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20 Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water We tend to reach for those warm beverages in the morning like coffee and tea, but try starting your day with some warm lemon water first to kick-start digestion. The water doesn’t always have to be warm, but it should be purified. Simply use half a fresh lemon per large glass of water or to taste and sip throughout the day. Providing more than just hydration, fresh lemon juice and water can deliver surprising benefits. Lemon is a natural energizer; it hydrates and oxygenates the body so it feels revitalized and refreshed!

Here are 5 health benefits of drinking lemon water that elevate drinking it for reasons beyond just taste:

Support immune function: Lemons are high in antioxidant vitamin C, known for its supportive role in healthy immune function1,2 which may reduce the risk of respiratory infection3. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) found in lemons demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, and is used as complementary support for asthma and other respiratory symptoms4,5. Lemons also contain saponins6, which show antimicrobial properties that may help keep cold and flu at bay. Last but not least, ascorbic acid enhances iron absorption in the body; iron plays an important role in immune function7.

Alkalize the body: Although the tartness of a lemon may make them seem acidic, lemons are actually one of the most alkalizing foods for the body. Lemons contain both citric and ascorbic acid, weak acids easily metabolized from the body allowing the mineral content of lemons to help alkalize the blood.

Aid digestion: Citrus flavonols8 are believed responsible for lemon’s traditional use as a digestive tonic. Believed to stimulate and purify the liver, lemon juice is traditionally understood to support digestive hydrochloric acid in the stomach further aiding digestion. Vitamin C status has been associated with reduced risk of peptic ulcers caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori9.

Clear skin: Vitamin C and other antioxidants in lemons combat free radical damage. Free radical damage — especially as caused by UV exposure and environmental toxins — is responsible for many symptoms of aging. Antioxidant intake can help offset this damage, minimizing wrinkles. Further, lemon juice can be applied topically to scars and age spots to help reduce their appearance. Traditionally used as a liver stimulant, lemon water is also believed to help purge toxins from the blood, helping to keep skin clear of blemishes.

Promote healing: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), found in abundance in lemons, promotes wound healing, and is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of healthy bones, connective tissue, and cartilage10. As noted previously, vitamin C also displays anti-inflammatory properties. Combined, vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the maintenance of good health and recovery from stress and injury.

The Top Fat-Burning FoodsBoost your metabolism

It’s true: Certain foods have a very high thermogenic effect, so you literally scorch calories as you chew. Other eats contain nutrients and compounds that stoke your metabolic fire. Feed your metabolism with these.

Whole grains

Your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole foods (especially those rich in fiber such as oatmeal and brown rice) than processed foods.

Lean meats

Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).

Low-fat dairy products

Rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.

Green tea

Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

Lentils

One cup packs 35% of your daily iron needs—good news, since up to 20% of us are iron- deficient. When you lack a nutrient, your metab slows because the body’s not getting what it needs to work efficiently, says Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, co-author of The Secret to Skinny

Hot peppers

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. You can get it by eating raw, cooked, dried, or powdered peppers, says Lakatos Shames. “Add as much cayenne or hot sauce as possible to soups, eggs, and meats.”

 

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

Why Am I So Tired? 3 Possible Causes of Fatigue

Do you feel tired all the time? Lots of people do. It’s a sign of our overbooked times.

Getting your energy back could be simpler than you think. Start by seeing if you can relate to the top three reasons for feeling drained.

The most common reasons for feeling tired are about daily habits.

1. What you eat. Reaching for caffeine and sugar can backfire, leaving you more fatigued as your blood sugar levels fluctuate wildly. Instead, go for a balanced, healthy diet replete with fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. “Most people feel like they’re less tired if they eat a healthy diet,” says J. Fred Ralston Jr., MD, past president of the American College of Physicians. “Eating healthy also means you’ll carry less weight, and obesity is a big contributor to fatigue.

2. How much you sleep. You saw this one coming, right? Many people don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of them, avoid caffeine and alcohol in the hours just before bedtime, turn off the TV before bed, and keep your bedroom quiet and restful.

3. How much you exercise. This is the biggie, Ralston says. His favorite prescription for plain old tiredness is regular, vigorous exercise. Finish at least three hours before bedtime, so you have time to wind down.

If you think that exercise would just make you more tired, there’s good news: Exercise breeds energy. Almost all the studies that have looked at this question have found the same thing: Sedentary people who start exercising feel much less fatigue than those who stay idle. It’s one of those surprising truths: move more and you’ll get more energy.

Ralston recommends getting 40 minutes of exercise at least four days a week, to get you going.

Do that, and a month from now, you should notice some improvement. Keep with it for three to six months more, and you should feel much better.

If you follow your exercise prescription for at least a month — and you’re also making enough time for sleep — and you’re still feeling lousy, look into other causes, Ralston advises.

Source: http://women.webmd.com/guide/why-so-tired-10-causes-fatigue

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.

The Truth Behind CelluliteThere are a few misconceptions about what cellulite is and how it is caused. So, what really causes cellulite? Cellulite occurs when skin cells deteriorate so much so that fat cells get pushed up and become visible at the skin surface. So ultimately, cellulite is a condition that is associated with skin deterioration and weak connective tissues (not too much fat in the body). Proper nutrition can help heal connective tissues, which reduces the damage that creates cellulite.

 

To repair damaged skin, you want to ultimately rebuild your cell walls and repair connective tissues. Foods that are filled with lecithin can help in this process. Cauliflower, eggs, soy products, spinach, and tomatoes are all foods with high sources of lecithin. Additionally, you should seek out foods that are high in essential fatty acids. Essentially fatty acids attract water to dehydrated cells and are critical to getting rid of cellulite. Essential fatty acids can be found in walnuts, flax seeds, and salmon. Seek out rich sources of protein to ensure you are getting the right amount of fatty acids (fish, eggs, protein).

 

To avoid cellulite, you must consume foods that are rich in antioxidants and maintain an anti-inflammatory diet. Free radical damage is what leads to those lumps and dimples that are characteristics of cellulite. Antioxidants can help to stop that damage to the skin. Blueberries, apples, raspberries, strawberries, pecans, and black beans are among the top foods that are high in antioxidants.

 

Getting rid of cellulite means your body must successfully metabolize foods that are rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Follow a diet that is low in sugars and high in whole grains. Most importantly, make sure you are eating a variety of foods that include nuts, fish, poultry, and green vegetables. Eliminating cellulite is a gradual process that relies on a combination of factors. Be patient and make sure your diet is helping you (not hurting you) in your quest to get rid of cellulite.