Let’s Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month this June!

Fruits and vegetables provide a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition, they have many health benefits like lowering the risk of developing certain chronic diseases.

The United Fresh Start Foundation is focused on one mission, which is to increase children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Every child should grow up with access to fresh fruits and vegetables to have a strong and healthy future.

Nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese. That’s why fresh fruits and vegetables should be available to children everywhere they live, learn, and play.

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

The Foundation builds on United Fresh Produce Association’s leadership in nutrition policy and supports schools, communities, and innovative partnerships that benefit children’s ability to learn about, and confidently select, fresh produce when reaching for their next snack or meal.

Health Benefits of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Evidence shows that eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day has significant health benefits.

A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Prevent some types of cancer.
  • Lower the risk of eye and digestive problems.
  • Have a positive effect upon blood sugar.
  • Promote weight loss when consumed from green leafy vegetables and fruits like apples and pears.
  • Provide various vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation.

Variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables

Try to eat a variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs.

Related: Why Are Plant-Based Diets on the Rise?

How to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Storing fruits and vegetables is easy! You can freeze, refrigerate, or even keep them on the countertop, depending on the fruit or vegetable.

In a cool, dry place: Keep bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, lemons, eggplants, and mushrooms in a cool, dry area, not in the fridge.

In the fridge: Most fruits and veggies can be stored in the refrigerator. Store berries in the fridge and wash gently before eating or using. Plastic bags with tiny vents help keep produce fresh longer by releasing moisture. They are great for grapes, blueberries, cherries, or strawberries. Fresh heads of lettuce should be washed well with water. Then dry the leaves and store them in a clean plastic bag with a few paper towels.

In the freezer: Many fruits and vegetables can be stored in the freezer. Just make sure to wash and peel if needed. Then store in a clean plastic bag

At room temperature: Garlic, onions, whole melons, tomatoes, and whole pineapple should be kept at room temperature in a well-ventilated area. Mangoes, plums, peaches, and pears can be ripened at room temperature in a brown paper bag and should then be refrigerated for longer storage.

How to Cook Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

How to Cook Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

There are many ways to cook your vegetables and fruits that will help them retain their benefits. Here are some cooking tips to help you get started.

  • Bake: Sweet potato fries by cutting up into slices and season with olive oil, pepper, and salt.
  • Boil: Apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mashup and serve warm or chilled.
  • Steam: Broccoli and cauliflower with lemon and olive oil sauce.
  • Stir-fry: Red pepper, mushroom, and yellow squash with olive oil and herbs. Add some low-sodium soy sauce for an extra kick of flavor.
  • Sauté: Spinach with garlic and olive oil.
  • Roast: Brussels sprouts, beets and turnips drizzled lightly with olive oil.
  • Grill: Some eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms to use in a wrap.
  • Stew: Pears. Peel and stew gently in cinnamon, sugar, and water until tender.

Related: 12 Tips for a Sustainable and Healthy Diet

May Is Celiac Disease Awareness Month

May has been declared Celiac Disease Awareness Month by health authorities in the United States. Attention is drawn to this important disease under the leadership of certain institutions, especially in May. Many organizations and scientists provide information about celiac disease to make people aware of this condition. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is a year for us all to understand and think about the importance of our health. In these uncertain times when we think about our health, we should also become aware of celiac disease. 

What is Celiac Disease?

The small intestine is an important organ that ensures the absorption of nutrients in our body. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease where the small intestine is damaged by gluten intake (a type of protein commonly found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley). Nutrients cannot be absorbed properly, as the absorption portions of the small intestine are damaged by gluten uptake.

Celiac disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the world, with an overall prevalence of 0.5-1% of the population. The rate is the same in the USA, but in some countries such as Finland and Mexico, it can vary between 2-5%.

Celiac disease is of hereditary origin and the possibility of developing it increases if there is someone in the family with an autoimmune disease. If someone in the family has celiac disease, the probability of emergence in their first-degree relatives is 10-15%. Celiac disease is more common in women than in men. The condition has also seen a rise in risk for development in the last 10 years of almost 5 times.

The course of celiac disease is variable and there are many tests to diagnose the disease. The reliability of blood tests (IgA IgG, etc.) for the examination of some immune proteins in the body is still controversial. Apart from a blood test, intestinal/duodenum biopsy and genetic tests are other options. A physician experienced in celiac disease should draw a suitable road map for treatment.

There are 3 Types of Celiac Disease

The World Gastroenterology Organization states that there are 3 types of celiac disease. Many patients without symptoms have ‘silent celiac disease’. Silent celiac disease does not cause any small bowel damage. In patients with “minor celiac disease”, there are symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, and abdominal pain triggered by gluten intake. They also don’t have intestinal damage. Patients with ‘major celiac disease’ have more severe muscle spasms, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

In the US, 21% of total celiac patients show no symptoms. 21 million people in America are sensitive to gluten and do not know it. Celiac Awareness Month is an important month for these people to notice themselves and improve their health and quality of life. Celiac Awareness Month is an important month to acknowledge and recognize the disease and encourage those who live with the disease to improve their health and quality of life.

If you think you have gluten sensitivity, or if someone in your family has autoimmune conditions, you may have the opportunity to clarify the situation with a small test at home.

Treatment Process

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease, meaning that it requires lifelong attention. The most important and valid treatment method is to follow the gluten-free diet for a lifetime. A gluten-free diet prevents damage to intestinal surfaces and helps to improve the quality of life.

Diets of celiac patients are deficient in important nutrients such as fiber, iron, B vitamins, vitamin D, and zinc. A deficiency of B vitamins can trigger psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Because of this, celiac patients should take gluten-free dietary supplements.

celiac disease awareness month

40% of celiac patients are not satisfied with their diets. Some of the alternative ways to heal celiac disease involve studies of regulating intestinal permeability with a gluten vaccine or bacterial mixture.

Living with Celiac Disease-Meeting Gluten

Over 10,000 years ago, our ancestors, who started to live a sedentary life, met agriculture, introducing gluten to the human diet with cereals. Gluten is one of the few digestion-resistant proteins, and it is not surprising that this nutrient, which is considered to be new to us, causes disease and intolerance in humans.

What are the sources of gluten?

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Pasta
  • Semolina
  • Noodles
  • Sauces (wheat flour to make it thicken)
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Everything that contains wheat
  • All package products containing gluten above 20 ppm

Gluten Cross-Contact

Cross-contact occurs when gluten-free foods or items come in contact with gluten. Generally, sharing utensils or a cooking/storage area can cause cross-contact. For food to be safe for someone with celiac disease, it should not come in contact with gluten-containing foods.

Where cross-contact can occur:

  • Toasters used for normal bread
  • Strainers, cutting boards, or flour sieves
  • Improperly washed containers shared containers
  • Wheat flour can stay in the air in an oven (or home) for hours and contaminate preparation surfaces and utensils or open gluten-free products

Oats and wheat can form cross-contact in the fields where they are grown side by side. It is necessary to only select oats specifically labeled as gluten-free. 

There are also studies on the effects of psychological health and budgets of people who are not celiac patients or don’t have gluten sensitivity and those who are following a gluten-free diet.

Studies in the US show that the cost of a balanced gluten-free diet is about 240% than a balanced normal diet. Prices vary significantly in different parts of the US.

Celiac Disease Awareness Activities

Celiac conferences were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it is possible to see how much the Celiac Disease Foundation’s awareness-raising activities are. Nevertheless, one can see how many activities the Celiac Disease Foundation has when it comes to raising awareness. Team Celiac Disease Foundation has a volunteer team called Gluten-Free. They are also the community’s fundraising team. In Celiac Camps, volunteer physicians teach celiac children that they are not alone and about their diet. Summits are organized by scientific authorities for the FDA to properly label gluten-free foods.

The Celiac Disease Foundation has published a list of all gluten-free products and recipes on its site. It is possible to find all kinds of information that will make life easier with celiac disease, including gluten-free companies and gluten-free meal samples.

 

 Related: Gluten-Free Diet Is Good For Weight Loss?

 

Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D, known as the sunshine vitamin, is one of the most essential vitamins for our bodies. Getting enough vitamin D has many health benefits but it is best known for assisting in calcium absorption and contributing to bone health. What is vitamin D level and why is it so important to our bodies?

Vitamin D is a nutrient that is contained in some foods and is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Getting enough vitamin D is important for strong bones. It is a vital nutrient for the absorption of calcium, which is necessary for making bones. Adequate absorption of calcium protects older people from osteoporosis. In addition, getting vitamin D is essential for the movement of muscles, for carrying signals from the nerves to the whole body, and for the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses. Research shows that vitamin D has beneficial effects on ovarian, prostate, breast, and colon cancer. It has also been shown by studies that vitamin D has positive effects on the intestinal microbiome.

Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency can have negative effects on intestinal microbiota as well as causing diseases such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and rickets. All nutrients are essential, and they have major functions for our bodies. But vitamin D is vital because it helps maintain the bones that keep our bodies upright and standing. That’s why getting adequate amounts of vitamin D is crucial for us. But how much vitamin D do we need to take in per day?

The body’s need for vitamin D varies according to age. The amount required increases as we get older. When the level of vitamin D in the body drops too low, the bones become thin and brittle and may become deformed. It should be taken daily at different amounts according to age group.

Vitamin D should be taken daily at different amounts according to age group

Life Stage                                                        Recommended Amount

Birth to 12 months                                                                                10 mcg (400 IU)

Children 1-18 years                                                                               15 mcg (600 IU)

Adults 19-70 years                                                                                15 mcg (600 IU)

Elders 71 years +                                                                                   20 mcg (800 IU)


In nutrition, the main two forms of vitamin D are D3 and D2. Vitamin D3 is more crucial because it increases blood vitamin D levels more than vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is found in animal products such as fatty fish and seafood and is also produced by our skin in direct sunlight and Vitamin D2 is found in vegetables.

First, let’s list the animal products that contain vitamin D.

Oily fish: Salmon, tuna, and mackerel contain high amounts of vitamin D. The health benefits from consuming these fish is much higher when the fish are raised in their natural environments. Try to ensure that they were not produced on a farm. Since these fish are already high in fats, oil is not needed when they are cooked in an oven.

Salmon, tuna and mackerel contain high amounts of vitamin D

Salmon, tuna and mackerel contain high amounts of vitamin D

Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in liver, egg yolks, and some cheeses. These foods can be included in our diet to help us reach the daily recommended intake for vitamin D.

Vitamin D2 can be found in mushrooms, and the level of vitamin D can be increased by keeping the mushrooms indirect sunlight. Unfortunately, other vegetables and fruits are not good sources of vitamin D..

Today, vitamin D is added to many popular foods, especially in the United States.  There are many options, ranging from orange juice to milk, from cheese to yogurt, and many portions of cereal are fortified with vitamin D as well. The goal is to prevent vitamin D deficiency by consuming these foods, but unfortunately, that is not the case. We also need sunlight for our bodies to use and produce vitamin D.

Is It Possible to Get Vitamin D from The Sun?

Food is not our only source of vitamin D. Our bodies can make it when exposed to the sun. UVB rays in the sunlight act on cholesterol in the skin to make vitamin D. Depending on the month, time of day, and our skin tone, spending time in the sun can provide us with some or all of our daily recommended intake of the vitamin. 

Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin D

Unfortunately, due to our lifestyles, increases in cases of vitamin D deficiency are on the rise. Much of our time is spent indoors, whether at work or in shopping malls or homes. This habit decreases our time in the sun and reduces our rate of vitamin D production. Even if we eat foods that contain vitamin D or take supplements, our bodies may not be able to utilize vitamin D properly. 

These studies indicate something important to us. Spending time outside in the sun increases the vitamin D in our bodies. For this reason, we should try to get direct sunlight at least a few days per week.

How Do We Know That We Have Vitamin D Deficiency?

If we have a vitamin D deficiency, symptoms will occur. Some of the symptoms that may present include:

How Do We Know That We Have Vitamin D Deficiency?

Weakness:

If it is difficult for you to get out of bed, even if you have slept enough or if you feel tired during the day, you may be experiencing vitamin D deficiency.

Depression:

Feeling unhappy for no reason, a disinterest in socializing, not wanting to talk to people, or even make eye contact with them, may indicate a need for more vitamin D. 

More brittle bones

The most important nutrient to help our bodies absorb calcium is vitamin D. If there is a vitamin D deficiency, calcium absorption will be lessened, and this will result in more fragile bones.

Weight Gain

Weight gain

You are eating well but can’t seem to lose weight. This is an important symptom of vitamin D deficiency. A simple blood test can determine your vitamin D level. If it’s low, you should consume foods that are high in vitamin D. If necessary, consult a medical doctor who can guide you in taking vitamin D supplements. 

It is important to have your blood vitamin D level checked if you have been experiencing one or more of these conditions for a while. You should definitely share the results of the analysis with your doctor, and if necessary, begin taking supplements. While taking supplements, you can also spend more time outside on sunny days and increase your fish consumption to give your vitamin D level a boost.

 

Related: 4 Steps For a Healthier Diet

 

8 Reasons Why You Feel Always Hungry

Do you feel hungry all the time? Are you still thinking about food after eating your meal? If you don’t know why we have made a list of 8 common reasons why you are still hungry.

1. You’re Eating Too Many Refined Carbs

If you are eating too many refined carbs, like white bread, pasta, rice, and processed sugars, you are probably hungry all the time. Refined carbs are low in fiber, which your body digests easily. This leads to a rapid spike in your blood sugar, followed by a sudden drop. As a result, your body sends signals to your brain for more food.

why you feel hungry all the time

To reduce refined carb intake, you need to switch out white bread, pasta, or rice for whole foods like multigrain or rye bread, brown rice, oats, or quinoa.  

2. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration may also lead to hunger. If you are not drinking enough water, you can still feel hungry throughout the day. Water can potentially reduce appetite when consumed before meals because it is quite filling.

Your body can confuse thirst for hunger so take a sip of water before you reach for something to eat. Try to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day for optimal hydration.

3. You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

Proteins keep you full, which helps to control appetite. According to a study, higher protein intakes improved appetite control and satiety in overweight/obese men during energy-restricted weight loss. 

Don’t forget to add protein to every meal to not feel hungry always.

Don’t forget to add protein to every meal. For example, add eggs, cheese, or milk to your breakfast, and chicken, meat, fish, or yogurt to your lunch or dinner.

4. You Eat Too Fast

Are you eating your meal in less than 20 minutes? If so, this may be the reason why you are still hungry. Several studies showed that foods that are eaten quickly lead to high food intake and low satiating effects. 

You eat too fast

If you eat slowly and chew fully, your body has enough time to send the fullness signals to the brain. As a result, this will make you feel full and can stop you from overeating. Try to finish your food in 20-25 minutes, take a few deep breaths before meals, put your fork down between bites, and increase the time of chewing.

5. You Are Bored

Do you find yourself in front of the refrigerator while you are at home? This happens to many of us because of boredom, not because of hunger. According to a study, results showed that boredom was associated with high energy intake, as well as the consumption of higher quantities of fats, carbs, and protein. 

Do you find yourself in front of the refrigerator while you are at home?

So the next time you’re bored, try to do something else other than heading to the refrigerator!

6. You’re Not Sleeping Enough

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night is very important for your health. Sleep is a factor of appetite control. If you’re not getting enough sleep, this may be why you’re not feeling full most of the time.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, this may be why you’re not feeling full most of the time.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your levels of leptin, a hormone that promotes feeling full,  fall., This situation also increases the ghrelin hormone, which boosts appetite. 

7. You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber

If your diet is low in fiber, you may feel hungry frequently. High fiber foods take a longer time to digest, which helps keep your hunger under control.

Add high fiber foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits to your diet

Add high fiber foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits to your diet. They are excellent sources of fiber.

8. You Eat While Distracted

We now live in a fast-paced and busy world, which causes us to be multi-tasking people. This leads us to eat while distracted. When we are distracted, we often lose sight of how much food we are eating. We completely ignore the signals that our bodies send out.When we are distracted, we often lose sight of how much food we are eating

To avoid distracted eating, minimize screen time, and shut down your electronic devices. This will help you recognize when your body tells you that it’s full.

The Bottom Line

You may feel hungry frequently if your diet is high in refined carbs but low in protein, fiber, or fat, which promote fullness and reduce appetite. If you feel hungry often, you may need to change your diet and lifestyle. Also, if you’re eating too fast or while distracted, try to slow down and focus on your plate. This will help you realize when you are full.

 

Related: Emotional Eating Is Not the Solution

 

Problems People Experience in Achieving Their Wellness Goals

You’ve probably thought about your health and wellness goals at least once in your life. Since we have been fighting against the COVID-19 virus, your wellness goals may have taken on new meaning for you. We can all see the importance of having a strong immune system and how following a wellness lifestyle is more advantageous. 

Psychology First: Focus On Your Mind

Wellness is a state of complete well-being, both physically and mentally. Your mental health may be even more important than counting calories when it comes to reaching your wellness goals. Strive to be someone who can find the constructive and positive side of negative situations. This mindset can help you turn this period when we are all thinking about our health, into a time when you reach your wellness goals. The first place to start is by being realistic about your goals. Note the thoughts and habits that prevent you from focusing on your wellbeing objectives. We will touch on some of these thoughts in our article and offer you alternative solutions.

Psychology First: Focus On Your Mind Vivoo

A Classic: “I don’t have time.”

According to the Office of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 75% of the population do not consume recommended amounts of vegetables, milk, and fruit. Unfortunately, most Americans consume excessive amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and sodium. Some people believe that healthy cooking takes too much time and they may reach for quick, unhealthy foods instead.

Solution: You don’t need a lot of time to prepare healthy meals. Oven-roasted vegetables have short preparation time and are a fun, alternative way to eat veggies. They will keep your dinner light and help you get your five portions of vegetables a day.  In addition, you can consume fruit as a smoothie or a snack. You can find sample recipes on the internet and try them at home.

The Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest diets in the world, is predominantly vegetable-based

Healthy eating is too expensive!”

While it’s true that foods such as fresh produce, whole-grain bread, and other healthy food items may be more expensive than junk foods, a 2013 study published in the British Medical Journal found that the difference between the healthiest and poorest diets is only $1.50 per day. (This research was done before the explosion of private labeled versions of healthy foods that can be found in almost any national market chain or large food store.) The Mediterranean diet, one of the healthiest diets in the world, is predominantly vegetable-based and is more budget-friendly in the long run compared to ready-made nutrition. This is before taking into account the possible health problems that may arise due to an unhealthy diet!

Solution: Buy your vegetables when they are in season and choose vegetable protein instead of meat protein for some meals. Make a weekly meal plan so you use all the food you buy without wasting ingredients. Your determination will save your budget and make it easier to achieve your wellness goals!

Problems People Experience in Achieving Their Wellness Goals

“I won’t be able to go out with my family and friends.”

Humans are social creatures, and our social lives are important for good mental health. Trying to persuade your family or friends to join you while pursuing your own wellness goals can have benefits for both parties. On the other hand, if this will put your relationships under pressure, you don’t need to say anything to anyone. Just set your own limits. Deciding how many glasses of wine to drink or choosing healthy meals at your favorite restaurant will allow you to live healthy while still going out.

Solution: Define your own limits and stick to them, even while socializing with family and friends. Explore new restaurants that cater to healthy lifestyles or choose healthy menu options when out with your friends. Another suggestion is to review your relationship with your friend who opposes this or underestimates your wellness goals!

Problems People Experience in Achieving Their Wellness Goals

“Healthy foods are so boring!”

There is more than one way to prepare healthy foods. Maybe you tried something in the past and decided it wasn’t for you. Or maybe you think that healthy foods always have to be consumed in the same way. This is absolutely wrong! We get used to things being a certain way, but we can definitely change things up. Habits can evolve over time, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself a chance to try new things and adjust your preferences.

Solution: You can increase your consumption of vegetables and fruits by starting slow. Add garnish vegetables to your meat dish. You can also consume fruit as a smoothie or snack. The internet is full of simple and delicious recipes that you can  try at home.

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie to Increase Veggie Intake

Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

For 1 serving

Ingredients

-Ice

-Kiwi

-Strawberry

-1/2 cup milk

-1 cup fresh spinach

Preparation

Add the ice, kiwi, strawberries, milk, and spinach to a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info

Calories 49 Carbs-9 gram Fiber 1 gram Sugar 4 gram Fat 0 gram Protein 1 gram

Sweet Potato Pizza Bites

Sweet Potato Pizza Bites  

For 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup marinara sauce (130 g)
  • ½ cup pesto sauce
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (50 g)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully slice the sweet potatoes into ½-inch (1 cm) rounds. Transfer the sweet potato rounds to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets, spacing evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden brown. Top the sweet potato rounds with marinara sauce and mozzarella, or pesto and mozzarella. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is warmed through. Garnish with fresh basil and serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition Info

Calories 404-Fat 21g-Carbs 44g-Fiber 6g-Sugar 14g-Protein 10g

Problems People Experience in Achieving Their Wellness Goals

Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good

Advertisements, social media accounts, celebrities… There are perfect bodies everywhere, and we are often disappointed with what we see in the mirror. The bad thing is that perfectionism triggers emotional eating. In a typical emotional eating attack, we may consume a wide range of unhealthy packaged products. Then we regret it, feel worse about ourselves, and eat even more. Soon our weight spirals out of control! Put these thoughts aside and imagine your best version of you. Set a photo of your ideal weight as your phone background. Then look at this photo whenever you are tempted to stray from your wellness path. It is an incredibly effective method.

 

Related: Emotional Eating Is Not the Solution

 

Keto Diet for Beginners

A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps you to burn fat more effectively without feeling hunger. It is similar to many other low carb diets like Atkins, Paleo, and Dukan. But a ketogenic diet aims to put you in ketosis by reducing carb intake. Although a keto diet has many benefits, there are side effects, too. If you are planning to start a ketogenic diet keep on reading. We have made a list of what to eat while on a ketogenic diet and a one-day meal plan for you.

What is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a metabolic process that happens when the body does not have enough glucose for energy. When the body completely uses its primary source of energy, glucose, fat stores are broken down to produce energy. To go into ketosis, you need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day. This requires removing certain foods like grains, milk and milk products, some fruits and vegetables, legumes, and all products containing sugar. Protein intake should be moderate and fat intake should be high. Be careful, though. Too much protein can interfere with ketosis.

 

Related: Track Your Ketone Level with Vivoo Urine Sticks

 

ketogenic diet

Foods to Eat

Here is the list of foods you can eat on a ketogenic diet:

  • Meat: beef, chicken, turkey, unprocessed meat, pork, ham, bacon

  • Fish and Seafood: salmon, shrimp, sardines, tuna

  • Eggs

  • Healthy fats: avocado, olives, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, 

  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamia nuts

  • Low carb vegetables: green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, asparagus, and kale, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, green peppers…

  • Milk and products: sugar-free soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut yogurt

  • Berries: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries (in moderation)

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains: rice, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, 

  • Legumes: chickpeas, lentils, quinoa

  • Fruits: all fruits except berries

  • Milk and milk products: cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt

  • Root vegetables: potatoes, carrots, parnships

  • Honey, jam

  • All products containing sugar: soda, chocolate, gum, ice cream

  • Alcohol

One-day Keto Diet Meal Plan

 

BREAKFAST

Omelet with olive oil

Sautéed mushrooms and spinach

Avocado or olives

Mixed greens


LUNCH

Smoked salmon

Zucchini noodles


SNACK

100 grams of coconut yogurt (7-8 grams of carbs)

3 strawberries (7 grams of carb)

Almonds


DINNER

Grilled beef with asparagus

Mixed green salad

 

Advantages of a Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet helps you to lose weight by increasing fat during ketosis. This diet helps to break insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity. In addition, a keto diet increases the feeling of satiety due to protein and fat content. Also, the keto diet also makes you feel less bloated and may decrease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. 

Side Effects of a Ketogenic Diet

One of the most common side effects of a ketogenic diet is a reduction in the intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The limitation of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains can also decrease the amount of fiber consumed, which causes constipation. Another side effect of a keto diet is that the increased amount of protein can cause the liver and kidneys to work harder. It also increases uric acid and blood lipids. During the diet, blood pressure may fluctuate. In addition, following a strict diet can be very difficult: that’s why it is not sustainable. To avoid the side effects, you shouldn’t be on the diet for more than 10-15 days.

 

A ketogenic diet is not recommended for people with Type 1 diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, liver and renal dysfunctions, hypoglycemia, or pregnant or lactating women. 

Practical Tips for Keto Flu


Keto flu is a common side effect of a ketogenic diet. It is usually seen when people start the diet. The symptoms are very similar to the flu and are caused by the body adapting to a diet that consists of very few carbohydrates. They include headache, dry mouth, increased thirst and urination, bad breath, nausea, lack of energy, and dizziness. These symptoms generally start on days 3-7 of the diet and last for a few days. If you don’t have a chronic disease, there should be no need to worry.

To avoid the keto flu:

  • Drink plenty of water during the day.

  • Increase sodium intake by consuming more salt.

  • Drink mineral water every day.

  • Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables.

  • Avoid heavy exercise during the first week.

     

Related: 4 Ketogenic Dessert Recipes

 

Turmeric: The Golden Spice of Life

Would you like to hear a secret about one of the most powerful herbs? How often do you add turmeric to your soup or smoothies? Yes, you heard right. It’s turmeric! 

Turmeric, native to South Asia, is one of the fastest-growing dietary supplements. It is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant, and it contains the chemical curcumin, which makes it a super beneficial herb. Curcumin has been the subject of much interest and research over the last few decades due to its medicinal properties. Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. Let’s look at the health effects of curcumin.

What Does curcumin Do For You?

Curcumin has many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory which means it helps your body fight foreign invaders and has a role in repairing the damage. It also has powerful antioxidant effects. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals. So curcumin neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

What Does curcumin Do For You?

Does Turmeric Help You to Lose Weight?

Besides the above mentioned positive attributes that turmeric has on the human body, it also has a positive influence on weight loss. It reduces the inflammation associated with obesity. Thus, it can give your weight loss plan a boost. Another benefit that it has on your weight loss journey is its natural cleansing ability. When it is taken daily, it aids in flushing out toxins that have built up in the liver. Since the liver plays an important role in metabolizing fats, it can help increase the chances of weight loss when it is able to function at its best.

What Foods Go Well With Turmeric?

How do we get all the benefits of curcumin? Read on to discover 5 healthy tips on how to incorporate it into your diet.

Turmeric: The Golden Spice of Life

1. Great For Digestion

With the help of vitamins and minerals, turmeric acts as a natural aid to digestion. Add a pinch of turmeric to your next smoothie to find some relief from gut inflammation.

2. Increase The Antioxidant Capacity of Your Body

Sprinkle a teaspoon of turmeric, along with a little coconut oil, onto your vegetables, to kill any infections or viruses that may be hanging on in your body. Any vegetables will work! 

3. Improve Your Mood

Some bioactive compounds in turmeric may help with depression so start off brunch or breakfast with a turmeric golden latte.  (Check out the golden milk recipe below). 

does turmeric help you lose weight?

4.  Make Your skin glow

Stir some turmeric into soups to give your skin a boost! Add a tablespoon of powdered turmeric to your vegetable soup to help your skin glow.

5. Help an upset stomach feel better

Spice up your oatmeal, quinoa porridge, or buckwheat porridge with some ground turmeric. Its golden color, which has anti-inflammatory compounds, can help alleviate the pain that comes from fattening or spicy foods, alcohol, or lack of exercise.

Vegan Golden Milk 

Looking for a quick recipe that’s healthy, nutritious, and filled with curcumin? We’ve got the recipe you need right here. Golden milk is a traditional Ayurvedic drink made with ground turmeric and milk. It is perfectly soothing and warming on cold winter days!

Vegan Golden Milk 

Ingredients:

2 cups coconut, almond or cashew milk

1 tsp ground turmeric

1-2 tbsp maple syrup 

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Optional:

1/2 tbsp coconut oil

ginger

vanilla extract

 

Mix all ingredients into a pot over medium heat until warmed through, whisking briskly. Do not let boil. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

 

Related: 3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Immune System Strong

 

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

We have, unfortunately, come across a global pandemic called COVID-19. As we all know, Coronavirus (COVID-19) weakens our immune system and directly affects our respiratory ability. First of all, we have to take personal hygiene precautions. Then, we need to nourish our bodies. Instead of drinking liters of orange juice, or hoping for the best, you can add foods that support your immune system to your daily routine. Let’s take a look at foods that help your immune system and help ward off viruses

 

Herbal Teas

Drink 2-3 cups of echinacea, linden, rosehip or sage tea to support your immune system.

Echinacea tea:  One of the most used herbal teas to protect against a cold. It also helps to treat upper respiratory tract diseases.

Linden tea: A pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant tea. It helps to reduce cold symptoms.

Rosehip tea: High in vitamin C and commonly used to help with infectious diseases, such as flu and cold.

Sage tea: Very effective in mouth and throat inflammations. This herbal tea reduces sweating when you get a cold.

 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful immune system protectors. Add vitamin C sources to your meals daily. Kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, strawberry, broccoli, cauliflower and bell peppers are good sources of vitamin C. Don’t forget, though, that because your body doesn’t store it, you need vitamin C daily for continued health.

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

 

Vitamin A

Known as an anti-inflammatory vitamin, vitamin A is involved in the development of the immune system. It has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of various infectious diseases. Eggs, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrot, and spinach are good sources of vitamin A.

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System


Garlic and Onion

Allicin, a natural chemical found in garlic, fights common viruses and helps your immune system. You can add it to your cooked foods and salads.

Onion is also a powerful immune supporter that contains sulfur. The polyphenols in onions act as antioxidants, helping to build a strong immune system.

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and modulates immune functions. Supplementing with vitamin E has various beneficial effects on the immune system. Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, salmon and avocados are good sources of vitamin E.

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

Probiotics

Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Gut health is directly related to your immune levels by defending you from viral infections. Probiotic foods include fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and miso.


Ginger and Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric are some of the most precious spices. They are anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. You can add these spices to your yogurt, milk or cooked foods. You can make an immunity shot by mixing these spices with lemon.

 

Propolis

Propolis has been used for strengthening your immune system for many years. You can add propolis to your milk, yogurt or smoothie bowls.

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System 

 

*Note that; these foods don’t stave off viruses or won’t cure coronavirus, but it will help you to strengthen your immune system and stay healthy.

 

In Addition

  • Stress is one of the worst enemies of your immune system. Try to reduce your stress.
  • Improve your sleep habits. Good quality sleep without light will help to straighten your immune system. Try to sleep at least 6-8 hours a night.
  • Keep moving! Outdoor walking or running and home exercises like yoga and pilates will make you feel better and support your immune system.

 

National Nutrition Month: Steps to Building a Strong Relationship with Food

Nutrition nowadays has gotten more complicated. Most of us rely on experts, diet books, media accounts, the latest findings in nutritional science, government advisories, and food pyramids to tell us how and what to eat. But we still can’t seem to implement this advice in our lives. The way we eat has changed across time. In today’s fast-paced and stressful world, we look for food that is quick and easy. We also eat more food than we need, too much of the foods are high in fat, sugar, and salt.

Other than what we eat, the way food is produced, marketed, and made available to people has changed tremendously over the last 50 years. As a result, nearly 2 billion adults have become overweight or obese. Sadly, these issues come with many risk factors such as heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. These diseases can create economic difficulties for families due to high treatment costs. Moreover, obese people can also suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and social isolation.

The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

Another factor that affected our nutrition and lifestyle is urbanization and income levels. Our food choices are directly related to food prices. Many energy-dense, processed foods, which are often low in vitamins and minerals, are frequently cheaper than more nutrient-rich foods due to technological advances and market liberalization. Industrial food production has also led to the widespread use of agricultural chemicals and antibiotics, which may have adverse health effects.

In our modern world, not only has the food changed but how we eat is different, as well. Eating has become an unconscious action. We eat even when we are full or not hungry, just to cope with emotions like anxiety, anger, and sadness.

Health Solutions On The Go

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign launched by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, we invite everyone to focus on the importance of making informed choices about food and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

National Nutrition Month: Steps to Building a Strong Relationship with Food

Here are 20 tips to help improve your nutrition:

  • Read food labels.
  • Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.
  • Make a grocery list before shopping.
  • Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.
  • Avoid food products with the terms “low-fat” or “nonfat” in their names.
  • Avoid food products containing high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Buy snacks like fresh or dried fruits and nuts rather than chips and sweets.
  • Avoid foods you see advertised on television.
  • Prepare and eat food at home.
  • Take your meal to school or the office. (This tip also helps your wallet.)
  • Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.
  • Reduce meat consumption. Treat meat as a special occasion food.
  • Switch refined carbs like rice and pasta to vegetables and salad.
  • Remove sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juice from your diet.
  • Eat a colorful array of foods.
  • Stop eating before you feel full.
  • Eat when you are hungry, but not when you are bored.
  • Buy smaller plates and glasses.
  • Do all your eating at a table, and try not to eat alone.
  • Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature.

Related: The Food Nutrients to Supercharge Your Immune System

 

What Are Eating Disorders?

     Eating disorders are seen at first glance as a condition that involves food and excessive occupation with weight, but they are, in fact, quite complicated disorders that consist of long-term psychological, physiological, and social conditions. Individuals with eating disorders often use foods or their control over foods to deal with their emotions. The desire for intense control can lead an individual to behaviors. It aims to form a control mechanism over their body, and these behaviors create obstacles that are both physiological and psychological.

     There are many psychological, interpersonal, and social issues underlying eating disorders. Research shows that factors such as low self-confidence, depression, loneliness, difficulty in expressing emotions, and physical or sexual assault are prominent reasons.  It is inevitable for some individuals to become obsessed with their bodies, especially when the media equates being thin with being beautiful, and societies place greater value on physical appeal than on inner beauty. However, not all individuals exposed to these factors will develop eating disorders. Saying that eating disorders develop in all individuals who are exposed to these factors would be misleading, of course. Psychological and genetic predisposition, family structure, social environment, and traumatic experiences constitute an important part of this condition.

Anorexia Nervosa

     Anorexia nervosa is characterized by having a markedly low body weight based on the individual’s age, gender, and developmental status. Despite this low body weight, individuals with anorexia nervosa tend to:

  • Have an extreme fear of gaining weight.
  • See themselves as having extra weight even though they do not
  • Give excessive importance to weight when evaluating themselves.
  • Show continuous behaviors that make it difficult to gain weight (refusing to eat to the point of starvation, excessive exercise, vomiting, using laxatives, etc.)
     These are some of the prominent symptoms of Anorexia nervosa.

     Anorexia not only manifests itself as a restriction of what a person eats but also by purging after periods of overeating.

     Patients with anorexia feel an intense fear of being fat and gaining weight. They show great interest in body shapes and an intense desire to avoid gaining weight. In anorexia nervosa, it is very common to see menstrual losses due to this excess weight loss.

anorexia


Bulimia Nervosa

     The patients show compensatory behaviors (avoid eating, vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise …) after recurring binge eating periods. This situation gradually becomes a vicious cycle and individuals find themselves unable to get out of this position.

     Binge eating is eating an unusually large amount of food in a short period of time. During this period, the most prominent feature is the loss of control over eating habits. After this period, individuals show compensatory behaviors to prevent weight gain (self-induced vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise…). Again, the self-evaluation of the individual shows a very close relationship with their weight.

    At first, individuals think that they can get out of this cycle on their own and may not even see themselves as being sick. They believe that it will pass over time. However, expert support becomes necessary when they realize that this situation has gotten out of control.

 


Binge-Eating Disorder

     Binge-eating disorder is very similar to Bulimia nervosa. However, behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and excessive exercise after binge eating are not observed in binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating periods are characterized by:

  • Eating faster than usual.
  • Eating to the point of gastric discomfort.
  • Feeling self-disgust, depression, and guilt after this period.
  • Eating excessively when not feeling hungry.
  • Eating secretly due to feeling ashamed.
The disorders mentioned above are some of the most common eating disorders. There are also categories of eating disorders that are less common.
  • Pica is characterized by an appetite for non-nutritive substances for at least one month.
  • Rumination disorder is a condition in which a person regurgitates the food they have eaten voluntarily for a period of at least one month.
  • Restrictive food intake disorder is characterized by restriction of food intake to a level that prevents a person from eating enough nutrients, disinterest in foods or eating, avoiding the sensory properties of food (e.g smell), anxiety about the unwanted consequences of eating.

 

eating disorders night eating


Night Eating Syndrome

     Night eating syndrome is characterized by eating in the middle of the night or excessive eating after dinner. Individuals with this disorder might have reduced appetites in the morning due to excessive eating the night before, and they might try to reduce the amount they eat during the day, knowing they are going to consume excessive amounts of food at night. Sleep problems are common, especially for the patients who wake up during the night to eat. This condition decreases the sleep quality of the person and causes them to be in a more depressed mood during the day. They may also experience a significant decrease in their daily life functionality.

How Do I Know If I Have an Eating Disorder?

  • Do you often think about your weight, your body shape, or food?
  • Do you try to restrict the amount you eat to lose weight, or do you stop eating for long periods?
  • Does your overthinking on food and calories often affect your concentration on other issues in daily life?
  • Do you feel a desire to have an empty stomach or a completely flat stomach to lose weight?
  • Do you have any fears about losing control of overeating or gaining weight?
  • Are there times that the amount of food you eat is more than most people can eat and do you feel that you have lost control at such times?
  • Do you often feel overweight?
  • Do you have a strong desire to lose weight?
  • Does your weight affect your thoughts about yourself too much? (For example, “If I am thin, I feel successful and beautiful, but if I eat more than I want and gain weight, I feel unsuccessful and ugly.”)
  • Do you vomit, use laxatives and exercise excessively to prevent weight gain after eating too much?
  • Do you hide from other people to eat?
  • Does it upset you to weigh yourself on a scale?
  • Do you feel guilty because you eat a lot and think you will gain weight?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable when other people see your body?

If these questions seem familiar to you, or if you often encounter these conditions in your own life, you may have an eating disorder. If you suspect that you do, seek help from a qualified medical professional.

Risk Factors of Eating Disorders

eating disorders

  • Negative Body Image

     Body image is a person’s feelings about their own body and how they see themselves. If a person has a negative image of their body, they see their bodies differently from how they are, feel ashamed of their own body, and may give extreme importance to the thoughts of others. A negative body image is a very common risk factor for eating disorders. Anorexia patients especially tend to perceive themselves as overweight. Their perception of their bodies does not reflect the truth. Bulimia patients generally perceive their bodies as they are, but show a high level of dissatisfaction towards them. They constantly make negative judgments about their bodies.

  • Socio-Cultural Factors

     With the widespread idealization of beauty in the media, many people have increased awareness about their bodies. The comments of relatives, friends, and partners about weight gain and loss can have devastating effects on individuals. All of these factors may contribute to the development of eating disorders and play a role in their continuation. 

  • Emotional Factors

     Low self-confidence and low perception of self-worth may be some of the causes of eating disorders. Being a perfectionist and having an excessive need for control are also seen as risk factors. These issues not only contribute to eating disorders, but they complicate the treatment as well.

  • The Family Doctor

     There is no one “a family structure that causes eating disorders”, but studies indicate that there is certainly a frame. Some experts claim that children who grow up in families that are overprotective, strict, perfectionist with limited capacity for dealing with problems or have very close or very distant relationships are more prone to develop these illnesses. Taking a close look at family relationships will provide important information about the cause and progression of eating disorders. In addition, family relationships should be a part of the treatment of eating disorders. The family should be involved in the treatment.

      Knowledge of family disorders will have a positive effect on the treatment process of the person who is suffering from eating disorders. Otherwise, it will be quite difficult for the individual. They may feel constantly criticized and accused of being the main reason for their illnesses, making it difficult for them to deal with both the disorder and this sense of guilt.

eating disorders


Medical Complications in Eating Disorders

      Eating disorders not only cause psychological difficulties but also affect the body of the patient in many ways. Even though these conditions usually improve as the disorder is treated, the recovery of bodily damage is still a very difficult process, especially in chronic cases with long-standing illnesses. Although the disease with the highest death rate among these eating disorders is anorexia, behaviors such as vomiting, binge eating, and using laxatives also have various consequences.

Mouth and tooth problems may occur due to vomiting in some eating disorders. Dental cavities caused by acid due to vomiting are one of the most common issues. Weight loss, vomiting, and the use of laxatives increase the possibility of heart problems. One of the most common conditions is digestive system problems. We can observe symptoms such as celiac, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Amenorrhea (the absence of a menstrual period) in women is a common issue, especially in anorexia. Conditions such as fatigue, weakness, and energy loss are also quite common. It is very important to talk with the patient about these problems as they can be overcome by healthy weight gain and proper nutrition.


Treatment of Eating Disorders

      A multidisciplinary team should deal with the treatment of eating disorders. The internal diseases specialist deals with the physical part of the disorder. In addition to treating the deficiencies in the body, they have an important role in detecting the damage caused by the disease. The psychiatrist can diagnose the disease and recommend treatment options, including condition-specific drug therapy. It is very important to start a therapy process with a clinical psychologist who specializes in the field of eating disorders.

The goal of therapy is to provide the necessary help to make it easier for the patient to deal with the eating disorder rather than eliminating it. Follow-up with dietetic professionals at the beginning of the disease is not always effective. They help add the nutrients that the body needs to the diet to reverse the damage caused by anorexia. Regular meals are planned in bulimia and binge eating disorder. These treatments take place simultaneously, not consecutively. Treatment plans are prepared with the cooperation of all these disciplines and according to the needs of the patient.

 

Related: Mental Health is Just as Important as Physical Health