Fiber And Its Amazing Health Benefits

Assorted raw organic vegetablesFiber- we see this word everyday in newspapers, on the internet, and in food labels. Why do doctors and nutritionists recommend a daily intake of fiber, and how does it help in getting people to lose weight?

The Fiber in Foods

The fiber found in food is not the same type of rope fiber used to tow cars when they break down. Fiber comes in many forms, but what our bodies specifically need is Dietary Fiber. Essentially, dietary fiber is made up of nutrients that cannot be digested when they pass through our gastrointestinal enzymes and intestines. This plant compound is mainly a carbohydrate, made up of polysaccharides such as dextrins, chitins, beta-glucans, oligosaccharides, cellulose, pectins, inulin and waxes. You might also hear the terms “roughage” and “bulk” when dietary fiber is being mentioned in context, but these might mislead you in thinking that fiber is rough or bulky in appearance.

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Boost Your Health By Eating These Natural Super Foods

What are super foods?

super food infographic flat designSuper foods are nutrient-rich meals packed with essential antioxidants, vitamins, polyphenols, and minerals which cannot be found in other ordinary foods. Eating them reduces the risk of contracting certain chronic diseases while also prolonging life. Likewise, those who take them on a regular basis develop leaner bodies and are generally healthier.

Superfoods for lowering cholesterol levels

I. Oatmeal

Whole grain oats have soluble fiber extracts which help in lowering blood cholesterol levels, studies also show that taking at least 1 bowl of this dessert per day can cut down on bad fats by around 8%-23%. When buying oatmeal from the grocery store always go for ‘whole grain’ versions since they cook a lot faster, and are more nutritious compared to their refined counterparts. During preparation, try sprinkling your oatmeal with half-a-tablespoon of cinnamon for extra nutritional value. Cinnamon will boost its effects by lowering glucose levels and also reducing bacterial-causing inflammation.

II. Avocado

Fresh green avocadoThough at first glance the Avocado fruit may seem fatty, the lipid found inside is actually safe and harmless. Research shows that regular intake of this food can increase your HDL count, this is the ‘good’ cholesterol that has no adverse effects on the heart. The decision on whether to buy ripe or raw avocado depends on its variety, for Argentinean or Hass avocados look for all-black, firm fruits with a slightly soft top. They should be used immediately after purchase. If it already appears soft and gives in to pressure, then chances are that it shall be over-ripe by the time you decide to make a dish. On the contrary, for Floridian/Fuerte varieties it’s best to buy the firmest avocados and wait for several days as they ripen before using. If you’re in a hurry to get them ready, then consider placing your fruits in a tight polythene bag at normal room temperature so as to speed up the process.

III. Salmon

Homemade Grilled Salmon on a Cedar PlankSalmon is considered one of the Super foods since it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which apart from improving cholesterol levels also helps in brain development. Both wild and farmed salmon are recommendable for use. For the best results, cook double portions of the fish for dinner, and save at least half of the portion to make a delicious salad desert for next day lunch. Experiment with spicy mustards, and a few sliced almonds for some delicious topping.

IV. Legumes

They are an excellent source of fiber and may also act as substitutes for meat in most dishes, some common foods that fall under is category include beans, chicken peas and lentils. Nevertheless, if you like the convenience that canned beans & legumes bring, but distaste the extra sodium compound found in them, it’s easy to reduce the amount by simply washing away the extra sodium content with clean running water. You can as well add quarter-a-teaspoon of paprika or cayenne for a zesty nutritious bonus.

Other common Super foods:

a) Tomatoes

Tomatoes are considered Super foods since they contain lycopene, a rare antioxidant which helps in protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, certain types of cancer and even excess fats. Furthermore, studies show that they contain high portions of potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Take your chopped tomatoes with avocado and lettuce for the perfect sandwiches.

b) Kale

Kales contain a unique phytonutrient which lessens the occurrence of a wide range of cancers, such as ovarian and breast. Though studies are still ongoing to unravel how this happens, researchers believe this ingredient triggers the liver to generate enzymes which neutralize cancer-causing substances. Add some extra taste by trying it together with caramelized onion.

c) Blueberries

Blueberries are full of special phytonutrients which neutralize free radicals in the body, these are the compounds which cause aging and cell damage. The phytonutrients also help in combating certain age-related diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s condition. For preparation, you can either sprinkle blueberries on top of your dessert yogurt with chopped bananas, or alternately make some blueberry bread for breakfast.

d) Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain phytonutrients which suppress growth of tumors & reduce the risk of cancer. A single cup of this veggie will also supply you with a daily dose of immune-boosting vitamin C and folic acid. It can be taken together with black beans which pack 15 gms of protein per cup, and are also free from artery-clogging saturated fats but high in energy-boosting iron.


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What You Need To Know About Processed Foods

grocery shoppingShops selling processed food are thriving because they have so many regular customers. People love processed food despite knowing their negative effects on health. This begs the question: why do people love processed food? Why do companies continue making these foods?

The convenience associated with processed foods is what makes them so popular. Here are the main reasons why people love processed food so much;

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Benefits of Juicing

Vegetable juice raw food - healthy juicer womanJuicing is a process whereby you will have to extract natural minerals, liquids and vitamins from raw vegetable and fruits. The process involves use of a juicer where the solid part of the vegetable and fruits is striped off leaving you with juice. The juice that is obtained through the juicing process is very healthy. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds. The juice can be incorporated in daily minerals such as breakfast to enable users achieve great energy.

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Good Fats vs Bad Fats

Homemade Grilled Salmon on a Cedar PlankFor a long time, people have labeled fat as something that should be avoided at all costs by people who want to stay healthy. Most people who want to lose weight try hard to ensure that they consume as little fat as possible. However, contrary to what most people think, fat is important in the body. It is a very important source of energy. It helps to enhance the absorption of important minerals and vitamins. Fat also helps the exterior of cells and the sheath that surrounds the nerves. Fats are not all the same. Some fats are better than others. There are other fats that can seriously harm your health.

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Eating A Variety Of Foods

Assorted raw organic vegetablesIncluding a rainbow of food is essential to the general health of an individual. Perhaps, there is no single type of food that is capable of supplying all the needed ingredients to your body. The secret to healthy living is eating a variety. A balanced diet contains all the necessary components from all the food groups for the body to reap optimum nutrition. Dietary needs, however, will vary from one individual to another. Sometimes the food that we perceive to be good to us may not necessarily mean that they contain the essential nutrients needed in our bodies. Eating a balanced diet has many advantages. The following are the top benefits of taking a balanced diet.

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