5 Simple Steps to Feeling Better

5 Simple Steps to Feeling Better

Obviously, good nutrition is vital to good health, so why not start with food? It is good rule of thumb to get at least 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. More importantly, it is vital to eat produce of different colors. Different colors represent different phytonutrients important to your health. The more colors you incorporate into your diet, the better chance you have of incorporating all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients required for a properly functioning body. Additionally, these contain antioxidants which can protect us from free radical damage at the cellular level.

Many people do not get enough sleep. Some studies have shown that if you sleep less than 6 hours a night, you may not live as long as others that do. As a general rule, it is important to go through at least five sleep cycles per night, which takes roughly 7 ½ hours. This is crucial to help repair your body and mind to take on the next day. Getting enough sleep decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and anxiety.

Since sleep is incredibly important to your health, it is important to establish a healthy sleeping environment. In an age where a cell phone is a basic necessity, we are glued to electronics more than we ever were before. Studies have shown that being on these late at night have caused issues with sleep due to excessive blue light exposure. Exposure to blue light late at night can raise cortisol levels, keeping us awake and leading to poorer sleep. It is best to put red filters on your phone and computer once the sun goes down to create better environments to sleep. If possible, it may be helpful to get off your phone and laptop 1-2 hours before going to sleep.

There’s a kind of irony that comes along with being busy and creating time to exercise. Often times, when the schedules get crammed and extra time is scarce, exercise is one of the things to be taken out of our schedules, if not the first. The irony here is that when we exercise, we tend to be much more efficient, and therefore less busy in the long run. A consistent exercise regimen is a crucial part to good health. Getting up and being active has many advantages, and as long as you start, they are yours for the taking. Physical activity increases your energy levels, puts you in a happier frame of mind, increases focus, gives you a more positive attitude, and makes you stronger. Exercise has been known to boost memory and thinking skills.

Studies have shown lowering your simple sugar intake while eating the same number of calories can lower circulating triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, hypertension and high blood glucose, all of which are risk factors for metabolic disorders such as heart disease. These sugars cause spikes in blood sugar, which can lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which are precursors to full blown Type II Diabetes Mellitus.

Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.

5 Foods That Keep You From Losing Weight

Have you ever had a craving for a food? Even those blueberry muffins, cookies, or tortilla chips? Chances are, you’re not even eating the real thing. These chemically- engineered products contain harmful preservatives (some of which are carcinogenic) in order to earn the “lite” or “reduced fat” moniker. If you’re counting calories (which is another topic for another day), you should know these “lite” products still contain about 80% of the calories of the original. When you go shopping, read the ingredient labels. If you’re going to have a craving, make sure you are eating the real thing, with not additives, preservatives, and chemicals (just do it sparingly). Better yet, ditch these snack altogether for healthier, whole-foods options like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and trail mixes.

I know what you’re thinking hear, “I thought beans are good for you!” And you would be right, they are. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. What makes these baked beans so bad for you is because they are packed with sugar. One cup of these beans can contain up 26g of sugar. To put that in perspective, that’s as much sugar as a 7 oz. can of Coca-Cola! Preparing these beans poorly by adding a ton of sugar ruins the nutritional benefits eating the beans altogether.

These should be avoided- no if, ands, or buts. Think about it, when you go to the deli and look through the glass counter, do you think an actual chicken or turkey breast is perfectly round and that large, without any bones in it? If you are trying to add more protein to your diet or feed your children for school, find other options. These are loaded with chemicals, fillers, additives, and high sodium levels, just to name a few. These products are processed along with some meat and formed into those perfect balls and sliced just to appear as appetizing as they do. The easiest switch hear is to switch out those deli meats for the real option. Use real turkey breast or chicken breast when making sandwiches. If you don’t have time to make it, you can simply order cooked meats from the catering section of the supermarket and freeze it, using the meat as you need it.

When you drink fruit juices and sodas, you’re basically sending your insulin and blood sugar levels on a wild roller coaster ride that crashes at the end. Aside from the high sugars (some of which is added depending on the source) you are basically drinking calories, which can keep you from reaching your weight loss goals. Drinking calories, whether from fruit juice or soda, becomes so habitual, it almost becomes habit. Try substituting your fruit juice drinks (and soda) for actual pieces of fruit. This will help because it provides additional fiber that keeps a gut healthy and function properly, and also makes you more aware of what you are putting into your body.

Whole potatoes (especially sweet potatoes) are both filling and healthy, but the chips and fries? Not so much. They are extremely high in calories and way too easy to eat a lot of them. Not only that, they are generally fried in vegetable oils that are reused and may be rancid, which leads to potential free-radical damage down the road. Both French fries and chips have been linked to weight gain. One observational study suggested potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food. Do yourself the favor and pass on these when given the chance.