Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Why Organic Produce is Better

58Organic produce has become very popular. Today, more and more grocery shops are keeping organic food products to meet increasing consumer’s demand.

People are going organic as organic produce is thought to be good for the health and environment as well.

They are grown in a natural way, without the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified organisms and sewage sludge.

The term ‘organic’ means the farming ways through which food or agricultural are grown and processed. Any food is labelled as organic when it meets certain specific criteria. Organic produce must be grown in healthy soil, without any alterations, and must remain separate from other conventional produce. Farmers should not use the chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals while producing organic crop.

To grow organic crops, farmers do take several precautions such as, rotate crops regularly to stave off pests, use chemical-free earths and fertilize crops with compost or manure. Even the organic livestock have given access to the outdoors to avoid any disease spread and given organic feed. They may not be given certain medications including antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products.

According to Anne Wolf, RD, a registered dietitian and researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, “The decision to choose organic produce and other foods is a personal one, based on your own needs and concerns. Some people just don’t want to eat any food that could contain pesticides and other chemicals”. Organic foods provide a lot of benefits and have more beneficial nutrients, like antioxidants. Some of the advantages of using organic produce are:

Organic produce contains rarer pesticides: Pesticides are chemicals like herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. These are commonly used in conventional produce and residues of the same remains on the food we consume.

Organic meat and milk are good in some nutrients: Some nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acid is almost 50% higher in organic meat and milk than in conventional. The reason is that organic meat and milk come from livestock that graze on a natural diet of grass.

Organic produce is always fresh: Fresh food always tastes good. Organic produce is usually fresh as it is free from preservatives, contains disease-fighting antioxidants and generally grown on a smaller area where there is a high demand.

Organic farming is good for the environment: Organic agricultural methods help in reducing pollution (air, water and soil), reduce soil erosion, conserve water, increase soil fecundity, and use very less energy. On the other side, conventional traditional food methods affect our planet and our resources.

Organically raised livestock are not given any growth hormones, antibiotics, or fed animal byproducts: Organic animals are kept in such living conditions that adopt the natural behavior of the animals. The use of antibiotics in conventional food create antibiotic-resilient strains of bacteria. This denotes that when someone gets a health problem, they will be less responsive to the antibiotic treatment. In addition, not feeding animal byproducts to other animals reduces the risk of mad cow disease (BSE).

Organic produce is GMO-free: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) produces are those plants or animals whose DNA have been modified in different ways that cannot occur naturally or through normal crossbreeding. This used to be done in order to reduce the production of pesticides.

Organic produce is good for pregnant women and children: Pregnant women and children are more vulnerable to the health effects of pesticides, like nervous system damage and behavioral problems. So for them, organic foods are a good healthy option.

These were the few benefits of eating organic produce. It is must that organic food products must meet the standard set by the United States Department of Agriculture, then only the food products are considered as 100% organic. Once approved, farmers get frequents assessments, must maintain detailed logs of the output and must be ready for the surprise visits to validate the quality of their soil and water. So, once you go to any grocery shop to purchase organic food, always check for the USDA organic label to get the 100% authenticity. Also, do not forget that food product labelled under natural and hormone-free may not be organic.

The process of producing organic food is very costly and time taking. Hence, it is more expensive than the conventional food produce. But, the health and environmental benefits associated with organic produce are worth the price and gives you the best results in long-run. However, you can overcome the expensive cost of organic produce by purchasing it directly from the farmers or in bulk.

The benefits of choosing organic is not only limited to food. Everything from clothes to cosmetic and decorative material to furniture is available in market as certified organic products.

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Foods That Make You Happy

57You have heard the famous saying, “You are what you eat”. How true this rings even today, and indeed is proved right time and again. It is a given that good, healthy food shows on your face, while junk food makes you appear gloomy and low. Not only this, the food you eat has a lot to do with the way you feel and the amount of energy your body exudes.

Studies show that many foods influence the levels of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) which are responsible for controlling the ‘mood swings’ of a person. It has been established that the neurotransmitters including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are associated with mood changes.

So, now you know what you need to do if you find yourself constantly low on energy and enthusiasm. Simply gorge on these foods that boost your stamina and get you go

 Foods that influence Your Moods (Short term)

What do you reach out for when you are tired, restless or irritated? Most often you opt for a chocolate, soft drink, tea, coffee, beer or anything that simply peps you up, right? Well, this is what most of us do. And one of the pressing reasons for this, say experts, is that whenever we are feeling low, we crave for sugars that can provide us with an instant burst of energy or we reach out for stimulants.

Though foods that are high in sugar levels are quick fixes when one is feeling low, after a spurt of the feel-good factor, they cause rebound lows or depression. Also, once you consume these, the system craves for more, eventually leading to addictions.

When you are low, what can you do?

Eat whole wheat bread or whole grain rotis or pasta, oats porridge, whole fruits (not fruit juices) and these can be accompanied with honey, fruit pulps, as these are nutritionally better than sugar.

Certain foods may not agree with your system and may cause a disturbance with digestion. This will in turn influence your mood and overall health. Hence, it is advisable to maintain a food diary for a few days and identify foods that your system doesn’t tolerate or finds difficult to digest.

White bread, deep fried foods, beans, very spicy foods, excessive tea and coffee, soft drinks are few of the common culprits.

Carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates when consumed in proper portions are good for overall wellbeing. Too much of protein rich foods and fatty foods with too little carbohydrates in your diet will lead to an interference in the serotonin release, thereby causing depression.

Frequent fasting and long intervals between two meals, very often lead to overeating, and the food does not get digested easily. This is also a cause for lethargy and restlessness.

Hence, small amounts of food should be consumed at every four hour interval. And importantly, breakfast should never be missed.

Foods that influence Your Moods (Long term)

Various nutrients are required by the body to be able to function to its optimum levels. Absence of a balanced diet results in deficiencies that cause tiredness, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety and depression.

Iron

Iron deficiency leads to low levels of hemoglobin in the blood, commonly known as anemia. Rich sources of iron are present in non vegetarian food, dry fruits, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B (mainly B6, B12 and folic acid)

Rich sources of B-complex vitamins are unpolished (whole) grains, seeds, nuts, eggs, beans, dairy products and green leafy vegetables.

Zinc

Zinc acts like a catalyst in may metabolic processes of the body. Foods rich in zinc are meat, sea food – especially oysters, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, eggs and milk.

Omega 3 fatty acids

These contain DHA, which help the brain to be active and alert. Deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids causes depression. Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are fish and fish oils (especially salmon, trout and tuna). Flax seed is a good vegetarian source for the same. To read more about Foods that make you Happy

Helping Your Child Be Healthy and Fit

56Today, feeding children is based on concerns about heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. There is reason to be concerned. More than 20 percent of Western children are overweight with a good chance that 50 to 70 percent of them will remain overweight as adults. It is important for parents to set good examples of healthful eating.

Research shows that children develop eating habits similar to those of their parents. While it is a parent’s job to provide balanced selections from the five food groups, children can be allowed a certain amount of freedom to choose what and how much they eat. Poor eating habits and craving for sugar snacks and fatty foods may develop if parents fail to direct the decision making process. Remember that the issue isn’t “good foods” versus “bad foods”.

If children balk at food put before them, don’t worry. Studies show children will, over time, eat the amount of food that is right for them if they are offered healthful choices. You can’t expect a child to want to eat broccoli if chips are offered, or drink milk or orange juice when parents are drinking sodas. Of course, an occasional high fat food, gooey dessert, sugary snack, or soda is permissible, provided they are not substitutes for nutritious foods. Parents can make eating a pleasure for the entire family by helping create positive attitudes about food that will lead to a lifetime of good health.

What are the five food groups, and how can we help the entire family eat a balanced diet? The food guide pyramid on this page shows how to select a balanced diet and how to teach your child to make wise choices. How many servings do you need each day?

Calorie level 1,600(Many women and older adults)
2,200(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
2,800(Teen boys and active men)

Bread Group Servings 6(Many women and older adults)
9(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
11(Teen boys and active men)

Vegetable Group Serving 3(Many women and older adults)
4(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
5(Teen boys and active men)
Fruit Group Servings 2(Many women and older adults)
3(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
4(Teen boys and active men)

Milk Group serving 2-3(Many women and older adults)
2-3(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
2-3(Teen boys and active men)

Meat Group Servings 2, for a total of 5 ounces (Many women and older adults)
2, for a total of 6 ounces (Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
3 for a total of 7 ounces(Teen boys and active men)

Total Fat (grams) 53(Many women and older adults)
73(Children, teen girls, active women and most men)
93((Teen boys and active men)

These are the calorie levels if you choose low fat.lean foods from the 5 major food groups and use foods from the fats, oils, and sweets group sparingly. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, teenagers, and young adults to age 24 need 3 servings. A balanced diet includes food from each of the following food groups:
1. Grains (bread, cereal, rice, and pasta);
2. Fruit (fresh, dried, or unsweetened canned);
3. Vegetables (raw or lightly cooked);
4. Meat (meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs, and nuts); and
5. Dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese).
Offer your children nutritious choices for meals and snacks. This way you can help them control their own diet. For example, you might offer a choice of an apple, an orange, or a banana. With older children (aged 7 and up) you can start by planning a menu together, letting the children check to make sure it includes all five food groups.

Remember that each of the food groups provides some, but not all, of the nutrients a child needs. Foods in one group can’t replace those in another. No one of these major food groups is more important than another. For good health, all are necessary. What’s for breakfast? Many of us do not eat in the morning. Estimates suggest that up to 25 percent of all school-aged children leave the house without breakfast.

You may think that breakfast is just another meal. For a child, breakfast provides much needed energy (calories) to start the day off right. Adults may be able to make up for skipped breakfast by grabbing something on the way to work or while doing morning errands. Your child, however, does not have that opportunity. A nursery school child usually has a mid-morning snack 3 to 5 hours after waking up. After nursery school, few children are offered a morning snack. Getting your child to eat breakfast isn’t always easy. Try to tune into your child’s morning personality. A sleepyhead may need a quick breakfast. An early riser may like to eat breakfast before getting dressed. If this conflicts with your morning schedule, let your children get their own breakfast. Even a 6 year-old can open a container of yogurt.

A good breakfast consists of complex carbohydrates and simple sugars (breads, whole grains, fibre, fruits, and vegetables); proteins (dairy, chicken, beef, fish, eggs, nuts, and dried beans), and some fat. Carbohydrates and simple sugars offer quick energy but leave the stomach quickly. A breakfast of only carbohydrates can give a child mid-morning discomfort. When milk, cheese, yogurt, lean meat, or an egg is added, the food stays in the stomach longer and provides sustained energy.

Play Time:
Physical fitness is a vital part of being healthy. For children, being and staying physically fit can happen with activities they refer to as PLAY! Play that makes them breathe deeply is aerobic exercise. Aerobic activities such as bicycling, jumping rope, roller skating, running, dancing, and swimming can be beneficial if they are done for 12 to 15 minutes without stopping. The young child develops an active lifestyle as he or she begins to creep, crawl, and then walk.

Young children learn how to move in their environment by playing alone in their own personal space. As children grow, they hop, march, run, roll, toss, bounce, and kick. Their bodies are changing in terms of height and weight, and they are beginning to form a self-concept through comparison with others as they move. When play is organized into specific movements, it becomes exercise. For exercise to become part of each day, these movements or activities should meet the interests and needs of your child. Play is the beginning. Children can follow their own paths to lifetime fitness by exercising for fun and at their own pace. Watching too much TV can deprive your child of opportunities to play and exercise. Set a good example. Limit TV watching. Walk to your destination as often as possible. Play active games with your child. Help form neighbourhood sports teams and participate in the recreation.

Everyone can exercise. Certain exercises keep your heart and lungs healthy. Strong, flexible muscles can be developed with exercise. As your child achieves fitness through exercise, a growing self-confidence will be another benefit of a fitness routine.

Staying Well:
Reducing the risk of disease is a major goal in helping your child grow up healthy. Bacteria and viruses cause disease and sickness, and cleanliness can help prevent the spread of these germs. Sharing such items as a comb, toothbrush, hairbrush, or cup, even among family members, can also spread disease. Having clean clothes and daily baths shows children that being clean not only feels good, but also helps them stay well.

You can teach your children to wash their hands at an early age. Tell your children that skin can stop germs from entering the body, and washing can reduce the risk of infection if your child has a cut or scrape. Explain, too, that harmful germs and viruses can be spread by a sneeze or a cough. Teach your child to stay away from people who are sneezing and coughing. Children can help prevent the spread of disease if they cover their sneezes or coughs with a tissue. Everybody has an internal disease fighting system (immune system) made of antibodies and white blood cells. Your child can help that immune system function well by getting enough sleep, by eating nutritious meals, and by exercising.

Vaccinations also prevent disease and play an important part in helping your child grow up healthy. The idea of having a shot may be frightening to a child. Help your child understand that this vaccination is a medicine that prevents disease. It’s a lot more fun to be playing with friends than to be sick. A vaccination chart for keeping track of immunizations can be found on the inside front cover. The importance of vaccinating children at the appropriate ages cannot be overemphasized.

Is Lobster A Healthy Or Unhealthy Food?

55In our modern day, it seems that nearly everything we eat carries the risk of being unhealthy. Eating fish has known health benefits, yet some species of fish may contain unsafe levels of mercury and PCB’s. Eating fresh fruit is known to be healthy, yet many fruits are sprayed with chemical pesticides the residues of which are of questionable risk. The same can be said of vegetables.

Whether the above mentioned food items are healthy or unhealthy is beyond the scope of this article. It does point out, though, that the debate continues on which foods contribute to good health, and which foods pose a health risk. This article will present information for the reader to determine which camp lobster belongs in: healthy or unhealthy.

Let’s start with the few arguments that put forth the case that lobster is unhealthy. There are not many. We’ve read that one doctor advises against eating lobster because it may contain parasites and viruses. Nothing like pointing out the obvious. Every living creature on Earth may contain parasites and viruses, which is why any animal-based food product should be cooked before being eaten. Cooking eliminates this risk. One risk that cooking will not eliminate is excess levels of mercury. No matter how much you cook any fish or seafood item, it will not remove mercury.

How much mercury does lobster have? Before we answer that question, we need to look a little at mercury and the reasons it is in seafood to begin with. The FDA states in their report “What you need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish” that “nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury” and that “Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans.”

What can be gleaned from this report are two facts. One, that all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. Two, Mercury occurs naturally as well. If mercury occurs naturally, it is probably safe to assume that all fish and shellfish have always contained traces of mercury. Which begs the question: are mercury levels in fish and shellfish any higher now than they were 50 or 100 years ago? The answer is that scientists do no know for sure, as tests for mercury in fish were not done back then. Regardless, the FDA lists four fish varieties that have higher level of mercury than all others: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. They also list five that are very low in mercury: shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Lobster is closer to the 5 on the low end than the 4 on the high end.

Even the 4 fish varieties that have higher levels of mercury are safe to eat in moderation for all people other than pregnant mothers, and mothers nursing infant children. It is only these 4 varieties that should be avoided in the two circumstances just mentioned. Lobster is not included in the list of fish to avoid when pregnant.

The final argument against lobster that we have heard is not based on science at all. The argument is that lobsters are bottom feeders and eat decaying and rotting fish that sink to the bottom. The logic of the argument is that since lobsters are eating these things that aren’t healthy for people, people shouldn’t be eating lobsters. The problem with this argument is that it is not based on facts. The fact is that lobsters eat mainly live food. Their primary diet consists of live fish, clams, crabs, mussels and sea urchins. Lobsters do eat dead bait in traps, but humans eat dead fish too! Ask any lobsterman, and they will tell you: the fresher the bait, the better it will “fish.” This is trade language which, when translated, means that if you put fresh bait in your traps it will attract more lobsters. Old bait does not attract many lobsters at all.

When fish gets old and borderline saleable at a seafood market, it begins to emit an ammonia smell. At that point, which can be about 5 to 7 days after being caught, it is no longer appealing to humans. It is the same for lobsters. They prefer live, fresh food, but will eat dead bait in traps if it is fresh and not old.

This last argument against lobster as a healthy food is the weakest and not based upon fact at all, but rather on fallacy: lobsters eat primarily live food, not decaying, rotting dead fish.

Now we’ll look at the factors in favor of lobster being a healthy food.

There are several health reasons that lobster should be eaten. The first comes from the American Heart Associations Page on Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids which recommends eating fish at least 2 times per week. A quote from the American Heart Association is worth sharing here, “Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat that fatty meat products do.”

Lobster is indeed an excellent source of lean protein. 100 grams of lobster meat contains 98 calories, 21 grams of protein, and only 0.6 grams of fat. Contrast that to 100 grams of white, skinless chicken meat which has 168 calories, 31 grams of protein, and 3.6 grams of fat. Gram for gram, even skinless chicken contains in excess of 500% more fat than lobster. Lean beef contains more than 10 times as much fat as lobster. Obviously, lobster is an excellent source of lean protein.

Lobster is more than just a lean source of protein. Lobster also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with good heart health. There are several valuable benefits from a diet which regularly contains Omega-3 fatty acids. Again quoting from the American Heart Association, “The ways that omega-3 fatty acids reduce CVD (cardio-vascular disease) risk are still being studied. However, research has shown that they decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure (slightly).” The report further states, “Large-scale epidemiologic studies suggest that people at risk for coronary heart disease benefit from consuming omega-3 fatty acids from plants and marine sources.”

Lobster does not contain as much Omega-3 fatty acids as salmon, which has the highest content, but is a good source nonetheless.

In summary, lobster is high in protein, extremely low in fat, is a beneficial source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are healthy for the heart and reduce the growth rate of plaque. Lobsters feed primarily on live food: fish, crabs, clams and mussels. Lobster have a very healthy diet which would be beneficial to humans, not harmful to them.

There you have the arguments for and against lobster as a healthy food source. The evidence suggests lobster is a very healthy food choice. Not only is it very healthy, it tastes absolutely extravagant. Enjoy your lobster!

Get Healthy by Eating Healthy Breakfast Meals to Lose Weight

54Want to make first impression effective? First impression always matter. First impression means the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. First we impress other with our body structure. It is proven by the survey that the person who looks fit and smart gets job easily in comparison with unhealthy or bulky body person. It is rightly said that “Healthy People identify our Nation’s health improvement and priorities”. Who wants to be unhealthy or bulky? No one, but due to current life schedule every second person becomes unhealthy. Now-a-days many health institutes are opened to help those people who want healthy health. Many people take the help of surgeries, weight loss medicine and do lots of exercise to get rid of extra weight. But believe me if you does not take healthy meals all your efforts are useless. So, the first thing you have to do, is to take healthy meals.  You can take all the tips and the suggestions for healthy meals from the live healthy meals portal.

The first thing which affects our health is “Breakfast”. As per research it is proven that breakfast is the most important meals of the day. The person who skips breakfast can lose weight slowly in comparison of the person who always takes breakfast every morning. The next time you rush out the door in the morning without something to eat, consider that skipping breakfast can set you up for overeating later in the day. Live healthy meals website suggest you the suggestions of Healthy Breakfast Meals To Lose Weight easily.

Always remember that a healthy a.m. meal can give you energy, satisfy your appetite, and set the stage for smart decisions all day long. Always making time for breakfasts remember Time is at a premium for most of us. But your health is worth making time for what may be the most important meal of the day. Give time to your health and your health will definitely give time to you to live some more days.  Breakfast is essential for every person but for children it is most essential. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.

Only taking healthy breakfast is not enough you have to take healthy meals 3 times a day, Breakfast, mid day meal and the last dinner. We all know the benefits of healthy meals. But we have some confusion about the benefits of some meals. It normally seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. But by using some simple tips of Healthy Meal Ideas To Lose Weight, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body too.