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Healthy foods to keep you fighting fit in 2011

After the excess many of us enjoyed over the Christmas and New Year celebrations, there will have been plenty of resolutions made to make 2011 a year of moderation and healthy eating. A great way to kick start your campaign towards healthier eating is to discover the benefits of Nature’s ‘superfoods’.

There is a common misconception that these ‘superfoods’ are expensive and hard to come by, however, this simply isn’t the case. You can actually grow a number of superfoods yourself at home, and if not then they will be easy to find in your local grocer or supermarket; and won’t end up costing you an arm and a leg either. Below is a list of just a few, as well as some of the benefits they are purported to offer.

Watercress – Aside from the many health benefits it has to offer – what’s so great about watercress is that it’s so easy and fast to grow yourself. It is a great source of vitamins A and C, and also has a high iron, calcium and folic acid content.

Apples – Apples are not only an excellent source of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, but they contain a fibre called pectin that’ll help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels too. Taking an apple to work each day is therefore a great way to keep your skin, gums and digestive system healthy.

Beans – Whether they’re of the baked variety, or green beans out of the garden, beans are high in fiber, iron and calcium, which all go a long way to help keep your intestines in good working order.

Parsley – Like many herbs, parsley can be grown quite easily in a pot outside the home and is a great accompaniment to lots of meal types. It has the highest concentration of vitamin C than any other vegetable, and is full of iron and potassium, and is great for your skin, gums, eyesight and general metabolism.

Broccoli – As well as containing many of the antioxidants of Nature’s other superfoods, broccoli is high in folic acid, thought to be a go a long way in the prevention of heart disease; antioxidants including vitamin C, and a phytochemical said to have specific anti-cancer properties too.

Ginger – As one of the most widely used herbs in medicine for centuries, Ginger has a number of health benefits. Some of which include relief for colds, migraines and heartburn. It is also an anti-inflammatory, and is considered to help reduce the chances of several forms of cancer.

Tea – The nation’s favorite drink is known for its great social benefits and caffeine properties, however, it’s also a rich source of catechins – antioxidants that are said to help protect the heart from disease and blood clots.

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Diets that Work – Low Fat Wins in The Long Run

You probably have heard a lot about people who take off a great deal of weight using a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.  Research does indicate that is in fact a very effective way to drop weight.  In fact, in the first six months of dieting recent evidence suggests that this is by far the most effective method.  However, by the time you have been dieting for twelve months it would appear that the carbohydrate to protein ratio no longer matters, as long as you are following a low calorie plan.  Over the long run you will maintain your weight loss better if you are consuming a low fat diet, according to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania.  While you may be tempted to look for diets that work in the short run, don’t underestimate the value of slow sustainable changes in your diet.

Additionally, if you do decide to follow a low carbohydrate diet in the short run, it is important that you watch your fat consumption.  This is especially true of you work out intensely.   Your brain uses carbohydrates for fuel.  In a recent study, mice who were fed a high fat diet decreased their endurance by 35% and their mental capacity by 15% as compared to those who were fed a high-carbohydrate diet.  Because a high fat diet decreased the energy trapping efficiency of cells it impairs both brain and muscle function.

The ideal situation is to create a low fat, higher protein diet that is also full of healthy, low glycemic carbohydrates.  Steer clear of white carbohydrates in favor of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Foods like quinoa which offer an amino rich vegetarian protein are ideal, because they allow you to get extra protein in your diet without increasing your fat intake.  In reality, regardless of works best in the short run in reality the key is finding healthy foods that you enjoy and a plan you can stick to in the long run.

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My Weight Loss Story

I’ve been overweight basically since I was eight years old. It was like a switch flipped and all of a sudden the same activity level and diet I had had backfired on me for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, I think this inexplicable weight gain actually handicapped my efforts at weight loss. I believe I grew up from that point on convincing myself that I wasn’t a fat person (though I couldn’t deny that I was larger than most my age) simply because something outside of my control and my efforts—or lack there of—had caused me to balloon. I’m 24 now and I’ve finally had a change of mind – and a change of life.

I had honestly thought that I ate relatively well. Sure, I didn’t have the healthiest of eating habits, but I didn’t see my daily food intake as extreme by any means. A little under a year ago, it was like another switch had flipped – not a sudden weight gain or weight loss this time, but instead a sort of enlightenment, as silly as that sounds. I don’t recall simply realizing that I was eating way too much in each meal. Instead, it was like my mind began this gradual process to segue myself into healthy eating. I know I read on some random weight loss tip websites, magazine articles, and so on that people have a bad habit of eating when they’re not hungry. So I came to understand that one of the biggest hindrances to weight loss is continuing to eat even though your stomach is satisfied. That was the first big step. When I would make burritos, I used to eat three. I tried two for dinner the next time we had them and I found that I was filled. The next time I tried one and some veggies on the side and, again, I was filled. This same pattern happened with all my food.

Now that I sit back and look at it, I can’t believe that my meals are now about a third the size they originally were. I’m still flabbergasted that I thought the way I ate wasn’t all that bad. I really do believe this is the problem that the average person has when dealing with weight loss: seeing the truth for themselves and accurately weighing their diet. We’re too afraid to admit to ourselves just how unhealthy we are because we like what we eat. But now that I’ve changed (and lost a good 65 pounds), I like myself more than I ever liked the crap that I ate.

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Lemons help cure Colds and Virosis

Lemons help cure colds and viruses because they are so rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C fights infections of any kind, strengthening the body’s defense system. It is indicated you drink lemonade or tea with lemon juice whenever you find yourself in a very demanding period physically and mentally, and especially fever. Regular consumption of lemon juice, gives very good results in treating many ailments such as rheumatism, gout, urinary or biliary lithiasis.

Lemon juice is the only good thing when you are cold, but the oil resulted from the peel also has a beneficial effect when used to massage the shoulders and the neck. The oil can be used in the form of inhalations in cases of cold and flu.

Usually the lemon juice is not recommended to be consumed as such but in the form of lemonade sweetened with honey. The best is to drink the juice after meals or with meals. To squeeze more lemon, is recommended to take a few minutes in warm water. If you have stomach problems such as gastritis or gastro-duodenal ulcer, lemon juice is not indicated.

A good strong tea if you suffer from cold or viruses is lemon tea, obtained from 3 lemons cut into quarters with 500 ml water. After it boils for 5-10 minutes, let it cool a little bit, strain and drink sweetened with honey.

For those that cannot drink lemon juice, there are a lot of juicing recipes on the web that you can use. You can choose from a large variety of combinations and recipes that can also help you lose weight and live a healthier life. For example we recommend you combine the 1500 calorie diet with these juicing recipes because these recipes also help you detox your body. That way you will be super healthy and fit for sure. Just give it a try.

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