In all the enriched traditional philosophies, such as Ayurveda and Chinese, detoxification is treated as one of the essential practices for resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out.
A healthy mind and good physical health can be maintained by regularly detoxifying your body. This helps maintain optimal health through a range of methods including diet, good nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation and more. By removing and eliminating toxins, you can regain a healthy body ready to intake good nutrients.
Detoxification in the simplest form is the process of cleansing the blood. As a result of it, you not only remove impurities from the blood but also help support your weight loss program.
A detoxification process has many benefits for the human body for all ages from childhood to old age. Here are the…
5 Biggest Bang-for-Your-Buck Benefits of Detoxification
- Through Fasting, you can give rest to your body’s organs.
- Detoxification removes the waste to refresh the body.
- Nourishes your skin to glow.
- Better blood circulation in the body
- Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.
The detoxification process helps in revitalizing your body’s cells that make the body function smoothly and efficiently.
Why DETOXIFY your body?
It is recommended that you should detoxify your body at least once every six months, however, you could do it quarterly with the season changes. However, if you are suffering from some serious illnesses or health conditions then it is not advisable to do it without your doctor's help.
When we eat processed or junk food or even a lot of animal meat; toxins get deposited in our body that can be removed only by detoxifying the body. To remain healthy, it should become an essential and regular part of cleansing our body.
The Bad and Ugly Symptoms Alleviated with Detoxifying Cleanses
By doing this, you can eliminate or reduce the symptoms of various health issues such as:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Weight gain
- Sluggish elimination or constipation
- Irritated skin and breakouts
- Low-grade infection
- Menstrual problems
- Mental confusion
Adopting Detox in your daily routine
Reducing the toxin intake is the first step.
Minimize the use of products such as alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and saturated fats. They reduce the healing process of the human body. Also, minimize the use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products by adopting natural products.
Stress is a big cause of increasing the toxins level in the body.
Yoga and meditation are natural processes that can help you in maintaining good health. If you are continuously gaining weight then follow a weight loss program and exercise as provided by a nutritionist and a professional fitness trainer.
Make the right choice
Individuals have a variety of options to detox their bodies. Each person will have their own objective for doing a detox. The schedule, timing, and level of detoxification required will differ from person to person as well.
Most detoxifying cleanses suggest that water intake should be appropriate to reduce and help flush the formation of toxins in the body. Fresh juice, vegetables, and water are healthy intakes to reduce the level of toxins in the body. There are many different types of detoxes available. Some detoxes that you may have heard of are:
If you are following a weight loss program then make the following changes in your diet plan to maximize the benefits:
- Eat fiber-rich food.
- Eat vegetables
- Add fresh herbs daily.
- Increase the intake of vitamin C, to maintain glutathione level, a liver compound that helps eliminate toxins
- Drink an adequate amount of water during the day.
- Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate in your body
- Avoid stress by having positive emotions.
- Sweat in a sauna to open the body pores to flush toxins
- Dry-brush your skin to remove dead skin and maintain the moisturizing level of the skin.
Take care of your organs as they also need refreshing breaks. A detox diet is a great way to revitalize your organs.
Benefits of Body Detoxify
1. Weight Loss and Management
For a weight loss program, a detox can prove to be a jumpstart for your progress. Detoxifying can be a long-term weight management solution.
2. Maximize Energy level
Detoxing takes away things like sugar and caffeine, which are the root cause of energy crashes. By following the detoxifying routine, you can maintain the energy level of the body. If the energy level is maintained, you can reduce the aging effect on your body.
3. Aids Internal Organs
In this busy lifestyle, as you take care of your external appearance, it is vital to take care of the internal organs. We must ensure that the toxic level doesn’t exceed the body limit that can harm internal organs like the kidneys, liver, and heart.
4. Better Immune System
For a person, the process of detoxifying can enhance and improve the body’s natural immune system thus avoiding fever, headache, and body ache and so on. And to maintain a certain level of immunity, you can take certain herbs which can boost your lymphatic system which is partially responsible for keeping you healthy.
5. Clearer and Glowing Skin
Today, we use many beauty products to obtain healthy skin. A detox is a sure-fire way to improve skin texture by avoiding skin diseases and reducing breakouts. The detox process opens the skin pores so the skin can breathe in a better way and when the breathing process is smooth, you are going to have clearer and glowing skin.
6. Ready to face the daily challenges
It is found that if the body is detoxified, your mental clarity will improve and you will have more energy. You’ll be able to work more creatively and efficiently.
Healthy food, exercise, and sound sleep are very important for the health of your body. The beauty of the human body is that it has its own ability to remove toxins from the body.
7. Reduced Inflammation
Detoxification is essential to keep the internal organs working properly especially the liver, kidney, and heart. Poor food choices and exposure to toxins can start to affect our organs leading to illnesses.
Incorporating certain vegetables, spices, herbs, and fruits into your diet can help reduce inflammation and diseases that occur from the inflammation. These healthy drinks may help prevent inflammation-
Ginger, Watermelon, Cumin seeds, herbal tea, Vitamins B & C enriched food are some of the natural products that can be consumed for good health.
Too much inflammation is a bad thing…
There are many benefits of doing a detox; you can have healthy, beautiful hair and skin, more energy, better sex drive, improved thinking processes, and positive mental health.
After learning the numerous benefits of detoxification, why not integrate a detoxifying cleanse into your life today?
It is often recommended to do a detoxifying cleanse prior to starting a weight loss program. A detox is also an excellent way to maintain your weight and stay healthy.
Live a healthy and toxin-free life!
Coconut oil is well known for its delicious cooking substitutes, and various internal as well as external health benefits.
It consists of healthy fats such as monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for your healthy being. Some of the key health benefits that they provide are burning fats and improved brain and digestive system functioning. Apart from this, it contains essential vitamins that are essential for your skin and hair health.
For centuries this oil has been used in various natural remedies and medicines in pacific islands and Asia due to its healing properties. Here we will see some of the unexpected and surprising ways to use it in your daily life.
How to use coconut oil in your daily life?
As a Lotion
You can use it as a moisturizer after taking a shower or before going to bed. The saturated fat content of the coconut oil helps in trapping the moisture in your skin. Saturated fats consist of medium-chain fatty acids that help to do so.
Apply it on your hair
Your hair needs natural oils to stay healthy and nourished. You can use this oil regularly and even after shampooing. The saturated fats enable this oil to penetrate deep inside the roots of your hair and keep it moisturized. It also has vitamin K and vitamin E, which are essential for your hair growth.
For silky shiny and frizz-free hair, heat this oil and gently massage it on your hair. Now, cover your hair with the shower cap and leave it overnight. In the morning, wash your hair with warm water and shampoo. This helps in proper penetration of this oil in your hair roots.
Cleanse your skin
Dead skin cells and bacteria accumulate to clog your skin pores. This leads to different skin conditions, such as eczema, acne, wrinkles, etc. You can also use coconut oil for oily skin as it can help in cleansing your clogged pores and replace the bad oils with itself to nourish your skin.
All you need to do is apply this oil gently in your skin and leave it for a few hours or overnight and then wash it off with a warm cloth.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil [image credit: Naturally Healthy Concepts]
Get rid of body odor
Armpits are the key areas of your body where your body odor is generated. This is due to the accumulation of your sweats where different bacterias feed and produce such smell. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties that can get rid of these bacterias and remove the odor.
In order to use it, make a mixture by mixing coconut oil, arrowroot, baking soda, and essential oil of your choice. Apply this mixture in your armpits after washing your armpits.
Get rid of athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, which is caused due to frequent sweat accumulation and friction between your feet and footwear.
Apply coconut oil on your feet before going to bed and keep it overnight. This helps in getting rid of this infection naturally. Coconut oil has antifungal properties that not only help in getting rid of fungal infections, but it can also get rid of dry and cracked skin.
Soothe your vaginal dryness
Coconut oil can also be used to moisturize your vagina to get rid of its dryness. You can also use coconut oil for vaginal itching. To use it, apply refined organic coconut oil to your vagina, and cover it with a mini pad before going to bed. Consult a doctor before applying it as it might not suit some other conditions in your vagina.
Coconut oil is an essential and natural ingredient for lip balm. It not only moisturizes your lips but also helps in getting rid of flaky pouts and chaps in your lips. You can make your natural lip balm in your home by mixing coconut oil, beeswax, honey, vitamin E, and essential oil of your choice. You can also use lipstick after applying it.
Instead of shaving cream, you can also use coconut oil to shave your legs. Along with shaving, you get soft and moisturized legs. It also doesn’t harm your razor blade.
Heal your burning sensation or inflammation
Coconut oil consists of lauric acid and has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Any minor burn injuries from sunburn or by getting in contact with hot objects can be healed by coconut oil. It can also relieve your inflammation and discomfort feeling. Along with this, it tightens the burnt skin areas to prevent any further damages(wrinkles, darkening of the skin, and tanning) to it.
Good for your bone health
Massaging on your joints with coconut oil can help in getting rid of arthritis pain. The essential vitamins and minerals present in the coconut oil help in strengthening your bones by maintaining its structure. This helps in preventing the development of osteoporosis.
Mix it with hot water or tea
Add one teaspoon of this oil to hot water or your herbal tea in the morning and drink it. You can also replace it with your existing vegetable oils while cooking.
Always look on the bright side of life… [image credit: Secret Zen Garden]
Boost your oral health
Applying coconut oil in your teeth can help in getting rid of plaque accumulation in your teeth and kill the harmful mouth bacterias that cause tooth decay. In order to use it, make your homemade toothpaste as follows:
Take a half cup of coconut oil and heat it until it becomes liquid. Now mix two teaspoons of baking soda to it to form a paste. Now add 10 to 20 drops of cinnamon or peppermint essential oils to it. Store this mix on a sealed container and use it every day to brush your teeth.
Although there are not enough studies to support it, it is advisable to seek advice from your dentist before using it.
Boost your heart health
Eating foods made from coconut oil helps in lowering your cholesterol levels, which minimizes your chances of heart attack, and also its potassium content helps in lowering your blood pressure.
Fresh pina coloda cocktial with coconut milk and banana on the blu wooden background
Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga, and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.
Obesity and weight gain is a problem faced by many these days. The reasons for it being irregular food habits, lack of sleep, poor lifestyle, binge eating, eating junk, and lifestyle diseases like PCOD, thyroid, etc.
The key to weight loss is following a routine and the principle of whether you want to lose 50 kilos or 5 kilos. Our body weight is directly proportional to the amount of food we consume and the amount we use to burn that energy in daily activities. If the calorie intake is more than the number of calories, you burn it will lead to weight gain over a while.
There are many healthy weight loss tools and diet plans available that will help you to lose excess weight. One such method is by following the DASH diet. It has been ranked by US News& World Report as a top diet to follow for cardiac health and weight loss.
What is the DASH DIET?
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and stands out from other fad diets that restrict food and intake of calories without any reason. The DASH diet emphasizes on dietary changes and has flexible nutritional advice.
This is what makes it so different and popular amongst nutritionists, doctors, and dieticians all over the world.
This diet was primarily followed to treat people suffering from hypertension.
The Dash diet food options focus on fruits, veggies, low fat or fat-free dairy, lean meat, whole grains, and poultry. It targets and abolishes junk foods, packaged foods, carbonated drinks, sugary drinks, and red meat, as consuming this in excess has shown a direct link to poor heart health in past studies.
It reduces the salt intake and works excellent for people suffering from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or with people with a history of heart disease.
Types of DASH Diet
There are two types:
1. Standard Dash Diet
- A diet that reduces sodium intake to 2300 mg per day.
2. Lower Sodium Dash diet
- It reduces sodium consumption to 1500 mg per day.
- Requires 6-8 whole grain servings
- Requires few servings of meat, fish, and poultry
- Requires 4-5 veggies
- Requires four servings of fruits
- Three servings of fat-free dairy products
- Three servings of healthy fats
The reason why the DASH diet is successful is that it focuses on increasing vegetable and fruit intake. It includes whole foods in the diet that are rich in potassium low in sodium, which helps to regulate blood pressure.
Dash Diet For Weight Loss
If you have been asked to follow the DASH diet, it is likely because of your blood pressure. Most people with high blood pressure are also required to lose weight. It is said that your body weight is directly proportional to the blood pressure indicating that if you exceed your body weight, it might cause a spike in blood pressure.
Some studies have linked the DASH diet to be effective in weight loss.
The DASH DIET controls the calorie intake and also cuts down sugary food, carbonated drinks, food rich in fat, which automatically reduces the extra consumption of calories and makes you lose weight. Some may also have to work on lowering intake consciously.
To lose weight with the DASH diet, it is required that you follow a calorie deficit diet.
Myths associated with the DASH Diet
DASH Diet cant be approached
Most people are of the assumption that meals related to the DASH diet are cooked from scratch. The whole foods mentioned in the diet doesn’t imply fresh produce. You can opt for less processed foods and no canned salt veggies. You can plan your meals and cook in batches. You could assemble the ingredients that go together to prepare a meal and pre-cut the vegetables and store.
DASH diet must be followed intermittently
The reason why most people are apprehensive about following the DASH diet is that they think they might work or do nothing at all. The truth behind the results of following the DASH diet is it must be followed for a long time. It won't yield effective results if followed for a few days and then going back to the old lifestyle. This diet promotes healthy living. Make small changes that help in living a healthy life.
DASH diet only focuses on lowering the sodium intake
False. It is a misconception. While the DASH diet aims to reduce sodium intake, it also focuses on increasing the potassium intake in the body. If the DASH diet is followed strictly, it boosts your magnesium, calcium, potassium, and fiber intake. All these nutrients protect the heart and also reduces the risk of other diseases.
This happens so as the diet reduces all the unwanted junk, sugary, unhealthy fats, and carbonated foods that provide long term benefits.
DASH diet can only be effective for people with high blood pressure
The lack of knowledge has led people to believe that the DASH diet is only meant for people with hypertension, as this talks about a low sodium diet. However, this diet can be followed by anyone after doctors' approval as this improves the overall health of the body, aids weight loss, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Research says that people who followed the DASH diet had reduced the risk of cardiac diseases, diabetes, and some cancers.
Research says that 90% of Americans exceed the daily allowed sodium limit, which is 3500 mg, which over a while takes a toll on the body.
A sample plan of a DASH diet for a week
Here is what a diet plan for a week would look like
- Turkey meatloaf – 3 oz
- Baked potato topped with sour cream. You can add some low-fat cheese.
- Whole wheat roll – 1
- Thoroughly cooked spinach
- One fruit
- Omelette made with white egg and topped with onion and bell peppers
- One whole-grain toast
- Lettuce wrap salad with tuna
- 4 oz fluke or halibut, ½ cup brown rice, and asparagus 1 cup
- One fruit
- Oatmeal with honey and dried fruits
- Blueberries ½ cup
- Strawberries ½ cup
- Pita bread stuffed with fresh pepper, shredded carrot, shredded lettuce, hummus, and no black salt beans
- Chicken grilled and served with ¼ cup zucchini
- One fruit
Spicy peanut sauce is a much…. and yams with broccolini are great as a side
- Whole grain toast with jam
- Plum -1
- Pasta salad with whole wheat pasta topped with bell pepper, onion, chopped cucumber, 1 tbsp olive oil
- Honeydew melon 1
- Tilapia served with 1 cup of green beans and cauliflower
- One fruit
- Fruit salad made with banana, apple, melon, berries with walnuts and fat-free yogurt.
- Bran muffin 1
- Chicken wrap – chicken breast, chopped apple, low mayonnaise salt, ½ tsp curry powder in a whole wheat tortilla
- Steamed baby carrots
- 250 ml of fat-free milk
- Whole wheat spaghetti with no salt marinara sauce
- Green salad with low-fat Caesar dressing
- Whole wheat roll and 1 tsp olive oil
- Trail mix using raisins, pumpkin seeds, 22 unsalted pretzels, and 2 tsp sunflower seeds
- Whole wheat bagel with no salt peanut butter
- Orange 1
- Fat-free milk 2 cups
- Spinach salad with 4 cups spinach, sliced pear, mandarin oranges, diced almonds, and 2 tsp wine vinaigrette
- Ten no salt wheat crackers
- A small sourdough roll with 1 tsp olive oil
- Berries with mint leaves
- Vanilla low sugar wafers
- Oatmeal with cinnamon powder
- Whole wheat toast with trans-free margarine
- Fat-free meal – 2 cups
- Pecans- 1/3 cup
- Pineapple- 1 cup
- Yogurt- 1 cup
- Raspberry juice and sparkling water Spritzer\
- One peach
Other Benefits Of The Dash Diet
The Journal of American Heart Association in 2019 stated that women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and strictly followed the DASH diet had lesser chances of cardiac disease compared to women who didn’t add fruits and vegetables to their diet.
The Current Hypertension Reports say that when a weight loss regime is teamed with exercises, the DASH diet helps in developing insulin resistance and helps to control Type 2 Diabetes.
As this diet completely reduces the intake of salt, it shows that people who can stick to this diet for long will see an effect on their cholesterol levels and blood pressure as well.
Reduces risk of other diseases
A healthy heart boosts better oxygen and blood supply throughout the body. It helps in the functioning of a healthy kidney, manages diabetes, and improves eye health.
The Clinical Nutrition states the Dash Diet prevents kidney disease and chances of stroke as well.
Weight loss is a gradual process, and it may not happen overnight. A diet also takes a while to show its effects, but it is important to reap the benefits of any diet; it must be followed diligently for some time. The Dash Diet benefits are not unknown, and it is believed that making small dietary changes in food and life will help to develop better healthier habits.
Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga, and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.
We’ve all been there – 3 AM, in front of the fridge, digging into the last of the chocolate ice cream.
Cravings, or simply a very strong desire to munch on a particular food, are nothing out of the ordinary, and everyone has them from time to time.
However, excessive binge eating and extensive difficulty in controlling your appetite might be a sign that something is not quite right. This kind of behavior comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can often plunge you right back into the pantry – not a pleasant ride.
What is Binge Eating?
Plenty of people are guilty of overeating at some point or another, but what many people don't realize is that binge eating is something almost entirely different. While going back for seconds, or even thirds, on Thanksgiving Day can definitely leave you filling over-full and less than proud of yourself, binge eating is a disorder where a person literally feels as though they have no choice but to keep piling onto their plate.
Usually, binge eaters will go through episodes where they can't stop themselves from eating more no matter how full or sick they get. And, these binge eaters typically don't do so in public. Rather, they have a breakdown late at night when the rest of the people in the house are asleep or they sneak food throughout the day when no one is looking.
Binge eating is a real disorder that can be hard to conquer on your own. Professional guidance is highly recommended to help you get your binge eating under control, but how do you know if you're a binge eater? If you find yourself having episodes where you eat far too much, usually to the point of being sick, and then feel extremely guilty afterward even though you could not stop yourself, you are likely a binge eater.
There is a fine line between severe overeating and binge eating, so it is worth reaching out to a medical professional and talking to them about what you are experiencing. However, before you make any drastic changes to your lifestyle, realize that your dietary choices are secondary to the root cause of the problem, which usually has to do with your self-image, emotions, and even trauma that you may have experienced in the past.
Binge eating will not simply go away on its own. It's a serious disorder that usually requires intervention to address so that you can identify what has caused you to become a binge eater and then work through your choices in order to form healthier habits and an improved self-care routine. It will take effort, but you can get back to your normal, healthy lifestyle with some assistance.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of reasons why you may be turning to food for comfort. But one of them might be something you haven’t thought of: you may be experiencing a disbalance in your macro- and micronutrient intake, which could be causing your cravings.
On the other hand, even if you’re eating out of purely emotional reasons, you can still turn to vitamins and supplements to help you overcome the challenge, as certain micros can act as hunger suppressants.
Remember the golden rule of healthy weight loss: you are looking to reduce your daily caloric intake by somewhere between 200 and 500 calories. True, you can up that number even further, but if you want to keep the process both safe and less difficult, these are the numbers you’re aiming for.
The Best Vitamins and Minerals to Help with Appetite Control and Binge Habits
To that reduced diet, add the following vitamins and minerals, and you should be on your way to controlling binging habits.
The B vitamin group is an excellent aid in weight loss. While the group itself consists of many members, the most notable allies include vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B6. They are the ones that help reduce hunger pangs, promote healthy thyroid function (also very important in keeping your hunger levels in check), and regulate your body’s metabolism:
- B3 is also one of the components of the glucose tolerance factor, which is released into the bloodstream when sugar levels are on the rise. It helps stabilize blood sugar spikes and dips, keeping its levels in check. As hunger is often caused by a drop in blood sugar levels, regulating your B3 intake can be an excellent first step.
- B5 plays an important role in the production of energy and adrenal functions, so it works to keep you moving and energized, thus contributing to your weight loss efforts.
- Finally, B6 also helps regulate thyroid functions and metabolism, helping you feel better with what you eat.
Foods rich in B2 include beef, tofu, milk, spinach, and almonds.
B3 is found in chicken breast, tuna, salmon, turkey, and avocado.
For B5, up to your intake of (again) salmon, avocado, and chicken, and add in sweet potato and lentils.
As for B6, you can again reach for turkey and chicken, as well as milk and eggs.
We all reach for vitamin C when we have a cold or the flu, but it is also great in controlling the appetite and cravings. Buffered vitamin C is especially good for the purpose, as it contains calcium and magnesium, and is used as an anti-addictive. Taking it regularly can help you curb those late-night munchies.
Vitamin C on its own can be found in citrus fruits, chilies, kale, blackcurrant, and even spinach.
Magnesium is an amazing mineral that helps convert the glucose (or blood sugar) in your body into fuel you can burn for energy. When your magnesium levels are low, your body’s cells are less effective in using insulin. When your blood sugar levels plummet (a state is known as hypoglycemia), you will feel hungry, tired, weak, shaky, and dizzy.
To prevent this, you can up your magnesium intake, and keep your insulin levels in check. The fewer spikes and drops you have during the day, the more energized and less hungry you will feel.
Some of the best sources of magnesium include:
- leafy green vegetables
- nuts and seeds
- whole grains
- brussels sprouts
- salmon and tuna
Glutamine is an amino acid, a building block of protein. When your body is able to synthesize it on its own, the majority of glutamine you need is made in your muscle cells, and it keeps them working properly. However, when you put your body through a workout or when you’re injured, you use up your glutamine stores quickly.
When you’re eating too much and have excess weight, your body needs more glutamine than normal. And if you don’t have enough of it, your body will start breaking down muscle tissue to get to the glutamine. This will cause you to lose muscle mass instead of fat.
To lose fat, you will need to have enough glutamine in your body to prevent muscle breakdown.
Luckily, sources of glutamine include a lot of the foods we’ve already listed, like meats, seafood, milk, nuts, eggs, beans, and even things like bone broth.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of fats that are crucial for our health. Omega-3s from fish oil can help you reduce hunger pangs and help keep your appetite in check, as consuming more of it will keep you feeling fuller for much longer.
Don’t make the mistake of avoiding fats when trying to lose weight and control your cravings. Fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet, but when we say fats, we mean healthy fats, as opposed to the unhealthy and highly processed kinds.
Omega-3 can be found in fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, as well as oysters and anchovies.
Anything else that can help?
Eating more protein can make you feel fuller, which should keep the hunger at bay for longer. Protein will also help you burn more fat and build muscle, but again, you do have to eat carbs and fats too.
If you want to get your dose of vitamins and minerals from a food supplement, try to choose one made from gelatin. Gelatin is good for the digestive system, and it helps protect your joints, so adding it to your diet can be a good choice as well.
Only choose supplements from reputable manufacturers. As the FDA doesn’t control supplement production, there is no guarantee of what you’re getting in your bottle – so do your research, and don’t trust the marketing alone.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, work on your mind as well as your body.
Overeating is the doorway to a vicious cycle of self-doubt and self-loathing, so try not to put yourself down for eating. If food is your way of coping with life, try to work on what’s troubling you alongside the efforts to eat less. With a healthy approach to food, you’ll be on your way to overcoming your cravings and living a much happier life.
According to a World Health Organization statistic, approximately 2.8 million people die every year due to obesity.
Obesity is a medical condition where your body stores an excess amount of fats. These fats can cause multiple other diseases such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and many others. Hence, avoiding obesity is vital for a healthy living.
Our lifestyles today promote unhealthy life choices. We want everything fast and quick which has caused an extreme hike in the consumption of junk food. We avoid physical activities. Sitting on the couch for hours and binge eating is our new concept of unwinding. With this dilemma, the need of the moment is to start making healthier choices in our food intake.
It will be fair to say that recent times saw an increase in the trend of consuming nutritious, healthy food. The statistics show deteriorating health figures. Hence, today, people have started realizing the immediate need to move away from an unhealthy lifestyle.
The 5 Simplest and Easiest Steps to Prepare Healthy Meals
If you also wish to take some effective steps towards a healthy eating lifestyle, read ahead for some of our amazing and super helpful tips. These tips will assist you in making healthy and wholesome foods that you can consume every day for a hale and hearty living.
1. Eat Your Veggies!
We all remember getting scolded by our parents for not finishing the veggies on our plate, don’t we? That’s because vegetables, as boring and tasteless as they may feel on our palate, are packed with nutrition.
Vegetables have no cholesterol at all and are also low on the calorie count.
Having a portion or bowl of vegetables with every meal will help you lower your calorie intake. Vegetables provide some very important nutrients to your body which include potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
Sweet potatoes, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, and tomatoes are some vegetables that are high in potassium. Having a kidney bean salad or baked sweet potatoes as a side portion with your steak will provide you a good chunk of nutrients. Intake of a potassium copious diet can also help you maintain a healthy level of blood pressure.
Dietary fiber from the general intake of vegetables will help you lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Fiber also helps keep constipation at bay by inducing proper bowel functions. The trick behind eating vegetables as a necessary portion of your meal is that the fiber-rich veggies will make you feel full without an excess intake of calories. Make sure you keep the skin intact of most of the veggies you eat since most of the fiber is in that peel.
Vitamin A and C are also very crucial for your skin, eyes and dental health.
Vitamin C is also the nutrient that helps you absorb iron into your body. Hence, both vitamins are extremely vital for your body.
Making sure that you have at least one portion of vegetables in your meal is a great way to intake healthy meals. You can have these vegetables either stir-fried, air fried, boiled or baked.
2. Portion Control is Your Best Friend
One major mistake we often make with our healthy eating plans is going for the all-or-nothing approach. This usually backfires. There will come a point where you will get completely sick of your healthy eating. This might just end up with you downing an entire tub of ice cream in one go. Trust us that happens!
Therefore, you need to devise measures to keep you motivated in your healthy eating routine. One important thing to remember is that all foods are good unless eaten out of moderation. This means you can have a small portion of almost everything and get away with it. Maintaining a healthy lifestyles does not mean you stop enjoying your life altogether. Besides, good food is a very important part of a happy life.
Keep a calorie count chart with you to know which food provides how much calories to your body. This will help you define portions for your meals. So, let’s say you are someone who loves cheese. Cheese, if taken in moderation is, in fact, very healthy food for you. It provides your body with calcium, fat, protein, and is an amazing source of Vitamin A and B-12.
According to the prescribed daily calorie intake, an average man needs around 2500 calories to function and maintain weight. An ounce of cheddar cheese has around 120 calories. Hence, it is not the food that is harmful, it is the amount it is consumed in which poses the actual threat.
Instead of having small portions of food items that are high in calorie count and harmful fats you should keep a bigger portion of your meal for veggies, fruits, and lean meats.
3. Opt for Lean!
Often, the difference between a healthy meal and an unhealthy one is quite negligible. We believe that certain food choices do not make much of a difference when in actual they are the main culprits. Fatty meat is one of those perpetrators.
Meat is a great source of protein. It is prescribed to be consumed as a part of a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, it is the fat content that is actually harmful. To ensure that your meat intake poses minimum health risks to choose leaner meat.
Lean meat is basically meat with less fat content. In the case of chicken, 80% of the fat content lies in the skin. Make sure when you consume chicken, you eat it without the skin. Also, the darker meat cuts such as the thighs include high-fat content. Skip those and move towards eating whiter meat cuts such as breasts, wings, etc.
You can also add white-fleshed fish in your diet as they are an amazing source of protein and classify as lean meat. Beef is also an amazing source of B vitamins and zinc. Hence, skipping beef altogether from your diet is not a healthy decision.
The concept of lean does not only apply to meat though. It can also be applied to other food items and involve an intake of a lesser fatty version such as Greek yogurt. Your cooking methods can also be leaner such as baking or boiling your food instead of frying them in oil.
4. Eat Fruit as Your Dessert
Often, we forget the harm these tiny little desserts have on our bodies. Desserts are mostly made of refined carbs, trans-fat and added sugar. If you are a sweet tooth and require a dessert after every meal, know that you are not doing much good to your body. The main harmful ingredients inside any dessert are butter, processed sugar, and white flour. Before you jump on to quench your craving, make sure your dessert bowl does not contain these three ingredients.
One healthy way is to replace your dessert with fruits! Make yourself a scrumptious fruit salad for the dessert portion of your meal.
According to the USDA My Plate guidelines, half of our plate should have vegetables and fruits. Fruits are high in nutrients and provide your body with a multitude of minerals and vitamins. They aid in preventing Vitamin A and Vitamin C deficiencies. Also, fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, etc. are high in phytochemicals which are being proven for major health benefits.
Replacing your dessert with a small bowl of berries will help you satisfy your dessert craving and reduce bad eating habits. Eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits immensely lowers the risk of heart diseases. It also acts as a deterrent for certain types of cancers.
5. Incorporate Whole Grains in Your Diet
Whole grains are a power-house of vitamins and minerals. They are an easy and simple way to make your meals super healthy and bursting with nutrition. They are known to be high in nutrients such as proteins, fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium, etc. Consuming a diet abundant in whole grains is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, etc.
The bran is the whole grain that provides high levels of fiber which are very beneficial for the health. Cardiovascular diseases are known to be the number one cause of death globally. Incorporating whole grains into your diet immensely reduces the risk of heart diseases. One study shows that consuming three courses of whole grains a day reduces the risk of heart disease by almost 22%. Another study goes on to show that consumption of whole-grain reduced the chances of a stroke by almost 25%.
Examples of whole grains that can be incorporated in your meals are oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, etc. Make yourself an oatmeal and fruit pudding for the breakfast to reap the amazing benefits of whole grains. Also, replacing white rice with brown rice or quinoa as a side to your meat dishes can reduce the harmful effects of processed grains.
In conclusion, our lifestyles today cause more harm than good in the long run. We have adapted ourselves to a routine that is far from what the nature prescribed for us. Such an existence is now creating serious harmful health hazards for the majority. Adopting healthier options and quitting a lifestyle that promotes inactivity, unhealthy diets, and harmful habits have become the need of the moment.
Incorporating healthier eating habits is the first and most important step towards a healthy lifestyle. Adopt our five helpful tips for preparing healthy meals and enjoy your mealtimes without any guilt!
[Press Release received December 21st, 2019]
Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have questioned the World Health Organisation’s blanket classification of processed meat as carcinogenic after finding significant evidence gaps between processed meat treated with nitrites and nitrite-free processed meat.
Strongest link yet between nitrites & cancer but ‘not all processed meat has the same risk’
Dr. Brian Green, Dr. William Crowe, and Professor Chris Elliott OBE, all from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s, reviewed existing peer-reviewed literature on the relationship between processed meat and the development of bowel, colon and rectal cancers. The results of their meta-analysis have been published in the high-impact journal Nutrients.
They found that not all processed meats carry the same level of cancer risk.
They initially reviewed all recent, English-language studies into the consumption of processed meat and cancer risk and found the results inconclusive – around half the studies evidenced a link with colorectal cancer (CRC). This explains the appearance of contradictory claims in the media in recent years.
But when the researchers isolated research which only tested the consumption of processed meat containing sodium nitrite – a preservative used to extend shelf life and enhance color – evidence of a link with CRC jumped from half to just under two-thirds – 65%.
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“When we looked at nitrite-containing processed meat in isolation – which is the first time this has been done in a comprehensive study – the results were much clearer,” explained Research Fellow Dr. William Crowe.
“Almost two-thirds of studies found a link with cancer.”
The WHO classified all processed meat as a carcinogen in 2015 – including bacon, sausages, and ham as well as continental European products like prosciutto and salami.
Not all processed meat, however, contains nitrites.
British and Irish sausages, for example, are not processed with nitrites even though many of the Continental and US sausage equivalents – like frankfurters, pepperoni, and chorizo – are. Some newer types of bacon and ham, processed without nitrites, are also appearing on the market.
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In its 2015 statement, the WHO did not distinguish between processed meats containing nitrites and those without. Based on the results of their meta-study, the IGFS researchers now believe there is a need to define the health risk of both types of processed meat – separately.
Co-author Professor Chris Elliott OBE, who carried out the UK Government’s inquiry into food safety after the horsemeat scandal, said this latest research brought more clarity to what has been a confusing area for the food industry and the public.
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He said: “Because there have been conflicting claims in the scientific community and the media about which types of meat may be carcinogenic, this study couldn’t have come at a better time. It brings much-needed rigor and clarity and points the way for further research in this area.”
So should the public immediately stop eating processed meat containing nitrites? “It’s important we eat a healthy, balanced diet in line with the government’s ‘Eatwell Guide’,” said study lead author, Dr. Brian Green. “The current Department of Health guidance advises the public to consume no more than 70g of red or processed meat per day.
“That remains the guidance, but we hope that future research investigating the link between diet and CRC will consider each type of meat individually rather than grouping them together. Our findings clearly show that not all processed meats, for example, carry the same level of risk.
“There is more research to be done before we can definitively prove causality regarding processed meat and cancer – there are so many variables when it comes to people’s diets. But based on our study, which we believe provides the most thorough review of the evidence on nitrites to date, what we can confidently say is that a strong link exists between nitrite-containing processed meat, such as frankfurters, and CRC.”
The IGFS team intends following up its evidence review with a pre-clinical study probing the effects of nitrite-containing meat on CRC.
- For further information or to request an interview one of the research team, please contact IGFS Communications Officer Una Bradley on [email protected] or +44 (0)28 9097 6571 / +44 (0)7920 088450
- The IGFS meta-analysis was funded by Invest NI through the Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre, which links scientific researchers with industry partners for research projects. The industry partners in this study were: Karro, Cranswick and Finnebrogue Artisan
- The paper in Nutrients is open-access and can be read here