Why are Plant-Based Diets on the Rise?

Vegetarianism is one of the most popular diet trends recently and generally describes a diet in which one eliminates meat and meat-derived foods. Vegan and vegetarian products, even whole sections of products, are increasingly easy to find in supermarkets. So what’s the appeal? In fact, there are many reasons people choose to become vegetarians, including personal preferences, ecological problems, religious beliefs, and various diseases (especially cardiovascular diseases).

With any diet, the main goal should be nutritional adequacy. When compared nutritionally, vegetarians consume more carbohydrates, omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, carotenoids, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium. However, they consume less protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, zinc, and calcium than non-vegetarians. Therefore, vegetarian diets may offer a few advantages, including lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol caused by animal-based foods.

Vegetarianism to Veganism

It’s not a big jump. A vegan diet involves cutting out all animal-based foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, honey, etc. Because of its similarity to vegetarianism, veganism is considered a subclassification of vegetarianism.People choose to be vegan for many of the same reasons they might choose to be vegetarian. Sometimes certain allergies (such as an allergy to egg whites) can also motivate people to go from vegetarianism to veganism. The vegetarian and vegan portion of the world is estimated at 2%. But do they get what they need? Let’s figure it out! Protein is an essential micronutrient for the body’s building, maintenance, and repairing of tissues. Vegetarians can meet their protein needs through a well planned plant-based diet which includes a variety of grains, legumes, and vegetables.

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for cardiovascular health, eye health, and brain development. For vegetarians and vegans, they can be found in several plants. Especially those which contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), such as walnuts, flaxseed oil, hemp seed, and soybeans. Vitamin B12 intake is often low for vegans because it is mainly acquired through animal-based foods. Very low B12 levels can cause anemia or nervous system damage. Unfortunately, deficiency symptoms usually take years to manifest, making this a major problem which is also hard to detect. 

Although plant-based diets have low levels of iodine, it is possible to maintain a healthy level of iodine. Table salt is often fortified with iodine, and vegetables that grow in deep ocean water (such as seaweeds) are high in iodine. In order to maintain a healthy level of iron, vegetarians and vegans should stay away from phytates, calcium, tea, coffee, and cacao, which all decrease iron absorption. Rich plant sources of iron include dark green vegetables, soy products, legumes, whole grains, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and unrefined molasses. Consuming these foods is key, and adding food high in vitamin C will enhance absorption.

Zinc is important for the immune system and it is not found in large amounts in plant foods. However the richest plant sources are legumes, nuts, seeds, and oatmeal. Calcium can be found in dark green vegetables, beans, tofu, tahini, sesame seeds, almonds, figs, seaweeds, unrefined molasses, and fortified soy milk. Keep in mind that phytates and oxalates, which are mainly found in plant foods, can inhibit calcium absorption.

Low vitamin D blood levels and bone density may be major problems for vegetarians and vegans. This is because vitamin D is necessary for regularizing calcium metabolism. Nutritional requirements are different for every single person. If any person, whether vegetarian or vegan or omnivorous, has a nutritional deficiency, they should seek the advice of a dietitian and/or doctor in order to meet their dietary needs.

Nutrition in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very important time for a woman. The feeling of a new beating heart inside her body and experiencing the change of her body day by day is definitely amazing. Every pregnancy experience is like a fingerprint, even for the same woman, from one pregnancy to the next. The symptoms range from being temporary and mild within the period of the first few months, or a mother’s discomfort may continue up to birth. Managing the symptoms and sustaining health is mostly related to getting enough nutrition support.

Pregnant women also feel some aversions and cravings for special foods. Chocolate, starch, potatoes, pizza and spicy foods are some more commonly craved foods for pregnant women. Some pregnant women experience nausea and vomiting. When she is dealing with these early symptoms, an expectant mother can eat a small piece of ginger to help to stop nausea. Also, eating dry, salty things or eating before getting out of bed in the mornings can also help in dealing with morning nausea. During the first months of pregnancy, as a result of changes in her hormone balance, women may encounter some appetite problems, like feeling irritation with the odors of cooked foods, like red meat. This can affect the consumption of red meat negatively, and iron deficiency may occur. 

In pregnancy, the body needs additional energy, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It does not mean “eat for two”, and while her nutritional requirements may vary, it should not be that much. Poor eating habits affects a baby’s development negatively, and as a result of not getting enough nutrition, a baby may encounter birth anomaly. Additionally, excess weight gain is also a huge health risk for both mother and baby. The mother may develop gestational diabetes because of excess calorie intake. This condition threatens the baby’s growth. It may also cause growth retardation, congenital anomalies, and premature birth. Most pregnant women are concerned about their weight gain during pregnancy, and their concern is never getting back to their pre-pregnancy body. Recently, the ketogenic diet has been a very popular diet, which is mostly used for weight loss. In pregnancy, trying to lose weight is an unhealthy approach because growing a body needs extra energy for the second and third trimester. The weight gain should be between 20-40 pounds up to the delivery, depending on the weight of the mother before pregnancy. If a woman is very overweight, her doctor may want her to lose weight before planning a pregnancy. 

Nutritional needs also change in the pregnancy period. When we consider the development of bones, mother should consume dairy products, which provides important minerals, like calcium and phosphorus. Dairy products also contain vitamin B and zinc, which is very crucial for the mental development of the baby. Some fermented dairy products like Greek yogurt or kefir are excellent sources of probiotics, which have regulatory functions on the digestive system. Iron is used by your body to make a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and tissues. During pregnancy, women need more iron than she did before pregnancy. This extra iron helps the pregnant woman’s body make more blood to supply oxygen to the baby. Not having enough iron is called iron deficiency anemia. Anemia increases the risk of certain problems, including preterm delivery and having a low-birth-weight baby.

Red meat and poultry are very good sources of protein, iron, and choline. Eating foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, bell peppers, and berries increases the absorption of iron from meals. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc. Egg protein is a high quality protein, which means all of it is useable for making body proteins. It includes choline, which is very important for the body and the baby’s brain and nervous system development. Insufficient choline intake during pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects. A single whole egg contains roughly 113 mg of choline, which is about 25% of the RDI for pregnant women (450 mg). 

Carbohydrates must be a main source of energy in a pregnant woman’s diet. Before it is metabolized by cells, it’s broken down into simple sugars, like glucose, which pass easily across the placenta and provide energy to feed growing the baby during pregnancy. Low carb diets, like ketogenic diets, are detrimental  because the fetal brain requires glucose for function and development. Forcing the developing brain to convert to a ketone energy supply has potential adverse effects. The ketogenic diet is mostly a fat based diet, which means at least 90% of dietary intake is fat. When babies are growing, they need macros differently. They need 55-60% carbs, 12-15% protein, and 25-30% fat. Ketogenic diets are very restrictive diets in which you can not eat enough fruits and vegetables, which is very important for a healthy baby.

Mice studies showed that low carb diets in pregnancy were associated with preterm birth and low birth weight. These diets also negatively affects development of organs, which causes cardiovascular diseases later in life of the fetus. Around a third of daily food intake should be starchy carbohydrates. Oat, whole wheat breads, rice, maize, breakfast cereals should be chosen instead of refined carbohydrates (white) such as pasta and noodles. Women should consume high fiber foods, like whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.

When we think about the mental development of the baby, omega 3 fatty acids are very essential. The mother should consume two portions of fish a week with one portion being oily fish like salmon, sardines, or mackerel.  Some types of fish are harmful for pregnant women, like shark, swordfish, and marlin. These fishes may contain higher amounts of mercury, which is very harmful for brain and nervous system development. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that pregnant women eat 340 grams of a variety of seafood lower in mercury a week. That’s about two servings. Also, when a woman is planning a pregnancy, she should avoid consuming these fish more than two times a week. It can accumulate in tissues. Legumes are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and folate. Folate vitamin B9 is an essential nutrient which is required for DNA replication and as a substrate for a range of enzymatic reactions in amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism. During pregnancy, demands for folate increased because it’s also required for development of the baby. Folate deficiency is associated with abnormalities in both mother (Anemia, neuropathy) and fetuses (congenital abnormalities, like neural tube defects in the spine or in the brain).

Moms should be aware of the importance of folate supplementation in the first months of pregnancy and before pregnancy. Pregnant women need at least 600 micrograms of folate. Nuts, dark leafy vegetables, and eggs are good sources of folate. WHO (World Health Organization) recommends daily oral iron and folic acid supplementation with 30 mg to 60 mg of elemental iron and 400 µg (0.4 mg) folic acid for pregnant women to prevent maternal anemia, puerperal sepsis, low birth weight, and preterm birth.

 One of the most common problems for a pregnant women is constipation. Due to changing hormone levels in early pregnancy, intestinal movement slows down the movement of stool through the bowel. Mother should increase her fiber consumption, which mostly comes from leafy vegetables and fruits. Five portions of fruits and vegetables are recommended for them, with at least 2 portions of vegetables and 3 portions of fruit. Drinking enough water and increasing liquid consumption is another solution for constipation.  

In summary, pregnant women should be aware of her healthy nutrition pattern during pregnancy. Poor nutrition in pregnancy threatens both mother and baby’s health.  Staying active is also important for general health, reducing stress, boosting mood, and sleeping better. Pregnancy exercise class or 20 min walking at a moderate pace may be enough. If you are planning a pregnancy, just focus on healthy nutrition with daily exercise and enjoy the journey! 

What to Do After Cheating on Your Diet

This has happened to all of us… you have been dieting for a while and going to the gym 2-3 times a week, and one night, you ate chocolate, or you drank alcohol at a party, or you ate a hamburger on the weekend, and cheated on your diet. You felt guilty, and you don’t know what to do. First of all, this is a common experience that all dieters have. It doesn’t mean everything you have done is wasted about your diet. That’s why shouldn’t regret that indulgence.

One chocolate, ice cream, or cookie won’t ruin your day. You shouldn’t give yourself permission to erase the whole day. “That’s it, I ate a chocolate, I give up.” Can you imagine doing this in any other situation? “That’s it, I snoozed my alarm and slept 10 minutes more, I won’t go to work at all.” Of course not. When you make a little mistake, you just have to deal as best as you can. That’s exactly how it should be with your diet. You can have a fresh start the next day!

So here are some tips for after a cheat meal or cheat day.

Increase water consumption

Drink at least 2.5-3 liters of water a day. This step is one of the most important things to do after a cheat on your diet. Drinking water will help you lose the water weight you gained.

Drink herbal teas

Green tea, rosemary tea, fennel tea and cherry stem tea will also help you lose water weight. Drink 2-3 cups of herbal teas a day.

Reduce sodium intake

Excess amounts of sodium will also result with edema (fluid retention). That’s why you should try to decrease your sodium intake. Stay away from processed foods, pickles, and broths that are high in sodium.

Cut off carbs

Excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugar will increase water retention. This is one of the main reasons why you weigh more than another day after a cheat meal. That’s why you should reduce white sugar, white rice, white bread and white pasta. Instead of carbohydrate rich foods, eat more protein and fat. For example, a breakfast with eggs and a lunch with chicken salad will be better.

Increase fruit and vegetable intake

Foods like cherries, pineapple, zucchini, apricot, cucumber and parsley that are high in water will help you lose weight easily.

Exercise but do not exaggerate

Exercise is a great idea. After a cheat day, exercising will help you recover easily. Try not to over exercise and burn all the excessive calories you just ate. Stick to your normal exercise routine.

Skip the scale

After a cheat meal you may weigh more than usual. It’s not because you have gained fat, but rather because you’ve gained water weight after you ate foods that are higher in carbs and salt. Don’t forget that this weight is temporary.

The most important thing to remember in this is that there is no one who is unsuccessful, there is only the one who gives up. There can be some bumps on the road to your goal. Only you can achieve your goal if you don’t give up on yourself. So stay positive and focused! Don’t create excuses!

 

Breakfast Eater or Skipper: Here are 5 Quick Breakfast Ideas

Oh, hey there! Are you one of the breakfast eaters or are you a skipper?

Of course, this breakfast should be an ideal (a.k.a healthy) meal, not a poor quality one!

It seems that we are obliged to skip our breakfast meal for reasons like early morning working hours, being stuck in traffic, tough working conditions, or just being unwilling to prepare breakfast.

If we look from the scientific perspective, recent studies show that the ideal breakfast meal should meet 20-35% of our daily energy consumption. It includes adequate macro and micronutrients for better appetite control, feeling more active mentally and physically the rest of the day, higher cognitive performance (which is really important in our work life), good levels of well-being, and generally higher quality of life.

However, I can hear you say, “We, the people who work hard, do not have time for it!” Well, this writing leads you to eat, not to skip, and shows that there is no excuse! 

But how?

Let’s figure it out!

Here are 5 healthy but quick breakfast ideas!

1. Savior: Overnight Oats!

We all know that oats are one of the easiest ways to feed ourselves. It’s not a worldwide traditional food, but it’s becoming trendier day by day.  It’s a savior for us, the people who are working hard, who don’t have enough time for taking care of our health, but have grumbling stomachs!

Let’s see what’s in it:

  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 200 ml milk (If you want lower calories, you can choose skim or semi-skim milk; or if you’re vegan, you can choose plant-based milks, such as coconut milk, almond milk, etc.)
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 2 thin slices of pineapple OR 1 handful of blueberries OR 10 strawberries OR 1 middle-sized apple OR 1/2 banana 
  • 5-6 almonds or hazelnuts, a pinch of coconut flakes or 2 walnuts (chopped)
  • Cinnamon, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon cacao or ground coffee, if you want to be more awake and energetic!

Mix them all in a small jar, and close it up tightly. Put it in the fridge. Your amazingly delicious overnight oats will be ready for the next morning! You can enjoy it at home or at work. Enjoy!

2. To Ketogenic Lovers: Puffy Muffins

Yes, you’ve heard right! Muffins for ketogenic lovers, but muffins made in the ketogenic way. Healthy and quick breakfast options for the ketogenic people may be hard sometimes, but not impossible. 

Here is the recipe;

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • Greens, such as parsley, green onion, dill, etc., chopped

Mix the eggs well, then add coconut oil and avocado, then stir. Take a muffin pan, spray some oil, or you can use coconut oil instead. Put some chopped greens in the pan, then pour the egg mix into it. Then, put it right into the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Your puffy muffins will be ready. 

Meanwhile, you can get ready for work while it’s cooking!

3. The Trendiest: Smoothie Bowls

Are you looking for fresh and nourishing options at the same time? Or different options other than classic breakfasts? Well, smoothies would be a good fit for you. And quicker! 

Meal prep is always a good idea, therefore put the fruits you like in the freezer the night before. The next morning, take out the fruits, slice them into pieces. Add them in the blender. Blend it until smooth and creamy. Add yogurt or kefir or milk (also vegan milk) and blend again, then pour it to a bowl, and top with healthy snacks. 

Here’s sample smoothie bowl recipe:

  • 1 handful of frozen berries
  • 1/2 frozen ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt or 100 ml kefir/milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond/nut flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

The whole process will be done in 5 minutes maximum!

4. Delicious Duo: AvoBread and NutBread 

Are you one of the people who love salty and sweet meals together? Great! Because I have a breakfast option for you all. Remember, there are always healthier ways to feed our body.

For the perfect duo;

  • 2 slices of bread (especially the healthy and full of fiber ones with whole grain or rye or buckwheat etc.)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1,5  teaspoon peanut butter (no added sugar or homemade sugarless ones)
  • 1 egg, hardboiled or cooked in pan
  • 1 teaspoon jam (no added sugar or homemade sugarless ones)
  • A pinch of black seeds, flax seeds, poppy or chia seeds

Mash the avocado, coat one slice of healthy bread. Divide the boiled egg into two, put it on the bread with mashed avo. And then, sprinkle some seed. It’s ready to enjoy!

Second, coat the other slice of healthy bread with peanut butter, then with jam. You can also use fresh fruit instead of jam. If you like, sprinkle some seed on that, too!

With a cup of herbal tea or filtered coffee, it’ll also be the perfect trio!

5. Last, but not least: Healthy Burrito 

Want a tasty burrito? A healthier one? Even at breakfast? Well, why not?

Then, here is your recipe:

  • 1 tortilla with whole grain or rye
  • 3 slices of smoked turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 30 gr cheese
  • A pinch of salt and blackpepper
  • Fresh vegetables, such as bell peppers, tomatoes and greens

Make an omelette with the egg, milk, and cheese. Add some spices into the omelette. After that, take the tortilla, and spread the omelette down the center of the bread. Add the rest of the ingredients above. Fold each opposite side, then roll it up. And done! Enjoy your burrito!

What You Should Eat While on Your Period

The menstrual cycle can be hard. Do you get extremely irritated by things that usually would not bother you? Your hormones are to blame! Our hormones definitely impact our bodies in many different ways. Between the bloating, the cramping, the cravings, and the mood swings, that time of the month is usually not the best week in any woman’s life. Still, you don’t have to let these problems control your life. Lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. To get through your menstrual cycle with much less stress, scroll through to find out the best foods to focus on while you are on your period. As a registered dietitian, I will give you some tricks about which foods to eat and avoid on your period. Here are a few tips to modify your diet!

   1. Satisfy your sweet tooth

Women tend to crave junk food before and during their period due to the fluctuation in hormones. Most women are well aware that processed sweets are not great, but anyone who has experienced a sugar craving before their period will tell you it is tough to make smarter choices. There are options that give us the opportunity to fight sugar cravings. For instance, dark chocolate is a great treat while on your period. Try creating a combination of dark chocolate and almonds! Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and magnesium, which reduces mood swings by regulating serotonin.  Make sure you find the highest percent dark chocolate in the store. The higher the better, because it won’t contain as much sugar.

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, which can also relieve period cramps. As you know, processed snacks are pumped full of added sugars. Swapping sugar for natural alternatives like dates or prunes would be a great idea for fighting sugar cravings. They are definitely something to consider if you’re looking to swap out anything processed. It is time to get creative, try to add dates or prunes to your diet by creating new recipes at home.

   2. Focus on drinking plenty of water

Sugary, carbonated drinks like soda contribute to bloating. Avoid sparkling water too. Just like soda, the carbonation will increase bloating. Caffeine is also one of the main foods to avoid on your period. When you have caffeine, it increases your bloating discomfort and irritates your uterus, which worsens your cramps. Stick to water instead! Upping your water intake will actually ease bloating. Make sure you keep track of your water consumption throughout the day by using Vivoo. 

    3. Load up calcium

Yogurt is one of the best foods to eat on your period, as it is a good source of calcium. Consuming calcium reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, which can prevent mood swings. You can increase calcium intake by adding yogurt to your diet. Try yogurt parfaits, they are actually a very healthy option for breakfast and snacks. If you are looking for a non-dairy source of calcium, try broccoli or kale instead. Any food that contains calcium can be considered a helpful food for your menstrual cycle. 

   4. Get magnesium boost 

Research shows that magnesium helps relieve PMS symptoms such as headaches and cramps. Whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, which helps to reduce muscle tension as well as mood swings. Also, bananas and peanuts are one of the best mood-boosting foods, which are rich in potassium and magnesium. Try starting your day with a bowl of whole-wheat breakfast cereals or muesli, then have a light snack with a banana and a handful of peanuts. It’s that easy to increase our magnesium levels, and start feeling better fast!

    5. Maximize your dietary iron intake

Women’s nutritional needs change during menstruation. Women need more iron than men to make up for the amount of iron they lose in their menstrual period. Around 1 mg of iron is lost for every day of bleeding. The best source of iron is red meat. There are smaller amounts in chicken and fish too. If you don’t consume meat, be sure to choose leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens to replenish your body’s iron supply. 

 

Please share your feedback below about your experience and your choice of food during your period.

Take Vivoo of yourself!

5 Healthy Snacks to Beat Afternoon Cravings at Work

In recent years, everyone has become aware of the benefits of snack meals. They are not only necessary for losing weight, but also essential for feeling good and dealing with long work hours. Most of us feel our energy waning around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m on workdays. But it can be hard to come up with healthy and creative options for snack meals to replenish energy. So if you’re tired of constantly eating walnuts and hazelnuts, check out these 5 healthy snack alternatives which are easy to find and prepare:

1. I don’t have time to prepare anything.

Convenient, pre-packaged foods can be your savior for snack meals, but you should read the labels very carefully because today’s supermarkets are full of unhealthy industrial foods. You should choose snacks without sugar or food preservatives and with at least 3 grams of protein. An energy bar with about 100-400 Kcal (you can choose your snacks’ calorie count based on your current weight and your target weight) is generally the best choice. When you are bored at the office during the afternoon, stay away from the nearest chocolate wafers. Instead give the coffee and energy bar duo a try. You will observe your work performance getting better.

  2. It’s really hot out there! Give me some refreshing desserts! 

If you have never tried making ice cream at home you may think that it is tasteless and hard to prepare. Give it a chance; you will see how delicious it is even without sugar! Slice 1 medium sized banana, put it in a plastic bag, and let it rest in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the banana slices are frozen, toss them in the blender and add 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, 1 teaspoon of cocoa, and a few hazelnuts.

  3. I’ve been feeling very hungry lately, and the usual snacks just don’t fill me up.

When the usual snacks just don’t cut it, it’s time to seek out an option with more protein, such as a sandwich with spreadable curd cheese and smoked turkey slices on rye or whole grain bread. You can add some avocado too if you are very hungry. This sandwich contains about 8-10 grams of protein and is a great snack to carry to work in your bag. Have a sparkling mineral soda with it for a refreshing twist; you will not feel hungry until dinner time!

  4. Yogurt + Granola Mix 

Here is another easy option that you can prepare at home or at the office. Mix together a small portion of yogurt (you can have probiotics if you choose) and sugar-free granola. If you prefer, instead of granola you can prepare yourself a portion of muesli mix: 2 tablespoons of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of raisins, 5-6 raw almonds, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon.

  5. Fave Couple: Milk Coffee and Dark Chocolate 

Sometimes you may not feel very hungry during snack time and think that just drinking some coffee is enough. But, it’s easy to be tempted by the little treats that we often eat alongside coffee, such as donuts, pastries, or chocolates. Every now and then we all make excuses such as, “It’s just a small piece, so it’s okay.”Here’s a healthy suggestion: You can have 1-2 small pieces of dark chocolate alongside a cup of coffee with plain, soy, or almond milk. This combination will trigger the happiness hormone (serotonin) thanks to the magnesium in the dark chocolate, but you won’t be consuming the extra fat of other kinds of chocolates or sweets.

 

The Most Popular Low-Calorie Summer Drink: Smoothie

Recently smoothies have become everyone’s favorite drink. They’re a good alternative beverage, especially for people who are dieting or detoxing, because they have less calories than other beverages and are refreshing in hot weather. Smoothies are favorites for vegans and vegetarians too. And anyone can enjoy smoothies for their joyful colors and refreshing taste.

Smoothies:

  • Are low-calorie
  • Refresh your body
  • Are nourishing
  • Have many antioxidants
  • Are hydrating
  • Are a healthy snack which is easy to prepare
  • Create joyful snack times due to color

5 Tips for Healthier Smoothies

1. Fruit Instead of Sugar

Fruits include a natural form of sugar known as ‘fructose’. Adding fruit to sweeten your smoothie instead of sugar is a good idea. But don’t forget to check the serving sizes for the fruits you’re using.

2.Summer Fruits

In summer we need more water than we drink normally. Summer fruits are perfect to hydrate your body because of their high percentages of water. Adding watermelon to a smoothie is a great choice for summer!

3.Berries and Cherries 

Berries (goji berries, blueberries, acai berries, bilberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.) and cherries are extremely high in antioxidants. Daily intake can greatly benefit your health, especially in the areas of heart health, cholesterol level, cellular oxidative damage, and many more. Try adding berries and cherries to make your smoothie healthier.

 4.Leafy Green Vegetables

Adding leafy green vegetables such as parsley, fresh mint, and dill makes your smoothie fresher. These kinds of vegetables increase the antioxidant level of your drink and help to reduce the swelling of your body. Also, these are a great choice for women during their periods.

5.Dairy Products

Children and adolescents should be encouraged to consume milk products because they need more calcium for healthy growth. Preparing colorful smoothies with milk can be fun for both parents and children. Many children will be willing to drink milk in their smoothies even they generally don’t like milk.

Also, fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir help to regulate the digestive system. If you have digestive system problems, try adding kefir to your smoothie. Everyone has their own taste preferences. But with these tips, you can prepare your own smoothie and be more energetic for the day. To conclude, here is Vivoo Nutrition Team’s favorite summer smoothie recipe:

A Summer Recipe: Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh watermelon (cubed and black seeds removed)

1 cup kefir (250 ml)

10-12 leaves fresh mint

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth
  • You can add more kefir to thin, or more strawberries to thicken.
  • Taste and find what needs to be added. You can add lime for acidity, sweetener for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor.
  • Serves 2 / Calories for one serving: 140

 

4 Steps For a Healthier Diet

Interest in healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles is increasing every day. We wonder which is the healthiest diet and Google which foods we should eat or not. But there is a more important point than which foods we eat: How do we cook or prepare them? We always ignore the fact that healthy nutrition demands healthy cuisine. We all have traditions and habits in the kitchen. Although we constantly search for the healthiest diet, we forget to review our kitchen habits.

Step 1 – Supermarket

You are walking down the aisles of the supermarket and looking for the item that you want to buy. While you are walking down, you notice a section where you think you’ll find your item. You start paying more attention to find out where it is exactly. Have you ever noticed that all the products’ places in the store are planned as a sales strategy? The most needed products are located along the back and sides of the supermarket, and it’s necessary to walk down the aisles, which are stocked with junk food and processed products, to get there. Children are targeted by the products located at eye level. All of these strategies aim to produce a high daily sales volume of branded products. It’s a good idea to make a shopping list so as to not forget your main goal. Also, try not to go to the supermarket when you are hungery so as to avoid buying unnecessary junk food. Don’t forget: A healthy diet starts at the supermarket.

Step 2 – Frigde

What Should You Have In the Frigde?

As second step for a healthy life and healthy diet, you should check your frigde.

Try creating a rule with your family or housemates to not stock junk food. It’s a good way of avoiding unhealthy snacks. Also, it helps maintain your motivation to have a healthy diet.

High Sugar

Packaged foods are always the easiest way of snacking, but don’t forget that packaged snacks include high sugar and additives. They are colorful and atractive to children especially, but studies shows that some color additives may be linked to attention deficit in children. Don’t stock junk food! As an alternative to packaged snacks, you can prepare healthy snacks and desserts which have less sugar and no additives.

When it comes to beverages, a good challenge is liberating yourself from sweetened and processed drinks. Quit putting high calorie drinks into your fridge. If you like drinking fruit juice, your priority should be homemade, fresh juices. Also dairy products -such as milk, plant-based milk, and kefir- are healthy alternatives to sugary beverages. Dairy products strengthen your bones and your gut’s microbiota.

High Fat

Sugar is not the only danger in junk food. There is an invisible danger as well: fat. Most snacks include high amounts of fat, which is mostly saturated fatty acids and some trans fats. Avoid stocking high fat snacks such as chips, crackers, frozen pizzas, ice cream, cookies, and cakes.

High Sodium

Drinking a bottle of mineral water per day boosts the micro-nutrient (such as potassium and magnesium) intake. We certainly have micro-nutrient needs, but our sodium needs are so limited. Consuming higher amounts of sodium than we need can negatively impact our fluid and electrolyte balance. Processed meat and canned fish, as well as many other packaged industrial foods such as soup mixes, contain high sodium.

Create a Healthy Fridge!

Fresh vegetables and fruits; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; dairy products; homemade healthy snacks; fresh fruit juices; and mineral water are all perfect for your new fridge full of healthy foods.

Step 3 – Kitchen

Lets Take a Look Together at What Is Healthier in the Kitchen

Often we cook food without caring how much oil we put in. Having an awareness about the amount of cooking oil used makes weight control easier. Solid fats include saturated fatty acids which are dangerous for those prone to heart disease. Cooking meals without solid fat helps to regulate cholesterol and provides protection against heart disease. Cooking styles are important for both limiting fat intake and keeping food’s nutritional value. Cooking food in boiling water is the most recommended cooking style by nutritionists. Boiling rather than frying prevents you from taking in more fat than you need. Cooking vegetables for a shorter time is also important so that the vegetables keep their nutritional value. Boiling with less water decreases nutrient loss as well, because food’s nutritional contents escape into the water during the boiling process. To go a step further in retaining your food’s nutritional value, keep and reuse your boiled food’s water. For example you can use it to make a sauce for another dish. Eating fresh foods is another good way to take in nutrients and is benefical for our bodies. If you don’t want to keep a food in your fridge for a long time, be careful about the amount of food that you cook. This will also help you avoid eating more than you need.

Step 4 – Meals

Colorful and Nourishing Meals

After the first three steps, making your meal colorful and nourishing makes a healthy life and diet more joyful and fun. You can accomplish this by preparing colorful salads and adding fermented diary products to your meals. For a healthy meal you should include protein, grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Vegetables and fruits are always the most colorful parts of meals. Don’t forget to consume different kinds of meat such as fish, poultry, and red meat in order to meet your protein needs in your meal. You can also consume legumes as protein. Grains include any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, or barley. If you like eating bread with your meals, it’s best to choose whole grain bread to increase your fiber intake.

One of the most prominent myths about living healthy is that a healthy diet is expensive. These 4 steps break this myth down one by one. It costs little to no money to take these steps. A healthier diet is just four easy steps away!

Gluten-Free Diets Are Good For Weight Loss?

In recent years, with food tolerance tests becoming easier to reach, you may have heard many people saying “I am allergic to gluten. Gluten makes me gain weight”. But what is the truth? Do gluten-free diets help you with losing weight? In regards to this, what is that thing called gluten? A lot of people do not even know what gluten is when doing gluten-free diets.

Gluten is a kind of protein found in barley, oats, and wheat.

The most efficient researches about gluten-free diets are done on celiac disease patients. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease which causes gluten to harm the small intestine. It is a disease seen in one in a hundred. When celiac patients consume gluten the small intestine is harmed and is unable to absorb the nutrients out of foods properly. This causes their immune system to fail in time.

A research done in the United Kingdom in 2013 shows that 69% percent of the underweight people with celiac disease gained weight only after they were “diagnosed with the Celiac Disease”. Also, it has been observed that 18% of the overweight and 42% of the obese people with celiac disease lost weight after they were diagnosed with the disease. However, another study done in 2006 in the United Kingdom shows that 81% of the people who were diagnosed with the celiac disease gained weight.There are many inconsistencies in the studies that have been done, therefore, speaking with any certainty is not possible.Therefore, we can definitively say that gluten-free diet does not guarantee weight loss. It may cause you to lose weight, it may keep you the same, or it may cause you to gain weight…

Gluten-free diet does not mean low-calorie diet.

If it did, all the people with celiac disease would have no problems with their weight. The amount of food you eat is as important as what you eat. If you start eating gluten-free but eat a large portion of cornbread every day, you do not lose weight.

Peter Gibson, who is known for his researches on gluten sensitivity claims that the cause of the problem may not be gluten, but it may be the pesticide used on wheat; glyphosate. According to World Health Organization (WHO) glyphosate may cause depression, diabetes, celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in addition to its possible cancerogenic effects. The most healthy way, of course, is to never use these type of chemicals in agriculture.

Lastly, if you are not gluten sensitive or have the celiac disease, I do not recommend the GLUTEN-FREE diet for the sake of losing weight.