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.

 

 


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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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.


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 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!


Top 10 Foods for Healthy Skin

Even though beauty products are getting increasingly high-tech, the best complexion cures still come from the most natural quarters: the aisles of your super­market. More and more, studies are finding links between certain nutrients and wrinkle reduction, radiance, and acne prevention.  We wrote an article Best Oils for your Skin, but decided to take it one step further.  Everything you eat becomes a part of not only your inner being, but the outer fabric of your body as well. The healthier the foods are that you consume, the better your skin will look.

Here are Samir Becic’s and Health Fitness Revolution‘s Top 10 Foods for Healthy Skin:

  • Dark Chocolate:  Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple. We recommend 70% cocoa dark chocolate as it contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant. A couple of squares a day should be enough to improve luminosity. Also, if applied topically, the caffeine in chocolate may temporarily reduce skin puffiness!  To read more health benefits of dark chocolate, read our article here.
  • Berries:  Berries have a very high antioxidant content. In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, berries weighed in with the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. The benefits of these foods for healthy skin are plentiful.
  • Greek Yogurt:  It contains about twice as much protein as regular yogurt, and the protein you get from eating dairy helps skin become firmer, so it’s more resistant to lines.
  • Kidney Beans:  Are known to zap zits!  They’re high in zinc, and studies indicate a correlation between blemishes and low zinc levels.
  • Soy (beans, and milk):  Soy contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation.  Drinking soy milk in your latte and eating edamame can even out skin tone.
  • Steel-cut oats:  Steel-cut oatmeal is less processed than other varieties, so it retains more vitamins. Also, it takes longer to break down in your body, which helps keep your blood sugar stable. This is important because studies found that spiked blood sugar elevates your body’s level of androgens, hormones that can contribute to wrinkles.  Oats are also great for healing the body.
  • Pomegranate:  They’re packed with polyphenol antioxidants which fight free radicals and regulate skin’s blood flow, giving it rosiness. Applied topically, they can reduce lines and moisturize.
  • Sunflower Seeds:  Eat a handful daily because they are loaded with vitamin E, which keeps your skin supple by protecting its top layers from the sun. Apply topically to heels and lips to stay moisturized.
  • Walnuts and Flax Seeds:  Walnuts contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can improve skin’s elasticity. The nuts are also loaded with copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production. To read more health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids, read our article here.
  • Peppers (red, green, and yellow!): Women who eat green and yellow vegetables regularly tend to have fewer wrinkles, especially around the eyes. Also, studies found that carotenoids, the antioxidants in yellow and orange veggies, can decrease skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

 

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Top 10 Healthiest World Cuisines

The world is a large place full of multiple cultures and foods, and people say one of the cheapest and easiest ways to travel is by trying different cuisines. It can, however, be overwhelming figuring out which cuisine helps us stay in line with our healthy eating while also offering variety. While we already made a list of the top 10 healthiest countries in the world, this list compiles the top 10 healthiest world cuisines and foods you can find globally, showcasing the healthy variety of new and tasty foods to introduce into your diet:

  • Japanese – Japanese culture tends to eat well in small portions with colorful vegetables. The cuisine involves a lot of green vegetables such as cabbage, negi (green onion), and nasu (eggplant). As a culture, the Japanese strive on eating very healthy and using seasonal ingredients and flavors. When preparing their meals, the Japanese carefully select which ingredients are in season; during Springtime, for example, they will include a variety of bitter vegetables and or/seasonings. When eating, they tend to have a variety of light condiments with their meals such as wasabi, soy sauce,  miso soup, and tsukemono (pickles). Most Japanese drink green tea with their meals, which is loaded with antioxidants.
  • South Mediterranean (Italian and Greek) – Most of the dishes are rich in olive oil, which has been shown to be great for heart health. The Mediterranean diet is a great way to decrease any inflammation in the body caused by diseases while also being a good way to lose weight since it’s loaded with good saturated fats, vegetables, which bolster health and metabolism.  An example of a simple and healthy Mediterranean dish would be a Greek salad or lemon basil shrimp (whole wheat) pasta.
  • Indian – Indian food is high in both grains and fiber. Their cuisine incorporated the healthy fat found in legumes in addition to many health boosting spices and herbs that lower blood pressure and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. One popular and healthy dish is Lobhia, and consists of black-eyed beans covered in a tomato sauce with tons of herbs and spices. Another popular dish is chicken masala which is chicken, chili, yogurt which provides a good probiotic, ginger, onion, and garlic. To make your Indian food even healthier, just stay away from eating too much white rice, and opt instead for a healthier whole grain.
  • Korean – Korean cuisine includes a variety of great healthy vegetables. One of their main dishes Kimchi contains cabbage, radish, and ginger; it is also fermented and loaded with probiotics for better gut health. Korean basic seasonings are the healthy combination of red pepper, green onion, bean paste, garlic, ginger, sesame, and vinegar. Similar to the Japanese food culture, Korean cuisine has a variety of light and healthy side dishes during each meal, such as miso soup, kimchi, steamed vegetables covered in chili paste. Most Koreans eat a vegetable with every meal.
  • Ethiopian – Ethiopian cuisine is made up of grains, spicy peppers, lentils, cabbage, kale, tomato, lamb, and eggs. As a whole, Ethiopians do not consume pork. One popularly healthy Ethiopian food is called injera, which is a bread very high in both fiber/protein. Another dish is lentil edamame soup, high in fiber content which is great for dietary purposes such as irregular bowel incontinence.
  • Nordic Scandinavian – The Scandinavian diet is rated as one of the healthiest diets in the world. In Sweden, the rate of obesity falls below 10% and neighboring Scandinavian countries fall within the same percentage range. The Scandinavian diet is quite simple and often people cook it from home and from scratch. Danish cuisine is highly nutritional in foods that are enriched in vitamins, minerals, proteins, poultry, and fish. They include fish like Herring and Salmon into their meals which are high in Omega-3s. The Scandinavian diet also includes a lot of cabbage, root vegetables such as carrot or beet. They tend to include whole-grain rye bread into their diets, and eat a plethora of Brussels sprouts which are high in vitamin C and K. Berries such as lingonberries and cloudberries are popular and often eaten as dessert. Most of their dishes include spices/herbs like chives, thyme, cardamom, and parsley.
  • Vietnamese – Most Vietnamese cuisine is low in fat, containing a variety of vitamin-enriched vegetables in dishes such as Pho, jam-packed with flavorful vegetables and a light broth with your choice of either pork, beef, or chicken. After lunch or dinner, rather than a heavy pastry, fruit is usually presented as desert. There are many exotic and super healthy varieties, such as “fruit of paradise” known as the fruit with the highest concentration in vitamin A. Studies have also found that it may contain more lycopene than tomatoes.
  • Thai – Thai cuisine is typically low in saturated fat. Many dishes are high in fiber and protein, consisting of tofu, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and carrots. Also it is cooked with lean meats. Authentic Thai food is usually a far cry from what is depicted in Western restaurants and is usually made with fresh vegetables and produce. Thai cuisine is a mixture of healthy spices, sweetness, and tanginess which brings out all of the flavors. Thai cuisine is usually cooked with coconut oil/coconut milk and is usually very spicy, increasing metabolism.
  • Spanish – Spanish cuisine includes a lot of dried fruits and nuts, which are high in fiber content. Like the French, wine is a big part of their diet. Known for their small dishes called tapas, they consume a lot of olive oil, sardines, chickpeas, and chicken in their meals. In Spanish culture, it is common to take a siesta (nap) daily, improving sleep hours, and therefore also improving overall health.
  • West African – Countries like Nigeria, Liberia, Mali, and Guinea are entering the conversation of the healthiest cuisines. They introduce lean meats, vegetables such as okra, swiss chard, bell peppers, legumes, and cabbage into many of their dishes. Yam is high in potassium, vitamin c, and manganese. Plantains are high in fiber and vitamin A. One popular West African dish is vegetable stew, which contains nuts and spices like raisins, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and cinnamon.