Benefits of Apple-Cider Vinegar

Apple-cider vinegar has been used for centuries as an effective home remedy. It is made from fermented apple juice, and it can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including sinus infections, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, and much more. This article will discuss the benefits of apple cider vinegar in detail.

High in healthful substances

Apple-cider vinegar is filled with healthful substances, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sodium, and sulfur. This vinegar also contains potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

Can help kill harmful bacteria

Apple-cider vinegar is known to help kill harmful bacteria, which can be especially helpful for sinus infections. It also allows our body to absorb nutrients better. This vinegar has antiseptic properties that can help fight infection and germs.

May help lower blood sugar levels and manage diabetes

This vinegar can help lower blood sugar levels. It works by triggering our liver to release glycogen, which is a type of energy storage molecule that the body makes from carbohydrates. When you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, this substance can get trapped in your liver cells and won’t be released.

Apple-cider vinegar helps break down liver cells so that this glycogen can be released into the blood. This could help lower blood sugar levels and manage diabetes.

May aid weight loss

Apple-cider vinegar contains pectin, a water-soluble dietary fiber that acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It can help remove fat from our body by preventing it from being absorbed during the digestive process. This way, we burn more calories and lose weight faster. It also contains acetic acid, which has been found to help reduce body fat levels.

Improves heart health in animals

Some animal studies have shown that apple cider vinegar may help improve heart health. It works by encouraging the heart to produce an enzyme called endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). This enzyme helps keep our arteries healthy and dilated so blood can flow through them easily. This could be especially helpful for people with heart disease.

May boost skin health

Apple-cider vinegar contains an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), a natural exfoliant that can help improve skin health by removing dead cells and promoting cell regeneration. This acid also has antibacterial properties to help fight acne and other skin issues. This vinegar also contains acetic acid, which can help relieve irritation and itching.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Simple Tips to Prevent Midlife Weight Gain

Many American’s struggle with weight gain, particularly during their middle-aged years. This can be due to natural changes in the body, more dormant lifestyles, a natural increase in stress as we take on more and more responsibility, and many other factors. But how do people counter gaining weight as they get older? Here are some tips and tricks for naturally keeping a trim figure as you age and avoiding unnecessary weight gain.

Protein, Protein, Protein

One tried and true method to help keep pounds off is by naturally curbing your appetite by increasing the amount of protein in your diet. Protein is an essential macronutrient and is known to keep us feeling more full for longer periods of time. Because of this, you naturally desire to eat less often, putting your daily calories consumed at a lower number. When you burn more calories than you consume in a day, you will naturally lose weight. Adding protein into your diet is an easy way to keep yourself healthy and extra pounds off of your body. You can read more about protein and midlife weight loss here.

Make Sure to Hydrate

One thing that is very commonly overlooked is hydration. Making sure to get enough water during the day can help you to feel full and also helps with almost all of the body’s processes, such as digestion. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate amount of water that you should be drinking per day. Drinking enough water per day has an immeasurable amount of benefits, and will have you looking and feeling your best while at the same time fighting midlife weight gain.

Add in Some Extra Steps

As we age, we tend to be less and less active in our everyday lives. This can lead to overall sedentary lifestyles, which leads to fewer calories burnt throughout the day. Over time, if you continue to eat the same amount of calories as always, while also decreasing the amount of movement that you are doing, you will naturally gain weight. By adding in simple exercises like a light walk or a quick jog before or after work, you can increase your steps and in turn, increase the number of calories that you are burning.

The Importance of Exercising Regularly

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Although it can be difficult to find the time or energy to exercise throughout the week, staying active offers many benefits. There are many different ways to stay physically active and get moving instead of practicing a sedentary lifestyle. If you are looking to incorporate exercise within your daily routine more often, there are a few advantages to understand.

Manages Weight

Exercise is important because it can allow you to manage your weight and reduces the risk of obesity as you age. By running, lifting weights, or cycling, for example, you’ll burn more calories in addition to building your muscles.

Reduces the Risk of Disease

Many different health conditions and diseases can be avoided by simply exercising regularly, which can increase your lifespan as well. Whether you suffer from high cholesterol or metabolic syndrome, staying physically active is necessary to prevent or manage these health problems.

Avoid Stress

According to EverydayHealth.com, one of the main benefits of exercising is reducing stress by dissipating excess energy in the body. Exercising is also a proven way to release endorphins, which can allow you to feel happier throughout the day. You’ll be able to have mental clarity and can feel more confident navigating challenges when your stress levels are lower.

Increase Your Energy Levels

Although low energy levels are common, you can boost these by staying physically active and by participating in activities that boost your heart rate. Brain chemicals are often stimulated by physical activity, which can allow you to feel more energized and avoid suffering from an afternoon slump.

Beat Smoking Use

Studies show that exercising on a routine basis can make it easier to quit a smoking habit by becoming more fit due to increased mobility. Those who make exercise a priority and value their health are also less likely to use tobacco use in the future, which can protect your heart and allow you to live longer because the blood vessels in the body won’t become damaged.

Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the most common causes and symptoms of different diseases and health conditions. By exercising, you can reduce inflammation that may be present and find relief for chronic health conditions that you may be suffering from, which will improve your overall health.

Tips to Help Avoid Stress Eating

There’s arguably nothing more satisfying than eating while you are hungry. However, this is not to be confused with stress eating. Stress eating is characterized by consuming food in response to your emotional state rather than simply hunger. Basically, your mood dictates when you eat, and how much you consume in one sitting. This can be an especially unhealthy lifestyle, but there are ways present to combat stress eating. Here are some tips for you to avoid this behavior and return to a normal pattern of food consumption.

Practice Breathing

Taking a deep breath is a powerful tool for you to use in response to stress eating. This is because breathing controls the portion of the brain that controls the flight or fight response that is activated in the sympathetic nervous system. This will help calm you down and the urge to eat or binge should decrease.

Eat With a Conscious

If you eat consciously, it removes all of the rushed nature of stress eating. Take smaller bites and allow yourself to fully appreciate what you are eating. When you become a conscious eater, you will then learn to understand the difference between when you are full and when you are eating for the sake of eating.

Change Your Approach

Believe it or not, stress eating is all about your approach to the situation. Stress eating is predicated on conflicting emotional feelings. This means changing your lifestyle and switching to a healthier diet. Once you do that, you will appreciate the value of indulgence. Unless you are on a specialized diet, stick to foods that are healthy yet filling. The habit of stress eating may slowly wither away as a result.

Examine Your Feelings First

Arguably the most important thing you can do before stress eating is examining your own emotional state beforehand. Self-reflection is an important tool for stress eaters because stress eating is not about what you are eating, but what is going on in your head at the time. Examine if you are breathing correctly. Is your heart racing a bit faster than it should? Observe your thoughts and your physical behavior, and try to slow down.

Stress eating can be difficult to overcome, but these simple steps can help you exponentially.

Air Travel: Staying Healthy While Flying

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Traveling the world is a part of many people’s lives with the goal of experiencing new cultures and seeing some of the most iconic landmarks around the globe. Flying, however, is typically the least enjoyable part for most. Aside from the tediousness of navigating your way through airport security and waiting for flight times, the actual flight itself can pose a number of public health concerns that often fall by the wayside.

While in-flight safety and technology has come a remarkably long way since the first commercial airplane, traveling at extreme heights is always challenging to the human body. At heights of over 30,000 feet, oxygen is much more scarce within a plane’s cabin, putting an added stress on the system trying to transfer oxygen to the bloodstream. To combat this, it is suggested to take long, easy, deep breaths as consistently as possible. Though this can help, it is highly recommended that frequent air travelers consider the following in-flight strategies in order to maintain their overall health.

Get Up and Move

It is not uncommon for passengers to go the entire duration of their flights without standing. Depending on how long that flight may be, this can be extremely detrimental to the body. Staying seated for long periods of time can cause blood clots in the legs, or deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. These complications can even lead to dehydrations due to the lack of blood reaching your upper body.

If getting up and walking about the cabin is easier said than done, performing simple leg stretches in your seat is a great way to contract the muscles and promote blood flow. These can be anything from deep knee bends, to contracting the calf muscles, to tapping your feet (so long as you aren’t disturbing your fellow passengers).

Limit Your Food Intake

It may seem counterintuitive, but keeping food portion sizes to a bare minimum can help in preserving your health while traveling through the air. According to Pratima Raichur of Pratima Ayurvedic Skin Care, passing on colder foods and drinks can help decrease levels of “Vata,” a dry Ayurvedic constitution that increases in colder settings. Eating warm foods and drinking hot tea or coffee is easier on your digestive system at such heights.

Remain Hygienic

Being on an open plane with possibly hundreds of other people makes for a breeding ground of germs and airborne diseases. Be sure to pack simple hygienic carry ons such as liquid hand sanitizers (under 100ml in volume), tissues, and extra napkins, for example. Another strategy is avoiding sugary drinks, as this can promote the production of phlegm in the back of the throat, leading to coughing and sinus complications.

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.

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.

Best Methods for a Low-Carb Diet

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Individuals on low-carb diets may find it difficult to provide their bodies with satisfaction in terms of food, but lowering one’s intake of carbohydrates can be incredibly beneficial health-wise. While these compounds are essential for energy, many people replace carbs with proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. So, why partake in a low-carb diet?

One of the more popular reasons why people choose to go on low-carb diets is because they are looking to lose weight. The notion of ‘carbs = fat’ is fairly common, and while it does hold some truth, it should not be the entire basis for choosing this diet.

Because the human body stores carbohydrates, which can later become fat if not used for energy, many people seem to think that cutting out carbs entirely will result in no fat gained. However, research has shown that after 12 months, individuals on a low-carb diet did not lose more weight than those on a low-fat diet. This can make finding the right balance challenging. But, the following tips can help alleviate those challenges, and help you stick your low-carb fast.

Know Low-Carbs

There are many foods available that are low in carbohydrates, including lean meats such as chicken, pork, or sirloin. Others include fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, apples, and blueberries. If cutting dairy out of your diet proves more challenging than expected, whole milk and plain Greek yogurt are low-carb as well.

Plan Your Meals

Planning your meals ahead of time can save a lot of hassle, especially for those with strict dietary restrictions. Knowing what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day that week is a great way to prevent you from falling off the wagon. Similar to this tactic, meal prepping is just as, if not more effective. Cooking and creating all of your meals for the week allows you to stick to this diet, and avoid giving into cravings such as sweets or fast food. Additionally, this can save you a decent amount of money in the long run.

Know the Different Carbs

Carbohydrates can be categorized as simple or complex. Simple carbs are comprised of easy sugars to digest, which include white sugar and flour. Complex carbs take much longer to digest, and are found in nutrient-rich foods like beans, whole grains, and fiber-heavy fruits. These also tend to make people feel fuller faster. When on a low-carb diet, try to reduce your intake of refined or processed carbs.

The Connection Between Age and Supplements

Originally published on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Incorporating additional vitamins and supplements in your diet that you may not be receiving otherwise should be a necessity for all people. However, the age at which you begin to take these can affect how your body reacts to them.

There are many reasons why products like energy drinks are marketed toward younger demographics, while supplements intended to prevent pain or promote the growth of certain hormones are meant for older generations. Two factors to take into consideration are biology and chronology.

One’s chronological age is that which cannot be changed. From the day you are born up until this very moment, you are exactly however many days old. Your biological age can be measured based on your physical health, which people have more control over. This includes weight, skin and hair quality, energy levels, and internal organ health. Both your chronological and biological age can affect one another, however, which should be considered when deciding which supplements would be the most beneficial for you.

Supplements are specifically designed to assist one’s current physical health as opposed to their exact age. For example, if  teenagers were to take supplements aimed at promoting bone growth, it wouldn’t do much good seeing as they are still in the growing stages themselves. So, what supplements exactly are best for younger individuals?

Taking into account that younger generations are still growing or developing, supplements like pre-workout stimulants, fat burners, and muscle enhancers tend to be the most beneficial. People with low biological ages can handle any side effects that come with these supplements better than those who may be older, as well. Those who are much higher in either chronological or biological age may experience discomfort when taking these specific supplements.

Older generations are at more risk of contracting diseases, ailments, or chronic conditions given their much more sedentary lifestyles. These can range from joint pain, to muscular complications, to more severe conditions like heart disease or arthritis. To combat these issues, supplements specifically designed for each are always helpful. Anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin can help with pain. Those that improve focus and mental health are great for individuals in their 70’s or 80’s to prevent different forms of dementia. Depending on which physical complication needs to be addressed, there are more than likely several supplements on the market designed to combat them.

Always be mindful of how many supplements you are taking. Nearly every doctor will instruct you to understand your limits and not abuse any supplement in the slightest. Your overall health is the best indicator of what you may need assistance in, and to take anything else for any other reason may prove detrimental. Talk to your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet to ensure it is the best one for you.

The Importance of Prebiotics

Many people overlook prebiotics in their diet. Defined as indigestible fiber that promotes the reproduction and activity of beneficial bacteria and fungi, they play an important role in health and wellness.

Prebiotics vs Probiotics: What’s the Difference?

It’s a common assumption that prebiotics are the same as probiotics. The truth, however, is that prebiotics complement and improve the beneficial effects of probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria created through fermentation whereas prebiotics consists of fibrous plant matter from fruits and vegetables that supports probiotics.

Stronger Immune System

One of the health benefits of prebiotics is a stronger immune system. When consumed, they work harmoniously with the body’s good bacteria so that it can fight off illness-causing microorganisms. According to one study, people who consume prebiotic-rich foods on a regular basis are less likely to become infected with influenza than their counterparts who omit this substance from their diet.

Improved Digestion

Prebiotics also support a healthy digestive system. When bad bacteria and fungi in the gut remain unchecked, they will quickly spread and wreak havoc on the digestive system. This often leads to digestive problems like gas, bloating, heartburn, stomach cramps, constipation and nausea. Prebiotics protect against digestive distress by assisting probiotics in neutralizing bad microorganisms in the gut.

Stronger Bones

A health benefit of prebiotics that’s often overlooked is stronger bones. Bone strength is heavily influenced by the mineral calcium. But it’s not the amount of calcium a person consumes that will affect his or her bone strength; it’s the amount that’s absorbed by his or her body. Research has shown that prebiotics improve the absorption of many nutrients, including calcium. Therefore, prebiotics promote strong, healthy bones while protecting against diseases like osteoporosis in the process.

Improved Heart Health

Finally, prebiotics promote a healthy heart by reducing bodily inflammation and lowering blood triglyceride levels. This allows blood to flow throughout the body with greater ease, thus reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. There’s also some belief that prebiotics can lower stress levels, which may also have a positive impact on heart health.

While prebiotics offer a wide range of health benefits, they should be consumed in conjunction with probiotics. Prebiotics act as food for probiotics, stimulating their activity and encouraging reproduction so that they can neutralize harmful microorganisms in the body more effectively.

Originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com