There’s quite a bit of buzz around phytochemicals in food. Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients, are naturally occurring chemicals found in plants (hence the phyto-).
They are the compounds that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant variety of colors, smells, and tastes. With the rainbow of vegetables, you see regularly, you can imagine how many types of phytochemicals there are!
There are literally thousands of phytochemicals out there. Scientists are busy studying their potential benefits. Since you aren’t a plant, the only way to reap the benefits of phytochemicals is to eat a diet full of a variety of types of fruits and vegetables.
There are 6 phytochemicals scientists have spent the most effort researching:
1. BETA CAROTENE is found in orange-colored and dark green leafy vegetables. Beta-carotene is critical for eye health and also plays a key role in maintaining a healthy and strong immune system.
2. LYCOPENE is the red pigment found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, raspberries, and strawberries. It’s a powerful antioxidant and is linked to reduced prostate cancer risk. Lycopene is better absorbed after it’s been cooked, such as in tomato sauce.
3. LUTEIN is found in green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, as well as in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts and broccoli. Like beta-carotene, lutein is critical for eye health and may help prevent macular degeneration.
Inflammation is a biological response of the body to protect itself. It responds from harmful internal and external stimuli and starts healing. It is a part of the body’s immune system and protects us from infections, wounds and tissue damage.
Inflammation can be acute where it can start quickly and become severe quickly. For example, acute inflammation can cause diseases and conditions like sinusitis, a sore throat from cold, acute bronchitis, etc.
It can be chronic in response to unwanted toxins in the body like cigarette smoke or excess body fat. This may extend from months to years that may lead to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and non-infectious conditions like tuberculosis, peptic ulcer, hepatitis, etc.
What causes chronic inflammation?
- Stress: Stress causes activity in the brain that can lead to physical pain which may lead to an inflammatory response in the body. Hence, people suffering from stress may experience inflammation.
- Poor diet: Some foods like simple sugars, high fructose corn syrup, refined flours, trans-fat-rich foods, processed meat, fried foods, etc. can trigger the inflammatory response in the body. So the consumption of these food items should be restricted.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Consumption of alcohol, smoking, leading a sedentary life and being overweight creates a stress in the body that triggers an inflammatory response.
- Pollution: Pollution causes damage to the cells which may cause inflammation.
You deserve to be happy, but there are days when it’s easy to get sucked into negativity and despair. When nothing seems to go your way, when the craziness around you starts to influence your own thoughts, and hen you wish you were as awesome as so and so…
There are a few simple strategies that you can implement today to start increasing your levels of happiness. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and today you can choose to honor your right to wholehearted happiness.
Let Go of Perfection
When you expect perfection, you set yourself up for disappointment. Because nobody’s perfect, and thinking you need to be is just setting yourself up for failure. Or worse, for not even starting.
On the road of self-improvement, there will be potholes, cracks in the pavement and distractions on the sidelines. This is completely normal and natural. Judging yourself too harshly for not being perfect is a major happiness killer.
Eat More Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Fermented foods might not seem to have much to do with happiness from the outside but on the inside, they make a huge difference. By adding probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, yogurt and kombucha into your diet, you’ll strengthen your body’s ability to produce serotonin, the happy hormone.
Serotonin is produced in large amounts in the gut, but when our gut bacteria isn’t healthy, our body’s have a hard time producing serotonin and transporting it to our brains.
The gut is often referred to as the second brain and for good reason. A balanced probiotic rich gut makes it easy to produce hormones that flood the brain with positive feelings. Recent studies are even looking to probiotics as a way to treat depression and anxiety!
There is a saying that age is just a number. It is true. No matter what your age is you should look fresh, healthy, and vibrant, and not just from the outside—you should feel good from the inside, too. You can’t control your age, but you can control how you feel about yourself.
Staying young and healthy is all in your hands. What you do in your daily routine has a profound effect on your health. Plenty of older adults are considerably more healthy and active than many young people who are inactive or have poor habits.
Looking the way you feel gives you the confidence to face the world. People are attracted toward you and it makes you feel proud. In order to stay young in body and spirit, there are things you need to add and things you need to remove from your routine. Let’s look at some of the things in your life that have an enormous impact on your health as you age.
“Cold and Flu” season is right around the corner, and it seems that everywhere you go you run into someone sneezing! How can you boost your immunity so you can stay healthy this Fall and Winter? Getting sick is not only uncomfortable, but it also impacts your productivities, your energy level and even your relationship (have you ever got snappy because you have a sore throat or a headache?)
If you have kids, I am sure you can relate how hard it is not to get sick from those little slimy hands – they are like petri dish on legs! Do you know that on average, school-age kids in America experience eight to ten colds a year? [according to The Children’s Hospital Guide to Your Child’s Health and Development]
Coconut oil is not just a kitchen ingredient; it has a wide range of other amazing uses that promote great benefits for your health and physical care.
Coconut oil has been increasing in popularity over recent years. With the current campaigns against the use of unhealthy fats, this powerful oil is in growing demand. The health benefits of coconut oil can be used in different ways.
Coconut oil is composed of 92% saturated fat, with 2/3 of it coming in a medium-chain fatty acids form. The body is able to quickly metabolize this type of fatty acid in the form of energy. Lauric acid is one of the most powerful components of coconut oil, which is recognized for its strong antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
To improve your overall health, here are some easy ways to take advantage of coconut oil.
Weight loss does not have to be as daunting as it seems. By understanding the physiology of digestion, we can improve it and let our bodies to lose the extra weight itself. Digestion is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system. Our job is to keep it activated while we are eating for effective and efficient digestion. Here are some ways to do that:
If you’re like the majority of the North American population, you’re always out and about running errands, commuting to work, taking the kids to practice, getting groceries, etc. Such a busy schedule take you to a path to crappy eating, and crappy eating lends itself to sabotaging your new lifestyle completely.
I don’t want this to happen to you. It’s happened to me before, and it took me a few days to get back on track. Some people never get back on track. Therefore, I want to provide you with the tips and tricks I learned for keeping up with a Grain-Free lifestyle in the midst of a busy life.
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Grain-free” by now. Most people have heard of it, but many are not quite sure what it is. I’m here to tell you all about Grain free Grain-Free and why it is hands-down the ultimate way to eat and to live.
To explain – picture yourself as a cavewoman millions of years ago. There was no such thing as cooking, let alone electricity to do it. So what would you eat? The answer is: anything that you can find.
Cavemen and women ate anything they could find in an effort to survive: fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and greens made up the majority of their diet. Eating certainly wasn’t a hobby such as what it has been made into today, but a means for survival – a means to nourish the body and thank it for all it does.