Archive for the ‘Super Foods’ Category

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Foods and Lifestyle Changes That Prevent Heart Disease

September 2, 2010
(Article first published as Top Foods and Lifestyle Changes Promote Heart Health on Technorati.)
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, and results from decades of dietary and lifestyle abuse leading to damage of the delicate arteries that supply blood to the heart. The condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the primary type of heart condition which leads to sudden death from a heart attack, as foamy plaque builds up in the lining of the vessels and increases the risk of a clot blocking blood flow to this critical muscle. Fortunately you can lower your risk of disease by taking charge of the factors which precipitate CAD.

Create a Plan to Reverse Heart Disease

Medical research continues to provide important information which reveals that the negative effects of poor diet and lifestyle can be reversed by implementing a structured plan to correct poor habits. The results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that making the correct food choices is more heart protective than taking statins.

The study highlights a small group of super foods which affect heart function and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease development, and can actually work to reverse the buildup of coronary plaque. In addition to adding these foods to your diet, there are essential lifestyle modifications you can incorporate which can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Super Foods for the Heart

Every bite of food we eat has a direct and calculable effect on our genes, and specifically our heart. Eliminating sugar, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated trans fats from the diet is an important first step toward regaining control over heart health. As you slowly cut damaging foods from your diet, substitute these super foods to improve your heart healthy menu.

Salmon and Omega-3 Fat Sources: Salmon and most fish are excellent sources of the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA which have been shown to lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third. Omega-3 fats reduce dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides, and help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eat salmon or fatty fish twice a week, or supplement with fish oil for maximum benefit.

Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with powerful antioxidants which have been shown to alter the plaque forming characteristics of oxidized LDL cholesterol. This means that this damaging form of cholesterol is less likely to become incorporated into plaque which narrows the arteries supplying the heart. Blueberries also taste great and play an important role in brain health as well.

Make the Right Lifestyle Changes

Once you’ve made the appropriate changes to your diet, researchers have identified specific lifestyle alterations which provide protection against heart disease. Plan to make changes slowly and you’ll be more likely to maintain them for life.

Physical Activity: Next to diet, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine will have the most impact on heart health. You benefit by strengthening this critical muscle and the supporting vascular system, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar and insulin response. Plan at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.

Lose Weight: Excess weight forces the heart to work much harder than necessary, and eventually the heart enlarges in an attempt to keep pace with the increased load. Studies show that losing as little as 5 to 7% of your body weight can have a dramatic effect on heart health.

No Smoking: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease, as it negatively affects every organ in the body, especially the heart. Smoking causes dangerous constriction of the blood vessels which forces the heart to work much harder. Get professional help to drop the habit, as studies show positive heart health benefits after just 6 months.

Reduce Stress: The effects of stress can be as devastating as smoking. Often referred to as a silent killer, continual stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol which increase blood pressure and systemic inflammation. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation are helpful in negating the damaging effects of stress.

Heart disease is preventable and reversible with a solid plan to improve diet and lifestyle. Substituting heart healthy super foods such as blueberries and salmon can have an immediate impact on your heart. Make time for daily exercise, lose weight and eliminate the cause of stress which is harming your health. You can minimize or even eliminate the risk from heart disease by taking charge of your total lifestyle.

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Super Foods Assist Weight Loss Goal

August 23, 2010

(Article first published as Super Foods Assist Weight Loss and Control Diet on Technorati.)

While it may be true there’s no magical fat burning food, there are a number of super foods which assist the body to lose weight, or help to maintain a weight range once you’ve achieved your goal. These foods work by naturally controlling your hunger, increasing fat metabolism and burning extra calories for use as energy.

Fill Up on Fresh Vegetables and Limited Fruits

Vegetables Fill You Up with Low Calorie Nutrition

Vegetables Fill You Up with Low Calorie Nutrition

Fresh vegetables are the key to any healthy, well balanced weight loss program. No other food group can provide you with that important satisfied feeling which makes you stop eating. Vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in fiber which helps send the satiety signal to your brain that you’ve finished eating.

Equally important, vegetables are naturally low in sugars so your blood glucose remains stable and you won’t be tempted to snack on junk food between meals. Most fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, but should be limited in the diet due to their relatively high sugar content.

Include Healthy Protein Sources

Protein Sources Require More Energy to Metabolize

Protein Sources Require More Energy to Metabolize

Protein has rapidly taken on the status of super food for those looking to lose weight. This is because proteins are very complex molecules which require considerable energy for the body to break down. Because of this long protein breakdown cycle, the signal to stop eating is sent to your brain sooner, and you remain satisfied longer, meaning you’re less likely stray from your healthy diet plan.

Information published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides insight into foods which help to naturally increase our fat burning metabolism and allow us to better establish and maintain our target weight goal. Try incorporating these foods into your daily menu, as you slowly eliminate sugar, refined carbs, snacks and sweetened beverages.

Fresh Brewed Green and White Tea

Green and white teas are at the top of any food list which promotes weight loss. Very few food items have been studied as much as green tea for both their ability to naturally boost metabolism and the added health benefit of reduced cancer risk. Green tea, and to an even greater extent, the less processed white tea are packed with phytochemicals called catechins, known to stimulate metabolism and release stored fat.

Low Calorie, Fresh Green Salads

Fresh Salad is the key to Natural Weight Loss

Fresh Salad is the key to Natural Weight Loss

A fresh green salad is your best bet to fill your stomach without making a considerable dent in your daily calorie budget. The key here is to keep it low calorie. Many people include cheese, processed meats, potato salad, croutons and then top it off with a creamy dressing. Nutritional researchers found that those who ate a reduced calorie salad consisting of fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots ate 12% fewer calories at that meal. By comparison, those who consumed a high calorie salad took in 17% more calories.

Drink Plenty of Fresh Water

Water is considered a super weight loss food for a variety of reasons, but the most important is that it quenches thirst, replacing sweetened beverages which provide no nutrition and plenty of calories. Water is the fluid of life and drives virtually every cellular function in our body, including fat metabolism. There’s no need to count how many glasses you drink each day, just be sure to have some ready for when you become thirsty.

Selecting the correct foods to aid in your new weight loss lifestyle is an important first step which will deliver big rewards. Substitute these super foods into your diet, and slowly drop the high calorie alternatives which were the likely cause of your weight gain. Eating copious quantities of fresh greens and vegetables will not only help you realize your weight goal quicker, but you’ll feel more alive and energized for your efforts.

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Super Foods That Help Weight Loss

August 23, 2010
(Article first published as Super Foods Assist Weight Loss and Control Diet on Technorati.)
While it may be true there’s no magical fat burning food, there are a number of super foods which assist the body to lose weight, or help to maintain a weight range once you’ve achieved your goal. These foods work by naturally controlling your hunger, increasing fat metabolism and burning extra calories for use as energy.

Fill Up on Fresh Vegetables and Limited Fruits

Fresh vegetables are the key to any healthy, well balanced weight loss program. No other food group can provide you with that important satisfied feeling which makes you stop eating. Vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in fiber which helps send the satiety signal to your brain that you’ve finished eating.

Equally important, vegetables are naturally low in sugars so your blood glucose remains stable and you won’t be tempted to snack on junk food between meals. Most fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, but should be limited in the diet due to their relatively high sugar content.

Include Healthy Protein Sources

Protein has rapidly taken on the status of super food for those looking to lose weight. This is because proteins are very complex molecules which require considerable energy for the body to break down. Because of this long protein breakdown cycle, the signal to stop eating is sent to your brain sooner, and you remain satisfied longer, meaning you’re less likely stray from your healthy diet plan.

Information published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides insight into foods which help to naturally increase our fat burning metabolism and allow us to better establish and maintain our target weight goal. Try incorporating these foods into your daily menu, as you slowly eliminate sugar, refined carbs, snacks and sweetened beverages.

Fresh Brewed Green and White Tea
Green and white teas are at the top of any food list which promotes weight loss. Very few food items have been studied as much as green tea for both their ability to naturally boost metabolism and the added health benefit of reduced cancer risk. Green tea, and to an even greater extent, the less processed white tea are packed with phytochemicals called catechins, known to stimulate metabolism and release stored fat.

Low Calorie, Fresh Green Salads

A fresh green salad is your best bet to fill your stomach without making a considerable dent in your daily calorie budget. The key here is to keep it low calorie. Many people include cheese, processed meats, potato salad, croutons and then top it off with a creamy dressing. Nutritional researchers found that those who ate a reduced calorie salad consisting of fresh greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots ate 12% fewer calories at that meal. By comparison, those who consumed a high calorie salad took in 17% more calories.

Drink Plenty of Fresh Water
Water is considered a super weight loss food for a variety of reasons, but the most important is that it quenches thirst, replacing sweetened beverages which provide no nutrition and plenty of calories. Water is the fluid of life and drives virtually every cellular function in our body, including fat metabolism. There’s no need to count how many glasses you drink each day, just be sure to have some ready for when you become thirsty.

Selecting the correct foods to aid in your new weight loss lifestyle is an important first step which will deliver big rewards. Substitute these super foods into your diet, and slowly drop the high calorie alternatives which were the likely cause of your weight gain. Eating copious quantities of fresh greens and vegetables will not only help you realize your weight goal quicker, but you’ll feel more alive and energized for your efforts.

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Super Foods Assist Weight Loss and Fat Burn

July 28, 2010
(Article first published as Super Food Diet Drives Weight Loss, Fuels Fat Burn on Technorati.)

Researchers have been aware of the powerful health benefits of a Mediterranean style diet for the last decade, and information is emerging to revel how a critical component of the diet directly affects our genes to promote natural weight loss. The results of a study published in BMG Genomics demonstrate how extra virgin olive oil beneficially impacts more than 100 separate genes which affect fat storage and obesity.

Phenols, the active nutrients which are abundant in cold pressed extra virgin olive oil act to suppress inflammation in the body. This results in metabolic alterations and natural release of fat from storage. This is particularly important because inflammation is known to dramatically increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and many cancers.

Food Directly Impacts Fat Burning Genes
The foods we eat have a significant impact on our genes, and each meal consumed has a calculable effect on genetic switching, being either beneficial or harmful to our health. It’s important to understand that by making the proper dietary changes, we can alter our health risk profile. Incorporate these fat burning super foods into your diet to realize your weight loss and health goals.

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The results of this study highlight the importance of extra virgin olive oil to a healthy weight loss plan. This oil is a rich source of monounsaturated fat which encourages the release of fat by increasing metabolism and reducing systemic inflammation. It’s important to note from this study that olive oil which had been refined did not have the same beneficial weight loss or health benefits.

Additionally, it’s best not to cook with the oil as this will change its natural characteristics. Use it mixed with vinegar and spices as a dressing over your next salad full of fresh greens and vegetables. Experts agree that a tablespoon of olive oil each day is enough to receive the gene modification benefits and release stored body fat.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, specifically walnuts and almonds, have been regularly maligned as unhealthy due to their high calorie count, yet these super foods have been shown to regulate weight and trigger the release of fat. Nuts and seed are nature’s perfectly balanced food, with most health benefits coming from their superb balance of healthy fats, minerals and fiber. Enjoy your nuts and seeds raw, not roasted for maximum metabolic impact.

Berries of All Shapes, Colors and Sizes

Humans have evolved eating berries over countless generations. Berries are loaded with fiber which binds with the fruit sugar, fructose to prevent blood sugar from spiking. More importantly all berries are packed with powerful nutrients and phytochemicals which have been shown to lower disease risk and also modify critical obesity regulating genes. Have a cup of berries each day as an aid toward naturally reducing fat reserves.

The foods we eat control our genetic destiny, how we age and the illnesses we develop over the course of many years. The important point to understand is that we’re continually altering our genes daily as we eat, and can change our genetic destiny by modifying our diet. Eating healthy and including fat burning super foods is a smart choice to release excess fat and maintain a natural and healthy weight for life.