General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is a balanced diet that provides important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. Eating healthy protects against malnutrition and minimizes risks of various diseases and health complications. However, increased production and consumption of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People nowadays consume more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Unhealthy eating patterns along with lack of physical activity health are the reasons for many serious diseases. Unhealthy lifestyles are a major global health risk and switching to a healthy diet is more important than ever.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), healthy dietary practices should start early in life, that is, with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development and may also provide longer term health benefits such as reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer later in life.

Eating the right amount of calories to balance the energy you consume with the energy you use is the key to healthy and balanced diet. A balanced diet means eating foods from the five major groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. A healthy diet also includes a wider range of options that includes legumes, seeds and nuts, fish and even plant oils. It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules) and women have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).

Here are the general guidelines for healthy eating:

  • The most important rule of healthy eating is not skipping any meal, especially breakfast. Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolic rate.
  • Eat more raw foods such as salads, fruits and vegetable juices. This will also make meal preparation more easy and simple.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark green, red, and orange vegetables (3 or more servings a day).
  • Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Reduce or eliminate refined or processed carbohydrates; instead, eat whole grains, high-fiber breads and cereals.
  • Try to use variety of foods in the menu because no single food has all the nutrients.
  • Avoid eating an unhealthy snack when hungry by keeping healthy snacks handy.
  • Consume low-fat milk and low-fat dairy products.
  • If you eat meat, avoid red meat and consume white meat.
  • Reduce intake of saturated fats and trans-fats as much as possible.
  • Use vegetable oils such as olive or canola oil instead of solid fats.
  • Reduce daily intake of salt or sodium to less than 1,500 mg. per day if you are older than 50, or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
  • Restrict or eliminate sodas and other sugar-added drinks that are high in calories and contain few or no nutrients.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar from your diet.
  • Carry a homemade lunch to work and limit the consumption of junk foods.
  • Read and understand the nutrition facts on food labels.
  • Stop eating when you feel full.

A balanced diet is one that provides around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins and 20-25% of total calories from fat. Medical News Today notes, “Dietary guidelines change over time, as scientists discover new information about nutrition. Current recommendations suggest that a person’s plate should contain primarily vegetables and fruits, some lean protein, some dairy, and soluble fiber.”

Healthy Habits That Can Increase Your Lifespan

Healthy Habits That Can Increase Your LifespanWellness is nothing but the state of being in good health. We can call a person healthy if he/she is not only physically but also mentally fit. Significantly, our healthy practices can result in a better life and longevity. It doesn’t matter what your age is, what you have to do for better living is to maintain a good choice of habits. The actions we can take to increase health and lifespan may be quite simple. So, what are the major factors that can have an impact on your longevity? First and foremost, you have to identify your daily habits, and consider whether they are good or bad. If your choices failed to work for good health, it may be time to change your daily habits.

Research published recently in the April 30, 2018 issue of Circulation, the AHA (American Heart Association)’s journal, shows that the United States ranks 31st in the world for life expectancy among those born in 2015 even though it is one of the richest nations in the world and spends more on healthcare per person as a percent of gross domestic product than any other country. The study suggests that adults in the US who practice 5 healthy habits may live 10 years longer compared to others who follow none of the 5 habits. These 5 habits include,

  • eating a healthy diet
  • getting regular exercise
  • not smoking
  • staying at a healthy weight
  • limiting alcohol

Let’s see how these strategies can help extend your lifespan.

  1. Eating a healthy diet: What does a healthy diet mean? We know food is essential for life. But nutrient-rich foods are essential for a good diet. You have to use the food which provides proteins, minerals and vitamins. You can use wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals such as barley and oats instead of breads, cereals and pasta made from refined grains, brown rice instead of white rice, plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish etc. for good health. Remember to reduce the use of red meat, saturated fat and sugar and drink plenty of water. Avoid soft drinks, fruit-flavored drinks, and sports drinks. Limit refined carbohydrate foods such as pastries and candies as well as high-calorie foods such as potato chips, French fries, ice cream,and other sweets.
  2. Getting regular exercise: Daily exercise is a must for a healthy life. It can activate your bones and strengthen the muscles. Walking for an hour daily, running, swimming, cycling etc. can help improve your mobility.
  3. Not smoking: It is difficult to ensure a long and healthy life if you cannot control smoking. Cigarette smoking is one of the main causes of heart diseases. It also leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and physical inactivity.
  4. Weight control: Weight control is a major concern many people have. Obesity is a major contributor to heart disease, premature death, stroke etc. The AHA study also suggests that it is important to maintain a body mass index of 18.5 to 24.9.
  5. Moderation of alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can result in various risky health problems. High level usage of alcohol leads to heart disease, certain cancers, and increases blood pressure. The AHA considers moderate alcohol consumption to be an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. (A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces 80-proof spirits, or 1 ounce 100-proof spirits.)

Increasing lifespan may seem beyond our control. But by following these vital habits in your daily life you can improve your health and increase your lifespan. The US research study mentioned at the beginning also suggested that starting at age 50, men are estimated to have an average life expectancy of 14 years and women are estimated to have an average expectancy of 12 years if they follow all these 5 habits. The authors point out that the American healthcare system focuses mainly on drug discovery and disease management. They are of the opinion that increased emphasis on prevention could help to more effectively control the most common and most expensive diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Dietary Choices that can reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Dietary Choices that can reduce Risk of Breast Cancer Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers found in American women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated there would be 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women in the US in 2019. Breast cancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors such as age, family history, genetics, and gender, which are not within a person’s control. However, experts say that making certain lifestyle changes can lower your risk. One such change is healthy food choices.

Eating a healthy diet can decrease your risk of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Research suggests that dietary factors could be responsible for 30–40%of all cancers. So your dietary choices can make a difference to your risk of developing breast cancer or your overall well-being while living with the condition. Although no specific food can cause or prevent breast cancer, including certain items in your diet may help reduce your overall breast cancer risk.

Mayo Clinic notes that “women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. This is mainly because the Mediterranean diet focuses mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. So, people who follow the Mediterranean diet automatically choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and eat fish instead of red meat”.

Here are certain foods that play a role in a healthful diet in general and may also help prevent the development or progression of breast cancer:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables: According to a Medical News Today article, a study of 91,779 women found that following a diet comprising mainly plants could cut the risk of developing breast cancer by 15%. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends eating at least 2.5 cups of fruits and veggies a day, limiting processed and red meats, and choosing whole grains to help reduce risks of all types of cancer. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends consuming between five and nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.Fruits and vegetables are rich in flavonoids and carotenoids, which have various medical benefits. Your diet should include cruciferous veggies (broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and all items that are high in Vitamin A and C) and fruits, especially berries and peaches.

    A new study has found that eating certain foods could help decrease the side effects caused by breast cancer treatment. The research suggests that diet can serve as a modifiable target for possibly reducing symptoms among breast cancer survivors.

  • Fiber-rich foods: Several studies have suggested that fiber rich foods such as whole grains, beans, and legumes can help protect against the disease. Eating a high fiber diet can keep estrogen from interacting with breast cancer cells, which could be a factor in the development and spread of some types of breast cancer and accelerate the elimination of estrogen.Fiber-rich foods also support the digestive system and the regular elimination of waste, including excess estrogen. This helps the body eliminate toxins and limits the damage that they can do. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend an intake of up to 33.6 grams of fiber a day, depending on a person’s age and sex.
  • Antioxidants foods that are mainly plant based: Medical News Today reported ona 2013 meta-analysis which found that people who eat more whole grains may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Whole grains can help prevent many diseases by reducing the numbers of free radicals, which are waste substances that the body naturally produces. Foods such as lentils and legumes, are rich in protein, fiber, folic, iron and an array of antioxidants.
  • Soybean-based products: A plant based product that is rich in protein, soybean is a food that is rich in healthful fat, vitamins, and minerals but low in carbohydrates, that may reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also contains antioxidants known as isoflavones, which can possibly help bind estrogen and decrease the risk of hormone related cancers such as breast and prostate. Soy is present in foods such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy milk and soy nuts.

Other foods that experts recommend to reduce breast cancer risk are: low fat milk and dairy products, foods rich in vitamin D and other vitamins, and spiceswith anti-inflammatory properties such as capsaicin, turmeric, and garlic.

Apart from healthy diet, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing physical activity levels and weight management, could lower the risks of getting breast cancer.


10 Surprising Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep

10 Surprising Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleeping well at night on a consistent basis is necessary for good health. It is as critical as a healthy diet and regular physical activity, and maybe, even more important. However, today, people tend to ignore this fact and sleep quality has decreased as well. According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, in America, 70% of adults report that they get insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night.

Not getting enough sleep can take its toll on relationships, health, work, moods and more. Moreover, a sleep-deprived person driving poses just as much danger as a driver who is drunk. Researchers have discovered that proper night sleep on a regular basis offers many health benefits:

  1. Keeps your heart healthy: Lack of sleep can take a toll on your health. However, experts say that sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. For heart health, try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
  2. May help prevent cancer: According to the National Sleep Foundation, there is some evidence of a link between insufficient sleep and the risk of cancer. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that the rate of breast cancer was 30 percent higher among women who worked shifts. Researchers think that light exposure reduces melatonin levels, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is thought to suppress the growth of tumors and protect against cancer. To help your body produce melatonin naturally, keep your bedroom dark at night and turn off your phone, computer, and television screen (blue lights) 2-3 hours before bedtime. These blue lights are known to interrupt sleep. Melatonin production can also be increased by getting enough sun during the day.
  3. Reduces stress: Lack of proper sleep stresses the body and mind. Chronic sleep deprivation could lead to mental health issues such as depression. Sleeping well can improve mood and mental health.
  4. Improves concentration and productivity: Sleep deprivation has been shown to affect brain function. Sleep enhances brain function, including cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance.
  5. Affects lifespan: Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan. According to an article in Health, in a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night. So, sleep better and live longer.
  6. May help you lose weight: Lack of sleep is a common risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain; when you are sleepy, it increases certain hormones in your blood and those same hormones drive appetite. Try to get quality sleep if you’re trying to lose weight.
  7. Helps the body repair itself: When you sleep, your body is repairing the damage caused by stress, UV rays and other harmful exposure. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping and these protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage.
  8. Can maximize athletic performance: According to a Healthline article, a study covering over 2,800 women found that poor sleep was linked to slower walking, lower grip strength, and greater difficulty performing independent activities. Quality sleep was shown to improve athletic performance.
  9. Improves immunity: Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to impair immune function. Getting at least eight hours of sleep can improve your immune function and help fight the common cold.
  10. Stabilizes blood sugar levels: You’re less likely to get type 2 diabetes if you get good, deep sleep at night. The amount of glucose in your blood drops during the deep, slow-wave part of your sleep cycle. If you don’t get deep sleep, your body will have a harder time responding to your cells’ needs and blood sugar levels (

9 Best Foods for Effective Weight Loss

Weight LossGaining weight is much easier than losing it. There’s no one tip that’s going to help shed those extra pounds. Exercising is important, but what you eat matters a lot. Diet could be an effective weight loss measure, but before choosing your diet, make sure you have a good calorie balance scale, which is important if you are looking to shed a few pounds. Studies have reported that a healthy diet is the best option for weight loss.

A healthy diet generally means avoiding processed foods and including more natural options such as fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits and vegetables can help you achieve your weight loss goals. There are certain foods that can specifically help with this as they can have vastly different effects on your hunger, hormones, and the number of calories you burn. Most included as part of a weight-loss diet have a few things in common: they’re high in fiber (which helps keep you feeling fuller longer) and have a low energy density-meaning that you can eat a decent-sized portion without overdoing calorie consumption ( Here are 9 best foods to promote effective weight loss:

  1. Avocados: Avocados add creaminess and flavor to salads and sandwiches. This unique fruit is rich in dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemicals. Avocado contains monounsaturated fatty acids that speed up the process of converting fat into energy and boosts metabolism rate. An increase in metabolic rate means you burn more calories throughout the day which promotes weight loss. A report from Eating Well cites a study which found that people who eat avocados tend to have lower BMI, body weight and waist circumference than people who don’t eat this green superfood.
  2. Whole Eggs: Eggs are one of the most misunderstood foods and once feared for being high in cholesterol. But now, whole eggs have been making a comeback. Whole eggs can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie-restricted diet. A article notes that protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight. Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, fats and essential nutrients like vitamin D and choline. Including this protein-rich food in your breakfast can promotes weight loss as protein increases satiety while controlling appetite hormones, helping fend off hunger until lunchtime. One study found that overweight women who ate eggs for breakfast (instead of bagels) experienced increased feelings of fullness which made them eat less for the next 36 hours.
  3. Beans and Legumes: All beans and legumes (lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.) are high in fiber which can be beneficial for weight loss as they help you feel fuller longer and control hunger. Eating beans and legumes has also been linked with various other health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol, and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease (
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar: An incredible food that is popular in the natural health community, apple cider vinegar supports weight loss. It contains acetic acid which is known to reduce belly fat and restrain body fat build up. Adding apple cider vinegar to your vegetable salad could help curb your appetite, potentially leading to greater weight loss.
  5. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are a low-carb-friendly food and one of the best sources of fiber in the world. With its high fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, expanding in your stomach, filling you up, and reducing your appetite. Add chia seeds to salads and smoothies.
  6. Yogurt: Protein-packed and full of probiotics, yogurt is good for gut health and may help your weight-loss efforts. Probiotics help to boost immunity, regulate belly function and burn the bloat. Avoid flavored yogurt with added sugar as it would add on calories. Instead, sweeten plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
  7. Salmon: Salmon is a super anti-inflammatory food that contains high-quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids which are good for burning belly fat. Salmon helps control the hormone levels that cause excess fat to accumulate, boosts heart health, lowers your risk of dementia and improves your mood. One study found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped people feel more satisfied when they were watching their calories.
  8. Popcorn: It’s an excellent weight-loss snack – if it’s not drenched in butter. Popcorn is filled with air and considered a low-calorie snack. Stick to low-fat, low-sodium microwave popcorn.
  9. Almonds: Almonds are an excellent source of fiber and protein, and can help you feel fuller longer.

While all of these foods are good for weight loss, make sure you eat it in moderation. And remember that regular exercise is also important for weight loss.

Five Healthy Aging Tips for Women

Skin ConcernsAging brings a variety of health challenges, especially in women. The right attitude and the right tools can help women meet their aging challenges. A survey by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has found that many women age 44 and older have numerous chronic conditions, that most of them are likely to miss work due to health, and that nearly one-third have delayed health care in recession. The report recommends that learning how to eat better and exercise in realistic ways would go a long way in helping women improve health and manage conditions.

Here are five healthy aging tips for women:

Maintain a healthy diet

A healthy, balanced diet is critical to reduce risk for major health problems such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, bone loss, anemia and diabetes. It is important to choose right foods, because older adults can prone to food borne illness and food poisoning. Include high-fiber fruits, veggies and whole grains in your diet, and small amount of lean protein at each meal to maintain muscle mass and repair cells. Ensure the recommended servings where protein is concerned as excessive protein intake increases risk of cancer and heart disease. Also limit consumption of red meat, as it can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

The FDA has recommended four basic food safety – Clean (wash hands and surfaces often), Separate (don’t cross-contaminate), Cook (cook to safe temperatures), and Chill (refrigerate promptly). Don’t buy food displayed in unsafe or unclean conditions and when purchasing canned goods, make sure that they are free of dents, cracks, or bulging lids.

Keep moving, stay active

While strength training exercises such as weightlifting, elastic bands, and hand dumbbells promote toned, strong muscles, aerobic exercises can improve heart and lung health. Women with bones or joints that are not that strong can try exercises that put less stress on the joints such as walking, swimming or water aerobics. A blog in Healthy Women says studies show that people who increase their activity later in life often gain greater physical and mental improvements than younger people. Exercise also helps to prevent falls.

Use medications correctly

It is critical for older adults to use medicines wisely as incorrect use can cause serious health problems. To avoid such incidents, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to provide all the necessary information about the medicines you take and any changes to your prescriptions. Keep a list of your medications and note any side effects or problems you may have. Make sure to read and follow the directions on the label and ask your healthcare provider about medication dosage and timing.

Treat and manage health conditions

Work with your healthcare provider to manage common health conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Take your medications as instructed and get your blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol tested. Know the signs of a heart attack – signs for the condition differ among men and women.

Preventive health screenings

Health screenings help recognize health problems, even before you show any signs or symptoms. Consult with your healthcare provider to know which health screenings are right for you and find out how often you should get screened. Based on your personal health history and your risk factors, more frequent screenings may be recommended. Most common screening tests for older women include mammograms, and colon cancer screening.

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet

Healthy DietFood and nutrition play a crucial role in health promotion and chronic disease prevention. A healthy diet is a balanced diet and developing healthy eating habits is very important. Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t have to be intimidating. Healthy eating is not about strict food restrictions or staying very thin, or sacrificing the foods you love. Instead, it’s about eating well to ensure you have more energy, improve your health, and stabilize your mood.

Here are some valuable tips that can help you maintain a healthy diet:

  • Watch your portion sizes: Portion control is a key factor in healthy eating. Try to eat a lot of variety foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds in moderate portions. By doing so, your meals would be enjoyable, interesting and nutritious. A balanced meal would have a protein source, a grain or starchy vegetable, fresh vegetables, and healthy fat.
  • Consume a Variety of Foods: To full your nutrient requirement, eating the same food continually is not a good idea. Instead, eat a wide assortment of foods that could help you to ensure that you will get all the necessary nutrients. In addition, this will also limit your exposure to any pesticides or toxic substances that may be present in one particular food.
  • Eat Plenty of Food from Plants: Eat more foods from plants such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes (that is, beans and lentils). Such food is loaded with proteins, carbohydrates, fiber and many. The nutrients, fiber and other compounds in these foods may help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. If you are diabetic or prone to diabetic then include non-starchy veggies like broccoli, asparagus, bok choy and other types of cabbage, artichokes, onions, garlic, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, turnips, carrots, squash, and all leafy greens. Choose whole fruits over juice for more fiber.
  • Limit Refined Grains, Added Sugar: Refined carbohydrates in white bread, pasta and other snacks foods have little to no dietary fiber and nutrients. Also, sugary foods are high in fat and calorie dense. So limit your intake of these items.
  • Consume More Fish and Nuts: Fat is an important part of healthy diet as it’s a major source of energy that helps your body to absorb some vitamins and minerals. Choose foods that are rich in healthy fats such as nuts, fish high in Omega-3, and avocados.
  • Cut Down on Animal Fat and avoid Trans Fats: Avoid or limit saturated and trans fat as it unhealthy and has no nutritional value. To cut down animal fat choose, lean meat skinless poultry and nonfat or low-fat dairy products and replace saturated fats, with “good” fats, found in nuts, fish and vegetable oils. Fats that are found in processed foods or trans fats can potentially increase the risk of heart disease, so try to avoid or minimize the use of such food products.
  • Choose Food Over Supplements: Always try to get your vitamins and minerals from natural foods, not from supplements (except if your doctor recommended). Food supplements cannot replace a healthy diet.
  • Limit Alcohol: Drink in moderation is a key point to alcohol users, that is, no more than one drink a day for women, two a day for men. Too much alcohol may increase your risk of health problems and damage your heart.
  • Listen to your body’s signals: It’s important you to distinguish between emotional hunger and physical hunger. The main reasons for weight gain are overeating at meals, emotional eating, or excessive snacking when you’re really not feeling hungry. The Hunger Scale can help you figure out when to eat and when not to eat. If you are having a hard time getting rid of those extra pounds, it’s important to check what you eat as well as how you eat.
  • Balance the food you eat with physical activity: Physical activity alongside healthy diet is an important consideration.

Last but not least, enjoy your food and mealtimes in the company of your loved ones. According to research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may act as a “protective factor” for many nutrition health-related problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.

Nutrition Tips for Healthy Aging

Healthy AgingGiving your body the right nutrients and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can promote healthy aging. As you grow older, your metabolism slows down and you may more of certain nutrients than before. This means you have to choose foods that can give you the best nutritional value. Good nutrition can lower your risk of chronic disease and can help you enjoy a long and healthy life. Here are some nutrition tips for healthy aging:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: According to Forbes Custom, new studies show diet and nutrition may indeed promote healthy aging and reduce risk of age-related disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines good nutrition as an adequate, well-balanced diet and stresses that poor nutrition can result in reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. So the first rule for healthy aging is to maintain a healthy diet.
  • Eat more fresh produce: Fresh fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Many studies have shown that people who consume diets high in fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Avoid processed or canned vegetables and fruits as they may have lot of preservatives and may include large amounts of salt or sugar.
  • Stick to recommended servings: Eating the right food in the right proportion will provide the fuel needed to perform daily activities and at the same time help maintain your weight. The American Heart Association provides recommended daily servings for adults aged 60+.
  • Keep an eye on saturated fats: Saturated fats can increase your risk of chronic diseases such as increase in blood cholesterol level and heart diseases. Limit intake of these unhealthy fat foods and include unsaturated fats such as olive oil, semi-skimmed(1%) or skimmed milk, lean or extra lean mince, chicken without skin, reduced fat cheddar, reduced fat spread, and plain biscuit.
  • Lower sodium intake: Too much sodium intake can be a risk factor for developing heart disease. Healthy adults need only 1500 mg of sodium per day, however, 60% of older adults consume closer to 3400 mg. Limit sodium and try to flavor your foods without using salt or with less salt.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D: As you age, your body needs both calcium and vitamin D for the maintenance of the bones. Milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium. Other sources include fish with edible bones (e.g. salmon, sardines), green leafy vegetables like kale, calcium fortified soy products, white bread and fortified breakfast cereals. Physicians may recommend vitamin D supplements for those who are unable to get the needed calcium and Vitamin D from their diet.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drink water as much as you can. According to the Mayo Clinic, your intake is probably adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow. Avoid sugary cold drinks and keep fluids with sugar and salt at a minimum, unless your doctor has suggested otherwise.

Even though you are taking vitamin supplements, it is important to have a balanced diet too as supplements can replace its benefits. Remember that taken in excess, supplements may be harmful. Make exercise a part of routine as it keep you physically and mentally fit.

Fight Cellulite Naturally with a Healthy Diet

OsteoporosisCellulite, the unsightly bumps that appear on the hips, thighs and buttocks, is a combination of dimpling, loose skin and swollen fat pockets. This problem is the results of internal dermatological fat accumulation and affects the vast majority of women and some men too. Other factors such as heredity factors, along with hormonal imbalance, lack of sleep, smoking, stress and overexposure to the sun could also be reasons for the appearance of cellulite.

According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery survey, nearly 90% of women and 10% of men have cellulite which prompts them to visit plastic surgery centers to find a solution. There are various cellulite treatments that smooth the skin using lasers and radiofrequency technologies. However, you can combat cellulite through natural methods. In fact, the food you eat can affect how much cellulite you have and so making changes to your diet can help.

Foods that cause Cellulite

Here are some of the worst foods for cellulite:

  • White Carbohydrates: These do not provide any nutrients and are known as “empty calories”. The so-called “white” carbohydrates are highly processed foods that have been stripped of much of their nutrient value and can worsen cellulite. White sugar is an example of a white carb that contributes to the appearance of cellulite and being overweight. Healthy alternatives for white carbs include brown sugar, honey, maple syrup or natural fruit syrup (such as apples, pears etc)
  • Margarine and Butter: Both these products have saturated fat. One study found that people who eat lot of butter and margarine had worse skin with cellulite.
  • Processed Meat and Cheeses: These are high sodium foods that cause water retention and extra water weight which can make cellulite more visible.
  • Fried Foods: Foods like French fries are high in fat content and may also have a lot of salt. Consuming large amounts of salt causes the body to retain water and cause the fatty pockets of cellulite to expand. It’s better to have grilled, steamed or baked foods.
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Intake of alcoholic beverages does not directly cause cellulite formation but can worsen the condition as they tighten blood vessels in the skin. Alcoholic beverages also promote fluid retention and increase fat deposits in certain areas such as the thighs, arms, abdomen and glutes, as they contain “empty calories”.

Foods that can reduce cellulite:

Including these foods in your diet can help fight cellulite:

  • Salmon: This fish is full of omega-3 fatty acids which protects the skin, and makes it stay smooth, moisturized, and healthy.
  • Green tea: A powerful antioxidant drink, green tea helps speed up the metabolism and increases fat burn. Antioxidants are the body’s prime mechanism in fighting cellulite-worsening inflammation.
  • Water with lemon: Always stay hydrated. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is the best way to flush out free radicals and other toxins. Adding a simple lemon wedge in your drinking water would help to get rid cellulite by providing vitamin C which fights against damage from the sun and air pollution.
  • Grapefruit: This citrus fruit has a fat-burning ability that can help your skin to look smoother. As it contains vitamin C, it also helps to build up collagen and repair skin which is important to fight against cellulite.
  • Dark chocolate: Natural cocoa is full of antioxidants that help break down fat in cellulite and promote cell growth.

5 Tips to Boost Breast Health

Every woman has a responsibility to maintain good breast health. Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women and can occur even if there are no risk factors. Adopting certain healthy lifestyle habits can however reduce your risk of developing the disease. Here are 5 tips that can keep your breasts healthy:

  • Boost Breast HealthA Healthy Diet: A healthy diet can help maintain breast health and also boost your overall health. Chemicals found in packaged foods can cause cancer. Following a healthy diet that contains whole, fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables (especially cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli) can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals from food. Avoid estrogen like compounds that are commonly seen in packaged foods, plastics, food additives, canned foods and drinks. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is reported to lower the risk of breast problems.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Smoking: Smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits. It increases the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer and other health problems. Quit smoking and limit your intake of alcohol immediately.
  • Observe and Self-examine: Always keep a track of your health. Do a self-check on your breasts for lumps or any discomfort. Self-exams make you familiar with how your breasts look and feel. You will be better able to spot any changes and can report them to your doctor immediately.
  • Maintain a Healthy BMI: Keep your BMI within the healthy range for your height because extra pounds can increase in estrogen production.
  • Regular Workouts: To maintain healthy weight and avoid obesity, exercise regularly. This can lessen the risk of all cancers, including breast cancer. Fat cells produce more estrogen. High levels of this hormone have been linked to certain cancers. Working out can minimize the size of fat cells, so that your body pumps out less estrogen.

It’s not just only these methods you have to follow but some things that are dedicated to breast health alone can keep track of the wellbeing of your breasts. These are the necessary measures to take to make sure that you remain healthy. Other than this tips some changes in your daily habits such as drinking plenty of filtered water, an undisturbed sleep, eating an antioxidant and Omega-3 rich diet, eating dark chocolate, taking folic acid, getting enough Vitamin D and breastfeeding each child for at least six months (exclusively) and preferably for a year can boost your breast health.