Testosterone-Boosting Foods for the Male Diet

Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for hair growth, sperm production, and building healthy bones. As men age, or suffer from chronic illness, they lose testosterone which can cause low libido and other medical issues. Testosterone replacement therapy can help men by using medication in the form of pills, patches, or gels. However, there are natural ways to prevent low T levels; by consuming these testosterone-boosting foods.

  1. Tuna

Tuna fish is loaded with vitamin D, which is linked to testosterone production. Tuna is also rich in protein, low in calories, and good for heart health. Both fresh and canned fish can naturally boost testosterone levels. Besides tuna, sardines and salmon are other excellent sources of vitamin D.

  1. Egg yolks

Another rich source of vitamin D, egg yolks contain more nutrients than egg whites and can increase low testosterone. You can safely eat one egg yolk per day if your cholesterol levels are in check.

  1. Fortified cereals

If you have to watch your blood cholesterol, you can still raise your T levels during breakfast with fortified cereals. Many ready-to-eat kinds of cereals on the market today are enriched with a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, niacin, iron, riboflavin, and folic acid.

  1. Oysters

Zinc is a vital nutrient that keeps male hormones at regular levels from puberty through adulthood. Oysters are a good source of zinc and are beneficial for men with zinc deficiencies. A daily dose of zinc can increase T levels, especially during weight training. Consumption of oysters has shown to increase the amount of sperm in your semen. They also contain D-aspartic acid which dramatically increases the synthesis of testosterone in the testes.

  1. Beef

While eating too much beef has been linked to certain cancers, some cuts have nutrients to increase testosterone. Chuck roast and ground beef contain zinc, and beef liver has a high source of vitamin D. Choose only lean cuts of beef and avoid eating it on a regular basis.

  1. Beans

Beans are full of plant-based proteins, zinc, and vitamin D, and is powerful at protecting the heart. Choose from kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas or lentils to give yourself a good dose of testosterone-boosting nutrition. Beans provide a winning combo being both low in fat and high in protein.

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Free Apps to Help Manage Mental Health

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Millions of Americans struggle with mental health issues every day. While therapy can be expensive and out of reach for many, technology today is providing those with an alternative that offers valuable resources making therapeutic techniques more accessible. Within minutes, anyone can download a free app that incorporates Acceptance Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the privacy of their home.

These apps can address obsessive-compulsive, addiction recovery, bipolar and anxiety disorder, and more. Health experts believe the following free apps can play an important role in the future of mental health.

  1. What’s Up

What’s up uses methods to help individual’s handle stress, anxiety, and depression. It has a built-in habit tracker that will teach you to break your harmful habits and maintain your positive ones. There is a page dedicated to pinpointing what you’re feeling at the time, and how to stop harmful internal monologues.

  1. MoodKit

Using the foundation of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, MoodKit gives their users over 200 different activities to help improve their mood. The app was created by two psychologists with the goal in mind to develop healthy attitudes.

  1. Quit That

This free app helps users beat addictions such as smoking, drugs, or alcohol and monitors your progress. Users can track as many dependencies as they want and keep track of the hours and minutes they’ve been sober.

  1. Mind Shift

Mind Shift was designed specifically for young adults and teenagers struggling with anxiety. It encourages you to take charge of your life and avoid anxious thoughts and feelings. Mind Shift acts as an on-the-go guide at helping you face challenges and intense emotions.

  1. Self-Help For Anxiety Management (SAM)

For those who want to learn about self-help but are not keen to meditation, SAM is the perfect app for you. You can build your 24-hour toolkit to track your anxious behavior and thoughts. It includes a section with 25 different self-help techniques and an online community to connect with others.

  1. Stigma

Stigma is considered one of the best journaling apps around. Its word cloud technology recognizes the words you type the most and makes you reflect on why you keep choosing these words during intense emotions. It has a social network component that lets you message people going through the same thing.

Equipment for the Beginner DJ

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.net

When looking for starter equipment to begin DJing, it’s important to determine what you’re looking to use the equipment for. Are you looking to become involved in more casual DJing at house parties? If so, you can get away without an intensive arsenal of equipment and instead focus on putting your efforts into finding respectable computer and controller setups. Looking to pursue a DJ career where you’ll be performing at clubs and more high-profile venues? You’ll want to consider spending more money on equipment such as turntables and mixers to offer high-quality audio and gain practical and professional experience.

Below is a guide on what DJ equipment you’ll want to look into before getting started.

Computers and Interfaces

In terms of computers, you are free to use your own laptop if you already have one. With free software like Virtual DJ, you can use your computer to choose from libraries of digital music online. If you have a larger budget, you can look into software packages that come with DJ hardware or purchase professional DJ software separately.

Even if you’re using your own computer, you might want to consider investing in audio interfaces. Interfaces such as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are able to convert recordings into digital audio and also send digital audio to your venue’s sound system.

Controllers

While it’s possible to perform crossfading and other matches on your laptop’s keyboard, if you want more tactile control with knobs and faders, consider looking into controllers. The Traktor Kontrol S2 is a portable controller that’s compatible with Mac and PC and includes DJ software.

Turntables and CDJs

Turntables offer tactile control over audio files with scratches and other effects. Tables like Numark TT250USBs offer professional options for direct-drive turntables and also offer the option for converting analog records to digital files via computer USB connections. While turntables are tactile, some prove impractical to tote around and limit music selection due to their use of vinyls.

An alternative to a turntable is a CDJ setup. CDJs are digital decks similar to vinyl, but use CDs or a USB stick to provide easy navigation in accessing digital files with the same tactile control as turntables. Setups like Gemini CDJ-700 offer tactile control for audio along with easy-to-navigate touch-screen displays and additional customizable functions.

Mixers

Mixers provide control over audio sound and effects. The DJM-350 is an entry-level mixer that provides customizable controls and offers USB storage for optimal set organization and navigation.

Headphones

DJ headphones are crucial as they isolate and replicate audio sounds like you would be hearing them in the club. Headphones like Pioneer HDJ-2000MK2 isolate sound and separate deep bass and crisp treble frequencies to appropriately monitor feedback in clubs.

Brain Food: How A Healthy Diet Leads to a Healthy Mind

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Myth: Your mind and body are separate.

For both your stomach’s sake, and for your emotional well-being, I’ll have to kindly ask you to very slowly put down that fourth candy bar. It is common knowledge in the nutritional world that excess sugar harms the body both physically and mentally, but let me present to you the chemical proof:

One of our vital neurotransmitters which regulates our mood, serotonin, is produced right alongside the neurons that manage our digestion – in our gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin’s neighbor neurons also have a hand in our mental health, after they’ve of course, finished dealing with the fruits, vegetables, and chocolate bars passing through our system.Things go awry when the sustenance we choose works against us.

According to Eva Selhub MD of Harvard Health Publishing, certain foods just don’t do it for us the way natural sugars do. Processed sugar can actually cause extreme inflammation and debilitate most of the neurons in our gastrointestinal tract, which means not only our digestive system weakens, but the production of sufficient serotonin and our neurons’ ability to cope with stress and mood swings take a substantial hit as well.

Cue a stress-induced reach for that chocolate bar. Our bodies let us know when we need nutrients, but low emotional wellness can also trigger a craving that we don’t actually need, says Jennifer Kromberg PsyD of Psychology Today. An argument at work, unhealthy fasting or dieting, or the promise of a reward after writing a proposal when nothing else seems to be going quite right in our lives, are all dangerous paths that can lead to the understandable desire for quick and easy processed sugar.

I think of it as a cyclical process. If we are having these unhappy cravings, there’s a high chance our serotonin levels are already too low, and unhealthy foods are going to make matters worse. When we reach for that candy bar, we are potentially doing what has damaged our serotonin production and contributed to our dissatisfaction in the first place. Selhub mentions that those who take regular probiotics not only have the advantage of beneficial bacteria to fight off toxins in our food, but have also clearly exhibited positive turns in mental health.

If we want to feel physically strong, deal effectively with outside stressors, and whittle down problematic cravings, then a balanced diet is our key to both a healthier and scientifically- proven-to-be-happier life.

Your gastrointestinal tract and your mental are better off without that devious fourth candy bar anyway. Personally, I trust apples.

Cut The Carbs: A Beginner’s Guide to the Keto Diet

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

The phrase “low carb” can be scary for a lot of people. It means cutting out grains, sugars, fruits and for some people it means giving up some of their favorite foods. What shouldn’t be scary is how easy it is to make these changes in your everyday life.

The keto diet is known for being a low carb diet that allows the body to produce ketones in the liver for energy. Normally when something high in carbohydrates is put into the body, the body produces glucose and insulin for energy. With the lower carb intake of the keto diet, the body stops producing glucose and insulin and goes into a state known as ketosis.  While in ketosis the liver will start to produce ketones which are the byproducts of the body breaking down fat for energy.

Ketosis is achieved by restricting the amount of carbs and the amount of protein that is being ate. Too many carbs and too much protein can limit the results of the keto diet and take the body longer to reach the state of ketosis. Keto dieters should also stop snacking, start fasting, drink lots of water, and add exercise into their daily routine. Once ketosis is reached, physical symptoms such as increased urination, dry mouth, bad breath, reduced hunger and increased energy will materialize in the individual.

Before starting the keto diet, a strict diet plan should be created to maximize optimal results. A key thing to remember about the keto diet is that the diet should consist of about 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. When setting up a diet plan, the following higher carbohydrate food groups should be cut from the everyday diet:

  1. Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, pasta
  2. Sugar – honey, agave
  3. Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges
  4. Tubers – potatoes, yams, anything that is a starch

Once the higher carbohydrate foods are removed, the following healthy fats should be added into the diet plan:

  1. Meat – fish, beef, lamb, eggs, poultry, shellfish
  2. Leafy greens – spinach, kale
  3. High fat dairy – butter, high fat cream, hard cheeses
  4. Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans
  5. Avocados & berries – raspberries, blackberries, any berry that has low glycemic impact
  6. Sweeteners – stevia, low carb sweeteners
  7. Other fats – coconut oil, high – fat salad dressing, nut butters

If keto is being done specifically for weight loss, also consider keeping net carb intake at between 20-30g. Net carbs are the total amount of dietary carbohydrates minus the the total fiber. But remember, when starting any diet, you are going to come down with the “flu.” Keto flu symptoms start to take shape when the body transitions from burning sugars for energy to burning flat. Symptoms can range anywhere from sugar cravings to stomach pains, nausea, cramping, and confusion.

Not only is the keto diet a great way to go from a high to low intake of carbs, it also helps with a variety of other health and everyday lifestyle changes. This is a great way to control blood sugar levels, increase mental performance, increase energy and normalize hunger, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and improve skin by reducing the likelihood of acne.

Corporate Dining: Eating Healthy in the Office (Pt. 2)

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

As discussed in part 1 of my blog, eating healthy in the workplace does not have to be as difficult as it sounds. While it can be challenging depending on your workload and free time, there are smaller, everyday acts of wellness that can prove beneficial in the long run.

Drink Water

An obvious consideration for anyone, drinking water throughout the day (preferably 1-2 liters) not only keeps you hydrated, but can also improve your focus, concentration, and decision-making skills. Coffee isn’t the only beverage that can give you that extra kick. Dehydration is a large reason why workers feel fatigued toward the end of the day. Drinking water can prevent this and boost your productivity.

Meal Prep

Controlling your nutritional intake is as simple as cooking for yourself the night before. You can choose to do this daily, or prep for the week the Sunday before. With this route, you have the option of controlling your portion sizes, incorporating fruits and vegetables, including healthy snacks, all the while saving time and money. There are many blogs out there today offering some of the easiest, most delicious meal prep ideas, one of the best being BudgetBytes.com.

Decompress

Something that often falls by the wayside is stepping away from the office setting to eat. It’s very easy to want to eat at your desk and continue working, but remaining in an office environment and failing to decompress will prevent you from enjoying your meals. Given that breaks are encouraged in most work settings, one should always utilize this time spent away from the desk and enjoy the opportunity to destress. Bringing a packed lunch outside allows employees to feel refreshed upon returning to work.

Remain Resilient

Offices are commonplace for celebratory events, whether they be birthdays, goodbye parties, or promotions. With celebratory events typically comes cake, pizza, or unhealthy foods in general. Of course, indulging is okay if done in moderation, but being able to say “No, thank you” can go a long way. It may even become habitual after a while. Whether your coworker’s birthday merits an enormous chocolate cake, or your desk-mate wants to visit pizza shop down the street, remaining resilient and sticking to your nutritional morals can pay off both mentally and physically.

How Harmful Are E-Cigarettes?

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

A fairly recent trend that has taken over the world of smoking, e-cigarettes have been at the center of controversy since their inception in 2003. Many people argue whether or not these products are actually better for you than traditional cigarettes, or worse. Unfortunately, because of many professionals inexperience with this new trend, no long-term safety regulations exist regarding e-cigarettes, leaving many to believe that they come with both benefits and a number of health issues.

It is widely believed that e-cigarettes are almost guaranteed to be safer than their conventional cousins given the fact that they kill roughly 480,000 people every single year. Traditional cigarettes come with an array of health issues including, but not limited to, heart attack, asthma, cancers of various forms, diabetes, and respiratory infections. The harmful chemicals found within a single cigarette are enough to physically age the human body, which, over time, can take about 10 years off of your life.

The smoke created from cigarettes contains noxious gases like carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. E-cigarettes, on the other hand, produces a somewhat safer vapor created by a liquid combination of nicotine, standard flavorings, and glycerol. Many smokers have even chose to switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to (eventually) quit entirely, though this is not exactly a proven method. While some have found success in doing so, others were tempted to smoke even more.

The nicotine found in e-cigarettes can be just as harmful as that found in standard cigarettes. Chronic exposure of either kind has been found to contribute to type 2 diabetes, increased heart rate, and high blood pressure. Because of its addictive nature, e-cigarettes can be just as difficult to quit as normal ones, and may even lead to addiction of other drugs in adolescents who are still undergoing prefrontal brain development.

There many flavors also make them somewhat of a family hazard as well given that they are often listed as candy flavored or fruity, making them appealing to younger children. If the “e-liquid” found in cartridges is ingested orally, poisoning can result in vomiting, redness, blurred vision, headaches, and more. Some e-liquids even contain the chemical diacetyl, which has been found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans; a rare lung disease that can cause permanent damage to one’s bronchioles.

In conclusion, smokers who may be looking for alternatives could find solace in e-cigarettes, though they should still be aware of the lingering health issues. Those who do not smoke at all should avoid e-cigarettes altogether. Developing an addiction for these could prove very harmful for one’s long-term health. Seeing as the use of these products is continuing to grow, it is becoming a concern. Doctors and pediatricians alike should clearly explain the potential health issues that come with e-cigarettes to all of their patients in an effort to combat this growth.