Health & Wellness Blog

    

7 Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

Most nutritional specialists will agree that the keys to healthy eating is balance, moderation, and variety. In essence, that means consuming a spectrum of different foods without eating the same types of calories and nutrients all the time.

 Tips for Health Eating HabitsAt the Health n' Wellness blog, we're all about developing healthy eating habits. Below are seven tips to start developing more mindful and healthy habits for eating.

1. Moderate Portions: If you eat moderate portion sizes, it's much easier to consume the foods you want while maintaining a healthy diet. Serving sizes are sometimes hard to gauge, so don't be afraid to measure or weigh your food to ensure you're not overeating. But what's better than measuring your food is sensing, or feeling the fullness as you eat. You can sense the fullness of a few bites of avocado (high in good fat calories) much faster than a few bites of lettuce.

2. Eat Slow: The human body has not changed much since the Paleolithic days when our ancestors would hunt and gather food. During those primitive times, our ancestors would eat based on availability and impulse. This would sometimes mean a 3,000 calorie meal, followed by days without eating at all. Although the human body is resilient, it takes time for the brain to realize the stomach is full. Don't fall into the natural instincts of eating what's in front of us. Eat slow and know when you are full, before you eat too much.

3. Consume Nutrient-Rich Foods: Your body needs over 40 different types of nutrients to maintain optimal health, and no single food source supplies all of them. Your daily food intake should include whole-grains and other complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and protein, such as meat, soy, or whey. How much you should consume depends on your caloric needs. Use resources like the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts label food packaging to determine the nutrients of certain foods. One greatest tools to help learn and track nutritional intake is NutritionData.com.

4. Eat More Whole Foods: Surveys show most Americans don't eat enough whole foods like grains, fruits and vegetables. By whole foods we mean real food that has not been processed and refined with additives or chemicals. These foods are what our bodies were designed to eat. It's only been a couple hundred years since Americans started consuming processed, additive-infused foods. It has also only been a couple hundred years since mysterious diseases and cancers have become prevalent.

5. Balance Your Food Choices: Not every food choice has to be perfect or optimal for your health. We are all faced with temptations and unhealthy options from time to time. The trick is to balance and moderate these foods, such as those that are high in fat, salt or sugar. Although you should have a daily diet focus, your food choices over several days should fit together into a healthy eating pattern.

6. Don't Eliminate, Simply Reduce Certain Foods: A lot of people consume certain foods purely for pleasure. If some of your favorite types of foods are high in fat or sugar, the key is to moderate how much of these foods you consume as well as how often you eat them. Again, this might take some self-discipline. However, eliminating unhealthy foods might hinder your peace of mind and personal satisfaction. Instead, reduce and moderate how much of these foods you eat.

7. Gradually Make Changes: There are no easy answers to developing healthy eating habits, so don't expect to revamp your eating habits overnight. Too much change too fast can result in a quick turnaround. Rather, begin to remedy excess eating or nutrient deficiencies with modest, gradual changes. This will better promote lasting eating habits.

Do you have any tips for health eating habits that you'd like to share? Let us know below!

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7 Tips to Start Juicing for Better Health

Start juicing for better healthEvery time you opt to take fresh juices to improve your health, there are nutrients, flavor profiles, and various other characteristics you want to maximize.

It could be fresh orange, pineapple or mango juice as per your preference, but including select veggies can not only added more nutrients, but also smoothen the flavor.

Not all types of fruits make great juices. Some are better than others. It is important that you know these tips to avoid wasting money as well as your precious time. Below are 7 tips to help you start juicing for better health.

1. Exposing your kids to juicing - In order to add more fun to the process of making juice at home, involve your kids. When you go shopping for fruits take them along and ask them to give you suggestions on the fruits they like. To make it sweeter and more attractive, add some ripe bananas, ice and flavored milk. Vanilla and strawberry are some of the common flavors. Blend these together. Serve the juice and provide your kids with straws.

2. Remove all pulp - Some fruits when blended produce a thick pulpy mixture. Not many people enjoy the sensation caused by this pulp. If you want to rid your juices of this, you can try passing it through a filter. Coffee filters and cheese cloths help eliminate pulp leaving you with a smooth flowing drink.

3. Getting the right flavor - For every juice that you prepare, listen to your taste buds. Your body can tell you what it likes. On the other hand, if you get a stomach upset after a glass of juice, it means there is an ingredient that your body does not like. Find out what it is and avoid it during the next preparation. Since some of the ingredients you are trying to avoid could be the most nutritious, mix them with vegetables and other fruits. This will rid your juice of unwanted flavors.

4. Start from the known to the unknown - Start with those fruits that you enjoy eating whole. You could have liking for bananas, oranges or mangoes for that matter. You will find that you enjoy juices from such fruits since it is what you are familiar with. Once you are adept at blending your favorite fruits, try introducing variations and see how they come out.

5. Know your fruits - There are some fruits whose nutritional value is highly preserved when you blend them without removing their peels. For instance, apple skins contain high concentrations of antioxidants than you would find in other parts of the fruit. Conversely, the peels of grapes and oranges may contain traces of pesticides. Such fruits should be peeled before being used to make juice.

6. Creatively combine fruits and vegetables - Vegetable juices are healthier than fruit based ones. Always make sure that your juice consists of at least 50-70 percent of vegetables. The rest should be made up of fruits. Some of the greens you can use include broccoli, kale and spinach. This can optimize the level of nutrition in your juice.

7. Do your homework - Before you embark on a fresh juice health program, do some research and find out about fruits, vegetables and their nutritional value. You could also ask a dietician to assist. Get recipes from books, friends or the Internet.

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Top Foods to Promote Healthy Hair & Scalp

Top Foods Healthy Hair ScalpIt is no secret that using high quality products on your hair can improve the way that your hair looks on the outside, but you need to work on eating healthy foods to obtain healthy hair.

When you follow a healthy diet your hair will start to improve in texture and length without having to resort to expensive hair products to try to cover up your hair problems.

Here are some of the top foods that can help you achieve healthy hair without having to empty your wallet.

1.) Eat Legumes and Nuts. Nuts provide you with a high amount of essential fatty acids that will increase the health of your scalp to promote faster hair growth. They also contain minerals that benefit hair by making it look shiny and you get a boost in zinc.

If you are lacking zinc in your diet then you will notice that you are losing your hair. The best nuts that will make your hair grow fast are almonds, brazil nuts, and walnuts. Be sure to eat the recommended amount of lentils, black beans, lima beans, and garbanzo beans to get calcium and protein. For an extra boost for growing hair long would be to consume flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.

2.) Go for Dairy. Healthy hair can be achieved by eating dairy products that are low in fat, since they provide the body and hair with protein to grow strong. Eat cottage cheese or yogurt for calcium to make hair even stronger and reduce breakage. Also eating two eggs every other day to provide your hair with essential fatty acids and other minerals that are necessary to maintain beauty overall.

3.) Reach for the grains. Now you need to reach for the grains, since they are packed with tasty minerals and vitamins that can make the dullest of hair look vibrant in a matter of months. You need to consume whole grain breads or multigrain breads to get healthy hair.

Check out tasty cereals that have been fortified and always check the food labels to see if whole grain products were really used. You will get iron, B vitamins, and zinc if you read the labels carefully and then reap the rewards of reading the label with a healthy hair that shines.

4.) Buy tasty vegetables and fruits. You need to eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits make sure that you get all the phytochemicals, minerals, and vitamins that you need to promote hair growth in a healthy way. When you go to the grocery store try to purchase fruits and vegetables of every color found in the rainbow to increase the overall health of your body.

Eat at least five to six servings a day to see a dramatic change in your hair texture in less than two months when you add more of these healthy foods to your diet. These foods are best when they are eaten raw and not cooked, but if you liked your veggies warm then you should buy a small steamer.

Although many different variables can impact the quality and health of your hair and scalp (such as humidity or atmosphere, time of year, weather, etc.) a quality diet is a significant factor to be mindful of.

This blog post was contributed by the Peoria hair salon Five Senses Spa & Salon.

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7 of the Most Toxic Fruits & Vegetables

Toxic Fruits VegetablesSome of the fruits and vegetables you consume can be considered to have a level of toxicity. These foods can be among foods you love to eat on a daily basis.

The hidden dangers can lead to sickness or paralysis. Moreover, if you accidentally consume the poisonous part of the fruits or vegetables in large amounts, you can can actually be at risk of long-term illness (and in rare cases, death.)

Below are seven of the most toxic fruits and vegetables commonly eaten by individuals.

Potatoes

Your family's daily diet may include potatoes. You should avoid consuming green potatoes or the sprouts. When potatoes are exposed to light, they can turn green and increase glycoalkaloid production. The natural bitter toxin is called solanine and it is the plant's defense against predators, insects and diseases when producing chlorophyll. If you ingest the poison in large amounts, it may cause headaches, vomiting, diarrhea or even paralysis of the nervous system.

Tomatoes

The stems and leaves of tomatoes can also contain glycoalkaloid chemical such as atropine and solanine. Ingesting the chemicals may lead to stomach upsets, dizziness and extreme nervousness. The unripe fruit of the tomatoes plant can also contain toxins. Some people can use the leaves to make tea. Though the amount of toxin is low, you should avoid consuming anything made using the vines or leaves of tomatoes.

Rhubarb

This perennial vegetable can be used to make puddings, smoothies and savory foods. The fleshy stems are edible and can be cooked or eaten raw. However, the rhubarb leaves can contain poisonous substances including oxalic acid. Cooking the leaves of the plant can make them more poisonous. This is because the cooking process can produce soluble oxalates. Too much acid may cause convulsions, coma and kidney problems. The leaves probably contain anthraquinone glycoides, which can cause acute poisoning or even death.

Apples

The seeds in the fleshy fruits contain cyanide. If you are exposed to cyanide, you may experience symptoms such as vomiting, headache, confusion, dizziness and anxiety. Large doses can lead to convulsions, coma and death. Therefore, you may suffer from the above symptoms inclusive of many more if you consume many apple seeds.

Lima Beans

If you enjoy eating lima beans, you should make sure the beans are well cooked. The beans should not be consumed when raw. This is because they contain cyanide, which can cause problems. Ensure you cook the beans for a minimum of 10 minutes to render the poison harmless.

Elderberries

The ripe fruit of the elderberries is edible. The fruits can be used to make wine, jellies and jams. Avoid the seeds, bark, roots, twigs and leaves of the plants. The flowers and ripened fruit may contain a toxic alkaloid. If the forbidden parts are eaten in large quantities, you may suffer vomiting, stomach upsets and diarrhea.

Cherries

The popular fruits can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruits can also be put in drinks, used as topping and used in liqueur production. The leaves and seeds of cherries may introduce poisonous chemicals into your body. Eating too many pits as well as chewing and crushing them can produce hydrogen cyanide. The chemical from the seeds can cause general weakness, excessive sleepiness and even strange behavior.

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Tips to Eat Healthy & Mindfully While Traveling

eat healthy while travelingAre you planning a family vacation, or anticipate going on a long-distance business trip?

Maintaining healthy eating habits while traveling can be a challenge. Avoiding unhealthy foods is difficult, but it is not impossible with a strong will and the proper preperation. You must remember to eat healthy and mindfully while travelling to keep your good health while you are enjoying holiday.

In most cases, food is allowed on various forms of transportation. Therefore, you can pack easy to go meals such as vegetable sandwiches that are light to eat and easy to carry and keeps you full. You can also carry healthy snacks such as dried fruits and nuts mix.

Some of the options are shelled pistachios, raisins and almonds. Mix them and keep them in a airtight bag and there you go, you have a healthy snack to munch on when you are hungry. These nuts contain high fiber, they keep you full and are healthy and light too.

You can also carry fruits such as bananas and apples, they are easy to carry and are rich sources of carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. They provide a lot of energy, which is helpful when you are travelling. If you want some protein and yet the food has to be light then go for a turkey sandwich. Place a low sodium turkey breast between whole grain breast with mustard sauce. If you do not have the time to prepare these things then you can carry healthy food bars that are high on protein and minimal amount of sugar.

Most travelers sit and wait at the airport terminals and bus or train stations. They just buy whatever foods vendors have available. This is not good, one should look around to find more healthier options. Almost all the airport terminals, bus and trains stops have healthy foods selling.

If you are travelling by airplane that is serves meals, then you must call the airlines in advance and check what they serve onboard. Most or the airlines do consider the health needs of the passengers and offer low fat, low sodium, vegan food etc. If they do not offer them then you always have the option of packing your own healthy food.

Apart from just the food, you also need to keep in mind that you stay hydrated while travelling. Humidity can take its toll on you so drink plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated or you can experience headaches, cramps, fatigue etc. You can carry herbal tea bags such as ginger and chamomile to prevent nausea and stomach upsets. Apart from the food in the airplanes, you also need to be careful about what you eat at your destination place. If you have no idea where to dine then you can use your smart phone apps and find a good local restaurant. You can even ask the locals about the cuisine.

Before you dine at a restaurant, check the menu online in advance. Eat low fat foods such as meat and fish that are steamed, boiled, baked, grilled or poached. If you are a vegan, choose veggies that are steamed over fried ones. If you do not want to eat bland food, you can ask for dressings, cream, cheese etc. Make sure you avoid alcohol, if you cannot completely avoid it, then you can limit yourself to a glass of wine or a light beer.

The last thing you want while travelling is stomach upset or indigestion. Therefore, eat healthy, high-fiber foods and make travelling easy and fun for you and your family.

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Tips to Support a Healthy Work Environment

Healthy Work EnvironmentOn average, people spend a greater part of their daytime at work, and the proceedings of the workplace can affect an employee's overall health. Establishing a healthy culture within any working environment depends upon healthy habits and the pre-established cultures that support it for guidance.

This is an important requirement, should any organization seek to support and achieve its performance objectives while sustaining a healthy work environment.

Some of the tips aimed at supporting a healthy workplace include:

Support Healthy Eating Habits

This entails taking a balanced diet, full of immune- boosting foods, because your physical wellness has a direct impact on the job that you do. Foods such as yogurt are very essential, because it contains probiotics, the healthy bacteria that lines the intestinal tract. These act as the first forms of defense against harmful bacterial that may cause illnesses, besides handling viral attacks adequately.

Fruits and vegetables are also very healthy, notably the oranges that are highly packed with vitamin C. They are known to reduce incidences of the cold virus, which most a times disorients the employees of a business. Support the use of whole grain foods for the mid-morning meetings, rather than packing your handbags with sugary foods as well as high fat-content foods. Plenty of water is needed, to help hydrate your body, maintain physiological functions and avoid minor problems such as persistent headaches. If you must eat out, have a fixed eating place that serves clean, healthy and balanced diet foods.

Maintain Hygiene

Hygiene has a direct impact on your physical health at the workplace. Most disease causing germs are passed from a dirty working environment. You may not have a realized it, but common office equipment such as the mouse and desktops transmit a lot of germs, which requires you to regularly wash the hands. It is recommended that you use hand sanitizers, because soaps too can be contaminated. Greeting people around the corridors can easily transfer germs, therefore ensure you wash after using the washroom or just before you eat anything.

Sustain Proper Postures

The support of good posture helps people to remain focused through long hours of working, besides avoiding little injuries that may be encountered in the business working environment. Posture also reduces the possibilities of fatigue, therefore ensure that the chairs are well adjusted in a way that they will support the lower back, for a healthy sitting posture. Tips such as regular breaks and stretching can help reduce the possibilities of fatigue and injury. Take your lunch breaks away from the desk, and ensure that the eyes are not strained on the computer for a long time.

Develop a Corporate Wellness System

A joint wellness program motivates employees to keep fit, no matter their working environment. Wellness topics should be introduced in the formal meetings, to encourage workers towards keeping fit. Similarly, if the budget and time allows, seek the services of a person who is experienced in physical fitness to handle such a topic. The program may as well incorporate nutritionists, to enlighten people how they should proceed with healthy eating habits beyond the workplace.

Open Communication

There should be level communication between the management and staff, such that everyone is free to converse and support his or her issues and concerns. This will also free the employees, so that they ask for a sick leave if they are feeling unwell.

Conclusively, life is a process, and we all must take part support it, by working and leading fulfilling lives. It will not make sense if you keep fit at home, but live an unhealthy lifestyle at the workplace. Take the initiative today and experience how your productivity will be bolstered.

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Health Benefits of Going Organic (Beyond Food)

Organic Health BabyIn the last few years, the world has seen a growing trend in everything organic. From climate change awareness to debates about the safety of genetically modified foods, millions of people have been making changes in their everyday lives to live more organically.

Going organic goes deeper than just the food you eat. You can buy organic baby toys for the holidays, wear organic cotton fabric, or stick to organic fertilizers and nutrients for your garden. Not only does going organic offer a wealth of health benefits, but choosing organic products can help the planet and global economy by not supporting GMO-driven corporations and other un-righteous organizations.

In this blog post, we'll share some tips to help you make the move to organic living.

Cut Out Fast Foods

When a person chooses to eat organically, they must automatically cut out fast foods from their diet. This change alone can help a person reap many benefits in their health. By cutting out fast foods from their diet, a person is cutting immense amounts of saturated fats and sodium from their daily consumption.

Making this change puts people at a lower risk of potentially fatal ailments such as heart disease and diabetes – two of the leading killers in the United States today. Not everyone realizes what an important role that good nutrition plays in lowering the risks of these epidemics.

Buy Local. Buy Organic

Choosing to eat organically usually means adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to the daily diet. In combining lower levels of saturated fats and sodium with higher levels of essential vitamins and nutrients, a person will soon notice some exciting changes happening in their physical and mental health.

Increased energy levels, heightened alertness, and better moods are among the many positive changes that will take place almost immediately by simply cutting out fats, lowering sodium intake, and consuming organic produce.

When you purchase organic produce, you are usually buying foods which are locally grown. Choosing to do this not only benefits you, but helps keep local businesses thriving as well. There are many debates on whether genetically modified foods are safe for consumption. Whether or not they are safe for consumption, the amount of nutrients they provide and the overall taste as compared with organically grown produce is questionable.

Beyond just food, some business specialize in organic products, such as organic toys for babies and kids. This is hot topic with the holidays upon us. Buying organic baby toys is very important for an infant's health, as conventional toys can carry a host of toxins and potentially harmful chemicals. Additionally, baby organic toys can be better for their development as they don't over-stimulate infants.

Explore Organic Health Products

Once a person decides to make the switch to organic foods, they cannot help but begin to make some changes in other aspects of their lives as well. Whether you are shopping for organic food at a local farmer’s market or at a health food store, you will begin to notice all of the organic health products available. As you begin to feel the positive changes from eating organic foods, you will naturally want to explore the possible benefits that can be reaped from using organic health products.

From hand soaps to dish soaps to body lotions and makeup, it is easy to find organic health products virtually everywhere these days. These products are made with natural ingredients and don’t use any harmful chemicals or preservatives that you find in non-organic products. Organic health products are much better for your skin and for the environment.

Whether you choose to buy only local produce or decide to completely revamp your lifestyle, the health benefits of going organic can be great. When people think of going organic, the first place they usually begin is by making changes in their diet. The benefits of choosing to eat organically don’t just stop at personal health. The benefits of eating organically extend even farther than you may think.

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