Here’s What *Really* Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Gluten

Here’s What *Really* Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Gluten

Photo: Getty Images/Ivan Pantic

There have never been more options available for those who have struck gluten from their diet—cauliflower gnocchi, cauli-pizza crust, a seemingly endless variety of alt-pastas, gluten-free bread that doesn’t taste like sawdust… the list goes on.

But while deciding to stop eating gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye (think of it as the glue that holds everything together)—has become trendy in recent years, it’s not necessarily the healthiest choice everyone. “Approximately three million Americans have celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition that is triggered by gluten,” says Kimberly Snyder, New York Times bestselling author, nutrition expert, and founder of Solluna.

Outside of those with celiac, some people may have what’s known as a non-celiac gluten sensitivity—Tracy Lockwood-Beckerman, RD, puts the number at about 6 percent of the population, as many as 20 million people. These people have tested negative for celiac, but still experience digestive distress when they eat gluten.

If you don’t fall into one of the two aforementioned camps, you might be wondering: Well, what happens to your body when you stop eating gluten? Are there benefits to be reaped even if you don’t have a sensitivity? Below, Snyder and Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition, share what you need to know before ditching gluten for good.

So, what are the potential benefits of going gluten-free?

If you have a sensitivity, you’ll see an improvement in your digestive health (and more)

“If you are going gluten free because you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, then you may feel relief of symptoms including GI issues, weight loss, improved nutrient absorption, a decrease in aches and pains and headaches, and increased energy,” Shapiro says. “If you have or suspect you have a gluten sensitivity, then removing it may decrease gas and bloating.”

It could reduce inflammation

If you don’t have celiac, you could also still see your health improve upon giving up gluten. “When you stop eating gluten, you may experience less bloating, lowered inflammation, clearer skin, more energy, and less brain fog,” Snyder says. “This is because gluten can trigger inflammation in the small intestine, which leads to a number of issues in the body like poor digestion, difficulty absorbing nutrients, and autoimmune disorders.

Once gluten is out of your system, your gut will have a chance to repair, and your body will be less burdened, freeing up more energy to help your body feel great and function optimally.”

More things to know before going gluten-free

1. Not everyone needs to follow this fad

Although a gluten-free diet may be #trending, that doesn’t mean that it’s the best thing for you unless you, indeed, have a gluten intolerance like celiac disease. In fact, if you don’t have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, cutting out gluten entirely from your diet may have adverse effects instead of positive ones. “[Side effects can include] weight gain, increased hunger, and constipation, as many products marked as gluten-free are void of fiber, contain excess calories, and are overly processed,” Shapiro says. “If you don’t need to eat gluten-free, then you shouldn’t,” Shapiro says.

Lockwood-Beckerman agrees. “Going gluten-free just for gluten-free’s sake is as much of a trend as fanny packs or those tiny useless sunglasses that everyone seems to be wearing,” she says. “It’s possible you’re losing out on some valuable nutrients.”

Snyder, on the other hand, advocates that everyone should shift to a gluten-free diet—at least for a trial period—because many people have a gluten sensitivity without even knowing it. With a gluten sensitivity, a person can consume a certain amount of gluten before experiencing any side effects, so it’s difficult to test and diagnose, Snyder says.

For all these reasons, it’s important to talk to your doctor before making the decision to stop eating gluten entirely.

2. Make sure you still get your fiber

If you decide to ditch whole wheat bread and crackers to go gluten-free, you’re also losing out on some much-needed fiber, which is essential for staying full and keeping you, ahem, regular. So if you don’t bring new, healthy sources of fiber into your diet, you may run into a constipation problem.

To prevent that, Snyder recommends eating more fiber-filled whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, chia seeds, lentils, leafy greens, and gluten-free whole grains. Also, cooking gluten-free friendly meals doesn’t have to be hard. Your Instant Pot can help.

3. Take care of your gut health

Once you kick gluten to the curb, your digestion may be going through some adjustments. To give it some love and support and accelerate its healing process, Snyder encourages taking daily probiotics. “The balance of the bacteria in your gut affects your skin and assists with digestion, leading to less congestion and fat storage in the body,” she says.

4. Remember: Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily equal healthy

One common misconception is that if something is labeled “gluten-free,” it’s automatically a healthier alternative (we’re looking at you, gluten-free cookies). Consider this myth debunked. “These foods are still processed, lack nutrients, and often contain loads of refined sugars, oils, and sodium,” Snyder says. “When going gluten-free, focus on substituting with whole, unrefined grains like quinoa, brown rice, and millet, and enjoy whole food snacks like sliced veggies or kale chips, which are naturally free of gluten.”

Don’t worry, though. Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up your sweet treats forever. Instead of buying them at the store, you can make your own gluten-free goodies at home. Say hello to yummy gluten-free scones, tarts, and muffins.

Well + Good article by Jessica Estrada

Source: https://www.wellandgood.com/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-stop-eating-gluten/

Do Nightshade Fruits and Veggies Cause Inflammation?

By By Jenn Sinrich for LiveStrong.com

Illustration of nightshade vegetables that cause inflammation
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Most of us know to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our diet — they’re the gold standard when it comes to food that fuels good health. However, one group of produce called nightshades has actually been linked to having the opposite effect on your health by triggering inflammation. But is this weighty accusation actually a cause for concern?

First of All, What Are Nightshades?

Crops that come from a family of flowering plants in the Solanaceae family are considered nightshades. They grow in various forms, most notably herbs and spices, tubers, vines shrubs and trees.

Common nightshade vegetables include:

  • Peppers (including hot, bell and chilis)
  • White potatoes (sweet potatoes and yams are not in the nightshade family)
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Eggplant
  • Tobacco

All of the Solanaceae plants can produce a substance known as solanine, a type of alkaloid that can be poisonous or toxic when consumed in higher amounts. “Some members of this plant family also produce other alkaloid compounds that are highly poisonous, and these plants are not edible at all,” Suzanne Dixon, RD and epidemiologist, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

Some nightshades can even turn toxic to a degree, such as when a white potato starts to rot and turn a greenish hue. With most other nightshade vegetables, however, it’s quite difficult to determine whether they’ve produced more solanine than the mere trace amounts typically found in these foods.

The Benefits of Eating Nightshade Vegetables

Although they’ve gotten a bad rap in recent years, nightshades contain phytonutrients that are linked with many health benefits. Most nightshades also contain minerals, vitamins and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances.

1. They’re a Source of Fiber

Adding nightshades to your diet can help boost your fiber intake and help feed a healthy microbiome, Dixon says. One cup of raw eggplant contain 2.5 grams of fiber, which is about 10 percent of your daily value (DV), while one cup of raw tomatoes contains 2.2 grams (9 percent of your DV), one baked white potato contains 2.1 grams (8 percent of your DV) and one cup of red bell peppers contain 3.1 grams (13 percent of your DV).

Fiber is linked to reducing the risk of gastrointestinal-related conditions including constipation, IBS, colitis, colon polyps and GI tract cancers, particularly colon cancer, according to July 2013 research published in Gastroenterology. What’s more, fiber can also help you lose weight since it takes longer to digest, keeping you fuller for longer, per the AHA.

2. They Contain Protective Antioxidants

But perhaps the nutrient tomatoes are most prized for is lycopene, a carotenoid that gives red fruits and veggies their hue. It may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, and a lower risk of stroke.

Red bell peppers contain some lycopene, but not nearly as much as tomatoes. What’s more, cooking the red fruits and veggies helps boost the lycopene’s bioavailability, so your body will better absorb the nutrient via cooked peppers or marinara sauce, Dixon says.

Eggplant is another nightshade vegetable that boasts many health benefits, specifically in its dark purple skin. “The skin contains anthocyanins, which belong to the flavonoid group of phytonutrient [antioxidant] compounds,” says Dixon. “A diet rich in anthocyanins also is linked with lower rates of several types of chronic disease.”

3. They Pack in Plenty of Vitamins and Nutrients

Tomatoes are a solid source of potassium, boasting 11 percent of your DV per cup. But potatoes have even more, with 35 percent of our daily needs in just one baked tuber.

Tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers also contain a significant amount of immune-boosting vitamin C: Tomatoes pack in 27 percent DV while potatoes contain 42 percent of your DV and bell peppers take the cake with 211 percent. These veggies also provide some vitamin K, which helps your blood clot when you get a cut and plays a significant role in bone metabolism.

Who Shouldn’t Eat Nightshades

Cropped Hands Of Man Cutting Eggplant On Kitchen Island

Image Credit: Bohdan Bobak / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

For most people, nightshades can definitely be included as part of a healthy diet. However, those who have a compromised immune system, an autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or other digestive issues might notice that eating these fruits and veggies can worsen their symptoms, says Roger Adams, PhD, a Houston-based certified sports nutritionist and founder of Eat Right Fitness.

“While most of these issues have to do with the solanine found in nightshades, most of the solanine lies mainly in the foliage, stems and vines rather than the edible parts,” he says. People who fall into the camps above, though, may be sensitive even to the small amounts of solanine found in nightshades’ edible portions.

“In animal models, alkaloids have shown to negatively affect intestinal permeability (aka, cause “leaky gut”) and increase inflammation, which simply means that in these models, nightshades affect the absorption of foods through the intestinal wall,” he adds. In fact, a small November 2017 study suggests that certain people with IBD might benefit from avoiding nightshades, per research published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

If you have an autoimmune disease that makes you more sensitive to nightshades, you can instead focus on the many other healthy, colorful vegetables and fruit that do not fall in this family. “Literally any other vegetables can be helpful,” notes Dixon. “You can replace starchy nightshades with similar non-nightshade options. For example, eat sweet potato instead of white potato,” she says. And incorporate more non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, asparagus and Brussels sprouts in your diet.

The Verdict on Nightshades

The majority of us shouldn’t be concerned about nightshades — there just isn’t enough compelling evidence that says people without autoimmune diseases should avoid them.

In fact, Dixon points out that research suggests that many vegetables (including broccoli, cauliflower and kale) produce substances that would be toxic in large amounts, but when eaten as part of a normal healthy diet, can actually improve health.

“Even water can be toxic if you drink too much of it,” Dixon says. “In this sense, all of the beneficial aspects of nightshades (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber) outweigh the drawbacks.”

Still, if you have an autoimmune disease, cutting out nightshades for at least a month and tracking your symptoms can help you decide if these foods are something you need to avoid permanently.

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/13722053-what-are-nightshade-vegetables/

Turn a Box of Blueberries Into 8 Healthy Breakfasts

By Jaime Osnato for Livestrong.com©

Blueberry muffins
Image Credit: GEOLEE/iStock/GettyImage

Summertime is the season for fresh fruits, and blueberries are among the best when it comes to serving up scrumptious flavor and good-for-you nutrients.

Loaded with vitamins A, C, potassium and folate, one cup of blueberries offers up nearly 4 grams of gut-supporting fiber (that’s 14 percent of your daily value) for just 84 calories, per the USDA.

“Blueberries have a water content greater than 80 percent, which can help you maintain your hydration levels,” says May Zhu, RDN, LDN, founder of Nutrition Happens. This is especially important on hot summer days when you sweat a lot and your body needs extra fluids.

What’s more, these small but mighty berries are a good source of polyphenols and flavonoids, including anthocyanins — an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties — which is linked to helping decrease the risk for heart disease and improving brain function, Zhu says.

Ready to reap the big gains of these tiny berries? From muffins to smoothies and parfaits, these eight healthy breakfast recipes are stuffed with juicy, fresh blueberries to brighten up your mornings.

1. Blueberry Protein Power Smoothie

Blueberry Protein Power Smoothie blueberry breakfast recipes

This blueberry smoothie serves up a stellar serving of protein. Image Credit: pilipphoto/Adobe Stock

This blueberry smoothie will give you a reason to rise and shine.

“At 350 calories, this smoothie contains all beneficial ingredients and a balanced macronutrient profile to keep your blood sugars stable and energy steady,” Zhu says. In other words, it’ll help you power through the morning and keep you full until lunchtime.

And with a whopping 32 grams of muscle-building protein per serving, it’s the optimal brekkie option after your a.m. workout. Just remember, “When choosing a protein powder, make sure to check the label and opt for a version without additional added sugars,” Zhu says.

Get the Blueberry Protein Power Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.

2. Blueberry-Banana Protein Muffins

Blueberry-Banana Protein Muffins blueberry breakfast recipes

Protein powder and Greek yogurt supply 20 grams of protein for one serving of these not-so-average morning muffins. Image Credit: fahrwasser/ Adobe Stock

Who doesn’t love a mouthwatering muffin in the morning? And this one, packed with protein (20 grams) and fresh blueberries, will hit your sweet spot without sending your blood sugar spiking.

“At 8 grams of sugar, this recipe is significantly lower in comparison to your average store-bought muffin,” Zhu says.

Plus, the high-fiber whole-food ingredients including blueberries, whole-wheat flour and bananas all serve as sources of prebiotics, which are foods that can help support the probiotics we eat in our diets for good gut health, Zhu says.

To better balance out the macronutrients in this recipe, Zhu recommends pairing this with one tablespoon of nut butter to provide an additional fat source, a hard-boiled egg for more protein or, alternatively, an extra cup of fruit to increase fiber.

And with two muffins per serving, you get a lot of bang for your breakfast buck.

Get the Blueberry-Banana Protein Muffins recipe and nutrition info here.

3. Steel-Cut Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Bake

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Bake blueberry breakfast recipes

This blueberry breakfast bake is a fresh way to eat your morning oats. Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

“This breakfast bake is brimming with beneficial ingredients such as oatmeal and quinoa, both a good source of fiber to support digestion, and fresh fruits like bananas, blueberries and raspberries, which all contain a diverse, varied amounts of vitamins and minerals that work together to promote good health,” Zhu says.

For an even better balanced breakfast, Zhu recommends pairing this tasty bake with an extra source of protein like plain Greek yogurt or eggs to help you stay fuller for longer, or sprinkling in some seeds like chia or ground flax before serving to boost the fiber content.

“Alternatively, if you want to reduce the overall calories and fat, try swapping the full-fat dairy milk for an unsweetened almond or soymilk,” she adds.

Get the Steel-Cut Oatmeal Berry Breakfast Bake recipe and nutrition info here.

4. Chia and Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Parfait

Chia and Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Parfait blueberry breakfast recipes

This parfait combines superfoods like chia seeds, quinoa and blueberries for a brilliant breakfast .Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

There’s good reason why parfaits have become a staple breakfast food — and this one, layered with nutritious ingredients, is the prime example.

The combination of blueberries and chia seeds provide a solid source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which may help support your body’s response to inflammation, Zhu says

With a jaw-dropping 17 grams of fiber, this recipe will certainly stave off the stomach rumbles until your midday meal. But keep in mind: “When you’re eating more or introducing more fiber-rich foods into your diet, make sure you’re also drinking extra water to help support your digestion,” Zhu says.

If you want to reduce calories and increase protein, Zhu suggests swapping out the quinoa for plain Greek yogurt.

“By doing so, you’ll bring down overall calories and carbohydrates while bumping up the protein,” resulting in a beautiful balance of macros that’ll keep you more than sufficiently satiated, she explains.

Get the Chia and Quinoa Blueberry Breakfast Parfait recipe and nutrition info here.

5. No-Flour Blueberry and Oatmeal Three-Minute Microwave Muffin

No-Flour Blueberry and Oatmeal 3-Minute Microwave Muffin blueberry breakfast recipes

Ready in three minutes, this microwaveable muffin helps simplify hectic mornings. Image Credit: Getty Images

Ideal for busy mornings, it only takes three minutes in the microwave to make this healthy blueberry oatmeal muffin.

Oatmeal is a great base for this single-serve muffin because it’s a stellar source of soluble fiber, which research shows may help to lower cholesterol and support heart health, Zhu says.

And since you can control the portion — one mug-full versus a tray of 12 muffins — you can crush your baked goods cravings without the concern of overindulging.

For even more nutrients, toss in an extra teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, Zhu recommends. This addition keeps the recipe under 300 calories while it helps increase fiber and omega-3 fatty acids that promote both brain and heart health, she says.

Get the No-Flour Blueberry and Oatmeal Three-Minute Microwave Muffin recipe and nutrition info here.

6. Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait

Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait blueberry breakfast recipes

Greek yogurt and quinoa pack this blueberry parfait with plenty of protein. Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

Greek yogurt and quinoa are the all stars in this simple yet satisfying breakfast parfait with 25 grams of protein per serving.

Indeed, a high-protein diet is linked to greater satiety and less body fat, plus it helps you maintain lean muscle mass, according to a November 2014 study in Nutrition & Metabolism.

Containing all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is a particularly important plant-based food for those who don’t eat animal protein and a good option for those with gluten intolerances since it’s naturally gluten-free, Zhu says.

Meanwhile the walnuts in this recipe provide “prebiotics to feed the good bacteria (probiotics) found in the Greek yogurt and support a healthy digestive system,” she adds.

Get the Creamy Berry Quinoa Parfait recipe and nutrition info here.

7. Whole-Wheat Blueberry Protein Muffins

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Protein Muffins blueberry breakfast recipes

These healthier, homemade blueberry muffins have the ideal combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com

“While overall calories appear to be on the higher side, this recipe can still work as a breakfast option because of the combination of fiber, protein and healthy fats that come together to keep your blood sugars stable and promote satiety,” Zhu says.

But if you’re concerned about calories, a simple swap is the solution: “One cup of applesauce can be used as a full substitute for the half cup of vegetable oil to reduce fat and offer additional fiber and nutrients,” Zhu says. When shopping for applesauce, always opt for unsweetened varieties without extra sugars.

You can further boost the nutritional profile of baked goods like this muffin by incorporating seeds like flax, chia or hemp for extra fiber and plant protein, Zhu adds.

Get the Whole-Wheat Blueberry Protein Muffins recipe and nutrition info here.

8. Blueberry Chia Jam

Blueberry Chia Jam blueberry breakfast recipes

You only need blueberries, chia seeds and clementine to whip us this healthy, homemade jam. Image Credit: Sarah Pflugradt, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com

This jaw-droppingly delicious jam is jam-packed with nutrients and filling fiber thanks to three simple ingredients — blueberries, chia seeds and clementines.

“As far as jams go, this homemade version is low in sugar and a great way to utilize the natural sweetness of blueberries,” Zhu says. In comparison, just one tablespoon of store-bought blueberry jam serves up 7 sugars (more than twice the amount for only half the serving of the natural homemade stuff).

Spread this jam on a slice of whole-grain sprouted bread with a spoonful of almond butter or layer it into a parfait with Greek yogurt for protein, Zhu recommends. Every half-cup of plain Greek yogurt provides around 20 grams of protein.

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/13727329-healthy-blueberry-recipes-for-breakfast/

Science-Backed Ways to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Woman stretching outside wearing arm band and headphones
Exercising regularly helps to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Image Credit: AzmanJaka/E+/GettyImages

Your risk of developing breast cancer — which is about 13 percent for women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) — depends on both factors that you can control and some you cannot.

Factors you can’t control include things such as your age, race and your family history, according to Jane Kakkis, MD, a surgical oncologist and the medical director of breast surgery at MemorialCare Breast Center at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California.

But lifestyle choices, diet, stress levels and exercise all play a role in your overall chances of developing breast cancer — and they are in your hands.

While you should always speak to your doctor about your personal risk for breast cancer, there are general strategies, like exercising regularly, that can help decrease the odds.

Eat a Healthy Diet.

The benefits of following a healthy diet are clear: For one, it can help you maintain a healthy weight, which is linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. Following a diet that’s low in fat and high in healthy foods such as lean proteins, fiber-filled whole grains and vegetables will help support your overall health and wellness.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The ACS recommends the following healthy strategies to lowering your cancer risk:

  • Quit smoking. “Smoking increases breast cancer and a variety of other cancers and causes other substantial health problems,” Dr. Kakkis says.
  • Avoid alcohol. Any amount of alcohol consumption increases cancer risk, according to Dr. Kakkis.
  • Avoid carcinogens. While this is very broad, Dr. Kakkis explains that in general, everyone can do their best to avoid carcinogens in their daily lives as much as possible. That could be everything from limiting radiation exposure from cell phone use to decreasing chemical exposure by swapping plastic bottles for stainless-steel versions.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Get Regular Exercise

Maintain an Optimal Weight

Being overweight increases your risk of breast cancer “substantially,” Dr. Kakkis says. She recommends maintaining a healthy weight that is appropriate for your age and body type. This doesn’t have to involve extreme measures, she notes. “We’re not talking about marathon running,” Dr. Kakkis says. “We’re talking about being in a reasonable range.”

Limit Hormone Replacement Therapy

While hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (also called hormone therapy) with estrogen for women going through and after menopause used to be considered somewhat standard treatment, it is now much more of a personal decision.

Manage Your Stress Levels

Because your immune system plays an important role in recognizing and clearing any potential cancer cells from your body, keeping your immune system functioning at its optimal level might help decrease your overall cancer risk according to a December 2015 report in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

But how exactly do you accomplish that? “Everyone responds to stress differently, so stress reduction is different for everyone,” Dr. Kakkis says.

Exercise and sleep are crucial to not only decreasing the stress you encounter on a daily basis, but also managing how you cope with stress long term as well, she notes. “Exercise begets sleep and being well-rested actually helps you work through and cope with stressful situations,” Kakkis notes.

Other Stress-Management Strategies to Try

If stress is a concern for you, along with speaking to a health professional, you can also try a variety of stress-management techniques, such as:

  • Journaling
  • Focusing on gratitude
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Meditating
  • Working with a therapist

And as you look to decrease your risk of breast cancer, take small steps along the way, rather than try to overhaul your entire lifestyle all at once, Dr. Kakkis recommends. The goal is to take small steps to optimize your life, she says. “Make one change, stick to it, then make another change. You can’t always go from zero to 100 percent.”

By Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RNJuly 11, 2020 Medically Reviewed by Angela Wright Marshall, MD, FACP

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/13727066-breast-cancer-prevention/

CUCUMBER, TOMATO, AVOCADO SALAD

This light, bright Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad is packed full of fresh summer vegetables and topped with a homemade lime dressing that pulls it all together.

Pinterest image for Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad with title text

The combination of the crunch of the cucumbers and red onions, and the soft, creamy, avocado paired with ripe, red tomatoes makes a really amazing summer salad that is perfect for potlucks and BBQs.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 large Cucumber
  • 4 large Tomatoes
  • ½ Red Onion
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Black pepper, plus more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut the vegetables into bite sized pieces.
  • Whisk your olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
  • Toss the tomatoes and cucumbers together in a large bowl and then pour the dressing over them, tossing until everything is well coated.
  • Add the avocado pieces and gently fold into the salad.
  • Serve immediately.

NUTRITION

serving: 1cup, calories: 136kcal, carbohydrates: 8g, protein: 2g, fat: 12g, saturated fat: 2g, sodium: 125mg, potassium: 457mg, fiber: 4g, sugar: 3g, vitamin a: 705iu, vitamin c: 18mg, calcium: 21mg, iron: 1mg . Author: KAT JETER & MELINDA CALDWELL

Source: https://www.homemadeinterest.com/cucumber-tomato-avocado-salad/

Noom vs. Weight Watchers: Which Is Better for You?

Article by By Kelly Plowe, MS, RDN for Livestrong.com

One thing we’ve never had a shortage of is weight-loss diets. And while it seems that each year there’s a trendy new diet vying for your attention, it can be hard to determine which — if any — is right for you.

Caesar salad with chicken

With both the Noom and WW weight-loss apps, no food is considered off limits. Image Credit: gbh007/iStock/GettyImages

Noom vs. Weight Watchers: Which Is Better for You?

NoomWeight Watchers
What Is It?A weight-loss app that uses a color-coding system and calorie tracking. It focuses on diet, exercise and behavioral changes and enlists a personalized coach.A weight-loss app that uses a point-based system, similar to calorie counting. It focuses on diet and exercise and offers a coach in one of its membership options.
How Is It Structured?There are green, yellow and red foods. Each day you log your food intake, track motivation and work out. The goal is to stay within the established calorie limit.You’re assigned to a blue, green or purple group, which determines the number of points you should eat each day. Similar to calorie-counting, you want to stay within your “point budget.”
Foods Allowed/Not AllowedNoom’s color system helps guide you, showing you which foods you should try to eat more and less of. No foods are off the table.Like calorie-counting, you can eat whatever you want within your point allotment. That said, foods are assigned points to help guide you toward healthier choices.
CostThe fee is currently donation-based for a 14-day trial, and the price after that is $129 for three months.For the digital option, the cost is $3.22 per week. For digital and virtual workshops the cost is $6.92 per week, and for digital and a personal coach the cost is $12.69 per week.
Additional SupportCognitive behavioral therapy techniques and a personal coach.A three-tiered membership program, virtual workshops, a rewards program, WW cruises and their own food line.
Results15 published clinical studies backing the diet’s long-term weight-loss success.Promises you’ll lose 1-2 pounds per week.

So, Which Is Better for You?

Noom is probably best for someone who is interested in losing weight and is committed to tracking every meal. In the November 2016 Scientific Reports study, researchers found that while the rate of sustained weight loss was high, people who failed to track their dinners were not as successful. It’s also smart for someone who’s interested in learning more about their behaviors and how to make long-term changes, but it may be cost-prohibitive for some

Weight Watchers is also for someone looking to lose weight who wants flexibility in their diet. That said, you have to track your meals and be committed to tracking for success. It’s not overly complicated like some other diets, so it might be a good option for someone who just wants to get started and not have to worry about learning the ins and outs of a new diet. It’s not as costly as Noom (for the basic digital membership), so it may be appropriate for those on a tighter budget.

Neither Noom nor WW is appropriate or recommended for anyone with a history of disordered eating or an eating disorder. If you have a chronic medical condition or disease, you should consult with your doctor before adopting any new diet plan.

Source: https://www.livestrong.com/article/13726897-noom-vs-weight-watchers/

Turn Bottled Frappuccinos Into ACTUAL Frappuccinos

From Camille Berry of Taste of Home

Perfect for hot summer days…or nights !

Who doesn’t love an ice-cold Starbucks Frappuccino? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Well, now you can whip one up from the comfort of your own home—and it’s ridiculously easy to do. You’ll need a bottled Frap and a freezer.a hand holding a bottle© Zhang Peng/Getty Images

This clever hack recently went viral over on TikTok, and it might be tied with whipped coffee for our favorite at-home coffee treat.

Can I Freeze a Starbucks Frappuccino?

Absolutely. Turning your bottled Frappuccino into the real deal couldn’t be easier. Pop the bottle into your freezer and leave it for no more than two hours. Then, take it out and give it a few good shakes. Voila! You have instant blended icy goodness.

Pour it into a glass and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup for the full experience.

Is This Safe?

There’s one thing to keep in mind: freezing may crack the glass bottle. The simplest way to avoid a cracked glass disaster is to not leave the bottle in the freezer too long. For the average freezer, that’s two hours tops. Set a timer, set an alarm—whatever you gotta do!

Sounds good to me.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/foodnews/starbucks-bottled-frappuccinos-turn-into-actual-frappuccinos-if-you-put-them-in-the-freezer-first/ar-BB15IC1H?ocid=msedgntp

Snacks Alive ! Mix-And-Match Protein Cookies

Create your own protein-packed treats with this easy-to-follow formula.

BY THE WOMEN’S HEALTH TEST KITCHEN; PHOTOGRAPHY BY DANIELLE DALY; FOOD STYLING BY JUDY KIM

Protein cookies are the latest way to get your fix of everyone’s favorite muscle-building macro. But you can do better than the store-bought options out there. Follow these easy steps to create a much more delicious cookie that’s totally customized to your tastes.

The dough alone contains more than 6 grams of protein per sweet snack—about as much as you’d find in an egg. Whip up a batch and share them with your gym buddies, and don’t forget to let them know you came up with the recipe yourself.

VANILLA

Vanilla Protein Cookie Dough

In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup protein powder, 3/4 cup oat flour1 1/4 cups almond meal1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted butter1/4 cup brown sugar1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup almond butter. Whisk in 2 large eggs, one at a time, then 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

CHOCOLATE

Chocolate Protein Cookie Dough

In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder1/2 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder1/4 cup oat flour1 1/4 cups almond meal1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted and cooled butter1/4 cup brown sugar1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup almond butter. Whisk in 4 large eggs, one at a time, then 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

2. Pick Your Mix-Ins

We like a combo of crunchy, chewy, and extra sweetness, but as long as you don’t exceed 2 1/2 cups total, you’re golden! Fold in your mix-ins, then let dough sit to hydrate, covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Illustrated by Jewelyn Butron

3. Bake the Cookies

Scoop ¼ cup mounds of the dough (you should have about 24), and space them evenly on parchment-lined sheet trays. Press tops of cookies down to form flattened discs, and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake until set around the edges, about 3 minutes more.

Some Of Our Favorite Combos

Almond-Sunflower Seed Protein Cookies
Almond-Sunflower Seed Protein Cookies
Triple Chocolate And Strawberry Protein Cookies
Triple Chocolate And Strawberry Protein Cookies

Get recipes and more cookie idea’s at:

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a29475530/protein-cookie-variations-combinations/

Why You Need To Add Blueberries To Your Diet

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Pixaby image

Looking for an easy but healthy addition to your diet? You might want to try blueberries, and here’s why.

Blueberries: Why You Need Them In Your Diet

Now more than ever, we need to take good care of our bodies and follow a healthy diet as much as possible, what with pandemics and viruses coming here and there. Unfortunately, while there are literally no cons in following a healthy diet, it’s easier said than done for most people since a lot of them end up abandoning it or failing altogether.

But that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying. Taking little steps is a good strategy when it comes to having better health, and one such little step we can take is adding blueberries in our grocery list.

Small, unassuming, relatively cheap, blueberries are actually a healthy diet addition. Here’s why:

Full of Antioxidants

They may be small, but they pack quite a punch when it comes to antioxidant content. In fact, blueberries have more antioxidants than almost any other food, which your body can then use to fight free radicals and reduce the risk of many cancers and diseases.

Bone Health

Additionally, blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K, which works alongside calcium to ensure your bones are healthy and strong. In addition, vitamin K also plays a role in maintaining blood circulation and contributing to heart health.

Mental Aging

Per studies, eating blueberries has also been shown to help improve brain function in older individuals, even helping delay mental aging by over two years. Blueberries do this via their antioxidants, which help fight the free radicals that accelerate our brain’s aging processes, resulting in cognitive impairments.

Blood Pressure and Heart Health

The same antioxidants we just mentioned can also help lower and regulate our blood pressure, which in turn makes the 24/7 job of our heart a little more easier. In fact, research shows that regular intake of anthocyanins (the main antioxidant in blueberries) can reduce heart attack risk by 32 percent.

Weight Loss

High in fiber and water, blueberries are also a great weight loss snack since they only have 40 calories per half a cup.

By Jan Cortes for Medical Daily

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/weightloss/why-you-need-to-add-blueberries-to-your-diet/ar-BB14S6Af?ocid=msedgntp

High Coffee Consumption Linked To Lower Total Body Fat

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Women who drink two to four cups of coffee a day may have lower total body fat. That is according to a new study that found regular consumption of the beverage could help both young and adult women manage their fat percentage. 

The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, come from the analysis of data on body fat percentage and coffee consumption from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The program involves nearly 5,000 people in the U.S.

Researchers found that drinking two or three cups of coffee daily helped women, aged 20 to 44, cut body fat 3.4 percent lower than those who drank fewer cups or none at all. Those who were aged 45 to 69 and regularly consumed four or more cups had 4.1 percent lower body fat percentage. 

However, the team noted they did not determine how the effects of coffee directly helped reduce body fat. But some bioactive compounds commonly found in the drink previously showed positive effects on fat.

In earlier studies, polyphenols appeared preventing weight gain and increasing metabolism in mice. Coffee drinking has also been associated with changes in fat accumulation and increased metabolic rate, Chao Cao, co-author of the latest study from Washington University’s School of Medicine, told Bicycling Magazine.

But he noted men may not get the same benefits of coffee that women experienced in their study. The bioactive compounds in the drink stimulated hormone production in men and women differently, which affect fat metabolism and utilization of fat for energy.

“This is a potential mechanism to explain this gender difference,” Cao said. “In addition, our results did find higher coffee consumption was linked to lower body fat percentage among some male groups, but it wasn’t as prominent as it was in women.”

However, the researcher noted it is too early to consider coffee as a weight loss aid or as a meal replacement. More studies are required to fully understand how the higher consumption of the beverage causes changes in the body, especially in fats. 

“We don’t want someone to drink tons of coffee in one day as a way to lose body fat,” Cao said. “This should be part of a healthy lifestyle—including physical activity, less sitting and more healthy foods.”

Note: That fat loss from consuming so much coffee could be the result of women climbing the walls, cleaning the house repeadly, weeding and reweeding the garden, etc. j/k

Article by Darwin Malicdem for Medical Daily

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/nutrition/high-coffee-consumption-linked-to-lower-total-body-fat/ar-BB14KqdQ?ocid=spartanntp