The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Many people have heard of the benefits of fasting. Is intermittent fasting any different than the fasting used in religion or by those that detox? More importantly, what are the benefits of intermittent fasting? The following will give you a better idea of what to expect now and in the future from this type of fasting.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is exactly like it sounds. People spend periods fasting followed by periods of eating. It is recommend to fast for 24 hours, but 16 hours will provide some results. It is also recommended that you fast 1-2 days per week for the best results. And, what are those results? Actually the results that that come from intermittent fasting are very similar to those of calorie restriction. The plus is that you aren’t required to watch your calories every day. Instead, you eat what you want one day and then fast. However, those foods that you do eat are based on a primal diet consisting of meat, vegetables and animal fat.

How Can It Help Me Now?

Those using intermittent fasting have experienced increased energy. One of the biggest benefits though is that people find this diet easier to follow because it allows them to eat fat, which can be tasty and satisfying. Intermittent fasting can also improve brain functions and help the brain stay sharp for longer. This type of fasting also helps muscle mass by more quickly removing waste from the body. You may even experience better workout results when exercising during a fasting phase. Last, but not least, intermittent fasting can offer improved memory and mental clarity. This means you’ll have an easier time remembering names, concentrating on your work and better enjoying life as you age.

What About Later?

Intermittent fasting has many benefits that may not be easy to see immediately. Not only does intermittent fasting reduce the chances of cancer, but it may help you live longer. More importantly, the extra years that you do tack on will be more enjoyable.

Intermittent fasting may be a great option for some people trying to lose weight or just be healthier. However, you should speak with your doctor before beginning the plan. This is especially true for those that have diabetes or nutritional deficiencies that could be worsened while fasting. For those that can do intermittent fasting, you may see an increased value of life in which you’re better able to enjoy your food and quality of life.

About the Author: Darrick Berntsen is a personal trainer and nutritionist. While he doesn’t recommend intermittent fasting for those with certain health conditions, he does find it to be a reasonable method for those who are healthy and simply looking to modify their diets.

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The Relationship Between Not Eating and Anger

Angry PersonDo you know of anybody who is easily agitated, hostile, or most of the time angry?

Have you been around someone who is on a diet, especially those following fad diets or people who are on crash diets? Or maybe you’ve been with friends and family who missed eating meals …

If you answered yes to these questions, read on as you’ll be surprised. If you answered no on the other hand, try to be with someone who has missed breakfast, lunch or dinner, surely it’ll not take long before you finally say “now I understand”.

Now here’s interesting information for you.

According to a recent study, people who are hostile, people who are easily angered are most likely people with very low serotonin levels, and there is a big chance that they are like this because they missed eating a good full meal.

According to the study, people who do not eat are more prone to violence or aggression. This is because when serotonin levels are low, and this happens when a person has not eaten, controlling emotional responses to anger becomes more difficult.

So this explains why people who are on crash diets are most of the time irritable and are almost always “grumpy”; it’s the low serotonin in their system that’s causing it.

The study was done by the Cambridge University of Britain and was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

In the study, the diets of the volunteers were changed. Two appointed days were chosen and were given the names Serotonin Depletion Day and Placebo Day.

On the Serotonin Depletion Day, the volunteers were given a combination of amino acids which lacked tryptophan, the building block for serotonin. This had an effect similar to what happens when a person does not eat.

On the placebo day, the volunteers were given the same mixture but with a standard amount of tryptophan. This had an effect similar to what happens when a person eats.

The volunteers were then made to view images depicting facial expressions such as anger, sadness, and neutral expressions. While this was going on, the brains of the volunteers were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI. Through this exercise the researchers were able to measure how different brain regions responded to and communicated with each other.

Balanced Diet

The results showed that for volunteers with low brain serotonin, which happens when a person has not eaten, communication between the amygdala and the frontal lobes were weak. The opposite holds true when the volunteers’ serotonin levels were normal.

So to be able to control your emotional response to anger, eat regularly and healthily. Eating regularly and eating healthily will ensure a good level of serotonin, the key to controlling emotional responses to anger.

Guest Post by:

Siena Lombardi is an established writer for the Accessrx blog, where the exciting health news for the day is broken down. She hold a degree in communication and actively participates on the Accessrx website, which promotes safe medications online to USA customers.

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Health Foods: Simple Ways to Eat more Fruits and Vegetables

Everyone is told to eat fruits and vegetables, beginning at a young age.  The up to date dietary guidelines recommend Americans to get at least  five cups of fruits and veggies today.  Many people are surprised by this because an astonishing amount of them don’t even get half of that.  Because of today’s fast and processed foods, they usually take priority over health foods in some households.  It can be hard to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet if you’ve never done it before.  There are plenty of ways you can “sneak” them into your diet and after getting used to it, you won’t ever crave processed foods again!

Fruits and vegetables are essential for our bodies to function.  They provide us with fiber, keeping our digestive tract healthy and preventing digestive illnesses.  They are anti-oxidant rich and will possibly prevent cancer and other chronic diseases such as heart disease.  Fruits and veggies are filled with vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to function.  If you eat them regularly along with other healthy foods, you are likely to maintain your weight throughout your lifetime.  All of these are great reasons to learn to incorporate them into your diet.

At breakfast, you can add fruit to your regular piece of toast, or eat it separately.  Add berries to your oatmeal or cereal.  Chopping vegetables and adding them to scrambled eggs is a great way to get an early morning energy burst.  Make a fresh smoothie with your own ingredients such as: fresh fruit, skim milk or yogurt.  You can even add vegetables to the mix by blending them along with the fruit.  Limit juice but if you must have it, make sure it’s 100% instead of sugary.

Incorporate a handful of fruits and veggies to what you eat for lunch.  If you’re a sandwich eater, load it with fresh vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, sprouts, onions or peppers.  If you crave unhealthy, crunchy snack foods this is a great way to get rid of that habit.  Salads are already a healthy, veggie filled lunch food (if you eat it without croutons and tons of fattening dressing) but you can make it even healthier by adding fresh fruits.  Fresh fruits that go well with salad include: grapes, apples, oranges or pears.

Make ½ of your plate full of fruits and veggies at dinner.  Add them to recipes by chopping or slicing them.  Experiment with different ways of cooking vegetables like steaming, roasting or stir-frying.  Add side salads to your dinners.  Eat veggie pizza instead of plain cheese pizza.  Mashed potatoes, rice and other dishes taste great with vegetables mixed in.  Instead of eating dessert after dinner, make it a priority to eat a piece of fruit.

Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, water and several nutrients.  Because of their make-up, they keep us full for a longer time.  You will become accustomed to eating healthy and will eventually not crave unhealthy food as often.  If you substitute fruit for sugary snacks, it is likely that your sugar cravings will subside.  Try the ideas listed above to integrate fruits and vegetables into your diet and decide which ones you like best.  If you enjoy the healthy food you eat, you will stick to it.

Brianna Elliott is a third year dietetics student.  She had grown a passion for nutrition in her years of studying.  She loves fruits and vegetables and thinks the amount of people who don’t get enough of them is devastating because of the good they do for your body.  Brianna also writes blog for PSCLife.com – a health & nutrition e-commerce store which carries Tyme Zyme enzyme supplement and Nutamax’s Cosamin ASU for sore joints and achey muscles.

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Eating Clean – The Lifestyle for Your Health!

You may have heard of the concept of eating clean but be unsure as to what exactly this process involves.  To put it simply, clean eating is when you eat food that is as close as possible to its natural state.  Of course this isn’t always possible, but the core idea behind it is to consume natural and wholesome foods.  While there is certainly a lot of talk of the Eat Clean Diet, it is important to understand that it is not intended to be a diet per say.  Rather, eating clean is a lifestyle that should never end.

A key component to this idea is to eat five or six times each day.  Lean protein foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts are the core of a clean diet.  Balance is important and each time you have a meal or snack both protein and carbohydrates should be present.  Water is key, and you should drink at least two liters daily.

In order to be successful, you will need to take the time to learn how to read labels.  Ingredient lists should be as short as possible and you should avoid anything that has ingredients that you don’t recognize.  Avoid white flour, sugar, white bread and white pasta.  Instead, choose whole wheat or whole grain versions.  Quinoa pasta and rice pasta are delicious healthy alternatives to highly refined options.  You will also want to stay away from foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats.

You may think that fat is something you will have to stay away from but actually you will want to make sure you get enough of the right kinds of fats each day.  Essential fatty acids are a key component to your health, as are fats from sources like avocados, olives and nuts.

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Avoiding Basic Foods High in Cholesterol

It can be surprising for some people to hear that they have high cholesterol levels, but all you have to do is look at your own diet to assess the situation. If you take the time to carefully inventory what you eat on a regular basis, it shouldn’t be too hard to locate your problem areas. For most people, this usually involves unhealthy choices at snack time or eating too much during dinner. There isn’t really any secret as to which types of foods are bad for you either, and it’s likely you already have a general idea of what you should be avoiding. The trick is to match theory with practice since it can be hard to stay healthy all the time in real life. People are dealing with longer work schedules, increased tributes to and from work, and more responsibilities around the home. Sometimes it may seem like there is no other option other than ordering a pizza or driving through a fast foods window. But make no mistake, when it comes to your health impossible complications with cholesterol it’s absolutely essential to interject a healthy eating whenever you can.

The first step is to identify the foods high in cholesterol that have gotten you into trouble in the first place. It’s important to stay away from saturated fats and these are most commonly found in things like potato chips or processed animal products. The good news about saturated fats is that you can safely remove them from your diet without impacting your overall nutrition. The bad news is they are most commonly found in things that we love to eat and that we find the most delicious. No one says you have to get rid of them altogether, but you should work on finding healthier alternatives so that you can have moderation in mind. For example, instead of reaching for that bag of potato chips you might want to try some fresh fruits or vegetables. Or if you want something with similar texture but without all of the saturated fats, try mixed nuts or even a bowl of whole-grain cereal.

If you really want to get back on track then you have to take your diet back into your own hands. That means you’re going to have to start cooking. For some people this will be a problem, but if you aren’t all that familiar with your kitchen it’s important to realize what an advantage home cooking can be. You can have full control over each and every ingredient that eventually ends up in your system, and you really can’t trust restaurants without responsibility. When you cook for yourself and keep an eye on your overall nutrition by making sure to get plenty of protein, foods high in iron, and all of the other goodies they keep your body healthy. It’s also a great way to try out your new healthy recipes, and you might just find a popular new favorite in the process.

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Weight Loss with the Alkaline Diet Today

Losing weight is not the primary objective of the alkaline diet. Thinking that you should choose a weight loss diet instead might not be the best idea. Wanting to lose weight quickly is of course desirable on one level. Although, the thing is, that fast weight loss can result in a yo-yo effect. That’s why a more general diet for overall health can actually be the best option. In other words, to feel healthier and have a better body for years to come, weight loss with the alkaline diet makes a great choice.

This is why eating more fruits and vegetables and not worrying too much about calories is a great way to eat. Over time, you will certainly become healthier and look better. You are almost guaranteed to lose weight with the alkaline diet. To get started, all you have to do is eat more fruit and vegetables. There is nothing that you really have to deny yourself. Over time your desire for unhealthy foods will decrease.

Let’s think about the sorts of foods that you would eat at breakfast time if you were to follow an alkaline diet. Don’t worry, all you really have to do is to start eating more alkaline foods. When you get into it, it becomes almost second nature to make the healthy choice. What is your normal breakfast meal?

When you get up, try and have a glass of water. Doing so means you can get rid of any toxins that have gathered while you slept. An important part of the alkaline diet is staying hydrated. Fruit and vegetables are also very important. You could make a fresh orange juice. It is not an issue if you like to eat scrambled eggs and fried foods. The aim is to supplement your regular meals with more fresh produce. At the end of the day, by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, you are following an alklaline diet.

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