The Best Winter Foods for Staying Healthy

With winter on the doorstep, it’s vital to make sure that you’re eating healthy to keep any illnesses at bay. No one has the time or energy to fall ill with a cold or flu. Many may turn to warm soups and delicious holiday treats during this time of year, but a focus on foods that boost immunity should be prioritized.

  1. Soups
    There are many soups to choose from that are filled to bursting with flavor and nutritious value. Aside from the traditional chicken noodle and tomato varieties, try loaded cauliflower or a classic beef stew loaded with sweet root veggies. Creamy spinach with plenty of garlic or ginger carrot are varieties that your immune system will especially love!
  2. Leafy Greens
    Many children may hate these kinds of vegetables, but equally as many mothers know how important eating these veggies can be! Many are chock full of iron, which is essential to keep your immune system running in tiptop shape. Like spinach, others contain zinc, which is another component needed to ensure any viruses encountered are quickly dispatched.
  3. Citrus Fruits
    For keeping your energy and immunity levels high, go for your citrus fruits! Vitamin C is your friend this time of year. If possible, try to go for fresh fruits over juices. While juices are great in a pinch, they can be loaded with added sugars. They make perfect snacks!
  4. Oatmeal
    Oatmeal is known for keeping your heart healthy, but it can also assist with giving you energy. This breakfast staple is known for making you feel fuller quicker and longer since it is a slow-release food. Enjoying your oats with nuts or fruits can also add more nutrients to your meal to make it an even better way to begin the day!

Wintertime, like any time of year, is full of amazing foods to enjoy. Choosing ones that will keep one healthy is crucial. From oatmeal for breakfast to soups for lunch to veggies and fruits for dinnertime and snacking, you’ll find yourself more resistant to any illnesses lurking around. Do your best to make good winter food choices, and your body will thank you for it.

The Opioid Crisis in Las Vegas and the U.S.

Many people today are well aware of the dangers of abusing prescription medication, yet America’s opioid epidemic continues to thrive on the millions of individuals that depend on this medication to find pain relief, or comfort. Today, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and it is expected to worsen with time.

Though this epidemic is spread throughout the country, Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada have been found to have the fourth highest rate of drug overdose deaths. Opioids are continuing to be prescribed in a careless manner, and until healthcare providers begin to exercise caution, Americans will remain at a constant risk of becoming addicted to the very same medications meant to help them.

To better understand why the epidemic has become so unrelenting, it’s best to look at the science of it all first. Opioids stimulate the brain’s opiate receptors, much like heroin and morphine. Their effects are greatly enhanced when taken via less traditional methods of consumption, like snorting or injecting the crushed substances. The most commonly prescribed opioids, hydrocodone and oxycodone, are considered semi-synthetic due to being synthesized with opium, much like heroin.

Medical professionals often prescribe opioids in the event of a major surgery or serious accident. While they can be helpful in this sense, allowing patients to take them any longer than the allotted recovery time would be careless. Even more disconcerting is the fact that these are very commonly prescribed for much less significant health issues, like regular back or joint pain. It’s cases like this that lead to more harm than good due to long term use, and eventual addiction.

With all that being said, doctors are not entirely to blame for the country’s opioid crisis. It seemed to begin when a number of pharmaceutical companies launched a campaign that downplayed the risks of opioid use, and falsely detailed the ‘many benefits’ that come with long term use, when in reality, overuse can worsen health problems.

The rise in overdose deaths from opioid began to slow in 2011, which then led to an increase in overdose deaths caused by heroin. Though the theory exists that those addicted to opioids essentially switched to heroin due to its price and obtainability, that is only somewhat true. It wasn’t until 2013 that medical examiners began to test for the presence of fentanyl in patients who had overdosed on heroin, which indicated that fentanyl was killing more individuals via overdose than heroin.

Today, the United States’ opioid consumption is considerably higher than that of our European neighbors, clearly showing that healthcare professionals in America must be much more prudent when prescribing these medications. A contributing factor is the lack of access to addiction treatment many Americans face, forcing them to rely upon the opioids, which are much easier to access. Until this is sternly addressed by the medical community, the country will continue to see a spike in opioid addictions and overdoses; more than enough reason to take a step back and rethink our methods of treatment.

How to Know When You’re Experiencing Inflammation

Inflammation is the process through which the body’s white blood cells protect it against illness, infection, or injury. There are also two types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is necessary to heal the body and has signs like pain, redness, warmth, or swelling. During chronic inflammation, on the other hand, an individual is only aware that he or she has inflammation when symptoms start to occur. Chronic inflammation is the problem type as it occurs if the body’s immune system is trying to fend off an infection but is not succeeding. On that premise, the following article presents several common indications of a chronic inflammatory condition.

Body Pain 

Joint pains and muscle aches are examples of body pain that are caused by systemic inflammation. When inflammatory cytokines are found in high levels in the body, they can attack joints or muscles, which may result in redness, swelling, and pain, to mention a few. 

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes, such as psoriasis and eczema, are characterized by flaky, red, and rough skin and are considered inflammatory skin conditions. Both of these skin conditions are related to a hypersensitivity of the body’s immune system. In addition to that, individuals with psoriasis or eczema are also more likely to have inflammatory mast cells that trigger skin rashes to the surface when activated. 

Excessive Production of Mucus

To protect epithelial cells in the respiratory system, mucous membranes produce phlegm, which is a thick substance, that results in coughing, a runny nose, and sneezing. 

Low Energy

Constant feelings of fatigue despite getting enough sleep could indicate that the body is trying to fend off chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation requires a lot of cellular energy, which depletes the necessary fuel that the organism needs to stay energized.

Poor Digestion

Digestion problems, such as bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and loose stool, can also indicate a chronic inflammation condition. Chronic inflammation can cause toxins and bacteria to leak through the intestines’ walls into the rest of the body: this leaky gut issue further powers chronic inflammation and digestive problems.

First Round of COVID Vaccinations is a Huge Success

The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines received Emergency Use Authorization a little more than a month ago. In that time, over 22 million Americans have received the vaccine, and the public is now starting to receive data about the results of the vaccination effort so far. There’s a lot of data to unpack, but it’s easy to see the bottom line: this looks good!

Adverse Reactions vs. Allergic Reaction

Many people who receive the vaccine report side effects. The most common are pain at the injection site, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases chills and fever. These are all what doctors call “adverse reactions.” They’re perfectly normal, may last a couple days, and usually present no serious health risk. Adverse reactions are different from true allergic reactions. According to the CDC, allergic reactions may include symptoms hives, swelling, and respiratory distress. These are not standard side effects, and anyone experiencing such symptoms should seek treatment. All people who showed allergic reactions so far have been treated successfully, and there haven’t been any other serious problems.

What About Anaphlyaxis?

There have been reports of some vaccine recipients experiencing anaphylactic reactions. This is a potentially serious condition that requires immediate treatment. However, according to STAT, such reactions are extremely rare. For every 1 million recipients of the Moderna vaccine, only 6.2 people experienced anaphylaxis. The numbers were even better for the Pfizer vaccine, with 2.1 incidents per 1 million recipients. The likelihood of experiencing this problem is much smaller than the chances of contracting a serious case of Covid-19.

Have Any Vaccine Recipients Died?

Data so far indicates no risk of major health problems or death from either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Certainly, there have been people who received the vaccine and then passed away some time later. However, the incidence rates of death or other issues among recipients is no higher than in the general population. There is thus no reason to be concerned that such incidents are connected to the Covid-19 vaccine.

Should I Be Concerned?

While it’s very difficult to prove a new vaccine is 100% safe, the data so far is just about as good as it could possibly be. All indications are that the vaccine is safe, most side effects are predictable and minor, and any serious allergic effects are easily treatable.

Originally published to drzeeshanhoodbhoy.com.

Tips For Weight Control In Men

Abdominal or fat belly reduces self-esteem among men. A bulging tummy is also associated with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Losing abdominal fat is a common goal among many men. However, this is a challenging goal that needs a mix of approaches such as working out, adopting healthy habits, and taking a proper diet.

Here are things men should avoid if they want to get rid of belly fat.

Baked/ Fried Food

Though these foods are finger-licking, it’s high time for men to say goodbye to them. Fast foods like chicken nuggets and pizza increase cholesterol levels in our bodies. Additionally, sweet indulgences such as pastries and cake contain a lot of preservatives and refined sugar. All these foods are a culprit of weight gain.

Refrain from Diet Sodas

Men looking to having a flat belly should avoid diet sodas and energy drinks. These drinks contain a high level of sugars, which contribute to increased belly fat.

Avoid Taking Dinner Late

Research shows that eating dinner late is a significant contributor to a bulging belly. According to nutritionists, eating dinner early gives the body time to burn off calories. If possible, men should finish their dinner before 7 to avoid getting abdominal fat.

Avoid Eating at The Desk

Men who work at a desk should get up from their seats when taking lunch. Research shows that sitting on a desk for long hours can lead to weight gain. If they can’t walk to the cafeteria, they must take their lunch while standing. The body burns more calories when one is standing.

Moderate Your Sleep

Too little or too much sleep is unhealthy. 7 to 9 hours or undisrupted rest is enough for an adult. Getting enough sleep allows the body to recharge for the new day ahead—little or too much sleep results in weight gain, especially on the belly.

Desist from Eating in A Large Group

It is scientifically proven that when men eat in a big group, they tend to eat more than their body needs. If you are looking to have a flatter stomach, dine with few people. When you eat more than your body needs, the excess food is stored in the form of calories.

Is The Zero Carb-diet Right For You?

Most people have been keen on what they take into their bodies lately. A zero-carb diet has become an adaptation for many. They believe that the diet is a magical way of shedding off weight, taming abnormal desire for certain foods, and keeping a healthy body.

A zero-carb diet is not as friendly as other diets that allow you to have scarce starch portions. This diet prohibits any intake of carbohydrates. However, the essence of carbs in the body can’t be ignored since they play a significant role in keeping people’s bodies energetic and ensuring their brains are okay.

Before embracing a zero-carb diet, nutritionists advise people to be gradual on it. Cutting carbohydrates at once could lead to issues like adverse mood swings and low energy levels. Also, they are advised on the essence of understanding their bodies, especially those with conditions.

Despite the many arguments surrounding the zero-carb diet, health specialists have confirmed that it is healthful to stick to the diet. Weight loss is the most significant benefit of this diet. Low carbs are good at getting rid of excess water and reducing the sugar in the body. This action translates to weight loss without extreme feelings of hunger.

Many lifestyle diseases are associated with excess weight. Among them are cardiovascular problems, which may lead to the inability to get involved in many activities. Another common condition attracted by too much weight is diabetes. After digestion, carbohydrates become glucose, which means that too much glucose will increase insulin, which is simply diabetes. Therefore, a zero carb-diet significantly curbs these diseases, thus keeping you healthy.

Generally, experts say that Zero-carb diets are okay for people, especially those with obesity. However, they argue that women that are in the child-bearing stage should go slow on it. The reason for the argument is that a Zero-carb diet might interfere with their reproductive hormones. This interference may lead to a delay in their giving birth or even cause them to be barren.

A zero-carb diet has worked for many people with a few registering manageable side effects. They affirm that the effects are nothing compared to the benefits that come with the diet. Anyone who wants to embark on the diet must avoid baked foods, junks, sugary cereals, grains, and starchy vegetables. However, it’s wise for them to visit a health and nutrition expert for further guidance.

The Health Benefits of Tapioka

If you are looking for gluten-free starch, you should opt for tapioca. Numerous health benefits come about when you consume tapioca. The only issue is that tapioca’s nutrients may be lost during the manufacturing process. Nevertheless, numerous brands will advertise the health benefits of tapioca. Some of the health benefits that are associated with tapioca include:

1. Tapioca Is Good for Individuals with Restrictive Diets

Tapioca is grain-free and gluten-free. For the individuals who have issues with gluten sensitivity, they can use the tapioca flour when they are making bread. The flour is also suitable for vegans. It is also used by individuals who are following the paleo diet.

2. Promotes Gut Health

Tapioca usually acts as a source of resistant starch. The resistant starch will pass through the small intestine, and it will not be digested. Instead, it will ferment in the large intestine and act as a food source for the healthy gut bacteria.

Some researchers have managed to look into different types of resistant starch over the years. There are currently speculations that resistant starch may come in handy while preventing colon cancer, among other diseases.

3. Tapioca Helps to Lower Blood Sugar

Resistant starch usually has an impact on blood sugar levels. Some studies have showcased that the resistant starch comes in handy by lowering the blood glucose levels in instances whereby the standard starch was replaced with the tapioca based food.

Researchers are also looking into how resistant starch plays a role in managing obesity and diabetes. The research is not yet conclusive, which means we are yet to understand the relationship between diabetes and resistant starch.

4. Helps to Prevent Iron-Deficiency Anemia

In some nations, iron deficiency anemia is somewhat prevalent. Some of the issues related to iron deficiency anemia include infant mortality, congenital disabilities, low immunity, and impaired cognitive function. A single serving of tapioca will provide a significant amount of iron.

5. Helps to Promote Breast Milk Production

Starchy foods usually boost milk production when a nursing mom is breastfeeding. Tapioca is a good source of energy and starch. Some journals have been published over the years, and they have showcased that cassava helps increase the breastmilk supply. If you are currently breastfeeding, feel free to consume tapioca and witness its health benefits firsthand.

Proper Protein Intake on a Plant-Based Diet

When someone begins a plant-based diet, the first question they have is how to get enough protein. The answer is there is plenty of protein in a well-rounded plant-based diet. All plant foods are a complete protein, which means they have all essential amino acids.

The Proper Amount of Protein

We’ve been told that we need huge amounts of protein to be big and strong, and that isn’t true. All anyone has to do is look up plant-based athletes and bodybuilders to see that.

There are formulas that show us how much protein we need. The recommended daily amount (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

This comes out to 65 grams of protein for an average 180-pound man, and for a 140-pound woman, 50 grams of protein per day. It is easy to get this much protein eating a plant-based diet.

Active people might need more than the RDA amounts. If a person lifts weights or does any type of serious exercise routine, they need about 1.3 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight or 0.54 to 0.77 grams per pound.

Getting Enough Protein On a Plant-Based Diet

As long as you eat enough calories, you will get plenty of protein. A well-rounded plant-based diet will include beans, legumes, lentils, whole grains, potatoes, oats, quinoa, seeds, nuts, and fruit.

There are studies that show protein from plant foods is healthier than getting protein from meat. Red meat can raise the risk of certain cancers, and all meat is high in saturated fat. Meat contains no fiber or phytonutrients, while plant-based foods have plenty of healthy fiber and immune system boosting phytonutrients.

Some plant-based foods and their protein amounts include:

  • 1 cup of tempeh has 31 grams of protein
  • 1 cup of tofu has 20g
  • 1 cup of lentils has 18g
  • All types of beans and peas range from 13 to 15g
  • 1 cup of rolled oats has 11g
  • 1 cup of quinoa has 8g

Unless someone has a diet of only lettuce and fruit, they will get more than enough protein eating a plant-based diet.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Tips To Help You Avoid Eating Late At Night

Eating late at night is a bad habit that many people often succumb to. Sometimes it’s due to the hours they work or perhaps they’re just night owls. Many people become bored late at night and choose to eat in order to fill the boredom. Whatever the reason is, late night snacking can be detrimental in a myriad of ways. It can be difficult to kick this bad habit but it’s more than possible to do so if you have perseverance. Here are a few tips to help you avoid eating late at night.

Figure Out Triggers

One reason people choose to eat late at night is because of some sort of trigger in their life. Perhaps they’re bored, or maybe they see a commercial for a food they love. It can be hard to avoid these triggers but if you can figure out exactly what triggers you, you’ll have an easier time keeping it under control. For example, if there’s a certain snack you find yourself repeatedly eating late at night, you may want to avoid stocking that item in your home. If you’re consistently seeing a commercial for your favorite late night take out, perhaps think about doing something where you can’t see that commercial at that hour, such as reading a book.

Create A Meal Schedule

Another reason people end up late night snacking is due to having irregular eating habits throughout the day. Perhaps you avoid eating much throughout the day and then eat a large dinner, thinking you won’t be hungry again late at night. If you’re someone like this, try creating and following a consistent meal schedule of three balanced meals throughout your day. If done daily, your hunger later at night will not be as strong, and then you’ll wake up feeling hungry and ready to eat your first meal of the day.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Eating late at night can also be linked to not getting enough sleep. If you work a regular 9 to 5 and are up late at night, that may be the reason you eat late at night. While this may seem obvious, the fact that you’re up late at night may be you mistaking tiredness for hunger. Instead, try going to sleep earlier and ensuring you’re getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This may help you get that late night snacking under control.

 

This article was originally published on ZeehanHoobhoy.com

Tips For Eating Healthy During Quarantine

The world has been quite different since most people across the globe have gone into quarantine as a way to flatten the curve with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many of us have been stuck in our homes and have lost our jobs, meaning it can be difficult to keep up with many of the healthy habits we stuck with prior to all of this. This means the struggle of eating healthy is more present than ever, especially with supply shortages of various kinds throughout the country and the stress that comes with being stuck at home, losing your job, and worrying for your own health and the health of your loved ones. Here are a few ways you can try and stick to eating healthy while stuck at home.

Have An Eating Schedule

Before the quarantine began, most of the country would have set schedules. We’d wake up at the same time everyday, go to work at the same time and even eat at certain times. Now that we’re stuck at home, a lot of that has gone out the door. Sure, there are plenty of people who are still working from home, but regardless of that, it can be difficult to actually stick to a schedule when you’re not actively moving from your home, to your workplace, and back throughout the day. It’s important to eat at least 3 meals a day, and that you try and have those 3 meals around the same time each day. If you’ve got a family, it can be a daily family activity to prepare and eat your meals together.

Be Careful Of Snacking

Since you’ll be stuck at home much more often, snacking is inevitable. It’s important that if you’re going to snack, you snack on healthy foods. Stock up on fresh fruit or generally healthier snacks as opposed to buying yourself chips, cookies and other unhealthy things. It’s also important to drink plenty of water as opposed to soda or other sugary drinks. Most importantly, learn to identify when you’re actually hungry or if you’re just thirsty. Sometimes eating seems like the best way to pass the time when bored, and that can become an extremely unhealthy habit very quickly.

Get Plenty Of Vitamin C

Our immune system’s are extremely important, especially during times like this. A great way to make sure you take care of your immune system is by ingesting plenty of Vitamin C. Orange juice is a great source of Vitamin C, but you can also eat strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, and plenty of other fruits and vegetables.

This article was originally published on Zeehanhoodbhoy.com