Healthy Food

By Anna Lynn C. Sibal
woman eating fruits
Going on a diet can be a good thing; however, there are so many newfangled diet styles out there that you just do not know which ones work and which ones are just fads.

But regardless of whatever dieting system or style you are an advocate of, there are ten kinds of food that you should be ingesting a lot of to keep yourself trim, healthy and beautiful.

Top 10 Healthy Foods

Fruits Research proves that eating at least 5 portions of fruits each day has very real health benefits. It can help to prevent heart diseases and some cancers.

Essential fatty acids (EFA). Essential fatty acids, also known as the good fat, is needed to keep the cells of the body functioning properly. EFA also helps improve the condition of the skin and makes the hair and fingernails grow healthier.

Garlic. Garlic is high in antioxidants and is a kind of food that is widely known to prevent cancer. Garlic also helps lower the body?s cholesterol levels and reduces blood pressure as well.

Green tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants that help prevent specific kinds of cancer from developing in the body. It also pumps up the immune system and helps lower the levels of cholesterol in the body.

Green vegetables. Vitamins A and E, as well as fiber and iron, are found abundantly in green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin A retains the moisture in the eyes, the skin and the mucous membrane, while Vitamin E helps maintain the skin?s elasticity. On the other hand, fiber improves digestion, and iron is needed for the production of red blood cells.

Milk. Milk is the best source of calcium and vitamin D for the body. Calcium combined with vitamin D is good for keeping the bones and teeth strong, and it prevents diseases like osteoporosis. Milk also has vitamin B2 and B12, which coaxes the body to produce more red blood cells. Red blood cells bring oxygen to the cells. Having a healthy supply of red blood cells swimming in the blood stream keeps the hair and skin looking healthier.

Soy. Soy also has cancer-preventing antioxidants as well as Vitamin E and amino acids. It helps the skin retain its smoothness and elasticity.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and makes the body less vulnerable to disease. Vitamin C is also an important key in the body?s collagen production, collagen being a chemical that keeps the skin elastic and wrinkle-free.

Yogurt. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B. Aside from these, yogurt contains friendly bacteria that assists in digestion, hydrates the skin and clears the immune system.

Chocolate. Yes, you read it right. Chocolate is an essential food to eat to keep beautiful. Chocolate encourages the production of endorphins and serotonin, hormones that generate a nice and pleasant feeling for the body. You look beautiful if you feel beautiful.

Do not forget water! Water keeps the body hydrated. When the body is hydrated, the skin becomes smooth, supple and youthful. The hair has more shine and bounce when there is enough water in the body, and the nails are stronger. Water also flushes out the waste and toxins out of the body.

Healthy Diet Tips

  • 1. Keep fat and calorie content in check by assessing the amount of fat and carbohydrates in your diet. Stop eating high calorie foods like chips, chocolate, candy and other food low in nutrient and high in fats. Consuming less fat is the most efficient way to cut calories.
  • 2. Eat foods rich in complex carbohydrates. The body requires glucose to feed the brain, and the easiest way to get it is through complex carbs, like whole-grain bread. Complex carbs takes longer to digest so you get prolonged sense of fullness. You don't have to crave eating more of the high calorie snacks.
  • 3. Don't be deceived by fat free label. They may have higher calories than the regular one. Manufacturers often add more sugars, plus carbohydrates such as cornstarch, gums and pectin, which increase the overall calorie count. The best way is to compare the calorie content from the regular one or you stick to the original and reduce your serving size.
  • 4. Another way of cutting down your calorie intake is by cutting back on certain condiments and look for a healthier substitute.
  • 5. Don't overload your plate. Eat in small portion and leave something on the plate. Following this rule allows you to eat what you want without overdoing it and puts you in control.
  • 6. Exercise is important. To achieve your goal of loosing weight exercise should go hand in hand with right diet. By burning calories you will loose weight faster.
  • 7. Treat yourself once in a while with your favorite goodies but eat a small portion. In this way, you don't have to indulge yourself of eating a lot of your favorite goodies once you achieve in loosing weight.

Stress Management

By Anna Lynn C. Sibal ©2006
When we are relaxed and our minds are at ease, it shows on our bodies. Our skin glows, our hair has bounce and body, and our smiles are radiant. A rested mind and a healthy body are important elements to creating a beautiful persona.

However, keeping ourselves relaxed and stress-free can be a day-to-day struggle. Rarely does each day pass without us having to face difficult tasks and daunting challenges. The stress these situations put on us disturbs our sense of balance and takes a toll on our bodies. So many illnesses are brought about by constant stress, because stress contributes a lot to the weakening of the body's immune system. Depression, anxiety, heart disease, eating disorders, and some forms of cancer are just some of the illnesses that can result from stress.

Being stressed out is unavoidable, and different factors can cause stress. Common stress factors are:
  • Illnesses and allergies
  • Changes in hormone levels brought about by changes in the body, such as puberty, pregnancy, pre-menstrual syndrome, or menopause
  • Change in weather or climate, being in a high altitude, exposure to pollution and other environmental changes
  • Emotional conflicts or anguish
  • Worrying over situations beyond your control
  • Pushing yourself too hard
It is impossible to avoid some stress factors that come to our lives. Whether we can avoid these factors or not is something that we cannot always control. What we can control, however, is how we react to and deal with these stress factors. Sadly, not all people handle stress well. They deal with it either by seeking comfort through food, by downing sorrows through drink, or taking drugs to relieve the pain.

But that is not the way to do it. These means of seeking comfort from stress only worsen the situation and eventually lead to addiction that will harm the body even more. To live a stress-free life, the first step we should take in dealing with stress is to identify the things and situations that cause us to feel stress. Once we have pinpointed whatever it is that stresses us, then we can effectively reduce, if not eliminate, the extent of how it affects us.

One way of reducing the levels of stress in our lives is to keep our lives as regular as possible. This involves sleeping a full eight hours a day and managing our time so that we do not overtire ourselves and so that we have time for some leisure and relaxation. A third of our time each day should be spent resting and relaxing. There are so many self-help books out there, offering advice on how to spend time wisely. The simplest way to do it is to make a list of the things you need to accomplish every day and to rest in between tasks. If you cannot finish everything you need to do within the day, then just leave it for the following day and think no more of it until that day.

Another way of keeping stress out of our systems is eating right and exercising right. We all should eat because we are hungry, not because we are not feeling good about ourselves at the moment. To prevent ourselves from bingeing on comfort food, we should rid our kitchen of the food we usually reach for when we are feeling down.

As for exercise, exercise is good because it rests our minds and keeps our focus away from whatever it is that worries us. Exercise also gives our bodies the energy and the rejuvenation that we need in order to face the challenges of our lives.

And last, but not the least, learn to say 'no.' Do not make a habit of shouldering other people's responsibility for them. Instead, learn to delegate tasks and leave things alone.

It is impossible to keep our lives totally stress-free. But what is important is to not let our minds and our bodies be affected too much with stress.