Monday, July 5, 2010

5 Foods for Better Skin!

1. Oranges

You’ve probably heard about the immunity-boosting power of oranges. But did you know that this sweet and juicy citrus fruit also has a positive impact on your skin? That’s because oranges are packed with vitamin C.

Vitamin C is an ingredient in many pricey skin creams, and for good reason. It is a powerful “antioxidant,” or substance that helps reduce the damage to skin caused by “free radicals.”

According to eDiets Director of Nutrition Pamela Ofstein “free radicals break down the collagen and elastin in the skin to cause wrinkles and advance the aging process.” “Citrus fruits, like oranges, are full of vitamin C,” she says. “By including vitamin C rich foods in your diet, you can combat free radicals and have smooth, taut skin.”

Vitamin C can also help reduce inflammation and promote wound healing. Don’t care too much for oranges? Opt for other citrus fruits rich in this vitamin, such as grapefruits and tangerines.

2. Nuts

Everyone knows that nuts are an excellent source of protein. That’s why they’re a staple in so many diet plans.

But are you aware that a handful of tasty nuts each day can actually help combat the effects of the sun’s harsh rays?

“Eating nuts and other vitamin E rich foods can help you reduce the effects of the sun,” says Pam.

Like vitamin C, the vitamin E found in nuts is a powerful antioxidant. It can also help skin retain its moisture, which results in a more youthful appearance.

There are many different types of nuts to choose from, but almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts are great choices.

If you’re not nuts about nuts, vegetable oils are another good source of vitamin E, according to Pam.

3. Carrots

You’ve probably heard that carrots are good for your vision, bu

t did you know that their health benefits actually extend beyond your peepers?

“Carrots contain vitamin A, which is necessary for skin tissue repair,” says Pam. “If you lack vitamin A in your diet, you may notice some skin changes.”

Such changes may include dryness and roughness, both of which make skin (and you!) appear older. So take a hint from Bugs Bunny and add some chopped carrots to your salad or dip crunchy carrot sticks into ranch dressing for a low-cal, skin-friendly snack.

Not a fan of this popular root vegetable? Other fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A include cantaloupe, spinach and red peppers

4. Eggs

Eggs provide a number of health benefits and are a common ingredient in many diet plans. But it’s a little known fact that they also contribute to skin health. That’s because they contain selenium, a mineral with powerful antioxidant properties.

“Foods rich in selenium in can help protect the skin from the sun,” says Pam.

In addition, selenium can delay aging by protecting your skin quality a

nd elasticity. Selenium is most effective when it comes from your diet rather than a supplement. So feel free to eat eggs for breakfast or any time of day – your skin will thank you!

Can’t stand eggs? Other good selenium sources include whole wheat and garlic.

5. Seafood

You’ve probably heard that seafood is good for your health. After all, it’s at the c

ore of many healthy eating plans, including the Mediterranean Diet. But did you know that consuming fish and other seafood can also improve your complexion?

Fish and other seafood are packed with omega 3s and oils. These essential fatty acids are important to the production of the skin’s oil barrier,” says Pam. “If you lack some of these EFAs, the skins natural behavior is to produce more oil, resulting in p

ossible skin problems.”

In addition, a diet rich in omega 3s can help reduce inflammation (a cause of premature aging) and stave off inflammation disorders of the skin, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Seafood is also rich in zinc, a known acne-fighter. So eat fish a few times a week to achieve a clear complexion and healthy glow.

Not a seafood lover? Give fish oil supplements a try instead. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before introducing any supplement into your diet.

Friday, July 2, 2010

10 Mistake Dieters Make

1. Eat too little or infrequently. Keep moods and energy up, hunger satisfied, and metabolism in high gear by eating three meals and two to three snacks a day. Don’t skip breakfast! 2. Eliminate all fruits. Extremely low-carb diets that forbid fruit are punishing and invite cheating. Stay on track with moderate portions of fiber- and nutrient-rich strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, grapefruit, or peaches. 3. Eliminate fats. Several studies at Harvard and elsewhere prove that low-fat diets result in weight gain. To lose weight, you need to increase your consumption of good fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats). 4. Get snacks out of your kitchen. Snacking helps with weight loss. Make sure you replace commercial baked goods, candy, chips, crackers, cookies, and pretzels with healthy snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, cheese, celery, nuts, sugar-free gum, homemade “slow-carb” bars and muffins, protein shakes, cucumbers, yogurt, and sugar-free JELL-O. 5. Splurge away from home. Your healthy eating program is a way of life. Try to stick to your new behaviors and habits everywhere you eat–at restaurants, friends’ homes, and while traveling. 6. Consume lots of artificially sweetened foods and beverages. Artificial sweeteners trigger cravings for additional sweets in some people. Others gain “false fat” or bloating caused by the body’s inability to digest sugar substitutes. 7. Count calories. Hormone (insulin) levels, not calories, are what determine your metabolism — the rate at which you burn fat. Eat balanced meals to keep your insulin levels steady and your metabolism working efficiently. 8. Eat lots of commercial low-carb products. Many companies have jumped on the “low-carb” bandwagon with high-calorie, low-nutrition snack foods that will not help you change your eating habits or lose weight. 9. Adopt a rigorous exercise routine. Exercise is important, but daily activity that you enjoy and can sustain over a lifetime is more important than killer workouts that are hard to stick with. The name of the weight-loss game is adopting habits that become second nature. 10. Load up on protein, eliminate carbs. Protein-loading has serious health risks, and few people can stay on radical high protein, low-carb diets long term. Switch to a balanced diet that features healthy amounts of protein balanced with lots of high-quality “slow carbs” — carbohydrates that convert slowly into blood sugar.

Monday, June 21, 2010

4 food for FLATTEN Abs

The four foods you’ll need for flatter abs will help you be healthier and leaner. Plus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of our diet suggestions.

1. Orange Fruits and Veggies: According to a recent review from Copenhagen University Hospital, the best way to whittle down your waist is to replace carbohydrates from sugar and refined grains (like white bread) with carbs from fruits and vegetables. Orange-hued foods were found to be the most effective substitutes.

Since fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, they keep you feeling full longer and researchers believe the high levels of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta-carotene fend off the belly fat. Get a good dose of beta-carotene from carrots, cantaloupe, squash and peaches. You can get your vitamin C from oranges and berries, but remember that fruit juice is not a good substitute for the real thing.

2. Lean Meats: You should be getting about 25 percent of your daily calories from protein, Ryan says, but you should make sure to choose lean sources like poultry, fish, low-fat yogurt, and fat-free milk to keep calories down. Nuts are also high in protein, but can also be high in calories, so eat them in moderation. Tracey recommends roughly a handful a day.

Protein helps to keep you feeling full and boost your energy, aiding in your weight-loss efforts. According to research from Skidmore College and Copenhagen University Hospital, eating additional protein is especially helpful for those over 40 in reducing abdominal fat.

3. Nuts: A recent survey of more than 8,000 Americans found that selenium, a cancer-fighting mineral, seemed to also lower rates of abdominal obesity, reporting that those with lower levels of selenium had larger waistlines.

Several foods contain selenium, so it’s hard to know if you’re getting your recommended 55 mcg per day. The best sources are nuts (especially Brazil nuts), whole grains, poultry, red meat and seafood. Foods rich in vitamin E, such as nuts and seeds, will increase the effectiveness of selenium in the body. Your best bet to get enough selenium is to eat a varied, balanced diet or try a supplement containing the mineral.

4. Fish: There’s a difference between good and bad fats. Eating good fats like monounsaturated and omega-3s make it easier to stay slim, according to recent research.

“The healthy fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are found in fish, nuts, olive oil and avocado, while the bad fats, like saturated and trans are found in butter, shortening, pre-packaged cakes and cookies,” Ryan says

A Wake Forest University study found that over a 6-year period, participants whose only source of fat was trans fats gained 30 percent more fat in their abdominal region and had early signs of diabetes. You don’t have to fear fats if you know which are good and bad.