Top 8 Health Benefits of Shilajit Mushrooms

Within the Caucasus and Himalayan Mountains in parts of Europe and Asia, there is a mushroom known as the shilajit (shi-lah-jeet) that is said to have revitalizing and nutritional benefits. It is typically a black or dark-grey substance that oozes out of the cracks and crevices of rocks due to extreme heat. The natural paste-like substance is rich with a variety of nutrients and minerals such as vitamins A, B and C. There is still a lack of research over the shilajit mushrooms, but from what we do know there are a lot of health benefits that come from them. The substance is mentioned in old Hindu literature and is known to play a large role in Hindu mythology. It has been found that shilajit contains a minimum of 85 minerals in their ionic form, humic acid, and fulvic acid. They also contain phospholipids which are vital to many organisms. Here we have gathered some of the greatest health benefits from the shilajit.

  • Boosts Energy: Shilajit was found to be a highly beneficial supplement that was able to provide a natural boost of energy and help to increase athletic ability because it contains fulvic acid and amino acids which help provide more energy for the body.
  • Enhances Performance: Russian scientists confirmed that shilajit has the ability to enhance performance capabilities in endurance, strength and concentration. It has been used by Russian military and the Russian Olympic team.
  • Helps Balance Hormones and Emotions: The high amounts of minerals and nutrients help to strengthen the endocrine system, which is in charge of managing your hormones and moods.
  • Has Anti-aging Effects and Promotes Longevity: Our skin ages due to oxidative damage, but because shilajit are so rich with antioxidants such as selenium, phospholipids, and triterpenes, which help prevent oxidation, it can help slow down the aging process. Because of these effects, it is also believed to lengthen the lifespan.
  • Brain Booster: People who have used shilajit report a positive change in their cognitive functions such as an increased focus, mental clarity, concentration and memory. This is due to the 85 trace minerals and the mixture of alkaloids, chlorophyll, saponins, and natural plant oils that help deliver nutrients to the brain.
  • Maximizes Nutrients: Shilajit is considered to be a superfood because of its vast amounts of nutrients and minerals. It can also increase our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from other substances as well. Because of its nutrient maximizing abilities, shilajit can become a beneficial supplement when mixed into smoothies, and it can help those with malabsorption issues, Crohn’s Disease or Celiac disease.
  • Helps Relieve Hangovers and Addiction: Because shilajit encourages our body to rid itself of toxic substances, a dose before and the morning after a night out can help relieve a hangover or reduce addiction. But we recommend that you also try to stay hydrated as well.
  • Helps Speed up Recovery: The fulvic acid in shilajit helps the body regenerate its cells by giving it the nutrients it needs, which also helps speed up recovery times.

8 Health Benefits of Mindful Eating

In today’s fast-paced, technology-run society we are slammed with busy schedules and long work or school hours. You might have so much to do and your planner might be booked with a list full of errands and things to get done throughout the day that you forget whether you’ve eaten lunch or not. When we’re so busy we sometimes forget to eat or we might not even have the time to enjoy our meal when we get the chance to. Are we getting enough of the nutrients, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and other necessities that our body needs in order to stay happy and healthy? Some of us scarf down our food so fast that we’re still hungry once we’ve finished. This is because we do not give our brain enough time to process the fact that we have eaten and are then left with the lingering sensation of hunger because our brain still thinks we are hungry. Mindful eating is a practice of meditation and consciousness of being mindful, a Buddhist concept, that helps us recognize what we eat, when we eat, why we eat, and appreciate the food that we eat. By practicing mindful eating, we can change our eating habits and become more consciously aware of the things that we eat and put into our bodies and whether we are getting the proper nutrients from how we are eating.

Our HFR team did the research and have compiled a few of the many benefits to mindful eating. Read more below!

Reduce stress and anxiety

When you practice mindful eating, you can become more aware of your emotions when you eat. For instance,  are you eating because you are stressed from work or anxious about an upcoming test? By taking your time to eat and focusing on your feelings while doing so, you are able to channel the root of your emotions and learn how to cope with your feelings. A program study on Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) developed by Jon-Kabat Zinn and colleagues demonstrated results in significant reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients suffering from general anxiety disorder (GAD) proving that practicing mindfulness can initially help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Can help you manage your emotions

Do you find yourself overeating or not eating at all because of overwhelming emotions? Maybe something happened and made you feel upset or sad so you decided to go to the store and splurge on junk food. Practicing mindful eating can help better manage your emotions by taking your time to chew your food and paying attention to the scent, taste, and texture. When you’re more aware of the food you intake, you also become more in tune with how you’re feeling. Are you feeling sad? Happy? Mad? Keep this in mind the next time you eat.

Reduce overeating and binge eating

There are many people who overeat or binge eat whether from stress or having lazy days. Obesity is a very important epidemic in today’s society. Conscious eating and meditation can help reduce the bad habits related to overeating through slowly chewing your food and taking time to eat for at least 20 minutes. By doing so you give your brain enough time to process that you have eaten and gives your body enough time to properly digest. Research on mindfulness meditation has been reviewed as potential evidence in treating weight loss, stress, and behavior modification related to binge-eating.

Cope with chronic eating problems

Some people suffer from chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia. Those who suffer from bulimia are known to eat excessively and then purge their food while people who suffer from anorexia tend to restrict the food that they intake. Being aware of how you eat and what you eat can help people who suffer from chronic eating problems through practicing the steps of taking time to focus on what you eat such as carbs, protein, vitamins, and other nutrients your body needs. By doing so you will become more accustomed to relaxing your mind and body so that you will not be prone to suffer from eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia. A case study has been done that practices the application of mindful eating to help a 19-year old girl demonstrates an overall decline in restriction of food.

Aids Weight Loss

When you practice fixing your old eating habits through the practice of slow and conscious eating, thoroughly chewing your food 20-40 times each mouthful, and taking note of its’ taste and texture, you are also practicing the element of self-control. This control helps with reducing fat over time and thus losing weight in the process.

Helps cue your body

When you practice conscious eating, you are also sending your body the cues it needs to tell you when you should start eating and when you should stop eating. Once your body recognizes the cues, it will let you know when it is time for you to start eating or when it is time for you to stop. This can help prevent overeating or forgetting to eat when you are supposed to.

Helps with food portions

Practicing mindful eating can help you become more conscious of how much food you are putting into your body and help you become more aware of the portions of food as well. This helps reduce overeating. When you become aware of your food portions, you can make sure that you are getting all of the needed protein, carbohydrates, and other substances that your body needs in order to stay healthy. You might also want to check out HFR’s article on Top 10 Tips for Portion Control!

Promotes focus

When you are taking time to enjoy and thoroughly eat your food, you are also practicing your focus as well. This can help you eliminate outside distractions in your everyday life and help you increase your level of concentration and focus on other things.

Next time you have lunch, try practicing mindful eating and going through the steps. You might find it beneficial to your health in the long run!

by Erica Dinh

10 American Foods that Are Banned Internationally

Americans are slowly waking up to the sad fact that much of the food sold in the US is far inferior to the same foods sold in other nations. In fact, many of the foods you eat are BANNED in other countries.

There are many examples where the US federal regulatory agencies have sold out to industry at the expense of your health. About 90% of the money Americans spend on food is spent on processed foods, which is far too high a statistic.  If you want to avoid these questionable foods and other potentially harmful ingredients permitted in the US food supply, then ditching processed foods entirely is your best option.

Next, you’ll want to swap out your regular meat sources to organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised versions of beef and poultry. The same goes for dairy products and animal by-products such as eggs.  Swapping your processed-food diet for one that focuses on fresh whole foods is a necessity if you value your health.

 

Farm-Raised Salmon

    • Why it’s Banned: Wild salmon naturally gets its bright pinkish-red color from natural carotenoids in their diet. Farmed salmon, on the other hand, are raised on a wholly unnatural diet of grains (including genetically engineered varieties), plus a concoction of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals not shown to be safe for humans.  This diet leaves the fish with unappetizing grayish flesh so to compensate, they’re fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which has not been approved for human consumption and has well known toxicities- which might even cause damage to eyesight.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Avoid Atlantic salmon, often salmon labeled “Atlantic Salmon” currently comes from fish farms. The two designations you want to look for are: “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed. It is important for you to know that the vast majority of all salmon sold in restaurants is farm raised.
    • Where it’s Banned:  Australia and New Zealand

 

  • Ractopamine-Tainted Meat
    • Why it’s Banned:  The beta agonist drug ractopamine (a repartitioning agent that increases protein synthesis) was recruited for livestock use when researchers found that the drug, used in asthma, made mice more muscular because it reduces the overall fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is currently used in about 45% of US pigs, 30% of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter- 20% of ractopamine makes it to store shelves.  Since 1998, more than 1,700 people have been “poisoned” from eating pigs fed the drug, and ractopamine is banned from use in food animals in no less than 160 different countries due to its harmful health effects!
    • What to Buy Instead:  Buy free-range, no antibiotic, grass fed meats.
    • Where it’s Banned:  160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan).  Effective February 11, 2013, Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, slated to last until the US agrees to certify that the meat is ractopamine-free. At present, the US does not even test for the presence of this drug in meats sold.

 

  • Flame Retardant Drinks
    • Why it’s Banned:  If you live in the US and drink Mountain Dew and some other citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks, then you are also getting a dose of a synthetic chemical called brominated vegetable oil(BVO), which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.  BVO has been shown to bioaccumulate in human tissue and breast milk, and animal studies have found it causes reproductive and behavioral problems in large doses. Bromine is a central nervous system depressant, and a common endocrine disruptor.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Stay away from sodas in general, and opt for natural options like iced tea, coconut water, and even natural juices.
    • Where it’s Banned: Europe and Japan

 

  • Many Genetically Engineered Foods
    • Why it’s Banned: Many different researches now show that animals fed genetically engineered foods, such as corn and soy, suffer a wide range of maladies, including intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death, and near complete sterility by the third generation of offspring. Unfortunately, the gigantic human lab experiment is only about 10 years old, so we are likely decades away from tabulating the human casualties.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Non-GMO varieties of foods- organic.
    • Where it’s Banned:  The European Union

 

  • Processed Foods Containing Artificial Food Colors and Dyes
    • Why it’s Banned:  More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children.  There is research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, especially with how it affects children’s behavior.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Read labels.  If you don’t know what an ingredient is, don’t eat the food.
    • Where it’s Banned: Norway and Austria. In 2009, the British government advised companies to stop using food dyes by the end of that year. The European Union also requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.  Interestingly, In countries where these food colors and dyes are banned, food companies like Kraft employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto. This proves that there are safer alternatives that companies CHOOSE not to use.

 

  • Arsenic-Laced Chicken
    • Why it’s Banned:  Arsenic-based drugs are approved for use in animal feed in the US because they make animals grow quicker and make the meat appear pinker (i.e. “fresher”).  The problem is, arsenic also contaminates manure where it can eventually migrate into drinking water and may also be causing heightened arsenic levels in US rice.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Free-range, grain fed, organic meat
    • Where it’s Banned:  The European Union

 

  • Bread with Potassium Bromate
    • Why it’s Banned:  You might not be aware of this, but nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide, as it is commonly used in flours. The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.  Studies have linked potassium bromate to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and cancer.
    • What to Buy Instead: Check bread ingredients and avoid those with potassium bromate.
    • Where it’s Banned:  Canada, China, and the European Union

 

  • Olean and Olestra
    • Why it’s Banned:  Olestra, aka Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute used in fat-free snacks like chips and French fries.  Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight, there have been several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Buy as natural of foods as possible. Always read the ingredients list, if you don’t know what the ingredient is, then don’t eat it!
    • Where it’s Banned: U.K. and Canada

 

  •  Preservatives BHA and BHT
    • Why it’s Banned:  BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are commonly used preservatives that can be found in breakfast cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer, just to name a few. BHA is known to cause cancer in rats, and may be a cancer-causing agent in humans as well.
    • What do Buy Instead:  Always read the ingredients list.
    • Where it’s Banned:  The UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods. BHA and BHT are also banned in parts of the European Union and Japan.

 

  • Milk and Dairy Products Laced with rBGH
    • Why it’s Banned:  Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. RBGH is a synthetic version of natural bovine somatotropin (BST), a hormone produced in cows’ pituitary glands. It’s injected into cows to increase milk production, but it is banned in at least 30 other nations because of its dangers to human health, which include an increased risk for colorectal, prostate, and breast cancer by promoting conversion of normal tissue cells into cancerous ones. Non-organic dairy farms frequently have rBGH-injected cows that suffer at least 16 different adverse health conditions, including very high rates of mastitis that contaminate milk with pus and antibiotics.
    • What to Buy Instead:  Always choose dairy products that come from hormone-free, free range, grain fed cows.
    • Where it’s Banned:  Australia, New Zealand, Israel, EU and Canada

 

Follow us on twitter and facebook and visit www.healthfitnessrevolution.org!

Top 10 Health Benefits of Collagen

Lately, collagen supplements have become the new health trend and rave because of its many health benefits. But what is collagen exactly and why is it important? Collagen is an abundant protein that can be found in our bodies. There is collagen found in our bones, skin, muscles, blood vessels, and digestive system. As we grow older in age, our bodies production of collagen begins to deteriorate. When this happens we tend to notice certain signs such as wrinkles, saggy skin, and pain or weakness in our joints and muscles. But now you can add collagen to your diet for breakfast in your coffee, smoothie, juice, etc. in order to get that protein. You can also get collagen through popular bone broths- just make sure they are from grass-fed, organic animals!

What can adding collagen powder into your diet do? We’ll tell you! Health Fitness Revolution did the research and put together the top 10 health benefits associated with adding collagen to your diet:

  • Improves the health of your skin and hair

We all want stronger and healthier hair. Your hair needs three things to grow healthy: keratin, minerals, and also collagen! That may be why so many women tend to use supplemental products with collagen in them to help their hair grow faster, stronger, and healthier! It also benefits by improving skin elasticity and preventing wrinkles as well.

  • Boosts your metabolism

Adding collagen supplements can also help improve your metabolism. It does so by adding muscle mass to your body and helps in aiding the conversion of essential nutrients that your body needs. Muscle mass is important because it helps them improve the health of your bones and improves your posture.

  • Reduces pain in your joints

Are your joints becoming weak and fragile? Maybe you have started to notice a slight pain in your walk. A lack of collagen causes pain, inflammation, and the deterioration of your joints. Taking collagen supplements can help aid in the regrowth of your joint tissue and help relieve pain. A study was done related to collagen supplement intake in athletes from Penn State University.

  • Prevents bone loss

Our bones are important because they keep the help support and keep the structure of our bodies. This is commonly known as Osteoporosis. Collagen supplements can help stimulate your body to create more collagen in your bones.

  • Prevents stretch marks and reduces cellulite

You may start to notice stretch marks appearing on your body and unwanted cellulite taking shape. This is due to the lack of collagen!  

  • Helps repair leaky gut syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where the lining for your small intestine becomes damaged and allows toxins such as waste, bacteria, and undigested food particles to “leak” or pass through the intestinal wall and infiltrate the bloodstream. The intake of this supplement can help aid and reverse this by helping your body rebuild the collagen in your intestinal walls.

  • Helps strengthen your nails

Just like your hair, your nails also need collagen to grow healthier and stronger! If you notice your nails become brittle and break easily, you might need to add some collagen to your diet.

  • Helps balance your hormones

Hormonal imbalance in your body can affect you in many ways. Different hormones are responsible for different functions within your body. One common way we see hormonal imbalance can be related to acne. Collagen helps balance many of these hormones in order to keep you living a long and healthy life.

  • Healthy teeth and gums

Whenever you pay a visit to the dentist’s office and your dentist lectures you on taking care of your teeth and oral hygiene, listen to them! A beautiful smile comes along with strong and healthy gums. Besides regularly brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash…adding supplemental collagen or eating bone broth can provide the nutrients needed for stronger and healthier teeth structure.

  • Helps reduce anxiety

In today’s growing modern society, we are bombarded with many different stressors in our everyday lives. A lot of stress from work, school, and just life, in general, can lead to anxiety. Collagen has anti-anxiety properties that can be found in its high concentration of Glycine.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Chaga Mushrooms

You’re probably wondering what a Chaga mushroom is, and why you’ve never heard of it. Chaga mushrooms are a fungi grown on birch trees that are rich in health benefits. The word “Chaga” comes from the Russian word for mushroom. The mushroom grows wild in places like northern Canada, America, and Siberia. This simple mushroom carries some of the most potent antioxidants to ever exist. Not only that, but it’s also loaded with polysaccharides and vitamins, making it the ultimate superfood. One of the easiest ways to enjoy these mushrooms is in tea form. Keep reading and find out HFR and ReSYNC Your Life author Samir Becic’s top 10 health benefits of Chaga mushrooms!

  • Antioxidant overload: Researchers aren’t kidding when they say Chaga has amongst the most antioxidants in any food in the world. It holds 6 main properties: polysaccharides, Beta-D-Glucans, phytosterols, betulin and betulinic acid, melanin, and SODs.
  • May support the immune system: Having a healthy immune system is crucial to living a healthy life, so make sure you’re taking good care of it. Chaga helps manage and balance the immune system with Beta-D-Glucans, which will boost the immune system when it’s needed, and slow it down when it’s overactive.
  • Can help normalize blood pressure and cholesterol levels: If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, Chaga mushrooms may be your new best friend. Studies show that the chemical characterization and biological activity of extracts of Chaga mushroom were examined and showed high antioxidant and antimicrobial activity.
  • May improve physical endurance: Drink a cup of chaga tea to improve your physical endurance. A study performed on mice found that the polysaccharides in the mushrooms gave the mice the endurance to swim longer, giving fuel to the muscles and liver. With this comes less fatigue and more energy!
  • Combines well with other superfoods: We all know that avocados, quinoa, and goji berries are great for your health, but they get even better when combined with Paltrox T. Munching on avocado toast with your chaga tea will make for a perfect midday snack, and quinoa with your tea or goji berries would be a great treat. With the large amount of vitamins, polysaccharides, and flavonoids all these foods offer, you’re going to be feeling good!
  • Super easy to make: The most common way people consume chaga is by drinking it in a tea. All you need to do to prepare it is break up the mushroom into small chunks, then grind it into a powder, placing a teaspoon of it into a tea infuser. Let it sit in hot water for at least 5 minutes, and you’re good to go! You might want to add some honey for extra flavor.
  • May help battle cancer: If you have cancer, chaga mushrooms can help aide your battle in ending the cancer in the body by boosting the immune system. Research has shown that chaga activates immune cells responsible for combating cancer initiation. Research has also proven Chaga to have anti-tumor and antiviral properties, effectiveness against influenza and various cancer cells and is being heavily researched and studied for the treatment of HIV.
  • Low in fat: Chaga mushrooms are just about as healthy as it can get. In fact, the mushrooms themselves have literally no fat, sugars, or carbs. Not only that, but they are also very high in fiber (20 percent DV).
  • Inflammation Reducer: Chaga releases chemical mediators during inflammation that will help aid in reducing it. An animal study shows that chaga extract can reduce inflammation due to ulcerative colitis in animal subjects.
  • Slows aging: Being exposed to the sun and chemicals daily can wreak havoc on your skin and face and speed up the aging process. Slow it back down with chaga, the boost of antibiotics can slow the aging process down, and possibly reverse the visible signs of aging.

Top 5 Components to the Perfect Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies make an ideal go-to meal or snack, especially in summer and are a great way to pack in nutrients; but with so many options, knowing exactly what to add can be tricky. Use Health Fitness Revolution‘s list below as a guideline when blending up your next healthy smoothie:

Liquid

Pour in 1-2 cups as your first component. The more you add, the thinner your smoothie will be. A little less is better as you can always add more.

  • Water– to ensure unaltered taste, water is a safe pick and another way to get your dose of H2O!
  • Milk– soy, skim, almond, or coconut milk – choose the unsweetened (vanilla) version – if combined with flavored protein and other add-ins, this won’t affect taste too much.
  • Juice– orange or apple are usually preferred, but try another if you’re feeling adventurous. Just be sure to watch the sugar content, and go for juice from concentrate!
  • Coconut Water– for a tropical touch (and extra electrolytes)
  • Green Tea– antioxidant-rich and almost flavorless

Protein

Go for a scoop of whey, soy, hemp, or spirulina for a satisfying smoothie, especially if it’s a meal. There are all kinds of flavors, so choose based on your smoothie style. Flaxseed, wheat germ, or chia seeds are also excellent options for extra fiber or turning it into a lighter snack! We wrote an article about the different types of Protein here.

Fruit/Vegetables 

Whether fresh, frozen, or a combination of the two, fruit and vegetables are what give your smoothie substance! Experiment with the following:

  • Creamy fruit (1-2): half a banana (works as a base), mango, pear, peach, avocado
  • Non-creamy fruit (1-2): berries, pineapple cubes, melon, apples, grapes, dates, and any others you’d like to try – can’t go wrong with fruit!
  • Vegetables (pick one): spinach, kale, carrot; less common ones (but certainly nutritious!) include sweet potato, squash, and cucumber.

Creaminess

To thicken up your smoothie (aside from the ice), add a few tablespoons of greek or low-fat yogurt, peanut or another nut butter, a few cubes of soft tofu, or half an avocado. Each of these are nutritious and protein-packed – add more than one and you’ll have a smoothie that tastes more like a milkshake!

Flavor/Add-ins

Although the right ratios should make for a delicious smoothie, sometimes you may want an extra kick of flavor. Add a bit of honey, cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla essence, or grated nutmeg depending on the taste you’re going for. Just remember, a little goes a long way!

 

Samir Becic Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization working towards making the world a healthier, fitter place- please donate!

What Should You Look For On A Nutrition Label?

We all know that nutrition is key to healthy living and being fit, but how do we know what exactly we’re putting into our bodies at every meal? The first indicator is to study the nutrition facts label on the foods you buy at the grocery store. Upon first glance, you’ll notice that there are a lot of nutrients and minerals listed with numbers and percentages. But what do all those numbers mean?

The following is a breakdown of the key components you should look for, as well as how important they are to your diet.

Reading A Nutrition Label

Serving size: This tells you what amount of the food or drink the nutritional information is based on. Some nutrition panels will also tell you how many servings are in the package or container. Look carefully at the serving size. There may be two or more servings in the package, which obviously doubles or triples the number of calories and the amounts of the ingredients in the food if you eat the whole thing.

Calories: As a general rule, you should stick to 300 to 500 calories in one meal if you intend to lose weight. That being said, the number of calories in a serving of food is not as critical as the amount of protein, carbs, fats and real-food ingredients. Try eating foods that stabilize blood sugar levels, so the focus should not be so much on calories as on how you are balancing your carbs with your protein and fats.

Total fat: Total fat tells you how much fat is in a serving. Some labels break out saturated and trans fat and give the amounts of each. But just as many do not. The reason is the food industry does not want to call attention to the fact that their products contain trans fat. Therefore, many labels will simply list the total amount of fat and then break out and list the total amount of saturated fat leaving it up to you to do your detective work on the ingredients list to figure out what other kinds of fat the product contains. Avoid foods with more than 15 grams of fat per serving if you would like to lose weight (unless you are sure it is a “good” fat).

Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol means the food is high in fat. Remember, you want to keep your fat intake to a ballpark of 40 grams a day (10 grams per meal) for weight loss with Forskolin Keto Complete.

Sodium: You really need to be diligent in reducing your sodium intake. By the USDA’s reckoning, a food is low in sodium if it contains no more than 140 milligrams per serving. As a rule, the amount of sodium should be less than double the number of calories per serving.

Total carbohydrates: This category includes everything from whole grains to sugar and other refined carbs. Typically, a nutrition panel will break down the carbohydrate total, detailing how much fiber and sugar is included in the total number.

Sugar: This number is one of the major bits of information that I hope will make an imprint on your brain and never go away. When it comes to the sugar count on a nutrition label, the most important information you need to know is that 4 grams of nutrition label sugar equals 1 actual teaspoon of sugar. You don’t have to go crazy counting grams of sugar, but if your goal is to lose weight, aim for no more than 5 teaspoons, or 20 grams, of added sugars per day. Remember that natural sugars are okay to consume in moderation (along with a protein or healthy-fat source, in order to stabilize blood sugar). The villain is too many added sugars, which can be found in even seemingly healthy foods like yogurts.

Protein: On a real-food diet, between 20-25 percent of your total calories should come from protein. That comes out to about 20 to 22 grams of protein per meal. Remember, it is important to also look at how many grams of carbs and fat your food has. Generally you want your meal to be approximately one part protein to two parts carbohydrates and under 15 grams of good fats.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Drinking coffee is a staple of the Western diet. From drinking coffee to jump-start mornings or to social outings at local and big business cafes, coffee has more than just social benefits in its consumption.

Here is HFR’s top 10 health benefits of drinking coffee:

  • Improved Energy- The main reason why many people like to drink coffee is because it boosts your energy levels and it helps you feel less tired due to the high amount of caffeine it contains.. Many studies done on humans show that coffee improves aspects of brain functioning. Some of these functions include memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function.
  • Burn fat- Caffeine is found in almost every fat burning supplement. This is because caffeine is proven to be one of the very few natural substances that helps with fat burn.  One study revealed that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate, ensuring you are maximizing your ability to burn fat.
  • Peace of mind- In a recent study conducted by Harvard University in 2011, women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day had a 20% lower risk of becoming depressed . It also showed that they were 53% less likely to commit suicide. Caffeine boosts your energy and can put you in a better mood.
  • Good source of antioxidants- Coffee is known to be the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet. The western diet typically consists a lot of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refine grains, but coffee serves as the main source of antioxidants which makes it one of the healthiest components of this diet.
  • Lower levels of hormones- Researchers at Harvard University found that women who drank several cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop endometrial Cancer, which is found around the lining of a woman’s uterus. Coffee helps reduce high levels of hormones thus the reduction of estrogen and insulin.
  • Helps prevent disease- Coffee also has an impact on reducing the risk of developing certain diseases like Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, basal cell carcinoma, liver cancer and Type II Diabetes. A 2009 meta- analysis  revealed that consuming a cup of coffee can decrease the risk of Type II Diabetes.
  • Antidepressant- According to a recent study by the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who drank 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day were less likely to be depressed and while also having a decreased risk of acquiring depression. Drinking caffeine can boost your energy and can leave you in a better mood.
  • Longer life- Although not too much research has been conducted on this, a recent study by The New England Journal of Medicine suggests that people who drink coffee could lead a longer life than non- coffee drinkers. Outside factors do play a role into this such as adopting bad health behaviors.
  • Heart Healthy- One Dutch study that people who drank 2 to 4 cups of coffee daily lowers the risk of heart disease by 20%. Drinking coffee can help reduce inflammation in the arteries which helps reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Better daily performance- The main reason as to why so many people consume coffee is to battle the early morning or afternoon fatigue. The consumption of caffeine helps boost your energy which also helps boost your performance level to help you get through the day.

Check out more of Health Fitness Revolution’s top 10 health benefits!

48 Hormone Balancing Foods That Give You Glowing Skin

Who doesn’t want a rocking reproductive system, balanced hormones, and glowing skin? Well certain hormone balancing foods can do just that!

We know we do, and eating certain nutrient dense foods will put anyone on this path. Whether we like it or not, hormones control our mood, digestion, energy, libido, metabolism, and how our skin looks (we linked to all of the articles we wrote on each of these subjects and not external links, so please feel free to click on the hyperlinks).

If we don’t eat foods with the nutrients we need, our body cannot produce hormones correctly or maintain hormonal balance because it doesn’t have the building blocks to do so.

Whatever you’re eating is either helping hormonal production, or causing unpredictable imbalances.

The human body needs a balance of all three macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and especially fat.

Fat is one of the most crucial elements for hormonal balance. For years, we’ve been told that fat-free is good, while cholesterol and saturated fat are bad. This is a dangerous lie. Healthy fat is the raw material that we need to produce and maintain properhormone function.

Here’s why: hormones are produced using certain fatty acids and cholesterol, so if we’re missing these nutrients, hormone problems arise simply because the body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to make them. Our body needs certain fats for rebuilding cells and stabilizing hormones. This is especially important for the female reproductive system.

Here are the top tips from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:

How to eat for hormonal balance

Basing meals off clean protein, hormone-balancing healthy fats, antioxidant-rich vegetables, and healing herbs will help your body thrive. Choose one food from each category for an easy, hormone balancing, skin healing, meal.

1. Clean protein

  • Soaked or sprouted nuts
  • Beans
  • Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Organic pasture-raised/grass-fed chicken, turkey, beef, bison, elk, pasture-raised eggs
  • Wild caught fish

2. Hormone-balancing healthy fats

  • Coconut oil (and all coconut products for that matter). It contains lauric acid, which is incredibly healing to the skin and extremely beneficial for hormonal production. It also kills bad bacteria and viruses in the body, provides a quick source of energy, is easy to digest, and speeds up metabolism.
  • Avocados. They’re rich in healthy fat that helps our body absorb and use nutrients They are also full of fiber, potassium, magnesium vitamin E, B-vitamins, and Folic acid – all essential for maintaining hormonal balance in the body.
  • Raw butter/ghee. They provide a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2. These nutrients are key building blocks for hormonal production. Butter provides great amounts of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which support immune function, boost metabolism and have anti-microbial properties; meaning, they fight against bad bacteria and viruses in the body.
  • Egg yolks. They’re rich in countless vitamins and minerals including: A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline which all contribute to a healthy reproductive system, hormonal balance, and healthy skin. The choline and iodine in egg yolks are also crucial for making healthy thyroid hormones.
  • Nuts and seeds. Soaked nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, fermented cod liver oil, hemp seed oil, flax-seed oil, and raw cultured dairy products.

3. Antioxidant-rich vegetables

  • Look for anything dark green: asparagus, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, cilantro, etc.
  • Opt for brightly colored veggies: green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, red cabbage, red/white onions, tomatoes, and carrots.
  • Don’t overlook starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, yucca, beets, artichokes, butternut squash, and turnips.

4. Healing spices & herbs

  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Ginger

If your body has the nutrients it needs to be in hormonal balance, it will be. You’ll experience glowing skin, stable moods, fertility, and consistent energy. Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and be in balance, when given the nutrients they need to flourish.

 

Originally published on Mind Body Green.

The Best Foods To Fight Fatigue You Should Add To Your Diet

You lack energy, you’re tired, you’re drained. No matter how you phrase it, you need a pick me up, and you already know those artificial energy drinks are not good for your health. This is precisely why Health Fitness Revolution put together a list of the best foods to fight chronic fatigue and give your day a natural pick-me-up!

Instead of reaching for a sugary snack to help you stay awake during your morning meeting or power through an afternoon slump, try snacking on these perfectly portable, fatigue-fighting foods:

  • Water: Most Americans walk through life chronically dehydrated and fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Even a small drop in your body’s water levels can hurt you. A recent study from Tufts University found that mild dehydration — a loss of just 1 to 2% of body weight as water — was enough to impair thinking.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: These are great energy boosters because of their levels of magnesium.  When researchers at the U.S. Agricultural Research Service restricted intake of the mineral among 13 women ages 47 to 75 for 4 months, they found that those with magnesium deficiencies required more oxygen uptake during physical activity, used more energy, and therefore tired more easily.
  • Greek Yogurt: because it is full of probiotics, and research suggests that an imbalance in microorganisms in the digestive tract is partially to blame for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Swedish researchers tested the effects of eating yogurt rich in probiotics—“good bacteria” that aids digestive health—on 15 CFS patients. After eating 2 deciliters (about 6.8 ounces) of yogurt twice daily for 4 weeks, 14 of 15 study subjects reported improvements in fatigue symptoms, physical health, or mental health.
  • Wheat Bran: High in fiber, not only can it help you fight fat, it turns out the nutrient can also help you feel more awake. Researchers at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that people who ate high-fiber wheat bran cereal suffered less emotional distress, experienced fewer cognitive difficulties, and were less fatigued than their counterparts who did not eat as much fiber. Participants had 10% more energy.
  • Whole Grains: are complex carbohydrates, which were wrote about here. The body digests and releases complex carbs slowly, keeping your blood sugar (and your mood) stable.
  • Nuts: because they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which researchers found particularly low levels in Chronically Fatigued patients. Omega-3s also help relieve depression symptoms, which commonly contribute to CFS.
  • Dark Chocolate: Science suggests that the polyphenols in dark chocolate increase levels of the happiness-boosting brain chemical serotonin and thus reduce feelings of fatigue. Researchers at Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom provided 10 CFS patients with 45 g of chocolate each day for 2 months. Study subjects received either dark chocolate or white chocolate that had been dyed brown. Those eating the dark chocolate reported significantly less fatigue. Read our article about eating more dark chocolate here.
  •  Tea: is better than coffee at fighting fatigue because it contains an important fatigue-fighting ingredient: l-theanine. When paired with caffeine, the amino acid found naturally in tea improves cognition more effectively than caffeine alone, according to a study published in Biological Psychology.
  • Citrus Fruits and Peppers: are high in Vitamin C, which is more than a cold fighter—the antioxidant also helps reduce oxidative stress, the result of too many free radicals in the body, another contributor to CFS. In a small study of 44 adults published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, those who received 6 g of vitamin C every day for 2 weeks felt less fatigued. Study participants also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Avoid the following foods:

  • Processed Foods: Fast food, canned foods high in sodium, candy, most packaged foods, boxed meals, and pre-cooked meats—typically full of unwanted chemicals, preservatives, sodium, and other compounds that can slow you down.
  • Coffee: Yes, the first sips give you a jolt, but you know the crash is coming. Cutting back on caffeine can stabilize your energy levels so you can feel better. If you must have your fix, drink black coffee. Sodas and energy drinks are chock full of sugar and other substances that your body doesn’t want.
  • Refined Carbohydrates like sugars and white flour are void of nutrition, yet they’re in so many foods we consume. Switch instead to whole wheat flowers as mentioned in our article here.