Your body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Because your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it's important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water.
The Functions of Water
Water is a carrier, distributing essential nutrients to cells, such as minerals, vitamins and glucose.
Chemical and metabolic reactions
Water removes waste products including toxins that the organs’ cells reject, and removes them through urine and feces.
Transport of nutrients
Water participates in the biochemical break-down of what we eat.
Body temperature regulation
Water has a large heat capacity which helps limit changes in body temperature in a warm or a cold environment. Water allows the body to release heat when ambient temperature is higher than body temperature (1). The body begins to sweat, and the evaporation of water from the skin surface very efficiently cools the body.
Elimination of waste
Water is an effective lubricant around joints. It also acts as a shock absorber for eyes, brain, spinal cord and even for the foetus through amniotic fluid.
Reference: Nestle Water
Not everyone can afford to join a gym and some just may not have the time. Here is a video of some easy exercises that you can do right in the comfort of your own home.
Reference: Women's Health
Committing to losing weight and eating healthier is no easy feat. Many times we vow in January to lose 30 pounds by swim suit season and we forget about it by black history month. Why is that? It's because we over promise and under deliver. Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss is not an overnight success story. It truly is a lifestyle change.
If you still have the guts to make a healthy change here are some tips to get you started.
Whatever healthy goals you have set you can get them done with consistency. Don't give up on yourself. You can do it!
As always be sure to consult with a physician when starting a new exercise regimen.
It is the end of January and you can't seem to fit any exercise into your busy schedule! We've got something that will help you to get it in and hopefully create a healthy habit. Try the workout we've posted below. It should take about 20-30 minutes (depending on how long you rest in between exercises) and it will jump start your day. No time in the morning? No problem! Try doing it in the evening when everything has settled. You could even split the workout in half.
It may be a little rough in the beginning if it has been a while since you've engaged in any physical activity, but don't give up. Cut down some of the reps if it seems too much in the beginning and then work your way up. The idea is to get moving!
Of course with any physical activity, be sure you are able to participate and if you have any questions contact your physician.
Has it occurred to you today that you are thirsty? Guess what – by the time you experience the sensation of the thirst, you are already dehydrated. That thirst is your body calling for re-hydration.Your body is composed of roughly 60% water. That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days constantly dehydrated to some degree – we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake. So, really, what does this mean? Why should we drink more water?
Quick rules of thumb for drinking water:
Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weigh 160 lbs, drink 80 oz of water each day).
Carry a bottle everywhere with you as a reminder to keep drinking.
Eat raw fruits and vegetables – they are dense in water. You can get water from food, not just from beverages.
Drink water and other fluids until you urinate frequently and with light color.
Becca Borawski Jenkins
Sugar consumption is linked to weight gain. Simple sugars tend to be more concentrated in foods, meaning that you consume more calories per mouthful. Cutting sugar intake is a quick and easy way to make extra calories disappear from your diet. Foods containing lots of refined sugar are high in calories, and most of those calories are nutritionally empty. What about fruit, doesn't it have a lot of "fruit" sugar (fructose), you might ask? The answer is yes, but it is so beneficial that fruit overcomes this problem.
The average American consumes 22 to 28 teaspoons of added sugars per day, mostly from high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, or sucrose, according to the University of California at Berkeley. This amounts to 350 to 440 extra calories daily. Many people consume significantly more than this, putting themselves at risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Eliminating excessive amounts of sugar from your diet can help you lose weight.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet may make you eat less food overall, promoting weight loss. When you eat simple carbohydrates, such as candy, soda or doughnuts, your pancreas creates insulin, a hormone that processes the food into blood sugar and moves it to your body's cells for energy use. If you eat these foods excessively, your pancreas must produce a large amount of insulin at once, prompting your body to start storing fat. The insulin surge then causes your blood sugar levels to drop quickly, leaving you feeling tired and hungry again.
Replacing Simple Carbohydrates
You can cut calories and keep your appetite in check by replacing candy and other high-sugar foods with complex carbohydrates. Fruit, vegetables and whole-grain varieties of bread, cereal and rice contain carbohydrates that take your body longer to use. Whole-grain cereals contain less added sugar than many processed cereals. Substituting white rice, which has a glycemic index of 89, with brown rice, with a glycemic of 50, can keep your blood sugar levels steady and reduce your urge to eat between meals, helping you lose weight.
Without going into the whole scientific explanation of why it works, adding 1/4 to 1 teaspoon of this spice to something you eat every day — hot cereal, marinades, yogurt — helps blood sugar get into cells to be used for energy, so less is stored as fat.
One ingredient, caffeine, is a stimulant that raises your heart rate and compels your system to burn calories faster. Plus, green tea has catechins, substances that some experts believe help burn belly fat. Aim for three 8-ounce cups a day.
Yeah, dairy has a bad rep for high calories, but yogurt, both the low-fat and regular kinds, contains probiotics: "friendly" bacteria that preliminary research suggests may actually help reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs.
Again, the caffeine kicks your metabolism into high gear. Caffeine also jump-starts lipolysis, the breakdown of fat. One to two cups a day is ideal.
Often found in high quantities in hot salsa as well as in many Thai, Indian, and Chinese curry dishes, these wonder foods are packed with a metabolism-boosting compound called capsaicin, which provides chili peppers' fiery flavor. In addition, capsaicin increases your body temperature somewhat, giving your metabolism an extra calorie-burning push.
Chicken and Fish
It actually takes energy to digest food, and your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does while breaking down carbs and fats. Translation: Consuming a few servings of lean protein, such as chicken, fish, and tofu, each day may help keep your metabolism revving away long after you finish eating your meal.
Certain foods can induce a state of horror in nutritionists. Even the mere thought of them coming within a whisker of your lips will create panic, if not a stern "don't you know how bad that is for you?"
While a nutritionist's reaction may seem extreme, the fact is that these are not "real" foods. They have been subjected to excessive modern processing and are full of man-made ingredients, rendering them so unrecognisable from their original form that your body simply doesn't know what to do with them. Regularly eating these foods creates a toxic build-up that wreaks havoc on your health, as an impressive body of scientific studies show.
Truth be told, there are foods that, for the sake of health and longevity, we should not be eating at all, or, at the very least, eating only rarely. As our consumption of these foods has increased over the years, so have the incidences of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, three of the most deadly diseases worldwide.
Three white devils
Among the nutrition-savvy, these are said to be the root of all evil when it comes to health. While these foods may seem relatively benign compared to the rest of the list, they are most dangerous when eaten regularly - and for many people, that is the case. They also play a large part in many heavily processed foods, meaning that if you avoid these (and start checking ingredient lists), you will quite naturally find yourself avoiding most dangerous foods. Your health and waistline will thank you.
This is often listed as public enemy number one. It is a significant cause of obesity and diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. Sugar also puts stress on the pancreas, liver and digestive system. The nervous system is said to be compromised by up to 50 per cent every time you eat sugar.
This is bad news for your health because it makes you more susceptible to colds, flu, depression, hormonal imbalance, stress and weight gain. As recently as 2012, the American doctor Robert Lustig called for laws that restrict sugar as if it were tobacco due to its dangerous effect on our health.
It's important to remember, however, that not all sugar is equal. Natural sugars in fruits and honey are fine when eaten in moderation.
It may seem relatively harmless but, inside your body, white flour behaves in much the same way as white sugar, since that is what it is quickly turned into during the digestive process. It puts huge stress on the pancreas and disrupts insulin levels so much that the body is sent into fat-storage mode.
Processing removes the most nutritious part of wheat, as well as most of the fibre. It's the processing that's the problem, not the grain, so again, avoid the white stuff.
This one is controversial. We are encouraged to drink milk for stronger bones but, according to the nutritionist and author Patrick Holford, we lose the ability to digest lactose, a major component of milk, as we age. Disrupted digestion causes bloating, food intolerances, makes our bodies more acidic and provokes an inflammatory response.
Most disturbing is the way milk is treated with heat, hormones, chemicals, preservatives and antibiotics. Make an easy (albeit more expensive) switch to almond, coconut or rice milk for more nutritious, easy-to-digest alternatives.
The fastest thing about fast food is the deterioration of your health. It is full of at least two of the three white devils, not to mention highly processed meat, sodium and of course saturated fats. This is a deadly combination and one that will reduce your life expectancy.
Remember the documentary Super Size Me? Eating fast food every day for every meal is an extreme case, but, in less than a month, the researcher's health deteriorated so rapidly that his doctors were seriously concerned for his well-being.
Deli meats are exceptionally high in nitrates and sodium, which are incredibly harmful to our health. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, consumption of these meats is related to an increased risk of colon cancer. Nitrates are converted into nitrites once digested, which can form nitrosamine, a powerful cancer-causing chemical.
Doughnuts contain some of the unhealthiest ingredients around: white sugar, white flour and trans-fat. This is a lethal combination, not just for your waistline, but also for your heart health. Consumption of trans-fat and sugar has been linked with a significantly higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
When foods are fried at high temperatures they can form acrylamide, which is a known carcinogen. Dale Hattis, a research professor at Clark University in Massachusetts, estimates that "acrylamide causes several thousand cancers per year in America". Not only are crisps high in fat, but they also are often coated with salt, making them extremely high in sodium. This raises blood pressure and cholesterol and, ultimately, increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
A study published in Cancer Science in 2005 linked a high-salt diet with increased gastric cancer.
Sodas (and diet sodas)
A big nutrition no-no, these drinks contain absolutely no nutrients that feed your body. Worse, they fill your system with chemicals and sugar that deplete your body of nutrients. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention stated that drinking just two sodas per week can nearly double a person's risk of pancreatic cancer.
Dr Joseph Mercola, an American doctor and a New York Times bestselling author, says there are "10 teaspoons of sugar" in just one can of soda and "30 to 55 mg of caffeine, artificial food colours and sulphites".
Soda also creates acid in the body, which ultimately weakens bones and depletes vital mineral stores. Studies have shown strong associations between diet soda and obesity as well as diabetes. It has been suggested that diet sodas trick the brain into thinking the body is getting sugar, affecting metabolism and prompting cravings for more sugar.
Margarine is processed fat, often containing very unhealthy trans-fats, which your body cannot process. This raises your cholesterol and damages the walls of blood vessels. Whenever we eat foods that are not natural, they become a toxic burden on our system, putting immense stress on the liver. According to the Natural Health Hub, you are much better off avoiding the fake butter margarines and enjoying a little of the real thing.
Canned foods are a stockpile of salt. Often considered a "healthy" food choice, some cans of soup can contain as much as 890 milligrams of sodium, which is nearly your full day's quota.
In excess, sodium causes the body to retain water, which puts tremendous stress on the body, especially your heart, causing high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack.
According to the American Heart Association, 97 per cent of American children consume too much sodium that can lead to organ damage.
That is not including the Bisphenol A (BPA) in most cans' plastic linings. An industrial chemical, BPA can leach from the linings into the food inside. Studies have shown BPA to act as an endocrine disrupter that can mimic oestrogen and cause a variety of health problems. In 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance.
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