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 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

4 Healthy Foods to Help Fight Depression

Every now and then, life’s pressures can have you feeling down. More often than not, your diet can also be a big factor. If you are ever feeling sad, anxious, or depressed, your diet can either be the cause or the solution. Food fuels our bodies and our minds, so it’s important to pay attention to what you are eating. Here are the five healthy foods you should try when you’re feeling depressed:

Omega-3s

The best mood-boosting food you can consume when you are struggling with depression are foods rich in omega-3s. Many studies have shown foods rich in omega-3s may have a role in brain functioning and those who are deficient in omega-3s are more like to have mental health problems. Foods that are rich in omega-3s are salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds, canola oil, and more.

Probiotics

When people think of upping the probiotic levels, they mainly think of their digestive health. However, probiotics have been shown to have a wonderful effect on mental health. It’s been shown that bacteria in the gut sends and receives signals to the brain, which means when your gut is healthy, your mind is healthy. Foods rich in probiotics are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh.

Whole Grains

Another type of food that is good for the body and mind are whole grains. Whole grains are packed with sources of B vitamins which is very important for brain health. B vitamins such as B1, B5, B6, and B12 are linked to energy levels, learning and memory, and regulating your mood. To up your whole grains intake, try foods such as steel-cut oats, wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Ever since you were little, you were probably told to always eat your vegetables, and for good reason. Eating leafy green vegetables offers many amazing benefits for the mind and body. These vegetables contain B vitamin folate which is super important for aiding in mental health. It has been found that low folate levels are associated with depression, which is why it’s important to keep these levels up by eating spinach, edamame, lentils, avocado, broccoli, artichokes, and more.

Healthy Foods Worth Buying in Bulk

Buying in bulk saves a lot of money, but it can be challenging to use up bulk purchases of food before they spoil. However, it gets a lot easier when you focus on healthy, unprocessed foods that do not spoil as quickly as other items like bread, ice cream, or cheese.

Bulk purchases of dried beans, nuts, grains, and seeds can last for years, so people always have healthy and affordable food options. Dietitian Rachel Dickens has five healthy foods she encourages her clients to buy in bulk.

Almonds

There are all sorts of ways to use almonds in meals, including grinding them into a keto-friendly breading, eating them as a snack, or making one’s own almond butter. Getting small tins of almonds can be prohibitively expensive, but purchasing in bulk makes them a lot more affordable.

Rice

Low in calories and high in fiber, rice is an extremely affordable side dish when people buy it in bulk. Skip processed white rice and select black or brown rice instead. These versions of rice contain more fiber, so they keep people full longer and help maintain intestinal health.

Dried Chickpeas

Dried chickpeas last longer than canned, and they are also less likely to be contaminated by BPAs and other chemicals. Cooking dried chickpeas is as simple as soaking them in water, tossing them in a pot with boiling water, and forgetting them for an hour. The end result is soft, fluffy chickpeas that can be made into hummus, salad, falafel, and other tasty meals.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are an ideal way to get zinc, but they tend to be pricey when purchased in bags of mixed nuts. Getting them in bulk is ideal because pepitas do not go bad quickly. They can be sprinkled on a variety of sweet and savory food to make sure people get enough nutrition.

Lentils

Dried lentils do not require a long soaking time like other legumes, and they are a great source of fiber and protein. All you have to do is let them simmer for a little while. There are all sorts of ways to use lentils, including stirring them into soups, making an India curry, or tossing chilled lentils in a salad.

Healthy and Energizing Breakfast Ideas

One of the most known sayings when talking about health and nutrition is that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. There is a reason why so many people put effort into their first meal of the day and what makes it so important. Breakfast provides us our energy for starting the day and it helps frame the rest of our healthy eating habits for later meals.

By starting off with healthy choices, you are more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Here are some healthy and energizing breakfast ideas to start your day off right:

Southwest Egg Scramble

Eggs is a breakfast staple and a protein-packed food that is great for starting off your day.  The Southwest Egg Scramble is super is easy to make, takes almost no time at all, and is budget-friendly. What’s great about this recipe is that it’s super simple to make it your own and to use up veggies or ingredients before they go bad. Plus you can make it just for yourself and for the whole family.

Peanut Butter and Fruit Wrap

If you are looking for a healthy breakfast on the go for you and your kids, this is the perfect solution. These Peanut Butter and Fruit Wraps can be made the night ahead to ensure your breakfast is ready when you’re running late or don’t have time to make meal before work or school. With this recipe simply spread some peanut butter on a tortilla or wrap the add on fruits like strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, or blueberries.

Maple Pecan Quinoa Bowl

For a hardy, sweet, and filling breakfast, start your day with this Maple Pecan Quinoa Bowl. This bowl is packed with complex carbohydrates to help keep you full longer throughout the day. It’s also great for warming you up on chilly mornings. It’s full of simple ingredients that are full of nutrients and is super easy to make at the start of your day or for preparing for the week to come.

Cereal Sundae

What’s better than having dessert for breakfast? This Cereal Sundae is delicious, nutritious, and the perfect recipe for sweetening up your morning. The recipe calls for your favorite cereal and adding in lemon or vanilla greek yogurt to boost fiber and protein then topping it off with some fruit and granola.

Low-Carb Vegetables to Add to Your Diet

Cutting back on carbohydrates can be an effective way to lose weight. While cutting out bread and pasta are no-brainers when it comes to limiting carb intake, carbs can also be found in unlikely places, like vegetables. Vegetables are necessary for a healthy diet, but it’s all about finding the right ones for your body and personal health goals. If you’re looking to lose weight or stay lean, look for the following low-carb/high-fiber vegetables:

Zucchini

One cup of raw zucchini contains only four grams of carbs, a quarter of which being fiber. Zucchini is extremely filling, firm in texture, and mild in taste, making it a perfect substitute to many favorite foods. Swap french fries for baked zucchini spears, pasta for zucchini noodles, or lasagna noodles for thick, vertical slices of zucchini to make low carb, delicious meals.

Bell Peppers

Chock-full of antioxidants, bell peppers are crunchy, tasty, and low in carbohydrates. One cup of bell peppers contains only 9 grams of carbs, 3 of them being fiber. For a low-carb, yet satisfying meal, try a tuna fish salad-stuffed out bell pepper, and feel free to get creative.

Green Beans

Though a member of the legume family, green beans are much lower in carbs than other beans. One cup of green beans has just 10 grams of carbs, almost half of which is fiber. This vegetable is the perfect side to a protein, but also great thrown into a veggie stir-fry for some added crunch.

Cucumbers

Eating a cucumber is comparable to drinking water. While they may not contain as much fiber as some of the other vegetables on this list, they are one of the lowest in carbohydrate levels. A cup of cucumber is only 4 grams of carbs, with one of those being fiber. Swap carrot sticks or pita chips for cucumber slices when dipping into hummus or salsa for a healthy snack.

Tomatoes

Containing 6 grams of carbs, a third of which being fiber, tomatoes are an incredibly healthy addition to most diets. Though technically a fruit, tomatoes are often seen as vegetables and are high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium.

Celery

Also high in water content, celery is much higher in fiber than cucumber. Celery is great dipped into nut butter or hummus, or added to soups and stews, and with only 3 grams of carbs (2 of them being fiber), celery is a snack you can feel good about.

Many people think of carbohydrates in a traditional sense, solely contained in breads and pasta. It’s easy to forget that almost everything has some level carb-count. Carbohydrates are necessary for energy levels and digestion, but it’s all about finding those that are right for you. Incorporating these vegetables into your diet will offer you healthier alternatives to some carb-heavy foods.

Name Brand Cereals That Are Unhealthier Than You Think

We’ve all seen the commercials. Mothers lovingly pour cereal into the bowls of their excited children. Mom is smiling because she’s happy she can give her little one a bowl of something healthy without complaints. These commercials are pretty deceptive, though. Companies often claim their cereals are nutritious, but some of those “healthy cereals” are just as jammed full of sugar as Count Chocula and Fruity Pebbles.

As you browse the breakfast aisle during your next shopping trip, steer clear of these cereals:

Kellogg’s Original Fruit Loops

Kellogg’s is a brand famous for boasting health facts that deem their cereals acceptable for a wholesome breakfast, and their famous Fruit Loops is no exception. However, all those heath facts fall flat when compared to the sugar content of the cereal. When researchers weighed the cereal to measure the ingredients, they found that 41.4% of the weight was sugar.

Post’s Honeycomb

Some cereals that have high sugar counts makeup for their sugar content with lots of fiber and protein. Honeycomb isn’t one of them. The cereal contains only 2 grams of protein, less than a gram of fiber, 150 milligrams of sodium, and 10 full grams of sugar. Honeycomb is full of sugar and spice, but nothing nice.

Kellogg’s Apple Jacks

Just because this cereal has the name apple in it, doesn’t make it healthy. Apple Jacks is 42.9% sugar and has none of the nutritional value of its namesake. Though the cereal boasts to have dried apple in it, the proportion of real apple to sugar and carbohydrates is too small to truly even count.

Quaker Oats’ Life

Often thought to be healthy, Life doesn’t have nearly enough protein or fiber to keep someone full. With only 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 160 milligrams of sodium, and 6 grams of sugar. The sugar count on this cereal isn’t as high as others, but with so little nutritional value nothing about this cereal is healthy.

Quaker Oats’ Cap n’ Crunch

What may be more alarming than the 12 grams of sugar is the amount of salt this cereal contains. One serving packs 210 milligrams of salt! Cap n’ Crunch also contains only one gram of protein and less than a gram of fiber.

Kellogg’s Honey Smacks

A serving of Honey Smacks contains more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie. Let that sink in for a minute. This cereal, which is 55.6% sugar, is more unhealthy than what’s long been known as one of the unhealthiest foods. As mentioned above, the Honey Smacks box also contains the health facts used to try and market the cereal as being a healthy breakfast choice. However, with the amount of sugar the cereal contains, all other nutrients are rather ineffective and pale in comparison.

Don’t let misleading advertising and nutrition facts lead you astray. Make sure you’re doing your research and thoroughly reading labels to understand what you are eating. Even if something doesn’t seem unhealthy by looking at the numbers, remember to keep the serving size in mind. 6 grams of sugar is a lot when the serving size is only half a cup of cereal.