4 Best Foods for Your Active Professional Life

 

Professional athletes have some of the most stringent, but most effective diet plans. They need to be able to stay in charge of their eating habits in order to always keep their body in tip-top shape. As required by their respective fields, they need to make sure that they are able to perform at a high level every day. 

For someone who wants to have the energy of an athlete, this one’s for you. Understanding what they eat can help you finally break free from fast food, junk foods and other unhealthy quick-fix meals.

Happy muscular man sitting at the table with healthy food

Professionals always tend to be on the go. You might feel the need to be more active and more energetic in order to get more out of your day. You can feel the invigorating sunlight in the morning, but the weight of the afternoon seems to take its toll on your body. When the night comes, your whole being just wants to plop down on the couch.

What you eat that greatly affects your energy throughout the day. If you keep on eating the burger-fries-soda combo every day, don’t be surprised if your body wastes away just like that. Without realizing, you’ll find yourself way past your healthy weight, and it won’t be long until you’re scared for your health. 

If you want to be healthier, have more energy, and be able to do more with your days, you need to understand how these foods can make you feel good both inside and out. Learn what the world’s top athletes eat and find out how to keep your body active naturally. 

Beets

Beets’ rich color and texture scream high nutrition. Interestingly, the bright, blood-red color signifies how great it is for your circulatory system. With its high nitrate content, it can cause blood vessels to be more dilated, allowing blood to pass more easily. In turn, it helps lower your blood pressure and raise the oxygen level in your blood and cells.

Primarily, beet helps improve an athlete’s performance by lowering their oxygen consumption. This results in an increase in the athlete’s stamina while decreasing the time it takes for him or her to reach exhaustion. Plus, beets are rich in carbohydrates which are necessary to keep their energy high during peak performance.

If you are always on the go, beets can keep you up and ready to fight. Some athletes drink 1 to 2 glasses of beet juice every day for up to one week before any competition. If you feel the need to prepare yourself for an upcoming event, you might want to start the beet juice habit. Continue with the juicing habit to make sure that when your next big gig comes, you are all ready to take on any challenge.

Salmon

Salmon has always been considered one of the healthiest foods out there. One of its most distinguishable health benefits is its omega-3 fatty acid content. This acid supports the body in its cell rehabilitation and function.

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Aside from its regenerative benefit, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which are perfect for muscle repair and cardiovascular health. A regular dose of omega-3 fatty acids can make your muscles leaner and your body much stronger. Eating salmon and other omega-3 fatty acid-rich seafoods can set you up to get a wide range of cell-invigorating benefits. However, lacking this nutrient can make an athlete become weak and unable to reach his or her full potential.

Imagine you are about to take on an important task. You are about to set up a trust deed, or lead a large project meeting at work, or you are about to walk into an interview for a new job. If you find yourself unable to be physically fit in a critical moment like this just because you are unhealthy, you could ruin your career just like that. Simply eating right can put you in the zone every time.

Nuts

It is a given that athletes are subjected to high physical stress from their respective sports.  They need to regularly undergo intense exercise as part of their training, and this demands high physical exertion from their bodies. Athletes need to make sure that after they train, they are able to recover effectively and efficiently in order to push through their high intensity physical regimens.

The truth of the matter is that proper recovery is necessary to improve your strength. You need to have enough rest time in between high intensity exercise. Plus, these rest times should be done regularly and systematically. Resting every other day trumps resting for one whole week after that one intense training. It is definitely not a good practice since it puts the body’s overall recovery system out of whack.

 

To support the body’s proper recovery, you should complement rest by eating healthy foods that are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. These foods help improve immune and thyroid function. They protect and repair bones and connective tissues, which are the parts of your body that need to function at the highest levels during hardcore training and exercise.

This is where eating healthy nuts comes in.

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Nuts are excellent sources of fats, proteins, and other nutrients that are necessary for overall body recovery. They are high in potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium, which are all critical to help control your blood pressure, improve cell regeneration and boost your immune system.

One of the best nuts out there are Brazil nuts. Eating Brazil nuts every day can naturally stimulate your body to engage in effective recovery, allowing you to build your cells more rapidly. It helps you build up your muscles and strengthen your bones for your next training session.

Whether you are an athlete or an urban warrior, you need all the help you can get to make sure your muscles and bones are ready for your next assignment. Make sure you bring with your healthy nuts to munch on to get important nutrients in your body while you are on the go.

Bananas

Bananas could be one of the most important foods athletes need to eat to stay on top of their game. Packing in approximately 100 calories apiece, this great source of essential nutrients serves as a powerhouse for athletes because it contains easy-to-digest sugar and health-promoting flavonoids. Together, they give the body enough energy to help athletes remain in constant peak condition.

Some athletes compare bananas to power bars since both boast an energy boost during physical training. However, eating bananas is definitely a more natural option. Plus, they have high potassium levels, which the body needs to regulate healthy fluid levels. In turn, bananas help prevent muscle spasms and cramps. Because of that, they are best eaten after training.

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On top of all these other natural benefits, bananas are rich in nutrients that target practically all important body systems. They are high in fiber, which is key to better digestion. With its high manganese content, they can help activate the antioxidant enzymes in the body, protecting cells from premature degeneration.

Bananas also have magnesium, which is necessary for strengthening bones and muscles. Furthermore, eating a piece regularly provides your body with enough copper to aid the continuous production of healthy red blood cells.

It is a good thing that bananas are easily available in practically any convenience store, grocery and fresh produce market. You don’t have any reason not to eat them. To keep up with the demand of your work, make it to a point to give yourself a natural energy boost by eating bananas at least once a day.

The Best Food To Make Your Brain More Powerful

Nowadays, people are more conscious about their health. It may be because of their busy lives that they tend to take themselves for granted. Perhaps, the need to do more and create a more exciting life gets in the way of actually focusing on what’s truly essential.

One of the most important aspects of your wellbeing is mental health. It is the “driver” of your body, and not taking care of it could threaten how you live your life. 

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Just like any other part of the body, the brain is a muscle that requires a certain level of exercise and a balanced nutrition.

Studies have shown that regular mental exercises can lead to better processing of information, stronger memory, and improved overall brain functions. On the other hand, ensuring that you eat foods that help your brain become healthier can make it function much better.

Let’s map out the best foods that can make your brain more powerful. Go back to basics with the three basic food classifications – Go, Grow, and Glow – and learn which food best works for your brain.

Go for Go Foods

Giving you the energy you need to live life every day, Go Foods are packed with fats and carbohydrates. Since your brain needs energy to focus on the tasks you set for yourself, you need this type of food on a regular basis.

What you want to munch as much as you can are whole grains. They pack a lot of energy to give you a constant supply of energy for your daily mental activities. The body processes these carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. In turn, glucose then goes to your blood, which then circulates throughout your body.

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To make sure that the Go Foods you eat are utilized by your body properly, go for the unrefined carbohydrates or those that are still in their natural state such as brown rice, wheat bread, and whole grain cereals. This allows a gradual release of glucose into your bloodstream, making you more energized and allows you to function better throughout the day.

Grow your Mind and Body

As its name implies, Grow Foods help you physiologically grow and develop into one properly functioning machine. Your body needs to have tough muscles to endure the constant strain they have to go through with their endless use. Whether you have a lot of physical or mental activities, you need to make sure that the muscles you need to perform are well developed.

This is the reason why you need protein. Foods rich in protein help build any type of muscles. When it is reduced to amino acids, the tissues in your body is fortified.

Aside from the amino acids in Grow Foods, your brain would want omega-3 fatty acids. With their Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), these essential fatty acids pave the way for better brain health by improving your memory and general brain function.

Studies have inferred that if you have higher levels of DHA in your blood, your brain can function much more effectively than without. As such, experts advise to regularly eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like algae and “oily” fish like salmon, sardines and bluefin tuna.

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You can substitute your usual meat with these cold-water fish a few times or every week to accumulate enough essential fatty acids and raise the level of DHA in your body. What you can do is prepare them “healthily” to get the most out of their flavor and health benefits. Whether you go for baked, grilled, or steamed, your salmon, tuna, and sardines can give your brain the mental power boost that it needs.

If you find it too much of a challenge to eat fish, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives such as taking food supplements. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil capsules, and microalgae supplements. You can also opt for multivitamins and mineral complex supplements. Check various resources like SupplementYouNeed.com to get the best supplements for you. Plus, discuss your supplementation plans with your general physician or qualified healthcare professional to make sure you know which ones best suit you.

Aside from essential acids, you would also want certain nutrients that can equip your brain to handle any daily challenges. Look for foods that are high in Choline and Vitamin E.

Eggs are high in choline. They are perfect source of choline which the body uses to make acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that has been found to help strengthen memory and inter & intra brain cell communication.

On the other hand, nuts such as walnuts can provide substantial amounts of Vitamin E per serving. On top of its healthy effect on your heart, eating walnuts on a regular basis can help supply the body with antioxidant that can prevent cognitive decline, especially for older people. Doing so can lower the risk of you getting Alzheimer’s Disease.

Glow Naturally

Generally, Glow Foods aid in keeping your body free from diseases by providing vitamins and minerals. As you have learned from your basic education, these foods include fruits and vegetables.

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There’s a lot of fruits that are good for your brain. One of the best fruits for your brain’s health is berries. According to studies, regular consumption of berries addresses any early signs of short term memory loss. As rule of thumb, go for dark colored or berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and blackcurrants. They have high levels of antioxidants and anthocyanins – a phytonutrient that is considered the largest water-soluble pigments in the plant kingdom.

Antioxidants are known to delay, if not prevent, cell damage and degradation. With regard to your brain’s health, eating these dark-skinned berries can protect your brain from “oxidative stress” which lowers your risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease or any other ailments that tend to arise during old age.

Avocado is also a good food to consume to improve your brain health. Almost as potent as berries, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat. This allows for a smoother blood flow in the brain and throughout the body. On top of that, they can aid in the lowering of your blood pressure, which in turn lowers your risk of a heart attack or stroke that can greatly affect your brain cells.

Speaking of healthy blood flow, tomatoes are rich in a highly potent antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene provides cell protection from free radicals which destroy cells, such as brain cells, during the development of dementia. It is a good thing that tomatoes are extremely abundant and can easily be prepared for any meal.

Similarly, vegetables are effective in supporting your brain health. The best type of vegetables to eat to maintain good brain health is cruciferous vegetables. Also called cold crops or mustard family vegetables, cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamin A and C, carotenoids, fiber and folic acid.

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To take advantage of the nutrients in this food group, it goes without saying that you need to consume a substantial amount of cruciferous vegetables regularly. Just go for dark, leafy vegetables like cabbage and kale to help you with your quest of memory improvement.

Broccoli is also a good source of essential nutrients for improved brain health. Also high in potassium, broccoli has been found to be rich in glucosinolates and acetylcholine – compounds that are considered to be contributing factors in lowering the risk of cognitive disorders.

Fat Burners: What Makes Them Ineffective and How to Make them Work

Who wouldn’t want to take fat burners when they’re advertised so well these days? Then again, you may have heard people say that they don’t really work, that they’re just a waste of money. The truth is that fat burners CAN BE effective. However, not everyone can use them to their full potential, especially when you don’t use them properly.

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What you need to understand is that fat burners are supplements. They’re designed with ingredients that can really give you an extra boost to help burn fat, but they can never replace a solid diet and exercise plan.

Humor me for a second: if fat cells are the enemy zombies, diet and exercise are your guns while fat burners are the scopes that you look into to target them. Fat burners allow you to aim on the zombie fats so that you can efficiently kill them, but ultimately, you can’t kill fat without the guns (diet and exercise).

Fat burners don’t work to their best effect when they’re used improperly. Usually, it’s because people don’t take into account the basic concepts for using a fat burner efficiently to lose weight. If you’re looking to make the most out of your fat burner, then you should understand these concepts:

Diet is more than half the battle

That’s right. Diet isn’t half the batter, diet is MORE than half the battle. One of the biggest mistakes that many people make is thinking that they can just take a fat-loss support supplement, and the result is automatic weight loss. Fat burners aren’t the wonder pill or magic beans that everybody’s looking for. If you’re taking these fat burner supplements but still eat more than three times a week in fast food chains, you’re never going to lose those body fats.

Sticking to a calorie-restricted diet is more than half of your battle, and that’s why you need to keep your mind into it. If you can do it and stay consistent with it, then you’ve done about 80 percent of the work. The rest is exercise and time. That’s the time when you can get extra help from supplementation.

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Fat burners can help enhance fat loss, but they’re only going to do so if a proper diet is in place. Fat burners work in a variety of ways – They can boost energy, help curb appetite, promote fat to be used for energy, and even increase your metabolism and core temperature so you burn more calories throughout the day. If you take a fat burner and then feast on burgers, pizza, and bagels, you won’t be seeing weight loss any time soon.

Again, even in the presence of fat burners, it’s always best to look carefully at your diet and determine if it fits your weight loss goal. To lose fat and reveal a toned physique, you need to be eating slightly fewer calories than your maintenance level, getting lots of protein, and maintaining other clean and healthy eating habits with slow-digesting carbs, healthy fats, and lots of fresh vegetables. When you feel confident about your diet and in control of your nutrition, you can start to explore fat support supplementation.

Fitness Expectations should be Realistic

Fitness goals and expectations should always be realistic: some people believe if they’re using a fat burner, they should be able to melt pounds of fat off each week, and that’s never going to be plausible.

Surely, your rate of fat loss can be enhanced when having fat burner supplements. However, you won’t be dropping 10 pounds in a week simply because you’re using the supplement.

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A safe rate of fat loss is 1-to-3 pounds per week for average, healthy individuals. You can push this rate up to 4 pounds per week, but it’s not sustainable. Eventually, your body hits a plateau, and fat loss slows down.

A good course of action is for you to write down your expectations for your weight from week-to-week and month-to-month. When you meet those small goals overtime, you can stay motivated and see great results from your program. Plus, with the help of a fat burner, you can be on track with your weight loss goal.

Having More is not Equal to Getting More Loss

Here’s the thing: fat burners are made to give you the proper dose of various ingredients to support fat loss; but that doesn’t mean that the more of the ingredients you take, the more results you see.

It’s always best to start with the lowest dose listed on the package and stay at that dose for at least two weeks. After that, you can determine if you want to bump up the dose to the higher end of the spectrum if it’s listed on the packaging. If the product lists only one serving size, you should stick with it.

You Might Be Taking Too Much Caffeine for Your Own Good

Most fat burners, unless directly specified, contain caffeine or a caffeine-like substance that serves as a stimulant. If you want to take a stimulant fat burner, watch your total intake of caffeine over the course of the day – especially if you find yourself needing another cup when you already had two.

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If you’re mixing fat burners with more cups of coffee, you could really burn out quickly. Think of caffeine enhanced time as borrowed time. Surely, the effects of caffeine are really good when working out, but having too much could be a counterproductive measure. You could experience fatigue easier and have a harder time recovering from workouts.  Thus, if you’re having too much caffeine, you might see slower results.

It’s also easy to think that combining coffee and fat burners can help you see results faster, but having too much might end up destroying the positive effects of a fat burner by over-stimulating your body. What you can do is to switch to decaf coffee while using the fat burners, or at the very least, use decaf around the same time when you take the fat burner. In that way, you won’t get a huge caffeine overdose in a short period of time.

Measure Your Results

Once you have already chosen a fat burner to use, always track your progress – be it by measuring or taking pictures of yourself – week by week. Whether you take progress photos, body-part measurements, body-fat measurements, or just your weight on a scale, you won’t know if a product is helping you see results if you don’t know your starting point.

Also you have to keep this in mind: certain people react better to certain ingredients in fat burners, so what works best for one person may not necessarily work best for another. That also means that the best fat burning supplements for you might take a second or a third trial. After several weeks, if you find that you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for, consider using a different product instead. By keeping a close eye on your progress overtime, compare products so you can find one that’s ideal for you.

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The bottom line is that fat burners alone aren’t effective and can never be the miracle that you are hoping for. You still need to stick to a weight-loss diet and exercise plan, write out your fat loss expectations, take a fat burner supplement according to directions, not overdo the stimulants, and measure your progress.

In doing so, you might find that these supplements that support fat loss can keep their promises, given the right condition. It takes some research and shopping around to decide on a fat burner. However, if you keep these five basic concepts in mind, you might find yourself achieving your weight goal in no time.

3 Important Foods for Better Performance at Work

One very important aspect in becoming a more competent employee is being active in joining discourse, always being in attendance and on time as well as giving that extra effort each employer wants to see. With the ever-increasing competition that exists today, it should be imperative for everybody to stay not only mentally and emotionally stable, but also physically healthy in order to be productive at work.

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If you are an employee, it may be hard to stay ahead if your body does not have the right amount of nutrients you need to perform. This is why it is important for you to take note of the best diets that may give you the essentials for better work performance. Here are three foods that you should eat to be at optimum level at work.

Mornings with a Cereal Healer

The most common food for breakfast on American tables is cereal. This makes a lot of sense, since many cereals provide important nutrients which give the body the energy it needs for the day. It also helps the body recuperate from the stresses of the day before.

Aside from the health benefits one can get from eating cereal, preparing it in the morning (when everyone usually is in a rush) is just so convenient because you can prepare it quickly. Considering that every second counts when you are at work and are tied to a busy schedule, cereal gives you the option to attain its health benefits and still be on the go.

However, it is important to note that not all cereals are equally healthy. For a healthier option, whole grain cereals should be in your shopping list because it gives you more fiber, carbohydrates, and the essential sugars to boost your body. Partner that with your favorite milk, which is rich in protein and calcium, then you’re good to go.

Be Fueled. Be Free. Eat Beef.

Imagine yourself hustling in the morning, rushing through the busy streets of New York, trying to be on time for work. Though you had your cereal breakfast, you still need a healthy midday meal. The best reward that you can get is a healthy, hearty lunch.

The perfect time for a healthy serving of beef.

Beef is one of the most consumed meat products in the world. Not only does it highly appeal to the taste buds, it also accounts for major nutritional content that your body needs regularly.  Compared to other proteins, beef is packed with a plethora of essential nutrients in higher concentration.

According to World’s Healthiest Foods, beef from grass-fed cows contain more vitamins and nutrients than any kind of meet in the world. Paired with fruits and vegetables, beef consumption in a suggested serving size completes a healthy diet, one that is endorsed by the World Health Organization.

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Grass-fed cattle are found to be one of the healthiest meat products you can consume. Their beef can provide considerable amounts of the antioxidant vitamins E and beta-carotene, the minerals selenium and zinc, and the anti-inflammatory fatty acid, Conjugated linoleic acid. These organic beef is also good in boosting your body’s immune system.

This means a stronger body, less sick days, and more time for you to give your best professional performance at work.

FISHing for Ideas

Your brain is your best tool at work. If you are alert in your surroundings and if you are constantly pitching ideas to your bosses, you may be seen as a competent employee. This is why you should eat foods that can help your brain function well. Eating foods that are rich in Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA can do the job.

One of the best foods that have DHA is fish. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for your brain. Eating foods rich in these healthy fatty acids on a regular, recommended dose can improve your brain’s functions.

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On top of all these health benefits, the body also gets more from omega-3 fatty acids. Cell membranes with abundant omega 3 fatty acids are associated with lower rates of not only heart diseases and diabetes-related conditions, but also depression and other mental disorders.

Stand Strong: The 3 Mantras of a Healthy Back

My ultimate goal is to live a life that is full of adventure and excitement. As a person with a strong urge to travel and see the world through my very own eyes, my experiences taught me that having that outgoing mentality alone is not always enough to ensure my own happiness.

In the moments where I struggled to hike the trail leading to the place I wanted to see, or strained to balance on nature-made ridges, I realized that all was not well. I felt that I should have done more for my body. The simple fact that I have realized is that my body should be healthy, capable and fit to enable me to fully enjoy the active lifestyle I so crave.

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When I was just starting my lifestyle outdoors, I was subject to many physical challenges along the way. I was subject to a variety of muscle and joint pains, fatigue and irritability. The most excruciating pain I had was the sharp sting from my back. Though it may be normal since my body was just getting used to the activities involved, I soon found out that my back pains were chronic. The multitude of research I’ve done and professionals I have talked with pointed out that I should make the necessary adjustments to keep my back healthy.

As we all know, the back supports our body to enable us to move around and to be upright. Without the sturdy bones composing our backs, we can never do what we can normally do right now. That equally means no walking, no running, no sitting and definitely no hiking. We would be just lying down the floor and slithering our ways to work.

Who would want that?

This is why it is important for us to take into account all the methods and approaches in making our backs as healthy as it can get.

Here are the 3 mantras I have consolidated to stand as a guide for you, my avid reader.

Sit Right, Stay upright

The number one factor in keeping a healthy back is an obvious one – posture. Posture dictates how our bodies positions itself upright while standing, sitting or even lying down. Good posture is one of the most important game changers in lessening the chances of the struggle of back pain.

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The thing is, most of us talk about the aforementioned so often, but we don’t really know what it is all about exactly.

So what really is good posture?

Technically speaking, good posture involves the training of our bodies to sit, stand, walk and lie down in the best upright position. What wonders it can bring is totally dependent on how we “train” our body to keep the healthy posture as to prevent any back-related repercussions. This is actually a very common thing that happens to a lot of people.

Personally, I saw that the main problem I had was that I had bad posture, and it took a while before I totally changed the way I sit, stand and walk.

One thing I did to try not to revert to bad posture is to train myself to be more mindful of my posture. When I look at myself at the mirror, I remind myself the elements of a good posture.

One thing I always keep in mind is to avoid lifting over-heavy loads. For students, I suggest not to bring all books in one bag. Balance a weight that is comfortable for the arms and back, or better yet, try a stroller bag. This is because it actually puts more strain on our backs when we lift uncomfortably heavy things. Sometimes, it can also lead to serious back injuries and impairments.

The same is true for people who, like me, love to travel and go back-packing. In addition, an environment which is managed and organized trains our minds to be mindful of what things to bring and not to bring which may add weight. Following a good posture also made me feel less stressed over time since my back is more relaxed.

Therapy equals Better Me

One common but incorrect notion is that therapy is only done to people with back pain. I have talked to people who regularly visit their physical therapists for their scheduled checkups. Right now, they reaped the benefits of being more active and lively. I tried my visits to a local therapist and found the relief that they were talking about.

Physical therapy enabled my body to be stretched out in ways that other intense exercises cannot. In fact, I already had multiple sessions with my local therapist and am planning to get in touch with a chiropractor soon!

We don’t realize that some of the techniques professionals in back health use are what we do at home. Techniques such as thermotherapy and cryothrapy are in fact our commonly known heat packs and ice packs. According to doctors, for acute pain or a new inflamed injury, use cryotheraphy or cold therapy.

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Ice is the most common anaesthesia. The cold narrows blood vessels and slows down blood flow in the body, thus, it can reduce fluid build-up in the affected area. Ice generally helps control of inflammation and swelling. On the other hand, heat is a much more widespread treatment.

Thermotherapy or use of heat is more inclined for chronic pain because heat relaxes the overworked muscles by soothing sore muscles, stimulating blood flow, and relaxing spasms. Muscles actually develop soreness due to a naturally-occurring chemical called lactic acid.

Lactic acid accrues at the time once the muscle is deprived of oxygen, which happens when we do daily activities or work. When there is reduced blood flow to an impaired area, the lactic acid gets trapped, producing a build-up which generates muscle ache. Heat therapy stimulates the blood flow and hastens the taking away of lactic acid from muscles.

Healthy Eats and Faster Beats

Keeping ourselves in an active lifestyle is an arduous task that needs time, effort and money. Often reiterated by medical professionals and health consultants, the fundamental factors to maintain a truly healthy body is proper diet and exercise.

These two give way to a fit and healthier body that we all so desire. Imagine if we can live the life we always wanted – wear our favorite Stylewe dresses without any worry, engage in physical activities that we always wanted (like mountain climbing or hiking), or basically feel really well with our own body.

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Definitely, these two facets go hand in hand.

The same is true with back health.

A proper eating regimen to have a healthy back includes calcium-rich food, paired with a lot of vegetables to avoid inflammation. Also, avoiding processed food, fast food and saturated fat can help in preventing inflammation which these foods fuel.

Simply put, a proper diet is imperative for us who want to maintain a healthy back. However, a healthy diet can be readily accessible in the kitchen. The more evident work comes when we drive to the gym, burn those carbs and protein, and have that back stretched.

Furthermore, hiring a gym instructor prove to make it personally easier for me to exercise my back. There are various benefits I got when I hired my personal trainer in going about my workout. Not only did my trainer guide me in becoming fit and more confident with my body, they have so much more in store. They offered me some really good tips to keep my back stronger, and my whole body ready for anything that would come my way.

3 Mediterranean Recipes to help you fight Asthma and Allergies

Allergic Asthma and other types of allergies are extremely difficult to deal with. A lot of people from all ages can easily suffer from these types of diseases, but not all of them can cope with it. Surely, you have tried various ways to deal with it – drinking antihistamines, purifying your indoor air, or generally protecting your nose in every way possible. Then again, there is a more palatable route in dealing with this condition.

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And one of the most delicious ways to choose when dealing with allergies and asthma is going Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Diet: How it helps Allergies and Asthma

Many adults and children suffer from allergies and asthma. Their lungs are constantly bombarded by foreign bodies, or allergens, in the air. When these allergens – such as pollen and dust – enter the body, the immune system believes they are harmful. In an effort to protect itself, the body sends out antibodies to fight off these foreign materials.

Studies and researches have confirmed it: going Mediterranean in your diet helps children and adults cope with asthma. The survey of nearly 700 children living on the Greek island of Crete has showed that a high intake of nuts, grapes, tomatoes and oranges have been linked with a 50-80% lower risk of wheezing in 7 to 18 year olds.

Also, in hospitals and medical schools in Helsinki, Finland and Porto, Portugal, researchers have obtained information about the relationship of diet and asthma control in a group of individuals who had been previously diagnosed with asthma. Basing from past studies, these researches have aimed to enhance the knowledge that they had regarding the effects of Mediterranean diet to asthma.

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What researchers found was really striking: only 25% of the participants had well-controlled asthma, and they were the same participants who closely followed a Mediterranean-diet food plan.

Since asthma is a form of allergy, allergic asthma specifically, and is commonly triggered by allergic reactions to pollen, mold, dust, or spores, experts have had their medical curiosity stirred. This has led into various studies on how Mediterranean diet is able to deal with allergies in general.

Surely, the best air purifier for allergies can easily help. Then again, when it comes to allergies such as allergic asthma, a more directed change in one’s diet can help combat the condition. Hence, going Mediterranean may be one of the easiest and most delectable ways to go.

The Mediterranean diet is chock full of healthy foods like grapes, tomatoes, and nuts. According to scientists, these foods provide the most benefits based on their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are known for their disease-fighting ability. They work to sop-up free radicals left in the body as a byproduct of a cell’s day-to-day functions.

So, if you’re looking for the easiest and tastiest Mediterranean recipes out there, here’s where you can start out:

Creamy and Leafy Shrimp Garlic Pasta

This fresh, light, and delicious – not to mention really easy – dish can send you on a Mediterranean trip right in your kitchen, all the while aiding those allergic defenses. Here’s how to make creamy garlic pasta with shrimp and vegetables.

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Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (preferably cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

 

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.
  2. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas, and cook until the pasta is tender, and the shrimps are cooked (approximately 2 to 4 more minutes on the stove). Drain well and set aside.
  3. Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper.
  4. Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant. Do this for 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve with the toasted pine nuts on sprinkled evenly on top.

Turkey and Tomato Panini

These Paninis are one of the most common snacks in a Mediterranean diet, and it can easily be prepared in less than half an hour. A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up the turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.

panini

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

 

Preparation:Have four medium skillets ready for cooking by the stove.

  1. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread.
  3. Place the deli turkey and tomato slices and top it with another bread slice. Do this on 3 more pairs of bread slices.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Place 2 panini in the pan.
  6. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down. Cook the panini until golden on one side (about 2 minutes on the skillet).
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet, and set until the second side is golden (about 1-3 minutes on the skillet).
  8. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.

 

Mediterranean Breaded Salmon

Here’s a big meal for the family, prepared in just about an hour. You can indulge in a very nutritious breaded salmon dish served with a lot of healthy vegetables. Mediterranean style!

salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into fourths lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 ¼ lb salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line the 15x10x1/2-inch pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Place lima beans and eggplant in pan. If beans are frozen in solid block, microwave on high setting for about 1 minute or just long enough to break beans apart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and toss. Spread in single layer in pan, and Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix bread crumbs, lemon peel, oregano leaves, garlic and olive oil in a bowl. This would serve as salmon topping.
  4. Remove pan from oven. Push vegetables to sides of pan, and place salmon skin side down in center. Brush salmon with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables in single layer around salmon.
  5. Gently press half of mixture, or about 1/2 cup, evenly on salmon. Sprinkle remaining topping over the vegetables.
  6. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, and vegetables are crisp-tender. (If fish browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.)
  7. Spoon beans and eggplant into large heatproof bowl. Toss vegetables with roasted peppers and spinach. Cover the mixture with foil, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted.
  8. Cut and prepare the salmon into 4 servings. Carefully lift fish from skin with pancake turner to serving plate. Serve salmon with vegetables.

Keeping Your Lungs Healthy with Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes

There shouldn’t be any sort of debate when you talk about how important lungs are. Then again, as the lungs are considerably strong organs, people often take its health for granted, and this could lead to various lung damages in the long run. The problem is that inhaling pollutants, smoke, or any other harmful chemicals are almost impossible to avoid. You can cover your nose all day every day, but your lungs would still be compromised.

lung-system

This is why you should start looking into improving the health of your lungs, and the first step is looking into what you eat. While there could be numerous kinds of food that can help the lungs, it is always good to take vegetables – cruciferous vegetables can greatly improve the health of your lungs and the rest of your body.

What are Cruciferous Vegetables

A cruciferous vegetable is any food that is a member of the cabbage family. They are generally packed with antioxidants that naturally help your body clear away toxins.

Scientifically speaking, cruciferous vegetables belong to the Cruciferae family, which mostly contains the Brassica genus, but does include a few other genus. Some of the most common ones are cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and similar green leafy vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing”) from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.

green-veggies

Consumption of cruciferous vegetables might help protect smokers against lung cancer, according to a number of studies. Findings presented at the Seventh Annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held in Washington, DC suggest a remarkable effect of these vegetables to one’s lung health. Studies suggest that the risk of developing lung cancer was reduced by 22% to 50% among smokers who consumed at least 4.5 servings of raw cruciferous vegetables a month, compared with those who consumed less than 2.5 servings per month.

It’s true that things like covering your nose and mouth, or installing the best air purifier in your home can contribute to your overall lung health. However, vegetables like these directly aid the fortitude of a human’s lungs from within because of its nutritional value.

Researchers reveal strong linear inverse associations between intake of fruits and vegetables versus the risk of lung cancer (odds ratio range, 0.53 – 0.70; P for trend < .05). An intake of fruits and total vegetables show a relatively stronger association among non-smokers, whereas significant inverse associations with cruciferous vegetable consumption have only been observed among smokers and former smokers.

 

Vegetables like these are pretty easy to play around when it comes to preparing dishes that are delicious and exciting at the same time. If you’re wondering how to prepare the perfect dish, read on and see which ones could tickle your taste buds. Here are some recipes that you can try out:

Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan

braised-broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli, florets and stalks trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Preparation:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the orange juice and tomatoes.
  2. Bring this to a boil and stir in the broccoli.
  3. Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes, and then cook until the broccoli is just tender and bright green. Be mindful of not overcooking the vegetables, especially the broccoli.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the cheese and almonds before serving.

Cauliflower Dumplings with Creamy Chicken Soup

cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • leftover roasted chicken (approximately half a chicken)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock (additional)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, to taste
  • Scallions or Italian parsley

Preparation:

  1. Place the leftover roasted chicken into stock pot with 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce temperature. Let this simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock, remove all of the meat (about 2 cups is needed) and set aside.
  3. Bring the stock back to a boil in order to concentrate the flavor. Reduce the stock to approximately two cups.
  4. While the broth reduces, divide the head of cauliflower in half. Chop one half of the cauliflower into florets. When the chicken broth has been reduced to about two cups, add the florets to the pot. Add in ¼ teaspoon of both dried thyme and ¼ tsp coarse sea salt. Cover and simmer the seasoned cauliflower florets until tender.
  5. Break down the second half of cauliflower and load into a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until a fine rice texture is achieved. Transfer the grain-like bits to a microwave-safe bowl, cover and place in the microwave for 4-6 minutes or until well cooked.
  6. Once the cauliflower florets are cooked, puree them with the chicken stock to create a creamy base.
  7. Add the diced carrots and celery to the puree, additional two cups of chicken stock and salt and black pepper to taste. Allow this to simmer at medium-low temperature, allowing the carrots and celery to soften.
  8. While the vegetables are being processed, the dumplings need to be prepared.
  9. In small batches, spoon portions of the cauliflower into cheesecloth, wrap completely and twist hard to wring out all moisture.
  10. Place the strained, cooled cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add an egg, a quarter cup each of tapioca and coconut flours, plus a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring together with a spoon first in the bowl, then turn out onto a work surface to knead, shape into a square about a half-inch thick and slice into nine squares. Let rest.
  11. Stir in the shredded reserved chicken, do any final seasoning adjustments with your salt and pepper, then gently top the soup with the cauliflower dumpling squares. Allow them to float on the surface of the soup.
  12. Serve piping hot, topped with sliced scallions or fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Bacon, Onion and Brussel Slaw

slaw

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1 package nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Slice bacon and onion, and add to skillet
  2. Cook over medium heat until bacon starts to get crispy, and onions are brown
  3. Add balsamic to deglaze the pan, and scrape the bacon bits off the bottom using a wooden spoon
  4. Dump in the shredded brussel sprouts and mix everything together, adding more balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover the pan, and let it steam over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Rich Recipes for Better Lung Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to have a ton of health benefits. Surely, if you read “fat,” you have this preconception that it would be harmful for your body. Technically, fats are needed by the body in many of its functions. It is just that the unhealthy fats are the ones that have harmful side effects in the body. On the contrary, Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the body in many ways; More importantly, researchers and scientists found out that Omega-3 fatty acids have a direct and essential effect in lung health.

omega-3-foods

Compounds derived from omega-3 fatty acids – like those found in salmon – are key to helping the body combat lung infections. Not to mention that the food containing omega-3 fatty acids are really delicious!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Lungs

An Indiana University study has found that a unique omega-3 supplement derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel significantly improved lung function in asthmatics who experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, also called exercise-induced asthma. This study has shown that omega-3 supplements are effective in reducing the airway inflammation experienced by asthmatic study participants.

fish-oil

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is most often caused by years of smoking, is characterized by inflammation and excessive mucus in the lungs that blocks airflow. Quitting smoking can slow the progress of COPD, but it doesn’t halt the disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common treatment. However, they suppress the immune system, which can put people with COPD at risk for secondary infections, most commonly NTHi bacterial infections.

Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs, the specialized agent used in a study conducted by Richard Phipps, Ph.D. (professor of Environmental Medicine and director of the URSMD Lung Biology and Disease Program) has reduced inflammation in the lungs of mice without suppressing the ability to clear the bacteria. In fact, it could actually hasten the process of clearing bacteria. Phipps and his colleagues believe they are the first to show that this special compound can improve lung function in the face of live bacteria.

The compound that Dr. Richard Phipps found has indeed helped a lot in combatting COPD. That compound is, in fact, a derivative from Omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition, it has also been proven that Omega-3 fatty acids have a direct effect in strengthening the lungs to prevent bacterial infection. It’s great to have a whole house air purifier to prevent airborne bacteria or virus in your home, but in places where the air pollution is too much, your lungs are always compromised. Omega-3 fatty acids greatly help in preparing the lungs to fight against infections that may occur in your body.

So how do you get your daily dose of Omega-3? Here are some of the easiest and tastiest dishes you can try that contain those wonderful Omega-3 fatty acids:

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

blackened-salmon-sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
  • 2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 small avocado, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation:

  1. Skin salmon fillets. To do this, place salmon on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Then, gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
  2. Preheat grill rack to High heat.
  3. Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning.
  4. Grill until cooked all the way through (3 to 4 minutes per side).
  5. Mash avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, spread the avocado mixture on each roll and top with salmon, arugula, tomato and onion.

Arctic Char on a Bed of Kale

arctic-char

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 pounds kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (14-16 cups)
  • 1 pound skinned arctic char or salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 4 lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir fry shallot, continuously stirring until it begins to soften (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add broth, water and half the kale; cook, continuously stirring until slightly wilted (1-2 minutes). Add the remaining kale and cook until tender (about 8 minutes).
  3. Sprinkle fish fillet with salt and pepper, and place on the kale. Cover and cook until the fish is just cooked through (5 to 7 minutes).
  4. Combine sour cream, horseradish and dill in a bowl. Serve the fish and kale with the sauce and lemon wedges.

Tuna and Green Bean Salad

tuna-salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • Approximately 3 teaspoons salt to taste
  • 2 large red potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 9 ounces canned tuna packed in oil, drained

Preparation:

  1. Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally (about 4 minutes). Using a mesh strainer, transfer the green beans to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely. Drain the green beans and pat dry with a towel.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the same cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the potatoes to the simmering liquid, and cook until they are just tender but still hold their shape (8 to 10 minutes). Transfer the potatoes to the ice water to cool completely. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a towel.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Place the tomatoes, basil and parsley in a large serving bowl. Add the tuna and toss gently to combine. Add the green beans and potatoes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Oatmeal and Flax Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal-cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder, or pre-ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 4 minutes). Put in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until properly combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown (10 to 12 minutes). Let the cookies cool (for about 3 minutes) on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Brain Gain: Nutritional Benefits from Food for Mental Health

In my long experience with making food (and enjoying it!), I’ve tinkered with a wide array of dietary plans designed to suit the daily needs of an individual. It’s a given that anyone can easily get vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, giving the body what it needs to recuperate and grow healthy. Eating healthy meats such as lean beef and fish is a great way to provide protein for your muscles to grow. However, there is more than meets the eye regarding these foods and how they are prepared.

braingain

Simply put, there are foods and supplements that give better than average benefits, targeting specific health conditions or body parts. As such, the most important foods to look out for are foods that can help with mental health, and ultimately boost mental performance – since your mental health is indeed significant in everyday living.

This is why I found it imperative that I discover all the ways to maintain my mental health in the best way possible. It’s time to take in some brain food, know what you are getting from them, and even consider some supplements. Here is a run-down of the much needed vitamins and nutrients for keeping the brain healthy and functioning well.

DHA and Omega 3

Our brain functions by way of the neurons or nerve cells found in them. Keeping neurons and their connections maintained means that the brain can work steadily. But, how exactly do we do that?

Eating foods that are rich in Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA does the job. DHA is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the brain and is a structural component of neuronal membranes. An adequate level of DHA in cell membranes is important for many functions of neural cells

dha-omega-3

One of the best foods for consuming DHA is fish. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and others are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are actually very good for the brains. Conversely, cell membranes with abundant omega 3 fatty acids are associated with lowered rates of not only heart disease and diabetes, but also depression. Yes, by eating fish, you are less likely to be depressed.

A study by the Medical College of Qingdao University in China took a closer look at the potential impact a steady diet of fish could have with regard to a person’s risk of depression. In the study, the participants who ate the most fish had an average of 17 percent reduction in depression risk compared to those who ate the least amount of fish. When researchers broke down the gender differences, men had a 20 percent lower risk of depression, while women had a 16 percent lower risk. Not only was there a correlation between fish diets and depression, but researchers also believe it could be used as a way to prevent or stave off depression symptoms before they start.

omega3

There are many ways we can prepare a dish made out of fish. In fact, I like to get creative in its preparation. Salmon is always enjoyable to prepare since I can bake it, grill it and marinade it with my choice of sauce. Almost every time I have fish on my menu, I get to savor that rich meat because of its healthy fat. The same goes with tuna as we can prepare tuna casserole or even put it into a taco for eating on the go.

Vitamin E

With over 90% of Americans not consuming RDA for vitamin E, and most people eating less than half of the RDA they should, there exists a significant opportunity to educate consumers on the benefits of this nutrient for brain health.

There are many forms of vitamin E. Recent data from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm states that all plasma Vitamin E forms may play a role in brain health. It is then quickly backed up by a paper published in the Neurobiology of Aging, saying that the risk of mild cognitive impairment or MCI was 15% lower in people with the highest levels of vitamin E.  Likewise, there is a link to vitamin E with Alzheimer’s disease. Participants with MCI and Alzheimer’s also displayed higher blood levels of markers of vitamin E damage.

Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. For example, one cup of raw spinach has 15% of our daily intake of vitamin E, and 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach has 25% of our daily intake. Exactly how folate may protect the brain is unclear, but it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain, but folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels.

vitamine

Although both are high in fat, peanuts and peanut butter tend to be a source of healthy fats. They are also packed with vitamin E. Both foods may help keep the heart and brain healthy and functioning properly.

Other good choices are almonds and hazelnuts. I love preparing leafy greens because the fruits and vegetables can be varied according to preference. I usually upgrade my regular Caesar’s Salad by adding my preferred dressing and some almonds to enrich the taste.

Nootropic Compounds

There are various ways we can go about being mentally healthy and improving mental performance. An easy and effective way that I learned is by using Nootropics.

Many supplements that support mental health are used today mainly because of the benefits that may be reaped from them such as improved memory and speed of recall, enhanced learning capacity and attention span, increased mental energy, focus, concentration and clarity of thought. These pills are scientifically known as Nootropics but are often known as ‘Smart Pills’. These pills can also aid in some mental cases such as anxiety, depression and symptoms of other serious mental illnesses.

This supplement may prove to be a real life limitless pill. As for me, it kept me sharp and mentally stable while I go about doing my job and regular day. I suggest that you try Nootropics like Noopept which is did marvels for me. I really felt that it improved my cognitive skills and kept me feeling alert and happy all day along.

noopept

There are other benefits to taking smart pills. For example, if a person is suffering from anxiety, they can get L-Theanine from the local pharmacy. Most of L-theanine’s effects have to do with promoting relaxation and positively affecting mood. Since they have access to the central nervous system, psychoactive substances, such as L-theanine, are believed to have the ability to affect mental abilities and psychological states. Also, it is thought to have a stronger effect when combined with caffeine.

By the way, these drugs are in fact legal and are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Noopept is 100% legal in the United States. You can lawfully purchase, possess and use it. That means that you won’t get in trouble for buying it, even if you purchase it over the internet or from another country.

4 Foods For the Broken-Hearted

Having your heart broken seems to (at least at the time) be one of the toughest things that you can experience in your lifetime. What’s hard to digest is the fact that it’s an unavoidable ordeal – not to mention there’s a possibility that it could happen more than once! If you’re thinking that a broken heart can only be the product of your significant other parting ways with you, you should think again.

heartbroken

Various factors can affect a persons emotions, thus leading to a ‘broken heart’. This may come from a personal trauma like having to see your beloved dog die, failing and having to repeat your board exam for the 5th time, or seeing your parents go through a divorce.  These factors can easily cause you to feel like you need to get away from it all.

If you do feel like moving out, call True North Mortgage and find a new place to stay. Otherwise, you might be on your way to a broken-hearted life.

However, what you can’t get away from is the fact that each person undergoes these kinds of dilemmas with surprising frequency. All these experiences, whether good or bad, actively contribute to your mental and emotional state as a person.

Having a broken heart has actually been proven to physically damage your heart. The American Heart Association found that being emotionally hurt can make a person prone to what is called broken heart syndrome. Typically, it is a disease born from the mix of depression, mental health, and heart disease. It proves to be quite a challenge to the inflicted, as it’s symptoms include things such as angina, or chest pains, and shortness of breath, to name just a couple.

So what can you do to prevent your heart from being broken? Bad news: the answer is nothing. Again, this is an inescapable phenomenon each person should expect to go through in their lives. So, to rephrase the above-mentioned question, what can you do to survive having your heart broken?

You might be shocked, but the answer is actually quite delicious.

Food proves to be the solution to a number of things, including saving you from the clutches of being heartbroken. Science has shown that eating specific foods can actually help you to uplift your mood and spirits.

Try to move on with these foods for the broken-hearted

Wine oh so Fine

If you’re thinking of wasting away from that heart-broken feeling, then waste away- the healthy way.

Red wine has been proven to be a surprisingly healthy alternative to your traditional double scotch. With good reason, considering the fact that it contains some really healthy substances – including antioxidants which keep your cells replenished and revitalized.

Of course, the alcohol in the wine also helps you to relax and let go of the heavy things you keep in that big heart of yours (at least temporarily). Not only does it help prevent heart attacks in healthy does, it also gives you a more relaxed rest.

red wine

So if you’re thinking about a night out with your college buds or your life-long girlfriends, then make sure to grab a red wine or two. Drink away and walk away!

Nutty Goodness, Hearty Goodness

Almonds, pistachios, walnuts and peanuts are not only delicous; they also offer some wondrous health benefits that can lift your heart in no time. These nuts actually have nutrients in them which can help to lower blood pressure when you’re feeling stressed, keep your arteries clear, lower cholesterol and body fat, and ultimately reduce your chances of having heart diseases.

nuts

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, ice cream with nut flavors is actually a good way to go about eating these little heart pumpers in an even tastier way. In gloomy times, a little dairy wouldn’t hurt.

And if you’re stuck at home wanting comfort food, there’s always peanut butter and some bread. Now that’s tasty.

Lighten the Feeling with Dark Choco

Over the course of research, many people had found that eating dark chocolate gives excellent benefits for the human body. It is nutritious in the sense that it improves brain function as well as protects the skin from diseases. However, what is most outstanding among all of them is its significant impact on the heart.

Dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and others. So what antioxidants do to help the body?

dark chocolate

Antioxidants help prevent free radicals from inducing illnesses in your body by counteracting them and therefore neutralizing them in the bloodstream. In the same way, you can say that an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals can be major factor that affects one’s health, especially during the stressful experience of being broken hearted.

What other things does dark chocolate give a person? With regards to the circulatory system, this scrumptious food improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure – which is significant in providing the body the oxygen it needs to perform its daily activities.

With all these benefits at work, dark chocolate presents itself as a delightful alternative to your common milk chocolate, with all the health advantages. Dark chocolate is the answer to these similarly dark times.

Beans there, done that

One of the more uncommon foods that can help mend a broken heart is beans. But really, how do beans help you in your most challenging time?

Beans are known to have substances which lower cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol is good for the heart (up to a point) since lower cholesterol levels allow blood to flow to the body’s veins and arteries.

beans on toast

In this regard, beans help lower blood pressure which is important because they prevent high blood pressure that, when left unchecked, may be fatal to any person who has incurred it.

What separates beans from the others?

According to studies, beans are abundant sources of numerous vitamins and minerals that are associated with improved heart health. These vitamins and minerals comprise of zinc, potassium niacin, and magnesium. In another study on beans consumption, it has been proven that one B vitamin in particular, folate, reduces levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which can actually damage your blood vessel walls. In fact when you have higher concentrations of homocysteine, chances are higher that you’re going to have heart attacks and strokes. Folate in beans makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

***

Without a doubt, having your heart broken is a thing that causes mental, physical and emotional traumas for you. It infects every other facet of your daily life. You would immediately want to get rid of the feeling right away, but this proves to be a nearly impossible task.

Thanks to the people who go the extra mile in research, science has found out that behind your ordinary stress-eating habits, your life might take a turn for the better.

Furthermore, food has indeed provided the answer to yet another modern problem the world is facing today. However, the question remains, what exactly are the foods that helps you with the pain?

In recent years, it has been found that eating a desirable amount of dark chocolate, nibbling on some tasty peanuts, gobbling up quality beans and drinking that fine red wine can save you from heartbreak and perhaps even save your life. The common denominator of the following foodstuffs is the fact that it gives the heart nutrients, improves the overall function of the circulatory system and of course…tastes great!

The inevitability of having your heart broken is daunting to be sure. Then again, there is more to life than just your broken pieces.

Eat it away, drink it away, breakaway!

Guilt-Free and Delicious – 4 Probiotic-Rich Recipes For a Healthier You

Everybody needs probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria, like yeasts, that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Usually, people think of bacteria as something that causes diseases, but your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your tummy and digestive tracts healthy.

There have been numerous studies that prove how important probiotics are, especially to the body’s digestive system. Plants and animals, even your pet dog needs dog probiotics.

asian meal

While there many ways to get your daily dose of probiotics through commercial drinks, tablets, supplements, or some preserved foods, they are not necessarily natural. The thing about probiotic dietary supplements is that they are not aptly backed up by scientific studies about their safety and effectiveness, hence food supplements’ favorite label “no approved therapeutic claims”. In addition, these supplements are often too pricey. The best way, still, is to get these good bacteria from reliable sources.

And the best source is from nature itself. Here are some natural and organic probiotic-rich food and some recipes that you can try out:

Kimchi

No Korean meal goes off without kimchi. This spicy and sour traditional Korean side dish is made from fermented cabbage, cucumber, radish, or a mixture of these ingredients. “Mak kimchi”, or simple kimchi, is made with cut cabbage, radishes, and scallions, and a seasoned paste of red pepper, garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, salted shrimp, or kelp powder.

kimchi

The best thing about it is that these pickled vegetable treats are a good source of fiber with very low calorie content because they are veggies. Also, research shows how Kimchi consumption leads to better immune system regulation because it is rich in nutrients brought about by the innate nutrition of vegetables and the process required to make kimchi.

Remember – when making sandwiches, stir-fry, or soup with this unique ingredient, just be sure to add it last to avoid cooking off the good bacteria. The trick is to lightly sautee or steam.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 2 ozs cheese (comté, sliced with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 ozs kimchi (squeezed well)
  • 1 scallions (thinly sliced)

Directions: To start, brush the olive oil on the sandwich bread slices, and distribute all the cheese, kimchi, and scallions well before grilling.

Delicious and easy to prepare, this healthy snack is full of the much-needed probiotics to treat your hungry tummy.

Miso

From Korea, it’s now time to go to the prime essence of Japanese cooking: miso. Miso is a rich, salty condiment that characterizes a ton of Japanese dishes. As such, the Japanese traditionally begin their day with a bowl of homemade miso soup. They also use miso to flavor a variety of foods in other meals throughout the day. No wonder Japanese people are ranked first in life expectancy. It is all thanks to this all-natural condiment that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

miso

Miso is also very flavorful as it goes through a complex process. To make miso, soy beans and sometimes grains – such as rice or wheat, are combined with salt and a mould culture, and then aged in cedar vats for one to three years. The aging process creates a unique taste of salty, sour, cream-like, brewed and earthy, leaving a mild savory texture to the palette.

Miso Soup with Chards and Tofu Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chard or other sturdy green
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 3-4 Tbsp white miso paste with or without bonito (fish flavor)
  • 1 sheet (1/4 cup) nori (dried seaweed), cut into large rectangles

Directions: Place water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Add nori and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

In the meantime, place 3 tbsp of miso into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth. Then add the miso mixture to the nori soup and stir. This will ensure it doesn’t clump. Add remaining ingredients to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Taste and add more miso or a pinch of sea salt if desired. Serve warm and add to a nice and tasty sandwich as main course.

Pickles

Probably the most common yet most undervalued source of healthy organisms, these tasty and cheap greens provide for a lot of probiotics which are perfect for digestion. Other than that, many people cite the health benefits of pickles, saying that these greens can help with weight loss. The sweet or sour treats are filled with healthful antioxidants, and can even fight off certain kinds of cancer.

pickles

Pickling has been used for thousands of years to preserve food beyond the growing season. They are made for a more affordable solution to hunger and are most revered by the natural health benefits that come by their cost-effective nature. Most pickling recipes call for salt, vinegar, and seasoning.

Cucumber Pickle Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 ounces sea salt (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cups bottled water
  • 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers, thoroughly washed and dried (best if you measure the cucumber accordingly to the container on which you will preserve it).
  • Few sprigs fresh dill, washed and dried

Directions: What you need to do is mix the sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and water and bring them to a boil. Let it simmer for five minutes.

Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Arrange the cucumbers upright in a container large enough to hold the brine, perhaps a mason jar, like this one. Place the dill sprigs in amongst the cucumbers in the jars. The cucumbers should be fitted tightly and should come within probably half an inch to an inch of the top of the container. Fill the container with the brine to the top and tap on a flat surface to remove any possible air bubbles.

These pickles can last a few weeks.

Yogurt

yogurt

Of course, you should never ever skip yogurt when you’re talking about probiotics. Yogurt has literally millions of good bacteria in it.

Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment. This thickens the milk and gives it its characteristically tangy flavor. Cow’s milk is the most common type used, but goat’s, ewe’s, sheep, or buffalo’s milk are also suitable.

There is a lot to gain and few to lose through a proper consumption of yogurt. In fitness, yogurt is believed to give you faster flat abs, if reinforced with good workout, that is. Yogurt is also loaded with vitamins to help give you energy during exercise. A cup of yogurt a day can help you recover faster after a heavy lifting session or just a simple exercise at the gym because it also has casein protein.

Mango Yogurt Recipe

Prep Time: 5-10 mins

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup whole milk or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions: In a blender, combine mango, yogurt, sugar, and 1/2 cup cold water. Pour through a fine sieve (to remove pulp), if desired. Serve immediately over ice.

You can practically use yogurt with almost any smoothie that you want to prepare. Basically, it’s an alternative for whole milk. You can do it with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla.

Cheers to you, and your gut health!

Italian Cheesecake Jars

I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_02

Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.

The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_3

We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_04

Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones

If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.

15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract 
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves

Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_05

We have developed this recipe for Åhléns campaign Alla Länders Land which focuses on welcoming more food cultures to the Swedish summer table. 

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I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_02

Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.

The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_3

We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_04

Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones

If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.

15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract 
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves

Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_05