Eat More Seafood

When scientists compare diets around the globe, the healthiest have one food item in common which includes: seafood.  People in iceland have the world’s largest per capita consumption of seafood (220lbs per year!) and these Icelanders also have the highest life expectancy of any nationality-nearly 81 years.  Although fish isn’t the only reason-it helps! So what makes seafood so healthy? Seafood is a lean protein option, with very little saturated fat.  The fats contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fats.  Polyunsaturated fats  have been shown to protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer; reduce blood pressure; and help control inflammation.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines have made the important step of singling out seafood, recommending two servings per week in place of beef, pork, or poultry.  My Better Self would like to challenge you to eat fish at least twice a week this month! Check out the variety of recipes and seafood choices on www.cookinglight.com!

 

 

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Soy 101

Health.com has written an article on the miracle food: soy.  There are so many ways to get this good-for-you protein into your daily diet.  So here’s how to do it-and why you absolutely should!

Soy’s most prominent feature is its complete protein.  It is one of the only plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need from our diets to function properly.  It makes an ideal substitute for meat, poultry and eggs.  The protein and fiber make it an incredibly filling food.  Soybeans are also cholesterol-free and lower in heart-unhealthy saturated fat in comparison to meat and dairy.

Soy also packs a number of phytochemicals, including isoflavones, which may work together to help fight conditions like cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and breast cancer.  So look for simple places to swap soy in for other foods and drinks. Snack on soy nuts instead of cheese; use soy nut butter instead of peanut butter for a change of pace (you may not be able to tell the difference!). Soy milk is a great alternative for the lactose intolerant (just avoid sweetened ones, which pack extra sugars).

 

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Feeling Fuller Tricks

It is not just what you eat that can make you more satisfied, but it is also how you eat as well.  Try these tips from Health.com to feel fuller longer and achieve your health and wellness goals!

1.  Drinking water-drink 2-8oz glasses of water before each meal.  This will fill up your stomach and trim up to 60 calories per meal.

2.  Use vinegar/vinaigrette and cinnamon for flavor (where possible).  These two ingredients can help regulate blood sugars after meals, and help you feel full longer after eating.

3.  Green and orange vegetables contain about 90% water, which fills your stomach and makes your brain register fullness.

4.  Potatoes! White and sweet potatoes contain hunger-fighting resistant starch.  A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that these may boost satiety to help you stay full for up to 24 hours!

5.  Fish.  Fish contains omega-3 fats, which can help stomach growling for hours.Fish-eaters felt more full than beef-eaters, plus downed 75 fewer calories at the next meal, according to a study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

6.  Go Nutty! The complex trio of fiber, protein and fat in nuts activates satiety so you chow on fewer calories throughout the day, while also increasing metabolism up to 11%.

7.  Add some oats! Oats have a filling fiber compound called beta-glucan which helps the body release CCK, a hunger suppressing hormone.

8.  Variety of beans.  Beans contain a fiber-protein balance to increase fullness.  Legumes may also boost your metabolism if they are rich in your diet.

9.  Eggs.  Eggs are full of protein and the American College of Nutrition found eating them helps control appetite for up to 36 hours.

10.  Fiber.  Fiber is an important part of digestion, which shouldn’t be news to you.  But did you know that certain types may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and colon cancer?

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Boost Your Detox-Ability

Your liver, kidneys, and digestive system remove potentially harmful substances naturally, but you have the ability to give your purification system some help! Detox your body with these natural and easy steps!

1.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables: Consuming antioxidants fights off carcinogens, and fiber-rich foods help move waste through the body.

2.  Break a sweat! Perspiration-a mix of salt and water-is a natural self-cleansing system, whether from exercising or sitting in a sauna.

3.  Lighten your toxics load! Eliminate cigarettes and limit alcohol, coffee, saturated fats and refined sugars, which can hinder your body’s ability to heal.

4.  Drink up.  Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells.  To make sure you get enough water, aim for eight-8oz glasses per day.

 

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Sleep Tricks For Amazing Skin!

Prevention Magazine has written an article on maintaining a clear complexion with 5 easy steps.  One of these steps includes reviving your complexion with 4 easy tweaks to your nighttime routine.  The first tip is to sleep on your back.  Lying on your stomach or on the same side every night can etch permanent sleep lines into your skin.  If it is too difficult for you to adjust, try using a satin pillowcase; the silky texture prevents crinkles. The second pointer is to raise your head.  Stacking a few pillows beneath your head can prevent puffy eyes in the morning.  The third tip is to invest in a humidifier.  Dry, hot air sucks moisture from the skin while a humidifier puts water into the air, for soft and supple skin.  The fourth pointer from Prevention Magazine is to get deep sleep.  Use the bedroom for sleeping only.  Doing so trains your mind to associate your bed with getting sleep.  Avoiding caffeine and exercise 3-5 hours before bedtime can help you reach a deeper sleep.  The ideal temp for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  So if you are looking to enhance your facial complexion, be sure you are taking these precautions in your nighttime routine!

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Hydration: How Much Do You Know

Are you aware of the proper water servings one should consume daily? Do you know how crucial hydration is to our body and its functions?   Take the “Hydration Quiz” by WebMD and test your knowledge to the most important part of your diet! http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/rm-quiz-know-about-hydration

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Secondhand Smoke

So you may not smoke tobacco yourself, however, hopefully you are aware of the secondhand effects of being around those who do.  Exposure to the toxins in secondhand smoke can cause asthma, cancer and other serious problems.  But are you aware that secondhand smoke contains thousands of toxic chemicals in addition to cigarettes?  The following list comprises toxic chemicals you may come across on a daily basis and should become aware of to avoid excessive exposure.

  • Ammonia, used in cleaning products
  • Butane, used in lighter fluid
  • Carbon monoxide, found in car exhaust
  • Chromium, used to make steel
  • Cyanide, used in chemical weapons
  • Formaldehyde, an industrial chemical
  • Lead, a toxic metal
  • Polonium, a radioactive substance

The dangerous particles in secondhand smoke can linger in the air for hours or even longer.  It isn’t just the smoke that’s a concern, though.  The residue that clings to a smoker’s hair and clothing, as well as cushions, carpeting and other goods — sometimes referred to as thirdhand smoke — also can pose risks, especially for children.

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11 Fast Energy Fixes

Stay awake and fired up with these easy fatigue fighters from Prevention Magazine!

1.  Have bran for breakfast

2.  Order a small latte-and sip it slowly!

3.  Eat more often!

4.  Plop a plant in your office

5.  Gulp some water

6.  Steep a cup of tea

7.  Take a 10-minute walk

8.  Copy your kid’s lunch

9.  Cue up your iPod

10.  Try a natural cure

11.  Order the seaweed salad

See details on why these fatigue fighters are beneficial to keeping you at maximum strength by following this link.

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Keep Your Chocolate Fix Healthy

Studies have found that eating dark chocolate every day over a decade may lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.  Adding this to the already long list of the benefits of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate, and indulging in this treat sounds like a great idea.  But before you enjoy that treat, make sure it is healthy by remembering these tips:

1.  Make sure it’s dark! Milk chocolate is not the “healthy” chocolate choice due to its dairy and sugar additions that lower the antioxidant content while upping fat and calories.  Look for dark chocolate that is at least 60 to 70 percent cocoa for high flavonoid concentrations that actually help your health!

 

2.  Go for high quality! Avoid chocolates that use “partially hydrogenated” oils, since these trans fats are not the healthy ingredients to be looking for.  It is recommended to purchase organic, fair-trade ingredients in your dark chocolate treat.

 

3.  Keep it small! Just because it’s good for you does not mean you can go overboard.  Stick to a square of dark chocolate a day.  The studies show that dark chocolate’s benefits are obtained from having just a small amount per day.

 

Hit The Lights!

The American Medical Association has adopted a new policy recognizing that excessive exposure to light at night disrupts sleep.  Although further research is needed, it is highly recommended to turn electronics off at least 20 minutes before you hit the hay.  Use this time to relax with minimal distractions and noise.  If you have trouble getting a good night’s sleep-we suggest you hit the lights a bit earlier than normal and see how your sleep patterns may change!

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