Basic Foods

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Healthy Drinks for Kids

Kids’ drinks work best if they up kids’ energy levels during those times when they feel lethargic or worn out. However, because regular energy drinks contain stimulants we have to be very careful what we allow our kids to take. Some ingredients like caffeine, sugar, amino acids, and sweeteners are a necessary part of the energy drinks and are even healthy in small doses. Nevertheless one has to be very careful to stick to safe limits for kids. There are many soft drinks in the market today that can be safely used by kids for physical and mental stimulation. Three of the best and healthiest with safe ingredients are as described below.

Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood

This is an all-natural Drink Powder with a chocolate flavor. The powder contains easily soluble nutrients from organic wheat grass and a variety of fruits and veggies. While kids will normally frown at the thought of being served fruits and vegetables, this tasty drink will encourage them to get their daily intake of necessary nutrients. A single glass of the healthy drink provides an equivalent of three full fruit and vegetable servings. The wheat grass in the drink is grown organically and provides kids with much needed vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and chlorophyll. These are very important natural nutritional supplements especially for growing bodies and additionally they contain curative properties. The good news to parents whose kids suffer from coelic disease or are gluten-sensitive is that this drink contains no gluten. It also contains very little sugar and no caffeine. It is a vegan drink that supports the body’s optimal alkalinity and boosts the immune system. The powdered drink comes in 15 count packets for easier serving.

Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood

Amazing Grass Green Superfoods

Another Amazing Grass product, this is a drink powder for kids and adults alike. It is composed of 80% organic ingredients with very little preservatives. The 240g (8.5 Ounces) jar contains 30 healthy servings or portions with each serving containing the equivalent of three full fruit and vegetable servings. The energy boost received from this product has been so successful that it is fast gaining popularity with coaches, athletes, and body-builders. While it was at first hailed as a choice health drink for kids, it is also recommended for adults in search of a cleaner and healthier dietary supplement. This is especially so for those in professions that requires pro-longed physical activity. The health drink is delicious and is a natural detoxifier that boosts one’s immune system. The enzymes and probiotics contained within also help in digestion and the absorption of crucial nutrients.

Amazing Grass Green Superfoods

Yoo Hoo Chocolate Flavored Drink

The infamous Major League Baseball icon, Yogi Berra, is one of the popular faces associated with this health drink which was widely hailed as the “Drink of the Champions”. Kids all over the US and the rest of the world have counted Yoo Hoo as one of their favorite drinks. Yoo Hoo chocolate has a truly refreshing taste with a rich chocolaty flavor. Apart from the renowned chocolate flavor, you can also get it in strawberry, double fudge, or lite chocolate. Nevertheless, there has been some criticism on the ingredients. The most recurrent is that most parents think the drink is made up of milk which has been flavored to make it easier to serve to kids. In contrast, the ingredients contain no liquid milk and only have a few milk by-products such as sodium caseinate, non-fat dry milk, and whey. The good news is that the drink contains zero caffeine and has less than 1% fat. The 8 oz bottle contains 2 servings which makes it ideal for kids to carry with them to school.
Yoo Hoo Chocolate Flavored Drink

Nowadays, kids are spoilt for choice when it comes to health drinks available in the market. However, parents need to be extra vigilant to ensure they only stick to drinks that contain healthy ingredients. Some health conditions can be avoided by choosing your kids’ drinks wisely and this will greatly help their natural growth and development. Additionally, parents should regulate how much commercial drinks the kid consumes per day and ensure that no such drinks are taken within three hours of bedtime.

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Healthy Snacks

During pregnancy each and every woman has to be conscious about their health, food, and lifestyle. When you are pregnant, you are expecting a baby. Basically upcoming babies grow depending on mother’s meal. This is why it’s important to take healthy snacks in between two meals. If you are pregnant don’t eat too much of any food because it can lead to excessive weight gain including gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. It does not mean you have to give up snacks but you need to think what kind of snacks can cope with your physical condition during pregnancy.

Throughout your pregnancy you need to pick up balanced nutrition from snacks to keep you and your baby in optimal health. Here are some delicious and healthy snacks that will keep you fit during pregnancy.

Low-fat yogurt

Yogurt is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin. If anyone takes 18 ounce yogurt during pregnancy she can avoid 22% overweight and 80% belly fat but still remaining the expected nutrition. It is found from research that mothers who eat low fat yogurt can avoid the risk of asthma for their upcoming babies. Also fatty acid from low fat yogurt can protect babies from bone and cell defects.

Nuts

Nuts are important healthy diet that can constitute a great snack. Nuts that contain fatty acid and other nutrition are good for heart. Eating nuts reduces the risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. A pregnant woman can incorporate 100 gram of nuts in daily meals or in between two meals as a snack.

Fruits and vegetables

From fruits and vegetables you and your baby can get beta carotene. It’s needed for your baby’s cell and tissue development and immune system. Vitamin C present in fruits and vegetables is crucial for your baby’s bones and teeth. Potassium collected from fruit and vegetables can control blood pressure which helps prevent neural tube defects and give a healthy birth weight. You can take various kinds of fruits and green vegetables during pregnancy. Green vegetables are fruitful for eye and brain development of new comer babies.

String cheese

Cheese is important because of its rich source of high calcium and less fat. It also contains enough protein that helps in your baby’s cell development. You can include a minimum of 50 gram cheese in everyday’s meal during your pregnancy. If pregnant women take cheese in a balanced way she can reduce the risk of low pressure. The protein from cheese can help develop the baby’s backbone stronger.

Granola

Granola is made from rolled grains, often nuts, oats and an assortment of other ingredients. Other ingredients include dried fruit, honey, molasses or sugar syrup. All these ingredients are usually pressed and backed to give a crunchy and clumpy texture. It’s a delicious meal so that you can easily make it by blending some ingredients as mentioned.

Carrots

Carrots are fine snack to eat while you are pregnant. Although carrots contain vitamin A, you can eat them. However you should avoid vast vitamin A containing supplements during pregnancy. The bright orange color carrots contain high level of beta carotene which is a vital nutrient during pregnancy. Carrots can be used in a variety of meals for healthy eating. Raw carrots are a great source of antioxidants that will help in skin clarity during pregnancy.

Whole-grain crackers

Grains include wheat, oats, barley, corn, and rice and other cereals. They contain a significant source of vitamins and minerals like iron, selenium, magnesium, vitamin B and folic acid. They supply high level of energy which is important for baby’s development and help build the placenta. Most grains contain a plenty of fiber but the recommended amount of fiber during pregnancy is 28 grams in a day. Fiber rich food helps to prevent constipation during pregnancy.

Veggies with hummus

Hummus is a blend of pureed chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and Tahini. It contains essential nutrition good for pregnant women. Hummus is generally considered safe during pregnancy but some precautions have to be ensured that your snack is as safe and healthy as possible. Researchers found that each tablespoon of hummus contains a little over 1 gram of protein, essential for cell growth.

Berries

Blueberries are an essential source of vitamins and minerals that keep both mother and baby healthy during pregnancy. The exact amount of berries that you can eat depends on your age, weight, height, and how far along you are in the pregnancy diet. Eating berries are safe during pregnancy if consumed in balanced quantities. One cup of blueberries contains 114 milligrams of potassium, which is good for controlling blood pressure; high blood pressure is harmful both mother and child.

Low-fat milk

While drinking milk try to take those that contain essentially low fat because in that time high fat is harmful both mother and baby. High fat is harmful both for heart and health while low fat milk contains enough calcium required for buildup baby’s bones and teeth. To get adequate amount of calcium during pregnancy a pregnant women have to drink 24 ounces of low fat milk every day. You can get low fat milk from cow but soy milk is great low fat alternative to cow’s milk.

Peanut Butter

Peanuts or peanut butter is a rich source of protein. Most women who eat peanut butter during pregnancy can avoid allergies for their upcoming baby’s. Because nut induced allergies usually begin in early childhood with the first exposure. Pregnant women must have 60 gram peanut butter in her daily snacks during pregnancy

At the end we can easily say that during pregnancy women must have taken healthy snacks as like listed category on above discussion. Because it’s not only for pregnant women health concern but also for upcoming baby. Besides this you are avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and any other substance which can considered harmful for your developing child’s health.

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Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

In order to have a pregnancy that is healthy for you and your baby, you need to make some sacrifices. One of these sacrifices includes giving up certain foods that can risk your health and that of your baby. It is important for a future mom to have a balanced diet so that the baby will get the right nutrients it needs to develop properly.

These are the foods and drinks that a pregnant woman needs to avoid:

Pineapple

This fruit contains bromelain that can soften the cervix and stimulate muscle contractions which lead to early labor. It should be avoided especially during the first trimester. Drinking pineapple juice is also known as a natural way of inducing and shortening labor in pregnant women.

Papaya

Papaya is a popular abortifacient in many countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Small amounts may not be very harmful but too much of it will lead to miscarriage and early labor. This is because papaya has high latex content. Latex, an enzyme that can trigger uterine contractions should be avoided by pregnant women especially during the third and final trimester.

Pomegranate Another tropical fruit that is considered to be an abortifacient in many countries is the pomegranate. Eating too much of this fruit, especially its seeds where the contraction-stimulating compound is concentrated, can trigger contractions and lead to miscarriage.

Uncooked meat

Uncooked meat such as those of seafood, beef, and poultry should not be part of a pregnant woman’s diet because it has high risks of contamination with salmonella, toxoplasmosis, and coliform bacteria. Salmonella poisoning can be avoided by avoiding meat products in barbecue parties and social events.

Deli meat

Listeriosis is a condition that can cause still birth and miscarriage. Deli meats are the most common source of the Listeria germ that causes this condition. It can cross the pregnant woman’s placenta and infect the baby inside the womb. This will lead to infection and food poisoning that might lead to the death of the baby. If you can’t refuse or keep yourself from eating deli meat, make sure to cook it thoroughly.

Fish containing mercury

There are fishes that contain high amount of mercury which everyone especially pregnant women should avoid. Mercury consumption of pregnant women has been proven to cause delay in the development of babies and worse, brain damage. Fishes that can possibly contain mercury are shark, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, tuna, and northern pike. Reports have said that canned tuna also contain mercury but at very low amount. The pregnant woman can only eat this in moderation. It is also best to avoid eating sushi as the fish used in its preparation contain high levels of mercury.

Smoked Seafood

Smoked Seafood

Listeria can also be found in refrigerated and smoked sea foods such as jerky, lox kippered and nova style but they are safe to eat when they are used as an ingredient in meals that have already been cooked like a casserole or fried rice.

Fish Exposed to Pollutants

Lakes that are located near industrial plants may contain fishes that are exposed to very large levels of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls. Bluefishes, salmons, trouts, pikes, walleyes, and striped bass are most commonly the ones containing these pollutants. Since it may differ from area to area, you will need to contact your local department of health.

Raw Shellfish

Sea foods cause illnesses that can be very risky for pregnant women. Shellfish like oysters, mussels, and clams, especially when uncooked are the most common culprits. Cooking them may help prevent a lot of infections but alga-related infections caused by red tides are much harder to prevent. Raw shellfish are not only hazardous to pregnant women; it may also be risky for everybody to eat.

Raw Eggs

Like raw meat, raw eggs and foods containing raw eggs can also expose people to salmonella bacteria. Homemade foods using eggs may be made using raw eggs so it is best for a pregnant woman to avoid eating food containing homemade Caesar dressing, homemade mayonnaise, homemade custards and ice creams, and Hollandaise sauces. Cooking reduces the exposure to salmonella at some point. Commercially produced ice creams and dressings are made using pasteurized eggs and therefore have lower risk of salmonella contamination. Make sure that the restaurants you eat in use pasteurized eggs in the food that you order.

Soft Cheese

The pesky Listeria can also be found in imported soft cheese. Eating this will cause miscarriage. It is life threatening as it causes infection and blood poisoning. Soft cheeses that the pregnant woman should avoid are: Brie, Feta, Gorgonzola, Camembert, and Roquefort. Mexican cheeses that are not made from pasteurized milk like queso blanco and queso fresco should also be avoided. Soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe for pregnant women.

Unpasteurized milk

The omnipotent Listeria is also present in most unpasteurized milk. It is important for a pregnant woman to take in lots of calcium from milk but make sure that you take in only the pasteurized kind to avoid blood poisoning and infection that can lead to still birth and miscarriage.

Pate

PateImage Source: Kitsch & Classics

Meat spreads and refrigerated pate may also contain the bad bacteria Listeria so an expectant mother should keep herself from eating breads with these foods. Only canned pate and shelf-safe pate are safe for pregnant women.

Caffeine

Caffeine intake should be done in moderation; too much of it may lead to miscarriage. Avoiding coffee and other drinks containing caffeine during the first trimester will reduce the risk of miscarriage. Fewer than 200 milligrams per day is still safe for pregnant women but it is diuretic so it can cause dehydration as it helps eliminate fluids from the human body. Water and calcium loss is just a few of the negative effects of too much caffeine in the body. If you need your daily fix of caffeine, make sure that you drink lots of water, juice, and milk. There are also studies that confirmed caffeine’s link to miscarriage, premature child birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms found in newborn babies. It is therefore safe to just refrain from drinking caffeine.

Unwashed vegetables

Vegetables should be a part of a pregnant woman’s diet. They are the healthiest foods one can eat. You just need to wash them properly so you don’t get exposed to toxoplasmosis that can be found in the soil where those vegetables were frown.

Alcohol

If there is one kind of beverage that is completely forbidden for pregnant women, it is alcohol. Even a drop will be detrimental to the baby. The smallest amount of alcohol can hinder the development of the baby. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is very much possible especially if the mother drinks lots of alcohol often. You might have taken in alcohol before finding out you are pregnant and you can’t do anything about that but you can avoid taking in more. If you decide to breast feed, be ready to get alcohol free until you are past the breastfeeding stage.

Well balanced meals are essential for healthy pregnancy. There are important nutrients and vitamins that the pregnant mom and her baby needs. There are foods that should be in a pregnant woman’s plate while there are some which should be avoided.

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Gluten Free Diet

The gluten-free diet is given to people who have been diagnosed of the celiac disease and gluten allergy. The idea of avoiding gluten and gluten containing food might sound easy but it is not. This is because almost all of the products in the market these days contain gluten like pasta and wheat food products like bread and pizza dough. You might think that getting into a gluten-free diet is simple but there are a lot of things you should know about it.

What to Avoid

Following a gluten-free diet means you have to avoid food that has rye, wheat, or barley. This is because these grains have the type of gluten that is bad for you. The wheat bread that you see at the supermarket contains this type of gluten. It is the thing component that makes it everyone’s favorite. It gives the bread the texture that one won’t get from the regular white bread.

Pasta based dishes also have this type of gluten. Pasta noodles have high concentration of gluten to keep them from disintegrating. Glutens also serve as thickeners in soup. This makes it possible to use less cream and other pricier ingredients. Beer and other liquor also have gluten since they are made by fermenting grains. Barley is the most commonly used grain but sometimes wheat, rye, and maize are also used in brewing.

Here are more foods that contain gluten:

  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Donuts
  • Bagels
  • Muffins
  • Scones
  • Pastries
  • Cereals
  • Bulgur
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Casseroles
  • Sausage
  • Soy Sauce
  • Ice Cream
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Yogurt and milk products

Other Names for Gluten

Make sure to check the label of your grocery-bought food products. Anything that has “natural flavor” listed on its ingredients is sure to have gluten. Gluten is usually disguised under different names. Getting rid of food that contains the above list is piece of cake (although it is pretty heartbreaking to know I’ll never be able to eat pizza again). The real challenger here is to have eyes that are keen enough to spot the disguised gluten. Your favorite canned soup that has starch in it might contain gluten. The candy that your little sister loves so much may have “natural flavors” also known as gluten. It seems like gluten is everywhere we look. We need to be smart enough and not miss a trick.

Here are the other aliases of gluten. Make sure you check food labels from now on:

  • Wheat germ extract
  • Farina
  • Malt
  • Triticum
  • Triticale
  • Couscous
  • Vegetable protein
  • Modified Starch
  • Natural flavoring
  • Artifical Flavoring
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Caramel color
  • Dextrin
  • Maltodextrin

Non-Disclosure of Gluten Content

Due to the fact that the gluten-free diet is somewhat complicated gluten-free foods were once only available at health food stores. Since the growing population has become more and more aware of the benefits of the gluten-free diet it has become so popular that every neighborhood grocery store has a whole aisle different kinds of gluten-free food products intended for gluten-free food products.

It can be very tricky finding out which of these products actually are free of gluten. The fact that the United States Food and Drug Administration does not insist upon manufacturers to disclose the gluten content on their food labels mans you have to check the ingredients of each product you buy from the supermarket.

The good thing is a lot of manufacturers voluntarily label their products as gluten-free since they know that a lot of people are now following the gluten-free diet. This will make your grocery shopping easier and quicker. In addition, one more good news is that there are independent organizations that are devoted to providing certification programs to foods that are gluten-free. The three organizations that are doing this heroic deed are:

  • Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten Free Certification Organization GFCO)
  • Celiac Sprue Association (CSA)
  • The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA)

Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

Reading all these stuff about gluten, gluten-free certification, and gluten pseudo names, it does feel like starting a gluten-free diet might need some sort of super powers. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. List the food products that contain gluten. Many gluten intolerance groups and celiac disease websites have comprehensive bulletin dedicated to this.
  2. Make sure to read food labels. Although manufacturers are not required to disclose the presence of gluten in their products, they are required to do so if wheat is one of their ingredients. If you find something that is labeled “gluten free” in its packaging but has wheat listed on its ingredients, you already know the label is just a marketing concept.
  3. Eat only real food. Most processed foods contain gluten. It might be hard to keep away from them since almost every food product around us today are processed. The trick here is to stick to fruits, vegetables, fresh meat, brown rice, and quinoa.
  4. If there are foods that you really can’t live without but may contain gluten, search for a recipe that uses ingredients that don’t have gluten. There are many websites that are dedicated to gluten-free diet. You will surely find a recipe you will like. Maybe you will stumble upon smart cooking tips too.
  5. Go to online forums, online communities, and support groups. The Celiac Sprue Association and The Gluten Intolerance Group will gladly offer their support to anyone who needs it.
  6. Consult a nutritionist. He or she will be the most knowledgeable person you can turn to when it comes to the gluten-free diet. This step will not only make sure you are able to avoid gluten but will also make it possible to stick to the diet but still get enough fiber and important nutrients that your body needs.
  7. Find a good restaurant that caters to people who are into the gluten-free diet. There will be times that you will feel too lazy to cook. Knowing where to go for gluten-free meals will help you stick to your diet.

You will eventually get used to this diet but at first you will need to become a smart shopper and a gluten detective. You might make mistakes along the way but don’t worry. Everyone who is trying out something new rarely does it perfectly the first time.

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There is no perfect time to make good changes in a woman’s diet than when she is expectant. Expectant moms need to eat right not only for her but also for the baby she is carrying inside her. Healthy foods for everyone are also good foods for pregnant women but there are certain nutrients that she needs for her baby to be as healthy as possible. Here are the best foods to eat when pregnant:

Low-Fat Dairy

Calcium rich foods are one of the healthy foods for pregnant women. Calcium is necessary to keep the pregnant woman’s bones strong. It is also needed for the baby to develop his young bones. We all know that milk is the primary source of calcium but if you don’t like to drink milk there are other great sources of calcium. Some of these foods are string cheese, yogurt, spinach, and calcium-fortified orange juice. Not only do you need to take in as much calcium as possible but you also need Vitamin D which can help with better calcium absorption.

Lean Beef

Pregnant women are very much prone to anemia. This is because their blood volume can reach up to 50 percent. This is the reason why they need a lot of iron. Lean beef is a good food for pregnant women because it is high in iron which is an important element of red blood cells. Iron also helps in building the baby’s little brain by making the nerve connections strong. You can also get a lot of iron from other healthy foods for pregnant women to eat such as dark leafy vegetables, tofu, dried fruits, clams and oysters, turkey, beef or chicken liver, salmon, tuna, and broccoli. To increase your iron absorption, you can eat foods that have a high content of Vitamin C such as tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi, citrus fruits, and red bell peppers.

Popcorn

Popcorn is not only fun to munch on while you are having a movie marathon. It is also a healthy food for pregnant women. It contains fiber which aids in relieving constipation. It is also starchy which is why it is good in alleviating your nausea. To add variety to your diet eat up different kinds of whole grains such as brown rice, whole corn, oats, what, barley, and quinoa. These foods are not only high in fiber but are also good sources of minerals such as Vitamin B and Iron.

Fruits and Vegetables

Your doctor may restrict yourself to pineapple and unripe papaya as they contain certain chemicals that can cause miscarriage. Otherwise, make your diet colorful by eating all kinds of green, yellow, orange and red fruits. These are healthy foods for pregnant women because they are abundant in phytochemicals that help protect you from diseases and keep your body functioning properly. These are also converted to Vitamin A which is essential in the development of the baby’s body organs like the bones, eyes, and skin. In contrast to the benefits of Vitamin A present in the above-mentioned foods, there are “performed” Vitamin A which can be found in some medicines and food supplements that can increase the risk of birth defects.

Lentils

Folic acids are needed to protect the baby against birth defects involving the brain, the spine, and the spinal cord. One example of this disorder is the spina bifida where a part of the spinal cord is exposed.  In order to make sure you have a healthy baby, you should eat lentils which are high in folic acid. It is best to prevent this neural tube defects at the early stage of pregnancy therefore you should eat cereals, pasta, brown rice, and bread which are rich in folic acid. Other foods with folic acid content are dark leafy vegetables such as asparagus and beans.

Protein Rich Foods

Protein plays a vital role in the growth of the human body. It should be a part of everyone’s diets especially those of pregnant women. Fish is a good food for pregnant women because it is high in protein. Other foods also high in protein are lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products, nuts, quinoa, and beans. Other than being great sources of amino acids, they are also good at keeping our blood sugar stable. Eating these foods during breakfasts will keep as full longer so we do not need to eat snacks in between meals. Here is a list of Top 10 Protein Rich Foods for you.

Flaxseeds

Foods that are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids especially those that have DHA or docosahexaenoic acid are healthy foods for pregnant women to eat. They are important in the development of the baby’s vital organs like the brain and the eyes which are composed of DHA. They also help in the digestion of Vitamins A and E. The next time you prepare a salad, drizzle it with flaxseed oil or season your cereal, yogurt, or soup with ground flaxseeds. Also add salmon, avocados, and walnuts to your diet but limit your daily total intake to 30 percent of your daily calories.

See Also: Benefits of Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Water

Being pregnant means you are prone to dehydration which may cause early labor. It is therefore necessary to have as much water intake as possible. Make sure to take with you a water bottle wherever you go. The recommended daily water intake is 8 glasses. It can help you and the tiny baby in your belly to grow and circulate the vitamins and minerals throughout your body. Drinking enough water everyday also helps your body flush out toxins. It also keeps you from getting overweight by curbing your hunger for junk foods and cookies. A water bottle is not the only source of water for your body. You can also get water from milk, soup, tea, decaffeinated coffee and fruit juices. Watermelon is 91% water so the next time you hit the grocery store, don’t forget to load your cart with some of this fruit.

What they say about pregnant women that expectant moms need to eat for two people is not true. In fact, if you are pregnant and have a healthy weight, you do not need to eat a lot more than 300 extra calories each day. This means you only have to add a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt one a day. Pregnant women should aim for 25 to 35 pounds. Anything more than that means you will have a baby that is too large while if you weigh less your baby might come out small.

Additional: As a pregnant woman you may feel curious about your fetus. To learn about your Fetal Development you can visit babycenter.com. They have both images and videos to answer almost all of your questions regarding to your coming baby. They also have a good engaging forum where you may ask whatever you want to know.

Featured Image Courtesy: Kit4na

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Healthy Food for Teenagers

Teenage food habits are inspired by friends and media but less often by parents and family. Parents should inspire their children to eat healthy diet to build up their future health and wellness. Unhealthy food consumption makes teens overweight, which is associated with early onset of diabetes and heart diseases. Healthy food for teenagers is balanced diet that has all food groups in order to lead a healthy life. In the United States, Food and Drug Administration has warned food manufacturers to avoid labeling with “healthy” on food packaging when they contain high sugar, salt, or fat contents. That suggests that healthy food must not contain high sugar, high salt, and high fat that have detrimental effects on teen’s health.

Teenagers often have morning rush for school – skip their breakfast, have high calorie fast food in lunch, and grab whatever is in the refrigerator for dinner after getting home. Although these foods contain high calorie but they don’t add nutrients in your body. Nevertheless healthy lifestyle, such as taking right food and regular physical exercise, may help you meet the challenges of your life. Your healthy lifestyle with healthy foods makes you feel re-energized, learn better, stay alert in class and lower your risk for diseases such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and some forms of cancer in the later life. Major diseases such as heart disease, brain stroke, diabetes are directly linked to bad food habits.

One single food group cannot supply all nutrients you need to maintain good health. Healthy food choices for teenagers should include several food groups from carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, protein, diary, and fat & sugar.

Carbohydrates

While taking carbohydrate source choose wholegrain varieties whenever possible. Unlike the refined grains, the whole grains contain the bran and germ attached on their surfaces which are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. When you make foods at home buy wheat flour which is slightly darker than refined flour. When you buy food from a shop, read the label if it contains the word whole or wholegrain. Whole grain products include breads, biscuits, corn flakes, pastas and cereals. According to the USDA, our daily food should contain at least 3 ounces of whole grains.

The Institute of Medicine recommends teenagers with moderate activity eat at least 130 grams of carbohydrates per day that constitutes 45% to 65% of their calories. Athletic teens with high physical activity can consume higher percentage of this range.

Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with high fiber content. Vitamins and minerals need for your body’s vital function while fibers help in proper functioning of your digestive tract. When you eat fruits, try to avoid fruit juices because frits juices don’t contain adequate fibers. Eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, usually 5-7 portions per day. Remember that potato contains high starch content and is thus categorized under carbohydrates. One portion refers to one whole fruit or three tablespoons of vegetables. Newer studies recommend that teens and adults increase by seven portions per day to reduce the risk of early dying.

Protein

Protein is a very important building block for teenagers’ body. They need proteins to meet the growing demand muscle mass. To meet the growing demands of proteins teenagers should consume about 25 percent of the total calorie equivalent to 5.0-6.5 ounce-equivalents of protein-rich foods each day. One ounce equivalent of protein may consist of a whole egg, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, one-half-oz. serving of nuts or a 1 oz. serving of poultry, fish or meat. Here are the Top 10 Protein Rich Foods you can try.

Dairy

Although the “bad” fats or saturated fats are found in dairy foods they are very important food in teens for their growing bone mass. Teens need dairy foods for calcium that is important for healthy bones and teeth. Teenagers should consume 3 cups low fat dairy each day. A cup of dairy is equal to 1 ½ oz. of natural cheese, 2 oz. of processed cheese, one cup of yogurt, one cup of soy milk or one cup of milk.

Fats and Sugars

Most teens love fast food because high fat and sugar content make them tasty. They are highest source of calorie and daily calorie requirement from fats shouldn’t constitute more than 30%; 10% of it should come from saturated fats such as, vegetable oils and fish oils. Other foods that contain high fat and sugar include chocolates, cakes, sweets, biscuits, jam, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, non-diet sodas, etc. Today soda and other sugary drinks have replaced healthy drinks such as milk and water. Whenever possible, drinks containing high sugar should be replaced with water or low fat milk. Fats and sugar containing foods have extra calories that add extra body fat in your belly. To cut you extra belly fat read more on How to Remove Belly Fat by Proper Dieting.

Along with proper maintenance of healthy foods for teens, they should determine their daily calorie requirement. It’s easier to control the desired body weight when you know your required calorie. If you are overweight read this useful article, How many Calories Should I Burn to Lose Weight. On the other hand, picky eaters should concentrate more on increasing body weight. Picky eaters usually suffer from loss of appetite to food. Appetite can be increased by applying some smart techniques. To learn how to increase appetite, read this article Two Ways to Increase Your Appetite.

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Healthy Breakfast

There is nothing that requires us to eat certain foods in breakfast. But today we live in an addiction-prone society. We are addicted to unhealthy foods for everyday snacks and sometimes we skip breakfasts with an effort of losing weight or because we’re busy with the morning rush. Sometimes it’s easier to use preserved and stale foods to avoid suffering pangs of hunger during the day. But it is recommended to start your day with a heavy healthy breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day. A healthy sandwich can be an ideal pick among other healthy foods which can be the best solution for your breakfast because they are easy to make quickly, there are many types and you can take them with you.

Most of us are upset about our waist line and we avoid proteins to lose some inches. But we normally end up with extra inches instead. Consuming fewer proteins is not healthy at all, because our bodies need enough proteins in conjunction with exercise to build more muscles than to lose our muscle mass as we age. Check out these 7 healthy breakfast ideas.

 1-Make a Healthy Sandwich

You can make many kinds of healthy sandwiches using eggs, chicken, fish, baked potatoes, vegetables, and mushrooms. Eggs and whole wheat bread make the healthiest sandwiches because they provide instant energy with more proteins and carbohydrates. A grilled meat or grilled fish with baked potatoes is also an excellent tasty meal for a healthy breakfast. Mushrooms have many healthy benefits. They have proteins which are essential for body building elements. You can also use vegetables because they have a lot of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients which can make a healthy sandwich. It is recommended to avoid mayonnaise or cheese with eggs and chicken because they are high in calories. This can no more be counted as a healthy sandwich.

2- Try Yogurt and Fruit

A yogurt and fruits can be good breakfast item especially to the calorie conscious people. They are quite healthy and refreshing. In a morning rush, you can have a yogurt that doesn’t even require a spoon; eat and go.

Yogurt and Fruit

3- A Breakfast Smoothie

While you may be busy, without enough time to sit down and make a healthy breakfast, you can take few minutes and make a healthy smoothie. The fresh fruits, greens, water and juice can provide essential nutrients to start your day.

4- Breakfast burritos

Well, if you want to spend more minutes, breakfast burritos can be the best for your family. Go for ham or eggs, sausage biscuits and other ingredients of your choice and make it ahead of time. You can use more ingredients to have a variety of nutrients and make a healthy breakfast.

5- Protein Shake

You can make your own home-made protein shake. All you need is a blender, common sense and imagination as you add your desired ingredients to have the taste you like best as long as you avoid using too many calories.

6- Spinach and Tomato Omelet

This is another healthy breakfast that provides both fiber and protein you need to start your day.

Spinach and Tomato Omelet

Photo Courtesy : this gal cooks

7- Pancakes

Pancakes are for sure tasty but what to add to make them healthy is the only question that must be answered. You need to lower their calorie without sacrificing any flavor. Do not choose the egg yolks because they have more fats and cholesterol. Choose white wheat to increase fiber and lower the calories count. You may not add sugar because one teaspoonful has 15 calories and it goes straight into the blood stream causing swings in blood sugar. Therefore by avoiding sugar you can have a more healthy breakfast.

Now, we must acknowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and be aware of the benefits of having a healthy breakfast. It is like a priming pump that gives energy to your body for the long day’s activity. You need to establish the appropriate balance between proteins and fats every day because we need them too. For example, if you are a vegetarian, a healthy sandwich will give you the required proteins that you need for building muscle mass.

Unhealthy diets coupled with skipping breakfast have also been linked to obesity and many other health problems. Studies shows that the rise of technology is surprisingly one of the underlying causes where America is one of the most top 10 obese countries in the world. Here is a presentation you can check

                  Top 10 Obese Countries in the World from NewsTipsTricks

As much as technology is good, it should not simplify healthy breakfast and everything else you do. Be a better person and always compete with yourself against all addictions and pressures that restrict you from having a healthy breakfast.

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Healthy and Light Pizza

Pizza is delicious and no one can deny it. However, in very large quantities and regular intakes it can also be fattening, obesity-causing, and heart attack-inducing, and none of us want that. The good news is that you can continue enjoying delicious pizza without the guilt or the danger to health by doing things a little bit differently. You can make your pizza at home instead of purchasing from a pizza parlor. You can also order your pizza from a health-conscious wood fired catering house. Nevertheless, this does not mean that a home-made pizza is healthier. In fact, it may be even more harmful depending on ingredients and preparation. Actually, there are many pizza chefs today who make great pizzas with the healthiest ingredients. To make a lighter and healthier pizza which is just as fun and delicious as what you are used to, follow these 8 very simple tips that can be easily used at home.

Use Whole Grain Crusts

The crust is the base of your pizza and also the number one source of carbs. To make it lighter on carbs, you can forget about the normal white flour and use whole wheat flour for your dough. This will result in a crust that is tasty, crunchy, and nutty and also offers additional fiber and protein. You will feel more energetic for longer after a few slices of this.

Thin Pizza Crust

Still on the crust, you can make your pizza lighter and healthier by using a thinner crust. You can divide a standard dough size or make smaller dough before making your pizza and roll it thinner for your crust. Alternatively, you can use pitas (tortillas) for a much thinner and even crust. This will result in a pizza that’s just as delicious except that it will have less impact on your waistline.

Fruits and Veggies

Your pizza toppings are usually the main culprit in providing undesirable food components. Make your pizza lighter and healthy by substituting your normal toppings with an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Not only with they add color to your pizza, they will also make it more flavorful. Some common fruit and vegetable toppings for pizza include pineapple, basil, Brussels sprouts, rosemary, curry, figs, and apples.

Hold the Cheese

Cheese is an important ingredient in making pizza and it is well-nigh impossible to get a favorable or even acceptable replacement. However, cheese provides the majority of fat and calories in your pizza and thus cutting down on the amount of cheese you use will make your pizza that much healthier. Instead of completely doing away with the cheese, divide your pizza in two and only add cheese to one half. Then when you serve the pizza give each person two slices. One from the cheese side combined with one from the sauce-only side. If the taste does not suit you then spray on some grated parmesan to the sauce side.

Experiment with different types of cheese

If using cheese for only half your pizza doesn’t work for you, then another option would be to experiment with unconventional types of cheese. There are cheese types that contain lower calories than others, others contain less fats, while others are less oily. Some good examples to experiment with include goat cheese and feta cheese.

Light Pizza

 A healthier sauce

You can make your pizza lighter and healthier by changing the sauce. Get rid of the store-bought sauces and make yours at home using fresh ingredients. In fact, using garden-variety items to make your sauce will make it more flavorful and reduce your need for piling up on cheese and high-calorie toppings. Spices and herbs will enhance your flavors and give out an appetizing aroma. Fresh tomatoes will add color and are a great source for lycopene which is a powerful natural antioxidant that helps in preventing many types of chronic diseases.

Ditch processed meats

Many people love using processed meats as toppings for their pizzas. This is understandable since processed meats such as sausages and pepperonis are easily available and delicious. However, they are greasy, loaded with fats, and are cited as a common cause of colorectal and stomach cancers. Use alternate toppings such as shrimp, chicken, lean meats, and even just vegetables.

Use Olive Oil

While red sauce is delicious and a good option for your pizza, olive oil is even better. It is tasty and produces a wonderful aroma. It is low on saturated and unsaturated fats, low on calories, and has zero cholesterol, sodium, potassium, or carbohydrates.

Pizza is a delicious, quick to make, or easy to order complete meal loved by the whole family. However, most pizzas are a source of high calories, harmful saturated fats, and sodium. The tips above can help anyone create delicious pizzas that are good for the body.

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sea food

Just by looking at its geography, it’s easy to see why Suffolk would be such a great place to eat. The area has such a rich heritage of farming, fishing and hunting that it should not be hard to find a meal that’s just right for you when visiting. The food tradition in Suffolk has been passed down for many generations and the recipes are constantly being updated and perfected for the next generation.

In Suffolk, it’s all about seasonal ingredients and making fresh dishes no matter what time of the year it is, using the local produce and the fish and meat available at that time. Here’s a look at some of the best food to try if you are looking for an authentic Suffolk style meal when visiting.

The Suffolk coast has been known for centuries as a fantastic place to fish. No matter what town you visit on the coast of Suffolk, the options are numerous. Whether you prefer skate, sea bass, herring, mullet or cod, you can get it all fresh from the coast at any time of year. When dining anywhere, having numerous options makes it hard for you to ever get tired of a dish or being resigned to having to eat the same thing every day. Options are plentiful whether you are looking for a restaurant or you want to buy your own fish and prepare it yourself. You can visit Pinney’s shop for the best fresh fish every day or head over to a local eatery that gets all of its fish from the world-renowned Orford Fishermen. Couple your favourite fish with fresh seasonal produce grown locally and you always have a winning combination for lunch or dinner.

Fresh Seafood All Year Round 

Fish is not the only food that comes fresh all year round from the shores of Suffolk; there are plenty of other seafood options to be enjoyed. Lobster, crab, mussels and oysters are all popular in most local restaurants. Most great mussel and oyster dishes in Suffolk are easily prepared at home as well. To prepare a traditional Suffolk sauce for them, all you need is some white wine or cider, shallots, onions and garlic cooked in butter. Serve this sauce over oysters or mussels with some nice fresh bread found at a local bakery to enjoy the perfect Suffolk seafood dish at home.

Wild Game is Always in Season

Meat dishes coming from wild animals are another thing that Suffolk is known for all around the world. Game is a more popular choice than ever for restaurants in Suffolk, and with good reason. It’s also one of those things that really presents a lot of variety A Taste Of Suffolk From Seafood To Gamedepending on season. Whether its venison, rabbit or birds such as partridges and pheasants, you will always be able to try a great meat dish that presents not only a tasty, but also healthier alternative to most typical meat dishes. For example, venison has one tenth of the fat that is typically found in beef or lamb dishes and pheasant meat contains less than half of the fat found in chicken. Also, the “gamey taste” that many refer to when talking about wild meat is very exaggerated, especially when comparing traditional and wild poultry dishes. Another great thing is that you never have to worry about the DNA of the meat you are eating and whether the animal has been fed with additives or it comes from a free range farm. Feasting on game in Suffolk is not only a unique experience; it is usually a healthier and more delectable one as well.

Suffolk Duck Liver Pate Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1kg duck livers
  • 250g pack butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Splash  of cream sherry and dry sherry

Preparation:

  • Cut away and discard any sinews from the livers, then set the livers aside.
  • Heat about a third of the butter in a large frying pan, then gently fry the onion and garlic for 6-8 minutes until soft.
  • Turn up the heat and add the livers, then fry until just browned on all sides. Add the sherry boil down as quickly as possible.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool completely.

Season the livers generously, then tip the contents of the pan into a food processor and remaining butter, and blitz until smooth. Push the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, taste for seasoning, then tip into a serving dish, banging the dish down on the tabletop to smooth out the surface. Place in the fridge to set.

Serve with plenty of toasted brioche sliced and chutney.

Tim Capper loves exploring the Suffolk Countryside and bringing his experiences from Suffolk’s Kesgrave Hall to the rest of the world

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Two Ways

When should you worry about your decreased appetite? Appetite is not always blessing as increased appetite is a common problem of gaining weight and get obese. You should only worry when your Body Mass Index (BMI) is less than 18.50. When your BMI is less than 18.50, you are underweight.

Two Ways to Increase Your Appetite

Decreased appetite to food is not as common as you may think. Decreased appetite to food is a major reason of being underweight. Let’s discuss about two method of boosting your appetite.

Way 1:  Increase Appetite by Changing Your Bad Habits

1.  Be an early riser: You shouldn’t fast more than 8 to 10 hours. Fasting may lead to increased acidity on your stomach. Increased acidity may ultimately lead to decreased appetite. If you are a late riser, try to get rise early. Do some light exercise. It’ll increase your appetite especially to those who can’t have their breakfast in morning even if they are hungry. Some light examples may be Pull-ups, Push-up, Sit-ups, Squats etc. Take a short break and within few minutes you’ll feel hungry and a better appetite than the previous days.

Two Ways to Increase Your Appetite

2.  Don’t Skip Your Breakfast: Always take your breakfast as soon as you feel hungry. Don’t skip your breakfast; skipping breakfast is an unhealthy habit that must avoid for the people who don’t have appetite.

 3.  Do some exercise: Doing some light exercise can really help to stimulate your appetite.Our body is designed to crave more energy from food after burning calories, so exercise make always feel hungrier than before. If you are underweight you shouldn’t take vigorous exercise because even if you will feel hungrier but ultimately you will burn more energy than you consume.

4.  Eat faster: Research has shown that when you eat too fast the brain can’t catch that you have eaten enough. Scientists say it takes approximately 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to start sending out signals that it’s full.By eating faster, you can prevent your body to send satiety signal into your brain. So choose a food that takes little time and effort to eat and doesn’t take longer than 20 minutes.

5.  Avoid watching TV while eating: Many will say watching your favorite TV show while eating distracts you and make you have much food! This is wrong while you are particularly lack of appetite. Never watch TV while you are eating because it will delay your meal time and ultimately prevents you to take enough food for your body.

6. Drink less while eating: Drinking too much while taking your food increase satiety and decrease appetite to the food. You should drink as less as you can during meal time. However you should drink enough water a day. Drinking can help with digestion and ensure that there is not too much food in the stomach at any given time.

7. Avoid fiber rich food: Fiber rich food is considered as a healthy diet for normal persons. However they are not easily digestible and can be extremely filling. Fiber rich foods take longer for your body to process them than other types of food.For this reason people who are trying to eat less take fiber rich food.  You should take fiber rich foods only in moderation especially when trying to increase your appetite.

8. Avoid certain foods before taking the main mean: Frequent meal is good to build towards a healthy appetite but you should identify and avoid those foods, for example apple, that help promote a feeling of fullness.

Way 2: Increase Appetite with Appetite Stimulants

Appetite is a strong desire for food. It differs from hunger in that the hunger is an uncomfortable sensation caused by lack of food. Appetite is not always associated with hunger. You may have appetite even if you are not hunger, similarly you may not have appetite even if you are hunger.

Appetite Stimulants

Loss of appetite may lead to a type of malnutrition known as under-nutrition where food intake falls below a recommended daily allowance of calories. So if you have persistent loss of appetite you should see a physician. Your physician may prescribe you with one of the following drugs.

Mirtazapine: Loss of appetite may be a cause of depression. If you are diagnosed with depression the physician may treat you with drugs,for example mirtazapine,that regulate serotonin level in your brain and/or stomach. Mirtazapine is a very potent drug, so you must consult a physician before taking this drug. You may feel weakness and dizzy when you take this drug.

Cyproheptadine: Another widely used drug to treat loss of appetite is Cyproheptadine. It is an antihistaminic drug that you usually take to relieve the symptoms of common colds, nasal allergies, and pruritis. You may feel weakness and dizzy when you take this drug. Consult your doctor before taking this drug.

Prokinetic Agents: Occasionally you may feel full stomach even if it’s your next meal time. Prokinetic agents such as metoclopramide, domperidone etc help you empty the food in your stomach and hence improve your appetite to food.You should see a doctor or pharmacist and ask if you need a prokinetic agent to treat your condition.

Megestrol acetate: It is a derivative of female sex hormone progestin. This drug is used in patients who have loss their appetite due to life threatening illness such as AIDS. You should consult a physician before taking this drug.

Vitamin/Mineral supplements

Certain B vitamins such as, B12 and Folic acid are also used to increase appetite. You can take themes tablet or through injections which your doctor can prescribe. It is recommended that you take 1 cc. of each, two times a week.

Zinc is a very widely used mineral that can be taken either in tablet form in adult or as syrup in children to increase their appetite. Zinc is also believed to stimulate testosterone production. Some foods which contain high levels of zinc include: oysters, chicken, beef shank, pork chops, wheat bran, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds.