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The Best Diet for a Healthy Pregnancy

The Best Diet for a Healthy Pregnancy

What you eat during pregnancy is extremely important not only for your health, but also for the health of your baby. What you eat and drink will be your child’s main source of nourishment, so it’s important that you consume the right foods. Your baby needs a variety of nutrients to grow properly, so you should always try to choose food and beverages that provide these healthy nutrients.

What to Eat

The important nutrients to include in your diet include iron, calcium, folic acid, and protein. Foods with iron include meat, poultry, fish, and dried beans and peas and eggs. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, cheese, and calcium-fortified juices. Some great foods to include ensure you get folic acid include leafy green vegetables, breads, pastas, and fortified or enriched cereals. Eating organic during this time will ensure your baby will be receiving nutrition free of pesticides and chemicals.

What Not to Eat

The biggest thing to avoid while you’re pregnant is caffeine. Since caffeine has been linked to a higher rate of miscarriage, low birth rate, and can raise your baby’s heart rate, it’s recommended to have no more than 200mg of caffeine per day. Many mothers choose to stay away from caffeine entirely to be safe. Alcohol should be avoided at all costs. You should also stay away from fish that contain high levels of mercury because mercury can pass through the placenta, causing issues with your baby’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system. Fish which is usually found to be high in mercury are mackerel, swordfish, and shark to name a few. Other foods to avoid include raw or under cooked meat as well as unpasteurized food.

The goal is to eat fruits and vegetables through most your pregnancy, though it’s okay to splurge on your pregnancy cravings occasionally. Aim to have around 2-4 servings of fruit and at least 4 servings of vegetables daily. Also, try to eat 6-11 servings of grains, 3 servings of protein, and 4 servings of dairy for a well-rounded diet that is healthy for both mother and baby.

Along with proper nutrition through diet, you should also take a prenatal vitamin. This will help fill in where your diet may be lacking. Pregnancy is unpredictable, so you’re bound to go off track with your diet occasionally. Taking a prenatal vitamin each day will ensure that you and your unborn baby are getting exactly what you need to guarantee a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor can recommend the best vitamin for you.

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon, you may have heard all kinds of advice on what you should or shouldn’t eat during pregnancy. How do you know which foods to avoid during pregnancy based on medical research and what’s just an outdated bit of folk wisdom? Here are some facts about foods that should be avoided during pregnancy according to the Mayo Clinic.

1. Certain Seafood

You don’t have to avoid all seafood entirely during pregnancy, but you should be aware of seafood that’s high in mercury. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends avoiding the following species of fish during pregnancy:

• King mackerel
• Shark
• Swordfish
• Tilefish

For other types of seafood, you will probably be safe eating no more than 8-12 ounces per week. These types of seafood include:

• Anchovies
• Catfish
• Cod
• Light Canned Tuna
• Pollock
• Tilapia
• Trout

When eating seafood, make sure that it is fully cooked, because raw and undercooked seafood pose a risk of bacterial and viral contamination that can give you food poisoning. High levels of mercury are unsafe to eat during pregnancy because, according to the March of Dimes, babies exposed to mercury in the womb are at risk for brain damage, hearing problems, and vision problems.

2. Undercooked Eggs, Poultry, and Meat

Eating rare meat and undercooked chicken, turkey, duck, or eggs poses a risk like that of undercooked and raw seafood. Namely, these foods may contain bacteria that could give you food poisoning. Hot dogs and lunch meats should also be cooked until steaming hot or else avoided because of the rare but serious possibility of listeriotic contamination.

Be aware that some foods, such as Caesar dressing and eggnog, call for uncooked eggs as an ingredient. If you’re unsure of the ingredients of any homemade or restaurant food product, don’t be afraid to ask.

While it is rare for cases of bacterial food poisoning to affect babies in the womb, you may have a more severe reaction to bacterial food poisoning while pregnant than you would before and after pregnancy. Unwashed raw fruits and vegetables should also be avoided to reduce the risk of bacterial food poisoning.

3. Unpasteurized Foods

Most dairy products, such as milk and cheeses, are sold pasteurized to prevent the risk of bacterial contamination. However, certain kinds of products can be sold without this added layer of safety. They include unpasteurized juices, unpasteurized milk, and soft cheeses such as bleu cheese, Brie, and feta. If a juice, milk, or cheese product is clearly labeled as pasteurized, then it is safe to eat during pregnancy.

4. Herbal Tea

Many people are aware that alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of serious complications known as fetal alcohol syndrome and that excessive amounts of caffeine are still being studied as a potential risk factor for developing babies. Did you know that herbal tea should also be avoided during pregnancy?

Some kinds of herbal tea are specifically marketed for pregnancy, but since the effects of all the types of plants in herbal teas are unknown, it is best to avoid herbal teas unless you have asked your health care provider about a specific kind of herbal tea and gotten the okay to drink it during pregnancy.

The Best Kitchen Tools For A Raw Food Diet

The Best Kitchen Tools For A Raw Food Diet

When the urge to consider a diet made up of raw food strikes, having the necessary tools is imperative. Whatever benefits you hope to achieve, stock your kitchen first. This will help to ensure your success.

A critical tool to have is a sharp knife. A knife is necessary when cutting or slicing raw foods. A chef’s knife and a paring knife will be the ones you will probably use most often. Ceramic knives work incredibly well on raw foods. Due to the lightness of their weight, they will help prevent too much pressure being placed on your wrist. They also stay sharp for many years, saving you money on constant replacements. Having a good sized cutting board will make your knives work more efficiently.

Another necessary item is a blender. For any type of sauce, or raw nuts and cheeses, your blender is what assures a smoother, richer texture. Purchasing a blender with several high-speed options is best when preparing juices. A blender not equipped with high speeds will not produce good results.

Food processors are essential as well. To overcome the cost, check with your friends and family. Chances are excellent you will find someone who owns one, but does not make use of it. Borrowing a food processor will help you to see the benefits before you make your purchase. When making almost any type of raw salad or dessert, a food processor is your key to success. For individual servings, mini food processors may be the perfect choice. Experimentation with the different attachments is a lot of fun and usually yields nice results.

A Mandolin is a tool that will allow the shredding of raw vegetables quickly and easily. Many vegetables, such as zucchini, can be made into noodles with a mandolin. This tool can also add a nice decorative look to your raw vegetables.

Juicers have become popular because they make healthy, fresh juices as well as sauces. A citrus juicer is ideal for citrus because they are smaller in size, easy to keep clean and take away the need to peel your fruit. Many fruits have vitamins and minerals in the skins, so eliminating the need to discard them is an excellent choice.

Take your time when picking put the tools you will be using for your raw foods diet. Having the correct tools will allow you ease of preparation which is a key factor in enjoying your diet.

Spirulina Health and Nutritional Benefits

Spirulina Health and Nutritional Benefits

Spirulina, a common edible super food, has gained worldwide attention since proving to be one the most potent nutrients available. Not only do these all-natural freshwater algae encourage an enhanced immune system, but studies show that the protein is especially effective for cellular detoxification.

A study, published in the American Journal of Physiology, found that Spirulina derivatives, commonly known as phycocyanins, have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and radical scavenging properties, and offer a therapeutic approach to several diseases. It is easily digestible and contains an amazing variety of more than 100 nutrients: proteins, amino acids (contains all 8 essential), vitamins (Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F and K), minerals (Iodine, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus and Sulphur), essential fatty acids, proteins, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), chlorophyll and a wide range of phytochemicals.

Proven Health & Nutritional Benefits

Research dating back to the 1980s indicate Spirulina produces excellent results when used as a dietary supplement in patients with intestinal or kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, acne, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and several other immune diseases. With a high content of nutrients, especially iron, scientists have found that Spirulina is one of the most advantageous, natural sources that are easily assimilated by the body.

• Nourishes and protects the liver and kidneys

• There is no food, with the high number of nutrients like Spirulina

• It has 10 times more beta-carotene than carrots

• It’s the only food, other than breast milk, which contains the highest amount of gamma linoleic acid

• Helps regulate sugar levels in the body, and helps reduce cholesterol levels

• Especially suitable for women during menstrual cycle for its high iron content

• Has an antiviral function that offers protection against several pathogenic viruses, which has been attributed, in part, to its sulfo-glyco lipids content

Individuals whom suffer from anemia, or an age-related weakening of the immune system, can benefit from regular intake of Spirulina as a natural food supplement, however, the natural substance is safe for all ages.

Recommended Dosage

Toxins, chemicals and pollutants are for most people now commonplace and Spirulina dosage really depends upon the level of internal detoxification needed. To detoxify the body of heavy metals, Spirulina can be taken in high doses, starting with 20 to 30 grams per day. Over time, as the healing and regeneration processes occurs, this dose is gradually decreased. After a completed detoxification, the dose should be slowly reduced to 3 to 6 grams per day.

The key conclusion of several scientific studies is that a healthy diet that includes Spirulina can diminish, or even prevent many diseases, and is equally beneficial for children and adults.

8 Superfoods That Keep Your Skin Beautiful and Healthy

8 Superfoods That Keep Your Skin Beautiful and Healthy

Most people strive to have healthy, glowing, young looking skin. One way to achieve this is to eat the proper foods. There is an old saying, “You are what you eat”. This is actually true. The healthier you eat, the healthier you will be. There are certain superfoods that you can eat that will keep your skin looking young and beautiful.

Blueberries

Blueberries often do not get the credit that they deserve when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. What most people do not know, is that blueberries were ranked number one in antioxidants by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, when compared with 40 other fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants protect your skin from premature aging.

Wild Salmon

The nutrients in wild salmon are much different than those in farm fed salmon. Wild salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids will keep your skin supple and moisturized. It also contains minerals called selenium. This is a mineral which protects your skin from sun exposure. The vitamin D in the salmon also keeps your teeth and bones strong and healthy.

Spinach

This vegetable is rich in antioxidants, which keeps your skin looking beautiful and young. It is also a good source of vitamins B, C, and E. The potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids in spinach will give your skin a wonderful glow.

Oysters

Not everyone has a taste for oysters; however, you could try to make them an acquired taste. Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, which aids in skin repair and renewal. They also keep your hair, eyes, and nails healthy.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene. This antioxidant prevents premature aging. The best part about tomatoes is that they are very easily absorbed by your body, making them a quick and simple way to keep your skin looking young.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a great way to keep your skin looking smooth. They are rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. The best thing about walnuts is that you do not need to eat them by the bagful. Just a handful or two a day will really make a difference in your skin’s appearance.

Kiwis

The kiwi can keep your skin firm and prevent wrinkles. It is also great for your bones and teeth. The bonus is that it also protects you from developing heart disease and cancer. The kiwi is a superfood that will benefit your body and overall health.

Dark Chocolate

You may never have expected chocolate to be a superfood. However, it has serious benefits when it comes to the skin. Dark chocolate can keep your skin hydrated, while it protects your skin from sun damage. Many people avoid chocolate because they believe that it causes acne. This is not true. There is no scientific proof that chocolate and acne are linked.

Eating the proper foods can be very beneficial to your skin. By adding one of more of these superfoods to your diet everyday, you may very well reap the benefits of wrinkle free, gorgeous, glowing skin.

The Top Diets Of 2015

The Top Diets Of 2015

There are many diets out today for weight loss. There are so many that it can be difficult to figure out which ones work. Below are the top diets that have been used by many people, including celebrities, in 2015.

The 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 diet consists of consuming any quantity of calories five days, and reducing your caloric intake to 500-600 on the two remaining days. Celebrities such as Miranda Kerr and Phillip Schofield have used this diet for weight loss. There are no specific foods you need to consume on the 5:2 diet. You’re free to eat whatever you choose as long as you stick to 500-600 calories on fasting days.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet, also recognized as the caveman diet, has been used by celebrities Miley Cyrus and Mathew McConaughey. This diet consists of eating foods that are based on what human’s ancient ancestors likely ate. Common foods consumed in this diet include nuts, veggies, fruit, herbs and spices, and fish. Processed foods, sugar, and dairy products are not allowed on this diet.

Alkaline Diet

The Alkaline diet is established based off the theory that sugar, alcohol, and processed foods throw off the body’s pH balance, making it acidic. This diet requires eating foods such as fruits, veggies, and whole grains that make the body more alkaline by reducing acidity and rebalancing pH levels. Gwyneth Paltrow is a fan of this diet.

Vegan Diet

The Vegan diet consists of eliminating all meat, fish, and poultry. Only vegetarian foods are allowed. Beyonce has lost more than ten quid on the Vegan diet.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet consists of eating low-carb, high-protein foods. There are four phases in the diet called the “Attack” phase, “Cruise” phase, “consolidation” phase, and the “Stabilization” phase. Each phase incorporates different foods. The diet doesn’t require calorie counting, making it a favorite for people that want to lose weight without tracking every bite. Kate Middleton and Penelope Cruze have used the Dukan diet to successfully lose weight.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is inspired by the dietary patterns of Italy, Spaniards, and the Greeks. This diet consists of consuming low amounts of dairy and meat products, and eating high amounts of olive oil, legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and unrefined foods. The Mediterranean diet has been used by Rachel Ray, and is popular due to its health benefits for the heart.

South Beach Diet

Sarah Jessica Parker is a famous user of the South Beach diet. This diet is similar to the Dukan diet in regards to having phases, eating foods lower in carbs, and higher in protein. Food high in fiber, lean protein, and whole grains are a component of this diet.

To Diet Or Not To Diet?

To Diet Or Not To Diet?

There are a multitude of reasons for an individual’s necessity of paying attention to their health. Some of which include their overall well-being, self-esteem, confidence, energy levels and efficiency of productivity in their respective field of work. By implementing a well-established diet that is healthy and practical for the specific individual, they will be able to reap a myriad of benefits, some of which are only attainable by instilling some discipline into them.

When choosing to implement a healthy diet into one’s daily regiments, they should initially pick from choices that they enjoy. This is because a constant intake of the same foods can end up in the individual becoming bored and swaying away from their goals of reaching optimal levels of health.

There are many different types of diets one can choose to incorporate into their daily lives. First and foremost, they should lay out a plan that includes all of the major food groups as it is a great way to ensure that the individual is consuming everything that is needed for absorbing the necessary nutrients and minerals. Carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables and fat are all necessary aspects of one’s diet.

If you are looking to strip your body of some accumulated fat, then you will want to keep fat intake low and protein intake high. Also, if you are able to partake in regular sessions of exercise every so often, you will want to ensure that you are eating enough carbohydrates to sustain the necessary amounts of energy. What better way of consuming essential carbohydrate forms than eating some oats and/or grains? Oats and grains are the recommended forms of carbohydrates for most individuals who strive to achieve the highest levels of fitness.

Fruits and vegetables contain important minerals and nutrients that promote healthier digestive systems and higher amounts of energy. Most fruits contain healthy forms of sugar that are much more preferred over refined choices. The sugar that is contained in fruits enables the individual to attain the necessary amounts of energy to exercise, work and think without feeling the after effects of crashing.

Eating fats are necessary for proper bodily functioning. It keeps one’s digestive systems lubricated, functioning properly, and is even good for one’s joints and muscles. However, it is important to note that certain types of fats are more preferred over others as well. Monounsaturated fats that are found in nuts, peanut butter and avocado are great choices of fats and are recommended for all diets. Make the right choices of food and reap the benefits starting today!

Today’s Fad Diet Trends

Today’s Fad Diet Trends

Over the years, fad diets comprised of non-meat, liquids and fasting have emerged, promising great results within a short time. In most cases, these fad diets all have one similarity, they promise quick and rapid weight loss, with very high restrictions on the types of foods and the amounts recommended daily. No matter what age, these restrictive diets can be dangerous. Recent rankings defined fad diets less nutritious for health reasons and less responsive for long term weight loss.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is one of the most recent to emerge based on the idea that good diets include meat, green leafy plants and fruits in their natural state. It eliminates processed foods, which may make finding these food sources difficult. The diet is very restrictive and can be confusing to some. The recommendations are sometimes very high in saturated fats, and there’s also the fact that we have evolved somewhat since the Paleo age.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan Diet is another low carb diet, offering a support regime for weight loss. The difficulties are the rules, and the banning of food groups, particularly grains and fruit. For the short term like the other fad diets, it works, as a long term to maintain the weight loss, it’s questionable.

Raw Food Diet

The Raw Food Diet is a vegetarian diet with restrictions for dairy products, meat, and temperatures for cooking foods because the heat breaks down the nutrients. Weight loss does happen, if the diet restrictions are maintained, but there are similar vegetarian diets that accomplish weight loss without restrictions.

Atkins

The Atkins diet has been around for a while, as one of most popular low-carb diets, especially for those looking for quick and rapid weight loss. The concept is to limit the amount of carbohydrates forcing the body to use its own fat for fuel leading to weight loss. Weight can be affect because the body’s fuel is sugar causing a high energy when sugar is available and tiredness when sugar is low. Natural reaction for the body is to store sugar when levels are low preventing weight loss.

Fast Diet

The Fast Diet requires 5 days of normal eating without restrictions and 2 days of fasting with a limited amount of eating. There is a scheduled time frame for eating, which forces the body to fast through the day and replenish in the evening. The goal is to lose body fat quickly, with calorie restriction, eating only proteins and vegetables along with fasting. Although the weight disappears, there are health concerns for some related to intermitted fasting.