Archive for the ‘Healthy Nutrition’ Category

Benefits of juicing for health

There are many benefits of juicing for health. These days, our diet is lacking because we eat too many ‘fake’ foods – chemically loaded trash concocted in a lab. The side effects of these fake foods are obesity, fatigue, weak immune system, lack of mental clarity and skin issues just to name a few.

If you don’t like eating fruits and veggies, one of the benefits of juicing for health is that it’s a great way to get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs. If you add juices to your diet a three or four times a week, you’ll find you have more energy, you’ll lose weight and even your mood will improve!

But don’t go on a juice only diet because it may not provide enough fiber to keep you full or enough protein to prevent muscle loss. While juicing helps you lose weight, your body needs protein to protect muscle mass. Also, if you limit yourself too much your metabolism will slow down. Then, when you stop dieting, you’ll quickly regain the weight you lost plus more and have to diet to lose it again only to repeat the same never-ending cycle (yo-yo diet). Not only that, but extreme diets are too hard to stick to and you fight cravings all the time. The benefits of juicing will then be offset by this.

Keep in mind is that juice is a concentrated source of calories. Fruit juice is very high in calories because of sugar content. For this reason, it’s crucial to include veggies in your juices. One serve of fruit has around 60 calories. A serve of veggies about 25 calories, and 3 cups of leafy greens about 25 calories. Each fruit serve is about 4 ounces of juice. A typical juice is 12-16 ounces so 100% fruit juice would be 180-240 calories. So the calories add up. Vegetable juice has fewer calories. To add sweetness to a veggie juice an apple, pear or kiwi. Calories are only a concern with 100% fruit juice.

Don’t forget to include different colored fruits and vegetables, as different colors contain different nutrients.

To add protein to your juice you can use almond milk, Greek yogurt, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, egg, peanut butter or even a protein powder.

So what are the benefits of juicing for health?

Benefits of Juicing

Pros

  1. Juicing is easy way to consume several serves of fruit and veg in one sitting, especially if you find it hard to eat fresh fruit and vegetables
  2. Juicing makes it easy to absorb nutrients because it partly breaks the food down. Nutrients go straight to your blood stream which carries them to where they are needed.
  3. Juicing can increase the variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet. Always eating the same foods can cause an allergy to arise. Juicing also allows you to eat things you don’t enjoy eating whole eg. you may not like spinach, but you might like spinach and pineapple juice.
  4. Juicing is the perfect detox, especially green juices with chlorophyll which attaches to toxins and helps expel them from your body. It also promotes red blood cell production.

Cons

  1. Juicers can be expensive (up to $400).
  2. Juicers remove the pulp which contains nutrients and fiber.
  3. When you start juicing, you may notice you start getting headaches, diarrhoea, nausea etc. This is because your body is going through detox and the side effects are temporary. As more toxic buildup enters the blood stream on their way OUT of the body they cause these issues. Once the health benefits of juicing have caused you to expel these nasty toxins the side effects will end.

The first two issues can be overcome by using a blender to keep the fiber and all the nutrients. For hard vegetables like carrots and ginger that are not easily blended into a juice, simply grate them before adding to the blender.

One of the greatest advocates of the benefits of juicing is a lady named Kris Carr. You can visit her site at http://kriscarr.com/ (NOTE: This is NOT an affiliate link).

Most Nutritious Foods

In looking for the most nutritious foods we need to know there are two types of nutrients needed by the human body:

  • Macronutrients: These are needed in large amounts. They include carbs, protein, healthy fat and water. They also include macro minerals (calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, iron).
  • Micronutrients: These are needed in small amounts. They include vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

These days we eat far too many processed foods with little nutritional value. Some experts believe that up to 90% of Americans are not getting enough of some of the most crucial nutrients. This can lead to chronic disease; osteoperosis, anemia, night cramps, heart disease, diabetes etc. This isn’t always directly, because certain nutrients protect us from certain diseases. For instance, omega 3 lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease, promotes healthy eyesight and healthy joints.

So how can we address this issue? It’s easy to improve our diet by going back to basics. Eat organic foods if you can afford it. Organic produce is ripened on the plant so it’s absorbing nutrients from the soil for longer making it more nutritious. It’s also a good idea to eat raw foods when you can because cooking destroys many nutrients. An extra crucial factor is digestion. Fresh produce contains digestive enzymes. Our bodies need these enzymes to break down nutrients so we can absorb them. Cooking and processing kills them. This makes it harder for our body to digest and absorb nutrients. We also need the good bacteria found in things like yogurt, cheese, kefir etc.

So what are the most nutritious foods?

Most nutritious foodsSo we need to know what the most nutritious foods are. It’s not just the so called ‘super’ foods. Some of the most nutritious foods are found in the fresh produce section of any grocery store. Foods like:

Fruit

  • Apple.
  • Avocado
  • Banana.
  • All berries: Especially blueberries, cranberries, black currants and goji berries.
  • Grapefruit.
  • Grapes.
  • Mango.
  • Melons.
  • Orange.
  • Pear.
  • Pineapple.

Vegetables

  • Asparagus.
  • Avocado.
  • Broccoli.
  • Carrots.
  • Celery.
  • Corn
  • Leafy green: Kale, spinach. romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts.
  • Olives
  • Onion.
  • peppers and chili.
  • Pumpkin
  • sweet potatoes (yams): Low GI.

Herbs and spices

  • Basil.
  • Cilantro (coriander).
  • Garlic.
  • Ginger.
  • Marjoram.
  • Parsley.
  • Spearmint.
  • Thyme.

Nuts (Best eaten raw without salt)

  • Almonds.
  • Brazil.
  • Cashew.
  • Macadamia.
  • Walnuts.

Seeds (Eat raw)

  • Chia.
  • Flax.
  • Hemp.
  • Pine nuts.
  • Pumpkin (pepita).
  • Sesame.
  • Sunflower.

Grain

  • Barley.
  • Corn.
  • Oats.
  • Millet.
  • Quinoa.
  • Spelt.
  • Whole wheat (not white flour which is NOT healthy).

Legumes

  • Broad (fava) beans.
  • Black beans.
  • Black eyed beans.
  • Chick Peas
  • Edamame (baby soy beans).
  • Kidney
  • Lentils
  • Lima Beans
  • Peas.
  • Pinto.
  • Soybeans.

Fats

  • Hemp oil.
  • Flax seed oil.
  • Rice bran oil.
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.

Note: Olive oil is not very heat stable which means it corrupts when it gets heated. It is best not to use it for cooking but as a dressing or glaze etc. So it’s only on this list of most nutritious foods when used cold. The best oil for cooking is rice bran oil because it is heat stable.

Meat and Dairy

  • Cottage cheese.
  • Free range eggs.
  • Goat cheese.
  • Kefir.
  • Sardines (wild)
  • Skinless chicken breasts.
  • Tuna (wild)
  • Wild salmon.
  • Yogurt.

Natural sweeteners

  • Stevia.
  • Unpasteurized honey.
  • Xylitol.

Want to find more info? The best place to go for nutritional info on foods is NutritionData. You can even do a search by nutrient if you find out you are low in something.

Importance of Good Nutrition to Health

If you are trying to lose weight you need to know the importance of good nutrition to health. It is even more important than ever to consume the right foods that will provide your body with the nutrients it needs. If you don’t do this you could end up suffering from malnutrition. This will cause your body to hold on to it’s fat cells more than ever. Even if you are not on a diet you still need to maintain good nutrition.

What is the importance of good nutrition to health?

For most of us, our nutrition is not healthy. We tend to eat a lot of junk and processed foods. These foods are lacking in nutrients because processing and cooking kills them. So even though we are having huge numbers of calories we are not getting the nutrients our body needs. Even healthy foods like fruit and vegetables lack the nutrients they had 50 years ago. This is because they are harvested much earlier and ripened in cold storage. The longer they spend on the plant the more nutrients they absorb. But the minute they are harvested, they cease to absorb nutrients from the soil. In fact, their nutrient levels even decrease over time. Sadly, modern farming does not take the importance of good nutrition into account.

So how does our body respond to this nutrient famine? … CRAVINGS! There can be many reasons for cravings but one of them is our body trying to force us to consume the nutrients it needs. The problem is, because our diets are lacking in so many nutrients, our body doesn’t know what foods provide them so it stimulates appetite in general.

Importance of good nutritionIf our body knows where to get the nutrients, it craves foods that provide them. Eating a diet that includes all of the nutrients our body needs educates our body to know where to obtain those nutrients. Then, when it needs them, it will crave foods that contain them. This prevents cravings for unhealthy foods and therefore also prevents weight gain and supports weight loss. This is because foods that are highest in nutrients tend to be lowest in calories. Can you see the importance of good nutrition here? Does it make sense to you?

An extra crucial factor is digestion. Our body needs the digestive enzymes found in fresh produce. We need them to break down nutrients so we can absorb them. Cooking and processing kills these enzymes which makes it harder for our body to digest and absorb the nutrients. We also need the good bacteria found in things like yogurt, cheese, kefir etc.

To put it simply, eating has two purposes:

  • Calories for energy.
  • Nutrients for health.

Both of these factors are important but lets deal with them in turn.

Calories for Energy

Every person has a ‘Basal Metabolic Rate’ (BMR). This is the number of calories required to maintain the body. Each persons BMR differs due to several factors:

  • Age: Young people have higher caloric needs because they are still growing and they’re more active.
  • Gender: Males need 5-10% more calories to support extra muscle mass.
  • Weight: Bones, muscles and even fat cells need calories to maintain themselves.
  • Height: Related to weight, the taller you are the more you weigh.
  • Activity level: The more active you are the more calories you need.

You can calculate your BMR here. Sadly, these days most of us neglect the importance of good nutrition and consume far more calories than we need. This has caused the obesity epidemic. Because we have a diet that is high in calories and low in nutrients.

importance of good nutrition to health

Nutrients for health

When it comes to the importance of good nutrition, there are two types of nutrients needed by the human body:

  • Macronutrients: Those needed in large amounts. They include carbs, protein, fat, macro minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc etc), and water.
  • Micronutrients: Those needed in small amounts. They include vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Most of our bodies calorie needs are supplied by carbs (4 calories per gram), protein (4 calories per gram) and fat (9 calories per gram). But our diets also lack many of the macro minerals, vitamins, trace elements and water. Many people suffer chronic dehydration, osteoperosis (caused by longer term chronic lack of calcium), anemia (lack of iron), night cramps caused by lack of magnesium etc.

So what can we do? Once we know the importance of good nutrition it’s easy to improve our diet. Eat organic foods if you can afford it. Organic produce is ripened on the plant so it’s higher in nutrients. It’s also a good idea to eat foods raw when you can because cooking kills the nutrients. There are plenty of foods that are real nutritional power houses. Some of them are the so called ‘super’ foods. But most are found in the fresh produce section of any grocery store. Foods like:

  • Berries: Especially blueberries, cranberries and goji berries.
  • Herbs and spices: Thyme, parsley, basil, ginger, garlic and cilantro (coriander).
  • Avocado.
  • Green vegetables: Kale, spinach, wheat grass, broccoli and spirulina (supplement form).
  • Beans (legumes).
  • Dark chocolate: Must be dark chocolate not milk. Approx 1.5 oz (45g) per day.
  • Seeds: Pepita (pumpkin), flax seed, chia seeds, sunflower seeds. Flax and chia are a great source of omega 3.
  • Salmon and other seafood.
  • Yogurt, kefir etc: Great source of probiotics.

Add more of these into your diet if you’re concerned about the importance of good nutrition and you will be on the right track to improve your health and your life.

Healthy Ice Cream Alternative

If you’re on a weight loss diet you probably think ice cream is off the menu. That is not necessarily true. I found a healthy ice cream alternative that allows you to indulge your sweet tooth while actively HELPING you to lose weight.

healthy ice creamI was doing a little bit of weight loss research online when I came across a banner advertising a healthy ice cream alternative that actually promotes fat loss (as opposed to weight loss which could also be achieved by muscle loss). Suffice to say that the banner made me curious so I clicked it and was taken to the RISK FREE trial page on the FitFreeze website. They actually allow you to pay postage only, try the product and if you don’t like it, return it within 30 days and pay nothing further. If you like the product they will charge you for it. Figured I couldn’t lose anything so I ordered it. Two weeks later I received my order, I had to cheat because at the moment they only ship to the US and Canada so I had it sent to a friend who forwarded it to me in Australia.

I wondered how they could sell ice cream online till I found that what they ship is actually a powder that you mix with water or milk in a blender then freeze. The first time I made it with milk because I figured it would be watery if I made it with water… well, I was wrong! It was so rich I could barely eat it, though my daughter absolutely loved it (what 11 year old wouldn’t?). So the second pack I made with water and it was absolutely scrumptious!!! It tasted like gourmet ice cream, you know, the ones made with full fat cream that make you feel guilty whenever you indulge?

healthy ice creamWhy is “Normal” Ice Cream so bad? Normal ice cream has:

  • Too much sugar, saturated fat and calories.
  • Very few healthy nutrients.
  • Contains artificial flavors and additives that are toxic to your body.

What’s so great about FitFreeze? This healthy ice cream alternative:

  • Is 100% Natural with NO artificial flavors or sweeteners. Studies have linked aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to migraine, cancer, and depression.
  • Each serving contains 15 grams of high quality Protein to fill you up and help with muscle development.
  • kids love it and you and you can relax knowing it’s safe, healthy, and all-natural!
  • Provides many nutrients that your mind and body desperately require.
  • Low in calories. Less than half the calories of regular ice cream which contains 14% – 18% milk fat.
  • Each FitFreeze serving contains 8 grams of fiber to satisfy your hunger for longer.
  • Contains Flaxseed to provide healthy essential Omega 3 Fatty acids! But don’t worry, you can’t taste it.
  • It’s Gluten Free!
  • Ideal for diabetics: Contains 80% LESS sugar than regular ice cream.
  • Contains NO toxic chemicals to make you sick or cause serious side effects like chronic pain!
  • Ideal for weight loss: Very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sugar, and calories!
  • FitFreeze is the ideal cure for sweet-tooth cravings without sabotaging your nutrition plan.

How does FitFreeze help with weight loss?

There are several ways this healthy ice cream alternative helps you lose weight!

child who stole the healthy ice cream alternativeFitfreeze makes it easier to maintain your healthy eating plan because it’s low in fat, sugar, and calories, yet tastes delicious so you don’t feel deprived and this reduces cravings for unhealthy food. You no longer need to resist cravings and feel miserable, or give in to temptation and undo your weight loss efforts. FitFreeze satisfies the biggest sweet tooth but because it’s low in calories, fat and sugar, and high in nutrients there is no need to feel guilty because you’re not sabotaging your weight loss efforst. It’s gluten-free and great for diabetics as well!

Each serving contains 15 grams of proteing and 8 grams of fiber. This means that it is extremely filling and and the fiber will keep you feeling full for much longer. Also, normal high carb snacks cause blood glucose levels to spike then crash. This leaves you tired, weak and HUNGRY. By including a complete protein source, FitFreeze maintains consistent glucose levels and helps your metabolism work efficiently to provide long lasting energy!

Because this healthy ice cream alternative is high in fiber, it’s also less “calorie dense” (i.e. has less calories per food volume). This is because your body is incapable of converting fiber to energy. With 8 grams of fiber per serving, FitFreeze contains more fiber than most fruits, vegetables, and even whole grain cereals!

Check out this youtube video about FitFreeze…

healthy ice cream alternative

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Drop The Pounds With Delicious Fiber Filled Foods

One thing that helps you lose the pounds is to increase your fiber intake. Most people think increasing fiber intake means eating dry bran muffins, or taking one of those awful fiber supplements like Metamucil (Blech!! Who wants to drink a glass of stuff that is going thick and gluggy?) Thankfully, there are many simple yet enjoyable foods that contain fiber to improve your health. There are many ways to receive the fiber your body requires without sacrificing flavor. Having oatmeal for breakfast provides 3.9 grams of fiber per 3/4 cup. Adding half a cup of blueberries provides an extra two grams of fiber AND a high dose of antioxidants. You can even add a couple of teaspoons of psyllium husk to the oatmeal. Psyllium husk is the main ingredient in Metamucil and many other fiber supplements. One teaspoon of psyllium husk provides around four grams of fiber.

One of the most common ailments these days is IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) in which the bowel becomes oversensitive and the person suffers all kinds of discomfort, from bloating, cramping, fluctuating between diarrhea and constipation etc. It could be argued that one of the primary causes of this is the amount of processed food and gluten in our diets. Without a doubt, insufficient fiber is an issue since the treatment for IBS is a high fiber diet. If your body receives sufficient fiber IBS simply disappears… WITHOUT drugs!

The recommended daily dose of fiber is 20-35 grams. This may sound like a lot but it adds up quickly. Dietary fiber is either soluble or insoluble. This means that if it’s soluble, it will become gel-like in your intestines, which is a good thing. It absorbs cholesterol and saturated fats, this prevents them from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Insoluble fiber satisfies your hunger quickly and for longer, regulates blood sugar levels and keeps you “regular”, especially if you increase water also.

So how does fiber help you to drop the pounds? Because it satisfies hunger faster and for longer it means that you tend to eat less, this reduces your calorie intake. Fiber also ensures that your digestive system works at peak performance. Because fiber absorbs fat there is less fat to be absorbed by the body. Also, a digestive system that works properly helps reduce bloating and fluid retention.

Not only can fiber help with weight loss, it can also add years to your life by protecting you from colon cancer and other intestinal diseases. Fiber also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by actively reducing levels.

Drop the pounds by adding these delicious fiber filled foods to your salads: blueberries, dried cherries, pine nuts, kiwi fruit (also called Chinese gooseberry), artichoke hearts, dried figs, dry roasted mixed nuts or pumpkin seeds. They all contain more than 3.9 grams (up to 7.4 grams) of fiber per serve. Three dried figs contain 5.2 grams of fiber so eating nine of them as a snack or in a salad provides 15.6 grams of fiber. That was easy! Two cups of fresh berries for dessert provide 14.4 grams of fiber. You see, those fiber grams add up quickly and they taste great. Just one cup of plain baby spinach provides seven grams of fiber. Add carrots, radishes, artichoke hearts and celery and it’s easy to reach the recommended daily intake of fiber. As you can see, fresh fruit and vegetables are the best source of fiber. That’s one of the reasons why the healthy food pyramid recommends three serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables per day. One thing to keep in mind is that raw foods are a better source of fiber than cooked. Salads and raw, whole fruit are best.

When you drop those pounds with delicious fiber filled foods you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. The more whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables and nuts you eat the faster those pounds will fall off of you. Your heart will be strengthened, you won’t suffer constipation or diarrhea as often, bloating and painful ‘wind’ cramps will be reduced and your intestines will be protected… all from eating delicious foods!