Wednesday, 21 May 2014
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Saturday, 17 May 2014
Foods can boost energy by supplying calories, by pushing your body to burn calories more efficiently, and, in some cases, by delivering caffeine. For a better mood, the best foods are those that help keep your blood sugar steady and trigger feel-good brain chemicals. Following are the foods and drinks that have this property:
Carbs may be the foe of fad diets, but they’re vital for boosting energy and mood. They are the body's preferred source of fuel, plus they raise levels of the feel-good chemical, serotonin. The key is to avoid sweets, which cause blood sugar to spike and plummet, making you feel tired and moody. Instead, pick whole grains like whole-wheat bread and cereal etc. Your body absorbs whole grains more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable.
2) Cashews & Almonds:
These nuts are rich in protein and magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in converting sugar into energy. Being low on magnesium can drain your energy. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains particularly bran cereals and some fish.
Skinless chicken, lean mutton and beef are sources of protein that include the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine boosts levels of two brain chemicals (dopamine and norepinephrine) that can help you feel more alert and focused. Meat also contains vitamin B-12, which may help ease insomnia and depression.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against depression and be good for heart health. Besides fish, nuts are another good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Folate is another nutrient that may lower the risk of depression. Find it in leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and lettuce), legumes, nuts, and citrus fruits.
Fiber helps keep your energy steady throughout the day. Many people don't get enough fiber. You can fix that by eating more beans, whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Staying hydrated can help you avoid getting tired. Some studies suggest even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism and sap your energy. The solution is simple - drink plenty of water or other unsweetened beverages throughout the day. Another way to stay hydrated and energized is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which are naturally full of water.
Coffee is one of the world's most popular pick-me-ups, and it works - at least in the short-term. Caffeine steps up the body's metabolism, temporarily improving mental focus and energy. Frequent mini-servings will keep you alert and focused longer than one large dose. Just beware of drinking so much coffee that you can't sleep at night - losing sleep won't help your energy!
There is good news for chocoholics. A little bit of dark chocolate can boost your energy and mood. That's because of the caffeine in chocolate, along with another stimulant called theobromine.
Breakfast is a gold mine if you want more energy. It is the most important meal of the day. The best breakfasts deliver plenty of fiber and nutrients through whole-grain carbs, good fats, and some type of lean protein.
Here's another way to keep your energy, mood, and blood sugar steady: Eat small meals and snacks every three to four hours, rather than a few large meals. Some options: peanut butter on whole-grain crackers, half a chicken sandwich with salad, or whole-grain cereal with milk.
Most energy drinks give you simple carbohydrates - in other words, sugar - which the body can quickly convert into energy. This is a convenient way for high-intensity athletes to keep going, but less active people may not need them. Energy drinks are usually high in calories and low on nutrients.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014
1. Fresh Herbs:
Fresh herbs can help make other foods heart-healthy when they replace salt, sugar, and trans fats.
Rosemary, oregano, thyme and other herbs contain antioxidants which are good for your heart.
2. Black Beans:
Mild, tender black beans are packed with nutrients including folate, antioxidants, and magnesium, along with fiber, which helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Canned black beans are easy to add to soups and salads but don’t forget to rinse them to remove extra sodium.
Salmon is a top food for heart health being rich in the omega-3s EPA and DHA. Omega-3s may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. Salmon also lowers blood triglycerides and helps curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other naturally oily fish a week. It is better to bake it in foil with herbs and veggies to get additional health benefits.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
This oil, made from the first press of olives, is especially rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help protect your blood vessels. It's also a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are a better choice than saturated fats (such as butter) for your cholesterol. Use a little bit for salads, on cooked veggies, or with bread.
A small handful of walnuts a day may lower your cholesterol and ease inflammation in your heart's arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, monounsaturated fats, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, those in chips and cookies. Walnut oil has omega-3s too and it can be tried in salad dressings.
Almonds are chock full of plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. They may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol, if you favor them over other fats. Grab a small handful a day. Almonds can be toasted to enhance their creamy, mild flavor.
This sweet, juicy fruit has the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin as well as potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Research shows that orange juice may make your blood vessels work better and lower blood pressure a bit.
These sweet, crunchy veggies may help control blood sugar levels and make diabetes less likely. They may also help your cholesterol levels, since they're a source of soluble fiber - the kind of fiber also found in oats.
Try this nutty whole grain in place of rice with dinner, or simmer barley into soups and stews. The fiber in barley can help lower cholesterol levels and may lower blood sugar levels, too.
Oats in all forms can help your heart by lowering LDL, the "bad" cholesterol. A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time - very useful for people with diabetes.
This shiny, honey-colored seed has three things that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Grind flaxseed for the best nutrition. Add it to cereal, baked goods, yogurt, or mustard on a sandwich.
12. Low-Fat Yogurt:
While dairy products are often touted for bone health, they can help control high blood pressure, too. Yogurt has almost twice as potassium as milk. To minimize fat, choose low-fat or non-fat products.
13. Foods Fortified With Sterols:
Some margarines, soy milks, almond milks, and orange juices have cholesterol-fighting sterols and stanols added. These plant extracts block cholesterol absorption in the gut and can lower LDL levels by 10% without affecting good cholesterol.
Coffee and tea may help protect your heart - even decaf coffee works! Studies show that people who drink 2-3 cups a day may be less likely to get diabetes, too. If you already have high blood pressure, be careful, since caffeine can make it worse. Choose black coffee or a non-fat latte to limit fat and calories.
Blueberries are simply brilliant when it comes to nutrition. Their anthocyanins give them their deep blue color and support heart health. Blueberries also have beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Friday, 9 May 2014
Naturally fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These are "good" fats that help keep your heart healthy. They may also help keep your brain sharp, especially as you get older. The American Heart Association suggests eating two servings of fatty fish a week. A serving is 3 ounces -- about the size of a deck of cards. Try it baked, grilled, or poached.
Tasty avocado is good for your heart and may help with osteoarthritis symptoms. When you eat avocado with other foods, it helps your body better absorb their nutrients. Half a medium avocado is one serving and about 115-160 calories.
Little pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds pack a big punch. They have "good" fats that can lower cholesterol. In general, fats that come from plants are healthier than those from animal products. "Bad" fats are in foods like fatty cuts of meat, full-fat dairy products, and some packaged foods. Check food labels to see how much fat, and what type, you're getting. Try to limit saturated fats in your diet and avoid trans fats.
From hazelnuts to peanuts, all nuts are good for your heart. Walnuts, especially, deliver heart-healthy fats. But don't overdo it. Just because the fats are healthy doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want. A serving is 1 ounce. That's about 14 walnut halves, 24 almonds, 35 peanuts, or 18 cashews.
· Olive Oil:
Whether you're cooking or dressing your salad, try olive oil. It's high in good fat. It's always smart to watch how much fat -- even good fat -- you eat. So cook with less oil than a recipe calls for or use an olive oil spray. In baking, you can use applesauce for half the oil to cut back on some fat and shave calories.
Eggs are a great source of inexpensive protein, and a large egg has less than 5 grams of fat, most from healthy fats. Some eggs are also enriched with extra omega-3s. It will say so on the carton. To stay healthy, limit yourself to just one egg a day.
· Ground Flaxseed:
As part of a healthy diet, good-for-you fats can help make your skin look great -- plumper and younger. Plus, they add fiber and can help ease inflammation. Get good fats by sprinkling a teaspoon of ground flaxseed on your salad or your cereal, or use it when you're baking.
Whether they're kidney, navy, or soybeans, adding beans to your diet can be good for you both mentally and physically. Beans have omega 3s, which may also help with mood.
Sunday, 4 May 2014
What you eat affects how you sleep. If you could pick the right foods to help you get the best sleep possible, wouldn't you? And if you knew which foods would hinder your restful slumber, wouldn't you avoid them? Now's your chance to learn which foods to eat, and which to steer clear of for a good night's sleep.
1) Reach for Tryptophan-Rich Foods:
We've all heard of warm milk's magical ability to send us off to dreamland. Do you know why it's true? Dairy foods contain tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other foods that are high in tryptophan include nuts and seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs.
2) Indulge Your Craving for Carbs:
Carbohydrate-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep-inducing tryptophan in the blood. So, a few perfect late night snacks to get you snoozing might include a bowl of cereal and milk, yogurt and crackers, or bread and cheese.
3) Have a Snack Before Bedtime:
If you struggle with insomnia, a little food in your stomach may help you sleep. But don't use this as an open invitation to eat a lot. Keep the snack small. A heavy meal will tax your digestive system, making you uncomfortable and unable to get soothing ZZZs.
4) Put Down the Burger and Fries:
As if you needed another reason to avoid high-fat foods, research shows that people who often eat high-fat foods not only gain weight, they also experience a disruption of their sleep cycles. A heavy meal activates digestion, which can lead to nighttime trips to the bathroom.
5) Beware of Hidden Caffeine:
It's no surprise that an evening cup of coffee might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. But don't forget about less obvious caffeine sources, like chocolate, cola, tea, and decaffeinated coffee. For better sleep, cut all caffeine from your diet four to six hours before bedtime.
6) Medications May Contain Caffeine:
Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs contain caffeine, too, such as pain relievers, weight loss pills, diuretics, and cold medicines. These and other medications may have as much or even more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Check the label of nonprescription drugs or the prescription drug information sheet to see if your medicine interferes with sleep or can cause insomnia.
7) Beware of Heavy, Spicy Foods:
Lying down with a full belly can make you uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. It can also lead to heartburn, as can spicy cuisine. Make sure to finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime.
8) Keep Protein to a Minimum at Bedtime:
Protein, an essential part of our daytime fare, can be a poor choice for a bedtime snack. Protein-rich, high-fat foods are harder to digest. So skip the fatty high-protein snack before bedtime and opt for a glass of warm milk or some sleep-friendly carbs, like crackers.
9) Cut the Fluids by 8pm:
Staying hydrated throughout the day is great for your body, but curtail your fluid intake before bed. You're sure to have interrupted sleep if you're constantly getting up to go to the bathroom.
10) Don't Be Fooled by a Relaxing Smoke:
Nicotine is a stimulant, with effects similar to caffeine. Avoid smoking all together and especially before bedtime or if you wake up in the middle of the night.