The Top 7 Healthy Foods You Need To Eat

When it comes to healthy foods that boost your metabolism, help you lose weight, make you look, feel and perform better, there are none better than the 7 foods I’ve outlined for you below.

So here we go…

Top Healthy Food #1: Nut Butters

Unless you have a nut allergy, you should eat nut butters several times per week. Nut butters are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, iron and magnesium.

Some of the best nut butters include Almond butter, Macadamia Nut Butter and Dry Roasted, Organic Peanut Butter. Unfortunately, nut butters are high in calories and it’s very easy to overeat them as they are so damn tasty, so you have to limit your consumption to 2 to 3 tablespoons per day or else you will start gaining weight.

Top Healthy Food #2: Sweet Potatoes

Ounce for ounce, sweet potatoes will provide you with more nutrients and energy to help you power through your workouts than any other carbohydrate food found in the grocery store.

If you haven’t tried Japanese Sweet potatoes yet, you’re in for a treat. They are my favorite sweet potato and they are very nutritious and very filling.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber, Vitamin A, and many other important vitamins and minerals.

Top Healthy Food #3: Greens (Spinach, Kale, Broccoli)

Greens are very alkalizing (energizing to your blood cells) and also help to detoxify your body. If you can’t stand eating cups of greens every day, get a juicer and drink your greens.

After just a few days of eating several cups of greens (or juicing them), you will feel more energized, lighter, and your skin will look better and younger.

Greens contain a potent source of plant nutrients called phytophenols, which protect and boost your immune system and fight the development of cancer cells.

Though not officially considered greens, Kiwifruit and green, granny smith apples also contain high amounts phytophenols, so be sure to include them into your diet as well.

Top Health Food #4: Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries contain the lowest amount of calories per serving and more nutrients per ounce than most other fruits combined.

Berries are low in natural sugars and high in dietary fiber. I eat one to two cups of berries 3 to 4 times a week and I have never looked and felt better and healthier in my entire life.

If you could only eat one type of fruit, definitely choose berries every time.

Bonus tip: Choose organic berries over conventional whenever possible.

Berries absorb the most amount of pesticides and insecticides than any other fruit, which means you’ll be eating a bunch of potentially harmful toxins along with your berries unless you choose organic.

Top Healthy Food #5: Wild Caught Salmon

If you’ve read my previous articles, you know that wild caught salmon is one of the best sources of the omega-3 essential fat.

Wild caught salmon is packed with Omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to increase your HDL good cholesterol and decrease your LDL bad cholesterol. Wild caught salmon is also very high in protein, which you’ll need plenty of if you’re breaking down your muscles on a regular basis during intense workouts.

Top Healthy Food #6: Unrefined & Virgin Coconut Oil

Unrefined Coconut oil is high in a fat called MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which your body uses up as energy and does not store as body fat (unless you eat far too much coconut oil than your body has a need for at one time)

Coconut oil is also antimicrobial, meaning that it cleans your stomach of bad bacteria.

This can cause bloating and gas in some individuals, but should go away after a few days of eating coconut oil. Use coconut oil when you cook, spread it with nut butters (my favorite way to eat coconut oil) or eat it straight out of the jar if you really enjoy its’ taste.

My favorite healthy energizing snack food is a brown rice cake topped with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter, 10-12 raspberries and sprinkled with cinnamon – absolutely delicious!

Top Healthy Food #7: Himalayan Sea Salt

Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan sea salt is very high in essential minerals that your body needs for proper muscle contractions and to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. (an electrolyte imbalance can trigger muscle cramps and irregular heart rhythms, which can be a serious health threat.)

Himalayan sea salt has a unique, distinct taste that goes well with meats and fish.

If attaining a healthy weight and optimal health and energy are your goals, you’d be foolish to not include at least 4 of the above top 7 healthy foods into your diet on a daily basis, they really are THAT good for you.

6 Healthy Foods That Elderly Should Not Eat

A healthy diet makes for a healthy life, when coupled with a regular exercise routine and adequate sleep. While we may be at ease consuming a variety of healthy foods at a young age, our bodies are subject to change as we grow older, therefore making certain seemingly healthy foods less compatible to our health. Most often, we ignore the impact that age has on our ability to process certain foods, thus affecting our physiological functioning in the long run.

As the years roll by, our organs slowly begin to lose their agile repairing power, making recovery from the effects of certain foods quite taxing on our health. While we may think that healthy foods suit all age groups, this does not hold true in several cases. Therefore it is best to be wary of these six healthy foods that the elderly should not eat, in order to avoid health implications in ourselves and our elderly loved ones.

1. Raw eggs and foods that contain undercooked eggs:

Eggs are considered to be a superbly rich source of protein and other nutrients. Several people in their 20s to 40s consume raw egg as part of their high-protein diet, especially if they indulge in workouts that aim to add more muscle mass. Similarly, several people consume foods such as unpasteurized eggnog, French toast, desserts like tiramisu and so on that contain undercooked eggs. These foods are a big no-no for the elderly! This is because raw eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria, both on the outside and the inside of eggs, causing illnesses such as food poisoning.

2. Raw sprouts:

Of course, sprouts are a delicious source of nutrition, vitamins, minerals and other health-vital nutrients. Bean sprouts, raw green gram, broccoli, alfalfa are some of the renowned sprouts known for their nutritional value, especially when consumed raw. However, the elderly must avoid raw sprouts as they can be a breeding hub for germs, especially the Salmonella, E. coli, which can cause serious illnesses that the elderly find difficult to recuperate from.

3. Soft cheeses:

Dairy and dairy derivatives are excellent sources of calcium, an essential mineral at every stage of life. However, soft cheeses such as blue-veined cheeses, Camembert, Brie, Buchette and so on can house bacteria and food poisoning bugs that can cause listeria, making them highly unsuitable for the elderly to consume. Cooked soft cheeses are fine for consumption, because the heat kills bacteria.

4. Unpasteurized milk:

Raw, unpasteurized milk is an absolute must-avoid food for the elderly. Unpasteurized milk contains bacteria and protozoa that can cause diseases such as brucellosis, listeriosis, tuberculosis, typhoid fever and diphtheria, among others. These bacteria can only be killed through pasteurization or heating of milk to a certain temperature for a set period of time. To gain requisite calcium to prevent osteoporosis and other age-related bone illnesses, one can consume plant sources of calcium as well as tofu, cooked broccoli, almonds and kale.

5. Rare and cold meats:

While we may prefer our steaks or burger patties to be rare or medium-rare, the elderly cannot take the gamble with their health by consuming raw or rare meats, especially if they are ground. The process of grinding meat can introduce potentially harmful germs and bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, to the meat, which can result in serious illness and sometimes even death.

6. Raw sea food:

Sushi, sashimi, ceviche and the like are delicious, no doubt; however, they fall under the list of foods that elderly ought to avoid. Raw or undercooked seafood can contain bacteria, germs and potentially harmful toxins, that do not get killed our flushed out due to lack of heat being introduced into the sea food. Raw fish, clams, oysters and mussels are to be strictly avoided.

As we age, our bodies become older, but our minds become wiser. Let us indulge our wise elderly with the right foods for a healthy life. Fresh fruit, leafy vegetables, cooked fish, and nuts containing omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Cutting down on red meat and processed meats, replacing them with cooked fish, pasteurized dairy and dairy products, and plant protein can have a positive health impact. Whole fruits, berries and melons can be consumed in place of juices, for adequate fibre and vitamin supply. Whole grain foods are great sources of energy and carbohydrates – this works great for all age groups!

Essential Eye Health Foods For Better Eyesight

In many ways the saying by Hippocrates is true today: “Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”This principle can be applied to your eye health. No vision improvement program is complete without the proper nutritional foundation to support better eye health. So, if your taste buds are craving a break from traditional foods good for eyes, here are some foods you never knew that can improve and promote better eyesight.

Beets: When it comes to eye health foods, Beets are good for your eyes as they consist of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, beneficial nutrients that promote the health of the macular and the retina of the eyes. Due to its content in Nitrates, Beets can open up the blood vessels in the eyes and also increase the blood flow to the brain, a good way to prevent cognitive disorders. More importantly, this vegetable is popular for its blood pressure lowering properties. This is significant due to the fact that there is a connection between normal blood pressure and better eyesight, as high blood pressure has a negative impact on eye health.

According to Troy Bedinghaus, O.D of about.com, “Hypertensive Retinopathy is a disease of the retina and the retinal blood vessels that occurs because of uncontrolled blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure makes the retinal blood vessels become narrow and leak fluid. The retina can be starved for Oxygen or the retina can begin to take on fluid. These changes can reduce vision.”

According to a study published by both the British Heart Foundation and the Journal of the American Heart Association, participants that drank a cup of Beet Juice a day saw a 7 percent reduction in their blood pressure. Therefore, Beet Juice can lower blood pressure while simultaneously promoting better eyesight. Beets also consist of Vitamin A, B 1, B 2, B 6, and C in addition to Lutein and Zeaxanthin, important vitamins and antioxidants that aid in the prevention of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts.

Tuna: Another food for eye health is Tuna. According to Web MD, eating Tuna may reduce the risk of developing Dry eye Syndrome particularly in women. A woman’s health study involving 40,000 female professionals from ages 45-84, conducted by a woman’s hospital researcher, revealed that women who ate Tuna had a lower incidence of Dry Eye Syndrome. Scientific data suggests also that the Omega- 3 Fatty acid content in Tuna may have been a contributing factor. The study revealed that the women who consumed 2-4 servings of tuna per week had a 19% lower risk of Dry Eye Syndrome while those who ate 5-6 servings of Tuna reported a 68% lower risk of dry eye syndrome.

Pomegranates: Among the foods good for eye health Pomegranates is an example of such a food.This fruit is essential for eye health due to its Vitamin A content which is a form of Beta- Carotene. Pomegranates are also a cure for night blindness. It’s highly beneficial to eye health due to the fact that is consists of a substance called Rhodopsin in the eyes that improves eyesight. Pomegranates have a high concentration of Polyphenols, powerful antioxidants good for eyes such as Vitamin A, C, E and K. These antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body and clinical research suggests that they increase blood flow to the heart and thin the blood which contributes to reduced blood pressure and plaque in the arteries. You can have Pomegranate fruit as a morning treat, afternoon snack, and late night treat, or you can buy the Pomegranate juice available at your neighborhood supermarket.

Nutrition is an integral part of promoting eye health. Super foods such as Pomegranates, Beets and Tuna supply the eyes with a wide variety of essential antioxidants and vitamins. These foods are important nutritional allies. They help us build a better foundation for healthier eyesight and also prevent vision disorders. Therefore, when it comes to protecting eyesight, take care of your eyes with the right nutrition, and according to Hippocrates, let your food be powerful nutritional medicine for your eyes.

The Various Benefits of Consuming Natural Health Foods

Nowadays, more and more people around the world are realizing the importance of a healthy diet. Overdependence on fast food has led to a massive increase in obesity, diabetes and other health problems all over the world. Most fast food chains use high amounts of oil to make their food, which leads to high cholesterol and heart diseases as well.

There are a number of natural health food products available in the market these days. These products promise to be just as tasty and filling as fast food items, and do not cause any harm to the body. While apple chips, organic fruit preserves, etc. are partially processed foods, they do provide almost as many benefits as the real thing.

Foods like burgers, fries, cheese, and certain desserts have a high amount of unsaturated fat, which could lead to clogged arteries and heart diseases. A lot of fast food joints have started to offer healthier items on the menu. However, what most people don’t realize is that some of the components used in such foods such as sauces and dressings, minimize any benefit you get from eating healthier items.

While buying natural health foods, make sure that you read the labeling and look at the nutrient information. Healthy food will have high levels of HDL, fiber, vitamins, etc. Avoid foods which have trans-fat. HDL stands for high density lipoproteins, and is also called good cholesterol. These are tiny molecules which carry fat and other harmful materials from the heart to the liver, to get disposed of. It is believed that having a high HDL count will substantially reduce the risk of heart attack, and other related diseases.

Generally, foods which are high in omega 3 fatty acids, rich in HDL and those which contain a high level of some antioxidants such as resveratrol are considered valuable in improving the health of the body. Items such as baked salmon, apples, pears, tofu, sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, walnuts, etc. are good for your health. Look for products which have been baked, and not fried in oil. Having a couple of glasses of wine a day is supposedly good for you as well.

While you are looking for natural health foods, try and stick as much as you can to products made by reputed companies. There are a number of guidelines in place regarding the features of such products. Make sure that the item you are buying, meets all such guidelines, and does not contain high amounts of trans-fat and other potentially harmful ingredients. Look for items which have been sourced from organic suppliers.

Studies have shown that consuming products such as apple chips, canned fruits, etc. provide significant health benefits over similar health products such as potato chips and wedges. They provide a greater amount of fibers and nutrients, which improves your overall health condition. Keep in mind the fact that even though these foods are good for health, you should avoid going overboard with them. Too much dependence on natural health foods may not provide desired results.

Health Foods – Natural Supplements to Healthy Living

As we forge our way into the 21st century, we become ever more aware of the need for a healthy lifestyle in an increasingly hostile and toxic environment. We shun over processed and chemically swamped foods, smoking or drinking in excess. We exercise regularly and try to avoid stress and follow a healthy, balanced diet. And we feel all the better for it. For all this, we often lack one or more of the essential building blocks of overall good health and it is these deficiencies that health food supplements can address.

Why, you ask, would you need supplements when you eat right to start off with? Unfortunately, the truth is that most of the soil our foods are grown in is deficient in many of the important minerals needed for optimum health, so even organic foods are often nationally lacking. It is these gaps in the nutritional chain that can be filled by taking health food supplements.

With huge selections of manufacturer ranges available, the choice of which supplements to take is often daunting. A solid starting point is to shop for ingredients, rather than brands or specific supplements. A good place to start looking is with the so called Green Foods. Most suppliers carry dedicated green foods selections all rich in a variety of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, but more importantly all packed with chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is the essential molecular component is responsible for life giving photosynthesis. Using the suns energy to synthesise carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide, chlorophyll is the basis of all plant life. Chlorophyll also shares some surprising characteristics with haemoglobin found in red blood cells, the main difference being chlorophylls central magnesium atom in contrast to haemoglobins iron atom.

In the human bloodstream, chlorophyll magnesium bond is broken down and causes a spontaneous absorption of heavy metals. Chlorophyll also halts bacterial growth, removes drug deposits, neutralizes toxins (including radiation) and can even prevent bad breath and body odor. It promotes good intestinal flora, encourages enzyme growth that produces vitamins A, K and D, reduces high blood pressure and can reverse anemia. If that weren’t enough of an impressive resume chlorophyll also helps renew tissue and blood, boosts the immune system and can act as a mild diuretic. All things considered, chlorophyll is pretty powerful medicine. The following green food products are all chlorophyll rich.

Wheat Grass Juice
Alfalfa
Barley Grass
Spirulina
Chlorella
Wild Blue-Green Algae

Other health food supplements families worth looking at are:

Probiotics: These are bugs! Good bugs mind you, as they are essential to good gastrointestinal health. Micro-flora are destroyed by antibiotics, alcohol, stress, drug intake and high fat diets so its a good idea to take them as health food supplements.

Enzymes: Essential to almost all or bio-chemical processes, enzymes are also easily depleted by deficient diets and should be considered as a regular health food supplement.

Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs play an important role in cellular health and have been proven to be great cardio-vascular health boosters. Common sources of EFAs are cold water fish oil extracts and Flax Seed oil. Supplements rich in EFAs should be a part of any health food supplement regimen.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Although not strictly a health food supplement, ACV is considered to be one of natures most perfect foods. It is rich in potassium and calcium, phosphorus, iron, fluorine contains masses of micro nutrients. ACV should be strongly considered as a part of your health food supplement shopping list.

Antioxidants: Antioxidants destroy cell damaging free radicals and are essential to overall good health. Popular sources of antioxidants are coenzyme Q10, pyncnogenol and grape seed extract.

Garlic: Garlic can combat abdominal obstructions, parasites, worms, bad bacteria and increase circulation. It is also useful for general detoxification. Health food supplements containing garlic extracts should also be strongly considered.

So whether you are following a generally healthy diet or not, health food supplements can go a long way to bolstering your intake of essential nutrients. One just has to keep in mind that these are only supplements and can never replace a healthy diet.

The Ultimate Guide To Family Health and Nutrition

There is not much today that is more important to families than their overall health, both physically and mentally. Sure it is nice to have financial security, a comfortable home and some perks along the way, but what good are all of these “extras” if one does not have the good health and stamina to enjoy them? It is easy to take a broad look across the United States these days and see a variety of health levels that families are living, both good and bad. There is truly an obesity epidemic going on right under our very noses in every state of the Union and a large portion of this statistic is children. That certainly brings home the old adage that children model what they see and if they see their parents living an unhealthy lifestyle, they are sure to emulate it. On the other hand, those choosing to watch their diet and eat right, exercise and take good care of their overall health are more than likely going to have children that will do the same.

There are many worries to consider when living in the twenty first century. The number of diseases such as cancer, particularly breast cancer for women and prostate cancer in men seems to be on the rise. Studies show that depending on modern medicines alone is not enough to keep us healthy. Adopting a lifestyle of good eating habits and proper nutrition can help to ward off many illnesses and keep things like our outward appearance appearing healthy and vital. Following a healthy diet can help teenagers and adults alike who use vigilant skin care routines to thwart acne problems and keep their weight at a height appropriate number, or help them to have a healthy weight loss approach to getting it there.

Women considering pregnancy know that in order to have a healthy baby to add to their all important family circle that they must take care of themselves with regular exercise and a nutritious eating regime. There are many recipe books available for them to use in order to eat well and still give their developing baby all the necessary nutrients it will need to enter this world at the peak of vitality. There are also many known things for them to avoid such as smoking, alcohol and dangerous activities, which seem like common sense. All too often, even for someone who is not pregnant the use of substances such as cigarettes and alcohol can lead to addiction problems later on. With a respect for the life we have been given and a desire to live it to the fullest, it is critical that living a healthy lifestyle be the forefront of everyone’s daily routines.

Health Food Supplements Promise Increased Wellbeing

One of every three people in the world is suffering from Protein- Energy Malnutrition (PEM) or micronutrient malnutrition also known as “hidden hunger”. Like several nutritionists and doctors, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have admitted that modern diets should be complemented with vitamins, minerals and other health supplements to tackle ill-health.

Studies and research conducted in almost every country has proven that several nutrients are lost or reduced on consuming fast-food and convenience-food. With the growing awareness on different types of diseases and deficiencies, a marked increase has been recorded in the consumption of functional foods, super foods, fortified foods, dietary supplements and probiotics. Sale of vitamins – C, D, E and B complex, drinkable yoghurts, energy bars, ready-to-eat salads, fortified juices and drinks in addition to bottled mineral water has sky rocketed in the past two years. However all health food supplements do not come with the government’s stamp of approval. The FDA comes into the picture only when a manufacture self-reports an issue with his product or a health concern is raised.

It has been proved through researches worldwide that toxicity in the body can also increase with high dosages of vitamins A, D, E, C, Pyroxine and Iodine. Therefore health food supplements should only be taken under proper guidance because the effect may vary between individuals, depending on factors like age, sex, physical condition and the combination in which supplements are taken. As a general principle, “kitchen sink” combinations should be avoided. Unless necessary, it is advised that natural health food supplements be added to daily diet.

Researchers at National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), India, have conducted extensive research on health food supplements and concluded that spices are extremely beneficial to well being:

• Debitterised fenugreek seeds: Delay or impair glucose absorption when 25gms are consumed by diabetic subjects.
• Turmeric and its active principle called curcumin: Possess antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties. Ingestion of 2gms per day enhances body defences.
• Onion and garlic: Rich source of compounds, like diallyl sulphide, diallyl disulphide, allium and ajoene. These have antimicrobial, hypolipidemic antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. They stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify mutagens/carcinogens.
• Ginger: Helps ameliorate conditions like rheumatic disorders, inflammation and gastrointestinal discomforts. Studies also suggest it to be usable as a chemo-preventing agent.
Other well researched health food supplements are:
• Chlorophyll: Builds blood, renews tissue, promotes healthful intestinal flora and activates enzymes that produce vitamins A, D, and K.
• Wheat Grass Juice: Has detoxifies the body and has a high concentration of beta-carotene and vitamins such as E and K.
• Alfalfa: Helps assimilate protein, fats and carbohydrates. It alkalizes and detoxifies the body, especially the liver.
• Barley grass: Contains folic acid, pantothenic acid, beta carotene and vitamins C and E.
• Spirulina: Helps to protect the immune system, lower cholesterol and facilitate mineral absorption. It is high in chlorophyll, protein, beta-carotene, B12 and nucleic acids.
• Flaxseed oil: Rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6. Provides essential fatty acids required for normal cell structure and function.
• Dark chocolate: If consumed in a moderate amount, helps to lower high blood pressure and keep the heart healthy. It is rich in flavonoids.
• Curds/Yogurt: Provides the digestive tract with beneficial bacteria that help to fight cancer, build bones and boost immunity. These are probiotic foods.
• Oats: Consumption of this food lowers the risk of heart diseases as it is rich in fibres, it also helps muscle growth.

In a nutshell, consuming a variety of edibles with the right health food supplements leads to increased longevity, proper hormonal functioning and physical as well as mental efficiency.