Friday, 28 August 2015

5 Reasons To Eat More (Healthy) Fats (Plus A Recipe)

 

There are so many benefits for including more healthy fats into your diet! Its important to include a variety of sources as they all offer a variety of benefits e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and oily fish.

We sourced 5 key reasons to eat more fats, including saturated fats to show you just how important they really are:


1. Improved cardiovascular risk factors

Fats plays a key role in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a) that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat, lose the most weight.


2. Stronger bones

Fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone as key bone-building vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they rely on fats to be absorbed and transported within the body. According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason!

3. Healthy lungs

For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant and potentially causes breathing difficulties.


4.  Healthy brain

Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. The lion’s share of the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Plus consuming omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids from oily fish, grass-fed beef and certain nuts and seeds supports memory and is critical for overall brain function. 


5. Proper nerve signaling

Certain fats, particularly those found in butter, coconut oil, and oily fish are necessary for proper nerve function and protection. These nerves influence everything in the body from metabolism and muscle movement to the appropriate release of insulin. There are so many more reasons to eat healthy fats daily, but as you can see with just these 5, consuming a healthy diet that includes a range of fats is important for so many critical bodily functions

Kick-start your day with this delicious Walnut Avocado Lime Pie Smoothie for 1! 

  • 1/2  ripe avocado
  • 1/2  small banana
  • 3/4  cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (crumbs or halves)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk (reduced fat)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Juice from 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth for about 1 minute.


What are your favorite sources of healthy fats?

Source: FoodMatters

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Fruits that help prevent cancer




Fruit, together with vegetables, is the most effective anticarcinogenic food. Certain rigorously conducted scientific studies conducted throughout the world have shown that abundant fruit consumption prevents most of the cancers that affects humans.

  • Citrus, such as lemons, oranges and grape fruit: Their anticarcinogenic capacity is due to the combined effect of vitamin C, flavonoids, limonoids and pectin
  • Plums and apples: these protect against colon cancer.
  • Pineapples: Prevent stomach cancer.
  • Grapes: The resveratrol they contain, particularly in the skin, is anticarcinogenic
  • Blackberries and other aggregate fruits such as strawberries, blue berries, and currants are rich in anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that neutralize the carcinogenic effect of free radicals
  • Kiwi , guavas and acerolas because of their high vitamin C content.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

10 Tips To Detox Naturally



Sometimes people tend to think detoxing means having to go without. Focusing on what we can’t have rather than what we can introduce and gain from the experience.

Not all detoxification methods are intense, leave you starving or result in bingeing on the ‘forbidden’ foods and drinks afterwards. Our
3 Day Guided Detox is a gentle, nourishing way to introduce more wholesome foods and cleanse your body naturally.

But there are also things you can do each day to help your body improve its natural detoxification systems. We’ve covered 10 of our favorites below:

  1. Boost your glutathione production by including vitamin C rich foods in your diet every day! Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant in the body that helps drive toxins out of the body.

  2. Practice breathing deeply for at least 5 minutes a day. It helps you relax but also allows oxygen to circulate throughout your whole system helping to detox your cells.

  3. Reduce or eliminate foods and drinks that tend to cause sluggishness, poor digestion and contribute little to no nutrition e.g. alcohol, caffeinated drinks, cigarettes, refined sugars and processed foods.

  4. Switch to eco-friendly, natural household cleaners and personal health care products e.g. toothpaste, cleansers, deodorants. Better yet you can make your own for half the price of store-bought products!

  5. Eat foods rich in fiber to help support your body’s natural digestive detoxification pathway. Fresh fruits, vegetables including lots of leafy greens, avocado, and small amounts of high fiber whole grains or seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, teff, and oats.

  6. Sweat it out! Exercise promotes detoxification via our perspiration. Work up a sweat in your favorite gym class or try a sauna session. As you exercise, blood circulates throughout the body bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles, whilst toxins are released through the pores of your skin.

  7. Drink up! Drinking plenty of water each day helps to flush out toxins and waste from the body. Aim for 2 liters a day, which includes fruit and vegetables with a high water content, and herbal teas. Discover the amazing benefits of drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning.

  8. Cruciferous vegetables are amazing detoxifiers! Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other vegetables from the same family provide a compound called sulforaphane, offering potent antioxidant activity that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer, helping to rid the body of harmful toxins and combat their negative effects. You can even make a super simple sauerkraut recipe with just 3 ingredients!

  9. Brush your body! Dry skin brushing is an easy and effective way to help improve the appearance of your skin by regenerating skin cells but also helps to stimulate blood circulation and the lymphatic system, improving toxin elimination!

  10. Massage it out! A great, firm massage focusing on pressure points within the body helps to release the toxins trapped in your tissues. When pressure is placed on these pressure points, the toxin buildup is broken down and released from it’s ‘sticking point’. Once they’ve been released, flushing the body out by drinking lots of water helps to expel these toxins from your body. 


See, detoxing is not as daunting or restrictive as you may have thought! In fact, think of it as a little self-pampering! 

Source: Foodmatters

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Recipe Wednesday : Yam Stir Cooked (Ji Agworagwo) by 1Qfoodplatter



Recipe to Cook Ji Agworagwo

Ingredients

- 4-8 pieces Yam
- ½ cup pieces Smoked fish
- 8- 12 pieces Smoked Prawns
- 1 table spoon Cray fish
- ¼ chopped Onion
- Chili or Scotch Bonnet Pepper to taste
- Palm oil
- Seasoning to taste
- Salt to taste

 Method

- Cut up yam with skin, wash and boil the yam till soft. Peel skin off the yam and add to the fish/shrimp pot

- When yam is cooking, use another pot to steam the fish,dry prawns, crayfish ,onion and pepper with very little water and steam till dry. This is to get the fish and prawn to be soft.

-When the yam is cooked, peel and add to the smoked fish and prawn, add the oil and ugu and stir for 1-2 minutes to allow the ugu cook a bit. There is hardly the type of sauce you see in yam pottage and other Yam recipes. This is just the yam and vegetable.

-Serve hot!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Anxiety

 

Worried that you worry too much? Everyone worries or gets scared sometimes. But feeling extremely worried or afraid much of the time, or repeatedly feel panicky, may be signs of an anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A person has an anxiety disorder if she or he has persistent worry for more days than not, for at least several months. Some people with anxiety feel they have always been worriers, even since childhood or adolescence. In other people, anxiety comes on suddenly, triggered by a crisis or a period of stress, such as the loss of a job, a family illness, the death of a relative, or other tragedy.


Numerous therapies can help control anxiety. These include psychotherapy and medication, ideally supported by good nutrition, sleep, and regular exercise. People who are anxious tend to reach for unhealthy "comfort" food—and then worry about it. Or they completely avoid food, skipping meals or even fasting—and worry that something is wrong, such as an undiagnosed cancer. Healthy eating can avoid these anxiety triggers.

Not getting enough sleep can boost a person's anxiety level. On the flip side, getting enough sleep can help control stress and anxiety. So can getting regular exercise—aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week.

Source: harvardhealth

Monday, 17 August 2015

7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies: Know the Signs

The hidden cause of common symptoms such as fatigue and muscle aches could be nutrient deficiencies. Are you at risk?

You might think nutrient deficiencies are a thing of the past, reserved for sailors trapped at sea. But even today, it’s possible to lack some of the essential nutrients your body needs to function optimally. 

“Nutrient deficiencies alter bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level,” says Tricia L. Psota, PhD, RDN, president-elect of the DC Metro Area Dietetic Association. “These processes include water balance, enzyme function, nerve signaling, digestion, and metabolism. Resolving these deficiencies is important for optimal growth, development, and function.” 

Nutrient deficiencies can also lead to other diseases. “For example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause osteopenia or osteoporosis, two conditions marked by brittle bones,” says Kate Patton, MEd, RD, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “And inadequate iron can cause anemia, which zaps your energy.”
Telltale symptoms are usually the first clue that you might be low in one or more important vitamins or minerals, says Patton. Here's how to recognize seven common nutrient deficiencies: 

1. Calcium
Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones and controlling muscle and nerve function. Signs of severely low calcium include fatigue, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and a poor appetite, Patton says. Make sure you're getting enough with at least three servings of milk or yogurt a day, she says. Other good sources of calcium are cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark, leafy greens.
2. Vitamin D
This vitamin is also critical for bone health. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be vague — fatigue and muscle aches or weakness. “If it goes on long term, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to softening of the bones,” Psota says.
To get enough vitamin D, Patton suggests having three servings of fortified milk or yogurt daily eating fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna, twice a week; and spending some time outside in the sunshine every day. 

3. Potassium
Potassium helps the kidneys, heart, and other organs work properly. You could become low in potassium in the short term because of diarrhea or vomiting, excessive sweating, or antibiotics, or because of chronic conditions such as eating disorders and kidney disease, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Symptoms of a deficiency include weight loss, muscle weakness, constipation, and in severe cases, an abnormal heart rhythm.
For natural potassium sources, Psota recommends bananas, whole grains, milk, vegetables, beans, and peas. 

4. Iron
Iron helps your body make red blood cells. When iron levels get too low, your body can’t effectively carry oxygen. The resulting anemia can cause fatigue. You might also notice pale skin and dull, thin, sparse hair, Patton says. To boost iron levels, she recommends eating iron-fortified cereal, beef, oysters, beans (especially white beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans), lentils, and spinach. 

5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 aids the production of DNA and helps make neurotransmitters in the brain, says Rebecca Solomon, RD, director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. With an increasing number of vegans and people who've had weight loss surgery, vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming more common, according to Harvard Health Publications. The organization says symptoms of severe B12 deficiency include numbness in the legs, hands, or feet; problems with walking and balance; anemia; fatigue; weakness; a swollen, inflamed tongue; memory loss; paranoia; and hallucinations. 

You can get vitamin B12 from animal sources. “Boost your levels of B12 by eating more fish, chicken, milk, and yogurt,” Patton says. If you’re vegan, opt for vegan foods fortified with B12, such as non-dairy milk, meat substitutes, and breakfast cereals. 

6. Folate
Folate, or folic acid, is a particularly important vitamin for women of childbearing age, which is why prenatal vitamins contain such a hefty dose. A folate deficiency can cause a decrease in the total number of cells and large red blood cells as well as neural tube defects in an unborn child, Psota says. Symptoms of a folate deficiency include fatigue, gray hair, mouth ulcers, poor growth, and a swollen tongue.
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women who could become pregnant take a folic acid supplement daily. To get folate from food, go for fortified cereals, beans, lentils, leafy greens, and oranges, Psota says. 

7. Magnesium
Magnesium helps support bone health and assists in energy production. Although deficiency is fairly uncommon in otherwise healthy people, it can affect those who take certain medications, have certain health conditions, or consume too much alcohol, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.
Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. In more severe cases, it can lead to numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, personality changes, or low potassium or calcium levels.
To help your levels return to normal, eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, and edamame, Patton says.
From Nutrient Deficiency to Healthy Eating
If you suspect you have a nutrient deficiency, talk to your doctor. “Blood tests can help determine if you are deficient,” Patton says. And if you are, your doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian or recommend supplements. 

The best way to avoid or remedy nutrient deficiencies is to make sure you are eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, Patton adds. “I encourage food first, but if you are at an increased risk of a nutrient deficiency, you may benefit from taking a multivitamin,” she says. And those at risk include vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. 

Source: everydayhealth

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Whole food nutrition: nutritional benefits of grapes


Two nutrients stand out in grapes composition: sugars and B complex vitamins. Grapes contain significant amounts of provitamin A, vitamin C and E. Potassium and iron are the most abundant minerals in grapes. They also contain calcium, phosphorus and copper.

Grapes contain soluble vegetable fibre (pectin). They act as a powerful antioxidants, which impede the oxidation of the cholesterol that causes arteriosclerosis.

Grapes provide energy to the cells and promote the health of the arteries, particularly those that nourish the heart. They are also laxative, antitoxic, diuretic, anti-anemic and anti-tumor.

Friday, 7 August 2015

5 foods that fight high cholesterol


It's easy to eat your way to an alarmingly high cholesterol level. The reverse is true too — changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and "good fats" are all part of a heart-healthy diet. But some foods are particularly good at helping bring down cholesterol.

How? Some cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are 5 of those foods:

Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.

Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That's one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are adding them to foods ranging from margarine and granola bars to orange juice and chocolate. They're also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.

Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

But stay away from...

As you consider eating more of the foods that can help dial down cholesterol, keep in mind that avoiding certain foods can also improve your results. To keep cholesterol levels where you want them to be, limit intake of:

Saturated fats. The saturated fats found in red meat, milk and other dairy foods, and coconut and palm oils directly boost LDL. So one way to lower your LDL is to cut back on saturated fat. Try substituting extra-lean ground beef for regular; low-fat or skim milk for whole milk; olive oil or a vegetable-oil margarine for butter; baked fish or chicken for fried.

Trans fats. Trans fats are a byproduct of the chemical reaction that turns liquid vegetable oil into solid margarine or shortening and that prevents liquid vegetable oils from turning rancid. Trans fats boost LDL as much as saturated fats do. They also lower protective HDL, rev up inflammation, and increase the tendency for blood clots to form inside blood vessels. Although trans fats were once ubiquitous in prepared foods, many companies now use trans-free alternatives. Some restaurants and fast-food chains have yet to make the switch.

Source: Harvardhealth

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Recipe wednesday : Banana Split Smoothie



Makes 5 servings

Classic banana split flavors blend together to make a smooth and refreshing beverage.

Ingredients
2 cups   1% chocolate milk                                   500 mL
2 cups   low-fat strawberry-flavored yogurt         500 mL
1 cup     frozen unsweetened strawberries            250 mL
1              banana                

Using frozen fruit means there’s no need to add ice to this smoothie.
Instructions

Step 1
In blender, combine chocolate milk, yogurt, strawberries and banana; purée until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Source: Cookspiration

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Healthy Drinks


Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too.
Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including diet drinks, fruit juice and milk.  Alcohol in moderation can be healthy for some people, but not everyone.
Avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports beverages, and energy drinks.

Water
There are many options for what to drink, but for most people who have access to safe drinking water, water is the best choice: It’s calorie-free, and it’s as easy to find as the nearest tap. Water provides everything the body needs—pure H2O—to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It’s the perfect beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system.

 

How much water do I need?

The Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake of 125 ounces (about 15 cups) for men and 91 ounces (about 11 cups) for women. (1) Note that this is not a daily target, but a general guide. In most people, about 80% of this water volume comes from beverages; the rest comes from food. Water is an excellent calorie-free, sugar-free choice.  For some people who are accustomed to drinking sweet beverages, water can initially taste bland. To increase water consumption without losing flavor or to spice up your daily water intake, try these refreshing water-based beverages:

Infused water
Instead of purchasing expensive flavored waters in the grocery store, you can easily make your own at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:

-  Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
- Crushed fresh mint
- Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
- Crushed berries
Sparkling water with a splash of juice
Sparkling juices may have as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces of sparkling water and just an ounce or two of juice. For additional flavor, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs like mint.

Beverages to limit
Drinks that are loaded with sugar are the worst choice; they contain a lot of calories and virtually no other nutrients. Consuming high-sugar drinks can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and gout.
The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories. If you were to drink just one can of a sugar-sweetened soft drink every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year. (2) Cutting back on sugary drinks may help control your weight and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sports beverages are designed to give athletes carbs, electrolytes, and fluid during high-intensity workouts that last an hour or more. For other folks, they’re just another source of sugar and calories.
Energy drinks have as much sugar as soft drinks, enough caffeine to raise your blood pressure, and additives whose long-term health effects are unknown. For these reasons it’s best to skip energy drinks.

Source : harvard/edu