12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

Healthy Eating can Save the World!

Have you ever thought that every dish you put on your plate is a choice? And, just maybe, your choice can change the world? Well, this article can help you save the world. We know that our food choices are affecting our health, but not just that, they have a huge effect on our planet, too.

Our diets place huge pressure on our planet. Every step of the food provision chain, from farm to fork (including agriculture, storage, processing, transportation, distribution, etc), uses our natural resources, such as land, freshwater, and even fossil fuels that cause greenhouse gas emissions. For example, agriculture that provides us food uses 70% of freshwater.

12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

Moreover, our food system is responsible for up to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all emissions from transport, heating, lighting, and air conditioning combined. Even worse, these greenhouse gas emissions are contributors to climate change, and climate change poses risks to our future of food.

Meat is the most significant emission-intensive food we consume.

A FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) report tells us that “the livestock sector is one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale from local to global.’’ If you are going to quote the report, a more specific citation is needed… Which FAO report? What is FAO? When was it released?

greenhouse gas emissions
Researchers found that the livestock sector on its own accounted for about half of that 30% of greenhouse gas emissions total, or 14.5%. That’s a huge number. You may wonder why. The answer is that livestock animals are pretty gassy creatures (frankly, cow farts and sheep burps contribute to climate change), but they also require large amounts of land, water, and feed. Over 61 gallons of water are used for 5 ¼ oz of steak. Also, today 1/3 of Earth’s land is used to produce meat.

Well, now you know that the food on your plate contributes to climate change, but you can do something about it.

Food is the solution.

We can each help save the planet just by eating more plants and less meat.
For example, research says (what research? Citation needed here, or it is just a claim) you can reduce your carbon footprint (The Carbon Footprint is the calculation of the impact – expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (kg CO2 eq) – associated with the production of a commodity or a service throughout its entire life cycle) by half just by limiting your meat consumption to twice a week.

sustainable and healthy diet

In short, for a healthier you, and for a better planet, you need to eat sustainably! Our diets should immediately become sustainable!

If you are curious about what sustainable diets look like, FAO describes it as follows:

‘’Sustainable Diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security, and to a healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, nutritionally adequate, and safe and healthy while optimizing natural and human resources.’’

As you can see, it’s a very inclusive concept. You can find some tips that are easy to follow so you can start now. Let’s start!

sustainable and organic food

1- Eat more plant-based

Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good for your health and also lower your carbon footprint. Plant-based diets contain more fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Also, plant-based foods are really emission-efficient. For example, it takes about 50 onions to produce a kilogram of greenhouse gas, but only 44 grams of beef to produce the same amount. It’s a win-win approach.

2- When you eat, think about the variety

Every food group is unique and has a different effect on your health and the health of the planet. The interaction brings out the best in these food groups. For example, legumes and whole grains are more beneficial together, because when they are combined, their protein quality becomes higher. Also, legumes and vegetables are a good combination, you can absorb iron more efficiently in this way. The easiest way to be sure about your food variety is by looking at the colors on your plate. Colorful plates are the best!

sustainable eating - eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day

3- Make sure you eat 5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day

Fruits and vegetables are the most delicious and healthiest gifts of nature to us. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which are essential to our body. Fruits and vegetables are protective against chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. You can eat fruits as snacks or as your side dish. Also, don’t forget to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Lastly, you know every fruit and vegetable grows in a different season, so try to buy fruits and vegetables while they are in season. You can also freeze your veggies so you can eat them out of season, too.

4- Choose seasonal, local, and sustainable local products

Foods on our plate travel over many miles to reach us. Make sure your meals are locally produced so you can lower your carbon footprint. In addition, when you prefer local products in local shops, you support the local farmers. When you buy your products in season, you buy the tastiest and the freshest food at lower prices.

global greenhouse emissions

5- Respect your food and don’t waste

Did you know that globally 1/3 of all food produced goes to waste? That equals 1.3 million tonnes of food. Food waste alone accounts for around 6.7% of global greenhouse emissions.
You can do something about it. A great recommendation is creating a weekly meal plan, so you can shop according to your plan. Also, love your leftovers. For example, you can consider your leftover dinner at your lunch meal.

6- Cook from scratch, choose fresh ingredients

Fresh and unprocessed foods do not contain extra ingredients or preservatives for longer shelf life. Also, processed foods are being served to us in plastic packages. So, if you cook from scratch, that means you cook healthy and lower your plastic waste.

Avoid ultra-processed foods

7- Avoid ultra-processed foods

Packaged, ultra-processed foods like chips, chocolate, and cookies are especially high in sugar, sodium, and trans fat. They are a big cause of obesity and chronic diseases. Moreover, these packages are plastic, and that means plastic waste. Avoid these foods and cook your own meals as much as possible.

8- Increase your intake of whole wheat grains

Worldwide, there’s just not enough consumption of whole wheat grains. Whole wheat grains are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, the carbon footprint of grains is lower compared to other food groups.

9- Avoid sugary drinks like sodas and fruit juices

To reduce your sugar intake, you should consider your entire day’s routines, like how you take your coffee and tea. Do you add extra sauces or cream in your meal? Which snacks do you prefer? Do you read the sugar content on labels during grocery shopping? I know it’s hard to avoid all sugars at all times, but do your best!

Increase your intake of legumes and beans

10- Increase your intake of legumes and beans

Legumes and beans are “superfoods” because of their nutritional profile and low carbon footprint. Beans and legumes are the most important sources of plant protein and amino acid. Vegetarians and vegans especially can get the adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals they need. Legumes are mostly known for their protein content, but they also contain high fiber, phytochemicals, calcium, iron, folate, and have a low glycemic index and low saturated fat. Also, they are gluten-free, so gluten intolerant people can consume them easily. In addition, legumes are so versatile that you can use them in every meal.

Reduce your red meat consumption and avoid processed meat

11- Reduce your red meat consumption and avoid processed meat

Did you know that if the world reduced meat consumption by 15% (by doing Meatless Monday, for example), it would have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as taking 240 million cars off the road each year? As I mentioned above, meat is the most greenhouse-intensive food we eat. We should limit our meat intake, it’s clear. You don’t need to be a vegetarian, but you can choose to be a weekday vegetarian, or you can plan some days as meatless days. You can try vegetarian options, like a bean burger.

12- Buy sustainable and eco-friendly products

Don’t forget consumer choices are meaningful and have an effect on our ecosystem.

So, next time look for sustainable, eco-friendly, fair trade products.

 

 

5 Easy Ketogenic Salad Recipes

5 Easy Ketogenic Salad Recipes

These simple but totally delicious and freshly made ketogenic salads make the perfect meals for lunch or dinner.

 

1. Smoked Salmon and Avocado Salad

smoked salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of smoked salmon
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced or diced
  • 2 cup of mixed greens
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the greens and baby spinach with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Slice the avocado and add it on top of the greens.
  3. Top with the smoked salmon.

 

2. Egg and Tuna Salad

tuna ketogenic

Ingredients:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup of tuna
  • 2 cup of iceberg lettuce
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Boil the egg for 8 minutes, then shell and halve.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Add the tuna, boiled eggs, tomatoes and olives on top.

 

3. Soy Souced Grilled Chicken with Sesame and Ginger

chicken keto salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chicken thighs, grilled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 2 cup of romaine lettuce
  • ½ in piece chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. Marinate the chicken thighs in reduced-sodium soy sauce, chopped garlic and fresh ginger.
  2. Grill the chicken in a non-stick pan.
  3. Flavor the chicken with fresh thyme and sesame seeds on top.
  4. Mix the romaine lettuce with olive oil and lemon juice, and add the grilled chicken and raw cashews on top.

 

4. Shrimp and Avocado Salad

shrimp and avocado keto salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shrimp
  • 1/4 of an avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1 cup of mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup of rainbow chard
  • 1/2 of a medium cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the greens and rainbow chard with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Add the sliced avocado and cucumber to the mix.
  3. Pat shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  4. Mix together salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir in shrimp to coat with spices.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp 2 minutes per side or until cooked through.
  6. Transfer the cooked shrimp on the top of your salad.

 

5. Beef Salad with Asparagus and Almonds

beef keto salad

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces of beef
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 cup of mesclun mix
  • 1/2 cup of arugula
  • 1 tablespoon of raw chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

 

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the mesclun mix and arugula with olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Heat a non-sticking pan and saute the beef.
  3. In another pan, saut the asparagus with a pinch of salt and a little oil.
  4. Put the asparagus, beef, and chopped almonds on top of your salad.

 

if you are looking for some sweet treats, don’t forget to check out 4 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes.

10 Christmas Gifts Under $30

10 Christmas Gifts Under $30

Christmas is the time for going home, no matter how far it is. Do you find yourself searching for perfect Christmas gifts for all ages? Going back home with thoughtful gifts for all family is on everyone’s mind. Here are 10 ideas for every budget.

 

1. Syma Helicopter ($19.99)

Nothing is cuter than a kid’s excitement while opening gifts on Christmas Day. After they open this gift, they can’t wait even a minute to fly the Syma helicopter. Also, dads that are kids at heart will be happy to try it with kids.

 

2. Homesick Candles ($29.95)

These candles smell like pleasant scents from different states. Homesick candles will make your family remember all of the memories of your home state.

 

3. Vivoo ($24.90)

Do you care about your loved one’s wellness all the time? Here is a special gift for them. Vivoo is a personalized wellness application that gives you nutrition and lifestyle advice based on your urine. Sounds crazy, right? Use holiday code “LOVE50” to get 50% off and start sharing the love today!

10 Christmas Gifts Under $30

 

4. ThinkGeek Executive Knight Pen Holder ($30)

There must be someone who loves writing in your family. Support their hobby and sharpen up their writing with a devoted knight! This pen holder is the perfect choice as a gift for the family member who uses a pen frequently.

 

5. Cards Against Humanity ($25)

Cards Against Humanity is a party game. The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card. Christmas is a time to have fun with the family. Make it funnier with a game!

 

 

6. Personalized Wood Bottle Opener ($14)

Do you have a family member who enjoys drinking adult beverages? This personalized bottle opener is a handy and thoughtful gift.

christmas gift

 

7. Off the Beaten Path Travel Guide ($20.83)

It’s the perfect time to give this book as a gift when the whole family together! Explore new destinations all around the US at Christmas!

 

8. Bonsai Trio Kit ($28.88)

New year, new hobbies! Gardening helps with relaxation and is also a perfect choice as a new hobby.  Give your family some good times with this gift.

 

9. Gummy Bear Light ($29.99)

Children and adults both love these pretty sleeping lights. These lovely lights will help children to overcome their fear of darkness.

christmas gift

 

10. California Delicious Starbucks Daybreak Gourmet Coffee Gift Basket 

The best smelling coffees make everyone’s morning better. This basket includes a variety of coffee with different aromas. A coffee gift basket always works for coffee lovers!

christmas gift

Vivoo pH box

Vivoo pH Box

Vivoo’s pH box measures urine’s acidity and alkalinity level, which is an indicator of dietary acid-base load as well as fruit, vegetable, and meat intakes.

What is acidic pH and alkaline pH?

pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of water-based fluid. Although blood pH is usually in a tight range between 7.35 and 7.45, every fluid in the body has a unique pH range. The stomach has the highest acidity (pH of 1.35 to 3.5) to aid in digestion and protect against opportunistic microbial organisms. The skin and the vagina are quite acidic as well (pH 4–6.5) to provide an acid mantle as a protective barrier to the environment against microbial overgrowth. Saliva normally has a pH range of 6.2-7.6, which prevents bad bacteria from growing and neutralizes acids in foods. Maintaining the pH values of different organs is critical for their function and the body’s pH balance. 

 


The human body has an amazing ability to maintain a steady pH in the blood due to very well-designed compensatory mechanisms. Indeed, it is not possible to change blood pH significantly through the diet; excess acidity is continuously removed from the body through the breath and urine to balance pH. However, even a slight increase or decrease in blood pH can be dangerous. 

Urine also has a unique pH range. The normal range for urine pH is between 4.5 and 8. A neutral pH is 7 with any number below that considered acidic. A urine pH above 7 is alkaline. The kidneys help keep the blood pH by filtering acids and alkaline compounds from the blood and releasing them into the urine.

Why Urine pH is Important? 

Urine pH carries valuable information about how your diet is affecting your body and how effectively your kidneys are working. 

In general, diet is the major factor that determines the pH. Besides, certain drugs and diseases can also have an effect.

Although more precise methods exist for the measurement of acid-base balance, urine pH is a reflection of this balance. In other words, the dietary acid-base load which is calculated from the acidity and alkalinity of foods consumed affects urine pH. Generally, a more alkaline diet (low dietary acid load), with a high fruit and vegetable intake and lower consumption of meat, is associated with a more alkaline pH. On the other hand, the high consumption of protein-containing foods, such as meats, cereals, and dairy foods, along with a low fruit and vegetable intake, forms high dietary acid load, thereby, a high acidic pH.

acidic pH

How Does Vivoo Measure the pH in Your Urine?

Vivoo measures your urine pH without the need for comparison with a color scale. IT tells if your urine is acidic, alkaline, or optimal. The advantages of measuring urine pH with Vivoo include convenience, cost, and the ability to test pH at home. What’s more, Vivoo suggests which foods to eat in order to balance your pH and help improve your health.

 

Related: Vivoo Water Box

 

 

Vivoo‌ Energy ‌Box ‌- Ketone Tracker

Vivoo Ketone Box

Vivoo’s Ketone box gives insights about the presence of ketones in the urine. Normally, no ketones are expected in the urine. However, if‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌following‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌ketogenic‌ ‌diet,‌ ‌‌this‌ ‌box‌ ‌can help you to ‌track ‌your‌ ‌ketosis ‌state.‌ ‌

What‌ ‌are ‌Ketones?‌

The human body primarily uses glucose for energy. When‌ ‌your‌ ‌cells‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌glucose‌ ‌they‌ ‌need‌,‌ or‌ the body doesn’t have enough insulin to use glucose, your‌ ‌body‌ ‌begins‌ ‌to‌ ‌burn‌ ‌fat‌ ‌instead. ‌This, in turn, produces‌ ‌ketones.‌ Ketones‌ ‌are‌ ‌chemicals‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌body‌ ‌creates‌ ‌when‌ ‌it‌ ‌breaks‌ ‌down‌ ‌fat‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy.‌ This means you make ketones when you don’t have enough stored glucose (or sugar) to turn into energy.  

Vivoo‌ Energy ‌Box ‌- Ketone Tracker

The breakdown of fat for energy and producing ketones is a normal process for everyone. Normally, the body produces only small quantities of ketones. But starvation, a ketogenic diet, or some chronic conditions like diabetes may result in increased ketones forming in the blood and eventually spilling into the urine.

What Does My Result Mean?

Ketones‌ ‌which‌ ‌are‌ ‌not‌ ‌used‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy‌ ‌spill‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌Starvation,‌ ‌low-carbohydrate‌ ‌diets,‌ ‌certain‌ ‌diseases,‌ ‌and‌ ‌problems‌ ‌in‌ ‌carbohydrate‌ ‌metabolism‌ ‌may‌ ‌cause‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌production.‌ Ketone‌ ‌bodies‌ come‌ ‌in‌ ‌two‌ ‌main‌ ‌forms:‌ ‌BHB‌ ‌and‌ ‌AcAc.‌ ‌BHB‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌dominant‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌and‌ ‌increases‌ ‌relative‌ ‌to‌ ‌AcAc‌ ‌during‌ ‌ketosis.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌test‌ ‌strips‌ ‌measure‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine’s‌ acetoacetate ‌(AcAc)‌ ‌level.‌ ‌When‌ ‌you‌ ‌start‌ ‌to‌ ‌produce‌ ketones, ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌feel‌ ‌weak‌ ‌and‌ ‌fatigued.‌ 

Vivoo‌ Energy ‌Box ‌- Ketone Tracker

‌For‌ ‌a‌ person‌ ‌without‌ ‌diabetes,‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌production‌ ‌doesn’t‌ ‌become‌ ‌an‌ ‌issue.‌ ‌However, ‌when‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌diabetes,‌ ‌things‌ ‌can‌ ‌run‌ ‌out‌ ‌of‌ ‌control‌ ‌and‌ ‌too‌ ‌many‌ ‌ketones‌ ‌can‌ ‌build‌ ‌up‌ ‌in‌ your‌ ‌blood.‌‌ ‌‌High‌ ‌levels‌ ‌of‌  ketones increase‌ ‌acidity‌ ‌and‌ ‌may‌ ‌be‌ ‌dangerous‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌‌ body.‌ ‌‌That’s why urine‌ ‌ketone‌ ‌testing‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌advantageous‌ ‌for‌ ‌early-diagnosis‌ ‌in‌ ‌diabetes.‌

How Does Vivoo Measure Ketosis?

The‌ ‌ketogenic,‌ ‌or‌ ‌keto ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌low-carb,‌ ‌high-fat‌‌, and‌ ‌moderate-protein‌ ‌diet.‌ ‌A ‌common‌ ‌goal‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌keto‌ ‌diet‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌achieve‌ ‌ketosis,‌ ‌which is a‌ ‌natural‌ ‌state‌ ‌where ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌burns‌ ‌fat‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel.‌ ‌However,‌ ‌it‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌difficult‌ ‌to‌ ‌determine‌ ‌whether‌ ‌your‌ ‌diet‌ ‌needs‌ ‌adjusting‌ ‌to‌ ‌reach‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌ketosis.‌ ‌‌Because of that, Vivoo ‌strips‌‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌used‌‌ to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌your‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌level.‌ ‌Using‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌fast,‌ ‌cheap,‌ ‌and‌ ‌convenient‌ ‌method‌‌ compared‌ ‌to‌ ‌blood-testing‌ ‌when‌ ‌following‌ ‌a‌ ‌ketogenic‌ ‌diet.‌ ‌Vivoo‌ ‌gives‌ ‌you‌‌ personalized‌ ‌advice‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌and‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌it‌ ‌according‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone‌‌ levels.‌

Vivoo‌ Energy ‌Box ‌- Ketone Tracker

If‌ ‌you‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌check‌ ‌your‌ ‌day-to-day‌ ‌urine‌ ‌ketone ‌levels,‌ ‌the‌ ‌‌best‌ ‌times‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌‌ ‌the‌ ‌early‌ ‌morning or‌ ‌the‌ ‌late‌ ‌evening‌ ‌after‌ ‌dinner.‌ ‌Vivoo’s‌ ‌urinalysis‌‌ is‌ ‌a‌ ‌good‌ ‌tool‌ ‌to‌ ‌measure‌ ‌whether‌ ‌you‌ ‌are‌ ‌in‌ ‌ketosis‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌of‌ ‌going‌ ‌keto.‌ ‌During‌ ‌this‌ ‌time,‌ ‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌can’t‌ ‌use‌ ketones ‌efficiently‌ ‌for‌ ‌energy.‌ ‌Therefore, ‌‌your‌ ‌body‌ ‌passes‌ ‌them‌ ‌out‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌But‌ ‌as‌ ‌you‌ ‌get‌ ‌deeper‌ ‌into‌ ‌ketosis,‌‌ your‌ ‌body‌ ‌adapts‌ ‌to‌ ‌using‌ ‌them‌ ‌for‌ ‌fuel‌ ‌and‌ ‌becomes‌ ‌more‌ ‌optimized‌ ‌in‌ ‌producing ‌‌them. ‌This leaves ‌fewer‌ ‌ketones‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌excreted‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌urine.‌ ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌result,‌ ‌if‌ ‌you’ve‌ ‌been‌ ‌in‌‌ a‌ ‌keto-adapted‌ ‌state‌ ‌for‌ ‌many‌ ‌months,‌ ‌you‌ ‌may‌ ‌get‌ ‌a‌ ‌negative‌ ‌or‌ ‌trace‌ ‌ketone‌ result‌‌ in‌ ‌your‌ ‌urinalysis.‌‌‌

Vivoo Water Box

Vivoo Water Box

Drinking fluids is vital to staying healthy and maintaining the function of each system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids also help carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.

Body water balance (hydration) represents the net difference between fluid intake and loss. Large changes in fluid intake are controlled by the kidneys, which can produce more or less urine depending on changes in body fluid volumes. Dehydration (body water deficiency) takes place when your body loses more fluid than you drink. On the other hand, overhydration (too much water in the body) happens when your body takes in more water than it excretes.

Some of the benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • Regulating body temperature.
  • Promoting cardiovascular health.
  • Helping muscles and joints work better.
  • Cleansing the body.
  • Helping brain function.
  • Maximizing physical performance.
  • Helping digestion and absorption.

Vivoo’s Water box is designed to assess the user’s hydration status and give comprehensible insights.

It shows your hydration level and gives suggestions about:

  • How much water your body needs daily
  • How to reach your optimal hydrated state.
  • What can you do to stay hydrated
  • How to maintain your body’s electrolyte balance

How Does Vivoo Assess Hydration From Urine?

Kidneys maintain a healthy fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Excess water and minerals excrete from the body via urine. Using urine markers, such as osmolality, specific gravity, or color, is one of the hydration assessment techniques that have reliable, reasonably definable thresholds. 

The urine specific gravity test compares the density of urine to the density of water. Just like urine color, urine specific gravity changes according to your hydration status like dehydration, overhydration, or being in a well-hydrated state. Since urine color can influence by different factors like diet, drugs, and infections, analyzing urine specific gravity can give a more precise measurement of the hydration status.

That’s why Vivoo measures urine specific gravity, to acquire information about your hydration status (the body’s water balance). 

 

Related: Vivoo‌ ‌Energy‌ ‌Box ‌

 

 

Urinary Tract Infection

Vivoo UTI Box

Vivoo’s UTI box shows the possibility of a Urinary Tract Infection by looking at leukocyte and nitrite parameters in your urine.

What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection where part of the urinary tract is affected by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli).

 

Urinary Tract Infection

UTIs happen when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. The infection can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but the most common type is a bladder infection (cystitis). UTI can easily be detected by urine tests. Urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the human body. UTIs occur more often in women but can affect men, too.

They cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers and affect more than 150 million people worldwide every year. Women have a 50% risk of UTIs over their lifetime. Among a generally healthy population, the risk of having an uncomplicated UTI is 50 times higher in adult women than in adult men.

Urinary Tract Infection

UTI Symptoms & Risk Factors 

There are many factors that can place you at a higher risk of getting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). These include:

  • sexual intercourse
  • poor hygiene
  • gender (being female)
  • kidney stones
  • diabetes
  • a weakened immune system
  • pregnancy
  • a previous UTI

When we look at the symptoms of UTIs, the most common ones may include:

  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate (but little urine comes out)
  • Increased urgency of urination
  • Fever

Whether you feel any of these symptoms or not, using Vivoo strips will help you to easily detect a UTI in the early stages. Then you will receive advice accordingly.

How does Vivoo detect a UTI?

Urine is a key health indicator for many diseases, mainly urinary tract infections (UTI). Normally, urine contains chemicals called nitrates. When bacteria enter the urinary tract, they reproduce rapidly and convert nitrates into a chemical called nitrites. If there are nitrates in urine, it may mean that you have a UTI.

Urinary Tract Infection

Sometimes urine may contain leukocytes. A leukocyte is a white blood cell (WBC) that is essential for the immune system’s defense against infections. Normally, they do not occur in large numbers in the urine. Higher levels of leukocytes in urine may indicate that your body is trying to fight off an infection somewhere in the urinary tract.

The presence of nitrites and/or leukocytes in the urine usually means that there’s a bacterial infection in the urinary tract. Vivoo strips detect nitrites and leukocytes in urine to measure the possibility of a UTI. Also, if you have any risk of a UTI, the Vivoo application gives you personalized hygiene and nutritional advice to ward off infection.

 

Related: Vivoo pH Box

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

One of the most commonly used nutritional supplements today is protein supplements. It has become the staple of not only professional athletes, but also many other people who are interested in sports. With the increase of those interested in fitness, curiosity and consumption of protein powders have gone up. However, question marks in people’s heads about protein supplementation are also increasing. What are protein powders? Is it really needed? Can protein intake be increased without protein powder? You may have questions like these in your mind. Let’s look at the protein powders together.

What is Protein?

Proteins are macronutrients that we need to take in sufficient amounts in our daily diet. Proteins are essential for the body’s growth and development, cell renewal, the immune system, certain hormones, and enzymes. They are also involved in the construction and repair of tissues. Therefore, it is important for wound healing, hair, skin health, and the development of organs. 

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

How Much Protein Should We Take in Our Daily Nutrition?

Proteins must meet 10-20% of daily energy intake. However, the absolute protein requirement varies according to the level of physical activity of the person. The daily protein requirement of sedentary individuals is 0.8-1 g per kg per day. When an individual weighs an average of 70 kg, their protein requirement is 56-70 g. This amount can be easily met with food.

Athletes need more protein than sedentary individuals. Their protein requirement increases to 1.2-2 g per kilogram per day according to the activity level. Ingesting 20-40g of protein after training helps to increase muscle mass by reducing muscle damage and promoting protein synthesis. The International Society of Sports Nutrition remarks that focusing on protein quality and amino-acid content is the most crucial point about protein requirement. Besides, the protein requirement should be met mostly with whole foods. However, if your physical activity level is high, safe, and convenient supplements may be used where needed.

What are Protein Supplements?

Protein supplements are ergogenic aids that support muscle building. Protein supplementation promotes greater gains in lean mass and muscle strength for both trained and untrained individuals as the duration and frequency of resistance training increases. Athletes and recreationally active adults may also benefit from protein supplements for strength and to improve physical performance. While limited, quality experimental data shows that protein supplements improve aerobic and anaerobic power in athletes during their routine training programs.

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

Protein supplements can be obtained from different food sources. Generally, animal proteins (meat, milk, eggs) are higher quality proteins than plant-based proteins. Let’s look at the protein sources in more detail:

Milk Protein

Cow’s milk consists of water, protein, fat and some sugar and minerals.  There are two types of protein in milk: casein and whey. 

Whey protein constitutes 20% of milk protein. It contains plenty of BCAA that provides energy for muscles. Whey protein consumption is thought to be more appropriate post-exercise because its absorption is faster. Whey protein can be found in different forms. When the liquid portion of the milk is removed, the resulting dry product forms a concentrated whey protein. It contains 30-90% protein with various amounts of cholesterol and lactose (naturally occurring carbohydrates in milk). Isolated whey protein powders are free of fat and lactose. However, isolated whey contains higher amounts (over 90%) of protein with rapid absorption. On the other hand, hydrolysates are pre-digested whey proteins that are absorbed by the body much faster.

Casein protein constitutes 80% of milk protein. Its absorption is slower than whey protein.

Egg and Meat Protein

There are other animal protein sources, like egg protein and meat protein. These animal sources of protein are usually high in essential amino acids. 

Plant Protein Sources

Protein powders are obtained from plants such as soybeans, peas, rice, potatoes, or hemp. As vegetarians rely on plant-based proteins, soy is the most common one because it is a relatively high-quality protein and can be found in many food products, including sports nutrition products.

Well! Who Should Get  Protein Supplements?

Sedentary individuals and recreational athletes can meet the protein they need with food during the day. Therefore, they do not need protein supplements. However, the need for protein is higher in athletes who perform at a high-intensity level. In this case, it may be difficult for the athlete to meet the protein requirement by food alone. When it is needed, proper protein supplements can be used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

Are Protein Supplements Harmful?

With protein supplementation, people may get more protein than they need.

There are many negative effects of excessive protein intake:

Increased risk of dehydration due to increased urea production, increased risk of insulin resistance due to increased insulin secretion, and increased risk of kidney stones. 

Protein supplements may also be contaminated with unwanted substances. And there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains those substances because protein powders are a dietary supplement and the FDA does not control the content of protein powders. In one study, researchers stated that many protein supplements contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury), bisphenol-A (BPA used to make plastics), insecticide, or other contaminants(*). Therefore, it is important to do critical research about a supplement product before using it.

Protein Supplements: Everything You Should Know

How Can I Increase Protein Content in My Daily Nutrition Without Protein Supplements?

We talked about taking 20-40 g of protein after training can help increase muscle mass by reducing muscle damage and supporting protein synthesis. Now we want to offer you several alternatives where you can consume 20g of protein without taking protein supplements.

  • Grilled Meat/Chicken/Fish

Protein is the richest in animal-derived foods. Eating 3-4 oz of chicken, red meat, or fish after exercise will provide enough protein. However, the fat and cholesterol content of red meat is higher, so it should be consumed more rarely. Cooking these foods on the grill, in a pan, or in the oven will keep the energy and fat values in balance.

  • Salad with Lentils and Buckwheat

Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, dried beans, mung beans, red beans, and Mexican beans are protein-rich vegetable foods. 3 oz of lentils contains 9 g of protein. However, legumes lack certain amino acid groups. Therefore, consuming legumes with cereals improves protein quality. When you make yourself a lot of greens, use 3 oz of boiled lentils, 3 tbsp of boiled buckwheat, and add 1 cup of yogurt to make sure you take enough protein. If you do not want to consume food of animal origin, you can increase the number of legumes.

  • Cheese Omelette

Other protein-rich foods of animal origin are eggs and cheese. If you do exercise in the morning or do not want to consume meat/chicken/fish after exercise, you can make yourself a nice omelet. An omelet made from two eggs and 2 slices (2 oz) of cheese will provide you with enough protein.

  • Shake

Milk is also a protein-rich food. You can increase the protein quality by adding peanut butter. Peanuts contain the most protein among the nuts. There are 25 g of protein per ½ cup. If you do not have time to eat after exercising, you can prepare yourself a shake. 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp peanut butter + 5 tbsp oatmeal shake will give you enough protein.

  • Sandwich with Tuna 

Another meal you can easily eat outside can be a tuna sandwich. Tuna contains 22 g of protein per ½ cup. You can prepare sandwiches with 2 slices of whole-grain bread and 3 oz of tuna.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101

Have you heard about the anti-inflammatory diet that has become very popular these days?

How can you use this diet?

What should you eat, and what should you avoid?

Let’s talk about it.

An anti-inflammatory diet consists of foods that reduce inflammatory responses. In other words, this diet involves replacing refined foods, sugar, trans fats, and many processed foods with whole, nutrient-rich foods.

This diet also contains increased amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to reduce the number of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in the body that damage cells and increase the risk of certain diseases. That’s why an anti-inflammatory diet is considered to be healthy. Even if the anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t help with your condition. It can lower your chances of having other problems.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101

What is Inflammation?

Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign. For example, an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical etc. This often triggers a process called inflammation. If the inflammation becomes chronic, meaning if it lasts for weeks, months, or even years, it can lead to illnesses like cancer, diabetes, obesity and many more.

Certain dietary habits can promote inflammation. Besides, high amounts of sugar, refined carbs like white bread and white rice, fried foods and many unhealthy foods may contribute to inflammation.

What Conditions Can an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Help?

When you have chronic inflammation, your body’s inflammatory response can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Over time, this can lead to DNA damage, tissue death, and internal scarring. An anti-inflammatory diet can help to reduce or even prevent inflammation. This type of anti-inflammatory diet involves eating certain foods and avoiding foods that cause inflammation in order to minimize the symptoms of chronic inflammatory diseases. In the long term, an anti-inflammatory diet can help many major diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart diseases, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Hashimoto’s disease. Additionally, it can help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

According to a study, adopting an anti-inflammatory diet may also be an effective intervention or preventative means of reducing the risks and symptoms of depression.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101

Foods to Eat

An anti-inflammatory diet should include these foods:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
  • Fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
  • Whole grains like brown rice and bulgur wheat
  • Spices like turmeric, ginger, and curry

Particular fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries and leafy greens, are high in natural antioxidants and polyphenols. Studies have associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Foods to Avoid

Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:

  • Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white pasta
  • Fried foods like French fries and, fried chicken
  • Soda and sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Red meat and processed meat
  • Excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Processed snack foods and desserts

Eating processed and packaged foods that contain trans fats have been shown to promote inflammation. They also damage the endothelial cells that line your arteries.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink green tea, which is high in antioxidants
  • Drink more water

Sample Menu

Here is a one-day sample menu of an anti-inflammatory diet to get you started.

anti-inflammatory diet

Photo by David Stewart

Breakfast

2 egg omelet with spinach, cooked with olive oil

1/4 avocado

1 cup of strawberries or raspberries

Green tea or water

Lunch

Grilled salmon

Green salad with olive oil and lemon

Snack

1 cup of blueberries or cherries

1 cup of yogurt

10-15 almonds

Dinner

Turmeric chicken, cooked in the oven

Boiled broccoli and cauliflower

Note: The amounts on the sample menu vary from person to person. based on sex, age, weight, height, and other factors. Moreover, don’t forget that each diet must be personalized.

 

Related: 12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Tea

Lately, kombucha tea has become very popular. Now you can see it everywhere: from supermarket shelves to third-generation coffee shops and even in organic markets.

But do we know what kombucha is good for?

How is it make?

When was it discovered?

Let’s explore more about kombucha!

Kombucha tea also called ‘The Elixir of Life is a carbonated drink which was discovered in China about 2,000 years ago. The name of the tea comes from Dr. Kombu who took tea fungus from Korea to Japan. And ‘cha’ means ‘tea’ in Chinese.

benefits of the kombucha tea

Kombucha is made using sugar, tea, and a tea fungus called a ‘scoby’. A scoby is the starter culture and is the result of the symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria. Sugar is used when fermenting kombucha, but according to research, most of the sugar is eaten by the bacteria and yeast during the process. At the beginning of fermentation, kombucha has 30 calories and 2-3 grams of sugar. But these figures change during the process. The longer the fermentation period, the lower the sugar content.

Kombucha is a slightly sweet, slightly carbonated, fizzy and acidic beverage, and black, green, or white tea can be used to make it. It can be flavored with lemon, mint, jasmine, lavender, or rose to give a different flavor and make it easier to drink.

The daily recommended allowance for kombucha to avoid toxicity and side effects is 100-300 ml. All healthy individuals and children over 3 years of age can drink it. Pregnant and lactating women, people who have chronic illnesses, and those who are receiving chemotherapy should consult their doctors before partaking.

kombucha

How to make kombucha tea?

To make kombucha, you need tea (black, green or white), scoby (starter culture), sugar, water, a sterile glass bottle, and some cloth. Allow the kombucha to ferment for 7-30 days. The ideal temperature for fermentation is 79-81° F. As the kombucha ferments, the amount of sugar decreases, and the taste of vinegar becomes more prominent. You can control this process at home. You should read the label to see if sugar was added when buying kombucha from the store…

Once your kombucha is ready, be sure to store it in a cool, dark place, such as a refrigerator.

kombucha tea drinking

What are the health benefits of kombucha tea?

  • The potential source of pre and probiotics
  • Good for intestinal health
  • Regulates digestion system
  • Boosts immune system
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Helps to regulate blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes
  • Supports heart health
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Rich in B complex vitamins (thiamin and niacin)
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Helps in the treatment of skin diseases
  • Effective in losing water weight and burning fat
  • May help protect against cancer

The probiotics in kombucha are beneficial for your body’s gut microbiome, but more research need. Still, kombucha is a better option than all other sugar-added beverages.

 

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Immune System Strong