Monthly Archives: September 2018

A Complete Guide to Omega-3 Foods

Are you just plain fed up with all the misinformation regarding omega-3 foods? There are many conflicting sources, making your head spin. This article is an attempt to provide an objective look at omega-3 supplements, and discover which is the best.

Without a doubt, the benefits of omega-3 essential fatty acids are numerous. But how do we, the omega-3 deficient Western nations, get them into our diet?

The simple solution is to eat them off our dinner plates. Some fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, hoki and halibut) are rich in essential acid fats and can properly supplement our diet. They make good omega-3 foods because they are “long chain.” This means they have more fatty acids.

One fish is particularly rich in fatty acids. The aforementioned hoki contain naturally high levels of DHA and EPA. They also come from clean, cool and deep waters, and therefore do not suffer the effects of water pollution. They reside in the pristine waters just off the South coast of New Zealand.

They are a brilliant source of omega-3s. However, if you don’t like fish, or don’t want to cook or live off hoki for the rest of your life, then you can use a fish oil capsule.

One company encapsulates the oil from hoki fish and creates a convenient, tasteless supplement for use. This allows us to provide our body with the omega-3 oil it needs to function properly, but without the hassle.

Plus, even though the hoki come from clean waters, nature may pollute them as it has natural impurities. Fish oil capsules are cleaner and safer than eating fish because the oil in them can be molecularly distilled (removing harmful impurities.)

Therefore, if you want to supplement your diet with omega-3 foods, then fish are the best bet – particularly hoki. However, if you want a more convenient and also safer method, you should look into getting a fish oil supplement in the form of a capsule.

So now that you’re armed with this information, you can further research the topic for more information and decide on a source of omega-3 most beneficial to you.

Healthy Power Foods

Some may wonder what foods are considered healthy, and what are unhealthy. Power foods are different types of foods that are full of high-quality nutrients, and can benefit the body in many ways. There are power foods in every food category (dairy, meats, vegetables/fruits and grains) and they are beneficiary in losing fat, gaining muscle, boosting the immune system and/or optimizing your health.

The following is a list of some of the best power foods to consider in your diet.

Power Food #1: Oatmeal
Oatmeal is great in every way – it is loaded with complex carbohydrates so it can be eaten for breakfast (to fuel your body for the day), and before a workout to give you that extra boost of quality energy. Pre-flavored oatmeal comes packed with sugar, so it is best to avoid that and go for the unsweetened kind. To make the plain oatmeal more appealing to your taste buds, add a cup of skimmed milk (or water) and a handful of berries or a sliced banana for more essential nutrients. Oatmeal is also one of the few foods that contain fiber (recommended you get between 25-35 grams of fiber daily) which will help with energy levels and proper bowel movements. Along with its high-quality complex carbohydrates, oatmeal also contains high-quality protein, with minimal fat.

Power Food #2: Nuts & Seeds
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are full of good unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which help you stay full, and they are also a great source of protein. Now, don’t be afraid that nuts and seeds contain fat; these are the good types of fat that actually help with fat loss! Both nuts and seeds help build muscles, and help you stay full throughout the day (so you won’t have a sweet tooth for the unhealthy foods). Every nut and seed have their similarities and differences, but almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are your healthiest choices because of the high-nutrient balance.

Power Food #3: Green Vegetables
Vegetables are packed with high-quality nutrients and is mandatory in every diet. Every vegetable provides different vitamins and minerals, and they all contribute to the body from energy production, to preventing specific diseases and conditions. They can be added into most of your dishes by cutting them into smaller pieces and tossing them in (broccoli in brown rice, adding greens to a sandwich, etc). Some green vegetables are rich in fiber (broccoli) which provides energy throughout the day, and helps with specific functions in your body.

Power Food #4: Eggs
Eggs were known to be unhealthy for the body because of the high cholesterol content. However, research shows that eggs contain the highest biological value of protein (measurement of how well it supports your body), so eggs would be your best bet for a choice of protein. By removing the yolk from the egg itself, you reduce the cholesterol and there is nothing left but quality protein for those starving muscles.

Power Food #5: Chicken and Other Lean Meats
One of the best ways to increase your protein intake is chicken or any other lean meats (turkey, lean steak, beef, etc). Sticking to lean cuts will reduce the amount of fat intake, but your body needs some saturated fat to help digest specific nutrients, and it also aids in other body functions. On the other hand, fish (tuna and salmon) are loaded with healthy fats (omega 3’s) as well as protein, so try to add a couple of servings here and there. Some meats such as beef contain creatine, which is often desired by bodybuilders that are bulking to increase size, and mass.

Power Food #6: Brown Rice
White rice contains simple carbohydrates that give you a quick, but short burst of energy whereas brown rice gives you a steady amount of energy, for a longer duration. Brown rice is LOADED with complex carbohydrates (the healthy carbohydrates!) and would be great for a post-workout meal right after a good whey supplement. There is literally no down side to brown rice aside from it’s taste/texture (for some), but there are many great recipes available to complement its taste.

Power Food #7: Cottage Cheese
Probably one of the most unpleasant foods, and isn’t the tastiest either. Cottage cheese is loaded with protein and an amino acid called casein that is a slow digesting protein which would be perfect for a midnight snack. Be careful though, cottage cheese does contain other nutrients such as fat and carbohydrates (and not to mention sodium), so do not abuse the portion size, especially if you are eating it as a midnight snack.

Fitsical is a reliable source for health and fitness content for those who seek a happier and healthier lifestyle through physical activity and healthy eating. Some people don’t know where or how to start and this is why we are here. Our site features multiple weekly articles on health and fitness news, trends, tips, exercises and recipes. Our articles are short and concise; they contain enough quality information on the topic without having you read an entire book.

Why Millets Ruled the Kingdom in Food

Millets – heard of them, haven’t you? While millets aren’t a very common kitchen or meal staple globally, they ought to be, considering the numerous health benefits they carry and the fact that in this country it is one of the primary producers of this grain crop! Cultivated mainly in developing countries, its quick growing season and ability to survive in harsh arid environments and high nutritional content makes it one of the perfect crops.

The versatile grain can be used in cereals, porridge, breads and snacks. A rich source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds that are beneficial for health, millets are receiving their due credit lately due to their inherent gluten-free nature, making them perfect foods for those with Celiac disease. Besides this, millets possess the ability keep other health issues and diseases at bay. It is no wonder that millets are popular health grains in the country!

1. Improves heart health:

Millets is one of the best possible grains to include into your diet, if you seek heart health protection and maintenance. Rich in magnesium, millets help in reducing blood pressure and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes. Moreover, millets are a great source of potassium that works as a vasodilator to keep your blood pressure in check.

2. Keeps cholesterol levels in check:

Their high-fibre content makes millets the ideal food for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. Furthermore, the dietary fibre in millets work to eliminate bad cholesterol or LDL from the system, while simultaneously promoting the influence of good cholesterol or HDL.

3. Boosts digestive health:

Incorporation of millets into your daily diet can improve your digestive health by keeping gastrointestinal problems like gas, bloating, constipation and cramps at bay, due to their high fibre content. Improvement of digestive health assists your body’s nutrient retention and absorption ability, thereby reducing the risk of serious problems such as gastric ulcers and even colon cancer. Moreover, proper digestion optimizes the health of kidneys, liver, the immune system and other organs that have a close relationship with metabolic activities of the body.

4. Provides protection against diabetes:

The magnesium-rich millet is beneficial in reducing the risk of Type II diabetes. Magnesium is considered one of the most vital minerals for increasing the efficacy of insulin and glucose receptors in the body, thereby preventing diabetes.

5. Keeps the risk of cancers at bay:

According to a recent research, dietary fibre is one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer, so much so that by consuming at least 30 grams of fibre a day, women can reduce their chances of breast cancer by at least 50%! Millets are loaded with dietary fibre goodness, so including them into your diet in various forms can greatly assist in preventing cancers.

6. Detoxifies the body:

Millets are rich in antioxidants – they work to neutralise free radicals which could be cancer-causing and further flush out other toxins from the body. Beneficial catechins found in millet such as quercetin, ellagic acid and curcumin help in ridding the body of toxins and foreign agents, thereby promoting healthy digestion, elimination and neutralisation of enzymatic activity in the liver and kidneys.

7. Benefits the respiratory system:

Modern research explains the benefits that millets can have on the respiratory system, particularly in improving the quality of life of those suffering from childhood asthma. An early incorporation of millets can also help prevent childhood asthma from developing further. Moreover, millets are a safer bet as they do not contain the allergens as wheat does, which can aggravate wheezing and asthma; millets do not have this negative effect.

Uniquely high in nutrients, impressive starch content, remarkable dietary fibre concentrations, superb vitamin B levels and a great source of essential minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium, millets are indeed power grains for the entire family. Consume in moderation in the form of dosas, cereals, casseroles, pancakes, smoothies and porridge, to nourish yourself and your family.

Choosing a Healthy Food Bar

Are you always on-the-go and have little time to eat? Do you spend a lot of time at the gym and often need an instant energy boost? Or are you currently on a diet and looking for a snack that won’t spoil your weight loss plans?

The food bar was created to satisfy the need for a quick, convenient, delicious and filling snack, and is usually marketed as a meal replacement bar or a protein bar. Food bars provide people with an active and busy lifestyle – and those just looking for a snack – an instant source of nourishment.

Many people turn to chocolate bars when they need a quick bite. It’s hard to find something that can beat the satisfaction of sinking your teeth on good ol’ chocolate. But chocolate nutrition has always been a source of controversy.

Chocolate is derived from the fruit of the cacao tree. A single spoon of raw cocoa powder contains more than 25,000 beneficial antioxidants, as well as other nutrients. However, processing strips chocolate of most of its potency and as a result, most chocolate products do not deliver the potential health benefits.

What Makes a Healthy Natural Energy Bar?

Many food bars in the market are chocolate-based, therefore, if you’re looking for a food bar that’s truly healthy and nutritious, choose one that uses a high-quality chocolate cocoa. Organic dark chocolate will be your best bet because it’s the chocolate closest to its original raw state. Avoid milk chocolate because milk and milk byproducts cancel out the antioxidants.

Here are other important things to consider when looking for a food bar:

* Sugar content – The lower the sugar content, the better. Avoid bars containing high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Organic raw agave syrup or nectar is one of the more acceptable sweeteners.
* Contains smart fats like omega-3 and other essential fats – Avoid bars containing dangerous trans fats
* Quality protein source – Avoid unhealthy soy proteins
* No allergens, artificial additives, colorings, flavors (MSG), preservatives or stabilizers
* Contains fiber to enhance your digestion

If possible, look for a bar using natural organic ingredients. When it comes to nutrition and safety, organic produce is superior to conventional produce. You can’t go wrong with a natural energy bar containing healthy all-organic ingredients.