Top Water Retention Fighting Foods

It’s summertime, which means it’s tank top, short shorts and swimsuit season!  If there’s one thing we are all trying to avoid during this time, it is water retention- which is why Samir Becic, author of the fitness book ReSYNC Your Life and his HFR team has put together a list of Top Foods that Fight Water Retention:

  •  Water:  It may seem counterintiutive, but when it comes to water, drink, drink, and drink some more. Drink a glass as soon as you wake up and keep sipping all day, aiming for 3 liters (100 ounces) a day. Slip in a few slices of lemon, lime, or orange as citrus is high in potassium and can relieve bloating.
  • Melons: Melons, citrus, and other potassium-rich fruits will help reduce water retention because they are high in the mineral potassium that balances sodium levels.
  • Nuts and whole grains: Tasty sources of vitamin B6, a nutrient associated with PMS relief, whole grain products and nuts are a good nosh when you’re feeling bloated. Make sure they have no added salt.
  • Watercress Watercress, an often overlooked leafy green, is a natural diuretic that is also high in potassium. The flavonoids in vegetables (and fruit) can alleviate water retention (Other bloat-fighting foods include other leafy greens, celery, tomatoes, carrots, onions, and peppers).
  • Herbs: Several herbs are natural diuretics and believed to help reduce water retention. Celery seed (do not take if you are pregnant), evening primrose oil, and dandelion root are just a few bloat-fighting options.
  • Salmon: Loaded with omega-3s, salmon is a super food that is not only food for the heart, brain, and joints, it can also fend off PMS. Other rich sources of omega-3s include tuna, mackerel, herring, and flax. Eat at least twice a week.
  • Greek Yogurt: Eating too many rich treats will cause tummy bloat. If you’ve overindulged and are feeling the effects, treat your stomach to a cup of plain, low-fat greek yogurt that contains active cultures. The active cultures aid in digestion and increase the good bacteria in the gut, the protein in greek yogurt will keep you feeling full.

 

FOODS AND THINGS TO AVOID WATER RETENTION

  •  table salt (for severe fluid retention use only potassium chloride)
  • alcohol
  • smoke
  • coffee
  • black tea
  • processed foods
  • fast foods
  • white flour foods
  • sugary foods and drinks
  • too much protein OR not enough protein
  • unhealthy fats
  • being still for long periods of time
  • crossing your legs
  • tight clothing

 

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Top 10 Healthy Foods for Your Kidneys

Kidneys tend to be an organ in our bodies that we don’t pay much attention to, even though they do so much for us. Kidneys filter 120-150 quarts a blood to produce 1-2 quarts of urine a day just to rid our bodies of wastes and extra fluids. If you aren’t giving your kidneys the care they deserve, they can give you several issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, and even heart disease. Check out our list of the top 10 foods for your kidneys, and give them the love and attention they deserve!

 

  • Water: This is easily the most important ingredient for overall health in not only your kidneys but throughout your entire body. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water a day, depending on your weight. Water flushes out toxins that can lead to kidney-related problems like infections or stones, and infect particles in your blood.
  • Cranberries or unsweetened cranberry juice: The taste of cranberry juice may be bitter to your taste buds, but it’s worth it. Cranberries are full of antioxidants, another great source of flushing out toxins in your system. They’re also great sources of vitamin C, fiber, and very low in sugar. Research shows that cranberries can prevent ulcers and bacteria from developing in the kidneys, making them the ultimate urinary tract cleaners.
  • Grapefruits: Grapefruits are another excellent source of Vitamin C, a vitamin crucial for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C also helps prevent bacteria developing in the body, and keeps it away from the kidneys. Have a grapefruit for breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal, another food full of vitamins.
  • Kale: Another food with Vitamin C, kale helps prevent inflammation and protects the immune system as well. Kale also has a large amount of iron. Those that suffer from kidney disease need lots of iron in their diet because of the deficiency the disease brings on.
  • Red bell peppers: Since red bell peppers are low in potassium, this is a great snack for those that suffer from kidney disease. Also full of Vitamins A and C, it has lots of folic acid and fiber. Eat red bell peppers raw to get all the nutrients out of them (they’re especially good mixed into a tuna or chicken salad!).
  • Apples: They weren’t kidding when they said an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples have been known to aid the body as a “natural cleanser”, cleaning your kidneys without causing too many trips to the bathroom. Studies have shown that apples can help prevent cancer with the help of the antioxidant quercetin.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms are known for the Vitamin D they contain, an important mineral that has been proven to regulate kidney function and help prevent kidney disease. If eating mushrooms aren’t your forte, try eating them in a creamy soup or saute them with veggies.
  • Cauliflower: Speaking of veggies, this is one that’s going to help aid in the cleansing of your kidneys. Cauliflower is high in Vitamin C and fiber, two nutrients that help your body fight off toxins and flush them out in your urine. Try eating your cauliflower steamed and seasoned for extra flavor while still getting all of the nutrients.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are high in antioxidants, working double duty as an anti-inflammatory food that will help regulate the process of ridding your body of toxins. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, perfect for keeping your immune system healthy and on track.
  • Garlic: Despite the gross taste it leaves in your mouth, garlic has many health benefits. A spice that can make any food taste good, it also has great anti-inflammatory properties and has the ability to lower your cholesterol, keeping your blood flowing and kidneys working up to par.

 

 


Top 10 Best Foods for Arthritis

If you or anyone you know suffers from arthritis, you know the struggle is real. With arthritis comes great responsibility: choosing the right diet can make or break your joints (kidding…kind of!). Eating fatty foods can cause unhealthy weight gain and put pressure on your joints that will increase the pain and discomfort. Keep it simple with lots of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. To help you narrow all the choices down, HFR and Samir Becic, author of new book ReSYNC Your Life, brings you the top 10 foods and nutrients to eat to treat your arthritis and your health:

Foods Rich in Calcium: You know how your mom told you if you didn’t drink milk, your bones would break? There’s some truth to be said for that! Dairy products that are low in fat like milk and yogurt are full of calcium and vitamin D, which can help increase the strength in your bones and joints. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, try eating other vitamin D-rich foods, like leafy green vegetables.

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential to helping your deteriorating joints in the sense that it slows down the progression of osteoarthritis, something you can develop as you get older. If you want to increase vitamin C in your diet, try eating fruits like strawberries, pineapple, or kiwis.
  • Broccoli: Another food rich in vitamin C, broccoli is another good choice for your joints. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that can help prevent and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Also rich in calcium, broccoli in a no-brainer for your dinner salad tonight.
  • Garlic: Get the breath mints out, because you’re going to need them for this one. Garlic contains diallyl disulfide, a compound that can help alleviate arthritis. You can incorporate garlic into your foods by adding some with your chicken or pasta with a little parmesan cheese. Yum!
  • Fish: Keep the gum out for this one too, because this source of protein is going to leave your breath stinky too! Fish are full of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the inflammation in your joints and give you relief of pain. Try eating at least 3 to 4 ounces of fish twice a week to achieve these results. You can eat a tuna sandwich for lunch and salmon and potatoes for dinner, healthy and tasty!
  • Soy: Similar to fish, soy contains the anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but doesn’t have the same fishy aftertaste. If you don’t have it in you to eat fish, try eating soybeans with your meals. Soybeans are low in fat, with lots of protein and fiber.
  • Tart cherries: If you suffer from arthritis, you can possibly find some relief with tart cherries. Tart cherries contain an ingredient called anthocyanin that gives the cherries their red color and can help reduce the pain in your achy joints. You can find tart cherry supplements at your local grocery store or can eat the actual cherries themselves from a farmer’s market.
  • Green tea: Full of polyphenols (an antioxidant that reduces inflammation), green tea is another easy go-to for healthy joints. Studies have also shown that another antioxidant in green tea that can be beneficial to your joints is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which can cancel the molecules that come together to cause joint damage. Now you have a valid excuse for a Starbucks run!
  • Citrus: An orange a day keeps the doctor away! Fruits like oranges are rich in vitamin C, which we know is a holy grail for treating inflammation in your joints. Try eating an orange or grapefruit for breakfast to help maintain healthy joints and prevent osteoarthritis.
  • Grains: Whole grains are going to become your new best friend. In whole grains, there is a protein called CRP, which can help reduce inflammation and reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Eating a breakfast like whole-grain cereal or oatmeal is a great way to get those nutrients without having to sacrifice taste or flavor.

 

 


Best Spices to Increase your Metabolism

Everyone has a different rate at which they burn the calories they consume- their metabolism.  The math behind losing weight is simple-  ensuring that our body burns more calories than it consumes.  Although the best way to burn more calories is to be active, there are some slight shortcuts- such as eating a variety of spices and herbs to boost your body’s natural fat-burning power.

Keep reading and find out HFR and ReSYNC Your Life author Samir Becic’s best spies to increase your metabolism:

 Hot Spices

Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, jalapeños, habaneros and other spices with capsaicin (where hot peppers get their heat). It is found to increase metabolism by up to 25%. Along with its slimming effects, capsaicin is shown to work as a blood thinner, helping to prevent blood clots. Studies on nations where chilis are consumed heavily (Thailand), have shown that people that regularly eat hot peppers have a greatly reduced incidence of many blood clotting diseases. Capsaicin has also shown to work as an anti-inflammatory and help to control pain.

 Dandelion

This herb is known to flush out the kidneys, offset sweet cravings, and boost metabolism.  It can be brewed as a tea or taken as a supplement.

 Cinnamon 

Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a few times a day can lower blood sugar, improve glucose metabolism, lower cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels. It can easily be sprinkled on yogurt, toast, or put in healthy smoothies.

Kelp

The iodine contained in the herb kelp affects your thyroid gland, which is a key player in metabolic function. Consuming kelp increases your basal metabolic rate, the rate at which you burn fat when you are at rest.  It is important only to take kelp if your body is deficient, which can be checked by a medical doctor.

Green Tea

Green tea has a mild thermogenic effect which causes the amount of energy used in heat production by the body to be raised by 3 percent to 4 percent. This means your metabolic rate is heightened, so your body burns fat more efficiently.  This is a great excuse to trade in that coffee addiction for a few cups of green tea a day!


Top 10 Mood Boosting Foods

Serotonin is a brain chemical that is known to impact your mood. Keeping levels in balance can help promote a feeling of calm, well-being, mental alertness, control and an increased ability to deal with stress.  Since diet can influence our supply of serotonin, Samir Becic and Health Fitness Revolution has made a list of top 10 Mood Boosting Foods:

  • Nuts and Seeds: researchers from the University of Barcelona found that men and women eating almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts had higher levels of serotonin metabolites. In addition, just one ounce of mixed nuts a day may also help reduce obesity, blood pressure and blood sugar.
  • Greek yogurt: This dairy pick is packed with more calcium than you’ll find in milk or regular yogurt, and it can make you happy, too. Proper calcium levels give the “Go” command, alerting your body to release feel-good neurotransmitters.
  • Ocean-going cold water fish: such as salmon and mercury-free tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which can help improve depression symptoms. A past study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that volunteers with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had fewer depression symptoms and a more positive outlook.
  • Flaxseed: another great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also are rich in magnesium and B-vitamins, nutrients that help us combat stress.
    Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed, 24 Ounce from Amazon

  • Soy isoflavones: help with mood and mental function. These foods are also rich sources of vegetarian (no-cholesterol) protein which may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well. Add soy foods such as tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy milk to your daily diet.
  • Avocado: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, and potassium.
  • Asparagus: This vegetable is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan, which serves as a basis for the creation of serotonin, one of the brain’s primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters. High levels of folate also add to asparagus’ happiness-promoting profile because research has shown that up to 50 percent of people with depression suffer from low folate levels.
  • Dark chocolate: which contains an antioxidant known as resveratrol. This nutrient can help boost brain levels of endorphins and serotonin, helping to improve your mood. The recommended dose is one ounce per day (not the whole bag!)
  • DHA: is a particular form of omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in many foods. But including organic DHA-fortified eggs in the diet will also provide a good source of protein and tryptophan. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that when people eat eggs for breakfast, they feel more satisfied and therefore consume fewer calories throughout the day compared to a high-carbohydrate breakfast, such as a bagel.
  • Mussels: loaded with some of the highest naturally occurring levels of brain-protecting vitamin B12 on the planet. That makes it an important food source, considering that a significant portion of the U.S. population is B12 deficient.  Maintaining healthy B12 levels preserves the myelin sheath that insulates your brain cells, helping your brain stay sharp as you grow older. Mussels also contain trace nutrients that are important to balancing your mood, including zinc, iodine, and selenium, things vital to keeping your thyroid, your body’s master mood regulator, on track.

With a mood-boosting diet change, don’t forget to include exercise as well. Regular exercise can be as effective for depression treatment as antidepressant medication or psychotherapy. Just getting out for 30 minutes can have a huge impact on your outlook for the rest of the day.

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Healthy Choices when Eating Out

We all eat out.  It’s a fun part of the average person’s life!  But there are healthy choices we can make when we eat out, so that we don’t deviate from our health, fitness and nutrion goals.

It’s OK to have a big meal once in a while.  If you can, have it be at lunch rather than dinner.  If this is not a possibility, just make your lunch lighter, such as a cup of soup, or a salad, to balance out the big dinner you will have.

Here are some healthy food alternatives from Health Fitness Revolution and ReSYNC Your Life author Samir Becic to order while you’re out at various restaurants:

Tex-Mex or Mexican-

  • On the menu, it will look like this “Amigos Famous Fajitas- Your choice of marinated, top grade charbroiled steak, chicken, or both served on a bed of grilled onions and bell peppers. Served with flour tortillas, crisp lettuce, fresh pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese and Amigo’s beans and rice.”
  • Order like this: “Amigos Fajitas- no tortillas, no butter, no sour cream, no cheese, no refried beans, and no rice”.  Ask to substitute refried beans for pinto beans and enjoy your fajitas with onions, peppers, pico de gallo, and guacamole!

Italian-

  • Every italian restaurant has chicken and fish readily available.  So this is where you can get creative and customize your meal to fit your dietary needs!
  • A good order for example, would be “Please grill chicken or fish in olive oil with herbs, garlic and onions, no butter, and a side of steamed vegetables with lemon”.
  • Salads are always a good choice as long as you customize your dressing to olive oil and balsamic vinegar or olive oil and lemon.

Chinese/ Asian-

  • Chicken lettuce wraps are a good choice
  • Miso soup, edamame, and sashimi at Japanese restaurants
  • Stay away from all the thick, sweet glazes that come on chinese meat dishes
  • No egg rolls, but spring rolls (the non fried version) are a good alternative
  • Stay away from white rice
  • Vegetable stir fry’s with less soy sauce are an option

Steakhouse-

  • Every steakhouse has both chicken and fish alternatives.
  • When ordering steak, choose the smaller cuts.  22 ounces of steak is never a healthy option.
  • Stay away from the sides!  No mac’n’cheese, no creamed corn, no mashed potatoes!
  • Order a side salad or grilled/steamed veggies.

Burger Joint-

  • Have only one side of the bun on a burger with no cheese and no mayo.
  • Even better, eat it bunless!
  • Still load it with tomato, lettuce, onions, mushrooms, pickles.

 

There are always healthier options we can make while socially eating out with friends and family, so hopefully these tips can transfer into your next meal adventure!

 

 


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

 

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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.