Tag Archives: Weight Loss

The Benefits Of Resveratrol

Wine and grapes

If you are a follower of Greek mythology, you may know that Greek gods were superior immortal exceptionally beautiful beings believed to have powers over controlling the world or some aspect of it. You probably also know that the Greek gods drank a lot of wine. Did anyone ever make a connection between the two? Resveratrol is a polyphenol compound found in red wine and grapes. It is said to promote longevity and offer a range of health benefits from promoting weight loss to combatting cancer. Could it help us achieve god-like status? You be the judge. Here are some of the benefits of resveratrol.

What Is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants as a natural defense against stresses of the environment and is theorized to be able to do the same for humans. Antioxidants are compounds which have been shown to neutralize free radicals which cause aging, cancer, and heart disease. Although Japanese knotweed tops the list of plants with the highest content of resveratrol, a large amount is found in the skin of grapes. Resveratrol protects the grapes against sun damage and fungi disease, making red wine, produced with the grapes, a source of the antioxidant, although in an albeit small amount.

Woman drinking wine

Resveratrol and the French
Resveratrol is thought to be the cause of low rates of heart disease in France. Even with the French habits of smoking, coffee drinking, and the consumption of a high-fat diet, the incidence of heart disease remains low in the French population. The theory is that the resveratrol in the red wine the French consume counteracts the effects of poor health habits, and also contribute to the longevity of the French people.

How Does It Work?
Resveratrol helps to protect cell DNA and reverses the damage caused by free radicals leading to cancer, and aging.

Woman pondering

Benefits

  • Skin Care
    Research indicate that resveratrol can fight skin damage caused by UV light. A study publishes in the FASEB found that when directly applied to skin, resveratrol can protect against the effects of aging caused by sun exposure.
  • Weight Loss
    Scientific finding show that resveratrol can stimulate the production of adiponectin, which is a hormone throughout to fight obesity and insulin resistance. Animal based and test tube studies show that the compound can help to speed metabolism and slow down the formation of fat cells.
  • Brain Health
    A study published in the journal Neurology in 2015 showed that individuals suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease demonstrated small improvements in their self maintenance abilities after taken resveratrol supplements daily for a year.
  • Cancer
    A report from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences reveal a number of studies suggesting that resveratrol may have anti cancer properties. A study on cell cultures revealed that resveratrol helped to slow the progression of breast cancer in its early stages, and prevented estrogen from reacting to DNA molecules and forming compounds associated with the beginnings of cancer.

Have you taken resveratrol or used it in your skin care products? Let us know what you think. Is resveratrol the new miracle antioxidant?

Fat’s Place In Your Weight Loss Plan

Fat- it’s the F word. When used as an adjective, it can be one of the worst insults one can voice. When used as a noun, we avoid it like the plague, quickly throwing down harmless food containers which bear the filthy word, unless it is directly followed with “free” or preceded by “low.” However, according to experts, it may be high time to add the shunned word it back into our nutritional vocabulary.

Barbara Roberts, MD and director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital says that our bodies need fat to function properly. “Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E and they are vital for your nervous system.” After all, the Mediterranean diet is full of healthy fats, and look at all those gorgeous, healthy Mediterraneans.

The Skinny On Fat
5 to 30 percent of your total daily calories should come from fats. It’s all about knowing the good from the bad.

Unsaturated Fat

Monosaturated Fat
Monosaturated (good)
Also known as MUFAs, these fats lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, prevent plaque buildup in your arteries and cut down on belly fat. You can find them in peanuts, peanut butter, sesame sees, olive oil, and canola oil. Says Roberts, “Just two to three tablespoons of olive oil a day can raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and protect against heart disease.”

Polyunsaturated (good)
These are the fats that contain the omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) they can also strengthen your immune system, increase brain function, and improve your mood. These can be found in fish like salmon and herring, and in canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and tofu.

Bad fats
Saturated Fats (bad)
These are the bad guys. They raise cholesterol and increase heart disease. You’ll find them in all the likely places: cream, whole milk, butter, meat, and even in some plant foods like palm and coconut oils. Try to limit saturated fats to under 10 % of your daily calorie intake. A good way to start? “Remove any hard fat you can see, such as the skin on chicken,” suggests American Dietetic Association spokesperson Christine Gerbstadt, MD.

Transfats (bad)
Boo! Hiss! If saturated fats are bad, these guys are downright evil. Transfats are made from unsaturated fat chemically altered to increase shelf life. They raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol and,”100 percent promote heart disease, according to Dr. Gerbstadt. You’ll find them in about everything that qualifies as junk food, including crackers, chips, cookies, cake, margarine, doughnuts, and french fries. The FDA provides that food manufacturers can claim a product is trans fat free id it has 0.5 grams of transfat or less. Translation: more than one serving can contain more than a gram of transfat. Check ingredient labels for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” a.k.a. transfat.

Weight loss
Eric Tark, Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center says, “The average person has 10 billion to 20 billion fat cells.” Overeating creates new fat cells. Losing weight causes fat cells to shrink, but not disappear. The best way to avoid excessive weight gain is by following a balanced diet including lean protein and low fat dairy and doing cardio and strength training regularly.

Smart Food Swaps: To jumpstart your healthy eating program, swap out
Regular bacon for Canadian or turkey bacon as, according to Emily Rubin, RD, “Pork bacon is loaded with saturated fat.” Stick margarine for tub or butter. Stick margarine can have as much as three times the trans fat of tub. Switch to butter to lose the transfats. Regular ice cream to for low fat. No way, you say? Rubin says,”Two scoops of the premium kind can have 11 grams of saturated fats, about half the amount you should eat for an entire day.’

What are you swapping out to improve your fat choices? We want to know how you fight the good fight on bad fat.

Top Reasons to Enjoy More Water

Woman drinking water

Human bodies are made up mostly of water, so it’s no wonder we consider water to be the ideal choice in beverages. However, many people walk around chronically dehydrated and don’t even realize it. Adults should aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day and more if you’re physically active, breastfeeding, or are outdoors in warm weather. If you need some motivation to keep on sipping, below are eight reasons to get you started:

More Energy
Dehydration can cause a myriad of unpleasant symptoms that include muscle weakness, fatigue, and dizziness. When these symptoms occur, they will prevent you from performing your daily activities and having enough energy for exercise.

Weight Loss
While it may seem simple, to simply drink water and lose weight, for those who typically reach for drinks with calories (such as soda, juice, milk, or alcohol), drinking water may provide the calorie deficit needed for weight loss. Dehydration is often a cause of cravings, as well, so instead of heading down the junk food aisle, snack on foods with a high water content such as melon or cucumber slices.

Less Pain
Other symptoms of dehydration are headaches, muscle cramps, and stiff, painful joints. Drinking water can ease these painful symptoms by providing sufficient water to the brain, delivering nutrients to the muscles, and lubricating the joints.

Better Focus
Our brains are made up primarily of water so when we’re dehydrated, not only do we have headaches, but we also suffer from a lack of focus, memory, and concentration. Increasing the amount of water you drink can dramatically improve your brain function.

Healthy Skin
Our skin is one of the first places to suffer when we become dehydrated and the effect is dull and dry skin. Over time, this leads to premature aging of the skin and makes it prone to other skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Drinking more water promotes healthy cell turnover and keeps your skin looking vibrant and healthy.

Better Digestion
The colon and intestines require water to keep waste moving, which is why constipation is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. Acid reflux is another digestive complaint that can be alleviated with proper hydration.

Toxin Elimination
Water plays a vital role in how our bodies transport vitamins and minerals to our organs, but it’s also what carries toxins out of our body, in the form of sweat and urine. Without adequate water, we are at risk for developing painful infections and conditions such as kidney stones.

It’s Inexpensive
Of all the products marketed to you claiming to make you healthier, water is the cheapest one of all. Drink your water straight from the tap or invest in a filtration system if you prefer (it’ll pay itself off in no time).

While most people can definitely stand to drink more water, there is such thing as drinking too much water. Instead of waiting till you are dehydrated (thirst is a sign of dehydration), drink small amounts of water throughout the day and avoid drinking more than 4 cups of water at one time.

Chia Seeds & Overall Health

Chia seeds

Chia seeds are among some of the healthiest foods available on our planet. They are packed with nutrients and vitamins that can have a great positive effect on our bodies, brains and overall health. One of the main benefits of eating chia seeds is that you can obtain a huge quantity of nutrients in a relatively small amount of calories. Chia seeds are derived the from the plant Salvia Hispanica which grows natively in South America and are a vital food source for the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. However, it is only in recent years that chia seeds have been recognized as a superfood and now they have grown incredibly in popularity and are consumed by millions of health conscious individuals around the world.

Nutritionally Speaking
One single ounce or 28g of chia seeds supplies just 137 calories and only one gram of carbohydrate. This makes them perfect for low-carb diets and also additionally validates them as one of the best sources of nutrients calorie for calorie. One ounce also contains 11g of fiber, 4g of protein and 9g of fat. Additionally, chia seeds contain 30% of the recommended intake of manganese and magnesium and are also high in zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and B2.

Antioxidants
Chia seeds are also extremely high in antioxidants which fight the production and damage done by free radicals in the body that can harm cells and contribute to the aging process as well as conditions such as cancer.

Weight Loss
Many nutritionists have noted that chia seeds can help with weight loss. The fiber content absorbs large amounts of water, expanding in the stomach thereby increasing satiety and that general fullness feeling after you eat a meal. Although there have been few studies backing chia seeds as an effective way to lose weight, the studies have all shown that there was no increase in weight while participants consumed them.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
When people think about omega-3 fatty acids, they generally think of oily fish such as salmon. Though you may not know it now, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon gram for gram. Although there are various types of fatty acids, chia seeds will help increase blood levels of EPA and ALA, but not DHA meaning that although it is definitely worthwhile to consume them, you should not forget to eat your fish or take your fish oil supplement.

Reduced Disease Risk
Chia seeds can improve metabolic health on account of their high fiber, protein and omega-3 content. Studies have shown that when chia seeds are incorporated into a healthy diet, they can lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while reducing inflammation in the body and increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Easy to Incorporate into Your Life
One of the main benefits of chia seeds, not regarding specific nutritional values, is their versatility and ability to be incorporated into any diet extremely easily and efficiently. Although the seeds themselves taste quite bland, they can be added to anything from soups and curries to juices and sports drinks. Additionally, you do not need to grind them like flaxseeds and so are much easier to use and prepare. Other ideas include sprinkling them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables and rice dishes.

Why Arugula is Great

Salad greens are always healthy for you, right? Yes and no. Of course iceberg lettuce is far more healthful than a handful of french fries, but it does not contain a ton of vitamins, nutrients or minerals. Leafy greens, on the other hand, tend to be packed with necessary vitamins, nutrients and minerals to keep your body healthy and happy. Arugula is one leafy green that may be overlooked by many, but it is one that you should definitely be consuming.

Arugula salad

About Arugula
The botanical name for arugula is Eruca sativa and it has roots in the cruciferous family of vegetables. Other popular vegetables from this family include cauliflower and kale. Arugula is also referred to as “salad rocket,” which is a fitting name due to the zesty flavor this leafy green gives to your salads. Arugula has roots in the Mediterranean region, making it a popular choice in Italian cuisine. The peppery flavor of arugula greens spice up any dish you add it to from a fresh garden salad to your favorite pasta meal.

Health Benefits
Arugula is a member of the brassica family of vegetables (which also includes broccoli and cabbage) which are known to be full of fiber and high in antioxidants. Some of the specific health benefits of arugula are:

Fights Cancer – In addition to being rich in fiber and antioxidants, arugula also contains high levels of glucosinolates. Studies on vegetables from the brassica family suggest that these veggies may reduce the risk of developing breast, pancreatic, lung and prostate cancer.

Bone Health – Vitamin K is essential for strong, healthy bones. Your body needs vitamin K in order for proper absorption of calcium into your bones and teeth. Arugula is one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin K. A ½ cup serving of arugula contains 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K. If you consumed three cups of arugula, you would receive 100% of your necessary vitamin K for the day.

Weight Loss – Salads can get totally boring when you are attempting to lose weight, but not if you incorporate arugula into your salads. Arugula has a natural peppery flavor, adding a bit of zip to your salad. Additionally, one cup of arugula contains about 40 calories, so if you were to consume three cups of arugula (which provides you with all the vitamin K you need for the day), you would only be consuming 120 calories.

Rye bread with tuna and argula.

Hydration – Arugula is composed of 90% water. This makes it an excellent way to hydrate your body. Additionally, the peppery taste of arugula provides a natural cooling effect on your body, making arugula an excellent food to add to summer dishes for an extra bit of hydration.

Aphrodisiac – Bet you weren’t expecting this one, but arugula has been used as an aphrodisiac since the first century. Romans discovered that those who ate arugula were more sexually energized and arugula developed a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. There is actually science to back this up; the antioxidants and trace minerals found in this dark, leafy green are essential to your sexual health.

No matter what health benefit of arugula you find most appealing, you should definitely be adding this vegetable to your diet. Arugula is absolutely great for adding extra flavor to your salad, but you aren’t limited to salad if you want to introduce this veggie into your diet. Arugula is also a great addition to a pizza as it adds a lot of extra flavor but very few extra calories. Additionally, arugula tastes amazing added to your favorite tomato sauce of pesto recipe. Head to your local market and pick some of this leafy green up today to start seeing improvements in your health.

Why You Need to Know About Ghee

You’ve probably seen ghee popping up everywhere as a healthy source of fat, but what is it?

Ghee

What is Ghee?
Ghee, very simply put, is clarified butter. Ghee is clarified butter that was produced using either cow or buffalo milk. So, what makes ghee different than butter? The clarification process makes all the difference. A majority of the clarified butters are made by removing milk solids in their early steps, while ghee differentiates itself by continuing to simmer with milk solids to give the final product a distinguished taste. As the butter melts, the milk solids contained within the butter separate and the result is a golden liquid that when cooled will be ghee.

How to Make Ghee
Perhaps the greatest thing about this amazing healthy source of fat is that you can make it in your own kitchen. Sure, many health foods promise that you can make a version in your kitchen (homemade almond milk) but then they end up requiring extensive time, tools and sometimes money. Ghee can be made using products and supplies you already have on hand and is done in less than 20 minutes. To make ghee all you will need is a stick of unsalted butter, a saucepan, a strainer, cheesecloth and a container where you can place the finished ghee. Give your health a boost by following these super simple steps for making ghee.

  • Place the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Heat the unsalted butter over medium heat until it is completely melted.
  • When the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat to low and allow your melted butter to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You will see foam or bubbles appear on the surface on the melted butter and at the end of the time, you’ll be able to actually see milk solids among the golden liquid.
  • Line your strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place over the container that you planning on using for ghee and wait about two to three minutes before straining.
  • Strain the butter. You will see the solids that remain in the cheesecloth and the golden liquid in your container is your homemade ghee.

You can purchase ghee from some specialty or health food stores, but it is so easy to make at home that you might as well do it yourself. Plus, making ghee at home is way cheaper than buying it.

Why Eat Ghee?
So now you know what ghee is and how you can make it for yourself, but why would you? As a healthy source of fat, ghee has quite a few exciting health benefits. Some of the most awesome benefits are –

  • Aids Digestion – The components of ghee can actually improve your digestive functioning. Ghee contains butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, which your digestive tract uses for energy and to support a healthy intestinal wall. Additionally, this fatty acid helps reduce inflammation, which is an important part of healthy digestive function.
  • Weight Loss – Okay, so eating ghee by the spoonful will not help you lose weight. While ghee is a healthier option than butter, it is still butter and has a high saturated fat content. Consumed in moderation, however, ghee produced from the butter of grass-fed cows contains linolenic acid which can aid your weight loss efforts.
  • Vitamins – A one tablespoon serving of ghee contains approximately 15% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Ghee is also rich in other fat soluble vitamins like D, E and K.
  • No Casein – Those who have a lactose intolerance will be pleased to hear that ghee may be a great substitution. The proteins responsible for lactose intolerance, particularly casein, are found in the milk solids. Because ghee separates the solids from the rest of the butter, only healthy butter fats remain in the final product.
  • Enhances Flexibility – Flexibility is a huge asset when it comes to physical activity, especially if you love Pilates or yoga. Ghee has properties that lubricate your joints, which results in an increase in flexibility.

The benefits of ghee are so worth the 20 minutes that it takes to make your own. Not only does this healthy fat benefit your body, but it also keeps for a much longer time than regular butter. In fact, if you store ghee in an air-tight container, it can last for up to three months meaning you don’t have to constantly be melting and simmering your butter. Ghee also makes for a great cooking oil because it has a higher smoke point than regular butter or oils such as olive and coconut. Lastly, you should give ghee a try because it tastes great. Ghee often features a slightly nutty flavor, giving your food natural flavor. With all of these benefits, it’s not hard to see why ghee is making a huge name for itself as a healthy dietary source of fat.

Vine Vera Busts Weight Loss Myths – Vine Vera Reviews

Choosing the right foods for weight loss Vine Vera knows that January is the time of the year when most people end up thinking about ways to combat holiday weight gain. January is a month that is always associated with new beginnings and new hope and it also comes right after all that binge eating and binge drinking that took place all throughout the holiday season. So, it is common to try and find out the best ways to lose weight. Vine Vera came come across all sorts of “quick-fixes”, tips and tricks that are supposed to help you lose weight. But do any of these so called tricks really work? Vine Vera reviews some of the most common myths about weight loss in this article.

Myth: Skipping snacks can help with weight loss

It doesn’t matter if you eat a snack or not. What matters is the kind of snack you eat. Most people require snacks in between their meals in order to maintain their energy levels. So, instead of high-sugar or fatty snacks, look at things like fresh fruits and vegetable salads. 

Myth: Healthy foods are expensive

Some healthy food items are much cheaper than the unhealthy options found in the market. People usually pay more for those high-salt and high-fat meals. With a little planning it is simple to use fresh ingredients and make a meal yourself.

Myth: Starving is the best way to lose weight

Starving your body and crash dieting will not lead to long-term weight loss. In fact, these practices can end up making you gain weight in the long run. The biggest problem with crash dieting is that it is impossible to maintain. When the body becomes low on energy, it starts to crave for high-sugar foods and this makes you eat more calories that you really need, thereby resulting in weight gain.

Myth: You need a radical exercise routine to lose weight

Weight loss doesn’t need radical exercise routines, but regular exercise routines. Weight loss requires you to build a steady exercise routine and follow it every single day. According to studies, adults between the years 19 – 64, should get at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week.

Myth: Drinking water will help with weight loss

Water helps you to stay hydrated and eat less, but it never leads to weight loss.

Myth: “Low Fat” Foods are always better

Foods are usually labeled as “low fat” to meet the legal criteria of that particular label. These food items can end up being very misleading. They might have lesser amounts of fat when compared to the full-fat versions, but this doesn’t make them healthy.

Myth: Skipping meals can help to lose weight

Skipping meals might seem to be an ideal way to lose weight, but skipping meals is not known to be a healthy idea. You need to reduce the amount of calories you eat or burn out the extra calories by way of exercise. Skipping your meals can lead to more serious issues like poor nutrition and tiredness.

Myth: Margarine is less fattening than butter

The only difference between butter and margarine is that they contain different types of fat. The fat content of margarine is usually lower in saturated fat when compared to butter. However, it also contains trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats. These fats are usually more harmful when compared to saturated fats.

Myth: Slimming pills help with long term weight loss

Slimming pills should never be used unless they are prescribed by your doctor. Moreover, they can never help you to lose weight in the long run.

Myth: Carbohydrates make the body gain weight

If you eat them in the right proportions, carbohydrates never make you gain weight. According to a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, dieters who followed a low-carbohydrate fat diet usually ended up losing weight because they ate lesser proportions of food overall. 

Have you ever followed one of these myths believing them to be true? What is your favorite way of losing weight? Let Vine Vera know using the comments box below.