How Food Allergies Affect Weight Gain (All You Need to Know)

Are your food allergies causing you to get fat? If you cut out the foods that are causing allergies, could you improve your weight loss efforts? You may not even notice that you have food allergies or intolerances, experience pain, and discomfort daily without really understanding why.

Well, there are various symptoms of allergies that can affect your weight loss efforts. Even if you’re not actively trying to diet, you may find that you gain weight daily because of the symptoms of your food allergies.

It’s important to understand symptoms of allergies—it’s not all about rashes and swelling! There are various symptoms that you may have never have linked to allergies.

So, here’s a look at all you need to know about food allergies and how they affect weight gain and your dieting efforts. Use the knowledge to improve your overall health.

Your Allergies Are Stopping You from Losing Weight

Dietitians have one common belief: food allergies prevent people from losing weight. There are certain symptoms that make it extremely hard for the metabolism to work as it is meant to. Some symptoms can directly affect the metabolism by slowing it down when you want to speed it up. Instead of burning more calories, your metabolism is holding onto the calories for use later. Of course, with a slower metabolism, you’ll never actually use the calories, and you end up storing more and more.

In short, you’re making yourself fat. Well, your allergies are making you fat. Allergies have three main symptoms: inflammation, weight gain, and bacteria growth.

Let’s focus on the first symptom. Inflammation is a symptom that we commonly know about. However, we think of it in a different way. We often think of the swelling in the face, hands, and even neck. This type of inflammation is common in nut allergies and can be extremely dangerous.

The truth is some of the inflammation is just inside. Usually, you’ll get it within the digestive system, causing chronic pain and discomfort. If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s disease, you will have the pain because of the inflammation that occurs.

You will likely feel bloated because of the inflammation. It looks like you’re overweight because your stomach expands to deal with the inflammation inside. You’re also more likely to retain water, which causes the bloating and expanded stomach. You can end up going up a dress size because of this inflammation and bloating.

It’s impossible to lose the weight when you must deal with the inflammation. It constantly gets in the way and makes you feel much heavier and bigger than you really are.

On top of this, you deal with the bacteria growth in your gut. One of the symptoms of allergies is more bad bacteria in the gut—yes you can get good bacteria! This leads to far more irritation and inflammation.

If you add more good bacteria to your gut, you can reduce a number of bad bacteria growth. This will help to fight against some of the allergy symptoms, but we’ll move onto this soon.

And yes, your metabolism will slow down while your body deals with the allergies. Your metabolism just can’t work effectively, so you start needing fewer calories to get yourself through a day. Of course, you don’t know this at first, so you eat far more calories than you need. Your body must store the calories elsewhere.

Chances are you’re also causing stress hormones to increase. This leads to the body working against itself. Also, let’s not forget that your immune system is battling something that isn’t there—that it’s perceived as a threat. Your body is doing a lot without meaning to, and you’re left low in energy and feeling bad.

Instantly Improve Weight Loss by Removing the Symptoms

Let’s just look at the inflammation again. This is the one symptom that makes you feel like you’re heavier than you really are. The bloating and water retention will add to your overall rate.

All the scales can do is tell you your overall weight. They don’t know that your weight gain is linked to water retention and inflammation. The scales think that your weight gain is fat!

When you get rid of the water retention and bloating, you will instantly feel 5-10 pounds lighter. You instantly get rid of one of the reasons for your weight gain. While the scales will instantly drop, your body will also change its shape. You’ll find you fit into clothes that you have only dreamed of fitting into recently.

The inflammation levels are also improved through getting rid of some of the bad bacteria in your body. You cut out one of the major reasons for your inflammation and stop your body fighting against something in your digestive system.

Your body will find it easier to get rid of the clogs and cut down on constipation. You’ll lose more weight instantly by this happening.

Studies have also shown that inflammation and bad bacteria are linked to insulin resistance. Chances are your diet is higher in sugar when you suffer from the allergy symptoms, so you end up with more insulin and more resistance to it. You’re at a higher risk of Type II diabetes and at a higher risk of holding onto more calories.

Keeping the insulin release to a minimum, you’ll find your metabolism works more effectively. Your immune system working less will also work. You’ll be able to burn more calories that you eat easier, so you don’t hoard them and gain weight.

Your Mind Will Be in the Right Place

Inflammation and pain affect the mind. When the symptoms are causing bloating and weight gain, your stress hormones increase. You instantly feel bad about yourself and will look for anyway to improve your mood.

Of course, we usually reach for the bad stuff! And in many cases, you’ll reach for the food that is making your allergy symptoms worse! You are creating a vicious cycle that you understand little about.

We tend to base our eating decisions on the mood that we’re in. If we’re stressed or upset, we look for the food that we think is going to better. We want the sugar rush, or we give into the cravings that we have. We’ll reach for chocolates and empty-calorie snacks that do nothing for our bodies. They offer absolutely no nutrients but are high in calories, so we end up eating far more calories than our bodies need.

By cutting out the food your allergy to, you will reduce the bloating. You feel better about yourself and will want to focus more on a healthy, balanced, and weight loss friendly diet. You’ll reach for the fruit instead of for the cakes.

We also eat foods that are lower in calories. We support our weight loss efforts to start creating a calorie deficit.

We’ll find it easier to stick to these diets. Feeling good about ourselves makes us want to stick to this way of feeling. Not only do we eat food that supports out gut, but we’ll in the right mood to cut out the food that causes some of the allergy symptoms.

Getting More Energy for Exercise Routines

Weight loss isn’t just about the diet. We need to do the exercise to build and tone the muscles. The exercise will help to boost our metabolic rate and increase a number of calories we burn. It also boosts the happy hormones in the body, making us want to do more and eat food that is good for us.

Well, food allergies stop us from doing exercise. Honestly, tell me that when you’re in pain, you want to do exercise. I bet you can’t!

All we want to do is curl up in a ball and wish the pain would go away. In some cases, the pain is so bad that we can barely walk, let alone do any other exercise. No number of painkillers helps us get off the couch and get through a regular day.

Even if you weren’t in pain, your mood would slump. The inflammation causes a drop-in energy levels, and you just don’t feel like you can get out and exercise. It’s the last thing on your mind!

Not doing exercise is doing you no favors when it comes to weight loss. You don’t burn any extra calories, and you don’t help to boost some calories your muscles need because you don’t build them up!

When you exercise, you also eliminate some of the snacking. After all, you can’t do both, can you? The chances are that when you do exercise, you don’t want to ruin the hard work with snacking. It makes you want to stick to that healthy diet, and you’ll find it easier to create balance.

You’ll also find that your digestive system is supported. Your immune system and the good bacteria growth are promoted. You’ll get rid of the pain daily, as your mind releases the right hormones, and inflammation reduces.

Getting Rid of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Bad bacteria in the gut isn’t just bad for inflammation. You get leaky gut syndrome, which means toxins pass around your body and you end up with more health issues. These are separate from your allergy symptoms but are caused by some of the allergy symptoms.

The toxins latch onto the immune system response. You end up with more inflammation around your body, reducing your energy levels and making you feel more in pain and depressed about your weight.

These toxins go as far as blocking your metabolism from being able to work. You end up with a far higher insulin resistance, putting you further at risk of developing Type II diabetes.

All these issues link to obesity. You’re at a higher risk of gaining weight, whether hoarding calories or retaining water.

Only getting rid of the food you’re allergic to will help to reduce the bad bacteria in the gut. Then you can work on reversing leaky gut syndrome to keep the release of toxins to a minimum. That way you can reduce all the side effects that come from this.

Healthy Bodies Produce More Leptin

If your body is healthy and without allergic symptoms, you’ll find that you have more leptin. This is a chemical that your body needs. It helps to maintain weight, so avoids you gaining too much even if you don’t have the healthiest of diets! You may even overeat but the right amount of leptin will help to boost the metabolism naturally and improve the weight maintenance. Yes, this is the case for those annoying people who seem to be at a healthy weight no matter what they eat!

Inflammation inhabits the production of leptin. The more foods that you eat that you’re allergic to, the more inflammation you will experience. Your body then must produce more anti-inflammatory elements, which then directly affect the leptin in the body.

Without the leptin, your body can tackle the weight gain. It can maintain the healthy weight, and you start gaining without even doing anything necessarily bad. You can have a good diet and create a calorie deficit, but your body struggles because you’re eating the wrong types of foods.

It’s Time to Cut Out Food Allergies

You need to take steps to find out which foods you’re allergic to. You may be allergic or intolerant to more foods than you initially realize. By cutting the out, you’ll find that inflammation cuts down to a minimum, so you produce more leptin and reduce the water retention.

Not only do you help your body physically lose weight, but you’ll be in a good place mentally. You’ll be happier with yourself and in less pain, which means you want to stick to the positive diet. Your energy levels will get a boost, so you do more, and you don’t want to counteract the exercise, do you?

It’s time to find out which foods you’re allergic to and cut them out. Your food allergies are causing your weight gain.

6 Treadmill Incline Workouts to Try on Your Next Visit to the Gym

Trying to find the perfect workouts for your fitness, health and weight loss efforts isn’t always easy. We are inundated with various exercises to try and different ways to get fit. Some people like to push a gym membership on us, while others encourage home workouts.

What about if you want to go to the gym? There are so many naysayers about treadmills. Some people have all these views that they cause damage and don’t actually help you get fitter. You can end up avoiding them with a vengeance when it comes to going to your gym.

The truth is that the right type of treadmill workouts can be highly beneficial. It’s all about working on the legs, heart, and lungs in the right way. You need to focus on building the stamina while limiting the damage your knees and ankles can sustain.

That’s why I’m sharing six workouts that you need to try. These are all incline workouts that you want to get used to, so you can build your fitness levels and improve your weight loss efforts.

Why Incline Workouts Are So Important

Incline workouts are just as they sound: you workout on an incline. That means you’re going upwards instead of running on a flat surface. Just the slightest incline will mean that you put more effort into your running on a treadmill, so you work harder and burn more calories.

When running flat, the treadmill does the majority of the work for you. It’s pushing your leg backward to allow you to step forward without moving forward. You are running on the spot easily. By adding an incline into the workout, you force yourself to put an extra element to your exercise. You force yourself to move forward a little and put more effort into taking that step forward. Sure, the treadmill is still pulling your standing leg back, but your thighs must work harder to run up the incline.

As your muscles have to do more work, they need to build. You end up with toner thighs, calves, and buttocks. When the muscles build, they require more calories to get through the day. You end up boosting your metabolism with this very simple addition to your training.

It’s important to get the ankle and thighs in a position to start working on the incline. You’ll need to get used to running at a 30-minute steady pace on a flat treadmill before moving onto the incline. This helps to avoid injury and accident on the machine. You’ll always want to keep the speed lower, to begin with, as you will feel more tired than you did when just running on a flat surface.

Avoid holding onto the handrails on the treadmill, unless you need to steady your balance temporarily. When you hold on, you take the weight off your legs, so you’re cheating on the incline.

Now it’s time to get a range of treadmill incline workouts to try the next time you’re at the gym. Here are six that will work your body, whether you’re a beginner or more advanced.

Start With a Steady Pace 30-Minute Jog

A steady-state run is an excellent way to burn fat and build up stamina. Start by putting your treadmill on a 10% gradient at a comfortable pace. This isn’t about pushing yourself to the max for the next 30 minutes, but about feeling some sweat and getting a moderate intensity workout. Moderate intensity is especially important if you’re new to incline workouts. As you get fitter and find the incline easier, you can boost the speed and push yourself a little harder.

Just a steady pace will work wonders when you have your treadmill on an incline. You’ll work your thighs in ways that you never before and you will improve your fitness levels. This is very much like doing a 30 minute run on the solid ground outside without an incline. You’re stopping the treadmill from doing all the hard work for you.

If you find the 10% incline too much of a challenge, you can lower to a 5% instead, to begin with. Try hard at the 10% incline because it is the most beneficially for starting out with these types of workouts. As you start to find the10% incline too easy, you can move onto a 15% or 20% incline.

Only change the speed or the incline to make it easier or harder. Changing both at the same time will either make it far too easy so you don’t get all the benefits, or you push yourself too much too soon. It’s not a race to find out how quickly you can progress. You want to avoid injury to help keep the fitness levels up.

It’s also possible to up the amount of time you do the run for. You could find a 40- or 45-minute run is perfect for the current speed and incline.

Build to an Interval Training Incline Workout

You’ve heard of interval training, right? This is when you move at a faster pace for a set period and then slow down to a slower pace of an active recovery. You stay at the slower pace for a determined amount of time and then move back into the faster pace. This continues until you’ve finished a required amount of time running.

Some experts recommend 60-minute interval training but start with 30 minutes if you’re new to this. You want to alternate between a jog or a slow run and a brisk walk. The brisk walk should be fast enough to keep your legs moving but slow enough to give yourself time to recover and lower your heart rate back down in time for the next speedy period.

Keep the incline at 10% throughout the interval training. Rather than changing the gradient, you’ll want to change the amount of time you run and walk for. The aim is to spend a longer time running than you are walking. As you get fitter, your recovery time will drop considerably.

Start by doing 60-90 seconds of running and 30-60 seconds of walking. Build your way up to doing five minutes of running and a minute of walking recovery. Work your way up to a 60-minute workout. If you’re in a rush, 30-40 minutes will be enough but do try hard to fit in the full hour where possible.

Boost to a Sprint-Jog Workout

When you’re used to the interval training, it’s time to move onto a quicker paced workout. This is an excellent one to do in 30 minutes when you are definitely short on time but really want to give yourself a good workout. You’ll get all the leg muscles working, and your lungs will feel a positive burn as you stretch them out.

You want to do a similar workout to the one already mentioned above. The difference is that instead of jogging and walking, you’re sprinting and jogging. The sprinting replaces the jogging section, and the jogging replaces the walking.

Yes, you will feel the difference right away. However, if you’ve already improved your fitness, you should find that the active recovery while jogging does still bring your heart rate down. If you are struggling to fit your recovery into 60 seconds, you’ll want to reduce the speed of this recovery period.

It is possible to build to this from the interval training exercise previously mentioned. With each section of running, you can increase the speed gradually. When you reduce to a walk, lower it to a notch above the last one that you walked You’ll soon find that you’re sprinting and jogging without even realizing.

Opt for a Pyramid Interval Session

The pyramid interval workout takes your interval training to the next level. Not only will you change the speed that you run and walk throughout the session, but you will also change the gradient. Therefore, I suggest keeping your gradient at the 10% to start with during the previous interval workouts.

Start with the 10% incline when running and then reduce to a flat or even a downhill gradient if your treadmill allows for that (not all do) for the recovery stage. On the next spread, increase the gradient to 15% and put the incline back on a negative or flat for the recovery.

The idea is that you run up and down hills while on the treadmill. If you do get a downhill gradient on the treadmill, only do it on the walk and with a slower speed. There is the risk of injury, which is why not all treadmills are set up to allow this. If you feel unstable, hold onto the railing to prevent injury.

As you get better at the pyramid intervals, you can take out the downhill or flat gradient completely. Just put your treadmills back to the 10% gradient for the recovery period, whatever your sprint gradient is sitting at. When you get to the higher gradients, you will feel some relief by getting it to the 10%.

Don’t put your uphill gradient any higher than at 30-45%. You will run the risk of putting it far too steep to run up it. The aim is not to make yourself fall backward!

If you find the higher gradients too easy, you’ll need to push the speed up a little.

Sprint for the Full Time

As you get fitter, you’ll find that running fast isn’t a problem. In fact, you’ll be able to job faster for longer, even with a 10-15% gradient on the treadmill.

This is another workout to try out. You will push yourself harder, and you will boost the intensity of the exercise. As you get fitter, there’s nothing wrong with working out at a higher intensity on a regular basis. Your body is used to it and will have the strength and support to deal with that intensity regularly.

Don’t forget to listen to your body. You shouldn’t feel dizzy or in a lot of pain while running. If you do, slow down the pace.

A 30-45-minute run at a higher pace is all you need. You can do less, burn more calories, and say goodbye to more fat from around the middle. You’ll also feel much happier in yourself as your brain releases more endorphins during the workout.

If you do high-intensity workouts throughout the week, you only need to do 75 minutes rather than the 150 minutes of allow to moderate intensity workout to remain fit and healthy. That means you can do 150 minutes of high intensity a week instead of 300 minutes of low intensity to lose weight effectively.

Combine the Cross Trainer and Treadmill into an Exercise

You don’t just have to do the full workout on the treadmill. The next time you’re at the gym, combine two machines into the one routine. You can even put the cross trainer on an incline, just like you can with the treadmill.

The benefit of the cross trainer is that you work your legs harder. There’s less to help pull your legs back, and you need to work hard to get the machine going. You also have a lower impact on your knees and ankles, which is excellent for those recovering from some injuries. You can hold onto stationary handrails to avoid falling out without feeling like you’re cheating.

For the first 30 minutes, do a series of sprints and slow runs on the cross trainer. This will get you warmed up and will get the heart racing. You can then move onto the treadmill for an interval training session for the next 30 minutes. This gives you a full 60-minute workout without feeling bored.

Work Your Way Up to Avoid Injury

It’s tempting to just right into the fastest and hardest workouts. We want to build our fitness levels quickly and lose as much weight as possible. Well, that’s not the way to work out on treadmills with an incline. You run the risk of injury if you opt for doing it this way.

Avoid injury by working your way up on the speed and inclines. You only need a 10% gradient to work on your thigh muscles and improve your stamina. This can be at walking pace, to begin with, and then you can work on jogging for a full 30 minutes.

Don’t be afraid to start off faster and lower your speed later in the run. This is you admitting to your limitations so you can build your fitness without causing injury. You can also increase the speed if you start to feel like you need to do more to get the heart rate up and feel the sweat.

Once you’re comfortable with an incline, it’s time to start moving onto the harder workouts. Interval training will get your blood pumping and make you burn more calories. Your body must work harder after the workout to recover, so you’re still burning extra calories throughout the day compared to just running at a flat speed the whole time. If you want to boost your metabolism, you want to focus on some type of interval training whenever you do incline treadmill workouts.

The post 6 Treadmill Incline Workouts to Try on Your Next Visit to the Gym appeared first on Positive Health Wellness.

What to Eat When You Have a Sore Throat

A sore throat can put you off your food. You want to find something that will soothe it, and the idea of eating anything that will force you to swallow or will catch the inflammation and painful areas will make you cry.

But did you know that the food you eat or drink could help you ease a sore throat? With the right ingredients, you could fight off the reason for a sore throat, reduce inflammation, and numb the area. There are also other foods and drinks that will be easier to swallow, so you don’t need to cause any more pain than you’re already in.

So, where do you start? Just what should you eat when you have a sore throat? Here’s your ultimate list of ideas to get you started.

It’s Not All About Focusing on the Healing

While I’ve mentioned that there are foods that will help with the healing process, it’s not all going to be about this. There are some foods that you want to eat just because they are easy to swallow. They will help you get your nutrients throughout the day when you feel like it’s going to be impossible.

This is going to be all about finding ways to get your nutrients while helping to curb the reason for a sore throat. We’ll look at the types of foods that you’ll find easier to swallow and ways to make them healthily, so you don’t gain weight just because it seems like it’s only the unhealthy types of foods that are easy to swallow.

Of course, there will be options that help to numb the areas. While these types of foods won’t promote healing and fighting the infection, they’ll help you feel somewhat normal while your throat is inflamed and in pain.

Here’s a look at the foods and drinks that you need to add to your cupboard for when you have a sore throat.

Start With Some Honey and Lemon

Honey and lemon are the two most promoted foods for helping to fight a sore throat. You’ll find that they are effective in the healing process, while also helping to ease the pain temporarily to make you feel a little normal.

Let’s start with the healing benefits. Both honey and lemon have antibacterial properties. They fight off the infection while using anti-inflammatory properties to reduce the swelling within the area. You’ll also fight off any other symptoms that you have linked to a sore throat.

If you know that your first symptom of getting ill is a sore throat, start right away with the honey and lemon. You’ll boost the immune system through the vitamin C and antioxidants to fight the virus or bacterial infection trying to take hold. The later symptoms won’t be as bad, and you’ll find that you can power through.

Most people will add the honey and lemon to hot liquid, usually tea. This is perfect for both healing and soothing the sore throat. The warm liquid will help to ease some of the inflammation and relax the muscles. You’ll find that the nerves aren’t as affected as much. Warm liquid also tends to be easier to swallow than anything cold.

The honey within the mixture also helps by lining the throat. You’ll find that liquids and food just slide right past the sore areas. Okay, so you don’t completely mask the pain, but you will help it temporarily while the antibacterial and antioxidant benefits get to work on the rest of your body.

On top of this, the honey helps to suppress a cough that you have. A tickly cough is the worst thing when you have a sore throat. It makes you use the muscles and feels like razor blades at the back of your throat. Suppressing the cough is a powerful way to soothe some of the pain.

Try Getting Nutrients Through Smoothies

It may be time to pull out the blender. A green smoothie will be a powerful way to get your nutrients without affecting your sore throat that much. In fact, the smoothie will help to soothe some of the pain and promote the healing process.

Green smoothies are full of iron, calcium, vitamins, and antioxidants. You can add blueberries, lemons, bananas, and more. Okay, maybe the ingredients won’t work together that well, but you can make multiple green smoothies throughout the day to incorporate various ingredients. Make sure you use some milk or Greek yogurt to help make your smoothie creamy and get more calcium and calories to keep your intake up while you’re ill—chances are you won’t eat as many calories throughout the day because of a sore throat.

Smoothies are going to be far easier to drink. Even cold, the liquid will be easier than trying to get solid pieces of fruit or vegetables past the sore area. Do you really relish the thought of eating a crunchy apple or celery just to get some of your daily nutrients? Do you really want to try swallowing chunks of fruits and vegetables when you can blend them down?

Opt for the smoothies over the juice. While juice can be a good way to get some of your nutrients, smoothies will be better overall. Because blending uses the whole fruit and vegetable, you still get the fiber. This means the sugars aren’t instantly released into the liver, and you don’t end up with such a high risk of developing Type II diabetes and other health problems.

You can also freeze your smoothies and create some ice cream with them. The cold ice cream slides down the throat to eliminate some of the swallowing motions, and the freezing cold helps to numb the area. You get that temporary relief from the pain that you’re craving right now.

Make Batches of Chicken Soup

Did your mother make you chicken soup every time you were ill? If you watch TV, you’ll likely hear the mention of chicken soup while ill. This isn’t because it’s just warm and something nutritious, but because it really works to help ease sore throats. It also helps to fight the infection.

With any type of soup, you get a lot of vegetables and nutrients in a liquid form. The nutrients are easier for the body to absorb, while the liquid is easier to pass the throat. You don’t have that scratchy feeling as you try to eat the solid vegetables or meal.

Chicken when cooked also releases various amino acids. They help to support the cell structure and give your immune system a boost. You get the extra help to fight off the infection. And we can’t forget about some of the protein and calories. You’ll feel fuller throughout the day, so don’t feel as upset about being ill and constantly feeling hungry without being able to do anything.

We also can’t forget about the benefits of the hot liquid. As with the tea, the hot soup will help to soothe your muscles and reduce some of the inflammation. You’ll feel happier within yourself to help promote the healing.

Fight Inflammation with Eggs

Eggs are full of protein and healthy fatty acids. They’re also soft, which offers extra benefits when you have a sore throat. Scrambled eggs will be one of the best options when you’re struggling with the swallowing, but you could also benefit from poached or an omelet.

Let’s focus on the healing properties of the eggs. While they don’t have many nutrients compared to fruits and vegetables, they have healthy omega-3 acids. Omega-3 is mostly commonly considered to help the brain, but it helps the whole body. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory, which means that the inflammation in your throat will be reduced. That means less pressure on your nerves, and you’ll find it easier to swallow.

Eggs will also be easier to swallow than many other foods. When scrambled, they are completely soft. They’ll slide right down, and there won’t be any scratchy feeling on the back of your throat. Poached eggs are very similar in nature, especially if you leave the yolk runny. If you are pregnancy, you’ll need to make sure the yolk is completely cooked through, though.

Omelets can help because you can throw in extra vegetables for more nutrients. Try some tomatoes and mushrooms, since they’ll be softer to eat and you’ll get some vitamin C and antioxidants from the tomatoes. It’s also worth throwing onions into your omelet. Onions are powerful for the healing process. They are full of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help fight the infection causing the sore throat.

Add Cloves for the Antiseptic Abilities

Don’t you just wish you could add an ingredient that would help to numb the area? Well, cloves are something to start adding to your meals when you have a sore throat. You can add them to smoothies, soups, and more.

Cloves have antiseptic and antifungal properties. They help to heal deep down while numbing the painful and swollen area. You stop feeling like you have a sore throat, so you feel like you can do more throughout the day.

There are also antibacterial and antiviral benefits. While numbing the area, the cloves will support the immune system to fight against whatever is causing the illness.

Make Sure You Add Ginger to All Meals

Another ingredient is ginger. This is one of the most powerful foods for all types of illnesses and needs. At the same time, you add flavor and aroma to any meal that you make! Ginger can be eaten raw or cooked, and you will still get the effective health benefits.

The most common way that ginger is used for a sore throat is in tea. Instead of making black tea with your honey and lemon, you can add the two ingredients to ginger tea. You’ll get the antibacterial benefits of the honey and lemon while getting the immune boosting ginger! All three ingredients work with each other to fight offer whatever is causing the infection.

Ginger will also open up the airways. It reduces inflammation to help get rid of the soreness in the throat while improving your sinuses and breathing. You’ll find that all the other cold or flu symptoms are a thing of the past.

Try Out Mousses and Custards

If you’re really struggling to eat anything, you could always try some mousses and custards. You can make your own from scratch and add in healthier ingredients, or you can keep your calories up by getting the store-bought ones.

Try heating up your custard if you’re going to opt for that. The heat will help with the relaxing of the muscles to ease some of the sore feelings in the back of your throat.

There aren’t many health benefits to eating these ingredients. They’re just easier to swallow such way to finish off the day to make sure you get some calories.

To get the health benefits, you’ll want to make oatmeal instead. This is full of fiber and will help to support your digestive system while you’re ill. Add some honey and lemon to it to help with the healing process to fight off the reason for a sore throat.

Use the Natural Painkilling Benefits of Chamomile

Finally, add some chamomile to your meals and drinks. This herb has natural painkilling benefits, so you’ll numb your throat and will forget that you even had a sore throat in the first place.

It’s extremely easy to chamomile in your day. Just add some to hot water or buy the chamomile green tea bags from the store. Add some lemon or honey to the mix and add some healing properties to the hot liquid.

If you have a bad cough, you definitely want to end your day with some chamomile tea. The herb also has antispasmodic properties, which will keep your muscles relaxed and keep coughing at bay.

It’s Time to Focus on Healthy and Soothing Meals

Don’t try forcing crackers, raw vegetables, or acid fruits down. While they can keep you going through the day and help to add nutrients to your meals, they’ll do nothing to help your sore throat. The chances are that you’ll feel worse by eating foods that are scratchy and painful to swallow.

Instead, focus on liquids and soft foods. You want to get as many ingredients that will help to either soothe the pain or fight against the infection as possible. These include honey, lemon, chamomile, cloves, and ginger. Hot liquids are among the best options to ease the muscles and reduce inflammation, so you get over a sore throat sooner rather than later.

Is Eating Popcorn Bad for You? (All You Need to Know)

There are many people who say that popcorn is bad for you. It’s full of sugar or salt, and will just make you pile on the pounds.

However, you may have noticed that it is considered a healthy snack in some cases. There are diets that recommend it if you’re looking for something to keep you feeling full throughout the day. It’s recommended as a substitution when you want something while watching a movie or when cravings start to overpower you.

So, is it bad for you or is it really something that you can enjoy? It’s difficult to tell when looking at face value. Here’s a look at the details to help you decide whether it’s going to be good for you. We’ll also look at the best types of popcorn to eat to avoid health problems.

Both Sides of the Argument Have It Right

Let’s start by making one thing clear: both sides of the popcorn argument have it right. It’s not the most straight forward option when it comes to losing weight or focusing on a healthy lifestyle.

Sure enough, some popcorn is bad for you. At the same time, it can be one of the best things that you add to your diet. It really depends on the way you make it and any flavorings that you add to it.

While there are good options, you also need to consider the amount that you eat. This isn’t going to be something that you replace your meals with. There is a lack of nutrients and some empty calories, but a little every now and then probably isn’t going to affect your health completely. Research has shown that in moderation, certain types of popcorn can be good for you!

This research is something that you’ll need to keep in mind as we go through the rest of this article. Following a healthy and balanced diet will help you put your health first at all times.

There Are Some Nutrients in Popcorn

Popcorn isn’t completely nutrient free. When you opt for the air-popped popcorn—the stuff that you make yourself in your popcorn machine—you will get some nutrients. This is a whole grain carbohydrate, which means it has some fiber and even some protein in it. It isn’t that much, but it’s better than nothing.

A 3-cup serving, which is all you really need, will only include 93 calories. Less than 100 calories for a snack is excellent, and there is barely any sugar in the whole grain carb. You’ll find that it breaks down slowly in the body and doesn’t increase your insulin response. By breaking down slowly, you can boost the digestive system and focus on feeling fuller for longer. Those 93 calories will sustain you much longer than the hundreds of calories you can get from cookies, cakes, and chocolate.

At the same time, you get a range of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A and B6, folate, and magnesium. Why are these so important? Let’s break each vitamin down with their benefits.

Relieve Spasms and Boost Energy with Magnesium. When you get enough magnesium in your diet, you’ll find that your energy levels increase and your muscle spasms decrease. You won’t feel as much pain from the spasms, which often feels like cramping.

Magnesium also works with fiber to keep the digestive system in order. Constipation becomes a thing of the past, as the magnesium helps to force the waste through and out of your body. This is especially beneficial for those with digestive problems, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease.

You’ll also find that your body absorbs more potassium and calcium. Osteoporosis risks are reduced, as your bones get the strength that they need. Your heart health is improved, and you’ll find that you have fewer headaches and migraines.

Boost Cell Repair with Folate. Folate is also known as vitamin B9. You may actually be more familiar with the name folic acid, which is a form of folate. Pregnant women are encouraged to take folic acid supplements for the first 12 weeks to ensure the development of the baby.

Good levels of folate will help to boost the cell repair and DNA growth. You’ll find that your cells are less likely to reform abnormally, opening the door for the likes of cancer and dementia. The folate works with antioxidants to keep the body as healthy as possible.

Your body will also be able to maintain the new cells. They won’t be killed or damaged as easily through everyday toxin or pollution exposure. You’ll feel stronger and happier within yourself.

Help Support the Immune System With Vitamin B6. As for the vitamin B6, this is one of the harder vitamins to get from your food. It’s one that tends to be forgotten about, but it is one of the most important.

Good amounts of vitamin B6 will help to support the immune system. You’ll find that your immune system fights off more infections, big and small. Colds and flu symptoms will not be as problematic, and you can fight off some of the most common long-term illnesses.

B6 also helps with other elements of the body. It prevents the muscle spasms and hormone imbalances during the premenstrual period, helping to ease many of the symptoms. This benefit can even help you control your cravings and limit the amount that you need energy boosts throughout the day.

Some people find that skin disorders and acne are controlled through good levels of vitamin B6. This will be linked to the hormonal balance that you gain by getting enough of the vitamin.

Of course, there are also anti-inflammatory responses. If you get food with more B6, you can find that chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel, and other inflammatory pain disappears.

Some kidney and heart patients have found that their symptoms lessen by getting more B6 in their diet.

Improving Vision and Reproductive Abilities With Vitamin A. The vitamin A that you get from popcorn is crucial if you want good vision. As you get older, the cells in your eyes start to die.You’ll also find that the blood vessels get smaller, so your vision is affected. You’ll struggle to see both long and short distances and will need varifocal or bifocal eyeglasses.

While this is completely normal, you can slow down the progression with the right diet. Vitamin A helps to support the cells and blood vessels within the whole body, meaning that vision changes, cataracts, and glaucoma are less of a risk as you age.

At the same time, more vitamin A will help your body absorb other nutrients. You’ll find that your body gets more calcium to support the bone strength and growth, while more folate is absorbed to help the cell repair and growth.

And then there are the reproductive benefits. If you are trying for a baby, make sure you get more plant form vitamin A. This is less likely to cause a miscarriage and will help to create a more suitable uterus for better egg implantation.

Ease Depression With Vitamin B3 Levels. It’s not just about the vitamins and minerals that we’ve already looked at. There are plenty of others that you get from popcorn, and one of those is vitamin B3. This is one of those comfort vitamins. You feel like you’re eating a comfort food, even though it is good for you when eaten in moderation.

Vitamin B3 is also referred to as niacin. This is the vitamin linked to the release of happy hormones. If you get enough of it, your brain can release the serotonin easily, so you help to keep depression to a minimum.

You also keep the sadness and annoyance at bay when you keep saying no to the unhealthy snacks. Just think of how you feel when you’ve eaten popcorn. It feels like it’s bad for you and it helps to curb those unhealthy cravings. There’s no need to feel like you’re missing out on anything.

You Will Get Fibre in Your Snack

Popcorn makes a healthy snack alternative because of the levels of fiber. You will feel like you’re eating something naughty, but when you get the air-popped options, you are eating something good for your body.

You’ll get 3.6 grams of fiber in the average serving of popcorn – those three cups that I mentioned above.

Why is fiber so important? Well, it plays multiple rolls.

The first is that it will keep the food and toxins moving through your body. You’ll push everything through your digestive tract to avoid constipation and keep the bowels working as they should. Bloating is no longer a major issue, and you’ll find that you have fewer gas problems. If you do suffer from some digestive issues, you’ll want to consider getting a little more fiber in your diet – and what better way than through food that seems unhealthy for you?

Of course, you can get too much fiber, causing other digestive problems. You’ll need to find a balance, which is why you don’t want to eat too much popcorn!

Breaking down in the body slowly also helps you feel fuller, as I mentioned above. This will help you snack less throughout the day, which is excellent for weight loss. You won’t feel the need to constantly snack, and when you do snack, you know you’re getting something good for you. Remember that the three cup serving is just 93 calories. You just need the one service in a day to benefit from that fiber.

You may also find that you eat less at meal times because you feel fuller. It will be much easier to create a calorie deficit to help with weight loss or maintenance of your current weight. Avoiding obesity naturally helps to curb numerous health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Linking to the blood pressure and heart disease is fiber’s ability to keep cholesterol levels down. There is no cholesterol in air-popped popcorn. You don’t add any fat to it, so there’s no need to count that in your system. Keeping cholesterol levels down will make sure your arteries remain clear. Blood can flow easily to keep your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease to a minimum.

Finally, higher fiber levels help to keep your blood sugar levels to a minimum. Most unhealthy snacks are linked to high levels of carbohydrates – and the refined carbohydrates that are known for quick sugaring in the body. Of course, the carbs give you quick boosts of energy, but you end up with major sluggish energy levels when the sugar has left the system.

And to get rid of the sugar in your body, your pancreas releases more insulin. Your body starts to hold onto the calories that you take in, rather than burning them gradually throughout the day. Your metabolism has to deal with the sugar levels and increased insulin first. So, not only are you putting your body at risk with the sugar levels and eventual insulin resistance, you’re creating a system that holds onto calories and causes weight gain. You end up slowing down your metabolic rate, so your body doesn’t burn as many calories on a daily basis. It will be harder to create that calorie deficit.

Air-popped popcorn without any oils, toppings, and flavorings will make you less likely to suffer from Type II diabetes. The lack of insulin helps to keep you at a lower risk for it.

Reduce Your Cravings for Other Snacks Instantly

Remember that popcorn feels like it should be bad for you. The brain often associates popcorn with trips to the movie theater or snacking when you’re at home. It has a slightly sweet taste to it, even when you don’t add any flavoring to it at all.

In short, you trick your brain into thinking you’ve had a naughty snack. Do you know what this means? You fight off all those cravings that you get.

Yes, really! You get to combat all the sugary and snack cravings that you feel daily. This instantly helps you focus on a healthier lifestyle. You get rid of the urge to reach for the chocolate or the crisp packets. You keep the sluggish energy levels and release of cortisol as you keep telling yourself no at the idea of a snack. Overall, you find it easier to stick to a diet, because you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.

And your overall health will benefit from this. To start with, you don’t have the weight gain. There’s no longer the need to worry about how your obesity is going to affect your physical and mental health.

Meanwhile, you keep your sugar levels down. When you control your cravings, you keep the amount of sugar you put into your body to a minimum. The odd bar of chocolate isn’t going to do you that much harm, but it’s easy to start giving into the cravings to eat more and more. When you find a healthy snack that deals with the calories, you instantly find it easier to keep the sugar intake to a minimum.

Boost Your Antioxidant Intake with the Right Type of Corn

If you can get yellow corn to pop, you’ll find that your antioxidant intake increases. Antioxidants are essential to help support your body’s health. There are a few ways that they support your system.

The first is by supporting your immune system. The antioxidants help to keep your immune system running smoothly. You’ll find that you suffer fewer illnesses, as viruses and bacteria are killed off much quicker than they would be with a weaker immune system. You’ll feel happier about yourself knowing that you can fight off more infections.

Antioxidants are commonly linked to fighting cancer. There’s no denying the benefit to the cell structure. It’s possible to fight off most harmful free radicals in the body. Antioxidants keep the free radicals from changing the cell structure or allowing abnormal cells to grow during the repairing of damaged cells.

Free radicals have been linked to both cancer and dementia. If you can fight against free radicals in the system, you can reduce the risks of developing both.

Some of the antioxidants included in popcorn are lutein and zeaxanthin. These are both linked to protecting the cells as we age. Cells naturally die and get damaged. It’s up to use to keep them protected from abnormal changes. Lutein and zeaxanthin have both been linked to protecting the eye health, along with vitamin A. It’s possible to prevent or at least slowdown changes that can lead to macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts in the eyes.

Both of the antioxidants mentioned have also been linked to anti-inflammatory properties. It’s possible to reduce pain and health issues linked to inflammation in the body.

So, Is Popcorn Ever Bad for You?

With all this information about how popcorn is good for you, it’s easy to start thinking that you can have anything. The truth is that not all popcorn will give you these health benefits. There are times that it will be bad for you.

Remember that we’ve discussed the health benefits of air-popped popcorn. Most of us won’t get that because it takes longer or we need machines to make it. Why not just get the bags of microwave popcorn that are available in the supermarket? And then there are the pre-popped options that you can get in bags.

Can these be good for you?

Well, it’s going to depend on the type of popcorn that you get. If you get completely plain popcorn that’s just been packaged easily for you, it is possible that they have all the health benefits we’ve already looked at. It is certainly possible that you can get all the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that will help to look after both your mental and physical health.

However, what is the chances that you will eat the plain popcorn? When you reach for the bags, you’ll look for the different flavors that suit your cravings. When you look for the microwaveable options, you want something that satisfies your taste buds. The chances are that you’ll look for popcorn that is covered in butter, salt, caramel, and other flavors – and the options seem to be endless.

These types of popcorn are bad for you. The flavors and toppings end up counteracting all the good that popcorn is doing.

In fact, some of the bags of microwave and even stove popped popcorn are bad for you even without the flavors. Let’s look into how this is possible.

The Bags Contain a Carcinogen

You’ll hear the term carcinogen about almost everything today. That’s because more research has shown that certain toxins and chemicals that were once considered fine to use have proven links to cancer. This is the case with some of the linings used in microwaveable bags of popcorn.

The downside is that long-term studies haven’t been conducted yet. It’s not possible to see how long some of the toxins can remain in the body and just how long the health problems will last. But it is possible that they can remain for decades and only start to cause health problems then – a little like asbestos!

The microwaveable bags of popcorn are lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA for short). This chemical helps to keep the popcorn fresh and will aid with the popping process in the radiation of the microwave. It’s even a chemical that you’ll find in Teflon pans and pots.

So, is it really that bad? Well, when heated the chemical can lead to cancer and infertility in lab animals. Sure, these animals have a slightly different system to humans, but there are some similar results in the shorter-term studies on humans.

This wouldn’t be the first time that chemicals and toxins have been used to help keep food fresh. Just look at the warnings of BPA in plastic and chemicals in cans. Manufacturers just haven’t viewed PFOA as problematic yet, so they continue to add it in. Just cutting out the microwaveable bags and opting for air-popped popcorn will instantly offer you some major health benefits.

But there are other reasons to cut out microwaveable and pro-popped bags of popcorn.

The Popcorn Includes Genetically Modified Ingredients

When you opt for the air-popped kernels, you get to make a choice. You can pick GMO kernels if you want but there are also organic kernels available. We all know that organic foods are better for us, whether we’re looking at vegetables, fruits, and even corn kernels. So, it would make sense to choose organic options when it comes to your air-popped popcorn.

No manufacturer is going to use the organic options in their microwaveable, stove-popped, or bags of popcorn. It’s more expensive to use the organic options, and the manufacturers want to make and sell as many bags and boxes as possible.

This instantly leads to health problems. Companies are using kernels with toxins like tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and propyl gallate. Pesticides and trans fats have been added in to help ensure the longevity of the kernels. The manufacturers add all sorts of toxins and chemicals to boost the taste of the popcorn, making you want to buy more.

All you end up with is a higher risk of various health problems. Some of these include skin rashes, ADHD, heart attacks, stomach problems, allergies, breathing issues, and so much more.

We still don’t really know about the long-term effects of using these. However, the noted risks are already bad enough. Do you really want to increase the risk of developing asthma in your life when you can instantly cut out the chemicals that have been linked to it? It’s so easy to cut them out by opting for organic kernels that you pop yourself.

Add Far More Calories to Your Popcorn

Just adding oil to your air-popped popcorn will add more calories to your serving. That three cup serving and end up with an extra 100 calories with some oil added to it! Well, when you start pulling out the microwaveable and pre-popped bag options, you start adding, even more, calories to your snack.

Eating more calories means you have to burn more to lose weight. You may as well reach for the usual high-sugared snacks if you’re going to opt for the unhealthier versions of popcorn.

You will end up with all the common health issues linked to weight gain and obesity. You put yourself at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and many other problems. Is it really worth it for the sake of a few unhealthy toppings and a quicker snack? It’s not like the air-popped options really take that long – and you still get the delicious smell of popcorn in the house or the office.

It is possible to keep some of the health problems to a minimum. Your air-popped popcorn can have some grass-fed butter some a little bit of cheddar cheese added to it. It is possible to add a little salt or even some black pepper to add some flavor without creating a heart attack waiting to happen!

This isn’t the case with the microwaveable options. Let’s take out the toxic lining first of all. Even the flavorings are artificial – yes, the butter flavoring too. The companies will use the options that are cheaper for them. They don’t put your health first and just want to create something that is tasty and will make you want to buy more.

There are just so many hidden ingredients, and they all lead to more calories and more health problems. Artificial butter, for example, has been removed from some products after scientists proved that it leads to some lung and breathing issues. This is on top of the problems that the weight gain will cause.

Take in Far More Sugar and Salt

On top of the toxins, you end up adding more sugar and salt to your diet. It doesn’t matter which type of popcorn you get if it isn’t the organic kernels. Chemicals and flavors both cause an issue.

More sugar in your diet means that you are at a higher risk of Type II diabetes. The sugars instantly metabolize into your blood stream, and your body is forced to release more insulin. This has the exact same effect as eating refined carbs in the form of cookies and cakes. The more that you eat, the more your body has to release insulin. Eventually, your body becomes resistant to the insulin that you’re releasing, and you must release more.

The weight gain also doesn’t help matters. If you reduce your weight, you can help to reduce some of the diabetes risks. You just won’t get rid of all of the risks.

As for the salt, you’ll end up increasing your sodium levels. This leads to more water retention and high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a silent killer, as you don’t produce any symptoms of it, unlike diabetes. You’ll only notice when you start having heart problems or if your doctor performs regular tests on your health.

With high blood pressure, your stress levels will increase, and you put yourself at the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

Does This Mean All Flavoured Popcorn Is Banned?

We know that air-popped organic kernels are better for your health. If you eat microwaveable popcorn or the pre-popped, flavored bags, you are putting your health at risk. But the organic kernels are plain. They have no flavor to them, and they can seem quite boring.

Is this the only option you have to lose weight and enjoy a healthy snack?

Well, not quite. Remember that we said popcorn can help to curb the sugar cravings. It is possible to feel like you’re eating something naughty that is actually good for you. Healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bland and boring and there are topping options that you can use.

You are allowed to add some butter or oil to your popcorn kernels if you want. Grass-fed butter is healthier for you since the animals that the butter is created from aren’t fed hormones or chemicals. Look out for the butter made from animals that aren’t given antibiotics, either. These antibiotics pass through the milk and into the food that we eat.

If you would prefer some oil, look out for the oils that are better for us on a daily basis. These include olive oil, coconut oil, and even almond oil. They are full of antibacterial properties, omega 3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats. What does all this mean?

Protect Your Brain Health With Omega 3. The main benefit of omega 3 is to the brain health. This is one of the fatty acids that you do want to get on a daily basis, as it repairs damaged cells and will boost cognitive health. You’ll find that your memory is more intact and you’ll improve your everyday brain function.

Cells are protected, which means that you’re less likely to suffer dementia in later life. Age-related problems are kept at bay, including a diminishing hippocampus.

Support Your Arteries With Unsaturated Fats. Your body needs fat, but it needs the right type of fat. Rather than trans fats that are added to microwaveable and bagged popcorn, you want to add some unsaturated fats to your air-popped popcorn.

Unsaturated fats will include good cholesterol. They line the arteries with a smooth, protective layer. The blood canflow the past quickly and efficiently to improve the amount of oxygen that circulates around your system.

You’re at a lower risk of developing high blood pressure or heart disease because you’ve protected your body.

Boost Your Metabolic Rate With Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is certainly one of the best oils to add to your popcorn. While it has plenty of antibacterial properties to help your immune system, it also helps to speed up your metabolism.

You’ll find that it is much easier to burn calories throughout the day. You only need a tablespoon or two on a daily basis to get this metabolic benefit. Weight loss will come much easier, and you’ll feel like you’re eating something naughty.

Reduce the Inflammatory Response With Onion or Garlic Powder. Both onions and garlic have been linked to anti-inflammatory properties. This is certainly beneficial when it comes to your popcorn. You can add a slightly savory taste that will help your overall health.

When you reduce the inflammatory response within the body, you can reduce the main reason for pain. Your nerves aren’t affected so you can work with the popcorn benefits to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel and fibromyalgia daily.

Add More Protein to Your Body With a Cheesy Topping. Why not pull out the cheddar or mozzarella cheese? Both are good for you in small amounts, as they have plenty of healthy fats and protein.

Protein is essential for the body. It helps to develop the muscle and tissue health while protecting the cells from damage and abnormal growth. You’ll find that it also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer since it breaks down in the body slowly.

By keeping your toppings savory, you also help to keep the sugar out of your system. The insulin response isn’t as common and you’ll find it easier to lose weight.

Add Some Popcorn to Your Trail Mix

If you don’t want to add toppings to your air-popped kernels, you don’t have to. You can still gain some sweet flavoring through other ingredients that you add to it.

Why not try adding your popcorn to your trail mixes? Popcorn works well with all types of nuts and seeds, and you can even add some dried fruit for other nutrients and a little sweeter aftertaste. The organic kernels will contribute to the nuts and seeds benefits, including adding more fiber to your diet.

When you add in the nuts and seeds, you will also get more protein and selenium. The selenium is important, as it’s a nutrient that we tend to be deficient in. You’ll find that you have more energy levels because of the selenium in your system.

Do Watch Out for the Amount You Eat

While organic kernels are good for you, this is only the case when you eat them in moderation. Like with anything that you eat – good and bad – there is a limit. You will still need to watch a number of calories that you eat, and you can have too many of the good nutrients in your system.

You’ll want to make sure the popcorn is added to a healthy and balanced diet. Don’t switch out meals for a big bowl of popcorn. You just need three cups worth of popcorn to enjoy it as a healthy snack. If you’re going to add it to a trail mix, you will need even less!

When it comes to the other toppings, you’ll need to cut down on the amount of popcorn you eat. Remember that you’re adding calories and other food groups that you don’t need as much of throughout the day.

Is Popcorn Good or Bad for You?

As you can see, both sides of the argument are right. There are times that popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks that you can eat, but it is possible to go the other way.

In mostcases, it will depend on the type of popcorn that you eat. It’s time to cut out the store-bought bags of popcorn and invest in a machine to pop your own kernels. You’ll be able to keep the calories down and avoid many of the additives that are used in microwaveable or pre-popped bags to keep them fresh and make them taste good without costing a fortune.

When you get the right type of popcorn, you will feel fuller for longer. Not only do you avoid chemicals and toxins that are bad for you, but you will also keep the number of calories you eat for your snack to a minimum. You’ll find it much easier to lose weight.

Keep the toppings to a minimum and opt for healthier options to make sure your popcorn supports your health. You’ll appreciate the snack more and find that it helps you feel like you’re eating something naughty. You can curb the sweet cravings and enjoy less food throughout your day.

7 Ideal Breakfast Recipes for Weightloss

Eating your breakfast has long-term health benefits. A protein rich breakfast significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthily snacking on high fatty or sugary foods. The choice of your breakfast foods can make or break your weight-loss results.

If you’re on a mission to shed few pounds, look at these seven handpicked recipes for help. These recipes are all high in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients that will keep you satisfied and on the course.

Health Benefits of Breakfast

Boosts Your Energy Levels. Start your day by getting the right nutrients. Eggs are rich in protein and amino acids. They are one of the few significant sources of vitamin D which are essential for stronger bones.

Whole Grains. Breakfast is the best time to enjoy whole grains in your meal. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber which is essential for a healthy heart.

Vitamin C. You can hit your RDA levels of vitamin C with the very first meal of the day. Include oranges, apples, and grapefruit in your diet.

Sharpens Your Focus. Breakfast increases your productivity and keeps you focused until you refuel for lunch.

Optimizes Metabolism. When you sleep, your metabolism slows down. A healthy breakfast jump starts your metabolism. This action will allow your body to start burning calories from the very beginning of the day.

Prevents Starvation. If you delay your first meal, then your body goes into a survival mode and starts storing calories which in turn creates fat. So do yourself a favor and have your breakfast on time.

Prevents Overeating. If you prolong your time between dinner and the next meal of your day, it will increase your tendency to gorge at lunch. All those extra calories will result in obesity and other health complications.

Helps to Portion Your Meals Correctly. A healthy breakfast allows you to portion out and plan your meals for the rest of the day. This action prevents the temptation to binge eat or snack unnecessarily. These are unhealthy habits which help you to ignore your nutrition and satisfy your hunger cravings with fatty foods.

Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol. When you skip breakfast, you create a chain reaction in your body. You slow down your metabolism; fat is stored longer in your body, you have a higher tendency to overeat during your next meal. Finally you gain weight, and your LDL cholesterol goes up.

Eating Breakfast Helps in Weight Loss. The great benefit of eating breakfast every morning help you to lose weight. Several research studies have shown that an increase in weight links with skipping breakfast. A research study found that people who ate breakfast as their largest meal lost 17.8 pounds in three months.

Ultimate Benefits of Breakfast

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition skipping breakfast may increase a woman’s diabetes risk. The study in the journal Circulation reports that eating breakfast was associated with lower incidence of heart disease in men. The study also says that skipping breakfast was linked to hypertension, insulin resistance, and elevated blood sugar levels.

Eating breakfast makes you smart. A review published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association says eating breakfast improves your cognitive function which results in optimized memory levels and improved grades.

Breakfast Recipes for Weight Loss

Superfood Smoothie with Chlorella and Acai

Source: Great body and mind

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 15 raspberries
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tsp chlorella
  • 1 tsp acai
  • 50 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tsp protein powder

Method: Cut the avocado and pear into small pieces and transfer to a blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend well. Transfer to a tall glass and enjoy.

Health Benefits: Chlorella has an unyielding taste so you can add just ½ to 1 tsp of chlorella to a smoothie. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the researchers found that including chlorella in the diet resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat percentage, fasting blood glucose levels and total serum cholesterol.

Chlorella helps to regulate hormones, improves metabolism and circulation and promotes high energy levels. It helps to remove body fat and toxins and also promotes weight loss.

Acai is a tiny dark purple/red berry which is very nutritious and has anti-aging and weight loss properties.

Avocados make a great nutrient boosting breakfast item. They contribute healthy unsaturated fat and are a good source of fiber. Avocados have a creamy texture that makes them a great addition to smoothies.

Coconut milk is rich in vitamin C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6. It is lactose-free and contains minerals such as iron, selenium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.

Three Healthy Sandwich Recipes for Weight Loss

Tutorial: Serious Fitness

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • ½ banana sliced
  • Butter-1/4 tsp

Method: Spread the peanut butter on the bread. Place the sliced banana pieces on its top and cover it with another slice. Fry in the butter for 2 minutes on either side.

Health Benefits: Bananas are rich sources of pectin which helps to moderate blood sugar levels. They have few calories, just over 100 calories and are very nutritious and filling. They are rich in fiber which is linked to lower body weight and weight loss.

Egg White and Tomato Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 slice of tomato
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • 1 slice romaine
  • 2 egg whites

Method: Keep the romaine lettuce over the wholemeal bread. Next place the onion and tomato slices.Separate the egg white from the yolk. On low heat stir the egg white in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Spread the scramble over the tomatoes. Cover the top with another slice of bread. Cut it into halves and enjoy.

Health Benefits: Egg whites have low calories and are a readily absorbed source of protein. So they fit well into your weight loss diet.

Tuna Fish Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of minced celery
  • ¼ cup minced onions
  • 1 can of tuna
  • 1 tbsp. light mayonnaise

Method: Mix everything. Add salt and pepper for taste. Spread it on the bread and top it over with another slice of bread. Cut it in half and serve.

Health Benefits: Tuna packs in proteins and vitamins with only a few calories and could be part of a sensible weight loss plan. The amino acids help to build lean muscle tissue, and proteins have a high thermic effect which helps in weight loss.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Source: Muy Delish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • ¼ cup pure pumpkin
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 packets stevia
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract

Method: Grind the oatmeal in a blender. Add the rest of the above ingredients and again blend well.

On a nonstick pan pour the pancake batter and cook on each side for 2 minutes. Depending on your pan size it could make three large pancakes or 5 small ones.

Health Benefits: These pancakes satisfy your sweet tooth and are ab friendly too. Pumpkin, a rich source of beta-carotene, helps to reduce certain types of cancer, delays aging and offers protection against asthma and heart disease. If you want to utilize pumpkin as a weight loss food, then try to substitute it for foods that are higher in calories. Pumpkin contains moderate amounts of calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Fruit And Nut Bar

Source: Woman’s day

Ingredients:

  • 12 pitted dates
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1 cup roasted finely chopped unsalted almonds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup dried fruit sliced apricots, cranberries, and golden raisins
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Method: Line a square pan with nonstick foil. Chop the dates in a food processor and transfer to the bowl. Melt the vanilla, honey and peanut butter for about one minute and add to the bowl. Fold in the almonds, oats, pumpkin seeds and dried fruits.

Press the mixture into the pan and freeze it until you can slice it for about 30 minutes. Cut into bars and store it in the refrigerator.

Health Benefits: You don’t need to do any baking for this grab and go meal. Dates help in weight loss,promotes heart health and reduces iron deficiency anemia. Dried fruits contain more fiber which contributes to preventing obesity, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats.

Almonds contain a unique combination of fatty acids and dietary fiber which increase your feeling of fullness. Almonds lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Zesty Burrito

Source: Woman’s day

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ cup sautéed diced green bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sautéed minced jalapeño
  • 2 tbsp. reduced fat cheddar
  • ¼ cup cooked black beans
  • 1 whole grain tortilla

Method: Scramble 3 white eggs. Add sautéed minced jalapeño and sautéed diced green bell pepper. Blend in cooked black beans and reduced fat cheddar. Top it with salsa. Wrap in a 100 calorie or less wholegrain tortilla.

Health Benefits: Green bell peppers are a significant source of antioxidants. They contain zeaxanthin which boosts your eye health.

Many research studies have pointed that black beans decrease the risk of obesity,heart disease, diabetes and overall mortality. It promotes healthy complexion and hair growth, increased energy and overall lower weight.

Cheddar cheese is rich in calcium which is essential for nerve and muscle function and bone health. The vitamin B12 present in cheddar cheese helps in the production of DNA and red blood cells.

Gingerbread Chia Pudding

Source: Popsugar

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Dash of ground clove
  • For toppings 1 tbsp.raisins and 1 tbsp. chopped pecans

Method: Add all the ingredients except the toppings to a mason jar and stir to combine. Keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours overnight. Give a gentle stir while the mixture is setting. Add the toppings and enjoy.

Health Benefits: Chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength. Chia seeds contain loads of antioxidants. These tiny seeds boost your fiber, calcium, protein, antioxidants and omega 3’s in your diet. You can substitute chia to processed grains like white bread because chia is a much healthier whole grain. Experts say that the antioxidant activity of chia seeds is higher than any whole food even blueberries.

Soy contains all nine essential amino acids. Your body assembles these amino acids into new proteins and antibodies essential for immune function. The body turns the amino acids into structural proteins that hold your tissues and also into enzymes that help your cells produce energy.

Vegan Tofu Scramble

Source: Popsugar

Ingredients:

The ingredients that go into the making of this recipe include tofu, grapeseed oil, onion, green and red bell peppers, ground cumin, turmeric and coriander, black beans, fresh chopped cilantro, ground pepper, kosher salt and wheat tortillas.

The garnishes include salsa, grated cheddar, diced avocado, sliced scallions and hot pepper sauce.

Method: Place the tofu on several layers of paper towels to absorb the liquid and mash it using a fork or potato masher. Heat oil and add onions and pepper. Cook till it becomes soft.Stir in the coriander and cumin and cook it for about one minute.

Fold in turmeric, tofu, and beans. Keep on stirring it gently for 1-2 minutes. Add the cilantro, spice your dish with salt and pepper. Serve the scramble with garnishes and tortillas according to your taste.

Health Benefits: Go in for non-GMO and organic tofu brands if you’re concerned about the genetically modified foods. If you want to lose 1-2 pounds per week,experts recommend reducing calorie intake by 500-1000 calories every day. Regular tofu has only 94 calories in each ½ cup portion. Due to its protein content tofu can keep you full for a long time and thus aid in weight loss.

Conclusion

The health problems linked to being overweight are heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stroke, some types of cancer, back pain and osteoarthritis. If you’re on a weight loss mission, then you’ve made the most positively influencing decision of your life. The secret to weight loss is making small nutritional changes to your diet and being physically active. Try these breakfast recipes and share with us the milestones of your weight loss journey.

7 Scientifically Proven Foods That Cause Heart Disease

Heart disease is a major problem in the western world. It’s one of the major killers and usually something people can prevent. You need to choose a healthy diet and avoid foods that commonly increase the risk of developing heart disease at some point in life.

While there are many theories over certain foods causing heart disease, there are only some that have been scientifically proven. In fact, some of the theories haven’t been proven at all yet, with some studies showing no effect at all.

So, it’s time to get educated. It’s time to learn what you really need to either avoid or cut down on to help promote good heart health.

Heart Disease Is About the Cholesterol Levels

Over the years, there has been the view that heart disease is hereditary. People believed that it was just part of getting older and there was nothing that could be done about it. Well, science has proven different.

While there is still a genetic element to it, it’s really all about what we eat. Yes, there are lifestyle elements that will make it worse and increase our risk, but it’s mostly about the food that we eat—more importantly, about the amount of cholesterol that we get in our body.

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL. The LDL is the type that we need to cut down on. This is the type that blocks the arteries, causes clogs, and raises the blood pressure. By getting more HDL cholesterol, you can actually help to keep the LDL levels low. HDL helps to line the arteries with a smooth, protective layer. It will make sure the blood passes through the arteries easily, keeping the blood pressure down.

Plant foods do nothing for your cholesterol levels. They contain nothing at all. Only oily foods and animal products include some cholesterol. Some will include more HDL than LDL, and only some have been linked to heart disease. This is something to keep in mind as we go through the seven foods that have been linked to heart disease.

Cut Out Fast or Fried Food as Much as Possible

There are healthier ways to cook your food. If you’re one of those who has deep fried, battered fish or the Scottish delicacy of the battered Mars bar, then you want to rethink what you’re eating.

Remember that oils have been linked in some way to high cholesterol levels and heart disease. The truth is that you need some oils, but you need to get the right ones in the right ways. This doesn’t mean you can use healthy lifestyle as an excuse to get your fried or fast food.

Fried and fast food have been cooked in unhealthy, saturated vegetable oils. They’re also cooked in far more than you need, holding onto the fats that you then put into your diet. While they’re not necessarily making you obese, they are leading to clogged arteries and putting you at the risk of a coronary.

Cut out as much fast or fried food as possible. As I’ve said, there are healthier ways to cook your food. Instead of frying your bacon or sausages, you can grill them. Switch the fried eggs for poaches and scramble them in just a teaspoon of olive oil.

Get rid of the deep fat fryer and bake or grill your food instead. You will find that it tastes better and you get to put your health first.

Get Rid of the Full-Fat Dairy Products

While dairy is good for you, you want to get the right type of diary. Scientists have found that full-fat dairy products have been linked to higher cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease.

The problem with the full-fat options is that they have more cholesterol levels. Remember that it’s your animal products that have both the HDL and LDL cholesterol. When you opt for the low fat or reduced fat, you get rid of some of the cholesterol.

Of course, you need to watch out for other health problems. When something says it is low fat, it may have extra sugars. Read the labels and make sure you’re not replacing the cholesterol for sugars that can lead to Type II diabetes and other health problems!

Keep Canned Vegetables to a Minimum

Canned vegetables are commonly bought in stores. They are easy to get your nutrients and can be stocked up in bulk to keep the cost of your grocery shopping to a minimum.

However, they can be bad for your heart. Now manufacturers are starting to look into the problems with their canned vegetables, but not everyone really cares.

But wait, vegetables don’t have cholesterol, do they? Well, it’s not just the cholesterol that is causing the heart disease. It’s a major contributing factor, but there are other reasons for heart disease. High sodium levels are also something to watch out for, and canned vegetables tend to contain large amounts of salt.

Look out for cans that state they are low salt or have no added salt. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly to get rid of any salts that are there naturally.

Frozen and fresh vegetables tend to be better for you. Freezing vegetables don’t get rid of the nutrients as much as some people believe, and they make it possible to stock up in the way that you would have with canned vegetables.

Switch Out the Cold Cuts

Cold cut meats are a major problem for the diet. The problem is they are so readily available and affordable. They are also easy to use, compared to some of the healthier, lean cuts of the meal.

Well, it’s time to choose your health over the ease of cutting the meat. Cold cuts are full of extra salt, and they don’t exactly offer the nutrients that your lean cuts will provide. It’s possible to get 250mg of sodium in just one slice of cold cut meat. Just how many do you actually put into your sandwiches or on top of your salads?

There are plenty of other wonderful lunches to create. You can make healthier salads, sandwiches, and dishes.

This doesn’t mean you must cut out the cold cuts completely. However, you definitely want to cut down to keep your heart disease risk to a minimum.

The same applies to your beef jerky, by the way. It’s grown ever more popular with the paleo trend. It doesn’t have any grains, and it is technically something that the cavemen would have eaten. However, it contains far more salt than our paleo ancestors would have ever considered putting past their lips. There are very few nutrients from it, and it’s not exactly the best for your waistline or your heart. Put it to one side and reach for healthier snacks.

Switch Out Your Cottage Cheese

Yes, cottage cheese works for salads, potatoes, breakfasts, and much more. You won’t really taste the sodium that in it or even thinks about the cholesterol levels (animal product, remember). The chances are that you don’t think this healthier version of cheese could cause heart disease.

Well, it turns out that it can. Cottage cheese has more than a third of your recommended daily allowance of salt in just one serving! Sure, there are low-salt versions on the market, but they still don’t take your sodium intake down enough to rule out heart disease completely.

Instead of cottage cheese, add some yogurt to your diet. Greek yogurt is the best because it will reduce the amount of sugar that you get from the dairy product. Greek yogurt also has the protein intake that your body needs to support the heart muscle.

Get Rid of the Margarine

Margarine was introduced as a butter alternative. While it is certainly easier to spread, it’s nowhere near as good for your heart. There is far more LDL cholesterol in margarine than there is in butter. And you know that it doesn’t even taste as nice as some freshly spread butter!

Margarine contains a lot of hydrogenated oils. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly consumed sources of trans fats, which just build up in the arteries and block them. You’ll end up with higher blood pressure levels and will be at a high risk of having a heart attack.

To make it worse, the margarine is making your skin age quicker! If you’re not going to put your heart first, then make a switch from margarine for the sake of your skin!

There is some margarine created without the trans fat, which is something to consider. You’ll get some of your healthy oils through them. Another option is just to switch back to butter or cut it all out completely.

Keep Your Alcohol Levels to a Minimum

There is some contradicting advice when it comes to alcohol at the moment. There are some who say that alcohol is bad for you and should be completely avoided. Others will tell you that the odd glass of wine isn’t going to do you that much harm and could even help your cholesterol levels.

Sure enough, studies have shown that a glass of wine can help to boost your HDL cholesterol, and this is the type that you want to boost. Red wine is the best, but studies have shown that a glass of white wine and even a glass of beer can help to improve your healthy lifestyle.

The danger is when you drink more than a unit or two a day. As you drink more alcohol, your blood pressure increases. You put your liver under more strain to get rid of the toxins in your body, and you run the rise of increase heart rates for no good reasons.

High levels of alcohol also increase the amount of triglycerides in the body, which are a type of fat. These will be in your arteries, causing blockages and putting you at a higher risk of developing heart disease.

So, yes, alcohol can be beneficial. What you want to do is focus on a low amount to protect your heart instead of causing more damage to your overall health.

It’s Not All About the Diet

Something that’s worth bearing in mind is that it isn’t all about the diet. While these foods have been scientifically proven to cause heart disease, there are other factors involved. You may avoid all the foods but still be a high risk due to other lifestyle choices and decisions.

Smokers and people who are obese are more at risk of suffering from heart disease at some point in their life. Remember that your heart is a muscle. The best way to protect your heart is by building it and constantly keeping it working. You can do this with a healthy exercise program.

It is worth making a note that exercise isn’t going to work on its own. It needs to work with a healthy diet. Studies have shown that exercise on its own just isn’t enough to protect your heart—and this was conducted on soldiers!

Your age isn’t going to stop you from suffering from heart disease. When it comes to this problem, it really is a case of you are what you eat. The good news is that a change to your diet as you get older can help to reduce the risks of heart disease becoming a major problem.

What Will You Cut Out First?

Some of the foods on the list you can have in moderation. It’s all about fitting them into a healthy and balanced diet. However, you will also need to focus on a healthier lifestyle.

With other foods, you need to completely cut them out if you want to reduce the risk of heart disease. The sodium and bad cholesterol levels are too high to get any benefits from them. This is certainly the case with hydrogenated oil margarine and beef jerky.

What will you cut out first? Share in the comments below and start making a healthier change to your diet today.

Everything You Need to Know on How to Reduce Stomach Acid

Stomach acid is needed to digest food and allow the body to absorb nutrients. You need a certain level daily, or you can end up with digestive problems and constipation.

However, there are times that your stomach acid causes other problems. You can have too much, causing stomach ulcers and heartburn. Some people must deal with the acid leaving the stomach the wrong way, causing discomfort on the esophagus.

So, you need to find a way to reduce stomach acid. You want to cut the problem of heartburn and stomach ulcers as much as possible. While there are medications to help, you can also help to reduce stomach acid naturally. These tips will help to deal with the symptoms of heartburn at the same time.

Here’s a look at all you need to know about reducing stomach acid.

Start by Limiting Your Meals

When you eat and drink, your body automatically starts producing more stomach acid to deal with what you’re putting into it. It knows that it will need to start digesting at some point, even if you’re just drinking water. Your body doesn’t know exactly what you’re having and will work based on the chewing and swallowing process.

Yes, even if you chew gum regularly, you will start to produce more stomach acid. This can be beneficial if you’re struggling to digest something, but if you have high stomach acid levels or heartburn, you’ll want to keep the chewing to a minimum.

To help to keep the stomach acid production to a minimum, consider reducing the amount that you’re eating and drinking during the day. Keep your meals small, so your stomach doesn’t need to create as much acid to digest it all. Your body also won’t take as long to digest everything that you eat, meaning the acid levels can reduce to normal sooner rather than later.

Smaller meals throughout the day can also be good for weight loss. You constantly keep yourself feeling fuller, since you don’t leave as long between your small meals. At the same time, you keep the calorie intake down, because you’re eating less during and between meals. You’ll hardly feel like you’re on a diet and your heartburn won’t cause a problem that gets you down.

When you are eating, make sure you sit down and give yourself time to chew the food completely. One of the problems that many people have is eating too quickly. You swallow large bites, and that means your stomach must work harder to break everything down. More acid is needed to help with this process. If you made sure each bite was as small as possible when swallowing, the stomach can work less and doesn’t need the acid levels to tackle the food. It passes through the intestines relatively easily.

And we all tend to eat on the go every now and then. We have this need to rush around—because technology makes it easier to do things on the go. Our bosses want everything done yesterday, and that means we constantly feel behind and in a state of playing catch-up. When would we have time to eat if we didn’t eat on the go?

Well, it’s time to make sure you do get the chance to sit down. Use your lunch break effectively by getting outside. Just sit on a park bench to eat your lunch to get you out of the office. Your boss isn’t breathing down your neck to get you to finish up sooner and get back on with work. You can even turn your phone off while you eat to get away from the world.

Think About the Food You Eat

There are certain types of foods that will require more stomach acid than others. This is especially the case with fats and proteins.

While your body needs them, it doesn’t need as much as you would think. To start with, protein is an excellent way to keep you feeling fuller. It breaks down slowly and is used up by the body over the course of a few hours. If you eat too much, your stomach must work harder to break it down, and that means creating more stomach acid.

When eating any type of protein, take a break half way through your meal. Determine if you really need to eat the rest, by listening to your stomach and not what your brain is telling you based on sight. If you’re still hungry, eat a little more and take another break.

The breaks don’t just give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that you’re full. These breaks will give your stomach a chance to break down the food that you’ve eaten. As it breaks down some of it, the stomach creates room for the next amount that you will eat. This allows the stomach acid levels to remain the same.

Fatty food tends to add to the acid in the stomach. When you’ve had heartburn, you’ve likely found that it is made worse by anything fatty, and that includes healthy fats!

If you really want to balance out the stomach acid, you need to find foods that are alkaline based. The great news is that lemon water and cheese are excellent options for acidic levels in the body. They are alkaline based and will work on balancing the levels on the way down to your stomach. They also tend to be cooler, which helps to soothe some of the burns that you experience.

Opt for Some Apple Cider Vinegar Before a Meal

This tends to sound counterproductive. After all, I’ve just said that you need something alkaline to balance the acid, right? Isn’t vinegar acidic?

Well, most vinegar is. Apple cider vinegar isn’t! This is the only alkaline-based vinegar, which means that it will settle the acid levels in your stomach.

Put a teaspoon or two in some water and drink it before you eat a meal. This will help in two ways.

The first is that you’re putting an alkaline formula in you to body. It’s completely naturally and will just help to keep the stomach acid levels to a minimum.

The second benefit is from drinking water before eating a meal. This will help to make you feel fuller since you put something on your stomach. You end up needing less to eat, so your body doesn’t have to break down as much food in one sitting. At the same time, you eat fewer calories because you don’t feel as hungry.

Drinking a glass of water before a meal is a common weight loss trick. Well, now you can add a bit of natural apple cider vinegar to control the stomach acid levels at the same time.

Opt for Green Juices or Smoothies Before a Meal

If you don’t fancy a glass of vinegar before a meal, why not a green juice or smoothie? This is another way to get an alkaline liquid into your body to balance out the stomach acid. You can use any type of green vegetable that you want, but the dark leafy greens tend to be the best.

At the same time, you get all the antioxidants and other nutrients from the leafy greens. Drinking the greens rather than eating them is one of the best ways to get the nutrients. They absorb quicker since there’s no need to digest them as much. Even the juices are good for you since dark leafy greens don’t have that many natural sugars!

Green juices will also help to curb inflammation in the body. Those nutrients have anti-inflammatory powers. You’ll find that your digestive system isn’t as swollen, making it easier to digest everything that you eat. Your stomach doesn’t need to hold food back while your intestines can cope, so the stomach acid doesn’t stick around for as long.

You want to avoid green juices right after a meal. Your body is already starting to digest food, and you will disrupt the process. Drinking it just before is best. This way you also get the same benefit for your weight loss as you would be drinking apple cider vinegar and water.

It is possible to replace some of your meals with green juices. Opt for a green smoothie as your breakfast, packed with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use milk or yogurt (you can opt for non-dairy alternatives if necessary) to help fill you up, get plenty of calcium, and boost your protein. Try to add some seeds or nuts to the smoothies for extra protein and healthy fats.

Drink a Glass of Milk

If you feel like acid reflux or heartburn is a problem, you will want to tackle the symptoms. While these don’t necessary help to balance out the acid, they can help to line the esophagus and limit the discomfort that you experience. Some of them will help to keep the acid levels down slightly.

Milk is the best option. It’s easy to drink, cold, and will help to line esophagus and stomach quickly. You’ll also get plenty of calcium in your diet by using it.

There’s no fizz to milk, which also helps to keep the heartburn symptoms to a minimum. You can benefit from almond and soya milk if you want, but you’ll need to keep some to a minimum. Unfortunately, soya has been known to cause heartburn in limited cases.

When you don’t want milk, why not opt for some yogurt? You can enjoy it with some non-acidic fruit to help balance out the levels in the stomach or have it on its own. Opt for plain yogurt, as the fruity options will have extra sugars.

If you opt for any type of milk or yogurt, make sure it is low fat. Watch for the sugar levels in these, but you should be fine with most skim milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt.

Fill Up on Oatmeal

If you’re struggling to eat food because of your acid reflux, it’s time to look at oatmeal. There are many ways that you can enjoy this, so it doesn’t get boring.

The biggest benefit of oatmeal is that it doesn’t cause any acid reflux at all. It doesn’t need as much stomach acid to digest because it’s already soft and gooey. You also get plenty of fiber to help support the digestive system throughout the day.

Oatmeal is something you can enjoy at any time of the day. You can opt for porridge on a morning or make up some oats with fruit and yogurt for a quick lunch. Make sure you still eat it slowly and listen to your body to stop eating if you’re satisfied.

Pull Out the Ginger Tea

Ginger has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. It’s still commonly used to treat ailments and illnesses. This is simply because it really works. You can even keep colds and the flu at bay if you start using it from the very beginning.

While most people will tell you to stay away from heat when suffering from stomach acid problems, ginger tea is allowed. The ginger in the liquid helps to counteract the acid problems and reduces the inflammation in the body. Your whole body will thank you as you feel more relaxed and like yourself again.

If you’re struggling with the heat of the liquid, you can opt for lukewarm tea instead. This is something to try with some lemon and honey to help line the esophagus and balance out the acidic levels.

You Don’t Need Medication to Reduce Stomach Acid

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need medication to reduce stomach acid. This is great for those who want to stay away from pharmaceutical products or can’t take them for whatever reason. The methods above are all suitable for those will low immune systems and pregnant women.

It’s time to pull out the ginger and oatmeal and start changing the way you eat your meals. You’ll soon find that stomach acid is no longer a problem.

9 Vegan Patties Recipes for Your All-Vegan Burger

Being a vegan doesn’t mean that you must miss out on burgers. There are now plenty of ways to make a patty without adding any type of animal product to it. You can use all types of vegetables, nuts, and beans.

While you will notice the difference if you’re a former meat eater, you will be able to look smug when you think about all the fat you’re cutting out. You’re still getting protein and will include plenty of fiber in what looks like a very normal burger in most cases. You’ll end up with friends queuing up for your recipes when they find out just how delicious the burgers are.

Here are nine vegan patties recipes to still enjoy the BBQ with your meat-loving friends.

Baked Broccoli in a Burger

This doesn’t sound like the most appetizing at first, but it really isn’t just broccoli baked and mashed together. It’s one of the best for nutrients and protein, as there are chickpeas thrown into help create something solid and burger shaped.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of couscous
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1.5 cups of broccoli heads
  • 2tsp of olive oil
  • ½ cup of scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup of onions, chopped
  • 2tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1tbsp of tahini
  • ½ cup of bread crumbs

Ingredients for the Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice, plus a tbsp
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4tsp salt

Method:

  • Preheat your oven at 400F
  • Boil water in a small pot and add the couscous, bringing it to boil, and then remove from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes
  • Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes (you can do this in a microwave)
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and add the scallions and onions, cooking for 5 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and add the cumin
  • Combine the couscous, onions, chickpeas, broccoli, and tahini in a food processor
  • Pour into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs, forming them into patties and placing them on a cookie sheet
  • Bake for 50 minutes, turning the patties half way through
  • Make the tahini sauce by combining all ingredients in a food processor
  • Top the burgers with the sauce when serving

You can cut out the sauce if you want. It adds a bit of an extra bite and is easier to make than homemade vegan mayo.

Black Bean and Beet Burgers

Becoming vegan will be the best thing for you when it comes to creating new ideas for recipes. You’ll find ways to use up items in your cupboard to replace the meat. You’ll be surprised at the way things that beets and quinoa can be used!

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of quinoa, cooked
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of raw beet, grated
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp chili powder
  • 1/4tsp paprika
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • ½ cup of nuts, crushed or ground

Method:

  • Heat oil in a skillet and sauté the onions, seasoning to taste with the salt and pepper
  • Turn up the heat and add in the mushrooms, cooking for about three minutes
  • Remove from the heat and add the beans
  • Mash the mixture and pour into a bowl
  • Add in the everything else except the nuts, combining thoroughly
  • Add in the nut meal so the texture will make patties
  • Allow the patties to set in the fridge, preheating the oven to 375F at the same time
  • Create patties from the cooled mixture and place on a lined baking sheet
  • Spray the burgers with some olive oil and then bake for 30-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of the patties

Ultimate Sriracha Burger

Sriracha is a spice that you want to add to your cupboard. It’s excellent for all types of meals and completely vegan-friendly. It’s perfect for this vegan burger.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of mayo, vegan alternative
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ cup sriracha, plus 2tbsp
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1tbsp flaxseeds, ground
  • 3tbsp water
  • 3tbsp oil
  • 1 cup of red onion, diced
  • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 2tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tsp black pepper
  • 1 and ½ cups of bread crumbs
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Method:

  • Combine the mayo, garlic, 2tbsp sriracha, and cumin in a bowl and then place in the fridge
  • Spread the beans on a kitchen towel and cover to pat dry
  • Mix the flaxseeds and water, allowing to sit until gel forms
  • Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes and then add the mushrooms for another 5 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and place in a processor, with the beans, flaxseed mixture, garlic, rest of the sriracha, soy sauce, garlic, pepper, and bread crumbs, combining thoroughly
  • Use some breadcrumbs to form patties if necessary
  • Lightly oil a grill pan and place your patties onto it to cook for about 10 minutes on both sides

You can serve this with some avocado on top of the burger buns. You don’t need the avocado if you don’t want. Add the mayo mixture on top of each burger.

Chickpea BBQ Burgers

What about when you just want to take a burger to a friend’s BBQ, or you want to have your own in your back yard? Well, these chickpea burgers are the ones that you’ll want to take. They’re extremely easy to make, and everyone will want to try them.

While you can do a lot of this by hand, a food processor will help to speed up the process of creating it. You can get about 8 patties from the mixture, so enough to go around if you want to share!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chickpeas
  • ½ cup of brown rice, dry
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ cup of red peppers, diced
  • ¼ cup of red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup of parsley, chopped fine
  • 3tbsp BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 3tbsp ground flax
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in a bowl of water, then drain and rinse
  • Place the chickpeas in a pot of water and bring to the boil, simmer for 50 minutes
  • Cook the rice in water for about 30 minutes
  • Toast your sunflower seeds for about 12 minutes under a 300F heat
  • Mash the chickpeas and rice together in a bowl with a potato mash or place them into a food processor to speed up the process
  • Stir in the vegetables into the mixture, along with the seeds, breadcrumbs, flax, and BBQ sauce
  • Add the salt and red pepper to taste
  • Shape your patties, and they’re ready to cook

Quick Notes: If you want to avoid the overnight soaking of the chickpeas, use a can of them from the store! I won’t tell anyone you’ve created a little.

You can cook the patties on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side. You can also cook in the oven or on the BBQ. It really is up to you once you’ve finished.

The Double Vegan Burger

Why just have one burger when you can have two? Many meat lovers opt for double stacking their burgers, and you can do. The best thing about this one is that you will avoid the coronary that comes with double stacking.

Ingredients for the Spread:

  • ½ cup of vegan mayo
  • 2tbsp ketchup
  • 2tbsp relish
  • 2tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Onion:

  • 1tbsp oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4tbsp cold water

Ingredients for the Burgers:

  • 1tsp oil
  • 2 vegan patties
  • 2 slices of vegan cheese
  • 2tbsp mustard
  • Dill pickle, sliced into four
  • 2 burger buns

Method:

  • Combine the spread ingredients together in a bowl and set to one side
  • Add the diced onion with the seasoning to a heated pan, adding a tbsp. of water if your onions start to dry out, and cook until the onions are caramelized
  • Place the patties in a frying back, topped with a tbsp. of mustard, and cook on both sides for 2 minutes
  • Add a cheese slice and cook for another 2 minutes until the cheese melts
  • Place the burgers on the buns and top with the onions and sauce and dill pickles

You can add some tomatoes, lettuce, and other vegetables if you’d like, but they aren’t that necessary.

Sweet Potato and Walnut Burgers with Pickle

This recipe gives you the chance to make your own pickles. If you don’t have the time for that, you can just make the burgers instead and add store-bought pickles. Or you can miss out the pickles completely.

Finish the burgers off with some vegan mayo or relish.

Ingredients for the Burgers:

  • ½ cup of farro
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • ½ cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of wheat gluten
  • 1/8 cup of oil
  • 1/8 cup of tahini
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce, make sure it’s vegan-friendly
  • 1tsp thyme
  • 1tsp rosemary
  • Pinch of black pepper

Ingredients for the Pickles:

  • ¾ cup of water
  • ¾ cup of rice vinegar
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cucumber, mandolin sliced
  • 1tsp of salt
  • 1tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp caraway seeds

Method:

  • Rinse the farro before placing in a pan with the water, boiling before reducing the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes
  • Drain off the excess water and put the farro in a large bowl
  • Boil water in a medium pot and put the sweet potato in, cooking for 12 minutes
  • Drain the potatoes and mash well, before taking a cup out and putting it into the farro mixture
  • Add the rest of the burger ingredients into the bowl and knead together
  • Split the mixture into 6 patties and place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them
  • To make the pickles, boil the water and rice vinegar together
  • Add the sugar and salt, allowing to dissolve, and then add in the cucumbers
  • Sprinkle the seeds and cumin and then remove from the heat while covering
  • Allow the pickles to cool and then place in a glass container, adding to the fridge to marinate for a few hours

You can marinate the pickles for up to a couple of days, but they will last for up to a week. They taste better when you’ve left them to marinate for a couple of days.

Use the leftover potatoes for meals later in the week. Just make sure you cover them and place them in the fridge.

Aubergine and Hummus Burgers

These don’t quite look like burgers. They do look like slices of aubergine with hummus in the middle. They’re still extremely tasty and healthy for you, so they’re worth the slightly different look.

Ingredients:

  • Oil
  • 4 slices of aubergine, the thicker, the better
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 2tsp oregano
  • 1/2tsp salt and pepper
  • Hummus

Method:

  • Sprinkle the aubergine with the salt and sit for 30 minutes
  • Mix the oil, herbs and spices, and pepper in a small bowl and then brush both sides of the aubergine with it
  • BBQ or grill the aubergine for about 4 minutes on each side

Place the aubergine on the burger buns and top with the hummus and your desired toppings.

Harissa Onions with Freekeh Bean Burgers

It’s time to add some harissa onions to your burgers. These vegan burgers will give a little kick while creating something that you’ve never experienced before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • ½ cup of cracked freekeh, follow the package instructions for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup of carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup of green onions, sliced
  • 1tbsp za’atar
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1 egg, beaten

Ingredients for the Onions:

  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2tbsp harissa
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Mash the beans in a bowl, and then add in the freekeh, carrot, green onions, and garlic
  • Season with the za’atar a tsp at a time, tasting in between, and then add the cumin and season with some salt and pepper
  • Fold in the egg
  • Turn into four patties and place them on the baking sheet, spraying the tops with oil and baking for 25 minutes
  • Meanwhile, sauté the onions for 10 minutes and then stir in the harissa a tsp at a time
  • Make up the burgers on your preferred burger buns with a topping of the onions

These burgers work extremely well with some spinach leaves on top.

Curry Burgers

It’s time to add a bit of a bite to your vegan burgers. These curry burgers are fun to make, and they’ll taste like you have masala in your burger buns.

Ingredients:

  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated and peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1/2tsp cumin
  • ½ cup of cilantro
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • 1 can of lentils
  • ½ cup of chickpeas
  • 2tbsp broth
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of nuts
  • ¼ cup of cranberries

Method:

  • Put the nuts in a blender and pulse until chopped roughly
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil for about three minutes, then add in the carrot, spices, and cilantro
  • Stir in the quinoa, frying for another two minutes
  • Remove from the heat and place to one side
  • Put the chickpeas and lentils in a blender with the vegetable broth, blending together until like a purse
  • Combine the quinoa mix and the chickpeas in a bowl, adding the breadcrumbs, nuts, and cranberries
  • Form six patties and cook as you prefer

Top your burgers in the way that you prefer and serve. This tastes great with a spicy avocado paste.

Make Your Friends Jealous

Now is your chance to create something delicious without the meat. There’s no need to miss out on the burgers and the BBQs. In fact, when you take your burgers, all your friends will want them instead.

If you’re just switching to the vegan diet, some of the top options will be the easiest to make and have the texture of the meat burgers. However, the last few recipes will give you something tasty and exciting.

Now you just need to decide where to start. Which type of burger do you prefer the sound of?

9 Infection Fighting Foods You Can Enjoy Every Week

Did you know that your diet can help you fight infection? There are certain foods that are filled with antibacterial and antifungal properties. They leave your whole body feeling healthier, as your immune system can tackle anything the outside world throws at it.

But you need to get the right foods into your diet. Some of the best foods are those that you can enjoy on a daily or weekly basis. There’s no need to do anything special to add them into your diet. You just substitute a few everyday items quickly and efficiently.

Here are nine of the best foods for fighting infections. Make sure you add them to your diet right away. You won’t regret it.

Start with the Berries

Whether you want to add some mixed berries to the start of your day or prefer to eat one type of berry at a time, you’ll benefit. Berries are filled with antioxidants. Raspberries and blueberries are among the best, but they are all the most powerful type of fruit when it comes to fighting against infections and illnesses.

While many people believe that vitamin C is necessary for the immune system, it’s antioxidantsthat are necessary. Antioxidants help to fight against free radicals, which change the cells’ ability to repair and grow healthily. Berries have been linked to reducing the risks of cancer, dementia, and other diseases that are affected by the cell structure.

They also give the immune system a boost and are full of antibacterial properties. You’ll find that your body is able to get rid of the bacteria becomes a major issue. Cranberries are popular for urinary tract infections, as they help to support kidney function to remove the toxins from the body.

The downside is berries can be full of acid and natural sugars. You’ll want to make sure you follow a healthy oral hygiene routine to protect the potential acid or sugar build-up in the mouth.

Add Garlic to Every Meal that You Have

Okay, so you can’t add garlic to every single meal but try to add it to at least one meal a day. This is possible usually with the dinner at the end of a day.

Why is garlic so beneficial? Well, it’s been linked to fighting off bacterial and viral infections. Studies have shown that it’s useful in herbal remedies and it has been used in natural remedies for centuries. The chances are that those who prefer to stay away from medication have recommended some type of garlic drink to help get over a cold or the flu.

Garlic has also been linked to reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Some AIDS sufferers have noted fewer severe symptoms. It’s not a replacement for medication but can help to manage side effects and symptoms.

While cooking it is beneficial, you will want to get it raw as much as possible. Eat it in between meals. Just make sure you brush your teeth before you leave the house to get rid of the garlic breath! If you’re really worried or can’t deal with chewing on a bit of garlic, add it to a salad instead.

Get a Daily Amount of Leafy Greens

Yes, leafy greens are one of the major superfoods around. You need to get them in your diet daily. This isn’t just because they’re good for getting your nutrients, but because they support every single thing your body does. Your immune system will thank you for the addition of the greens on a regular basis.

Really, it is the nutrients that help to support your bodily functions. The dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and even book choy is filled with vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene, folate, and antioxidants. Your organs work as they should, as your body can remove the toxins naturally and easily. You’ll find that you suffer fewer symptoms of everydaycolds since your immune system can fight off the virus because they have a chance to take effect.

The great thing about leafy greens is that they are the easiest ingredients to add to your diet on a daily basis. You can throw them into salads, replace lettuce with spinach or kale in sandwiches, add them to your scrambled eggs or omelets, and even create dishes specifically around them. It really is up to you.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar on a Weekly Basis

This is one of those ingredients that you don’t need to add to your diet daily. Adding it weekly will give you a good start. It’s also something to use when you are feeling ill or have a sore throat.

Apple cider vinegar is full of antibacterial properties. It’s an acid and will burn away at the bacteria build-up in your body, giving your immune system something less to fight against on a daily basis. You’ll also find that the acid helps to reduce pain and discomfort, especially if you gargle it while suffering from a sore throat!

The downside is the acid in the mouth. You will need to make sure you follow a good oral hygiene routine to protect the teeth from decay. You can counter this by eating cheese after gargling the apple cider vinegar.

You don’t need to opt for apple cider vinegar on its own. It doesn’t have the best taste for everyone. Add some garlic to it or dilute it in some water. You’ll soon find that the germs and bacteria are long gone without even realizing that you’ve done anything special.

Use Ginger for Treating Stomach Problems

If you have a tummy upset, you want to consider adding some ginger to your diet. The antibacterial properties will get into your digestive system and fight against the reason for the pain, discomfort, or other dietary problems. It can also help to soothe discomfort from digestive tract issues, such as IBS and Crohn’s disease.

You only need a teaspoon or so of it on your food. You can also add some to hot water and drink ginger tea. This is commonly used for keeping nerves to a minimum and stopping flipping stomachs. Ginger biscuits have been known to help soothe nausea since they are light and get the infection-fighting elements of the ginger quickly.

If you’re pregnant, you will want to keep your ginger intake to a minimum. There’s no need to have it daily, and you shouldn’t have more than one portion daily. Studies have shown that ginger could be linked to miscarriage. The results aren’t entirely clear, so it’s not one of the banned foods during pregnancy.

Add Some Turmeric to Your Meals

Turmeric has been backed by science when it comes to antibacterial properties. It’s been linked to improving the immune system and fighting against bacteria build-up in the body. If you only add one ingredient to your meals on a weekly basis, make sure that it is this yellow colored spice.

The bright yellow/orange color of the turmeric is the reason for the antibacterial properties. The best thing is that you can get all the benefits no matter how you add it to your diet. Some people will add it to some water to drink it, while others will just add it to their food. You can also create a paste to cover open wounds and fight infection from setting in.

Did you also know that turmeric can be used for whitening the teeth? It can help to fight the bacteria build-up in the mouth to prevent tooth decay and tooth enamel removal. Yes, the orange spice will brighten your smile within weeks!

Turmeric fights against some of the most common bacteria that build up in the body. It is the most effective against bacteria that causes staph infections and common colds and illnesses. You just had to add it to your diet on a weekly basis, and you will notice the difference.

Not only do you get a healthier lifestyle, but you’ll add taste to many of your foods. Turmeric is especially great with curries and stirs fries.

Don’t Forget the Power of Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is definitely something you want to have on a weekly basis. Make it for lunch or batch make it for easier meals throughout the week. You definitely won’t regret it for numerous reasons.

Not only is soup easy to make but it’s warm. The heat helps to fight off infection since it forces your body temperature up to help the toxins leave your body through sweat. The mucus is released from your airways, which will help to reduce illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis.

Let’s not also forget the benefits of the chicken in the soup. You’re getting more protein to help with cell and muscle growth. Cooking the chicken also releases the right amino acids to help fight against infections like bronchitis, so your soup is working double time without you doing much to help it.

On top of this, you have the benefit of the extra vegetables added to your fruit. You get far more nutrients and in liquid form. Your body doesn’t have to digest it all or break anything down, which means all the nutrients are absorbed easily.

Try to make your own chicken soup to focus on a better lifestyle and fight infections before they have a chance to set in.

Include Raw Honey in Your Diet

Raw honey was one of the first ingredients used for natural remedies. It is still used regularly for everyday treatments and herbal remedies. How often have you heard of adding honey to your tea or lemon water to help soothe a sore throat and fight off an infection? This is because of the antibacterial properties.

You will need to make sure you get raw honey. Any treated honey will lose many of its bacterial properties. You’re just getting the sugars, which aren’t always natural. This just leads to weight gain and a sugar rush instead of treatment.

Honey isn’t used as often anymore since science backs turmeric up better. However, this is going to be an ingredient that you find easier to add to your diet. Use it on your oatmeal and don’t forget about putting a drop or two in your tea instead of sugar to create a bacteria-fighting liquid on a daily basis. You just need one cup a day to see the benefits.

Replace Vegetable Oil for Coconut Oil

You’ll hear many health experts telling you to make a switch from vegetable oil to coconut oil. This is mostly for weight loss, but there are also antibacterial benefits. In fact, coconut oil is one of the most widely used herbal treatments for infections in the western world. It’s especially included in topical treatments for the skin and hair.

Coconut oil is full of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. You’re fighting off all the reasons for illness and ailments. At the same time, it includes some anti-inflammatory properties, helping to keep the symptoms at bay if they do cause a problem.

You don’t need to add coconut oil to your food every day, but it is certainly easy to do. Use it in your cooking to get fewer calories and enjoy a healthier lifestyle. You can also add it as a topical treatment to protect open wounds.

Unfortunately, there is no science to back up the claims on coconut oil yet. This isn’t a miracle food, but it certainly shows some positives in herbal remedies—otherwise, it wouldn’t still be offered.

Add New Foods to Your Diet This Week

It’s time to make a change to your lifestyle. By a few simple substitutions, you could live a healthier and happier life. There are so many foods out there that offer antibacterial and antifungal properties. They will fight off the majority of reasons why you will feel ill, discomfort, or pain.

There’s no need to add all the foods at once or include them daily. Just adding them on a weekly basis will help to improve your health.

How to Trick Your Brain into Craving Healthy Food

There is no question that the number of addictions we are fighting today is much higher compared to the times before the technical boom. Shockingly, there are tons of activities which you would’ve never thought that are causing your list of addiction to grow. For example, a recent study showed that mobile notifications generate some happy hormones in our body, therefore making us spend more time staring at the screen, waiting for social feedback. Obviously, the creators behind the concept are aiming to raise our addiction levels, probably on purpose, to be more successful.

Junk Addiction

Recently, the New York Times also published a recent study, regarding the addictive nature of junk food (“The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food”), which once again confirmed our hypothesis about the addictiveness behind junk food. People who tried to recreate their beloved snacks – manufactured based on a strict, perfect recipe -probably have already realized, that there is no easy way to cook those tasty, crunchy bites on the oven at home. In case you are wondering how to cut back on junk food, and make your brain crave healthy food instead of less healthy products, we put together a list of a few techniques, that can help you fight your addiction.

Tricking Your Brain

There are various small techniques, that can help you trick your brain, which can help you eat healthier and even cut back on your portions. These methods should not be considered as dietary tips, as creating a healthy and nutrition rich diet is a more complex process, depending on your personal goals and eating habits. We created a list to help you trick your brain, which can prove to be useful tools when it comes to keeping a diet and changing your lifestyle into a healthier one. These small hints can help you avoid those cravings, that can sometimes result in an unsuccessful diet. So, let’s see, what can help you one step closer to a healthier life:

No More Shoveling

Have you ever had a meal, where you just devoured the whole plate in no time and felt that you could have some more? Well, the faster you eat, the slower you get full. A useful trick in these cases is to make it harder to eat your food. This might sound a bit awkward, but a recent study showed that when you are eating with your non-dominant hand, you will eat less in general. Since using your left/right hand (whichever is the less dominant one) might simply just ruin the whole meal, try using something that can help you avoid simply shoveling food into your mouth: try chopsticks or Japanese food spoons. Experience with anything new that you can think of, and you will surely get the result you are after.

Use a Bigger Fork

Another research has confirmed, that if you are using a bigger fork, you will get full earlier. How is this possible? Well, the fact that we rely on our sight while eating makes our brain believe that we are full, even if we had less than usual. By taking bigger portions, your brain will be convinced that you had enough, even before you have finished with your usual portion. However, it might sound a bit more logical to go for a smaller fork, but in those cases, you will find it even harder to stop: you will feel more like you are snacking, which will make your brain send those signals way past the point of “no return.” Apply the bigger fork technique for main meals during the day, where you are aiming to eat until you’re satisfied. If you try to apply the same technique during snack time, you will find yourself eating much more than you should.

TV + Eating = Wrong!

As mentioned before, since our brain relies on our sight, don’t be surprised if you are eating more than you should once you have your dinner in front of the TV.  By not focusing on your meal, you will end up overeating as that feeling of fullness will be hard to achieve. Watching TV, checking your mobile, or doing anything that is distracting you from eating, can make you eat more than you should. Try to enjoy your meal fully, sit at the dining table and put that phone on the charger. It might be difficult in the beginning, but you will find yourself eating less, which will once again have positive benefits on your health in the long run.

Keep Healthy Food Close

If you are aiming to not only leave those big portions behind but to finally eat healthier, the first, and most important rule is to keep those healthy foods close by. If you find yourself, from time to time, standing in front of the opened fridge, make some preparations. By storing the healthy food in the front and center, it will be easier to substitute your snacks for healthy treats gradually. By smart positioning, you can easily find yourself having a fresh salad, instead of chewing on that double-cheese burger that you left in there a week ago.

Chew Like There is No Tomorrow

Another common way that can help you eat less, and get full earlier, is to chew more than what you’d need. Make a conscious decision before your meals and chew slower and more. You will find yourself eating much less than compared to your usual portion. Furthermore, if you repeatedly focus on eating slowly and chewing more, you can easily turn your conscious decision into a habit, in no time. This can get you closer to the result that you are after: eating healthier, and smaller portions.

Transform Your Bad Habits

If you are devoted to change your lifestyle to a healthier one – where you won’t be having mac and cheese at 10 pm anymore while watching your favorite Baywatch episodes-, the vital point is to know yourself and know yourself well. Look at your habits and analyze them. If you have already developed some daily associations, like 1. pm. Means a treat of Coca-Cola, try to substitute it for a cup of green tea, or try going for a short walk. Small healthy changes can help you fight your craving, and since it takes only a few weeks to develop a habit, you can easily find yourself going for healthy walks at 3. pm. Every day. It’s easier said than done, but with dedication, you can transform your unhealthy habits into healthy ones.

Treat Yourself with Healthy Food

I know that you love those chocolate milkshakes and those midnight Doritos and I understand how hard it is to let go of all the yumminess finally. However, you don’t have to give up on all the delicious joys of those boring weekdays, since you can simply substitute unhealthy treats with healthy ones. Stash your fridge with some red grapes, bananas, apples and before you’d order the next chocolate milkshake, give fruits a chance. It’s easy, faster than fast food, and even delicious. In between meals, or as good night treats, fruits can get you through your sugar craving and reduce your hunger. Furthermore, they are extremely healthy, with tons of vitamins that can-do magic to your body. Once again, since forming a habit only takes a few weeks, why not start with including some fruits as one of your daily treats. It might take some time for the habit to stick, but it is surely worth it.

Even the Color of the Plate Matters

You have probably heard, that by using smaller plates you can ensure that your meals will be healthier, or at least you will get your brain tricked, and get full earlier. However, recently it was discovered that also the colors of the plates can influence our brain, making us eat more than we should. The research showed that by eating from a plate, which’s color does not contrast the color of the food you are eating, you can overeat more easily. The same study showed that this is also true for tablecloths, where participants whose tablecloth’s color was contrasted with the color of their food, ate less and got full earlier. As it is all about tricking your brain, even this slightest detail can matter. Use a plate that is smaller, and which’s color is in contrast with the color of your meal. This way once again, you will find yourself gradually eating less while being more conscious and focused during your meals.

Trigger Foods

It is not only advisable to be self-aware regarding your bad habits, but also to know those special trigger foods that can easily break your series of success. Either if you are a chocolate fanatic, or if you have a thing for little sweet treats, try to keep them out of reach. By this, I don’t only mean to put it further away from the couch, but to keep it out from the house. If you do so, next time you start craving those sweets, you won’t find yourself full after having eaten that box of chocolate. If you pay attention to your trigger foods, you will be surely more successful. Keeping away your trigger foods and combining it with smart food placement in the fridge – as mentioned above -, can once again make you easily substitute those treats full of sugar, with healthy fruits.

Learn About What You are Having

You can hear people say, that they simply don’t eat processed or junk food because they are aware of how it is made, and where it comes from. Well, it might also help you to turn to healthy foods, so dedicate some time to look after your next processed food before eating it. As an example, many yogurt brands add the D3 vitamin to their products. You would never find out where it comes from: sheep’s grease! Yep! Even though it sounds nice, that you are getting some extra vitamins, it was manufactured and added using artificial methods, and knowing its origins makes you go: “Yuck.” This is only one small example, but hopefully, it will make you wonder what is on your next burger. Make sure that you know what you are having, and try to concentrate on these shocking examples. By doing so, you can become one of those conscious eaters, who are not eating junk or processed food, because they are aware of the drawbacks. And once again: Yuck!

Dedication is Key

All in all, fighting your junk food addiction is never easy, but hopefully, our list of hints for healthier eating can help you change your routine. The biggest part is dedication which is totally up to you, but these techniques might help you get closer to your result in an easier way. Experiments with these techniques, to find out which is the best and most convenient for you. Don’t forget, that it is all about tricking your brain while getting to know yourself better. Once you are aware of those bad habits that can easily ruin your success, try not to fall into temptation, and take precautions. With conscious planning and dedication, we are 100% positive that you can change your unhealthy eating habits, and trick your brain into craving healthy food. As our list, has proved it, even the smallest aspects matter, so keep an eye for the details before sitting down and having your next snack.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Meal

Before starting your next meal, or before picking the menu, ask yourself these two questions to make sure, that you are eating healthy:

  • Do I know what it is made of?
  • Am I sure that this food is healthy?

If the answer is no, to any of those questions, we suggest you picking a different food. In case, you also would like to focus on cutting back on your portion, try the methods mentioned above and consciously plan your meals. Go and buy those bigger forks, white dishes, and finally stuff your fridge with fruits, to get some quality treats. Be conscious, take precautions and finally trick your brain, and crave healthy food.