You already know that seeds have all the basic materials required to develop plants. This is why they are very nutritious. Seeds have lots of fiber, along with healthy polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and various vital antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Therefore, when you consume seeds with a healthy diet, they can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. In this blog post, you will get to know about three healthiest seeds you can eat.
Flaxseeds are also called linseeds. They contain a lot of lignans, omega-3 fats, especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), fiber, and many other nutrients. However, the omega-3 fats are present in the seed’s fibrous outer shell, which is not easily digestible. Thus, if you want more omega-3s, you must eat ground flaxseeds.
One ounce or 28 grams of flaxseeds contain many nutrients, including 152 calories, 7.8 grams of fiber, 5.2 grams of protein, 2.1 grams of monosaturated fat, 6.5 grams of omega-3 fats, 1.7 grams of omega-6 fats, 35% of the RDI manganese, 31% of the RDI thiamine or vitamin B1, and 28% of the RDI magnesium.
Studies show that flax seeds are helpful in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of cancer.
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are quite same as flaxseeds since they also contain good amounts of omega-3 fats and fiber, along with many other nutrients. Just like flaxseeds, these seeds have many vital antioxidant polyphenols.
One ounce or 28 grams of chia seeds contains 137 calories, 10.6 grams of fiber, 4.4 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of monosaturated fat, 4.9 grams of omega-3 fats, 1.6 grams of omega-6 fats, 15% of the RDI thiamine or vitamin B1, 30% of the RDI magnesium, and 30% of the RDI manganese.
Chia seeds help in reducing blood sugar and risk factors for heart disease. Moreover, many studies show that eating chia seeds increases ALA in the blood, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid that helps in reducing inflammation.
- Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds provide over 30% vegetarian protein, along with many other important nutrients. Hemp seeds are one of the few plants that are complete sources of protein, including all necessary amino acids made by your body. Studies show that the quality of protein in hemp seeds is better than many other sources of plant protein.
One ounce or 28 grams of hemp seeds have 155 calories, 1.1 grams of fiber, 8.8 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of monosaturated fat, 10.7 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 45% of the RDI magnesium, 31% of the RDI thiamine or vitamin B1, and 30% of the RDI zinc.
Hemp seeds held in reducing the symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions and eczema.
Seeds are full of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidant polyphenols, and vegetarian protein. Moreover, they can lower the risk of certain diseases. The lignans in some seeds help in lowering the risk of cancer as well as in reducing cholesterol. Therefore, you should incorporate healthy seeds in your diet. You can easily add them to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and salads. This way you can simply add healthy nutrients to your diet.
The effect of caffeine on our health is a long debated topic with no obvious results as of yet. The popularity of coffee and its diverse varieties is ample proof. For the more caffeine conscious coffee lovers, there is of course the decaffeinated version. So, is caffeine good or bad for your health? Here are some facts to mull over as you drink your morning cup of coffee.
Although caffeine does not have any nutritional value, scientific studies on the effect of caffeine and coffee in general reveal that coffee has several health benefits. Here are a few important benefits of coffee:
- The risk of disturbance in heart rhythm is minimal for coffee drinkers
- Drinking coffee also reduces risk of Type II Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease
- Using paper filters for brewing coffee reduces the elevation of LDL cholesterol triggered by drinking decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee
- Coffee also reduces risk of cancer, osteoporosis, gum disease and cardiovascular disease
- Coffee is rich in antioxidants. This helps protect cell damage in the body
- Consumption of coffee both the decaffeinated and caffeinated forms reduce mortality risk including risk due to nervous system disorder, suicide and heart disease
Health Implications of Caffeine
If you prefer caffeinated beverages, instead of coffee, black tea or green tea offers better health benefits.
Even if caffeine lacks any nutritional benefits, it has mild addictive effect. So on chronic consumption it can lead to insomnia, restlessness and panic attacks.
Too much of caffeine can increase stomach acid production, eye pressure and also interact with certain medications such as asthma drugs.
When to Avoid Coffee
If you have trouble sleeping, get panic attacks, have glaucoma or GERD, or drink just coffee while avoiding eating healthy vegetables and fruits, it is best to reduce your coffee consumption.
This applies to people who find their morning cup of coffee way more energetic than a morning run and to those who deprive their well needed sleep due to drinking too many cups of coffee.
If the above symptoms are severe it is best to avoid coffee completely. But, stopping coffee abruptly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, particularly very harsh headaches. It is best to taper down the coffee gradually.
You can instead opt for caffeine supplements that can help you gain all the nutritional benefits of coffee, yet not get addicted to it.
Drink Coffee Safely
If you drink only a few cups of coffee in a day and do not have any of the above mentioned issues there is absolutely no harm in enjoying your cup of flavored or decaffeinated coffee. But, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it is safe to do so:
- Brew coffee using paper filter
- Drink black coffee without cream or sugar
- Too much of cream and sugar can lead to higher calorie intake. This can cause increased weight gain and nullify the lowered cardiac risk benefit of coffee.
According to the federal guidelines on coffee drinking, 3 to 5 cups of coffee is allowable for a healthy diet and the coffee should be in plain black form. If needed drink black coffee with soy milk or any other nonfat milk and use a fiber added sweetener with zero calories like Splenda.
Sometimes satisfying your thirst comes at a stiff price, in fact, what you drink matters as much and many times more than what you eat. So many drinks are unhealthy and if you are choosing to live, a healthy life and follow a healthy nutrition plan, then you need to choose drinks that are healthy as well. You should choose water, but you want something more.
There are many drink choices for you to choose from, and some of them are worse than others, in fact, you may be surprised by some of those that made this list of the worst drinks for your health.
Often times the drinks you think are okay or may even love are actually full of sugar, with lots of high fructose corn syrup, and lots of calories. Keep in mind that when it comes to calories it does not matter whether they are from food or something as seemingly harmless as a liquid, they all add to your waistline contributing to obesity and related serious health problems. Worse yet is that these high sugar drinks are typically devoid of any nutritional value, making them even more unhealthy.
Let’s take a look at the most unhealthy drinks and how they are harmful to your health.
22 Worst Drinks For Your Health
Soda includes fruit flavors and colas. Arguably, the absolute worst, most unhealthy drink ever made, soda is a concoction of chemicals and sugar, that’s it. Nothing else. No nutrients, nothing good, and actually all that is bad. For an 8 ounce Can Of Soda there are 150 EMPTY Calories and 39 grams of sugar…
- High fructose corn syrup
- Caramel color
- Phosphoric acid (artificial coloring and chemical preservative)
Better Options: Club soda, Natural Sparkling Water
Think diet soda is okay? Think again.
There are the artificial colors that may cause cancer, flame-retardants, lots of nasty chemicals and fake sugars that actually contribute to weight gain.
While the artificial sweetener, aspartame that is often found in diet soda is supposed to be a sugar substitute that supports weight loss, it may have the exact opposite effect.
Your body is intuitive, and so when your body takes in artificial sweeteners it recognizes it as something sweet being ingested, which makes it anticipate calories be drank, but since there are no calories in diet sodas the body reacts in confusion by stimulating the release of hunger hormones causing cravings for high-carb disasters, such as cookies, chips and other unhealthy junk food.
Better Option: Club soda, Natural Sparkling Water
Energy Drinks and Shots
When you turn over an energy drink, the nutrition label is absent and replaced with a supplement facts panel. These two labels look very similar, and to consumers, there may seem like there is no difference at all. Sadly, this isn’t the case.
U.S. News recognizes that while nutrition labels are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the supplement industry does not have to follow the same regulation. They have little oversight as to what they must disclose about their products. Many energy drinks don’t actually disclose the variety of stimulants that go into the product and will often list them as a “proprietary blend.”
This means that it is possible you could be drinking dangerous amounts of stimulants, or even stimulants that interact with your current medications and not even know it.
These drinks contain, among other ingredients, lots of caffeine, guarana, ginseng, taurine, ginkgo biloba, glucuronolactone, and sugar.
The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration reports that emergency room visits connected to energy drinks doubled in numbers from 10,068 visits in 2007 to 20,783 visits in 2011.
Adverse Effects Related To Energy Drinks:
- Individuals may experience symptoms that include abnormal heart rhythms or other cardiac problems after consuming only two energy beverages according to a study done by the American Heart Association. The amount of caffeine in most energy drinks can cause heart problems like atrial fibrillation and increased blood pressure. There are warnings on most energy drinks not to consume more than one energy drink a day, and those warnings stem from the increased number of cardiac cases seen due to the consumption of energy drinks. According to Medicaldaily.com when people consume energy drinks in excess physicians who see unexplained altered cardiac patterns should look to energy drinks as the source of the problem.
- One sad and very unfortunate effect of the increased use of energy drink consumption is the higher rates of late miscarriages, stillbirths, and low birth-weight babies.
- Energy drinks can change the awareness of fatigue and pain, which means that a person might try to push themselves past their natural healthy limits.
- Marked hypocalcaemia (low calcium levels in the blood serum)
- An increased risk of arterial hypertension and type 2 diabetes in adults, which reduces Insulin sensitivity
- Extreme amounts of caffeine can have real negative effects on the neurological and cardiovascular systems in teens and kids, which can cause physical dependence and addiction.
- Tachycardia, agitation, irritability, nervousness, and insomnia are seen with high doses of caffeine. Caffeine toxicity can be compared to a lot of the symptoms that go along with amphetamine poisoning, which can include cardiac arrhythmias, seizures, and psychosis.
The World Health Organization reports plenty of research that shows drinking energy drinks, with high-risk behavior, such as combining them with alcohol, is dangerous. One study of US College students discovered that the combination of alcohol and energy drinks resulted in a higher probability of adverse reactions as compared to drinking alcohol only.
Better Option: Natural caffeine sources, coffee, green tea, and black tea.
Sports drinks are used to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise or sporting activities, but the problem is most come with unhealthy ingredients: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and lots of sodium. 8 Ounce Serving Contains:
- 35 grams of sugar
- High-fructose corn syrup listed as a top ingredient
- 270mg of sodium
Better Option: Natural Electrolytes Blends, Bai Drinks
Electrolytes balance bodily fluids and hydrate the body to greatly boost energy and you can skip the high sugar sports drinks with these naturally low sugar electrolyte boosters.
Natural Electrolyte Nutrients
Natural Electrolyte Foods
- All plant foods but especially red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables – high in potassium and magnesium
- Bell peppers
- Green leafy vegetables are high in calcium, magnesium and potassium – kale, chard and spinach
- Bananas – high in potassium
- Natural sodium foods – celery, beets, bok choy and bell peppers
- Sunflower and sesame seeds – high in calcium and magnesium
Drink It- Any of these ingredients can be blended into smoothies or juices. Add a teaspoon of salt to water to make a quick natural electrolyte boosting drink.
Frappuccinos And Other Coffee Drinks
Coffee has positive health benefits, but add to it lots of sugar, syrups, drizzles, whipped cream and artificial flavors and you turn a very good drink with positive health benefits, into something very bad.
Mochaccinos, Frappuccinos, and other coffee drinks often have as many as 1000 calories per serving; that offset all the great benefits, that coffee has to offer.
Bottled coffee drinks sold in many supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide are filled with sugar and fat from cream and milk and of course preservatives. It is quite obvious something has to keep them fresh since they sit on store aisles without requiring refrigeration.
Better Option: Drink your coffee black, or add ultra-filtered milk or a dash of fresh cream, and during the hot summer months try pouring it over ice for a healthy and refreshing coffee treat. Or just try a good cup of Bullet Proof Coffee
Bottled Nutrition Shakes
Many bottled nutrition shakes are not as healthy as they are marketed to be. They also include plenty of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and even hydrogenated oils (trans fats). Always read the labels, and check the list of ingredients.
Better Option: Get a high-quality casein or whey protein powder and make your own protein shakes.
Fruit Juice Drinks
Fruit juice drinks are disasters, filled with sugar, and some have high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
Better Option: Juice your own fruits and vegetables, when you can control the ingredients you control your health.
Bottled smoothies certainly are more convenient than making your own, but many are filled with lots of extra sugar, and plenty of calories. By using a sweetener such as the sugar form of fruit puree, manufacturers of these drinks get away with the “no sugar added” label misleading consumers into thinking they are getting a low sugar drink, when in fact that puree adds lots of sugar and extra calories.
Some smoothie products that do not require refrigeration also contain artificial ingredients and preservatives to extend their shelf life.
Better Option: Make your own smoothies, so you get lots of nutrients and none of the bad.
Vitamin Infused Water
A product that is infused with vitamins must be a healthy beverage, right? Think again, as those vitamins come at a high price in the form of tons of needless sugar and other junk that you don’t need. 33 grams of sugar on average per bottle! That is only 3 grams less than soda!
Better Option: Take a multivitamin instead or simply eat more vegetables and other plant foods to get your vitamins.
Bottled Ice Tea
Bottled ice tea is another high sugar disaster, and some products have high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. Consider the fact that fresh tea spoils without refrigeration, so how many chemicals are keeping those products fresh on the shelves?
Better Option: Brew your own tea at home or buy all natural UNSWEETENED fresh brew tea products stored in the refrigerated aisles of the supermarket but be sure to check the list of ingredients. Try some healthy Detox Tea.
11. Flavored Milk
Love the strawberry, banana, and other flavored milk products? Think again!
Sweetened milk are really bad drink choices as they contain artificial additives and are loaded with sugar. They are also lower in protein than other milk products.
The sugar in flavored milk is not the naturally occurring lactose found in regular milk but is granulated white sugar added during the production process.
These sugar filled disasters are often given to kids, sometimes to get them to drink milk, a really bad idea since they are filled with so much refined sugar.
Better option: Mash fresh strawberries at home and mix them into milk or make milk and berry smoothies.
12. Sweetened Nut Milk
Sweetened nut milk is loaded with unnecessary added sugar and therefore empty calories that contribute to weight gain. Always choose unsweetened nut milk. Nut milk is also lower in protein than animal or soymilk. Almond milk, for example, is only 2% real almonds, so they lack the vitamins, minerals and have less protein than eating nuts in their raw form.
Better option: Choose unsweetened nut milk or eat whole raw nuts
13. Regular Milk
Grain fed cow milk has more sugar, and less protein than grass fed cow milk. Grass fed milk is also higher in omega-3 fatty acids (heart health), and conjugated linoleic acid (improved immune system health, healthy bone mass, and reduced body fat). Oh, and if you ever taste organic grass-fed milk, you will never go back to the traditional stuff.
Better option: Ultra-filtered organic milk has only 5 grams of sugar (50% or less than regular milk) and double the protein of regular milk.
Your holiday tradition is loaded with fat, sugar, and cholesterol. 8 ounce serving contains
- 223 calories
- 11 grams of fat (7 grams saturated fat)
- 150 mg cholesterol
- 137mg sodium
- 20 grams of sugar
Is there anything more that needs to be said?
15. Ice Cream Milkshakes
Who doesn’t love a thick and creamy ice cream milkshake? But before you head to your favorite ice cream shop, think again.
Here is a glimpse into what is inside a 100 gram Oreo Milkshake from a famous eatery:
- 830 Calories
- 52 grams of fat (29 grams is saturated fat)
- 245 mg cholesterol
- 310mg sodium
- 100 grams of sugar
And this is just one example, some others are far worse having 150 grams or more of sugar and double the calories.
Better option: Make your own cold smoothies using ice, nonfat Greek yogurt, and fruit. Or blend sugar-free nonfat frozen yogurt, filtered milk, and fresh berries or dark chocolate (60% cacao) for a healthier version of the milkshake.
16. Instant Hot Cocoa
Instant cocoa is another dismal disaster that turns a great thing bad. High-quality cacao contains key antioxidants that promote good health and prevent premature aging, but instant cocoa drinks add tons of sugar that make them very unhealthy.
Better option: Make your hot chocolate using high-quality cocoa powder and keep the sugar to a minimal.
17. Coffee Creamers
Here is a perfect example of the disastrous results that occur when food is made in a factory.
- Some brands of coffee creamers contain titanium dioxide (also used in sunblock), a UV radiation blocker used as a whitening agent that in studies with mice caused tissue and liver damage and has been implicated in various ill health effects in humans
- Contain trans fats (hydrogenated oil) a real heart killer
- Flavored creamers (hazelnut) are loaded with unnecessary added sugars
- Numerous creamer brands contain a form of butane called TBHQ
Better option: Organic Grass-fed milk, cream, or half and half
18. Packaged Coconut Water
Most of the coconut water products marketing today often contain lots more sugar (as much as two times) than you need or that you should ingest especially as compared to natural coconut water. Another point here is that packaged coconut water products include much less fiber than the real thing. One of the primary benefits of coconut water is potassium content, a natural electrolyte that helps hydrate your body. A study conducted by Consumer Lab discovered that two of the most popular brands of coconut water actually did not contain the amount of potassium electrolytes as were listed on their labels.
Better option: to re-hydrate after a workout, eat a banana and drink some fresh filtered water, eat some red, orange, or yellow fruits or vegetables, all of which are naturally high in potassium and magnesium (natural electrolyte) or make them into a fresh smoothie.
19. Sugary And High Fat Cocktails
Next time you’re at your favorite bar, consider this:
- Pina Coladas contain coconut cream, a high-fat disaster that yields 792 calories and 83 grams of fat per serving, 74 grams of that fat is saturated fat (too much is a detriment to the heart). What’s worse is that low-quality coconut oils are processed using a process that leaves behind chemical residues and often includes hydrogenated oil (trans fat, a heart killer). Typically one Piña Colada will have more than 650 calories, lots of sugar and fat and zero nutrients.
- Long Island ice tea has as many as 400 calories or more.
- Flavored martinis have more than 450 calories
- White Russians, which are made with Kahlua, vodka and heavy cream or milk have more than 750 calories and 23 grams of fat per drink
- The mudslide, a mix of Kahlua, vodka, Bailey’s liquor and cream or ice cream is another extremely high-fat mess that yields at least 850 calories and more than 20 grams of fat per cocktail.
- Fruity margaritas include pre-made mixers that are high in sugar and often contain high fructose corn syrup
- While numbers do vary, the average bottle of beer has at least 150 calories, of course depending on the style you prefer. And who has just one in a night? After 4 beers, that’s as many as 600 empty calories.
In general, the fanciest cocktails are usually the highest in calories and sugar.
Better option: hard liquor such as scotch, tequila, or vodka with club soda, water or fresh lemon, lime juice or Triple Sec. Red or white wine, Bloody Mary with fresh tomato juice and light beer are also better choices.
20. Slushies and Icees
Slushies and Icees can be full of sugar, chemical flavorings and colors, and loaded with calories.
And even worse, many fast food places and convenience stores do not clean the machines that produce these drinks as often as they should (if ever) and so your drink may wind up being filled with mold.
Better option: make frozen fruit pops at home, freeze any fruit you like and enjoy!
21. Frozen And Premixed Cocktails
Frozen and premixed packaged cocktails are loaded with empty calories (on average 280 or more per drink, some have more than a donut)and include sugar, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup!
Better option: Add muddled strawberries and fresh lemon slices as your mixer or simply opt for club soda added to your favorite hard liquor with fresh limes or lemon.
22. Ginger Beer
Ginger beer is one of the unhealthiest beers on the market with more calories than your average soda at 170 calories for each 7-ounce serving.
Better option: light beer
Avoid The Market Shelves
There’s more bad news. Consider for a moment that most fresh whole foods require refrigeration or they spoil. This goes for dairy, produce, meats, and drinks.
So, what do you think is keeping all those drinks found on the shelves in your local market? Plenty of chemicals, most of which you can’t even pronounce. Not something, you really want to put into your body.
Check The Nutrition Labels
Be sure to read the nutritional labels of any drinks you are choosing as you can quickly determine their sugar content, calorie counts, and nutritional value.
Also, look at the list of ingredients and be on alert for:
- High fructose corn syrup
- Trans fats (hydrogenated oil)
- Chemicals, additives and preservatives
Final Thoughts on Drinks and Their Benefits
Does any of the above surprise you about many of these beverages marketed to the public today?
Perhaps they do, especially since some are advertised and marketed with kids and teens in mind.
What you drink matters as much as what you eat, and it’s really up to the consumer to take the time to read labels, investigate ingredients and nutritional data to make the best choices for the good health of you and your family.
Drink well and take care of you!
Clean eating is a current term for a long-standing movement. Many people believe that cleaning up the way we eat increases health benefits and energy levels.
The earliest signs of this trend began in the 1960’s and were visible in the health food stores that cropped up. Now, mainstream society has caught on to putting an emphasis on eating organic, whole foods, and cutting back on sugar.
What can clean eating do for you? Find out what foods to eat and how to eat them.
Benefits of Clean Eating
1. Take good care of your health. Intelligent food choices reduce your risk of disease, including heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. You’ll also keep your body fit and strong.
2. Lose weight. Empty calories will cause weight gain, especially as we grow older. Healthy, nutrient-dense foods can help you eat less.
3. Enjoy flexibility. It’s difficult to stick to diets with a long list of forbidden foods. Clean eating lets you enjoy all different kinds of flavors and cuisines.
4. Eating healthy, whole foods also protects the environment. Clean eating is good for the planet as well as for those who inhabit it. Do your part to promote a sustainable food supply with green practices, such as buying local and choosing organic produce.
What to Eat
1. Switch to organic whole foods. Get most of your calories from foods in their natural state. Opt for brown rice instead of white. Consider a snack consisting of fresh fruit or vegetables instead of fruit-flavored cereal bars that are loaded with sugar.
2. Focus on eating vegetables and fruits with each meal. Aim for at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It’s easier to do if you plan snacks and meals around soups, salads, and stir-fries.
3. Consuming healthy fats is not considered part of a healthy diet. The types of fats you eat may be more important than the volume. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as omega-3s, are good for your heart and brain when you consume them in moderation.
4. Spread out the protein. Beans, fish, and lean cuts of meat that are preferably grass-fed beef or free-range chicken are excellent sources of protein. Your body breaks down protein more effectively when you eat small portions more frequently, rather than saving it all for dinner.
5. Drink alcohol responsibly. Fancy cocktails are often loaded with sugar and calories. On the other hand, a single glass of wine provides antioxidants and other important health benefits.
6. Stay hydrated. Our bodies need water even more urgently than food. The old saying about drinking 8 glasses a day is still a good rule of thumb.
How to Eat
1. Make time for breakfast. Start the day with a hearty breakfast. If you’re in a rush, pick something you can eat on the go, like a smoothie with yogurt, kale, and berries.
2. Read labels. Perhaps you rely on some convenience foods in order to juggle your busy schedule, family responsibilities, and busy travel. Make the best of your situation by learning to pay attention to nutrition labels. High-quality protein powder may be a good option when you are on the go. Frozen dinners high in salt and saturated fat may be a choice you want to eliminate from your daily dietary consumption.
3. Control portions. Almost any food can be adapted for clean eating. If you love bacon, choose lower fat versions, like turkey or Canadian bacon, and limit how much you eat. Asparagus lovers can indulge all they want, as long as they go easy on the butter.
4. Learn to cook. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over what you put in your body and will save you money also. Browse online for easy to use recipes, such as salads made with various veggies and chicken, or quick dinners with eggs and a variety of leftovers.
Makeover your diet with clean eating. Choose organic natural foods, and steer clear of artificial ingredients. You’ll look and feel better, and you may even live longer with a higher quality of life.
Your brain is made of 90% water, and your blood is made up of over 80% water, and your bones are made of 50% water. And that’s not even taking into consideration all the bodies cells, tissues, muscles and organs.
Water truly is the miracle drink.
You can’t go anytime you select water to drink. It provides the body a way to cleanse the harmful toxins. Water is an important part in regulaing our body temperature and also plays a vital role in every single chemical reaction inside our cells. It also plays a key role when it comes to lubricating our joints, it will promote healthy skin, and helps keep our digestive systems functioning smoothly.
Another one of the great benefits of drinking water regularly is that it boosts your energy levels and elevates your mood. One another important function of hydrating with water is that it helps to bolster the immune system, that can prevent heart diseases, cancer and even the cold and flu.
When the amount of water you drink each day is less than the amount you excrete, problems start to occur – starting with dehydration. Most people are chronically dehydrated, causing a lack of attention span, memory problems, and motor skills issues.
Dehydration can also cause brain tissue to shrink. When we don’t drink enough water, our brains have to put in a whole lot more effort to perform at the same level. There have been studies done on students during school exams, and for the most part, the students who did better brought in a water bottle with them to the exams. Drinking allows us to think more clearly, and gives us the ability to focus and concentrate better.
When you’re dehydrated, your skin looks sullen and feels dry because your body will prioritize hydrating your organs first. The first place your skin will suffer is the skin on your face. Severe dehydration can have lasting effects which can result in dizziness, weakness, fatigue, headaches, and sometimes even unconsciousness.
Water For Your Health
1. Helps your Bowel Movements
When we don’t drink enough water, our large intestines and the colon, takes the hydration it needs from our stool, making it hard – a clear sign of constipation. The good news is that drinking plenty of water will help eliminate all these problems. It will help the digestive system, alleviate constipation, and help to regulate your bowel movement.
2. Works as a Detoxifier
Our kidneys have the crucial job of removing toxins from our bloodstream, especially the main toxin in our bodies called BUN (blood urea nitrogen), which we pass through urination. If our water consumption is less than what it should be, your kidneys will have a hard time removing these toxins. Toxins are the remaining junk that’s unused and needs to be removed, like urine, stool, and sweat. Drinking enough water helps your kidneys rid these toxins quite easily.
3. Powers Muscles & Joints
According to studies, a mere 2-3% loss in water weight can cause us fatigue, weakness, and can decrease your ability to think clearly. It also has a negative impact on your athletic performance, so much so that if our muscles don’t get enough water, they start to feel tired and can actually start to reduce in size.
On the flip side, drinking lots of water allows muscles to be more elastic. It will provide our muscles with the energy they need and helps them perform at their optimum levels. In addition, water helps hydrate and lubricate the joints in the body, which helps reduce joint pain and prevents muscle cramps.
4. Satiate your Hunger
Any good dietician will tell you that drinking water, or eating foods that contain high water content, will curb our appetites. In addition, to go even a step further, water keeps us feeling full longer than other drinks because it’s such a high volume liquid.
Water also will boost your metabolism, and increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Drinking 2 glasses before a meal will help you digest and metabolize your food in less time.
5. Keeps Skin and Hair Soft
Water helps to improve skin hydration and improves the flow of healthy blood throughout the body, which gives you a much brighter complexion. It also helps rejuvenate skin cells and boost skin suppleness.
When it comes to your hair, because your hair is made up of 25% water, will shine brighter if you drink more water. Therefore, when you’re constantly replenishing your water intake, this can help to stimulate hair growth, as well as helps keep hair shaft strong, giving that shiny, glossy look.
How much is enough?
We’ve been told too many times to count that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, the truth is, that’s an average guideline, and it’s not set in stone. How much you drink depends on your body and how much water will sustain it and provide it with ample nourishment. To calculate just how much water you really need, multiply your bodyweight (lb.) by 0.55. Then divide the result by 8. What comes up is the number of cups you need to drink on a daily basis.
Here are a few ways you can sneak in those recommended glasses of water in your daily routine:
1. Drink a glass of water before each snack and meal.
2. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, in your car, in your bag, at the gym or in the office.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. About 20-25% of our daily fluid intake comes from our meals. So let their high water content add to your hydration.
A recent study found that less than 10% of Americans are eating enough fruits and vegetables. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 15% of Americans are consuming the recommended 2 to 4 daily servings of fruit, and less than 9% consume 3 to 5 servings of vegetables.
If you’re going to beat the cravings, you will need to rewire your brain so you crave Brussel sprouts more than bacon. Each time you choose healthier foods, you’re strengthening your desire for them. Take a look at these recommendations for changing the way you think and eat.
Changing the Way You Think
Remember your primary intent and focus is here. You will need to have a pinpoint focus on why you choose to consume nutritious whole foods. Eliminating empty calories can help you look and feel your best. You’ll have more energy, and will be less susceptible to illness or disease
Plan ahead. Ask yourself if a few minutes of munching on candy and chips is worth the consequences and the result. Would your future self-be better off if you snacked on a banana, celery, or baby carrots?
Study nutrition. It is quite simple to google information or perhaps do a YouTube search if you prefer video learning, for all the information you need to fully educate yourself on what foods to eat to maintain a healthy diet, and become a fat burning machine. The more you know about how your diet affects your health, the stronger your motivation will be. Schedule a session with a registered dietician or browse online to learn more about reading food labels and restaurant menus.
Form new habits. It’s easier to start a positive new habit than to break an old routine. If you’re used to eating a donut with your coffee, treat yourself to a few almonds instead of going hungry.
Focus on rewards that don’t involve food. If emotional eating is a concern, you may need to seek gratification elsewhere. Reward yourself by buying yourself a new shirt or pair of jeans, or spending time with friends at a special place like a theater, hiking in the mountains, or any other fun activity you enjoy doing.
Recruit support. Speaking of friends, social support is vital. Surround yourself with others who are trying to eat well so you can share encouragement and feedback.
Changing the Way You Eat
Add healthy fats. You may have noticed a recent shift in nutritional advice. Experts are now talking less about avoiding fats, and more about choosing healthy fats. Broccoli can be a lot more appealing when you drizzle on olive oil.
Hunt for deals. Perhaps the high price of some superfoods is putting a damper on your organic grocery store shopping. Shop for seasonal produce or you can even grow your own. Stock up on inexpensive staples like beans and lentils. Visit the bulk bins where you can save on packaging costs, and sample small quantities until you discover your favorite grains and seeds.
Beautify your place settings. Presentation makes a big difference. Sit down to eat. Create an attractive centerpiece or light candles. Use colorful dishes and bowls.
Branch out. If kale is starting to bore you, experiment with other salad greens like oakleaf or mizuna. Sign up for cooking classes or visit the library for more ideas about what to make for dinner.
Carry snacks. Bring hummus or yogurt to the office with you for your afternoon break. You’ll soon like your own fresh food better than the packaged goods in the vending machines.
Make it convenient to eat healthy foods. The foods we crave are often the ones that require a minimal effort like cookies and frozen dinners. You can make healthy substitutes just as handy. Keep a bowl of fruit on your dining room table. Buy whole-wheat pizza crusts you can top with cut vegetables and cheese for a hot meal in minutes.
Imagine looking forward to a bowl of beets with the same enthusiasm you usually reserve for double-fudge brownies. Some simple mental training, along with adjusting a few lifestyle habits, will have you craving food that’s good for you.