Fasting has been a part of many religions’ traditions for a long time, but some people are fasting for health reasons. Since at least the 1970s, researchers have studied the effects of occasional or "periodic" fasting, or reduction in daily caloric intake, on animals and humans. Now we know that fasting may increase antioxidant activity and help to lower blood sugar and insulin levels. The consensus on the topic is growing, and indicates that fasting can have many health benefits.
If the coffee shops on every corner are any indication, we sure love our coffee! The U.S. is now drinking twice as much as in the 1970s and three times as much as in the 1960s. About 54 percent of the people over 18 drink daily coffee. The average coffee size is nine ounces and the average coffee drinker has three cups of coffee a day. And it seems demand for coffee is increasing worldwide.
Most people are familiar with the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but what is oleic acid, and why is it important? Oleic acid is a naturally occurring, odorless, colorless oil. Oleic acid is found in flaxseed oil, borage (a Mediterranean herb) oil, evening primrose oil, olive oil (less in virgin olive oil), pecan oil, canola oil, peanut oil, macadamia oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, sea buckthorn oil and sesame oil. You can also find it in animal fat. Oleic acid at appropriate levels has been implicated in cancer prevention in some (but not all studies), and reduces cholesterol levels.
Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are indeed essential for your health, but they cannot be produced in the body, so you need to get them from foods or supplements. Ideally, your diet would have a healthy balance of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but the modern American diet tends to be richer in omega-6. Unless you are following a Mediterranean diet, you could probably use some more omega-3! Let’s take a look at what the different “omegas” do.
SAM-e (pronounced Sammy) just might be your new best friend. He’s a great friend to have around because he doesn’t like to see you in pain. He tries to ease those inflamed joints so you can do more of the things you love like playing an instrument, cooking, woodworking, crafts -- whatever it may be. And when you’re feeling down, he does his best to give you a boost. SAM-e is very helpful, so let us introduce you to him right now!
In my younger days, I was a track and field athlete. But I had no idea about sports nutrition. However, I did pay attention to what made me perform better or worse. Having more carbs was fine, especially for running, jumping and other cardiovascular exercises. But fats and greasy foods made my body more sluggish. A runner might eat more carbohydrates because his muscles will use them for energy, whereas fats and proteins are converted to energy much slower.
Almonds are everywhere — as a replacement for dairy milk, crumbled on pastries and ground into nut butter. Now, more research is supporting almonds as weapons in the fight against high cholesterol.
Protein seems to be one of those nutrients where people resort to extremes. Some people consume more protein than they need because they want to be strong and lean, while others aren't getting quite enough because they haven't fine-tuned their plant-based diet. High-protein diets are among some of the most popular for weight loss, but they may actually come with unwanted side effects like weight gain and greater risk of death in people with heart disease risk factors. But somewhere in the middle is a healthy, balanced protein diet that is just right for the average man or woman.
Minty guacamole! It’s healthy, it’s tasty, and it’s sure to impress your friends and family this Cinco de Mayo. Let’s guac and roll!
Do you eat a good portion of your daily calories at night, when you finally have time to wind down? If so, you’re not alone! Most of us know that we should be eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. But we don’t. So what are the consequences if we don’t?
Sodium and potassium are electrolytes. They drive many of the chemical reactions that occur in the body, causing everything from heartbeats to nerve impulses to digestion of food. And although both sodium and potassium are important, too much of one isn’t a good thing. While the body can usually balance these electrolytes itself, it doesn't take much to disrupt their balance and cause health problems.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a processed food has undergone a transformation to extend shelf life or to make it more palatable. Examples include dehydrated fruits, frozen vegetables, and sausages. Frozen produce would be considered “minimally” processed, while the sausage, especially if it is filled with nitrates and flavorings, fits our more common perception of processed food.
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