Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Natural Home Detox the Healthy Way

A healthy detox diet can have a very positive impact on your health, but if you've never done a body detox before, you should learn how to detox your body safely and healthily before you begin any kind of liver detox or other detox diet.

Detox is short for detoxification and invovles the removing of toxic substances from your body via the bloodstream. The human body has a natural detox function through the liver, kidneys and lower gastrointestinal tract. Before learning how to detox your body, you need to understand the basics of how your body cleanses itself: The liver attempts to keep the body clean as it denies other toxins from entering the blood stream, however, over time, this body detox process is exposed to so many toxins that this natural fight mechanism can wear down - so learning how to detox your body can bring substantial benefits to your health and well being.

We are constantly exposed to thousands of toxins and chemicals on a daily basis at our work locations, in our homes, through the air that we breathe or our food and water supply. In addition, our diets include more processed foods, sugars and non-healthy fats than ever before. These factors plus other contributors like illness, disease, alcohol, tobacco, illegal/pharmaceutical drugs, even over-eating, can cause your natural body detox process to struggle or become sluggish. This is where doing a liver detox with a healthy detox diet comes into it's own.

Research has indicated, even without the inevitable breakdown of our body detox functions, the human body is simply not capable of eliminating the variety of toxins and chemicals that are ingested on a daily basis. The toxins will accumulate in our cells (especially fat cells), blood, tissues, organs (colon, liver and brain) and remain stored for an indefinite length of time bringing all kinds of eventual health problems as time goes by.

Learning how to detox is most often achieved through means like the modification of diet, the use of herbs or teas and more radical methods like colon hydrotherapy, body cleansing juice fasting and sweat lodges. These methods are said to jump start the body's natural detoxification process. In certain cases artificial detox techniques such as dialysis may have to be implemented.

The word detox is also used to describe the initial detoxification step in any drug or alcohol abuse rehabilitation program. Drug detox is the first step in the journey to abstinence and a drug-free life. The process must always be done under medical supervision and care since the patient will likely battle withdrawal symptoms while abstaining from whatever substance they are dependent on. Through learning how to detox your body and abstinence the body is cleansed from the toxins brought on from abusing their bodies. There should be a greater chance of the patient staying clean if counseling and other rehabilitation efforts are continued following detoxification.

More people are aware of detoxification procedures in today's world due to modern medicine's link between colon health and overall health. There is a belief that many common complaints like fatigue, gas, bloating, constipation, headaches, indigestion and weight gain are due in large part to a build up of toxin-filled fecal matter that builds in the colon over time.

Compare the functions of the colon in our bodies to a sewer system in a large city. If debris clogged a region's sewer system it would only be a matter of time before the repercussions would be felt within the area. The neighborhood would be filled with filth, there would be a horrific stench, and the sewage overflow could possibly contaminate the drinking water. It would not be a healthy environment. People would become sick. The same applies to the human body when the detoxification process is not working well. An overall well-being is felt when the colon is clean and healthy. When it becomes congested it's not difficult to imagine the potential health consequences.

With obesity becoming more and more of a major health concern there has been a renewed focus on the link between the buildup of toxins and weight gain, especially with belly fat and waist size. Therefore, learning how to detox with a healthy detox diet, and getting a good liver detox for a total body detox is a very important part of many weight loss programs.

Healthy Holiday Eating

When the holidays arrive, many people forget all
about their diets and healthy eating. Weight
gains of 7 - 10 pounds are common between
Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays
easier, these tips will help you with healthy
eating through the season and not gaining weight.

Most traditional foods can be made low fat.
Turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy
can be made without any fat. Potatoes that are
served without butter can be very healthy. The
beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it
can be made into a fatty dessert with the adding
of whipped cream.

Even though the holidays are in, don't forget
about the exercise. Keeping weight off during
the holiday season is burning off the extra
calories. You should plan a walk after meals,
park farther from stores when you shop, and
take a few walks around the mall before you
begin shopping.

During holiday parties and at family dinners,
feel free to sample foods although you shouldn't
splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in
advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty
of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and
slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party,
eat a small snack to help curb your appetite.

If at all possible, avoid alcohol. Having too
many drinks can cripple your will power, and
also add excess calories to your diet. In the
place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water
can help to limit your appetite and keep you
from binging. Also make sure to avoid eggnog,
as each glass can have up to 300 calories.

Be flexible with your healthy eating, as one bad
meal won't ruin your diet. Try to balance your
calories over a few days and don't just look at
one meal or day.

Facts About Fiber

If you've been looking for a way towards a high
octane diet, you'll find fiber to be exactly what
you need. Even though research has shown fiber to
be powerful, many people aren't taking this nutrient

To help you fuel your health with fiber, here are
10 facts to help.

1. Fiber fights diseases. A diet high in fiber can
help to prevent colon cancer and heart disease. High
fiber helps the body to eliminate cholesterol by
binding it in the digestive tract. For thousands of
years, fiber has been used to stop constipation.

2. Fiber can actually help with overeating. All high
fiber foods will take longer to chew and digest,
making you feel satisfied longer

3. Most popular foods don't have enough fiber. If
you like the more popular foods, you probably need
to increase your intake of fiber.

4. Grains offer the most fiber. Dietary fiber is
actually plant matter that we cannot digest. The best
sources are whole grains and concentrated grain

5. Kids need fiber as well. Children that are older
than 2 years of age should consume a daily intake of
fiber. Kids are most receptive to fiber found in
fruits, vegetables, and even fortified breakfast

6. More fiber needs more water. In order to keep
fiber moving through your digestive tract, you'll
need to consume a lot of water. With your diet of
fiber, you'll need eight or more glasses of water
every day.

7. Fiber cannot be cooked out. When you cook
your fruits and vegetables, don't worry about cooking
the fiber out, as it stays. The fiber found in
fruits and vegetables aren't just in the skin or
in the peel.

8. You can get enough fiber. If you eat more than
50 grams of fiber in a day, you can get diarrhea
and bloating, which can interfere with your body's
absorption of other key minerals.

9. Getting the right amount of fiber in your diet
doesn't have to be hard. Even though you may think
so, getting the amount of fiber you need isn't very
hard to do. All you have to do is eat the right
foods and you'll be well on your way to a fiber
rich lifestyle.

As one of the key ingredients to healthy eating,
fiber is something you don't want to skip. Fiber can
serve many different purposes, which were covered
above. If you aren't getting enough fiber in your
diet - you should do something about now instead
of waiting until it is too late.

Exercise for Health and Fitness

Being active makes a person healthy and strong. It is not just for people who have a weight problem but for everyone who likes to stay fit.

There is a lot a person can do such jog or walk every morning, play basketball or any other sport with friends but if a person wants to have muscles and look lean, then one can sign up and workout in a gym.

People workout for 3 reasons;

The first is that the person is overweight and the only way to lose those extra pounds will be to reduce ones calorie intake and at the same time workout in the gym.

The second is that the person is underweight and the only way to add extra pounds is to have more calories in ones diet and workout.

The third is just for fun and to keep that person in shape.

The best exercise plan should have cardiovascular and weight training exercises. This helps burn calories and increase the muscle to fat ratio that will increase ones metabolism and gain or lose weight.

Just like taking any medicine, one should first consult the doctor before undergoing any form of exercise.

Here are some benefits of exercising;

1. It is the easiest way to maintain and improve ones health from a variety of diseases and premature death.

2. Studies have shown that it makes a person feels happier and increases ones self esteem preventing one from falling into depression or anxiety.

3. An active lifestyle makes a person live longer than a person who doesn’t.

Working out for someone who has not done it before should be done gradually. Endurance will not be built in a day and doing it repeatedly will surely be beneficial to the person.

It is advisable to workout regularly with a reasonable diet.

A person can consult with a dietitian or a health professional to really help plan a good diet program. It starts by evaluating the lifestyle and the health of the patient before any program can be made.

Afterwards, this is thoroughly discussed and recommended to the person which usually consists of an eating plan and an exercise program that does not require the use of supplements or one to purchase any expensive fitness equipment.

A good diet should have food from all the food groups.

This is made up by 2 things. The first is carbohydrates. The food that a person consumes should have vitamins, minerals and fiber. A lot of this can come from oats, rice, potatoes and cereals. The best still come from vegetables and fruits since these have phytochemicals, enzymes and micronutrients that are essential for a healthy diet.

The second is fat which can come from mono and poly saturated food sources rather than animal fats. Since fat contains more than double the number of calories in food, this should be taken in small quantities to gain or lose weight.

Another way to stay healthy is to give up some vices. Most people smoke and drink. Smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer and other diseases as well complications for women giving birth. Excessive drinking has also shown to do the same.

For people who don’t smoke, it is best to stay away from people who do since studies have shown that nonsmokers are also at risk of developing cancer due to secondary smoke inhalation.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Healthy Diet Tips

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet as one that Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. But just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and well-being? Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to improve your vitamin and mineral intake.

Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system. Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables are all great natural food sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbohydrates. Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamin.

Riboflavin, or B2, can be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat. It’s used in many body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.

Niacin, also known as B3, can be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and also plays a key role in converting food into energy.

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.

Vitamin B12 is needed for creating red blood cells, and can be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.

Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with vitamin C, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s needed to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s good health. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.

Folic acid can be found in fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables. It’s vital for cell development, prevents birth defects, promotes heart health, and helps red blood cells form. Pregnant women need to take special care to ensure they are getting enough of this for themselves and their developing baby.
Dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and rhubarb, and fortified products, such as orange juice, soy milk, and tofu are all loaded with calcium. Like vitamin D, it’s very important in helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.

Organ meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, and cocoa products are all high in copper, which aids in metabolism of iron and red cell formation. It also assists in the production of energy for cells.

Iron can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods. It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.

Potassium can be found in foods like Broccoli, potatoes (with the skins on), prune juice, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and tomatoes. It aids in nervous system and muscle function and also helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Red meat, fortified cereals, oysters, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods, and dairy products are great dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supports the body’s immune function, reproduction capabilities, and the nervous systems.
Protein is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain protein. The cells of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are maintained with protein. Children and adolescents require protein for growth and development, and adults need it to maintain cell integrity. It can be found in foods like beans, milk and meat.
The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are the best choice for a stable blood sugar level. Whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables are all good complex carbohydrate sources.
Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses. Good sources are fish and shellfish, flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.
Though this list is far from complete, it gives a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Superfoods For Healthy Menopause

Including these superfoods in your diet can help to alleviate symptoms associated with menopause, maintain your memory power, and prevent osteoporosis. These superfoods are delicious to eat, easy to prepare, and super-good for you!

Tofu is an alternative protein source to meat. Along with other soy products, tofu can be beneficial for lowering your cholesterol and preventing heart disease. Soy products like tofu may also decrease the side effects associated with menopause, including the dreaded ‘hot flashes.’

Navy beans are loaded with fiber, which can help reduce your risk of color and other forms of cancer, as well as relieve the symptoms associated with diverticulosis. Women need 30 grams of fiber each day, so include them in your favorite chili recipe, or try them as a side dish alternative to pasta or rice.

Packed with calcium, yogurt can help prevent osteoporosis. It has also been shown to boost your immunity and help with weight management. Additionally, yogurt contains high amounts of good bacteria such as acidophilus, which helps to prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections. It also contains protein, which may help your body battle the fatigue and weariness that follows a hot flash.

As we age, we sometimes find ourselves forgetting things or feeling as if we’re in a fog. If you find this to be the case, grab for the blueberries the next time you’re shopping for groceries. Recent studies show they may actually help with short-term memory loss. They’re also loaded with antioxidants. Pair them with some low-fat plain yogurt for a top-notch way to protect both your brain and your bones.

Avocado also contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which can help to protect your vision and skin, which can suffer as we age. The monounsaturated fat found in avocados has also been shown to improve the condition of hair and skin. They’re great on a turkey sandwich, or mash up a few ripe ones and whip up a quick side of guacamole to have with some low-fat baked tortilla chips.

And as always, it’s important to make low-fat and low-sodium choices when menu planning. These do nothing to help alleviate the symptoms brought on by menopause, and are unhealthy options at any age, but especially as we grow older. Avoid smoking or alcohol, and get plenty of rest, and you’ll soon find your menopause symptoms are easily managed.