Food author Jessica Sepel said that anyone who ever has told you that your gut is the key to good health is right - because it is where 70 to 80 per cent of the immune system lies.
Eat real food
This might sound obvious, but it's something many of us fail to do. Jessica recommends you stick to 'good quality proteins, healthy fats, plenty of greens, veggies, nuts, seeds and pulses'. She said you should ideally eliminate processed, packaged and convenience foods, and rid your diet of artificial sweeteners which promote breakouts.
Optimise digestive enzymes
Next, she said you should think about the levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which helps to break down food, thereby aiding digestion. 'I recommend sipping on two litres of water with a dash of apple cider vinegar throughout the day,' Jessica said.
Supplement as much as possible
Supplements are extremely useful for supporting good gut function. Jessica said a probiotic is a great idea for aiding digestion, while her own Skin and Digestion tablets are also useful.
Eat probiotic-rich foods
As well as taking a daily probiotic, Jessica recommends you eat as many probiotic-rich foods as possible. Fermented foods like kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir work especially well here. All of these items will also help to reduce inflammation and enhance your metabolism.
Water is critical for good skin health, and two litres is the optimum amount. Jess said you can bulk this out by way of herbal teas and putting apple cider vinegar into your bottle to sip throughout the day.
Eat healthy fats
While you might shy away from fats in your diet, our skin loves good quality healthy fats and foods that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 'Foods such as oily fish, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, eggs and olive oil have fatty acids that nourish the skin and are important for a radiant, soft complexion,' Jessica said.
The best way to treat a disease is by seeking preventive measures which scares away thousands of diseases waiting to encroach on your healthy body.
We have compiled 10 rules to help you lead a healthy lifestyle
1.Take less soda and more water. Soda’s are laced with preservative chemicals which weaken body organs such as your bones
2.Take more tea and less alcohol, alcohol inhibits and stops the normal working of your system
3.Use more fruits and take less sugar. Fruits serve your body with many nutritional components than sugar
4.Likely, take less meat and more vegetables. Vegetables would lead to a healthy life of low fat and goad roughages your body needs
5.Walk more than you drive. If you walk, you are helping your body assume self-exercise and stay healthy
6.Sleep more hours and assume less stress and reduce your worries
7.Learn to laugh more and minimize your anger. You body stays in good mood always
8.Finally, leave with less words and more actions!
It’s a truism that most of us want to live long, happy, successful, and healthy lives. Unfortunately, in our pursuit of success we often take shortcuts with our health—and wind up suffering from various ailments and disabilities that we could have avoided.
It doesn’t have to be that way at all. Though many of us live stressful, demanding lives, with just a little tweaking here and there, we can develop habits that will help us live healthier and more productive lives.
There is no shortage of information available on suggested tips for living a healthy lifestyle—one book we saw suggested no less than 107 healthy habits! We won’t get that exhaustive, but we pinpointed the most prevalent seven healthy habits that anyone should be able to include in their daily lives.
1. Get your exercise
Regular exercise is probably the closest we can get to a fountain of youth. According to the National Cancer Institute, regular exercise helps control weight, maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, and reduces our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Further, about 260,000 deaths per year in the U.S. are attributable to the lack of physical activity.
Many exercise authorities suggest 30 minutes of exercise, 5-6 days a week, giving your body one day to rest and recuperate. The exercise doesn’t have to be a gut-wrenching, iron-man type experience. Something as simple as a brisk 30-minute walk can work wonders for your health and literally add years to your life. And it can be supplemented by taking the stairs at work, a 10-15 minute walk during lunch, or having a small pedaling device at your desk. The main thing is to find exercise that you enjoy, not something that’s an ordeal.
2. Always eat breakfast
Research shows that people who have breakfast tend to take in more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol. Eating things that are high in fiber and proteins keeps you feeling full and energized. These include whole-grain cereals and breads, low-fat milk, fruit, and yogurt.
3. Practice healthy eating throughout the day
This habit includes such things as eating more fruit and nuts and avoiding sugary drinks and snacks. At meal time, the American Heart Association recommends a serving of fish twice a week. Besides being a rich source of protein, fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna) have omega-3 fatty acids which reduce the threat of heart disease.
Don’t forget portion control. If you want to live to be 100, go for larger portions of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and consume smaller portions of higher calorie foods containing large amounts of sugar and fats.
And chew your food! Many nutritionists recommend chewing each mouthful 20-30 times to get it into its most digestible form. Studies have also shown that chewing slowly reduces calorie intake by about 10%, partly because it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to tell the brain that it’s full.
Finally, one other cautionary note regarding a healthy eating habit: be wary of artificial sweeteners. A study conducted over a 10-year period at the University of Manitoba and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that artificial sweeteners may be associated with an increased risk of obesity, long-term weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Dr. Meghan Azad, chief author of the CMAJ article, commented, “Most people consuming artificial sweeteners do so assuming these products will help them avoid weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Yet we are seeing the opposite association from multiple studies.”
4. Stay hydrated
Getting the proper amount of water is extremely important as every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies needs water. Traditionally we’re told we need eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, an amount that’s never been substantiated medically. Perhaps a better guide is to try to drink enough water that you urinate once every 2-4 hours, and the urine is light in color.
To help develop and keep this habit, many devices, from “smart bottles” to numerous free apps, are readily accessible to keep you properly hydrated.
5. Don’t neglect dental hygiene
At the end of a long day, how many take the time to floss? Some studies indicate that regular flossing could add over 6 years to your life. Why? The theory is that the bacteria that produce dental plaque enter the bloodstream and are somehow associated with inflammation that blocks blood vessels and causes heart disease. So, get in the habit of giving your teeth a good bedtime flossing and add years to your life.
6. Get your sleep
Sleep is crucial to our wellbeing. As we sleep, the brain clears away the debris of the day’s work while resetting and restoring nerve networks so that they can function fully when we wake.
We all know the most common effects caused by the lack of sleep—drowsiness, fatigue, lack of focus, and forgetfulness. But the consequences of sleep deprivation may go far beyond the well-known, and have possibly long-lasting effects on your brain. One recent study from Italy suggests that the consistent lack of sleep may cause the brain to start destroying itself.
Stated simply, the Italian researchers worked with mice, some getting as much sleep as they wanted while others were subjected to extreme sleep deprivation. The researchers then studied the activity of the glial cells that act as the brain’s caretakers, sweeping out unneeded brain cell connectors (a kind of brain junk) to keep the brain functioning normally. They found that the glial cells were far more active in the sleep deprived mice, and it’s possible that this hyper-sweeping/destructive activity may contribute to Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders.
To avoid this potential threat, develop the habit of getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep. If you’re having trouble dozing off, keep your bedtime routine free of TV, laptop, cell phone, and other devices, and give your brain some genuine downtime.
7. Challenge yourself
We all get into ruts, doing the same things day after day, but to keep both body and mind agile, get into the habit of taking on challenges. And don’t feel embarrassed about not being an expert. Remember that every expert was once also a beginner.
Take some art lessons and find your inner van Gogh.
How about learning another language? Your local library probably has language programs available at no cost to members. And there are plenty of free online language apps like Duolingo to help you.
Never had a chance to play a musical instrument? Get a harmonica for less than $30, along with some instructional CDs. Practicing 30 minutes or so a day (great relaxation therapy), you’ll soon amaze your friends with the beautiful songs you can play.
As we said, the list of healthy habits is virtually endless. We think these suggestions will lead you to a healthier life, but you need to be true to yourself. Find the healthy habits that work for you, whether they’re ours or from others, and stick with them!
Maintaining five healthy habits — eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, keeping a healthy body weight, not drinking too much alcohol, and not smoking — during adulthood may add more than a decade to life expectancy, according to a new study led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Researchers also found that American women and men who maintained the healthiest lifestyles were 82 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 65 percent less likely to die from cancer when compared with those with the least healthy lifestyles over the course of the roughly 30-year study period.
The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact that adopting low-risk lifestyle factors has on life expectancy in the U.S. It will be published online today in Circulation.
Americans have a shorter average life expectancy — 79.3 years — than almost all other high-income countries. The U.S. ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy in 2015. The new study aimed to quantify how much healthy lifestyle factors might be able to boost longevity in the U.S.
Harvard Chan researchers and colleagues looked at 34 years of data from 78,865 women and 27 years of data from 44,354 men participating in, respectively, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The researchers looked at how five low-risk lifestyle factors — not smoking, low body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2), at least 30 minutes or more per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, moderate alcohol intake (for example, up to about one 5-ounce glass of wine per day for women, or up to two glasses for men), and a healthy diet — might impact mortality.
For study participants who didn’t adopt any of the low-risk habits, the researchers estimated that life expectancy at age 50 was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men. But for those who adopted all five, life expectancy at age 50 was projected to be 43.1 years for women and 37.6 years for men. In other words, women who maintained all five healthy habits gained, on average, 14 years of life, and men who did so gained 12 years, compared with those who didn’t maintain healthy habits.
Compared with those who didn’t follow any of the healthy lifestyle habits, those who followed all five were 74 percent less likely to die during the study period. The researchers also found that there was a dose-response relationship between each individual healthy lifestyle behavior and a reduced risk of early death, and that the combination of all five healthy behaviors was linked to the most additional years of life.
“This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “However, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits is very low. Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles.”
Other Harvard Chan School study authors included Yanping Li, Dong Wang, Xiaoran Liu, Klodian Dhana, Meir Stampfer, and Walter Willett.
These five areas were chosen because prior studies have shown them to have a large impact on risk of premature death. Here is how these healthy habits were defined and measured:
1. Healthy diet, which was calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.
2. Healthy physical activity level, which was measured as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.
3. Healthy body weight, defined as a normal body mass index (BMI), which is between 18.5 and 24.9.
4. Smoking, well, there is no healthy amount of smoking. “Healthy” here meant never having smoked.
5. Moderate alcohol intake, which was measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.
Researchers also looked at data on age, ethnicity, and medication use, as well as comparison data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research.
1. Chew Thoroughly and Slow Down
Your brain needs time to process that you've had enough to eat. Chewing your food thoroughly makes you eat more slowly, which is associated with decreased food intake, increased fullness and smaller portion sizes. How quickly you finish your meals may also affect your weight. A recent review of 23 observational studies reported that faster eaters are more likely to gain weight than slower eaters . Fast eaters are also much more likely to be obese. To get into the habit of eating more slowly, it may help to count how many times you chew each bite.
2. Use Smaller Plates for Unhealthy Foods
The typical food plate is larger today than it was a few decades ago. This trend could contribute to weight gain, since using a smaller plate may help you eat less by making portions look larger. On the other hand, a bigger plate can make a serving look smaller, causing you to add more food. You can use this to your advantage by serving healthy food on bigger plates and less healthy food on smaller plates.
3. Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein has powerful effects on appetite. It can increase feelings of fullness, reduce hunger and help you eat fewer calories. This may be because protein affects several hormones that play a role in hunger and fullness, including ghrelin and GLP-1 . One study found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds over 12 weeks, on average, without intentionally restricting any foods. If you currently eat a grain-based breakfast, you may want to consider switching to a protein-rich meal, such as eggs. In one study, overweight or obese women who had eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories at lunch compared to those who ate a grain-based breakfast. What's more, they ended up eating fewer calories for the rest of the day and during the next 36 hours. Some examples of protein-rich foods include chicken breasts, fish, Greek yogurt, lentils, quinoa and almonds.
4. Store Unhealthy Foods out of Sight
Storing unhealthy foods where you can see them may increase hunger and cravings, causing you to eat more. This is also linked to weight gain. One recent study found that if high-calorie foods are more visible in the house, residents are more likely to weigh more than people who keep only a bowl of fruit visible. Store unhealthy foods out of sight, such as in closets or cupboards, so that they are less likely to catch your eye when you're hungry. On the other hand, keep healthy foods visible on your countertops and place them front and center in your fridge.
5. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Eating fiber-rich foods may increase satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer. Studies also indicate that one type of fiber, viscous fiber, is particularly helpful for weight loss. It increases fullness and reduces food intake . Viscous fiber forms a gel when it comes in contact with water. This gel increases nutrient absorption time and slows down the emptying of your stomach. Viscous fiber is only found in plant foods. Examples include beans, oat cereals, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges and flax seeds. A weight loss supplement called glucomannan is also very high in viscous fiber.
6. Drink Water Regularly
Drinking water can help you eat less and lose weight, especially if you drink it before a meal. One study in adults found that drinking half a liter of water about 30 minutes before meals reduced hunger and lessened calorie intake. Participants who drank water before a meal lost 44% more weight over a 12-week period compared to those who did not. If you replace calorie-loaded drinks — such as soda or juice — with water, you may experience an even greater effect.
7. Serve Yourself Smaller Portions
Portion sizes have increased during the last few decades, especially at restaurants. Larger portions encourage people to eat more and have been linked to an increase in weight gain and obesity. One study in adults found that doubling the size of a dinner appetizer increased calorie intake by 30%. Serving yourself just a little less might help you eat significantly fewer calories. And you probably won't even notice the difference.
8. Eat Without Electronic Distractions
Paying attention to what you eat may help you consume fewer calories. People who eat while they're watching TV or playing computer games may lose track of how much they have eaten. This, in turn, can cause overeating. One review of 24 studies found that people who were distracted at a meal ate about 10% more in that sitting. Additionally, absent-mindedness during a meal has an even greater influence on your intake later in the day. People who were distracted at a meal ate 25% more calories at later meals than those who were present. If you regularly consume meals while watching TV or using electronic devices, you could be inadvertently eating more. These extra calories add up and have a massive impact on your weight in the long term.
9. Sleep Well and Avoid Stress
When it comes to health, people often neglect sleep and stress. Both, in fact, have powerful effects on your appetite and weight. A lack of sleep may disrupt the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Another hormone, cortisol, becomes elevated when you're stressed. Having these hormones fluctuate can increase your hunger and cravings for unhealthy food, leading to higher calorie intake. What's more, chronic sleep deprivation and stress may increase your risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.
10. Eliminate Sugary Drinks
Added sugar may very well be the single worst ingredient in the diet today. Sugary beverages like soda have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases. It's very easy to consume excess calories from sugary drinks because liquid calories don't affect fullness the way solid food does. Staying away from these beverages entirely can provide enormous long-term health benefits. However, note that you should not replace soda with fruit juice, as it can be just as high in sugar. Healthy beverages to drink instead include water, coffee and green tea.
11. Serve Unhealthy Food on Red Plates
One unusual strategy is to use red plates to help you eat less. Research indicates that this technique at least seems to work with unhealthy snack foods. One study reported that volunteers ate fewer pretzels from red plates than from white or blue plates. The explanation may be that we associate the color red with stop signals and other man-made warnings.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been in use for thousands of years for its natural medicinal and health benefits. It helps in many ways including weight loss, improved blood sugar, relief from indigestion and decreased risk of heart attack and cancer. Though the drink is packed with health benefits, there is a right and wrong way to use it and when consumed in the wrong way, it can potentially be dangerous. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you are planning to consume apple cider vinegar: Do not drink it right after meals If you have a habit of drinking apple cider vinegar right after your meal, you need to change this habit. The best way to take apple cider vinegar is to consume it on an empty stomach. Some foods that you eat can make the vinegar less potent and drinking it before meals boosts your ability to process food. Experts recommend waiting for at least 20 minutes after consuming the ACV to eat anything. Do not breathe it in Apple cider vinegar doesn’t taste really nice so inhaling its fragrance before consuming it is not a good idea. Also, as good as ACV is for your heart health and digestive tract, it can seriously harm your lungs. Be careful never to inhale it when you are drinking it. Inhaling it can cause a burning sensation in your lungs. Do not take swigs of it Even diluted ACV is extremely acidic. It can damage your tooth enamel. To not let this happen, don’t sip it or swig it from the cup. Instead, you can try drinking it from a straw. Avoid brushing your teeth 30 minutes after you consume the ACV, to keep the vinegar from wearing on your tooth enamel. Do not consume too much If you are seeing benefits from it, do not think of overdoing it. Too much of anything is bad for your health and ACV is no exception. In fact, if you have started taking it just now, make sure you do not consume too much of it. You must start by having less amount of it and observing how your body reacts to it. Limit your intake to two tablespoons even when you are diluting it with water. Do not drink it right before you sleep It is advised not to take ACV right before you go to bed because of its potential to creep back up the esophagus. If the acid comes in contact with your esophagus while you are asleep it can be harmful. Regardless of what time of the day it is, one must sit upright for 30 minutes after consuming ACV. Applying it directly on your skin Apart from heart health, digestion and weight loss, ACV can be used to banish acne, dandruff and ease sunburn and other beauty benefits. But same as recommended for drinking, you must dilute the ACV before you use it for any beauty purpose. If you do not do so, it can kill skin cells, erode skin and leave your skin with semi-permanent burns. One part vinegar and eight parts of water together is what is recommended if you want to use it for beauty purposes.continue reading
Fried foods are a staple on iftar tables across the region, but what do you do when you’ve had enough of the oil-soaked pastries and deep-fried snacks? This week, I found myself strapped for time and energy so, instead of whipping up a meal, I whipped out my phone and ordered in with food delivery app Lugmety. I was tired of fried food and the inevitable surge of guilt that comes with a midnight snack of leftover pastries, so I opted to order from Cleanse & Glow for a healthy suhoor meal. Spurred on by my good intentions, I ordered two salads — the Quinoa and Kale Salad and the Sweet Greens Salad — and four infused water drinks: Pink Lemonade; Fountain of Youth; Coconut H2O and Beauty 1 with Lavender. The food was delivered bundled up lovingly in beautiful packaging, rather than plastic bags, and the salad looked springy and fresh. The Quinoa and Kale Salad was delicious and refreshing, with crunchy kale and long spaghetti-like zucchini noodles, which was an added bonus. Meanwhile, the Sweet Greens Salad was lush and delicious, with fresh lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrots and a scrumptious dressing. The salads did not arrive soggy or over dressed, which is vital in my book. As for the hydrating bottles of goodness, Beauty 1 with Lavender was a clear favorite, made with pineapple and lemon with hints of lavender flavor. The flavor-packed drink also features probiotics, collagen and hyaluronic acid that are said to benefit your skin. The restaurant even sent extra goodies to try out: Protein balls made primarily of dates. The flavors were decadent and rich and the texture was satisfyingly chewy, with hints of chocolate without the guilt of scoffing a chocolate cake in the middle of the night. Despite the range of cuisines available on Lugmety, sometimes the healthiest and lightest option is best for avoiding the instant regret that comes with a late-night junk food meal and Cleanse & Glow will certainly leave you satisfied, not sorry.continue reading