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The Whole Truth About Super Foods

The lettuce or the peaches are not the same as before. It is a topic of conversation on many tables and a reality that has driven a new generation of dietetics: that of the so-called super foods.

Given the decrease in the quality of the products we consume today and, sometimes, in the face of an unbalanced diet, the arrival of those new products with extra properties is more than welcome: they are high in antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C and E) ) and phytonutrients (chemical substances present in plants that provide color and flavor, as well as protection against ultraviolet radiation and infections), eliminate toxins, contribute to reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer and combat aging.

It is common to hear about the excellence of traditional products in the Mediterranean diet, such as olive oil.

Myth or Reality

Are we faced with medicines capable of curing and shielding against possible ailments or is this a temporary and baseless tendency, a product of the popular interest of the developed world for diet and health?

A simple search in Google on the term “super food” reveals that every 0.13 seconds someone tracks the term on the Internet.

In addition, it returns around 700,000 results.

However, despite its omnipresence, there is not even an official definition.

Is it a trend or fashion; It is not something new. Years ago the scientific community named functional ingredients to nutrients that, without adding calories, preserve health, such as olive oil, nuts or blue fish. Hence comes the name super food, but this does not enjoy the scientific evidence. It is true that they are very healthy products.

The nutritionist of the Biomedical Research Center of the Carlos III Institute, Manuel Monino, agrees with the statement: “There is no superfood as such. Instead, rather than specific products, talk about food super-patterns: there is insufficient evidence of their claimed properties, in fact, most studies have conducted in vitro tests on animals and use very high doses of substances, impossible to achieve with the habitual intake of the food that contains them.

Even so, it is true that some are rich in bioactive substances or in phytochemicals that are in the focus of research, such as flavonoids, carotenes, phenolic compounds… “.

“They are healthy products, but they do not cure, they only preserve health at best”. Warns Irene Breton.

For this expert, the best way to provide the body with everything you need is through a varied diet rich in legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, but without exclusive consumption of a specific product or excluding others, such as eggs or dairy “What contributes to health or takes away the food patterns and not eating something isolated. Some cater to do great business, that ask it to those who marketed the oat bran, exotic juices or Goji berries, the latter considered by many a super food when they are not different from our raisins, “.

In Spain, we spend more than 2,000 million euros on miracle products, which sometimes includes extracts from supposedly prodigious foods. According to Nieves Palacios, specialist in Endocrinology and Sports Medicine, when making a menu we can not forget fruits, nuts and vegetables every day and vegetables and fish two or three times a week.

In 2013 The New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a study of the Carlos III Institute of Madrid in patients with cardiovascular risk that proved that a diet rich in such foods and low in soft drinks, fatty meats and sweets reduced up to 30% the probability of heart attacks. “The concept” super “has become popular in the media, not among scientists,” he adds.

Exotic and traditional

What does seem clear is that incorporating these foods into a balanced diet is beneficial both physically and emotionally. “It produces emotional well-being and increases self-esteem, by being aware that we are taking care of our body,” says Itxasne Tome, a psychologist at the Ravenna Clinic.

But what to buy?

The acclaimed of all the life or those of extravagant name exalted by journalists and bloggers? Paula Rosso, nutritionist at the Lajo Plaza medical center, do not bet on both options.

“Some traditions return when they discover their active ingredients scientifically: for example Omega-3 acids and chia fiber, protectors of the cardiovascular system, or Goji berries, excellent antioxidant, although it has been discovered that some commercial presentations incorporated high doses of heavy metals, hence they sell less.

In any case, Mediterranean foods are also a source of vitamins and the basis of our diet, “adds the nutritionist. And as important as what to take is the way to do it.

“This type of food must be consumed raw or with the least possible cooking and take it very fresh so that it keeps its properties intact and makes it easier for the body to absorb it,” says Dr. Rosso. And nothing to gorge on one and marginalise all others.

“There is evidence that fruits and vegetables fight cancer, but in the form of supplements – that is, isolating their nutrients outside – they do not produce the same effects. Including large doses of a new food can sometimes mean displacing others of greater nutritional value and thus contribute to the imbalance, “says Manuel Monino.

Eat Live Whole Foods For Better Health

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are healthy for your body, but do you know why? Fruits and vegetables are considered a live whole food when they are uncooked, and live whole foods are an important part of our diets that we may be missing. This article has some information on live whole foods and why they are important.

Live whole foods are uncooked or unheated – raw and living plant-based foods. Which may include beans, fresh juices, nuts, seeds, sprouts, fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, etc. These raw live whole foods contain a broad range of live enzymes and crucial life force nutrients – vitamins, amino acids, minerals, etc.

Many who have been on a raw live food diet have seen great health improvements from eating this way. They have said to have superior mental alertness, energy levels, superior digestion and skin appearance. Weight loss has also been said could result in eating live whole foods.

By this time you may be a little more curious as to what eating live whole foods can do for you, and how safe it would be to go on an all raw food diet.

As with any diet you should consult your doctor first. However in my opinion it just wouldn’t seem healthy to eat all raw foods all the time. It seems that by eating all live foods you’d be missing some vitamins and minerals you may only get from other foods like dairy. Although, a diet composed mostly of live whole foods is one of the healthiest approaches to eating because of how rich in nutrients the foods are!

By far one of the best ways to approach any diet is balancing. A healthy well balanced diet with raw foods as your main source of nourishment with plenty of variety seems like your best bet. Try to stay away from processed foods, and go for organic if at all possible.

For most of us, it isn’t feasible to be eating a diet composed of all organic live whole foods due to our busy schedules, budget, and fast paced lifestyle. However I do believe that if we include more living foods into our diets, we will feel healthier, more energized, and ready to take on the world! Cutting back on processed foods and replacing them with more fruits and vegetables will greatly increase our general health and nutrition.

To me there is nothing wrong with eating live whole foods, just as long as you are eating a well balanced diet. Organic is always the best way to eat anything because you aren’t putting a bunch of chemicals into your body that don’t nourish it, but if you eat as much organic as possible then that’s also good too.

Healthy Detoxifying Foods

Just as your home might benefit from a little spring cleaning, so too would your body benefit from a cleaning of its own. You can blame it in part on the fast-paced world we live in, but every day, our bodies accumulate toxins at a rate nearly impossible to expel through its natural systems alone. That’s where a “detoxifying diet” or a “body detox” comes in handy. Even if you eat fairly well, but you still feel sluggish, or if your hair, skin, and nails aren’t looking their best, a short body detox could help rejuvenate your body’s organs and systems, getting you feeling back on par with a healthy balance.

What is a body “detox” and why might we need it?

“Detoxification” is classified as an alternative or natural medicinal approach to cleanse the body of toxins and other accumulated harmful substances that are built up over time and has negative effects on health and wellbeing. A detox usually consists of: dieting, fasting, consuming certain foods exclusively, avoiding specific foods, and colon cleansing. There is also a method of detox known as chelation therapy (use of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body), but it is not widely performed nor recommended for general use.

History of detoxification diets

History has recorded the use of “detoxification” treatments in ancient Egyptian and Greek cultures, although theirs was based on the premise of “autointoxication” (meaning “self-poisoning”). To the ancients, it was believed that foods entered our bodies and sat to essentially “rot” in our stomachs and intestines. That “rotting” food created toxins, which then spread through the body causing any number of illnesses: headaches, tooth aches, fever, pustules, and even hysteria, just to name a few. Their solution was to “detoxify” the body, usually through colon cleansing or irrigation.

The ideas of detoxification diets or treatments were fairly popular until the 1930s, when the medical theories supporting them seemed to lose confidence. Since then, however, detox has been getting some revived attention as natural and alternative medicines have gained ground and credence. Largely, a detox is a good way to bring your body out of an unhealthy “hibernation” of sorts. It is also a good way to give your body a fresh start on a clean, healthy life.

Top 10 foods for detoxing

While there are dozens of high-priced shakes and questionable “detox systems” available in nutrition stores and online, thankfully, Mother Nature has provided some key tools for cleansing your body right in your grocery store’s produce section.

Lemons – Lemons stimulate the release of enzymes and Vitamin C, which triggers digestion and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily expelled from the body. They also stimulate the liver and purify our body’s blood cells.

Beets – Nutrient-rich, a source of vitamins B3, B6 and C, beta-carotene, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron… beets are a wonder food! They are full of fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion, and they help our liver and gall bladder break down toxins. (For best results, use shredded raw beets)

Apples – Apples provide fiber (in the form of Pectin), nutrients, and help stimulate bile production (necessary for the liver to release toxins). Pectin is also helpful in removing heavy metals (which have been linked to such illnesses as depression, thyroid disease, and cancer) and food additives from our systems. (Organic apples are thought to be your best bet, as they are generally free from chemical pesticides)

Green vegetables – Our bodies utilize chlorophyll from green veggies, which helps to rid the body of toxins, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Garlic – Raw garlic has powerful antiviral, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties that help stimulate the liver to produce enzymes that help filter toxins from the digestive system.

Sea vegetables – These are mega rich in minerals and antioxidants that help alkalize the blood and strengthen our digestive tract. Sea veggies have something called alginic acid, which can absorb toxins from the digestive tract. (If you’re hesitant to try something like seaweed, buy Dulse Flakes and use it in salads, soups, and stir-fries in place of salt).

Broccoli sprouts – Not to be confused with broccoli (which is still very healthy for you), broccoli sprouts are high in antioxidants and contain phytochemicals that aid in the detox process faster than regular broccoli.

Green tea – Green tea is a great source of antioxidants, several specific to green tea in particular, increase liver function.

Artichokes – These work overtime for the liver and its functions. Artichokes increase bile production while also helping to purify and protect your liver. Having a slight diuretic effect on the kidneys, artichokes can assist in removing toxins once the liver breaks them down. They are also loaded with fiber, which helps with elimination.

Cilantro – Cilantro helps rid the body of heavy metals by actually binding to toxins and loosening them from the blood, tissues, and organs, thereby aiding with their removal from the body.

Discover Omega3 Sources

Have you read about this recently? There are many omega3 sources, although the one that always comes to mind first is fish. Doctors and nutritionists have been telling people for years that if they want to be heart healthy, then they have to add a regular weekly rotation of fish to their diet. That may have been a good idea at one point in time, but it is not advisable to eat large quantities of fish now.

The most recommended of the “oily” fish have always been salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and albacore tuna. These fish are all considered to be “predator” species, since they feed upon other species of fish smaller than themselves. With all of the contamination that is now present in just about every body of water in the world, being higher up on the food chain causes some problems.

Even the smallest fish take in measurable amounts of toxins throughout their lives, but it seems as though when one fish feeds on another the feeding fish accumulates all of the toxins absorbed by their prey. These larger omega3 sources tend to store high levels of lead, mercury, dioxins, PCBs, and furans. Large predators such as sharks contain mercury levels so high that they are virtually toxic.

The reason that eating these fish is dangerous is that there is no way to control the level of toxicity. If you are going to eat fish, then make sure that you are getting them from the cleanest bodies or regions of water possible. You would rather eat wild Pacific Salmon for example than you would salmon caught in the more heavily polluted Atlantic Ocean.

Encapsulated over the counter omega3 sources are a far better bet in order for you to ensure that the fish oil that you are ingesting is pure. The manufacturers of dietary fish oil supplements use a method of molecular distillation that reduces any present toxins to below measurable levels. So with fish oil capsules you never need worry about the dangers of mercury or lead poisoning.

Most of the other sources for omega fatty acids are heavy in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is good, but they are not good sources for either docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Both DHA and EPA offer you far more benefits than any of the other omega fatty acids, so they are the ones that you need to be specifically concerned about getting.

Other than the level of purity that can be obtained encapsulated dietary omega3 sources are advisable because they can also offer you the correct balance of crucial omega fatty acids. For example, in fish you are mostly getting EPA, with just a small amount of DHA. In balanced nutritional supplements however, you are able to get more than twice as much DHA as EPA.

Make no mistake about it. You need this sort of balance from your omega3 sources if you are going to enjoy the cardiovascular benefits, and improved brain function that these essential fatty acids offer. Don’t endanger yourself with toxins, or leave the amount of DHA you are getting to chance. Start taking a balanced fish oil supplement today, and ensure yourself the good health that you deserve.

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.