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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Healthy Late Night Snacks

Nature has sleeping pills of its own and they work better than most drugs. You just have to find one that is best suited to your problems. Check out these healthy late-night snacks…

Almonds

If you are from the group that has trouble staying asleep, then you should go for almonds. The issue of not being able to stay asleep may be due to a lack of magnesium and almonds are rich in this stuff! Also, almonds do wonders for your bones.

Dairy

You remember how your mom used to push that warm glass of milk before bedtime when we were kids? Turns out milk isn’t the only dairy product that can help you get a good night’s rest. Cheese can do just the same- without the milk after taste! And not just cheese, break out the yoghurt too.

Lettuce

Do you like to get your greens in? Then that salad for dinner can go a long way than just keeping you in good shape. Lettuce has sleep-inducing characteristics. So, if you skipped lettuce in your salad for dinner, then you can always brew a tea. It’s pretty simple and effective; boil a few large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes and add a couple of sprigs of mint. Drink this before bed and you shall sleep like a baby. This phrase has never quite hit home with me, mainly because, I can’t get my baby to sleep… like a baby.

Pretzels?!

If you have an 8 hour window to catch some shut-eye and want to reduce the time it takes to actually fall asleep, then reach for that bag of pretzels. Yes, you read that right- PRETZELS! An increase in blood sugar and insulin levels cuts down the time it takes to actually fall asleep. Whether you can switch that up with a bucket of chocolate chip ice cream? Yeah, that might be pushing it.

Fish

Fish like tuna, halibut and salmon are rich in the vitamin B6 and this is the magical nutrient that helps make sleep inducing hormones, melatonin and serotonin so that you can sleep like a… Koala (Koalas sleep 22 hours a day!)

Chamomile Tea

Living up to clich├ęs, chamomile tea is known widely to have sleep-inducing properties. It also acts as a mild sedative and may help numb the pain from the daily grind. On a serious note, this tea has made it across the centuries, so it’s worth a try, no? If you want to take your chances up a notch, then try adding a spoonful of honey. The sugar from the honey increases insulin levels, making it easier to dose off.

Cereal

Love breakfast for dinner? Now you have a reason with solid scientific back up to indulge in a bowl of cereal every night. Carbs from the cereal and calcium from the milk are two great sources that can help you score some zzz’s.

Start Day With Healthy Habits

Get Up Early-

Make a powerful habit of getting up early in the morning as there is something magical about the morning hours. Steer away from the practice of snoozing your alarm clock every time it starts ringing. Waking up early is an important habit which can set the tempo for your entire day. Once you make a dedicated effort to accomplish this goal, you would realise how much extra work you can fulfil with the extra time found in the morning.

Meditate

Once you have learned to wake up early in the morning, now you should focus on some concentration building ideas to set your intention for the day. Performing meditation for 10-15 minutes can be good practice to train your mind and emotions. It teaches to react positively to challenges which you may experience during the day.

Meditation also gives you a bright idea of how to go ahead with the day. When you breathe deeply during meditation, you let all your worries leave you far behind and experience inner peace. The silence of meditation has a remarkable effect on your mind and soul.

Hydrate Yourself-

Top and famous nutritionists also suggest beginning the day with a glass of water with honey as it helps you to rehydrate your body. Since you have woken up after long hours of sleep, your body may experience dehydration early in the morning. Drinking a glass of lemon water also cleanses your system and removes the toxins from your digestive tract. Moreover, lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C; it helps to combat obesity and freshen breath.

Exercise-

A workout session in the morning helps you to stay fit and active throughout the day. You can opt for yoga, brisk walk, cycling, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, jogging or swimming. It also keeps you safe from many deadly lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments and obesity. You may take the help of a trainer to decide the right type of exercises keeping in mind your body structure and other health condition. Exercises improve the oxygen and nutrient level in your blood and energise your mind and body.

Zero Calorie Sweeteners

We already know that sugar has detrimental effects on our blood sugar, insulin and waistline. It is common knowledge nowadays that sweets consumption should be lowered and kept to a minimum. In came, subsequently, those nifty no-calorie sweeteners that promised a similar flavor without all the unhealthy side effects. While initially regarded as safe and approved by the FDA, for some time now research has hinted they are not as benign as touted Now we have even more evidence that they are doing more harm than good.

In this new study, researchers took several groups of rats and either fed them diets high in glucose, fructose, or artificial sweeteners (aspartame or acesulfame potassium). Acesulfame is sold in stores at Sunnett or Sweet One, and aspartame is sold as Equal or NutraSweet. Both are currently approved artificial sweeteners by the FDA.

Within three weeks the researchers found discernable differences between the groups per blood samples collected. They noted that the artificial sweeteners appeared to change the way their bodies processed fat and energy overall. They also noticed that the acesulfame potassium accumulated in the blood and had a negative impact on the cells lining the blood vessels.

Bottom line? Don’t think that switching to artificial sweeteners is the answer. For one, how many thin people do you see walking around drinking diet sodas all day? They don’t seem to work. This study helps us understand why. Also, continuing to drink sweet beverages hinders one’s ability to acclimate to lesser sweetened beverages and foods. It keeps the sweet desire active, per say, and doesn’t solve the problem of cravings. In fact it can make things worse by initiating an insulin response but, with no actual sugar entering the body, you end up with lower blood sugar and a “crash,” so to speak. The craving cycle continues.

The article ends by trying to answer the question, which is better? Sugar or artificial sweeteners? How about neither? My advice is to ditch sweet-tasting beverages altogether and switch to good ol’ water, the way nature intended.

But you hate water you say? If that’s you, think about some simple flavorings such as lemon, lime or other fruits soaked in your H20. Maybe dilute a favorite beverage half and half and keep increasing the water until you desire the sweet taste less and less. Drink club soda and lime if fizzy is your thing. There are ways to make better choices to keep these harmful chemicals out of your bodies for good.

Kidney Friendly Diet

Potassium

Potassium is a very common mineral that features in many different food types. This mineral is beneficial for its ability to help the muscles function properly. However, eating a diet that is too rich in potassium can lead to a variety of problems, such as muscle weakness and cramps. There is no set limit on how much potassium is acceptable to the patient with kidney problems, so it will be necessary to get guidance from your doctor to match the specific needs.

However, there are plenty of very acceptable foods with low potassium content. They can include chicken, white breads, lettuce, peppers, cauliflower, pineapples, cranberries and apples.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a very common type of mineral. It combines with vitamin D and calcium to help maintain the strength of the bones. However, the level of phosphorus is controlled by the healthy kidneys. In the event of the kidneys becoming less effective, there is a risk of phosphorus building up in the blood. Over time this can lead to low bone density.

A simple change in the diet can help to limit phosphorus, but there is also the option to take a phosphate binder which is prescribed by your doctor. When combined with a healthy diet, this is a great option to prevent the phosphorus build up.

Fluids

While a regular intake of fluids is essential to live, the person suffering with kidney disease may benefit from taking proper control on how much is consumed. The less effective kidneys aren’t so useful at clearing excess fluid so drinking less can be helpful. Heart failure, swelling and high blood pressure are a few of the issues associated with too much fluid. Also, there is the risk of the fluid building up in the region of the lungs which makes breathing more difficult.