In recent years, a very ancient drink has caught the eye of the masses. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard of kombucha, and it’s purported miraculous health benefits. But is it actually all it’s cracked up to be, or is it merely a yummy (potentially alcoholic) drink? Read on as we delve into the truth behind this fizzy beverage.
Everyone, at some point, has experienced craving a late night snack. Whether you merely had a small dinner or wanted something to tide you over until breakfast, we’ve all indulged our stomachs when it comes to pre-sleep snacks. Keep in mind that a light nighttime snack isn’t always a bad thing. However, there are a few foods that you will want to stay far away from if you hope to have a restful night of sleep.
Somehow muffins became popular as a so-called health food, but most aren’t any better than a donut, and some are even worse. While you may be able to find some decent, healthy muffins at an organic co-op or a farmer’s market, most muffins you buy at the store or the ones you buy at Starbucks are anything but good for you. [Read more…]
Blood pressure is one of those silent things that you might not think about too often. Unless, of course, you have high blood pressure like millions of other Americans. It is estimated that over 85 million adults in this country alone suffer from high blood pressure. This is a problem that non-industrialized countries don’t seem to have. This is probably due to the fact that they are in many cases, consuming a diet indigenous to their area. A diet that is rich in unprocessed food.
What is blood pressure?
As the heart beats, it pumps the blood through your body to give it oxygen and energy. The moving blood pushes against the walls of the blood vessels. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts an added strain on your arteries and heart which could lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Salt is simple, comprised of mostly sodium and chloride, both of which may very important roles in the body. They are involved in nerve conduction, muscle contraction, digestion and blood pressure.
When there’s too much sodium in the blood, it pulls water into the blood vessels, which increases the volume of blood inside the blood vessels. When this happens, blood pressure increases.
However, keep in mind that we need salt in order to stay alive. Not having enough salt in the diet can lead to dangerous conditions such as hypertension – the very thing that too much salt can encourage. Moderation is the key.
Foods that can increase your blood pressure
What you eat is incredibly important to all aspects of your health, even your blood pressure. Here are a few foods that you should definitely keep out of your diet if you already have hypertension ( high blood pressure), or if you want to avoid developing it in the future.
Note: The last two are actually the most important to eliminate from your diet
According to the FDA ( Food and Drug Administration), Americans eat at least one-third of all of their calories away from the home – generally in restaurants. While it is a law that restaurants provide calorie information to patrons, other facts such as sodium, sugar, fat content etc.. must be provided to consumers in writing if requested. You might be surprised to find out just how much sodium is in some of your favorite dishes. As an example, the flour used to make a flour burrito at Chipotle includes 690 mg of sodium. There is even sodium in your favorite flavored coffee drink at Starbuck’s. Always be on the lookout for low sodium options when dining out.
Eating out is not the only place where you can get into trouble with sodium. The majority of foods in the supermarket are also laden with blood pressure increasing sodium. It is very important to check labels as up to 75 percent of the sodium that we consume is hidden in foods such as soups, condiments, canned food, prepared foods, and mixes. It is important to learn how to read labels. Be aware of words like “soda” and “sodium” and the symbol “Na”. These are all words that show that the food contains sodium. In addition, these refined foods often contain enormous amounts of processed sugar – a no, no for anyone seeking health.
You might think that dairy products are good for your but they actually contain quite a bit a sodium. One cup of low-fat milk contains 100mg of sodium. Cheese can also be high in sodium so be careful when you chose cheese. Look for cheeses that have less than 140mg of sodium per serving such as mozzarella. As far as the milk is concerned, think about switching to a low sodium, dairy alternatives like cashew or almond milk.
Foods containing added sugar
While you may not immediately be able to see the connection between sugar and high blood pressure, it exists. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, foods high in sugar, especially fructose, can cause an increase in blood pressure. According to this report, people who consume one-quarter of their daily calories from added sugar have three times the risk of heart disease when compared to those who consume less than 10 percent of their calories in added sugar. In fact, diets high in added sugar – or refined carbohydrates are more likely to have a detrimental impact on blood pressure over foods containing salt.
I have never been a fan of these caffeine and sugar-laden drinks. When the Mayo Clinic conducted a study, they found that energy drinks cause both systolic and diastolic blood pressure to increase by up to 6.4% after consumption. It is the burst of caffeine combined with the sugar that jolts your blood pressure. In addition, some of the most popular energy drinks also contain stimulants and supplements that also increase blood pressure.
The best option
The best option when it comes to regulating your blood pressure is to consume whole foods and skip anything processed. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables along with healthy sources of protein from seeds, nuts, eggs and high purine meat. Stay clear of processed foods and foods containing added sugar. For cooking and spicing up your food, use salt that is unrefined and contains minerals such as Real Salt.
In addition, make time for regular exercise, quit smoking, drink alcohol only in moderation, get plenty of sleep and learn to manage stress.
Around 95% of the United States population is currently under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, with daily activities changed as a result of the worldwide pandemic. All of the uncertainty of the future, combined with the fear of contracting COVID-19 and extra time to ponder the realities of our current situation, has lead many to seek out ways to improve their immune system. And while an improved immune system isn’t a guarantee that you won’t get sick, having a healthy body and mind in the face of something like the coronavirus is the best thing you can do.
Finding the perfect breakfast food that will help wake you up and keep you full until lunch can be incredibly challenging. Plus, it can be hard to find something that you won’t get bored of after a few weeks. Though smoothies can often fill this purpose, chilly mornings call for something a little more warming to tempt you out of bed and help motivate you to take on the day. A famous, popular, totally customizable, but often forgotten breakfast may be the answer for all of your winter morning needs. Read on to find out why oatmeal is the ultimate breakfast food.
You’ve heard of Stevia, xylitol, honey, and numerous other natural, healthy sugar substitutes. You’ve probably also heard of things like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, chemically created artificial sweeteners that have been banned numerous times due to carcinogenic connections. In this world of naturally sweet, artificially sweet, pure sugar, low-calorie, and no-calorie, finding the right way to sweeten your morning cup of joe can seem like a complicated equation. In case you weren’t confused enough already, there’s now another contender on the scene…monk fruit. So what is this sweetener, and is it actually healthy? Let’s break it down.
It’s 3 pm, and you can practically hear that candy bar in your desk calling your name. All you can think about is the sweet, crunchy toffee wrapped in a layer of creamy chocolate. We’ve all been there. But why do we get urges like this, and how can you avoid giving in? Read on to find out the truth behind sugar cravings.
Ah, fall. As the leaves change and flutter to the ground and the cool autumn breeze blows through bare braches, there’s something other than fresh air coming on the wind. Pumpkin. Or, more specifically, pumpkin-flavored everything. Bread, cookies, cakes, and the oh-so-famous pumpkin spice latte. Children shrieking with joy as they carefully select their favorite pumpkin from the patch, and pies with extra helpings of whipped cream garnishing the Thanksgiving table. This iconic orange fruit (yes, it’s actually a fruit) has a lot more to offer than fond memories and sugary treats, however. In fact, it may be just what you need to kick off your healthy holiday season.
Most people are well aware of the connection between sugary snacks and desserts and the obesity epidemic. Sugar wreaks havoc on your body, causing serious diseases and pain along with inflammation and type 2 diabetes, to name just a few. However, there is an even darker side of America’s sugar addiction that is often overlooked. Sugar can actually affect your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety, depression, and mood swings.