Healthy Articles

Chocolate For Your Health

All of our lives we are told that too many sweets are bad for you. This may normally be true, but there is good news! There are certain types of chocolates that are actually good for you! Of course, not just any old chocolate will do however; Xocai Chocolate manufactured by the MXI Corp has created a chocolate that is not only delicious it is very beneficial as well!

Not only can eating chocolate leave you feeling guilt-free, the benefits are amazing!

Among the many benefits there are:

• Anti-inflammatory properties
• Free radical reduction
• Cardiovascular health
• Immune system booster
• Anti-bacterial and anti-viral
• Regulates blood pressure
• Brain health
• Improve cellular health and growth
• Liver functionality
• Regulates hormones

In turn, all of the above mentioned benefits can help with so many other issues. For example; it can help with weight loss, speed up the healing process, minimize wrinkles, help with diabetes, cause mood improvements, ease joint pain and help someone to live a longer life! The overall benefits and results are astounding!

There is actually a skin care product made with cacao that has been created called Xophoria. The product is applied directly to your face and has had amazing results. This particular product not only diminishes wrinkles, red spots and dark circles, it actually helps you feel better! The cacao triggers neurotransmitters to release endorphins in the skin for a mood-boosting effect. Two for the price of one!

You may be wondering…does healthy chocolate taste good? The answer to that is absolutely! It’s chocolate! There are many varieties of healthy chocolates including chocolates with fruit, peanut butter cups, shakes and energy drinks. With the selection available, there is sure to be something for everyone that will fulfill that chocolate craving. Best of all, it is healthy for you so there is no eater’s remorse!

Please take note and know that this does not mean to run out to the local convenient store and stock up on all of your favorite chocolate candy bars. There is a reason why all chocolates are not considered equal. Mainly, because of the way that it is processed. Most over the counter chocolates are stripped of their value during production. With the addition of unhealthy elements such as waxes and hydrogenated oils, the power of the cacao decreases and thus, does not have the benefits of healthy chocolates.

Healthy chocolates are made by cold pressing which preserves the antioxidants and flavonoids. Only all natural ingredients are used such as sweeteners and cocoa butter. No artificial ingredients are added and the chocolate is not alkalized.

For once, something that seems so sinful can cause us to have a stronger heart, better metabolism, improved skin and so much more! So take heart and remain guilt free the next time you have that familiar craving for some delicious, decadent chocolate and indulge!


Featured images:

Image by My Blog Guest

Guest author: is a Health and Technology Writer the loves to spend time with his family.


Want To Slip Into Your Little Black Dress By Consuming Low Fat Foods – Think Again?

If you want to lose weight, the first step is to set a healthy target. Do not expect to lose ten pounds of fat in a week, as that is a calorie deficit of 35,000, and you would have to put in some serious exercise to burn such a large number. Therefore, you may believe that your only remedy is to calorie count and eat low fat foods, but controlling what you eat can become an obsessive manner.

All dieters have some hope that low fat foods will help them reach their goal weight loss, but this is a myth. Low fat foods can be the enemy, as they are often loaded with sugar in place of fat. Sugar is an addictive substance in itself, but manufacturers must replace fat with a tasty substitute so you will continue to buy the product. All low fat puddings and yoghurts contain sugar and thickeners. The body needs to detoxify from addictive substances, which is why fuller fat foods are a better choice. The high fat content ensures that you will eat far less, as the body feels sated quicker.

Animal Research on Low Fat Foods and Weight Gain

There is new research to support the fact that low fat foods can cause weight gain, as the ingredients confuse the body into believing that it receiving more calories than it consumes. Research from the animal study discovered that the rats consuming both high fat and low fat crisps containing the low fat substitute Olestra, which is not absorbed by the body and offers no calorie value, were the rats who gained the most weight after they returning to normal eating.

The 80/20 Rule

There is never a guarantee that you will lose weight by eating low fat foods, but there is one method that produces good results, the 80/20 rule. You will not have to obsessively calorie count, but you will have to alter your diet radically. All you have to do to lose weight successfully is to eat healthily 80 percent of the time, giving you a “cheat” day where you can eat your favourite treats without feeling like you need to turn to low fat foods. Once you alter your diet to include more fresh fruits and vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds, and fewer processed foods, your body is likely to crave healthier foods, and your skin will take on a healthy glow. The 80/20 rule replaces guilt with success.

Advertisements Promoting Low Fat Foods

There will always be advertisements promoting low fat foods, and the food manufacturers spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on the right strategy in and effort to manipulate the viewer. The people who are searching for a quick weight loss tool may buy the product without proper checking the ingredients to see whether the food contains addictive ingredients like sugar and salt. Low fat foods may be tasty and fit into your daily calorie quota, but there is no guarantee that you would not lose weight by eating a healthy diet and adding exercise.

Low fat foods can be expensive, as they are a more attractive food substitute for the slimmer. The manufacturers of low fat foods use effective marketing to make it believable that a product will help you gain the body of the gorgeous beauty in the advertisement, but long-term weight loss takes far more effort than the reliance of low fat foods.

Next time you’re at the supermarket, take a look at the ingredients in low fat food and you will notice that sugar (or one of the fifty other names for sugar including dextrose and maltose) is one of the main ingredients. Aim to eat foods that are fresh and free of addictive ingredients. Weight loss is achievable, but firstly you must see through the manipulation of advertisements promising a false reality.

Emily Starr is a writer who believes that healthy eating can benefit the skin, but the use of a multi active toner is an effective way to remove grime and keep the skin looking youthful and luminous. 

3 Tips Health Nuts Need To Know

If you are health nut like me, then you are probably really good about attending your exercise classes. You never miss yoga. You always make time for a run around the park. You never skip on zumba. You are always early to your 6 A.M. spin class. But are you eating correctly for all this exercise you are doing? It's okay if you said no. I am one to talk, I never, ever, ever eat breakfast before my 7 A.M. run. I know! It's bad. But I always use the excuse that I'm not hungry. And when people don't believe that, I use the excuse that it's just too early to eat. Don't even get me started about my after workout meal. I usually wait a super long amount of time and then I just eat and eat because I'm so hungry after working out. So I decided to research healthy eating habits for before and after a workout because I know I'm doing it wrong and I found some really helpful tips. I realized that eating before and after a workout are extra important for many reasons. Not only will it maximize your workout results, it will keep your body healthier. Your body is like a car and food is like the gas. If you keep running on E, your body will eventually break down. Don't let that happen! Here are 3 tips on what to eat before and after your workout:

1. For you morning runners out there...

It's important to eat something high in fiber and vitamins before you go for that morning jog. Try a cup of oatmeal, whole grain cereal, or a piece of fruit like a banana or apple. When you eat within 30 minutes after you wake up, your metabolism thanks you. It is able to start working immediately, therefore burning more fat throughout the day. Yes, please!

2. For your afternoon spin class...

If you are hungry before the class even starts, listen to your body. Don't skip on the meal because you are afraid it will hinder your performance. It won't! Not eating will actually hinder your performance. Your body is literally telling you that it doesn't have enough energy to work out. Listen to your body and eat a small snack for some energy. Try a banana, nuts, or my favorite, apple slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

3. For you ladies who don't eat after a workout...

This is so bad for you! Immediately following your workout, you should fuel up with protein and energy. This allows your body to keep burning fat even after you are done working out. If you don't eat, you will starve yourself. This means you will overeat later, therefore ruining your workout in the first place. Grab some nuts, a protein shake, or a cup of vegetables within 30 minutes of your workout. Then, it's important to eat smaller meals throughout the next few hours. Eating a huge meal after your nightly run will inevitably give you a stomach ache and slow your metabolism down. So even if you aren't hungry post workout, grab a small snack anyway. Your body will thank you!


About the author: Carly is a blogger for Smith Monitoring, one of the highest rated Dallas home security systems. She is a big fan of running, yoga, and trampoline parks.


Women weight loss tips – a new approach

women weight loss tips proactol plusIf you are a woman you will know that if you want to reach your ideal weight you are going to have to work much harder than if you were a male. The following weight loss tips will finally help you to achieve your wish of becoming slimmer and sexy once more.

Seek professional diet advice

The first weight loss tip is to seek diet advice from a professional. As there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different diets, exercise regimes and supplements all claiming to be the best method of weight loss, it will be incredibly difficult to know what is the best option. We are all unique so to lose weight your weight loss plan need to be unique too. Although your friend might lose weight using a certain method this does not necessarily mean that it will work for you. There is plenty of information online so you wont have to speak to a personal trainer face to face, unless you want to that is.

Do not starve yourself

You may think that to lose weight you should not eat. Well although it is advised that you cut back on the junk food and possibly lower your daily calorie intake you should never starve yourself, as this will lower your metabolic rate, leading to weight gain. This is also an unhealthy method of losing weight, as you will be depriving your body of essential nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

Cut back on the sweets

It is well known that women are fond of their chocolate and sweets, well unfortunately too many of these sweets will ruin any chance of losing weight. The occasional treat will not harm but you really should try to cut back. One method you could use to stop the snacking between your meals is to increase the amount of lean protein you consume. Lean protein is slower to digest than carbohydrates and fat so will help to keep you fuller for longer. As an added bonus it will also keep your energy levels high.

Lose weight with a friend!

If you find yourself becoming disinterested and unmotivated when attempting to lose weight, perhaps dieting with a friend is the answer? A friend in the same situation as yourself, trying to lose a few lbs will help keep you focussed. You can even push each other to lose even more weight.

Gradually lose weight

We all would like to lose all the weight overnight but unfortunately this is not going to happen. You have gained the weight over many weeks, months or even years so you have got to realise that losing the weight will be a gradual process too. Losing the weight too quickly is not sustainable and you will soon lose interest and start putting the weight back on. You should aim to lose around 1-2lbs a week; this gradual weight loss is perfectly fine and will ensure you keep the weight off long term.

Stick to the one diet

It is never advisable that you jump from diet to diet. Not only will you be messing with your system but also you will not know if the diet is actually working. Once you create your unique diet plan you should try to stick to it as best as you can. If you are not seeing the results you expect then you should make small changes.

Record your weight loss

The last weight loss tips is to keep a record of your weight loss. This does not mean you should weigh and measure yourself daily, although weighing once a week will be fine. You should take a photo of yourself every month though so you can see how your body has changed after all your heard work. This is a great motivational tool and will keep you working hard for your end goal.
Guest authorJonathan Jenkins is a stay at home dad who in his spare time writes reviews of weight loss supplements like Proactol Plus.  
 

The Best Appetite Suppressant Over The Counter To Cure Your Weight Troubles

best appetite suppressant over the counter
Image by drbilldean@gmail.com.
Proactol Plus acts as the best fat binder and the best appetite suppressant over the counter and is basically for those people who are having a tough time losing weight. Proactol ensures that the feeling of excessive hunger is minimized to a great extent. Overweight people should take the “best OTC appetite suppressant” from a reputed company only, which guarantees effective results. Read on more to know more about Proactol Plus.

Your struggle to weight loss ends with Proactol - the best appetite suppressant over the counter

People who are constantly struggling with weight loss should definitely try out Proactol Plus. The main reason for people being overweight or obese is their tendency to gorge on food without any limit. If you find it impossible to control your cravings for food then a good appetite suppressant will surely curb down your hunger cravings. There are so many people who go on diets in the hope of reducing weight, but are unsuccessful as their attempts of keeping off their hands from food goes futile, and therefore the good OTC appetite suppressant will help them  in bringing down their weight.

Where exercise and dieting fails, Proactol works

No matter how much you hit hard at the gymnasium or go on strict dieting, the mere sight of food spoils all your hard work, and therefore it becomes necessary to make use of some good  appetite suppressant for an effective weight loss. You will find that Proactol Plus has the ability to bring in normalization of the body mass index, supply with the required energy and within no time you will see for yourself amazing slimming-effects and much more. Leptin is a kind of hormone, that when a person becomes obesity prone or ages, its production reduces. The Proactol appetite suppressant encourages the production of beneficial hormones not only for reducing fat but also for enrichment of the health of a person.

The best appetite suppressant over the counter

Proactol Plus is currently the favorite of all the people keen on losing weight. As soon as you pop in this suppressant, your mind will get the signal of a full stomach, which will not trigger hunger pangs in you, and you will be able to burn off the calories. The best part about this over the counter appetite suppressant is that it will control the amount of food being taken by you. The urge to constantly have food will be slowed down with the regular intake of this suppressant. The consumers are often confused about which appetite suppressant will work for them, as there are many companies offering you the best results, but not all of them are as effective as it sounds. Proactol Plus blocks away the fat from being absorbed, and this best appetite suppressant over the counter should be used for 6 to 12 months, leading to reduction of almost 20 pounds.  

For more information of Proactol read OUR PROACTOL REVIEW or visit Proactol official website

    Post info: This is a guest post written by Susan from "Proactol Plus Fanatics" group. Here you can read her Proactol Reviews.  

What Makes the Diet Pills Work

 

Diet Pills

Why Most Diet Pills Don't Last

With the constant barrage of images coming from all types of media, it's no wonder Americans have a near monolithic view of what beauty is and what it should look like. Though most Americans know the images are unrealistic, they would like to stay healthy. And part of being healthy is losing weight.

Many will try diet pills with temporary results. Others will go straight to the gym, finding results come more slowly than hoped. Still more will try a combination of both and put their body on a weight-loss roller coaster ride. Because the results are less than expected, people give up the "program" of choice and pack the pounds back on.

During the process, people share their experience and lay the failure squarely on the shoulder of the diet pills or the environment at the gym. Given an objective view, it was actually the person - not the diet pills or gym - which is to blame.

The Truth about Diet Pills

Diet pills are not a panacea. There is no magic bullet for weight loss in capsule form. Dieters must take an educated approach to losing weight and balance the right pills with the right fitness routine. Diet pills are merely a supplement toward a healthy lifestyle, not a loan yellow brick road.

What Diet Pills Do

Diet pills, as stated above, are supplements. Regardless of the name or manufacturer, diet pills help to suppress appetite. This allows a dieter to eat reasonable portions, exercise regularly and lose weight through normal metabolism. Ancillary benefits of diet pills are emotional or mental. They act as a positive reinforcement to produce healthier, modified behavior.

What Diet Pills Don't Do

Diet pills are not stress relievers. Nor are they chemical calisthenics. In other words, when nervous, anxious, sad, angry or worried, the "emotion" that eating triggers remain and can overpower the effects of diet pills. By the same token, diet pills don't build muscle and rid the body of fat simply by ingestion alone.

Individuals on a diet and taking pills must do so responsibly and stick to their personalized fitness plan. While diet pills can help a dieter achieve noticeable results it a relatively short period of time, the effects will only last as long as the dieter remains dedicated to their health routine.

How Diet Pills Can Help You Lose Weight

Manufacturers of diet pills must meet strict guidelines for F.D.A. approval. In addition, manufacturers must maintain a high quality standard in advertising their product. This means diet pills must be proven to work and must be marked to show achievable results.

In addition to healthy eating and a professionally planned fitness routine, diet pills can help an individual shed unwanted pounds and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Guest author bio:This post was contributed by Kelly Austin from Higher Salary. Visit her site for information on the average accountant and guides to other popular careers.

 


Image on this post: Kittikun Atsawintarangkul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 

5 Causes And Contributors To Malnutrition

Malnutrition is a state of an improper consumption of necessary nutrients. It can be too much, too little, or just a lack of balance in the consumption of these necessary nutrients. Here are 5 causes and contributors to malnutrition so that you can see just how easy it is for someone to be malnourished and how someone could be malnourished without even knowing it.

Poverty

Poverty is a clear cause of malnutrition. If someone doesn't have enough money for food then they are going to be malnourished. This could be that they do not have enough money for food so that they get an inadequate amount of calories or it could be that they can only afford foods that are high in calories but that deliver less of the vital nutrients that people need for optimum health. These are two ways that poverty can easily lead to malnutrition.

Poor Diet

You don't have to live in poverty to experience malnutrition. You could just have a poor diet and still be malnourished. Maybe you diet to excess and consume fewer calories than your body needs. Maybe you eat foods that do not provide proper nutrition even though it may appear that you are eating enough food. Overconsumption is also a form of malnourishment. You can be both overfed and undernourished. Whatever form it may take, a poor diet is a direct path to malnutrition.

Malabsorption

Sometimes a person can eat a health diet that includes all the proper nutrition that they need without giving them too much but they are still malnourished. This can happen to anyone who experiences malabsorption. There are many conditions that interfere with the body's ability to properly absorb nutrition from food so that the healthiest diet possible is still going to leave that person malnourished. Sometimes an individual will have just some trouble absorbing nutrients from foods while others will have great difficulty and will develop obvious symptoms of malnutrition as a result. The solution to malabsorption depends on the cause but it deserves recognition for being one of the sneakiest underlying causes of malnutrition.

Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to malnutrition in a few ways. First, overconsumption of alcohol or any drug use at all can interfere with natural hunger signals which can lead to an individual being malnourished. Drug and alcohol addiction also eventually tend to lead to difficulties with employment and with maintaining financial stability in general which leads to poverty which leads to malnutrition. Prolonged drug and alcohol addiction may contribute to malabsorption and can interfere with proper utilization of nutrients which both can cause malnutrition.

Disasters

Both natural disasters and manmade disasters, like wars, can lead to malnutrition. Natural disasters and manmade disasters can separate people from food supplies which can contribute to malnutrition. People may be separated from their homes or food supply lines may be interrupted which both mean that nutritious foods may be hard to come by. These disasters can also plunge people into poverty which makes malnutrition all the more likely.
Guest author bio: Mary Wardly often likes to blog about degree requirements for master international health programs online.  

Avoiding Unhealthy Oils

For those interested in making healthy eating a part of a fitness and weight loss regimen, legislative action, producer labeling, and general public perception has made it more difficult, not less. The science behind the impact of fats and oils on health is less complicated than most would have us believe. Apply these simple principles to avoid unhealthy oils in foods and meet your goals.

1. Only some saturated fats are inherently evil

General public perception is that all saturated fats are inherently evil. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that, although all saturated fats tend to raise cholesterol, they don’t all work in the same way. Most oils fall into the category of long chain fatty acids, and the process of hydrogenating an oil removes most, if not all, of the double bonds in the molecule. Any remaining double bonds are then called trans fats. Long chain fatty acids and trans fats increase low density lipids (LDL) faster than “good” high density lipids (HDL). However, medium chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, act to raise HDL faster than LDL, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. This makes coconut oil an exceptional cooking oil for high temperature applications. By contrast the more widely used palm oil is primarily comprised of long chain fatty acids. Government regulation requiring food makers to label foods containing trans fats has pushed manufacturers to naturally occurring sources fats rich in palmitic acid, which imparts similar properties. As a result, palm oil is used in a number of products marketed as healthy snacks, to avoid the trans fat label.

2. Butter vs Margarine -- Which to choose?

For decades, medical experts recommended consuming margarine instead of butter to reduce cholesterol consumption. However, as the risks associated with partially hydrogenated fats became apparent, the pendulum has swung back toward butter. In recent years, trans fat free alternatives to margarine have become available. More recently, products containing plant sterols and stanols have hit the market. Sterols and stanols share similar properties to fats, but are calorie-free alternatives. Although they don’t usually perform well when substituted for fats and oils in recipes, they make excellent alternatives to butter in spreads and toppings.

3. What’s the skinny on animal fats?

The major component of animal-based fats are mixtures of saturated fatty acids. Lard, butterfat, and beef tallow are primarily long chain fatty acids, with palmitic acid being the primary component. What’s less well known is that, in contrast to palm and coconut oil, in their natural form, animal-based fats can be 30% or more monounsaturates and polyunsaturated fat, making them prone to spoilage unless stored refrigerated. Large-scale production eventually led to hydrogenation to improve storage stability. However, many cooks still prefer the flavors imparted by lard and butterfat when used in their natural forms. Unfortunately, while animal fats rendered at home (take bacon grease, for instance) are healthier than store-bought varieties, animal fats still include some level of cholesterol. By contrast, vegetable fats always include some level of the plant-based equivalent of cholesterol, which are called sterols. Plant sterols actually function to reduce cholesterol levels.

4. Know when to use polyunsaturated fats

General wisdom is that the healthiest oils to consume are those rich in polyunsaturated fats, such as flax seed and fish oils. While advice is sound, polyunsaturated fats are notorious for their short shelf-life and poor heat stability. The same characteristics that give polyunsaturated fats exceptional health benefits make them unsuitable for a wide range of uses. In baked goods, polyunsaturated fats, which are present even in canola oil, impart a fishy flavor, and in high temperature applications, like sauteing, they smoke and turn rancid rather quickly. Unfortunately, even polyunsaturated fats can have a dark side, with those having high levels of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats contributing to a generalized inflammatory response, which also has a host of problems. To avoid fats high in omega-6, be wary of corn, peanut, safflower, and sesame oils. Choose instead, flax seed and walnut oils, for their light, nutty flavor as salad oils.

Avoiding unhealthy fats and oils can present a real challenge to those interested in eating healthy and living fit. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one size fits all” way to solve the problem choosing a healthy oil. The solution is, instead, dependent upon the manner in which the oil is going to be used. Having said that, armed with a little knowledge, you’ll find there are healthy fats suitable for nearly all cooking applications.


Guest author bio: Greg Hayes is the author of Live Fit Blog, where he writes about fitting fitness into busy lives. For more tips on how to selecting the best cooking oil for weight loss, fitness, and general wellness, check it out.

 

Proper Nutrition to Match Your Workout Routine

Workout-Nutrition-ProteinNutrition and exercise are equally important aspects of any fitness routine. Regardless of how much you exercise, an unhealthy diet will make it impossible to achieve the best results. To get the most from your workouts, you must learn how to match your diet to your fitness routine.

What to Eat to Put on Muscle

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. If your workout routine is aimed towards growth, you need to feed your muscles through your diet. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board’s RDA, or Recommended Daily Allowance, of protein is 0.8 grams for every kilogram of body weight. This comes to approximately 0.36 grams of protein per pound. However, this recommendation is based on the needs of the average sedentary adult.

If your workout routine includes heavy weight training, you may need to be eating between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. While you may be tempted to consume more than the recommended dose, it won’t do you much good. Too much protein can actually be damaging, so stick within the recommended amounts.

Protein intake should also be spread throughout the day. The human body can only process around 30 grams of protein at one time. So if a person consumes 60 grams in one sitting, half of it will go to waste. To reap the greatest benefit, incorporate protein into all of your meals and snacks. This will keep you full, energized, and ensure that your body digests the protein properly.

How to Stay Fueled During Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular workouts have different nutritional needs. While protein consumption is still important, cardiovascular exercise requires energy. To provide your body with an easy energy source, have a snack containing complex carbohydrates an hour or two before a long workout. Lean protein and healthy fats are also great for providing energy.

Exercise-Nutrition After a cardiovascular workout, refuel with carbohydrates, protein, and fluids. After very strenuous workouts, you should be consuming around 0.7 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of body weight. Unless you are exercising for very long periods of time, stay away from sports drinks. As long as you consume a pre-workout snack and refuel after your workout, water should be enough to keep you hydrated.

In addition to protein and carbohydrates, you also need to be getting enough vitamins and minerals. While exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, it can be hard on the body. To keep your body healthy and strong, base your diet around fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean protein. Providing your body with the nutrition it needs will make it easier to power through your workouts and achieve your fitness goals.


This guest article was contributed by Jennifer Bell from Health Training Guide. Check out her site to learn more about medical office manager training and other exciting health careers.


Gastronomy Mix of Colors

Proactol Plus - Colors FoodSummer is the perfect time to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into our diet. It not only ensures we get much-needed vitamins, minerals and other healthy nutrients for our body, but also enriches our plates and menus with beautiful, natural colors that each contains special features, which are necessary to create a healthy and properly balanced diet.

In fact, each color represents a source of specific nutrients our bodies need, and also has an important role in metabolic processes and in maintaining physical and mental status of the organism, especially during hot summer months when the activities are increased. Let's look at what those recommended foods are and what “colors” we should paint our days with:

 

RED FOODS: stop bacteria

Proactol - RED FOODSRed foods include red apples, blood oranges, tomatoes, radishes, strawberries (May's 'food of the month'), raspberries, watermelon, cherries, red peppers, red grapes, currants, cranberries, and red grapefruit.

General Characteristics:
  • contains anthocyanins and lycopene; powerful antioxidants which stop the free radicals that destroy our cells

  • stimulates melanin production; an important component for sun protection

  • creates favorable effects on the heart and blood vessels (specifically cherries)

  • regulates digestion and adjusts the work of bowel (because of the composition of cellulose and pectic bark)

  • contains magnesium; very important for the maintenance of the nervous system

  • reduces fatigue and exhaustion

  • most of them contain up to 90% water (especially high water containers include watermelons and strawberries), and are excellent for detoxification due to the diuretic effect

  • contains capsaicin (the ingredient in chili peppers); an antioxidant useful for people under stress, and works as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent

  • contains vitamin C, manganese, rich in flavonoids, folate (folic acid); giving the radiant and shine look to the skin,, etc.

Nutritional properties:
  • most of these foods contain up to 90% water, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, potassium, manganese, flavonoids, capsaicin; working as an anti-inflammatory and diuretic.

Caloric value:
  • very little considering that many of them contain a large percentage of water and fiber (25-80 cal. per 100 g./3.5 oz)

Interesting facts:
  • according to Chinese medicine, red is the traditional color of summer

  • even 5000 years ago strawberries were used for the treatment of liver and spleen (they have the least caloric value; only 18 cal per 100 grams/ 3.5 oz)

 

BLUE-PURPLE FOODS: slow down the aging process

Proactol - BLUE FOODSBlue-purple foods include blueberries, blackberries, black currants, plums, grapes, and eggplant.

General characteristics:
  • contains anthocyanin; a flavonoid which gives these foods their blue-purple color.

  • because of higher content of vitamins A, B and C, they have a slightly sour taste. (currants are the biggest source of vitamin C, even 4x more than in oranges)

  • contains iron (prevents anemia), and compounds that neutralize bacteria and viruses

  • have a laxative effect because of cellulose and pectic crust (especially Isabella grapes), have positive impact on metabolic processes, and protect us from cancer-causing diseases

Caloric value:
  • approximately 16-50 cal. per 100 g/ 3.5 oz

Interesting facts:
  • blue-purple colored foods are known for their adaptability to low temperatures;

  • one serving includes 1 cup of berries; approximately the size of a tennis ball

  • eggplant has the lowest calorific value per 100 grams (3.5 oz - just 16 calories!). Note: the traditional heat treatment (mostly frying in oil) significantly contributes to increased calorie per serving. Is best prepared lightly grilled or as a light stew!

 

ORANGE FOODS: the colors of vitality and energy values

Proactol - ORANGE FOODSOrange foods include pumpkin, oranges, nectarines, cantaloupe, carrots, and apricots.

General characteristics:
  • rich in vitamin A and beta carotene (which gives them their orange color), folic acid, and antioxidants

  • contain potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorus (balancing the work of the body because they contain an excellent ratio of vitamins and minerals our bodies need every day)

  • are useful in maintaining eye health because they contain lutein

  • help to slow down the aging process

  • help aid digestive disturbances and intestinal problems (contain cellulose)

  • are good body cleaners (especially good for the liver) and they help to detoxify the body (helping the secretion of various toxins from our body)

  • improve digestion of proteins (e.g. cantaloupe)

Caloric value:
  • approx 25-40 cal. per 100 g/ 3.5 oz

Interesting facts:
  • orange foods are specially advised in the summer because they contain beta-carotene, which protects skin, while helping to achieve the desired color without the health problems (redness, burns)

  • best utilization of beta-carotene from carrots is when they are cooked!

  • best summer drink is a natural tomato juice with a few drops of olive oil, which will contribute to a healthy body and face color;

  • orange fruits and vegetables should be the central foodstuffs in our diet (due to the balanced ratio of useful nutrients) as the orange is center of all colors!

 

GREEN FOODS: the colors of nature that keep the heart in shape

Proactol - GREEN FOODSGreen fruits and vegetables include: green apples, pears, kiwi, grapes, limes, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, kale, leeks, cucumbers, peas, green peppers, and green salads.

General characteristics:
  • green foods contain chlorophyll; the plant pigment which gives the green color

  • are the richest source of vitamin C

  • contain high amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium; which are important for keeping your heart rate and maintaining a healthy heart muscle

  • act as natural laxatives (especially green apples)

  • help to prevent of cancer and various other inflammatory processes

  • contain lutein (natural antioxidants) to help maintain good vision

  • contain folic acid (especially high in asparagus)

  • contain vitamin E; which slows down the aging process and is responsible for maintaining youthfulness of the skin

  • all green vegetables and fruits helps to reduce "harmful" (LDL) cholesterol and they do not contain extra fat

Caloric value:
  • approximately 15-80 cal. per 100 g/ 3.5 oz

Interesting facts:
  • green leafy vegetables should be cooked uncovered and very short, otherwise the chlorophyll can be destroyed and it becomes nutritionally worthless

  • it is best to eat semi-cooked (blanched) or raw as a salad and side dishes, because these ways do not destroy the nutritional value - vitamins, folic acid and minerals

  • lowest calorific value in green foods is found in a gourd (only 15 cal per 100 g/ 3.5 oz

  • to achieve greater assimilation of iron from spinach, it is good to add some food that contains more vitamin C (potatoes)

 

YELLOW FOODS: source of strength and vitality

Proactol - YELLOW FOODSThe yellow food group includes yellow apples, lemons, grapefruit, pineapples, peaches, apricots, and potatoes.

General characteristics:
  • contain a wealth of vitamins such as vitamin C and A, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 (referred to as the "anti-stress vitamin")

  • contain cellulose and ballast; substances conducive to digestion

  • works to detoxify, helps reduce weight, increase the secretion of gastric acid, and reduces carminative effects of certain foods (reduce bloating and weight of the intestine)

  • contains magnesium (especially apricots); which is required to maintain the nervous system

  • strengthens the immune system

Caloric value:
  • approximately 10-80 cal. per 100 g/ 3.5 oz

Interesting facts:
  • pineapple contains bromelain; an enzyme that stimulates production of gastric juices and improves protein digestion; bromelain is also recommended for detoxification and cellulite reduction.

  • best when eaten on an empty stomach because it stimulates fermentation in the gut

 

WHITE FOODS: lowers cholesterol - healthy blood vessels

Proactol - WHITE FOODSWhite foods includes bananas, apples, pears, some types of peaches, cauliflower (also considered a green food because of its' leaves), garlic, onion, turnips, celery, and fennel.

General characteristics:
  • act as natural antibiotics (garlic, onion)

  • maintain an optimal level of cholesterol in the blood, since they do not contain fat

  • contains vitamins A and C, iron and calcium; a combination of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that helps stop the inflammatory process.

Caloric value:
  • around 25-50 cal. per 100g/ 3.5 oz

Interesting facts:
  • are especially helpful in lowering blood cholesterol, especially garlic which contains allicin

  • root vegetables are very good diuretics and protectors of the urinary tract

  • stimulate the kidneys and liver

  • in Roman times women ate fennel to reduce fat around the waist and hips, and Roman soldiers carried fennel with them as a power source against exhaustion

  • is a great source of vitamin C and iron

  • are "scavengers of the body" because they contain fiber and potassium, and they stimulate digestion and bowel function, and help in excreting excess water from the body

  • are especially good for a heart health

  • bananas are the best source of carbohydrates at high physical exertion (for this reason, there is a well know saying that "athletes eat bananas")

  • people with diabetes have to be careful when consuming white root vegetables because, regardless of the low calorific value, they contain a higher GI (glycemic index) than other vegetables and fruits.

Proactol - Culinary Mix of Colors

 

 

Our markets are full of colorful fruits and vegetables, and these colors should be eaten abundantly because these foods contain the heat, the sun, and the colors of early spring and summer. They will enrich our tables and, most importantly, will help us to maintain an optimal body weight and, with a light physical activity, they help get our body's back into shape.

 


Images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Authors: Ambro, winnond, Clare Bloomfield

 

Vitamins and Minerals in the Summer Months

Fruits Vitamins and Minerals A large selection of fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins and minerals, helps us to be healthier in the summer months. Eating whole fruits and vegetables is best as the protective skins often holds a high nutrient content at the same time as serves to protect the delicious inside.

During the summer it is advised that we increase our intake of foods rich in beta carotene (provitamin A). Beta carotene is actually a herbal pigment that the human body can convert into vitamin A. It is extremely important throughout the year, and in summer it helps to achieve a balance to skin tanning, stimulates pigmentation, as well as helps to maintain the desired tan for a long time. Additionally, beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps to maintain normal function of the immune system, builds resistance to infection, and prevents inflammation.

Beta-Carotene Beta carotene reduces the negative effects of sunlight and protects the skin by helping to synthesize the pigment melanin; a natural "defense of the skin". It also, among other things, reduces the incidence of allergic reactions to the sun. To ensure we are getting enough beta carotene in our diets, it is suggested we consume plenty of the vitamin-rich foods such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers. It is also suggested that these foods are increased for approximately three to four weeks before sunbathing to create this natural safeguard.

Vitamin C is required for synthesis and renewal of the binding agent of the skin, collagen creatinine. Just like vitamin A, vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that works to protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals and prevents and slows the aging process. Foods rich in these vitamins include peppers, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, parsley (leaf), citruses (lemons, oranges), Orange Juice Vitamin-Cberries, cherries, watermelons, peaches, and pomegranates (dried). This vitamin is extremely sensitive to elevated temperatures, air and light, so it’s easily lost by storage and thermal treatments (food cooking). In order to protect the nutrients within our food it is important to choose fresh, seasonal, and raw fruits and vegetables, and when we cook them, limit the temperature and cooking duration.

Vitamins B complex and magnesium often referred to as protectors of the epithelium of the skin and mucous membranes, especially vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which is known as a fighter against problematic skin. This vitamin promotes the growth of new cells, helps to conserve moisture, is a natural protector against sunburn, and is an integral part of many skin creams and lotions and shampoos for hair. Foods rich in B vitamins are advised throughout the year, including the summer. They are found in grains, milk, fish and meat, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Kefir, for example, when standing for a longer time, smells of yeast because it is rich in B vitamins.

Vitamins B and magnesium help regulate high blood sugar levels and are strongly advised to diabetics. Before starting a vitamin and mineral supplement, consult a professional, to help target exactly what your body requires or is lacking.

Minerals are also very important to our health, particularly magnesium and potassium, which are easily depleted through sweating. These two minerals are key elements in our cardiovascular health.

Magnesium, which affects muscle tone and elasticity of blood vessels, is important for the proper function of muscles and the nervous system. It is also essential for calcium metabolism. For feelings of fatigue, malaise, poor peripheral circulation, and harder adaptation to sudden changes in weather, it is advisable to take magnesium supplements in amounts of 300 mg per day, preferably in the afternoon.

Potassium is found in vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower, and fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas. Apple Cider Vinegar is a rich source of potassium.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of these minerals. Dehydration (caused by insufficient fluid intake and/ or heat exposure) accelerates the lack of potassium and magnesium. Diarrhea and vomiting are both symptoms of the body over heating and both further contribute to the loss of these two important minerals. Extra caution is also required with drugs such as diuretics, laxatives, and corticosteroids.

The summer should be enjoyed but it is necessary to know how help our bodies to adapt to the weather. In order to assist our body and to avoid discomfort and disease which can be triggered or worsened by high temperatures, take full advantage of the ample supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Everyone needs a rest. Holidays allow us to relax, have fun, socialize with friends, or simply to enjoying nature. Generally, the summer should allow us to enjoy a slower pace so we can rejuvenate ourselves. With the proper foods and cautions taken from the heat and sun we can relax, enjoy... and eat.

Summer Food

Recommendations on what and how to eat during summer

Summer Healthy FoodProper diet and food choices can help the body to adapt to and thrive in summer conditions. Nutrition should certainly be adjusted to each person's health status, age, daily work activities, and lifestyle.

During the summer months, due to the heat, it is necessary to eat food that does not burden the body. Fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, dairy products, and easily-digestible protein (beans, soy, fish, turkey, and skinless chicken) are the best summer food choices. The way in which our food is prepared is also important. When we cook our meals, short thermal processing is advisable as well as cooking "without fat" - by steaming and/ or baking our meals.

It is best to prepare foods using fresh ingredients, preferably same day fresh, and it is also best to keep meal preparation as simple as possible. Integrate rice and pasta into meals using lots of vegetables, eat plenty of vegetables and salads as side dishes or even as meals. Whole-grain cereals such as corn flakes and bran flakes as well as those containing wheat germ are advised throughout the whole year, including the summer.

Extra care is required when shopping for protein-rich food like meat, eggs, fish, sweets made from eggs, and dairy products (ice cream) because if left for longer than appropriate lengths of time at the incorrect temperature, they become very susceptible to bacteria growth. Longer thermal treatments can help with eggs and meat, however, creamy cakes and ice cream can easily become contaminated with salmonella. If you are not sure of the origin and freshness it is a better option to replace them with fruit varieties: pies, fruit salad, cream and cups of mixed fruit.

Proactol Orange Healthy FoodFruit and chilled yoghurt can also be taken to the beach. It is best to consume fruit before a meal or between meals. Fermented, low-fat dairy products, containing probiotics, are advised for help in regulating the normal function of the digestive organs and the immune system in general. Caution should be taken with expiration dates of dairy products, keeping in mind that dates are shorter in the summer months, so with each change of color or bitter taste should be considered to be a possible contamination.

The choice of fat should be such to avoid, as much as possible, high saturated fats such as red meat, cured meats, canned and smoked meats. However, cold-pressed vegetable oils, (olive, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin) are welcome and actually suggested in a healthy diet. Spices, in general, should be adapted to a meal and during the summer it is easy to make maximum use of herbs for added flavor.