Tag Archives: nutrition

Vitamin C and Recovery from Exercise

It is no secret that certain vitamins can not only contribute to better overall health and life longevity but some may not be aware of the fact that vitamins can also help our bodies heal quicker than they normally would without vitamins. For those who participate in sports activities or exercise regimes accidents and injuries are to be expected. One vitamin that is aggressive in helping our bodies recover is vitamin C. Here is what you should know about Vitamin C and recovery from exercise.

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of nature’s best gifts whether ingested it in pill form or from food sources. Because it has antioxidant properties and components it naturally assists our bodies in growth, production and healing. Vitamins in general fall within one of two categories-either water soluble or fat soluble. Vitamin C falls in the water soluble category which simply means is has the ability to dissolve easily and therefore the benefits we get from it are quick. Water soluble vitamins transition or pass through our urine as well and help regulate the toxins within our systems.

Each time we take something into our bodies, our metabolism works hard to process it. Vitamins that are water soluble such as vitamin C are easily processed and therefore our bodies can absorb what it needs and flushes what isn’t needed (or the excess) out with ease.

Benefits of vitamin C

Pertaining to the subject of exercise vitamin C is essential not only in the preparatory stages of exercising but it also plays a key role in helping our bodies recover from aches, pains and injuries. When we exercise we are naturally putting stain on our joints, tendons and muscles and as such, we need to take preventative measures to not over strain them and to be responsible in helping them to repair themselves when we do over extend.

Our bodies contain massive amounts of tissue that connects our muscles and ligaments. Vitamin C plays a vital part in strengthening and repairing these tissues, particularly the connective ones. Since vitamin C is stored within the tissues it has direct access and can aid in promoting healthy tissue development. Additionally vitamin C has antioxidants that have been shown to assist with oxidative damage that often occurs during exercising. This type of damage is sustained and caused by free radicals within the air that we breathe and can deteriorate our cell functions.

Because antioxidants also promote healthy immune systems, our bodies will recover from illness and exercise related injuries much quicker than someone who has an infected or compromised immune system. This is especially true once we begin to age as our bones, muscle and tissue are more fragile than they were in our younger years.

Taking vitamin C for pre and post exercise regimes

Whether you’re a first rate athlete or just beginning to incorporate regular exercise into your life, the benefits that one can obtain from taking recommended doses of vitamin C are vast. Many health professionals recommend that taking vitamin C is done so on a daily basis and with consistency. Because vitamin C is soluble, it doesn’t remain in our systems permanently; our body will absorb what it needs and secrete the rest through sweat and urine, therefore we have to offer our body a steady stream of it for it to be beneficial.

Taking the proper dose of vitamin C prior to working out can prevent muscle aches and pain and can also assist the repair of injuries at a much quicker rate. The recommended dose of daily vitamin C will vary depending on your own physiological make up as well as the intensity of your regime. Professionals generally recommend anywhere from 400 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C per day.

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OK, Vitamin K!

Vitamin K plays an important role in the function of the body. It is a key player in blood flow and clotting. If you are deficient in vitamin K when you are cut or injured your blood will not clot as easily. Some scientists and researchers also think that vitamin K is important for maintaining your bone health, especially as you age. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough of this hardworking vitamin is through food sources. However, if you are still unable to fill the body with enough vitamin K you should speak with your Doctor about the available vitamin K supplements.

There are thirteen different vitamins that your body needs to survive. Of these thirteen, four are fat-soluble and the rest are water-soluble. If the vitamin is water-soluble, it dissolves quickly and exits the body. Therefore, water-soluble vitamins must be consumed daily in order to keep your levels normal. However, if a vitamin is fat-soluble, it does not exit the body but is instead stored in your fat to be used at a later time. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is not crucial for you to consume it every day. However, it is important for you to keep a careful eye on your levels of vitamin K in the body in order to make sure that you are not becoming vitamin K deficient. If this occurs, vitamin supplement may be necessary.

Vitamin K is found in a variety of foods. It is also produced in the body by the bacteria found in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, your body helps regulate its own vitamin K levels. As for foods that contain vitamin K, you will more than likely get enough if you simply eat a healthy, balanced diet. Some foods that are especially high in vitamin K include vegetables like cabbage, spinach and other leafy greens, soybeans, and cauliflower.

If you do not get enough vitamin K in your diet, it is important to talk to your doctor about taking supplements. Signs of vitamin K deficiency include easy bruising and bleeding. Extreme vitamin K deficiency is very rare, but when it does occur it is usually due to a body’s problem in the intestinal tract. Instead of absorbing vitamin K like normal, the body simply allows the vitamin to pass through with the waste. In this case, vitamin supplements are necessary. However, because this is a fat-soluble vitamin, you should take vitamin supplements for vitamin K under medical supervision. There may be another underlying condition that is affecting your vitamin absorption and must be looked into further by a medical professional.

Whether through diet or vitamin supplements it’s important to include vitamin K in your diet along with all the other vitamins and minerals that are needed for a healthy, functioning body.

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Eat Well, Lose Weight

Description: It’s kind of funny, in a sad sort of way, that the number of ineffective, short-lived fad diets continues to grow. And they grow despite the fact that they don’t work, at least not as a long-term solution to losing weight. So, what are you supposed to do if you want to lose weight? Eat better.Yep. That’s it. Eat better.

Okay, seriously, it wouldn’t be much if that’s all I said. I believe we all know, deep down, that we need to eat better if we stand a chance of shedding those extra pounds. Don’t worry, this is going to be as common sense as it is easy to follow. No fad diet nonsense, just what works.

Food is nothing more than fuel for the body. It contains the vitamins, minerals and calories we need to survive. We only get in trouble when we eat too many calories without burning them off. Some foods are better than others, but nothing is forbidden. Here’s how you can use food to put the odds of weight loss in your favor.

Start the day with something to get the internal furnace started. That means eating breakfast. There is no reason to skip breakfast. It takes virtually no time at all to grab a piece of whole-wheat toast and spread some peanut butter on it, then wash it down with a glass of orange juice. Or boil up some eggs for the upcoming week. Then have an egg, a banana and a granola bar. Even a ready made breakfast shake is better than nothing. The trick is to get your body used to burning calories for the day.

Now that you have your metabolism fired up, you need to keep it going by snacking. A light snack every two hours is all it takes. A small handful of nuts, some carrot sticks with non-fat yogurt, or a protein bar, are good choices. Regular snacking will prevent you from experience mid-afternoon burn out, too.

So, now it’s lunchtime and you’re feeling great! You’re eating food you like and you’re not hungry. Let’s keep going with turkey breast on whole-grain bread, romaine lettuce, tomato and a smear of mustard. Add a veggie-rich salad and a small glass of juice or skim milk and you’re all set.

Don’t forget your two-hour snack break.

For supper try some baked salmon brushed with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Include some fresh veggies of your choice (bake them with the salmon if you like), and a cup of homemade soup. Yummy!

Remember to eat your next snack.

As you can see, this is all reasonable, simple eating. Food is there to keep you going, and it needs to be tasty, too. Remember, nothing is off limits. If you must have some ice cream, just keep the portion under control. Make it a habit to increase the better foods, and eat less of the not-so-good ones and you lose weight fast. Faster than you may have thought possible….

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The Right Snack Track

Snacking is the downfall of many otherwise healthy diets, but the good news is that you can learn to control this snacking quite easily. Even if still want to snack during the day, there are ways in which you can do so without killing your healthy diet. Staying on track with your diet when you like to snack might be hard, but it is worth that extra effort to keep your body healthy. To prevent snacking, simply eat more meals. Instead of eating three large meals every day, try eating smaller meals every few hours. If you are snacking because you are hungry, chances are that you are using more energy than you are ingesting and you need the extra fuel. By eating 6 smaller but healthy meals every day, you will not be tempted to snack as often, but will keep your high energy levels.

You can also help to stop your snacking simply by removing temptation. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself if you are honestly hungry or if you are just eating because you are bored, because the food tastes good, or because you feel compelled to eat while doing a certain activity (like watching a movie). If you are snacking because you are really hungry, than it is probably fine to have something to eat, but if you are snacking for another reason, you should try to remove the temptation. Simply rid your house of junk foods and do not buy these items again when you go to the grocery store.

Purchase healthy snacks if you can’t curb eating between meals. Think about the snacks you are eating. Would they fit easily into a food group as fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy, or protein? If the answer is no, then the snack is probably not good for you. For example, carrot sticks (vegetables), yogurt (dairy), or whole wheat crackers (grains) work well as snacks, while candy, potato chips, and processed foods do not.

When you snack, remember to consider your beverages as well. Drinks like soda, fruit punch, iced tea, lemonade, and juice boxes can contain unnatural ingredients and lots of sugar. In short, they are high in calories but low in nutrients. Instead, opt for drinks that supplement your healthy diet. Choose water most of the time, or drinks that are made with natural fruits, like real fruit smoothies. Low-fat milk and sports drinks are also good choices. Above all, stay away from most kinds of alcohol. Red wine is an exception, since this can help your heart health, but any type of alcohol in high amounts is fairly bad for your body.

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Eat Right While Traveling

Sticking to a healthy diet while traveling can be quite difficult. However, if you learn how to make smart choices, a healthy diet while on holiday can be easier than you think. Changing your diet while traveling may not be a good idea, but if you are already making healthy choices modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel is not as difficult as it may seem.If you are traveling by airplane, you may have to wait until you land to start your healthy diet. Airplane food can often be high in carbs, sodium and preservatives. When you book your flight, ask about your food options and see if a vegetarian dish is available. Vegetarian dishes can have a higher nutritional value, but it really depends on what they will be serving. If you can, eat a larger healthy meal before your flight so that you don’t have to eat the entire meal that is served on the plane.

When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants and eat the foods found there. Avoid this whenever possible! While on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast food more than one during a week can be bad for your health. If you must, choose the healthiest options available, like chicken breast, salad and water. Avoid fried food and sugary drinks.

Also, remember that you can take your own food when traveling. Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean lunchmeat, and low-fat cheese in a cooler is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Call ahead to ask if there will be a refrigerator in your hotel room.

Lastly, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these dieting options directly in the menu for the health-conscious people. Control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in half and getting a doggie bag. You’ll be well on your way to healthy eating, even away from home.

Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. However, your health is worth it. When you eat healthy food, you will also avoid illnesses that you may encounter when traveling.

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Quick Healthy Eating

There are many excuses given as the reason for not eating healthy. One of the most common excuses that people use is that they don’t have time to choose or prepare good food. Instead they will buy fast food or pre-made dinners which are high in fat, cholesterol, sugar and empty calories. Although it may seem easier to go with the unhealthy option, the truth is no matter how little time you have to spend in the kitchen or the supermarket eating healthy is just as quick as eating poorly.

Eating healthy foods begins with healthy ingredients, but if you are short on time, you may find that spending time in the grocery store does not fit into your schedule. To maximize your time, plan ahead for two weeks at a time. Instead of having to go to the store every time you need an ingredient, make a list and keep your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry stocked with good, healthy ingredients. You can make your shopping list during a meeting, while eating lunch, or while you are on the phone. A list will also help you cut back on impulse purchases which tend to be bad for us.

Along with planning your shopping list, plan your meals as well. If you find little time to cook during the week, you can instead try making a few healthy meals in advance on the weekend and than putting them in your freezer. Before you go to work in the morning, simply stick the frozen dinner in the refrigerator to thaw and then pop into the oven to cook when you get home from work. This will help you avoid having to pick up fast food.

When you do find yourself in the need of a quick meal and want to order out, look for healthy options. Instead of choosing a burger and fries, for example, look at the chicken options, preferably skinless chicken breast and not fried chicken. Some fast food restaurants also have salads and fruit, but beware of dressing, which can be high in fats. Keep healthy drinks on hand at home instead of purchasing a soda as well. Better yet, skip the burger, pizza, and Mexican joints altogether and opt for a sandwich or sub shop instead, where you can choose a wheat bread and ask them to hold the mayonnaise.

Eating healthy is not difficult but requires people to change their way of thinking and perhaps their routine as well. In the end it will be worth it.

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Prevent Kidney Stones with Diet

Experts agree that having the right diet is one of the keys in treating and preventing kidney stones. This is because when there is controlled diet, people can choose not to consume foods that can lead to the faster formation and faster growth-in the cases of those who already have kidney stones.As defined, kidney stones refer to the salts and other minerals formed in the vital organs such as kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Many people are prone to this because these stones tend to form naturally. However, not all kidney stones should be neglected because they can cause extremely uncomfortable pangs of pain and can even result in more complicated related diseases.

Experts say that along with early diagnosis, eating the right set of foods is very crucial in preventing kidney stones. For those who are already suffering from this condition also need to pay attention to their diet because this directly affects the degree or severity of the kidney stones.

It is a proven fact that people who have suffered from kidney stones will likely to have them again 10 or 15 years later. This is because many sufferers do not maintain medication, proper diet, and the physical activities needed to prevent this condition.

Fighting kidney stones using diet

Doctors and other specialists in the field of medicine would agree that the easiest way to fight kidney stones is by having a diet that is balanced and appropriate for your age.

For people who are suffering from kidney stones, experts advise them to take specific preventive measures to stop kidney stones from forming. The following are some dietary suggestions to lessen the chances of getting kidney stones.

  1. Increase fluid intake. This is quite effective in fighting kidney stones because if you have enough liquid in your body, it will wash away toxins and flush them out. Increasing fluid intake, especially water, is the simplest yet most effective way of fighting kidney stones. The ideal water intake should be 8 glasses per day, but since people with kidney stones need more to flush out salts and other minerals in the body, 10 to 12 glasses is recommended daily.
  2. Cut back on sodium. Too much salt or sodium is one of the primary causes of kidney stones because it increases the calcium levels present in a person’s urine. Doctors advise people with calcium stones to cut down or totally eliminate sodium intake from the foods that they eat. Too much salt intake will only make the condition more complicated and may also cause other related diseases.
  3. Increase the intake of fibre-rich foods. Indeed, fibre is considered beneficial to people with kidney stones because it contains several compounds-mostly are phytate-that guards the kidney against the formation of stones.

Following a simple healthy diet low in sodium and high in water and fibre will help prevent kidney stones and the negative symptoms that go along with them …

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Gluten Free Diets

A healthy, well balanced diet is the best option for anyone. Just because you’ve cut out gluten doesn’t mean you no longer have to worry about calories, sodium and fat in the other foods you’re eating.

Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye and wheat. It’s what gives food its elasticity. As awareness has grown regarding Celiac and gluten intolerance so has the occurrence of gluten free products on the market. This makes a gluten free diet as easy to follow as a regular grain diet. However, you may find that gluten free products are a lot more expensive.

When choosing to follow a gluten free diet remember to create a healthy diet with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Protein can come from lean red meat, chicken, fish, eggs or beans which are all gluten free. Fruit and vegetables contain no gluten and should be eaten daily. Not all grains contain gluten so you don’t have to cut out grain all together. You will be able to eat brown rice, wild rice, qu



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Cupcakes for Dinner

Here are a few options and recipes to bring cupcakes to your dinner table. Start with these easy recipes and you’ll soon be coming up with creative cupcakes of your own.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 400F and grease a standard muffin tin. Combine 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs and 1/3 cup of milk in a bowl and leave until the bread has fully absorbed the milk. Saute 6 oz of chopped bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from the grease and chop finely. Discard all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat and saute 1 cup of finely chopped onion. Place lb lean ground beef and 1/2 lb of ground pork in a large bowl. Add one large egg, 3 tbsp of ketchup, 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp chopped thyme, 1 tsp of chopped garlic, the bacon, onions and soaked breadcrumbs. Stir gently to combine the mixture. Using a 1/4 cup to measure, scoop meat mixture into prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes. Make sure meat is cooked



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Why Acai Berries Are So Great

Today, the acai berry is one of the most talked about things in modern society. Acai berry products today are very much in demand and even celebrities are endorsing it. So, what is it exactly about this fruit that it caught the attention of the entire modern world?

Well, for starters, you have to remember that the acai berry was already being consumed by the natives in South America for centuries because of its medicinal properties. The western world is just discovering its benefits because the acai berry fruit easily loses its potency once it is harvested, which made it unsuitable for exporting. However, thanks to modern preservation methods, such as flash freezing, it is now possible to export the acai berry from South America to any part of the world without losing its potency.

This is basically why the acai berry is just becoming popular in the modern world today. So, what exactly can acai berry do for you? What are its benefits to your overall well-being?

Research has fou





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