Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Migraines: Food Can Help or Hurt

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Migraines can often be debilitating so it’s important that you do everything you can to prevent them. Some foods that you consume can either cause or help prevent migraines. Trigger foods can increase your likelihood of getting a migraine by 30%. A few foods that may trigger migraines are wine, chocolate, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and citrus fruits. Some common ingredients in those foods are gluten, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, and nitrites. The time you consume these foods and how much you eat are also factors that could determine whether or not you get a migraine.

flu-and-sneezing-imageFoods that are high in histamines may also be triggers for migraines. The theory behind this is that people who suffer from migraines tend to have low or no enzymes that are required to break down histamine.

There are foods that may help prevent migraines. These include foods that are high in omega-3s to omega-6s and folate. Fatty fish like salmon, vegetable oils, and lentils are all good foods to consume if you suffer from migraines. If you know you are someone who suffers from this severe vascular headache, then you might consider making some diet changes.

Take control of your health!

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Four Cancer Myths

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There are many misconceptions about what causes cancer. Having misconceptions and misinformation causes needless worries that can create anxiety and worry. Nowadays you hear information in the news about all the possibilities that have potential cancer causing qualities.  Here are some common cancer fallacies:

  1. Sugar doesn’t necessarily “feed” cancer. Yes it is true that many cancer cells take up blood sugar more quickly than healthy cells, but all cells in our body require sugar for sustenance. Avoiding sugar completely doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get cancer. As a matter of fact, blood sugar comes from foods with carbs too. It is important to maintain your blood sugar and insulin at healthy levels to maintain proper health and to avoid diabetes and other diseases that can have negative effects on your health.
  2. Going on a gluten-free diet does not reduce the chances of getting cancer. Gluten can be found in wheat, triticale, and barley and is actually a source of protein. Research shows that avoiding gluten does not reduce risk of cancer whatsoever. Not consuming gluten can actually cause you to miss out on their anti-inflammatory, whole grain, cancer protective fiber.  Of course, if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, you should avoid all gluten to maintain your health.
  3. You don’t have to eat a ton of fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risks. Many think that in order for fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce chances of getting cancer you have to eat an impossible amount of it daily. In reality you only have to eat 5 servings a day for it to help reduce risks of getting cancer. You should aim to eat about 2 ½ cups of various fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables adds different phytochemicals and nutrients which may have cancer protecting qualities.
  4. You don’t have to go vegetarian. Plant rich diets are linked to lower cancer risk, but that doesn’t mean you can only eat plants. You can still eat poultry, fish, dairy, and meat –  like everything, eat those foods in moderation. A good option would be the Mediterranean diet which is plant based, and also includes smaller portions of meats, poultry, dairy, etc.

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Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

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With holiday season just around the corner, it is important to realize how the food you eat this time of year affects your health. We tend to put on weight around the time of Thanksgiving and Christmas which shouldn’t be surprising at all, but there are ways for you to avoid gaining weight this time of year.

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Choosing to maintain healthy habits during the holiday season doesn’t mean you will be eating a bowl of vegetables while your family is indulging in your favorite dishes. You can start by modifying the recipes of these dishes with healthier ingredients or the cooking technique, this can go a long way. You may also decide to eat smaller portions so you can enjoy a little bit of everything without overeating. It is important that you eat slowly, it can be easy to get carried away and eat your food fast so you can get to the next dish. Pacing yourself allows your body to really register how full you are, which prevents overeating. You should also drink water, low fat milk, or unsweetened tea as opposed to alcoholic or sugary beverages. Your choice of beverage is often responsible for many of calories you get from your holiday meal. Lastly, don’t try to starve yourself all day prior to your holiday meal because this will actually cause to overeat. Instead of preventing weight gain, it might actually cause you to gain weight.

Remember to be conscious of what and how much you eat this holiday season and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite dishes without the burden of weight gain. Holiday season shouldn’t have to mean you’ll put on a few extra pounds, as long as you make healthy eating choices.


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Do You Have Carb Phobia?

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When you are trying to lose weight you often try to reduce or eliminate all carbohydrates from your diet, but in the process you will also be eliminating some vitamins, minerals, fibers and phyto-nutrients. It is important to not group all carbs as the same because there are different types; some are more beneficial than others.

Everyone knows that bread, pasta, cereal, etc. are high in carbs; but so are some vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Carbs have such a negative connotation so it’s important for you to be able to differentiate the “good” vs “bad” carbs.

Why Do People Avoid Carbs?

Generally, carbs are avoided by many people because they are thought to cause weight gain; and in some cases that is true. All carbs are equivalent to 4 carbs per gram, but the quality of the carb you eat can determine whether it will make you gain or lose weight. Any sugar sweetened foods or refined grains such as white bread are related with weight gain. On the other hand, consuming whole grains, dairy, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables are associated with weight loss.

Furthermore, the quality of the carbs consumed may also increase or decrease risk of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating quality carbs like total fiber, grain fiber, and fruit fiber decreased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 percent. It also showed that consuming a lot of starchy carbs like white bread, corn, and white potatoes are related with 23 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Consuming carbohydrates is an important part of your diet, without them you may even struggle with everyday activities. They are like fuel for your muscles. It is important for you to choose quality carbs instead of completely cutting all carbs out of your diet.

 

 


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Practice Mindful Eating

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Many times you eat meals, and a couple of hours later you don’t even remember what you ate. It is important that you acknowledge what you’re eating and that you are mindful because this can help lead into healthier eating habits. Lack of awareness of the food you eat may be a huge contributor to the national obesity epidemic. Mindful eating is focusing on what you’re consuming without doing anything else. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change what you eat, but rather how much of it you eat. While practicing mindful eating take into consideration the following:

  1. where you bought your food,
  2. how it was prepared and served, and
  3. how much you consume of it.

Practicing these mindfulness and making them a habit often leads to consuming less junk food and maybe eating smaller portions.

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When trying to practice mindful eating you try using the following checklist to help guide you:

  1. Consider the health value of the food or meal you want to eat, don’t make impulse decisions. If you are at the grocery store, try to get the majority of your food from the produce section and try to avoid processed food.
  2. Eat when you have an appetite but not when you are starving. Skipping meals can cause you to just want to fill the void in your stomach as opposed to actually enjoying your food. You should eat every meal and small snacks in between so that you don’t eat excessively.
  3. Start off with a small portions
  4. Before you begin eating, take a few minutes to appreciate your food and everyone who prepared it
  5. While eating, try to identify all the different ingredients
  6. Take small bites, this allows you to be able to taste all the flavors
  7. Chew thoroughly, you should chew each mouthful 20 to 40 times depending on the food
  8. Eat slowly, if you practice the steps above then this step is a given.

Bon Appetit!


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Yes, Eat Your White Vegetables

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Often times we don’t eat white vegetables because they lack color so we think that they aren’t as “good” for you or have as much nutrients as vegetables that have color. White vegetables are as good for you as any other vegetable and play an important role in the food pyramid. They can contain a lot of the nutrients that we need like potassium, magnesium and fiber.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower has sulfur compounds that have been said to help with strengthening bone tissue, fighting cancer and to maintain healthy blood vessels.

Mushrooms

Not only do mushrooms provide us with selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin D, but they are also fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free and contain low calories. They may also be used as a substitution for meat because they are very filling.

Garlic

Garlic is an ingredient that could really bring a dish together, it tastes delicious. It has antioxidant properties that help boost your immune system. It may also help hair grow and get rid of acne.

Onions

Onions are a great anti-inflammatory vegetable because of a chemical it contains called quercetin. Quercetin is thought to help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as build a stronger immune system.

Potatoes

Potatoes are high in potassium and fiber; more than any other vegetable or fruit. Additionally, they contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Eating whole foods with an emphasis in a plant based diet can lead to a healthier life. Take control of your health – get discount online blood tests, monitor your blood pressure, eat well and exercise frequently!

 


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