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.

Doggy Diaries: 3 Essentials I Use to Keep My Dog Healthy

When people say that “dogs are man’s best friend”, I certainly think that it is an understatement. For dog lovers like me, I believe my dogs are my saving graces. In more ways than one, my dogs have provided me new and exciting feelings that they can only bring out of me, not to mention a whole new outlook in life I live by up until now. I know that I am not the only one reaping the benefits of being a dog-owner (and dog-lover).

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Now, if you’re aspiring to share your life with a little canine friend, I can tell you many reasons why.

Simply put, having a dog makes you feel much more calm and happy. In fact, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for the feeling of being relaxed. When you are relaxed more often, you are less likely to have heart diseases. Pets also serve as a great booster of the immune system, helping the body withstand any diseases which could then lead to an overall healthy life.

Aside from the physiological support from owning a pet, it can support you psychologically by giving you a different perspective in life. According to researches, if you have a pet, you are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets.

Pets can also provide a sense of comfort and company like no other. They can socially connect people and can be considered as social magnets, all of which are extremely beneficial if you are under a huge amount of stress.

There are many ways how dogs can improve your health. This is why it is important to make every effort in giving them everything they need – ample time, warm shelter, and, of course, healthy food!

Here are some recipes I have played around with plus vital information about essential nutrients that our pets need to keep them healthy and playful.

Beefy Equals Hearty

It is imperative that the diet you give your dog is complete and balanced, just like how it is for humans. What this means is that the food you feed them should meets all of your dog’s nutritional needs. However, it is not necessary that every meal prepared is the same every day with little or no variation at all just to meet the requirements.

Home-prepared doggy meals have become popular nowadays. Each “meal course” may include a wide variety of food types to cater to your pet’s palette. Similar to the way humans eat, as long as your dog gets everything he or she needs, his diet is still considerably complete and balanced.

Meat should always make up at least half of the diet for dogs. It is still recommended that meat is prepared properly (i.e. it needs to be cooked). Many raw diets are extremely high in fat, which can lead to obesity. In turn, diets containing too much fat can cause your dog to suffer deficiencies of other required nutrients.

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Unless your dog gets regular, intense exercise, you should use lean meats (no more than 10 percent fat), remove skin from poultry, and cut off separable fat. It’s better to feed dark meat poultry than breast unless your dog requires a very low-fat diet.

One recipe I’ve worked with is Beef Ball Treats with Vegetables. This is not necessarily a new recipe, but I have tweaked it a little with the addition of baby food and some important vegetables.

You are going to need:

  • 2 6-ounce jars of organic beef and vegetable baby food
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (or white substitute)
  • 2 cups of dry milk
  • 1 cup of water

To prepare your doggie beef balls, you need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. After which, you are to drop the mixture onto a baking sheet in large spoonfuls, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Finally, allow to the treats to cool completely, and store leftover beef and vegetable balls in the fridge for up to five days.

Sweet and Tasty with a Side of Dairy

There is a common misconception that dairy products are bad for dogs. In my experience in personal dog care, I have found that not all types are bad. In fact, some are considered very healthy for my lovely canine.

One example tasty dairy treat for your dog is yogurt. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein which are essential nutrients to make your dog stronger. The ones with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system. However, it is important to make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars.

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To prepare this Healthy Yogurt Treat for your dogs, you are going to need:

  • ½ cup fat-free plain yogurt (goat’s milk yogurt if you can find it)
  • ¼ cup of oats
  • ¼ cup of mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, spinach, broccoli, etc), steamed then pureed
  • ½ teaspoon of honey

This yogurt delight recipe is very simple. You only have to mix the oats and yogurt, and let sit overnight in the fridge. Afterwards, you are to mix the remaining ingredients in with the oat/yogurt mixture. Viola! Now you have an exciting treat for your beloved pet.

Fish is the Best Dish, Capiche?

To truly keep your dog both healthy and excited to every meal time, some food supplements may be required. Your dogs may need it if you are not able to feed certain food type that could provide their required daily dose of nutrient. In addition, the longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients are lost.

Most homemade diets require added oils for fats and calorie requirements. As such, it’s important to use the right types of oils as each supplies a different nutrient. One important supplement is fish oil. It provides EPA and DHA – omega-3 fatty acids that help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.

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Preparing fish dishes for your dogs is a great alternative to using red meat mainly because it provides certain important nutrients such as Vitamin D. Generally, canned fish with bones, such as sardines (packed in water, not oil), jack mackerel, and pink salmon, are good choices. You can feed small amounts of fish every day or larger amounts once or twice a week. The total amount should be about one ounce of fish per pound of other meats.

One recipe that is constant in my dog’s diet is Salmon with Sweet potatoes. This is a combination of protein and fiber which helps him be active and improve his immune system.

To prepare this fish with vegetables recipe, you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 cup of carrots
  • 1 whole cabbage
  • 1¼ cups of green peas
  • 2 kilograms of frozen white fish

The first step is to dice two sweet potatoes, and put it into a large pot of boiling water. Similarly, you are to dice the parsnips, carrots and cabbage, and add to the pot together the sweet potatoes. Boil the vegetables to soften. Make sure to boil them to 10 to 15 minutes after dicing. After which, put in the salmon and simmer. After taking off the heat, you can serve your dog his delightful dinner.

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.

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.

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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

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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

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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.

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!

Tips For Planning A Healthy Child’s Diet

According to research, it showed that for good health, well-being and a healthy weight, a person is advised to:

•    Consume plenty of plant foods like grain-based foods, bread, vegetable, fruits and others.
•    Consume Moderate amount of animal products such as eggs, fish, chicken, reduced fat dairy products, lean meat and others (if there is). It is advisable to have them lean and reduced fat.
•    Ensure that you have consumed very minimal amount (or not at all) foods and drinks containing a lot of fatty products, high sugar or a lot of salts. The example of such foods and drinks include sausage rolls, pies, sweet biscuits, cakes, soft drinks, chocolate, or sugary drinks.

According to population survey, it indicates that many children do not meet these healthy eating recommendations. For example, children commonly eat too many extra foods but not enough vegetables, cereals, bread or even fruits, which are all good sources of recommended body nutrients.

According to research on child health, which was conducted by New South Wales Population Heath Survey (NSW) back in 2009 to 2010; provided information relating to health as well as the well-being of kids aged 0-15 years. This information was collected from over 4,000 parents and caregivers.

This report showed us important findings on the health of the child and eating habits.

•   Three-quarters of kids aged from 2-15 years ate the required amount of fruits.
•    Almost half of the children aged 2-15 years consumed the recommended daily  amount of vegetables
•    A majority of kids usually drank full cream milk, which they are mainly high in fat. As such, it is very important to go for reduced fatty milk for kids aged two years and above.
•    A majority of children ate ‘a lot of foods’ (extra foods) like fried potatoes or potato products, salty snacks, confectionary and cakes or biscuits at least once per week.
•    Few families ate together at the table every day and about a fifth of kids/children ate in front of the TV each day.
•    A majority of babies aged 0-23 months had been breastfed at some time; however, few were exclusively breastfed for six months, which is the minimum time for breastfeeding. The limiting fact is that the number of babies being breastfeed for 6 months has significantly increased from the previous surveys.

In America, only one in every three children is physically active every day. Planned healthy diet is the main reason why the children are physically active. The question is; what are the tips for planning a healthy diet?

1.    Base your meals on starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, rice and others (Go for whole grains and potatoes with skin, which means more fibre, minerals and vitamins)
2.    Eating a lot of fruits and veg (vegetables should not be overcooked)
3.    If you must eat meat, go for fish. This is because oily fish are one of the natural food sources of vitamin D, which is very important for healthy bone
4.    Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
5.    Eat less salt; adults should eat no more than 6 g per day and kids should eat even less than that

Conclusion

When it comes to preparing your food, make everything simple. Rather than being overly troubled with calculating calories or assessing your food percentage, take your food in term freshness, variety and color. This technique will make it easy for you to make a healthy choice when it comes to your diet.

Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget

We are living in world where thing are tough requiring people to tighten their belts. Well, if you are on a tight budget, the thought of preparing a healthy and tasty on a regular basis could seem daunting. At the same time, it is not only easy to be drawn in by store marketing tricks; however, it is also normal for us to descent into mealtime groove, consuming the same food repeatedly. Keep in mind that you are in control of your kitchen and if you cook smartly, you will definitely enjoy the first class meal you deserve.

Saving Money And Still Having Quality Food

The truth is that you can save money and at the same time still have a quality meal. Well, if you have been using cost as an excuse to eat junk foods, then after reading this article you will find that there is no excuse for doing that. All that is needed is creativity and organization. Through these techniques, a person could have the famous champagne when preparing a beer cost. Therefore, first you will need:

•    To limit your alcohol and junk food intake
•    Drink plenty of pure water
•    Limit sugary and salty foods
•    Avoid eating too much foods containing high saturated fats
•    Check the kind of food you are consuming

It is also important to set aside some time for planning your meal. This should include shopping, making your grocery list and more. Do not forget to include healthy snack ideas and menu items. Think about the time of day, day of week, and even week in the month that you shop. Generally, the grocery is the least busy early in the morning, in the middle of the week, and on any day but the first day or two of the month (when many people receive pension or paychecks).

Do not be afraid to surf online for affordable recipes that use specific ingredients. If you prefer doing some research, it is important to consider buying nonperishable items or those that could say for a very long time without spoiling. While you are at it, you should consider buying them in bulk so that you could also save some money.

Did you know that cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out? Make it a habit to cook at home rather than eating out. This is because you can generally feed the entire family of 4 people for the same budget or price for food for one or two people at the restaurant. Some people find it best to cook for the entire week on the weekends, while others cook one at a time. By cooking yourself, you also gain benefits of knowing exactly what is in your good.

Bottom Line

It is advisable to cook large portion of foods. Cooking large meals does not only save money but also time. The leftover can be used for lunch, in other recipes or frozen in single-portion sizes to be enjoyed on later. Generally, leftovers typically make good burritos, stir-fries and salads. They are great for budgeting.