Before you decide to embark on a dairy-free diet, it is important that you’re aware of what will happen to your body when you do. Surely, there are health-related effects. Some positive and some may be negative. Whatever it is, it is crucial that you’re prepared and actually have a substitute for the nutrients you’ll lose in the process. To give you a clearer picture of what is it like to lose dairy from your diet, here are 5 things you need to do to make sure giving up dairy doesn’t take a toll on your health:

1. You need to be more mindful of your blood pressure

Aside from calcium, milk is also rich in potassium, which helps the body combat the possible blood pressure-increasing effects of sodium. For instance, the DASH diet, which reduces blood pressure efficiently without the need to take prescription drugs, is all about consuming fruits, veggies, and dairy more.

2. There may be a weight change

Practice caution if you’re losing dairy as means of losing weight. While dairy items can add significant amount of calories, some studies have determined that milk facilitates satiation and helps sustain a healthy weight. Nonetheless, there’s nothing conclusive about this yet. It also depends on what you’ll be replacing the milk with, which of course, has to be something healthy, too.

3. Your skin may be clearer

Numerous studies have found connections between acne and milk, particularly skim milk, though no links were found with cheese or yogurt. Nonetheless, clinical evidence that opting dairy out of your diet can result to clearer skin is lacking. What the evidence indicates is that diet portrays a part in acne and not diary alone. In this case, you can personally observe what foods you eat that trigger your acne.

4. Lactose intolerance could be aggravated

Lactose intolerance means you don’t have the enzyme needed to disintegrate milk sugar, which causes abdominal problems when you consume dairy. However, consumption of dairy products will actually decrease symptoms by boosting the healthy bacteria in the stomach. Continuing your intake of dairy products even with lactose intolerance increases the bacteria, which gets rid of that lactose. Being lactose intolerant doesn’t mean you need to completely avoid dairy. Possibly, you can still have servings of dairy per day just as long as you divide them into smaller portions throughout the day. Drink it food, too, so it doesn’t get assimilated instantly.

5. Your bones could become weaker

Giving up milk, cheese, and yogurt means you need to have a way to replace the nutrients these bring, which essentially are calcium, protein, vitamin D, and other minerals. You can get your vitamin D from the sun while your daily calcium requirement can be acquired from leafy greens, fortified orange juice, almond milk, and broccoli.

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Some of the signs of nutrient deficiencies can be sneaky, but others are right there in front of you, waiting to get noticed and taken seriously. A healthy and a well-rounded diet provide energy, as well as sufficient nutrients that are vital for the cells to function the way they’re supposed to. Hence, it’s not surprising that lack of nutrients can also manifest on your skin, nails, hair, and even your gums. Here are 8 odd signs that you’re not getting sufficient nutrients:

Your skin is dry

Skin dryness in cold weather is normal, but if your skin is parched than it used to be, it may be because you lack omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s aid in the nourishment of your skin’s lipid barrier, which is the layer of oils that keeps detrimental germs and contaminants out while making sure vital moisture is kept in. With inadequate omega-3s your skin’s moisture diminishes, which results to a flaky texture. More wrinkles and other physical signs of aging may even come to your attention brought by skin dehydration. To avoid this, make sure your diet consists of essential fatty acids, such as fatty fish, walnuts, and seeds.

You look pale

A pale appearance may indicate iron deficiency. Not having enough iron leads red blood cells to be fewer, smaller, and with less hemoglobin, too. With less hemoglobin, blood cells aren’t as red as they normally appear. The outcome is a paler skin. This is most visible on the linings of your eyelids and your mucus membranes. While your doctor needs to diagnose that you’re indeed lacking of iron to recommend iron supplementation, you can also acquire iron from natural sources like beef, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals.

Your lips are sore and cracked

Cracked and sore lips may signify an inadequacy in riboflavin. Deficiency of this vitamin result to the corners of the mouth cracking, as well as dryness on the area circulating the exterior part of the lips. Typically, this will come with an inflamed, dark-red tongue, and puffed-up mouth. You can up your riboflavin intake by eating almonds, salmon, broccoli, cheddar cheese, and eggs. Of course, you also need to have these symptoms checked in order to address the problem in its initial stage.

Acne that won’t go away

Omega-3 deficiency might make breakouts more serious or more often than you’d like them to be. This is because omega-3s contain potent anti-inflammatory properties. So, not having enough of it may cause inflammation that can manifest as acne. The formation of acne may have also something to do with omega-3s sustaining your skin’s lipid barrier, as mentioned earlier. This is because your skin’s natural oils possess antimicrobial properties. When you don’t have adequate omega-3 fatty acids, the lipid barrier may become interrupted, resulting to bacteria that cause acne penetrating the skin.

Wounds that take forever to heal

Wounds don’t get better overnight, but those that tend to linger than they should indicates protein deficiency. Basically, protein is vital for constructing and restoring tissue. So, it is recommended to consume 20-30 grams of protein per meal and 10-15 grams of protein per snack. Low levels of vitamin C can also decelerate healing process, which allows scrapes and bruises to stick around longer than normal.

Your gums are bleeding

If you’re oral hygiene is of topnotch quality, meaning you brush and floss your teeth regularly, and you still experience gum bleeding, this could indicate that you have a vitamin K deficiency. This vitamin is known for its capacity in aiding blood clot or coagulation. Vitamin K deficiency is actually unusual, so it’s wise to consult your dentist and doctor to examine the cause of the bleeding.

You have fragile nails

If your nails consistently break, this could indicate that you’re low in biotin. Biotin nurtures the growth plates of your nails. So, when you don’t have enough of this vitamin the growth plates are interrupted. This causes irregular growth, which leads to forming brittle nails instead of strong ones. Food sources rich in biotin are eggs, nuts, and whole grains.

Your hair is getting thinner

What you eat also affects your hair. While shedding some strands of hair is fine, remarkable thinning of the hair isn’t. Mostly, deficiencies in protein and vitamin C can cause hair thinning. This is because vitamin C aids in collagen-making. Collagen is one of the building blocks of healthy hair, as well as a robust hair follicle. Protein, on the other hand, delivers amino acids for collagen synthesis.

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Tea is one of the most common drinks consumed across the globe and is one that is regularly touted for being great for our overall health. The problem with tea is that there are so many different versions and varieties to choose from, and if you are unfamiliar with tea it can be a nightmare.

On top of all of that tea has become really trendy as of late, which lead to the production of even more varieties like raspberry, blueberry and virtually any other flavor that you can think of making it impossible to know where to start.

One of the best, most healthy tea varieties out there is something called Chai, something else you probably never heard of prior to 5 or so years ago. Chai is just now becoming popular in the United States and other western countries, but has been popular in India where it originated from for centuries.

You’re probably wondering how this tea is made, and its base is black tea which has a mix of spices added to it. These spices usually include cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, black pepper and other herbs. Each of the ingredients is added to provide specific benefits, making this tea more powerful and beneficial to our health than traditional black tea.

The Best Nutritional Benefits You Can Get from Chai

1-Anti-Inflammatory

Inflammation is something that we commonly experience in all tissues throughout the body, and is thus linked to virtually every disease we know of. Ingredients found within Chai like the cinnamon for example have anti-inflammatory properties which helps fight off the development of these diseases.

Inflammation is not just a problem when considering life threatening diseases like many of us first think of when discussing disease. Inflammation causes other problems like swelling and arthritis, which affect hundreds of thousands of people.

2-Chai is an Excellent Source of Antoxidants

One of the main benefits to drinking any type of tea is because of the antioxidants it contains, and the health benefits that go along with it. Regular tea consumption along with other differences in the diet when comparing west to east is a major reason why the life expectancy rates are so much higher in countries like Japan.

Antioxidants are powerful compounds that fight against all types of cellular damage, which comes as the result of pretty much every chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies. Basically, antioxidants are absolutely essential to our overall health.

One of the biggest health concerns we face today is in the form of various cancers, and antioxidants have been shown to reduce the chances of developing these diseases. All the more reason to start drinking more Chai!

3-Settles Your Stomach

Most varieties of Chai contain ginger, which is well known for its ability to reduce upset stomachs, nausea, and vomiting. The ginger provides additional anti-inflammatory properties as well, making it something you definitely want to look for in your Chai blend.

Cloves are another ingredient commonly found in Chai blends, which benefit digestion as well. Cloves help to “cool down” the acids found in our stomach and digestive tract. This can help reduce problems related to indigestion, acid reflux and other issues.

4-Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes

People who have heart problems are more likely to have diabetes and vice-versa because of the role the sugar plays in the development of both of these diseases. Most of us know that too much sugar can lead to diabetes through insulin resistance, but did you know too much sugar is bad for our heart as well?

This is because too much sugar in the blood not only can cause diabetes, but does damage to the walls of our blood vessels which makes it more difficult for the heart to circulate blood throughout the body.

Cinnamon, which is found in Chai tea is a well known fighter of diabetes and heart disease. This is because it has the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, as well as cholesterol and fats which are other known contributing factors.

Chai Tea Versus Green Tea-What Is Better?

Another healthy variety of tea that is becoming more popular is green tea, but is it better than Chai? If you are drinking one or the other, you shouldn’t switch to the alternative. They both provide their own benefits through unique compounds which they contain.

They both can be beneficial to your health, so you should be consuming both if you choose to do so. The only difference you should be aware of is in their caffeine content, as Chai tea contains 70mg of caffeine per cup on average, versus 50mg in a cup of green tea.

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Can our diets really affect our moods? Ask yourself that question the next time you chow down on a big bag of pretzels, couple of donuts or anything else that sits like a rock in your stomach.

After you eat one of these huge meals you are probably ready for a nap, which is a pretty telling sign of how much your diet can affect your mood and health as a result.

The reason why what we eat has an impact on our mood is because of how cell signaling in our brain works; what we eat determines what types of chemicals out body produces such as serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us feel happy and alert, while dopamine is the one which makes us feel tire and relaxed.

This is why eating a healthy and balanced diet is important, in that these nutrients we get determine the chemical activity in our body and brain; and thus our moods. With all of this being said, we have to know what foods to avoid in order to keep our sanity.

What Foods Negatively Affect Our Mood?

1-Artificial Ingredients and Added Sugars

With all of the sugar alternatives out there it can really make your head spin, and consequently to no surprise many people do not know what options are the best for them. One of the options many people turn to instead of sugar are artificial sweeteners.

preview-full-shutterstock_426670690The problem with these sweeteners is twofold. First they are usually synthetic, which means they are manufactured in a lab. Many of these molecules are similar to sugar but are not sugar, and thus our body gets confused. This means by consuming them we are not getting the same pleasure that we would from consuming sugar itself, which does not satisfy the cravings in many cases.

Second, many of these sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar, some even thousands times more sweet. What this does is makes your body crave more of this sweet taste, to the point where you end up consuming more, and can really disrupt your blood sugar levels.

An increase in energy followed by a sharp drop after the consumption of these sugary drinks including artificially sweetened drinks is a common cause of mood swings.

2-Skipping Out on Whole Eggs

Many of us are concerned about our health and the high cholesterol content in eggs. This has resulted in a switch to using egg whites for some, as they still are getting the protein from the egg without all the fat and cholesterol.

The problem with this is that all of the other vitamins and minerals including some of the protein in the egg are found in the yolk. These fats and cholesterol are what our body uses to create our hormones, and these hormones have a tremendous influence over our mood.

If you are feeling more moody than usual or down in the dumps and are someone who regularly consumes egg whites, try switching back to whole eggs to help your mood improve.

3-Trail Mixes, Beef Jerky and Other Similar Snacks

preview-full-shutterstock_325268702Trail mixes and beef jerky are becoming very popular once again due to the widespread health movement as well as more and more people seeking hiking and walking as their primary form of exercise.

While many trail mixes can be an excellent healthy snack to eat during a hike, many trail mixes and beef jerky are just full of additional salt and sugar. This extra salt and sugar is going to spike your blood sugar levels and increase your blood pressure, which can lead to mood swings.

Instead of buying a premade trail mix, your best bet is to make your own using whole foods, with no added sugars or salts. The fruits and nuts within the trail mix itself provide plenty of salts and sugar to help reduce your cravings without the need to add more.

4-Deli Meats

Many people have already made the switch away from processed meats like hot dogs, sausage, salami, and mortadella which are loaded with salt and fat. The problem is that a lot of these same people still eat other deli meats like turkey and ham because they believe that they are a better option.

These meats are still loaded with sugar, salts and a whole host of other things you don’t want to be eating as well. Between all of the fillers, preservatives, and all the other nasty stuff found within deli meats, you are better off avoiding them all.

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1- Black Rice Is Full of Antioxidants

One of the best indicators that a food is high in antioxidants is its color, generally speaking the darker the color the better. This is absolutely the case for black rice, as they have the highest concentration of antioxidants in their dark outer husk, from which it gets its name.

This is very similar to other foods high in antioxidants such as black, blue, and raspberries. Black rice has the highest concentration of an antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin helps us fight many illnesses that try to invade our bodies, especially when it comes to inflammation.

These antioxidants have been shown to fight cancer, prevent cardiovascular disease, improves cognitive function, and of course reduces inflammation.

When choosing your rice, make sure that the rice still has its outer husk intact, as that is where most of its nutrients come from, including its antioxidants.

2- Forbidden Rice Can Improve Digestion

preview-full-shutterstock_324193406All whole grain rice including black rice have a significant amount of fiber in each serving which helps to prevent constipation, as well as prevents bowel movements that happen too frequently. Fiber also helps us to feel full without feeling bloated.

Fiber also serves the function of binding to waste and toxic particles during digestion, which helps to remove them from the system and to maintain the proper function of the digestive tract.

Fiber is not only good for filling you up, but can help to protect against disease and illness as well. The diseases fiber helps to prevent include diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other digestive problems as well.

Removing these toxins from the body is not just important in that they are bad for us, but the presence of the toxins themselves promotes inflammation which can cause a large assortment of health problems on its own.

3-Black Rice is Gluten Free

When trying to reduce inflammation and the associated issues, we are told to reduce our intake of refined grains and to stick to whole grains.

While this works for most people, some people still exhibit allergies or other problems where the immune system attacks these gluten molecules because the body believes that it is a foreign invader.

What this all means is that your body attacks this gluten, and the surrounding tissue is collateral damage. This causes inflammation, bloating, gas and other discomfort from digestion.

While most people don’t have celiac disease or other forms of irritable bowel syndrome, gluten sensitivity still affects about 15% of the population, so it is definitely worth noting.

4- Forbidden Rice Is Beneficial for the Heart

preview-full-shutterstock_606639734One of the major concerns when it comes to cardiovascular health is the buildup of plaque within our blood vessels. This build up of plaque makes it hard to get blood flowing through these blood vessels, making the heart work harder to pump that blood through.

All of this extra strain on the heart increases the risk of stroke and heart attack as a result, and is something everyone should monitor.

Black rice can help prevent stroke and heart disease because it decreases the formation of this plaque in the blood vessels. The anthocyanin antioxidants found within the black rice are able to do this, as well as lower the “bad” cholesterol or the LDL cholesterol in our blood.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States, accounting for 25% of all recorded deaths annually. There isn’t a better reason to start changing your diet, and now.

Are There Any Concerns I Should Have to Eating Black Rice?

Black rice is generally a very healthy food to eat, however there are some things you should be aware of. Like other types of rice, black rice does have a relatively high glycemic index so keep that in mind when preparing your meals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to avoid black rice if you are diabetic, but you balance your meals around it. If you’re going to eat black rice, make sure to pair it with a protein and a healthy fat to balance out the nutritional profile of the meal. Also eat a smaller portion of rice compared to your source of fat and protein to further balance the equation.

Doing so will increase the time it takes for your body to digest the food, which will help to steady those blood sugar levels and reduce your chances of getting diabetes.

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Refined carbohydrates are a huge part of the American diet. You can’t find a meal without some form of refined carbohydrate whether it be white pastas, white rice or white bread.

Some brands are promoting what they are calling healthier versions of these breads and pastas by adding some whole grains, but are still largely processed and unhealthy.

When it comes to our diet we shouldn’t be avoiding carbohydrates altogether either as they are a major source of fuel for our bodies.

What Are Refined Carbohydrates and Why Should They be Avoided?

Refined carbohydrates are bad for us because they are stripped of their outer husk which contains fiber and nutrients. Refined carbohydrates are much easier for the body to digest because it lacks this fiber, and thus is virtually almost immediately absorbed in to the bloodstream.

preview-full-shutterstock_611762069All of this sugar at once in the blood is more than the body can handle, and thus it secretes insulin which is a hormone used to signal the removal of this sugar from the blood. This sugar is removed from the blood where it is then stored as fat, which is one major reason why these foods lead to obesity and weight gain.

On top of this, if you look at any food product that has refined carbohydrates, they most likely have vitamins and minerals added as fortification as well. This is common on products like many cereals, and is a tell tale sign that the product contains refined carbohydrates.

Manufactures do this because through the processing of these carbohydrates they lose the naturally occuring vitamins and minerals they have, and thus synthetic forms are added back in. The problem with this is that studies show that these synthetic forms are not absorbed as well as the naturally occurring ones found in whole grains.

Refined carbohydrates not only are linked to diabetes and obesity, but a whole slew of other health problems as well. Allergic reactions, depression, gluten intolerance, celiac’s disease etc are all linked to refined foods as well.

Refined Grains Are Linked to Increased Chance of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes

For years we believed that dietary fat was the main contributor to cardiovascular disease and other diseases related to the circulatory system and because of this many people severely reduced their intake of these fats, and eliminated foods like butter, lard and other fatty additives from their diet.

preview-full-shutterstock_448631695During this time where fat consumption was low, scientists had a good look of the health effects on the general population and how the rates of some diseases, diabetes in particular, had soared. Scientists began to look at things like the glycemic index, which measures how quickly carbohydrates are digested and gives us an idea of how blood sugar levels will be affected as a result.

Processed cereal grains had some of the highest glycemic indexes, up there with potatoes and fruit juice. These processed grains have a high level of starch compared to fiber and other nutrients found within the whole grain varieties.

Whole grain varieties have less of an effect on insulin response than refined grains because of their fiber content, and thus we should eat them as opposed to their refined cousins.

Added Sugars to Refined Foods Makes Them Even More Unhealthy

Not only do these refined grains turn to sugar in our bodies quickly, many of foods that contain refined grains have added sugar in them as well amplifying the effects.

Consumption of refined sugars and white flour between 2000 and 1970 have gone up by approximately 145 pounds per person per year according to USDA data. Consuming this much sugar in weight alone would be about 17 pounds of fat added per year as well and that doesn’t take into account all the addition weight you will add as well due to insulin and spiked blood sugar levels.

A big part of the problem is that the consumer is unaware, that many people aren’t aware of what they’re buying. This is particularly problematic even in different variations of sugar itself. Many products are marketed as natural or raw giving the consumer the impressions that they aren’t refined when in fact they are.

If you are going to use a sugar like additive use something like raw honey or maple syrup which are going to have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels and overall health.

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It’s that time of year again where the weather is getting nicer and the seasons are changing from spring to summer. This means more outdoor activity like baseball, golf, swimming and sunbathing. All of this extra activity depletes our nutrient stores making is essential that we are getting enough from our diets.

Fresh vegetables and herbs are some of the best things we can eat to get all of these nutrients we need but regularly going to the grocery stores just to pick up fresh vegetables can be an inconvenient chore that no one wants to do.

A good alternative to going to the store to get fresh vegetables is growing your own. Its more convenient, cheaper and is a great way to supplement your diet with healthier foods. Many of these vegetables and herbs are simple to grow as well, here are some that you should add to your backyard garden.

1-Beets

Beets are a nutritious root vegetable rich in potassium, manganese, copper Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Beets can either be eaten young and used in fresh salads, or when grown to maturity can be cooked and like you would spinach, and can be used in various dishes.

Plant your beets as soon as spring starts, after you have turned and tilled the soil. Just 1/2 cup of beets daily can help you get the benefits of all of the minerals and vitamins beets provide.

2-Carrots

preview-full-shutterstock_104261648Carrots are another root vegetable that are easy to grow, and should be planted at the start of spring, preferably in sandy soil.

Carrots come in multiple varieties and colors, most famously orange. This orange color is the result of beta carotene, the compound responsible for the production of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important in  maintaining eyesight,  bone health, skin and immune system health.

Carrots are also great because of their versatility, they can be eaten raw as a snack or can be used as a side to compliment a wide array of various dishes.

 3-Cucumbers

Cucumbers are one of the easiest plants to grow, and you should end up with more than you can possibly use from just a plant or two. Cucumbers aren’t known for their nutrition, but provide plenty of hydration given that they are 95% water. They also are a great addition to a salad giving it some texture and crunch.

Cucumbers are best planted in soil that has been fertilized prior to this seasons planting, that is rich in nutrients. Cucumbers can be harvested pretty much whenever you want, at any size.

4-Lettuce

preview-full-shutterstock_206155012Lettuce is not only really simple to grow, it can save you a lot of money depending on how often you eat greens and what types you eat. Lettuce is something that everyone should consider growing again because of its ease but also because of how many vitamins and minerals they provide.

Lettuce is packed with Vitamins A, B, C, and K giving almost a complete profile of all the Vitamins we need from our diet. If you think or know that you are deficient when it comes to your vitamins, you should definitely consider growing lettuce.

Lettuce is best planted in cooler weather, so aim for early to mid spring planting. Lettuce can be grown outside through the fall in most climates making it a crop we can harvest multiple times.

5-Green Beans

Green beans are a food many people associate with summer for their vibrant green color and distinctive snapping noise they make when you bite in to them. Green beans are a very healthy food as well rich in Vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium, iron and manganese as well.

Green beans are an all around balanced food packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber to help you maintain good overall health.

Green beans are best planted in soil that has good drainage, and in a south facing garden with plenty of full sunlight. Beans are a plant that needs to be sown or replanted every few weeks in order for you to be able to harvest them throughout the summer season.

6-Basil

Basil is such an easy herb to grow, and can be done in either the ground or in a pot for your convenience. Basil has that very distinctive smell associated with many summer dishes. Add basil to your pasta or you can blend up a bunch to make pesto sauce yourself.

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If you have ever been serious about weight loss or fitness goals you are probably sick of even looking at chicken.

Grilled chicken breast is a staple of many meals when it comes to the best nutrition because of the extremely high amount of protein you get versus fat, at a 20:1 ratio.  This is about as best as it gets when it comes to lean proteins.

Thankfully grilled chicken tastes great, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to want to eat it exclusively day in and day out. Some variation in the diet is not only good for our taste buds, but it is good for our mental well being as well.

Here are a few lean meat alternatives when it comes to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

shutterstock_146276336Quail

Quails have slightly more protein per serving than your typical serving of chicken, but comes along with a couple extra grams of fat which in the grand scheme of things is nothing to worry about.

Quails are small game birds which have both fast twitch or light meat, and slow twitch or dark meat similar to chickens. Quails can be used in a large variety of dishes and can be dressed more lightly than chickens as well due to their more intense flavor.

Quail eggs are great as well if you are looking for an alternative to your typical chicken egg. Quail eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, and will need 2-3 quail eggs to equal one of your average chicken egg.

Pork Loin

Pork Loin is another great lean meat, coming in at about 23 grams of protein and only 2 grams of fat in a 3 ounce serving. That is only one more gram of fat than chicken, and 3 more grams of protein in the same serving size, so pork holds up pretty well.

Pork is also loaded with B Vitamins which help us to metabolize and convert food. Eating more food rich in B vitamins can help boost metabolism and in turn help you to lose weight more quickly.

shutterstock_346347893Pheasant

Pheasants are another good choice because although they aren’t chickens, they taste very similar to chickens. So if you aren’t that willing to try something that foreign to you, pheasant is the best choice.  It doesn’t taste as gamey as other birds on this list.

Pheasants have the same amount of protein as chicken per serving at 20 grams, but has slightly more fat at 3 grams versus the 1 gram in chicken. If you only eat the breast meat of the pheasant you can reduce that down to 1 gram of fat per serving, identical to the chicken.

Another great positive when it comes to Pheasants is that you don’t have to go out and hunt them. Normally when you compare farmed meat to wild meat, wild meat has a better nutrient profile and is generally a better choice than farmed.

This isn’t the case with Pheasants however, so feel free to pick some up at your local butcher. Remember when cooking your Pheasant to do so shortly because they can become easily dry due to their lean content.

shutterstock_508054138Duck

If you are the one who is always grabbing for the Turkey leg at Thanksgiving dinner, you will love Duck.  Duck meat tastes similarly to the dark meat on turkey which is delicious.

Ducks have a reputation for being a fatty bird, which is true to an extent. If you plan on leaving the skin on your duck then yes it probably isn’t a good choice when it comes to lean meats. However, without the skin, duck only has 4 grams of fat per serving which really isn’t all that bad.

The only downside to duck is that you have to know how to cook it properly otherwise it can taste gross and oily.

You have to make sure to perforate the skin with a fork or something similar to allow the excess fat to drain out of the meat. If you don’t do this, you allow the duck to marinate in its own fat which makes for a more oily, fatty piece of meat.

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Luckily when it comes to foods that will supply your brain with the proper energy and nutrition that it needs, there are plenty of food choices out there that will do the job. The trick to maintaining proper function however is making sure that you are getting a consistent steady supply of these nutrients to your brain, which unfortunately most people aren’t doing properly.

Here Are Some Suggestions as to What Foods You Should Be Eating to Boost Your Brain Power

Breakfast

preview-full-shutterstock_557894209As we have all heard the saying before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason. After an entire night of sleeping where your body is deprived of the nutrients it desperately needs, your body needs these essential ingredients and is craving for them. Make sure you are eating a full balanced meal even if you have to force yourself to do so.

-Oatmeal- Oatmeal is a powerful whole grain that contains the necessary ingredients to make the glucose which our brain runs on. Oatmeal is a good base to work with, and becomes a power food when combines with healthy fats from flax seeds for example, along with powerful brain boosting antioxidants found in berries. Add in a banana for some extra calories, fiber and heart healthy potassium as well.

-Yogurt Smoothie- When it comes to nutritional value and ease of preparation, nothing can really beat a good yogurt smoothie. Yogurt contains a good source of protein and probiotics which help improve cognitive functioning. Yogurt is best paired with a healthy fat from peanut butter for example, along with berries for their fiber and antioxidants, along with a banana for fiber and calories as well.

-Eggs- Eggs are arguably the best stand alone food when concerning about improving memory, concentration and performance overall. Eggs are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals which all help to improve how your brain functions.

Lunch

When thinking about lunch, it is usually something that is rushed and is done out of convenience. Because of this, many people turn to fast food and other heavily processed foods because they are readily available and require no preparation. These foods are usually packed with artificial ingredients, salts, sugars and fats which will be detrimental to how fast our brains are able to process information.

To put it easily, fast food items and processed foods are ones we want to stay away from because they will not only not be beneficial but could actually do us harm. Try to choose an alternative that has less calories and is lighter on the sugars, salts and fats as well.

-Salads-Salads should be your go to food choice when it comes to lunch for a variety of reasons. First of all you can preview-full-shutterstock_576313399add numerous items to your salad which can help to mix things up a bit in the interest of not being bored with what you are eating. In addition to this, adding things to your salad like nuts, seeds and proteins will improve the nutritional profile of the salad as well, or make it even more healthy for you.

If you are uncertain of how to build a nutritionally balanced meal consisting of salad, try to incorporate greens, good fats from nuts or seeds, protein from chickpeas, chicken or turkey, and antioxidants from dried cranberries or raisins for example.

There are so many different salad combinations that are healthy food choices which makes the salad a great versatile choice when it comes to lunch.

DINNER

When searching for healthy dinner choices the best place to start is with a whole grain. Whole grains will supply your body steadily over a long period of time with the energy it needs. Eating whole grains is what keeps you satiated until breakfast the next morning.

-Seafood-Baking or grilling fish like salmon or trout for example are good sources of healthy omega 3 fatty acids which contribute to health brain functioning.

-Whole grains- Rice, whole wheat pasta, oats and barley are rich in carbohydrates, omega 3 fatty acids and fiber which your body needs to maintain health brain functioning.

 Supplements

There are effective supplements out on the market like Brain Gain which will help to improve cognitive function as well. If you can’t get all the necessary nutrients you need from food sources, supplements are a viable alternative option as well.

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preview-full-Quinoa-Recipes-For-Toddlers

If you are trying to up your healthy stakes, you may find that you are trying to cut out white carbohydrates from your diet. White rice, white bread, white crackers and so on all contain simple carbohydrates that instantly break down to sugar in your body. While this gives you an instant boost of energy, it does not keep your full for very long, leaving you wanting to snack a few moments later. In this case, you are probably looking for more healthy alternatives for your diet.

Quinoa has introduced itself to the Western world in the last couple of years, becoming quite a popular healthy staple in people’s diets. Originally a staple in South America, this healthy whole grain is high in iron and magnesium as well as dietary fiber, keeping you fully for longer. But how do you spruce it up to give it a little more flavor, instead of being a boring lump of brown on your plate?

  1. For breakfast

preview-full-stellar-quinoa-burgerQuinoa is a versatile food product that can be served both sweet and savory. One excellent way is to serve it for breakfast as a nice, healthy porridge alternative to oats. To make 4 servings, try mixing together 1.5 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of uncooked quinoa in a medium saucepan. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon, a spoonful of honey, and a dash of almond extract with a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Place in a bowl with the juice of a lemon and a sprinkle of antioxidant-rich blueberries.

  1. Pancakes

This pancake recipe is great for breakfast and dinner and is full of nutrients and fiber to help you stay fuller for longer. To make 8 pancakes, boil a pan of water and then add ¾ cup of uncooked quinoa, 2 garlic crushed cloves, and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Put the mixture in a large bowl and add 2 egg whites, ½ a cup of parmesan cheese, 10 leaves of chopped basil and a sprinkle of pepper. Measure ¼ cup of the mixture for each pancake and fry them for 2 minutes on each side using olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

  1. Risotto with Hazelnuts

preview-full-heathers_quinoaA great recipe for introducing probiotics, proteins, and fats, this makes a solid dinner to keep you full. For 6 servings, bring 6 cups of water to boil containing 2 sprigs of thyme, a pinch of salt, and a bay leaf. When boiled, at 1.5 cups of quinoa, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. In a separate medium-size sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and fry 1.5 cups of sweet onion. Add the quinoa and cook for 2 minutes. Add the warm water from the quinoa pan ½ a cup at a time, making sure it is absorbed before adding the next cup. Stir in 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Spoon the risotto on to plates and add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

The great thing about quinoa is that it can be used in place of rice or oats, making it a great addition to any breakfast or dinner. Equally, it works as a good flour, can be made into burgers, and is an excellent fibrous addition to salads. It can even be used to make cookies and muffins. If you are trying to drop the pounds, adding quinoa to your diet, supplemented with a natural remedy like Flat Belly, you will be well on your way to dietary success.

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