Friday, 31 July 2015

Keep Your Blood Sugar Level in Balance

  1. Limit or eliminate sugar spikers: sodas, sports drinks, desserts, and alcohol 
  2. Make meals and snacks with foods that will be slowly transferred into glucose in the blood such as salads, veggies and beans. And balance meals with protein like nuts, seeds, legumes and free range or grass fed meats.
  3. Eat every 3-4 hours except when sleeping. Portion size and quality of food is important here. The idea is that when you eat healthy foods more frequently, you won’t overeat because your blood sugar is better balanced.
  4. Up your fiber intake. Fiber helps maintain energy levels and prevents a spike in blood sugar. You can get it in whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, and legumes.
  5. Enjoy a couple servings of fresh fruit each day to satisfy your sweet tooth. The naturally occurring sugar in the fruit is far safer and healthier.
  6. Do something you enjoy each day. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack, get outdoors, get creative with a craft project or exercise with a friend. Doing a fun activity can replace the feel good sensation you temporarily get from eating sweets.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Use everyday habits to keep your memory in good shape

Your daily habits and lifestyle — what you eat and drink, whether you exercise, how stressed you are, and more — affect your mental health every bit as much as your physical health. A growing body of research indicates that regular exercise and a healthful diet can help protect your memory from aging-related decline.


Physical fitness and mental fitness go together. People who exercise regularly tend to stay mentally sharp into their 70s, 80s, and beyond. Although the precise “dose” of exercise isn’t known, research suggests that the exercise should be moderate to vigorous and regular. Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, stationary bicycling, water aerobics, and competitive table tennis. Vigorous activities include jogging, high impact aerobic dancing, square dancing, and tennis.

Exercise helps memory in several ways. It reduces the risk of developing several potentially memory-robbing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Exercise is good for the lungs, and people who have good lung function send more oxygen to their brains. There is some evidence that exercise helps build new connections between brain cells and improves communication between them. Finally, exercise has been linked to increased production of neurotrophins, substances that nourish brain cells and help protect them against damage from stroke and other injuries.
Here are some ways to build physical activity into your daily routine:
  • Walk instead of driving when possible.
  • Set aside time each day for exercise. For extra motivation, ask your spouse or a friend to join you.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Plant a garden and tend it.
  • Take an exercise class or join a health club.
  • Swim regularly, if you have access to a pool or beach.
  • Learn a sport that requires modest physical exertion, such as tennis.

Go Mediterranean

Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils. This eating style helps promote heart health and may also lessen the risk of memory and thinking problems later in life. In a study that followed more than 2,000 people over four years, those who most closely followed a Mediterranean-type diet had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A later study suggested that following a Mediterranean-type diet could slow the conversion of mild cognitive impairment into full-blown dementia.

The types of fat that predominate in the diet also seem to affect memory. As part of the national Women’s Health Initiative, 482 women ages 60 and older were observed for three years. They reported on their diets, and researchers tested their memory and thinking skills at the beginning of the study and at the end. Those who ate more unsaturated fat (which is abundant in vegetable oils and fatty fish) and less saturated fat (from red meat and full-fat dairy foods) had significantly less decline in memory than those who ate relatively little unsaturated fat.

Eating several servings of fruits and vegetables can also protect memory. Foods from plants are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may protect against age-related deterioration throughout the body.


Monday, 27 July 2015

5 Metabolism Boosters: Separating Fact From Fiction

  1. Don't eat close to bedtime. You may have been told not to eat too close to bedtime because of the theory that your metabolism slows down at night and you'll lose less weight than you would if you ate the same food earlier in the day. Not true, says Donna L. Weihofen, MS, RD, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisc. "Calories count whether you eat them in the morning or at night. The problem with nighttime eaters is that they are usually eating far more calories than they think, and the calories are denser."

  2. Drinking water speeds metabolism. Drinking plenty of water is healthful for a number of reasons, but it doesn't make your body burn calories faster. It can help you feel full, which may keep some cravings at bay. "But that effect doesn't last very long," Weihofen cautions. "One of the things that does help is soup before a meal. A broth-type soup does help cut down on the amount of calories you will eat." Of course, broth won't speed metabolism, either, but it will help you stick to your diet plan.
  3. Eat at the same time or at certain times every day to burn calories. Some diets recommend eating every couple of hours, while others advise sticking to a consistent schedule or number of meals for weight-loss success. Following a set schedule may help you stick to a diet plan, but doesn't help you burn more calories. "There's no magic to that," explains Weihofen. "It's whatever fits your lifestyle and your diet."
  4. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism. Eating breakfast on a regular basis is important for shedding pounds, but not solely because it improves your metabolism, says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. "People who eat only one meal a day will shut down their metabolism. So breakfast is partly a metabolism-booster and it is partly to make sure you stay on track for the rest of the day," notes Banes. People who eat breakfast are less likely to binge later in the day, which of course promotes weight loss.
  5. Build muscle. The reality is that there is only one way to enhance metabolism: Build more lean muscle mass. "The best way to increase metabolism is by incorporating physical activity, both cardio and weight training, to increase lean muscle mass, which is what burns the calories!" advises Dr. Anding.
Even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, Anding says. So weight-loss programs that encourage strength training and other forms of exercise to improve your metabolism are your best bet. 

Source: Everydayhealth

Friday, 24 July 2015

5 ways to de-stress and help your heart

Constant stress — whether from a traffic-choked daily commute, unhappy marriage, or heavy workload — can have real physical effects on the body. It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems — and yes, even heart disease.

The connection between chronic stress and heart disease isn’t well defined. It has been suggested that stress triggers inflammation, a known instigator of heart disease, but that hasn’t been proven. “I think the conventional opinion is that stress is bad for your heart, but the data are much murkier,” says Dr. Deepak Bhatt, director of the Integrated Interventional Cardiovascular Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Yet stress may influence heart disease in more subtle ways. “Stress does cause some people to act in ways that increase their risk for heart disease,” Dr. Bhatt says. For example, when stressed, people often eat unhealthy food and don’t have the energy or time to exercise. Stress can also lead us into other heart-damaging behaviors, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Breaking the connection requires both learning to deal with stress and managing unhealthy habits. These five simple tips can help you do just that.
  1. Stay positive. Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
  2. Meditate. This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Meditation’s close relatives, yoga and prayer, can also relax the mind and body.
  3. Exercise. Every time you are physically active, whether you take a walk or play tennis, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only melts away stress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
  4. Unplug. It’s impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Cut the cord. Avoid emails and TV news. Take time each day — even if it’s for just 10 or 15 minutes — to escape from the world.
  5. Find ways to take the edge off your stress. Simple things, like a warm bath, listening to music, or spending time on a favorite hobby, can give you a much-needed break from the stressors in your life.
Stress doesn’t have to ruin your life or your health!

Source: Harvardhealth

Thursday, 23 July 2015

16 Powerful Reasons to Eat Pineapple

Aside from their delicious taste, pineapples can help you get glowing skin, reduce bloating and digestive issues, prevent colds and flu, reduce inflammation and even strengthen your bones! That tropical fruit with it’s spiky green leaves and rugged, golden skin is, in fact, a collection of multiple fruits, and a powerhouse of health benefits! Here are 16 reasons why you should enjoy pineapple regularly:

1. It’s nutrient-rich!

Fresh pineapple provides a host of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese!

2. It helps to strengthen your bones

The manganese content in pineapple helps your body build strong bones and connective tissues! 

3. It improves digestion

Pineapples contain bromelain which helps to regulate the pancreatic secretions that aid digestion!  

4. It keeps your gums healthy

One cup of pineapple provides 105% of your vitamin C needs for the day. Because of this, eating the fruit lowers your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease! 

5. It can help alleviate arthritis pain

Pineapple is actually anti-inflammatory, helping to alleviate the pain of arthritis, along with similar conditions, like gout and carpal tunnel syndrome. 

6. It can help to prevent hypertension

Trying to reduce your high blood pressure? The potassium content in pineapples can help to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. 

7. It may assist with cancer prevention! 

The high antioxidant content in pineapples helps to fight against free radical damage, keeping your cells healthy. 

8. It prevents and fights coughs and colds

As pineapples are rich in vitamin C, they naturally boost your immune system, helping you fight off coughs and colds. The bromelain content also helps to loosen mucus and suppress coughs.

9. It can protect your eyes from macular degeneration 

A source of beta carotene, pineapples can help lower your risk for this disease by up to 36 percent! 

10. It may help prevent blood clots

The bromelain content in pineapples may help protect you from blood clots, making it a great snack for frequent flyers and those at higher risk of clotting.

11.  It’s great for watching your weight

Nutrient-rich, a good source of fiber and low in calories, this delicious, juicy fruit makes a great addition to any diet as a healthy, filling choice! 

12. It can help ease an upset stomach

Pineapple juice may also have the ability to reduce nausea and morning sickness

13. It can help boost your fertility

A diet rich in antioxidants have been shown to improve fertility. The antioxidants and nutrients in pineapple such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and folate affect both male and female fertility. 

14. It supports healing and reducing inflammation

Studies show that the bromelain enzyme in pineapples can reduce swelling, bruising, healing time, and pain associated with injury and surgical intervention, as well as inflammation in the body. 

15. It helps maintain gorgeous, healthy skin!

The vitamin C content of pineapples helps to support collagen production, helping you to maintain healthy, supple skin. Try this homemade papaya and pineapple face mask!

16. It works as a natural meat tenderizer

The bromelain enzyme in pineapple is great at tenderizing meats and proteins, helping to support your digestion, but also to tenderize your meat before cooking!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Recipe Wednesday: Banana Berry Wake-Up Shake

Makes 2 servings

This creamy shake, which can be made the night before, is a great way to use up ripe bananas that have been frozen. When bananas start to get brown, pop them in the freezer and take out as needed.

1              banana                                                     

1 cup     fresh or frozen berries (any combination)  250 mL

1 cup     milk or vanilla-flavored soy beverage      250 mL

3/4 cup lower-fat vanilla yogurt (or other flavor that complements berries)                                                                    175 mL


Step 1
In a blender, liquefy fruit with a small amount of the milk. Add remaining milk and yogurt; blend until smooth. If shake is too thick, add extra milk or soy beverage to achieve desired consistency.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Whole food nutrition: nutritional benefits of red beet

The blood red color of beets gives a cheerful note to salad and potato dishes. They are rich in folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, fiber and other important nutrients.

- Beets are anti-anemic.  Drinking 50 – 100ml of raw, freshly prepared beet juice before meals twice a day provides the greatest anti – anemic effect.

- They have an alkalizing effect on the blood. They are highly recommended in case of gout, increase in uric acid levels in the blood.

- They contain vegetable fibre, which facilitates intestinal action, and also decreasing blood cholesterol level.
They are anticarcinogens. 

Preparation and use

-- Fresh Juice: The flavor of beet juice is unpleasant and may be mixed with other juice.

- - Grated raw: Beets prepared in this way may be dressed with lemon and oil.

- - Boiled: Cooked beets are more digestible. They should be boiled for at least an hour

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Lose 20 Pounds: Successful Strategies

Here are four diet truths to help you achieve your goals:

  • Cutting out sweet drinks is non-negotiable. Sweet tea, soda, and flavored and sweetened milks, waters, and coffees all have to go. Drink plain water, low-fat milk, and sugar-free drinks instead. A study of 810 adults between 25 and 79 years old showed that after 18 months, those who cut out sweet drinks had greater weight loss than those who cut down on food calories. One possible reason: While your body lets you know when it is full of food, there is no way for your body to tell you when you’ve maxed out on liquid calories.
  • Physical activity helps counting calories. Being physically active burns calories while it improves your overall health. Aim for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. A brisk 30- to 45-minute walk burns 100 to 200 calories. If you can burn 200 calories through exercise, you only have to cut out 300 calories in food or drink to reach your daily calorie-cutting goal.
  • Strategically eating less drops weight. A study of 811 overweight people who participated in four popular diets found that whether diets were low-fat, high-protein, or a combination didn’t matter — weight-loss success depends on cutting out calories. In fact, you can continue to eat filling portions if you simply replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie foods that contain a lot of water, such as fruits and vegetables. A study of 97 obese women who ate either a low-fat diet or a low-fat diet with additional fruits and vegetables found that those who emphasized fruits and veggies lost up to five pounds more.
  • Journaling leads to success. Counting calories is easier if you write down (or type in) what you eat, including serving sizes and details such as condiments you may have added. “Research has shown that exercise and journaling really make a difference in long-term weight management,” says Gail Curtis, assistant professor at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, N.C. A detailed journal will help you identify your successes and pinpoint where you can cut additional calories or replace high-calorie foods with low-calorie ones.
With dedicated work you can apply these truths to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks or less. So get moving!


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Recipe Wednesday: Spinach and Uziza Seafood Eforiro by 1Qfoodplatter



1 cup dressed Shrimps

4-6 pieces dressed Crab

4 cups cut and blanched fresh Spinach

1/2 cup shredded Uziza leaves

2 cooking spoons ground and boiled Tomatoes

1 cooking spoon coarsely ground onion/ pepper mix

1 teaspoon Iru

3 cooking spoons Palm oil

1 tablespoon Crayfish

Beef seasoning to taste

Salt to taste


  • Pick, wash and cut the Spinach into medium size chunks. Boil enough water to cover the leaves. Pour boiling water over the spinach ensuring that all the leaves are well steeped in the water for about 1 -2 minutes. Quickly drain out the hot water and steep vegetables in cold water. Drain off the cold water, squeeze out excess water in the spinach and set aside. You will notice a bit of slime as you squeeze, so press hard to get rid of some of the slime. Do not worry about the slime because it does not appear like this in the soup.
  • Pick wash and shred the Uziza leaves and set aside. You shred into very thin slices like you will do for Okazi or Afang
  • Heat the palm oil, fry the onion/peppermix first and then add the tomato, crayfish, Iru, seasoning and salt to taste. Allow to fry until the water in the tomato mix is dry.
  • Add the seafood, lower the heat and allow to cook till done.
  • Take out the shrimps, add first the Uziza and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Add the spinach last stir to mix well and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pot, stir well cook for 1 more minute and the Spinach and Uziza Seafood Eforiro is ready.