Thinking About Going Organic?There are several well-known benefits to going organic that are focused on supporting the environment and local farms. However, what is less well known is what the human health benefits to organic are. Are organic foods really better for you?

 

Organic foods are produced without using artificial or chemically formulated substances.  Originally considered a “trend” organic foods are now bought by a majority of American families.  So, why have we seen a change in the last few years?

 

Most people have an understanding that organic is better for them, but they don’t know exactly why. Let’s break down the benefits:

 

Reduced Pesticide Levels

Research has shown than an organic diet can dramatically reduce the pesticide levels found in the body. Pesticide exposure is particularly important in child development and has been show to contribute to deficiencies in neurodevelopment.

 

More Antioxidants

Organic fruits and vegetables tend to contain a higher level of total antioxidants. Antioxidants are important nutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables and have been shown to yield several health benefits, including the prevention of several cancers. Additionally, organic milk has more omega-3 fatty acids.

 

The Taste.

By eating organic, you are eating pure food that is fresh and preservative free. Food that is prepared without the chemicals generally tends to taste better. When given the choice, most people will go for freshly grated Parmesan over the artificial powder you would find at a low-key pizza joint. The same logic applies here. Organic foods taste how they are supposed to taste, without the added chemicals.

 

Try going organic to see if it is for you. Start by only consuming fruits and vegetables that are organic. Gradually incorporate more and more organic items to see if you notice a difference!

1. Processed food is all about time saving, millions of pounds are spent every year on this food that manufacturers pump out every year. Such is the methods that are used the overall quality, of the finished product, mostly tends to be very low nutritional wise. This is one of the reasons why when you are eating processed food, you tend to feel far more hungry than you would do if you are eating fresh prepared food, the reality of this time difference is marginal when preparing fresh food.

Fresh food in comparison tastes a lot better, processed food tends to taste very bland. A lot of food stores that sell pre-packaged frozen processed food, have now jumped on the health craze in order to cash in on healthy eating. But then again this all tends to lead to misleading information on the packaging. It may be the case that the particular product is low in fat, but it also may be the case that it might have tons of sugar in order to compensate for this.

Have more money in your pocket

2. Processed food tends to be a lot more expensive than it’s healthy counterpart. If you think about the logistics of this here is why, when you’re eating food that is full of artificial additives, and no nutritional value, you’re bound to eat more of it. Here’s something for you to do, go out and compare fresh food to processed food and see how much difference there is you, might be surprised at what you find some processed food is quite cheap admittedly but that’s no reason to eat it.

It’s artificial

3. When food is processed a lot of the nutritional value is lost in the process so added synthetic vitamins and minerals are added in order to make the shortfall. The only problem with this is that they are nowhere near as good as their original counterparts so in a way you’re cheating yourself yet again. As we said previously when you don’t get the correct vitamins and minerals from your food, you will tend to eat more and because of the very nature of the food, you’re eating your more likely to gain weight. You see manufacturers can say packed with fortified vitamins but as we know they are no good.

Where is it ?

4. Where is it indeed everything that should be in processed food isn’t, on a scale of one to 10, I would say that the nutritional value of processed food is about one That is being generous to say the least. Have you ever noticed on the back of the packet all the preservatives e numbers etc. What on earth do they mean will they do you harm are they good for you what exactly are they for, the problem with this is no one knows except the manufacturers.

Is it alive!

5. I would say almost definitely not all the living enzymes and/or bacteria that can be good for you isn’t in processed food, and I dare say that phytochemicals probably aren’t there as well, which are important factors when it comes to free radicals in your body for these phytochemicals soak up free radicals in your body which prevent diseases.

Is it worth investing in?

6. When you buy this food you’re encouraging more being spent on it so therefore keeping it alive. If less people spend more money on fresh fruit and vegetables then more money goes towards making more of it and advertising it.

Not needed additions.

7. Processed food tend to have tons of chemical additives which are no use whatsoever to you or your body, things are added like artificial coloring and preservatives, so the food will last longer these have no use to you whatsoever, for all you know these could cause harm without you even knowing.

Mystery guests!

8. This type of particular food can have all sorts of strange odds and ends added during processing one particular example of this is sausages say or hot dog sausages to be more specific they can contain something called edible offal, i. e. different parts of the animal like ears.

It’s addictive

9. It’s a well-known fact that fat and sugar are as addictive as heroin and cocaine they stimulate the same receptors in your brain that make you feel good. This is what’s known as a dopamine high, manufacturers all too well know that. These substances are highly addictive that is why processed food does have a lots of hidden sugar and fat, so as to make it addictive and also enhance the taste.

Listen to old advice

10. Can you remember when you were younger and your parents told you to eat more vegetables well guess what they were right.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1119918

7 Benefits of Drinking Water You Probably Didn't KnowFact: The human body consists of 70 percent of water. Hence, water plays a vital role in our existence. When we have a sufficient supply of water in our body it makes us feel comfortable and healthy.

Without water, parts of our body cannot function correctly. Water is an element that has a dynamic function not just for the human body but also for the ecosystem. What are the benefits of drinking water? There are a lot of benefits that you can obtain from drinking water. However, let me simplify them into seven categories.

Brain Stimulation

The Brain is part of the nervous system and is the main basis of our movements. It consists of about 90 percent water. When water is sufficient in our brain, it can function easily, sharply and be alert. If it lacks water, our minds can be as slow as a turtle.

Stronger Stamina

Water helps our muscles work. It produces oxygen for muscles to endure longer workouts and other physical activities. During exercise, it is important to drink water to maintain the muscle cells’ strength. It keeps our muscles and joints lubricated. Because of this, you are able to protect yourself from cramps, strains or sprains.

Body Temperature Regulation

Through water, our body temperature becomes regulated or balanced. Through perspiration, our body’s temperature is lowered which makes us feel cool and fresh. When we produce a lot of energy through a lot of movements such as exercise, our sweat glands produce perspiration to cool off our bodies. Hence, a need for regular water intake is necessary.

Active Nerves

Nerve cells send messages to and from the brain through the use of electrolytes. Water takes a crucial role in maintaining electrolytes at the normal level for nerve functions. Through water, nutrients and other elements are being transported all throughout the body system.

Stomach and Intestinal Tract

Water is used also for digestion. With only a small amount of water in the digestive system it can cause constipation and other stomach disorders. It also cleanses our body for nutrient absorption.

To Beautify and Clean

To be hydrated is to keep our body moisturised and that helps keep our skin healthier and smoother. Also, it detoxifies our system by flushing out body fats and other body toxins which in turn help us lose weight. Water supports our body’s metabolism. Moreover, through constant drinking of water, our eyes and mouths are moisturized, too. Water cleanses them through taking away the dirt and dust. Drinking water has also been proven to prevent halitosis or bad breath.

Protects our Organs

Water protects our vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. These organs play a major role in our overall well-being. Individuals who drink at least 8 glasses of water a day are less likely to experience heart attack or stroke.

By drinking water, we’re protected from head to toe. The above mentioned benefits simply prove that we can’t live without water. It’s one of our ultimate sources for a healthier and happier living!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7350147

How To Add Kale To Your DietKale contains a variety of nutrients that help to support your eyesight and your heart health. Just one cup of kale chips has 134 percent of your recommended dose of Vitamin C and is loaded with other vitamins and nutrients. It is also a natural detoxifier, so it is an excellent vegetable to incorporate into your diet (especially if you haven’t been so great to your body lately. Kale can be eaten raw, boiled, braised, or baked. There are so many options to keep it in your diet.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep kale chips on hand. If you are trying to incorporate more kale into your diet, try whipping up some kale chips. This is a great alternative to other high calorie snacks like potato chips, pretzels, or crackers. To make kale chips, simply chop up the kale into small pieces. Then toss in a small amount of olive oil. Bake the chips in the oven until crispy.
If you are looking for more than a snack, try out a lemon Parmesan kale salad. It is so easy to prepare!

You will need:
o 3 cups chopped fresh kale
o 1 Tbsp. olive oil
o 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
o 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
o pinch of salt and black pepper (freshly ground is preferable)
o 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
o 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs (optional)

Put the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Then add the kale, parmesan, and bread crumbs. Toss until the kale is evenly distributed. Serve immediately! You can also consider adding in blackberries, apples, or pecans! This salad is light and fresh, and perfect for the summer months! It is also popular to add kale to pastas, soups, and frittatas.

Do You Know How Much Sugar You Are Consuming?One key thing to being healthy is being aware of exactly what you are putting into your body. This means reading the ingredients, on everything.  One thing you must pay attention to is how much sugar is in your cereal, breads, crackers, junk foods, in everything. By the time sugar is packaged and refined, it has no nutritional value.  Excess amounts of refined sugar are stored in the liver as glycogen.  When the liver is too full, excess amounts of refined sugar are returned to the bloodstream as fatty acids. In other words, consuming excess refined sugars can lead to weight gain. High fructose corn syrup is another sweetener that has weaseled its way into foods that we consume everyday. Manufacturers love high fructose corn syrup. You can find it in juices, soda, yogurt, energy bars, candy, beer, breads, and even some frozen foods. High fructose corn syrup is sweeter than sugar, and is even more processed.  It will pay off to read the ingredients! Here is why:

 

So, how do you combat the fact that sugar and high fructose corn syrup is in everything?  Look for healthier alternatives for refined sugar. One very popular replacement is agave nectar. It can typically be found in health food stores next to honey. Agave nectar has zero processing chemicals and it absorbs slowly into the bloodstream, meaning it has no negative impact on blood-sugar levels.  You can also use it as a sugar replacement in any recipe.

 

The great news is this does not mean you have to give up cookies or sweets. There are options! Most health food stores (Whole Foods, Sprouts, Alfalfa’s, etc) have whole aisles devoted too sugar free sweets.   Most of these places carry Uncle Eddie’s vegan cookies (try them out – they are amazing not to mention low in calories and sugars).

 

Keep Your Salad HealthyIs your salad as healthy as you think it is?  Salads are great. They are light, fresh, and available everywhere. Add chicken, fish, or shrimp and your salad becomes a complete and filling entrée. And you can throw in everything from fruits to vegetables to nuts; you can hit every food group. But don’t be fooled. Your salad may not always be the best thing for you and that is largely because of the dressing. Store bought salad dressings can be incredibly deceiving. If you are going to stick with store bought salad dressing, make a point to read through the ingredients. Is real olive oil being used? Do your research so you know what you are putting in your body.  Restaurant salads can also be incredibly deceiving – and it all comes back to the dressing. Stay away from creamy dressings at restaurants. Instead, ask for olive oil and vinegar. You can even squeeze a few lemon slices over your salad to spice it up. Or go with vinaigrette, as most are on the lighter side when it comes to dressings. Restaurants tend to soak your salad in dressing. This is often not necessary – ask for light dressing, or order on the side and dress the salad yourself. This way you are controlling your portions, and if you need to add a little more to up the salad’s taste, you can do so by your own wishes.

 

Now the best option would be to consider making your own salad dressings. Not only will it be cheaper, and fresher, but you will also know exactly what you are putting into your body. You can make dressings at home and store them as you would store bought dressings.  Asian or honey mustard dressings are relatively easy to put together, so look up a few recipes online. You can also research healthy alternatives to your favorite restaurant dressings. The goal should be to keep your salad healthy, and know what you are putting into your body!

You have probably heard it your whole life: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.  Most breakfast and cereal companies advertise that breakfast is the most important meal because without a big, healthy, breakfast you won’t have enough energy to get through the day.  The actual reason breakfast is the most important is because it sets the stage for your entire day of eating. So if you eat an unhealthy or sugary breakfast, you are much more likely to crave foods that are high in fat and sugars for the rest of the day.

When you eat breakfast are you actually hungry? People often eat breakfast as part of their morning routine. They are used to eating breakfast immediately after they wake up. Next time, take a second to see if you are actually hungry. There is nothing wrong with waiting an hour or two after waking up to eat breakfast – when you are actually hungry. By waiting a few extra hours, you are giving your body a chance to clean itself out and actually digest whatever was in your stomach from the day before.

Whatever your breakfast routine is, consider making fruit part of your breakfast habits. Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber (and these are all very beneficial things to start your day with). The fiber will help to keep you longer and consuming fruit in the morning can help you meet the recommended five fruit and vegetable servings.  If your mornings are busy, fruit is great to eat on the go. Or, if you have the time make a fruit smoothie or add berries to yogurt and granola.

Fructose Overload

Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic “Fructose Overload.” Use the embed code to share it on your website.

fructose overload infographic

Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic “Fructose Overload.”

4 Foods That Boost Your MetabolismThere are foods that you can eat to help you boost your metabolism. Consuming the right foods, at the right portions, at the right times of day can help you to achieve your weight loss goals and build muscle.

Blueberries.

You have heard that antioxidants are good for you, but what exactly do they do? Well, when free radicals start to build up in your body because they are not cleared, they can actually damage your cells. This can cause disease, inhibit your muscle growth, and prevent fat los. Consuming antioxidants helps to prevent the build up of free radicals and in turn boosts your metabolism. Add blueberries to cereal, yogurt, or smoothie.

Almonds.

Almonds are the most nutritionally packed nuts, and you can get healthy calories from a small serving size. One serving size of almonds is full of vitamin E (which is also an antioxidant). Almonds have high fiber content, which helps to make you feel full.  Next time you are craving a snack, go for almonds. Having a handful thirty minutes to an hour before a meal can help you fill up.

Salmon.

Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vitamin B12.  Omega-3s help to make your metabolism more efficient because it slows digestion and prevents cravings.  Additionally, salmon has several heart benefits.

Water.

When you are not hydrated, your body has trouble functioning optimally. The benefits of water are incredible – drinking 8 glasses a day can up your energy levels, increase your mental focus, aids in digestion, improves your skin, and can reduce headaches (and these are just a few of the benefits!). Drinking water helps food move through your system, which ultimately can help you loose weight.

Eating foods that help rev up your metabolism, in addition to working out can increase the rate at which you burn fat. Do your best to incorporate blueberries, almonds, and salmon into your diet weekly and drink as much water as you can daily.

 

Article source: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/10_metabolism_foods.htm

Get A Good Night’s Sleep, Every NightHow well we sleep is connected to almost everything – our mood, energy level, emotional balance, mental alertness, the list is endless. If you are not getting a good night’s sleep, there are techniques you can try to improve your slumber. Try out a few of the different strategies below and see what works best for you. Note: before employing these strategies, it is a good idea to have a general idea of how many hours of sleep you need every night.

Strategy: Be consistent

Be consistent with your sleeping hours. Set a regular bedtime. Choose a time that you begin to feel tired, so that you do not find yourself tossing and turning in bed.  Try to wake up at the same time everyday. The continuity sets your body on a schedule. Think of it as training your body to fall asleep and wake up at the times that work for you.

Strategy: Increase Your Melatonin Production

Melatonin is a natural hormone that helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your body naturally produces the levels of melatonin you need during the day when it is time to be alert. During the night, your brain registers that it is dark and should secrete the levels of melatonin you need to feel sleepy. Sometimes, light from appliances and electronics disrupts those natural melatonin levels. When you are attempting to fall asleep, turn off your television and computer. The bright lights and activity on the screens tend to stimulate your mind, not relax it. Replace your nightly TV or computer routine with relaxation exercises (like stretching), or listening to calming music. This is likely to produce the correct levels of melatonin you need to fall asleep.

Strategy: Create Peace Before Bed

Create a calming and relaxing environment for yourself before you sleep. If you are at peace right before bed, you will find it much easier to fall asleep. Make sure your room is set to a desirable temperature. People often find themselves too hot or too cold in the middle of the night and it disrupts their sleeping schedule.  Ensure that your bed is comfortable. Take a hot shower or bath, and make sure you are feeling relaxed.

Remember to try every method and do not get discouraged. You can find the combination of strategies that works for you!