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When it comes to weight loss, every food you eat has an impact on your health. Most importantly, the number of calories you eat per day determines how well you’ll control and maintain a healthy weight. Most of us find it difficult to make it through the afternoon without reaching for something to snack on. Now you can without feeling guilty. Check out the list of 100-calorie snacks that you can munch on for weight loss.

1. Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are protein-rich and will keep you full for the most part of the day. With only 78 calories and 26 grams per serving, nutritionists suggest that you eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast to prevent overeating later in the day. You could also boil the eggs and put them in a fridge for an instant snack anytime you feel like.

Egg whites are easy to digest and provide the required protein for lean mass. Scientists also associate eggs with lowering the risk of heart disease, plus they contain B vitamins and choline.

2. Raw Nuts

Nuts are the perfect on-the-go superfoods that you can snack on any time of the day. You’ll be spoiled for choice but the most nutritious ones include walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. Raw nuts have been found to be a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, which are heart-healthy. Pistachios are rich in antioxidants and unsaturated fats with 20 of them supplying only 80 calories. You can also mix the different nuts and eat a handful for more health benefits. Since they also fill you up, nuts are a good addition to your lifestyle for weight loss.

3. Apples

Apples remain one of the most nutritious grab-and-go snacks to sustain you through the day. One medium sized apple contains less than 100 calories and supplies your body with quercetin, an anti-inflammatory agent. Apples are fiber-rich, which means they aid in weight loss and boost your metabolism. There are various ways to enjoy apples – if you like them baked, they still provide the same nutrient content. You can also add peanut to apple slices for a really satisfying snack. However, use less than two teaspoons of peanut butter to keep the calories under 100.

4. A Cup of Berries

Strawberries make for a healthy morning or mid-afternoon snack. A cup contains as little as 46 calories, and even if you eat two cups, you’ll still get less than 100 calories from these healthy munchies. Strawberries can be eaten fresh when they are in season or frozen to be eaten anytime. You can also add a third cup of strawberries to half a cup of Greek yogurt, and still manage a 95-calorie healthy snack. Berries can also be used to make healthy smoothies to enjoy any time of the day. Here, you can add little twists like bananas, honey or nuts to your smoothies for more flavor and health.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a rich source of high-quality protein with an extra creamy texture. One cup has up to 24 grams of protein and you can add an assortment of fruits such as berries or nuts to give you a complete protein-rich meal that will keep you full throughout the day. Adding honey is also a great option and you get a total of 84 calories for this healthy snack. Most importantly, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which improve digestion, promote normal pH levels, and increase good gut bacteria.

6. Avocado on Toast

Don’t go for just any bread. Whole grain or seeded toast is rich in fiber and will keep you full for longer, hence aid in weight loss. Avocado, on the other hand, contains unsaturated healthy fats and essential vitamins that promote good health and aid in weight loss. Combining the two is a great snack idea that you can enjoy as breakfast or midday snack. Use a quarter slice of avocado and a toast of whole grain bread. You can also add almond butter on the toast in place of avocado. This will help protect your heart and promote weight loss.

Other Healthy Options

You have plenty of healthy options that you can choose to be snacking on whenever you feel that craving tempting you. Here are some of them:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Cottage cheese
  • String cheese
  • Celery
  • Baby carrots
  • Kiwi fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Popcorn

All these snacks will prevent you from going for sugary cakes and cookies and unhealthy fats from fast foods. It’s also important to drink adequate water throughout the day to keep the hunger pangs away as well as keep your cells hydrated. You can enjoy the snacks listed above with a combination of any other healthy ingredient without taking in extra calories.

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The post 6 Snacks Under 100 Calories for Weight Loss appeared first on Absolute Health.

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We all love cheese and it’s one of the most versatile and extensively used ingredients in most diets. From bread spreads to desserts to being put between meals, you can rarely go wrong with cheese. What’s more, cheese can be eaten at any time of the day, whatever the occasion. For this reason, you may be wondering if there are certain ways to eat cheese. The short answer is yes. To experience the full flavor of cheese, we show you how to eat cheese, the healthy way.

Eat Cheese at Room Temperature

If you want to get the most out of cheese in terms of flavor, remove it from the fridge at least one hour before eating it. Any cheesemonger will tell you that cheese at room temperature has got more punch to it and has a rich flavor and texture.

Just remember to keep the cheese in its wraps to prevent it from drying out. In addition, depending on the climate, your cheese might get to room temperature quicker or slower, so keep this in mind to prevent it from melting.

Add to Your Salads

Incorporate chunks of cheese with your salads to enjoy a unique flavor. Feta and parmesan cheeses are commonly used to bring out special flavors of the ingredients in your salad. However, don’t overdo it by adding too many pieces of cheese so that the veggies and fruits are covered in cheese.

For Breakfast

Get your cereal pack and add some cheese to enjoy a healthy breakfast. You can use either feta, cottage or parmesan cheese and you’ll be licking every bit of it from your plate, literally. For a heart-healthy meal, use whole grain breakfast cereals in place of the refined ones.

Cheese on Your Sandwich

Enhance the taste of your sandwiches by adding slices of cheese. You can eat this delicious cheese sandwich any time of the day without having to worry too much about calories. For the sandwiches, choose low-fat, part skim or reduced-fat cheeses to cut back on the cholesterol and fats.

Eat it Raw

You can slice a piece of cheese and nibble on it. Raw cheese is high in vitamins and minerals and also contains gut-friendly bacteria. Here, you’d want to go for the aged cheese to reduce your risk of getting infected with bacteria such as E. coli.

Opt for High-Protein Cheese

Admittedly, cheese adds up the calories and may not be ideal if you want to lose weight. On the other hand, due to its high-protein content, it might be beneficial to your health. Try shopping for high-protein cheeses, such as cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese.

Melt it on Your Favorite Meals

Your bacon recipe, soup or roasted broccoli can blend well with melted cheese. It makes for a scrumptious dinner or lunch and it doesn’t even take much time. Explore the types of dishes that will water your mouth and enjoy melted cheese, just like that on pizzas. Here are some simple recipes that you can try at home:

  • Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata.
  • Scrambled eggs with low-fat cheddar.
  • Cheese-stuffed chicken breast and ham.
Try Strongly Flavored Cheeses

The good thing about strongly flavored cheese is that you only need a small amount to transform your salads or recipe into a delicious meal. This keeps your calorie count down while maximizing the flavor and texture of your dinner or lunch.

Shredded Cheese

If you want to avoid loading up on calories, shred your cheese before sprinkling them on your salads. It’s easy to overdo it if you use slices of cheese instead of shredded cheese. In addition, if you have soft, creamy cheese, eat the rind too. They are white and soft unlike those of hard cheeses which are somewhat waxy.

Incorporate Hard Cheese

Hard cheeses contain higher amounts of phosphorous than soft cheeses. Swiss cheese is a great option here, plus it contains few calories. Add it to sandwiches for the nutty, potent flavor. Parmesan and Romano are also good choices with two grated tablespoons containing less than four grams of fat. Go for the low-fat, low sodium versions of these cheeses. You should also know that cheese contains a lot of sodium. For this reason, it’s advisable to eat them in moderation. It’s also important to understand the various types of cheeses since they are not all the same. Cheeses may vary in flavor, texture, and calories. As a general rule, soft cheese like mozzarella, brie, and feta contain fewer calories than their harder counterparts. Goat cheese has a high protein content and can replace meat in your diet. And since it’s filling, it may actually help you maintain a healthy weight.

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The post What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Cheese? appeared first on Absolute Health.

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You’ve finally managed to cut most of the fatty and sugary foods from your diet and you’re starting to feel happy about yourself. But wait, are you still using ketchup on your French fries, butter on your toast and sugar on your coffee? Using condiments here and there is great and adds to the flavor of your meals, but those calories will definitely add up. Today we share some of the worst condiments for your waistline.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce might not be high in sugar or calories, but it’s high in sodium. The main ingredient is obviously soy, which is one of the most genetically modified foods in the U.S. Add this to the sodium and you have yourself a real enemy for your waistline. Used in small amounts, soy sauce might be safe. However, regular use and in large quantities may mess up your digestive system and even hormones.

As an alternative, opt for organic low-sodium soy sauce or tamari.

Barbecue Sauce

Your roast meat, chicken or ribs couldn’t taste as sweet if not for barbecue sauce. However, it’s too sugary that two tablespoon serving loads as much as six grams of sugar. And knowing how tasty it is, you’re likely to use more than one tablespoon. Store-bought barbecue sauce is especially to be avoided since it contains added sugars that will not augur well with your waistline.

Ketchup

If you consider the calorie content of ketchup (at only 20 per tablespoon) you will be forgiven to think it’s not problematic to your health. But, before you dip your fries into a bowl of ketchup, think of all the additives and sugar that’s been added. It’s also loaded with salt that can easily add up considering one tablespoon is usually not enough. Your best bet is to make ketchup at home using simple ingredients such as tomatoes and a few spices.

Mayonnaise

Mayo is a favorite of many Americans, and it’s easy to understand why – because of its taste and flavor. Unfortunately, it’s not a healthy condiment thanks to the high-fat content, which comes from egg yolks and oils. It’s even worse when you learn about the type of oils that are used. These are refined and overly processed oils, such as canola oil and sunflower oil. What this means is that it loads you up with saturated fats and up to 100 calories. Make it a regular condiment and you’ll not like the outcome on your waistline. As an alternative, use Greek yogurt or make your own mayonnaise using extra virgin olive oil and organic egg yolks. ”

Salad Dressings

There are two types of salads you should avoid; creamy salads and light salads. Creamy salads are usually tasty. But, on the downside, they are packed with sodium, calories and saturated fats from combined ingredients of mayo, cheese, and refined oils. On the other hand, light salads have low-fat content. However, to make up for the fat that’s been taken out, sodium, sugar and artificial additives are added to improve taste and texture. You might think that since they are ‘light’ you’re doing yourself a favor, but on a closer look, they are actually unhealthy. Your best option is to use healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil and just keep it simple.

Pesto

At first glance, pesto looks delicious and flavorful in its green natural color. It’s versatile and can be used in sandwiches or in your favorite dishes. But, like any other processed food item, this basil-based sauce is full of chemicals to keep it on the shelves for long and is also made from cheap oils and cheeses. A great alternative is to make your own right at home by blending fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, walnuts, and a pinch of salt.

Pancake Syrup

It’s easy to mistake pancake syrup for the real maple syrup made from tree sap thanks to marketing adverts and misleading labeling. Pancake syrup is just but a load of unhealthy oils, high fructose corn syrup, and a bunch of artificial additives and colors. It’s better off eating your pancakes without the syrup.

Ranch Dressing

Avoid the bottled salad dressings whenever possible. The Ranch is loaded with plenty of salt, fat, calories, and harmful preservatives that may stress your digestive system. It has 73 calories and 15 grams of fat per tablespoon. This favorite vegetable or pizza dip is not your friend and you should ditch it completely.

Teriyaki Sauce

You may enjoy this sauce on your pieces of chicken or rice dish, but you’ll be surprised to learn that only two tablespoons of this sauce cover your daily sodium intake. Now add to that the high fructose corn syrup and your waistline is in trouble.

Takeaway

Condiments add flavor, taste, and texture to your dishes. Unfortunately, most condiments do this at the expense of your health, especially your weight. If you must buy your condiments from the stores, pay close attention to the ingredients listed in the labels and avoid anything that looks fishy.

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The post The Worst Condiments for Your Waistline appeared first on Absolute Health.

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Running is part of a healthy lifestyle for people who want to keep fit. Like all forms of vigorous exercises, running requires that you stay hydrated and keep your fuel levels high if good performance is your goal. This applies, especially when training for a race. Running takes more than just physical performance. Mental performance is equally important and will determine the outcome of the race. For this reason, you need fluids to prevent heat exhaustion due to dehydration. While water is a great choice, you may need something that boosts your energy levels to be able to cover that extra mile. With so many sports drinks on offer, which one will you go for? This post provides a guide to make your choice easier.

Red Bull

Red Bull is known the world over for its adrenaline fueling capabilities. There are several studies that show a connection between the compounds found in Red Bull and mental alertness. Similarly, this sports drink contains caffeine, which can improve your aerobic performance.

However, be careful not to over drink it since too much of anything is poisonous.

Gatorade G2 Thirst Quencher

Gatorade is a widely popular drink despite its sugar content. However, the Gatorade G2 version now contains half the calories and half the carbohydrates than the original Gatorade. But you still get the same boost of electrolytes which is why it’s making it to this list of best energy drinks for runners.

Propel

Propel offers you the much-needed electrolytes without having to worry about sugars or calories. Its taste might not be the most appealing, but it makes up for taste by replacing the essential minerals that are lost when you sweat.

Nuun Hydration

When you run long distances or even short runs, which require bursts of energy, you lose potassium and sodium through sweating. These two minerals are vital in keeping your muscles functioning properly. Nuun Hydration comes in the form of tables that are added to water and contains electrolytes that replace the lost nutrients. The tablets also contain caffeine for a performance boost. There are studies suggesting that drinks that are high in electrolytes are way better at hydrating your body than old plain water. Nevertheless, water has its purpose and should not be replaced with any other drinks.

NoomaOrganic Electrolyte Sports Drink

If you’re looking to reenergize your body the natural way, Nooma Organic is your best choice. With only five grams of carbohydrates, which also comes from natural coconut water, you get electrolytes from natural sources. This ensures that the minerals are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream to deliver that much-needed boost.

Bodyarmor Lyte Superdrink

Where taste is concerned, you can’t go wrong with Bodyarmor Lyte. It has a tangy smoothie flavor and contains potassium from coconut water. This sports drink is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, not forgetting the all-important antioxidants to keep you active during your runs. Plus, it only contains 20 calories. ”

Roar Organic Electrolyte Infused Sports Drink

If you’re mostly into organic stuff, Roar contains strictly organic ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives, is low in calories, and also gluten-free. If you’re a vegan, you’ll surely enjoy this sports drink as it keeps you hydrated and replenishes your body with electrolytes and B-vitamins.

Powerade

This tasty energy drink is both hydrating and boosts your energy. It’s great for endurance, especially if you like to exercise a lot. Powerade is high in vitamin B and is very refreshing. In addition, it’s low in sugar and calories and comes in a range of flavors. However, avoid taking too much Powerade since that sweet taste comes from high fructose corn syrup.

LyteShow

During your training sessions, it gets to a point where you loose energy and start getting tired. LyteShow contains electrolytes that help to boost your performance so that you can keep going. Most importantly, it’s sugar-free and contains no artificial additives. This company boasts of having its products clinically tested so you don’t have to worry about side effects. It’s also vegan and vegetarian-friendly. The only downside is that it leaves a salty aftertaste which may not be very pleasant.

Hoist Premium Hydration Sports Drink

Every time you go for your runs, your muscles undergo some stress. You need to repair them if you want to be consistent in your training. With Hoist Premium Hydrated Sports Drink, you get the vital nutrients that help to repair your muscles and keep you hydrated as well. It doesn’t have artificial sweeteners and supplies your body with just enough electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep your performance at optimal levels.

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Have you tried several diet plans but none seem to help you lose weight? By now you should know that it doesn’t work on you and its time you tried a healthier approach. Evidence now proves that you can lose weight without dieting. But how? Well, there is an easier alternative. And all you have to do is eat healthily.

Fortunately, choosing the types of food you eat is simple. It may not be as easy as you think but it’s achievable without having to go into greater heights like dieting or gym classes. Follow these carefully researched tips and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy weight and a happy life.

Eat Protein-Rich Foods in Plenty

The advantage of eating lots of proteins is the satiating effect. Protein-rich foods reduce feelings of hunger and fill you up fast. This means that you end up eating fewer calories, and in turn, shed some extra pounds.

Science backs the evidence behind this fact and you can even try it today at home. Instead of your cereal breakfast, try eating a protein-rich breakfast and feel the difference in terms of how frequently or soon you’ll feel hungry. Undoubtedly, you’ll eat fewer calories for the rest of the day. Keeping up with this trend will be healthy and help you control your weight.

Increase Your Intake of Fiber-Rich Foods

Like protein-rich foods, fiber-rich foods also increase your satiety, helping to keep you full for longer. If you can stay full for a long duration, you automatically reduce your food intake throughout the day. Studies show that viscous fiber is especially useful when it comes to weight loss. This type of fiber creates a gel when it comes into contact with water. Research shows that the gel prolongs nutrient absorption time and also slows down the emptying of your stomach.

Feeling Thirsty? Drink Water

We understand sodas, coffee, juice, energy drinks, and tea are delicious and convenient, especially when you’re feeling thirsty. However, sugary drinks are a health risk and not advisable. Water, on the other hand, has no side effects and it keeps you hydrated. Plus, research shows that drinking water just before your meals will make you feel full, thereby reducing your portion size. Water also makes your skin look young, fresh and healthy.

Plate Picks

Be mindful of the plate size you use. Smaller dishes mean you’ll eat a smaller serving. Weight loss experts recommend that you keenly watch your portion sizes. Even healthy food, if eaten in excess, negates all your efforts of eating healthy.

Don’t Sacrifice Your Sleep

Poor sleep is a deterrent to weight loss goals. Sleep deprivation is said to trigger a part of the brain that controls your urge to eat. No wonder you find yourself in the kitchen late at night looking for something to snack on. Create a healthy sleep circle and be sure to enjoy eight hours of sleep. Kill bad habits such as using the phone in bed or installing a TV in the bedroom. In addition, take your meals at least two hours before bedtime.

Mindful Eating

Another way to reduce the number of calories is to be mindful of what you’re eating. Many people love eating while watching the TV or checking their social media feeds. This leads to poor concentration on what you’re eating and in most cases, you’ll just end up eating more than you intended. On the same note, learn to chew your food slowly and thoroughly. Fast eaters don’t give their brain enough time to process if you’ve had enough to eat. Eating slowly helps you to chew your food thoroughly and also decreases the amount of food you eat.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

This might seem like a no-brainer for people who are trying to lose weight. But, it actually does the opposite and you only end up eating more the rest of the day. Studies show that breakfast eaters have higher concentration levels compared to people who skip breakfast.

Go Green

Greens should be your best friends now. There are plenty of healthy green vegetables that are both low-caloric and low-fat. Yes, meat might be tastier but veggies are healthier. Even the U.S. government proposes that an adult eats seven to 13 cups of fresh farm produce daily for optimal health. One way to achieve this is to fill up your kitchen with greens and fruits to make it easy to incorporate them into every meal.

Go Whole Grains

Ditch white bread, pasta, cookies, and other refined grains and go for the whole grains, such as bran flakes, popcorn, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice. Because of their high-fiber content, you’ll stay full throughout the day and avoid temptations to snack on cookies and cakes.

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The post How to Eat Healthy without Dieting appeared first on Absolute Health.

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When it comes to weight loss, many people dread the thought of starving or eating boring foods. But, did you know that you could actually eat more to reduce weight? This doesn’t mean eating excessively, because these foods will fill you up fast and limit your food consumption throughout the day. In turn, you get to have a healthy weight while enjoying delicious meals. Plus, most of these foods are low in calories but high in fiber and proteins – so you don’t have to worry about weight gain. Eager to find out which foods we are talking about here? Let’s get started.

Oatmeal

This is a great meal to start your day. Mostly eaten as oatmeal porridge, oats are highly nutritious and fiber-rich, meaning that a bowl of oatmeal will fill you up and keep you satisfied most of the day. Oatmeal makes a healthy choice for breakfast because of the low caloric levels.

They prevent snacking on unhealthy foods later on in the day and ultimately, helping you to maintain a healthy weight.

Eggs

Eggs are protein-rich and also full of nutrients. They supply quality protein, including all the nine essential amino acids. The satiety score of eggs is really high and if taken for breakfast, you won’t experience the hunger pangs that you normally do if you ate a cereal breakfast. One amazing thing about eggs is how versatile they are. You can literally eat them with anything or even on their own.

Greek Yogurt

There are yogurts, and then there is Greek yogurt which is thicker and nutrient dense. Its probiotic features help to keep your gut healthy, plus it contains very few calories. Greek yogurt is a great choice for weight loss since it’s very filling and if eaten between meals, will help to reduce your food portions.

Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables are packed with important nutrients that support our digestive system, contributing to many health benefits. Most vegetables contain water and lots of fiber which help to fill you up. Health experts always encourage us to increase our intake of vegetables to improve our health. Moreover, the compounds in vegetables are fat-free and natural, making their absorption into the bloodstream easy. On the other hand, there are many varieties of fruits that you can enjoy as snacks any time of the day or night. Most fruits are low in calories and rich in fiber and nutrients. In addition, the water content in fruits is also high which contributes to satiety. You have a wide variety to choose from but be sure to include watermelons, apples, bananas, pineapples, avocado, and berries on your list.

Fish

A great source of healthy fats, fish is also high in quality protein. Fish has few calories and also supplies other important nutrients. Eating fish has been shown to reduce ghrelin, the hunger hormones, hence reducing your appetite. Increase your intake of fish such as cod and halibut since they are lean. However, you can also eat sardines, mackerel, and salmon as part of a healthy diet.

Cottage Cheese

If you crave for a snack, reach for cottage cheese. They are rich in proteins, which makes them good for those who want to lose weight. Cottage cheese is also filling and keeps your hunger pangs in check.

Baked and Boiled Potatoes

Potatoes are healthy food choices as long as they are not used to make French fries and potato chips. However, if baked, potatoes are nutritious and one of the most filling foods. Boiled potatoes scored the highest on the satiety score due to protease inhibitors, the compounds that reduce appetite.

Legumes

Beans, lentils, and peas are among some of the legumes that increase fullness. They are rich in fiber and protein and are also very versatile. One cup of cooked lentils can contain up to 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of proteins. They make a healthy addition to any diet and they are easily available and quite affordable.

Quinoa

A rich source of plant protein, quinoa is known to provide all the essential amino acids. It’s also fiber-rich, which contributes to feelings of fullness. This seed/grain is low in calories and can be used in many dishes. Quinoa is recommended for people who are dealing with weight issues due to its filling effects and you can use this superfood in place of refined pasta or rice.

Conclusion

If you’re tired of trying numerous diet plans that don’t work, it’s time to try this healthier alternative. Look for foods that fill you up fast and you’ll never have to deal with weight issues again. But, remember, exercise is also as important as a healthy diet. So find something that works for you and try to incorporate it into your new lifestyle.

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The post Healthy Food Options That Fill You up appeared first on Absolute Health.

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Do you know how to boost your metabolism? Metabolism describes chemical reactions in your body that keep you alive and functioning. But people can use the terms metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn to describe metabolism. A high metabolism means you will burn more calories and vice versa. Boosting your metabolism can provide you with more energy. Below are some things you can do to accelerate your metabolism.

Eat More Proteins

Eating food can be a natural way to boost your metabolism for a few hours. We refer to this way of boosting metabolism as the thermic effect of food (TEF) caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in food. A protein-rich food causes a rise in TEF leading to increased metabolic rate by 15 to 30 percent compared to other foods.

Proteins also encourage a feeling of satisfaction and prevent you from overeating. One study showed that people were likely to eat 441 fewer calories a day when protein made up 30 percent of their meals. Also, protein protects the drop-in metabolism linked with losing fat. This is because it reduces muscle loss.

Get Involved in High-Intensity Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) incorporates quick and intense bursts of workouts. This exercise promotes high-fat burning by increasing your metabolism even after you’re finished working out. HIIT happens to have a greater metabolism boost than any other types of exercises. A study of overweight young men found that HIIT reduced fat mass by 4.4 pounds and belly fat by 17 percent in a period of 12 weeks.

Consume Cold Water

Drinking water, as opposed to sugary drinks, can help people lose weight and keep it off. Sugary drinks are high in calories and substituting them for water reduces your calories intake. Research suggests that drinking water temporarily speeds up metabolism. 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases the resting metabolism by 10 to 30 percent. The effect is greater if you drink cold water since the body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature. Water also fills you up, and according to studies, drinking water half an hour before a meal helps you to eat less. One study of overweight adults showed that individuals who drank half a liter of water prior to eating lost 44 percent more weight than those who didn’t.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea converts the fat stored in the body into free fatty acids which accelerates fat burning by 10 to 17 percent. This tea is low in calories and drinking it helps in weight loss and maintenance. However, studies have confirmed that green tea doesn’t affect metabolism in some people.

Eat Spicy Foods

Foods like peppers have capsaicin, a substance that boosts metabolism. But, only a few people can tolerate these spices at the dose required to have a significant effect on metabolism. A study of capsaicin predicted that eating peppers burn around 10 extra calories per meal. This accumulates with time thus leading to weight loss. Adding spices to food to help boost metabolism can have quite a small effect. However, combining it with other metabolism boosting tricks can work wonders within a short period of time.

Get A Good Night Sleep

Increased risks of obesity are said to be contributed by lack of sleep. This negative effect of sleep deprivation affects metabolism too. Also, inadequate sleep increases the risk of high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. If you don’t get enough night sleep, this triggers the hunger hormone ghrelin and decreases the fullness hormone leptin. That’s why most people who are sleep deprived struggle to lose weight.

Substitute Cooking Fats with Coconut Oil

As opposed to most saturated fat, coconut oil is relatively high on medium chain fats. These fats increase metabolism more than long-chain fats found in foods like butter. In a study carried out to compare the two fats, researchers discovered that medium chain fats increased metabolism by 12 percent and long-chain fats raised it by four percent. In addition to that, the unique fatty acid profile of coconut oil has modest benefits for weight loss and it’s good you replace some of your other cooking fats with it.

Conclusion

Some lifestyle changes are what you to need to do to have a higher metabolic rate. High metabolism is associated with weight loss and an energy boost. Also, learn how to manage stress, exercise and eat healthy food to give your metabolism a boost. However, you need to seek a doctor’s option before adjusting your diet or when making changes in your exercise routine.

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Blueberries are naturally high in fiber, potassium and vitamins A, C, and K. People refer to them as superfoods which are very low on calories. Statistics show that a large number of people consider them as their favorite fruit. There are plenty of health benefits you can get from eating blueberries, but they have side effects too. The benefits are very wide ranging from the prevention of cancer and heart disease to treatment of urinary tract infections. Side effects vary considerably from gastrointestinal distress to hypoglycemia to increased risk of bleeding. Let’s look at these benefits and side effects of blueberries in depth.

The Benefits Reduce DNA Damage

Reduced DNA damage can protect you against aging and cancer. We all go through oxidative damage in our daily life since it’s unavoidable. DNA damage is what makes us grow older and causes multiple diseases like cancer. Blueberries are extremely rich in antioxidants which neutralizes some of the free radicals that damage our DNA. A group of people who drank 34 ounces (one liter) of mixed blueberry and apple juice daily, had a reduce DNA damage after four weeks by 20 percent.

Lower Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and blueberries seems to help with this condition. An eight-week study saw a reduction in blood pressure by four to six percent among obese people who were at a high risk of heart disease. This was through consumption of two ounces (50 grams) of blueberries daily. Different studies have obtained similar results especially for postmenopausal women.

Maintain Brain Function and Improve Memory

An accelerated brain aging can result from oxidative stress which affects brain function. An animal study indicated that the antioxidants in blueberries positively affect areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence. Generally, blueberries help aging neurons leading to improved cell signaling. A human study that involved nine older adults with mild cognitive impairment who consumed blueberry juice each day, found that they experienced improvement in several markers of brain function after 12 weeks. Another study found out that blueberries and strawberries delay mental aging by up to two and a half years.

Reduce Muscle Damage

Strenuous exercises can cause muscle damage and therefore, blueberries may help ease the effect. The exercises may cause soreness and fatigue due to inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscle tissue. Blueberries minimize this effect by lessening the damage that occurs at the molecular level. In a small study of 10 female athletes, blueberries were able to accelerate muscle recovery after strenuous leg exercises.

The Side Effects Bleeding Risk

A cup of blueberries contains 29 micrograms of vitamin K, making them a medium vitamin K food. Vitamin K is useful to the body since it helps with blood clotting and maintains bone density. However, for people taking blood thinner prescription, eating blueberries isn’t a smart choice. In fact, they are encouraged to keep the same levels of vitamin K in their bloodstream every day. A sudden decrease or increase in the consumption of vitamin K rich foods before talking to the doctor to make changes to prescription blood thinner dosage can cause increased bleeding.

Stains on The Teeth

Blueberries can potentially cause stains on your teeth due to their intense pigmentation. It doesn’t matter if you eat them fresh, frozen, or juiced, their deep blue color can discolor your tooth enamel or white fillings. But you can try to reduce the staining effect by drinking water after eating them. Then take some milk to neutralize the acid and maintain your teeth strong. Additionally, eating hard cheese after consuming blueberries may help you to maintain that pearly white smile.

Salicylate Sensitivity

Blueberries have Salicylate, an active ingredient in aspirin that is found naturally in many plants, in large amounts. Salicylate can be a nightmare for people who are sensitive to it. For those with Salicylate intolerance, eating blueberries causes headaches, rash and gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, reflux, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Blueberries juice contain even more Salicylate. Eating blueberries in small amounts can ease some of the pain or discomfort associated with ingestion of Salicylate.

Conclusion

Blueberries are naturally healthy but you should consume them in moderation too. Adults should eat a maximum of two cups a day to maintain a healthy balance. You should consider adding blueberries to your morning cereals or mix them with other fruits to make a smoothie. All in all, the health benefits of blueberries exceed the side effect although you should watch out for the most common negative effects like bleeding risk. Nevertheless, this nutritious fruit is what you need to avoid any chronic related disease. Plus, they can be added to salads, pancake or to dessert.

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The post Blueberries: Benefits and Side Effects appeared first on Absolute Health.

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For people who have difficulties falling asleep, they might think that sleeping with their TV on will solve their problem. They associate this with the background noise or white noise that is used to put someone to sleep. However, TV is a different case and no way in the world can it be used to produce the background noise you’re looking for. According to doctors, the light and sound from the screens hurt your sleep. That light is said to stimulate a nerve pathway from the eyes to other brain parts that control hormones, temperature and other functions that play a role in making you sleep. Below we discuss the effects of TV on sleep.

Inhibits the Production of Melatonin

Multiple studies have shown how blue light from electronic gadgets affects melatonin, a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm. Blue light affects the production of this hormone which tells your body when to sleep. If your circadian rhythm is disrupted, you tend to be more alert before bedtime and prevent you from going into the deeper stages of sleep.

According to a medical physician at Harvard, melatonin is secreted right around bedtime and when people go to sleep, the secretion continues and peaks when you get to sleep.

Now, around that time if you try to sleep and you were exposed to blue light, the production of melatonin will be inhibited affecting your ability to fall asleep. However, wearing things like goggles can help filter out the blue light lessening sleep disruption.

Risk Becoming Obese

We’ve mentioned that light from TV definitely affects the quality of your sleep. And as a result, doctors have found a link between artificial light from things like TV and overall weight gain. The results from several studies suggest that exposure to blue light while sleeping may be a risk factor for weight gain, which later leads to obesity. Since your circadian rhythm is messed around with, your body doesn’t get enough sleep and lack of enough sleep is said to encourage weight gain. Further prospective studies are required to help explain this association more and clarify if lowering the exposure to artificial light while sleeping can encourage obesity prevention. Also, you should use other ways to manage your weight like physical activities. Go for runs or enroll for gym sessions to keep off extra weight or lose some.

Unpredictability

This is the primary concern with TV or movie sound while asleep. Any sleeping aid such as white or pink noise should have different audio signatures that provide a constant sound when it comes to volume and pitch. But that doesn’t apply in the case of a TV. You don’t know what to expect, for example, if a movie is playing on your screen, someone could fire a gun or start a car and that sound can trigger arousal in your brain. These arousals shift your EEG (your brain rhythms) and causes disruption while sleeping. You might not wake up from your sleep or remember such things but the negative side effects keep piling up and ultimately, you’re likely to feel the effects.

Trigger Chronic Insomnia

In case you have an underlying or undiagnosed sleep disorder, sleeping with your TV on can worsen the condition. The smallest arousal from this device can trigger the condition, increasing your chance of having chronic insomnia. Normally, when we sleep our bodies go through four or five cycles of sleep. And if you get aroused while you’re transitioning into the deeper stages of sleep, such as REM, your brain will have to start from scratch again. It has to build its way back to that particular point. For those who need help sleeping, it’s important you acquire the right machine to avoiding the negative side effects of leaving the TV on.

Conclusion

If leaving your TV on is what puts you to sleep, we can’t tell you to stop. But if you notice that it’s messing with your sleep, it’s time you consider putting an end to the habit. There is a reason why we go to sleep in a dark and quiet room because it provides great sleep hygiene. Alternatively, you can put your TV on a timer, that is if you insist on leaving it on. That way it will go off after a certain period of time and you minimize the effects of light and sound from it. Otherwise, it’s advisable to avoid using any electronic device including a TV a few hours before bedtime. This prepares your body for deep and undisrupted sleep.

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The post How Bad Is Sleeping With The TV On? appeared first on Absolute Health.

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Are your daily meals short on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains? If this is the case, then you might not be getting all the fiber you need, and this could contribute to some health risks. Men over 50 years are advised to eat at least eat 30 grams of fiber daily while women over 50 years are required to consume at least 21 grams per day. Also, men under 50 years need to have an intake of 38 grams a day while women under 50 years should consume a minimum of 25 grams each day. All the above recommendations are on the lower side meaning you can go as high as you want. However, for low fiber diets, these are the risks you should be aware of.

Irregular Digestion

If you spend a lot of time waiting for a bowel movement, most likely you’re constipated. It’s characterized by fewer than three bowel movements per week, hard or dry stool, and pain having a bowel movement. This happens if you consume low fiber diets frequently.

Fiber absorbs water and swells, enhancing bulkiness inside the digestive tract. As a result, everything becomes soft and moves easily through the body. Whenever you increase your fiber intake, you should take more water, otherwise, constipation may become worse.

Weight Gain

A low fiber diet is a perfect recipe for weight gain. Fiber contributes to satiety because of the swelling which means you’re less likely to overeat. Moreover, fiber-rich diets take more time to chew meaning you will eat less food per meal, according to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. You’re encouraged to ensure you meet the 25 to 35 grams of fiber intake daily. Remember, high fiber diets like fruits and vegetables have higher water content and low in calories qualifying to be healthy foods. Additionally, high fiber intake makes it easy for you to maintain or lose weight.

Chronic Disease

The National Cancer Institute reported that high fiber foods play a major role in preventing colorectal cancer. This is attributed to the positive effect that fiber has on digestion. Multiple fiber-rich foods are a good source of antioxidants, which guard the body against damage by harmful free radicals. However, having a low fiber diet is linked to an increased cancer rate. Aim at consuming more vegetables, fruits and high fiber foods to supply the body with vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system.

Elevated Cholesterol

Low fiber diet eaters risk developing an elevated cholesterol level. This is a serious condition that might require you to go through a surgical procedure to get rid of the excess fat. During digestion, the body naturally secrets bile acid that contains cholesterol from all body parts. A portion of this cholesterol is always reabsorbed into the body with other nutrients from food. However, if your body has enough fiber, it binds to bile acids and removes it and any cholesterol present. Consume more fiber and reduce your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Diet-Related Nausea

If your meal is always composed of high protein meals like eggs, meat, cheese and low on fiber, not only does it raise your cholesterol levels but also leave you nauseous, tired and weak. Ensure to boost your fiber intake with vitamin and mineral rich whole grains and cut back on fatty foods.

Blood Sugar Fluctuations

Diabetic individuals who have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels should speak to their doctors immediately. It could be a sign that you’re not getting enough fiber to keep the blood sugar levels at par. Research says that fiber delays the absorption of sugar hence helping you control your blood sugar levels. Include high fiber foods like beans, peas, and brown rice to your diet and you can enjoy the benefits of having adequate fiber in the body. In case you’re thinking of changing your diabetes management plan, speak to your doctor first to avoid any adverse effects.

Conclusion

As seen, fiber is a powerhouse that helps you manage your weight, avoid disease and improve your digestion. But when you’re boosting your fiber intake you should consider taking it slow. You don’t want to have stomach cramps, gas, bloating or diarrhea due to too much fiber consumption. Eat a few grams of fiber at a time and allow them to be digested. Don’t forget to drink a minimum of two litters of water a day. Nevertheless, if you feel pain or it becomes difficult for you to eat due to constipation, it’s important you seek medical attention. Practice eating a varied diet containing all the essential nutrients and enough calories to maintain energy levels.

All images by Pixabay

The post Low-Fiber Diet Risks You Should Be Aware of appeared first on Absolute Health.

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