Stress Slows Metabolism

Stress Slows Metabolism

If you crave chocolate cake or Ben and Jerry’s after a stressful day, you could gain over 10 pounds in a year, warns a new study.

The research, published in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that women burn fewer calories when under stress. The study participants who reported stress also had higher insulin levels.

“This means that, over time, stressors could lead to weight gain,” said Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study, in a press release. “We know from other data that we’re more likely to eat the wrong foods when we’re stressed, and our data say that when we eat the wrong foods, weight gain becomes more likely because we are burning fewer calories.”

Researchers questioned 58 middle-aged women about their stress levels, and then served them a 930-calorie meal, complete with biscuits, gravy and 60 grams of fat. The researchers then measured how long it took the women to burn those calories (their metabolic rate). The stressed-out burned 104 fewer calories than the care-free women.

The researchers also noted that women with a history of depression combined with stress had a bigger rise in triglycerides after the meal. High levels of triglycerides are associated with cardiovascular disease.

“With depression, we found there was an additional layer. In women who had stress the day before and a history of depression, triglycerides after the meal peaked the highest,” Kiecolt-Glaser said. “The double whammy of past depression as well as daily stressors was a really bad combination.”

While it’s unclear whether the effect would be the same in men, it’s probably safer for everyone to reach for a green smoothie after a long day.

Source: discovery news

Five healthy foods that won’t blow your budget

Five healthy foods that won’t blow your budget

Many people will agree that finding food that is nutritious, great-tasting and affordable can be difficult. In fact, most of us think that it can be possible to obtain at least the first two of those goals, yet difficult to combine all three. Nevertheless, you should not think this goal hopeless; it is possible to find healthy, delicious recipes suitable to your budget. All you have to do is to be mindful when choosing what you eat. If your budget will allow, choosing organic meat and dairy will help to improve the nutritional profile of your meals. Below are some healthy foods that won’t break the bank.

1. White chili – This is a healthy and delicious meal that will suit any tight budget. Made with white beans and spices, a small amount of lean ground meat goes a long way. Make a delicious creamy base with yogurt and chicken broth.

2. Omelet – To get the most nutrition from this eggs choose those from free-range chickens. Made with loads of fresh, in-season vegetables, this can be a great way to get a delicious meal for not a lot of money.

3. Pork tenderloin – Cooking tenderloin is very cost-effective, yet can be very healthy. You should not be intimidated about the price of tenderloin because it will surely fits in your budget and at the same time ensures to be a healthy food.

4. Yogurt – Packed with healthy probiotics to support gut health, yogurt is also high in protein. Choose plain, whole mik organic yogurt to avoid added hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals. A quick and delicious way to serve it is as a parfait with fresh fruit, nuts or granola.

5. Broccoli – Rich in phytonutrients and fiber this is a versatile vegetable to include in your diet. It can be eaten raw, cooked, steamed, in soups, casseroles, side dishes and more. While it does have a distinctive flavor, you can also use broccoli when juicing.

Eating healthy foods need not be expensive because you can find foods that are affordable and healthy. On the other hand, while looking for affordable foods you should make sure not to compromise on the quality of your foods. Indeed, eating healthy foods on budget means selecting the foods that are full of nutrients but are affordable. Low budget meals include grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. They are not only easy to prepare and affordable but also highly nutritious. Smart planning, creativity, and resourcefulness in shopping for foods and preparing foods can help you create delicious, healthy meals.
Source: grains and more



Monsoon Special: Foods you should eat!

Monsoon Special Foods you should eat!

Eating right during the monsoons can be very tricky. The wrong kind of food could give you an upset tummy. But don’t worry. To make sure you have a healthy monsoon, here’s a list of foods you should include in your diet as well as tips on how to eat them.

Herbal teas: “Herbal teas like ginger or lemon tea is good for you especially during the monsoons, as it will keep the flu away,” says Namita Nanal, a Mumbai-based nutritionist. Try sipping on a cup or two of herbal tea everyday.

Fenugreek: During monsoons, our immunity lowers automatically and therefore our system finds it hard to digest food. “So include herbs like fenugreek (methi) and cumin seeds (jeera) that’ll help you digest food better during the rains

Garlic: Add a little bit of garlic to your soups, stir fries and curries to build up your immunity this monsoon. “Garlic helps you fight viral infections,” says Namita.

Turmeric: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric improves your immunity too. So include some in your food to keep that cold at bay.

Soups: Soups are a good way to get nutrition from veggies during monsoons “as they kill bacteria in them, making veggies safe to consume,” says holistic health guru, Mickey Mehta. Whip up interesting combinations like tomato and onion, potato and asparagus, carrot and chicken etc.

Moong dal: Opt for moong dal and masoor dal this rainy season. “These are not only a healthy source of protein but also of dietary fibre that aids digestion,” says Mickey.

Gourds: Vegetables like snake gourd, ash gourd, bitter gourd et al are extremely nutritious and are a much better option than salad leaves during the monsoons. “They are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and manganese,” says Mickey.

Nachini: “Millets like jowar and nachini are rich in calcium,” says Mickey that helps fortify our system and keep monsoon-related infections away.

Source: Idiva

8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life

8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,

Hamburger smells more tempting than dish of cooked vegetables, right? But a healthy diet can become fun if you’re in the mood for innovations. These super foods can really change your life and maintain healthy life.

We present 8 new fighters against cancer, aging, fatigue. All you need to is to add to the plate immediately.

1) Quinoa
While it is one of the oldest grains for us, it seems to be relatively new, because just few are informed of the nutritional benefits that are gained with its consumption. Good to know that only half a cup of quinoa meets the daily needs for protein. Besides containing calcium (one cup cooked quinoa has 30 milligrams) and iron (1 cup cooked quinoa contains 15 % of the recommended daily intake of iron), phosphorus, vitamin E and almost all vitamins of the B group. Quinoa is rare food where you can find the whole 8 essential amino acids needed for the development of human tissue.

2) Licorice root Why should you consume it? It is proved good medicine in the prevention of prostate cancer. In addition, he is a proven remedy against lung diseases, ulcer of the stomach and liver problems.

8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,7

3) Oil from apricot seeds Vitamin B17 is the main component for which you need to consume this oil. Why? Because of its anticancer properties. The oil from the seeds of apricot is a good choice of beta – carotene, and helps with infections and skin problems. Lycopene, which is found in apricot, is very effective in the fight against free radicals. From vitamins, apricot contains carotenoids (1500 mg), folic acid, vitamins E and C. From the mineral it contains enough potassium (320 mg .), calcium (17 mg .), phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.

8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,6

4) Arame Arame algae are a great ally in the fight against cancer because of the presence of lignan. They are recommended for women who go to chemotherapy because it accelerate hair growth, strengthen nails, and skin becomes shiny. They are a rich source of protein and vitamins A, B1, B2, K, and from minerals it contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine and most (50 grams meet the daily requirements for iodine). If you consume it regularly you can treate intestines, it improves the function of the lymphatic system, establishes hormonal balance, stabilize blood sugar and discharged heavy metals and other toxins from the body.8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,5

5) Wild rice In fact it is a grass that is rich in protein, minerals, fiber, B vitamins, folic acid. Does not contain gluten, while they are recommended for people with high cholesterol or those on a diet, because of the low calorific value and low fat percentage. Half cup wild rice contains 95 mg. folic acid or 53 % of your daily needs. Half cup of wild rice also has a 1.1 mg. zinc, and contains magnesium, calcium and iron. 8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,4

6) Chia Chia contains essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids can not be synthesized by our bodies, and we need them to maintain a sufficient amount of immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive system. Apart from the essential fatty acids, chia seeds provide dietary fiber, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus (2 teaspoons chia = 7 d. of dietary fiber, 2 g. of protein, 205 mg. of calcium and 5 g. of omega8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,3

7) Kelp This brown algae proven to reduce the chances of breast cancer, contains vitamin C, calcium and other essential ingredients. The fiber from the kelp blocks the creation of fat. Because of the high concentration of iodine, you should be careful with consumption. 8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,2

8) Chickpeas Although looks like the chick peas, chickpeas has its own unique smell and taste nice. It is beneficial for diabetics because it prevents a sudden increase in blood sugar, and recent studies say that it lower the risk of heart disease by 80 %. In its nutritional composition, chickpeas contains much folic acid (great for anemic), manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc and fiber that reduce elevated cholesterol.8 Super Food That Can Save Your Life,1

Source: evident weight loss

Can Pizza Prevent Norovirus?

You may have heard of binging on pizza as a cause of stomach distress, but how about a a cure?

Researchers found that a chemical in oregano called carvacrol causes norovirus to break down in mice, according to a study published today in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

“Carvacrol could potentially be used as a food sanitizer and possibly as a surface sanitizer, particularly in conjunction with other antimicrobials,” Dr. Kelly Bright, who led the research at the University of Arizona said in a press release. “We have some work to do to assess its potential but carvacrol has a unique way of attacking the virus, which makes it an interesting prospect.”

Carvacrol, which gives oregano its distinctive flavor, caused the layer of proteins surrounding the vomit-inducing virus to break down. Another antimicrobial would then be able to get into the virus and kill it.

Since carvacrol doesn’t produce any noxious fumes or by-products, it has good potential to be used in sanitizers for schools or hospitals, the researchers noted.

Oregano has developed a reputation as a super-spice. In 2012, researchers from Long Island University discovered that it may also be used to treat prostate cancer. In that study, researchers found that carvacrol could be used to induce “cell suicide.”

“Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk,” Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of pharmacology at Long Island University said in a press release. “This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play a role.”

Red light, green labels: Food choice made easier

In March 2010, Massachusetts General Hospital’s cafeteria got an overhaul. Healthy items were labeled with a “green light,” less healthy items were labeled with a “yellow light,” and unhealthy items were labeled with a “red light.” Healthier items were also placed in prime locations throughout the cafeteria, while unhealthy items were pushed below eye level.

The “Green Light, Red Light, Eat Right” method is a favorite among experts fighting childhood obesity. But doctors at Massachusetts General wanted to know if the colors could really inspire healthier eating habits among adults long-term.

The results of their study were published Tuesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study

A cash register system tracked all purchases from the hospital’s large cafeteria between December 2009 and February 2012. The first three months of data were used as a baseline for comparison purposes. In March 2010, all food and beverages were labeled with a visible green, yellow or red sticker. Those with a green sticker were put at eye level and in easier-to-reach places.

Signs, menu boards and other promotions were used to explain the changes around the hospital.

The cafeteria had an average of 6,511 transactions daily. Approximately 2,200 of those were from hospital employees who used the cafeteria regularly. Twelve months into the study, researchers analyzed the number of purchases from each color group, and compared them to the baseline totals. They did the same at the end of the 24-month period.

The results

The number of red items purchased during the study period decreased from 24% at the baseline to 21% at both the 12 and 24-month follow-ups. The biggest decrease was seen in red-labeled beverages (such as regular soda) – from 27% at baseline to 18% at 24 months.

Sales of green items increased from 41% to 46%.

In other words, cafeteria-goers bought more water and purchased healthier food items during the study period than they did before the traffic light system went into place.

Employees showed the biggest improvement; their purchases of red items decreased by about 20%.


“These results suggest that simple food environment interventions can play a major role in public health policies to reduce obesity,” the study authors write.

Lead study author Dr. Anne Thorndike wasn’t sure that the changes seen early in the study would last over the two-year period. The consistent results at 24 months suggest people won’t grow tired of or immune to helpful food labels, she says.

Thorndike does not believe the color coding system can replace more detailed nutrition information, but says the labels “convey some basic nutrition information in a format that can be quickly interpreted and understood by individuals from diverse backgrounds.”

It’s unclear if the traffic light system produced the change in consumers’ behavior or if it was the rearrangement of items in the cafeteria.

Use it at home

“Families could utilize this concept by categorizing foods in the household as ‘green’ or red,'” Thorndike says. “For example, you could have a ‘green’ snack drawer or shelf on the refrigerator that the kids could freely choose from, and you could designate a ‘red’ drawer in which the kids would need to ask permission before taking a snack.”

Parents can also rearrange their cupboards to put healthier snacks front and center. Sorry, cookies – it’s the dark corner up top for you.

Source: the chart

7 nutrients lacking in your diet

Think you eat pretty well and get enough key nutrients? Hopefully you do, but unfortunately the diets of most Americans are far from ideal.

A recent re-analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001-2008, commissioned by Nature Made, found that the diets of most Americans are lacking in several key nutrients. Even if you eat an appropriate amount of calories, you may not be getting enough important nutrients. Here are some of the nutrients that may be low in your diet, and easy ways to get more.

Vitamin A
If you associate vitamin A with healthy eyesight, you’re correct — vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins for healthy eyes. The vitamin A family also plays a key role in immune function and reproduction. According to the NHANES analysis, 78 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A.

How to get more? The highest concentration of vitamin A is found in sweet potatoes. Other good food sources of vitamin A include beef liver, spinach, black-eyed peas, fish, milk, eggs, spinach, and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables (like carrots, squash, cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, and peaches).

Vitamin C
A powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage, vitamin C boosts the immune system and helps form collagen in the body.  It’s also an important ingredient in key bodily processes like protein metabolism and synthesis of neurotransmitters. According to the NHANES analysis, more than half of U.S. adults (56 percent) don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C.

How to get more? If you think of citrus when you think of vitamin C, you are correct. Other good sources of this power vitamin include sweet red peppers, orange juice, kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe — just another reason to eat your daily fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that supports the absorption of calcium and may contribute to the maintenance of a healthy mood. A multitude of studies also support its role in immune health and the reduction of inflammation. According to the NHANES analysis, 99 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D.

Surprisingly few foods contain vitamin D, unless it’s added to the food. That’s because your body is meant to get vitamin D through your skin (from sunlight) rather than through food. However, age, altitude, time of year, and other factors can make getting vitamin D from sunlight alone problematic for many people.

How to get more? The best sources of vitamin D from food are fatty fish (like tuna, salmon or mackerel), vitamin D fortified foods (like milk, yogurt, orange juice, and cereal), beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. However, due to the low intake of vitamin D in the US diet, supplements can be an important source.

For healthy adults, a common supplement recommendation is 1000 IU per day of vitamin D3 (also known as “cholecalciferol”). When choosing a vitamin D (or any) supplement, look for brands that have been tested and verified by third-party organizations, such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Always talk to your health care professional to see what supplement regimen is best for you.

Vitamin E
As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E protects cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Vitamin E is also important for healthy blood vessel function and clotting (so when you cut yourself it stops bleeding), as well as for immunity. According to the NHANES analysis, 98 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E. While naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms, alpha- (or α-) tocopherol is the only form that is recognized to meet human requirements.

How to get more? The best source of vitamin E is wheat germ oil, with 1 tablespoon providing 100 percent of the daily value. Other top sources of vitamin E include nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts), peanuts and peanut butter, and some oils (sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and safflower oil).

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and the vast majority of it is stored in your teeth and bones. The remaining calcium helps your heart, muscles, and nerves function properly. Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may also play a role in protecting against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure – but more research is needed. According to the NHANES analysis, 69 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for calcium.

How to get more? It’s no surprise people think of milk when they think of calcium – dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) contain the highest amounts of naturally occurring calcium. Other sources of calcium include calcium-fortified foods (calcium-fortified orange juice, soymilk, and cereals), dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, and collards), and some beans (soybeans and white beans).

Magnesium participates in more than 300 reactions in the body and is critical to many bodily functions such as blood glucose control, blood pressure regulation, keeping bones strong, and converting carbohydrates, protein, and fat into energy. Sine magnesium is widely distributed in plant and animal foods and in beverages, it might be surprising that according to the NHANES analysis, 82 percent of U.S. adults don’t get the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium.

Low magnesium intake in the U.S. may be due to the fact that some types of food processing, such as refining grains in ways that remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran, can lower magnesium content substantially. Groups most at risk for magnesium deficiency are older adults and those with gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes or alcohol dependence.

How to get more? Good dietary sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables (such as spinach), legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. In general, foods naturally containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In addition to the nutrients shown to be lacking in the recent NHANES analysis, other nutrient intake surveys show that omega-3 fatty acids are deficient in the American diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are considered essential fatty acids. They contribute to heart health, brain health, and may help reduce inflammation.

There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in some vegetable oils, walnuts, flaxseed, and some green vegetables, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in fatty fish. ALA is partially converted to DHA and EPA by the body. Unfortunately, most Americans do not get enough of either type.

How to get more? For good health, you should aim to get at least one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids into your diet every day. This could be through a serving of salmon or other fatty fish, a tablespoon of salad dressing made with canola or soybean oil, a handful of walnuts, or ground flaxseed mixed into your morning smoothie.

For those at risk for heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends a dose of omega-3 (EPA + DHA) of 1 g per day or more. Since this is more than most people get in their diet, omega-3 supplements containing EPA + DHA may be beneficial. When choosing a fish oil supplement, choose a brand that is tested for purity and potency, like Omax3 Ultra-Pure. Before taking any supplement, discuss with your health care provider what regimen is best for you.

Source: Fox News