Study Finds Hidden Ingredient Reduces Calorie Intake Leading to Weight Loss

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A recent study from Pennsylvania State University utilized hidden ingredients in recipes, aimed at lowering calorie content, and evaluated participants’ responses to the hidden ingredients. Researchers used hidden pureed vegetables to decrease calorie content in meals in order to determine if participants would feel satisfied with the lower calorie intake. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients leading to satiation and weight loss. Although weight loss was not a factor in this study, other studies have found positive association with increased vegetable intake and subsequent weight loss.

In the study conducted at Pennsylvania State University participants were assigned to three different groups. Food intake was controlled by weight so all groups consumed the same volume of food. In the groups receiving pureed vegetables, one was designed with about 200 less calories and the other group had 357 fewer calories. Even though weight loss was not a factor in this study, a reduction of nearly 360 calories per day could lead to a loss of about one pound every 10 days. The important aspect of the study was the satiation of the subjects and whether or not they enjoyed the food with pureed vegetables.

In the survey all participants reported that they enjoyed the taste of the food regardless of whether or not they could taste the pureed vegetables. Despite the lowered calorie intake, all participants reported that they felt satisfied by the meals they were served. The researchers concluded that adding a significant amount of vegetables in the diet can lead to lower overall calorie intake. Decreasing calorie density of meals by adding nutrient rich vegetables is a healthy way to approach weight management without compromising satiety.

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity looked at over 74,000 women and found those with the largest increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables had a 24% lower risk of obesity. Another 10 year follow up study from Spain found that increased fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of medium weight gain. The researchers in this study concluded that increased fruit and vegetable intake should be vigorously promoted to prevent obesity.

The biggest obstacle to increasing fruit and vegetable intake is not the knowledge of their efficacy in improved health and weight loss; it is the fact that Americans simply refuse to do so. Richard Mattes Professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University observed: in several unrelated but similar studies, even though participants lost weight they claimed they would not continue the diet at home. The reasons they stated were that they would not spend the money on the vegetables nor would they spend the time to prepare them.

Utilizing the calorie reducing power of vegetable purees is simple. Pureed steamed cauliflower can be used in cream sauces; pureed carrots can be used in tomato based sauces; and green leafy vegetables can be pureed in soups, stews, and smoothies. The key to successful weight loss is to decrease calorie density by adding more fruits and vegetables in the diet while decreasing consumption of processed calorie laden foods. The studies available offer excellent insight into the dietary changes necessary to combat obesity; it is merely the choice of the individual whether or not this knowledge will create change.

 

Avocados – The Perfect Food or Funky Fruit?

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Shopping for healthy foods can be confusing. Many foods products claim to be “healthy”, “all-natural”, “organic” or “low fat”. But how do you know if these words are real benefits or just clever marketing schemes? If your food comes in a box or a package, it is likely not as healthy as it claims. If you base the majority of your diet around whole foods, you will be making a much wiser investment in your health.

This Healthy Food Friday series will help you learn to identify the difference. You will also learn more about the amazing benefits of whole foods along with delicious ways to enjoy them.

Avocados have been shown to help promote heart health, help to reverse diabetes, and even fight cancer. Those are some amazing powers from a little green fruit with a hard, leather-like skin.

Before my days as a Wellness Achiever, I would walk right past avocados in the grocery store. Usually I avoided the entire produce section, actually. I wondered, what in the world would you do with that? How do you even eat an avocado? Why would anyone eat avocados?

Well, I am glad that I learned about these amazing little fruits. After discovering the delicious nutrition they provide, I now consume avocados almost daily. Once you learn about these health benefits, you will want to do the same. In fact, I will give you quite the advantage by also providing you with several wonderful ways to prepare and enjoy avocados.

Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados

Much can be said about the healthy nutrition of avocados. Here are my top five.

Heart Healthy Fats – The avocado is an unusual fruit in the fact that 85% of its calories come from fat. However, the type of fat in avocados is actually very healthy. They have about 160 milligrams of healthy Omega-3 fats per cup of sliced avocado. These fats are a big reason why avocados are very heart healthy. These fats also help you absorb other fat soluble vitamins and nutrients from your diet as well.

Fight Free Radicals – Avocados contain the highest amount of glutathione of all plants. Glutathione is powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight free radicals, prevent early aging and rid your body of toxins.

Anti-inflammatory – An anti-inflammatory diet is very important for fat loss, healing from injuries and maintaining good health. Avocados are one of best anti-inflammatory foods.

Cancer Fighting Carotenoids – Carotenoids are a group of powerful, plant-based, fat soluble antioxidants that fight and prevent cancer. They give plants many of their bright colors. Avocados are rich in many carotenoids including as lutein, beta-carotene and neoxanthin. They fat content of avocados helps your body absorb with antioxidants more effectively.

Blood Sugar Regulation – Avocados are very low in sugar and carbohydrates and very high in fiber. Avocado also contains special types of sugars that provide energy but do not affect your blood sugar levels the way that glucose and fructose do. This combination makes them great for diabetics looking to control blood sugar naturally.

How to Cut, Slice and Dice an Avocado With Ease

It may seem very difficult to prepare an avocado at first. However, it is actually quite simple. Here’s how:

5 Delicious Ways to Eat Avocados

Sliced over salad – This is one of the simplest ways to regularly enjoy avocados. They add a rich texture to your salad. They also compliment the flavor the other vegetables and the salad dressing as well.

Chopped as garnish for soups – Avocados add a delightful color and texture to a black bean soup, a spicy curry soup or butternut squash soup. Dice them and place them on top of your soup for a quick, colorful, healthy addition.

Guacamole – This is another easy way to prepare avocados. Simply cut and peel one or more avocados, place them in a bowl and mash them. You can use a an electric mixer to make a creamy guacamole or just use a fork to make it a little chunky. Then you can mix in any spices you like such as salt, garlic, or red pepper. I also like to add a little lime or lemon juice as well. It can be enjoyed with tortilla chips or sliced celery or added to other recipes. Here is a delicious, slightly more sophisticated guacamole recipe.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse – What!? Yes, you can even use avocados to make a scrumptious, healthy chocolate mousse. This is certainly one of my favorites! Here is a quick and easy recipe for chocolate mousse made with avocado.

Avocado & Tomato Bruschetta – I love bruschetta and avocados definitely make it much healthier. Slice your avocados and tomatoes. Toast some bread – preferably a sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel Bread. Cut the toasted bread into four squares, lightly drizzle with olive oil/italian seasoning mix, then top with sliced avocado and tomato. Absolutely delicious and nutritious appetizer!

Avocados are certainly one of the healthiest foods you can buy. They pack a powerful nutritional punch. Are they the perfect food or a funky fruit? Both! Begin enjoying avocados today.

Twelve Months of Weight Loss Tips

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Get Healthy and Stay Healthy – All Year!

Since the weather has turned colder, we are forced to spend more time indoors. For people who enjoy exercising outside, this can be a challenging time of the year. If you are worried about maintaining your weight loss efforts during the winter months and beyond, here are enough tips to get you through the next twelve months.

February

Studies show that having a small bowl of soup before your meal makes you less likely to chow-down when the main course arrives. The cooler temperatures in February are a great excuse to try some new soups. Whip up a batch of split pea soup or vegetable stew.

March

March can be a very dreary month. You’re ready for winter to be over, but spring is still being illusive. Add a bit of excitement to your life by trying a green smoothie. It may sound like a frightening idea, but these drinks are a great source of nutrients. Toss a bit of spinach or kale in the food processor (don’t worry…you won’t even taste it) and then add some of your favorite fruits.

April

With spring on the horizon, grocery stores are finally starting to stock fresh fruits and vegetables again. Pick up some avocados next time you’re out. This delicious fruit is high in “good” fats and can help you get rid of belly fat. While you’re in the produce section, toss a watermelon in the cart too. This is a great low-cal, sweet treat.

May

Everyone is excited to start spending more time outside. This should include you! If you live close enough to work (or school), consider walking or riding your bike. If you are a stay-at-home parent, take the kids for a walk around the block.

June

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. Studies show that less sleep leads to more fat. Once you are nice and rested, go spend some time in the garden. Plant some fruits and vegetables that will keep you healthy all year long. Plus, all the weeding will burn some extra calories!

July

Plan a healthy menu for your backyard BBQs. Leave the butter and salt off your sweet corn. Grill up some extra lean meats like chicken or turkey breast. And pass by the soda, beer, and wine – water is a much healthier option.

August

Tweak your personal eating habits. Are you sitting down to dinner at 9pm every night? Do you grab a donut and coffee each morning on your way out the door? These bad habits need to come to a screeching halt. Take time to plan (and eat!) low-calorie, nutrient-rich meals. Maybe try some vitamin injections (this company has some) if you think you’re missing out on the essentials. Or maybe vitamin injections aren’t necessary; you just need some help with menu planning. Why not try one of those programs that offer pre-packaged meals?

September

Take full advantage of the last remaining days of nice weather. Invite some friends to join you in a doubles tennis match. Go on a family bike ride. Play a game of catch with your son. Jump rope with your daughter. If you are searching for ways to burn calories, the sky’s the limit!

October

For junk food junkies, Halloween is a nightmare – in more ways than one! Completely denying yourself of the sweets you love will ultimately backfire. Your self-control will only last so long; eventually you will succumb to your sweet tooth and totally overindulge. Instead, allow yourself a few treats every once in a while. But don’t just randomly grab something out of your child’s Halloween bucket. Plan ahead and put a few light, heart-healthy dark chocolate pieces in the cupboard.

November

Even if you manage to survive Thanksgiving without totally ruining your diet, the trouble is just beginning. Once you put the turkeys away and get out the winter-wonderland decorations, everyone is in full party mode. When you go to a party, make sure you don’t drink too much alcohol. Alcohol is packed full of useless calories. If you do choose to drink, alternate each alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or diet soda.

December

By now, holiday festivities are in full swing. Want a simple way to avoid totally pigging out at every function you attend? This sounds crazy but eat before you go. Fill up on healthy snacks at home. That way, when you are looking at a buffet table of all your favorite goodies, you won’t go overboard.

January

Back to reality. By January, the party season is over and you are back to the daily grind. If you are struggling to get motivated about exercising, try a new workout. Sign up for a Zumba class or try yoga.

Now, your twelve months have come and gone. It is time to reevaluate your weight loss plan. Have you made significant stride towards your weight loss goal? Do you need to go back and revisit some of the previous months’ tips?

Juniper Berries are Great for Your Kidneys, Bladder and Urinary tract

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Juniper berries grow from shrubs in various parts of the world including Asia, Europe and North America. There are many different kinds of juniper berries but the most common one to North Americans is known as juniperus communis. The berries’ popularity has primarily come from the fact that they’ve been added to gin in order to enhance its flavor, but as the years have gone by, many interesting health benefits have also gotten well deserved attention.

The Pharmacognosy Research medical journal states that juniper berries are great antioxidants for the body that can help contain the free radicals often responsible for many diseases. They also have quite potent antibacterial, antiviral, diuretic and antiseptic properties while displaying promising, although preliminary, results with diabetes. In general, the berries are considered extremely useful to alleviate health conditions associated to the kidneys, bladder or urinary tract.

The juniper berries are exceptionally healthy and can be consumed on a daily basis in various forms, such as teas, capsules, ointments or lotions. Researchers from the University of Michigan are on record saying that bitter herbs such as juniper do improve digestion by increasing saliva, digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretions that all contribute to breaking down food. On the other hand, they recommend taking them in moderation in order to make sure they don’t end up irritating the kidneys.

Urinary tract infections may be prevented by juniper berries

The University of Michigan has validated through research that juniper berries help increase urine output, therefore normalizing water retention. Not only can they be seen as excellent diuretics but they can also help get rid of bloating symptoms. The university comes to the conclusion that by facilitating liquid output, including toxins and unwanted bacteria, the berries most likely prevent possible urinary tract infections. The diuretic action can also help get rid of the body’s excess uric acid while also reducing fluids around joints.

The Shiraz University of Medical Sciences demonstrated how juniper berries can help protect the organism from bacteria generally responsible for the development of either E. coli, pneumonia, gonorrhea and staphylococcus aureus. The latter is an infection that often spreads in hospitals and antibiotics usually cannot get rid of it. It would certainly make sense to continue research on juniper berries to see if they could become an effective option to help control such infections.

Researchers from the University of Gazi in Turkey studied the effects produced on rats by feeding them with juniperus oxycedrus leaves. They noted that blood glucose levels were steadily falling on a daily basis over the course of their ten day experiments. Korea’s Pai Chai University did a similar study on diabetic rats by feeding them a single dose of juniperus chinensis. Following the ingestion of the berry extract, for nine straight hours the rats’ blood glucose levels would continuously diminish.

 

Use Coconut Oil for Your Lotion and Feel Amazing!

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Stop using any and every random lotion under the sun to care for your skin. The things you rub into your skin will be absorbed, not only by your skin, but they enter your bloodstream as well.

We need to stop slathering our epidermis all over with a concoction of compounds, additives, and yes, toxins. Odds are, you are likely already getting way too much of those wonderful materials in the air you breathe or the foods that you consume. And in the event that you’re caring for a baby, you absolutely should be certain to work with as many natural items as you can. That soft infant skin is much more sensitive than our own!

The quantity of infant care goods out there on the market today is simply amazing. Numerous distinct brands, ingredients, and too many guarantees made.

Often its best to keep things simple

Frequently referred to as “the most healthful oil in the world”, coconut/copra oil (unrefined and all-natural) is perfect for soft baby skin (and it will do wonders for YOUR skin, also)! It contains many anti oxidants, and it is even antifungal, antibacterial, and acts as a germicide. Here’s how you find a good brand of coconut oil.

The Best Natural “Lotion” You Can Find

When stored at room temperature it is a solid, however it will melt down readily into your palms and in to yours, or your infant’s, skin. It is ideal for using right after bathing. Its great for infants and adults alike! Does wonders for your hands as a moisturizer, also.

Good for Diaper Rash

Apply copra/coconut oil liberally for an astonishingly and fantastic strategy to dealing with this irritating issue.

Helps as a Cradle Cap Remedy

Cradle cap is dealt with by many through the use of coconut oil. It is by far one of the better natural remedies for cradle cap that you can use. Just rub a small quantity of the oil onto the infant’s scalp, and lightly slough off the dead skin employing an extremely soft-bristled brush meant for an infant or a fine-toothed infant comb. Remove extra oil by using a warm washcloth to softly rub the infant’s head.

Not Just for Infants

Go ahead. Spoil your self with this awesome natural moisturizer. You Will love how delicate your fingers and toes will likely be after just one use of this amazing oil.