Nutrition

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Proper nutrition is vital to reaching a healthy weight and providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function at an optimum level. Learn how to plan meals and choose foods that boost your energy, help fight disease, and promote healthy weight loss. 

5 fun ways to eat more leafy greens

5 fun ways to eat more leafy greens

Talk to any dietitian, nutritionist, or weight-loss surgeon about the types of foods you should eat to become healthier and lose weight, they’ll most likely inform you to consume leafy greens with every meal. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help provide you with long-lasting energy, boost immune system function, and reverse or reduce inflammation.

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4 breakfast mistakes you could be making

4 breakfast mistakes you could be making

You may have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many Americans either don’t eat enough or skip the meal completely. In this episode of the Marilyn Denis show, naturopath Mubina Jiwa discusses the four main mistakes we’re making when it comes to breakfast.

Mistake #1: Skipping breakfast

Your body needs nutrients when you wake up, and eating breakfast can fuel you at the beginning of the day. Not eating any food at all can make it more difficult to wake up properly and be cognitively ready to get things done.

Mistake #2: Not eating enough for breakfast

Jiwa recommends consuming approximately 400 calories for breakfast, 600 calories for lunch, and 500 calories for dinner to maintain a 1,500-calorie diet.

Mistake #3: Eating sugary foods

Brands tend to add sugar to fat-free and low-fat foods for flavoring, which can cause individuals who buy these processed foods to consume more sugar. Eating too much sugar can put you at risk of multiple health conditions. Jiwa recommends that women consume no more than five teaspoons of sugar per day, and that men consume no more than eight teaspoons. Many breakfast cereals contain about four teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Mistake #4: Not consuming enough fat

Research shows that eating good, healthy fats can help you stay full for longer. Consuming foods with good fats at every meal can help reduce cravings throughout the day.

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Healthy snacking can help you lose weight

Healthy snacking can help you lose weight

When you think about a healthy diet, snacking probably doesn’t come to mind. However, experts are now saying that healthy snacking between meals may prevent you from feeling extremely hungry come mealtime, and can keep your fat-burning metabolism going. 

The rules of snacking according to the American Fitness Professionals & Associates are:

  1. Consume nutrient-dense foods.
  2. Eat only when you’re hungry.
  3. Eat smaller portions.
  4. Be mindful of your snacking habits.

Remember that eating in front of your computer screen or television can work against your mindful eating habits. In addition, think about packing snacks that are rich in protein and fiber.

For more information about healthy snacking, visit the AFPA website.

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3 healthy foods to include in every meal

3 healthy foods to include in every meal

When most people think about the types of foods that make up a balanced diet, they tend to think of the classic food pyramid, or the more recently updated MyPlate, which is the food guide created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to replace the pyramid in 2011. According to the USDA, your meals should be composed of 30 percent grains, 40 percent vegetables, 10 percent fruits, and 20 percent protein, accompanied by a small portion of dairy such as a glass of milk or yogurt.

However, if you’re trying to lose weight and eat cleaner, there may be an easier way to get the nutrients you need without having to make your plate as diverse as the USDA recommends. The optimal meal should be composed of phytonutrients, healthy fats, and protein. Not only can these foods help you reach your weight-loss goals, but they can help you work toward achieving an overall healthier you with fewer health problems.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are otherwise known as plant compounds, and are found in fruits, vegetables, and greens. The more phytonutrients you consume, the more effective you’ll be at reducing inflammation, regulating your blood sugar, improving immune system function, and much more. Try to eat fruits and vegetables in raw form as much as possible to benefit from the nutrients these foods offer in the form of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. When you do cook phytonutrients, either steam or lightly sautée them; most other cooking methods will kill off the nutrients in these superfoods.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Healthy fats will provide your body with the lasting energy it needs throughout the day, and are ideal to consume before and after workouts. Examples of healthy fats are olive oil, salmon, nuts, and avocado. Add healthy fats to your meals whenever possible, and start cooking all meals using olive oil instead of margarine or butter.

Protein

Typically, many Americans view red meat as the best source of protein, but there are multiple forms of protein that are far healthier for your body, such as fish, chicken, beans, and quinoa. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissue, and to make hormones, enzymes, and other important natural chemicals. Protein is an important part of your diet, but will benefit your health only if you choose healthy sources of protein. Try to eliminate red meats and beef from your diet, and try sticking to alternate sources of protein that won’t readily contribute to weight gain or heart disease.

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Eat soy in moderation to protect your health

Eat soy in moderation to protect your health

In recent years, there has been much confusion over whether soy is good or bad for your health. Some health experts say that soy products offer a number of health benefits and can contribute to weight loss, whereas others say soy can increase your risk for cancer and hormonal imbalance. Given the many different resources that highlight the pros and cons of soy, how do you know what’s really true?

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