10 Healthy Foods To Keep You Fit

10 Healthy Foods To Keep You Fit

Healthy eating and physical fitness go together, but there are no magic foods that cause you to be one hundred percent healthy by just eating the one food.

 

10 Healthy Foods To Keep You Fit

Healthy eating and physical fitness go together, but there are no magic foods that cause you to be one hundred percent healthy by just eating the one food. No, you need a variety of foods from each of these food groups each day. It’s also important to watch the portion size so as not to overeat. Make your mealtimes pleasant and relaxed occasions and your healthy foods will work effectively with your healthy emotions to give you a healthy body.

Berries

You may like all types of berries or just one or two favorites, but you can never go wrong by adding a few fresh berries as a quick energy snack or frozen berries made into a luscious smoothie in place of calorie laden desserts. Berries are high in vitamin C across the board, but some are high in other nutrients as well. Choose ripe blueberries for vitamin C and heaps of anti-oxidants for the health of your circulatory system. Gogi berries are less well-known but are wonderfully rich in many of the nutrients your body needs to be nutritionally and physically fit.

Citrus

The foods of the citrus family are widely recognized as a valuable source of vitamin C. Choose fully ripe citrus fruits for the best nutritional value and choose citrus as near to the tree as possible. Tree ripened fruits picked at the peak of perfection and consumed with hours of picking give you the top nutritional rating. Try grapefruit for breakfast. Add a dash of fresh squeezed lime to your salad as a dressing and enjoy slices of orange with coconut in a light honey dressing for dessert.

Vegetables

The variety of vegetables is amazing. For people who are vegetarian or vegan, choosing vegetables to be part of a nutritionally sound diet is a way of life. Your vegetable group provides many of the minerals required in a good diet. For example, you may realize that potassium is necessary for healthy nutrition. Many people claim the benefits of potassium found in a single banana. But did you know, you can also get adequate potassium in your diet by eating a stalk of broccoli? Try a salad of fresh young spinach topped with pine nuts and stirred with lightly cooked penne’. Feta cheese and a light vinaigrette dressing to create the perfect light luncheon meal.

Whole Grains

Like many other of the best foods, choosing only one type of whole grain for your meals doesn’t provide all the variety you need to be nutritionally sound. Often, mixing two or more whole grains together will give you complete proteins. For example, brown rice and wheat kernels with a spicy seasoning are a popular dish in many countries.

Salmon

Salmon is lean fish and nutritionally one of the best fish choices. It is rich in Omega-3 oils that are noted as helping improve the functioning of the brain. Salmon baked whole with just lemon or lime as a seasoning makes a fantastic main dish or a hearty luncheon featured menu item. Salmon is also commonly found in chilled seafood dishes.

Legumes

A legume is the name for a variety of fruits with a single dry seed. Legumes are sometimes called pods. Examples of edible legumes are soybeans, peas, dried beans and peanuts, among others. Legumes are rich in iron and high in fiber, making them excellent nutritional choices. Peanuts are a type of legume that have been used to make hundreds of different products some edible and others with various types of helpful uses.

Nuts and seeds

Nature has packed a lot of goodness into small packages. Most everyone has heard of walnuts and pecans which are very good nutritional products, but did you realize that flax seeds are brain food–containing critical non-meat sources of the Omega-3 oil.

Lean proteins

The keyword here is lean. Americans eat far too much protein compared to the rest of the world. Cut down of portion sizes–three ounces will provide all the needed protein needed for your day. Also, trim all visible fat from your protein source. Alternatively, use non meat substitutes such as the complete proteins found in vegetable dishes like beans and brown rice.

Tea

Depending on the type of tea you prefer, you can get an energy boost from a cup of green tea, or the calming effect of chamomile tea. Get going with mint teas or start your day with Earl Grey Breakfast Tea. Herbal teas are soothing, tasty and good for you. Non herbal teas will help you to stay alert when you need help to function.

Olive oil

Olive oil is probably the healthiest substance you can use to keep fat in your diet. You can use it on your salad, mix it with a little vinegar to create your own, or fry other foods in the hot oil. Just make sure that the temperature is not too hot so that the oil is broken down

10 Healthy Foods To Keep You Fit

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Diabetes and Obesity

 Diabetes and Obesity

Diabetes and Obesity

Some health issues can develop at any time during your life. But the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes or becoming obese grow as you age. The risk also increases with pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancies can also add to the risk. Women are more at risk of developing both diabetes and obesity. This is linked to hereditary factors, hormones, and autoimmune diseases.

For some autoimmune diseases that can be linked to weight gain, women are a 10 to 1 higher risk than men are. This is a statistic that should cause you alarm – or at the very least, cause you to be cautious.

Pregnancy and Diabetes

Diabetes can be type I, type II or gestational. Gestational is the kind that affects pregnant women. The reason that gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy is because of the hormonal changes that take place.

Usually, gestational diabetes will develop during the six to nine month stage of the pregnancy – and this is the most common period. However, it can occur during any trimester.

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body undergoes changes that are supposed to benefit the developing baby. But the demands of the baby during the pregnancy can cause diabetes.

Your body uses glucose as fuel and it needs this fuel for all kinds of bodily functions. With gestational diabetes, the production of certain hormones causes the body’s ability to handle glucose to not be as responsive to insulin

Some doctors refer to gestational diabetes as an impaired glucose tolerance because once the pregnancy is over, the impairment usually goes away. During the pregnancy, however, the intolerance can reach high levels.

Since the body isn’t able to correctly process the glucose, this can cause the mother-to-be to experience fatigue. This is because she’s not getting the fuel – something has gone wrong in the process.

Though gestational diabetes can be common during pregnancy, there are some risks associated with having the condition. Diabetes carries a high risk of having a miscarriage.

It’s also one of the leading causes for the baby to have a higher birth weight than the average baby. This higher birth rate can cause some problems during delivery – such as the baby getting stuck in the birth canal, which can lead to the need for a c-section.

The risks to a baby in the womb can include birth defects if the gestational diabetes is not properly monitored and treated.

Although there are some risks to a baby born when the mother-to-be has diabetes, such as jaundice and respiratory difficulty, the risks are not as high as they are while the baby is still in the womb.

One of the reasons that gestational diabetes can be dangerous to the baby and the mother is because there are no noticeable symptoms – especially in the first stages of the condition.

So the pregnancy can progress without treatment if the mother is not under the care of a physician. While the symptoms may not be as readily recognized, there are signs that you could be at risk for developing the condition.

These signs are: having a history of having had the condition, prior births where the baby weighed more than average, a family history of the disease unrelated to the gestational form, and obesity.

Pregnancy and Obesity

The definition for obesity means that you’re carrying more weight than you should to be healthy. Obesity is not determined by a certain amount of weight, but rather how much fat you carry before it negatively affects your health.

Some women can carry more weight and have no adverse health because of it because their BMI (body mass index) level is low, while some women can carry an extra twenty pounds and their body reacts to that weight.

The standard measure for obesity is if you have a BMI that’s at 30 or above. If you carry too much weight while you’re pregnant, the risks to both you and the baby will rise dramatically.

Besides gestational diabetes, you can run the risk of developing conditions that can be life threatening. Being obese can cause preeclampsia. This condition can cause the blood pressure to rise in often unsafe numbers as well as causing the kidneys to spill protein.

This is known as proteinuria. One of the signs of the condition is noticeable swelling. Your ankles, legs, feet, and hands can look puffy from the fluid buildup. If the condition is not caught and treated, it can turn into eclampsia, which can be fatal.

Having a high BMI can be a sign that you’re at risk of getting preeclampsia – and it’s one of the biggest risks for developing it. Having diabetes, including the gestational kind as well as family history of the condition, can add to your chance of having it.

Blood clots are also more common in pregnant women who are obese. The extra weight gain from pregnancy, additional fluid, and more blood flow can increase the likelihood of having a blood clot develop.

Obesity also is a leading factor in pregnancies that go beyond the original due date. This can, in turn, cause birthing complications. Having the extra weight is not only linked to birth defects, but it’s also a contributor to stillborn births.

If you are at risk for complications during pregnancy because of your weight, you’ll want to make sure that you’re closely monitored by a doctor who understands the risks both to you and to the baby.

Aging and the Link to Diabetes

Diabetes is being diagnosed in more aging adults than ever before. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is more prevalent in seniors than other age groups.

This condition can take a toll on not only the physical health, but mental and emotional health of a person as well. Though diabetes is one disease, there is not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan.

What works for one person will not work for the next. This is why your treatment has to be factored with your individual needs as well as the kind of lifestyle that you lead.

Having diabetes increases your risk of developing other age related diseases and it needs to be monitored to keep the side effects of the disease as low as possible.

Just being diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically face some of the physical problems linked with it. You can fight back. One of the first steps you can do is to make sure that you pay attention to your glucose numbers.

You need a good monitor – having two is a good idea. You can keep one at home and one at work or in your car. Check your glucose levels two hours from the start of when you began to eat.

The number should be less than 180, but lower is even better. This shows how your body is processing the glucose and turning it into fuel. People who have diabetes often struggle with feeling tired because their cells aren’t getting the proper amount of fuel from the glucose.

Instead, it remains in the bloodstream. You should get your A1C level checked every three months. This will show how well your body is working to control the level of glucose.

The higher the number, the more at risk of complications that you are. This test can be a gauge to determine if there are any changes that can be made that can keep you healthier.

Blood pressure is something else that you’ll need to watch out for when you have diabetes because high blood pressure is commonly associated with the disease. Long term high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Your cholesterol level should also be routinely checked. People with diabetes often tend to have higher cholesterol levels, which contributes to heart disease.

The most widely known symptoms of this disease are thirst, hunger that’s above what you normally feel, going to the bathroom more often – having to get up in the middle of the night to urinate can be a sign.

Other signs are vision problems, thirst and feeling tingling in your fingers that feel like a pins and needles sensation. You can have the same sensation in your lips. Headaches, often severe, are common, too.

Having wounds or infections that take a long time to heal is also a sign of the condition. Feeling as if you need to take a nap is a sign that many aging people mistakenly attribute to growing older

As the disease progresses untreated and the numbers become very high, it can lead to sudden and dramatic weight loss. At this stage, there is an acute risk of diabetic coma.

Aging and Obesity

Being obese is the number one reason that aging people get diabetes. Not only is it the cause, but carrying too much weight can also make it more difficult to manage the diabetes and get the glucose numbers into a healthy range.

Obesity causes the accelerated aging of adipose tissue. This is known as body fat and it’s a connective tissue. While you might think of it as just fat, this tissue actually works very hard for your body.

It works to help the energy release that your body needs to function properly. It also works in hormone production. This tissue is instrumental in helping with hormones related to sex, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and blood clotting.

Just like too little of this tissue (like you see in some health conditions such as anorexia) can be dangerous to your health, so can too much of it.

Too much adipose tissue equals obesity and makes it more difficult for your body to use the glucose because your organs and cells can’t work the way they should.

Obesity can also accelerate aging. There is also an increased risk of dementia associated with obesity. Gallstones are more common. So is back pain because of the pressure the weight puts on the spine.

Ulcers are more common with obesity and aging as well. Besides heart disease and cancer, obesity carries an elevated risk of developing cancer as you age. Women are at greater risk of developing cancer as they age if they’re obese.

Obesity has an incredibly high rate of cancer occurrences in older people. The risk of being diagnosed with cancer as you age leaps to fifty percent. As you age, your cells do, too.

In some people, the rate at which the cells age is slow. This is why you can see people in their seventies and older who look like they’re in their fifties or sixties. One of the leading causes of cells aging rapidly is obesity.

This is due to the fat that occurs with excess weight. The fat speeds up the destruction of the cells’ makeup. This process can make a person look anywhere from ten to twenty years older than what they are.

Your fat cells are responsible for making your body age faster than it normally would if you didn’t have the extra weight.

Lowering Your Risk Factors for Diabetes and Obesity

While you can’t change your family history of diabetes or obesity, you can know the risk factors that will affect your own health. By knowing what your risks are, you can make preventative changes.

Or, if you already have diabetes or are obese, you can become proactive. By becoming proactive, you can often reverse the damaging health effects of both conditions.

First, get rid of any bad habits that can complicate either. This could be habits such as smoking or other addictions. If you’re not exercising, you need to start. Exercise can promote weight loss and it can also help control glucose levels.

If you are exercising already, make sure that you haven’t fallen into a routine that doesn’t challenge your body to its optimal performance. Take an honest look at the foods that you’re putting into your body.

While it’s true that there are health conditions aside from overeating that can cause both diabetes and obesity, the majority of the cases are caused by too much food.

If your main food sources are high fat foods, sugary foods, carbs and fast foods, then you have to make some changes in order to change your long term health. If your diet is a problem, make small changes toward healthier foods rather than big changes.

This way, it won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.  Don’t fall for any fad diets. These can have some negative and even dangerous consequences. Choose instead a healthy way of eating that focuses on lean meats, vegetables and fruits and whole grains.

Get a BMI screening test as well as a blood glucose test.

This will show you where you currently stand with either condition. If you want to lose weight to help control the risk of diabetes, or to manage it if you already have it, don’t constantly focus on the scale or how much you need to lose.

Instead, focus on eating healthy, exercising and one week at a time. You don’t have to constantly worry about it, but regularly check in with your health to ensure you’re not inching closer to either condition.

Juice Fasting for Weight Loss

Juice Fasting for Weight Loss

Traditionally juice diets have been used for detoxification purposes. The principles behind this are straightforward and do make sense, but are only designed for a short period of 2-3 days maximum (often called a juice fast).

By only consuming fresh juices for a period of time you naturally abstain from fats, processed carbohydrates and refined sugars as well as substances like coffee and alcohol.

As a result, this is extremely beneficial for cleansing the liver and kidneys and their related systems, including the whole digestive tract. It is believed too that by giving the digestive system a ‘rest’ from fiber; digestion is easier, and nutrients are able to be absorbed more efficiently.

Recently many bold claims have been made about prolonged juice fasting, such as disease fighting, free radical destroying, fat burning and pain alleviating results. However, many of these claims are as yet to be supported by any reliable research.

Juice Fasting is Not a Long-term Solution to Weight Loss

Juice fasting exclusively as a weight loss measure is a short-term solution for a long term problem that can in some situations result in unwanted complications.

The term ‘juicing’ pretty much means drinking your food, primarily fruits, vegetables and herbs. Incorporated into a healthy diet juicing is a great way to boost energy levels and consume extra nutrients – a popular favorite is beetroot, celery, carrot, apple, ginger and mint; perfect for a morning ‘pick me up’.

Weight will certainly be lost when ‘juicing’ however it is not guaranteed that any actual fat will be burnt.  Instead you even risk losing muscle mass due to the absence of protein in the diet. You also run the risk of slowing your metabolism, meaning when you resume a normal diet, less energy will be burnt and potentially more fat will be stored immediately following the ‘juice fasting’ period.

These problems may be combatted by consuming juice more frequently (every 2-3 hours) and balancing your juices by adding protein, either in the form of powder supplements or natural sources such as almond milk or Greek yogurt.

High-carb and High-calorie

Juices can also be surprisingly calorie dense, especially when predominantly fruit. This is due to their high carbohydrate content. The actual process of juicing fruit and vegetables can also remove some of their natural benefits; of particular concern is the absence of fiber. Once the physical bulk, largely fiber, is removed, the remaining sugars form a much larger percentage of what remains.

If viewed as a short-term revitalizing and cleansing fast, juicing can be an extremely positive part of a healthy lifestyle, especially when combined with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. As a long-term weight loss solution, however, it is a fad diet that cannot and should not be sustained for long periods.

Initial dramatic weight loss may indeed occur, however little will be done for long-term weight maintenance.

If you do decide to try a juice fast you should consult your healthcare professional first and discuss any individual potential risks. Juicing is not recommended for people suffering diabetes and heart disease nor is it suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Always include a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly before use and where possible choose organic produce to eliminate concentrated consumption of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (particularly in leafy greens)

Breathing Exercises to Help Improve Lung Capacity

Breathing Exercises to Help Improve Lung Capacity

Every single breath we take is very important. It is our breath that keeps us alive. But did you know that lung capacity can diminish with age? Like most parts of our body, lung function may begin to decline and gradually decrease from our mid-20s, when our lungs reach their full development.

Lung capacity is the total amount of oxygen that our lungs can hold. As it slowly declines with age, this means that there may come a time when breathing can become especially challenging later in life. Aside from age, other factors may also contribute to the decline of our lung capacity. Pollution, smoking, and lung diseases can all contribute to reduced lung capacity and breathing difficulties.

However, certain breathing exercises provide respite from chronic lung dysfunction and certain respiratory problems.

Breathing Exercises That Can Improve Lung Capacity

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as belly breathing. It is conducted by engaging the diaphragm, the part in our body that does most of the work to help us breathe. Diaphragmatic breathing can be done by first putting ourselves in relaxed mode while sitting down or lying down. Place one hand on the belly, and the other hand on the chest.

Inhale through the nose for two seconds (but notice how much the stomach rises) then exhale through the mouth. On the next inhalation with the nose, get the stomach to rise higher. Then exhale, making each exhalation two or three times longer than each inhalation.

To ensure that the exercise doesn’t make the upper body tenser, roll your shoulders forward, and then backward. Then move the head from side to side. This breathing exercise can be very helpful for people with COPD, as it engages and strengthens the diaphragm.

Pursed-Lips Breathing

This breathing technique has the capacity to slow down our breathing, helping to reduce its work by keeping the airways open much longer. Pursed-lips breathing can make the lungs function easier, and also improve the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange cycle.

Compared to diaphragmatic breathing, pursed-lips breathing may be easier for those who are not used to practicing breathing exercises. It is a lot easier than belly breathing and you can easily do it at home even without anyone demonstrating it to you or supervising you. It’s also easy to practice anytime, anywhere.

To practice pursed-lips breathing, inhale slowly through the nose, then purse the lips as if preparing to blow something. Then breathe out very slowly through the pursed lips; make it twice as long as when you inhaled. Then repeat.

Interval Training

Interval training helps the lungs whenever we are experiencing shortness of breath or breathlessness from strenuous exercise. It simply involves alternating between less strenuous exercises and quick, strenuous exercises.

In cases where breathlessness is experienced during an exercise session, it is better to conduct interval training than simply persist with the challenging exercise non-stop. In that way, interval training can help the lungs by giving them more time to recover, before subjecting them again to an intense workout, a physically-challenging activity for the lungs, which causes breathlessness.

To demonstrate how easy it is to conduct interval training when you are feeling breathless during an exercise, let’s take walking for example. Walk for 1 minute at a very fast pace, one that raises your heartbeat and causes you to feel breathless. After 1 minute, start walking slowly, but for twice as long as the fast walk you did; do it for 2 minutes this time. Then repeat the cycle. Strength training activities like bicep curls or lunges can be similarly done for a minute also, to be followed by a slow walk for 2 or 3 minutes.

Always try to slow down for a few minutes, whenever you experience breathlessness or shortness of breath during an intense workout session. Additionally, it may also help to conduct pursed lips breathing in case the breathlessness doesn’t subside.

How to Plan Meals on a Keto Diet Plan

How to Plan Meals on a Keto Diet Plan

Hello Scott W Stewart, welcome to the home of self weight loss and all things fitness.

How to Plan Meals on a Keto Diet Plan

Everyone is different in terms of how much or how little they like to plan ahead when it comes to their meals. Some people like to avoid temptation by having everything planned and logged into a tracking system so they don’t go over their carb level.

Others like to have the freedom to eat whatever keto-friendly carb meals they want throughout the day. It’s all up to you. But if you’re a planner, here are some things you can do to make sticking to this diet plan a bit easier on you.

First, you can purchase keto-friendly foods to have on hand in your home at all times. Some of the recipes or meals call for unique ingredients, such as coconut oil, and you want it to be convenient for you to prepare your foods.

Second, you can meal prep your favorite keto-friendly foods ahead of time. Some people meal prep on a weekend so they have everything ready a week at a time. Others only prep everything the night before, so it’s completely up to you.

A third way of planning is to think about what you want to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and then log them into your carb tracker the night before. That way, you know exactly what you need to fix and how many net carbs it will be.

Another way to plan ahead is to educate yourself about which foods are carb-friendly, and which items on your favorite restaurant menus are going to help you stay in ketosis. If there aren’t any, you can plan ahead about how you’ll place an order tailored to your needs.

Some keto dieters even plan for temptations they might be around. Not everywhere you go will be free from the lure of carb-laden foods. So you have to be ready when you’re in enemy territory.

Some dieters have a keto-friendly snack in their bag in case they’re put in an awkward situation where the only foods being served are those overflowing with carbs. You can take out a snack bag of pecans or a string cheese, for example and satisfy your hunger without being forced to cave.

If you’re active in outdoor activities, if you travel or if you have to be away from your home for any amount of time, you can plan to take snacks along with you then, too. Even if you simply drive a lot for work, you may want to have something on hand for those moments when hunger strikes.