weight loss efforts. After all, if you do not eat as much, then you are not going to consume as many calories. By getting that feeling of satisfaction with your meals, you also will not feel like you are on a diet or that you are depriving yourself of anything.

The second reason is for your blood sugar health. More fiber can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. You can also make it easier to manage your diabetes if you already have it. People who get more fiber have shown positive results in reversing their condition.

Yes, you will still get some carbs from the black beans. Carbs are not the demons that they have been made out to be. You get carbs with plenty of fiber mixed in, meaning they give you good energy throughout the day but without all the side effects of glucose metabolism.

Support Nerve Function and Neurotransmissions

The micronutrients help to ensure the finer parts of your body are working properly. You may remember that folate and vitamin B1 were mentioned on the micronutrients in black beans. These are essential for proper nerve function and neurotransmission.

The two works together to help keep all the nerve functions intact. They also help with the development of new nerves, repair work of damaged ones, and the development of the whole nervous system during fetus development.

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When the nerves are working, and transmissions are good, the whole body gets the right messages at the right time. You can reduce the amount of pain you feel, especially from chronic illnesses. Black beans have been linked to the reduction in fibromyalgia and metabolic syndrome, among many other autoimmune conditions.

Improve Your Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Control

We have already looked at how the digestive system will help with diabetes and how protein improves the heart health, but the micronutrients are also important. We tend to be deficient in some micronutrients more than others. Magnesium is one of those micronutrients, but you will not be if you add more black beans to your diet.

Those who have magnesium deficiencies can end up with high blood pressure, poor blood sugar control, poor nerve function, lower energy levels, and much more. The magnesium helps with the functioning of the biochemical reactions within the body. The nerves and muscles can spasm and react uncontrollably if the deficiency is very bad.

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Sleep problems are also a concern for those with low levels of magnesium. You are more likely to struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep once you are. This can lead to high-stress levels, which will cause the blood pressure to rise. You end up worry about getting enough sleep, and you can struggle to function throughout the day. The body has not had the chance to recover and repair overnight.

By getting more magnesium, you will find that the blood pressure reduces, making it easier to get to sleep. This is a good cycle, as they both work hand in hand.

However, you cannot just eat black beans to get more magnesium in your diet. You will need to change other aspects. Carbonated drinks, sugary foods, and caffeinated drinks can make it harder for the body to absorb enough magnesium.

Improved Immune System and Energy Levels

Do you ever feel like you are the head is swimming? It is like there’s a fog in your head, making you feel drained and unsatisfied. You cannot concentrate, and your memory functions are poor. On top of that, you seem to get every single common cold going.

This could be a sign of poor iron levels. We have already mentioned that iron can make IBS or leaky gut worse, but that is not all. Iron helps to improve the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream. It is the iron that allows your muscles create myoglobin and hemoglobin, two proteins that hold the oxygen. The proteins are passed through the bloodstream and get to all the organs to keep them active and healthy.

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While iron levels can be improved relatively quickly with medication, it is best to get the mineral in its natural form. Black beans will give you a fifth of your daily recommended allowance, helping you to improve your energy levels and feel more human again.

When your body has more energy and the organs get oxygen, the immune system can work effectively. You will be able to fight off more common colds and keep other illnesses at bay.

Moreover, then there are the antioxidants to consider. They go a long way in keeping your immune system healthy and working properly. They will get into the cells and protect them from oxidative stress damage. You can keep free radicals at bay and prevent the development of cancers, dementia, and other conditions. The signs of aging will not occur as quickly as they would without the antioxidants in your system.

You can also improve your mental health. More energy and more mental clarity will make you feel more positive about your life. You can feel like you have the energy to get things done daily, which makes you want to do more throughout the day.

Of course, the fact that you have more protein and fiber will also help with the mental and physical fatigue. You will not feel as many sugar cravings since your body has enough energy to get to the next meal. Your body will not pester you for snacks to keep the feeling of hunger at bay. It is easier to stick to your diet, and you will be proud of yourself.

Anything that either has bright or deep colors are best for antioxidant and mineral amounts. The antioxidants make the colors. Black beans are the darkest beans you can find, which is why they are the best of all legumes for antioxidants and other nutrients.

It is Easy to Add Black Beans to Your Diet

While you are looking for ways to add black beans to your diet, consider both savory and sweet meals. You may be surprised to hear that these legumes are perfect for replacing some flours and sugars to create delicious cakes. Nobody will know the difference, especially when you add cocoa powder and fruits to the mixture.

Black beans are the easiest legumes to add to your diet. You can throw them into soups and stews and add them with kidney beans to your chilies. Do not forget to add them to salads and pasta pots, whether you want something cold or hot. They also make delicious sandwich fillings.

Now is the time to add black beans to your diet. Your health will thank you for them.

The Ultimate Guide To The Mediterranean Diet And Improving Brain Power

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Last Updated: 11th October 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Wait! Is alcohol allowed on the diet?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Else Is Involved With the Diet?

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


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

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

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

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

How to Make the Changes in Your Lifestyle

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Tips to Increase Your Exercise

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


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

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

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

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

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke


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

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

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

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

Reduce Your Diabetes Risk


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

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

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

Promote Weight Loss


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

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

Prevent Muscle Loss


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

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

Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease and Cancer


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

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

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

Boost Your Brain Health


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

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

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

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

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

Myths About the Mediterranean Diet


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

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

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

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

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

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

When Should You Make the Switch?


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

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

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

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

The All-In-One Guide To Elimination Diet

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

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

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

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

What Exactly Does the Elimination Diet Involve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Make a List of All Your Health Complaints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 2: Eliminate Everything Possible Right Away

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

You will need to cut out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 3: Plan Out Your Meals

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

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

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

Step 4: Start Adding In One Food at a Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 5: Keep Reporting Back to Your Doctor

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

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

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

How Long Will the Elimination Diet Last?

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

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

The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Gestational Diabetes

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Gestational Diabetes Image Design 1 - The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Gestational DiabetesGestational diabetes is something that only happens during pregnancy. It doesn’t mean you will have diabetes after pregnancy, but you are more likely to develop it. This condition can also affect your baby.

Knowing everything possible is important. While your doctor will try to explain everything, it’s normal to start researching it online for yourself. The internet is full of misinformation and scary stories from others who have suffered from it.

Here is everything that you could need to know about gestational diabetes and what it means for you and your baby. We’ll share some of the more serious side effects but will also make sure you know what you can do to prevent and treat it.

Gestational Diabetes Doesn’t Mean You Have Diabetes

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As mentioned, gestational diabetes only develops during pregnancy. After pregnancy, your health can return to normal. It certainly doesn’t mean that you have diabetes normally.

Diabetes is a condition that affects your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Your body naturally needs glucose for energy, but getting too much can put your health at severe risk. The amount of insulin needed to restore your blood sugar levels is higher as you develop diabetes, which can affect your heart health.

In pregnancy, gestational diabetes affects both you and your baby. It’s usually diagnosed in later stages of pregnancy, but if you have diabetes before pregnancy, you may be diagnosed with it earlier. You will need to treat gestational diabetes straight away to protect your baby. Your doctor will help you do this.

Those who are considering pregnancy with diabetes should consult their doctor first. It’s important to manage your diabetes for your baby’s health as well as your own, and this starts before you even know you’re pregnant.

Gestational Diabetes Is Due to Lack of Insulin

During pregnancy, your hormones are all over the place. Your body doesn’t quite work as it did before pregnancy, and this can affect the amount of insulin your body makes. Insulin is necessary to help control your blood sugar levels. When you don’t have enough insulin, your glucose levels will be higher than normal, but your body can’t use that glucose effectively for your energy.

If your body’s insulin creation reduces, it is possible that you will end up with gestational diabetes. You will get many of the same signs as normal diabetes, which is something we’ll look into soon.

Insulin resistance later on in your pregnancy is completely normal. All pregnant women suffer from it, but not pregnant women will see the dangerous levels. Your weight can affect the amount of insulin resistance you see, so those who are overweight during their pregnancy are more at risk of developing severe insulin resistance.

Contributing Factors Leading to Gestational Diabetes

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You will have some insulin resistance later in pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you will develop gestational diabetes. There are some women who will be watched more frequently than others. Midwives and doctors will want to make sure you remain healthy throughout pregnancy to support your growing baby.

There are certain types of women who will be watched more closely than others. Obesity is a factor, so you will instantly be watched. Your doctor will also want to keep an eye on you if you have uncontrolled diabetes and pre-diabetes. If you already have controlled diabetes, you will still be watched, but not as closely if your diabetes isn’t controlled.

If you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you would more likely develop it in a subsequent pregnancy. Your doctor will want to know about your pregnancy history, especially if you changed doctor between pregnancies. Those with close blood family members with Type II diabetes will also be watched, as it is a warning sign.

Finally, if you have polycystic ovary syndrome, known as PCOS, you will be at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. Your doctor will watch your health closely, and you may have to go through extra blood work tests.

If you’re considered a high risk, your doctor may order a gestational diabetes test from Week 24 gestation. This is to make sure you get the right care straight away. If you’re not considered high risk, your doctor may just want to watch out for symptoms and order tests if necessary. This decision can also depend on your health insurance.

Most tests are completed between Weeks 24 and 28 of pregnancy. Some doctors can test earlier if you are at a much higher risk.

You Can Decrease Your Chances of Developing It

The good news is there are things you can do before and during pregnancy to lower your chances of developing gestational diabetes.

The first is to lose weight. If you’re trying to conceive and are overweight, you’ll want to consider a diet plan to help reduce your weight. This will help to balance hormones.

It’s worth talking to your doctor about a healthy diet plan while you are pregnant. While pregnancy isn’t a time to lose weight, your doctor will help to make sure you follow a diet that is sustainable and good for your baby. This helps to reduce the amount of weight you gain naturally and offer all the nutrients to your baby needed.

Before you get pregnant, you should also consider increasing the amount of exercise you do. You want to do at least 150 minutes per week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise helps to build muscle and lose weight, so you can control the amount of glucose in your body and use it up as energy.

It is possible to exercise during your pregnancy. There will be some types of exercise that you’ll want to avoid to protect your baby and due to your shift in gravity. However, you will find that most doctors recommend you to remain active during pregnancy. Of course, you will need to listen to your body. Some women suffer from pain in their joints and ligaments due to pregnancy symptoms, which can limit the amount you move around.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: Knowing the Signs

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There are times that you won’t be considered a risk, but that doesn’t mean you won’t develop gestational diabetes. It’s important to make sure you know the symptoms of the condition to get treatment as soon as possible.

Excessive thirst is one of the most common symptoms. You’ll not just feel the need to drink more water than normal, but your thirst won’t be quenched afterward. You can end up drinking 2-4 liters of water a day and still not feel any different.

Of course, this excessive drinking will bring on increased urination. However, even if you don’t drink much more than normal, you can find yourself urinating more frequently. The color of your urine can also be much darker than normal, as your kidneys can’t work as effectively as they should.

At the same time, you can feel hungrier than normal. Your body isn’t using the energy effectively, losing more of it throughout the day. You don’t feel the sustained hunger levels that come with a healthy and balanced diet.

Your vision can be affected due to gestational diabetes. However, this is something that can happen due to a change in your pregnancy hormones. In most cases, the vision is blurred when considering gestational diabetes.

Getting Diagnosed with the Condition

Your doctor will usually use a urine test for initial signs. Your doctor will want to see the levels of sugar and protein in your urine. These tests are carried out at every visit and will ensure you have a healthy home for your baby.

If there is anything concerning, your doctor will find out about other symptoms. Blood tests are used for testing for gestational diabetes, and you will usually go through what is known as a screening glucose challenge test first of all.

The test involves drinking a sugary beverage and a blood test. There is no fasting involved, and it is just to see the results to determine if you are showing some of the earlier signs. Just because you show no signs doesn’t mean you’re not suffering from the condition. Your doctor may order the oral glucose test.

The oral test is usually performed in the morning, as it involves an 8-hour fast. You can’t even have a drink, except for water. Your blood sugar levels will be checked after the fasting period, and then your blood sugar levels will be checked an hour, two hours, and then three hours later. The test is a good way to see if you do have earlier stages of gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes and Your Baby

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Just because you’ve been diagnosed with the condition doesn’t mean you are instantly putting your baby’s life at risk. However, if you have high glucose levels, your baby likely will too. It’s important to keep your condition under control to help keep your baby’s condition under control. We’ll discuss how later.

Untreated gestational diabetes can cause initial and future problems for your baby. Your baby is more likely to be larger than average, which is a condition known as macrosomia. The delivery will be much harder, and there are far more risks during delivery for both you and your baby.

Your baby is more likely to suffer from low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) straight after birth. This can also lead to a risk of your baby having diabetes in life.

There are also risks of breathing problems and an increased risk of death. One of the most common issues is jaundice. This is when the skin and white parts of the eyes are yellow and is due to complications within the liver. In most cases, jaundice disappears on its own. Sunlight and some special UV lights may be needed to help, and breastfeeding jaundice babies are highly encouraged.

There are tests performed during pregnancy to determine if your baby is being affected by your gestational diabetes. Your doctor will count the kicks to check for movement and encourage you to do the same. This is something to do anyway, as a decrease in the movement should never happen (even in later stages of pregnancy).

Your doctor may place his hand on your abdomen to check the heart rate when your baby is active. This is known as the non-stress test.

The most common way to check on developments is through ultrasounds. You will likely have at least one extra ultrasound in later stages of pregnancy but may need more depending on the severity of your gestational diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes and You

It’s not just your baby that is affected by gestational diabetes. You can also be affected, and one of the ways is increasing your risk of other pregnancy complications.

Those with gestational diabetes will always be watched for preeclampsia, which is an extremely serious condition. It can be noted through the swelling in the hands, feet, and face, as well as high protein levels in the urine. You may need to go through an early delivery, as this condition isn’t treated in any other way.

You are also at risk of needing a c-section for the delivery of your baby. The size of your baby may be too large to push out naturally safely, so your doctor will want to control as many risks as possible. This will mean a longer recovery time afterward.

Depression—both normal and postnatal—is also common. Your diabetes will make you tired, and you can be extremely anxious. These problems affect your mental health. It’s important to discuss your mental health with your doctor if you feel any symptoms of depression. Don’t be ashamed of it, as you need to seek help to protect you and your baby.

Finally, you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes later in life. You’ll need to keep your diet healthy to maintain healthier insulin and glucose levels within your body. If you become pregnant again, you are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes again.

Treating Gestational Diabetes

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The good news is the treatment of gestational diabetes is possible. Your doctor will help you with this and will regularly check your blood glucose level to keep you and baby safe.

A healthy diet and exercise plan will often be prescribed. Your doctor will want you to keep your sugar intake down and increase the healthy nutritious food intake. By focusing on wholesome food and fewer refined sugars, you can help prevent food metabolizing as glucose and make sure the body doesn’t need to release as much insulin in the body.

Before taking up any diet or exercise, discuss them with your doctor. Your doctor will want to make sure your baby gets plenty of nutrients, and you’re not putting your body under too much strain. Some of the most commonly recommended exercises include swimming, pool aerobics, and walking.

In some cases, you will need to take insulin shots. These will help to release more insulin into the body to manage your glucose levels. Your doctor will do this if your diabetes levels are extremely high or if you’re struggling to manage it.

Final Notes About Gestational Diabetes

Don’t be overly worried about your gestational diabetes. It is easy to become overly anxious, but this just contributes to poor mental health. Focus on your treatment plan with your doctor and discuss any worries or fears that you have. There are support groups around, and your doctor will help you find them.

Your doctor is there to help check on your levels throughout your pregnancy. If you are worried about symptoms of subsequent conditions, he will check those levels for you too. Meanwhile, he will check on the health of your baby to make sure your pregnancy remains on track, and you can avoid some of the more serious side effects from developing gestational diabetes.

The Ultimate Guide How To Lower Your Risks Of Gestational Diabetes

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Gestational Diabetes Image Design 1 1 - The Ultimate Guide How To Lower Your Risks Of Gestational DiabetesGestational diabetes is high blood sugar which develops during pregnancy.It usually disappears after giving birth. Gestational diabetes can appear at any stage of gestation but is more common in the second half. It affects about 6 percent of all pregnant women.

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is the result of changes that occur in all women during pregnancy. The increased levels of hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, and human placental lactogen, can interfere with your body’s ability to manage blood sugar. This condition is known as insulin resistance.

Usually, your pancreas can compensate for insulin resistance by increasing insulin production to about three times the average amount. If your pancreas cannot adequately increase insulin production to overcome the effect of increased hormones, your blood sugar levels will increase and cause gestational diabetes.

Symptoms

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Gestational diabetes usually doesn’t cause any symptoms. It mostly comes to light when the doctor tests your blood sugar level during screening for gestational diabetes. The symptoms may show up if your blood sugar level gets too high (hyperglycemia).

The symptoms may include increased thirst, a dry mouth, tiredness, and need to use the toilet more often than usual. But some of these symptoms are normal during pregnancy. They aren’t certainlya sign of a problem. So talk to your midwife or doctor if you’re worried about any symptoms you’re experiencing.

Risks of Gestational Diabetes

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Risks for the Baby

Risks of having a giant baby. If you have high blood glucose levels, it can cause high blood glucose levels in your child. The baby will produce more insulin in response which can make it grow larger than normal. This process is called macrosomia.

It increases the risk of birth trauma and shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulder is stuck in your pelvis after the head has come out, which can squash the umbilical cord.Birth trauma can cause bone fractures or nerve damage to the baby. It causes severe bleeding for the mother as well as psychological stress.

Risk of premature birth. Gestational diabetes links up with an increased risk of preterm birth. One cause of preterm birth is damage to the placenta. During pregnancy your placenta produces a high level of hormones which affect the insulin action in your cells, raising your blood sugar levels.

As your baby grows, the placenta significantly increases its production of counteracting hormones. In the case of gestational diabetes, the placental hormones can mean a rise in the blood sugar to a level that affects the functioning of the placenta and the growth of the baby.

Risk of still birth at the end of pregnancy. For women of all ages the risk of stillbirth increases when the pregnancy goes over 42 weeks. Studies show that for women with gestational diabetes there is an increased risk of still birth, after 40 weeks and six days plus so. Please note that though your risk of stillbirth is increased, it is still low.

Respiratory distress syndrome. Respiratory distress syndrome occurs in babies who are born early. If your child has this syndrome, he may need help until his lungs mature and become stronger. Infants born to mothers who have gestational diabetes may experience respiratory distress syndrome even if they’re not pre-term infants.

Low blood sugar in the baby after delivery. There is a possibility of your child developing low blood sugar(hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because his insulin production is high. Acute episodes of hypoglycemia may provoke seizures in your child. You should promptly feed him. Also,timely application of intravenous glucose solution will boost your child’s glucose levels. If left untreated hypoglycemia can cause damage to the baby’s brain that can lead to developmental delays.

Type 2 diabetes later in life. If you have gestational diabetes, there is a higher risk of your baby developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.

Risks for the Mother

Preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes causes high sugar levels that lead to preeclampsia, a kind of high blood pressure. If left untreated it slows down your child’s growth. It also increases the risk of preterm birth and placental abruption that causes the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall before delivery.

Diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, there is a high probability that you may get it during future pregnancies. That’s not all; you can also develop type 2 diabetes when you grow older.

Don’t be alarmed!If you make healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising and eating healthy foods you can significantly lower your risk of future type 2 diabetes.

How to Reduce Risk

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Determine your risk factors. The best way to approach the problem is to identify the risk factors for developing it. Before talking to your relatives about their diabetic history, it would be beneficial if you know about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, while type 2 diabetes is closely related to lifestyle and eating habits. You can develop gestational diabetes if a close family member such as a parent or sibling has type 2 diabetes. Talk tothem to get a clear idea whether it applies to you.

Know your risk factors. There are some risk factors that you should think about and bring to your doctor’s attention. You may have a greater danger of developing gestational diabetes if you

  • Have high blood pressure
  • Are obese at the time of conception
  • Had greater than average blood glucose levels before pregnancy or had signs of insulin resistance such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or acanthosis nigricans.
  • Have given birth to large 9 pounds baby before
  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Have given birth to a baby that was still born or suffering from certain congenital disabilities
  • Have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies
  • Are older than 30
  • Have got your first period before the age of 11
  • Felt depressed in the first two trimesters of pregnancy
  • Had consumed a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy
  • Come from ethnic backgrounds including Hispanic, African, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander
  • Sleep deprived

But half of the women who develop gestational diabetes have no risk factors.

Devise a pregnancy plan. It’s wise if you take some steps even before you become pregnant to manage your danger of developing gestational diabetes. Consult with your doctor even before you are pregnant. Request them to put together a pregnancy plan to help prepare you physically, mentally and emotionally.

Test your blood sugar as early as three months before you plan to get pregnant to know your baseline levels and to check if you fall in the normal range.

Try to lose extra weight before your pregnancy. Medical experts do not advise weightloss during pregnancy, so if you are overweight try to lose five to seven percent of your body weight before you become pregnant.

Make a doctor appointment. Meet your gynecologist early on in your pregnancy and frequently during pregnancy. It helps to look after the health of both your baby and yourself. If you’re at an average risk for gestational diabetes, have a screening performed during the second trimester between 24 and 28 weeks. If you’re at high risk, your gynecologist may recommend testing for diabetes during your first prenatal visit.

Be thoroughly prepared for your doctor visit. Being proactive and informed helps you to communicate your concerns to your doctor effectively. While making an appointment ask whether the physician will perform any tests such as blood sugar screening. Clarify your doubts about any food restrictions or fasting before the consultation.

Have a list of any medications or supplements you’re taking. Let your doctor know that you’re particularly concerned about gestational diabetes because of your family history or any other risk factors. Ask your doctor if she recommends any diet, exercise or testing plans for you to follow during your pregnancy.

Get tested. During your check-up, they’ll test you for gestational diabetes through an initial glucose challenge test and a glucose tolerance testing. In the original glucose challenge test, you have to drink a syrupy sugar solution. After an hour, they’ll test your blood to measure your sugar levels.

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If the results show that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, then you’re at an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. You’ll need a follow-up glucose tolerance test to determine whether you have gestational diabetes.

If your value is above 200mg/dl, then gestational diabetes is presumed. If the diagnosis is made early in the pregnancy, then your doctor might tell that you have pre-existing diabetes, not gestational diabetes.

For glucose tolerance test you’ll fast overnight and then have your blood sugar levels checked. You’ll have to drink a sweet solution with higher levels of sugar in it. The doctor will check your blood for every three hours. If two of the three sugar readings come back as greater than normal, your doctor will very likely diagnose you with gestational diabetes. Talk to your doctor about a regular testing schedule and method that works for you.

Reduce Your Risk Through Diet

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Increase fiber intake. Whole grain bread, vegetables, fruits, cereals and whole grain crackers boost up your fiber intake. An extensive study found that each daily increase in fiber by 10 percent reduced the risk of gestational diabetes by 26 percent. Adding fiber supplements to your diet may also be helpful.

Eat more proteins. Proteins are rich in B vitamins that help prevent congenital disabilities; the best protein choices are plant based proteins, fish and sea food, chicken and other poultry, cheese, and eggs.  Avoid fish such as shark, sword fish, tile fish and king mackerel because they contain high amounts of mercury that leads to brain damage in kids.

Enjoy fruits in moderation. Fruits are healthy. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber but avoid sugary fruit juices. Fruits that are frozen, fresh or canned without added sugars are the best choices.

Avoid white foods. Try to avoid flour and sugar. Limiting starchy potatoes and pasta will also be beneficial to your health. These items are more likely to increase your blood sugar, so it is best to limit your intake of these foods to small quantities.

Portion sizes. Control your portion sizes and try to eat several small meals frequently. Have a 300 to 400 calorie meal once every 3 hours. The total of five such meals would make 1500-2000 calories.

Foods to include:

  • Eggs or egg whites
  • Fresh or frozen veggies
  • Steel cut oats topped with berries
  • Skinless chicken breasts
  • Fresh fruits
  • Steamed vegetables,
  • Baked fish
  • Unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • Air-popped popcorn

Foods to avoid:

  • Fast food
  • Fried food
  • Baked goods such as muffins, doughnuts or cakes
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Sugary drinks
  • Candy
  • Starchy foods such as potatoes

Reduce risk through exercise. Doing regular exercise helps to keep your glucose level healthy. Swimming and walking are good choices. It’s better to start working out before you’re pregnant. Studies had shown that women who were physically active 4 hours a week or 30 minutes a day before and during pregnancy could reduce their risk of gestational diabetes by seventy percent. Consult your doctor about the duration and type of exercise that will be suitable for you.

Low impact exercises are safe during the pregnancy period. Avoid any activity that is of high impact. Experts say that exercise shortens the duration of active labor.

Dr. Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM advises in diabetesincontrol.com to do walking, stationary cycle, conditioning machines, aquatic activities, prenatal yoga, prenatal exercises classes, seated exercises and slow running or jogging.

Avoid exercises that include activities like lying flat on the back, or any that increase the risk of falling or abdominal trauma. Avoid contact or collision sports, downhill skiing, horseback riding, soccer, basketball, outdoor cycling, scuba diving and most racquet sports.

Try to include short exercises into your daily activitiesto reduce the stress on your body, while still reaping the same benefits as 30 minutes of straight action. Make sure to monitor your heart rate while exercising and never exceed the recommended targeted heart rate for your age and weight.

Conclusion

Eat nutritious foods, avoid junk foods and never skip your meals. Exercise regularly, take your prenatal vitamins and see your doctor as often as recommended.

Get the required amount of sleep because a recent research study has found that poor sleeping habits increase the risk of gestational diabetes.

“Our results raise the possibility that good sleep habits could reduce the likelihood of developing hyperglycemia and GDM,” says senior author Assoc Prof Gooley, from the Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders Programme at Duke-NUS.

Avoid hot temperatures and try to be in cold temperatures because the hot temperature can increase your risk of gestational diabetes.

If ever you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, don’t be afraid, you can have a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery with a healthy diet, good sleeping habits, and proper exercise.

 

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

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

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

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

It is Packed with Fibre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Support Your Weight Loss Attempts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People with diabetes Can Enjoy It

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improves the Health of Your Heart

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

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

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

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

Prevent the Formation of Cancerous Cells

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

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

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

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

You will Feel Happier Within Yourself

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

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

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

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

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

Adding More Basmati Rice to Your Diet Is Easy

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

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

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

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal Plan

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Meal Plan Image Design 1 - A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal PlanThere are many diets and food lifestyles out there. While many people look for a quick fix, there are now many people looking for a sustainable lifestyle that helps them lose weight and keep it off in the long term. They want more than just a way to get rid of the flab and want a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re on a diet.

Therefore many dieters and healthy eating plans focus on filling and healthy foods. If you followed one of the old Weight Watchers diets, you’ve likely heard of the “filling and healthy” plan. This was full of food that was designed to make you feel fuller quicker and keep you feeling full for longer. The food was also healthy, offering a range of nutrients rather than empty calories.

Whatever type of diet you follow, you want to create a filling and healthy meal plan. In fact, you can do this without following a specific type of diet. Focusing on foods that are good for you and will make you feel satisfied sooner and for longer will help you eat fewer calories and lose more weight.

But how do you create a filling and healthy meal plan? Just where do you start and what do you need? This is your step-by-step guide to prepare and create your filling and healthy meal plan. We’ll start from the very beginning.

What Is a Filling and Healthy Meal?

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Before we look at planning, let’s take a look at the idea of filling and healthy meals. What makes a meal both filling and healthy?

Think about your current meals. Do you find that after a few hours you feel hungry, or you don’t have much energy? This is likely because you’re eating the wrong mixture of nutrients—or you’re not getting any nutrients at all.

You could end up with too many carbs and not enough fiber or protein. Sure, carbs are important, but your meal shouldn’t be completely made up of them. You’ll need to make sure you get a good mixture of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. And you’ll want to get the right types of carbs; the ones with the fiber.

Proteins, fiber, and healthy fats break down slowly in the body. They help to avoid sugars metabolizing quickly, so the energy is released throughout the space of the day. You’ll feel more satisfied throughout the day because of this. This can mean you eat fewer calories throughout the day, although you will have to think about your portion sizes.

It is possible to lose weight without calorie counting. You focus more on the type of food you’re eating, naturally making you eat less.

Filling and healthy foods include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meals
  • Olive and coconut oil
  • Whole grains
  • Whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Now that you know more about the filling and healthy foods, it’s time to create your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have a Book or Planner

Let’s start with something to create your meal plan. It can be in a notebook or a planner for the wall. You just need somewhere that you can look at to know what you will be making on the day or the meal that you’ll pull out of the freezer. We’ll move on the freezer element later!

There are meal planners available in most craft stores now. You can also get a white board that you put up in the kitchen. You simply mark out a table for the week with sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Make sure you have enough space to write in each section. Your snack section can be smaller than other sections.

You may want to have a wall planner just for dinners, as they may be the only meals that your family will eat together. The other meals can be planned separately in a book. It’s also possible to use different colored pens for individual people in the house. This can be a good way to manage certain types of meals, such as gluten-free or dairy free diets.

Some people have taken to bullet journaling for meal planning. They have a small notebook that they use for all types of planning and organizing.

Step 2: Plan Out All Meals and Snacks

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Some people will only plan out one meal a day. They forget about the other two meals. Those that plan out all three meals will often forget about the snacks. It’s important to plan out all your meals.

You will also want to plan out the timings of your meals. This is important to help keep your energy leveled throughout the day.

When your main meals are four hours apart, you’ll find you need fewer snacks and can cut down to just one. Alternatively, you can opt for smaller meals spaced out three hours throughout the day. You get a constant stream of energy that breaks down and is used up slowly throughout the day.

Any more than four hours between meals and you will start feeling hungry. This is because your body will use up the energy that you’ve provided it. If you eat the wrong types of foods, you’ll feel hungrier at earlier points in the day. Feeling hungry can make your body going into a panic mode. While it seems silly, your body doesn’t exactly know when you’re going to get your next meal. It starts making you crave the instant rushes of energy to sustain it.

You want to focus on the smaller meals throughout the day, rather than two big meals and a couple of snacks. This helps you stick to your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 3: Have a List of Low GI Foods

Remember when I said you needed to focus on the right carbs? Well, you want to focus more on the low GI carbs. These are those that don’t release as many sugars directly into the bloodstream. They don’t cause a large insulin response and are healthier for you, especially if you have diabetes.

That doesn’t mean all high GI foods are off limits. Surprisingly some fruits are considered high GI foods. You just must be aware that these foods aren’t as good for your health or your hunger levels. They can metabolize quicker than other foods, leaving you feeling hungry throughout the day.

Make a list of all the low GI foods that you can eat. This will help you decide whether a recipe is good for your filling and healthy diet. Consult the list for any new recipe that you find, especially if it claims to be filling and healthy. One or two ingredients on the recipe list can be high GI, but you want most them to be low.

Step 4: Spend Time Looking for Recipe Ideas

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While you will have some staples for your meal plan, you’ll want to add some new recipes to your weekly plan. This helps to avoid getting bored. You’ll find it much easier to stick to this healthy lifestyle.

Spend time each week looking for some new recipes to try. Don’t just pick up cookbooks. You can check out blogs, websites, and even Pinterest for some ideas. Speaking of Pinterest, set up a board for all your recipes. Quickly repin all the ones that look interesting to you and then you have them for easier grabbing.

You don’t need to add a new recipe to every single day of the week. Opt for a new and fun recipe once or twice. Get the kids involved in this process and find out what they would like. You can offer a couple of choices to choose from, so they feel like they have total control, but you’ve still made sure the meals are filling and healthy.

Plan strategic places for putting them into your meal plan. Think about the days that you have more time to cook and those when you’re not going to resent spending time at the stove. This means it will be less likely that you will switch the plan and opt for something that isn’t filling and healthy.

Don’t forget to plan in some desserts. These will become part of your meals. Dessert with your evening meal is the most common.

Step 5: Make Sure You Have Some Family Friendly Staples

You won’t want to spend all your time cooking something new. There will be times that you just want to grab ingredients and create a meal. Therefore you’ll need some staple meals that your whole family will love. These could also be meals that your guests are guaranteed to love, instead of risking trying something new.

Set up a recipe folder or a Pinterest board full of the family-friendly recipes. This will make it easier to pull them out when you want to make them.

You may not have the recipes. After a while, the staples will be ones that you make off the top of your head.

Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Bulk Cook

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I mentioned that you could grab some meals from the freezer. I wasn’t talking about processed meals that you can get from the grocery store. This comment was about bulk cooking one day of the week.

This can be an excellent way to stick to your filling and healthy meal plan during a busy week. Opt for a day off work when you make a range of meals throughout the week. You can have Bolognese sauces, marinades, and soups. You can even pre-prepare some of your vegetables and salads to make it easier to grab and go.

You don’t have to prepare every single element of your meal. Simply have the elements that usually take the longest to make, so you can reheat while your pasta or meat is cooking. You’ll find it is much easier to grab a meal after a long day at work. You won’t think about the takeaways that just aren’t filling and healthy.

Step 7: Try Out Themed Nights

“Meatless Monday” is a popular hashtag on Twitter. You could opt for Soup Saturday or Pizza Friday. There are all sorts of themes that you can have.

Yes, they will help with creating the meal plan for your filling and healthy lifestyle. Each day of the week has a designated theme. This is your theme throughout a month or a few months; then you can always change them up if you want to try something else.

Each meal of the day will work with your designated theme. You will find that coming up with ideas is much easier. You just must search for recipes that work with the theme or adapt your favorite meals to work with the theme.

All you have to do is make sure that the recipes are still filling and healthy.

Step 8: Create a Shopping List of Necessary Foods

Once you’ve created your weekly meal plan, create a list of foods that you will need to buy. Some meals will use the same ingredients, so you’ll need to make sure you stock up on plenty for your needs.

Don’t worry if you do run out. You can always go to the shop on the way home. However, having everything ready will help to limit the frustration of running out of a particular ingredient.

When you are out of a staple ingredient, make sure you put it on the shopping list. This will avoid forgetting about it when it comes to creating your next shopping list.

Step 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Relaxed

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It will be tempting to stick with your filling and healthy meal plan strictly. This isn’t necessary. Your meal plan needs to be fun. Eating with your friends and family should be enjoyable, as well as healthy and good for your energy levels.

It’s important to create a meal plan that is relaxed and works for you. If you decide you want to switch the meals for Friday and Saturday around, don’t be afraid to do it. If your kids decide that they want Wednesday’s planned dinner for Monday, go with the flow. A simple swap is not going to affect your diet or your meal plan!

However, you only really want to do swaps. If you are going to opt for alternatives, make sure they are still filling and healthy recipes. You don’t want to swap out the Friday filling and healthy fish dish for a takeaway pizza!

Are You Ready for a Filling and Healthy Meal Plan?

It’s time to stock up on filling and healthy ingredients. Look out for foods that work great for recipes but also for good snacks throughout the day.

A filling and healthy meal plan will be fun to create. There is lots of inspiration on the likes of Pinterest or in cookbooks. Just make sure you have your calendar or planner and create a meal plan that works for everyone in the house. You’ll soon have a list of staples and wonder what the panic or confusion was all about.

The Ultimate Guide To The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

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COCONUT OIL FINAL - The Ultimate Guide To The Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Last Updated: 30th September 2016

Coconut oil is used for a variety of needs. Many people choose it as a healthier option to cook in while some use it for oil pulling because of the nicer taste. Why has it become a preferred choice over likes olive, sesame and vegetable oil?

The truth is that coconut oil offers people numerous benefits. It is full of extra nutrients compared to many other oils, and in larger amounts than others. This will help people in many ways, including aiding with weight loss and offering a reduced risk of ailments.

Welcome to your ultimate guide on the health benefits of coconut oil. Just why should you make the switch to it today?

Coconut Oil As  A Superfood?


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One thing you may not be aware of is that coconut oil is considered a superfood. What does this mean? It is one of those foods that offers various nutrients that are good for the whole body. It can fight against cancer, aid your skin health, and help improve your sleep all at the same time. It is one of the superheroes of food.

Many of the health benefits come from the fatty acids. While people will say that fat is bad for your health, that is not necessarily the case. It depends on the type of fat, and also depends on the amount you have. Using coconut oil in your cooking means that you use a recommended amount of healthy fats. These help to boost brain function, aiding with many other areas of your health.

Extra virgin coconut oil is your best option, but not the only type out there. Most of them will be better than your standard vegetable oil.

Therapeutic Benefits For The Brain


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Image Source: Coconut Oil Healthy

Coconut oil has been known to help fight off Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and other brain disorders and ailments. This is due to the fatty acids, which are turned into ketones. For years, saturated fats were demonized, but now it is known that they are not as bad as many originally believed. In recommended amounts, saturated fats can be good for you.

This is especially the case when it comes to coconut oil. The type of fatty acids it contains are known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These are medium length fatty acids, which are much better than the long-chain ones that you will mostly get in your diet, from the likes of steak and cheese. The medium chain fatty acids metabolise in a completely different way to others. They travel from the digestive tract, straight into the liver.

What benefit could this give you that affects the brain? They are quickly used up as a source of energy or turned into the ketones. It is the ketone bodies that aid brain disorders, and can even help to prevent or halt some disorders.

Burn More Fat Throughout the Day


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Image Source: Conscious Life News

While you are consuming fat, you will still find that you burn more throughout the day by using coconut oil. It sounds strange, but you do need fat to lose weight! And with obesity currently one of the biggest problems in the world, it makes sense to find a way to curb it in your life.

There are many people who calorie count. After all, the health professionals recommend that people stick to a certain amount on a daily basis. The problem is that one calorie is not the same as another. It all depends on where those calories come from; as in, what all the other nutrients are like.

This all goes back to those MCTs. Remember that they can increase your energy expenditure? That means you burn more calories from coconut oil than you would from foods that have the long-chain fats. This was proven in studies, with one showing that the energy expenditure in 24 hours increases by 5 percent by opting for 15-30g of MCTs. That’s an extra 120 calories burned in a day more just by switching to coconut oil!

What does that mean for your weight loss? As long as you stick to a healthy and balanced diet (and that is the important part), you will find that you lose more weight on a daily basis. While you increase this, you help your health in so many other ways. Obesity is linked to so many other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, strokes and insomnia.

Decrease Your Appetite


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Image Source: StylePresso

Burning more fat isn’t the only way coconut oil can help you lose weight. Another benefit is that it reduces the hunger you feel throughout a day, meaning you eat less on a daily basis. By consuming fewer calories than your body burns, you will lose more weight. Again, this does rely on you following a healthy and balanced diet. Remember, a calorie is not the same in every little thing you eat, so you need to follow a recommended diet.

How can coconut oil help to suppress your appetite and is that healthy for you? The good news is, unlike those hunger suppressant tablets, this is a healthy option. It all works due to those fatty acids turning into the ketone bodies. When compared to long-chain triglycerides, the MCTs led to men eating 256 fewer calories in a day, according to the results of one study involving six men.

It is currently unknown what this would do over the long term. The studies that have been conducted have been for short term weight loss efforts. Could there be a danger of using coconut oil all the time? Most scientists do not believe so, because of all the other health benefits found in the oil. It is also likely that the body will manifest even itself out over time once within a healthy weight range.

Weightloss From the Belly


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Sticking with fat and weight loss right now, coconut oil helps to encourage fat loss from the belly. This is one of the most dangerous places for fat to build up, and is very common in men. Women will an apple shape will also find that they have a lot of extra belly fat.

Like calories are not equal, neither is fat in the body. It all depends on the location, and belly fat leads to many other health problems. Most of the fat is within layers of the skin (you’ll know because you can grab it), but fat in the belly is known as visceral fat. It builds within the spaces between your organs, putting strain on the organs and causing them to not work efficiently. It can lead to issues like cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal problems. It is also linked to inflammation that can cause cancer.

By promoting fat loss around the stomach, you instantly reduce the risk of numerous health problems that could shorten your life span. The coconut oil helps due to the type of saturated fat and all the benefits already mentioned.

Studies have shown that men can lose 2.86cm within four weeks. While this will not sound like a lot, it is better than nothing at all and moving the fat loss in the right direction. The studies were also undertaken without any other dietary or exercise changes, so it is possible for people to drop waist sizes much quicker.

Improve Skin Conditions and Fight Against Hair Damage


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Image Source: Easy Health Options

The skin and hair are two parts of the body that noticeably get damaged. It could be due to sun damage or just dry out from the amount of heat and products applied. Either way, other people start to notice, as well as you. Coconut oil can help to counter both of these problems.

Many oils help to reverse skin damage or heal various skin ailments, and can help to boost natural oils in the head to help the hair. Coconut oil is no different, and there is no need to eat it daily to see the benefit. You can apply the oil directly to the skin or hair, or you can opt to pull it to see this benefit.

Coconut oil acts as a natural moisturising cream. When applied directly to the skin, it helps to soothe ailments like eczema and psoriasis. While using it, it also improves the lipid content of the skin, so your skin starts to produce naturally the extra oils that you need. This is something other moisturising creams fail to provide, making you need more.

It also works on the hair in a similar way. The head can stop providing the natural oils due to chemical use or old age, and the hair dries out and becomes damaged. Just by applying coconut oil overnight and wrapping it in a shower cap, you improve the look of your hair and encourage natural oil production, so you don’t have to do this all the time.

Another way it protects the sun and hair is by working as a sunscreen. Studies have shown it can block about 20 percent of the ultraviolet rays, helping to reduce the risk of skin cancer. However, it may not be something to replace your own sunscreen on a regular basis. This will likely depend on your location and the amount of time you spend in the sun.

Fight Against Bacteria Build Up`


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Image Source: Healthy Food Team

Oil pulling has already been mentioned, and this is one of the ways to use coconut oil to maximise all the benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that the oil attracts bacteria to it. When you’re oil pulling, you get all the bacteria in your mouth to cling to the ingredient, and when you spit it out, they’re all gone from your mouth.

Any oil can be used for this, but coconut oil is believed to be the best of all. It tastes nicer, too, which is important when you need to pull the oil for 15-20 minutes!

While removing the bacteria from your mouth, you’re benefitting your health in numerous ways. The first is that you give yourself better breath. Bacteria build up at the back of the mouth is one of the most common reasons for bad breath, and usually happens during the night. By oil pulling on a morning, you get rid of the bacteria and give yourself a fresh start to the day, without using chemical-laden mouthwash.

There are also some speculations that oil pulling improves oral health. Not only do you get rid of the bacteria causing bad breath, but also the plaque builds up between and on the teeth. Your risk of cavities is reduced considerably, and your teeth can become whiter. It makes take time, but it could be worth it for the amount of money you would otherwise spend on dental bills, teeth whitening products and mouthwash.

Improve Immunity Against Diseases


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Coconut oil is also full of lauric acid, which is something breastmilk is in the abundance of. The lauric acid turns into monolaurin when it is digested and absorbed by the body, and that has its own health benefits; one of those being the ability to improve the immune system.

Too many people find they have a poor immune system, and they pick up general colds on a monthly basis. They can end up with other viruses, diseases and infections because their bodies are failing to fight off everything.

Coconut oil can help to boost the body’s immune system through the monolaurin. This leads to fighting viruses and diseases a lot easier, including staph infections. The staph infection reduction has been proven through, and scientists have found that this is because the oil is 40 percent or more lauric acid. It is the richest natural source in the world, except for breast milk, which shows why breast really is best for babies.

The lauric acid can also be effective in the fight against cancer. It protects against some of the cell changes, ensuring that they repair healthily rather than cancerous. This is especially beneficial when more antioxidants are included in the diet.

Fighting against infections and diseases is not just beneficial for the health. There are financial benefits, as it will mean fewer trips to the doctors and less money spent on over the counter or prescription medication.

It’s not just your immune system that is helped to work more effectively. Coconut oil is full of antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Not only will your immune system be helped, but the coconut oil will help to prevent the diseases from becoming a problem before your immune system has to do too much work.

Fight Yeast Infections


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Just sticking with the infections part for the time being, you may have noticed the fact that coconut oil is full of antifungal properties. This means that this one oil helps to fight and protect against yeast infections. This is especially the case for the levels of Candida in the body, which is known to cause thrush and other yeast infections around the private area or in the mouth.

By oil pulling, you can help to eliminate thrush quickly, improving sore throats and mouth sores. This is something many individuals have found, even if they are not too sure about the taste of the oil. They believe the oily taste and the time spent pulling are worth it when they can physically feel and see the benefits.

The antifungal properties come from the levels of lauric acid and caprylic acid in the coconut oil. Lauric acid has already been mentioned, but the caprylic acid offers the antimicrobial and antifungal properties. They actively fight against the bad bacteria building up in the body, while promoting the good bacteria (again, yes, your body needs some bacteria for a healthy digestive system).

One of the main reasons people have Candida in the body and suffer from regular yeast infections is due to sugar intake. While it’s worth not demonizing sugar, there are healthy alternatives and coconut oil is one of them. Coconut is naturally sweet and works as an excellent substitute. It’s worth baking with this oil rather than olive or sunflower because you can reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener you use.

This isn’t just about yeast that causes problems like thrush. Bad bacteria in the gut cause digestive problems, including constipation and stomach upsets. By getting the bad out and promoting the good, you give your gastrointestinal system a protective layer and make sure it works to its optimum level.

Lowering Your Cholesterol Levels


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High levels of cholesterol are problematic for the health. This leads to clogged arteries and heart disease. So, it’s normal to want to lower it and focus on a healthier lifestyle.

There are many worries that saturated fats cause high levels of cholesterol. In some instances, this is true, but as mentioned above, it is not the case when coconut oil is in play. The saturated fats in coconut oil are of the medium-chain length, which helps to reduce cholesterol levels. Many professionals agree that it helps to lower the LDL cholesterol (the bad one), which many animal fats and other saturated fats increase.

At the same time, it can improve the levels of HDL cholesterol (the good one) in your body. This really is a positive thing, and like saturated fats and carbohydrates, your body needs some cholesterol to work at an optimum level. The important part is getting the right type of cholesterol in the body. While the level of HDL cholesterol may be high, keeping the LDL cholesterol low helps to protect your heart from disease.

Another benefit linked to cholesterol is your blood pressure, and coconut oil helps to reduce that too. High blood pressure leads to stroke and possible death, and can mean people are on medication to help keep it lower.

With the help of coconut oil, your arteries will remain more flexible, and you will prevent numerous health complications. You could even see your medication be reduced or eliminated completed just by making this one change.

Better Absorption of Calcium and Vitamin D


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In fact, it is not just calcium and vitamin D absorption that benefit from using coconut oil. This ingredient helps to improve the absorption of all vitamins and minerals. It’s worth focusing on calcium and vitamin D because it can be difficult to get these in various parts of the world.

Vitamin D mainly comes from the sun but is a requirement to help with the absorption of calcium. Calcium comes from dairy and green leafyvegetables and helps to improve bone health. It makes sense to make sure you get both of them in recommended amounts on a daily basis.

Osteoporosis is a growing concern around the world, especially in older people. It causes weak bones, and can lead to brittle or broken bones very easily. Calcium helps to bulk the bones out with healthy components, improving the strength and reducing pain felt on a daily basis. And if you can get that from coconut oil (along with all these other health benefits), then why not add it to your daily diet?

It’s not just through helping the absorption of calcium that osteoporosis becomes a thing of the past. The coconut oil also has a lot of antioxidants. These help to fight and prevent cancer, but also help to right against the free radicals that also cause osteoporosis. So, you’re helping your bone health through vitamin D and calcium absorption, while fighting against the reason for osteoporosis occurring in the first place! It really is a win-win situation.

Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes


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Do you remember that bit about being naturally sweet? Sugar doesn’t just cause more Candida in the body; it also causes insulin resistance. Artificial sugars are the most to be concerned about, as natural sugars do not often have the same insulin response. These artificial sugars are found in cakes, biscuits and refined products. Coconut oil is a natural form.

When sugar goes into the body, it is released as glucose for energy. The pancreas has to release then insulin to help counter the sugar levels, and it can lead to an overproduction of the insulin, and the body starts to become resistant. When you then have more sugar, the body produces more insulin to combat the glucose, and you become a risk for Type 2 diabetes.

It’s so important to reduce this. Diabetes causes so many other health problems, and can even lead to amputations.

Coconut oil isn’t just naturally sweet meaning you have fewer refined sugars on a daily basis. It also helps to balance the amount of insulin released, so your digestive system becomes a healthier place. Your pancreas doesn’t have to do as much work, but you still get the energy levels that you need.

You will also feel more awake. Sugar does leave to a sudden burst of energy because of the glucose, but it also leads to a sudden crash. With coconut oil, you won’t get that problem.

How would it feel to know that you have not caused your body to become resistance to insulin? The good news is you can even repair some of the damage you have already done. If your doctor has said you are a risk for Type 2 diabetes, now is the time to make the switch to coconut oil and reverse some of the damage. If you’re already on medication, you could find that your levels drop with the use of coconut oil, and your medication can be lowered. Some people have found they can completely cut out their diabetes medication.

How Can You Use Coconut Oil to Get All the Health Benefits?


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With so many health benefits, it is time to look at how you can use it to really take them all in. There are just so many options, and you won’t even need to taste it if that’s something you’re not looking forward to! It depends on how important all the health benefits are to you, and whether you’re willing to get used to the taste—and you really will get used to it.

The quickest and most effective way to use coconut oil is through your cooking. It can completely replace any other oil you currently use, and it is an excellent option since it doesn’t go rancid. The oil doesn’t break down at the higher temperatures like some other options do. Whether you want to cook eggs, bake cakes or make roast potatoes, this is certainly something to start using instead.

Most supermarkets now sell the oil on the same shelves as olive and sunflower oil. Because it is becoming so popular, it is also cost-friendly. It may be worth investing in an oil sprayer to transfer your oil into, so you can limit the amount you use on a daily basis and make sure it is cost effective for you.

Another option is to add it to your smoothies. This can seem questionable at first; oil in smoothies? The benefit is that your smoothies will become creamy, without all the extra calories. You really don’t need that much to get all the health benefits; just a tablespoon or two will be more than enough.

When you’re making a smoothie next time, consider switching your water or milk for the oil. It’s especially great for those leafy green smoothies, such as kale and spinach. All these natural ingredients work together extremely well.

If you make homemade mayonnaise, you will also benefit from coconut oil. Homemade mayonnaise is much better for you than the shop-bought varieties. There are fewer calories, and you know exactly which ingredients have been added. When you add in the coconut oil, you’re giving yourself a lot of good saturated fats and gaining all the health benefits mentioned above.

Moving on from cooking and food, another option is to let your skin absorb all the health benefits. Coconut oil is a favorite body lotion for many because the skin absorbs it all quickly. Unlike other oils, specially manufactured oils and moisturising creams, the coconut oil doesn’t leave that damp, oily and slippery feeling. Instead, your skin is left feeling soft and gentle.

Using it in a topical way will also help you apply it directly to some of your health problems. If you have psoriasis or eczema, you can apply it directly to help counter the irritation and soothe the skin. If you have a baby with bad diaper rash, the antibacterial properties can help to heal that naturally and quickly.

Coconut oil can also be mixed with other essential oils. This can lead to many more health benefits while creating a hand cream or moisturiser that you’re proud of having. It becomes a great massage oil if you could only convince your other half to pamper you in this way! And if you shave regularly, you can use coconut oil instead of the expensive aftershave creams. The oil will also help to promote healing if you’ve cut yourself accidentally.

Coconut oil has also become an excellent makeup remover. There are some anti-aging properties from all the other health benefits, and applying directly to the face (where you are more likely to see signs of aging) will help to remove wrinkles and improve the elasticity within your skin. Stretch marks become a thing of the past, and you could even help to reduce the appearance of your acne scars.

It’s much cheaper to use coconut oil than the makeup removers in stores. There is no bad oily smell, and you can always add an essential oil if you want something specific. One thing that manufactured removers have is that clinical smell, which you get rid of with coconut oil.

Finally, you can apply it directly to your hair. It works to remove dandruff (by acting as a moisturiser) and will help to improve your dry hair effectively. If you have oily hair, you may not want to opt for this method of use too often, but once a week can be a major benefit. Apply it overnight and wrap your hair in a shower cap. Let it do the work naturally and then just wash it out the next morning.

There are just so many health benefits to coconut oil. It’s a wonder why more people don’t take advantage of it. You don’t need to use it in your cooking if you don’t want. Using it topically will help to get direct benefits to areas of the body that really need it. Make a switch to coconut oil today and improve your health right away.

Coconut is one of the healthiest fruits there is. Coconut oil is packed with nutrients that helps prevent and cure even the most serious diseases. Often underappreciated, it is one of those things we take for granted for its thousands of benefits.


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The All In One Guide To Making A Green Smoothie

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Last Updated: 4th October 2016

A green smoothie offers a number of health benefits. You can add all sorts of green vegetables and fruits—and some not so green—to get a great start to your day and boost your health.

However, there are some considerations you need to make and factors you need to be aware of to make sure you make the most of this addition to your diet.

Can You Drink Too Many Smoothies?


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Various health professionals will tell you to watch out for the amount of smoothies you drink. The truth is that it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

Your diet needs variation to get all the nutrients it needs and to prevent too much yeast build-up within the gut. So, you could drink too many smoothies.

But you’d need to replace your water intake with your smoothies for that to happen. You should still get plenty of water throughout the day, and your smoothies are more to top up your nutrients.

Keeping that in mind will help you avoid drinking too many.

Why is there a risk? Well, this is more due to natural sugars in the fruits, if you decide to add them. If your smoothies are made up purely of vegetables, then you won’t need to worry too much.

You’re more likely to drink more fruit and vegetable than you are to eat them. Think about how much easier it is to get your five a day within one sitting when you opt for blending. That means you could overload your diet with fruit and vegetables without really thinking about it.

This is why so many replace their meals and their water with smoothies by accident. Add them as part of your diet and you will be fine.

Do You Just Need to Add Your Greens?


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A green smoothie is not necessarily just going to be made up of green fruits and vegetables. However, they will be the predominate ingredients. There are lots of other fruits and veggies that work well with the green ones to give you different tastes and help you get all your nutrients on a daily basis.

These different recipes will also help you feel like you’re getting something different, so you’re more likely to stick to adding a smoothie or two to your day.

Not all of your ingredients will need to be fruit or vegetables either. Many people add pumpkin and poppy seeds to their smoothies for a few extra health benefits.

There are some who will make their drinks with milk and others with yoghurt to get some dairy and calcium in their day without any fuss. You could choose to make yours with water instead.

Blueberries, strawberries and bananas are often added to green smoothies. However, the colour of the fruits you use may lead to the smoothies coming out not so green.

You will still know the ingredients that are in the smoothies to know just how healthy they are for you.

Why Are Green Smoothies Healthy?

With the knowledge that too many smoothies can be bad for you, it’s common for people to start wondering if they are healthy. Another think people struggle with is knowing that things that taste good can, in fact, be beneficial to your health.

Green smoothies are delicious when made right, but they are also packed with nutrients that your body needs. Some of this will come down to the ingredients you use, but most dark, leafy greens are full of the basic vitamins and minerals your body can often be deficient in.

The main focuses of the leafy greens are the minerals iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

All of these are needed by the body in recommended amounts. The iron helps to fuel your body with red blood cells, giving you energy and keeping everything in good working order.

Calcium is needed for the bones to strengthen them and help them heal after injury. It is a common misconception that you can only get calcium from dairy products!


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Magnesium helps to regulate the nervous system and muscle function. It also keeps blood pressure at a healthy level and aids the regulation of the blood sugar levels.

Finally, zinc is needed to help with the production of cells and DNA. This is especially important during childhood and pregnancy.

The vitamins are also needed, and can be found in the dark leafy greens. Vitamin A can come in animal and plant form, but the animal form can be dangerous for some.

This is especially the case during pregnancy. Getting it in plant form is much better and helps to boost the immune system, keep eyesight in good working order and ensures the organs are working properly.

There are various B vitamins that the body needs, but one of the hardest to get is vitamin B12. This is essential to the body, helping with the blood and nerve cell production.

It also prevents megaloblastic, which is a type of anaemia. B9 is another important one, better known as folic acid. It helps the creation of the nervous system and is especially important during pregnancy.

B6 helps to prevent heart disease, as it helps to keep the amino acids in the blood at the required level while B1 helps the body deal with the carbohydrates that it needs.

Vitamin C is another one that is in plenty of the green vegetables used in smoothies and is also needed by the body.

It is one of those that cannot be created or stored, so getting it through your food and drink on a daily basis is essential. Contrary to popular believe vitamin C does not instantly boost the immune system.

It is used to help repair and grow tissues in the body and improves the production of collagen. It also helps to protect ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels in the body. The bones and teeth are also protected by getting more vitamin C in your diet.

Another one that is useful for bones is vitamin D. This is a little harder to get from the leafy greens but it is there.

Vitamin D is necessary to help the body absorb calcium. Without it, the body will struggle to get enough calcium to help aid with repairing bones and teeth.

Vitamin K is another nutrient that is with the likes of spinach, kale and collards. It is a vitamin commonly given to babies at birth but is needed throughout your life.

It helps with clotting the blood, and without it you could haemorrhage. It also aids with the building of bones and prevents heart disease. Without it, crucial bodily processes can’t happen.

You’re not just getting vitamins and minerals, either. The vegetables are full of fibre, which stays intact when you blend them together.

Fibre is needed by the body to keep the bowels in full working order, and what better option than natural fibre? You don’t just soften the stools, which is what laxatives do, but encourage your whole body to start working properly again.


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It’s not just about getting your greens. The dark greens are full of vitamins and minerals that your body desperately needs. Yes, you can get some of them from other foods but not all of them, and in some cases not enough of them from other foods.

Not everyone likes eating their greens. This is why in smoothie form they can be more beneficial.

You won’t lose the nutrients and you can mask the taste of some of the bitterness in vegetables through fruits and other vegetables, which also help to add more nutrients to your body.

Can Green Smoothies Replace Your Food?


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Remember that you can end up drinking more fruit and vegetables than you would eat when they are in smoothie form. This often leads to people replacing food or their snacks with their green smoothies. Is this something that you can do?

This really will depend on how often you are replacing and what you want to achieve. Your green smoothie can leave you feeling fuller than a chocolate bar as a snack. It’s fruit and veg so that the fibre will help with this.

If you’re going to have one smoothie with five portions of fruit and veg and split that up throughout the day, then there’s not really going to be a problem. You just have your healthy goodness in liquid form rather than solid form

The downside is when you’re replacing all your meals. Your body will still need protein, carbohydrates and fat to function fully and effectively.

If you replace all your meals with smoothies, you run the risk of being deficient in certain nutrients and that can affect your healthy negatively.

There’s also the risk that you won’t get enough calories to sustain your daily lifestyle, and you end up feeling weak, tired and cranky.

It’s important to be sensible when it comes to using green smoothies as meal replacements. Think about the ingredients and the nutrients that your body needs throughout the day.

Using Flavoured Water for Your Smoothies

If you’re not interested in milk or yoghurt (they can be too creamy for some), then you’ll want to look at using water to make it easier for the vegetables and fruit to blend.

You won’t need a lot, but it can come to the question of using flavoured water. Can you use it and will it offer the same benefits?


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It’s worth avoiding the store-bought flavoured waters. The downside to this is that they are full of sugar and you want to keep your smoothies healthy.

Besides, you won’t need the traditional flavours like strawberry or lemon and lime in a green smoothie.

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Coconut water is something that many smoothie fans recommend. It adds that little extra flavour without being over the top, and offers numerous health benefits.

If you do just want something for the health benefits side, plain flavoured alkaline water could do the trick. However, filtered water with some of the fruits and vegetables added could turn alkaline anyway, so you will need to decide whether it is worth it.

Don’t Start By Making Your Own

Many people start their effort of making green smoothies alone. They get a lot of fruits and vegetables that they like and throw them all in together.

There is no initial thought to how they will taste, or a worry about whether their blender is powerful enough to chop up everything.

This often leads to people making something that tastes disgusting, and they’re left mad that they’ve spent their money on something that they don’t like.

There’s then the thought that all green smoothies are going to be like this, and they decide to put it off for another day. In fact, some will never even bother with a green smoothie again because they have found their first attempt so disgusting.

There is plenty of help online to start making green smoothies. People have made them for decades and knew just which ingredients work well together.

Many people have blogged for years about their attempts, sharing the recipes that worked brilliantly, the ones that they had to tweak for their tastes and those that just didn’t work at all for various reasons.

Trust these people. They may not be health professionals but they’ve tried and tested everything for you. They are still experts, and will be able to help you successfully get started.

Will Green Smoothies Suit My Diet?

There are many different diets and healthy eating plans out there. Some people will have certain dietary requirements that they need to meet. It’s common to start wondering whether a new food or drink idea will suit your needs.

Green smoothies are great for all needs. They work with the raw food diet and are suitable for many healthy eating plans. Of course, the idea is everything in moderation when it comes to a healthy and balanced diet.

If you’re going to replace all your food with smoothies, that could be a cause for concern. However, if it supplements your diet plan to get your healthy five a day, then it could be worthwhile adding one or two into your day.

When it comes to dietary requirements, you have full control over making your smoothies and the ingredients you add in.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you can avoid milk and yoghurts. Water works just as well and you can use fruits to make your drink more creamy.

Likewise, you can avoid ingredients you are allergic to or those that cause bowel upsets.

You can also avoid the ones that you don’t like or anything your current diet plan doesn’t allow. You have full control, which is something that can’t be said for all the healthy eating and drinking ideas out there.

Getting Started With Green Smoothies


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Not everyone is going to jump at the chance to add more greens to their diets. There is a common misconception that they don’t taste great and won’t work well in a drink form. Many green vegetables are exceptionally tasty and remember you can add other fruits and vegetables in.

The problem for some is making changes. Not everyone loves the idea of change, and they’re hesitant to try something new; even if they know it is good for them.

This is especially the case when it comes to making changes to the diet. People get stuck with what they’re used to, and that often leads to them being a little more resistant. They don’t see the point in changing if they are currently happy.

So, you need to start small. Smaller changes are less noticeable, so you’re more likely to stick with them. It also makes it easier to make them a habit, so after a few weeks, you’ll forget that you were doing anything different.

When it comes to green smoothies, start by adding one a day. Doing so first thing in a morning is a great way to start the day, as you make sure you start with a boost of energy, healthy nutrients and more to your five a day than ever before. You can make many smoothies the night before and pop them in the fridge, so you don’t create too much work for the start of your day. We all know how hectic life is in a morning.

If you’re not interested in starting your day, then why not make one for lunch or to wind down at the end of a long day? Choose one specific time and stick to it for a few weeks. You’ll soon wonder what all the fuss was about in changing your routine.

As you get used to one, you can then add a second one to your day. Remember, this could be the same as your morning one, and you just put the leftover in the fridge for later on. You can also put the drink in a container so you can take it on the go with you, making it much easier to make your smoothies as part of your life.

It’s not just about how to fit your smoothies into your day when getting started. You need to know which fruits and vegetables are worth stocking up on. Some, like blueberries, will leave foul colours and tastes when mixed with some vegetables. Others, like bananas, are ones that you’ll want to add each and every time—or at least most of the time.

Bananas are great for a low calorie, dairy-free creamy base. They also add a bit of sweetness without having to worry about the extra calories. You only need one banana for your smoothies. Make sure you chop up the banana first if you have a low-powered blender. Otherwise, you will find it harder to get it smooth.

If you are going to add milk instead, you could look at some of the flavoured varieties. They tend to be lower in calories and offer extra health benefits. Coconut and almond milk are two of the most popular options when it comes to green smoothies.

When adding in the vegetables, more is not necessarily better. There will be some vegetables that you’ve never tried before and others that you don’t know if you like mixed with other veggies and fruits. It’s worth using one cup of the vegetables rather than twoso that you don’t waste your money and your food. As you find the recipes that you like, you can then add more in.

As you build your recipes and your knowledge of the different ingredients, you’ll find experimenting much easier. That’s when you can start seeing how different fruits and vegetables change the colour and taste of the standard options for green smoothies.

What’s the Best Way to Create a Smoothie?

Juicing or blending? Is either one better than the other? There are pros and cons to both options, and it’s worth considering them for your green smoothie preferences.

The first thing to note is that both require different types of machines. If you already have a blender, you may not want to invest in a juicing machine as well.

Likewise, if you already have a juicer but no blender, you may not be bothered about getting something to blend your fruit and vegetables together. If you already have both or don’t mind purchasing both, then you’ll need to look further into your best options.

A smoothie is traditionally made through blending. This gives you the whole fruit and vegetable, so you get all the nutrients involved. One of the downsides of juicing is that you lose the pulp, especially from fruit. This pulp is the fibre and is an essential part of the diet. If you’re just going to juice everything, you’ll still need to eat fruit and vegetables to get the full nutritional value and benefit.

Removing the pulp also means there is more sugar hitting your body. This turns into glucose quickly and leads to more of an insulin boost throughout the day.

There’s also more risk of tooth decay. Blending doesn’t cause this much of an issue because the fibre is there to soak up some of the natural sugars.

If you are opting for vegetables only, juicing will not be a major concern. Veggies don’t contain as many sugars as fruits do, so you won’t have the same problem by removing the fibre.

However, you will need to remember that you’re not getting all the health benefits through just drinking the juice.

So, what is the benefit of drinking the juice rather than the whole fruit or vegetable? This can be a more refreshing choice of drink.

People are more likely to enjoy something they find refreshing and tasty than something they are only drinking for the sake of being healthy. There’s also less need for a liquid ingredient to be added, reducing the calories and the cost of making your juiced green smoothie.

It is also possible to still mix the juice of multiple vegetables and fruits. However, most people find that one or two ingredients are more than enough. It can prevent overloading on fruits and vegetables by juicing, as you’re less tempted to mix so many together.

Blending will still also create a small problem with having too much fruit (and sometimes too many vegetables) in your diet. This has already been mentioned above but is worth reiterating. You’re more likely to consume more in liquid form, which can mean more calories and more sugar than you would usually have. If you’re focusing on smoothies for weight loss or you’re diabetic, this is something you need to consider in full. That’s not to say smoothies aren’t good for you, but as a warning to watch out for your portion sizes and the amount of fruit and vegetables you have throughout the day as well.

Is there the best manner of creating your smoothie? It really does come down to a personal choice and what your aim of your smoothie is. If you’re looking for something quick and refreshing, juicing may be the option.

If you want something full of nutrients to create a healthier lifestyle, you’ll want to focus on blending the ingredients together and using the whole fruit or vegetable.

It is worth noting that green smoothies are traditionally made in blenders. You just can’t make a traditional, pulpy delicious smoothie with a juicer because you are getting rid of all that pulp.

Not only does it make the smoothie not as nutritious, but it also becomes weaker and thinner in taste. So, to get that smoothie goodness in taste and look, you need to invest in a blender—counter top or handheld.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you have good quality equipment. You want a high powered blender and a juicer worth investing in. With good equipment, they will last longer and be able to handle all the different fruits and vegetables that you want to mix.

One of the major benefits of green smoothies is that you can make them and leave them for later. You can’t do this as much with juice. The juices oxidise at a quicker rate and lose the small nutritional benefits they have much quicker.

If you want to benefit your health, you need to make sure you drink it as soon as you make it—or at least within 15 minutes. This can put a limitation on the amount that you make whereas smoothies will last much longer!

The Basic Makeup of a Great Tasting Green Smoothie


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Some of the recipes out there won’t sound great. You may think about substituting some of the greens with others that you know you like or wonder whether you can change the liquid being used instead.

There is a basic makeup for green smoothies that taste delicious. It involves a 6-step process, avoiding overloading with certain types of fruits and veggies.

To start, you need to choose your liquid. This could be plain water, or you may try skimmed milk, natural yoghurt or a flavoured milk. You only want the one liquid and about 1 to 1.5 cups of it.

Next, you need to choose your green vegetable. This is your main ingredient and it’s worth just starting with the one. It could be kale, spinach, Swiss chard or even collards. Make sure you get a big handful of whichever one you choose.


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The third step is to add your fruit. This only needs to be 1-2 cups, and it’s worth thinking about your liquid. If you chose water, banana is a good option to create a creamy texture.

Otherwise, you could consider apple, melon, peach, pear or even mango with your dark leafy green. Berries are options, but they could be a little too adventurous to start.

Step four is adding your nuts, seeds and other extras to “supercharge” your green smoothie. You don’t need to add them, but you can add as many as you like. Consider throwing in some Chia seeds, or pumpkin seeds to give your smoothie that little health boost. Flax seeds and sesame seeds are other popular options, and some will add protein powders, especially if their smoothies are for after a hard gym session.

The next step is an optional one and involves sweeteners. You want to avoid sugar, but there are natural and artificial sweeteners that you could add in.

Look up the pros and cons of artificial sweeteners and think about the fruits you’re adding in. Mango, berries and peaches are naturally sweet and you may not feel the need to add anything extra.

Step six just involves your technology: the blender. It’s time to blend until smooth and you will have your smoothie to start the day.

Try to Avoid Too Many Fruit and Vegetable Concoctions


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Image Source: EatWell101

When making your green smoothies, mixing vegetables together is not too much of an issue. The problem comes when you’re mixing fruits and vegetables together. Unless it’s Apple, many fruits won’t work together with vegetables. This is especially the case when it comes to courgettes and broccoli.

The reason is the vegetables are so high in starch content that they don’t work well with lower starch options. In fact, some of them won’t even work well with other vegetables!

Starchy vegetables won’t just taste right, but they won’t digest properly either when mixed with fruits especially. The body needs to keep the high starch separate, as the enzymes are used for other functions.

If you decide to mix it all together and make it harder for the digestive system, it’s not going to be able to use all the nutritious goodness for all your bodily functions.

The good news is that dark leafy greens—those that are going to give you the most health benefits—are the ones that combine well with almost anything. It’s all a matter of taste for these and something you can determine fully through trial and error as you start to figure out the basics.

So What Are Your Best Green Options for Smoothies?

With all that in mind, are there any particular options that make the best types of green smoothies? The dark leafy greens are certainly among the most beneficial. They have the majority of the minerals and vitamins your body will need, and they work well mixed with other vegetables and fruits.


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Image Source: Garnish with Lemon

Spinach smoothies are among the most popular options available. Think about how Popeye proved that spinach is good for you. While it won’t give you the instant muscles his tins of spinach did, it will help you get the iron, calcium and magnesium your body needs, among many other minerals and vitamins.


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Image Source: Eat Live Life

Likewise, Kale will offer you many of the nutrients you need. In fact, some suggest that kale is better than spinach for most of your nutrients, except iron. It can also taste better when in its raw form.

If you’re looking for something a little less green for your green smoothie—after all, colour is good—then Swiss chard is something to consider. The stems come in a variety of colours, but it is a green vegetable. It has a mild flavour like spinach and offers a range of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and K and potassium. Swiss chard has also been linked to stabilising blood sugar levels, so is a great option for diabetics looking for something healthy.


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Image Source: Smart Nutrition

Romaine lettuce is one that is often overlooked, but certainly a great addition to a green smoothie. It is full of the A and B vitamins, as well as calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium. When it comes to taste, it can also be quite refreshing even when blended. It tends to have a more waterytexture, so it can quench your thirst. For those who are a little worried about initially creating green smoothies, this ingredient can help start you off.

Carrots are great for all types of meals, but what do you do with the carrot tops? Those long leafy green stems tend to be thrown in the trash or the compost, but what about in your green smoothies?

They can be bitter, so not something you may want to jump to for your first smoothie, but you can add a couple of ingredients to make them a little sweeter.

One of the biggest health benefits you’re missing by skipping out on them is the ability to reduce your blood pressure. Why not start your day with this goodness?

Bok choy is becoming a popular option, as it becomes more available in grocery stores. This oriental vegetable is from the cabbage family and is certainly an alternative when you’re struggling for something different.

It is full of folate, making it an excellent option for expectant and breastfeeding mums, and also helps to enhance bone strength and the health of the heart. It is a bitter option, though, so you will need to be aware when you first make it.

Adding the Best Green Smoothie Topping

Now it all comes down to the finishing touches of your smoothie. If you bought a smoothie from a store and it was made fresh, you would likely have a topping to go with it. These toppings can be a single piece of fruit or veg, or it may be a sprinkling of seeds or nuts.

There are just so many options to choose from, and what you pick will depend on the type of green smoothie you’ve made. It will also depend on personal preferences and any allergies you need to avoid. Here are some great additions to try out next time.


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Image Source: Nature’s Sunshine

Try some superfoods on the top. Goji berries and acai powder are two popular options when it comes to boosting the health benefits, and work well sprinkled on the top. They are both full of antioxidants, which fight the free radicals in the body and promote good healing cells so your risk of cancer is reduced.

Coconut sprinkles, raw cacao powder and maca powder are other superfood options. They don’t just increase the benefits but add sweetened tastes naturally without fighting against the green too much. They can also be added to the blended smoothie orjuice if you want.


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Image Source: Daily SuperFood Love

Sprinkle a few crushed almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts on top if you don’t have a nut allergy.

The nuts are full of omega 3 oils, which are excellent for a brain boost and concentration help.

They also add a little extra to the taste of your smoothie, without being too over the top. Nuts are also full of protein and fibre to help you get other necessary nutrients throughout your day that fruit and vegetables can’t give you alone.

For that little extra crunch, what about a spot of granola on top? This can make your smoothie into more of breakfast to start your day.

You could even add a bit of dried apricot, papaya or pineapple to give you that feel. This could lead to you replacing your breakfast with a smoothie, giving you a healthy and quick start. If you’re going to do this, consider having a spoon to savour the taste.

Finally, why not consider a handful of fruit or vegetables? Maybe a slice of cucumber or lemon, or maybe some mixed berries on the top.

These often make the drink seem more refreshing and can just add a little extra to the presentation, making you feel happier about drinking this green smoothie. With the fruit, it could make you feel like you’re getting a meal, similar to the way adding some granola would help.

The Best 5 Green Smoothies to Get Started

So, where do you start when it comes to creating green smoothies? While you have a basic breakdown of adding ingredients together, you’ll want to start with some recipes that others have already made and recommend.

You want smoothies that taste great while being packed with nutritious goodness.


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Image Source: A Nation of Moms

The first on the list is a basic kale and banana smoothie. This isa popular option because the banana makes it creamy and balances out with the kale. There can sometimes be bitterness to kale, depending on how fresh it is, and the banana can add some natural sweetness to it. Because of the banana, you can skip the milk or yoghurt and just add water.

A few blueberries work well with kale and banana, but you don’t want to add too many. You can also add some superfoods mentioned above to really pack your recipe full of nutrients. All the ingredients just go straight into a blender and mix quickly.


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Image Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

How about a green tea to start the day? You can make one as a smoothie, and this is one that comes highly recommended for those looking for something tasty and a little different.

The liquid you use is green tea, and then you just add in some spinach, banana and green grapes. The ingredients mixed take some of the bitterness away from the spinach without affecting the nutritional value.

The green tea offers that little bit of caffeine while including all the antioxidants your body needs for the day. You also have the banana in there to make it a creamy mixture.

This is something that you can serve in a shot glass rather than drink a large glass of it. It’s perfect for all ages, and something many parents are starting to serve to their children to get a shot of nutrients to start off their day.


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Image Source: Incredible Smoothie

Another beginner green smoothie is one made with spinach, banana, pineapple and ginger. Rather than using water, ice is added so you will need a strong blender.

If you don’t have one that is suitable for ice, water is a good substitute. Like the others, the bananas create the smooth, creamy texture and the pineapple will help add some sweetness to the bitter taste of spinach. You can even add some superfoods to your mixture if you want to add more of a boost to your morning.

This is another smoothie that you can drink in a shot glass, just to get a nutritious start to the day. However, as you get used to the taste, you can then have a larger glass of it on a morning or later on during the day.

If you don’t mind yoghurt or prefer it in your smoothies, there is a spinach option available. This has a few extra ingredients but widely promoted across Pinterest and Instagram.

Smoothie fans love making the Reece’s Spinach Smoothie.


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Image Source: Nosh and Nourish

You’ll need some honey, almond milk, plain Greek yoghurt, peanut butter and chocolate protein powder along with your spinach. Chia seeds also work well within it, but these are optional.

It’s very simple just to mix it all together and you can always add a bit more peanut butter or chocolate powder for your tastes. It depends on how nutty or chocolaty you prefer it.

This doesn’t always look like a green smoothie. The peanut butter and chocolate powder can give it a more brown colour, but it tastes just as good. It’s also a fun option for children, as they see the peanut butter and chocolate and know it must taste great.

This is one of those smoothies that people recommend you drink with a straw! Savour the taste while you go your body some good.


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Image Source: PopSugar

If you want something that is green, an avocado smoothie is something to look at instead. The benefit of avocado is it is full of healthy fats. These will help your body and mind.

You can also make it the vegan way, just by using fruit and vegetables and some water. All you need for a delicious tropical avocado smoothie is some pineapple, banana and spinach.

Try a frozen banana instead of a fresh one.

For those who want some superfoods added, flaxseeds are a great accompaniment. Instead of water, you could also use pineapple juice instead. This really will be a personal choice as you learn more about your taste preferences and the way ingredients mix in the blender.

Green smoothies, when made correctly, are delicious. Getting started is simple, but make sure you follow advice from others who have already been there.

You’ll find you enjoy your healthy additions more and will then feel more confident to start experimenting with your own.

It’s important to start slow and build up. Find smoothies that you enjoy and then start experimenting with tastes and different ingredients. The last thing you want is to get started with something that looks and tastes disgusting.

Once you get used to having a green smoothie everyday, your body is sure to get all the nutrients it needs. In a simple and effortless manner, you will get to enjoy making yourself healthier.

You’ll also need to decide how you want to make your smoothies. Is juicing your better option or would you prefer the whole fruit and veg?

When will you add your green smoothies into your day?

Morning, noon or night?

The choice is up to you.

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