Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • People who enjoy helping others and or spending money on others tend to be less stressed, happier and live longer.
  • Extroverted people are likely to overlook typos and grammatical errors that would cause introverted people to negatively judge the writer. 
  • Studies show those who don’t eat breakfast, or eat it only sometimes, are twice as likely to be overweight as those who eat two breakfasts.

 

  • Women cry on average between 30 and 64 times a year, while men cry between 6 and 17 times.
  • Left-handed people tend to have more emotional and behavioral problems than right-handed people.
  • Listening to music at high volumes can make a person calmer, happier and more relaxed.
  • The more stressed you are, the slower your wounds and illnesses heal.
  • A recent study shows that exercise alone doesn’t help with weight loss. It’s your diet that should be the main focus.
Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • Coffee has been found to reverse liver damage caused by alcohol.
  • The brain naturally craves 4 things: Food, Sex, Water and Sleep.
  • Studies show that by eating a big breakfast, you won’t feel as hungry the rest of the day, which can lead to more nutritional food choices.
  • 70% of people pretend to be okay simply because they don’t want to annoy others with their problems.
Tomatoes
Eating tomatoes helps prevent sunburn.
  • The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles only 8 times.
  • Self-discipline better predicts success than IQ, according to research.
  • Eating tomatoes helps prevent sunburn.
  • Women are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men. This is mostly due to the hormonal changes that women often experience.
Happy Friday  🙂
 
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


2 Comments

8 Reasons You Have No Energy

By Brianna Steinhilber  3/10/2015

Stuck in a midday slump? Change these habits right now for an instant energy boost.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t hit snooze or experience the midafternoon slump every once in a while, but if you constantly feel like you’re dragging it may be time to take a closer look at your routine. If you don’t have a related health condition and are getting enough shuteye each night, you may be to blame for the constant fatigue. Here are 8 energy-zapping habits that you can change today.


1. You’re eating too much sugar. While the candy jar is an obvious culprit, refined carbohydrates like white bread and rice, chips, and cereal are a major source of sugar, too. This type of simple sugar is digested quickly by the body, leading to a dip in blood sugar levels that leaves you feeling fatigued. Be sure to replace refined carbs with whole grain varieties for a lasting energy boost.


2. You aren’t exercising enough. It may seem counterintuitive that exerting energy will actually increase it, but adding a workout to your daily routine will give you a short-term energy boost. Plus, regular exercise improves sleep quality, which will ultimately leave you feeling more well rested.

3.  You’re skipping breakfast. “Skipping breakfast can definitely contribute to low energy in the morning,” says Johannah Sakimura, MS and Everyday Health blogger. “It’s important to give your body good fuel to start the day after an extended period of fasting.” Without this fuel, your body is running on empty – leaving you famished by lunchtime and more likely to make unhealthy choices that will cause that midafternoon dip in blood sugar. “Try to combine healthy carbohydrates, like fruit, veggies, and whole grains, with a protein source, such as eggs, nuts, or dairy. The carbs give you an initial boost, and the protein helps sustain you until your next meal,” says Sakimura.

lack of energy

4. You’re sitting too much. Not only is sitting for prolonged periods of time harmful to your health (just one hour of sitting affects your heart!), but it’s a major energy zapper as well. Standing up and moving for even a few minutes helps get your blood circulating through your body and increases the oxygen in your blood, ultimately sending more oxygen to your brain which increases alertness. If you work a desk job, try this move more plan to keep your blood pumping.

5. You’re drinking too much caffeine. Whether it’s a can of soda or constant refills of your coffee mug, many of the beverages we reach for when we feel tired are packed with caffeine – a stimulant that will give you a quick jolt, but can also leave you crashing soon after if you ingest too much. Plus, if you’re drinking caffeinated beverages into the afternoon, they may start to have an effect on your sleep quality. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to water late-morning and replace soda with seltzer for a bubbly afternoon pick-me-up without the crash.

6. You’re dehydrated. We all know the importance of drinking enough water – and even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on your energy level, mood, and concentration. Aim for at least one glass of water per hour while sitting at your desk, and be sure to fill your bottle up even more if you’re doing strenuous activity or are outdoors in high temperatures.


7. You have poor posture. A study found that slouched walking decreased energy levels while exacerbating symptoms of depression. The good news: Simply altering body posture to a more upright position instantly boosted mood and energy, while enabling participants to more easily come up with positive thoughts. So sit up straight! Set reminders on your phone or calendar throughout the day to remind yourself to check in with your posture and straighten up.

8. You’re not snacking smart. If you’re running to the vending machine for a quick afternoon snack, your selection – most likely high in simple carbs and sugar – will take your energy levels in the wrong direction. Instead choose a snack that has a combo of protein and complex carbs for an energy boost that will last throughout the afternoon. Think trail mix, veggies and hummus, or peanut butter on whole wheat toast.


2 Comments

10 “Rules” To Live By To Get Healthier

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, consistency is key. If you want to stop feeling lethargic and overweight, you have to stop being lazy. Sorry to be blunt. It’s all about creating a consistent lifestyle that promotes healthy eating and movement throughout the day!

I’m a personal trainer, but I am not always a perfect eater. I love pizza — I love bacon on my pizza. When I indulge, I make sure that two out of the three meals I eat that day are still healthy. On days that my body is sore and rundown, I still get up and move. Laying around only makes the soreness worse — get those muscles moving and get a good stretch or foam roll in.

I remind myself that even on my worst days, I can still walk. I can move. I don’t have to just sit around, I can strap on a backpack and walk around Nashville to grab a cup of coffee. Here are the other rules to follow to maintain a consistent, healthy lifestyle:

1. Get at least 10,000 steps every day.

This is the gold standard of consistency. It equals about five miles — here are some ways I make it happen every day:

  • Park far away
  • Use the stairs (want that strong booty, stairs are the best)
  • Walk the dog
  • Pack your lunch so that you can walk during at least half that break

2. Teach your body to be healthy by being consistent.

When you make being healthy a habit, your body know exactly what it’s in for and responds accordingly. If you’re able to stay away from sweets for an extended period, your body won’t crave them as much and when you do eat them, too much sugar will taste horrible! Try a piece of 80 percent dark chocolate for an after dinner treat and use gum to curb cravings.

3. Eat breakfast so that your body knows to be hungry.

Too many people have gotten used to not eating breakfast. It’s SO important! By eating it every day you actually will wake up hungry, and this is a good thing. That means your body is expecting the food and has started your metabolism already.

4. Sweat every day.

Our body’s cooling system is amazing. We shed all the heat by sweating. If you are a consistent trainer, your body knows what’s in store and will start cooling you down immediately. If your body isn’t used to working out, you will find yourself overheating due to your body’s idea of consistency — that you don’t need to sweat because you don’t work out. This will change over time!

5. Think long-term, not short-term.

Dieting provides short-sighted goals — 10-day juice cleanse, 3-day starvation, 30-days carb-free. What you really need is a consistent and fulfilling idea of eating clean and healthy that lasts a lifetime. Lower sugar, lower sodium, no starches in the evening and less booze (sorry).

483b0-walk160x144

6. Be active throughout the day.

One hour at the gym does not make an active lifestyle. Getting to the gym routinely is great and I commend everyone who does it. But saying, “That’s all folks,” for the rest of the day while you sit at a desk, car and couch does not make an active lifestyle. Consistency throughout the day will help you get and stay lean.

7. One workout does not make you strong and one day without weights does not ruin everything.

Consistency can be attained by sticking to your healthy lifestyle 80% of the time. Everyone needs a day to relax from the stress … just don’t let that make you feel guilty — enjoy your life!

8. One meal does not make you healthy and one meal does not make you fat.

When I ask about the meals my clients had the days before our workout together, I will always get a rundown of the healthiest options they chose. Yet they’ll also complain about why they aren’t losing weight. That one salad choice at lunch two days ago will not get you to your goal! Consistently choosing the better option will yield results and also increase your ability to refrain from temptation.

9. Drink water consistently throughout the day so you never feel thirsty.

If you don’t get enough water in your body before your workout, you won’t get as much out of your hard work. Blood brings oxygen to your muscles and brain. Blood is made up of quite a bit of water. If you are not hydrated, it is harder for you to get oxygen to where it needs to be.

The more you sweat, the more water you should drink. If you drink coffee or alcohol, you should also up your water intake.

10. Indulge on special occasions.

For me, this means eating pizza sparingly. Moderation within consistency is the biggest key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


1 Comment

Eat This To Concentrate Better

Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 11, 2013

Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?

Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you’ll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add “smart” foods and drinks to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbs you eat. That’s why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability.

Have too much, though, and memory can be impaired — along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory without packing on the pounds.

Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain

Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat it tend to perform better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain-fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Fish Really is Brain Food

A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate

Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is linked to less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties, and it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus.

Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to get all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

Walnuts

Add Avocados and Whole Grains

Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. A diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can cut the risk of heart disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.

Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that helps with healthy blood flow.

Blueberries Are Super Nutritious

Research in animals shows that blueberries may help protect the brain from the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries improved both the learning and muscle function of aging rats, making them mentally equal to much younger rats.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

It may sound trite but it’s true: If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can hurt your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your focus. A heavy meal may make you feel tired, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.

Benefit your brain: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy foods.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?

Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.

Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain.

Check with your doctor.

Get Ready for a Big Day

Want to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole-grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also offer this advice:

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise to help sharpen thinking.
  • Meditate to clear thinking and relax.

REFERENCES:
Morris, M. Archives of Neurology, Oct. 10, 2005 online edition; vol 62. News release, American Medical Association.
Noralyn L. Wilson, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
Gordon Winocur, PhD, senior scientist for the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto.
Paul E. Gold, professor of psychology and psychiatry, neuroscience program, University of Illinois.
Steven Pratt, MD, author, Superfoods RX: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life.
Rampersaud, G. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, May 2005; vol 105(5): pp 743-760.
Mathematica Policy Research: “Universal-Free School Breakfast Program Evaluation Design Project – Review of Literature on Breakfast and Learning.”
Michaud, C. Journal of Adolescent Health, January 1991; vol 12(1): pp 53-57.
Ann Kulze, MD, author, Dr. Ann’s 10-Step Diet: A Simple Plan for Permanent Weight Loss and Lifelong Vitality.
University of California Berkeley Guide to Dietary Supplements.


Leave a comment

Healthy Breakfast: Quick, Flexible Options

These healthy out-of-the-box options will fuel you up without slowing you down.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

It might be the last thing on your morning to-do list, or worse, it might not be on your list at all. But a healthy breakfast refuels your body, jump-starts your day and may even benefit your overall health. So don’t skip this meal — it may be more important than you think.

These quick and flexible options give you plenty of ways to put breakfast back on your daily menu.

The benefits of a healthy breakfast

Breakfast gives you a chance to start each day with a healthy and nutritious meal.

Adults who report regularly eating a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  • Eat more vitamins and minerals
  • Control their weight
  • Eat less fat and cholesterol

Children who regularly eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to:

  • Meet daily nutrient requirements
  • Be at a healthy body weight
  • Have better concentration and be more alert
  • Miss fewer days of school

The basics of a healthy breakfast

What exactly counts as a healthy breakfast? Here’s what forms the core of a healthy breakfast:

  • Whole grains. Examples include whole-grain rolls, bagels, hot or cold whole-grain cereals, low-fat bran muffins, crackers, and Melba toast.
  • Lean protein. Examples include peanut butter, lean meat, poultry or fish, and hard-boiled eggs.
  • Low-fat dairy. Examples include milk, plain or lower sugar yogurts, and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage and natural cheeses.
  • Fruits and vegetables. Examples include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, 100 percent juice drinks without added sugar, and fruit and vegetable smoothies. Choose low-sodium versions of beverages, though.

Together, these food groups provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and a small amount of fat — a combination that packs health benefits and helps you feel full for hours.

Find options from these core groups that suit your tastes and preferences. And try to choose one or two options from each category to round out a healthy breakfast.

Breakfast

 

What to look for in dry cereals

Cereal may be your go-to item for breakfast, whether you grab a handful to eat dry while on the run, or you have time to sit down for a bowl with milk and fruit. But not all cereals are created equal. Read the Nutrition Facts label and ingredient list before you buy cereal. And remember that not all cereals have the same serving size. A serving of one cereal might be 1/2 cup, while another may be 1 cup.

Key items to consider when choosing cereal are:

  • Fiber. Choose cereals with at least 3 grams of fiber in each serving, but if possible, aim for 5 grams a serving or more.
  • Sugar. After you find fiber-rich cereals that you like, look for the one with the lowest amount of sugar. Focus on cereals marketed to adults. They’re usually lower in sugar than cereals aimed at children. To find out how much sugar a cereal contains, check the Nutrition Facts label. It’s also important to check the ingredient list. Avoid cereals that list sugar at or near the top of the ingredient list, or that list multiple types of added sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup, honey, brown sugar and dextrose.
  • Calories. If you’re counting calories, choose cereals lower in calories, ideally less than 160 calories a serving.

Remember to top off your bowl of cereal with some sliced fruit and low-fat or skim milk. Or if you’re on the go, take along a piece of fruit, a container of milk or some yogurt.

A word about cereal bars

Cereal bars may be a good breakfast option. Just be sure to look for those that meet the same guidelines as dry cereal. Also, don’t forget some fruit and low-fat milk or yogurt to round things out. Even fruit or yogurt cereal bars won’t satisfy all your nutrition requirements for breakfast.

Quick and flexible breakfast options

You have plenty of ways to get in a healthy breakfast each day, and it doesn’t always have to be a traditional breakfast menu.

Here are some examples of healthy breakfast options:

  • Cooked oatmeal topped with almonds or dried cranberries
  • A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
  • Leftover vegetable pizza
  • A tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese
  • A smoothie of fruits, plain yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
  • A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and sweet peppers
  • Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
  • A whole-grain waffle with peanut butter
  • Egg omelet with vegetables (use more egg whites than yolk)

Fitting in a healthy breakfast

Try these tips for fitting in breakfast on a tight schedule:

  • Cook ahead. Make breakfast the night before. Just reheat as necessary in the morning.
  • Set the stage. Figure out what you’ll eat for breakfast the night before. Then, set out dry ingredients and any bowls, equipment or pans. They’ll be ready for use in the morning.
  • Pack it up. Make a to-go breakfast the night before. In the morning, you can grab it and go.

If you skip breakfast because you want to save calories, reconsider that plan. Chances are you’ll be ravenous by lunchtime. That may lead you to overeat or choose fast but unhealthy options — perhaps doughnuts or cookies a co-worker brings to the office.

Your morning meal doesn’t have to mean loading up on sugar and fats, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming to be healthy. Keep the breakfast basics in mind and set yourself up for healthier eating all day long.


2 Comments

Maybe You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Dogmatic adherence to mealtimes is anti-science, racist, and might actually be making you sick.

By Kiera Butler / Mother Jones March 5, 2015

The following article first appeared in Mother Jones Magazine.

Meals are good, and snacking is bad. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and if you eat dinner with your family, you will keep your girlish figure and your kids will be healthier. Taking a lunch break will make you succeed at your job.

Okay, now forget all that. Because as it turns out, the concept of three square meals a day has practically zero to do with your actual metabolic needs. And our dogmatic adherence to breakfast, lunch, and dinner might actually be making us sick.

Historian Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, explained to me that the the thrice-daily eating schedule goes back at least as far as the Middle Ages in Europe. When European settlers got to America, they also imported their meal habits: a light meal—maybe cold mush and radishes—in the morning, a heavier, cooked one midday, and a third meal similar to the first one later in the day. They observed that the eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigid—the volume and timing of their eating varied with the seasons. Sometimes, when food was scarce, they fasted. The Europeans took this as “evidence that natives were uncivilized,” Carroll explained to me in an email. “Civilized people ate properly and boundaried their eating, thus differentiating themselves from the animal kingdom, where grazing is the norm.” (So fascinated were Europeans with tribes’ eating patterns, notes Carroll, that they actually watched Native Americans eat “as a form of entertainment.”)

The three daily meals that the settlers brought evolved with Americans’ lifestyles. As people became more prosperous, they added meat to breakfast and dinner. After the Industrial Revolution, when people began to work away from home, the midday meal became a more casual affair, and the cooked meal shifted to the end of the day, when workers came home. The one thing that did not change was the overall amount of food that people ate—despite the fact that they had largely abandoned the active lifestyles of the farm in favor of sedentary ones in cities and suburbs. “People were still eating these giant country breakfasts,” says Carroll. Soon, doctors reported that more of their patients were suffering from indigestion.

In an effort to rein in caloric intake, nutritionists began advising people to eat a lighter breakfast—and marketers pounced on the opportunity. In 1897, brothers Will Keith Kellogg and John Harvey Kellogg introduced corn flakes as healthy alternative to heavy breakfasts. (The pair had an ulterior motive: They wanted to spread the gospel of the vegetarian diet because it was part of their Seventh Day Adventist faith.)

cornflakes

Corn flakes took off, and in the years that followed, breakfast became known as a meal for health food. Fruit-grower associations seized the opportunity to market juices, which, the ad campaigns announced, were chock full of a newly discovered thing called vitamins. The makers of breakfast foods warned of the dangers of skipping “the most important meal of the day.”

That line of reasoning persists today—check out Kellogg’s modern-day treatise on the health benefits of breakfast. But there’s just one problem: Science shows that when it comes to maintaining your metabolism—the bodily system that helps us turn food into energy and, when out of whack, can lead to diabetes and other disorders—it doesn’t make a whit of difference whether you eat breakfast or not. A 2014 study by the University of Bath showed that breakfast had practically zero effect on its subjects’ metabolism. (Breakfast eaters did burn more calories than breakfast skippers, but net calorie consumption was the same, since the breakfast eaters burned off the extra calories they ate at breakfast.) A similar University of Alabama study of people who were trying to diet found that breakfast made no difference, either way, on weight loss.

And breakfast isn’t the only metabolically unimportant meal. In fact, it doesn’t seem to matter much at all how and when you get your calories. In a 2010 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, one group ate three meals a day while another ate six. (Total daily calorie counts were identical.) Researchers found no weight or hormonal differences between the groups. In 2014, University of Warwick researchers found no difference in metabolism between a group of women that ate two meals a day and another group that ate five.

The one thing that might actually improve your metabolism is periodic fasting—that’s right, the very same eating pattern that the early European settlers deemed uncivilized. Mark Mattson, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, has observed in a series of mice experiments over the past two decades that mice who skip feedings are leaner and live longer than their nonskipping counterparts. The fasting mice also have more robust brain cells than those who consume regular meals. Mattson, who skips breakfast and lunch most days, theorizes that caloric deprivation acts as a mild stress that helps cells build up their defenses—warding off damage from aging, environmental toxins, and other threats. Other research has shown that periodic fasting may also prevent heart disease.

Biologist Satchidananda Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, meanwhile, observed in a 2012 study that mice consuming all of their calories within an eight-hour window were less likely to develop metabolic diseases like diabetes than those who ate whenever they pleased. A follow-up study last year confirmed the results—though no one has conducted similar studies in humans.

So should you quit meals and fast intermittently instead? You could try it. Christopher Ochner, a weight loss and nutrition expert at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, notes that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution: Some people do well eating all their calories at once; others prefer to split them into snack-size portions.

Instead of obsessing about meal size and frequency, Ochner recommends something simpler: Don’t eat when it’s time for a meal; eat when you feel hungry. That, he says, is a lost art: In industrialized societies, where food is abundant, we eat because of social cues “or just because something smells good.” If we can teach ourselves to pay attention to our own bodies instead of our environment, he says, “that might be the best diet of all.”

Kiera Butler is a senior editor at Mother Jones. For more of her stories, click here.