Posts belonging to Category Healthy Eating



The Best Sports Drink

Goji Berry the Super Fruit!

Goji BerryOne of the questions I always get asked is what are the best healthy foods to snack on that will not make you gain weight. My answer is always goji berries! They are quick and easy to eat, taste great and have so many health benefits. That’s why they are a super fruit!

Goji berries are also known as wolfberries. They are mainly grown in Asia. Goji berries have been used to try and treat many of today’s health problems like high blood pressure, age related eye problems and diabetes. They can be eaten raw, dried, cooked. They can be used in juices, wines, medicines and herbal teas.

What are the Health Benefits of Goji Berries?

Goji berries are filled with powerful antioxidants so they are great for anti-aging, the immune system and the skin. They are rich in vitamin A, C and contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 and E. Goji berries are also a great source of beta carotene so are good for improving vision. They contain 18 amino acids and around 21 minerals. They contain more iron than spinach. Roughly around 15 times as much and 13% more protein than whole meat. They have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with calcium so are great for your bones too!

This super fruit contains natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds. They also can help in muscle growth so they are a great muscle building snack. The amino acids in goji berries help the body to produce more growth hormone.

How Many Goji Berries Should You Eat a Day?

I recommend you eat two handfuls a day. You can add them to your porridge or add then to a smoothie. I tend to just eat them raw. They taste great, so they make a nice tasty snack!

Can Goji Berries Help You Lose Weight?

Yes, they can because of their low glycemic index value. They won’t cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly and then crash causing you to crave more sugary foods like high GI foods do.

Stress can play a big part in gaining fat. When we are stressed we release too much cortisol which can result in weight gain by increasing cravings for sugary food. It also stops the secretion of growth hormone as well as depleting the adrenal glands, causing fatigue, resulting in overeating to restore energy levels. Goji berries can lower your stress levels. Goji berries are an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a biological substance found in certain rare plants and herbs that help the body adapt to changes and stress. They can also help with better sleep, increased energy, mental clarity and faster injury recovery.

There you have it. They are not only great for your body, they help you lose weight, build muscle and they taste nice too!

How to Stop Overeating

OvereatingTo stop overeating you need to take control rather than going with the flow. You either control your mind or your mind controls you! You have a choice to stop overeating. The biggest mistake you can make is not making the decision to not overeat before you plan on eating. A good example of this is when you go out for a meal. Most over eaters make a decision on the spot when the dessert menu arrives for example. When you make a decision on the spot you can be easily influenced by the waiter and your friends. The waiter will be keen for you to order so they get a bigger tip and your friends will want you do have dessert as well so they feel less guilty when they have there’s.

You must make the decision before you go out to eat. Decide before you go whether you are going to have a small dessert or no dessert at all. By making the decision before you go, you won’t be persuaded by your indecision on deciding when the desert menu comes round. Your friends and the waiter will see your firm decision and will know that you have made up your mind and they are onto a losing battle trying to change your mind.

How Can I Stop Overeating

Here are a few more tips on how to stop overeating. Take your time when eating. Your brain does not immediately acknowledge that your stomach is full. It normally takes around 20 minutes or so for your brain to register that you are full. Slow down and enjoy every bite. If you’re eating with friends, enjoy conversation whilst you eat. This will slow down the time it takes you to eat your meal. Try not to watch television whilst you eat because you can get too engrossed in the program that you eat a lot quicker without realizing it. If you are watching television whilst eating, make the decision to make your meal last the length of the program. If the TV show is on for 30 minutes, try to make the meal last for most of the show. Drink plenty of water before eating also. Water helps suppress your appetite and also helps with the digestion process.

It will take a little bit of time to incorporate these habits into your routine but when you do they will become your new habits and you will do them without having to consciously think about it.

How to Increase Energy for workout?

EnergyWhat are the best ways to increase your energy for a workout? Low energy levels can seriously affect your workout. It can affect the intensity and sometimes cause you to cut your workout shorter than planned. There are numerous pre workout supplements you can take to boost your energy but they can be costly.

Let’s look at some natural and cheaper methods to increase your energy before you hit the gym or go for that run. We will look at which vitamins can give you an energy boost and which foods can also get your energy levels soring. Which vitamins are essential for the use and production of energy?  The B vitamins are responsible for the body’s production and use of energy. They assist the body in oxygen utilization. There are a total of 8 B vitamins. They are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) and cyanocobalamin (B12). To get the most out of B vitamins its best to take them as a group. You can buy vitamin B complex which has all the 8 B vitamins in one tablet.

The B vitamins are water soluble so your body does not retain the vitamins for later use. If you have enough of the vitamin B vitamins in your system your body will flush out the excess.

 The Best Pre Workout Foods

Bananas are a great pre workout snack. They digest quickly so can be used as energy in no time. They contain potassium which aids in maintaining muscle function. Lack of potassium can cause muscle cramping and fatigue.

Smoothies also give you a great energy boost. You can throw in some fruits and vegetables. Your body will digest liquid a lot quicker than solid foods, so it really is instant energy!

Remember to never train on a full stomach. You will feel sluggish and there is always the chance of being sick. Have your pre work out snack about 30-45 mins before training. Increased energy will make a huge difference in your work outs. It will also keep you in a more positive mind set as you power through your training!

Hungry For Change

Here is the trailer for Hungry for change. Check it out and follow the links to the full movie. A great watch and very informative about the foods that most of the population consume without giving any thought to the crap that’s in them.

Hungry For Change

3 Healthy Snack Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

The secret to staying in great shape is to eat small and regular. To do this you need to snack on healthy foods that will keep you satisfied and with plenty of energy for the day. Here are 3 of the top foods you should be snacking on:

1) Raw Carrot

Raw CarrotRaw Carrots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, biotin, thiamine, potassium and fibre. Carrots can reduce cholesterol, help prevent heart attacks and lower the risk of getting certain cancers with the high amount of beta-carotene in each carrot. The beta-carotene also helps with anti-aging. It serves as an antioxidant that fights against free radicals and the aging of cells. Research results from Harvard University suggested that people who eat more than five carrots a week are much less likely to suffer a stroke than those who only eat one carrot a month.

Carrots are also great for healthy eyes. The Beta-carotene in the carrot is converted to vitamin A in the liver. The vitamin A converts into rhodopsin which aids night vision. That’s why carrot is associated with helping you see in the dark. The antioxidant properties may help prevent cataracts. Carrots are good for dry skin. They help skin to become softer and smoother. They aid in the reduction of acne by detoxifying the liver, helping lower the toxins in the blood stream. Stomach and gastrointestinal health is also improved.

Carrots are great for keeping your teeth clean. They help eliminate dirt and plague from the teeth and gums whilst killing germs in the mouth. The saliva produced from carrots help scrub any stains on your teeth.

2) Pears

PearPears are a great source vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, folate, potassium, fibre, niacin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, fructose, glucose, sucrose, pantothenic acid. They do not contain any saturated fats, cholesterol or sodium and contain around 60-100 calorie. Make sure you eat the pear with the skin on. The majority of the pears antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fibre are contained in the pear skin. The antioxidants protect the cells from damage from free radicals.  Pears contain more nutrients per calorie than calorie per nutrient.

Pears have a low glycemic index (GI) of only 38. GI foods with a low glycemic index are digested and absorbed more slowly. They produce a more gradual rise in blood glucose and insulin levels. Pears can help a person lose weight and improve concentration. The low GI in pears can help prevent coronary heart disease and obesity. Pears can also aide in the management of diabetes.

Pears are considered to be a hypoallergenic fruit. This means they are less likely than other fruits to produce an allergic reaction when eaten. This is one of the reason they make a great, healthy snack for young kids or people who suffer from food allergies. Pears are useful in treating inflammation of the mucous membranes, arthritis, gout, colitis and gallbladder disorders. Your risk of developing asthma reduces by eating pears on a regular basis. Pears can also help reduce the risk of colon cancer. The fibre in pears can bind to help remove cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

The boron in pears helps the body retain calcium which can help prevent osteoporosis.  Pears contain antioxidant and anticarcinogen glutathione, which can help prevent high blood pressure and strokes. You reduce your chance of having a stroke by 50%. You can lower the risk of macular degeneration which is the main cause of vision loss in older adults. The potassium can also speed up the recovery time from muscle fatigue after exercise and help prevent cramps. Pears are a great afternoon snack or pre work snack due to their the quick and natural source of energy from monosacharides (fructose and glucose) and carbohydrates They are great for increasing energy levels at work or at the gym.

3) Bananas

BananaBananas are a great source of energy. They can help reduce the chances of depression. They can improve your mood by converting the tryptophan into serotonin. Your potassium levels decrease when stressed so eating a banana is a great way to boost your levels back up and relieve stress. Bananas are also high in iron and can also sooth heartburn due to their natural antacid effect on the body. They also trigger the production of mucus in the stomach which provides a protective barrier against stomach acids.

The high potassium and low sodium can also help in reducing high blood pressure. If you are trying to give up smoking then bananas can help with the nicotine withdrawal. Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, potassium and magnesium help the body fight the nicotine withdrawal. The potassium can aid bone health also. The modern high-salt diets can increase urinary calcium loss but the potassium can slow down the effects. They are a great source of fibre for a healthy digestive system.

Summary

All three foods make great snacks that won’t cost you much money. Eating these daily will not only keep your energy levels up but will also aid in keeping your body in a healthy state.

Reasons Not To Skip Breakfast

Just seen this great article on why you should never skip breakfast. Research has been recently done to see what happens to the brain when breakfast has been skipped. Check it out at the following link below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19962588

How To Make Turkey Burgers

The key to having a healthier lifestyle is to cut down on eating processed food. There are so many hidden ingredients that help preserving the food but which can be detrimental to your health. So ditch those processed frozen hamburgers and try your own homemade turkey burgers. There a great healthy alternative as well as a great source of protein.

Ingredients:

125 grams of turkey breast mince

1/4 cup of finely diced onion

1/4 cup of finely diced red pepper

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons of olive oil

Ingredients

 Directions

1. Add the diced red pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, turkey breast mince to a bowl or pan. Then add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the ground black pepper. Give it a good mix and add any spices if you would like to enhance the flavour.

Ingredients In Pan

2. Form two patties and place on the grill.

Turkey Burgers On Grill

3. Cook the patties in the oven at 180 C / Gas 6 for 13 minutes (Make sure oven is already heated first). Then turn over and cook for another 13 minutes.

4. Serve with wholemeal teacakes, lettuce, tomato and onion.

Turkey Burgers

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 175.8

Protein: 39.5 g

Carbohydrates: 13.3 g

Fat: 2.6 g

What Is A Superfood?

We hear the term “superfood” quite frequently these days but what is a superfood? A super food is a food rich in nutrients or phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that contain disease preventive properties and prevent cell damage. These foods are not processed and don’t contain additives, artificial ingredients or high levels of saturated fats. Super foods are low in calories, so are great for losing weight. They can also lower your risk of many diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Popeye’s Favourite Food Was A Superfood!

SpinachSpinach is a great example of a superfood. It’s one of the most nutritious foods available. Spinach is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K. It also contains many more nutrients such as manganese, folate, calcium, magnesium, co-enzyme q10, glutathione, lutein, omega 3 essential fatty acids, Polyphenols , iron, vitamins B6, C, D, E, Zeaxanthin, riboflavin, protein as well as dietary fiber.   These nutrients also help increase your (SPF) level and lower your risk of sun damage as well as strengthen your bones. The magnesium helps towards maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. Spinach can also improve brain function, eyesight and gastrointestinal function. The flavonoids in spinach help battle those free radicals to help prevent against cancer. One cup of spinach only contains around 40 calories.

Best Way To Eat Spinach?

You can eat spinach fresh or cook it. Fresh spinach makes a great replacement for salad in your sandwich. If you are cooking spinach it is best to steam it rather than boil it. Steaming it retains more of the nutrients than boiling it. Another method of getting your weekly intake of spinach is by adding it to a smoothie. Get in the habit of adding spinach to your weekly meals and utilize the huge benefits of this superfood.

The Most Important Meal Of The Day & The Secret To Staying Healthy!

The Most Important Meal Of The Day & The Secret To Staying Healthy!

Why is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Well the name “breakfast” gives us a good clue “break” – “fast”. You are in essence breaking the fast you have been on whilst you were sleeping. It’s the longest period your body and brain go without food. You could have gone 8-12 hours since you last had any food. Your blood sugar levels will be down and you will be in a catabolic state. That’s why you’re more likely to become tired in the morning. Most people think it’s down to not having enough sleep which sometimes is the case but your lack of energy is down to the lack food in your body.

Having a couple more hours worth of sleep can sometimes be the worst thing to do because that’s another few more hours that your body will go without replenishing it’s energy supplies!

Don’t Skip Breakfast!

Avoiding breakfast will not help with your losing weight goals. If you are skipping breakfast your body will store the fuel rather than burn it off because it’s unsure when the next meal is going to arrive. Studies have shown that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals.

When you are eating breakfast as part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body knows it will be getting refuelled so will use the energy rather than storing. Breakfast is actually good for weight loss and will help you maintain a healthy weight if that is your goal. You will notice how much better you will feel by not skipping breakfast.

Missing Breakfast Could Cause Serious Health Problems

US doctors have proven through their research that skipping the first meal of the day increases the chance of becoming obese, developing diabetes and even having a heart attack. Their study showed that eating a healthy breakfast including such foods as whole-grain cereals every morning are likely to see benefits to their health.

The BBC reported that DR Mark Pereira and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School analysed the eating habits of 1,198 black people and 1,633 white participants. Overall, 47% of whites and 22% of blacks said they ate breakfast every morning.

They found that people who ate breakfast every day were a third less likely to be obese compared to those who skipped the meal.

In addition, they were half as likely to have blood-sugar problems, which increase the risk of developing diabetes or having high cholesterol, which is a known risk factor for heart disease. The researchers believe that eating first thing in the morning may help to stabilise blood sugar levels, which regulate appetite and energy.

They suggest people who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day and are, therefore, less likely to overeat. “Our results suggest that breakfast may really be the most important meal of the day,” said Dr Periera. “It appears that breakfast may play an important role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

What Is The Ideal Healthy Breakfast?

A healthy breakfast should always contain some protein and fibre. The protein can be in eggs, low fat meats, dairy, beans or a protein shake. The fibre can be in the form of whole grains, fruits or vegetables. A great example of a healthy breakfast could be something like a hard-boiled egg, a banana, a bowl of whole grain cereal and a glass of orange.

Avoid white breads, pastries, syrups and sugary cereals because these are digested quickly and will leave you feeling tired and hungry again within a few hours. A breakfast containing protein and fibre will satisfy your hunger until your mid morning snack.

Start Your Day The Right Way

Remember it would be better to get up 30 minutes earlier and eat a healthy breakfast than to remain in bed. The breakfast would be so much better for your body and brain than missing breakfast and having that 30 minutes extra in bed. Get into the habit and before long you will see the difference.