What’s Your Fiber Fitness Level?

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Fiber Forever

There’s one nutrient you’re almost definitely deficient in.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about fiber – the nutrient that up to 97% of Americans aren’t getting enough of on a daily basis. But it is absolutely one of the most important nutrients.

Our children are only at the starting line of dietary fiber intake. To our national shame, the adult conditions – constipation, overweight/obesity, and type 2 diabetes (markers of inadequate fiber intake) – continue to increase among them.

Sadly, very little research exists addressing either the dietary fiber intake of children or its effects on their health.

If their present health situation continues, very few will reach the finish line at a “healthy, old age”.

Soluble vs Insoluble Fiber

There are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber can takes in water and turns into a gel-like substance. If you take a soluble fiber supplement (like psyllium husks), it’s a good idea to drink it right away. Soluble fiber helps slow down the digestion process. Slower digestion means more thoroughly digested food which means you’re able to get more nutrients out of your organic produce. Soluble fiber also feeds the probiotics in your gut.

Insoluble fiber has pretty much one job and one job only – to make your poop bigger and help it move through your colon. Getting enough insoluble fiber means you’ll spend less time on the toilet. The best sources of insoluble fiber are legumes and nuts. Certain vegetables such as cauliflower and green beans also contain a decent amount of insoluble fiber.

Fiber Benefits

I’ve already listed two benefits. Fiber helps feed the microbes in your gut. It also feeds the pathogenic bacteria in your gut. So be sure to flood your gut with probiotics before you get serious about taking fiber. It also helps you poop easier which means you won’t strain as much which means you’re less likely to get hemorrhoids.

Weight Loss

Fiber helps you lose weight. Because it slows down the digestive process you’ll feel fuller longer and won’t resort to the snacks hidden in your desk drawer or your pantry.

Heart Health

Ever wonder why Cheerios can say it’s heart healthy even though it’s not all that great for you? It’s because of its fiber content. People who get enough fiber every day have a 40% lower risk of getting heart disease.

Controls Blood Sugar

Again, thanks to its ability to slow down digestion, it slows down the digestion of sugar. I’m not saying you can go wild and eat an entire cake if you’re diabetic, but it certainly won’t affect your blood sugar levels nearly as much. If you’re not diabetic, it can help reduce your risk of diabetes.

How Much Do I Need?

How much fiber should you get every day? Somewhere between 20 and 30 grams. It’s simple but not easy. In fact, it’s very difficult to do. That’s why 97% of Americans don’t get enough. The only way you’re going to know how much fiber you consume is to start tracking your dietary choices.

There are many smart phone apps to help. If that’s not your tool of choice, you can get a small fiber reference book and go old school. It won’t take you very long, probably less than a week to find out you are at risk.

The good news is there are lots of foods and supplements you can use to help boost your intake. One caveat: be sure to increase the amount of water you’re drinking. You’ll soon find your groove and start having smooth moves.

References:

http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/09/29/where-do-you-get-your-fiber/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8627965
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713

 

Burn Calories Fast With These 6 Foods

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Want to burn your calories fast? Just add these 6 foods to diet to speed up metabolism

International Business Times

Take a look at some of these nutrient-rich foods to increase your metabolism.

There are a number of drinks and other products in the market that claim to boost your metabolism. But the effectiveness of these products is, however, questionable. What goes without saying is that natural foods are the best. If you didn’t know, these vitamins and nutrient rich foods can actually boost your metabolism and give your body the sustenance it needs to survive and thrive.

Beans

Beans are loaded with dietary fibre which lowers the insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity over time. This in turn, helps your body to store less fat. It serves as an excellent food for boosting metabolism.

Oily fish

Oily fishes such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids reduce resistance to leptin – a hormone that helps in determining how fast fat is burned.

It also balances blood sugar and helps in reducing inflammation and both of them helps in regulating metabolism. So, oily fish is a great choice for boosting your metabolism.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts contain essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin C that will speed up your metabolism. Apart from it, they also have high water and fibre content. This combination increases the ability of the body to burn fat.

Hot peppers

You may have heard that spicy foods help in boosting your metabolism and it is true. The compound, capsaicin that makes peppers hot helps your body burn more energy. It even curbs your hunger for at least three hours after you eat. It serves as an excellent food for increasing metabolism.

Berries

Berries stabilize the glucose levels and decrease the body fat content showing beneficial effects on metabolism. Eating red berries also hasa positive impact on cardiovascular health.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are great for digestion. They are low in sugar and contain an antioxidant that helps in lower your blood sugar response after meals. The vitamin C in citrus fruits helps in faster metabolism.

→  Read full article

 

5 Foods To Boost Your Mental Health

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Click Image To Read

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Click Image To Read

Boost your mental health by including these 5 foods in your diet

International Business Times

Dementia cases can be prevented by adding right kind of foods to the diet. Read on to know more.

A healthy body is necessary for having a healthy mind. And to achieve that, all you need to do is consume the right kind of food.

According to a study published in medical journal The Lancet in July, one in three cases of dementia can be prevented if people strengthen their mental health by improving their diet.

Therefore, include these foods in your diet to have a sound mind:

Salmon

Salmon is rich in Omega-3 and anti-inflammatory fatty acids such as EPA and DHA, which are healthy fats required for the brain. Andrea D’Ambrosio, a spokesperson for Dieticians of Canada and registered dietician at Dietetic Directions told Global News: “The fatty acids basically help protect our brains and cells and help with anti-inflammation so our brain can send signals to other parts of our body.”

“An imbalance of Omega-3 fats also impacts how our brain cells communicate with one another, and research has found that a lower intake of Omega-3 is associated with a higher risk of depression,” explains D’Ambrosio.

Berries and cherries

Shamsah Sonawalla, consultant psychiatrist, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai told LiveMint that for a good brain health, it’s important to have foods that reduce inflammation. Since berries and cherries are rich in antioxidants, it protects our brain from developing neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, as well as Alzheimer’s. “In addition, they contain flavonoids that enhance mood, help in hormonal balance and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone,” she added.

Walnuts

The brain-shaped nuts are good for the brain. They are one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids for the vegetarians. The omega 3 fatty acids present in the nuts are essential to reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost concentration.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene. Also, it can be helpful in reducing the oxidative stress on DNA, which has been linked to several neuropsychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

Bananas

Bananas are loaded with B-complex vitamins that help in soothing the nervous system. Apart from that, the fruit has magnesium which is again essential for good brain functioning.

“Bananas are mood-enhancing because it affects tryptophan, which is another essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin…Tryptophan also helps with sleep, regulates our food intake – both which are associated with impacting mood as well,” says D’Ambrosio.

→  Read full article

Database Reveals 16,000 Foods That May Be Packaged with BPA

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Environmental Working Group Database Reveals 16,000 Foods That May Be Packaged with BPA

WASHINGTON––For consumers who want to avoid bisphenol A, EWG unveiled an easily searchable database of more than 16,000 food and beverage items that may come in cans, bottles or jars containing the hormone-disrupting chemical, better known as BPA. The list was compiled from a little-known food industry inventory and is now available at EWG’s Food Scores database.

BPA acts like estrogen in the body and is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children in critical stages of development. Independent scientific studies link it to cancer, infertility, diabetes, obesity and brain, nerve and heart disorders, and it’s just been listed by California as a chemical known to cause reproductive problems.

“No other industry in the world is more adept at marketing products to its customers than food and beverage companies––except apparently when it comes to informing them about the possible presence of a toxic chemical linked to hormone disruption and cancer,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “So we decided to give them a little help in making their own data accessible. Our new database shines a light on just how pervasive BPA is in our food system, and will help Americans navigate the supermarket armed with more information.”

Most concern about BPA has focused on its use in plastic bottles and canned food linings. But the voluminous list of products brought to light by EWG shows that Americans are exposed to BPA in food packaging far more widely than previously known. The array of products from 926 brands includes:

  • The lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments;
  • Aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays;
  • Bottles and tins of cooking oil;
  • Aluminum beverage cans, coffee cans and even beer kegs.

Food packaging is the largest source of exposure to BPA. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found it in the urine of more than 90 percent of Americans sampled. In 2009, tests commissioned by EWG were the first to find BPA in the umbilical cords of nine of 10 infants sampled.

California officials added the hormone disrupting chemical to the Proposition 65 list, which requires warnings on products with listed chemicals. The state allowed instead for generic warning signs at checkout registers that don’t name specific products.

Food companies set up a website with a list of products, but made little effort to publicize it. The website is a chaotic jumble––incomplete, inconsistent, poorly organized and not searchable.

EWG downloaded files from the industry website, which were in a variety of non-compatible formats, then extracted the brand names, product descriptions and barcodes. The data was then matched against information in Food Scores, and the matches were hand-reviewed to ensure accuracy.

Despite the mounting evidence of BPA’s health risks at very low doses, federal regulation is lagging. EWG urges regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal levels to regulators, federal and state lawmakers to look at the evidence and reassess BPA’s use in the U.S. food supply.

→  Read more on BPA

Cannibus Could Prove Effective For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Tart Cherry Juice Lowers Blood Pressure

Cannibus Could Prove Effective For Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, say scientists.

Laboratory tests have shown that two compounds found in the cannabis plant. the cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol, interact with the body’s system that controls gut function.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect about one in every 250 people in Northern Europe, are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The researchers believe that a genetic susceptibility coupled with other triggers, such as diet, stress or bacterial imbalance, leads to a defective immune response.

Dr Karen Wright, Peel Trust Lecturer in Biomedicine at Lancaster University,  presented her findings in the soon-to-be published work at The British Pharmacological Society‘s Winter Meeting in London.

She said: “The lining of the intestines provides a barrier against the contents of the gut but in people with Crohn’s Disease this barrier leaks and bacteria can escape into the intestinal tissue leading to an inappropriate immune response.

“If we could find a way to restore barrier integrity in patients, we may be able to curb the inflammatory immune response that causes these chronic conditions.”

Dr Wright, working with colleagues at the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health in Derby, has shown that cells that react to cannabinoid compounds play an important role in normal gut function as well as the immune system’s inflammatory response.

“The body produces its own cannabinoid molecules, called endocannabinoids, which we have shown increase the permeability of the epithelium during inflammation, implying that overproduction may be detrimental,” said Dr Wright.

“However, we were able to reverse this process using plant-derived cannabinoids, which appeared to allow the epithelial cells to form tighter bonds with each other and restore the membrane barrier.”

The research was carried out using cell cultures in a dish but, interestingly, when the team attempted to mimic the conditions of the gut by reducing the amount of oxygen in the cells’ environment, much lower concentrations of cannabinoid were needed to produce the same effect.

Dr Wright added: “What is also encouraging is that while THC has psychoactive properties and is responsible for the ˜high” people experience when using cannabis, cannabidiol, which has also proved effective in restoring membrane integrity, does not possess such properties.”

Read the full journal article.

Bibliography: http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/the-role-of-cb1-in-intestinal-permeability-and-inflammation(d9f9ae9e-0485-4ca0-ba16-41434e682704).html

 

 

Superfoods cover image

Play The Is It Healthy Game!

Read Nutrition News

Making Healthy Choices Easier Than You Think

You have Successfully Subscribed!