Cashews: Experts weigh in on health benefits and More

Cashews may lower risk of coronary heart disease, which is the leading cause of heart attack deaths worldwide. Cashews contain heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as other bioactive compounds including micronutrients, phytosterols, and fiber. 

©Provided by Getty Images

Adding cashews to one’s diet will contribute to the prevention of iron deficiency anemia, which is a concern for individuals following strict vegan or vegetarian diets. Cashews are rich in iron as well as zinc and protein; making them a healthy choice for individuals who do not consume animal products or animal flesh. 

  • Cashew contains vitamin C and zinc which play a vital role in strengthening the immune system protecting against infections and helping in wound healing.
  • Cashew prevents cardiovascular disease as it has good fats called oleic acid, and antioxidants which reduce triglyceride blood levels and protect the heart.
  • Cashew helps in the prevention of some types of cancer such as breast, colon and prostate, due to it contains lycopene, beta-carotene and cardanol which inhibits the proliferation of tumours as it reduces oxidate stress.

Despite this good news however, there are some side effects.

Due to its high oxalate content, cashew may increase the risks of kidney stones when taken in excess by individuals prone to kidney diseases.

  • Casher is an excellent source of magnesium which may interfere with several medications such as quinolone antibiotics like ciprofloxacin. It can also affect blood pressure medications and calcium channel blockers, increasing the risk of side effects associated with these medications and causing nausea and fluid retention.
  • Allergies caused by cashews are increasing every day and may affect young children. This provoke airways constriction producing shortness of breath, treat swelling, itchy mouth and esophagus, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Source: microsofthealthstart

Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering

As the cost-of-living rises, so do our work loads and stress levels, which in turn can drastically affect our mental health.

With many focusing on increasing their workload to keep up with the growing demands and pressures of the economy, there has been a significant rise in concerning health issues.

Healthista spoke to Jess Hillard, Nutritionist from leading sports nutrition brand Warrior, who reveals the surprising signs that could be contributing to poor mental health.

#1 Longer Working Hours

To compensate for the rise in the cost of living, many are taking on extra jobs and working longer hours. These long working hours can massively aggravate anxiety, depression, and eventual burnout.

Symptoms of overworking can be seen through weight fluctuations, constant fatigue, lack of sleep and frequently feeling run down which all in turn lead towards a weakened immune system.

The health issues that coincide with overworking are extensive and can escalate into serious problems rapidly. Studies have shown that those who work 55 to 65+ hours per week have considerably worse mental health when compared to those who work less than 40 hours per week.

Studies also found that those who overwork, are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure). This is mostly due to eating habits, stress, relying on alcohol, lack of sleep and physical activity, all of which can be triggered by the stress of overworking.

To help keep our overall health in check and avoid an eventual burnout we really should be limiting our working hours to around 40 hours per week.

#2 Poor Diet Choices

As well as over doing it when it comes to work, there is a strong link between what we eat and our mental health. Our diet plays a huge role in our mental wellbeing. This is due to our eating times, habits, as well as micro and macro nutrients that come with diet.

A meta-analysis done across ten different countries showed that a diet with high intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and low-fat dairy, was associated with a decreased risk of depression.

Not only this but research has also shown that individuals with a high intake of ‘unhealthy foods’ (high in saturated fats, low fibre, little fruit and veg), with a lower nutrient-density, are associated with smaller left hippocampal volume.

This is the area of the brain that is connected to stress, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. The reasoning to why these foods decrease the size of this area of the brain are not yet clear.

#3 Deficient in Protein

Something which often gets overlooked when identifying the reasons why someone’s mental health might be suffering is their protein intake.

Protein intake has been seen to link to high levels of dopamine, which control mood regulation within the brain. Protein consists of amino acids which help the body to rebuild muscle fibres. Some amino acids cannot be produced naturally in the body, so we need to supplement them through food or vitamins.

#4 Insomnia

Despite often feeling tired throughout the day, many highly stressed people have difficulty getting off to sleep or staying asleep through the night, which can have a huge impact on mental health.

Getting a second wind of energy just as you should be going to bed is a classic sign that our adrenal glands (which control are stress response) are struggling.

Stress hormones can cause hyperarousal, upsetting the balance between sleep and wakefulness. This creates a vicious cycle, as stressful situations are much more difficult to cope with when you are tired, leading to further stress.

#5 Not Getting the Right Nutrients

A nutrient that greatly affects brain health, corresponding with mental health, is omega 3. This is found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil.

Cell signaling and structure of cell membranes within the brain are changed by omega-3 fatty acids which can act as an antidepressant.

Research within this area is growing through time and is showing positive effects with using omega-3 fatty acids to help treat depression and bipolar related depression too.

It is worth noting that if you do not eat oily fish two to three times per week or taking on high levels of plant-based sources in the form of flaxseed, olive oils etc, it may be worth supplementing or even better, trying to increase these whole food forms into your diet more often.

Source: Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering (healthista.com)

5 Breads Made From the Lowest Quality Ingredients

Despite what you may have been told in the past, you don’t have to give up bread in order to be healthy. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance or allergy, you can still consume it on a regular basis while simultaneously pursuing your specific health goals.

Bread is not the enemy, but it’s important to recognize that certain types are much lower quality than others. For example, many varieties of store-bought bread come packed with added sugars and preservatives to help it stay fresh on the shelf for long periods of time.

Continue reading to learn about some of the lowest-quality breads you may want to avoid next time you’re at the store. 

1. Wonder Bread Classic White

“White bread has all the nutrients processed out and is notoriously unhealthy. Additionally, this highly processed bread contains preservatives and other inflammatory ingredients,” says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma.

“If you do eat white bread or any other type of bread without having a digestive issue, then there is no need to avoid these products completely. However, when choosing between different types of breads, try to stick with those made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour so that you can feel better after eating them,” says Ronald Smith, RD.

2. Fran’s Thick Sliced Texas Toast

Texas toast is delicious, but buying packaged versions on grocery store shelves often leads to too many trans fats and sugar. According to Clair, this bread makes the list as one of the worst-quality choices. “This highly processed bread has tons of calories and very little fiber,” says Clair.

3. Pure Joy Cinnamon Bread

This cinnamon bread makes for a yummy treat, but you may want to think twice before making it a staple in your diet.

“This bread actually has frosting and lots of extra cinnamon sugar. I would treat this bread as a dessert and eat in very modest portions because there are over 240 calories in just one slice,” says Clair.

4. Marketside Vanilla Brioche

A slice of something like this vanilla brioche loaf may sound like a delicious way to start your day, but dietitians warn that you may want to only consume in moderation.

“This bread has more calories and sugar than many others. Generally, brioche-style bread has very little fiber and nutrients and is calorie-dense,” says Clair.

5. Sun Maid Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

And lastly, reaching for some packaged cinnamon raisin bread may be fine once and a while, but be careful if this is part of your daily routine.

“This bread has 8 grams added sugars and virtually no fiber or other nutrients. Also, there is not a lot of protein. Because of this, this bread is one of the worst-quality choices,” says Clair.

Article by Samantha Boesch for Eat This, Not That©

Source: 5 Breads Made From the Lowest Quality Ingredients (msn.com)

8 Chocolate Brands That Use the Lowest Quality Ingredients

Did you know that in America, as in many places, “chocolate” is actually a closely regulated term? It goes much beyond the flavor of a food, and instead, deals with the details of its composition. Under FDA rules—and numerous rules, at that—a foodstuff must meet strict criteria to call itself chocolate, though that varies based on what type of chocolate is in question.

To skirt the rules, many chocolate brands will use wording like “chocolaty” or “chocolate-flavored” in order to be able to use cheaper, stand-in ingredients. Here’s the thing: even within technically legal bounds, companies can still make chocolate cheaply. The secret? Usually, it’s just using a whole lot of sugar, oil, and HFCS alongside the genuine chocolate ingredients. Here are 8 chocolate brands that are using the lowest-quality ingredients.

1. Butterfinger Bars

Long marketed as “Crispety Crunchety Peanut-Buttery!” but never marketed as chocolate, these popular candy bars may taste chocolaty, but technically, there’s no chocolate to be found here. Butterfinger’s chocolate-adjacent coating is made with ingredients like corn syrup, vegetable oil, milk, and cocoa, but it does not meet the bar for being real chocolate.

2. Lindt Excellence 50% Cocoa Mild Dark Chocolate Bars

This candy bar may try to pose itself as a fancy, rich treat from a so-called “Master Chocolatier” brand, but take a closer look at the ingredient list than you do at the “50% Dark Cocoa” claim emblazoned on the wrapper. The first ingredient here is…sugar. And yes, chocolate comes second, but when sugar (or corn syrup) comes first, you’d do best to sink your teeth into something else.

3. Palmer’s Double Crisp Hearts

Here again is a candy that bills itself as “chocolaty” because it can’t call itself chocolate. These foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day staples are made with only one chocolate-like ingredient, and that’s “cocoa (processed with Alkali).” They also feature plenty of ingredients you’d likely rather not feature in your diet, like the artificial flavoring agent vanillin and hydrogenated vegetable oil.

4. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bars

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar, but there’s some misleading going on here. If you love the decidedly rich, fancy Cadbury chocolate you get in Europe, then these will be a letdown, as they are made in Pennsylvania Hershey’s under a license agreement from Cadbury. And while they are made with real chocolate ingredients, cocoa butter and all, note that there’s trickery on the label, too, which lists the first ingredient as “Milk Chocolate,” but then in a parenthesis shows that the first ingredient within “milk chocolate” is simply sugar.

5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Delicious as they may be, it’s probably no surprise that these classic candy cups are so low-priced because they’re made with cheap ingredients. Yes, there is technically real chocolate here, but it’s milk chocolate, in which the first ingredient is sugar. And there’s also hydrogenated vegetable oil here, the go-to for companies looking to cut back on quantities of costlier cocoa butter.

6. Russell Stover Sugar Free Mint Patties

What these chocolate patties leave out in sugar they compensate for with a number of ingredients you’d do best to avoid. That’s things like maltitol, an artificially produced sugar alcohol, fractionated palm kernel oil and hydrogenated palm oil, sorbitol, and more. In short, when you cut out the sugar, you add in the chemicals–not always a good trade.

7. Hershey’s Syrup

Yes, it’s a classic you remember from countless glasses of childhood chocolate milk. No, it’s not a chocolate product. That’s why it says, “Genuine Chocolate Flavor” on the label of Hershey’s Syrup instead of saying “Chocolate Syrup.” The first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, the second ingredient is corn syrup, the third is water, and the fourth is cocoa. And the fifth? Sugar.

8. Tootsie Rolls

Sure, this chocolaty taffy candy has been around for more than a hundred years, but that’s a testament to the American sweet tooth, not to the quality of the candy. At best a chocolate-adjacent foodstuff, Tootsie Rolls consist of sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, condensed skim milk, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, and artificial and natural flavors. They barely touch the bar for being real chocolate and certainly don’t cross it.

Written by Steven John for Eat This, Not Tnat©

Source: 8 Chocolate Brands That Use the Lowest Quality Ingredients (msn.com)

5 Best Fruits to Reduce Inflammation

The word inflammation has a bad reputation. It seems to be associated with negative consequences like pain, swelling, disease, or perhaps a byproduct of just general poor health. There are a couple of classifications of inflammation recognized in healthcare: acute and chronic inflammation, and there are some big differences between the two.

Acute inflammation is characterized by the healing of injured body tissue. Acute inflammation is short-term, lasting minutes to days, and is a result of injury, irritation, or infection. During recovery of this type of inflammatory process, signs like redness, swelling, heat, and soreness in the affected area might be apparent as damaged tissue is being addressed and new tissue is being synthesized. This is a normal physiologic response to the body’s exposure to physical stress and its subsequent necessary repair.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, as stated in this review in the British Journal of Nutrition, is an indicator of a failure to regulate homeostasis, thus contributing to the perpetuation and progression of disease. This is a result of a misfiring in the body’s physiologic response when there is no real trigger, but inflammation is still activated. Most chronic inflammation is systemic (not localized to just one area of the body) and is mild or “low-grade.” Chronic inflammation can become the root of many diseases, including heart disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.

One method of protection against inflammation is a nutrient-dense diet which includes an array of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes (beans and peas), whole grains, and up to two servings a week of fish that supply omega-3 fats. Certain plant-based foods have been studied for their potential inflammatory-fighting benefits, including these top five anti-inflammatory fruits. Read on for more on how to eat healthy.

1. Cranberries

Cranberries don’t get nearly enough credit year-round. Instead, most cranberry intake is cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving or cranberry juice to defend against a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cranberries instead can be enjoyed frozen in a smoothie, dried in a trail mix, or fresh in a salad. Cranberries have a high content of bioactive compounds, which are associated with antioxidant activity. One primary bioactive compound in cranberries is a flavonoid called quercetin. These flavonoids have been studied for their role in decreasing inflammation, inhibiting the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, and for their anti-cancer effects.

2. Oranges

Oranges, whether they be navel oranges or mandarins, contain hesperetin, a citrus flavonoid. Hesperetin offers protection against inflammation that can lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are a recognizable fruit probably making its way into your breakfast routine via oatmeal, yogurt, or muffins. Now there is even more reason to include blueberries regularly in your diet: its inflammatory-reducing function may decrease insulin resistance, a hallmark of developing type 2 diabetes. A 2018 review in Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine suspects this could be attributed to blueberry’s “anthocyanin” content and its ability to alter certain hormones associated with the body’s use of glucose.

4. Grapefruit

Grapefruit, along with other fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges, is categorized as a citrus fruit. Naringin, a major compound found in tomatoes, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, can suppress inflammatory reactions, as reported in a research article in Bioscience Reports in 2020. This occurs through naringin’s capability to reduce the effectiveness of pro-inflammatory “cytokines,” which are known to contribute to cell damage. Grapefruit also is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C, which are both key vitamins in immune function.

5. Strawberries

Strawberries are not only appreciated as a juicy, wholesome, summertime fruit but also a flavor that can make just about anything from desserts to beverages taste great. Keep up with consuming strawberries, but now armed with the knowledge that this fruit is exceptionally rich in a flavonoid called ellagic acid. Ellagic acid is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial and can also boost protection against cancer.

Written by Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD for Eat This, Not That©

Source: 5 Best Fruits to Reduce Inflammation (msn.com)

5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts

Aside from their smell, Brussels sprouts have a handful of side effects—and they might not all be positive.

Of course, any time we can get extra veggies in our diet, the better! However, not everyone reacts the same. Some people may even have a negative experience after eating high-fiber veggies like Brussels sprouts.

My favorite way to cook them up with lots of flavors and roasted on a sheet pan similar to these recipes. They get slightly crispy and caramelized, which is totally different from the mushy steamed sprouts we all remember from childhood.

So, what gives? Keep reading for the surprising side effects of this crunchy veggie.

1. They may worsen tummy troubles.

Cruciferous veggies are particularly hard to digest if you already have trouble with proper digestion. Folks with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, are often steered away from foods with certain fibers that can produce gas and bloating during digestion.

These fibers, also known as FODMAPs, are high in the cruciferous veggie family of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

If you have IBS, you might still be able to consume these vegetables. I would recommend a trial-and-error approach here to see how your body responds.

2. You’ll have regular GI movement.

Conversely, if you don’t notice any tummy trouble after eating Brussels sprouts, then you may actually experience the opposite effect: better digestion!

Brussels sprouts contain four grams of fiber per cup. This adds more bulk to our digestive tract and may help move things along faster as a result.

When adding a new source of fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water to help aid in the movement of your GI tract.

3. They may improve your blood pressure.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium has many functions, including managing heart health and blood pressure.

The DASH diet, a proven program designed to lower blood pressure, emphasizes fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium to protect your cardiovascular system.

One of the main mechanisms for lowering blood pressure involves the way potassium counter-balances sodium in the body. Thus, since sodium can raise blood pressure in some cases, an emphasis on potassium-rich foods can help offset the potential rise.

4. They may help manage your cholesterol.

High cholesterol can be improved with diet changes, but it might look a little different than you think!

Cholesterol is metabolized through the liver after digestion. Foods that are high in fiber can actually improve absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract before they even make it to the bloodstream circulation.

Choosing high-fiber foods for your meals can help lower the amount of cholesterol that gets absorbed and excrete it all together.

5. They may boost your immune health.

Brussels sprouts are a sneaky source of vitamin C in our diet. One cup of raw Brussels sprouts—when cooked turns into about a half cup—packs more than our daily recommended dose of vitamin C!

Vitamin C helps fight sickness, improves inflammation, and contributes to skin health.

Incorporate shaved Brussels sprouts in your salads, or roast them on a sheet pan as a side dish for an immune system boost this summer!

Article by Caroline Thomason, RDN for eat this, not that©

Source: 5 Surprising Side Effects of Eating Brussels Sprouts (msn.com)

Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower

If you’ve stepped foot in a grocery store any time over the past few years, it’s almost a guarantee that you have encountered some of your favorite foods in cauliflower form. From pizza to rice to even cookies, cauliflower is certainly having a moment.

Thanks to its neutral flavor and its versatility, cauliflower is a natural addition to many favorite recipes. And as an added bonus, the taste is rarely compromised when this cruciferous veggie is included. It has become a solution for those who are trying to reduce their carbohydrate intake, increase their fiber intake, or limit their calories.

Cauliflower scores high points in the nutrition department. Not only is it low in calories and a natural source of important vitamins and minerals like immune-supporting vitamin C and bone-building calcium, but it also contains good-for-you phytochemicals like chlorophyll (yes, the same good stuff that you find in your uber-trendy chlorophyll water).

We already know that cauliflower is a beloved veggie for the weight-loss crowd thanks to its high-fiber, low-calorie nutrition content. But for others, there are some secret effects of eating this popular veggie that everyone should know about before jumping on the cauli bandwagon.

1. You may experience excessive gas.

Like all cruciferous veggies (like broccoli and Brussels sprouts), cauliflower contains the complex sugar raffinose. This sugar is tough for the human body to break down, and in turn, it travels to the large intestine undigested where bacteria ferment it—leading to possible gas and bloat.

2. You may be at a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.

Many people turn to cauliflower as a low-carb and low-cal weight loss-friendly food, but eating this veggie has benefits beyond helping your jeans fit.

Cauliflower contains an antioxidant called indole-3-carbinol. And this antioxidant is linked to a reduced risk of developing reproductive cancers in both men and women (like breast cancer and prostate cancer).

Another component found in cauliflower called sulforaphane has been linked to a reduced risk of developing certain cancers as well.

3. You may experience a reduced effect of your blood-thinning medication.

Most people know that eating foods that naturally contain vitamin K should be monitored when taking blood-thinning medication to avoid unwanted interactions. In some cases, taking in too much vitamin K on an inconsistent schedule can cause the dose of the blood thinner to not work as well, increasing a person’s risk of developing a dangerous blood clot.

While green leafy veggies are notorious for being vitamin K-rich foods, cauliflower contains this blood clot-supporting nutrient too. If you are taking a blood thinner, going cauliflower-crazy can lead to an unsavory effect.

4. You may experience hypothyroidism if you have an iodine deficiency.

Cauliflower contains a slew of phytonutrients that offer some amazing health benefits. However, one such phytonutrient produces a molecule called isothiocyanates, which can interfere with iodine absorption in those with low dietary iodine intake, especially if cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are eating in large amounts.

However, if there is no iodine deficiency, the risk does not appear to be present. In one study, those who ate 5 ounces of cooked Brussels sprouts (another source of isothiocyanates) every day for four weeks did not result in hypothyroidism.

5. You may feel less hungry.

The darling of cauliflower claims is that it is a great weight-loss food. Since it is a low-carb, low-cal, low-fat, and high-fiber food, it checks almost all of the boxes when it comes to a slim-down food.

Fiber is particularly key to weight loss, as eating it in adequate amounts has been linked to increased satiety—possibly resulting in people eating less over the long run.

6. You may have a strong immune system.

Eating one entire head of cauliflower will supply you with four times the recommended amount of vitamin C. And since this nutrient is linked to immune support, enjoying some riced cauliflower in your citrus smoothie may give you that extra boost that your body needs during cold and flu season.

Article by Lauren Manaker for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Cauliflower (msn.com)

Surprising Side Effects Salmon Has On Your Immune System

Believe it or not, salmon is loaded in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that all help to improve immune function. Whether you prefer it smoked and on a bagel with cream cheese, or grilled and sitting next to roasted potatoes and asparagus, there are so many ways you can reap all of the fatty fish’s immune-boosting benefits.

Below, we showcase four key nutrients that help you keep your immune system in tip-top shape

©© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

1. Gives you a healthy boost of vitamin D.

2. Packs vitamin B6.

3. Provides a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Offers a good source of magnesium.

If you’re at a restaurant and you’re between chicken with a side of steamed veggies or salmon as the main, we recommend opting for the fatty fish. Especially if you’re trying to strengthen your immune system.

Article by Cheyenne Buckingham for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Side Effects Salmon Has On Your Immune System (msn.com)

Surprising Effects of Eating Blueberries

There’s a reason many registered dietitians claim that blueberries are the healthiest fruit you can eat. Why? Because blueberries are full of antioxidants that can incredibly benefit your body’s overall health. Blueberries can take care of your heart, your body, and even your mind in ways that you may not even be aware of! That’s why we decided to list out a few secret effects of eating blueberries that you may not realize.

Here’s why you should incorporate blueberries into your diet on a regular basis:

1. Blueberries lower your risk of heart disease.

Blueberries are a great source of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Blueberries specifically contain anthocyanins, which have been proven in studies to improve your health and reduce your heart disease risk. The anthocyanins are what give the blueberries that dark blue hue we all know and love.

2. Blueberries lower your blood pressure.

The anthocyanins can also help with lowering blood pressure, according to Harvard Health. Having lower blood pressure helps with your heart health and lowering your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Blueberries lower your cholesterol.

The anthocyanins are at it again! This powerful antioxidant is anti-inflammatory and can help to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, according to Nutrients. This, again, can help with lowering your overall risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Blueberries help you live longer.

The antioxidants in blueberries have also been proven to have anti-aging properties. A study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America says antioxidants can help fight free radicals in your body. The free radicals are what cause oxidative stress, which can increase your risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer or heart disease.

5. Blueberries help with weight maintenance.

Along with improving your heart health and making you live longer, blueberries have also been proven to help with overall weight maintenance and have even been proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In particular, blueberries are full of fiber, which is helpful for your body’s digestion, gut health, and even weight loss. One cup of blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which is 12% to 14% of your recommended daily fiber intake.

6. Blueberries make your brain sharper.

This small fruit really is super! It can help your heart, it can help your body’s weight, and it can even help with your cognitive function. According to one study, consuming blueberries regularly has been proven to help with sharpening one’s memory and attention to tasks.

Plus, one article published by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station through Rutgers University says that blueberries help with overall blood flow to the brain. When you have clogged arteries and your blood flow is slower to the brain, you are at a greater risk of vascular dementia.

Article by Kiersten Hickman for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Effects of Eating Blueberries, Says Science (msn.com)

5 Drinking Habits for Visceral Fat That Really Work

Visceral fat can be sneaky—it’s the belly fat that wraps around your abdomen in the spaces between your organs. Due to its location, you can’t always feel it or see it. Too much of this fat can lead to serious health problems such as an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and sleep apnea.

This type of fat accumulates when you consume too many calories and have too little physical activity, resulting from a poor diet and minimal exercise. It can also form due to genetics, which is why it’s important to maintain healthy eating habits and follow a workout routine. Healthy drinking habits also play an essential role in losing visceral fat.

Don’t know where to start? Dietitians on our medical expert board have provided advice on drinking habits to help shed visceral fat that are guaranteed to work. 

1. Sip on watermelon juice.

If you’re looking for a naturally sweet drink that is loaded with nutrients, watermelon juice hits the spot.

“Sipping on the juice of the watermelon can be a nice addition to a visceral fat loss diet, especially if a bit of flavor is desired,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT, author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility. “Watermelon is over 90% water, making it a hydrating and low-calorie choice that can help support weight loss, and ultimately, visceral fat loss.”

Manaker also states that watermelon is a source of l-citrulline, an amino acid that offers many health benefits. She also references another animal study that links the intake of this amino acid and reduced body fat accumulation.

2. Drink more water.

Your body needs to drink a certain amount of water per day, typically around nine cups of water per day for women and about 12.5 cups for men. Water is not only an essential for your vital organs, it also plays a role in how much you eat during the day.

“It’s important to drink water to stay hydrated,” says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim . “Many people think they are hungry when they really are thirsty.”

3. Limit sugary beverages.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are any beverages with added sugar or other sweeteners. This includes high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, and more. Examples of sugary drinks are soda, tonic, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drinks, and sports and energy drinks.

“Sugary drinks like soda and sweetened iced teas cause blood sugar fluctuations, which are associated with inflammation and have been associated with weight gain, diabetes, and an increase in visceral fat,” says Young.

4. Drink green tea instead of energy drinks for a mid-day boost.

Green tea comes with a hefty amount of benefits such as lowering bad cholesterol levels, helping brain function, and potentially preventing cancer, and giving you a longer life. It’s also a great aid for weight loss due to its nutrients and antioxidants.

“Green tea naturally contains caffeine, which is a known ingredient that supports weight loss,” says Manaker.

According to Young, caffeine can also help keep the metabolism revved up. She also suggests an added bonus is that there has been shown to be a connection between drinking green tea and reduced inflammation levels as well as a decrease in cardiovascular issues.

5. Skip the booze.

According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming excess alcohol of any kind can increase belly fat due to its large amount of calories.

“Alcohol can contribute to consuming empty calories, which can contribute to visceral fat gain,” says Manaker. “Limiting or avoiding alcohol may be one step that can really help you combat your visceral fat.”

By Kayla Garritano for Eat This, Not That©

Source: 5 Drinking Habits for Visceral Fat That Really Work (msn.com)