Mens health

Eat Healthy

Health is heavily influenced by diet. Think lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, particularly the green leafy variety. But there are specific foods that can supercharge immunity, prevent heart disease and support overall health.

Here are my top ten recommendations:

  1. Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in phytonutrients, natural chemicals that promote good health. High in antioxidants and low in calories, they are also full of fiber and vitamin C.
  2. Yogurt: High in protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin B, yogurt also contains abundant beneficial bacteria (probiotics). These microbes are vital for digestion, cancer prevention and even maintaining a positive mood.
  3. Coconut oil: In moderation, coconut oil boosts metabolism, supports immunity, brain health and increases good cholesterol.
  4. Tempeh: Made from fermented soy, tempeh is highly nutritious and easy to prepare. It can improve cholesterol and help control blood sugar. It also contains a compound that lowers the risk of prostate cancer.
  5. Sauerkraut: Fermented foods like sauerkraut provide a wealth of health benefits. A great probiotic food, sauerkraut is rich in fiber, vitamins A and C and phytonutrients. In addition, natural chemicals produced in the fermentation process have been found to fight cancer.
  6. Cruciferous Vegetables: Dense in vitamin A and C, this group of vegetables includes cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower. They produce a compound called DIM that reduces inflammation, boosts immunity and optimizes hormone metabolism.
  7. Chia Seeds: High in antioxidants, nutrients and protein, chia seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids. They support healthy glucose metabolism and immunity.
  8. Grass-Fed Beef: Lower in fat than the grain-fed variety, grass-fed beef is higher in both omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
  9. Pumpkin Seeds: More than a healthy snack, pumpkin seeds are loaded with zinc, a critical mineral for immune health.
  10. Sweet Potatoes: High in vitamin B6, sweet potatoes are also a rich source for vitamins C and A, as well as iron and magnesium.

Useful Supplements

Sometimes food doesn’t give us everything we need. Nutritional supplements supply necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other compounds that help the body thrive.

Some of the most important supplements include:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The body doesn’t manufacture omega-3s, so we have to get them through diet or supplements. Omega-3s lower triglycerides and inflammation, support immunity and may also help with mood.
  2. Vitamin D: By supporting calcium balance, vitamin D can prevent arthritis and osteoporosis. It also helps reduce blood pressure, boost immunity, fight cancer and provide numerous additional health benefits.
  3. L-Carnitine: In addition to increasing fat burning, L-Carnitine boosts heart health and supports immunity.
  4. Quercetin: A powerful antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables, quercetin helps protect DNA and has been found to fight cancer.
  5. Magnesium: In addition to benefiting cardiovascular health, magnesium improves blood pressure, regulates blood sugar and helps detoxify the body.
  6. Resveratrol: Another antioxidant, resveratrol protects against age-associated diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
  7. Modified Citrus Pectin: In addition to being an exceptional detoxifier, modified citrus pectin controls a protein called galectin-3 that is associated with inflammation, heart disease and cancer.
  8. Maitake Mushrooms: A powerful medicinal mushroom, maitake supports immunity, digestion and healthy blood sugar.
  9. Green Tea: Compounds found in green tea boost immunity, reduce inflammation, fight cancer and protect long-term health.
  10. Garlic Extract: Garlic benefits cardiovascular health, has antimicrobial properties and supports the immune system.
  11. Men’s Essentials Plus: A unique men’s multinutrient formula designed to support hormone balance, detoxification, cardiovascular health and the unique nutritional needs of men.

Get Moving

While a healthy diet is a great start, our bodies need regular exercise. Even small changes can have big results. Walk around the block; take a bike ride with the kids; climb the stairs instead of riding the elevator. Aerobic exercise combined with light resistance training is the first order of business, but I also recommend incorporating meditative, mind-body approaches. For example, yoga and Tai Chi tone the body, calm the mind and are shown to offer numerous protective health benefits.

Research from the University of California San Francisco and Harvard has shown walking can dramatically improve prostate health. Their study found that regular, brisk walking, three hours or more per week, slowed down prostate cancer in 57 percent of patients. This is not an isolated finding. Exercise saves lives.

Pay Attention To Symptoms

Men have a tendency to suffer quietly when faced with minor discomforts. However, small problems may be the body’s way of signaling there’s something more serious going on.

For example, constipation can indicate serious digestive problems or even colon cancer. If bowel problems persist for more than a couple of weeks, tell your doctor.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) may be the proverbial canary in the coal mine signaling heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol or other conditions. It’s fine to get a prescription for ED, but you also need to address its cause.

Another condition that deserves attention is acid reflux, which can lead to ulcers and even cancer. Avoid processed and acidic foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar and trans fats. Again, if the problem persists, a doctor’s visit is in order.

The bottom line is: Don’t be passive. Mindfully manage diet, supplements, exercise and annual checkups. Find a system that works and stick with it — your body will reward you with good health and greater energy over the long term.

Okra benefits

Health Benefits Of Okra/Lady’s Finger:

1. High fiber content:

The dietary fiber content of okra/lady’s finger is known to be high and hence many health specialists recommend it for digestive benefits. The fibers aid the process of digestion in the body by facilitating proper bowel movement.

[ Read: Brinjal Benefits ]

2. Prevents Diabetes:

Okra is known to aid in prevention of diabetes. It is rich in fibre which helps in the prevention of this disease.

3. Good folate content:

Folates present in okra reduce the neural tube defects in a new born baby. So it is highly recommended for women during pre conception period or pregnancy.

4. Vitamin K benefits:

Vitamin K is a co-factor in blood-clotting process. It also plays a major role in strengthening the bones in our body.

5. Controls Asthma:

 

Asthma can also be treated by including Okra/ lady fingers in your meals. People diagnosed with asthma are strongly suggested to consume Okra.

6. Prevents Constipation:

Facilitating proper absorption of water, Okra/ lady finger vegetable ensures free motion disposal by the body and hence prevents constipation.

7. Prevents Sun stroke:

Okra helps prevent sun strokes.

8. Prevents colon cancer:

It is believed that all diseases begin in the colon; Adding Okra to your meals ensures prevention of colon cancer and related diseases to a great extent

9. Controls obesity:

With regular usage of okra, in either raw or cooked form, you can avoid obesity to a great extent. Obesity is not necessarily due to consumption of fatty and calorific foods but also due to lack of nutrients.

10. Controls cholesterol level:

This vegetable ensures lesser absorption of cholesterol preventing heart diseases and ailments occurring due to cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a dominant factor in the body that triggers obesity and heart diseases.

skin benefits of okra

Now that we got the health benefits of okra covered, lets move on to the rest of the benefits.

Skin Benefits Of Okra:

11. Dietary fibre for healthy skin:

Okra is a rich source of dietary fiber. It is also keeps the digestion problem away. Proper digestion reflects through a healthy-looking skin.

12. Vitamin C for younger skin:

Vitamin C found in okra actually helps maintain a younger looking skin. It aids in repairing body tissues. This in turn helps keep your skin younger and also makes it look more vibrant.

13. Prevents skin pigmentation:

The nutrients found in okra actually helps to prevent skin pigmentation. It is useful for rejuvenating your skin and repairing damages.

Hair Benefits Of Okra:

14. Bouncy hair:

If you are tired of your distressed hair, try using okra to get that bounce back. Boil okra with some water and the transparent mucilage that you get can be used to get your bouncy hair back.

15. Hair conditioner:

The same mucilage can be used as hair conditioner. Wash your hair and squeeze out excess water. Massage the watery mucilage through your hair and rinse thoroughly with water.

16. Scalp moisturiser:

Okra is an excellent moisturizer for your dry and itchy scalp. It leaves your hair feeling soft and isn’t harmful like other cosmetics available in the market. It is great for people with unruly, curly and lifeless hair.

17. Fights dandruff:

Okra improves the overall scalp condition and fights dandruff. It moisturizes your scalp and keeps dandruff away.

18. Shiny hair:

Okra, when used as a hair rinse, gives great shine to your hair. You can give your regular conditioner a miss once in a while and take care of your hair the natural way.

Other Benefits Of Okra/Lady’s Finger:

  1. Improving immunity
  2. Improving eyesight
  3. Weight loss
  4. Preventing constipation
  5. Avoiding anaemia
  6. Preventing diabetes

How To Select Good Quality Okra?

Although topical use of okra does a lot of good, we just cannot ignore how beneficial its intake is. Most of us are left clueless when questioned about how to select good Okra. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the selection process better.

  1. Smaller pods – Always look for smaller pods because they are tender. They taste better than the larger ones which are tough and stringy too.
  2. Bright colour – Look out for bright green-coloured pods. You may also find varieties of burgundy or deep red. Those are also used for cooking purpose but green ones are widely used.
  3. Unblemished pods – While selecting okra, try and look for unblemished ones. These are fresh and are not rotten from inside.
  4. Firmness – Check for the firmness of okra. While the smaller pods are generally tender, they should not be very soft.

How To Store Okra?

  1. Okra should be stored unwashed.
  2. You can store it in a paper bag or simply wrap it in a newspaper. If you don’t have a paper bag, you can also store it in a perforated plastic bag.
  3. Make sure you keep it in the warmest part of your refrigerator. This would help you store it for up to 3 days at least.
  4. Okra tends to decay faster when kept really cold. So make sure you store it in warmer temperature in your refrigerator.
  5. Simply blanch the whole okra and freeze it if you want to store it longer.

Tips For Usage:

  1. Before cooking, thoroughly wash and rinse whole okra well with water.
  2. After washing, pat it dry completely, using a dry towel.
  3. You can then store it in a zip-lock bag and leave it overnight in the fridge before using it next day. This will make it less slimy while cooking. This will make okra freeze solid.
  4. Add okra immediately to your dish after taking it out from the refrigerator. You can use it as whole or chopped.
  5. Always trim the ends before adding it to your dish.
  6. Don’t allow it to thaw to avoid it from sliming out.

Tips For Cooking:

  1. To avoid too much sliming, fry it in oil a little before adding all spices. This reduces the slime to a great extent. Remove okra from the pan and set aside and add it towards the end after you have prepared the rest of the dish.
  2. Soak it in vinegar or lemon water before using it. Another option is to add lemon or vinegar to the dish itself to cut down the slime.
  3. Blanch okra for 3-4 minutes to reduce the slime and add to the dish when it is almost cooked.

A Delicious Okra Recipe:

Due to presence of such nutrients, you should definitely include Okra in your regular diet. With its less cholesterol and calorie content it can be eaten in considerable amounts too.

Okra or Lady’s Finger can be consumed in many ways. The best way to consume it is to make a vegetable without gravy. Sausage Okra, Okra with salted corn, Fried Okra etc. are some other healthy recipes which can be made using Okra. We all have okra the normal way, i.e, in form of vegetable dish. Here is a recipe that is quick, tasty and different too.

Grilled okra:

Ingredients:

Okra, grapeseed oil or olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

Procedure:

  • First prepare the charcoal grill on high heat flame.
  • Trim the ends or the stems of the okra.
  • Now toss it in oil thoroughly so as to cover it with oil.
  • Place okra on charcoal grill and cover with a lid.
  • Let it remain covered till you see grill marks on okra. It should look a little charred on the edges.
  • Turn it thereafter and let it get grilled on the other side as well.
  • Once done, remove it from the grill and sprinkle some salt and lemon juice and enjoy your grilled hot okra.
  • Okra USDA Nutrition Chart:

    Principle

    Nutrient Value

    Percentage of RDA

    Energy 1.5% 31 Kcal
    Carbohydrates 7.03 g 5.4%
    Protein 2.0 g 4%
    Total Fat 0.1 g 0.5%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 9% 3.2 g

    Vitamins

    Folates 88 µg 22%
    Niacin 1.000 mg 6%
    Pantothenic acid 0.245 mg 5%
    Pyridoxine 0.215 mg 16.5%
    Riboflavin 0.060 mg 4.5%
    Thiamin 0.200 mg 17%
    Vitamin C 21.1 mg 36%
    Vitamin A 375 IU 12.5%
    Vitamin E 0.36 mg 2.5%
    Vitamin K 53 µg 44%

    Electrolytes

    Sodium 8 mg 0.5%
    Potassium 303 mg 6%

    Minerals

    Calcium 81 mg 8%
    Copper 0.094 mg 10%
    Iron 0.80 mg 10%
    Magnesium 57 mg 14%
    Manganese 0.990 mg 43%
    Phosphorus 63 mg 9%
    Selenium 0.7 µg 1%
    Zinc 0.60 mg 5.5%

    Phyto-nutrients

    Carotene-ß 225 µg
    Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
    Lutein-zeaxanthin 516 µg

     

Tea benefits

Tea For Too Many Pounds

Tea contains natural chemicals called polyphenols that, along with caffeine, help your body produce extra energy and oxidize fat. When scientists analyzed a series of studies on tea, they found that tea can help you burn off an extra 100 calories a day. Another review showed that adding green tea to people’s diets and making no other dietary changes helped them lose an average of about three pounds in three months.

A test of tea’s effects on using up body fat showed that it increased fat oxidation by 16 percent.

Cancer Fighters

The polyphenols in tea can also hold off certain cancers. One study showed that supplementing with 600 mg a day with green tea polyphenols called catechins, significantly slowed the growth of prostate cancer.

A long list of studies has shown that the natural substances in various types of tea perform anti-cancer duties when you drink these beverages. They take action against lung cancer, cancers of the digestive tract, skin cancer and breast cancer.

Tea’s natural chemicals perform their anti-cancer magic by being antioxidants, improving the effects of chemotherapy and inhibiting growth factor signaling (actions that would otherwise promote cancer).

A Friend Of The Heart

There is no shortage of studies that also show tea reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, cuts your chances of a heart attack, reduces your risk of a stroke and keeps your cardiovascular system operating normally.

In one study, black tea was found to drop blood pressure, keep fatty meals from driving you toward hypertension and kept the blood in blood vessels flowing more effectively.

“Our studies build on previous work to clearly show that drinking as little as one cup of tea per day supports healthy arterial function and blood pressure. These results suggest that on a population scale, drinking tea could help reduce significantly the incidence of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases,” says researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., who is with the University L’Aquila, Italy.

Better Bones

Tea even improves your bone strength. One experiment discovered that if you drink tea and you are more than 50 years old, you can reduce your chances of a hip fracture by about 30 percent. Another study showed that postmenopausal women taking a green tea extraction of 500 mg a day (about what’s found in 5 cups a day), upped their bone formation, dropped their harmful inflammation and improved their muscle strength.

Tea Fits Your Brain To AT’

If you want a better brain, studies show that tea goes to your head. A study on attention span showed that tea boosts attention and helps you focus on mentally demanding tasks. Researchers have found that tea’s amino acid theanine and caffeine help tea provide intellectual help.

All of this research confirms tea as a dependable paleo drink that helps keep your body in shape.

As noted by Jeffrey Blumberg, a nutrition professor with Tufts, “Humans have been drinking tea for some 5,000 years, dating back to the Paleolithic period. Modern research is providing the proof that there are real health benefits to gain from enjoying this ancient beverage.”

Kids & weight loss

Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids, Age 5 to 6

Goal: Weight maintenance

For most overweight children aged 5 to 6, the goal is to help your child maintain his weight for a while, not necessarily achieve weight loss. In most cases, if you can keep your child’s weight steady, he will grow into it.

What to Do: Own your child’s menu.

Helping your child maintain his weight will require effort and lifestyle changes on your part and his. For instance, you may decide to cut back or eliminate certain types of foods — especially beverages with sugar in them (such as sodas and juice drinks) and fast food — and processed, high-calorie snacks (such as packaged baked goods and chips).

As a parent, you have control. If you start cooking healthier meals at home — and visiting restaurants less often — your kids will naturally eat healthier, says Karen Donato, SM, coordinator of overweight and obesity research applications at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Another place to pay close attention is to what’s being served at school for lunch. If the choices don’t seem healthy, pack healthier options in your child’s lunch box.

Guidance: Be patient, but persistent.

These changes may not always be easy on your child. If your overweight child is refusing healthy foods, don’t demand that he eat them. Be patient, and just keep serving them. Studies show that kids need to be exposed to a new food several times before they might try it.

It may help to remember that any tears or frustration now will mean fewer tears and less frustration when your child is older and at a healthy weight.

Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids, Age 7 to 9

Goal: Weight maintenance

For an overweight child aged 7 to 9, the goal is usually to help her maintain her weight, not necessarily achieve weight loss. In most cases, if you can keep your child’s weight steady for a while, she will grow into it.

What to Do: Take charge of food in the house.

Helping your child maintain her weight will require effort from both of you. As the parent, your first step is to take responsibility for stocking your home with only healthy foods.

At age 7 to 9, your overweight child now has more independence and might be helping herself to her own snacks at home. This means that if you don’t stock your pantry with unhealthy foods, she won’t have easy access to eat them, says Lawrence Cheskin, MD, director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore.

Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids, Age 7 to 9 continued…

Of course, it can be hard to say no to your child if she begs or whines for an unhealthy treat at the store. But it’s important to stand firm. If you bring the food home, you’ll have to say “no” to requests for unhealthy foods over and over again — instead of just once at the store.

Your focus on the health and well-being of your family while grocery shopping can help prevent setting you and your child up for unnecessary daily tests, where failure can cause long-term health issues.

One fun thing about kids this age is that they are old enough to help out in the kitchen. Take advantage of it. Making a healthy meal with your kid is a great way to talk about a good diet and expose her to new foods, says Ann O. Scheimann, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

Guidance: Make healthy eating the goal for the whole family.

Kids at this age are getting savvy. If your child feels like she’s being treated differently from the rest of the family because of her weight, she’s going to resist. It’s not enough to tell your overweight child to eat better or exercise; you have to do it, too. Parents who practice what they preach will likely gain a more successful outcome all along the way — for everyone.

Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids, Age 10 to 12

Goal: Weight maintenance, or sometimes a little weight loss

You should talk to your child’s doctor about the best approach for his particular situation. Your doctor will make a recommendation based on how overweight your child is, your family’s weight history, whether your child has health problems related to weight, and how much growing he still has to do. You shouldn’t put your child on a weight loss plan without a doctor’s approval.

What to Do: Provide your child with a specific plan.

Your overweight child may be mature enough to take an active role in making his lifestyle healthier. Encourage him. Your kid will need motivation to succeed. Help him come up with specific, attainable goals to keep him on track.

Having him track his steps on a pedometer, writing down his daily activity, and keeping a food diary — maybe with your assistance — can help get him involved. It will also be motivating as he sees exercise minutes adding up while getting to a healthier level of fitness and having more energy, too.

Your pediatrician may be able to recommend children’s weight management programs near you.

Some commercial weight loss programs will accept kids. Weight Watchers accepts kids aged 10 to 17 with written medical permission. TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) may allow kids. Always talk with your child’s doctor before putting him on any weight loss plan. Unhealthy weight loss diets could harm your child’s body and mind. Also make sure your child has developed the maturity to participate in such programs. Your child may benefit most from groups that are oriented to kids his age.

Tips for Parents of Overweight Kids, Age 10 to 12 continued…

Immersion treatment — when a child enrolls at a summer camp or school for overweight kids — is another option for older kids. Search the Internet for “weight loss programs for kids.” And ask your pediatrician to recommend a program near you. But remember, if your child returns to an unhealthy home environment at the end of program, the pounds will come right back.

Guidance: Give your overweight child family support.

Being healthy is good for your whole family. The messages you send your child when you eat healthfully and make efforts to be active — or you don’t — are very powerful.

Ultimately, when your child grows up, it will be up to him to be completely and independently responsible for his lifestyle choices, but right now you are one of his most influential role models. If you struggle with staying healthy yourself, share your feelings, but stay persistent with pursuing your healthy goals and helping your child achieve his. Your efforts will help your overweight child now and for years to come.

Eating flax seed

Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.

The seeds come from flax, one of the the oldest fiber crops in the world – known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China.

It is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

King Charlemagne of the 8th century believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he demanded his loyal subjects eat the seeds and passed laws to make sure of it.

The Latin name for flax is Linum usitatissimum, which means “the most useful.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It contains a nutritional profile on flaxseed, numerous health benefits associated with its consumption, as well as side effects.

To reap the most benefits from flaxseeds, they should be bought in ground form or ground before consumption, as whole flaxseeds can sometimes pass through the digestive tract undigested.

Brown Flax Seeds
Brown flaxseed ready to consume

Nutritional profile for Flaxseed

There are two main types of flaxseed: golden flaxseed and brown flaxseed. Their nutritional profiles are very similar and both contain the same number of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

The American Nutrition Association highlighted the importance of this “neglected food”, stating that flaxseed is not only “an excellent source of two fatty acids that are essential for human health – linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid,” but also “an excellent source of fiber and a good source of minerals and vitamins.”1

Flaxseed is very low in Cholesterol and Sodium

Nutritional value of Flaxseed per 20 g (2 tbps)

Energy – 54.7 kcal (DV = 3%) Carbohydrates – 3.0 g (DV = 1%)
Sugars – 0.2 g Dietary fiber – 2.8 g (DV = 11%)
Fat – 4.3 g (DV = 7%) Saturated fat – 0.4 g (DV = 2%)
Monounsaturated fat – 0.8 g Polyunsaturated fat – 2.9 g
Protein – 1.9 g (DV = 4%) Thiamine (vit B1) – 0.2mg (DV = 11%)
Riboflavin 0.0mg Niacin (vit. B3) – 0.3mg (DV = 2%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) – 0.1mg (DV = 1%) Vitamin B6 – 0.0 mg
Folate – 8.9 mcg (DV = 2%) Vitamin C – 0.1 mg (DV = 0%)
Calcium – 26.1mg (DV = 3%) Iron – 0.6mg (DV = 3%)
Magnesium – 40.2 mg (DV = 10%) Phosphorus – 65.8mg (DV = 7%)
Potassium – 83.3 mg (DV = 2%) Zinc – 0.4mg (DV = 3%)

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Flaxseeds are rich in:

    • Lignans – lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens. They are estrogen-like chemical compounds with antioxidant qualities, able to scavenge free radicals in the body. Flaxseed is considered to be one of the best sources of lignans (0.3 g per 100g). A study, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, concluded that “lignan-rich diets may be beneficial, particularly if consumed for life.”2

 

    • Fiber – flaxseed is rich in both soluble fiber (which dissolves in water) and insoluble fiber (which does not dissolve in water). According to Mayo Clinic3, “soluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.” Whereas insoluble fiber “absorbs water which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly.”

 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids – these are considered to be “good fats” that are beneficial for the heart. These essential acids are only obtainable by eating the right foods; the human body is not able to produce them.

Health benefits of Flaxseed

The therapeutic and beneficial properties of consuming flaxseed are not yet completely understood, and many claims still lack “high-quality” studies to back them up.

However, emerging research suggests that flaxseed might indeed be the wonder food many people claim it to be.

Flax flowers
Flax flowers blooming.

The health benefits associated with flaxseed include:

  • Protecting against cancer – consuming flaxseed may help protect against prostate, colon, and breast cancers. Flaxseed is thought to prevent the growth of cancerous cells because its omega-3 fatty acids disrupt malignant cells from clinging onto other body cells. In addition, the lignans in flaxseed have antiangiogenic properties – they stop tumors from forming new blood vessels.One U.S. study presented at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) revealed that consuming flaxseed can stop prostate cancer tumors from growing. Dr Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, lead investigator of the study said that the team were “excited that this study showed that flaxseed is safe and associated with a protective effect on prostate cancer“.
  • Lowering cholesterol – researchers at the Iowa State University’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center found that cholesterol levels lowered among men who included flaxseed in their diet. Suzanne Hendrich, lead author of the study, said that for “people who can’t take something like Lipitor, this could at least give you some of that cholesterol-lowering benefit.”
  • Preventing hot flashes – a study published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology suggests that dietary intake of flaxseed can decrease the risk of hot flashes among postmenopausal women. “Not only does flaxseed seem to alleviate hot flashes, but it appears to have overall health and psychological benefits as well,” concluded Dr. Pruthi.
  • Improving blood sugar – there is strong evidence to suggest that consuming flaxseed everyday improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes4, according to a study published in Nutrition Research.
  • Protecting against radiationa diet of flaxseed may protect skin tissue from being damaged by radiation, revealed researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The investigators concluded that their “study demonstrates that dietary flaxseed, already known for its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, works as both a mitigator and protector against radiation pneumonopathy.”

Side effects and precautions

Even though research on the safety of taking flaxseed during pregnancy is scarce, pregnant women should stay on the safe side and avoid consuming flaxseed because of its estrogen-like properties which doctors believe may affect pregnancy outcome. In addition, people suffering from a bowel obstruction should avoid flaxseed too (because of its high level of fiber), according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.5

Side effects associated with the consumption of flaxseed, include:

Benefits of chia seeds

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example.

When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but Coates warns to make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds). Coates sells the seeds himself, but they are available from many different health food stores and supermarkets.

So once you’ve got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? “The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything,” Coates says. The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavour profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, and Coates says that some of his customers even add them to ice cream. (And yes, you can even sprout it and eat it that way too!)

 10 reasons to add chia seeds to your diet:

Combat Diabetes
Chia is being studied as a potential natural treatment for type-2 diabetes because of its ability to slow down digestion. The gelatinous coating chia seeds develops when exposed to liquids-can also prevent blood sugar spikes.

Get More Fibre
Just a 28-gram or one-ounce serving of chia has 11 grams of dietary fibre — about a third of the recommended daily intake for adults. Adding some chia to your diet is an easy way to make sure you’re getting a good amount of fibre, which is important for digestive health.

Stock Up On Omega-3
Chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, with nearly five grams in a one-ounce serving. These fats are important for brain health. “There’s better conversion of omega 3s into the plasma or into the food than with flax seed,” said researcher Wayne Coates.

Stronger Teeth And Bones
A serving of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts your well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis.

Don’t Forget Manganese
Manganese isn’t a well-known nutrient, but it’s important for our health: it’s good for your bones and helps your body use other essential nutrients like biotin and thiamin. One serving of chia seeds, or 28 grams, has 30 per cent of your recommended intake of this mineral.

Plenty Of Phosphorus
With 27 per cent of your daily value for phosphorus, chia seeds also helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also used by the body to synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.

Pack In The Protein
Chia seeds also make a great source of protein for vegetarians and don’t have any cholesterol. One 28-gram serving of these super seeds has 4.4 grams of protein, nearly 10 per cent of the daily value.

Fight Belly Fat
Chia’s stabilizing effect on blood sugar also fights insulin resistance which can be tied to an increase in belly fat, according to Live Strong. This type of resistance can also be harmful for your overall health.

Get Full. Faster
Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is also found in chia seeds. While tryptophan is responsible for that strong urge to nap after a big Thanksgiving dinner for example, it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

Improve Heart Health
According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol while lowering total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol. All good news for your ticker!

Benefits of eating beets

6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets

If you are an avid beet lover, this article isn’t for you (but read on anyway for validation of your beet love)! You already know that beets are an extremely nutritious food choice that just happens to be tasty and delicious – you can eat the greens too! You already know that beets are an insane source of vitamins and minerals. But did you know that beets are the second largest source of sugar, after sugar cane?

If you’re not a beet lover, read on, and you soon will be.

1. Beets are nature’s Viagra

Seriously. One of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac. And that’s not just urban legend – science backs it up. Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

2. Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals

Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body.

3. Beets cleanse the body

They are a wonderful tonic for the liver, works as a purifier for the blood, and can prevent various forms of cancer. Nuff said, right? Tastes good and prevents cancer? Sign me up!

Organic red beets at the farmers market

4. Beets help your mental health

Beets contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression. It also contains trytophan, which relaxes the mind and creates a sense of well-being, similar to chocolate. Beets can also lower your blood pressure. So if you’re already steamed about not eating beets, you can get a two-fer by diving into them right away.

5. Beets are used as a stomach acid tester

How in the world does that work? Glad you asked. If you are eating a lot of beets or beet juice, and your pee turns pink, guess what? You have low stomach acid. Pee still clear? Ratchet it up and get juicing (use the greens too)! Nutritionists use beets and beet juice to test stomach acid levels, so stay ahead of the curve by adding beets to your diet now.

6. Beets are a high source of energy

At the same time they are low in calories and high in sugar (although the sugar is released into your system gradually, as opposed to chocolate). Very few foods found in the natural world are as beneficial as beets in this regard.

Beets are a wonderful addition to any dietary need. With their high volume of nutrients, delicious taste, and multitude of uses, anyone can jump right into beets without missing a beat.

Bet you didn’t know:

Beets were served in space when the astronauts of Apollo 18 met up with their brethren in Soyuz 19. They served borscht.

To-do:

If you are juicing, but haven’t gotten to veggies yet, give beets a try. Use a small amount at first to supplement your already yummy fruit smoothies. Work your way up to more as you see fit.

Fat burning foods

Almonds and other nuts (with skins intact)
Build muscle, reduce cravings

Dairy products (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Build strong bones, fire up weight loss

Eggs
Build muscle, burn fat

Turkey and other lean meats
Build muscle, strengthen immune system

Berries
Improve satiety, prevent cravings

Enova oil (soy and canola oil)
Promotes fullness, not easily stored as fat

Peanut butter
Boosts testosterone (a good thing even in women), builds muscle, burns fat

Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, mackerel)
Trigger fullness, fire up fat burning

Grapefruit
Lowers insulin, regulates blood sugar and metabolism; be sure to eat the fleshy white membranes

Green tea
Fires up fat burning

Chili peppers
Spikes metabolism

Spinach and green vegetables
Fight free radicals and improve recovery for better muscle building

Whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, whole grain cereal)
Small doses prevent body from storing fat

Beans and legumes
Build muscle, help burn fat, regulate digestion

Benefits of eating kale

 

Move over Popeye and make room for the “queen of greens,” kale. Gaining in popularity, kale is an amazing vegetable being recognized for its exceptional nutrient richness, health benefits, and delicious flavor.

Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol

Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

What makes kale so exceptional? Here is why it’s a superstar vegetable — and ways to work it into your diet.

Kale is a Nutritional Powerhouse

One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, and a whopping 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Super-Rich in Vitamin K

Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese.

Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.

But too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.

Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.

Eat More Kale

In summer, vegetable choices abound. But during the cooler months, there are fewer in-season choices — with the exception of kale and other dark, leafy greens that thrive in cooler weather.

To find the freshest kale, look for firm, deeply colored leaves with hardy stems. Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavor. Leaves range from dark green to purple to deep red in color.

Store kale, unwashed, in an air-tight zipped plastic bag for up to five days in the refrigerator.

Dessert Protein Bars

20140502_152044Based on Protein

A protein bar can help you reach your daily protein requirement without the heavy feeling that may accompany a high-protein meal. Leaving you feeling satisfied but not stuffed, protein bars are great for anyone looking to support lean body mass. Best of all, protein bars can accommodate people on a low, moderate or high-protein diet.

For a moderate protein diet, select a protein bar with approximately 16 to 25 grams of protein per serving. You can also choose a protein bar with less than 15 grams for low protein diet or a bar with more than 25 grams for a high protein diet. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to consume .5 to 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight depending on your activity level and goals.

Based on Total Carbohydrate Grams

The carbohydrate content of a protein bar can be just as important as its protein content. While people on a low-carbohydrate diet require a protein bar with less carbohydrates, elite athletes and marathoners require a high-carbohydrate protein bar to fuel energy sources and help replace hundreds of burnt-up calories.

Dieters simply looking to get in shape can choose a protein bar with a carbohydrate content of less than 20 grams per serving.

Active people who require energy to fuel their daily activities can opt instead for a protein bar with a moderate 21 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.

Based on Net Impact Carbs

When it comes to maintaining blood sugar levels already within a normal range, not all carbs are created equal. There are “effective carbs” that significantly impact blood sugar levels as well as other types of carbs that have a lesser effect. The “net impact carb” content plays an important role in finding the protein bar with the lowest impact. The formula is both easy and efficient.

First, determine the total amount of carbohydrate grams in a protein bar. Next, subtract the carbs that have a lesser effect on blood sugar: fiber and sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol and glycerol. The total sugar alcohol content will be listed in the nutrition facts box. The result is the net impact carb content.

If you are concerned with your carbohydrate intake, choose a protein bar with more carbohydrates from sugar alcohols than one with a greater percentage of carbs from sugar like honey and glucose.

Based on Calories

Regardless of your fitness goals, calorie count is important when choosing the best protein bar.

Protein bars with more than 300 total calories make great meal replacements for the fitness enthusiast on the go. Bars with less calories can be ideal as a snack and for some people may be used in place of a small meal.

You can also enjoy a protein bar as a pre-workout snack, as long as the calorie count is low and carbohydrates are also provided. A protein bar with 100 to 200 calories can help fuel an intense workout when eaten approximately one hour before training.

Use in conjunction with an intense daily exercise program and a balanced diet including an adequate caloric intake.20140502_152700