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

 

Read more of our Top 10 Articles 

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


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.

Read more of our Top 10 Articles 

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


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!

 

 


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 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.