Eat Better – Feel Better
Want to start doing something that will make you feel physically and emotionally better almost immediately? Start eating better!
A healthy diet is key to feeling better and having a healthy full life. It only takes moments to decide to change your health for the better. Once you’ve made the decision for a healthier life, take small steps every day to make the changes stick.
If more healthy energy is your goal, your energy-focused diet needs to be highly nutritious. More energy means getting up and moving more! Moving more means more energy!
That means ensuring that everything you eat provides some nutritional value. ‘Empty’ calories and carbs are your enemy while super foods are your new best friends.
Try our 7 day low carb dinner menu & recipes for healthy dinner ideas!
Why does all this matter? Because vitamins and minerals can boost just about every aspect of your health and particularly your energy. Get more omega 3 fatty acid and your cells will communicate better, get more vitamin C and you’ll keep a healthy immune system that doesn’t get ill, get iron and your body will have more oxygen and fuel for long runs, get more zinc and you’ll have more testosterone which speeds up your metabolism, get more CoQ10 and your mitochondria will perform better, get more vitamin B6 and you’ll get more energy from your food, get more magnesium and you’ll sleep better…
The better you take care of your body and give it what it needs to regenerate itself, the better you will look and feel in the long run. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals is an important part of this equation.
And did you know that research indicates that losing even as low as five to ten percent of the extra weight you carry can result in improvements of health such as reductions of your risk for diabetes and heart disease! Learning to eat healthy foods will ultimately lead you to a healthy weight!
Boost Your Mood – Studies have found that certain foods elicit a calming effect based on how their nutrient content interacts with the body. When eaten, such foods can help boost your mood. Here are five examples for you to try:
5 Quick Mood-Boosting Foods
Rich in healthy fats and protein, walnuts are a healthy snack option over salt-laden crackers and potato chips. While most nuts and seeds are good at fighting depression, walnuts have an edge due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Researchers have found that there is a correlation between this nutrient and healthy brain function. Some studies report high occurrences of depressive disorders in communities that do not get enough of omega-3 fatty acids from available local foods. Therefore, if walnuts are within reach, ensure you get your fill and acquire enough omega-3 to help you fight off depression precursors such as anxiety and stress.
Eat Quick: Sprinkle walnuts on your salad.
One widespread notion about chocolate is that it is a comfort food, which makes people happy. It turns out that this assertion bears some truth. The explanation behind how chocolate makes people happy is in its chemical nature. Nutrition researchers discovered that chocolate affects the brain by releasing neurotransmitters that have a positive effect on human emotions. One of these is serotonin, which is known to uplift mood. Chocolate also triggers the release of endorphins in the brain, which relieve pain and induce feelings of euphoria. This snack has even been found to stimulate production of phenylethylamine, a neurotransmitter that affects blood pressure and glucose levels to arouse emotions similar to those that a person experiences during romantic affairs. Another compound in chocolate that leads to feelings of well-being is lipid anandamide, which has similar effects to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical compound in Marijuana that causes a high.
Eat Quick: Melt some Dark Chocolate in your morning coffee.
It is the level of tryptophan contained in turkey that makes it such a good food for boosting the mood. Tryptophan is a type of amino acid present in various protein-rich foods. It plays a vital role in the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter your body produces. Eating turkey and other foods rich in tryptophan more often can ensure your body is producing enough serotonin, which will ultimately help you maintain high spirits and prevent depression.
Eat Quick: Buy Quality Turkey Breast Sandwich Meat and Healthy Cheese for a Chef’s Salad.
4. Green Tea
Having a bad day? Green tea is an excellent beverage to help you cope with stress and prevent depression. The magic ingredient that gives green tea its anti-stress and relaxation benefits is Theanine. This amino acid is even used to treat anxiety and hypertension. Take a look at our favorite Happy Be Well Tea!
Drink Quick: Make a whole Pitcher of Iced Green Tea with lemon.
5. Low Fat Dairy
Nutrition experts know that low fat dairy products lower cholesterol intake, which in turn reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders. However, the depression fighting capabilities of low fat dairy products can be traced back to their high content of vitamin D. Some studies have linked lack of vitamin D with depression, and low fat dairy products can ensure that you are getting enough of this essential mood-boosting nutrient.
Eat Quick: Have a Plate of Cottage Cheese & Peaches for Lunch. Cottage Cheese & Peaches
There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that various foods have a calming effect on the body. Those mentioned above are just a handful of comfort foods you can try to experiment with and see how they affect your mood. However, if you want to beat depression, it is important to look at your diet as a whole, and to seek medical guidance.
Clean out that fridge and fill it with healthy foods!
Eat Your Healthy Greens!
Whether you throw them together in a tossed salad or put them in a green smoothie, leafy green veggies have many health benefits.
What Exactly Are Greens?
There are surprisingly many different types of greens you can choose from. Here are a few of the most nutritious varieties that you eat raw or throw into your recipes:
- Kale. This is a powerhouse of nutrition that has everything you need in a green. It has lots of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K as well as calcium, potassium, and folate. Kale can be cream-colored or blackish, depending on the variety you choose. Kale can be used to substitute bread and buns in burgers and sandwiches making for a low calorie and low carb meal.
- Collards. These are often used in Southern cooking and they are a lot like kale. They taste a bit more like cabbage than kale and have a chewy texture. Collards contain only 25 calories in about a half-cup serving.
- Turnip greens. These are the tops to turnips and are just as good as the vegetable itself. These are commonly used in Southern cooking like collard greens but they are more tender than other types of greens so they don’t have to be cooked as much to be flavorful.
- Swiss chard. This has red stalks, veins, and stems on the leaves and it tastes a lot like beets. It is a great green to sauté and can bind to calcium so it doesn’t cause kidney stones. It has only about 15 calories per half cup serving.
- Spinach has only about 20 calories per half cup serving and has plenty of vitamin C and vitamin A for better health. It also is high in folate. It reduces its oxalate content on heating so it is actually better for you cooked than raw.
- Mustard greens. This is a Southern recipe green that is very similar to collard greens and turnip leaves. It comes in both green and red varieties. These greens give off a smell like mustard when cooking and should be toned down by adding lemon or vinegar, which provide acidity.
- Broccoli. Yes, this is a green, too. It contains only 25 calories per serving and is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. It is great in stir-fries, where it adds a crunchiness. It can also be eaten raw, in salads or as a snack with low fat dip. Broccoli goes great over pasta, in soups and in casseroles. It is one of nature’s best plant foods.
- Romaine lettuce. This wonderful lettuce comes in red and green leaves and is great for salads, sandwiches and even juicing or smoothies. Nutritionally, it is high in vitamin A as well as in folate. Leafy lettuce is softer than romaine, which is a bit crunchy. The darker leaves have more nutrition in them than lighter leaves. One cup is only about 10 calories.
- Cabbage. This is a pale vegetable of the cruciferous type. It contains a great deal of vitamin C and other cancer-fighting agents. It comes as green and red cabbage, and can be cooked, stir fried, or made into a shredded Cole slaw. A ½ cup has only 15 calories.
- Iceberg lettuce. This is a more bland tasting lettuce because it contains a lot of water. It is ideal for weight loss because it is very filling and great in salads and sandwiches. It is popular but contains less nutrition in it than many of the other greens. It can be a green that people start with while working their way to eating other healthier greens. Iceberg Lettuce has virtually no calories and can be eaten liberally.
Benefits of Eating Greens
There’s no question that greens are good for you. Here are some of its healthier benefits:
- Healthier aging. Greens contain vitamin K, which helps clot blood. Too little vitamin K in the diet predisposes you to heart disease, kidney calcification, arterial plaques, and fragile bones. One cup of raw greens will give you your daily requirement of vitamin K, with kale being the best, along with dandelion greens and Swiss chard.
- Keep down cholesterol. This is true especially of kale and mustard greens. When you bind bile acids in the fiber of these types of greens, it exits the body instead of going into the bloodstream, raising cholesterol.
- Help your vision. This is especially true of Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and kale. They contain many types of lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps filter out high energy light. This is a type of light that can damage your eyes. They are also helpful in fighting glare so they decrease your chances of getting cataracts.
- Fuel the body. One cup of escarole when eaten raw will give you a tenth of what you need of pantothenic acid, which is vitamin B. This helps convert carbohydrates into glucose to be then be used as fuel to make energy for the body. You need to eat B vitamins every day because they are water-soluble and any excess will just exit the body each day.
- Improve bone health. The bitter taste of many of these types of greens means they are high in calcium, which is good for your bones. You can’t get enough calcium just by eating greens but they can help. About a 1/2 cup of dandelion greens, for example, contains 78 milligrams of calcium.
- Prevent colon cancer. This is especially true of mustard greens and kale, which is a part of the Brassica family of foods (as are cabbage and broccoli). The more you eat them, the lower your risk for colon cancer.
Benefits of Healthy Juicing
One of the main benefits of juicing is that it is a lot easier to drink a single glass of nutrient-rich juice than it is to consume a comparable amount of whole fruits and vegetables. People are busy and most simply won’t sit down and eat that much produce at one time. Instead, they’ll reach for more convenient, but less healthy options.
Advantages of Juicing
There are many advantages associated with juicing. As mentioned, juicing makes it easier to give your body the important nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals it needs. In addition, some argue that juicing offers a more efficient way for your body to absorb nutrients without placing undue pressure on your digestive system.
Juicing is also a great alternative for those who dislike vegetables and avoid eating them whenever possible. For these individuals, a glass of delicious juice lightly sweetened with a bit of pineapple or pear is a welcome alternative to a plate of steamed veggies.
Here are Some Delicious Healthy Juice Recipes:
1” slice of ginger
This is a healthy remedy for colds as it is rich in flavonoid content. It also has a fresh and tangy taste that is quite invigorating.
1 cup of spinach
½ cup of cucumber
2 stalks of celery including the leaves
½ medium apple
The skin of the dark green cucumber will provide the source of chlorophyll, which is a phytochemical that can help to build up the red blood cells. The cucumbers also contain silica, which is a mineral that is good for the skin.
A Very Berry Medley:
2 cups organic strawberries
2 cups organic blueberries
1.5 cups organic raspberries
It’s important to use organic berries because their outer skins of so delicate and permeable. This delicious blend is an excellent source of antioxidants such as anthocyanins, flavonoid and ellagic acid, which are believed to offer anti-cancer and anti-heart disease benefits.
Where is the Best Place to Start?
The best place to start when you make the decision to eat healthier is breakfast! Try and keep it between 300-400 calories for a healthy breakfast and always include fruits, vegetables and little protein.
Learn to love oatmeal. Your body digests fiber a little slower, so oatmeal for breakfast will keep you fuller a little longer.
Lunch should be around 400-500 calories with at least 5 grams of fiber. This is easily accomplished with a vegetable-loaded salad easy on the dressing.
Keep it between 500-600 calories for dinner. Learn the value of going “meatless” a few times a week. Make it a point to have recipes on hand for “Meatless Monday.”
Read —> Having More Meatless Meals for Better Health to find out why it’s a good idea.
Yes, it’s as simple as that! If you eat better you will feel better!
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