Category Archives: Nutrition

10 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding

breastfeedingIf you are the proud mother of a newborn baby, and are wondering how your diet effects the baby’s nourishment, you’ve come to the right place. Mothers who are breastfeeding should take better care of their diet, because their diet has an indirect effect on their child’s nourishment. What you eat and drink contributes towards the composition of your breast milk, and your child’s health is therefore indirectly affected by your diet.

In some cases, the child may even cry or refuse to feed if the composition of your breast milk disagrees with them, and in other cases, the child may get diarrhea, constipation or rashes. While everyone knows that drinking, smoking, and certain medication must be avoided while breastfeeding, there are many seemingly harmless parts of your diet that may disagree with your baby.

Dried vs. Fresh Fruits

We all could probably increase our intake of fruits, but besides knowing that they are “good for us”, many don’t know the specific heath benefits of consuming them. Now of days, fruits are pretty easy to come by, so there really is no excuse not to get in our daily recommended servings. Whether fresh or dried, there are advantages to both and they can be used together to forge a healthier lifestyle.

Health Benefits of All Fruits

Cancer-Fighting properties: Fruit tends to contain certain components like antioxidants, poly-phenolic flavonoids, Vitamin C, and anthocyanins. All of these help to fight against cancer-causing free radicals. In addition to the prevention piece, they also help to battle these illnesses if they do occur.

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Peanut Butter & Weight Loss

When you were a child, you may have loved sinking your teeth into the sticky snack of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You may not have known it then, but this protein-packed ingredient may have other benefits, aside from being delicious. Some people stray away from peanut butter, as it is high in fat and calories, especially those watching their weight. The truth is that the spread has actually been associated with successful weight loss.

How it Helps with Weight Loss: Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts

Although some are turned off by the high caloric amount, it is important to consider the nutritional breakdown of the food in order to fully understand all of the nutrients and weight loss benefits it has to offer. 71% of the calories are derived from fat, 14% from carbohydrates and 15% from protein.

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Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Fall is fast approaching and some of your favorite activities during the holidays may be indulging in autumn flavors, such as sweet potato, cinnamon and pumpkin! Now, you have the perfect excuse to indulge a little bit more. Pumpkin is not only best used for carving out creative Halloween designs or even just for pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. Although fun and yummy in these forms, pumpkin seeds may actually offer you plenty of nutritional benefits that you may have not known about. Check out some new reasons to add pumpkin seeds to your grocery list this fall.

History

Although we may have just become hip to all of the health benefits that pumpkin seeds have to offer, Native Americans have known and eaten the seeds for both their nutritional value and medicinal purposes as well. They were heavily cultivated after European settlers brought them back from the “New World” and are now most popularly grown in Mexico, United States, India and China.

How To Burn Fat By Eating Right

It’s summer once again and people pose in front of their mirrors thinking whether they have reached their goals concerning their weight or they failed big time. One of the most common questions people ask me every June is: “Elena what should I do to lose a few pounds fast or is it too late anyway?” and every time they get the same answer: “to lose excess weight properly, even now that you do not have much time, you have to combine regular exercise with reduced caloric intake or go on a specific diet. Everyone knows what to do and what not, what suits him more and also the cons and pros of each diet. The choice is yours, but the goal is the same: To speed up your metabolism as much as possible and burn fat without starving. Lose one pound after another, in enjoyable way, without much effort and of course, quickly.

Night Eating Syndrome: Signs, Causes and Treatment

Now you may have faced late night cravings at one point or another, however if you experience Night Eating Syndrome (NES), then you know that this serious condition is way more than simply a hunger pang for a midnight snack. Night Eating Syndrome actually falls under the category of an eating disorder and therefore, is interlinked with mental health. Eating disorders are much more than the desire to be skinny (e.g. anorexia) or over-indulgence (e.g. bulimia). They are distinctive mental disorders and should be treated accordingly. Many people are unfamiliar with NES since it is an emerging epidemic, so understanding the signs and treatment is crucial to helping someone who may be suffering.

10 Ways To Burn Fat Without Losing Muscles

1. Do not eat very few calories

If your daily intake is fewer than 1,200 calories, you will not be receiving all nutritious elements that you need and your body will be in a constant state of stress. Stress and anxiety increase production of cortisol, a hormone that forces the body to decrease the metabolism rate, in order to maintain a back up of energy. The result? Muscular combustion, liguid detention and increase in body fat percentage.

Tip: Eating less will not make you lose more weight. On the contrary, after a while, you will not burn a gram of fat! So, do not deprive your body from essential nutrients by lowering the caloric intake. Reduce progressively calories which come from unnecessary (for your body) junk, like saturated and trans fats, sugar and  processed foods and eat sufficient quantities of the useful nutriment like fruits, vegetables, lean protein etc.

10 Ways to Use Flaxseeds

Unless you are otherwise a health nut, flaxseeds may not have necessarily been on your grocery list or in your recipe cabinet. Now of days, flaxseeds can be bought at any health store, in most grocery stores and even online. If you’ve been resistant in trying or cooking with this seed, the various health benefits may make you want to reconsider.

Types of Flaxseed

The whole flaxseed itself comes in a hard shell, which is digested through the body whole and is therefore, unchanged, leaving little benefit to your health. The milled version, however, is great because its processing allows its contents to be readily available for the body to use.  The alpha-linoleic acid (an Omega-3 fatty acid) contained in the flaxseed in addition to the fiber, can be absorbed easily to keep you healthier.

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Prevent Free Radical Damage Through a Healthy Nutrition

Free radicals have become a household name as most cosmetics and anti-aging beauty lines claim to fight them off in efforts to prevent signs of aging. However, these atoms also have a host of other health implications and they are important to note as we all age. Aside from physical signs of aging, free radicals have been associated with cancer and other diseases, so understanding how to combat them with the help of proper nutrition and lifestyle changes is crucial to our health outcomes.

What is a Free Radical?

A free radical is an atom that has an unpaired electron. This means that it seeks other healthy and whole atoms to latch onto in order to steal their electron and become whole. Because they damage and attack other healthy cells, they are then a threat to the rest of your body and their function needs to be prevented. They are so much of a threat that researchers have associated them with various age-related diseases. What may seem like minor cell damage at the level of one free radical has the ability of turning into mass cell damage and the cause of disease over a period of time.

Benefits and Sources of Calcium

Calcium has many functions and is extremely important for our health and vitality. Most people are aware that calcium is needed for our bone health, but the benefits of calcium go beyond our skeletal system. There are other functions of calcium that you should educate yourself about in order to reap the benefits of all calcium has to offer.

Why is Calcium Important?

 Calcium is a mineral that is mainly stored in the bones, including in our teeth. About 99% of calcium is stored here in the body, while the remaining 1% is stored in our tissue, nerve and blood cells. By supporting healthy bone structure, adequate calcium levels work to prevent bone conditions such as osteoporosis, which is a health concern that especially targets aging women. Beyond bone health, calcium also works to support reproductive health as well as allowing for the secretion of hormones. It helps muscles and blood vessels contract as well as helps the blood to clot. All of the functions are very useful and essential to the body.

Diet Induced Thermogenesis and Thermogenic Foods

Many of you may not have heard of the term diet induced thermogenesis and put simply, it is the process of rapidly increasing your metabolism through the intake of certain foods. Some of these foods that promote this effect, which are referred to as thermogenic foods, have been recommending for those with the particular goal of weight loss. If you have a weight loss goal in mind, understanding the power of thermogenesis and thermogenic foods, may help you jumpstart your fat smashing journey.

Thermogenesis and the Thermic Effect

CLA and Body Fat Reduction

For all of you bodybuilders out there, you are probably pretty well versed in the supplement world and know which ones are the most essential. In your mission to add bulk while staying lean, you have likely come across the supplement, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, better known as CLA. CLA is a fatty acid that can be found mainly in meats and cheeses. For vegan bodybuilders or those who are just looking to get a healthier helping of CLA, taking it in a supplement form usually works best. The supplement comes in pills, liquids, and even fortified shakes, so finding a form that suites you should not be a problem.

Improve Your Eyesight by Implementing a Healthy Diet

As we age, there are many health concerns that we need to make sure to tend to. What may be overlooked (no pun intended) is the health of our eyesight. Often, people do not worry about their eyesight until there is already a problem. Aside from physical injury, there are a number of other factors that can contribute to the deterioration of your eyesight, including environmental ones like wind and air pollution. Having an ophthalmologist tell you that you need glasses should not be the primary point of tending to your eye health. Rather, you should take preventive steps to prolong healthy eyesight.

Top Antioxidant-Rich Foods

We all know that antioxidants are essential for us. Not only for reasons of vanity and helping us prevent signs of aging, but they are extremely beneficial to the way our body functions. Antioxidants have serious disease-fighting power and for this reason they are a hot commodity and people are always looking for delicious and nutritious ways to incorporate them into their diets.

Benefits/ Functions of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are popular for their anti-aging properties, but their main function is to fight free radicals that are harmful to your body. Free radicals are molecules that have one electron missing. Because they are unstable, they go on a mission to seek out other stable molecules in order to steal one of their electrons, which ultimately leads to a chain reaction of increasing free radicals.

Cardiovascular Benefits of Walnuts

We all know that nuts of many varieties offer plenty of nutritional benefits, but if you had to choose just one nut, I would recommend the walnut. The walnut contains many nutrients that have multiple health benefits, but what may be one of the most astounding benefits of the nut is its impact on cardiovascular health.

Nutritional benefits

Walnuts contain a number of nutrients that allow them to rank #1 above peanuts, pistachios, almonds and many other nutty favorites. One of the reasons is their high level of antioxidants, where you can get almost twice the amount in a serving of walnuts compared to other nuts. The primary antioxidant found in walnuts is Vitamin E. Walnuts are also a great source of dietary fiber and protein as well as magnesium and potassium.

10 Ways to Increase Calcium Absorption

In previous articles, we have mentioned the many reasons why it is important to consume essential nutrients, such as calcium. You may know the proper sources and even recommended quantities, but what you may not know is how to get the most out of the calcium that you intake each day. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you must also know the different ways you can increase the effectiveness of the nutrient, which includes boosting your body’s ability to absorb it.

How does your body absorb calcium?

It doesn’t matter if you drink two gallons of milk religiously each day. If you do not consume other elements that work in conjunction with calcium, then you may be missing out on all of your efforts, making them in vain. In order to absorb calcium properly, nutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, Vitamins A, C and D, need to be present.

Fact or Fiction: The Impact of Cold Water on your Metabolism

For those of you who seem to constantly tend to your diets and are on a mission to lose weight, you know the benefits of a speedy and efficient metabolism. There are various health benefits to drinking water as we have mentioned in multiple previous article. Everything, from our skin to our internal organs, is highly dependent on adequate water consumption. Here, we will learn an additional benefit of drinking water, which is the impact that it can have on our metabolism. Our metabolic health can help us achieve weight loss goals and improve the function of how our body processes and repairs itself.

Foods for Proper Digestion

Whether you are a health nut or have more “cheat days” than not, we all have faced issues with digestion at some point in time.  Proper digestion not only involves enzymes that already exist in the body, but those found in whole foods as well. Even if you eat pretty clean, it is useful to know which foods can assist and impede your digestion. This way, you can make sure to incorporate and combine the right foods to give you the best chances of digesting your food easily.

How to Reduce Your Daily Salt Intake

saltI was always the first at the table to grab that salt shaker to zest up my food. Even though my blood pressure was normally low, I was told by friends and family that I needed to cut back on salt to avoid getting myself into serious health problems.

Eventually I decided to consider their advice,

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so I researched through various sources to confirm if I really needed to make some changes. What I found really made me make some changes in my lifestyle because I realized the harmful effects extra salt and sodium can have on my health.

Quinoa and Weight Loss

 If you are mindful of your overall health, then you probably know about the importance of consuming whole grains like quinoa (KEEN-wah). What you may not know is that quinoa also has properties that are great for aiding your weight loss efforts. The truth is that quinoa acts more like a vegetable than a grain and has been used in weight loss diets for centuries. It originates from South America and is actually a relative of spinach, kale and swiss chard. It is composed of proteins, vitamins and minerals, making it a weight loss superfood. If you have missed the quinoa bandwagon, then it is not too late to jump on. Quinoa has become increasingly popular as a grain alternative and is quite tasty, so adding it to your diet should be easy.

Raspberry Ketones: Antioxidant Properties and Lipolysis

Raspberries are known for their sweet and sour flavor palate, yet less is known about the nutrients contained within them. They may be an underestimated fruit, but raspberries are packed with Vitamin C, Fiber, Magnesium and an assortment of many other nutrients. A member of the rose family, this fruit contains a hollow center, which is surrounded by the seeds.

Health Benefits

Cancer-Fighters: Raspberries contain tannins which are phytonutrients that are responsible for the antioxidant properties in this fruit among many others. Ellagic acid  is a component, specifically found in the red berries, which is often sold isolated in supplement stores. This helps neutralize free radicals and fight off cell damage, as all antioxidants do. Because of the antioxidant properties (from flavonoids and ellagic acid), raspberries have also been associated with impeding the growth of certain cancers, namely that of colon cancer. Although the research is in early stages, results suggest that the properties may help prevent tumor formation in many parts of the body.

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