Sunday, August 10, 2008

Healthiest Fruits

01. ApricotsThe Power: Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients.
02. AvocadosThe Power: Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger.
03. RaspberriesThe Power: Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries.
05. CantaloupeThe Power: Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium - almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie.
06. Cranberry JuiceThe Power: Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Buy 100 percent juice concentrate and use it to spice up your daily H20 without adding sugar.
07. TomatoThe Power: Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.
08. RaisinsThe Power: These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Sprinkle raisins on your morning oatmeal or bran cereal - women, consider this especially during your period.
09. FigsThe Power: A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. The Pill depletes B6, so if you use this method of birth control, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber. (Cookie lovers - fig bars have around 56 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber per cookie). Fresh figs are delicious simmered alongside a pork tenderloin and the dried variety make a great portable gym snack.
10. Lemons/LimesThe Power: Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor. See also: Beneficial Bytes: Lemons and Limes.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tap Vs. Bottled Water?

Tap vs. Bottled-What Should You Drink?
Glug, glug, glug!
Glug, glug, glug-- as we sip bottled water in our cars, at the gym or behind our desks.The sound you DON'T hear is the thwack of 60 million bottles a day being tossed into U.S. landfills, where they can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.If that's not enough to turn your conscience a brighter shade of green, add this: Producing those bottles burns through 1.5 million barrels of crude oil annually--enough fuel to keep 100,000 cars running for a year.Recycling helps but reusing is even better. Invest in a couple of portable, dishwasher safe, stainless steel bottles that won't leach nasty chemicals into your water. (Avoid refilling the water bottle you just emptied; the polyethylene terephthalate it's made of breaks down over time.)3 Reasons to Turn on the Tap1. Tap water is tested dailyUnder the Safe Drinking Water Act, water suppliers are required to provide an annual report on the quality of your local water and to test tap water daily. By comparison, the FDA examines bottled water only weekly, and consumers can't get the agency's results.2. Tap water is a bargainBottled water costs about 500 times more than tap. If you're into really fancy labels, up to 1,000 times more.3. Tap water is often tastySome places (New York City for one) have delicious water, but if you don't love the flavor of yours, the solution is simple: Run your tap water through a Brita or Pur filter to remove most tastes and odors.The average home filter goes for $8.99 and produces the equivalent of 300 large (16.9 ounce) bottles of water. That's about $0.03 cents a bottle, versus the $1.25 or so you'd pay in a market.One last thing: Don't just think about making this switch; actually do it. Today. It does the world and you a lot of good. Plus, allowing nagging, unfinished tasks (known as NUTs) to go undone can make you years older!

Friday, August 8, 2008

What are you drinking?

Soft Drinks--Hazard Warning!!!/////////////////////////////////////////////////Many health conscious people switch to sugar-free products to loose weight. However most sugar substitutes are harmful to our health--an NBC news report said that it can contribute to weight gain. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, 'Splenda' has been linked to a number of toxic side effects including shrunken thymus glands, enlarged liver and kidneys, reduced growth rate, aborted pregnancy and diarrhea.Aspartame (Nutra-sweet) is another popular substitute. It is an artificial sweetener with a bitter after-taste. According to the research of Russell Blaylock, MD and H.J.Roberts, MD some possible side-effects are:- Muscle and headaches- Dizziness and numbness- Depression and hyperactivity- High blood pressure and brain tumorsCaffeine is also added to some soft drinks -- it stimulates the adrenal glands and gives you a "lift". The old saying "what goes up must come down," is true. Caffeine causes over stimulation followed by a slump, which often leads to mood swings, fatigue and nervous exhaustion.The average American spends $500+ a year on soft drinks. If you will just eliminate soft drinks from your lifestyle, your health and finances will improve dramatically.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Is Your House Healthy?

Sealing your home from drafts may lower your heating and cooling costs, but it can also cost you your health. In any structure—but especially those built after 1970—better insulation can make air inside the typical home more than 100 times more toxic than outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Blame it on the scores of chemical vapors that seep from building materials and household products—from cancer-causing formaldehyde in carpeting, furniture, and wood panels to asthma-inducing chemicals in air fresheners, cleaners, and paints.
To clear out those toxins, open windows and doors for about ten minutes each day in winter and summer, with the heat or air conditioning turned off, advises Alex Wilson, author of Your Green Home (New Society Publishers, 2006). For maximum cross ventilation, it’s best to keep all the windows and doors open at the same time, if possible. In spring and fall, when air doesn’t move as easily from indoors to out, run exhaust fans such as your stove, attic, and bathroom fans. (Springing for quieter fans might make you more likely to use them for this health-preserving purpose, Wilson adds.)
Another way to clear the air: get at least two tropical houseplants per 12-by-12-foot room. Palms, ferns, bamboo, and other tropical plants absorb airborne toxins into their leaves and roots, says Bill Wolverton, Ph.D., an environmental engineer and former NASA research scientist who pioneered the use of these plants as air filters in space stations.
Also, when you buy a television, computer, or piece of particleboard furniture, let it air out in the garage for a few days before setting it up indoors; when new, these items release their highest concentrations of pollutants.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Very Simple Steps to Health

Variety is the spice of life
If we all looked exactly the same life would be boring. Get into the uniqueness of you.

Appreciate your body
Reestablish a positive relationship with your body. Your body is the most valuable asset you will ever own. All of Bill Gates money could not recreate you. Begin viewing your body as an instrument and not an ornament. Learn to appreciate your body for what it can do, not for what it looks like. Make a list of those things you like about your body.

Pamper your body
Take a long hot bath and sooth yourself. Spoil yourself by getting a massage.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are Carbs healthy?

(CBS) The "What America Eats" survey, published in this Sunday's Parade Magazine, revealed that most Americans are not as concerned about eating carbohydrates as one would think - especially considering the low-carb diet craze. According to Parade Magazine, over half of survey participants (56 percent) say they "don't think about carbohydrates when buying/eating foods". In fact, 38 percent consider low-carb diets unhealthy. However, more than a third - 38 percent - describe "reducing carbs" as a permanent change in their eating habits. American Dietetic Association spokesperson Elisa Zied says she is a little bit surprised because of the recent focus on high-protein diets and eating less carbohydrates. She says a lot of health professionals have always talked about the importance of carbohydrates in a healthy diet. Carbs are key for fuel. They are the foundation of a healthy diet - providing glucose, which fuel the brain and entire central nervous system. They contain lots of vitamins and minerals, as well, and are generally low in fat and calories (especially veggies and fruit). Many carbohydrate foods provide fiber to keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy. They play a role in preventing heart disease and cancer. Most people are not getting enough fiber. Eating carbs means everything else in balance - so you are not getting too much of the other food groups like, fat and protein. Carbs should make up half your calories each day. There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. The complex carbohydrates are the veggies, whole grains like whole wheat pasta, rice, and oatmeal. This group also includes sweet potatoes and white potatoes. Typically, they are high in fiber and take longer to digest. The simple carbohydrates can be good if they are orange juice and fruit. This category also includes candy, cookies, sugar, honey, syrup. Typically, they break down quicker. Sugar only provides calories and carbs. It is not as nutritious. The simple carbohydrates are the things we usually eat too much of. On average, people should have 250 grams of carbs per day, assuming they are on a 2000 calorie diet. That is the suggested caloric intake for most kids. Woman may consume a little less than that; and men may consume a little more than that. But generally most people need about 2000 calories per day. This is what 250 grams of carbohydrates over a day could look like. Breakfast 1/2 cup orange juice (15 grams) 1/4 cup low fat granola (15 grams) 8 ounces plain vanilla yogurt (12 grams) 1 cup (8 oz) low fat milk (12 grams) 17 green grapes (15 grams) Lunch 2 slices whole wheat bread at lunch (30 grams carbs) Turkey breast or fresh turkey for lunch (3 slices) - with tomato slice and mustard 1 cup shredded carrots (5 grams) 1 cup raw spinach leaves (5 grams) 1 cup romaine lettuce (5 grams) 1 cup cucumber slices (5 grams) Salad dressing (2 tbsp) (oil and vinegar) Snack 1/3 cup hummus (15 grams) 5 whole wheat/whole grain crackers (15 grams) 1 medium red apple (15 grams) Dinner 1 cups of whole wheat pasta, cooked (30 grams carbs) 1/2 cup tomato sauce (not marinara, though they look the same) (15 grams carbs) 1 cup broccoli (5 grams) 1 piece of grilled chicken (3-4 ounces or 1/2 breast) 1/8 of an 8-inch pumpkin pie (30 grams) In general, people over eat carbs. Many have given up eating things like pasta but when they do eat it they eat more than one cup of carbs. And most people are not eating enough of the right carbs. If you are changing from a low-carb or no-carb diet, do it slowly to prevent gastrointestinal upset, make most choices from veggies, fruit and whole grains, and limit sugar and refined carbs, and make sure to drink plenty of water as you add fiber to diet. The water helps the fiber past through the body. You may gain a little weight at first. But don't be alarmed. If your caloric intake has not increased - the pounds are probably water weight.

Monday, August 4, 2008

What is the Healthiest Fruit Juice?

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have ranked 10 beverages according to their antioxidant levels.Currently, claims of superior antioxidant activity on beverages can be misleading, as the testing is usually based on a limited spectrum of antioxidant activities.To get to the bottom of which beverages are best, they used four tests of antioxidant potency, a test of antioxidant functionality, and an evaluation of the total polyphenol content of polyphenol-rich beverages in the marketplace. Here is how the rankings turned out:
1. Pomegranate juice2. Red wine3. Concord grape juice4. Blueberry juice5. Black cherry juice6. Açaí juice7. Cranberry juice8. Orange juice9. Tea10. Apple juice

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How to Stay Healthy at Work

If you regularly load up on oatmeal for breakfast, eat salmon for dinner and jog using a heart rate monitor on the weekends, you probably think you're pretty heart smart.
But if during the work week you're stressed out, constantly hunched over your computer and eating erratically, experts say, you're not doing enough.
It's estimated that one in three American adults has one or more types of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association's 2008 statistics. If you want to avoid becoming one of them or, worse, one of the nearly 2,400 Americans who die each day from cardiovascular disease, you've got to find ways to make your work life heart healthy, too.

Top Tips Even if they work desk jobs, you can still accumulate 20 to 30 minutes of activity during the day--without changing into gym clothes.
The work day is full of opportunities for short bursts of exercise. That could mean walking briskly between your car or the train and your office, or taking the stairs, instead of the elevator. Bring sneakers and take a 15-minute walk at lunch, or use resistance bands while you're on a long phone call. Anything you can do to get yourself moving will have an impact on your heart.
The same is true of stretching, says Stefan Aschan, owner and founder of Strength123, which provides nutrition and fitness programs both online and in New York City. By targeting the muscle groups, such as the hip flexors, chest and abdomen, that are shortened by sitting for long periods of time, you'll help prevent aches and pains. Some research also suggests you'll increase blood flow, which may help expand your arteries and keep them pliable.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Is MSG Safe?

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that is "generally recognized as safe," the use of MSG remains controversial.
MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. But subsequent research found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and the symptoms that some people described after eating food containing MSG. As a result, MSG is still added to some foods.
A comprehensive review of all available scientific data on glutamate safety sponsored by the FDA in 1995 reaffirmed the safety of MSG when consumed at levels typically used in cooking and food manufacturing. The report found no evidence to suggest that MSG contributes to any long-term health problems, such as Alzheimer's disease. But it did acknowledge that some people may have short-term reactions to MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — may include:
Headache, sometimes called MSG headache
Sense of facial pressure or tightness
Numbness, tingling or burning in or around the mouth
Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
Chest pain
Shortness of breath
Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. However, some people report more severe reactions. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. When MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that "monosodium glutamate" be listed on the label — or on the menu, in restaurants.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How Toxic Are You?

Environmental control. There are many health threats in our environment - toxins in our food, air, water, homes and workplace. More critically, these toxins accumulate in our bodies. It is vital that we take steps to avoid toxins in our environment and food. Additionally, include nutrients in our diet which help our bodies get rid of accumlated toxins. Start with drinking lots of water, the easiest way to rid your body of toxins.