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Breakfast bars are becoming more and more popular to have as a snack when you are on the go or simply want a quick pre/post workout snack. However, many of the leading bars are full of sugar and other ingredients that don't offer the best quality nutrition. Here are some tips to help you choose a healthy bar next time you go shopping!
Some foods help reduce stress by boosting the immune system, reducing stress hormone levels, and fighting high blood pressure. Other foods can increase your stress hormone levels and aggravate stress. Foods that cause stress should be eaten in moderation. Continuously high levels of stress hormones can increase your risk of heart attack, sleeplessness, anxiety, fatigue, stroke, and headaches. Below are examples of what to eat and what to avoid.
Focus on how great and accomplished you feel after your workout, as well as the health benefits to come, rather than the workout itself. We all have obstacles in life, but finding inspiration and motivation makes those obstacles easier to overcome. Exercise is great in any form, you just have to find what works best for you!
A sharper memory is just one more reason to step up your walking! A new study found that adults who walked about 45 minutes three times per week for six months performed substantially better on several cognitive tasks than those who did stretching or strengthening exercises.Want to know the best part? All 124 participants were previously sedentary. ''The nice result of our study is that a person who has not been physically active during his or her younger years still can benefit from walking,'' noted lead researcher Dr. Arthur F. Kramer of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Not only did the studied walkers improve their ability to plan, establish schedules and switch between tasks, they also showed significant improvement in oxygen consumption.More health benefits of walking:A sharper memory isn't the only reason to increase your walking routine. Other health benefits include weight management, stress management, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, increased energy levels, stronger bones, decreased lower back pain, improved sleep, improved mood, and more.What can you do to increase your walking?
Now that spring has sprung, it will be easier to pick up your favorite produce, including a variety of berries. Not only are berries simple to eat, sweet, and great in recipes, they also offer a lot health benefits. Keep reading to learn why berries are so good for your health and how to incorporate them into your diet!
Ever notice that certain foods and beverages have the ability to affect the way you feel? The two most common mood-effecting substances are sugar and caffeine. Too much sugar causes a spike in energy, followed by an energy drop so intense that all you can think about is a nap. Oftentimes, people rely on caffeine as their wake-up remedy, which can cause improved mental alertness, improved mood and increased productivity. On the darker side, however, caffeine can cause shakiness, irritability, anxiety, nausea, and headaches. Read on to learn about the healthy alternative foods that can improve your mood without leaving you depleted hours later.Serotonin: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for making us feel good and happy. What is interesting to know about serotonin is that 80-90% is actually produced by the cells in our guts, and not our brain. In fact, serotonin was tied to food long before it was tied to our moods. When sources are depleted, we tend to feel more depressed, and when in full effect, we tend to feel happier. Not only that, but a recent study by the UT Southwestern Medical Center found that drugs that increased serotonin levels in the brain resulted in participants eating less.Serotonin in food: Serotonin is very important to our bodies and can be found in a variety of foods. Further studies show that supplementing with serotonin for a year increased mood in women. Instead of looking to feel good temporarily from that afternoon cookie or third cup of coffee, try these naturally available forms of feel-good foods: walnuts, tomatoes, kiwis, pineapples, plums and plantains.Tryptophan: Although consuming these foods will increase serotonin, the neurotransmitter needs some help to cross the blood-brain barrier. This helper is tryptophan, an amino acid key to serotonin production in our brains when serotonin levels are low. Our bodies naturally understand this, and therefore, cause us to crave tryptophan. Foods high in this amino acid include fish, eggs, beans, turkey, nuts, yogurt and milk.Listen to you body: As with all healthy diets, it is important to eat a balanced diet and to listen to what your body craves. What we choose to eat will affect our mood, but inversely, our mood will affect what foods we want to eat. The next time you feel stressed, depressed, or just rundown, take a moment and think about what you can have to feel a little happier.
Do you feel like your busy schedule is getting in the way of a good night's sleep? Hectic schedules and high demands can cause people to live in a constant state of stress. Although you may think that pulling an all-nighter will benefit you at work, not getting enough rest can lead to less productivity and an increase in stress hormones.What does stress feel like?Common signs of stress include depression, insomnia, tension, anxiety, work mistakes, poor concentration, and apathy. When the body is under stress, it increases levels of the hormone, cortisol, to deal with it. Prolonged levels of increased cortisol can affect the body's immune system and decrease the ability to keep blood sugar levels even. Follow these important tips to avoid the more stress, less sleep cycle.Tips to get a better night's sleep:
Dating as far back as the Middle Ages in the 1300s, Alchemists roamed the earth in search of the fountain of youth, an elixir promising eternal youth and vitality. Today, people are quick to believe that the next new power berry, protein mix, or supplement will give them similar results. Recent studies show that the amount of supplements consumed by Americans each year continues to rise. In fact, according to the Center of Disease Control, over half of the population consumes some type of synthetic supplement, including herbal extracts, multivitamins, and minerals. Yet somehow, the United States ranks 49th on the list of healthiest nations, a far cry from being ranked 5th not too long ago (in the 1950s).Isolates:One important point to keep in mind is that these extra boosters will not outweigh, nor erase an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. If you don't exercise and don't eat right, your supplements will not help you get very far. Synthetic alternatives to whole foods are called "isolates." Your body will only absorb and use a small percentage of an isolate form of vitamins and minerals. There are also a number of side effects, depending on the quality of the isolate. A buildup of isolates creates a biofilm in your small intestine, which prevents the absorption of these mega doses of vitamins. Studies show your body treats these synthetic vitamins as foreigners, excreting them however and whenever possible.Focus on YOU:Improve your health by investing in high quality organic whole foods whenever possible, instead of grabbing synthetic supplements off the shelf. Focus more on eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, low fat dairy products and legumes. Take time for yourself. This means exercise regularly, eat right, and find time to decompress and focus on you.What about deficiency? That being said, it is very possible to be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals that are crucial to health and vitality. Professional athletes, people who eat a strict vegetarian/vegan diet, and the elderly are some examples of populations who can become deficient in certain micronutrients. One example is Vitamin D, a vitamin that we mostly get from the sun, fortified dairy products and some forms of fish. Due to lack of sun exposure, particularly in the winter months, studies have shown that people have trouble getting their daily recommended amount. Even though our body can store the sunshine vitamin and use it throughout the year, it is an important vitamin that helps regulate hormones, maintain bone strength, and metabolize minerals.Call your Doc!If you think you may have some sort of deficiency, it would be a good idea to reach out to your doctor about your questions and concerns.
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