5 Hacks That Actually Keep Avocados Fresh

By Bojana Galic for Livestrong.com

Close up of female hands squeezing lemon on avocado
Image Credit: Cavan Images/Cavan/GettyImages

Nothing is quite as tragic as finding that your precious, vibrant green avocado has browned overnight — your breakfast plans have been foiled.

However, rest assured that you can prevent your avo from turning into brown mush whether it’s whole or already sliced. Find out how to keep avocado fresh and green with these simple yet effective hacks.

1. Add an Acidic Ingredient

Sprinkling an acidic ingredient onto your avocado is a surefire way to keep the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) from turning brown, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD and author of ​Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You from Label to Table.

Avocados turn brown because of a process called oxidation, which is when the inside of the fruit is exposed to air, Taub-Dix tells us. Sprinkling your cut avo with an acidic ingredient like lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar creates an extra barrier between the air and avocado flesh. Citrus fruits are full of ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C), which halts the oxidation process.

You can even save the gorgeous green color of your guacamole by squeezing some extra lime juice on top and sealing it in an airtight container, Taub-Dix says.

2. Keep the Pit in the Fruit

Keeping the pit in your avocado as long as possible can also help keep the fruit fresh after it’s been cut, Taub-Dix says. Like the lemon juice or vinegar you squeeze onto the fruit flesh, keeping the pit in creates an additional barrier between the avocado and oxygen.

Plus, you can sprinkle your acidic ingredient on top of the pit half of the avocado to maximize results.

3. Store Cut Avocado in Clean Water

No lemons on hand? Storing the cut fruit in clean water is another way to prevent your precious green avocado from browning, according to the California Avocado Commission.

Like acidic ingredients, water also acts as a barrier to prevent the avocado from oxidizing. And don’t fret — the avocado won’t absorb any of the water, so you’ll still be able to spread it on your toast or smash it up into a delicious bowl of guacamole.

4. Keep Ripe Avocados in the Fridge

Unless you’re whipping up an avo toast right after your grocery store trip, you’ll want to place any ripe avocados in the fridge to keep them as fresh as possible, Taub-Dix suggests.

Depending on the ripeness of the fruit, the avocado can stay fresh in the fridge for anywhere between three and five days.

However, if you’ve cut your ripe avocado in half, you’ll want to add an acid like lemon or lime juice or vinegar and seal it properly (more on that below) to prevent browning and keep the fruit as fresh as possible, Taub-Dix says.

5. Store Face-Down and Sealed

Storing your avocado in the fridge with the cut side facing down will also help keep the air from entering the flesh of the fruit, per the California Avocado Commission.

Sealing the fruit away from oxygen is a crucial element in preventing oxidation, according to Taub-Dix. While an airtight container will certainly do the trick, you can also place the two halves back together and wrap them in plastic wrap if you’ve prematurely sliced your avocado.

If your avocado or guac does brown a little bit, scraping off the top should reveal fresh green flesh and won’t change the taste of the fruit.

Or, consider testing an avocado hugger. Whether or not these are effective is still up for debate — Taub-Dix hasn’t tried one herself.

Source: How to Keep Avocado Fresh: 5 Hacks From a Dietitian | Livestrong.com

Are the Health Benefits of Green Tea Worth the Hype?

By Emily Laurence

Are the Health Benefits of Green Tea Worth the Hype? A Registered Dietitian Weighs In
Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Long before it made its way to the West, green tea was sipped in East Asia, with its earliest roots traced to China in the twelfth century. Its many health benefits were recognized from the start and green tea has always played a strong role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. To this day, China is still the number one producer of green tea.

Because green tea is one of the most popular teas in the world, it’s also one of the most studied by scientific researchers. There are thousands of studies on the health benefits of green tea and how drinking it on a regular basis affects cardiovascular health, brain health, as well as the body as a whole. Here, registered dietitian Neva Cochran, RD, explains what exactly those benefits are. She also details exactly how much green tea you need to drink a day to experience the benefits as well as tips for buying it. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

What are the health benefits of green tea?

1. It’s good for your heart

If you’re looking for something to sip on throughout the day for heart-protective benefits, Cochran says green tea is a great option. “Green tea is high in flavanols, which is a type of antioxidant, and these flavanols have been linked to reducing LDL cholesterol, also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol,” Cochran says. This, she adds, means it can lower the risk of heart disease.

A scientific article published in the journal Nutrition Review says that observations in southeastern Asian countries show a connection between green tea consumption and a decreased number of cardiovascular health problems. It also says there has been a connection between regular green tea drinking and reduced body fat, which is also connected to cardiovascular health.

2. Green tea is good for your brain

Drinking green tea does more than just support a healthy heart; Cochran says it benefits the brain, too. This, she says, is credited to its caffeine content as well as catechins, which are a type of polyphenol and antioxidant. “Catechins help protect the body from free radicals. This benefits the whole body and of course the brain as well,” Cochran says.

An article published in the journal Phytomedicine that took into account 21 separate studies on green tea found that its consumption was linked to better attention and memory. The researchers say they believe this to be connected to the caffeine and l-theanine (an amino acid associated with calm and focus) in the tea. Between the catechins, caffeine, and l-theanine, clearly there are several components in green tea that make it such a brain health-boosting beverage.

3. Drinking green tea could improve your mood

The same paper published in Phytomedicine found that green tea was linked to feeling less anxious. “This is likely because of the l-theanine in green tea,” Cochran says. “Many scientific studies have found a connection between l-theanine and mood as well as with cognitive function,” she says. The combination of l-theanine and caffeine leads to a feeling of cognitive alertness without the jitters that some can experience with coffee.

4. It can help you feel more alert

Another benefit of the caffeine in green tea: it can help you feel more alert. While some teas, like chamomile or lavender, are more associated with feelings of relaxation or sleepiness, the caffeine content in green tea makes it more of a good one to sip throughout the day, not in the evening. Another benefit: it doesn’t have the crash that drinking coffee causes many to experience.

5. Green tea could protect against certain cancers

Cochran says green tea’s antioxidant content also means that sipping it on a regular basis could protect against certain cancers, but she also adds a major caveat to this benefit. “Green tea is by no means a silver bullet and The National Cancer Institute does not recommend for or against the use of tea to reduce the risk of any type of cancer.” Disclaimer in place, there are some components in green tea that may lessen the risk. A paper published in the journal Cancer and Metastasis Reviews says that green tea’s EGCGs (a type of beneficial catechin) have been shown to inhibit tumor growth.

While this finding is noteworthy, Cochran says some of the other claims of green tea and cancer prevention may be overblown. “[For example], a  meta-analysis with eight studies on green tea and breast cancer found reduced risk in three studies but no reduction in five studies,” she says. “There is also a lack of evidence for green tea and lower risk of prostate cancer and no significant association between endometrial cancer risk and green tea consumption.”

 6. It could help lower blood sugar levels

“In a meta-analysis of 22 studies with 1,584 subjects, green tea catechins significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels,” Cochran says, adding that it may also help prevent type 2 diabetes. “[This is because] green tea can inhibit digestive enzymes that help break down sugars in the gut to slow down the absorption of sugars so blood sugar levels rise more slowly,” she says.

7. Drinking green tea is good for your bones

One benefit of drinking green tea that Cochran says is often overlooked is that it’s good for your bones. “Tea polyphenols enhance bone formation and inhibit bone breakdown resulting in greater bone strength,” she says. As one scientific paper published in Nutrition Review says, “epidemiological evidence has shown an association between tea consumption and the prevention of age-related bone loss in elderly women and men. Ingestion of green tea and green tea bioactive compounds may be beneficial in mitigating bone loss of this population and decreasing their risk of osteoporotic fractures.” In non-science speak that means milk isn’t the only bone-benefitting beverage.

8. It’s hydrating

Cochran says that because green tea has caffeine, many don’t think it’s truly a hydrating drink, but that’s not the case. “Especially for people who don’t like the taste of plain water, green tea can be extremely helpful in helping someone meet their hydration goals,” she says.

Additional nutrient content, dosage, and side effects

Clearly drinking green tea comes with many benefits. But in terms of hitting your nutrient goals for macronutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats, you’ll have to get them elsewhere. There are none of these nutrients in green tea. So while green tea is connected to many health benefits, it shouldn’t be mistaken as something to be consumed in the place of nutrient-rich foods.

In terms of how much green tea you have to drink to actually experience the benefits highlighted above, Cochran says the majority of scientific studies of green tea range between four to six cups a day. In terms of side effects, drinking too much could cause a headache, primarily because of the tea’s caffeine content. But other than that, it’s a low-risk beverage in terms of unwanted side effects.

Source: 8 Health Benefits of Green Tea To Know | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

Amazing Weight Loss Foods to Improve Your Sex Life

By Eat This, Not That! Editors 

There’s nothing sexier than feeling healthy and being at a happy weight, except, well, sex itself. Hormones and heart health (yes, really) are the two primary players in desire, sexual performance, satisfaction, and fertility. Sure, you could pop a pill to boost your testosterone or rev your libido, but these types of drugs can have some pretty scary side effects, ranging from drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness to heart disease and even death—so not worth the risk.

The good news is that you can boost your testosterone, improve blood flow to your nether regions, or get in the mood naturally, simply by altering your diet with these weight-loss-promoting foods. So grab a pen, jot down a grocery list of the testosterone- and circulation-boosting foods below, and get ready to have the best sex of your life

Slide 2 of 16: An apple a day may help keep the doctor away, but a recent Italian study suggests it can do much more than that! Researchers divided more than 700 female subjects into two groups: those that ate apples daily and those that didn't. They found that those who regularly consumed the fruit—which is rich in the sex-boosting phytoestrogens, polyphenols, and antioxidants—had more enjoyable and pleasurable sex than those who didn't.Apples can do more than just improve your sex life, they can also help you look better in your lingerie! So much so, in fact, that they made our list of the Best Fruits for a Better Body.RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

1. Apples

An apple a day may help keep the doctor away, but a recent Italian study suggests it can do much more than that! Researchers divided more than 700 female subjects into two groups: those that ate apples daily and those that didn’t. They found that those who regularly consumed the fruit—which is rich in the sex-boosting phytoestrogens, polyphenols, and antioxidants—had more enjoyable and pleasurable sex than those who didn’t.

Apples can do more than just improve your sex life, they can also help you look better in your lingerie! So much so, in fact, that they made our list of the Best Fruits for a Better Body.

2. Brazil nuts

Bikinis, models, nuts … Is there anything Brazilian that’s not sexy? Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in hormone health. You only need a tiny bit for healthy sperm, but a tiny deficiency can be catastrophic for reproductive health. In one study, men who had lower testosterone and were infertile also had significantly lower selenium levels than the fertile group. Supplementing with the mineral improved chances of successful conception by 56%!

Slide 4 of 16: Ginger—one of our go-to spices for fat loss—can improve your sex life with its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The spice has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability in men.

3. Ginger

Ginger—one of our go-to spices for fat loss—can improve your sex life with its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The spice has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability in men.

4. Dark chocolate

A study of Italian women and their chocolate-eating habits found that women who regularly nibbled on cocoa wanted and enjoyed sex more than women who barely touched the stuff. This may be because chocolate increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and lowering our stress level—both “mood” boosters if you know what we mean. Another theory from the study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, is that cocoa increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels—sending blood to all the right regions. Whatever the reason, chocolate is never a bad thing, just be sure you’re noshing on one of our go-to Fat-Burning Chocolates.

Slide 6 of 16: Rev up your sex life with a refreshing pomegranate juice spritzer. Studies have found that pomegranate juices, like POM Wonderful and PomeGreat, have positive effects on erectile dysfunction and testosterone. Pomegranates are also loaded with antioxidants that support blood flow, which can help boost sensitivity and pleasure. Just be sure to water your juice down a bit: One cup of the stuff has 31 grams of sugar, which won't do your scantily clad bod any favors.

5. Pomegranate juice

Rev up your sex life with a refreshing pomegranate juice spritzer. Studies have found that pomegranate juices, like POM Wonderful and PomeGreat, have positive effects on erectile dysfunction and testosterone. Pomegranates are also loaded with antioxidants that support blood flow, which can help boost sensitivity and pleasure. Just be sure to water your juice down a bit: One cup of the stuff has 31 grams of sugar, which won’t do your scantily clad bod any favors.

6. Oysters

Oysters are full of zinc, and women with higher levels of zinc in their system have been shown to have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels. And guys can reap the benefits, too. One study showed that six-months of zinc supplementation among slightly zinc-deficient elderly men doubled serum levels of testosterone. Research has also shown deficiencies in zinc to be a risk factor for infertility caused by low testosterone levels. Get your shuck on at happy hour (and stick to one of these low-calorie cocktails to maintain your flat belly). Just a half dozen oysters on the half shell will provide you with 33 milligrams of zinc, nearly three times the 12-milligram RDA for adult men.

7. Watermelon

Watermelon has even more lycopene than tomatoes, and lycopene rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation to certain, ahem, areas of the body.

8. Coffee

It turns out all those Starbucks daters may be onto something—coffee may just be the best libido booster around. It contains a stimulant that has been shown (in animal studies) to put females in the mood. Grab a cappuccino and brace yourself for a long, lucky night.

9. Spinach

Eating spinach, a green rich in appetite-suppressing compounds, can not only give you a lingerie-ready figure but also put you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the belt. “Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” registered dietitian Cassie Bjork, RD, LD tells us. Although that may not sound sexy, you’re sure to enjoy the effects. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. “Women will find it is easier to have an orgasm, and men will find that erections come more naturally. Having good sex is the best aphrodisiac.”

10. Red wine

Looking for a tasty way to boost your libido? Pour yourself a glass or two of red wine—but be sure to cut yourself off there. Women who drank one to two glasses of the stuff had a higher sexual desire and sexual function than those who didn’t down any vino, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study found. Unfortunately for you wine lovers out there, there was no additional benefit to drinking more than two glasses—which is the most health experts suggest we drink on a daily basis anyway. What makes the elixir so beneficial? It contains flavonoids that increase blood flow to key areas of the body (you know the ones).

11. Grass-fed beef

If your crazy-busy schedule is to blame for your lack of libido, you’re not alone. “One of the primary reasons couples stop having sex is because they’re tired, fatigued, and stressed. But sometimes, there’s a biological component at play,” says Nelson. One of the causes of fatigue in women is iron deficiency. The condition can zap energy, which may result in a low sex drive, explains Nelson. Bjork concurs, adding, “Iron deficiency is common and can result in feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and irritability, which doesn’t make anyone feel like getting intimate.” Bjork says remedying the situation requires a two-part approach: “If you think your diet lacks iron, focus on eating more spinach, grass-fed red meat and liver, all foods rich in the nutrient. Then, ensure sure your body is able to utilize the iron,” she says. “Consuming probiotic-rich yogurt, fatty fish, and an L-glutamine supplement can improve gut health and help your body to absorb iron more efficiently,” says Bjork.

12. Eggs

Eggs often come up in reproductive health discussions. This time we’re talking about dietary eggs, as in omelets, and the role they play in boosting testosterone. That comes primarily from the yolks, which are rich in dietary cholesterol, plus mono- and saturated fats—nutrients once demonized by health experts that have since proven to positively influence waistlines and hormone health. In fact, studies on vegetarian and low-fat diets both show they reduce testosterone levels by around 12%. Higher-fat diets—in which fat is at least 40% of calorie intake, with greater consumption of saturated fat—show increased testosterone levels. Why? It’s not rocket science. Cholesterol makes up the building blocks from which testosterone is formed; without it, the hormone can’t synthesize. Organic eggs are one of the best dietary sources. In addition to essential fatty acids, a whole egg is rich in aspartic acid, an amino acid that triggers the production of testosterone

13. Potatoes

Whether they’re the white or the sweet variety, potatoes are a great source of potassium. This nutrient counteracts salt’s bloating effects and boosts circulation, which can help you look better in bed and also boost your bedroom pleasure. It’s a win-win!

Slide 15 of 16: It's no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here's something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain. There's more: "Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun," says Nelson.

14. Fatty fish

It’s no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain. There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” says Nelson.

15. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether regions. “Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” says Bjork. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow,” she says. Blood flow to the genitals = feeling of sexual excitement, so sipping the stuff will, well, make you want to get it on. Bjork suggests drinking four cups a day to feel the full effects. 

Source: Amazing Weight Loss Foods to Improve Your Sex Life (msn.com)

12 Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

Did you know the cinnamon in your cupboard is not real cinnamon at all? I sure didn’t. I learned that it’s actually another spice known as cassia and is sometimes referred to as “bastard cinnamon”, which in all honesty seems a bit harsh. But real cinnamon is called Ceylon (pronounced sell-own). I had heard about it before and assumed it would pretty much taste the same. Then I finally bought some. Oh… my…. gosh. It’s incredible! It’s sweet and flavorful. I knew it was going to be different just by smelling it. So while the regular cassia cinnamon is perfectly fine and healthful to use, Ceylon simply has a better flavor for foods.

So… What’s All That Great About Cinnamon?

Not only does it taste and smell good there are some serious health benefits of cinnamon.  As far as nutrients go it has manganese, fiber, iron and calcium. And as with many herbs it has a multitude of benefits.  One of it’s more popular uses is that cinnamon reduces blood sugar in people with type 2 Diabetes.  Cinnamon can naturally reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol. It’s anti-inflammatory properties allow it to act as a pain reliever for conditions such as arthritis. We’ve listed 12 health benefits of cinnamon below.

Did you know that good health can be as close as your spice rack? Learn the health benefits of cinnamon a spice that not only tastes good but can heal!

Coumarin: All cinnamon has this substance in it. If eating cinnamon in large amounts, in incredibly rare cases it can damage the liver in people who are very sensitive. If you want to eat a lot of cinnamon, which by the way is great for you, consider using Ceylon as it has only a minor amount of this substance in it.

Learn the differences between Ceylon and Cassia cinnamon

Source: Benefits of Cinnamon (craftyourhappiness.com)

The Absolute Worst Food to Eat Before Bed

We’ve all been there: it’s nighttime, well after dinner, but your tummy is still rumbling. You’re looking for something satisfying to silence your hunger pangs and help you fall into a cozy, restful slumber. Or maybe it’s been a late night with a few cocktails and now your late-night cravings get the best of you. But before you chow down, you should know that there are actually some foods that disrupt sleep pretty badly that you’ll want to stay away from.

That’s right, there are some foods that can potentially wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. In addition to tacking on extra calories at the end of your day—which can derail weight-loss efforts—eating the wrong food before bed can lead to indigestion and a night of tossing and turning from discomfort. Researchers have even found that eating a diet that is high in sugar, saturated fat and processed carbohydrates can disrupt your sleep, too. So it not only matters what you’re eating later at night, but throughout the day, too.

But now, back to the one food that is the absolute worst to eat before sleeping.

What’s the one food you should never eat before going to sleep?

Pizza. Specifically, pepperoni pizza. And if you love to add peppers or crushed red pepper flakes on your pie, it’s even worse.

So it’s no surprise that eating a lot of dairy at a time right before bed could potentially disrupt your sleep. Skip the pizza before bed so you can get longer, more restful sleep, especially if you also try out any of these 20 Ways to Double Your Sleep Quality. But that’s not all. There are plenty more foods that could easily wreak havoc on your sleep schedule.

1. Chocolate

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that chocolate treat after dinner isn’t doing your REM any favors. “As a nutritionist who also struggles with falling and staying asleep, I know firsthand what can wreak havoc on our sleep cycle,” shares Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The WellNecessities. “Chocolate is a hidden source of caffeine. That means taking a forkful of your favorite souffle or chocolate ice cream may be the very thing keeping you up. The caffeine in chocolate causes increased arousal, and decreases the ability to develop and sustain the deeper stages of sleep.”

2. Alcohol

You probably know white wine can sometimes cause heartburn, but it’s not the only beverage to blame for not being able to sleep. “Alcohol in general relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which normally works to keep the acid down in the stomach,” Hayim explains. “As it relaxes, the acid from the alcohol can enter into your throat, giving you that burning feeling deep in your chest.”

Mitzi Dulan, RD, author of The Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin and former team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals adds: “Research shows that drinking alcohol before bed can make you more likely to wake up throughout the night and diminishes quality of sleep. We also know alcohol can lead to snoring since it is a potent muscle relaxer.”

3. Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is another food that can keep you up at night. The explanation for this one is a bit different, though: “Hot sauce gets its heat from the compound capsaicin found in chili peppers,” offers Hayim. “Capsaicin can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to stay open for longer than usual, causing intense feelings of heartburn,” she warns. Sounds like an equation for one spicy mess, if you ask us.

4. Peppermint

There are health benefits of mint, but sleeping well isn’t one of them. “Many people pop peppermints into their mouths after dinner to freshen their breath,” says Hayim. “Some people have it in their tea thinking it will soothe them. But, as it turns out, peppermint is a heartburn trigger. So, definitely stay away from it before bed!”

5. Dried Fruit

Consuming too much dried fruit can bother your stomach and cause you to have gas and cramps during the night, according to nutritionist Lisa DeFazio, MS, RDN. “This is thanks to their high-fiber, low-water content.” Come morning, don’t eat ’em, either. They’re one of the top foods nutritionists wish you would stop adding to your overnight oats.

6. High Sugar Cereals

Pass right by the fruit loops, please. “Eating high-sugar cereals will make your blood sugar spike and crash, which will affect your sleep,” says DeFazio. “Choose cereal with less than five grams of sugar per serving.”

Article by Christina Stiehl. Photo by EatThis,NotThat

Source: The Absolute Worst Food to Eat Before Bed (msn.com)

15 Surprising Benefits of Flax Seeds For Skin, Hair and Health

By Beauty Epic

Flax seeds are the tiny seeds extracted from the flax crop. It is a storehouse of many nutrients. It has antioxidants, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, manganese, magnesium and healthy fats that can benefit the entire body. They come in golden and brown color. You can choose any of them depending the nutritional value. 

Benefits of Flax Seeds for Health :

1. Reduces Hot Flashes:

Hot flashes are common in women, especially post-menopause. A study reveals that taking 2 teaspoons of flax seeds on regular basis can reduce the hot flashes.

2. Deals with Inflammation:

If there is deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, there are chances for inflammation. Flax seeds contains ALA and lignans which blocks the inflammation to occur. It is also said to provide the body with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), that gives an additional protection to the body from inflammatory properties.

3. Deals with Diabetes:

The sugar levels in the blood must be kept in control to prevent diabetes. A regular consumption of lignan-rich foods can keep a check on the blood sugar levels. Flax seed is a lignana oriented food and can be consumed. Take it continuously for 3 months to stabilize your insulin levels. The antioxidant properties of flax seed makes it an effective product for diabetes.

4. Deals with High Cholesterol:

The food produces both good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The bad cholesterol harms the body and must be controlled. The food that contains omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and lignan must be preferred. They are a great combo and flaxseeds can be a source of it. They will have a direct impact on cholesterol levels. The bad cholesterol will thicken the blood, thereby affecting the heart metabolism.

5. Improves Digestion:

The soluble and insoluble fiber that is present in flax seeds helps in smoothening digestion process. The nutrients from the food can be absorbed by mucilaginous fiber. There is easy flow of food movement in the body as a flaxseed consumption benefit.

6. Prevents Cancer:

Flaxseeds contains antioxidants that are said to be effective on cancer cells. One can reduce the chances of certain types of cancer like colon, prostate and breast cancer. The omega 3 fatty acids prevents the cancer cells from spreading in the body.

Benefits of Flax Seeds for Skin :

Flaxseed is used in many beauty products. The flaxseed oil can be directly applied to the skin to reap the benefits out of it. Next time, when you purchase a beauty product, do check the ingredients. The following are the skin benefits of flaxseeds:

7. Prevents Skin Diseases:

A heAlthy body will give birth to a healthy skin. It is just not the external care that will fetch you results, but also internal cleansing of the body is a must. These tiny seeds contains omega 3 fatty acids that eliminates the toxins from the body by promoting healthy bowel movements. Thus, skin diseases like psoriasis, dermatitis and infections like redness, blemishes and inflammation can be reduced.

8. Speeds the Healing Process:

The skin might get injured and damaged. A repair is a must. For a speedy healing process, omega 3 fatty acids are the best and flaxseeds has ample of it. Apply the flaxseed oil to the cut and injury for a speedy recovery.

9. Moisturizes the Skin:

Flaxseeds contains fatty acids that keeps the skin moisturized and nourished. If the skin is dull and dry, it has more chances to be infected. The skin needs minimum oil production to stay soft and healthy. Flaxseeds initiates the minimum oil production. Take few drops of flaxseeds oil in your palm and rub in on your skin. Massage it gently in such a way that the body completely absorbs the oil. Cover yourself with a warm cloth and take a hot water shower in the morning. This regular application will make your skin baby soft and will lock the moisture.

10. Prevents Skin Cancer:

The sun radiation can be a reason for skin cancer. Flaxseeds have the power to filter these radiation and prevent it from affecting the skin tissues. The antioxidants works as a miracle agent by fighting with cancer causing free radicals.

11. Prevents Acne:

The excess oil production by sebaceous glands can be a cause for acne. The oily skin tends to be more infectious than the normal and dry skin. These tiny seeds control the oil production by the sebaceous glands, hence gives you a better skin.

12. Removes Dead Cells:

You can also make a scrub out of flax seeds to carry out your daily exfoliation routine. Take flaxseeds and grind it to a semi-powdery form. dd 1 teaspoon of yoghurt to it and few drops of honey to it. Mix them well to prepare your scrub. Apply on your skin and gently scrub on your skin for the next ten minutes. Allow it to dry and wash it off completely with lukewarm water. The dead cells will be thrown out from your skin, giving it a fresh and younger look.

Benefits of Flax Seeds for Hair:

13. Prevents Hair Breakage:

The omega 3 fatty acids prevents hair breakage as it controls the hair elasticity. It strengthen the hair follicles.

14. Reduces Dandruff:

The scalp infections and dandruff can be easily prevented by the anti-inflammatory properties of the flax seeds. The fatty acids controls the sebum production in the scalp, thereby saving it from infections and diseases. Thus, dandruff will automatically be taken care of.

15. Prevents Male Baldness:

Flaxseeds can be regularly consumed to prevent male baldness as it contains alpha linolenic acid.

Hope this article has been useful to you. Flaxseeds has multiple benefits and must be opted as a food ingredient. They can be consumed raw with a glass of water. You can also add flaxseed oil to your diet. There are no side-effects of flax seeds, however, do consult your dietician if you are allergic to flax seeds. 

Source: 16 Surprising Benefits of Flax Seeds For Skin, Hair and Health (beautyepic.com)

(Note: The opinions expressed by beautyepic.com are theirs alone and not an endorsement by this blogger).

5 Foods To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s, According to Doctors

By Cheyenne Buckingham for EatThis,NotThat.com

 © Provided by Eat This, Not That!

5 Foods To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s, According to Doctors

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. While there is no cure for this common form of dementia, there are various traditional and alternative treatment options that may help manage symptoms. Several studies even indicate that some foods may help to delay the onset of the disease altogether.

“At the present moment, there is no scientific evidence that shows that any particular food prevents Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Cedrina Calder, MD. “However, there is some evidence that shows that following a Mediterranean diet or MIND diet is associated with slower cognitive decline and decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The MIND diet, which is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, is specifically geared toward supporting brain health and is believed to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s. While scientists are still learning how exactly the MIND diet can potentially stave off the brain disorder, what they do know is the diet has been shown to improve cardiovascular health. This, in turn, may reduce dementia risk. Many foods that are a part of the MIND diet also have anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation can be detrimental to brain health.

“We know that inflammation occurs in Alzheimer’s disease but researchers are still trying to figure out what role it plays, if any, in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Calder.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric has long been used as both a spice in cooking and in traditional medicine. India has a particularly low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, which some health experts attribute to its population’s high intake of turmeric. The active ingredient curcumin is believed to provide a host of benefits to the brain and body.

“Curcumin, a nutrient found in turmeric, has been associated with improvement in cognitive function in some smaller studies,” says Calder.

Consider adding one teaspoon of turmeric to your roasted vegetables or even making a golden latte with the warming spice to start your morning.

2. Salmon

Rich in heart-healthy fats, fish such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel have all been associated with decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, says Calder.

“Fatty fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found in some studies to prevent or delay cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” she adds.

According to one 2018 study published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, of the near 7,000 adults aged 60 years and older that were monitored for two years, 326 were diagnosed with dementia. Those who consumed any amount of fish during that two-year timeframe had a reduced risk of dementia compared to those who didn’t eat any at all.

3. Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all loaded in antioxidants, which may benefit brain function by protecting it from oxidative stress.

“Berries are one of the 10 healthy food groups in the MIND diet,” says Calder. “Some studies have suggested that blueberries have a positive effect on cognition.”

4. Leafy greens

Kale, spinach, and collard greens are packed with nutrients that support overall health, and special attention has been paid to flavanols. One recent study showed that a high intake of flavanols may be associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

“Studies have shown that leafy green vegetables may protect against cognitive decline,” says Calder.

5. Low-sugar, unprocessed foods

Dr. Doug Scharre, neurologist and director of the division of Cognitive Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, says that while Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented through the consumption of specific foods, correct nutrition is fundamental to brain health and may mitigate cognitive decline.

One way you can support your brain health right now is by removing processed foods (that are loaded with added sugars and unhealthy fats) from your diet.

“Well-balanced diets low in saturated fats and processed sugars seem to be more healthy for the brain,” Dr. Scharre says.

Source: 5 Foods To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s, According to Doctors (msn.com)

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat a Banana Every Day

By Rachel Linder  for EatThis,NotThat.com

Slide 1 of 7: We've all grown up hearing "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", but it turns out the benefits of a banana a day could be just as good. Bananas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and when you eat a banana on a regular basis, they help to maintain and improve your overall health. In other words, eating a banana a day is definitely the way to go to stay healthy.However, it's important to remember not to go overboard with your daily banana intake. According to Healthline, you should stick to the recommendation of one or two bananas a day, but no more than that. Eating too much of any food, even one as healthy as bananas, can lead to weight gain or deficiencies in nutrients. There are plenty of benefits to your body when you eat a banana every day, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.Read the original article on Eat This, Not That!

We’ve all grown up hearing “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but it turns out the benefits of a banana a day could be just as good. Bananas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and when you eat a banana on a regular basis, they help to maintain and improve your overall health. In other words, eating a banana a day is definitely the way to go to stay healthy.

However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard with your daily banana intake. According to Healthline, you should stick to the recommendation of one or two bananas a day, but no more than that. Eating too much of any food, even one as healthy as bananas, can lead to weight gain or deficiencies in nutrients. There are plenty of benefits to your body when you eat a banana every day, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.

1. You’ll be supporting your gut health.

Now, more than ever before, we are seeing the importance of gut health on overall wellbeing. There are many strategies to best eat for your microbiome, but it can start with a banana. According to a 2017 study review in Nutrition Bulletin, bananas contain resistant starch, which works to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids—essential for gut health. So, we can thank bananas for stabilizing our gut and providing nutrients for our microbiome.

2. You may lose weight.

A benefit that never goes under-appreciated, eating bananas daily can help us reach our weight loss goals. Packed with fiber and protein, bananas will keep you fuller for longer, despite being just over 100 calories a piece. They even made Healthline’s list of the 20 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on The Planet. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to pick up a bunch.

3. You can improve your skin.

When you think of foods that improve your skin, you probably think of salmon, avocados, or maybe walnuts—but bananas can be a game-changer when it comes to skin health. It’s all due to the vitamins and minerals in bananas, specifically the manganese that boosts collagen levels. No matter what your skin difficulties are—acne, wrinkles, dry skin—eating a banana a day can help. Healthline even suggests a banana face mask could help to do the trick, but I think we’ll stick with eating our bananas instead.

4. You’ll improve your energy level.

Especially when eaten before or after a workout, bananas can be instrumental in boosting your energy levels and keeping you from feeling fatigued throughout the day. The results from a PLOS One 2012 study on male athletes found that those who refueled with a sports drink every fifteen minutes as opposed to a banana and water performed worse overall in long-distance cycling races. Therefore, there was a direct correlation between eating a banana and increasing energy levels on performance.

5. You’ll get a boost of potassium, which supports heart health.

Bananas are known for their potassium, but did you know that potassium can help to strengthen your heart? Well it absolutely can—so eating a banana a day can lead to a healthy heart. Most people do not consume enough potassium in their daily diet, which often can have a direct impact on blood pressure control and other components of heart health. Additionally, Healthline explains that a potassium-rich diet—AKA eating a banana every day—can lower your risk of heart disease by 27%. So it’s time to add this fruit favorite into your daily routine.

6. You will enhance your vision (both during the day and at night).

No, we’re not talking about carrots. According to the National Institute of Health, bananas contain Vitamin A, which works to do three things, protect your eyes, maintain normal vision, and improve vision at night. So there’s no need to overdo it with your carrot consumption and risk your skin turning orange. Instead, the move is definitely to stick with a banana a day because not only does it enhance your vision, but it has so many other health benefits too.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/nutrition/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-eat-a-banana-every-day/ss-BB1bMBLh?ocid=msedgntp#image=7

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds

By Rachel Linder for EatThis,NotThat!

Slide 1 of 7: Knowing what foods to snack on throughout the day can be tricky. There are so many options, and while some can fill you up, others can leave you feeling hungry right away. Almonds are one example that will not only make you feel full, but are also packed with tons of additional health benefits. One handful a day, which is the rough equivalent to one serving—23 almonds—is all you need to take full advantage of all that this nut has to offer. So what does happen to your body when you eat almonds on a daily basis?So next time you go looking in your pantry for a snack, you should definitely eat a handful of almonds. Here's why, and for more healthy eating tips, be sure to steer clear of these 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.Read the original article on Eat This, Not That!

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds

Knowing what foods to snack on throughout the day can be tricky. There are so many options, and while some can fill you up, others can leave you feeling hungry right away. Almonds are one example that will not only make you feel full, but are also packed with tons of additional health benefits. One handful a day, which is the rough equivalent to one serving—23 almonds—is all you need to take full advantage of all that this nut has to offer. So what does happen to your body when you eat almonds on a daily basis?

1. You’ll improve your mood.

The component in almonds that works to boost your mood is called tryptophan, an amino acid. When paired with Vitamin B6—so anything from a banana to oats—the tryptophan converts into serotonin in the body. Therefore, it’s the serotonin that works as an instant mood booster, making you feel happier and less anxious. So sprinkle a handful of almonds on that bowl of oatmeal, or a bowl of banana slices for an easy snack.

2. You’ll lower your risk disease.

You have abundant amounts of Vitamin E within almonds to thank for this one. One serving of almonds contains 48% of your daily value of Vitamin E. This makes almonds one of the foods highest in this vitamin in the world, according to Healthline. One study shows the direct impact of Vitamin E consumption on lowering the chances of an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. While other studies highlight the ways in which heart disease and cancers can be less likely for those who contain high levels of Vitamin E.

3. You’ll boost bone health.

Strong bones are a crucial part of overall health and can often be overlooked when people think about vitamins and supplements their bodies need. According to Medical News Today, with a handful of almonds, you’re packing your body with calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, vitamin K, protein, and zinc, all of which contribute to boosting your overall bone health.

4. You’ll lower your cholesterol.

Almost 29 million American adults suffer from high cholesterol, which can only be seen through a blood test as there are no visible symptoms, according to the CDC. Once diagnosed, it can be difficult to begin to manage, as there is both “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Thanks to the fat content in our favorite nut, eating a handful of almonds helps to balance those cholesterol levels.

5. You’ll be managing your blood sugar levels.

Another medical diagnosis that is extremely prevalent in the United States is high blood sugar or diabetes. Medical News Today highlights the fact that oftentimes those with diabetes struggle with low levels of magnesium. One study found that those with Diabetes 2 who consumed 60 grams of almonds a day for 12 weeks saw significant improvements in blood sugar. Therefore, eating a serving of almonds a day and increasing magnesium levels can help to manage your blood sugar levels more effectively.

6. You’ll increase weight loss.

Now, this is probably the one we should’ve started with. That’s right—eating almonds each day can help you to increase your weight loss and finally reach your goals. Since almonds are packed with fiber and protein, snacking on these gems will likely keep you fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to go for the unhealthier options later. One study found that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds each day, so a little over one serving, reduced hunger and the desire to continue eating among participants. And though there are definitely other nuts that help with weight loss, almonds are one of the best.

Why turn that handful of almonds into dessert? Here’s a delicious Dark Chocolate-Covered Almond Clusters With Coconut-Matcha Sprinkle Recipe.

Source: What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Almonds (msn.com)

Acai Berries: Here Are the Health Benefits

Written by Jessica Migala for The Healthy

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© Beto_Junior/Getty Images

Are acai berries good for you?

The short answer is: Yes. Acai’s rich, purple hue is a sign that it contains anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that may help protect against various diseases.

“Acai is rich in antioxidants, having [several times] the amount found in blueberries,” Dr. Naidoo says. The fruit also beats out cranberries, blackberries, and goji berries.

“What’s interesting about antioxidants is that not only do they help prevent free radical damage from pollution and other everyday stressors, they can also prevent free radicals from doing damage to DNA, which is what leads to cancer and causes aging,” says Emmaline Rasmussen, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Chicago.

Acai alone won’t prevent health problems—it’s only one fruit—but it can be part of a diet that keeps your cells healthy.

Potential health benefits of acai berries

Protects against heart disease and diabetes

Anthocyanins are antioxidant compounds responsible for the red, purple, and blue pigments in fruits and veggies like berries, currants, red cabbage, and grapes. Research, including a review of studies published in 2017 in Food & Nutrition Research, suggests these antioxidants may help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The plant compounds in acai have also been shown to improve the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps blood vessels dilate and improve circulation, according to a study published in 2016 in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. Acai also supplies polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3’s, which may also keep your heart healthy.

May help weight loss

While acai can fit into a weight loss plan, there is no research to substantiate claims that acai alone promotes rapid weight loss, according to the NCCIH. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission has flagged many acai supplements for deceptive marketing. Be wary of any supplement or powder making weight-loss claims.

On the upside, acai contains zero grams of sugar, which is remarkable for a fruit, says Rasmussen. That means that if you’re on a low-carb diet, acai is a good way to include fruit in your diet. To sweeten things up, add a sugar-free sweetener, like monk fruit or stevia, says Rasmussen.

Even if you’re on a keto diet, you can still fit acai into your meal plan, as it contains just one gram of net carbs, which allows you to get in much-needed fiber. (To figure out net carbs subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs.)

One warning: Due to its lack of natural sweetness acai products can contain added sugar or are blended with fruit juices. For instance, Sambazon’s “Original” acai blend provides just 100 calories, but it also has 12 grams of added sugars (equal to three teaspoons).

Likewise, acai bowls are often loaded with higher calorie and sweet toppings like honey or granola. A fully loaded bowl could reach upwards of 800 or 900 calories, Rasmussen notes.

May support brain health

Need a brainpower pick-me-up? Start eating acai. “The antioxidants in acai counteract the damaging effects of inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which can negatively affect memory and learning,” Dr. Naidoo says.

For safe consumption, the outer skin of an acai berry is first soaked to soften it and then mashed to make a paste.

You won’t find fresh acai berries in the produce section of your local grocery store. “The ‘berries’ are fragile and don’t last, so they are frequently exported as frozen fruit puree, powder, or juice,” says Dr. Naidoo.

Acai berry nutrition facts

According to Sambazon, a certified organic and fair trade acai company, a 100-gram serving of pure unsweetened acai puree contains the following:

Calories: 70

Fat: 5 g (6% DV)

Fiber: 3 g (11% DV)

Protein: 1 g

Carbs: 4 g (1% DV)

Calcium: 23 mg (2% DV)

Potassium: 121 mg (2% DV)

Vitamin A: 26 mcg (2% DV)

Risks of eating acai berries

Frozen, blended acai are safe to eat, says the NCCIH. However, if you are scheduled to get an MRI or are pregnant or nursing, talk to your doctor about whether acai is appropriate for you.

If you are planning on taking acai supplements, choose a reputable, high-quality brand. And discuss potential drug interactions with your doctor and whether a supplement is the best way to achieve your health goals.

Great ways to eat acai and quick recipes to try

Here are some delicious ways to eat acai:

  • Add acai powder to baked goods, Dr. Naidoo suggests.
  • Mix a packet or half packet into a smoothie with other fruits. Rasmussen particularly likes the taste of acai with frozen blueberries and bananas, along with a half scoop of protein powder. (Too much protein powder can taste chalky with acai, she explains.) Try this Simple Blueberry Acai Smoothie from Mindful Avocado.
  • Stir acai powder into plain dairy or non-dairy yogurt, Dr. Naidoo says.
  • Make an acai bowl by pouring a blended frozen packet into a bowl and topping with crushed walnuts, chia seeds, and sliced strawberries.

How much acai should you eat?

There is no recommended amount of acai. But many recipes for acai bowls or smoothies call for two packs of frozen, blended acai. It can be an expensive ingredient, so Rasmussen recommends using one pack only to stretch it further. What matters is that you enjoy eating it.

Source: Should You Eat Acai Berries? Here Are the Health Benefits (msn.com)