Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Article # 592. Causes of Junk Food

Fast food nutrition should make up a minimal part of a healthy diet. Fast foods and junk foods are high in fat, sodium and sugar, which can lead to obesity and a range of attendant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are the facts about how excessive junk food consumption affects your body.
Junk Food Affects Your Energy Levels
Junk food doesn't contain the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. As a result, you may feel chronically fatigued and lack the energy you need to complete daily tasks. The high levels of sugar in junk food puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat refined sugar, your pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.

Because fast food and junk food don't contain adequate amounts of protein and good carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly after eating, leaving you feeling grumpy, fatigued and craving sugar.

Junk Food Contributes to Poor Performance and Obesity

Junk food contains large amounts of fat, and as fat accumulates in your body, you'll gain weight and could become obese. The more weight you gain, the more you'll be at risk for serious chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. You could even have a heart attack.
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food can cause high blood pressure or hypertension. Excessive dietary sodium can also have a negative effect on renal function, even leading to kidney disease.
In the short term, high levels of dietary fat lead to poor cognitive performance. You'll feel tired and have trouble concentrating because your body might not be getting enough oxygen.

Junk Food Can Damage Your Liver and Heart
The high levels of fat and sodium in junk food and fast food can contribute to heart disease by raising blood cholesterol levels and contributing to arterial plaque build up. The high levels of Trans fatty acids found in many junk foods and fast foods can lead to fatty liver deposits, which, over time, can cause liver dysfunction and disease.

Junk Food Can Lead to Diabetes

Over time, the high levels of sugar and simple carbohydrates in junk food can lead to type 2 diabetes. This occurs because eating too much sugar puts your metabolism under stress; when you eat a lot of refined white sugar and simple carbohydrates, your body has to pump up insulin production to prevent a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels.
Because junk food doesn't contain the protein or complex carbohydrates that your body needs to maintain consistent blood sugar levels, your blood sugar levels will drop suddenly soon after eating. You'll crave sugar and likely end up eating more junk food.

Over time, this stress damages your body's ability to use the insulin secreted by your pancreas. A healthy diet can help maintain your body's insulin sensitivity.

Even in the short term, eating too much junk food can make you feel really uncomfortable. It can lead to mood swings and constipation, and lower your energy levels so that you lack interest in the exercise you need to burn off those extra calories.
Nutrient Deficiencies

Processing that removes vitamins, minerals and fiber makes junk foods into the sources of empty calories that nutritionists disparage. Children who eat a lot of junk foods may develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to low energy, mood swings, sleep disturbance and poor academic achievement, among other health conditions.



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Article# 591. Foods That Will Improve Your Stamina

While certain foods in your diet can actually reduce stamina, healthy foods help to build up your stamina and increase your energy level, especially if you’re interested in sports and athletics. As a sportsperson, you need foods that are designed to not only give you energy but also keep you feeling full all day long.  “Nutrients like complex carbs, proteins, fibre and vitamin C is crucial for those who are into sports. These nutrients keep you active and feeling energetic.”

Essential nutrients:

Complex carbs: When you are talking about building stamina, you just cannot miss out on complex carbs. Carbs are the main source of fuel for your body and brain. Carbs is the food that the body uses to get glucose, which provides energy. Complex carbs are present in foods like bread, pasta and rice, which unlike simple carbs, keep you feeling energetic all day long.” 

Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system and protects you from infections like cold and cough, which sap your energy. Also, when you are outdoors, you are more susceptible to bacterial infections, which hamper your health. Thus ensure that you consume foods and fruits rich in vitamin C. 

Proteins: Protein is an important nutrient for the growth, development and repair of muscle and body tissues. Protein has a higher metabolic rate than fat, so an individual can burn more calories. It is also said to increase satiety, which prevents a person from overeating. Healthy sources of protein include lean chicken, fish, eggs and nuts. 

Iron: Lack of iron in your diet can cause loss of stamina. You can get iron from meat, beans, nuts and some vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.  Consult your doctor about taking iron supplements. 

Foods that build stamina

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is an unprocessed carb, which gets digested slowly and hence keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. “A power-packed cereal, oatmeal provides sustained energy for hours. Due to high content of complex carbs, it breaks down slowly in your body and keeps the blood sugar at optimum level.”

Beans: Rich in mineral and iron which helps your body to generate RBCs (Red Blood Cells) that carry oxygen to the muscles when you are exercising and also builds stamina.

Green leafy vegetables: Packed with micronutrients, it is essential for building stamina and also to improve your RBC count. Green leafy veggies are rich in fibre and digest slowly while maintaining your blood-glucose level.  

Bananas: Bananas are a particularly good energy source and these are best eaten a few hours before you intend to exert yourself. Along with being great sources of carbs, they are also effective because they trigger the release of ‘dopamine’ — a chemical that builds your concentration and focus. 

Peanut butter: Peanuts are said to contain Omega 3 fatty acids that helps in reducing pain, boost heart health and develop your brain. Peanut butter is also excellent for building stamina. It is high in calories and digests slowly. Consume peanut butter in combination with complex carbs. 

Lean meat, fish, chicken and eggs: “Rich in protein, these foods are important for growth and development, muscle building and repair. Meat takes a longer time to digest and thus keeps you feeling full and active all day long.”

Red grapes: Red grapes contains ‘resveratol’ which provides increased energy. These grapes contain a very small amount of sugar, which gives you instant energy and helps build stamina. 

Beetroot juice: Consuming a glass of beetroot juice before exercising will make your body work for long hours without feeling exhausted. Beetroot is rich in vitamin A and C —  both help in building stamina and reducing fatigue. 

Quinoa: Quinoa (Bathua) was declared to be a sacred grain by the Inca Empire and was fed to the warriors so that they could get energy! It contains eight essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fibre. It gives instant energy and keeps you active. It’s easy to cook and can be cooked like rice in only 10 minutes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Article # 590. Kneeling Cable Crunch With Alternating Oblique Twists / Kneeling Oblique Cable Crunch:

1.Connect a rope attachment to a high pulley cable and position a mat on the floor in front of it.
2.Grab the rope with both hands and kneel approximately two feet back from the tower.
3.Position the rope behind your head with your hands by your ears.
4.Keep your hands in the same place, contract your abs and pull downward on the rope in a crunching movement until your elbows reach your knees.
5.Pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
6.Repeat the same downward movement until you’re halfway down, at which time you’ll begin rotating one of your elbows to the opposite knee.
7.Again, pause briefly at the bottom and rise up in a slow and controlled manner until you reach the starting position.
8.Repeat the same movement as before, but alternate the other elbow to the opposite knee.
9.Continue this series of movements to failure.
Tip: Keep your elbows in tight when doing the normal crunching movement, but extend them outward when doing the oblique twist. This technique will open your body for a greater rotation, as well as allow your elbow to drive backward with more force.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Article # 589. Plant-based anti-ageing foods

Who wants to look their age? Most people want to look years younger than they are and are always striving towards it going into strange diets, getting help of surgery and taking jabs of botox and dermal fillers.

Studies have shown that people who eat mostly plant-based foods look younger than their real physical age. And if that is true, it sure makes sense to include plant-based, anti-ageing foods in our daily diet to get that ageless, young skin and delay the inevitable effects of natural ageing by improving skin elasticity and thereby staving off wrinkles..

"There are certain foods that are rich in Vitamin E, which when included in our daily diet, can help improve the texture of skin and it's elasticity." Avocados, walnuts, sesame seeds, olive or olive oil are rich in Vitamin E.  "Eating a diet that is rich in colourful fruits and veggies, can help protect against skin ageing." Tomatoes, red bell pepper and all citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and bright orange vegetables have carotenoids and all these should be included in your diet. "Apart from this, avoiding caffeine products can help control melanin production. Sipping on green tea is a better idea."

Here is a list of some anti-ageing foods:


Since ages almonds have been considered as an anti-ageing food because of the high content of Vitamin E. It is great for healthy skin, hair and nails. The body needs Vitamin E to protect the cells from the onslaught of free radicals generated by air pollution, peroxides and ultra violet rays. Experts say that eating around a dozen almonds daily will help.


Walnuts are a rich source of Vitamin E and having a handful can help your skin look great.

These are excellent as anti-ageing food and improve tired and dehydrated skin. The high water content and high amounts of silica present helps to get a smooth and glowing skin.

They are also known as nature's best moisturisers and are loaded with anti-ageing nutrients such as Vitamin C and E, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Though a medium-size avocado has 30 grams of fat, all of it is healthy mono-saturated fats that lower cholesterol and protect the heart. "Eating avocados can help stave off wrinkles and keep your skin looking soft and supple, because of the Vitamin E that helps to get your skin glowing."


This is another rich source of Vitamin E


 "Antioxidants that are present in berries such as blueberries, and cranberries and in strawberry, can help keep you skin vibrant and glowing." The canned cranberry juice works for your skin.
Eat one to two cups of blueberries a day for your daily 'dose' of anthocyanin, an anti-ageing antioxidant that increases the potency of Vitamin C.

Green tea

This is a very healthy substitute for caffeine drinks and are packed with anti-oxidants.


"If you do not drink at least 2-3 litres of water every day, your skin might wrinkle faster. Water provides the much-required hydration and keeps wrinkles at bay.

Aloe Vera juice

Aloe vera juice is excellent if you want younger-looking skin says and adds, "Have 30 ml aloevera juice diluted with 100 ml water early morning on empty stomach. And after 20-30 minutes you can have your regular breakfast."

Sunflower seeds

This in another remarkable anti-ageing food and a Vitamin E and selenium powerhouse with very effective youth-enhancing qualities.
Eating a handful of sunflower seeds daily will help you look younger, stave off wrinkles and improve skin elasticity because it is extremely rich in Vitamin E.

Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a very rich source of selenium, a mineral that works very well with Vitamin E to stop oxidative stress and cell damage caused by free radicals; thus, slowing down the ageing process. But should be eaten in moderation (two nuts a day) because of its high fat content.

Article # 588. Tips to Prevent Tiredness!

If you feel tired when you wake up in the morning, at work and in the evening well before bedtime, you should see your doctor, because there could be medical issues working against you, such as anemia, severe allergies and side effects from medications you're taking. If you aren't suffering from any medical conditions, you'll need to make lifestyle changes to improve your energy and prevent fatigue. If you don't make the necessary changes, your quality of life can be greatly impacted by feeling tired regularly.

Set yourself up for an energized day by eating a wholesome breakfast each morning. If you're eating doughnuts, sugary cereals or white bagels with cream cheese every morning, you're setting yourself up for day of tiredness. Instead, eat whole grains, healthy cereals with skim milk, fruit and healthy proteins, such as eggs. An example of an ideal would breakfast is one piece of whole wheat toast with a small pat of butter, three scrambled egg whites with green peppers and onions and a cup of berries and any cereal breakfast like Porridge, Bran flakes, Oats, Wheat flakes, corn flakes etc.

Add exercise into your daily routine. Try to fit in heart-pumping cardio activity at least five times a week. You can fit exercise into your day without making too many changes by splitting it up. Move around as much as you can. Your job may keep you at a desk or in a cubicle, but you can use your breaks or lunch hour to take a short walk, which will get your heart rate up and your blood sugar down. You will feel more energized for the rest of the day.

Eat less at lunch. Your body has to work hard to metabolize a heavy lunch full of carbohydrates and sugars, leading to that mid-afternoon slump. A lighter lunch will keep you charged up and ready to take on the rest of the day. Try soup and a sandwich with a bowl of rice with oil less curry. Eat chicken, turkey or fish as your protein, and fill up on fruits and vegetables instead of French fries or pasta.
Move around as much as you can. Your job may keep you at a desk or in a cubicle, but you can use your breaks or lunch hour to take a short walk, which will get your heart rate up and your blood sugar down. You will feel more energized for the rest of the day.

Don't smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes can cause profound fatigue, and the lack of clean air in your lungs can make your body work harder to stay oxygenated. Stopping smoking will make you feel more energetic all day long.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, sluggishness and headache.

Get better sleep. If you're working out and coping with stress, you'll be more likely to get a good night's sleep. Try to get eight full hours of sleep, and get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on the weekends. Use your bed for sleeping and relaxing activities. Don't watch television or do work in bed.
Don't drink caffeinated beverages after lunch and cut back on your overall caffeine intake. According to Whole Living, the best way to cut back on caffeine is to reduce it in small increments, so you don't feel the impact of negative side effects, such as headaches and irritability.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Article # 587. Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

Billions of dollars are spent annually on weight loss products targeting those who want fast results. But real weight loss takes time and should never be the result of a quick fix. Building muscle means feeding muscle, and burning fat means losing fat. Forget about fad diets and dietary supplements, and bring your attention to the real solutions of looking and feeling great, common goals in today's health- and image-conscious society.

Step 1

Eat breakfast. After an overnight fast, the body needs energy from food to jump start your metabolism. Eat a combination of protein, complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat each morning. Example: oatmeal topped with nuts and a banana.

Step 2

Be active. When you participate in physical activity, you burn calories and fat. The more intense the activity, the more fat you burn, and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. But you don't need to set aside major chunks of time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials.

Step 3

Refuel with protein. Protein is one of the body's main building blocks for muscle. Have a protein source at each meal and snacks. Examples: eggs, peanut butter, chicken, fish, beans, milk, yogurt and cheese.

Step 4

Avoid bad fats, and add good fats. When the body doesn't use fat for energy, it's stored in body cells, causing those unwanted fat pockets. Bad fats contain saturated and trans fat and are most commonly found in food like butter and red meat. Aim for good fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, found in food like avocados, olive and canola oils and fish. Another way to decrease fats is to eat grilled, steamed, boiled and poached foods that use little or no fat as part of the cooking process.

Step 5

Stay hydrated. Hydrating purifies the body. Water is best; it cleanses and removes toxins, fills our cells and suppresses appetite, which can lead to burning fat and fueling muscle. Drink at least four to six glasses of water each day, and eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.