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Healthy eating is not about depriving yourself from the food you love or maintaining a slim figure. It’s about staying as healthy as possible and feeling great about it. Fortunately, this could all be attained by sticking to some nutritional basics and applying them to your daily diet.

In this article, we’ll help you plan and create healthy and tasty meals and expand your range of healthy and delectable food choices. Read on and enjoy the perks of sticking to a healthier eating habit.

Simplify

Instead of obsessing yourselves over calorie counts and measuring food sizes, think of your diet in terms of freshness, variety and color. By doing this, it would be easier for you choose a variety of healthy foods without the complications of counting calories and serving sizes. Focus on the foods you love, create easy recipes and incorporate fresh ingredients.

Make gradual changes

Shifting to a healthier diet cannot be done overnight. That’s not realistic either. Also, a person who tries to change everything at once tends to cheat or easily give up on their new diet plan.

Take small steps such as adding a vegetable or fruit to your diet once in a while. Also, when cooking, you could switch from butter to olive oil. As you start to adapt to these changes, feel free to add in more healthy foods into your diet.

Incorporate exercise and water in your diet

Water helps flush out toxins and waste products in our system. With the lack of water in our body, this could result to dehydration; thus, causing headache, lack of energy and tiredness. Staying hydrated is important.

Most people mistake thirst for hunger. Drink a glass of water to know if you are really hunger or you’re just thirsty. This could also be helpful for people who are on a diet.

Find an activity that you enjoy and add it to your daily routine, just like adding in a few fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. Exercise comes with a long list of benefits. And you can get all these by staying active and spending a few minutes a day exercising.

By adhering to a regular exercise program, plus, incorporating a few servings of healthy foods, you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

The weather is getting cooler, but your produce choices are heating up.

These amazing superfoods are either hitting their peak in the garden or can easily be found in your local farmers market or grocery store.

They’re the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights!

 

Apples

Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin—it contains hearty-healthy flavonoids. Health benefits include:

• Full of antioxidants
• 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving

Harvest season: August–November

 

Brussels sprouts

Made the correct way, these veggies taste divine. They have a mild, somewhat bitter taste, so combine them with tangy or savory sauces, like balsamic vinegar. Health benefits include:

• 1/2 cup contains more than your DRI of vitamin K
• Very good source of folate
• Good source of iron

Harvest season: September–March

 

Parsnips

Though these veggies may resemble carrots, they have a lighter color and sweeter, almost nutty flavor. Use them to flavor rice and potatoes or puree them into soups and sauces. Health benefits include:

• Rich in potassium
• Good source of fiber

Harvest season: October–April

 

Pears

The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking can really bring out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached. Health benefits include:

• Good source of vitamin C and copper
• 4 grams of fiber per serving

Harvest season: August–February

 

Rutabaga

A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, rutabagas are a popular Swedish dish. To utilize their earthy flavor, add them to casseroles, puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup, or roast them with ginger, honey, or lemon. Health benefits include:

• Good source of fiber
• Good source of vitamin C

Harvest season: October–April

 

Cauliflower

The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for winter side dishes. It’s wonderful steamed, but it can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup. Health benefits include:

• Compounds that may help to prevent cancer
• Phytonutrients may lower cholesterol” “Excellent source of vitamin C

Harvest season: September–June

 

Squash

Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. It tastes best with other fall flavorings, like cinnamon and ginger. Health benefits include:

• Contains omega-3 fatty acids
• Excellent source of vitamin A

Harvest season: October–February

 

Pumpkin

A type of winter squash, pumpkin can be used for much more than jack-o’-lanterns. Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, cakes, and even pudding! Health benefits include:

• Rich in potassium
• More than 20% of your DRI of fiber
• Good source of B vitamins

Harvest season: October–February

 

Sweet potatoes

These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles. More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, try roasting them—they’ll taste delicious, and you may maintain more vitamins than boiling. Health benefits include:

• Excellent source of vitamin A
• Good source of iron
• Anti-inflammatory benefits

Harvest season: September–December

 

Turnips

Tender and mild, these root vegetables are a great alternative to radishes and cabbage. To flavor these veggies, use fennel, bread crumbs, or even brown sugar. Turnip leaves, which taste like mustard leaves, are easy to cook and dense in nutrients. Health benefits include:

• The roots are a good source of vitamin C
• Turnip leaves are an excellent source of vitamins A, K, and folate

Harvest season: September–April

 

Pomegranates

This slightly sour fruit has gotten a lot of press as an antioxidant powerhouse. The juice provides a tangy base for marinades, and the seeds can be tossed into salads to amp up the flavor. Health benefits include:

• A UCLA study showed pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than red wine
• Good source of vitamin C and folate

Harvest season: August–December

 

Dates

This Middle Eastern favorite is a sweet fruit that is perfect braised in stews, chopped up in desserts, or stuffed with cream cheese or almonds. Health benefits include:

• Low in fat
• Good source of fiber
• Good source of potassium

Harvest season: September–December

 

Kiwi

Use this sweet fruit to add a tropical flavor to your recipes. It’s great mixed with strawberries, cantaloupe, or oranges and can be combined with pineapple to make a tangy chutney. Health benefits include:

• More vitamin C than an orange
• Good source of potassium and copper

Harvest season: September–March

 

Grapefruit

The signature tartness of grapefruit provides a contrast to other citrus fruit. Add it to mixed greens, combine it with avocado and shrimp, or enjoy a fresh glass of its antioxidant-rich juice. Health benefits include:

• More than 75% of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of vitamin C
• Good source of lycopene
• Contains pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol

Harvest season: September–April

 

Tangerines

The small and sweet citrus fruits are positively refreshing for fall recipes. Our favorite flavor combos include almonds, dates, and honey. Juice them with oil, vinegar, and ginger for a to-die-for dressing. Health benefits include:

• Good source of vitamin C
• Good source of beta-carotene

Harvest season: November–April

 

 

 

Is a juice cleanse the answer? With the number of celebrity endorsers stating that they maintain their stick thin figures by using a combination of juice cleanses and fasting, the average person may feel like this is the answer to those extra pounds that never seem to come off. But is it?

Juice Cleanses: Fad or Truth?

Juice cleanses involve replacing solid food with juices made from fresh fruits and vegetables for a period of time. This form of detoxification diet is rapidly becoming more and more popular and is often touted as an easy fix.

People have been fasting and cleansing for as long as there have been civilizations, usually for religious regions. Hatha Yoga recommends a few days of fasting per month, where the yogi only consumes very little water while meditating and resting. Juice cleanses have been touted as the health solution due to a large intake of fruit and vegetables and their vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that the health benefits have not yet been proven.

The Pros

Juice cleanses can help kick start a weight loss plan and encourage healthy eating habits. It is a relatively easy diet because the suggested fruits and vegetables are easy to find, no matter where you live. They are available at the local supermarket.

Many cleanses advocate cutting down on food even before starting the diet and generally put an emphasis on healthy eating. They recommend cutting down on sugar, caffeine and animal products at least two weeks before the fast and gradually moving to a more vegetarian-style diet.

Combining fruits and vegetables ups your antioxidant intake. Since most cleanses recommend using organic fruit, this also reduces the amount of pesticides you consume. Juice cleanses also recommend drinking large amounts of water (6 glasses) per day. The combination of this can keep a person feeling full, which can prevent binging and craving.

The reduced caloric intake (cleanses recommend that you consume the juice gradually throughout the day in 2 to 4 ounce doses) will definitely help you shed pounds. If combined with colon cleanses, you may end up shedding 10 to 15 pounds a week.

The Cons

In some extreme cases, juice cleanses can be accompanied by enemas or colon cleanses to clear out the intestines. Extreme juice cleanses that last for long periods of time can lead to loss of muscle tone due to the lack of protein as well as a marked decrease in metabolic speed. Sudden weight loss can also lead to ketosis, a metabolic imbalance that can lead to fatigue and dizziness.

Individuals who may be trying a juice detox diet for the first time can experience dizziness and fatigue, headaches and sudden acid reflux, especially if too many citrus fruits are consumed during the course of the cleanse. Bad breath is surprisingly another common side effect. If you eat too much solid food too suddenly after a cleanse, the body may “rebound” and you will end up gaining back all those hard earned pounds.

People with health a condition like diabetes should avoid juice cleanses because of the large intake of fructose (simplified sugar). They may, however, reduce the amount of fruit and focus more on vegetables.

Conclusion

Before embarking on any diet, make sure to consult your physician about the type of action you want to take. Be wary of “fad” juice cleanses that tell you to invest your money in miracle juices. Done correctly, a juice fast may be beneficial but it is not for everyone.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7147676

The Best Cleansing VegetablesAll vegetables are cleansing, but some have more cleansing qualities than others. Additionally, the way that you consume vegetables can have an affect on its cleansing power.  Incorporate these cleansing vegetables into your diet:

Artichokes are full of fiber – this means that they can be digested very easily.  Artichokes are great to add to entrees, or have as a snack or appetizer with hummus. Peas are another great option to add to a meal that will help your digestion. Have peas as a side dish, or throw some into a soup or salad.

Spinach is full of antioxidants that protect against cancer-causing toxins that could be traveling through your body. When carrots are eaten fresh and raw they aid in regulating blood sugar.

In terms of juices, celery and beet juice are great for cleansing. Celery juice strengthens the heart and adds vitamin and mineral water to your diet. Beet juice strengthens the liver and the kidneys, which are the main organs in charge of cleansing.

Typically, vegetables that are organic, raw, and fresh will stimulate the cleansing process. Keep in mind your digestion is strongest during the day, so that is when raw vegetables should be consumed.  If you are consuming vegetables in the evening, go for a lightly steamed serving. Remember that when vegetables are at their brightest in color, they are the best for you and full of vitamins and nutrients.