Health & Wellness Blog

    

Healthy Snacking Tips for Kids

To say there is a health problem epidemic in the United States is a mild understatement. The obesity problem is significant and becoming all the more so each day as Americans continue to eat poorly. Unfortunately, this problem is also growing at an alarming rate amongst our kids. Since you control what they eat, implementing the following healthy snacking tips for kids can make a huge difference in their health today and in the future.

Don't Stop Snacking

The first thing to understand is snacking is natural for both kids and adults. It also happens to be good for the human body because it tends to keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day. The issue is not whether a child snacks, but what they eat when the do. Encourage your kids to snack. Just make sure they are eating healthy things.

Control The Amount of Food Available

All of us wander into the kitchen sooner or later to look for something to snack on. If you want your kids to eat healthy, you need to control the food that is available to them. If the pantry is packed with bags of chips, they are going to eat them. If there is no junk food in the kitchen, but plenty of healthy snack foods like baby carrots, they will learn to eat the healthy foods. While you can't control what your kids eat outside of the house, training them to enjoy vegetables and other healthy foods while at home will go a long way to maintaining a good weight and keeping them healthy.

Dressing Up Food

Take a moment and really think about what you snack on and why. Most people snack on foods not for their taste, but because of the taste of the dressings or spices used on them. Consider tortilla chips. Unsalted chips taste like cardboard. Seriously. Try one! Ah, but put some salt on them and suddenly you are stuffing them down your mouth and can't stop. Add salsa to the mix and you will eat even more.

One of the best healthy snacking tips for kids is to give them healthy dressings. For example, you might give them celery with peanut butter as a dip. Fresh fruit and yogurt is a great match as well. You can even mix and freeze them for a great cool treat during the hot summer. Baby carrots and mustard are a good spicy treat as well. There are plenty of options out there, if you just look.

Exposing Kids To Many Different Health Foods

Baby carrots are very health, but even vegans can only eat them for so long before groaning. If you want your kids to eat healthy, get creative with their treats. One great source for ideas is the raw food industry. "Raw foodies" believe the most nutritional food is uncooked, organic food. While probably a bit extreme for you and your kids, buy a raw food recipe book is a smart move. You can find everything from "pizza" to "cakes" that taste great, but are incredibly healthy. You can use the recipes to create constant variation, which can help get your kids hooked on eating healthy.

Reading Nutrition Labels

The food industry is a bit devious in the marketing claims they make on their products. They healthy proclamations you will see often don't actually mean the product is good for you. Many "fat free" products, for instance, are packed with so much sugar that the fat-free version is actually worse for you. Teaching your kids how to read nutrition labels early on sets them up for a life of health. If they start doing it automatically when they are young, it is a habit that will follow them throughout life to their ultimate benefit.

Label reading is not exactly the most exciting task, so you need to get creative. Instead of lording over them in the grocery store and screaming about the horrors of high fructose corn syrup, turn the process into a game. If they can find certain bad ingredients in labels, reward them with something such as staying up later. The point is to make it fun so that they happily do it. If you can achieve that, they will get in the habit of learning to avoid products that are not good for them.

All About You

Of all the healthy snaking tips for kids, one is undoubtedly the most important – your conduct. You must practice what you preach. If you try to teach your kids to eat healthy, but they see you devouring a bag of chips or pint of Ben & Jerry's, the message is going to fail. It is that simple, so show the discipline and commitment that you want your kids to exemplify.

Teaching your kids to eat right at a young age is the key to creating a healthy life for them in both the short and long term. Implementing the above healthy snack tips for kids is a good way to get started with that process.

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10 Best Foods for Detoxing the Body

There are a wealth of reasons to detox and cleanse our bodies.

Detoxification helps to clear the body's system of toxins and can significantly promote better digestion and improves bodily functioning. In addition, detoxing can help to reduce skin outbreaks, like acne, and enhance the quality of skin.

Best way to detox is to consume specific foods that stimulate the detoxing process, while eliminating the consumption of foods that are filled with toxins. Some of these more "toxic foods" include coffee, mushrooms, potatoes, and most non-organic foods, to name a few.

To promote a more thorough cleanse, we have outlined the top ten best foods for detoxing the body.

Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit

These citrus fruits are very rich in Vitamin C and they kill Putrefactive bacteria, which results in better digestion. Limonoids present in lemon and limes clean toxics from the body. Consumption of lemon with warm water every morning is very good for digestive system, and is highly recommended during the detox process.

Garlic

Garlic is a very strong antibiotic and it works well to fight most infections. It strengthens the immunity system and helps control cholesterol levels. Garlic also helps to reduce blood pressure as well and significantly improves the digestive system. It is an amazing detox food, and is a must for almost any detox diet plan.

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are packed with antioxidants and they greatly help stimulate the detox process. Antioxidants found in sprouts also boost the resistance to ultraviolet rays and reduce the chances of damage from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Mung Beans

Mung beans are rich in potassium, which is essential for a healthy nervous system. Mung beans cleanse the liver and vascular system, which can contribute to better digestion and clearer skin. It is highly nutritious and helps in weight loss.

Watercress

Watercress is very rich in Vitamin A and C. Not only is Watercress is good for the digestive system, but it is a great remedy for gall stones, kidney stones and anemea. Watercress is quite versatile food and is packed with nutrients. It can be had in sandwiches, salads, or soups.

Cabbage

Cabbage has several benefits. It is an excellent vegetable to treat constipation, eczema and arthritis. It is also extremely beneficial in losing weight because it contains very few calories. Vitamin and sulphur in cabbage stimulate detoxification in the body and help flush the system. In addition, Iodine present in cabbage strengthens the nervous system.

Green Tea

Green tea has a lot of medicinal properties. It is a strong antioxidant, and it increases the metabolism system, which results in the body burning more calories. Green tea causes less accumulation of fat and reduced toxins in the body. Caffeine level is lowest in green tea and it works on liver diseases as well.

Ginger

Ginger is very invigorating and refreshing, and is great food for detoxing. Ginger helps increase blood circulation, ward off sickness, and reduce inflammation.

Artichokes

Artichoke may be difficult to clean however it is an amazing detox vegetable. It helps to reduce fat accumulation, cholesterol levels, as well as gall stones. Artichoke can also help purify blood, and is very good for liver as it regenerates cell. In addition, flavonoids present in artichoke promote and protect liver cells.

Beetroot

Beetroot is rich in iron and fiber, which can help with digestion. Juice of beetroot flushes out impurities from the body and significantly helps in cleansing the liver of toxins.

Liver is the organ in our body that removes toxins and keeps us free of detrimental agents that we consume. Accumulation of harmful toxins result in slower metabolism system, indigestion, skin related issues, ulcers and excess fat.

Detoxification of the body centers on promoting a healthy liver. So try out these foods to best cleanse your system and start living a healthier life.

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5 Powerful Health Foods You Probably Aren't Eating

The spectrum of foods is so vast that it's hard for one to take in all options planet earth as to offer. For some of us, our options for healthy foods may be limited. However when we do have access to new and healthy foods that we are not accustomed to eating, we should learn about them and consider implementing them into our diets.

More often then not, new foods can help supplement the body with nourishing nutrients that can be greatly beneficial - for some even life-changing. Such health foods have immense capabilities in boosting the immune system, helping to fight and resist diseases.

There are a number of foods that most Americans rarely pursue but in fact are amazing for one's diet. Additionally, most of these foods are Paleolithic in that they are whole (not processed) and reflect a substance that our distant ancestors once relied upon to fuel their day.

Purslane

One of these foods is purslane. Purslane is actually a weed that grows naturally, and it contains a number of nutrients and vitamins, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and B. Purslane is also very rich in fiber and it contains no calories, so it is great for individuals looking to lose weight. In addition, Purslane has been used to treat various infections and is often applied to relieve sores and bites on the skin.

Guava

The next power food you probably aren't eating is the guava. Guava is a fruit that grows in humid, dry areas found in more tropical climates. Guava is very rich in fiber which is very essential in the reducing levels of cholesterol as well as pursuing weight loss. Guava also has tremendous immunity benefits in that it contains a number of nutrients, minerals and vitamins including vitamin C and A, calcium, potassium, and iron. In fact, guava contains almost four times the vitamin C as an orange.

Pumpkin Seeds (Pepita)

Another Paleolithic food for optimum health is pumpkin seeds. These should definitely be consumed more often than during the Halloween season. Some of the best pumpkin seeds, or "Pepita," are in raw form and have a green colored with white hull inside. They contain a high amount of zinc, which is essential in preventing prostate cancer by regulating the production of testosterone, and they are also good sources of protein, iron, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Goji Berries

Goji Berries as Healthy FoodsCommercially known as goji berries but more universally termed "Wolfberries," this exotic little fruit packs amazing health benefits and is common in health food stores. Goji berries are red to orange in color, and they are beneficial in that they contain high doses of antioxidants that are very essential in the prevention of diseases like cancer and heart diseases. Goji berries are also rich in vitamin A and C, and carry 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals.

Spinach

The last of our 5 power foods is spinach. Spinach is a more common leafy vegetable that is very rich in many vitamins and minerals which your body needs. Although there are several kinds of spinach, each is mostly rich in iron as well as fiber. Spinach also helps to provide your body with healthy antioxidants which helps to reduce the concentration of oxalic acid in your body.

So how many of these powerful foods are you eating? Do you have any other suggestions for future blog articles? Please add them to the comments section below.

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The Health Benefits of Wine

For years, many health and wellness experts have touted the health benefits of drinking moderate amounts of wine. But now, it is no mystery that drinking red wine can increase good cholesterol levels due to its healthy combination of alcohol and antioxidants.

But this is just one of the benefits of moderate red wine consumption. All types of alcohol contain good cholesterol, or HDL, but only red wine contains high concentrations of the antioxidant "resveratrol."

Although white wine has some resveratrol, red wine has more because the skin of the wine grape remains intact for a greater period of time. This in turn creates a higher level of resveratrol in wine.

Red wine is the only alcoholic beverage containing such high concentrations of this valuable antioxidant. Resveratrol has become so popular that it can be purchased in supplement form specifically for its health benefits. It has been shown in animal studies to help prevent blood clots as well as minimizing the risk of developing plaque build-up in arteries.

This is extremely important for overall heart health and can even help to hinder the growth of cancer. Resveratrol has also been shown to be a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory agent as well. It may also help to slow down the aging process.

You should remember that this does not mean you should be quick to start pounding down the red wine on a daily basis. Alcohol is not for everyone, and can make certain health conditions worse, such as breast cancer in certain women, or migraine headaches. Wine can also be bad for those with diabetes, as it contains triglycerides.

While drinking red wine can help with certain aspects of your overall health, there are always side affects with any medication option, whether it's over-the-counter or natural. If you are thinking of starting a regimen of a nightly glass of red wine, and have any questions, be sure to contact your doctor before beginning.

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Best Proteins for Weight Loss

Many people today, health conscious or not, are having problems when it comes to picking the right foods for their body. Some individuals neglect eating essential proteins and fatty foods in their diet.

Proteins are very important in our daily diet, especially if you are looking to lose weight. Many dieters take on calorie restriction and struggle to keep themselves satisfied and full. Quality, low-fat proteins can be the ideal solution.

The primary proteins that are best for weight loss include chicken, turkey, seafood and tofu. These types of foods are very beneficial, not only in muscle building and cell tissue repair, but also to keep our stomachs satisfied for a longer period of time.

Unlike red meats, such as beef, these more "white proteins" are considered the healthiest because of the low fat content. In addition, these types of proteins provide a number of nutrients like Vitamin B, B1, B6, Zinc and more. The most common in American cultures are turkey and chicken, so we'll get dive into two weight loss proteins that are often overlooked: seafood and tofu.

Seafood is highly beneficial in moderation. Seafood is extremely low in fat, high in protein, and offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids. Healthy seafood includes salmon, tilapia, shrimp and other shellfish like crab and lobster. It is always best to choose wild caught fish over farm raised, and always try to acquire seafood from the freshest sources.

If you are a vegetarian, tofu is a great source of protein. This food is made up of soybean milk; however there are many concerns with genetically modified soybean crops. For this reason, it always best to opt for organic tofu, whenever possible. Tofu has also been known to help minimize the risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and other inflammatory problems.

Chicken, turkey, seafood, and tofu are highly recommended by health experts because of their countless health benefits, particularly for those looking to loss weight. When consuming chicken and turkey, just remember to eliminate the skin because this is where most of the fat is stored.

Always remember that when it comes to weight loss, proper exercise and diet go hand in hand. There is a saying that goes, "He who has health, has hope. And he who has hope, has everything." So live life to the fullest and always think positive. Thanks for reading the Health n' Wellness blog.

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The Expense and Pain of Obesity

In the previous century, cases of obesity were uncommon and not many people suffered from obesity as compared today. Cases have rapidly increased and a lot of factors have contributed to this situation.

Obesity can cause pain and stress in many ways: physically, emotionally, financially, and socially. Although it is difficult to attribute factors of obesity to pain, there is scientific research that shows some correlation in being overweight and having to cope with certain stressors.

The Pain of Living With Obesity

The Scientific Research Society (SIGMA 11)1 conducted a six month research on nine hundred children at seven different U.S. headache centers. They found that the more obese a kid is, the more he or she complained about headaches. Additionally, the Scientific Research Society discovered that the more a kid lost weight, the lesser he or she noted issues about headaches.

Also an issue with obese individuals is the pain linked to other physical stressors on the body. Carrying around extra weight is hard on limbs and joints, making them more receptive to injury. This is common turning point when people begin to realize their need to change their lifestyle.

Obesity can also bring emotional pain, and in more ways then one. Being overweight can not only affect the individual but to also the people close to him or her.

Emotional pain and social pain are directly related. Obese individuals typically have lower self-esteem and often times have a negative perception about themselves. This can directly affected one's social life, because the individual may be less outgoing and unwilling to socialize and mingle with peers.

Other than emotional, physical, or social pain, obesity can cause also induce financial pain. This may come in two forms: the financial pain associated with excess spending and consumption on food, as well as investing in medical intervention to treat obesity. Treating the medical condition alone is not cheap and may lead to additional medical cost down the road.

Pulling the Root of the Cause

So what causes obesity? There are two major influences that have contributed to this epidemic.

One of the most prominent causes of obesity is that food has become so available and cheap for certain societies, enabling behaviors of overconsumption. In addition, the marketing and promotion of such food is so overwhelming that individuals are further tempted (and misled) into eating poor quality food.

The second cause of obesity is the depreciating level of exercise many people get. With the convenience of automobiles and other forms of transportation, the simple act of walking has become a chore for many individuals.

The risks and negative effects of obesity should be clearly relayed to everybody, from the elderly to youngsters. And measures to counteract obesity should be laid out as simple as possible:

  • Keep on moving - whether stretching, walking, running, or riding a bike, a body in motion is body burning calories
  • Know when you're hungry - don't be so quick to eat. Eat only when you really feel an empty stomach, and trying drinking water first - hungry is often confused with thirst.
  • Eat real food - most food that comes in a box has been process and manufactured. Start filling your shopping cart with the foods you love from the produce section.

If we can all keep these three points in mind, we can start to diminish the level of obesity that is plaguing our planet.

(citation1"Obesity is a Headache." American Scientist 96.6 (2008): 465. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. - www.sigmaxi.org)

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