Monthly Archives: December 2013
With the new year just around the corner many people start thinking about their diet downfalls of this past year, and some start planning on being healthier and more diet conscious. Fitness and eating habit changes are common for many. The problem is that many people try and change everything all at once, which oftentime leads to failure, and more often than not, old eating habits are resumed by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. “Gym managers say memberships increase about 30 percent this time of year. January is the busiest month, followed by February, which oddly enough is the slowest,” according to WJHG Channel 7 News. Before venturing into a full-on body makeover, try a few small changes and progress from there. Here are a few healthy tips to make 2014 your best year yet:
1. Drink More Water
The entire human body is mostly composed of water, unfortunately, many Americans do not consume as much as their body needs. According to a study conducted by Boston College, “at least two-thirds of Americans pull up a quart short according to survey data.” Making it a priority to drink water is important. By setting reminders for yourself or carrying your favorite water bottle with you might be the push you need in order to become more hydrated.
2. Walk At Least 30 Minutes A Day
Instead of spending a ton of money on a gym membership that will probably go to waste, doing a simple task like walking can improve your overall health substantially. “Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance,” according to the Better Health Channel, “It can [also] reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers.” Also, walking is free, and it doesn’t require any type of skill or training — so anyone can do it at his or her convenience.
3. Get To Bed A Little Earlier
Many health professionals emphasize sleeping and getting enough sleep as a means to being a more productive and happier human being. Sleep is a way for the body to self-heal and replenish lost energy for the next day. According to, Rafael Pelayo, M.D., an associate professor of Sleep Medicine at Stanford University, sleeping earlier leads to morning productiveness. “Even if you swear you’re the polar opposite of a morning person, no one is biologically programmed to stay up late,” Dr. Peyalo tells Glamour magazine.
4. Replace Your Other Oils With Coconut Oil
In recent years, coconut oil has made its way into the kitchens of many Americans. As a staple ingredient in many countries, this sweet-smelling oil has a number of health benefits, including improving heart health, boosting metabolism and supporting a healthy immune system. Baking, cooking, and even moisturizing with coconut oil can be beneficial.
5. Have A Daily Green Juice
Drinking a handful of greens a day allows the body to obtain a sufficient amount of chlorophyll. “Chlorophyll can help to increase the quality and quantity of your red blood cells, improving the efficiency of oxygen transport and, as a result, giving you more energy and improving your well-being,” the Daily Mail reports.
6. Don’t Forget The Sunscreen
No matter what your skin shade is everyone should slather on some sunscreen daily. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with two million people being diagnosed annually. And the myth that darker-skinned people do not need to wear sunscreen is debunked as Dr. Maria Peredo owner of the Spatique Medical Spa in Smithtown, N.Y., and clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said “everyone should wear sunscreen, no matter what your skin color is.”
[Article Credit Sabrina Bachai]
Keep healthy this winter by including plenty of these 5 foods in your diet.
Although there are fewer foods that are in season in winter than in summer, winter boasts some surprising health superstars. Here are 5 of the healthiest winter foods you should be eating.
Chances are you’ve tasted pomegranates in their newly popular juice form. And from a heart-health perspective, that’s probably a good thing. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants (more so than other fruit juices)—just a cup daily might help to keep free radicals from oxidizing “bad” LDL cholesterol, according to a preliminary study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Oxidized LDL contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Another study showed that drinking pomegranate juice might improve blood flow to the heart in people with myocardial ischemia, a serious condition in which the heart’s oxygen supply is compromised because the arteries leading to it are blocked.
2. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section looks bleak. In fact, a frost can take away the bitterness of kale. These greens are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate important for women of childbearing age.
Citrus fruits, including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C—one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose. As Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D., writes in the January/February 2012 issue of EatingWell Magazine, citrus fruits are also rich source of flavonoids. The predominant flavonoid in these fruits—hesperidin—is credited with boosting “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Potatoes sometimes get a bad rap for being a white starch, thrown into the same category as white rice or white bread. But unlike those other starches, which have indeed been stripped of healthful nutrients, potatoes are a whole food that contain several beneficial nutrients. They are an excellent source of two immunity boosters—vitamins C and B6, delivering 25% and 29% of your daily needs per medium potato, respectively. They are also a good source of folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age, and they deliver fiber (4 grams in a medium potato; women need 25 grams daily and men need 38 grams). If you can find purple potatoes, you’ll get an added health boon—they are rich in anthocyanins—antioxidants that are linked to a host of health benefits, from lowering cancer and heart disease risk to quelling inflammation.
5. Winter Squash
There are many varieties of winter squash—including butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash—and they are all excellent choices in the winter. One cup of cooked winter squash has few calories (around 80) but is high in both vitamin A (214 percent of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33 percent), as well as being a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.
[Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor of EatingWell Magazine]