3 Natural Seeds That You Should Be Eating: Health Benefits

Natural seeds are loaded with favorable nutrients and offer many health benefits. These small seeds are usually enriched with mineral, vitamin, omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, and protein. If you desire more energy, slimmer waist, proper functioning of the body, etc. Then, it is vital that you incorporate versatile seeds to your diet. Here I’m going to discuss the top three seeds that are good for the human body:

Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are quite popular, and they have come a long way in the kitchen. These tiny seeds come in small packaging that offers 10 gm of fiber in a total of two-tablespoon serving. Chia seeds are a great source of valuable nutrients. They also contain antioxidants, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Chia seeds are No.1 on my list because they offer many health benefits.

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The Definitive Guide to a Plant-Based Diet

In a world where nutrition books are best-sellers and a different supplement is promising the shortcut to health on Instagram every week, the word “diet” is as much a part of our lives as the latest Netflix rom-com or seasonal fashion trend. Keto diet, paleo diet, Atkins, Whole30–the list of trendy diets goes on and on. Before you roll your eyes at the title of this article and click away out of irritation for yet another “diet,” know that plant-based eating is not a fad or wellness shortcut that you stick to for a couple of weeks and then give up.

Read the full article at The Everygirl.

Stock up on these 9 healthy foods to boost your immune system during coronavirus, says doctor and dietitian

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise, taking daily precautions such as washing your hands, social distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep is key to lowering risk of infection.

But maintaining a healthy diet to help boost your immune system may also give you an edge. It’s important to note that no research has been done on foods that help fight against COVID-19 specifically.

However, previous studies have found that eating certain foods can improve your health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Here are nine expert-approved foods to stock up on during your next grocery store trip, along with creative ideas on how to add them to your diet…

Read more at CNBC

Nutritionist’s 21 tweaks to boost your healthy diet and help you lose weight

There are specific foods that double as fat blockers and fat burners, for example, and starch blockers and appetite suppressants. And did you know that the different timing, frequencies, and combinations of foods can also matter?

Here are 21 tips that can supplement broader advice on losing weight. You don’t have to complete the full checklist every day – you don’t have to hit any.

1 — Preload with water
Coldwater boosts your metabolism. Have two cups before each meal to also help you feel more full.

2 — Preload with ‘negative calorie’ foods
Just changing the order in which you eat your foods can have a meaningful metabolic impact. Starting each meal with an apple, light soup or salad may also later reduce your appetite for other, high-calorie-density foods.

3 — Enjoy undistracted meals
Don’t eat while watching TV or playing on your phone.

4 — Follow the 20-minute rule
Studies have demonstrated that boosting the amount of time food is in our mouths can result in lower caloric intake, so extend meal duration to at least 20 minutes. Choose bulkier, harder, chewier foods and take smaller, well-chewed bites.

5 — Incorporate vinegar
Flavor meals or dress a side salad with two teaspoons of vinegar, as it has been found to assist in weight loss.

6 — Cumin
A half teaspoon of regular cumin at lunch and dinner has been shown to help lose weight.

7 — Black cumin
Trials have found that a quarter teaspoon of black cumin powder every day also appears to reduce the body.

Read the full article at inews

Mediterranean Diet vs. Nordic Diet

EVERY CULTURE has its own take on what makes a healthy diet. Often the variations between cuisines of different regions are based on what’s locally available. For example, the corn that America is so well known for isn’t grown in all corners of the world, while the chickpeas and olives that give Middle Eastern dish their recognizable flair may be less widely available in other parts of the world.

Two regionally-inspired approaches to healthy eating have made the leap to formal, recognizable diets. Both the Mediterranean diet, which approximates the dietary habits of people living near the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nordic diet, which mimics a health-conscious, modern Scandinavian approach to food and lifestyle, are now considered good options for people everywhere.

Mediterranean Diet Overview

The Mediterranean diet has been a favorite of dietitians the world over for many years. Developed in the 1960s as a means of reducing the incidence of heart disease, the Mediterranean diet borrows many principals of eating from several southern European countries that border the Mediterranean, including Greece, Spain, and Italy.

It also includes lots of heart-healthy olive oil. Cheeses, particularly those made from sheep’s or goat’s milk – such as feta, chevre, and pecorino – are used in many Mediterranean dishes. Yogurt, specifically thick, creamy Greek yogurt, is also part of the diet.

The Mediterranean diet is all about moderation and is a pattern of eating, rather than a restrictive diet. As such, no food is off-limits, but dairy, red meat, sweets, and processed foods are consumed in smaller quantities, Collier says. “The Mediterranean diet encourages moderation of dairy but does not encourage restriction and also promotes mindful eating behaviors.”

Nordic Diet Overview

Like the Mediterranean diet, the Nordic diet borrows eating principles from people living in one region, specifically the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. “It’s quite similar to the Mediterranean diet in that it emphasizes whole grains, such as barley, rye, and oats, berries, vegetables, fatty fish and legumes, and it is low in sweets and red meat,” the International Food Information Council Foundation reports.

The Nordic diet favors a plant-first approach that also includes moderate amounts of fish and eggs and some dairy products. Because the emphasis is on using locally-sourced and sustainably-harvested produce, the fish featured in the Nordic diet tend to be the fatty, cold-water fish indigenous to the region – herring, mackerel, salmon and sardines. These fish are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

The biggest difference between the Mediterranean and Nordic diets comes in the type of oil used. While the Mediterranean diet favors locally-available and plentiful olive oil, olives aren’t in abundance in Nordic countries. Therefore, rapeseed oil, also known as canola oil, is the primary fat source. Canola oil offers similar health benefits to olive oil, and it’s been associated with improved cardiovascular health.

Continue reading at US News

Mediterranean Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss?

The Mediterranean diet has a long-standing reputation as one of the healthiest eating patterns around.

It’s also considered one of the most popular plans among dieters because it’s flexible, rich in flavorful foods, and brimming with health benefits.

In fact, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to increased weight loss, decreased inflammation, and a lower risk of chronic disease.

What is the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet is a style of eating that is based on the traditional diets of Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.

Researchers noticed that people in these countries had lower rates of chronic disease, compared with those in the United States and Northern Europe, and they attributed this to their unique dietary pattern.

How to follow the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes mostly nutrient-rich, whole-food ingredients like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.

Though it focuses primarily on plant foods, other ingredients like poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy can also be enjoyed in moderation.

Meanwhile, processed foods, added sugars, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened beverages should be avoided.

Certain types of alcohol, like red wine, can also be included in moderation but should be limited to no more than one or two servings per day for women and men, respectively.

Benefits

Increases weight loss

The Mediterranean diet encourages eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods and limits processed foods and added sugars, which are often high in calories.

For this reason, pairing the Mediterranean diet with a healthy lifestyle could promote weight loss.

Protects against type 2 diabetes

Some research has found that the Mediterranean diet could protect against type 2 diabetes.

For instance, one study in 418 people noted that those who followed a Mediterranean diet were 52% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over an average of 4 years, compared with a control group.

Also, a study in 901 people with type 2 diabetes showed that long-term adherence to the Mediterranean diet was linked to lower levels of blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C, a marker of long-term blood sugar control.

Read more at Healthline

What’s the Best Weight-Loss Diet?

There’s no one right answer, says registered dietitian Andrea Dunn, RD. “The best diet is the one you’re going to follow,” she says. “And I don’t say that tongue in cheek! There’s no one diet that will fit everybody’s needs, personalities, lifestyles or food preferences.”

Science-backed diets

Fad diets have been around forever, and most come and go for a reason: They don’t work long-term. If you’re looking to lose weight — and keep it off — Dunn recommends starting with an eating plan backed by solid science.

Here are her top 3 picks:

Mediterranean Diet

Technically, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a diet, Dunn says. “It’s more of a lifestyle.” Based on typical eating habits from the Mediterranean area, this plan is heavy on plant-based foods.

The basics: Load up on veggies, beans, and other legumes. Eat fish and seafood a couple of times a week in place of red meat. Eat fruit for a sweet treat or nuts for a snack. Use olive oil as your main fat.

Moderate Protein Plan

Dunn often recommends a diet she calls a moderate protein plan — but it could also be described as a moderate carbohydrate plan. This plan still emphasizes whole grains and produce and limits processed foods and added sugar. But it allows for more animal proteins for that carnivores-at-heart.

The benefits: For many people, a higher-protein diet decreases hunger, making it easier to stick to the plan.

DASH Diet

Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the DASH diet started as a research diet plan to curb high blood pressure. “This style of eating can also help with lowering cholesterol and weight loss,” Dunn says.

The basics: The DASH plan breaks out the number of servings you should eat from each food group.

The benefits: Studies have found that while DASH does help lower blood pressure, it’s even better at lowering cholesterol.

Read the complete article at Cleveland Clinics

The Ideal Diet for Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure (aka hypertension) affects 1 in 3 Americans. Medication can help control it, but as with most chronic health conditions, having healthy habits is also important.

“You should always work with your doctor, but lifestyle can play a huge role in managing hypertension at every age,” says Holly Nicastro, Ph.D., M.P.H., program director in the division of cardiovascular sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. That includes not smoking, controlling stress, exercising, and eating the right kinds of foods. In fact, a healthy diet is one of the most powerful tools for lowering your numbers—and may reduce the need for medication.

The DASH Diet

The effect of diet on hypertension has been extensively studied.

“There are many different diets with purported benefits for high blood pressure, but DASH has the strongest base of evidence,” says Stephen Juraschek, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School who focuses on cardiovascular disease.

DASH, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, includes fruits and vegetables (8 to 10 servings a day), whole grains, beans, nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meat (such as poultry and seafood), and healthy fats. It limits red meat, added sugars, and unhealthy fats.

Research published in 2017 in the journal Hypertension found that people who followed DASH saw their blood pressure drop by more than 4 points systolic and 1 point diastolic within a week.

Not only is DASH high in blood-pressure-lowering potassium, magnesium, and fiber but it also supplies plant compounds that may have a direct effect on blood vessels.

Exercise Your Way to Lower Numbers

Diet isn’t the only nondrug strategy for lowering your numbers. A 2017 review of 53 studies involving older adults, in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, found that both aerobic exercise and strength training lowered blood pressure by 5 systolic and 3 diastolic points. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (a level where you can maintain a conversation) on most days and targeting your entire body with weights at least twice a week.

A type of training called isometrics has shown the potential for reduc­ing blood pressure. Traditional strength training involves lifting and lowering weights or otherwise moving your joints during a routine. With iso­metrics, you maintain one posi­tion with the muscles contracted—think planks, wall sits, and holding weights in each hand out to your sides. (Isometrics builds muscle but not as effective as strength training does.)

Read the full article at Consumer Reports

A Diet That Is Healthy For You And For The Planet

Here’s a statistic that sticks in the throat: since the advent of agriculture, only 7,000 plant species out of a known 250,000 have been used by humans as food, according to UN biodiversity experts. Today, just 12 crops and five animal species make up 75 percent of global calorie intake.

This is just one factor driving a new movement: sustainable healthy eating. It is a new aspiration in dietary circles for two reasons: unhealthy diets put more people at risk from death and disease than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined; and global food production is the biggest single driver of environmental degradation.

“Taken together, the outcome is dire,” noted a 2019 report by the EAT-Lancet Commission, an influential collective of 37 scientists from 16 countries, tasked with examining how the world should feed itself in the future. “A radical transformation of the global food system is urgently needed.”

That is why scientists and policymakers are pressing people to make the “Great Food Transformation” to diets that are both nutritious and which preserve the environment sufficiently to feed future generations.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization defines sustainable diets as those “with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to a healthy life for present and future generations . . . protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate . . . while optimizing natural and human resources.”

The reference to affordability is key: healthy diets, with the requisite five a day of fruit and veg, can be costly, but the local and seasonal fare is cheaper. The EAT-Lancet Commission scientists spent two years devising the “planetary health diet” and dished up their findings in January.

Apportioning food groups on a daily basis, nuts and legumes far outweigh chicken or fish. A daily glass of milk covers dairy requirements. Interestingly, it is an omnivorous — rather than a vegetarian or vegan — diet.

Corinna Hawkes, director of the Centre for Food Policy at the City University of London, is a commission member. “The healthy diet was based on scientific principles, not sustainability criteria,” she says.

Continue reading at Financial Times

What Is the Snake Diet, and Is It Safe?

People seeking quick fixes to achieve weight loss might be tempted by the Snake Diet.

It promotes prolonged fasts interrupted by a solitary meal. Like most fad diets, it promises quick and drastic results.

This article tells you everything you need to know about the Snake Diet, including its safety and whether it works for weight loss.

What is the Snake Diet?

The Snake Diet promotes itself not as a restrictive diet but rather a lifestyle centered around prolonged fasting.

Founded on the belief that humans historically endured periods of famine, it argues that the human body can sustain itself on just one meal a few times a week.

It was invented by Cole Robinson, who calls himself a fasting coach but has no qualifications or background in medicine, biology, or nutrition.

The diet involves an initial fast of 48 hours — or as long as possible — supplemented with Snake Juice, an electrolyte beverage. After this period, there’s a feeding window of 1–2 hours before the next fast begins.

How to follow the Snake Diet

Though the Snake Diet may superficially resemble intermittent fasting, it’s much more extreme, even reframing a standard meal pattern — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — as a supplementary food.

Robinson sets several rules for the diet on his website but continually revises them via his YouTube channel. What results is a scattered set of guidelines.

Robinson also makes sweeping calorie recommends, claiming that a newcomer to the diet needs no more than 3,500 calories per week.

For context, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 1,600–2,400 daily calories for women and 2,000–3,000 for men — roughly 11,200–16,800 and 14,000–21,000 calories per week, respectively.

That’s significantly more than Robinson suggests, meaning that people on the Snake Diet run the risk of severe calorie deprivation.

Once you reach your goal weight, Robinson recommends 8,500 calories per week (distributed across 5 meals) for active women and 20,000 calories per week (across 3 total eating days) for active men.

Read the full article at Healthline