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What Can I Eat if I am Following a High Fiber Diet?

What Can I Eat if I am Following a High Fiber Diet?

The two types of dietary fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps the body eliminate toxins and waste, and encourages helpful intestinal bacteria. It also slows the digestive process so that you feel full for a longer time after eating, and it helps to regulate the blood sugar.

If you’re considering following a high fiber diet, it’s probably because you want to be healthier. Perhaps you’re troubled by diverticular disease, constipation or hemorrhoids. Low fiber is also connected to excess weight and heart problems.

When increasing your consumption of fiber, you should also make sure to drink more water as well – this aids in the digestion and helps you to avoid stomach discomfort. There are no foods prohibited on a high fiber diet, but there are several that you’re encouraged to eat.

Apples are inexpensive, and readily available. They’re a great source of fiber. Ideally, you should eat apples with the skin on to maximize your intake of fiber. Pears are also a great fruit – with their coarse texture, you can practically feel the benefit!

Most vegetables provide high amounts of fiber. For maximum benefit, don’t overcook your vegetables – steam or stir fry instead of boiling. Broccoli is high in fiber and also provides a number of other nutrients. In the green family, Brussels sprouts are also desirable, but admittedly not to everyone’s liking. You might try cooking them in a cheese sauce, or roasting them in olive oil.

Carrots are best consumed raw, as cooking destroys some of the fiber. If you’re fond of carrots, you might also try parsnips – they look like carrots, except that they’re white and have a much stronger taste. They’re an even better source of fiber, packing twice the content of carrots.

When considering fiber, you almost certainly think of grains, but note that they have to be in their whole form – when grains are processed, the bran is removed, and that dramatically reduces the fiber.

Seeds, especially flax or chia, are excellent sources of fiber.

Don’t overlook legumes – they not only provide fiber, they’re a great source of protein, so if you’re upping your fiber intake while also following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’re getting double the benefit. Lentils are a common ingredient in several global cuisines, and they lend themselves well to various methods of cooking.

A high fiber diet is easy to follow because you don’t have to take anything away – you just have to add more fiber to your diet, and if you’re fond of the foods listed above, it should be easy!

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What Can I Eat if I am Following a Raw Food Diet?

What Can I Eat if I am Following a Raw Food Diet?

If you are planning to follow a raw food diet, you won’t be spending a great deal of time cooking. Raw food advocates believe that cooking not only destroys nutrients, it can actually make foods toxic.

If you are planning to adopt a raw food diet, it may be because you’ve read that it can help with memory, boost immunity, and give relief to arthritis sufferers. Eating raw foods exclusively is also believed to help with headaches. Other people choose to eat raw foods as a means of losing weight.

Most of what you eat on a raw food diet will be high in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. However, you may find that you’re not getting enough iron, protein and calcium so you might want to consider taking a daily multivitamin.

On a raw food diet, you can eat raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, and raw fruits. Some raw diet adherents will also consume unpasteurized dairy products, while others forego dairy. In most areas, it’s actually illegal to sell unpasteurized dairy products. Raw food adherents may or may not consume raw meat, fish and eggs.

If you’re planning on adopting a raw food diet, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen, even though you won’t be cooking. Preparation of raw foods can be very time consuming. You’ll also have to spend a lot more time shopping, since most of the foods you can consume will be organic. Foods can be blended or hydrated, and you can also sprout seeds and germinate nuts. Be careful doing this, though, because there can be a risk of contamination.

Another thing to be concerned about with a raw food diet is foodborne illnesses that can occur with unpasteurized and uncooked foods. You’re going to have to be very careful with cleanliness when it comes to food preparation, and make sure that you’re choosing only the freshest ingredients. Wash your food very carefully, and give extra attention to green onions, lettuce, and raspberries. These are foods that are particularly prone to contamination.

Because of the increased risk of food poisoning, raw food diets are not recommended for people who have weak immune systems or chronic medical problems, such as kidney disease. Raw food diets are also not recommended for seniors, young children, or pregnant women.

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/raw-foods-diet

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/Raw_Food.htm

 

What Can I Eat if I am Following a Sodium Free Diet?

What Can I Eat if I am Following a Sodium Free Diet?

If you’ve stopped adding salt to your food, you could still be getting too much sodium. Almost 80% of the sodium people consume on a daily basis comes from processed foods, and you may be eating these regularly without ever reaching for the saltshaker.  Therefore going sodium free takes a little bit of work.

Sodium is found in obvious sources, like potato chips and pretzels, but it also hides in a lot of other foods. Because it’s present in virtually everything that’s canned, and also in most frozen foods as well, no one is ever going to be in any danger of getting too little sodium.

Actually, you need some sodium in order to stay alive. It helps maintain cellular fluid levels and facilitates the transmission of information to nerves and muscles. It also aids in nutrient absorption in the small intestine. Too much sodium, though, can play a role in strokes, heart disease and kidney disorders. If you’re thinking of cutting down on your sodium, it’s likely because you’re aware of those health concerns.

Fresh foods are your best friends when it comes to reducing your sodium intake. Choose fresh vegetables instead of canned, and don’t add any salt to the cooking water. If you must use canned vegetables, look at the label, make sure it says, “no salt added,” and then rinse thoroughly just to be sure. One exception to the fresh vegetable rule is celery – it’s actually very high in sodium compared with other vegetables. Three and a half ounces of raw celery contains approximately 130mg of sodium.

Fresh fruits are also fine, as well as whole grain products. When choosing meats, stay away from anything that’s been processed. Ham, bacon, sausage, frankfurters, lunchmeats and cold cuts are sodium minefields. Instead, select lean cuts of meat and poultry, and don’t season with salt. Fresh fish is a good choice, but if you’re going to use canned, make sure it’s packed in water.

Many condiments, and also anything pickled, can be very high in sodium, so keep the use of these products to a minimum.

If you’re serious about cutting back on sodium, consider getting back into the kitchen and making nutritious meals from scratch. There’s very little that you can make from natural, unprocessed ingredients that’s going to contain an excessive amount of sodium. Now just put the saltshaker away, and you’re off to a good start.

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Sources:

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/fresh-ideas/low-sodium-dinners/5-sodium-free-foods-for-dinner.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/dash-diet/art-20047110

What Can I Eat If I’m Following an Organic Diet?

What Can I Eat If I’m Following an Organic Diet?

What Can I Eat if I am Following an Organic Diet?

If you’re thinking of adopting an organic diet, it could be because of ecological concerns or because you’re worried about food safety. Maybe you just want to eat healthier and believe that this would be a good way to go about doing it. Whatever your reasons, there’s little doubt that eating organic foods is better for you. Many people who have chemical sensitivities and allergies report feeling better when they go organic.

When you’re looking for organic foods, don’t be confused by terms like “natural,” “free range,” or “hormone free.” These terms actually aren’t regulated by law, and can be fairly meaningless – particularly the term “natural.” There are many things that occur in nature that sensible people don’t want in their bodies.

When you’re looking at labels, 100% organic means that the food contains no synthetic ingredients. Organic refers to foods that contain at least 95% organic ingredients. For a product to be labelled as made with organic ingredients, it has to have a minimum of 70% organic ingredients.

Organic food can’t be treated with synthetic pesticides. Biological pesticides are permitted. Sewage sludge can’t be used, and the food can’t be bioengineered. Because growing pesticide-free food is more labor-intensive, you’ll end up spending more for organic food than you would for other produce, and you may have to live with some imperfections in the appearance. However, if you can afford to go organic, and you don’t mind some spots here and there, you probably will feel better about your health.

The problem with pesticides is the residue, and some foods are worse than others. If you’re on a budget, you might want to spend your money on organic produce when the variety is one that’s particularly susceptible to residue. The vegetables and fruits that are most susceptible to residue are as follows:

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Bell peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach

The vegetables and fruits that you can expect to have the least residue are as follows:

  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Onions
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen corn
  • Asparagus

By choosing organic varieties of the fruits and vegetables most likely to have pesticide residue, you can go organic on a budget. Of course, if you want to adopt a true organic diet, you will have to incur some expense, but your peace of mind may be worth it.

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-to-eat-organic-foods-on-a-budget

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/organic-food/art-20043880

 

What Can I Eat when studing for exams?

What Can I Eat when studing for exams?

Top 10 Foods for the Brain

When preparing for exams the brain can use all the help it can get to increase learning ability, memory and concentration. Fortunately for test takers, numerous, well-regarded research studies have identified the following top 10 brain boosting foods to improve brain health and function.

  1. Fish—Fatty fish, such as wild salmon and sardines, contain essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, which are associated with improved focus and memory. In fact, the brain requires an adequate amount of omega-3 for optimal performance.

  2. Eggs—This brain boosting food, particularly its yolk, contains choline. It is a substance similar to vitamin B that helps to improve memory.

  3. Avocados—Rich in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, Avocados promote vascular health and improve blood flow for a healthy brain.

  4. Spinach—These leafy greens are packed with vitamins C and E. These vitamins improve cognitive abilities, according to several scientific studies. In addition, spinach contains a healthy dose of vitamin K.

  5. Carrots and Celery— These two brain vegetables contain high amounts of luteolin. This compound has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain and prevent memory loss.

  6. Berries—Vitamin-rich super berries such as blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are bursting with antioxidants. Researchers believe antioxidants help to create strong connections among brain cells, as well as help to build new cells.

  7. Apples—This flavorful fruit is a fantastic source of the antioxidant quercetin. It protects the brain’s cells from the harmful effects of free radicals and prevents cognitive decline.

  8. Green Tea— Polyphenols in green tea protect the brain from daily wear and tear. A recent study also found that drinking green tea extract enhances memory.

  9. Dark Chocolate—This treat is full of flavonoids, which have powerful antioxidant properties to improve brain health. In addition, chocolate contains the natural stimulate caffeine. But be cautious. Eating too much before taking a test may backfire by over stimulating the brain.

  10. Water—Although not considered a food, water increases brain power by keeping cells hydrated and functioning at their best. Research shows that dehydration can cause brain tissue to shrink, affecting mental performance. In fact, a study found that well-hydrated test takers scored much better on tests compared to those who weren’t.

 

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