Go for the Greens

spinachThe research has proven that THE most important foods you can eat are green vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables.  The nutrients in green vegetables are as good as it gets and talk about antioxidant power!

Most people are now aware that a diet of processed foods, high sugar content, and bad fats will weaken your body’s immune system and will result in weight gain.  Junk food junkies are the poster boys for how to live an unhealthy life.  If most of your food comes in a box, it is not natural and you will gain weight and increase your chances of developing diabetes or other health problems.  If you start adding these healthy green vegetables, you will see the weight start coming off and your immune system with drastically improve.

Many people have shunned most vegetables because they are so used to eating processed foods.  Its time to start incorporating more vegetables in your diet and it is not that hard.  You can have a green smoothie in the morning and you are already on your way to improving your health.

A favorite smoothie includes a cup or two of kale, a half of an avocado, two tablespoons of pea protein powder, half a cup of frozen blueberries, a cup of almond milk, a tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds, and a cup of cold water or ice.  Delicious!

The super powerful vegetables are the cruciferous ones and they include kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cauliflower, collard greens, bok choy, and several others.  These vegetables have the highest concentrations of antioxidants and in research studies they have shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Many people still are not fond of cruciferous vegetables, but the health benefits are too valuable to avoid them.  If you can slowly start adding them to your meals, the results will be well worth it.  You can also put them in a smoothie and you won’t even notice the taste of them.

You health is too important to waste on an unhealthy diet that is lacking in green vegetables.  Its time to go green.




Vitamin D Supplement in Winter

imagesMore and more research has shown how important vitamin D is to your health and in winter months with little sunlight, it is vital that you take a vitamin D supplement.

In the summer we can get a lot of our vitamin D needs from the sun, but in the winter we can’t absorb the necessary vitamin D because the sun is so far south and sunlight hours are limited.  That is unless you spend winters in the southern hemisphere.

Turns out that vitamin D plays a critical role in keeping our immune system strong, along with maintaining healthy bones and mental clarity.

What is great about vitamin D supplements is the low cost.  There are no other important supplements that are so inexpensive, so there is no excuse for not using a supplement.  The cost is just pennies a day.

The amount of vitamin D you need daily depends on your age, the amount of sunlight you get daily, and and underlying health issues.  While the RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU’s daily, it had been only 400 IU until recently.  But even 600 IU is woefully low for most people.

The only way to find out if you have low vitamin D levels is to have a blood test.  You might need to supplement up to several thousand IU’s  of vitamin D to get your levels to where they should be.

The correct type of vitamin D you need is vitamin D3, so make sure you are getting the right kind.  With the cheap price of supplementing with vitamin D, you have no excuse not be using this wonder vitamin to improve your health.

Easy Workout Takes 20 Minutes with Great Results

High Intensity WorkoutIt turns out you don’t have to do long, arduous workouts to get into great shape.  Recent studies have shown that short workouts with high intensity can help with your cardiovascular fitness as well as or even better that extended workouts.

So now you can just do a 20 minute workout three times a week and still see amazing results.  The key is to have short bursts of high intensity cardio, mixed between periods of recovery.  You can get these high intensity blasts from running, using elliptical machines, bicycling, or anything that will give you an aerobic workout.

Ironically, research has revealed that many marathon runners, who are considered to be some of the best conditioned athletes, have developed scar tissue on their hearts from excessive stress from running long distances.  Now it seems less is better, as far as your health is concerned.

High intensity training for short periods has become more and more popular because you don’t need a lot of time to get in a good workout.  People on tight schedules, or juggling business and family, can get heart healthy workouts whenever they have a free 20 minutes.

Your 20 minute workout starts with an easy warm-up for 5 minutes.  Then you will do a 30 second high intensity burst, followed by 90 seconds of slowdown so you can recover and slow your heart rate down.  You will do 4 to 8 of these intense bursts, depending on your fitness level.

If you are new to this type of workout, make sure you check with your doctor before starting the program.  If you are not in very good condition, you will start out with only 3 or 4 intense bursts and slowly work your way up to 7 or 8 intense bursts for your total workout.  After your last intense burst, you will have a cool down to get your heart rate back to your normal level.

Remember to not do too many high intensity workouts per week because your body won’t have the time to properly recover.  Four workouts a week should be the maximum.  Gauge how you feel and how long it takes to recover from each workout.  You should notice an increased energy level and more stamina after you have done the workouts for several weeks.

Your Key Food in Fitness

cruciferous vegetablesWhen you are starting out with an exercise plan, one of the keys to helping that plan succeed is to have a diet that will help your body stay lean, keep your energy level high, and help detoxify your body. There are lots of diets out there that are great and lots that are really bad.  You need to focus on “real” foods and avoid overindulgence in whatever diet you choose.

One diet that has been gaining popularity is the vegetarian diet, and its stricter sister called the vegan diet. A vegetarian diet means you avoid most meats, eggs, cheeses and other animal products.  There are some vegetarian diets that add eggs or other dairy products to help compensate for the loss of protein from cutting out meats.

A vegan diet does not allow any animal products and that is why this diet is harder to stay on for many dieters.  When you are deciding on a diet,  you can try a vegan diet and if it is too frustrating, go back to a more liberal vegetarian diet.  There are a few problems with a vegetarian or vegan diet and they include not getting enough protein and not enough vitamin B12.  This is especially true with vegans.

There are also many people who are seeing success with a low carbohydrate diet that cuts out grains and other carbohydrates and focuses on meats, fats, and vegetables.  There are many low carbohydrate diets out there, but the most popular one is the Paleo diet, which promotes eating healthy meats, nuts, seeds, and lots of vegetables.  This diet is based on the eating habits of the cavemen in the Paleolithic era thousands of years ago.  Paleo proponents claim most of the health problems with humans started when they started eating grains.

Whatever diet you decide on, your key foods should be vegetables, especially cruciferous ones.  These include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens, and many more.  The research on these vegetables is amazing and they are potent cancer fighters.  You should have a few serving per day.

Having a good fitness plan, along with a diet that focuses on whole foods and vegetables will get you on your way to keeping excess weight off and feeling energetic and fit.

Its Time to Start a Fitness Program

Image    Fitness has become more than a random task for most health conscious people today.  It can be a way of life for those wanting to fight off father time and keep as much of their youthfulness as possible.

The number of fitness programs out there is mind-boggling and it is a multi-million dollar industry. The funny thing is you don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep fit.  A simple walking regimen will do nicely for starters and you can work your way up to more advanced programs.

How young is too young to start a fitness plan?  There is no age minimum when it comes to health and the younger you start the better.  But there is also no age maximum either, so don’t think if you are a senior citizen you are too old to start a program.  If Jack LaLanne at age 70 could tow 70 boats with 70 people a mile and a half in the water while being handcuffed and shackled, you shouldn’t have any excuses.

The best time to start a fitness plan is now.  Procrastination is the bane of many people who want to get into better shape.  There are a thousand excuses why people keep putting off a fitness plan.  They are too busy with work, family, or they just haven’t found the right plan.

Take the first step and start walking – even a few block to start out if you have health issues.  Of course it is important to consult with your doctor if you have health issues so you don’t overdo it or do some activities you shouldn’t be attempting.

Brainstorming what kind of program you want is a great idea that could open up new possibilities for you.  Seek input from friends, athletes or do some research online.  Find a plan that is right for you.  You can always change it and that is a good idea because many people get bored with the same routine and end up cutting back or completely quitting.  Then its back to the couch potato life with chips and sweets.

Do you know what your resting heart rate is?  How long does it take you to walk or jog a mile?  How many push-ups and sit-ups can you do?  These are questions you need to know and then try and improve on them.

Stop now and take the time to make a commitment to start a fitness program tomorrow.  Your body and your mental outlook will thank you.