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Foods that have more Potassium than Banana!

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The potassium-rich foods in your diet will help you stay healthy while losing weight. Bananas are great, but any extra potassium while working out consistently is highly recommended due to the loss of electrolytes. Also, it gets boring eating the same thing all the time. These foods help you avoid getting bored and reaching for something full of artificial flavors and sugars.

Avocado

Bananas contain about 487mg of potassium, while avocados boast a remarkable 708mg in just one cup of sliced avocado.

Sweet Potato

One sweet potato is about 5 inches long or 130 grams in weight. One sweet potato can give you about 438mg of potassium. This root vegetable also has a high amount of complex carbohydrates that help rev up your glycogen use.

Plain Yogurt

One serving of plain yogurt is about 579 grams of potassium compared to a bananas 487mg. This snack also contains protein, which is great for those who are trying to lose weight by keeping you full in between meals.

Coconut Water

Some people love it and others hate it. However, coconut water is excellent to rehydrate with after an intense workout. With 480mg of potassium in just one glass, you are sure to replace your electrolytes without all the sugar of other sports drinks.

Spinach

Popeye’s favorite, spinach, packs 839mg of potassium! That’s nearly double of what a banana gives you. Add this leafy green to smoothies, burgers, salads, and so much more.

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Broccoli Seeds!

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Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale contain a powerful and biologically active antioxidant – glucoraphanin. Through a process called hydrolysis, sulfur-containing glucoraphanin is metabolized into the biologically active isothiocynate sulforaphane, which is associated with a variety of positive effects stemming from its antioxidant activity.

For example, sulforaphane:

  • Releases hydrogen sulfide when cooked, producing a cardioprotective effect similar to that of garlic
  • Induces phase II enzymes, an important part of the body’s detoxification pathways
  • Increases expression of antioxidant enzymes
  • Exerts other protective antioxidant effects

Glucoraphanin is a type of glucosinolate, a sulfur-containing compound associated with a pungent aroma and spicy taste. Glucobrassicin and gluconastutin are two other types of glucosinolates – differentiated by their amino acid composition – produced by cruciferous vegetables like broccoli. When these glucosinolates go through hydrolysis, they enter their biologically active form, then called isothiocynates.

A novel antioxidant is a broccoli seed extract standardized to yield 13 percent glucoraphanin, which metabolizes to sulforaphane and activates Nrf-2 pathways to produce:

  • Antioxidants for reducing oxidative stress
  • Phase 2 enzymes, detoxifiers vital for the body’s natural detoxification process

Oxidative stress is a process caused by free radicals – unstable molecules formed during both natural body processes and from exposure to toxins. Activation of Nrf-2 pathways help target harmful inflammation, thus limiting the extent and magnitude to which inflammation occurs. 

Oxidative stress and unhealthy inflammation is often a primary cause for systemic imbalances in the human body. These imbalances are connected to conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Some of the Unhealthiest Foods!

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Life is short, therefore, you like to indulge a little bit here and there. However, that bacon cheeseburger, diet soda, and fries once in awhile does more than just harm. These foods are laced with chemicals and dangerous additives that have severe effects on your health.

  • Fast Food Iced Tea

Harmful Ingredient: Propylene glycol alginate (E405)

While iced tea probably seems like the healthiest option, you’d be surprised at how wrong you really are. There is an ingredient known as, Propylene glycol alginate, also referred to as E405.Unfortunately, you can find E405 in anti-freeze and runway deicer. Propylene glycol alginate is a food thickener, stabilizer, and can cause cardiovascular or neurotoxic issues. It is widely used among the fast food chains in their iced teas.

Eat This Instead: Try steeping green tea in cool water for a few minutes instead of the traditional warm water. Either way, green tea is great for burning fat and keeping you alert.

  • Tile Fish

Harmful Ingredient: Mercury

All fish have trace amounts of mercury, however, tile fish is ranked #1 in dangerous levels of mercury. It is even more dangerous than shark or swordfish.

Eat This Instead: Atlantic Mackerel! It has the lowest trace amounts of mercury among all the different types of fish.

  • Microwave Popcorn

Harmful Ingredient: Trans Fats 

A lot of sources will say that popcorn is a great and healthy snack. However, microwave popcorn is not the exception. Air popped popcorn is a healthy and nutritious snack full of fiber and whole grains. On the other hand, the microwaveable brands are butter ‘flavored’ treats that are laced with diacetyl (DA). Studies show that diacetyl breaks down the layers of cells that protect one of the most vital organs: the brain.

Eat This Instead: Air pop some kernels! All you need is a brown paper bag, unpopped kernels, and a microwave. Pour a handful of kernels into a brown lunch bag. Next, fold the lunch bag over a few times until it is properly sealed and toss it into the microwave. You will know when the bag is ready when you hear a pop only once every five seconds. Enjoy!

  • Fast Food Chicken Nuggets

Harmful Ingredient: Diglycerides, Red #40, carrageenan

All chicken nuggets contain some amount of chicken, however, this mouthful of a chemical is what keeps the chicken nuggets looking good for months at a time. Even buying frozen chicken nuggets from the grocery store doesn’t keep you safe from the harmful additives. The purpose of this chemical is to also keep the limited organic material (i.e: chicken) inside the nugget looking good even if it is frozen for long periods of time.

Eat This Instead: Cut organic chicken breast into pieces, dip into a mixture of egg and breadcrumbs, and bake at home in your oven. They are tasty and you know exactly what is going in them.

  • Fruit Juice

Harmful Ingredient: Fructose

With claims like “it’s all natural!” and “organic,” it’s easy to get swept away by the marketing when it comes to buying fruit juice. While it may be 100% juice, this beverage is often packed with as much sugar as 4 Krispy Kreme donuts or 36 grams of sugar per cup. The sweet flavor you might love comes from fructose, which is a type of sugar associated with the development of visceral adipose, also known as, belly fat.

Drink This Instead: Instead of drinking another glass of fruit juice, why not just try some good old fashioned, hydrating water. Simply slice up some grape fruit, limes, or lemons for an extra kick of flavor. You can also add mint or berries as well.

  • White Sugar

Harmful Ingredient: Sugar

The CDC has stated that Americans eat a whopping 82 grams of added sugar per day. This is 37 grams above the recommended daily intake. Refined white sugar is bleached in a process that entails the sugar going through “bone char” or “natural carbon”. These are just fancy terms for charred cattle bones. Confectioner sugar and brown sugar can also be culprits to this gross process.

Eat This Instead: Stick to organic cane or coconut sugar. These both can be found at your local supermarket.

  • Sugary Cereal

Harmful Ingredients: Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), refined carbs, added sugar

Consuming too much-refined sugar can eventually lead to obesity. Sugar wreaks havoc on the body. Also, other illnesses and disease that are caused by eating refined sugar are diabetes and heart disease. Most breakfast cereals pack more sugar into one serving than an entire Krispy Kreme Boston donut. Even worse, many popular varieties like Frosted Flakes and Fruity Pebbles are also laced with Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) or BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), ingredients that are banned in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and much of Europe because they are thought to be carcinogenic.

Eat This Instead: Flax and oats cereals are low-sugar picks that don’t contain any scary chemicals.

  • Diet Sodas

Harmful Ingredients: Caramel coloring, brominated vegetable oil (BVO), Bisphenol A (BPA), aspartame

Your favorite diet soda isn’t as innocent as the marketing would lead you to believe. Diet sodas like Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper all contain artificial coloring, flame retardants, and fake sugars. Nearly all diet sodas contain the very dangerous ingredient, aspartame. This dangerous artificial sweetener has been known to raise glucose levels and overloads the liver resulting in excess fat. Diet Mountain Dew and Fresca aren’t safe bets either. Other sodas contain an ingredient called BVO, which is a chemical used in rocket fuel and flame retardants. This may negatively affect thyroid hormones.

Eat This Instead: Most companies have phased out BVO use in their sodas, but all diet drinks still contain aspartame.

  • Coffee Creamer

Harmful Ingredients: Titanium dioxide, trans fats, added sugar

Want to know what your sunscreen and coffee creamer have in common? They both contain titanium dioxide. This is also known as a radiation blocker that doubles as a whitening agent. The additive has been proven to cause liver and tissue damage in mice. Aside from all of this information, creamers are loaded with trans fats. These are cleverly disguised as hydrogenated oil. Most, if not all, of Coffee Mate’s products, have this scary ingredient. It has also been shown to diminish memory in adults under 45 years old.

  • Processed Meats

Harmful Ingredients: Nitrate, excess sodium

Deli meats like bacon, sausage, or lunch meats could be putting your life at risk. Many of these meats contain nitrates, which is a preservative that interferes with the body’s natural ability to process sugar. This can increase the risk for diabetes and also puts you at risk for developing thyroid or colon cancer. Processed meats are also loaded with sodium which is a known contributor to diseases like hypertension. Sodium can also make you bloat and can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

Eat This Instead: Boar’s Head All Natural Roasted Turkey breast is free of nitrates and is relatively low in sodium. Applegate Natural’s Natural Slow Cooked Ham and Organic Bacon are also good alternatives.

  • Deep Fried Foods

Harmful Ingredient: Hydrogenated Oil

Fried chicken, fried mozzarella sticks, and fried calamari, and even french fries are trouble for your body. Aside from wreaking havoc on your waist line, these fried treats are made with hydrogenated oil. This has been known to cause depression in certain individuals. Hydrogenation is a process that turns vegetable oil into a more solid form, making it a more shelf-stable product. Hydrogenated oils contain trans fats that contribute to depression, clogged arteries, and heart disease.

Eat This Instead: Always oven bake your food.

  • Chinese Food

Harmful Ingredient: Monosodium glutamate

MSG is often associated with Chinese food. It is a flavor enhancer used in other types of foods like soups, processed meats, and more. Research has shown that MSG is one of the worst additives you can consume. It can cause an increase in appetite, ultimately causing you to consume more foods with MSG.

Eat This Instead: Steamed Veggies and Brown Rice

  • Energy Drinks

Harmful Ingredient: Sugar, glucose, caffeine

Ever wonder why energy drinks taste like medicinal cough syrup? You’re not really getting any energy out of these drinks. They are overpriced cocktails of chemicals that are loaded with scary artificial sugars and sweeteners.

Drink This Instead: Green Tea. It is all natural and one of the best energy boosters. It has also been shown to boost your metabolism and give you better focus.

  • Ice Cream

Harmful Ingredients: Soybean oil, titanium dioxide, artificial coloring

Most ice creams, yes, even the premium ones, are loaded with sugar and soybean oil. Some even contain harmful artificial coloring agents and titanium, which is the same additive that gives sunblock its white hue.

Eat This Instead: Try a frozen banana homemade ice cream instead.

  • Bottled Smoothies

Harmful Ingredient: Caramel coloring, pectin, fructose, xanthan gum

Grab and go breakfasts are convenient but they certainly not healthy.  These grab and go smoothies are packed with sugar, preservatives, and are really lacking any sort of real nutrition.

Drink This Instead: Start making your own smoothies at home.

  • Breakfast Biscuits

Harmful Ingredient: Trans fat

Making biscuits from scratch takes forever, and the majority of the packaged varieties are chock full of trans fats, an artificial fat—invented to make baked goods more shelf-stable—that’s been linked heart disease. Buttermilk Biscuits reads “0 grams” in the trans fat column, it’s made with hydrogenated soybean oil— that there are traces of the dangerous fat in the biscuits.

Eat This Instead: Thomas “nooks and crannies” save you from trans fats and will save you 90 calories.

  • Pancake Syrup

Harmful Ingredients: High fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring

Your favorite syrup brands like Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Buttersworth are made with two ingredients that are harmful to your health. They contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring.

Eat This Instead: The best syrup for your health are Honey and Maple syrup.

Smile More this Year!

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Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Smiling has well-documented social benefits. A genuine smile can make you seem more likable, attractive, intelligent and even trustworthy. But did you know that smiling more often—regardless of your mood—can improve your health and help you live longer?

Research has shown that there a number of health benefits contributed to smiling and laughing. In addition to improved health, these simple facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a distinctive positive affect on other factors all areas of your life. When you smile and laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you being consciously aware of it happening.

There are a variety of benefits from smiling, including some health benefits too:

Improved Mood- Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue, and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. Making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts.

Lower Blood Pressure- Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. Laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Stress Relief- As smiling can result in a lower heart rate, so the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is more active when we feel stressed or anxious and contributes to the unpleasant feelings. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.

Better Relationships- People who smile are perceived as being more likable than people who don’t smile. Being likable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.

Pain Relief- Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed. They also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management.

Longevity- The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks. People who smile more often live longer too, around 7 years longer than most according to one study. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer.

Contagious- Smiling can be contagious! Around 50% of people smile back. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you and it comes back to you several times as well.

Build Attraction- Smiling makes people more attractive. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. Smiling makes you appear more approachable.

Earn Success- A smile can appear confident, self-assured, and on top of your work. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.This is particularly  true for challenging situations such as job interviews: a smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations.

Stronger Immune Function- Smiling appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Laughter and positive thoughts release signaling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.

Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels, and even make everyone around you feel better.

So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine!

The Forgotten Papaya Seeds!

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Papaya is not only delicious, but it’s also an incredibly healthy fruit. 

The nutrients found in papaya, and particularly in papaya seeds, are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. They have also been known to aid in digestion, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So don’t throw those seeds away. Papaya seeds are edible and in small amounts can be very good for you.

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the recommended daily intake. Papayas are also a good source of: Folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, fiber. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

Papaya Seeds Kill Worms and Other Parasitic Infections

The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of the proteolytic enzyme called papain, which breaks down undigested protein waste, therefore creating a hostile environment in the gastrointestinal tract for parasites to breed. The seeds also contain carpaine, a unique anthelmintic alkaloid that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. The seeds of papaya have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Studies have shown that an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E. coliSalmonellaStaphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.

Papaya Seeds Help Treat Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is a disease wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state, it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems. Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for the overall detoxification of the liver. The recommended method is to grind up about ten dried seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of squeezed lemon or lime juice in a glass of water. Many cirrhosis sufferers have seen dramatic improvements with this natural remedy after 30 days.

Papaya Seeds Protect Your Kidneys

Oxidative stress is the most common factor in chronic kidney disease, particularly in patients with diabetes, and can lead to renal failure. Early research suggests that consuming fermented papaya daily for two months can reduce blood sugar levels in people affected by diabetes. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds help detoxify the kidneys and protect them from inflammation.

Papaya Seeds Help Prevent Cancer

Papaya seeds contain agents such as phenolic and flavonoids, both powerful compounds that have high antioxidant activities to diminish tumor cell growth. Also, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene, which is found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk and play a protective role against prostate cancer.

Papaya Seeds Fight Heart Disease

The high content of fiber, potassium, and vitamins in papaya all help to fight heart disease. In fact, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium is the most effective change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Papaya Seeds Reduce Inflammation

Papaya fruit and its seeds help fight inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, joint pains, gout, and asthma. Two very important enzymes in papaya seeds (papain and chymopapain) are the key to reducing the inflammation that is associated with these conditions.

Papaya Seeds Help Treat Viral Infection

There are reports of papaya seeds being used to successfully treat viral infections such as dengue fever in parts of Central America and Asia. In Costa Rica, in addition to the seeds, they also use the juice from boiling papaya leaves to effectively treat dengue fever. Obviously, this is a serious disease, so consult a doctor if you contract dengue to monitor your condition.

How to Consume and Store Papaya Seeds

When choosing papaya, look for fresh papayas with reddish-orange skin that are soft to the touch. The seeds are edible but have a bitter, peppery taste, so they can be mixed into a salad. Otherwise, they can be crushed and mixed with juice or honey and milk.

The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Then find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Squeezing some lemon or lime juice over the seeds, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help preserve them even longer. This works best if you use them regularly for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a few days of treatment.

If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer. As a general rule, if you will use your papaya seeds within three or four days, then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them. They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them.

How to Eat Papaya Seeds to Minimize Digestive Issues

When first eating papaya seeds, start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.

Here’s a good starting dosage guide for papaya seeds:

The first time you eat papaya seeds, try just two seeds with a protein-based meal.

If those are well-tolerated, then add another two seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.

After at least three days of taking a quarter of a teaspoon without side effects, you can move up to half a teaspoon of papaya seeds.

After another three days, you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds (though this may be too much for some sensitive people), or just stay on half a teaspoon, which is likely to provide similar health benefits.

If at any point you experience side effects from eating papaya seeds, then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.

Once you’ve reached a good tolerance of papaya seeds, it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

People with a latex allergy may also be allergic to papaya because papayas contain enzymes called chitinases. They can cause a cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them. As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme-rich green papaya. This warning on their use would also extend to breastfeeding. Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants. Patients using blood thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin should consult their doctor before they eat papaya seeds regularly, as papain may increase the effects of these drugs.

Food Rainbow and what it means!

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Food color and Phytochemicals!
 
The truth is that the more color your fresh produce has, the better it is for you. That’s because of one thing: phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are only found in plants. They act to protect us from inflammation. They’re also a good way to tell that a fruit or vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Here is an easy to remember trick to help you know which foods are most good for your body.

Yellow/Orange
Carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are just a few of the orange foods that are known for their high levels of beta-carotene.
These foods are high in antioxidants and are good for our vision because they contain Vitamin A.

Red
Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Most fruits and vegetables that are red contain lycopene.
Lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and improves the health of our tissues. Red foods also contain vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria from attaching to our cells.

Yellow/Green
Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens like spinach, and kale. These foods are high in lutein, which is good for eye health. Kiwi fruit is also high in vitamin C.

Green
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy and cabbage. Green may be the color we tend to think of most often when it comes to vegetables. There’s good reason for us to think that green is one of the healthiest colors a food can be.
Green vegetables get their color from chlorophyll, and foods that have a lot of chlorophyll are rich in isiothiocyanates. These help the liver move toxins out of our system. They also have vitamin K, folic acid and potassium.

Blue/Purple
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums and pomegranates. The dark blue and purple colors of these foods comes from anthocyanin. That’s a powerful antioxidant that is heart healthy and lowers high blood pressure. They also fight blood clots.

Black
Black beans, chia seeds, lentils and mushrooms. Black foods are loaded with pigment, and that means that they are high in antioxidants.

Science of Happiness!

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Happiness seems simple. We all experience it at some point or another. But when you think about it, happiness can be quite complicated. Emotions are a different experience for everyone, and each individual’s baseline- is determined by genes and personality traits. Circumstances and daily activities make up the rest of the puzzle.

The World Happiness Report is a survey and ranking of 155 countries by their level of happiness, taking into account six key indicators: Generosity, Freedom, Health, Trustworthy governance, Income and Social support.

The Happiest Places on Earth.

According to World Happiness Report, the happiest countries of 2017 are:

  1. Norway
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Switzerland
  5. Finland
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. New Zealand
  9. Australia
  10. Sweden

America isn’t i the top 10. US ranks No. 14 on the list. Perhaps we can take some pointers from those happy Scandinavians!

Looking for ways to be happier?

Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it seems to affect positive change in your mood. Other few things are: To stream music, read inspiring articles, meditate, enjoy a nature walk, travel, spend quality time with your pet and reflect on something you’re grateful for at the end of every day.  🙂