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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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4 Foods That Can Improve Your Metabolism

A magic bullet solution does not exist, but there are some things that can encourage your body to burn a few extra calories.

Don’t listen to the Internet. There’s no such thing as a miracle calorie-burning food that will allow you to vegetate on the couch while melting off the pounds. If there were, gyms would go out of business instantly. According to registered dietitian Ellie Krieger, however, there are a few things that can help one’s metabolism work more efficiently, though this should not be considered a replacement for hard sweaty work.

In an article for the Washington Post, Krieger sifted through the “overhyped, over-extrapolated half-truths” that dominate millions of articles and podcasts to identify those items that might actually have metabolic value. She ended up with four – green tea, cayenne pepper, protein, and whole grains – but benefiting from them isn’t as simple as chowing down.

Green tea gets a lot of well-deserved attention, for it contains polyphenols (specifically, one called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG) and caffeine that increase the calories and fat your body burns. Studies show that a minimum of 250 milligrams of EGCG must be consumed in order for it to work. This translates to three cups daily of the highest-quality green tea, which isn’t too difficult for tea-lovers. Just be sure to buy the good stuff.

Cayenne pepper is a tough one because studies recommend consuming 10 grams a day; this works out to nearly 2 tablespoons. As anyone who’s eaten cayenne pepper knows, it’s nearly impossible to ingest that much, even if it’s spread out over three meals. But a small amount can help a bit, too:

“A 2011 Purdue University study looked at more palatable quantities of cayenne and found that even about half a teaspoon in one meal worked to increase energy expenditure, but only by 10 calories, which, incidentally, is the number of calories in one peanut.”

Protein is notable for automatically burning 20 to 30 percent of its own calories through the process of digestion. Krieger compares this to fat (0 to 3 percent) and carbohydrates (5 to 10 percent), though these are still crucial components of a well-rounded diet and should not be neglected in favor of excess protein.

Whole grains are similar to protein in that their digestion burns more calories than when you eat refined carbohydrates. Plus, you get the added benefit of fiber, which is sadly lacking in the typical American diet and is desperately needed for healthy guts.

Katherine Martinko     @feistyredhair       Living / Health       May 24, 2017


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Fun Fact Friday

  • Secretly thinking you’re better than everyone else is good for your mental health, researchers suggest.

  • Memory improves when you imagine yourself doing something.

 

  • Drinking 2 cups of cold water on an empty stomach can boost metabolism by 30%.

  • Five Things you can do to help you be happier:

    1. Meditation 2. Smiling 3. Exercise 4. Help others 5. Follow your passion.

Happy Friday!
 source:   factualfacts.com   https://twitter.com/Fact   @Fact


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Exposure to Bright Light Might Impact Metabolism

By: Elise Moreau     June 4, 2016     Follow Elise at @elisem0reau

Most people are aware of the importance of vitamin D for good health and that it comes from the sun in its natural form. And many know that the light from our electronic devices can mess with their ability to sleep at night. But did you know that your exposure to bright light — perhaps natural or artificial — may even be powerful enough to alter your metabolism?

In a recent study conducted by Northwestern University, 19 adults were exposed to bright, blue-enriched light for three hours each in the morning and in the evening over a four-day period. Hunger, metabolic function and physiological arousal were tracked and the results were compared against the results for exposure to dim light.

All participants were exposed to dim light in their waking hours over the first two days. On the third day, half of the participants were exposed to bright light in the morning while the other half were exposed to bright light in the evening.

What the researchers found was that bright light in both the morning and evening hours increased insulin resistance — the body’s inability to move glucose out of the bloodstream to use for energy. Insulin resistance can cause weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes.

The researchers also found that when the participants were exposed to bright light in the evening, higher peak glucose (blood sugar) levels were detected. And in a related study conducted previously by Northwestern researchers, they had found that people who were exposed to the majority of their light before midday weighed less than people who were exposed to the majority of their light after midday.

screen

This is the first time these results have been seen in humans, although researchers at this point can’t say why light exposure has the impact it does on our bodies. Previous studies conducted on mice that were exposed to light over a consistent period of time showed higher glucose levels and weight gain compared to mice in a control group.

These findings suggest that the amount of light, and what time of day we’re exposed to it, has a direct impact on our health. This would certainly include all the light we surround ourselves with these days that come from our electronic devices — from smartphones and tablets to television monitors and laptops. If you spend all evening around glowing screens, which we already know is bad for your body’s internal sleep clock, it could very well be partially to blame for why you may be having trouble shedding those few extra pounds.

The good news about this and future related research is that we may be able to find out more about how we might be able to use light to manipulate metabolic function. But for now, it’s probably safe to say that altering your morning and evening routines so that exposing yourself to light earlier in the day will be far better for your overall health than exposing yourself to much of it later on in the day.

Findings like these serve as just another good and healthy excuse to ditch the devices in the evening hours and do something a little more productive, enjoyable or just plain relaxing. Your mind and body deserve it.


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5 Foods To Rev Up Your Metabolism

The problem with many diets is that they focus on what you shouldn’t have instead of on what you should have!

“I felt like they were telling me everything I couldn’t have, which left me completely deprived,” my friend confessed, recalling a particular diet she’d adamantly adhered to until finally she got frustrated with all those restrictions.

Instead, think about it this way: before you dump sugary, highly reactive foods that stall fat loss and leave you feeling lousy, fuel up on healthy, crave-busters that edge out bad foods and keep you from feeling hungry and reaching for the junk.

You know, the usual appetite-curbing add-ons like lean protein, fiber-rich veggies, and green tea. these work great. But I’ve also picked up some unique, off-the-beaten-path ones that rev up your metabolism so you blast more fat. Best of all, they taste good and become easy to incorporate into your diet.

Add these five things to your diet and see if they don’t become your needle movers for easy, lasting fat loss:

1. Lemon Juice

You may have heard of having hot water with lemon in the morning to support good digestion. I did this when I lived in Japan years ago.

Turns out, a few tablespoons of lemon juice just before or during a meal may also help lower your blood sugar response from that meal. You might also have a glass of sparkling water with lemon juice during your meal or squeeze on some lemon onto your salad or your fish.

2. Cinnamon

What’s not to love about this delicious spice that helps balance blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity?

cinnamon

Cinnamon also tastes so darn good and helps curb your sweet tooth.

3. Kefir

Speaking of a sweet tooth kefir, or other sour cultured foods, can help zap sugar cravings. The sour taste of cultured or fermented foods kills your sweet tooth and feeds the good bacteria in your gut.

Too much bad gut flora means you can extract more calories from the foods you eat and store them as fat. Not cool! My favorite kefir is made form coconut water (this is available in many health food stores). You can also shop online for culture starter kits to make your own!

4. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne can help you burn more calories and curb hunger. You can also get the same effect with some hot sauce or hot peppers.

One of my favorite snacks is blending non-dairy, non-soy, plant-based or defatted beef chocolate protein powder with avocado, coconut milk, and a quarter-teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can always increase the amount of cayenne per your personal taste, but a little goes a long way). Cayenne can really provide that get-up-and-go morning kick!

5. Coconut Oil & Coconut Milk

Coconut oil and milk remain kitchen staples for everything from cooking to shakes. Both the oil and milk are antiviral and antibacterial, making them perfect to keep that good balance of good bacterial in your gut.


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7 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

SpryLiving.com    November 21, 2014

You hit the gym five days a week. You eat all the veggies you can get your hands on. You religiously avoid all white carbs. But in spite of your good intentions, the number on the scale refuses to budge. WTF?!! If this scenario sounds familiar, your metabolism might be to blame. Before you start thinking you’ve been screwed in the genetic lottery, take a deep breath. It’s okay. You can fix this.

First thing’s first. What is metabolism, exactly? After all, it’s a word we hear tossed around a lot in the health world. Your skinny friend who lives solely off junk food credits her thin frame to “a fast metabolism,” but what does that even mean? Is the concept of a fast metabolism scientifically legit, or is it a load of B.S.?

From a purely technical standpoint, metabolism refers to the “chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.” Metabolism is often expressed in terms of “basal metabolic rate” (BMR), the amount of calories expended per day in order to sustain basic life functions—you know, breathing, pooping, heartbeat, all that fun stuff. The faster your BMR, the more calories you burn at rest and the less fat you store.

Metabolism is primarily influenced by three factors: Your age (metabolism slows about 5% per decade after age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and lean muscle mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be). The bad news is that some of these things—like our age and gender—are simply out of our control. The good news? By making a few lifestyle tweaks, it is possible to boost a sluggish metabolism. Here are some ways to help bring your metabolism up to speed.

The best way to rev up your metabolism, hands down, is to put on slabs of lean muscle mass. Here’s why: Muscle has a faster metabolic rate than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest—meaning you’ll scorch more calories even while bumming around on the couch. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That’s just another reason to listen to your instructor when they tell you to grab heavier weights!

Eat more protein.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on board with lean grilled chicken breast. Protein has a high thermic effect, which means your body burns more calories to digest it. In fact, one study found that high protein diets boosted metabolism by as much as 40%; by contrast, fats and carbs have a much lower thermic effect. Try to eat a lean protein at every meal.

diet

Get more sleep.

We know, we know—you can sleep when you’re dead, right? But skimping on sleep can mess with your circadian rhythm, predisposing you to metabolic disturbances like weight gain and even diabetes. Additionally, inadequate sleep is associated with higher levels of ghrelin, a hunger-inducing hormone, which means that sleep-deprived individuals may be more likely to overeat. As a general rule, aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

Metabolism is primarily influenced by three factors: Your age (metabolism slows about 5% per decade after age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and lean muscle mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be). The bad news is that some of these things—like our age and gender—are simply out of our control. The good news? By making a few lifestyle tweaks, it is possible to boost a sluggish metabolism. Here are some ways to help bring your metabolism up to speed.

Sip green tea.

Touted for its waist-whittling effects, this miracle brew contains a compound called EGCG that is thought to fire up metabolism and encourage the body to burn fat. Studies have linked green tea with raising metabolic rates and speeding up fat oxidation in overweight individuals. If green tea isn’t your cup of tea (literally), supplements will do the trick.

Don’t skip meals.

Fasting or skipping meals may seem like a quick fix for dropping unwanted pounds, but this tactic will only backfire. When you eat, your metabolism goes into overdrive to break down the food into smaller, digestible parts. On the flipside, when you don’t eat for extended periods of time, your metabolism begins to slow down. When you finally do eat something, your metabolism responds sluggishly and doesn’t process the food as efficiently as before, resulting in greater fat storage. To keep metabolism fully charged, try to eat a balanced meal or healthy snack every 3-4 hours.

Eat breakfast.

Skipping breakfast is the ultimate nutritional no-no, a bad habit that squashes your metabolism and sets you up for weight gain. The American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out breakfast were 4.5 times almost more likely to be obese. Too busy for a bite to eat? Try one of these 5-Minute Breakfast ideas.

Drink more H20.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water—about 17 ounces—increases metabolic rate by 30 percent in healthy men and women. The body needs water in order to process calories, so even if you’re mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may wind down. Even on non-training days, you should aim to drink a minimum of 2 or 3 liters of water a day; on days you do workout, amp up that amount depending on the intensity of your activity.

Turn up the heat.

With spice, that is. Capsaicin, the substance that gives red chili peppers their trademark oomph, may increase metabolism temporarily by up to 23 percent, and in other studies the hot pepper was found to regulate appetite. To reap the fat-burning effects of capsaicin, try spicing foods with cayenne pepper or chili flakes.

by Anna Dickens, from SpryLiving


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Losing Sleep Leads to Gains in Weight

By Alexandra Sifferlin         Nov. 01, 2012 
What does sleep have to do with weight? The latest research finds a link between lack of sleep and hunger.
New research published in the journal SLEEP shows that getting more shuteye could lead to less overeating, and that lack of sleep has different influences on hunger in men and women.
To take a closer look at the hormonal effects of sleep restriction on hunger, the researchers brought 27 healthy men and women into a sleep lab and manipulated the amount of time they slumbered. In the first condition, the participants slept for four hours a night for three nights in a row. Three weeks later, they were allowed to sleep for nine hours a night for three consecutive nights.

In order to measure any changes in the body’s response to the altered sleep patterns, the scientists took blood samples from the volunteers and recorded glucoseinsulinleptin and other hormone levels — all of which are involved in the chain of metabolic signals that lead to hunger.

The researchers found that men under restricted sleep conditions experience increases in the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin while women in the same conditions did not see heightened ghrelin levels, but instead had reduced levels of the hormone GLP-1, which is produced by the intestinal cells while we eat and tends to suppress appetite. Ghrelin is released by the stomach and pancreatic cells and surge before meals and start to decline after meals. Men in sleep deprived conditions, in other words, were more likely to feel hungry and have larger appetites while women losing shut eye tend to feel less full — both slightly different parts of the same chain of metabolic signals that contribute to hunger.
While the metabolic difference seems subtle, after a few sleepless nights, the authors say, both conditions can lead to overeating. And indeed, that’s what the researchers saw — participants ate about 300 calories more after losing sleep than when they had a full night’s rest.

“Our results point to the complexity of the relationship between sleep duration and energy balance regulation,” study author Marie-Pierre St-Onge, a research associate at New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University said in a statement. “The state of energy balance, whether someone is in a period of weight loss or weight gain, may be critical in the metabolic and hormonal responses to sleep restriction.”

Although the biological mechanisms underlying sleep-related hunger requires further study, the bottom line appears to be that our bodies are designed to see food differently when we don’t get enough rest. In addition to focusing on diet and exercise, then, it’s just as important to remember to get a good night’s sleep in order to maintain a healthy weight.

source: Time.com


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Coconut Health Benefits, Life Saving and Antioxidant Properties

Danica Collins

Coconuts are one of the wonder foods on earth that amply provides for all human needs and have multiple health benefits… They can even save your life!
Few people (even fewer doctors) understand how important the coconut is to stabilizing blood sugar; lowering cholesterol; healing; hydration; and even replacing blood plasma in an emergency.
Referred to as kalpa vriksha (Sanskrit for “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live”) in ancient India, the coconut palm has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world.
Yet, it has been only recently that modern researchers have begun to fully discover the massive coconut health benefits this amazing fruit seed offers.
To give just one example of coconuts’ life-saving properties, they were used extensively in the Pacific during World War II. Since blood plasma supplies were scarce, it was very common for medics to siphon pure coconut water from young coconuts to be used as emergency plasma transfusions for soldiers who were injured. Since coconut water is nearly identical to human blood, it was suitable for people of all blood types.

Because of its strong antioxidant properties and health benefits, the coconuts can be used to:

    • Lower cholesterol
    • Improve digestion
    • Ward off wrinkles
    • Stabilize glucose levels
    • Fight off viruses
    • Build cells
    • Regulate hormones
    • Increase thyroid production
    • Lose weight
    • Increase metabolism
    • Fight infections
    • Stave off memory loss
    • Kill bacteria
    • And more!
Considered one of the most treasured foods of all time, coconut products — including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream — each deliver superb health benefits.
Coconut oil, for instance, is considered the best and safest oil to use for cooking — even superior to extra virgin olive oil when it comes to giving the body what it needs for optimum health. Unlike other fats and oils that we typically use for cooking and baking, coconut oil does not form polymerized oils or dangerous trans fatty acids in our bodies, which can raise our cholesterol levels; clog our arteries and even make our skin sag and wrinkle. Plus, this ultra-safe oil can give your body important antioxidants that can help build stronger cells and improve your overall health and well being.

Coconut health benefits found all-in-one

Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of coconut products to stave off disease and to recapture the look and feeling of youth:
Coconut Water – The coconut is a natural water filter. It takes almost 9 months for a coconut to filter every quart of water stored within its shell. This makes the resulting coconut water completely pure and sterile, which is one reason why it can be used for blood transfusions.
Another benefit of coconut water is the fact that it has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration.
Coconut Oil – In addition to being superior for cooking and baking, coconut oil also makes a superb topical oil that can help to naturally rid the skin of dangerous toxins. It also gives the skin the perfect mix of hydration and antioxidants that it needs to stay healthy, smooth and younger-looking longer.
Another great benefit of coconut oil is in protecting your teeth from the bacteria that can cause cavities and disease. Simply rubbing a little fresh coconut oil on your gums and teeth can keep them stronger and healthier than virtually any other dental treatment.
Most people don’t realize that coconut oil can actually help you lose weight! Yes, simply changing your cooking oil from the unsaturated fat variety to coconut oil can help you lose those extra pounds.
Here’s why: Unsaturated fats found in canola, corn and other vegetable oils, as well as margarine suppress the metabolism, which makes it harder to lose weight — and easier to gain it. Over time, this metabolism suppression may result in 20-30 pounds of excess weight that your body cannot get rid of. Coconut oil, on the other hand, helps to increase thyroid function and boost your metabolism — 2 important components to shedding unwanted pounds.
Coconut Cream – The best skin treatment product one can use to achieve flawless skin may quite possibly be coconut cream. Unlike traditional skin creams which can actually introduce fats and oils to the skin that will break it down over time, making it look older, creams derived from the coconut can actually replenish the skin, giving it a more youthful and healthy glow than most other skin care products on the market.
When it comes to buying coconut products, coconuts are not all created equal. Wild coconuts are always best, but can be hard to obtain if you don’t live in a tropical country. Whether you are using this wonder food to boost your immune system; increase your metabolism or fight wrinkles, using products from young coconuts will help you reap the most benefit.
Young coconuts contain the purest unsaturated fat, compared to the fat found in the more mature varieties. This is why they offer the most rejuvenation properties for the body’s tissues. But how can you tell how old a coconut is? Young coconuts are usually green in color and oddly shaped. The brown hairy ones are mature coconuts, and while they offer a lot of healthy benefits, they aren’t nearly as good for you as younger varieties.
The best place to find young fresh coconuts is, of course, in the markets of the tropics, so be sure to seek them out if you travel to those areas considering all the health benefits from a coconut. Coconut-producing regions export coconuts all over the world so it’s relatively easy to find coconuts at your local health food store or Asian grocer.

source: undergroundhealthreporter