Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easy Ways to Boost Your Health

Certain additions to your diet can have an enormous impact on your health, metabolism and general well-being. Some of the foods and supplements below can help improve, skin, hair, boost energy and speed up metabolism. Eating processed foods can contribute to acne and not eating enough of certain foods can contribute to lack of luster in hair and skin and signs of premature aging. Diet is such an important part of health and the foods and supplements below can help you get your health on the right track.

Supplements:

Omega-3 supplements

Omega-3's are proven to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, improve skin and hair, and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. They can also help prevent cancer, improve menstrual, bone, lung, joint and mental health. You can get Omega-3's naturally by eating salmon, nuts and certain seeds but a supplement can help your body get optimal levels.

One of my favorite supplements, which has made my skin and hair look amazing, is Phytophanere's hair and nails caplets. They're a little pricey but they contain good stuff like Pro-Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Omegas 3 and 6, Vitamins B and C and Cystine and don't contain any parabens or harmful chemicals. My sister, Lulu, actually turned me onto these and if you know her, you know she has fantastic hair. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C strengthens our bodies' white blood cells which is our chief defense against viruses and bacteria.Other benefits include boosting your energy levels and helping your absorption of other nutrients. It has also been known to boost collagen production (the stuff that makes your skin look young) and reduce inflammation. You can get Vitamin-C from a lot of fruits and veggies but if you feel your diet is lacking I would try a supplement. I recommend. Perricone MD's Vitamin C Ester. I also (knock on wood) haven't suffered from that inevitable winter cold this year since starting taking these.

Vitamin B12
 Vitamin B12 is found naturally in certain meats and keeps red blood cells healthy. This supplement is crucial if you are a vegetarian and especially if you are Vegan, as it is mostly found in cheese, milk, eggs and meat. B12 is needed to convert carbs into glucose in the body which is crucial for energy. It can help fight fatigue, promote a healthy immune system, digestive system and fight against cancers.

Probiotic


You can find probiotics in yogurt and pickles but sometimes taking a supplement can help to get enough of the good bacteria. Some benefits include increased ability to digest food, enhanced immune system response and increased ability to assimilate the nutrients from food including Vitamin B and calcium.

Foods:

Salmon
One of the best sources of Omega-3s and packed with lots of Vitamin D, salmon has health benefits including preventing heart disease and smoothing your skin along with aiding weight loss. Omega-3s are proven to slow the rate of digestion so you feel fuller longer.Salmon can also boost your skin’s defenses against UV damage.

Leafy Greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli rabe, etc.)
According to Prevention.com, "Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol. Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects." That's a whole lot of benefits! The other leafy greens are packed with nutrients, as well. Next time you default to iceberg or romaine, think about all of the health benefits you can get from other options like mixed greens or spinach.


Almonds
I'm obsessed with all things almond (almond butter, almond milk, plain raw almonds, chocolate covered almonds...). Eating 1.5oz of tree nuts a day can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes.According to Prevention.com " An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined." They also contain protein that can help you feel full through the day. I'm obsessed with Justin's maple almond butter. It is so delicious and makes the best snack on sliced apples or even eating it with a spoon.

Non-fat Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has twice the protein of regular yogurt and has tons of calcium and health-boosting bacteria. Stick to plain and add fruit instead of getting fruit flavored yogurt and you will cut out a ton of sugar.

Jewel-toned Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)

Berries are rich in polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting and heart healthy benefits. Blueberries have serious anti-aging benefits and all berries protect against free-radicals in our environment and food. Berries are also an amazing snack because they are low-cal. One of my favorite foods in the world are strawberries. I know that sounds strange but I seriously can't get enough of them.

Chia seeds
I'm a HUGE fan of these amazing seeds and eat them every morning. For more information on their amazing benefits read my post on them here. I use Spectrum chia seeds.

Green Tea

Green tea contains EGCG, which has been suggested to boost metabolism. It can also ward off cancer, cardiovascular diseases, bacterial and viral infections, diabetes and bone loss. I recently stopped at Verdigris Tea in Hudson, NY and picked up some amazing pomegranate green tea and morrocan mint green tea that are loose leafs I put in a special tea strainer and the taste is incredible. No bitter after taste that some bagged green teas have.


These are just some of the many foods that can improve your  health and well-being. A healthy diet is only one aspect of "health" and maintaining a balanced life with exercise, drinking lots of water and getting lots of sleep are crucial elements, as well.


*Consult with a doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements
**Images from Google.com

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