Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why Are Antioxidant Supplements So Important?

You've probably heard a lot about antioxidants lately: in the newspaper, in magazines, and on T.V. While many supplements and nutrients have been talked about for as long as you can probably remember, antioxidant supplements are a more recent topic. Don't let this fool you into thinking they're any less important. Antioxidants are a vital part of staying young and healthy. But why are they so important?

First of all, we need to know what an antioxidant is. During normal processes, molecules called free radicals are produced in the body. These are basically unstable atoms or molecules that desperately want to become stable. They do this by stealing electrons from healthy cells, making them unstable and less healthy. Antioxidants reverse this reaction, helping to keep the cells of our body healthy and functioning properly.

One of the most talked about effects of antioxidants is their anti aging properties. As we age, we constantly copy our cells to replace them when they die. Errors in copying occur and build up to form the aging process. Free radicals can also interfere and have been shown to promote wrinkles, memory problems, weakness of the immune system, and reduced elasticity of tissue; all of which are associated with the aging process. We can't completely stop aging, but proper amounts of antioxidants and/or antioxidant supplements can slow the process considerably.

Damage caused by these free radicals is also considered to be a cause of certain cancers. Getting more antioxidants can reduce our risk for certain types of cancer, including cancer of the: stomach, prostate, colon, breast, bladder esophagus, pancreas, and possibly many more. Besides cancer, antioxidants have been shown to help prevent other serious problems, such as: cardiovascular diseases, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and vision problems. It is likely that antioxidants can help prevent other diseases and disorders, but their full effects simply haven't been studied yet.

Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol. When this type of cholesterol oxidizes, it can attach to the walls of blood vessels causing heart disease. This increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Oxidized cholesterol also contributes to the hardening of blood vessel walls increasing the risk of high blood pressure. Antioxidants can help keep your heart and the rest of your circulatory system healthy.

Another great benefit of antioxidants is that they help boost the immune system. If you get sufficient levels of antioxidants, you're not only less likely to get sick; it's also easier for you to fight off diseases you may get. Along these lines, antioxidants can also help you heal faster when you have an injury; large or small.

So what are you waiting for? Today is the best day to start eating right or taking antioxidant supplements to get more of these wonderfully healthy antioxidants.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

8 Healthy Breakfast Tips

A lot of studies and research has shown that kids who eat breakfast perform better in school and have a healthier diet. Eating breakfast will help promote the proper growth and maximize school performance as well. Breakfast is often times a victim of the morning time crunch. Even though you may be tempted to skip breakfast, you can simplify your morning routine by following these 8 tips:

1. Finish homework and pack school bags at night.

2. Decide on what your children will wear to school before you go to bed and locate lost shoes for the following day.

3. In the morning, get up 15 minutes earlier.

4. Give up computer games and morning television.

5. Have healthy foods on hand. You should also shop for breakfast foods with your kids and take into account their personal preferences.

6. Set the cereal out the night before. For younger children, fill a zippered plastic bag with her portion, then add the milk in the morning.

7. Allow your children to use the microwave often, as most breakfast foods can be prepared in under 5 minutes.

8. Allow your kids to eat in the car or on the way to school.

There are several foods that you can eat for breakfast, even leftovers from supper if they are sufficient. You can eat bagels, pizza with fruit juice, pretzels, or the normal bacon and eggs that breakfast is known for. Most foods are a snap to prepare, and won't take you but a few minutes.The next time you are in a hurry in the morning, remember that you are probably about to skip the most important meal of the day. If you follow the tips above, you'll find that you have plenty of time for breakfast

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Tips To Help Keep Your Kids Eating Healthy

Fast food is a big part of modern life these days, making it very hard to teach a child how he or she should eat healthy. The cheapest and easiest foods are those that are normally the least healthy. If you give your child the choice between healthy food and junk food, you normally won't like the results.Even though it isn't possible to get a child to like all healthy foods, there are some ways to get your child to try and hopefully like at least a few of them. You can be as creative as you like, as getting kids to eat healthy foods can be a little harder than you may think.
- Sneak the healthy food in.
Even though it would be great if your kid understood the importance of fruits and vegetables, this isn't always possible. If you can't get them to eat good food willingly, there are ways to sneak them in, such as making muffins out of bananas or apples, or pizza with spinach on it.
- Call fruits and vegetables by funny names.
You can refer to broccoli as "trees", making them more fun to eat. There are many different names you can call fruits and vegetables, even making up your own if you prefer. Most kids prefer to eat foods that sound fun.
- Make the foods taste better.
Ranch dressing is great for broccoli, while peanut butter is a great topping for celery. There are several combinations for vegetables that can make them taste much better. You can let your child pick a topping for a vegetable, even if it's something you wouldn't normally like yourself.
- Dress the vegetables up.
Just as much as calling them names help kids eat healthy foods, making them look funny also helps. You can do this by making funny designs on the plate, or setting them up to look like people.
Although some parents don't like their kids playing with their food, sometimes it helps to get them to eat healthier.There are several ways to make your kids eat healthier, but to make them enjoy it also has to be fun as well. This isn't always an easy task, because kids normally don't like foods that are good for them. It can however, be done with a bit of creativity. Hopefully, doing this will help your child develop a love of healthy foods for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

17 Tips For Eating Healthy At Restaurants

If you go out to a restaurant to eat, you probably watch your calories very closely. To assist you with your calorie watching when dining out, these tips will help you make the most of it.

1. Always order salad dressings or sauces on the side, as this way you have control over how much you add to your meal.

2. When you order grilled fish or vegetables, you should ask that the food be grilled without butter or oil, or prepared with very little or either or.

3. Anytime you order pasta dishes, be on the lookout for tomato based sauces instead of the cream based sauces. Tomato based sauces are much lower in fat and calories, and tomato sauce can even be counted as a vegetable!

4. You should always try to drink water, diet soda, or tea instead of soda or beverages that contain alcohol.

5. If you order dessert, share with a friend. Half of the dessert will equal half of the calories.

6. When you choose a soup, remember that cream based soups are higher in fat and calories than other soups. A soup can be a great appetizer, as most are low in calories and you fill you up pretty fast.

7. When ordering a baked potato, ask for salsa instead of sour cream, butter, cheese, or even bacon. Salsa is very low in calories and provides a healthy alternative with plenty of flavor and spice.

8. When you are full, stop eating. Listen to your body and what it tells you.

9. If you get full, take half of your meal home. The second portion of your meal can serve as a second meal later. This way, you get two meals for the price of one.

10. If you're looking to eat less, order two appetizers or an appetizer and a salad as your meal.

11. If you get a choice of side dishes, get a baked potato or steamed vegetables instead of french fries.

12. Always look for food on the menu that's baked, grilled, broiled, poached, or steamed. These types of cooking use less fat in the cooking process and are usually much lower in calories.

13. Plain bread or rolls are low in both fat and calories. When you add the butter and oil, you increase the fat and calorie intake.

14. As key ingredients to your meal, choose dishes with fruits and vegetables. Both fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals.

15. Choose foods made with whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and dishes made with brown rice.

16. If you crave dessert, look for something with low fat, such as berries or fruit.

17. Always remember not to deprive yourself of the foods you truly love. All types of foods can fit into a well balanced diet.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Supplement With Extra Vitamin A

Did you know that vitamin A has incredible anti-infective powers, as well as immune-boosting benefits? And if that is not enough to get you up and eating my foods rich in vitamin A, here is more good news:

1. Studies have shown that children who ingest extra vitamin A can get over the measles by as much as 50% faster. These children also show fewer complications as a result of having measles. Vitamin A supplements can also help babies heal faster that are suffering from respiratory infections.

2. Vitamin A can aid in preventing complications that result from certain cancer treatments. When you have cancer and are going through chemotherapy or other radiation treatment, it can dramatically lower your immune system. When this happens, your body is prone to pick up infections and other viruses that are floating around.

When cancer patient treatments are given large doses of vitamin A, their immune system has been reported to raise back to incredibly higher levels. However, sometimes with the good comes the bad. And the “bad” that we are referring to here is that too much vitamin A can also become very toxic. So while these studies are showing very promising results, researchers are still working to find a way to reduce toxic levels of vitamin A while increasing the immune system at the same time with this vitamin.

3. Vitamin A can also be used to treat viral infections. When the body does not have a sufficient amount of vitamin A, it becomes susceptible to different illnesses, especially that of viral infections. If you are suffering from a virus then your best defense is to supplement with extra vitamin A. Be sure that it is in the form of beta-carotene which help reduces possible vitamin A toxic levels.

4. Vitamin A boosts immune cells. Vitamin A taken in large doses of beta-carotene can help increase the amount of infection fighting cells within your immune system. These results are especially beneficial to people that are suffering from dramatically reduced immune system levels, such as AIDS patients and cancer patients.

5. Vitamin A can be found in a variety of healthy foods. While it is acceptable to supplement your diet with vitamin A., your goal should be to try to eat as many foods that are rich in beta-carotene is possible. Such foods include any fruits that are in the color of red, orange, and yellow. Vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene include tomatoes, carrots, and cantaloupe. And do not forget your dark green leafy vegetables. They are very potent and beta-carotene, as well as other nutrients.
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Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Healing Power of Cranberry

The cranberry has long been associated with the holiday season, and no Thanksgiving feast would be complete without at least a few cranberry dishes. In addition to the delicious taste of the cranberry, however, this wholesome fruit has many important health benefits as well.

How nutritious is the cranberry?

The cranberry is very high in a number of important nutrients, in particular many important antioxidant vitamins. Nutritionists and other experts all talk about the many benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and cranberries are an excellent way to fit five servings a day of fruits and vegetables into even the busiest lifestyle.

One of the reasons that fruits like the cranberry are so much more effective than packaged vitamin pills is that fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of nutrients, including the important phytonutrients which have been shown in study after study to lead to increased levels of health and fitness.

Other advantages of the cranberry

In addition to its role in optimizing overall health and fitness, the cranberry is thought to play a role in reducing the occurrence of urinary tract infection. The reason for this effect is thought to be the proanthocyanidins (PACs) contained in cranberries. These PACs have been shown to prevent certain types of bacteria, including dangerous E. coli, from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.

In addition to helping to prevent urinary tract infections, the PACs contained in the cranberry are thought to help prevent gum disease and stomach ulcers, using the same anti-adhesion mechanism.

In addition to these important roles in good health, there is growing evidence that the phytonutrients and antioxidants contained in the cranberry and other fruits may help to protect against a variety of diseases, including such major killers as cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants gain their healing power through their ability to fight the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are part of the normal processes of the cells of the body, but they can be quite damaging to health. Antioxidants work to mitigate the damage caused by free radicals, and therefore they are thought to play an important role in preventing degenerative diseases and even retarding the aging process.

Fortunately for those who want to include more cranberry products in their diet, these products are plentiful, inexpensive and available all year long. Fresh cranberries are available in many major grocery stores and supermarkets for much of the year, and when they are not available there are plenty of canned and frozen cranberry products to take their place.

In addition to fresh, canned and frozen cranberry, there are a number of excellent cranberry based products on the market. In addition to the cranberry sauce that is part of every traditional Thanksgiving celebration, there is cranberry juice and even cranberry pudding. With all these choices, it is easy to fit more cranberry into just about any diet. And with all the health benefits cranberries contain there is no reason not to enjoy more of this tasty treat.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

How To Help Fight Stress With Healthy Eating

Whenever we get too busy or stressed, we all tend to make poor food choices that will actually increase stress and cause other problems. To get the most of your healthy eating and avoid stress, follow these simple tips.

Always eat breakfast -
Even though you may think you aren't hungry, you need to eat something. Skipping breakfast makes it harder to maintain the proper blood and sugar levels during the day, so you should always eat something.

Carry a snack
Keeping some protein rich snacks in your car, office, or pocket book will help you avoid blood sugar level dips, the accompanying mood swings, and the fatigue. Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients you need.

Healthy munchies
If you like to munch when you're stressed out, you can replace chips or other non healthy foods with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.

Bring your lunch
Although a lot of people prefer to eat fast food for lunch, you can save a lot of money and actually eat healthier if you take a few minutes and pack a lunch at home. Even if you only do this a few times a week, you'll see a much better improvement over eating out.

Stock your home -
As important as it is to get the bad food out of your house, it's even more important to get the good food in! The best way to do this is to plan a menu of healthy meals at snacks at the beginning of the week, list the ingedients you need, then go shop for it. This way, you'll know what you want when you need it and you won't have to stress over what to eat.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Healthy Eating

People who eat in unhealthy ways have many bad habits in common, but number one on this list is eating when they are not really hungry. Hunger is something that happens when your body needs fuel, and it is the pang we feel in our stomachs when we haven't eaten all day, often accompanied by noises. However, even when your stomach is growling, it is important to remember that most of us have enough body fat to survive for many days.

Hunger is something that is as mental as it is physical, and because of this, dieters must learn to overcome it. Many things occur to make you think that you are hungry. Food is most often prepared in a very appetizing way, especially in restaurants or on television commercials. Food that smells or looks good does not make you hungry, it simply makes you desire food. This goes a long way when you are already eating. If you are dieting, try to stop eating when you feel satisfied, instead of continuing to eat just because the food tastes good.A number of people also "feel hungry" when they are stressed or worried about things in life. The term "comfort food" refers to the foods we eat that make us feel better. This is usually something from our childhood or something that reminds us of a parent. When you eat because you are stressed, you are not eating because you are hungry. Therefore, stress can be a very detrimental thing to your diet. If you are trying to start a healthier lifestyle, try to reduce the stress from your life as well.

People eat when they are not hungry for a variety of other reasons as well. Often times, food is a way to relieve boredom. If you find yourself wondering to the kitchen many times a day for little snacks, this is probably the case. Simply try to stay out of the kitchen. You may also eat when you're not hungry because certain foods are associated with certain events. Popcorn, for instance, is associated with watching a movie, so you may be tempted to buy the jumbo bucket at the theatre even though you may have just eaten a satisfying dinner. There is no easy fix to bad habits that make you eat when you're not hungry-it is simply imperative that you see food as something that can be good for your body at the right times and a harmful drug at other times. The first step in any addictive process is realizing these habits and attempting to stop.