Category Archives: Diet & Nutrition

How Superfoods Can Greatly Benefit Your Health

We all want to lead healthy lives and we all know that proper diet and exercise will help get us to where we want to be. Most people can find at least one form of exercise that they enjoy doing. Adding more wholesome foods into our diet, on the other hand, can prove to be a lot more difficult. Rather than fad diets or “magic” fixes, superfoods can help us maintain weight, fight disease, and live longer. Here’s what you need to know about superfoods and your health.

What is a Superfood?

Superfoods are foods that contain at least two or more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or polyphenols. Some superfoods can be more difficult to find than others. In this case, you can still find these nutrient powerhouses in the form of concentrates or extracts to add to foods you already enjoy.

Here are just a few superfoods to consider adding to your diet.

Acai Berries:

These berries are found naturally in the Amazon rain forest and have been eaten by indigenous people since they first arrived. They are safe to eat and are heavily concentrated with vitamins A, C and E, but it is the anti-oxidants that produce the greatest benefit to your health. Acai berries are known to help keep your heart healthy by reducing your cholesterol levels. These same anti-oxidants are known to create healthy skin. In fact, there are some cosmetics that can be found on the market that contain the pulp from these berries to aid in the health of your skin.

The one problem with acai berries is that they are hard to find. Also, the seed inside the berries is about four-fifths of the volume of the berry. In short, they are hard to find and not easy to eat. The good news is the there are many supplements that are easily found. For instance, organic acai powders can be obtained and added to beverages.

Blueberries:

These berries also have anti-oxidants, but they are also rich in phytoflavinoids, a natural occurring chemical in plants that is known to prevent disease in people, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also very high in potassium and vitamin C. What makes these berries so attractive is simply how concentrated the nutritional elements are. This is why they are recommended by doctors everywhere, and of course, you local supermarket is likely to carry them.

Green Tea:

Not to be confused with the common black tea, this tea comes from Asia and is known for its anti-oxidants. It also helps to increase your metabolism, so it helps you lose weight by burning off calories more easily. It’s not necessary to drink the tea if you don’t like the flavor, there are many products that can be found that are a green tea extract. You can add it to your food without noticing the flavor.

Sardines:

Sardines are one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This is an essential part of a healthy diet, but unfortunately too many people have no source of it in their diet. It is mostly found in cold-water fish, and it is sardines that are small and readily available. You only need two or three servings a week to reap the omega-3 fatty acid benefit.

Of course, the foods above are only a partial list of superfoods. There are many more! Keep in mind that there are supplements available in powder and liquid form if the superfood cannot be found in your local supermarket.

The Healthy Hair Diet

You are what you eat. “Taking vitamins is a great way to help make your hair fuller and grow faster. But while you’re patiently waiting, a change in your diet can make a huge difference and even help expedite the process,” explains Carla Rivas, hairstylist and co-founder of the all-natural hair growth vitamins Hair La Vie.

“Any foods that would make you break out, such as those filled with sugars and grease are going to cause a buildup on your scalp that’s going to affect the way your hair feels, looks, and grows. Anything that irritates your skin (think ice cream) will bother your scalp, which can damage your hair follicle. A damaged hair follicle will either grow weak hair or not grow hair at all.”

Here are the top foods to enjoy and stay away from in order to maintain a healthy hair diet.

Top Food Don’ts for Healthy Hair

Sweet Treats

Sugary foods like your favorite candies or cupcakes cause your insulin level to rise, which also causes an increase in androgen (a male hormone) in your body. This hormone is known for causing hair follicles to shrink and become irritated. This leads to hair thinning and hair loss.

Greasy Foods

The grease from fatty meats like fried chicken and french fries can cause more secretion on the scalp. Also, a lot of the time after eating greasy foods, people touch their face and hair without washing their hands. This causes both acne and damage to the hair. You need a clean, debris-free scalp or your hair will not grow healthy and your follicle could be damaged.

Salty Foods

Think chips and canned/frozen meals. Consuming a lot of salty meals and snacks will dry your hair out and leave it weak, lifeless, and breaking.

chips

Low Protein, Filler Foods

Starches like pasta and a lot of cereals, which can be low in protein, will leave your hair limp and unhealthy. That bounce and shine most ladies want is not possible without a healthy dose of protein.

Top Food Do’s for Healthy Hair

People should be eating nutrient and antioxidant rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, if they want to grow long, healthy hair — and a strong, healthy body. These foods help hydrate your scalp and strengthen your hair.

Eggs

Eggs contain the healthy doses of protein, zinc, and iron that your hair and body need. Zinc benefits for hair include promotion of cell reproduction, tissue growth, and repair of broken tissues. It also maintains the oil-secreting glands that are attached to your hair follicles, thus decreasing their chances of falling out.

tomato

Tomatoes

Tomatoes have antioxidants that aid in scalp circulation. A healthy scalp leads to happy hair. Add them to a salad or mix them into your favorite dish for a pop of color and tons of fresh flavor.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is an amazing source of protein, vitamin B5, and vitamin D. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is great for keeping the scalp clean and free from film and debris. This keeps the follicles from becoming irritated and promotes healthy, strong hair growth. Add fruit, nuts, and granola for an energizing midday snack.

Lean Protein

Your hair is made of protein, so it only makes sense that your hair will benefit from opting for healthy lean protein sources like grilled chicken or baked salmon. If your diet lacks protein, your body will begin rationing the protein left, which will lead to hair loss. Protein also has the iron you need for healthier, beautiful hair.