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Month: March 2017

Be Healthier With Veggies.

The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day. When you first hear that number, it may seem like a lot, but it is actually much easier than you think to fit that many servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. For one thing, the shelves of the grocery stores are fairly bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, vegetables and fruits are some of the least expensive, most nutrient rich, foods in the supermarket. With all these fruits and vegetables to choose from, it is very easy to make these nutritious, delicious foods part of your daily meals and snacks. When you take into account how much a serving really is, it is actually quite easy to get five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. For instance, the recommended daily amount actually equates to a quite reasonable two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables are available, and how low the prices usually are, it is easy to see how easy to reach this daily goal really is. One great way to get the nutrients you need from fruits and vegetables every day is to take full advantage of...

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Antioxidants Naturally Found in Foods

Why do we need to eat foods that are found to be naturally high in antioxidants? What are antioxidants? Which foods do we need to eat, in order to naturally fight free radicals? Scientists have found that the body forms unstable oxygen molecules, called free radicals; every cell produces tens of thousands of them each day. A free radical is basically an atom with an odd number of electrons in its outer ring. Since electrons have a very strong tendency to exist in a paired rather than an unpaired state, free radicals indiscriminately pick up electrons from other atoms, which in turn convert those other atoms into secondary free radicals, thus setting up a chain reaction, which can cause substantial biological damage. This, in short, is bad. There are also many kinds of free radicals, which we are exposed to everyday, for example, pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides. Antioxidants are thought to neutralise and stabilise these free radicals. So, which antioxidants are naturally found in which foods? We have: Vitamin E: a fat-soluble vitamin found in vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals. Some of the foods containing the highest amounts of vitamin E are wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, spinach, broccoli, kiwi and mango. Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin involved in the metabolism of all cells. It protects vitamin...

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Addictive Foods and their Harmful Consequences

Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and that eventually becomes an addiction. These products include exercise stimulant drinks (they come in cans and look like cola), fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, betel nut, betel leaf, strong coffee, strong tea, mahuang (an ephedrine-like compound consumed in china), and alcohol. Before I tell you why we shouldn’t consume these products, I’d like to deal with the question of why we do consume them in the first place. There’s no one who doesn’t know that products like these, consumed in excess, can severely harm our bodies. Yet, we still find them hard to resist. The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans (and many animals) have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high. In clinical terms, this means rapid heart beat, a little sweating, dilation or constriction of the pupils of the eye, a warm flush on the face, and a sense of greater sensitivity, concentration and perception. These sensations of ‘high’ die down within a few hours, and we are left feeling listless and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle. The physiology of addictions is...

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A Practical Approach To Healthy Eating

I have been doing push-ups five days a week for over 25 years. My arms are pretty strong but it did not happen overnight. I did not do push-ups for a couple weeks or months and then stopped. I had to make push-ups a habit if I wanted to continuously get the results I have. Exactly the same holds true with healthy eating. You will never be healthy, eating healthy foods occasionally. You have to make healthy eating a habit if you want to obtain nutritional health. People jump on the “band wagon” of healthy eating when they read books or view websites that talk about nutrition. While many of these books and websites tell you what you should eat in-order to be healthy, they fail to teach you how to make healthy eating a habit. Thus in a short period of time when temptations come, people fall right back into their old unhealthy eating habits. What is a Habit? According to Webster’s dictionary a habit is “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance.” Can you see that if we simply apply this principle to healthy eating we will be on our way to vibrant health? Bad Eating Habits: Bad eating habits do not develop overnight. For most people these habits began forming when they were...

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A Nutritious Diet while Traveling

Sticking to a nutritious diet while traveling can be one of the more difficult things to do. However, if you learn how to make smart choices, a healthy diet is really not that difficult. It’s probably not the best time in which to start a healthy diet, but if you are currently making healthy choices in your foods already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel, is not as difficult as it first may seem. If you are traveling by airplane, your diet may have to include airplane food, which can often be of poor nutritional value, depending on the selection. When you book your flight, ask about your food options, ask if a vegetarian dish is available? Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they may be serving. If you can, eat a larger meal before your flight, so that you don’t have to eat the entire meal that is served, to feel full. When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants and eat the meals found there. Avoid this whenever possible! If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast food more than once during a week can really be bad for your health. If you must, choose the healthiest options available, like chicken breasts...

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