Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Destress?

You may be one of the millions of people who use chocolate, ice cream, or pizza to numb down their stressful feelings. Using food to destress tells the brain, “Now that you’ve made me pay attention and refuel with high energy food, you can relax.”

But there are other options besides eating to destress or decrease stress. You can choose exercise, yoga, meditation, sex, or a warm bath, all of which activate your brain’s pleasure centers and physically relieve stress. But we don’t always remember we have these other options when we’re in the middle of a stress flare-up that makes us reach for something to extinguish the fire.

Are there foods that can destress feelings? While there are no foods that will wipe away the causes of stress in your life, if you’ve been following the “Ten Rules for Healthy Eating,” you are in good shape, nutritionally, so when you run into a wall of stress you will be well fortified and have adequate reserves to deal with the crisis emotionally.

Here are a dozen things you can do to destress levels and conquer cravings:

• Wait ten minutes before giving in to a craving. If you can distract yourself for ten or fifteen minutes by answering e-mails, playing with the cat, helping your kids do homework, or running an errand, you may forget about it.

• Never go hungry. Hunger triggers intense cravings for sugar, so when hunger pangs strike, nibble on some protein foods or nuts.

• Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many types of produce are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals that eliminate free radicals created by stress.

• Avoid burnt, barbecued, and fried foods. These foods burden your body with excessive amounts of damaging free radicals.

• Eat small, frequent meals instead of a few large ones. Doing so will help you maintain steady blood sugar levels.

• Drink two or three cups of green tea daily. Among its many health benefits green teas help destress feelings since they have theanine, a unique amino acid that tranquilizes the brain and helps to control cortisol levels.

• Turn off the TV. TV exposes you to endless numbers of food commercials that are designed to trigger cravings. Decrease the amount of TV you watch, or if you can’t, use the mute button to turn off the sound and walk out of the room during commercials.

• Eat foods with anti-stress vitamins and minerals daily. Make sure to include the B complex and vitamins A, C, and E as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc to replenish nutrients depleted by daily stresses.

• Get enough sleep. Fatigue and sleep deprivation lead to carb cravings because carbs are a major source of energy needed when you feel wiped out. Instead, to relax before bedtime, eat a dairy food such as yogurt or steamed milk with some honey and cinnamon. Calcium is a natural tranquilizer, muscle relaxant, and sleep promoter.

• Exercise regularly. Exercise counteracts stress by releasing endorphins, the exercise hormone that produces good feelings.

• Drink a lot of water. Every system of the body depends on water to remove wastes, bring nutrients and oxygen to the cells, aid in digestion, and maintain normal metabolic rates. Drinking about ten cups daily will help you to destress.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Discretionary Calories Allowance Actually Is?

If you consistently build your diet by choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods that are low in solid fat and added sugars, you may be able to meet your nutrient needs without using your full calorie allowance. If so, you may have what is called a discretionary calories allowance for use in meeting the rest of your calorie needs.

Most discretionary calories allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active. How do we track these extra calories?
One example is a regular 12-ounce soda that contains 155 calories but all 155 of these calories are from added sugars and, thus, are considered “discretionary” calories. Keep in mind that, for many people, the discretionary calories allowance is totally used up in the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher-fat meats, higher-fat cheeses, whole milk, and sweetened bakery products.

Your discretionary calories can be used to:
  • Eat additional nutrient-dense foods from each of the food groups, such as an extra container of low-fat yogurt or an extra piece of fruit.

  • Select limited amounts of foods that are not in their most nutrient-dense form and/ or contain solid fats or added sugars, such as whole milk, full-fat cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.

  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods, such as sauces, gravies, sugar, syrup, butter, and jelly.

  • Eat or drink items that contain only fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

  • Added fats and sugars are always counted as discretionary calories, as in the following examples:
  • The fat in reduced-fat or whole milk or milk products and the sugar and fat in chocolate milk, ice cream, and pudding.

  • The fat in higher-fat meats (e.g., poultry with skin, higher-fat luncheon meats, sausages).

  • The sugars added to fruits, fruit juices, and fruits canned in syrup.

  • The fat in vegetables prepared with added fat.

  • The added fats and/or sugars in grain products such as sweetened cereals, higher-fat crackers, pies, cakes, and cookies.
  • Monday, December 5, 2011

    Heartburn Relief

    What does heartburn feel like? How to get heartburn relief? That uncomfortable felling of fullness, bloating, tightness or even pain in the stomach or chest is familiar to many. It tends to happen soon after meal, particularly when we are hurried, stressed and tense, or when we eat on the run or rush about immediately after eating. The stomach muscles do not have a chance to relax, the digestive juices do not flow properly and as a result food is not properly broken down, nor does it move normally through the digestive tract to be assimilated and the residues eliminated. Often the acid contents of the stomach will move up rather than down causing that awful burning sensation in the chest we know as heartburn as the acid burns the lining of the oesophagus. After a while the stomach lining may become irritated and then chronically hot and inflamed and this can eventually give rise to ulcers. The muscles of the cardiac sphincter that separates the stomach from the oesophagus weaken and easily allow the acid contents of the stomach into the oesophagus so that indigestion and heartburn become chronic.

    There are of course other culprits that give rise to indigestion and heartburn. Certain foods like chilli, chocolate, acidic foods like pickles, citrus fruits, pastries and fatty foods, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and alcohol can all increase acidity and irritate the stomach and weaken the cardiac sphincter, try avoid those foods and stuffs can help you get heartburn relief. Pregnant women tend to suffer as higher hormone levels relax the muscles of the sphincter. The tendency to heartburn is further aggravated as the growing baby pushes up against the stomach. Heartburn is also a symptom of hiatus hernia which is most common in people who are overweight.

    For the most part simple changes in diet and lifestyle will remedy the situation and greatly provide heartburn relief. If you make soups and other drinks using herbs such as cardamom, aniseed, chamomile, mint, fennel, coriander and caraway these will help to relax the stomach, improve digestion and relieve pain and discomfort. Cooling and soothing foods like yogurt, ripe bananas, beetroot, cabbage and carrot will also bring you a good heartburn relief because they help to relieve irritation and heat.

    Always sit in a relaxed fashion to eat and eat slowly, chewing each mouthful thoroughly. Do not get up, bend over or lie down straight after eating, and give your stomach around an hour to digest before taking exercise. Other heartburn relief is to eat regularly but try not to overload your stomach by eating large meals as they take a long time to digest and allow more opportunity for the stomach contents to irritate and to move upward into the oesophagus. It is best not to eat anything for two to three hours before going to bed so that the stomach should be empty before you lie down and so not cause heartburn.

    Cold Hands and Feet

    Poor blood circulation may make you feel the cold more than others; especially you will have your cold hands and feet much more than other parts of your body. You may look pale and be prone to problems such as chilblains, low energy, sluggish digestion and constipation, particularly in winter. People with poor circulation may be born with it or else it can be related to stress and tension, a sedentary lifestyle, a weak or aging heart, or hardening of the arteries.

    To prevent poor circulation that causes cold hands and feet, try to take plenty of exercise to move the blood and strengthen the heart and also avoid smoking as it constricts the blood vessels and encourages plaque to form in your arteries, thereby slowing the circulation. Restrict your tea and coffee intake can keep you away from getting cold hands and feet as they also constrict your blood vessels and exacerbate tension. Try to keep warm in cold weather and do not wear tight clothes as the will impede blood flow.

    When it comes to food, the best thing you can do is avoid anything cold. Lovely hot soups with plenty of warming ingredients such as garlic, onions and leeks liberally spiced with ginger, cayenne or mustard to stimulate the circulation can help to warm your cold hands and feet, especially to the very ends of your fingers and toes. A steaming cup of ginger tea will do just as well whether you drink it or use it as a hot foot bath for 10 minutes. Ingredients rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E (such as nuts and seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables) are as well great remedies for cold hands and feet because these ingredients help relieve constriction in the blood vessels and improve blood flow.

    Iron and vitamin C-rich foods like watercress, parsley, apricots, prunes and blackcurrants dilate the arteries and help prevent anaemia which increases sensitivity to cold. Omega-3 essential fatty acids such as those found in fatty fish, evening primrose oil and linseed oil improve the circulation and help to prevent fatty deposits in the arteries.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Best Exercise to Lose Weight

    A great way to begin exercising is to walk. Walking is the best exercise to lose weight for people of any age, especially for those who have less time to do exercise. Walking can be fun as well as health-enhancing. Although walking is not an exercise that necessarily elevates the heart rate, it still provides many benefits, including calorie burn. Hiking is another form of walking and also the best exercise to lose weight. It takes place on trails and involves walking hills and on uneven ground rather than just walking in the neighborhood or on a treadmill, and as a result it can burn a lot of calories, especially if your hikes last several hours.

    Strength training is also the effective and best exercise to lose weight for you to choose if you can set yourself free from your busy life and can do it regularly. If you find it hard to do so, try to start walking around the neighborhood or on a high school track. Try several short walking sessions of 10 minutes each if you have been sedentary. Work on extending this time until you can walk at least 20 minutes at a time three days a week on a regular basis. Then begin to add days and extend time so that you are exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day most days of the week. As you become better conditioned, your goal is to complete 60 minutes of walking most days of the week.

    If you have access to a treadmill or stationary bike, you might want to start with 10–20 minutes of walking or pedaling at a comfortable pace. Learn to use your target heart rate or perceived exertion to assess the intensity of your exercise. On the treadmill you can vary the intensity by varying the angle of the machine and increasing the speed. The more vigorous (intense) your walking and the longer you walk, the more calories you will burn. Consider progressing from walking and using the treadmill to hiking. As your ability to walk is improving, you can also engage in a regular exercise program at a gym or at home.

    To systematically increase your walking or hiking activity, it helps to use a pedometer an instrument that attaches to your belt and measures the distance you walk or the number of steps you take. Pedometers are also available on many smart phones.

    I believe there is many other best exercise to lose weight out there, it may be effective for ones but not for others, you need to choose the right exercise and suitable for you. If you cannot find or rely on them, walking is still the best exercise for you to go after rather than missing out on doing any exercises each day.