It can be challenging to find the right diet that works for you. For some people, the average eat what you want lifestyle suits them fine while others want healthier habits to dictate their lives. The two-primary health-conscious ways of living include vegetarianism and veganism. In books, articles, and on TV vegetarianism and veganism are referenced simultaneously. But are these two ways of living dissimilar in their diet or do these lifestyles share the same effect on people just with a different outlook? Here is a breakdown of both the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle:

Vegetarian

When most people see the word vegetarian they usually interpret that a person eats mostly vegetables, however, that’s not always the case. While most vegetarians cut out meat and dairy from their diet; however, depending on how you want to implement this diet in your life there are different variations of the diet out there. For example, lacto-vegetarians ingest dairy products but not eggs while ovo-vegetarians consume eggs but not dairy products. There is also a vegetarian diet called pescatarian that refrains from eating meat or poultry but does consume fish. Although prominent foods in the vegetarian diet are likely to be fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. But do all of these diet changes improve or reduce the quality of your overall health?

While everyone reacts to diet changes differently, with that said, eating a vegetarian diet has been known to enhance the quality of your health. In fact, you’re less likely to become obese if you choose to become a vegetarian. When you eat healthily, it’s not likely you’ll eat because of your emotions or binge eat which is only a few reasons why obesity is increasing in society. In addition, eating a vegetarian diet is perfect if you want to lower your blood pressure. Without dairy products, meat, and added sugars your blood will decrease in concentration and therefore, reduce the blood pressure.

In fact, eating a vegetarian diet not only helps your health but it aids your bank account too. When you buy meat from a health store or grocery store prices can get expensive over time. By eating a vegetarian diet, you’ll find that you’ll buy more fruits and vegetables, therefore, since you can buy them by the pound you can decide an amount that works for you.

Eating a vegetarian diet can be affordable if you choose wisely. For example, you can buy a vegetarian recipe book and cook all your meals from home instead of buying meals already prepared for you. By purchasing a meal in a box might sound like the more convenient choice it’s not always the healthiest. Try and remember to read labels since brands often try to trick customers by providing them with nice looking pictures. But if you stick to what you like and remember to be healthy along the way, you’ll be in for a treat.

Vegan

While some people often get the terms vegetarian and vegan confused there is one colossal difference between the two. Simply put a vegetarian does not eat meat; however, a vegan doesn’t consume, use, or buy animal products. When eating a vegan would stay away from eggs, milk, and even honey since it’s extracted from an animal. Although when shopping a vegan would stay clear of leather, fur, and wool since these items were produced from an animal.

There are various reasons why someone would adopt a vegan lifestyle; however, one of the main reasons is that by extracting these products we as humans are encouraging the cruelty of animals. The vegan lifestyle creates a way where a person doesn’t have to use the products that animals produce and instead promotes an all-natural alternative. Like the vegetarian lifestyle, the vegan diet is likely to consist of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. But are there any benefits to this health-conscious way of living and if so any risks involved?

A common health benefit from eating a vegan lifestyle is that you’re less likely to have food allergies. Since vegans don’t eat anything produced by animals that removes the risk of exposure to allergens such as fish, shellfish, and dairy. However, there are risks with eating a vegan diet. Since the vegan lifestyle is meatless, a person will be missing key nutrients in their diet. It’s important to take B12 supplements. Also, if a doctor recommends taking iron and fiber supplements as well, then it’s essential to do so.

However, not only does a vegan lifestyle help your health it also aids your finances. If you think being a vegetarian can help you save money, then wait until you hear about the vegan lifestyle. Due to the need to not eat, use or buy animal products you’ll save a lot of money. Jackets made out of leather or fur are expensive for anyone to purchase. However, if you choose to be a vegan, you’ll no longer participate in the indulgence of society’s norms of extravagance. Therefore, you’ll be able to save money and use it where it’s needed instead of giving in to peer pressure and buying a wool blanket.

        There are many reasons why a person would want to change their diet. Whether you like vegetarian better than veganism or the other way around is your opinion. But it’s your decision that matters since it’s your life. You should choose a diet that works for you, not one that makes you feel too hungry or over full. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before changing your diet completely. There may be health care concerns that you need to know about for the future. If you like vegetarianism or veganism there are various community shops, chat groups, and online resources where you can learn more. Have fun researching your chosen diet but remember live long and healthy!

Ten years ago, a study showed that 7.3 million Americans or nearly 3% of the population followed a vegetarian diet. About 1 million, or 0.5% of the population, followed a vegan diet. As the United States tackles its obesity problem, and as more people understand the benefits of good nutrition, these numbers are on the rise. If you’re considering a plant-based diet, look at some of the advantages and disadvantages.

What are vegetarianism and veganism?

A vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, such as beef, lamb, poultry, or fish. A vegan is someone who does not eat animal products, which includes meat, dairy, eggs, and sometimes honey. Strict vegetarians and vegans will also use cruelty-free products or products that have not been tested on animals (i.e., soaps and makeup).

There are a few variations of this practice. Pescatarians only eat fish. Lacto-vegetarians abstain from eating meat and eggs, but they will consume dairy products. Ovo-vegetarians abstain from eating meat and dairy, but they will consume eggs.

Vegetarianism and veganism exist for several reasons. In some religions or cultures, certain animals are sacred and therefore cannot be consumed. Advocates for animal rights go vegetarian or vegan as a stand against animal cruelty. Other reasons can include dietary restrictions, allergies/sensitivities, or even weight loss.

Pros

Better for the Environment

It’s no surprise eating plant foods can benefit the environment. You will reduce your harmful impact, also known as your carbon footprint, by adopting a plant-based diet. You will also help conserve water because producing a pound of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing a pound of grain protein. Furthermore, by not contributing to animal agriculture, you will help save animal habitats, reduce dead zones, and help have cleaner air.

More Nutrients

Creating your diet around fruits and vegetables means an abundance of vitamins and minerals. A great nutrient found in plant foods is fiber, which will keep you full. Most Americans don’t meet the quota for sufficient vitamins and minerals, so you’ll already be at an advantage.

Plant-based diets are also full of phytochemicals, defined as compounds that help keep several of your body’s systems running smoothly. Specific examples include the isothiocyanates found in brussels sprouts that neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and the flavonoids in apples that help control inflammation.

Reduces Risks of Diseases

A specific study claimed that women over 50 who ate a mostly plant-based diet were 34% more likely to be free of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These women would develop these diseases 15 years later than the women who ate more meat. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower may protect against some types of cancers. Along with this same vein, foods that are high in antioxidants like blueberries and blackberries can help prevent many chronic oxidative stress diseases.

Cons

Limited Options

A majority of the American diet revolves around meat. From bacon at breakfast to steak at night, U.S. citizens eat more meat than any other country. According to the USDA, the average consumer will eat nearly 200 pounds of red meat and poultry in 2018.

Eating out may be a struggle. Restaurants are becoming health-conscious, but still, meat options rule out vegetarian options. Navigating the menu for vegans may be even harder since most vegetarian options include cheese or eggs.

Special events revolve around meals. Carnivals serve corn-dogs, chicken nuggets, and skewers, whereas the main dish during holidays is ham or turkey. It’s especially hard to keep up a no-meat diet when there’s lots of meat on the menu.

Ask your server if you the chef can prepare a special dish. Considering food allergies and other special diets, the restaurant staff will usually be accommodating. Opt for the salad bar or try to create a plate out of side-dishes, since those are usually vegetable based.

Not Always Healthy

While you may initially associate kale with vegetarians, think of all the junk food that can fit into a vegetarian diet. Pizza, ice cream, and cheese fries qualify as vegetarian. On that same note, Oreos, potato chips, and Twizzlers are all vegan.

Additionally, many vegetarian and vegan meals are centered around pasta. Start adding cheese and creamy sauce, and it’ll be hard to call healthy. Pasta is easy to disproportion as well, and it’s easy to fill the plate rather than the one cup serving.

There’s a reason these are called plant-based diets. No matter what your diet, avoid junk food, and make sure to focus on fruits and vegetables for a nutritious lifestyle. With these temptations, going vegetarian or vegan is not the magic cure for weight-loss.

Protein Issues

A common question is: how do vegetarians and vegans get their protein? If you’re going by the numbers, animal sources of protein contain more than non-animal sources. A serving of cheese offers seven to ten grams of protein, whereas a serving of broiled top sirloin boasts thirty-five grams of protein.

It’s vital to get enough protein in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Any lack of nutrient can be harmful to the body. Protein deficiency can lead to infections, muscle weakness, low blood pressure, low heart rate, and other unfavorable symptoms. You may even get a disease related to the lack of protein.

For vegetarians, eggs are an optimal source of protein and fat. Beans, nuts, and even vegetables work for both vegetarians and vegans. Don’t fall for imitation meats that may be processed, not to mention contain loads of sodium and fat.

It’s never too early or late to start a healthier lifestyle such as a vegetarian or vegan diet. See if your library or bookstore has a vegetarian or vegan cookbook full of new recipes to try. Like with any major change to your health, consult your doctor. Discuss these pros and cons to see if vegetarianism or veganism is right for you, especially if you have dietary restrictions or are on certain medication.

Mention “carbs” to people, and they’ll recoil like Dracula at a cross. This applies to both men and women who are particularly trying to lose weight. For decades, carbohydrates have been the scapegoat of nutrition. Low-carb diets have never truly left the dieting scene, always managing to withstand the test of time (even sit-down restaurants boast low-carb and gluten free options) but despite popular belief, should carbohydrates really be avoided at all costs?

Benefits of Carbohydrates

No amount of information can refute that carbohydrates will always be the body’s main source of energy. According to Choose MyPlate, the current nutrition guide published by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, three-fourths of the plate are made up of carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and grains). It is one of the three essential macronutrients.

Carbohydrates help fuel vital organs such as your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system. Other health benefits include supporting heart health, reducing the risk of cancer, improving sleep patterns, contributing to muscle mass, and improve life span, among others.

Why all the Hate?

People who are trying to lose weight have a stronger bias against carbohydrates as oppose to those who want to build muscle. The resistance to carbohydrates is most famously upheld by the Atkins diet. Developed by Dr. Robert Atkins in 1972, this diet argues a lower carbohydrate intake promotes weight loss, but doesn’t leave you hungry.

Near fifty years later, the Atkins brand is still on shelves, and some people still follow the diet to this day. This low-carb logic branches out into other diets such as Paleo, Ketogenic, and Zero-Carb, just to name a few. Although these diets have good intentions, it has led to the belief that carbohydrates should never be consumed, especially in the perpetual struggle to lose weight and get lean.

It is true that restricting carbohydrates lends itself to fat-loss, since your body cannot use glucose for energy and must rely on burning fat for energy. When your body starts doing this, you have achieved a state called ketosis. In measuring your ketones, around 1.5 – 3 mmol/L is the range for optimal ketosis, which is ideal for maximum weight loss. However, this process doesn’t happen overnight — it can take anywhere from two days to a week for your body to achieve ketosis.

You can’t fall off the bandwagon either; you have to restrict your intake to around 20-50 grams of net carbohydrates per day. To put that in perspective, one cup of cereal is around 55 grams. Plus, considering the traditional American diet, achieving ketosis takes enormous willpower. No pizza or pasta, no bun on your burger, no slice of birthday cake — sounds a bit miserable, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, there’s a better way. You can have that birthday cake and eat it too. The most nutritionally sound option is to select complex, unrefined carbohydrates.

Choosing the Right Carbohydrates

There are four subtypes of carbohydrates: simple vs complex, and refined vs unrefined. Simple carbohydrates are also called simple sugars. This relates to white table sugar, often used in bakery items. Complex carbohydrates are also called starches, such as bread, pasta, and rice. Both can be a part of a balanced diet, but when it comes to which you should consume more of, complex carbohydrates are the clear winner.

Then there is the choice between refined and unrefined carbohydrates. Refined grain products have been processed to remove key nutrients and fiber, so choose unrefined first. The fiber in unrefined carbohydrates will keep you full, such as a bowl oatmeal in the morning. Stick with brown over white, such as brown rice as opposed white rice. And like Oprah, you can have bread too, just choose ones made with whole meal and whole-grain flour, just look at the fiber content on the nutrition labels to make the best decision.

Fruits and vegetables are the most nutritional source of carbohydrates. Even though fruit contains sugar, it also contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body. For instance, bananas get flack because of their high carbohydrate content, but they are a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that’s essential to the healthy functioning of your body.

Sweet potatoes are one of my personal favorite sources of carbohydrates. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, just to name a few. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower (the only exception to the brown over white rule), are beneficial due to their high fiber content. Add protein and healthy fat and you have yourself a healthy meal.

What about Gluten?

Gluten is defined as the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley and acts as the glue that holds food together. Often people confused gluten as a synonym for carbohydrates, but any carbohydrate-containing foods will contain gluten if the flour comes from wheat, rye or barley. Some gluten-free foods can still have carbohydrates, but it comes from grains and beans that are naturally free of gluten.

A person with Celiac disease cannot consume gluten because it will damage the small intestine. One in one-hundred people worldwide have this disease. At the moment, the only treatment for Celiac disease a strict gluten-free diet.

However, there is no real evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes weight loss or muscle gain. It’s simply a fad. Gluten-free products are mostly made for people with Celiac or another sensitivity, and should not be advertised otherwise. Unless you have Celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, there is no need to go gluten-free.

The Final Verdict

Whatever your nutritional goals are, don’t be so quick to slam the door on carbohydrates. A load of pasta isn’t good for any nutritionally sound diet, but selecting whole grain pasta or even choosing pasta made from lentils or beans works. It’s all about choices and moderation — if you’re craving a piece of sugary candy, have it once, just not every day.

Sure, limiting carbs doesn’t hurt if you want to drop a few pounds, but not only is there no reason to cut them out completely, but it’s near impossible. Repeat after me: Carbs are friends and food.

Everyone in the fitness community knows that a protein shake is most valuable before and after a workout as well as in hours of the day. Most people drink a protein shake before or after a workout in order to receive the key nutrients the body needs to help recover from an intense or strenuous exercise. While some people drink a protein shake first thing in the morning, others drink them during the day to help them obtain nutrients that their body may be lacking. A well-needed protein shake will boost their nutrient levels and increase muscle. But if a protein shake doesn’t taste good, then most likely people will not use this nifty tool of recovery. Here are ten ways to make a protein shake taste delicious:

  1. Add Fruit  

While adding fruit may seem like an obvious suggestion there are so many fruits that are waiting to be used. Fresh fruits like raspberries, bananas, peaches, strawberries, and cherries can be put into a blender and mixed until blended. Adding fruit will add flavor to any shake and therefore depending on the types of fruits used will allow the smooth texture of a protein shake to go down more easily.

  1. You Can Add Additional Water

One problem you can be having with the taste of your protein shake is that it may be too overpowering in flavor. Just water it down a bit, while this technique requires you to weaken the solution, it also means that you have to drink more in order to receive the benefits. If you’re one of those people that only drink’s the recommended amount, then this tip isn’t for you to try.

  1. Add Milk

Adding milk has its advantages and its drawbacks depending on what you like. If you like drinking a milkshake, then you should definitely add milk to your next protein shake. With the addition of some milk, a protein shake will become velvety and creamy. The milk will also add protein to the shake. The drawback? If you don’t like milkshakes, don’t add milk.

  1. Turn It into a Smoothie

If you’re having a bland day why not perk up that boring protein shake and do something different. Throw your shake into a blender along with some ice, fruit of any kind, and hit power. The fruit and the ice will hide the taste of the protein shake, and you will never want to go back to a boring shake again.

  1. Add Yogurt

Adding yogurt may seem like a stretch, but the yogurt will add a certain something to a protein shake. It will give the shake some richness where your previous protein shakes may have lacked it. Any yogurt can be used from regular to Greek. However, adding yogurt to a protein shake will make the shake thick and therefore may be harder to drink depending on the yogurt used.

  1. Add Chocolate Powder

While this tip adds no additional health benefits, it sure does taste good. Adding chocolate powder will add sweetening to a shake and therefore make it simple to drink. Most people won’t admit it since chocolate and fitness hardly go together in the same sentence, but chocolate can be used to mask the ugly taste of protein shakes. Everyone likes chocolate, right? So why not have a taste of it here and there in the best way possible?

  1. Make Your Own Protein Shakes

This tip is so much fun. You can be creative, wild, and spontaneous if you want! All is needed is to buy some of the protein powder at a local grocery store or health store and mix it with milk, juice or fruit of any kind. The endless choices allow you to pick exactly what you want and ensure that you are not settling for an average protein shake.

  1. Switch Brands

Switching brands is important every once in a while in order to make sure you’re receiving the best product available. However, if you’re unhappy with a product then switching brands is recommended. Try an alternative flavor as well as a brand. The new flavor in addition to the brand will allow you to notice if better results are distinguishable.  So try something new here and there you never know what you’ll find out you like.

  1. Make It Look More Attractive

While it’s known that human beings see with their eyes to determine attractiveness, tastiness, and even texture. It’s good to make an unpleasing shake turn into an attractive delight. This will ensure that you will feel good about drinking the shake and finish it. Some ideas include putting a strawberry on the rim of the glass, having a fun straw or cup, make drinking the shake a relaxing time. These ideas will ease the pain of drinking something unpleasant and therefore make the shake tasty.

  1. Go to a Protein Store

While this option can get rather expensive, your tastes buds will love you for it. Stores that manage and serve customers only looking for protein related products will make a tasty shake; however, the downside to this rather delicious option is not just the cost, but it’s not so convenient nature. If you’re the type of person that works out at home then goes looking for a protein shake this options will leave you jumping in the car. While it’s not the most favorable, a store that sells everything for protein needs is valuable in the world of fitness. In fact, some of the store’s employees would gladly give you advice on how is the best way to make a protein shake.

Protein shakes are meant to be enjoyed not suffered through. Be creative, think outside the box either when creating or asking for a shake to be made. There are many possibilities in the world of what a protein shake could be. Now it’s time for you to find out what you want a protein shake to be.

olive oil poured over bowl of vegetable salad

Most meals can be made healthier by swapping out little things, like cheese, for other alternatives. These alternatives can cut extra calories and provide more nutrients. Many items that you buy from the grocery store, like sauces, can be made easily at home, making them lower in oil and sugars. Follow some of these easy swaps to help make your meals healthier.

Salads:

Use salted nuts instead of croutons. These nuts are heart-healthy and contain good fats. Switch to a homemade dressing. These dressings can be made easily by combining olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. You can use salt and pepper to up the taste without upping the calories. Stop using the salad dressing that you buy at the store.

Coffee:

If you are ordering anything other than black coffee, order iced coffee. Iced coffee has the minimal amount of calories, at least when it comes to the coffee shop. It can also contain a lot of antioxidants, which are very good for you. Stop ordering the frozen drinks like frappes. They are full of extra calories and are mostly made of sugar.

Breakfast:

Get into Greek yogurt. It is packed with protein and helps you to stay fuller for longer. It also has antioxidants. Greek yogurt has also bowl of greek yogurt with berries for breakfastbeen shown to provide better metabolic health. Stop eating regular yogurts with fruit in them. This fruit is sweetened with sugars so that they do not go bad. You will get less protein and eat more sugar. You can also fry up some eggs for breakfast. Eggs contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are very good for you. They also have beta-carotene, another antioxidant that is very good for your body. Make sure that you are buying whole eggs and not just egg whites. Although egg whites are not terrible for you, a full egg contains more proteins, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Spaghetti, everyone’s favorite food:

You can replace spaghetti noodles with zucchini noodles. They are full of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and have minimal carbs. For your sauce you should make homemade tomato sauce. You can make a sauce by using cherry tomatoes with olive oil in a skillet. Throw in some garlic to add extra flavor. Stop buying the sauce from your grocery store. It is full of sugar and processed oils. For a topping, you can use nutritional yeast. It has protein, vitamin B, and protein. It is a yummy alternative to processed cheeses.

For a burger:

You can use a large mushroom cap, like a portobello instead of a bun. Grill up this mushroom cap for a full load of fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. If you use olive oil when you are grilling, it will add extra flavor. Burger buns are generally just empty calories. Even if you do not want to use a portobello mushroom, ditch the bun either way. You can top your burger with hummus instead of refined, calorie filled, sauces. You will get protein and fiber from this. The good news is, hummus comes in many flavors and you can pick one to compliment your favorite burger flavors.

For a taco:

Put your taco in a lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla. Lettuce has almost no calories and has essential nutrients for your diet. Flour tortillas are not great for you. Flour is a refined grain and is just empty calories that help you to gain weight, instead of lose it. It is calorie-dense and you should ditch it, even if you do not want to use lettuce.

For a dessert:

scooping peanut butter with spoon as dessertFor a dessert, so you can combat your sweet tooth without crashing your diet, you can eat a spoonful of peanut butter. For added flavor, top your peanut butter with cacao nibs, not cocoa nibs. Cacao nibs do not have sugar. They also have disease fighting flavanols, so it’s a win-win situation! Do not use milk chocolate chips, it will just be added sugar. Also look for organic peanut butters over other types.

For a snack:

For a snack eat cucumber slices. Cucumbers are mostly water, but they do have a small amount of fiber. They are also sturdy enough to use as a chip. Replace your chips for cucumbers and eat all the guacamole that you want, okay maybe not all that you want, but you get the point. Chips are very often over salted and contain oils that are unhealthy for you.

Foods to avoid:

  • You should avoid granola bars. They are a junk foods disguised as a health food. Yes, they do give you some nutrients, but overall they are full of processed sugars and fats.
  • Avoid bottled juices, especially those advertised to kids. These juices are generally chock full of sugar and will literally make your teeth rot. They are often disguised as healthy, because they are advertised to children, but believe me, they are not as healthy as they are advertised as.
  • Whole wheat bread that is packaged. Many times, the whole wheat bread that you pick up at the store is full of sugar so that it stays fresher for longer. You should look for whole grain breads instead, especially those that are made directly in the bakery.
  • Fake meat. This is already incredibly sketchy, but these fake meats are often full of processed ingredients. You never truly know what went into fake meat foods, so be weary of them all the time.
  • Gluten-free junk food. Even if the brownie claims to be gluten-free, it is still a brownie. Many people are gluten-free because they believe that it is healthier. It really isn’t, being gluten-free is more of a fad that doesn’t do all that much for you. Now, if you are gluten intolerant, all of these gluten-free foods are a lifesaver!

You should always talk to your doctor about your nutritional needs before you begin making any changes to your diet. You may be surprised by what your doctor recommends that you cut out and what you should keep.

Everyone knows that vitamins and minerals are great for your body. And, everyone knows that taking in a sufficient amount each day will produce great health effects.

But, what vitamins and minerals are the best? And, what does each vitamin and mineral do for us? Well, I’m here to answer those questions for you.

Before we get into the details, I’d like to let you know that knowing and understanding what each vitamin and mineral does can be a tad confusing. We aren’t dieticians, we aren’t nutritionists, and we aren’t experts in the field. I get that. A bunch of vitamins labeled with letters and numbers can throw us off. But that’s okay; We’ll go through them one by one. And, if you need a guide to help you remember what vitamin and what mineral is good for what, print out this page and carry it around with you.

Ok. Let’s get started.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps us out in many areas of life. Specifically, vitamin A is good for our general growth and development. In addition, this vitamin helps us maintain healthy eyes and eyesight, healthy teeth, and healthy skin.

How to Get Vitamin A Into Our Bodies

Go to the grocery store and load up on all things orange (that is, all things that are orange and that are good for you). Let me clarify. Pick up some fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupes. Each of these has a sufficient amount of the carotene pigment in them, which provides all of these awesome health benefits to the body.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is great for replenishing the body with adequate energy. It also improves immune function and aids in iron absorption.

How to Get Vitamin B Into Our Bodies

There are so many foods that can help out with our vitamin B intake. Such foods consist of whole grains, potatoes, chili peppers, beans, bananas, and molasses.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to help with a strong immune system. However, it helps our bodies in a lot of other areas of life, too. Such areas consist of strengthening blood vessels, giving skin the elasticity it needs, and providing the body with adequate anti-oxidants. It also helps in iron absorption throughout the body.

How to Get Vitamin C Into Our Bodies

A big helper of boosting vitamin C in the body is the orange. But don’t think that this is the only way to get your daily intake of vitamin C. Eating guava, red and green peppers, kiwi, grapefruits, and strawberries can do the same thing for you.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is excellent for building and maintaining healthy bones.

How to Get Vitamin D Into Our Bodies

Go outside in the sun (if there is sun on that given day) and spend a few moments doing something. Your body will absorb the vitamin D from the sun and will use it to help out in the bone department. As for food, eat some eggs, fish and mushrooms. These three foods will get that healthy bone production into play.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is great for healthy blood circulation. It also protects the body from free radicals that could potentially hurt us.

How to Get Vitamin E Into Our Bodies

One of the best natural foods to eat in order to maintain a healthy amount of vitamin E in the diet is the almond. Eat a handful a day and you’ll be on your way. If you’re allergic to nuts, or if you just don’t like them, try eating tomatoes more often. Tomatoes will provide the body with the same effects. And, if you aren’t allergic to nuts or seeds, and you enjoy them, add a handful of sunflower seeds to your diet, too.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is excellent for helping our bodies with the blood clotting processes.

How to Get Vitamin K Into Our Bodies

For a natural source of vitamin K, pick up some leafy greens. This consists of kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Add them into a meal once a day and you’ll be all set.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is an asset when it comes to renewing cells. It also prevents birth defects from happening during pregnancy.

How to Get Folic Acid Into Our Bodies

Foods that contain an adequate amount of folic acid within them consist of dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, beans, peas, seeds, nuts, beets, and corn.

Calcium

Calcium is a mineral that aids in promoting and maintaining healthy bones, just like vitamin D. However, calcium also helps in promoting and maintaining healthy teeth.

How to Get Calcium Into Our Bodies

This mineral can be found in most all dairy products. Such products consist of yogurt, milk, and cheese. Tofu and black molasses can help in this department, too.

Iron Fe supplement capsule can be taken along with Progentra pillsIron

Iron is great for building muscles the natural way. It also helps the body maintain good blood within the body.

How to Get Iron Into Our Bodies

I know you’d never guess this, but clams are the best way to get iron in your body. Oysters and liver are the runner-ups. But don’t worry, I understand many people are not big fans of any of these foods. You can still get your iron intake by eating cereal, pumpkin seeds, beans, and spinach.

Zinc

Zinc is great for boosting immunity, aiding in growth, and helping with infertility.

How to Get Zinc Into Our Bodies

Oysters help with iron and with zinc. Other foods such as spinach, cashews, beans, and dark chocolate also boost zinc levels in the body.

Chromium

Chromium is a super food when it comes to aiding in glucose regulation. It actually provides cells within the body with the energy they need to carry out their activities (and it provides each cell with this when it needs it).

How to Get Chromium Into Our Bodies

Getting chromium into the body is easy, just eat some whole grains. Fresh vegetables and herbs will also help in this department.

 

By Jenny Lyn

vitamin e food sources

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that everyone should be getting because it is one of the most powerful acting antioxidants that the body can attain through our diet. Due to its antioxidant capabilities, vitamin E positively impacts various aspects of our health, especially in the maintenance of our skin, hair, eyes, and to keep us youthful.

This vitamin is used by the body in so many different ways because of the impact it has on the individual cells themselves – reducing oxidative damage, keeping the cells healthier and operating at their best. Vitamin E usually isn’t discussed too often because it is one of the more abundant vitamins that we can find in our diet, however with that being said, there are thousands of people walking around who are deficient in this essential nutrient.

What Foods are the Highest in Vitamin E?

As previously mentioned, there are many foods we can find in our diet which are abundant in vitamin E, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting enough. The first thing to consider here is that many people today especially in the western world, do not eat a healthy diet. If you fall into this category, you can very easily become deficient in vitamin E.

Nuts, seeds, and dark leafy greens are generally the foods you want to target when it comes to vitamin E. Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, hazelnuts, peanuts, avocados, and tomatoes are a short list of foods which are excellent sources of vitamin E, along with plenty of other essential nutrients we need.

How Does Vitamin E Impact Our Health?

  1. Potent Antioxidant

Many of us have heard the term antioxidant before, however what exactly does this mean? Antioxidants are compounds found in many types of foods which can be highly reactive, which react with other highly reactive compounds in the body, known as free radicals.

vitamin e rich food nutsFree radicals come as the result of various chemical reactions which occur in the body, and can interfere or disrupt other chemical reactions and processes within the body. These antioxidants are important because they bind to and neutralize these free radicals, which have been known to cause many different health problems.

The potency of this vitamin gives allows the body to stay young, and not just as far as outer appearance in concerned. Vitamin E is well known for its ability to maintain the health of our eyes, skin and nails, but also helps to reduce cellular aging overall.

  1. Keeps Hair Healthy

As we age, the ability of the body to maintain certain areas of our health declines. For many men one of the first thing that goes is their hair, as men are more prone to baldness than women on average. This is because the gene that influences this resides on the sex chromosomes, where women have two chances of carrying the gene, men having only one. This is why there are so many more bald men walking around than women, although going bald is certainly not a problem that is exclusive to men.

Studies have shown that some causes of hair loss also have to do with oxidative stress, something that vitamin E is especially effective in fighting. There is some evidence that vitamin E supplementation can not only keep your hair healthy, but may also help you keep the hair that’s still left on your head.

  1. Maintains Eye Health

Vitamin A is typically the vitamin we most often associate with the health of our eye, however we should start looking at the health of the eye with a broader lens. This is because some recent studies have pointed towards the potential of vitamin E to be used in the maintenance of the eye, again believed to be due to its powerful antioxidant abilities.

The eye is a unique organ in that it is under a good amount of pressure, and that this pressure can only be relieved through an opening found by the optic nerve. This means that if the eye is under too much pressure, it is prone to becoming misshapen which is what occurs during glaucoma and other diseases of the eye.

Vitamin E can help with this problem, as it has been shown to help regulate the flow of blood in and out of the eye, according to the 1999 edition of Disease Care. This can help to protect the eye against problems related to diabetes as well, a common condition that millions of people suffer with.

  1. Improves Skin Health

woman with beautiful skin taking vitamin e capsuleWhether it be sun damage, acne, breaks in the skin, or whatever other superficial skin problem you may have, vitamin E is an effective solution. This again is due to its high antioxidant value which has shown to be effective in treating wide-raging skin conditions. This vitamin has even been shown to speed up the recovery time in wound healing, and has even been shown to reduce an individual’s chances of developing skin cancer as well.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need a Day? What Are Signs of Deficiency?

Vitamin E requirements are going to vary from person to person, and is dependent on a few factors. Generally speaking as we age we require more of this nutrient, and women who are pregnant should also be getting extra vitamin E as well. On average you should be consuming 15 mg of vitamin E on a daily basis, according to the National Institutes of Health(NIH).

A deficiency here can be difficult to diagnose on its own, as the symptoms are very common and can vary from person to person. Muscle weakness, poor vision, muscle spasms, fatigue, and reduced immunity are all common symptoms that come along with a vitamin E deficiency.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are questioning whether or not you have a vitamin E deficiency, the best course of action is to speak to your doctor and to get a blood test. This way you will definitively know whether or not you are getting enough vitamin E, and can accurately identify your health issue.

fit and healthy man eating salad

When it comes to men’s nutrition, it is not constantly talked about. Nutrition for men is just as important as it is for anyone else. As we get older we have to change our nutrition plans to fit our new lifestyles. We are less likely to hit the gym like we did in our early twenties, and even in our late twenties and early thirties we need to consider what we can do to change our nutrition plans. There are many things that contribute to good nutrition. Here are just a few things to consider when it comes to your nutrition.

Invest in Your Health

By creating a variety in your diet, you will find that it is a key to getting the best nutrition. There is a difference between a good and bad diet, but not necessarily between good and bad foods. Obviously processed brownie snacks aren’t as great for you as a bag of carrots, but a diet truly depends on what you choose to eat. If you are willing to change your diet, you will be able to get the best nutrition possible. This can lead to better health and more energy through the years. Try to eat a good variety of foods including:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Bread, rice, pasta
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Lean meats, fish, poultry
  • An occasional treat

By sticking to these categories, which are very similar to a food pyramid, and eating your meals proportioned, you will see a great change in your diet as you are getting the right amount of nutrition. There are many options out there, but this one of the most basic ones so that you get onto the path of healthy living and a long life.

What Should You Eat?

You should always eat breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day after all. This can help to fight cravings throughout the day and give you enough energy to get through your day, at least until lunchtime. So, what should you be eating? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Wholegrain muffins
  • Fruit
  • Fruit salad
  • Wheat based breakfast cereals (these tend to be less sugary than other cereals)
  • Bananas smoothies
  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Boiled eggs
  • And much more

These foods will help you to get a jump start on your day, but what should you eat around lunch time?

  • man eating good burger in restaurantRoast beef on whole wheat bread
  • Tortilla wrap with turkey or chicken
  • Sushi
  • Soups, especially soups like minestrone
  • Pasta with pesto or other light sauces
  • Pita bread with anything

Looking for a late afternoon snack to get you from lunch to dinner? Here are a few ideas:

  • Fruit salad
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Dried fruit and nuts
  • Steamed vegetables
  • And many others

Snacks don’t necessarily have to be much, but small things can be just enough to get you through the day. Make sure that these snacks are high in protein, fiber, or both. When it finally comes to dinner time, here are a few more ideas:

  • Chicken and vegetables
  • Lean beef with steamed vegetables
  • Fish and cous cous
  • And many other options

When it comes to dinners, just about anything with a healthy protein is good for you. Make sure that you are using correct proportions of food so that you are not overeating through the day.

It is very good to eat multiple times a day as this will keep your metabolism going. Make sure that you are eating at regular times in the day as eating very early or very late is bad for your metabolism. When eating either very early or very late, your body has a harder time digesting the food. Even though we do burn calories in our sleep, we do not need to add extra calories late at night as our bodies won’t process the foods as well.

Fitness

Make sure that you are adding exercise into your new routine. It is very important because even if you are getting the right amount of nutrition, exercise is just another way to keep yourself healthy. Sometimes physical activity can be a battle. We all seem to loss track of time and can’t work the gym into our schedule. This doesn’t mean that we can’t still be active. Adding small exercises into your day can greatly benefit you. Here are just a few reasons why it is so beneficial:

  • man doing squats with weights in gymBurns body fat
  • Reduces stress
  • Controls your cholesterol levels
  • Helps your heart
  • Creates feel good chemicals
  • And much more

By adding small exercises into your everyday routine, you will find yourself happier and healthier. If you can take 30 minutes of your day to exercise you will see results sooner rather than later. Remember it only takes about 20 days or so to create a long lasting habit. If you can make it through your first month of adding exercises into your every day routine, you will be addicted to exercising.

Make sure that you are adding cardio to your routine. Yes, we all hate cardio, but it exists for a reason. It can help you to lose extra weight and help to strengthen your heart and lungs. The stronger your heart and lungs are the more likely you will be spending more time in the gym. Your exercises will become easier and easier as you do more cardio and spend more time working out.

Healthy Heart

Your heart health is very important. Here are ten tips to help you keep a healthy heart.

  • Quit smoking, or don’t start at all.
  • Keep control of your weight.
  • Drink less alcohol.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Try to be active for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Get regular checkups.
  • Get your cholesterol checked.
  • Enjoy a healthy diet.
  • Limit saturated foods, like fast food.

It is very easy to change your diet so that you can have a healthy heart. It is also very easy to do these ten things so that you can make sure that your heart stays healthy. A healthy heart will lead to a longer life.

red palm fruit and oil

Red palm oil is a substance that has attracted a lot of attention as of late, as the demand for this product as skyrocketed. Increased demand means that the people who farm Palme need moral and in order to meet this demand, which can have negative environmental impacts.

red palm oil in bowl on top of fruitsPalm Oil in particular has been under the microscope as of late, as the growing industry has had a negative impact on some areas of the rainforest and other forested areas which have been deforested to make room for new farms.
Like any other food out there, not all palm oil is made equally and some sources are going to be superior to others. This is not just in the quality of the oil itself, but also in regards to the environmental impact as well. Some sources of palm oil are very sustainable while others are reliant on exploiting the environment, and it is in the best interest of the environment to choose the former.

With all of this being said, the prevailing son of this type of oil in many different types of foods today is clearly evident, as it is bound in everything from baked goods, cereal, processed foods, protein bars, cookies, and all other types of foods. This food can provide us with plenty of health benefits as well before eating a right forms of it from the right sources.

Here are the most beneficial ways in which this food can positively impact our health.

1. Protects the Heart

Palm oil has shown the ability to protect the heart from heart disease, which is demonstrated in multiple studiescarried out over long periods of time. When studying particular took a look at individuals who regularly consumed palm oil over a period of 24 months to where 33 to% of participants showed an improvement as far as their heart health was concerned. A large portion of the group remained stable as well which is pretty telling too.
This is because in the control group over 40% of people’s conditions deteriorated, pointing to the effectiveness of palm oil in improving our health.

This coincides with our previous knowledge and belief behind how eating certain types of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can improve not only our heart health, but improve the health of the cardiovascular system as a whole.

2. Lowers Cholesterol

Having levels of cholesterol in the blood which are to lie is detrimental to our health because this fatty substance can build up on the walls of our blood vessels, which can both hard in them and makes it more difficult to pass blood through them.

An individual of high cholesterol is going to have a greater risk of heart disease because of the additional work at par has to do in order to circulate the blood throughout the body as which is the case in individuals with high cholesterol.
Studies have shown that red palm oil can actually decrease the amount of bad or LDL cholesterol in the blood which keeps the heart healthy and in good shape.

red palm fruits and bottle of red palm oil

In addition to including more red palm oil in your diet, you should be eating other foods which are high in omega three fatty acids and are low in HDL cholesterol. In some cases no matter what a person does as far as their diet is concerned, a prescription medication may be required.

This is because of how our body works, cholesterol is a necessary ingredient in the building of many types of fats and in turn plays a large role in hormonal production. This is why we believe that the body produces cholesterol on its own, and is a reason why limiting your dietary intake of cholesterol may not be enough to reverse high levels of cholesterol.

3. Improves Brain Health

To when it comes to the health of our brain, some of the most important nutrients we can be consuming are ones we commonly referred to as anti-oxidants. This is because these anti-oxidants are compounds which bind together with other compounds known as free radicals, these free radicals being well known causes of inflammation.

Inflammation is the root cause of virtually every type of disease that we know of, and due to how demanding the brain is for oxygen a problem his even more often concern here. Degenerative diseases such as the men share,

Alzheimer’s, and other similar diseases are all strongly linked to inflammation of the brain, which can be resolved by beating more foods high in anti-oxidants such as red palm oil.

Read palm oil is particularly rich in vitamin E, which is well noted for its anti-oxidants capabilities and its propensity to protect the health of the brain.

walnut and walnut in shells

Ever feel just utterly terrible? You have a break out, you feel bloated all the time, you’re not in the mood to work, and you just feel lethargic constantly. Sure, your problems contribute to feeling this worse, but it may also because you’re eating the wrong kinds of foods all the time. Essentially, what you eat becomes you.

So, if you feed yourself processed and junk foods on a regular basis, you’re not going to feel like you’re at your best. Because no matter how enjoyable these foods are, the bottom line is that they’re not good for your body. And sooner or later, that’s going to manifest physically and mentally. Over time, these unhealthy foods will even contribute to the development of health problems. Not fun at all, is it?

If you want to be stronger and happier, you need to start by changing your eating habits. Focus on whole, natural foods. Go for the ones high in essential nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Basically, being healthy within radiates on the outside, improving your energy, your mood, and even your appearance. You’re also reducing your risks of developing serious diseases. Now that’s better.

To begin, here are 8 healthy foods you should eat every day to boost your overall well-being:

1. Blueberries

spilled jar of blueberriesBlueberries are packed with antioxidants crucial for preventing life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes,and even cognitive issues linked to aging, and seem to be right up there in quality similar to hemp oil. Research also proves that blueberries are also high in fiber and vitamins A and C and can even be valuable when it comes to preventing cardiovascular problems. To get healthier, aim for a cup of fresh blueberries every day. If you like smoothies, then blueberry smoothie is just perfect to start your day.

2. Spinach

bundle of fresh spinachSpinach is one of those dark and leafy greens that produce wonder in terms of its health benefits. Noted for its plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and folate, it can help lessen the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Besides, folate also boosts blood flow to the rear areas so it can help reduce the possibility of age-related sexual problems. Plus, spinach is also packed with lutein, which is a component that fights macular degeneration. So, go get yourself 1 cup fresh spinach or ½ cooked every day.

3. Yogurt

Fermentation that takes place in yogurt generates hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms, which act as strengthening support to the good bacteria in the body. As such, your immune system is significantly fortified, helping in the prevention of cancer. Remember, not all yogurts are probiotic. So, you have to read the label and go for the one with the ‘live and active cultures’ label. Want to spice it up a bit? You can add some fresh blueberries and walnuts as toppings, too.

4. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which clearly means they’re perfect for your body. Research indicates that a diet rich in lycopene can reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as bladder, lung, and stomach cancers. Aside from the protection it delivers from cancer, lycopene also lessens the risk of coronary artery disease. A glass of tomato juice a day will suffice.

5. Carrots

Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which are fat soluble compounds that are linked to a decrease in a broad assortment of cancers. Additionally, these beneficial compounds in carrots have also been shown to lower the risk and severity of inflammatory diseases, including asthma. Want carotenoids to get working in your body? Aim for half a cup of carrots per day.

6. Black beans

While all kinds of beans work fantastically, especially for your heart, black beans exceed your standards by being a natural brain booster. This is because black beans are loaded with anthocyanins. They’re antioxidant components that have been demonstrated to enhance brain capacities. If you’re feeling a little low in mental energy, have yourself a half cup of black beans, which can also give you 8 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fiber. The good news is that they’re low in calories and contains zero saturated fat. Craving for a burrito? Make it healthier by adding lots of black beans to it.

7. Walnuts

Walnuts have actually higher levels of omega-3s than salmon, they’re also filled with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and they have more proteins than chicken. Yep, walnut is the man. It’s the only nut that combines all these three features. Of all the nuts out there, walnut is the “nuttiest”. The ideal serving of walnuts per day is an ounce, which is about seven nuts. It’s a great snack, especially if you’re recovering from an intense workout.

8. Oats

Oats are packed with soluble fiber, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Even though oats are high in carbs, the release of those sugars is decelerated by the fiber. And since oats also have 10 grams of protein in every ½ cup of serving, they’re great for the muscles. Remember to only eat granolas and cereals that contain at least 5 grams of fiber in each serving.