With the low carbohydrate craze, many people have turned their attention to fats. They eat more of it and think its fine. Depending on what kind of fat you are consuming and how much of it you take in, fats can be beneficial or detrimental to your health. There are three main types of fat. They are saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources such as meat and dairy. At room temperature, saturated fats are solid. Unsaturated fats come mainly from plant sources such as olives and nuts and contain no cholesterol. They are liquid (oil) at room temperature. Unsaturated fats are broken down further in monounsaturated (one double bond) and polyunsaturated (more than one double bond). You might be asking yourself what a fat is saturated or unsaturated with. A fat molecule (without getting into too much chemistry) is made up of carbon atoms that have hydrogen atoms attached to them. In saturated fats, all carbon atoms have a single bond to another carbon atom and are also bonded to hydrogen atoms. In unsaturated fats, not all carbons are saturated with hydrogens so double bonds form between carbons. Depending on what carbon the double bond is formed determines the fat's properties. Trans fat is man made fat. It is made by taking an unsaturated fat and putting hydrogen through it in a process called hydrogenation. Trans fat is very bad for your health. Whole saturated fat increases LDL (bad) cholesterol and very slightly increases HDL (good) cholesterol, trans fat increases LDL cholesterol and decreases HDL cholesterol.
Echinacea, the purple coneflower, is the best known and researched herb for stimulating the immune system. Thousands of Europeans and Americans use echinacea preparations against colds and flu, minor infections, and a host of other major and minor ailments. This native American herb has an impressive record of laboratory and clinical research. Thousands of doctors currently use echinacea for treating infectious diseases.HistoryEchinacea has a rich tradition of use by North American Plains Indians who used it medicinally more than any other plant. It was prominent in modern American medicine in the early 20th Century, and was discovered by Europeans, who have used it extensively since the 1930s. Today millions of Europeans use echinacea as their primary therapy for colds, flus, infections, and for general immune-boosting effects.Health Benefits of EchinaceaEchinacea increases the "non-specific" activity of the immune system. In other words, unlike a vaccine which is active only against a specific disease, echinacea stimulates the overall activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infection. Unlike antibiotics, which are directly lethal to bacteria, echinacea makes our own immune cells more efficient in attacking bacteria, viruses and abnormal cells, including cancer cells. Echinacea facilitates wound healing, lessens symptoms of and speeds recovery from viruses. Anti-inflammatory effects make it useful externally against inflammatory skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. It may also increase resistance to candida, bronchitis, herpes, and other infectious conditions.Benefits Colds, coughs and flu and other upper respiratory conditions Enlarged lymph glands, sore throat Urinary tract infections Other minor infections May help combat herpes and candida Wounds, skin regeneration and skin infections (external use) Psoriasis, eczema and inflammatory skin conditions (external use)
The recommended food pyramid provides a simple guide to establishing healthy eating habits. The "food pyramid" was originally established in the 1960s in response to the increase in heart disease, and to help people understand what it takes to stay healthy. There are several facets of the food pyramid, which help you to analyze what you are eating and what you need to change in order to maintain your healthy eating habits.The base of the pyramid is the bread & grains group. There are a variety of different types of foods that fall into this category. According to this pyramid, a healthy diet contains six to eleven servings of a breads & grains per day. An example of a single serving would be half of a cup of rice, cereal or pasta or one slice of bread. Another thing to consider is the type of grain. The pyramid recommends at least half of the bread & grains you consume are whole grain, such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or oatmeal.From here, various versions of the pyramid split. Some versions pyramids include fruit and vegetables in a single group, others split them into two groups. For the vegetable category, it is important to add two to three servings of vegetables to your daily diet. A serving generally consists of a cup of vegetables or vegetable juice. It is also key to eat a variety of different types of vegetables over the course of a week. The typical food pyramid groups vegetables into five groups:* Dark green: such as broccoli and spinach.* Orange: pumpkin and sweet potatoes* Dry beans and peas: navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, tofu* Starchy vegetables: corn, potatoes, green peas* Other vegetables: cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes(Note: While we have given examples of the members of each group, it is certainly not an exhaustive list)With fruits, a cup of fruit or fruit juice, or a half-cup of dried fruit counts as a serving. Recommendations are one to two servings of fruit each day.The next part of the food pyramid is the milk and dairy section. This group includes milk (including lactose-free), yogurt, cheese and other variations of this type of product. About three servings per day is the recommended amount. A typical serving of dairy would be a cup of milk or yogurt, 1 ounces of natural cheese or two ounces of processed cheese.Next to last is the meat and beans group. This group contains meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and dried beans. Choosing low-fat cuts of meat and poultry are key to a healthy diet. Five to six ounces of mean and beans each day is the recommended daily intake for this group.The highest level of the food pyramid is the oils and fats level. While there are different types of oils and fats, this food group should be the smallest portion of a healthy diet. General recommendations are five to seven teaspoons of fats or oils per day; not very much. An ounce of nuts, such as peanuts or almonds, contains three teaspoons of oil. A tablespoon of mayonnaise contains about two and a half teaspoons.The food pyramid can provide excellent guidlines to ensure that your meals will be more balanced and nutritious. Though the number of servings in each group will vary based on your age, body type, activity level and other individual needs, the food pyramid can help you on your way to developing a pattern of healthy eating.
You are what you eat is a simple, time tested adage that still holds true today. There are non-medical remedies that can help with many of todays most common illnesses and conditions. In fact, making simple changes to your food diet to cure your common cold, acne or constipation problems is a much better choice than resorting to drugs. For one, natural food and diet remedies most often do not give you harmful side-effects that western allopathic medicine can bring. Here are some health ailments that can be easily treated with a simple food and diet remedy:Allergies. More Americans suffer from allergies than ever before. Perhaps the best remedy for allergies is drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. Garlic and cayenne pepper have been used for years, and a good intestinal cleansing has been shown to provide relief. Almonds and walnuts, as well as sunflower seeds, reduce symptoms, and make sure that you are taking a multi-vitamin with the recommended doses of vitamins C, A, E and zinc.Acne. Acne in both teens and adults is also becoming more and more common. There are many natural dietary changes that you can make to help clear up your skin. First, drink water. It flushes out the impurities. Soy protein helps, as does increasing your consumption of whole grains, fresh fruits and root vegetables. Have three servings of oily fish weekly and add some cold pressed seed oil daily.Constipation. To help constipation, increase your intake of folic acid. Apple pectin can help relieve constipation and add fiber to your diet. Try drinking some ginger tea or yerba mate in tea form. Cod liver oil is a tried and true, but hard to swallow, remedy. Warm dandelion tea also helps.Stress. Holy basil, also known as Tulsi, has been used to relieve stress and normalize cortical levels. Limiting caffeine can help the body to reduce the level of adrenaline. When youre particularly stressed out, eat carbohydrates and fresh vegetables. They help the body release serotonin which produce a feeling of well-being.Cancer. Consuming the trace elements that are plentiful in seafood has been shown to help cancer patients. Broccoli, mustard greens, cabbage and turnips have been recently touted as not only preventative maintenance but perhaps even cures for different types of cancers. Limit your fats.Help your body cure itself by trying some of these simple food and diet changes. By also including them in your regular diet, you also help in the prevention of these health problems and to build a strong immune system.
It is no big secret that good nutrition provides good health. Although most people are aware of the health benefits of eating nutritious food, many individuals still continue to neglect their choice of food and end up causing themselves unnecessary harm. Heres a list of how good nutrition can be beneficial for your body and mind: BETTER PERFORMANCE To perform even the smallest task, the body needs to have energy. The proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the food you eat contribute to the energy that your entire body needs. But to conserve this energy you require certain vitamins and minerals, which can be obtained either from foods or supplements. If your diet does not contain any of these integral vitamins and minerals, you could face serious health problems. By ensuring proper energy through the vitamin and mineral intake by means of the foods you eat, youll provide your body with the necessary fuel needed to do all the tasks required to maintain a healthy life. These include the production and maintenance of body tissues, the electrical conduction of nerve activity, the mechanical work of muscle effort, and heat production to maintain body temperature. GOOD FOR CELLS The body functions through a very a synchronized intricate system. The cardiovascular, reproductive and respiratory systems can be broken down to a cellular level where hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters are constantly interacting through complex processes to make the body function. These processes are all made possible by the nutrients that we ingest every day. A diet deficient in vital nutrients will soon lead to disease. By eating foods from a variety of different sources both animal and plant-based you will provide your body with the essential nutrients without which its cells cannot function properly and effectively. TISSUE GROWTH Good nutrition has the advantage that it ensures growth, healing and the maintenance and build-up of muscle mass. For these essential processes to take place, the body needs energy, certain vitamins and minerals, but especially protein on a daily basis. Protein can be obtained primarily from animal products such as meat, eggs and milk. Most plant foods are relatively poor in protein, with the exception of legumes and beans. Although the non-vegetarian diet generally incorporates enough protein, vegetarians may be getting too little of this vital nutrient. If youre a vegetarian, it is important that you make a point of including protein-rich foods in your diet. The advantage is that, should you suffer an injury, your body will be ready and able to repair the damaged tissue. You will also be able to maintain your muscle mass and increase it when you exercise. BETTER IMMUNITY Foods and nutrients can play an immune-boosting role. The key is to optimize your intake of plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. Including more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating more fish is also helpful. AVOID CHRONIC DISEASES Good nutrition can be used as a tool to combat chronic diseases of lifestyle. It is a well-known fact that obesity and overweight can lead to "chronic diseases" , like diabetes type 2, heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and some cancers. Make a point of including more plant-based foods in your diet. Plant-based foods generally have a lower fat content, are rich in fibre and are also excellent sources of phytochemicals. SOUND MENTAL HEALTH The most basic principle in preventing depression and mood swings, is to eat a balanced diet that contains foods from all the different food groups fruit and vegetables, unprocessed grains and cereals, lean meat, eggs, milk and dairy products, legumes and nuts, poly or monounsaturated margarine and oils. A good diet and sufficient intake of the omega-3s, can also help to prevent Alzheimers disease later in life. The only person responsible for your health is you. If you take the initiative to maintain good health, it will only benefit you.