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Articles Tagged with: health
The Myths and Truths of Anti-Aging Vitamins
Photo Credit: Pexels

Various vitamins that claim to be the “fountain of youth” are everywhere in today’s beauty and healthcare market.

From skin creams to supplements, many products claim to be packed with the goods to keep you looking great and the signs of aging at bay. How good are they, though, at preventing these effects of aging?

This article offers some truths surrounding anti-aging vitamins to make you a bit more informed on essential ingredients and to help you sidestep mythic claims.

Vitamins

Marketers might state that a wide variety of vitamins can help slow the effects of aging. There are, however, only a handful of vitamins that have been shown to have positive effects.

Here are some of the winners:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is one of the most popular ingredients in many wrinkle-fighting potions. This antioxidant is amazing in that it helps to boost the skin’s thickness, which is important because one of the realities of aging is that our skin begins to thin and makes us more prone to wrinkles.

Vitamin C

Prevalent in citrus fruits and some vegetables like tomatoes, vitamin C has been shown to help in combating the free radicals that make us age so quickly. Keep those vitamin C levels high, and you can help keep aging away.

Vitamin E

Considered an antioxidant powerhouse by some, vitamin E helps to reinforce cell membranes and also boosts the associated enzymes. It may also help combat the effects of free radicals and, in the right dosage, might even be able to reduce skin damage from the sun.

Minerals

Minerals also have important benefits in preventing the impacts of aging. If you are looking to boost your mineral intake in hopes of looking younger, you might want to try the following:

Zinc

Zinc has been shown to have remarkable curative properties. It also gives us unrivaled protection for the sun as it shields its harmful rays.

Copper

This mineral is noted for its impact on collagen and elastin production. With copper at play, your skin can be both firmer and appear fuller to diminish the appearance of thinning, sagging skin.

Selenium

Similar to copper,Selenium can add to skin’s elasticity. At the same time, selenium can help your skin sidestep the hardening associated with oxidation.

How To Add These Anti-Agers To Your Life

Incorporating these various vitamins and minerals into your regimen can be accomplished in several ways. You can try them in:

Foods

Many of the foods we eat come packed with these essential vitamins and minerals. Grains, for example, come filled with antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium.

Meanwhile, vegetables like sweet potatoes and kale are abound with vitamin A, and vitamin C is prevalent in citrus fruits. Eating a balanced diet can ensure that you are giving your body access to these essential age-fighters.

Supplements

You can also seek out supplements that target specific antioxidants. Zinc comes in a supplement form, for instance, as does collagen peptide (a swap for that essential copper peptide).

Not to mention, you can take a combination supplement that pairs several of these key ingredients, but be mindful of the actual contents. Keep in mind as well that some of your supplements may be covered by your insurance plan, which can save you money in the long run. 

Topical Cream

Another avenue is to seek out a prescription topical application. One popular example is retinol and its various versions, as its potent concentration of vitamin A can make it a super skin booster.

If you choose an over-the-counter cream, however, buyer beware: you again need to be very knowledgeable about the contents and concentration of the product. It is also important to keep in mind that topical applications often have the lowest antioxidant absorption into the skin, so they might not produce the same effects that a stronger dosage would.

None of these vitamins or minerals come with the promise that they will keep you looking younger; however, the good news is science is on our side. As research does suggest they can have an overall impact on slowing the aging process and potentially improving your overall skin tone and condition.

Tap into these truths and see what they can do for you.

Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.

5 Ways Exercising Boosts Your Sex Life

It’s no surprise that there are many benefits of consistent exercise.  Working out is a vital part in staying healthy (both physically and mentally), promotes weight loss, and boosts energy.  But along with a healthy diet and the right amount of sleep, exercise can be part of a balanced lifestyle that leads to…. wait for it… better sex.

Curious? Let’s dive deep into ways exercise really does boost your sex life!

Body Language

If you like to be adventurous in the bedroom, sex oftentimes involves holding unusual positions for a given amount of time. Don’t forget, sex is exercise. If we want it to keep feeling good for both ourselves and our partner, the muscles we need for it should be worked and toned regularly. If your workouts include manipulating your own bodyweight, strengthening the pelvic muscles, and weightlifting, you could see an improvement in your ability to hold the positions you’re used to – and even the new ones you and your partner have talked about — leading to more frequent, and comfortable sexual encounters. 

Additionally, sex can get your heart racing in more ways than one, but let’s make sure it’s not because you don’t have enough stamina – exercising should not only significantly improve your ability to hold positions but allow you to be intimate for extended periods of time.

Improved confidence

Body confidence comes with better health and fitness. Feeling better about your body can also improve your personal sense of self-worth and your ability to overcome challenges you may have thought impossible. Working out regularly challenges participants to overcome mental and physical obstacles, and often boosts mental health and confidence along the way.

Scientifically speaking, regular exercise also boosts the production of endorphins, which increases your happiness and self-esteem. Remember, confidence is sexy. You might be surprised with how often people crave more confidence in a sexual partner.

Increases Blood Flow

Consistent bouts of exercise can help increase your libido and lower the amount of erectile dysfunction that you could encounter. According to one study conducted by the University of California, exercise helps improve “reliable sexual function” while also making you more likely to experience orgasms — and better ones. Ladies who regularly work out are more likely to be turned on than their counterparts who don’t work out. The increased blood flow that comes from working out sets us up to have easier, more intense climaxes with heightened sensitivity in our nether regions.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Exercising is a great way to cope with stress and anxiety. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with something, working out can help you work through it and lower your overall stress levels. The reason for this has to do with our bodies natural reaction to stressors, called the Fight or Flight response. When our bodies are triggered, we feel stress or anxiety which is meant to fuel our fight or flight response. For instance, if you receive a stressful email at work that triggers you, our natural response is stress which is meant to give us energy to be extremely active and survive. If we do not act upon our triggers and manifest them into a workout or another healthy release, we will feel built up anxiety or stress.

If that’s not enough of a reason to workout, remember… no one is ever “in the mood” when they’re stressed out. If you have a lot on your mind, and the idea of sex sounds like a chore, exercising can help clear your mind, lower your stress levels, and in turn, boost your mood.

Also note, that exercise reduces symptoms of depression. So, if you or your partner are struggling with dark moods, exercise can help you feel better, and see the world in a more positive light, and likely help your relationship.

Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep and sex are closely related and there are a few different reasons for this. In an article published on The Conversation, sex therapist and author, Dr. Laurie Mintz, writes, “It is now clear that a hidden cause of sex problems is sleeplessness and that hidden cause of sleeplessness is sex problems. Additionally, Dr. Mintz explains, “Conversely, a good night’s sleep can lead to a greater interest in sex, and orgasmic sex can result in a better night’s sleep.” The reason for this is that sleep helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, causing you to feel more relaxed and able to get in the mood, while also improving energy levels; effects that are boosted by consistent physical activity.

Keep It Up!  

Once you get in your workout groove, don’t stop! The only way you will see results in the gym, and in the bedroom, is with consistency. And it’s likely that the reason you are drawn to exercise is not initially for its sexual benefits, but for its ability to boost your mood, promote weight loss, and an overall better quality of life and well-being. The benefits of working out are endless, but remember that physical, mental, and sexual transformations take time. Turn your exercise into a habit, and your body (and your partner) might just reward you in more ways than one.

Guest Post by: Stephanie James
Michelle Reveals Her Personal Supplementation Stack

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BeautyWhey- Gourmet Protein Shakes

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BeautySlender – Maximize Weight Loss

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Vanilla Collagen Protein

Benefits

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Brain Octane Oil

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Organifi Gold

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Profile_Michelle_Johnson

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson is the owner of QuickFitRx and Michelle-Enterprises, LLC  Team BeautyFit® Athlete, IFBB Bikini Pro, ISSA Specialist in Performance Nutrition, and Fitness Trainer who is recognized as a national level fitness authority, figure model, speaker and writer. Her innovative workout programs have been implemented into some of the nation’s leading health and fitness organizations. Her articles have been published by many leading industry magazines. She is an industry speaker on topics including weight management, wellness and group fitness. She owns and operates: www.michellefitness.com • www.team-knockouts.com • www.bodymindfitness-solutions.com

Why Your Body Fat May Be Going Up and How To Effectively Trim It Down

Body fat is dense fat that leads to stroke, cancer, diabetes, high triglycerides/cholesterol and high blood pressure. Through the sport of bodybuilding (figure, fitness & bikini) I learned that even I have to live my lifestyle based on an organized system. I need a structured meal program and solid direction on exercise if I want to keep body fat down. Having a baseline of foods you work from help simplify this process.

How you eat is 70% of your results when it comes to shaping your body.

The greatest results happen early on in most programs. Even small changes in the start can still lead to great results. As you get leaner, it gets harder to get results. The challenge is around 6 weeks of working a program. Most people, from my experience, begin to backslide and the program becomes more of a mental discipline. It takes about 6 weeks to grow muscle and see visible tone.

If you want change, you must change your patterns and thinking. Most people are not blessed with lean bodies and outstanding genetics that require them to never have to watch what they eat or exercise. Your eating and exercise habits can lead to outstanding or ill health. To succeed at the loss of body fat and gain of lean muscle, you will need to become conscious of your every move, thought and patterns in your life. It’s called becoming more mindful. This is crucial when it comes to making change. It’s not just a physical effort. For some, it goes much deeper and if those issues underlying the gain of fat and weight aren’t addressed, dieting and exercising will not be enough.

There are no magic pills, fad diets or superhero trainers out there. It is up to you to get educated on how and to follow it relentlessly! It must be integrated into your lifestyle. The question is, what program will work and whose advice do you follow? There is a well of information out there, but so many systems lack some key factors that people want to improve. A popular one is how to get rid of ugly cellulite. This is all a part of toning the body and clean eating.

However, not everyone has the endurance or motivation to stick with any program and half will most likely drop off after 4-6 weeks when they are required to actually step up mentally. Today, we are a society of instant gratification. If it doesn’t work in a few weeks, we get frustrated and move on to what we want to believe is the next best thing or just give up for a while.

It takes mental fortitude and patience to succeed at any goal. Body fat is takes time to reduce so some endurance is required. Stopping and starting programs can also wreck havoc on the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Many dieters tend to be off and on various low calorie diets, which makes it harder for them to lose weight. When the body goes into starvation mode it also gets fatter. If a client over exercises, they will start to release cortisol, which in turn leads to more body fat. Alcohol does the same thing. Quickly the body shifts into protective mode. This is to prevent it from overloading the organs (liver, kidneys). The hormonal system begins to secrete specific hormones to protect the body. This is where the release of cortisol kicks in. Cortisol is the culprit for belly fat and will make fat and weight loss very difficult.

Here are some guidelines for you to try, in order to get your body fat down:

In reference to CARDIO

  1. You need 40 mins of cardio if you want to target body fat and start to burn.
  2. If you are trying to lose weight you must do cardio for up to 1 hour daily or even 2 hours split up throughout the day. If you go for double cardio, never do it all at once. Have a meal in between at least and some down time to prevent the release of cortisol. Never do cardio over an hour, unless you are an endurance athlete and how your abs look doesn’t matter. It will push your weight down quickly. This is extreme, but it does work. However, if you keep the diet tight, you shouldn’t have to exercise intensely.

In reference to Resistance Training

  1. To lose body fat, you need some form of resistance training – even if it is your own bodyweight. However, if you are pushing just your own bodyweight and not using any weights, you may not be challenged enough. If it’s challenging you and you are feeling “the burn” it is working!

It is important that you change the weight and resistance levels or your body will NOT CHANGE. There is no cheating this and why so many stop growing lean muscle, loose muscle or plateau. If you lose muscle you will quickly grow body fat. YOU CAN BE SKINNY with a lot of body fat. This is called “skinny fat”.

In reference to Nutrition

  1. Too few of calories or getting less than your RMR (resting metabolic rate) will lead to losing muscle and in turn you will gain body fat. Eating less is not the way to lose body fat, you will lose weight, but you will gain fat. You don’t want to lose muscle because what will be left are saggy skin and no tone.
  2. Eat Every 2.5 – 3 Hours – this is not to make life difficult, it is science. If you don’t you begin to store body fat it is a survival mechanism that the body does whether you like it or not. Skipping meals, especially breakfast is a major no-no.
  3. If you don’t eat enough protein for your weight you will not be able to grow muscle. You don’t grow muscle you don’t lose body fat. You again will lose weight when you lose muscle, but again do you really want loose skin, more body fat etc. just to lose weight.
  4. Diet’s Don’t Work – this is a lifetime of eating this way if you want a lifetime of maintenance or looking your best. Going on and off sound programs that are systemized long term is a big mistake and you are in denial if you think you can do this without consequences.
  5. If your digestive tract is full of toxins and your enzymes are not able to do their job effectively you will not get the nutrients you need.
  6. Fat Free Is Bogus – You need healthy omegas (fats) not the bad kind. Fat free foods are often loaded with chemicals and substitute additives.
  7. Eat oOrganic Or Natural Foods –  If you are full of toxins, your cells are not being fed whole nourishing foods, than you are in a preconditioned state for only one thing – disease and obesity.

Stress Levels

  1. If you don’t manage your life in a more organized way, you will not follow anything long. Until you learn to direct your own ship and lead the way within your life and ensure no matter what you schedule your own needs in you will never get the results you desire.
  2. Cortisol leads to a lot of body fat and this is released when you OVERTRAIN, are anxious, Ill etc. Managing your stress levels is key in order to get great results. Stress will make your hormones a hot mess and your body will become one too.
  3. If you approach things in a way that is manic and do not ease into things realistically, you will wind up with the polar opposite. This is when you find you have to drop off because of an injury. It’s never smart to start a program going too hard too fast. Work with your conditioning levels, not against them, just a little push. Work from where you are. I know you may panic when you gain a lot of body fat or weight, but it doesn’t come off overnight. You will have to be patient while in “body prison”. You got yourself there and you can get yourself out, but you now have to pay your dues. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Other words of wisdom

  1. Body fat does not come off overnight. You must be consistent and build the mental endurance to shed it at a 1-3% per month rate for healthy long-term results. This way of eating and exercising must become ingrained in your lifestyle. You will always have to work towards keeping it down.
  2. Eating out is fine, but if you are getting too much sodium, sugar and carbs, it is working against you. Be wise about where you go and the selections you make. You should give yourself a cheat meal sometimes, but not all the time!
  3. You don’t really need any starchy carbs to live on. Ditch all forms of breads, cereal and rice, unless they are gluten-free. These were created as fillers since good quality food at one time was scarce. We need organic nutritious food in order to feel satiety and not “filler” foods. These foods serve little purpose when it comes to nourishment unless you choose whole grain. Save your gut and calories and get a supplement for fiber or eat more vegetables. The need for carbs is totally psychological.
  4. Starchy Carbs are what are causing disease because our DNA cannot process them. If you are going to eat them YOU MUST BURN THE CARBS OFF. If you don’t workout everyday, you have to understand you are not burning off carbs…. they turn to fat and so do all forms of sugars including fruit (fructose), dairy (lactose) and sugars (sucrose). The best time to eat the bad stuff like carbs, sugars and sodium, if you must, is right after your workout, when your sugar levels drop and your sodium levels are lower. You also don’t want to eat carbs before you exercise. If you do, you will burn sugar not fat when you are training. 

Your efforts will only work when you get organized and stop playing games with yourself hoping for an easy way out. The worst game we play with ourselves is to IGNORE IT and AVOID it. Body fat gets worse and it will have you wishing you had not let it come to this. There is no perfect time to start. Learning how to manage your time is key. You must work in your meals every 2.5-3 hours and eat the things that trigger fat burning hormones.

There is not one exercise or one way of eating (low carbs high protein, Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, these are all fad diets that may work, but short term. It is a combination of things that work. Allow a professional who understands the way food and exercise work to manipulate the body into balance to help you reach your goals. Be sure you are asking questions and learning along the way. It’s your body and you will be responsible for taking care of it the rest of your life. Great symmetry makes for a great body and ideal health. Too much fat is simply not health and creates imbalances to the body and health.

The Benefits of Colorful Fruits & Vegetables

The majority of people know that eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day is very important.

By eating fruits and vegetables of a variety of different colors, one can get the best all-around health benefits. Each different color fruit and vegetables contains unique health components that are essential to our health.

Fruits and vegetables are very important to our health because they are whole foods, created by nature, that are rich in a large amount of nutrients. The processed foods that we so commonly eat, can never compare to the health benefits provided by strawberries or broccoli, which have fibervitamins, and enzymes built right in.

Eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits helps prevent heart disease and strokes, diverticulitis, control your blood pressure, prevent some types of cancers, and guards against cataract and macular degeneration or vision loss.


Red Fruits and Vegetables

Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin, to name a few. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.


Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables

Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones.


Green vegetables and Fruit

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.


Blue and purple fruits and vegetables

Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. Similar to the previous nutrients, these nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.


White fruits and vegetables

Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.


Chart of Colored Vegetables and Fruit
(See bottom of page for printable chart)

Green – Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussel sprouts, Celery, Chayote squash, Chinese cabbage, Cucumbers, Endive, Green apples, Green beans, Green cabbage, Green grapes, Green onion, Green pears, Greenpeppers, Honeydew, Kiwifruit, Leafy greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Limes, Okra, Peas, Snow Peas, Spinach, Sugar snap peas, Watercress, Zucchini
White – Bananas, Brown pears, Cauliflower, Dates, GarlicGinger, Jerusalem artickoke, Jicama, Kohlrabi, MushroomsOnions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Shallots, Turnips, White Corn, White nectarines, White peaches
Red – Beets, Blood oranges, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Papaya, Pink grapefruit, Pink/Red grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red apples, Red bell peppers, Red chili peppers, Red grapes, Red onions, Red pears, Red peppers, Red potatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon
Yellow/Orange – Apricots, Butternut squash, Cantaloupe, Cape Gooseberries, Carrots, Golden kiwifruit, Grapefruit, Lemon, Mangoes, Nectarines, Oranges, Papayas, Peaches, Persimmons, Pineapples, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Sweet corn, Sweet potatoes, Tangerines, Yellow apples, Yellow beets, Yellow figs, Yellow pears, Yellow peppers, Yellow potatoes, Yellow summer squash, Yellow tomatoes, Yellow watermelon, Yellow winter squash
Blue/Purple – Black currants, Black salsify, Blackberries, Blueberries, Dried plums, Eggplant, Elderberries, Grapes, Plums, Pomegranates, Prunes, Purple Belgian endive, Purple Potatoes, Purple asparagus, Purple cabbage, Purple carrots, Purple figs, Purple grapes, Purple peppers, Raisins

The phrase “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible, so that you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients. The colors of fruits and vegetables are a small clue as to what vitamins and nutrients are included. By getting a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables, you are guaranteed a diverse amount of essential vitamins and minerals.

According to the food pyramid potatoes are not counted as a vegetable, as they are consist mostly of starch and should be consumed sparingly.

Freezing Fruits and Vegetables:

To preserve for consumption during the winter or off season see which fruits and vegetables you can freeze.

The nutrients found in the above fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on our health.

Quercetin, which is found in apples, onions and other citrus fruits, not only prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, but also helps the body cope with allergens and other lung and breathing problems.

Ellagic acid, which is mainly found in raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, and walnuts, has been proven in many clinical studies to act as an antioxidant and anticarcinogens in the gastrointestinal tract. This nutrient also has been proven to have an anti-proliferative effect on cancer cells, because it decreases their ATP production.

The best-known of the carotenoids, beta-carotene, is converted into vitamin A upon entering the liver. Although being known for its positive effects on eyesight, it has also been proven to decrease cholesterol levels in the liver.

Clinical studies have proven that lycopene, mainly found in tomatoes, may decrease the risk of prostate cancer, as well as protect against heart disease. Lutein, which is found in blueberries and members of the squash family, is important for healthy eyes. However, it does support your heart too, helping to prevent against coronary artery disease.

Along with the above stated nutrients, there are even more nutrients found in fruits and vegetables that provide a great deal of support to our body. Almost everyone has heard of vitamin C, which keeps our immune system strong; speeds wound healing, and promote strong muscles and joints. This nutrient is scattered throughout the spectrum of fruits, but commonly associated with oranges and other citrus fruits. Potassium, which is the nutrient most Americans are deficient in, does great things for our hearts, and lowers blood pressure.

Another good food component many people don’t get enough of if fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Flavonoids, which include anthocyanins, flavones, isoflavones, proantocyanidins, quercetin and more, are found almost everywhere. They are responsible for the colors in the skins of fruits and vegetables and help to stop the growth of tumor cells and potent antioxidants. They also can reduce inflammation.

Beta-glucan, found in mushrooms, stabilizes and balances the body’s immune system by supporting white blood cells. EGCG is found in tea and has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. It boosts the immune system and encourages T-cell formation, which defends our body against sickness and disease.

Bioflavonoids, which are found in citrus fruits, are considered a companion to vitamin C because they extend the value of it in the body. These nutrients have the capabilities to lower cholesterol levels and support joint collagen in arthritis cases.

The number one excuse for not eating the required five servings of fruits and vegetables each day is they are too expensive. However, as compared to the amount of money spent on prepackaged, processed, and fast foods, most fruits and vegetables (with the exception of those that are not in season) are not all that expensive.

Because frozen fruits and vegetables retain the majority of their nutritional value, they can be an excellent alternative when certain foods are out of season.

Someone who is not able to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can also drink fruit and vegetable drinks in their place. Although this shouldn’t become a habit, fruit and vegetable drink mixes can be an excellent substitute when you’re rushed or traveling.

The need for fruits and vegetables in our diet is growing rapidly with the type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol, hypertension that result from the “Typical American Diet” of fatty meats, processed sugars, and refined grains.

Great fruit drink Mixes and vegetable mixes can be found at your local health food store or internet health food store.

Fruit and Vegetable Color Chart you can Print out.

Right click the chart below and select print.

Fruit and vegetable color chart

Check out this link to 19 Awesome Tips and Tricks to Freeze Vegetables created by ElectroSaw HQ!

The Health Benefits of Ginger Turmeric Tea

Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant native to Southern Asia. It’s the root that you’re most likely familiar with – it’s often used as a flavouring in food and a traditional remedy. Ginger has a hot and spicy taste used in recipes across the world – from Indian chai masala to a palate-cleansing sushi accompaniment in Japan.

Ginger’s most-known medicinal use is as a folk remedy is for for nausea, diarrhoea and gas. I give my kids ginger candy to relieve their travel-sickness on road trips and it seems to work well. It has also been used as a treatment for colds and respiratory symptoms. (source 1, 2)

Turmeric

Turmeric is a herbaceous perennial plant in the ginger family. It’s native to India and the root is a common component of Indian cooking – especially in curries. The root is boiled, dried and ground into a yellow-orange spice powder before use. It has an earthy, peppery flavour.

It has been used as a dye due to its strong pigmentation but the most famous use is as a traditional health remedy. Turmeric is part of the ceremony in Indian wedding culture to soften the skin. In Ayurvedic remedies, turmeric treats indigestion, colds, liver ailments and skin sores. (source 1, 2)

Better together

Not only are ginger and turmeric great on their own, but they actually work better together. Like many natural substances, the different phytochemicals present interact with each other for increased potency. Compounds called gingerols in ginger act as bioenhancers (source). This means that they help your digestive system absorb other compounds. Since the main active component of turmeric – curcumin – is poorly absorbed on its own, it’s likely that consuming it with ginger helps the process along.

Check here how to prepare turmeric mask for acne and skin health

The Health Benefits of Ginger Turmeric Tea

1. It may increase lifespan

Let’s start with the most impressive claim, shall we? A study in fruit flies (I know, not exactly similar to humans but they’re frequently used because of their short lifespan to study generational changes) showed that the compound curcumin in turmeric increased lifespan significantly. (source)

2. It has anti-inflammatory properties

A study in the journal Oncogene compared the anti-inflammatory power of turmeric with conventional drugs ibuprofen and aspirin. It was found to be stronger and with fewer side effects. (source) Ginger has also been used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and ulcerative colitis.(source)

A study measured this effect and found that curcumin “significantly reduced” signs of inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis. It may even prevent arthritis from developing in the first place. (source) If you suffer from chronic inflammation, drinking a cup of ginger turmeric tea every day is a great idea.

3. It can help manage diabetes

Turmeric has an effect on blood sugar and insulin. One study found that its blood sugar-lowering abilities are much stronger than a common antidiabetic drug. If you’re already taking a medicine for diabetes, check with your doctor before adding ginger turmeric tea to your routine. (source)

4. It has anti-cancer properties

So many foods on the market these days claim to have anti-cancer powers as a selling point. But the science backs this claim up when it comes to ginger turmeric tea. A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that ginger and turmeric extracts had the ability to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.

Ginger has shown to be useful for women suffering from ovarian cancer whereas turmeric may work against bladder and lung cancer. Both plants have antioxidant properties that may be responsible for these effects. (source 1, 2, 3)

5. It boosts brain repair and prevents Alzheimer’s

A study in animals showed that turmeric can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain – an important factor for self-repair. Other research showed that curcumin in turmeric may slow buildup of beta-amyloids – destructive substances involved in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s patients. It also helps with inflammation in the brain in Alzheimer’s. (source)

6. It aids digestion, nausea and vomiting

Most of us have heard of ginger to relieve motion sickness or upset stomach. This effect has been attributed to the compounds shogaol and gingerol present in the root. (source) Ginger relaxes your gut muscles allowing food to move smoothly through your digestive system. (source)

Turmeric may help with indigestion – reducing symptoms such as bloating and gas (source).

7. It improves heart health – prevents stroke and heart attack

Ginger helps prevent blood clots, which are involved in stroke and heart attack. Be careful though, if you’re taking any medicines for this it can be a major interaction. Check with your doctor if this is the case. (source)

Curcumin in turmeric also has the power to lower your cholesterol! It’s been suggested that taking turmeric along with anti-cholesterol medicines such as statins leads to an enhanced effect. (source)

8. It fights infection

The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials compared ginger’s antibacterial ability with that of common antibiotics. It was found that ginger had more power to kill staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pyogenes than conventional drugs. (source) Curcumin is one of the strongest herbal antifungals too – more potent than ginger, clove and oregano. (source)

9. It helps improve mood and fight depression

A study in India tested curcumin in 60 volunteers with major depressive disorder. It was found to have similar efficacy to the drug Prozac, without the unpleasant side effects. (source)

10. It improves skin quality

Turmeric has been used as a traditional remedy for skin conditions for years. Its antibacterial properties make it helpful for acne and the anti inflammatory properties ease redness and irritation. As well as drinking it in your tea, why not use some turmeric to make a natural face mask? (source)

Check here what are the health benefits of yerba mate tea

How to Make Healthy Ginger Turmeric Tea

Plain version

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Honey or stevia to taste

Directions:
Heat the water (not boiling) and slowly add it to the turmeric and ginger in a cup, making a paste at first. When the tea is thoroughly mixed, add honey or stevia to sweeten. You will need to stir this before drink as the ginger will settle to the bottom.(source)

Creamy Version

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Honey or stevia to taste

Directions:
Put the cup of almond milk into a pot and heat it over the hob. Add a small amount of milk to the turmeric, ginger and sweetener and mix until there are no lumps present. Then add the rest of the milk.
(source)

Cautions

Because the components of this tea have such potent medical properties, it follows that they can interact with prescription drugs in a similar manner. If you take a regular medicine or have an ongoing health condition, check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking ginger turmeric tea. If you are taking blood thinners, you must avoid ginger and turmeric completely.

Conclusion

I was really blown away by the amount of hard scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of ginger turmeric tea. I think it’s worth drinking regularly for these effects, and the delicious flavour. I recommend it to all my friends and hope you enjoy it too!

References
http://draxe.com/turmeric-health-benefits/
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-ginger-tumeric-4701.html
http://foodmatters.tv/content/cleansing-tumeric-ginger-tea-recipe
http://www.livestrong.com/article/279740-what-are-the-benefits-of-ginger-turmeric/

Source: Health Ambition 

How To Get Through the Holidays Without Sabotaging Your Diet!

The holidays are an easy time and excuse to get distracted from your dietary goals. It’s important that you come up with sound strategies that do not make it torture, but a time you can still enjoy them.

Here are some of my strategies that have kept me on point and not gaining the usual 5-10lbs that most do at this time. You want to remember that the new year is around the corner and how nice it is to be ahead of the game not way behind. Rather than try to fix all the fat on January 2nd, work on fixing the real issue and how your mindset may be in your way. Check your weight every couple of days. Don’t skip meals and eat every 2.5 hours to keep your metabolism revving.

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