A Guide to Proper Nutrition

You are what you eat. This saying is very common with nutritionists and doctors who are concerned with oneís health and lifestyle. The kind/type of foods you have in your diet plan has a great impact on your life and health. Eating one food in excess or taking supplements above the recommended daily allowance (RDA) increases the risk of contracting ailments. Certain nutritional deficiencies cause hormonal imbalance, malnutrition, poor cardiovascular health, diabetes among other debilitating health conditions. Most of these ailments can however be contained if one focuses and sticks to eating well and exercising.

Although there are countless proper nutrition methods that have been published on the media, all of them revolve around six common facts. These are as discussed below.

1. Never skip meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper are the most important meals in a day. Skipping any of these meals triggers chain reactions in the body, which forces it to enter survival mode. Survival mode is the bodyís self-sufficient processes that trigger storable of excess glucose and food materials as fat. Skipping meals is also believed to slow body functions and metabolism, which also reduces oneís productivity as well.

2. Drink plenty of water: More than 78% of the human body is made of fluids, which makes water an essential compound in our lives. Sweetened or carbonated drinks arenít classified as water, as they contain chemical impurities. It is therefore advisable to take at least 8 glasses of water daily, as this helps cleanse body cells and regulate body PH levels.

3. Lean Proteins: Proteins are essential as they make up the key body building blocks. Proteins are digested into amino acids, which are used to form cell nucleus hence facilitating tissue growth. In addition to this, increasing your protein intake helps eliminate/reduce LDL levels in the body. It also helps raise HDL levels in the body thus reducing chances of contracting heart related conditions and high blood pressure. The best sources of lean protein include soy, lean meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.

4. Whole Grains: Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber. According to research, the highest percentage of the worldís population consumes foods that lack dietary fiber, which is the reason why they suffer from bloating, constipation, flatulence and indigestion. Dietary fiber is needed for food digestion and movement of food materials along the digestive tract. Cereals and especially whole grains are good sources of this gem, and increasing your intake of the same can safeguard you from heart diseases, colon cancer, and diabetes as well.

5. Fruits and vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. Including a fruit and vegetable salad for each meal is therefore a wise decision.

6. Body exercise: Body exercise is vital for proper tissue and organ development. It is also through exercise that the body gets to respire fats, as well as facilitate the movement of food materials along the gut. In addition to this, body exercise enables the heart and lungs to function much better. Swimming, walking, jogging, and bike riding are good forms of exercise that almost everyone can undertake for a healthier body.

Mineral and vitamin supplements are also considered safe for human consumption as they promote proper body development and improved immunity. Ensuring all the food materials discussed above make way to your table every day, then there is no doubt that you will live a healthier life.


The Health Risks Of Obesity

It seems wherever we go or whatever we see and hear there is always something about obesity. We all aware of weight gain is bad for you, but what are surrounding us are supersized meals and neighbourhood not designed for walking, is there any way to win this battle against obesity?

Luckily, the answer is yes. And the strategy begins with knowing your enemy.

What Is Obesity?

Obesity rates have been increasing steadily in last 25 years. According to a recent survey results conducted by National Health and Nutrition Examination, 35 % of women and 33 % of men were found obese. Moreover, among adolescents and children, 16 % of them were obese.

In simple words, obesity is carrying excess body fat enough to put you at risk for various health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, stroke, reproductive disorders, cancer, osteoarthritis, and so on. Dr Jennifer Nasser, assistant professor in the department of biology at Drexel University in Philadelphia claims ìTo be brief, obesity can impact on all main body organ systems.î

Obesity is determined by your body mass index. It is figured out by using your height and weight. If you are adult, figure of 25 or more is considered to be overweight, and 30 and over falls in the obese category.

However, children and teens are not applicable for this formula. Rose Clifford, clinical dietician in the department of pharmacy services at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. says ìThis format for teens and children are gender and age specific, as the body fat volume changes with age and boys are different from girls.î The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide an appropriate BMI calculator, Child and Teen BMI Calculator for people under the age of 20.

What Causes Obesity?

There are various of factors causing the present obesity epidemic. Caroline M. Apovian, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Center for Nutrition and Weight Management at the Boston Medical Center says “Number of obese people are increasing because of the type of foods that are easily accessible and cheap. We are consuming 200 more calories daily now compared to 50 years ago.”

The society of advanced technology seems and looks good on the surface, our life is more convenient and easier. However, we are lazier as we can drive instead of walking, and we can just e-mail instead of walking to a colleagueís desk. Also, the environment can cause us to gain extra weight. Linda Bacon, associate nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, and author of ìHealth at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight ìclaims ìWeight gain occurs by the interaction of environment and genes. Environmental circumstances are changing and some peopleís genes make them vulnerable to put on weight in the present environment.î Bacon claims that the environmental pollutions such as toxins, can cause changes in hormones which results in storing fat, and alter our eating habits. Some of the food commonly consumed in modern society, could interfere with our internal weight management mechanism, unlike the foods cone from nature.

What Are The Effects Of Obesity?

Not only causing health dangers, obesity can also put negative impact on economy and cause psychological problems such as depression and negative self esteem. However, the worst effect of all may be the discrimination which obese people have to cop in their daily life. Bacon claims ìDiscrimination against obese people is more common nowadays even more than racial discrimination or gender discrimination.î Even though obesity can be caused by the environment and genetics, still there are plenty of things you can do to battle and win. Keep yourself active by organizing regular exercise routine and stop spending too lazy time such as watching TV. And eat healthy and balanced meals. The portion size have to be appropriate, and include five servings or more of vegetables and fruits every day.


10 Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Their Veggies

Let’s face it, some kids simply hate veggies. You may find that you’re playing hide and seek when it comes to meals. Have you ever hidden the peas in the pancakes? Have you ever added squash to the pasta sauce? If so, you’re not alone. I’ll be you’ve even pureed spinach and put it in a smoothie before.

Of course, one of the things about kids is that they tend to catch on to these sneaky tricks as they grow older. Perhaps it’s time to come up with some new sneaky ways to get them to eat those veggies.

Thankfully, there are more ways that are much easier to sneak those veggies in and teach kids to enjoy them than force feeding them via sneaky methods. Here are some painless ways to get them to eat those veggies.

1. Treat those veggies with respect. When you give kids an ultimatum such as, ‘if you don’t eat your veggies you won’t get dessert’ you’re sending a negative message about veggies to the kids. Instead, teach kids how healthy those veggies are to get them to eat them.

2. Quit hiding the veggies. According to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition, kids enjoy baked goods with veggies, even if they find out that there are veggies in them. Let the kids help prepare the baked goods and help put the veggies in and watch them eat them.

3. Give kids the power, figuratively speaking of course. When kids think they are the ones in charge guess what, they will eat those veggies. Studies done in kids ages 4 to 12 found that when they had choices, as to which veggies they could eat, they made much wiser choices. So go ahead and lay out some healthy veggies and let them pick and choose which ones they will eat. Lay them out in salad form and allow kids to ‘create’ their own salad.

4. Grow your own veggies and give kids their own veggie patch. Kids will enjoy planting, weeding and watching their own veggies grow and then, they will want to eat them.

5. Choose veggies that crunch. Kids love to hear that crunch and when they hear it, they want more. Avoid anything that is mushy or squishy and of course, anything that is slimy.

6. Let kids follow your lead and be sure to eat and enjoy veggies yourself. When kids see you enjoying veggies they will be much more likely to enjoy them themselves.

7. Come up with some non food awards for the best veggie eaters. Kids love to be in competition and be the one that gets the reward. Children as young as 3 and 4 will love the competition. Offer a sticker to those who will at least taste an ‘unliked’ veggie. Those who decide to eat the entire veggie get a bigger sticker.

Within a week to 12 days most of the kids are still enjoying that new veggie. Within three months they are asking you for that veggie. This won’t work for all of the kids but for those it does work for, it’s a great incentive.

8. Make it fun. Make a dip and allow kids to dip their veggies. Dips can be peanut butter, ranch dressing or any other dip that kids choose. Offer healthy dip options or better yet, let kids help you make the perfect dip. Now watch them munch on those veggies.

Be sure to offer up a variety of veggies for the dips. Veggies like broccoli, celery, carrots, mushrooms, red, yellow or green bell peppers cut into strips are all ideal for dipping.

9. Enlist help. Ask everyone that comes into contact with your kids to help by offering them only veggies. When kids have to choose from veggies they will make wise choices. Avoid offering up candy and junk foods that aren’t nutritious and won’t help keep the momentum going. Pack healthy lunches with plenty of veggies and some fruits to counteract those sweet tooth problems that we all suffer form.

10. Never give up. Remember that parents have dealt with veggie issues for decades. Kids have always tried to hide those veggies so take away the mystery and give them options that they will enjoy. Take them shopping with you and enlist their help in picking them out. Plant the garden and watch them grow. A successful plan will be consistent and take a lot of perseverance on the parents part.

Remember that it can take 10 or more exposures to a veggie before a kid will even consider tasting it let alone eating it. Try the above measures and see if you don’t meet with a bit more success in getting your little veggie hater to taste something new and enjoy a veggie today. You’ll be amazed at how well it works.