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Wednesday
Feb032016

4 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism

If your metabolism is slowing down, don’t fret: your diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on keeping your weight at an ideal level. See what Dr. Weil suggests for boosting your metabolism. 

As we age, our metabolism slows down, which can lead to weight gain. But small dietary adjustments can help minimize unwanted pounds in our middle years. Try these suggestions:

Choose healthy carbohydrates. Replace refined, high-glycemic index carbs with unrefined, low-glycemic choices such as sprouted grain breads or beans and lentils. The latter do not cause the spikes in blood glucose levels that encourage the storage of fat.

Use spices. Capsaicin (the compound that gives chili peppers their bite), black pepper and ginger all boost the generation of heat in the body, leading to more calories burned.

Drink green tea. The main antioxidant polyphenol in green tea, known as epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, stimulates the body to help burn calories. Dr. Weil recommends drinking a few cups of quality green tea every day.

Get hungry. Many people believe that eating five or six small meals daily boosts metabolism, but recent research indicates that's probably false. To increase fat metabolism, allow yourself to be slightly hungry now and then. The best way may be to eat two or three modest meals daily, with no snacks. Eat until you are satisfied and no longer hungry, not necessarily until you clean your plate.

In addition, regular physical exercise - with some sessions being as intense as your body allows, like interval sprinting in the yard or on a bike – is another way to keep your metabolism functioning properly.

Monday
Feb012016

3 Reasons to Add Carrots to Your Diet

Carrots offer a bevy of nutritional benefits, and this versatile root veggie is great for stir-fries, salads and, yes, even cakes. Learn more about carrots, and get our tasty Carrot Cake recipe.

Carrots aren't just for rabbits - these inexpensive root vegetables are a versatile, delicious and nutritious addition to a healthy diet, as well as an excellent source of antioxidant compounds. These familiar orange edibles also provide:

Beta-carotene, a carotenoid pigment important for healthy vision.

High levels of biotin, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, thiamine and potassium.

A significant amount of dietary fiber.

Use these tasty snacks as a healthy alternative to potato chips and other unhealthy processed foods - add some to a salad, steam them as a side dish, and you might even try them as a low-calorie, nutritious treat for your canine companion!

Use carrots in our Carrot Cake recipe!

Friday
Jan292016

Want to Lower Your Blood Pressure?

If lowering your blood pressure is important to you, try adding spice to your food! Find out which spice has been shown to help, and learn about other health benefits it offers. 

If you enjoy spicy foods, eat up - you may be helping your blood pressure. Capsaicin, the compound that adds the spicy zing to hot peppers, appears to help lower blood pressure. Animal research suggests that long-term consumption of capsaicin helps relax blood vessels by increasing production of nitric oxide, a molecule known to protect blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction (the primary function of nitric oxide is really vasodilation, or relaxation). While follow-up studies will be needed to see whether capsaicin works as well on blood pressure in humans, other studies indicate that capsaicin may enhance the metabolism of fat, and help inhibit inflammation. Even if you don't like spicy food, capsaicin has something to offer - a topical application can help minimize symptoms of shingles, eczema and arthritic aches.

Wednesday
Jan272016

3 Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's

Want to keep your brain healthy and ward off dementia? Try adding these three, simple steps to your daily routine. 

To help preserve mental function and protect against age-related cognitive decline including dementia and Alzheimer's disease, consider implementing these healthy lifestyle strategies:

  1. Get 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Regular physical exercise, specifically aerobic exercise such as walking at a quick pace, can help slow memory loss and improve mental function.
  2. Develop healthy habits in all aspects of life. Not smoking, drinking only in moderation, staying socially involved, managing stress, getting adequate rest, and cultivating a positive attitude and outlook have all been associated with a lowered risk of Alzheimer's.
  3. Keep an active mind. "Use it or lose it" applies to mental as well as physical health. Enjoy crossword puzzles, mind games, challenging reading, and take educational classes.

 

Monday
Jan252016

Running or Walking: What’s the Healthier Choice?

While both are excellent ways to burn calories, boost your metabolism and keep your body working smoothly, when it comes to the best overall exercise, Dr. Weil thinks one is the clear winner. Find out which exercise he chooses!

On the face of it, you might figure that when covering the same distance - say, a mile - you would burn the same number of calories whether you walk or run. After all, while walking is less strenuous, it takes longer for a walker to cover the distance.

But running requires much more effort than walking - you're actually jumping from one foot to the other as you propel yourself forward, a major muscular undertaking. Bottom line: running burns 50 percent more calories than walking over any given distance, even though running takes less time.   

Still, I think walking is the best exercise choice for most of us, particularly as we get older. Walking may not burn as many calories as running, but it offers the great advantage of being a practical substitute to driving for short trips, since you can do it in street clothes and you don't typically arrive in need of a shower. Further, it requires no skill or practice. Everyone knows how to do it, and the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. You can walk outdoors or indoors (in shopping malls, for example). It is the safest exercise option of all, with the least chance of injury.

The key to making walking pay off is to do it briskly. Aerobic walking cannot be casual or intermittent. Keep at it until you can walk about three miles in forty-five minutes. Doing this at least five times a week is one of the best moves you can make for a lifetime of health.

Friday
Jan222016

Is Colloidal Silver Harmful to Your Health?

Colloidal silver's proponents claim that it is an alternative to antibiotics, can extend life and remedy weakened immune systems. Is any of this true?

Widely promoted as a cure for everything from ear infections to shingles to AIDS, colloidal silver is a solution of silver particles suspended in liquid. Promoters claim that colloidal silver is an alternative to antibiotics and can extend life and remedy mineral deficiencies that lead to a weakened immune system. Is any of this true?

I don't think so - the claims are unproven, and colloidal silver is not a substitute for antibiotics, or any other medications. Not only does the human body have absolutely no need for silver, it can be harmful:

 

  1. Silver can accumulate in the body and lead to a skin condition called argyria, which causes bluish-gray skin pigmentation, especially around the nose and mouth, a color change that cannot be reversed.
  2. Long-term use of oral silver products has led to neurological problems including seizures, as well as kidney damage, stomach distress, headaches, fatigue and skin irritation.
  3. It can also interfere with the absorption of some drugs including tetracycline antibiotics and thyroid hormone supplements.

 

While it is true that silver is an effective germicide, it has limited usefulness in medicine. In 1999, the FDA banned the sale of all over-the-counter drugs containing colloidal silver and silver salts as these compounds haven't been recognized as safe. However the ban doesn't apply to dietary supplements containing colloidal silver because the FDA has no jurisdiction over such products, unless there are established safety issues. I would avoid all products containing colloidal silver.

Monday
Jan112016

10 Fruits Rich in Antioxidants

Want to make the fruit you eat really count? Reach for these ten! Each is exceptionally high in antioxidants, and tastes delicious, too.

Fresh fruit salad is a traditional, healthy dessert. Not only delicious, it is nutritious, too - the natural antioxidants and fiber of fresh fruit support the body's defenses and help to keep it running smoothly. When making a fruit salad, consider including the following choices - according to the USDA, these fruits are exceptionally high in antioxidants:

  1. Wild blueberries
  2. Cranberries
  3. Blackberries
  4. Prunes
  5. Raspberries
  6. Strawberries
  7. Red delicious apples
  8. Granny Smith apples
  9. Sweet cherries
  10. Black plums

Be sure to check the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list for fruits that should be organic. Also, look for locally grown varieties at your local farmer's market, and enjoy!

Friday
Jan082016

3 Reasons to Eat Soy

Whole soy foods can protect against disease, provide nutritional benefits, and taste great in a variety of dishes! Learn what makes soy so healthful, and ways to use this versatile food.

One of the healthiest changes you can make to your diet is to incorporate whole soy foods on a regular basis. Soy:

  1. Is rich in protein, iron and compounds called isoflavones, which seem to protect against hormone-driven cancers such as prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
  2. Helps protect your heart.
  3. May help protect against lung cancer.

I recommend one to two daily servings of soy in relatively whole and unrefined forms such as a half-cup of tofu, tempeh, green soybeans (edamame) or roasted soy nuts. You can also easily swap meat for tofu in dishes - baked tofu works well as a meat replacement in fajitas, stir fries and casseroles.

Get your soy with this tasty Tofu and Vegetable Stir Fry recipe!

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