Nutrition: The Super Foods That Keep You Healthy

Get ready to experience a volume of information of the healthiest foods in the world. Here is a list of the top ten super foods that most health experts agree on. You should tell everyone you know about these foods and enjoy them at your next meal. From fruits and vegetables, to whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes, this power-packed nutritional inventory will take you into the best years of your life and beyond.

Fruits

1. Cantaloupe

Only a quarter of cantaloupe provides almost all the vitamin A needed in one day. Since the beta-carotene in a cantaloupe converts to vitamin A, you get both nutrients at once. These vision-strengthening nutrients may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Like an orange, cantaloupe is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps our immune system. It is also is a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, folate, niacin, and potassium, which helps maintain good blood sugar levels and metabolism. This pale orange power fruit may help reduce our risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

2. Blueberries

These mildly sweet (and sometimes tangy) berries offer a high capacity to destroy free radicals that can cause cancer. Low in calories, they offer antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins, which enhance the effects of vitamin C. These antioxidants may help prevent cataracts, glaucoma, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer.

Vegetables

3: Tomatoes

Tomatoes help us fight against heart disease and cancers such as colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and cancer of the pancreas. Tomatoes are also good sources of vitamin C, A, and K. In a 2004 study, it was found that tomato juice alone can help reduce blood clotting.

Fresh, organic tomatoes deliver three times as much of the cancer-fighting carotenoid lycopene. Even organic ketchup is better for you than regular ketchup! Look for tomato pastes and sauces that contain the whole tomato (including peels) because you will absorb 75% more lycopene and almost two times the amount of beta-carotene.

4: Sweet Potatoes

As an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and manganese, sweet potatoes are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Those who are smokers or prone to second- hand smoke may benefit greatly from this root vegetable that helps protect us against emphysema.

For a unique dessert, cube a cooked sweet potato and slice a banana. Then lightly pour maple syrup over the top and add a dash or two of cinnamon. Add chopped walnuts for an even healthier kick.

5: Spinach and Kale

A cancer-fighter and cardio-helper, spinach and kale top the list as far as green leafy vegetables are concerned. Much like broccoli, they provide an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Kale is a surprisingly good source of calcium at 25% per cup, boiled. Vitamin K is abundantly found in spinach as well, with almost 200% of the Daily Value available, to help reduce bone loss.

Whole Grains

6: Whole Grain Bread, Pasta and Brown Rice

Whether it’s bread or pasta, the first thing to check for when purchasing whole grain bread and pasta is to make sure it is 100% whole grain. Remember to check the list of ingredients on the package. For example, look for the exact phrase “whole wheat flour” as one of the first ingredients listed in whole wheat bread. If it’s not listed as such, then it’s not whole grain. Wheat bran is a cancer-fighting grain that also helps us regulate our bowel movements.

Brown rice is also a better choice than refined grain (white rice) for the same reason as choosing whole wheat bread. Whole wheat flour or brown rice that turns into white flour or white rice actually destroys between 50-90% of vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids we need. Even when processed white flour or white rice is “enriched,” it is not in the same form as the original unprocessed kind. In fact, 11 nutrients are actually lost and are not replaced during the “enrichment” process!

Nuts

7: Walnuts

These nuts are packed with omega-3 fats, which is one of the “good” fats. A quarter cup of walnuts would take care of about 90% of the omega-3s needed in one day. Walnuts provide many health benefits including cardiovascular protection, better cognitive function, anti-inflammatory advantages relating to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. They can even help against cancer and also support the immune system.

Beans and Legumes

8: Black Beans and Lentils

While black beans are a good source of fiber that can lower cholesterol, so are lentils. The high fiber content in both black beans and lentils helps to maintain blood sugar levels. Also a fat-free, high quality protein with additional minerals and B-vitamins, black beans and lentils fill you up and don’t expand your waistline.

A complete, one-stop source of using a variety of beans and lentils comes easy when you can find a bag of 15-bean mix (includes black beans, lentils, navy, pinto, red, kidney, etc.) at the grocery store. Consider making a delicious soup with the addition of tomatoes, onions, garlic and your favorite spices with this bean mixture.

Dairy

9: Skim Milk and Yogurt

Skim milk (or low-fat) helps to promote strong bones, offering an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K. These nutrients help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals, bone loss, migraine headaches, premenstrual symptoms, and childhood obesity. Recent studies also show that overweight adults lose weight, especially around the midsection, when consuming low-fat dairy such as skim milk and yogurt.

Yogurt also includes the essential nutrients such as phosphorous and vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin B5, zinc, potassium, and protein. Yogurt’s live bacterial cultures also provide a wealth of health benefits that may help us live longer and strengthen our immune system.

Seafood

10: Salmon

Salmon is high in protein, low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fats (the essential fatty acids that are also found in those walnuts mentioned earlier). Salmon is a heart-healthy food and is recommended to eat at least twice a week. When choosing salmon, it’s best to stay away from farm raised and select wild instead. Research studies show that farmed salmon may cause cancer because it may carry high levels of carcinogenic chemicals known as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Other

Green Tea and “Power” Water

Although not food per say, the health benefits of these beverages are worthy of mentioning.

Green tea has beneficial phytonutrients and lower levels of caffeine than all other teas. The more research studying green tea, the more health benefits are found. A cancer fighter as well, green tea has antioxidant effects that lower risks of bacterial or viral infections to cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.

Water packed with vitamins and/or naturally sweetened fruit are also the newest trend. Some offer a full day’s supply of vitamin C while others promise no artificial sweeteners with a full, fruity taste.

As you can see, the top ten super foods are worth every bite (or sip). Now that you know which foods can help save your life, what’s more important than investing in your health?

Obesity is an Increasing Health Risk

High blood pressure, joint pains, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, heart ailments, palsy, liver ailments, menstrual abnormalities, breast cancer, female infertility, decline in libido, endometrial cancer, mental stress, blood circulation diseases like arteriosclerosis, cholelithiasis etc. These are some of the diseases which might come up with obesity. This list seems endless. But before knowing how to end obesity one must know “what is obesity?”

Whom would you consider a person to be obese? A person who has BMI (Body Mass Index) of over 30 is considered to be an obese individual. But how does one become obese? In theory causes of obesity are gene, intake of fatty foods, lacking of physical activity, food habits, laziness and endocrine problems.

What are the available remedies for getting out of obesity?

Liposuction: It is a surgical process where the fat is removed by sucking out the fat from the body by inserting a needle.

Surgery: Commonly this procedure involves surgery of stomach and intestine to lower the intake of food.

Diet Pills: Majority of the diet pills are for short-term use only. These diet pills are effective only if they are used in combination with exercises and a controlled diet.

Fat burning pills: These are short-term quick fat burning pills. But the main problem with this medication is that the results are short lived. Once the medication is stopped the fats again show up.

Exercises: It is an age old technique of obesity reduction. It is a natural process so side effects are not there.

Controlled diet program: Like exercises this too is a natural process. Here a limited amount of food is taken which controls the formation of fat in the body.
Acupressure and acupuncture: Age old technique but nothing concrete has been proved yet.

Whatever be the method of getting over obesity there is no better method than natural methods like exercises and controlled diet program. And if a diet pill like Phentermine, Adipex, Acomplia is introduced the effects would be visible within a short time period.

Apart from physical aspects obesity may also let you feel dejected, out of the world and may make an individual abstain from social gatherings. If you are obese it is time to act. Whatever remedy you choose you should always consult your doctor for his view on that remedy.

Noninfectious Reasons to get Health Insurance for the Family Cat

Most people do not to think about purchasing pet health insurance for the family cat simply because it seems as if cats never get sick. The veterinary concern most cat owners worry about is what will happen if their family cat gets run over by a passing car. Cat owners who keep their cats in the house don’t even worry about that. The truth is that there are many health problems that can cause the family cat to need to visit the family veterinarian and most of them are expensive. On the rare occasions cat owners find themselves facing an emergency vet bill they wish they had purchased a pet health care policy for their cat.

When humans think about cat allergies they automatically assume you are talking about humans who are allergic to cat hair what they don’t realize is that cats can have allergies all of their own that can plague them for the rest of their lives. Some cats suffer from inhalant allergies, these are allergies caused by inhalant allergens with are airborne particles that irritate the respiratory system. Inhalant allergies often make themselves apparent in asthma like symptoms. Some cats who suffer from inhalant allergies will also have skin lesions and experience hair loss. Dusty kitty litters, pollen, perfumes, cleaning sprays, deodorizers, dust, and smoke are all things your family cat might be allergic to.

A second type of allergy cats suffer from are called contact allergies with are allergies that are caused be physical contact with a substance that causes a physical reaction (often hives, swelling, and/or hair loss). Contact allergens a house cat might be exposed to are plants, carpet fresheners/cleaners, household cleaners, dust, synthetic fibers, wool fibers, some medicated skin crams, and ink.

If your cat has any type of allergies do not treat it with an over-the-counter anti-allergy medication without your veterinarian’s advice. Some cats require veterinary care for anal gland problems. Anal glands are glands are small glands in the anal sphincter muscle. Sometimes these glands become, impacted, injured, or infected and require veterinary care.

Veterinarians say that most cat constipation is caused by a hairball that is plugging up the cat’s system. If the hairball is extremely large your veterinarian may have to perform immediate surgery to remove it. Like their human owners some cats suffer from liver and kidney disease. Liver and kidney disease is most commonly seen in older cats although some younger cats will suffer liver disease that can be caused by parasites, medications, infections, cancers, and toxins. Blood tests are normally needed to accurately diagnosis kidney or liver disease.

A potentially lethal inflammation of the pancreas is called panaceatitis. Pancreatitis can be caused by infections, shock, infections, trauma, and/or metabolic disorders. Cats that have pancreatitis typically have abdominal pain, fever, elevated heart rate. If you suspect your cat is suffering from pancreatitis you can try with holding food and pushing water spiked with electrolytes. Your vet should be consulted immediately.
Pancreatitis is often associated with diabetes.

Nutritional Supplements: Are They Really Essential For Good Health

Why should I take nutritional supplements? Can’t I just eat healthy, exercise, drink plenty of water, etc.? A fair question. After all, quality nutritional supplements are not cheap. Let’s look at the arguments for taking nutritional supplements in addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Argument #1: Our foods no longer contain the nutrition they should

Due to modern processing and farming methods, foods that should be high in certain nutrients no longer are. For example, the tomato is an excellent source of phytonutrients, specifically, lycopene. But when you buy a tomato from the grocery store, there is little to no lycopene or other nutrients left in it. The tomato was likely grown on nutrient depleted soil, fertilized and sprayed with toxic chemicals, picked green, then gassed to turn it red. Little wonder it has no nutrition value left!

Another culprit in the nutrition depletion of foods is our food cooking and preparation. Even if you could by some magic acquire a nutrient rich tomato, cooking or storing the tomato will destroy most of the nutrients. For example, studies have shown that phytonutrients begin breaking down less than 24 hours after the vegetable was picked!

Of course, there are many other factors contributing to the poor nutrient content of our foods: breeding, GMOs, storage, etc, etc. Once you consider all of the factors causing the poor nutrient content in our food, it becomes quite logical to take supplements to replace these nutrients.

Argument #2: We no longer eat the right foods

If you eat a 100% organic, fresh diet, you’re a long ways ahead of the rest of us. Of course, the foods you’re eating are still nutrient depleted, as we saw above.

But for the rest of us, we need to supplement our diets also because we’re just not eating the foods we should. Currently, french fries are the most consumed vegetable in the United States. We’re just not getting the nutrients we need!

Argument #3: Environmental stress necessitates nutritional supplements

The Los Angeles Times ran an article last year revealing a startling finding: scientists announced that by the time a child born in LA was 2 weeks old, he had already been exposed to more toxins than would be acceptable for his entire life! While we don’t all live in Los Angeles, we’re all subject to environmental stress that puts extra burden on our immune systems. Even our drinking water has chemicals and toxins in it.

The best way to counter the stress on your body’s health caused by all of these toxins and such is to support your body with proper nutrition. Since our foods are nutrient depleted, the only way to properly support your health is through nutritional supplements.

Argument #4: Nutritional supplements allow us to benefit from nutrient rich foods around the world.
Even if our foods weren’t nutrient depleted and our environment wasn’t toxic, nutritional supplements would still have benefit. They allow us to benefit from plants and nutrient rich foods found around the world that otherwise we would be unable to benefit from. Good examples would be the goji berry from China, the Australian bush plum, and many others.

Do you want optimal health? The only way to properly support your body’s health is to take quality nutritional supplements.

Pedometers: The Magic Pill for Better Health

If there were a pill you could take that could help you lose weight,
get in better shape, and live a longer, healthier life, wouldn’t you
want to know about it?

The good news is, there is such a pill, and it doesn’t require a
prescription, nor is it available ¡°over the counter.¡± It’s a simple step
counter, or pedometer, and it has powers you would not believe to
improve your health and wellness, lose weight, and live longer.

What’s a pedometer? It’s a simple electronic device you wear on
your waistband that counts steps. Technically, a pedometer
calculates distance, as opposed to a step counter, which only
counts steps. The pedometer still counts steps, and uses a user-
input stride length to calculate the distance. Other pedometers
show calories burned, elapsed exercise time, steps per minute, and
on and on. All you really need is something that accurately counts
steps. Other features can be nice, but many are not necessary.

Why is it important to count steps? It’s a primary indication of the
activity you are engaged in during the day. Studies have shown that
you don’t need to dedicate a specific time to exercise, per se, but
smaller bouts of activity can have the same effect as one longer,
extended period.

That means that making small changes in your daily routine can have
tremendous effects on your health. Park farther from the store, take
the stairs instead of the elevator, pace while you’re on the phone,
walk with the dog instead of just letting her go, and go down the hall
instead of sending an e-mail or picking up the phone.

By taking more steps-essentially increasing your daily activity and
burning more calories-you are becoming more physically active.
The American Medical Association says that by increasing your
activity level, you will:

¡¤ Increase stamina
¡¤ Stimulate weight loss
¡¤ Lower blood cholesterol
¡¤ Lower blood pressure
¡¤ Improve self image
¡¤ Improve mood
¡¤ Enhance quality of life

As if that weren’t enough, the AMA says you will also:

¡¤ Sleep better
¡¤ Strengthen your heart and lungs
¡¤ Decrease stress
¡¤ Increase energy
¡¤ Maintain appropriate weight
¡¤ Lower triglycerides
¡¤ Control blood sugar levels/diabetes
¡¤ Feel better
¡¤ Reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
¡¤ Improve productivity
¡¤ Build an maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
¡¤ Increase muscle tone
¡¤ Reduce risk if dying prematurely

If any of these benefits are important to you, it’s vital that you begin
to move more. The American College of Sports Medicine
traditionally prescribes the following as the appropriate level of
activity in order to get these benefits:

¡¤ Frequency: 3 – 5 days per week
¡¤ Intensity: 60% to 90% of maximal heart rate
¡¤ Duration: 20 – 60 minutes

If you can’t take 30 minutes to exercise, try three 10-minute walking
sessions throughout the day. Walk briskly to get the maximum
benefit. If you have been sedentary, check with a doctor and start
slow.

Your new life begins today, and it will be a healthier, longer, and
happier life!

Nutritional Supplements And How They Help Your Health

From ancient times people have been taking nutritional supplements. They started with natural herbs often home grown which were usually brewed into teas and tonics.

Now they have become more sophisticated and are available in all sorts of pills, capsules, liquids and of course teas of all sorts.

What are nutritional supplements? Nutritional supplements are used to add nutrients to our diets that are missing or not taken in large enough quantities. They are available in pills capsules, liquids and teas. They can be synthetic or from natural sources. They will contain one or more of the following ingredients:

• Vitamins
• Minerals
• Herbs
• Amino acids
• Saccharides

Why do we need nutritional supplements? These supplements are not intended to replace meals but enhance our diets. There are several reasons that we would be taking them:

• Environment: our environment has deteriorated over the years and we are now getting more toxins from the air, the water and even in the foods we eat, than ever before. Our bodies have to work more to protect and rid ourselves of these unwanted substances. Therefore it is wise for us to take nutritional supplements to help our bodies to do this.

• Stress: Stress will cause your body to function less efficiently. This will put your body at risk for a number of things, especially low resistance for disease. Supplements, especially Glyconutrients will help your bodies immune system get stronger and also help your body function better.

• Poor eating habits: Due to busy lifestyles, our ways of growing food and green harvests we are not getting the important nutrients our bodies need to keep us in good health. We often do not even stop to eat proper meals. This makes it necessary for us to take supplements to enhance our diets and add important nutrients to our diets.

• Athletic activities: when we take more exercise then normal our bodies need more nourishment. A professional athlete or even someone doing extra work outs needs more nutrition. Dietary supplements would include, Proteins, minerals, vitamins and saccharides (Glyconutrients).

• Part of a weight loss plan: when you go on a diet to lose weight you will be eating less and running the risk of not getting enough of the essential nutrients in your diet that your body needs. Therefore you would often be taking some nutritional supplements. Some of these substances even claim to help you to lose weight.

How do they improve your health? Different supplements will help you in different ways.

Glyconutrients: The latest nutritional supplements to come on the market are the saccharides. These are known as Glyconutrients. There are 8 of these essential nutrients:

• Mannose
• Glucose
• Galactose
• Xylose
• Fucose (not fructose)
• N-acetylglucosamine
• N-acetylneuramic acid
• N-acetylgalactosamine

These nutrients have only lately been researched with a technology known as Glycobiology. These nutrients have been shown to be vital to our health especially regarding our immune system and the ability of the body to heal itself.

Ambrotose: is a supplement made up of these Glyconutrients. Taking these supplements will help you to feel healthier and enjoy your life to the fullest.

Olive Oil, An Ancient Gift For Health.

Scientists are always looking to plants to find medicinal and therapeutic secrets. Discoveries of natural compounds within the olive tree and olives, provide promising health and medical benefits. Organic olive oil has significant health related properties that have spanned centuries and cultures in the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean olive dates back 6000 years and was native to Iran, Syria and Palestine (Asia Minor). From there it spread to the Mediterranean basin. It is one of the earliest known cultivated trees. According to the Bible, an olive leaf was that which a dove brought back to Noah, as an indication the great flood waters were abating.

The olive tree thrives best in a sunny position and climate. A rocky subsoil suits it well. The trunk is knotty, hard, and gnarled, the bark smooth and ash colored. Olive wood is valuable for its durability and is crafted into many items such as gourmet cooking utensils. The olive tree experiences slow growth, but it lives very long. It is reported that the olive trees on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, are over 2000 years old. It is commonly believed the Bible passage of “the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine,” refers to the olive tree. Olive leaves are silver grey-green, and possesses the health qualities of “olive leaf extract” which is pressed from them. Extracted from olive leaves is a bitter substance named oleuropein. In the 1960’s researchers reported that oleuropein lowered blood pressure in animals, this caused immediate medicinal interest in the olive leaf. There are new studies that indicate olive leaf extract may be a natural preventative against the common cold and flu.

The olive is believed to be a source of wealth for the Minoan Kingdom. Egyptians tombs dating back as far as 2000 BC have been proved to contain olives. The Greeks spread the usage of olives to the Romans who, in turn, spread it across their vast empire. The use of olive oil has been advocated by many religions and cultures. The early Greek Kings were anointed with olive oil. It was also used to anoint winning Olympic athletes. Across many cultures, olive oil is recognized for healthy benefits for both the inner and outward body.

Some research indicates extra-virgin olive oil is the most digestible of the edible fats. Olive oil also it helps to assimilate vitamins A, D and K in the human body. Benefits of consuming olive oil include slowing down the aging process and helps liver, bile, and intestinal functions. Olive oil is valued for its culinary attributes and organoleptic virtues, these being: flavor, bouquet or aroma, and color. Various grades of olive oil are derived from the time of pressing. Earlier pressings are regarded as better quality. Cold pressed olive oil is a pressing process requiring no heat or chemicals, which destroy vital nutrients. This olive oil is generally the best to use for cooking and healthy cuisine.

Olive oil has been extensively used in cooking and forms an integral part of the basic Mediterranean diet. It is a healthier substitute to butter. Strong and pungent flavored olive oils are great for frying fish or other items having a strong flavor. Extra virgin olive oil goes well with salads. A late harvest mission variety olive oil, which is mellow, can be used for baking cakes. Gourmet olive oil is a healthier and tastier substitute to other fatty cooking oils. The health benefits of cold pressed olive oil already have federal agency approval. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized marketing ads that say organic olive oil helps reduce the risk of coronary disease and disorders.

Given below is a simple recipe for olive oil bread dipping sauce.

Bread Dipping Sauce

Servings : 2 – 4
Preparation time : 10 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (Italian parsley is best)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed well
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sauté till it changes color. Add all the other ingredients and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Serve as a bread dip.

Office Plants For A Healthy & Happy Workplace

It is difficult to completely control the indoor climate in an office. It can easily become too hot, too cold, too dry or too damp. Furthermore, it can never be perfect for everyone: what one person finds too hot is too cold for someone else.

In addition printers, copiers, computer monitors, floor coverings, paint and wallpaper release substances into the air which affects the quality of the indoor climate.

The potential consequences of poor air quality are well known: irritated eyes, headache, skin complaints and dry membranes in the nose and mouth. This is not only unpleasant, it is also unhealthy.

Dry throat? Burning eyes? Recurrent headaches? Plants improve your working environment all year round

In winter, when the heating is running at maximum, it is the lack of moisture in the air which causes problems. Most people find a relative humidity of between 30% and 60% pleasant. But many offices do not even achieve the lower level of 30% in winter months. It is no fun indoors in the summer either. Sealed climate control systems with non-opening windows means that you cannot control the environment yourself. Even in offices with the latest climate control systems, more than a quarter of the staff are dissatisfied with the temperature or the humidity.

Yet you can easily improve the indoor climate buy using plants! Plants help create a healthy indoor climate and a happier workplace. Not only do they put water vapour back into the air, they also absorb heat and filter dust and harmful substances out of the air. Some indoor palms give off a lot of water, and sword ferns and gerberas cleanse the air of the formaldehyde released by building materials, paper and furniture. Other good air-purifying plants are the rubber plant, English ivy and date palm.

Which plants?

Different plants have different effects – some purify and some humidify the air. Plants with a high level of water consumption can increase humidity by to 15%. Recommended plant types to purify the air are: Parlour Palm, Kentia Palm, Ficus, Ivy, Boston fern, Philodendron, Spathiphyllum and Mother-in-law’s Tongue. Recommended plant types to humidify the air are: Ferns like Boston fern, African Hemp, Cyperus and other grasses, Spider plant, Bamboo and Spathiphyllim

Fewer complaints & less illness

The effect of plants in the workplace has been the subject of repeated scientific investigation. Time after time the conclusion is the same: plants work! One study looked at the effect of plants on the health of staff in the radiology department of a Norwegian hospital. Once plants were placed in the department and artificial daylight was introduced, the level of health complaints amongst those studied fell noticeably. This resulted in a permanent reduction in absence due to illness from 15% to 5% within 6 months. The instances of the following complains fell by a significant percentage: