Sunday, January 13, 2013

3 Vegetables That Lower High Blood Pressure

When your doctor tells you that you have a high blood pressure or hypertension, it signals that your health is at risk. Hypertension exposes you to heart diseases and stroke. These two belong to the top three conditions that kill many Americans annually.
How Do You Know That You Have High Blood Pressure?
A simple blood pressure test done by a doctor or nurse will determine if you have high blood pressure or not. Or if you have a device to check it at home, you can do that too. A reading below 120/80 is considered the normal blood pressure.
Once your blood pressure hovers over the 120/80-139/89 level, then you have what is called prehypertension. You don't have high blood pressure yet, but unless you take steps to lower it, then your chances of having it will increase in the future.
Finally, if you reach the 140/90 level and above, then you already have high blood pressure. You should now take serious steps to normalize it. Otherwise, you run the risk of suffering from heart diseases and stroke, as we mentioned earlier.
How Can You Lower Your Blood Pressure?
Changing your diet is one of the first steps you should take to lower your blood pressure. This is especially the case if you are accustomed to eating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol since these two things contribute a lot to having hypertension.
There's a diet plan called DASH which stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension". This diet plan involves eating foods that are low in saturated and total fat, and cholesterol. Also, people under this plan are required to eat whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, among other healthy foods.
Eating Fruits and Vegetables to Combat Hypertension
Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the most effective ways of dealing with high blood pressure. Why? Because these foods are effective in flushing cholesterol out of your system. Aside from that, they do not contain cholesterol. Thus, you don't add more cholesterol to your body when you eat fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables that are Effective Vs. Hypertension
If you're looking for vegetables that should be a part of your diet, then refer to the list below.
  1. Spinach - this green leafy vegetable is a rich source of fiber which helps flush out cholesterol from your blood stream. High cholesterol levels contribute to hypertension because it clogs your arteries, making your heart work harder to pump more blood through these narrow arteries.
  2. Sweet potatoes - are also a good source of fiber so always have them on your menu to counter hypertension.
  3. Tomatoes - are rich in potassium. Although the relation between potassium and lower blood pressure is only suggested and not completely established, potassium-rich foods such as tomatoes are still widely considered to prevent hypertension and stroke.
How You can Fight Hypertension Effectively
Of course, it isn't enough that you just eat healthy in the hopes that it will lower your blood pressure. You should also combine it with regular exercise and healthy living to maximize your chances of putting up a better fight against hypertension.

Junk Food Equals Junk Skin

Junk food is not the be all and end all when it comes to taste. It is food that has been processed to the extreme and is now an American way of life. It is a common term used for any food item that is perceived to be unhealthy and has low or poor nutritional value.
Generally, a junk food is given a very attractive appearance by adding food additives and colors to enhance flavor, texture, appearance, and increasing long self life. Of course, it is also readily available at restaurant chains across the country in the form of French fries, chicken nuggets, shakes, soda, etc.
However there is an organization called "Parents Against Junk Food" which is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission: Stop the Sale of Junk Food in America's Schools.
It is widely believed that junk food does not contain the essential fatty acids that the body requires to keep its largest organ, the skin, healthy. It is recommended that food supplements in the form of vitamins should be taken daily if the habit cannot be broken.
The body will also be lacking in proteins, fiber and other nutrients required for a healthy diet, and the consumption of products considered junk food has been associated with many health problems including obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and dental cavities.
Similarly, breakfast cereals are often regarded as healthy but may have high levels of sugar, salt and fat. The offspring of rats fed fatty, processed food had high levels of fat in their bloodstream and around major organs even after adolescence.
Nutritionists, doctors, and other health advocates often work to educate people about junk food, encouraging them to eat well balanced diets which contain a high proportion of healthy foods. These professionals almost unanimously hold the view that there are no good foods and bad foods, only good diets and bad diets.
The number of obese or overweight children in Britain aged between two and 15 has risen to about 30% in recent years. Changing your diet and taking exercise is a step in the right direction and as you replace fat with muscle, your clothes will become looser and your body firmer, but your weight may not change (muscle weighs more). In fact, the needle on the weight scale might not turn at all, but the heads of friends probably will. To lose weight, you've got to junk that junk food.
We all know that junk food is cheap and easy compared to quality raw materials (fresh veggies, organic meat, milk, fruit). For better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world.
Apart for obesity, the other huge effect that bad eating habits bring on is skin rashes, eczema and psoriasis. It is reported that 25% of children under the age of five now suffer from eczema compared with less than 3% 50 years ago before junk food was so prevalent.
To combat these skin problems one of the latest discoveries is that the natural oil found in crocodile fat heals most forms of eczema in children within a few weeks. However is it not easy to get hold of and few pharmacies stock it.
The answer of course is to change your diet as junk food equals junk skin.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

4 Diet Myths

There's nothing better we can do for ourselves than to become healthy through proper nutrition, but most people don't even come close to eating a healthy well-balanced diet.

As a matter of fact, many people who think they're eating healthy really are victims of our society's 4 diet myths. These myths are propagated by fad diets that advise cutting out essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly.

Myth 1:
Certain Food Groups Should Be Eliminated

Many fad diets emphasize the elimination of certain food groups or eating primarily only one or two food groups. Your body needs a balanced diet that supplies you with the diverse nutrients that will keep you healthy. Your body needs water, vitamins, protein, fat, minerals, energy (carbohydrates), fiber, and oxygen. Eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, and seeds will help you rebuild your immune system, which will in turn help you to stay healthy.

Myth 2:
You Have To Eat Meat To Get Enough Protein

Your body needs 30 grams of protein each meal. Meat and dairy products are very high in sodium and fat. Fruits and vegetables have at least one gram of protein in them.

Myth 3:
Eliminate Fat From Your Diet

Your body needs 50 grams of fat each day. You don't want to eliminate fat completely from your diet because it helps your joints and muscles work smoothly.

Myth 4:
You Have To Go Hungry To Lose Weight
The average woman should never eat less than 1,200 calories/day and the average man should never eat less than 1,800 calories per day.

If you feed your body natural foods, then you'll have no need to go hungry. You can pretty much eat all the fresh fruits and vegetables you want, and it will not adversely affect your weight. In order to maximize the nutritional value of your foods eat them in as natural a state as possible. Avoid chemicals, especially those found in water. Fluoride, for example, is a poison.

Although as a treatment for teeth it can prevent cavities, it does no good to ingest it, but rather acts as a poison in your body.

By getting back to nature and the foods your body was designed to run on, you can stay fit, maintain an optimal weight and build up your immune system so that you live a longer, more energetic life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

How Do Low Carb Diets Work?

Losing Weight Quickly

Low carbohydrate diets are very popular with people who want to lose weight quickly. For some, the weight will stay off, but for others, low carb diets are as much of a problem as any other diet. Low carb diets generally follow this rule: no starches, no sweets, limited fruits and vegetables and all the meat (including fish and poultry), eggs and cheese you can handle. The idea behind low carbohydrate diets is that by eating less starch and more protein, the body will fuel itself on fat and will burn the fat cells faster. Unfortunately, like many best laid plans, this type of diet frequently results in lost muscle rather than simply lost fat. Losing lean muscle is not a great idea because muscle is metabolically active and it burns calories all the time, even during a resting state. So, if the amount of muscle is reduced, the body needs fewer calories each day, which makes it difficult to maintain your weight when you go off the diet.

An Incomplete Diet

Too much protein puts an incredible load on the kidneys, sometimes resulting in kidney disease and failure. The low carb, high protein diet can be a problem, particularly if you already have kidney problems. Because these diets involve reducing the intake of fruits and vegetables, they actually reduce the nutritional value of the foods eaten, creating vitamin deficiencies that put incredible strain on the body and over time, can cause disease: namely heart, kidney, bone and liver diseases. To put it frankly, low carb diets are incomplete diets. It would be much wiser to simply reduce the portions of all of the foods we eat and move more, causing the lean muscle mass to consume more calories, thereby forcing the body to lose weight.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

Low carbohydrate diets are generally known for reducing the amount of insulin needed by the body, but the problem is that most people trying these diets are not aware that there are two kinds of carbohydrates, simple and complex. The simple carbs (sugars) are the ones that need to be reduced in order to reduce the amount of insulin needed. Complex carbs (starches) such as bread, root vegetables like potatoes, brown rice, corn, peas and beans are beneficial to maintaining good health and nutrition as they cause the body to use its insulin more wisely. Low carb diets frequently cause the dieter to reduce both types of carbs rather than just the simple ones. Some of these diets do not prohibit the eating of carbs but they do reduce them to unhealthy levels. Technically, the main benefits of low carb diets is that they cause the dieter to reduce the consumption of high caloric foods such as cake, cookies, candy and other sweets, the reduction of which will cause weight loss anyway. The best suggestion would be to continue to eat starchy carbs and simply reduce the high sugar foods in the diet.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Two Recipes for Chicken and Beef (Protein Source)

Two Recipes for (Chicken and Beef)

Not all of us are on a super hardcore intense fitness trainers, but we still watch what goes in our mouths, and care about what we eat. And of the same token, it can be said that we're all equally concerned about getting enough protein in our diets; especially if we're weight training.

The benefits of protein include metabolism boosting, lean muscle, possible fat loss (that comes from boosting metabolism), increased energy... I could go on. However, the same old plain chicken breast, bland egg-whites, and boring fish gets tiresome. This is where I come in. I have 2 recipes for 5 different kinds of protein sources. Use this as a way to spice up your diet, and the healthy foods you've come to know and love.


Five-Spice Chicken
2 tbsp (25 ml) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 ml) liquid honey
1 tsp (5 ml) five-spice powder
8 chicken pieces

In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil, honey, five-spice powder and 1/4 tsp (1 ml) each salt and pepper. Remove skin from chicken if desired. Add chicken to marinade, turning to coat; let stand for 5 minutes.

In ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) vegetable oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, in batches and adding more oil if necessary. Drain fat from skillet.

Return all chicken to skillet. Roast in 425ºF (220ºC) oven until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

Calories: 850
Protein: 182
Fat: 31
Carbs: 14


Steak Diane
1 pound sirloin steak
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced button mushrooms
2 (5-ounce) packages prepared fresh green beans
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Trim excess fat from steak, cut in half, and cut across the grain (or perpendicular to the lines in the meat), into 1/2-inch strips. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In heavy skillet add olive oil; add the steak strips and stir-fry until brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove meat from skillet with slotted spoon to a plate.

To drippings remaining in skillet, add onion and garlic; stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and green beans; stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes longer. In small bowl combine Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, lemon juice, beef broth, and cornstarch. Add to skillet and bring to a simmer.

Return meat to skillet; bring back to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes longer, until meat and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Calories: 1380
Protein: 133
Fat: 74
Carbs: 40

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