Top 5 Foods You Should Add to Your Keto Diet

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that comes with a wide range of health benefits. From fast and sustained weight loss to improved insulin sensitivity and lower inflammation, there's a lot the keto diet can do for you.

To follow this diet, you simply need to cut back on carbs to below 50 grams per day, stay moderate with protein, and make sure that up to 80% of your daily calories are coming from fat. In order to meet these macros requirements, most dieters like to include a range of keto foods to their daily menu. Here are the top 5 most popular keto foods to consider.

  1. Butter

Butter is 80% milk fat, most of which is of the saturated kind. While that may sound like disaster for your heart, health, and waistline, most of what you've heard about butter and saturated fat is a lie. Novel research shows that butter and saturated fats are, at worse, neutral when it comes to heart health, diabetes, and other health risks.

On the other hand, butter makes everything taste great, contains fat-soluble vitamins, and butyric acid which is important for gut health. It helps keto dieters eat enough fat to reach ketosis and it also is an important addition to bulletproof coffee (a keto diet staple).

  1. Avocado

On keto, you're allowed to eat low-carb vegetables such as avocados. A medium-sized avocado contains only 4 grams of net carbs while providing a whopping 13 grams of fiber. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats and contain a bit of protein which also makes them a perfect pick on keto.

But the goodness doesn't end there, avocados are a nutritional powerhouse providing a hefty dose of vitamins C, E, K, and folate among others. They're also rich in potassium and magnesium – two minerals we need to eat more of.

  1. Cauliflower

Another of the many low-carb vegetables on the list is cauliflower. Besides being low in carbs (less than 3 grams per cup), cauliflower is also a great substitute for high-carb foods on a keto diet.

Ketoers use it to make faux mashed potatoes, rice, and couscous. Let's face it – making low-carb meals can be tough and versatile vegetables like cauliflower help you enjoy your favorite dishes but without the carbs. If you eat it raw, you also get plenty of vitamin C and phytochemicals that studies show can reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

  1. Fatty Fish

Fatty cuts of meat are perfect on keto. But fatty fish, in particular, will do your health even more good. Fish is a valuable source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning your body needs to obtain them from food. They're also anti-inflammatory and protect against heart disease and neurological disorders.

There is a substantial amount of evidence that most people in the world are not eating enough omega-3 fatty acids. While plant food like flaxseed is also a good source of omega-3s, our bodies are better able to use omega-3s from animal sources and fish just happens to be the richest source of these important nutrients.

  1. Olive Oil

Since fat will make up the largest part of your keto diet, it's wise to go for the healthiest kind. Well, olive oil happens to top the list when it comes to healthy fats. It is composed mostly of monounsaturated fatty acids which studies show protect against heart attack and stroke.

Another unique feature of olive oil is its sturdiness. Unlike many other oils, it's not prone to rancidity thanks to its many antioxidants. Fry with it, sauté with it, and sprinkle it over your salads to boost your healthy fat intake on a keto diet.

Conclusion

There are many foods you're allowed to enjoy while going keto. But some foods simply go better with this diet than others. The 5 listed here are frequently featured in some of the best keto recipes. All are also versatile and can go well with many dishes.

What's best about this top 5, however, is their many health benefits. Make sure to add these healthy fats, low-carb vegetables, and omega-3-rich sources of protein to make the best out of your keto meals.

These Are the Berries You Should Eat If You Desire a Better Health

Of all the superfoods, berries seem to enjoy an enviable reputation for being nutrient rich with high levels of antioxidants believed to slow down or reverse the effects of aging. They have been used for thousands of years and their benefits are never in doubt. But with so many berry types to choose from, which are the most potent ones guaranteed to give you the greatest of benefits as far good health is concerned?

Acai Berry

No mention of berries will ever go without mentioning acai berry powder. It is one of the earliest known miracle foods, and millions of people have depended on it for good health for generations. The berries are from the acai palm tree which is native to South America. The proponents of these berries claim that they have the ability to tame cancer and arthritis, help in detoxification, and they can also help in solving erectile dysfunction problems. Additionally, the berries have proven to be a great source of antioxidants, heart-friendly fats, and fibers. They can be eaten raw or in beverages such as in smoothies and juices.

Acerola Cherry

Also known as Barbados cherry, acerola cherry is native to Central America, Mexico, and South America. The berry is highly potent in vitamin C – it is estimated that its concentration of vitamin C is nine times the concentration of vitamin C found in normal oranges, and this elevates it to the levels of superfoods. In most cases, you will find the cherry available in form of juice, or in supplement form. You may also find it available in powder form where all you will have to do is dilute it and enjoy your cool dose of vitamin C.

Blackberries

Blackberries are very common, not because of their berry goodness, but due to the special properties which give them very unique abilities. They are notably high in dietary fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese and folic acid. They also have good levels of antioxidants such as cyanidins, anthocyanins, tannins, and other polyphenolic compounds. This is one of the readily available berries in the United States, and it is also one of the strongest antioxidant foods that most Americans consume.

Blueberries

In terms of consumption of berries in the United States, blueberries come second after blackberries, and this is easy to understand owing to the health benefits that the two berry types have. One of the outstanding attributes of blueberries is that it can help to reduce a decline in one's memory, may reduce the risks of one getting heart-related diseases, and it also has the ability to reverse the effects of aging and make you look younger than you actually are. Blueberries are also excellent sources of manganese, vitamins K, vitamin C as well as dietary fibers. The berries are native to North America and currently, there are over 35 states that are growing them on a commercial scale.

Cranberry

Cranberry is another berry native to North America and they are known for their long history in use as a medicine for a variety of ailments and conditions, including liver issues, stomach problems, diarrhea, wound treatments and urinal tract disorders amongst others. There are studies to suggest that cranberry can be used to prevent urinal tract infections, but the studies are not yet concluded and so it cannot be authoritatively claimed that it is a solution to UTIs.

Again, there are a number of studies currently ongoing about the effects of cranberry on conditions such as heart diseases, and yeast infections, as well as its effects on the prevention of cancer. But yet, the studies are not over and on medical claims can be made about the effects of cranberry on such conditions. However, the health benefits of berries are not in doubt, and with or without the findings of the studies, you should make a habit of eating lots of cranberries if you desire to have good health at all times.

Goji Berry

Goji berry is also known as Chinese wolfberries or Lyceum. They are native to the Himalayan region of Tibet and China and they have been used for thousands of years due to their healing powers and their nutrient potency. The berries are small and red in color and it is believed that herbalists around the Himalayan region used them to cure a myriad of diseases and conditions including, promoting longevity, curing eyesight problems and boosting the immune system. The berries may not have a lot of published materials on clinical trials, but its health benefits are believed to be due to its high concentration of antioxidants. For example, the berries have wonderful levels of amino acids, vitamin B, iron, carotene, and vitamin C amongst others. They are available in powder form, as supplements and you can also find them dried, like cherries.

Maqui Berry

Maqui berries have a deep purple color and they grow wildly in Southern Chile. These flavorful berries have an abundance of potassium, iron, vitamin C, polyphenols, and a myriad of anti-inflammatory compounds. The berries can be consumed in whole, or they can be blended and taken in form of juice. Currently, they are also part of active ingredients in a number of dietary supplements available in powder, juice, or capsules.

Raspberry

Raspberry is another popular fruit with incredible health benefits and one of the berries you should be taking on a regular basis if you desire to get the best of health. The berry has an aggregated fruit structure which gives it very high fiber content amongst all the berries and fruits. They also have incredible levels of vitamin C, folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, and B vitamins. As an antioxidant, raspberries contain virtually all the compounds needed to defend the body against the actions of toxins. They include but are not limited to cyanidins, gallic acid, catechins, and anthocyanins amongst others. You will be interested to know that raspberries contain ketones, a compound heavily associated with weight loss supplements. By taking raspberries, therefore, you will not just be entitled to great health, but you may also find part of the solution to your weight loss problem if at all you have been trying to shed off some pounds.

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Which is the Best Manuka Honey Available in the USA

Manuka honey is a type of honey which is produced in New Zealand. This honey is produced by the bees which pollinates the manuka bush. This is popularly used for the treatment of different types of wound infections. Manuka honey is believed to have a very high nutritional content and also offers the wide range of health benefits. Not all types of honey created and available for use are equal. Mineral content of honey is measured by how conductive it is and Best Manuka honey is much more conductive then regular flower honey.  Since very long time honey is been used for the treatment of different medical issues and people gain several health benefits with the help of it.

Some of the best manuka honey is listed below

1) Airborne Manuka Honey

The Manuka flowers possess the capability to be used for the treatment of cold and fever. One can get a good amount of antioxidants and vitamins with the wild honey. And this combination of characteristics of manuka flower and honey makes the Manuka honey a perfect solution to deal with different medical conditions. Airbrone is a manuka honey brand which offers the purest form of manuka honey. The packaging of this honey is it’s another attractive feature, it usually comes in a large jar. This honey as very high pollen rating and naturally sweet as well. This can be the perfect honey for the one looking more natural and organic honey blend.

2) Taku Honey UMF 10+ Manuka Honey

Authentic Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand and this place is believed to have the very less polluted environment. The reason why bees thrive here so well because here they get the green environment in abundance and also a number of flowers consisting of medical benefits are available here. This honey is the purest form of Manuka honey and offers different healing properties. It has its own unique taste and famous across the world. It consists of lots of vitamins and health promoting ingredients as well. This honey is suitable to be consumed by different age group people but not for the infants especially those who are less than 1 year old.

3) Wild Cape UMF 15+ East Cape Manuka Honey

There are only few Manuka honey which contains UMF factor. This factor was created by the honey association to measure the amount of rich and active ingredients present in the honey and also know how pure honey is. As with the Wild Cape Manuka honey, you are getting high UMF rating you can be sure that you are getting a pure and safe form of honey which is of high quality. This honey comes in a very sweet and delicious taste which people really like. The best property of this honey is that it helps in treating sore throat and gives effective results to people in treating such health issues.

4) Kiva Certified UMF 20+

For the most powerful, effective and best Manuka honey, this can be the best choice. As this product comes with a very high UMF rating it is capable to offer very good healing benefits. This honey is harvested from the hives present in that area of New Zealand where Manuka scrub is found and grown in a very large scale. This honey is tested first and then it is packed for the sale. The mission of Kiva is to offer people with something which is innovative and tasty, offers a number of health benefits and is of high quality as well. It is a genuine product and available for sale only after it clears the entire test.

5) Manuka Doctor 24+ Bio Active Honey

After a long tiring day, this honey helps people to feel refreshed again. People after consuming it feels refreshed and energetic even if they had worked for long hours and had an intense workout session at the gym. This honey is best suited to be used with external cuts and wounds. Also, it can be used for the treatment of fever and cold. Other than health benefits people also use it as a superfood. It is used as a sweetener with different types of beverages as it consists of its own unique taste and flavors.

6) Wedderspoon’s Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor-16

This honey comes in its most natural form without any processing or addition or removal of any kind of constituents. It is available in the raw form, the company does not pasteurize the honey for selling it. With this honey, a k factor is associated which tells about the health benefits and other uses of this honey. K factors tell the amount of Manuka pollen present in honey. For example, a K-factor 16 suggests that 75% of pollen in the honey of the manuka flowers which makes the honey pure and original. This honey can be used for several different purposes like a beauty treatment, health treatment, home remedies and more.

7) Manuka Honey UMF15+ Eco-Friendly, Raw and Pure By Tahi

This honey is totally safe as Tahi bees are not given any kind of sugar syrups or chemicals. And because of this, these bees do not tend to pick up any kind of toxins which can be harmful to humans. This honey also comes in raw form as this is not pasteurized.  To maintain the characteristics of the honey in its natural form the honey is filtered minimally. The taste of this honey is sweet and has creaminess as well. This honey is a pure and safe to be used as no pollutant is present with it. It also has a good UMF rating.

8) Watson & Son MGO Manuka Honey

This honey is available in raw form also it is unfiltered. A person can get organic and pure honey with this. To ensure that a person’s health is completely safe, great care is taken with the production of this honey. It offers a smooth and delicious taste. The honey is collected by making use of most natural medium and has a lot of health benefits to offer. Though the price of this honey is quite high you can be assured of purity and high quality with this.

Six Ways You Can Help Someone Stop Smoking

When a person decides one day that they want to quit smoking, then that is the easiest part of the process. What comes next is withdrawal symptoms, anger, mood swings and in many cases, failure.

What a friend or loved one who has decided to give up smoking really needs is support. Going it alone is ridiculously tough, and that is borne out by the number of people who try and fail each year to give up.

This is where you come in. If you’ve got a friend or loved one who has made the decision to give up, then there are many ways in which you can help them make a success of it.

Here are six things you can do to help a friend or loved one quit smoking

Check regularly to see how they are getting on

This isn’t just a “Have you had a cigarette?” question. Ask how they are feeling, and how it is going in general. Take an interest in their progress rather than just wondering if they’ve fallen off the wagon.

Help them get items that can help them quit

Hard candy to suck on, a straw to chew on, rubber bands to play with; there are many different items that can take the place of a cigarette in your friend or loved one’s hands and mouth. The habitual process of holding something may help them to forget about the habit. Something small that is easy to access and provides a distraction may be the perfect way to help start the process.

Lighten their load

The cravings and withdrawal that comes from kicking a nicotine habit can lead to irritation, mood swings, and extreme decision. Help your friend or loved one avoid overly stressful situations by offering to assist with chores, childcare or anything that will lighten the burden upon them while they try to quit.

Get support

Your friend or family member may not be an addict in the truest form of the world, and they are doing their best to kick the habit, but there is no harm in going along to free meetings for family members of addicts near me. They can offer support and guidance with your mission to help your loved one quit.

Offer advice

They’ll have no doubt formulated their own plan, but you might have something they haven’t thought of such as which supplements they can take to help them on their path to quitting. Who knows, a little bit of research from you to show you care could lead to discovering one of the key ingredients to them giving up for good.

Spend time together

If your friend or family relative is out and about doing fun activities they will enjoy, they are far less likely to turn towards a cigarette. Go to the movies together, go out for dinner, take a walk in a park – anything that they will enjoy and that takes them out of a smoker’s environment.

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Juicing At Home Can Be Affordable (With These Tips)

Do you know the number one reason why people say they don't eat healthier or juice regularly? Money. In many countries around the world, people feel it is more expensive to eat healthier so they opt for budget-friendly junk foods.

Of course, you probably already know that eating unhealthy is always going to cost you more in the long run. Not only can it lead to short and long term health effects, junk food is not filling (there's a lot of "empty calories") and you have to eat a lot more of it to fill full compared to healthier food choices.

In addition, junk foods are not a substantial source of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs so you can quickly end up deficient in minerals and vitamins that you so desperately need. This, in turn, can lead to lasting health effects but it can also cause grogginess, dizziness, lack of energy, and increased appetite--among other things!

But, with all that said, you already know that you need to be eating healthier or you wouldn't be here. So, let's dive into some tips that will help you eat healthier on any budget.

#1 Buy Separately

Rather than buying that convenient bag of lemons and limes, picking out your own fruits individually usually results in some savings. The only exception to the "bag fee" rule is with potatoes--buying a 10 pound bag of potatoes usually is cheaper than buying them individually, but you probably won't be using them for juicing anyway!

#2 Buy In Bulk

Purchasing produce in bulk can help you save money. When you have the chance, buy large quantities of produce can lead to significant savings. For instance, that crate of blueberries is always going to average out to being cheaper per pound than little individual cartons of blueberries.

You should also keep your local store's latest flyer on the fridge so you know what's on sale next time you go shopping. While most stores don't issue coupons for fresh produce, you can usually find some sales that are going on so you can save a bit of money.

#3 Shop In Season

When you're buying something that's out of season, you are paying substantially more for it because it has been shipped from far away just to get to you. That's why you should always try to shop based on what's in season to help you save money. Also, try to buy local whenever possible. Going to the local farmer's market will also help you build connections with farmers in your area and sometimes they'll even let you start to buy from them directly at a discount.

Looking to save money on a quality juicer? Check out My Juicer.

8 Supplements and Superfoods to Improve Your Health

You've probably heard about the amazing powers of various supplements and superfoods. But which ones are actually worth the money? Which can help you live longer, think harder and function at higher levels in general? Here are just a few brands to check out if you're serious about improving your life.

1. Bioglan Organics Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have so many health benefits that it would almost be easier to list what they can't do. Whether you're looking to boost your brainpower or just increase the shine of your hair, these magical little seeds can get you started. They're also easy to add to all kinds of meals and shakes, so you won't have to worry about finding a place for them in your daily diet!

2. Quality Health Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for centuries in holistic, nature-based medicine, but it's gaining more and more mainstream popularity as people realize how much that it can help conditions like arthritis and rheumatism. Simply put, it's an anti-inflammatory compound that can reduce pain and swelling all over the body, so it will be a very valuable addition to your medicine cabinet if you exercise a lot or have health conditions that cause discomfort.

3. Bioglan Executive B + Maca

Do you have a stressful job? Consider taking one of these capsules from Bioglan. They're designed to calm your nerves while simultaneously increasing your energy and improving your focus, so you'll get all of the benefits of an anti-anxiety supplement without suffering from the lethargy that's usually associated with them.

4. Nature's Way SUPERFOODS ACAI + BERRIES

Acai berries are already great for the body, but Nature's Way has fortified them to be even stronger and longer-lasting. Containing more than 13 times the antioxidants of regular berries, these "superfruits" can be added to everything from smoothies to salads to improve your physical and psychological health. Sharpen your attention; boost your immune system; regulate your bowel movements. Acai berries can do it all.

5. Bioglan Organics Cacao Powder

If you love gorging on chocolate but hate the calories that you add to your diet with every bite, consider an alternative like Bioglan Organics Cacao Powder. It will offer the rich chocolate taste that you crave without any of the fat and sugar of a regular dessert. It's even packed with things like magnesium and iron to give you a health boost while you indulge!

6. Nature's Way SUPERFOODS CHLOROPHYLL

You might be familiar with the term "chlorophyll" from your old science textbooks. It's found in green plants as they undergo photosynthesis and convert sunlight into energy. Nature's Way has harnessed this and put it into a nutritional liquid that can help you feel better, brighter and stronger, so don't be shy about adding it to your morning routine. You can undergo your own kind of photosynthesis!

7. Bioglan Superfoods Coconut Chips

Who doesn't love a crunchy bag of chips? There's nothing wrong with popping a few for a nighttime snack; just make sure that you're enjoying the right kind. Instead of empty calories from a junk food brand, try something like Bioglan Superfoods Coconut Chips. In addition to being nice and tasty, they're also much better for you than the alternatives.

8. Nature's Way SUPER GREENS

If you live a hectic life, you might not have time to prepare delicious and nutritious meals every day. This is where Nature's Way "super greens" can come in handy. It's a simple powder that you add to water or juice to get your daily recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals, and it's perfect for busy people on the go. Enjoy the health benefits of 81 hand-picked ingredients in just a teaspoon of powder!

These are just a few essentials for living a happier, healthier life. Shop for superfoods from Health365 and other companies to give yourself a brighter future!

Seven Surprising Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana

No, I’m not going to tell you like your parents that smoking pot is awful for your health and it is going to destroy you; because it is not true. Well, to some extent it is but I can assure you that smoking pot in moderate amounts had no bad impact whatsoever on your health. In fact, it might as well have a few advantages. In fact, it is the best use of kief! Review his post here. Do you want to know how the medical use of marijuana can actually boost our health? You’ll have to read below to find out.

  1. Your lungs Are Safe

Well, unlike tobacco this thing can have no harmful effect on your lungs at all. So if you think that inhaling anything of this nature is bad for your health, marijuana doesn’t fall into that category at all. In fact, it is very safe.  Medical cannabis can assist with lung functioning and increase the capacity of your lungs while protecting it from falling a prey to cancer. But make sure that you do not smoke tobacco with it, or else it will definitely be bad for your lungs.

  2. Sharper Memory

You didn’t see this one coming, did you? Medical cannabis, unlike other drugs, does not destroy either the neurons or the neurotransmitters of your brain. Instead, they are actually pretty helpful for patients of Alzheimer’s because the cannabinoids reduce the inflammation and accumulation of biological markers in these patients.

  3. Healing Injuries

Cannabis that is medically approved has the capability of healing your brain’s injuries. It has components that act like endocannabinoid which your body naturally produces and it is required to keep your brain safe and sound. Your brain would respond this compound when it is derived from marijuana and therefore; it helps with healing brain injuries quickly if you consume medical marijuana.

  4. No More Nightmares

My psychiatrist once told me that she administers the effects of medical cannabis on her patients who suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. She claimed that the use of medical marijuana for these patients lead them to have fewer nightmares. Generally, nightmares occur during the REM cycle of our sleep. The cannabinoid can interrupt the REM cycle and although it is not good to be interrupted in one’s REM cycle, it serves against the nightmares well.

  5. It Develops The Brain

Cannabis is bad for the brain is a myth well-busted by now. Did you know that cannabis can lead to the formation of new neurons with the help of neurogenesis? It has also been found that it can increase the overall plasticity of your brain. It can treat a lot of diseases like migraines, severe headache and Alzheimer’s etc.

  6. Natural Appetizer 

A lot of people use medical cannabis to increase their appetite. If someone is suffering from anorexia, their way out is definitely the use of cannabis.

  7. Improved Digestion

It would be needless to mention that it increases our appetite precisely because it is helpful with digestion. Medical cannabis can fix your digestion issues by controlling the bacteria in our gut with the help of its cannabinoids.

Author Bio:

Currently a student of English Literature, in his final years, James Martin is passionate about writing his thoughts into words. He takes up writing projects in his leisure time to accompany his studies. Generally, understands the essence of writing on every topic, but especially those that relate to his field. He regularly writes at https://cannabismo.ca/

6 Ways to Craft a Diet that Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Diets are usually designed for one or two purposes: Reduce fat cells and/or increase muscle. When you’re starting out on this journey, it’s important to customize a diet that’s just for you. Just like a tool to reach sobriety, a promotion, or anything else planning is an important part of the goal phase.

Every person is different, which means every diet isn’t for everybody. Do you want to solely decrease or increase fat cell size? Are you looking to increase muscle mass? A combination? Determining what you want from your diet will drive your decisions moving forward.

Also, consider that not all calories are created equally. You might want to reduce fat cells in order to make your clothes fit better, or maybe increase muscle because you like the look of swollen triceps in a tank top. That’s great, and a fantastic way to boost your self-esteem, but it’s important to get there safely. Technically, you probably could reduce fat cells on a diet of nothing but 1,000 calories per day of sugar-free chocolates, but at what cost? It’s not sustainable, it’s not healthy, and your body will being revolting when it realizes it’s not getting anywhere near the nutrition it needs.

Ready to get started? Here are six ways to craft a diet that works for your goals:

  1. Write down a series of goals, both long-term and short-term. A goal might be “lose 50 pounds” but that’s going to take awhile to do in a healthy manner. It will be easy to get caught up in the negativity and give up. You can certainly include that as a goal, as long as it’s reasonable, but also include baby steps to get there. Share your list with your doctor, nutritionist, or other expert and make sure they’re on board. You can also recruit loved ones to be your cheerleaders.
  2. Get in sync with a nutritionist you trust. If you don’t already have a nutritionist, add one to your health dream team. They can be a great resource and source of support during your diet journey. They can help with meal prep ideas, help navigate you towards healthier alternatives, and educate you on nutrition as it impacts you.
  3. Write down your grocery list. When you have a list written down, you’re much less likely to shop on a whim. Also, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Instead, choose a time when it’s not busy and you know exactly where you need to go to pick up everything on your list. Stress can add to the temptation to ditch the list and shop off-course.
  4. Get the rest of the house on board. If you live with others, it can be tempting to sneak some of “their food” while on your diet journey. Not everyone needs to be on the same plan, in fact that’s likely not a good idea, but there’s no “need” to have sheer junk food in the house. Eating wholesome, healthy, local and organic can be a goal for everyone. Modeling healthy eating is also important for parents.
  5. Keep a food diary if that works for you. Does the idea of a food diary inspire you? Or does it make you feel like you’ll get a little too obsessive over calorie-counting? This doesn’t work for everyone, but if it resonates with you it can help you visually see what you’re consuming. All those little snacks and bites add up.
  6. Don’t taste-test if you’re counting calories. Trust yourself and the recipes, especially if you’re cooking for others and it’s not within your diet. This can be too tempting a task for many people—and a great excuse to teach the kids to cook some basics for themselves.

What tools work for you when crafting a diet?

Stevia facts that you should know to understand the goodness of the natural product

Americans are wary of sugar-dense foods and beverages and rightly so because more than 78 million Americans adults are obese. Therefore, it is no surprise that Americans have an inclination for artificial sweeteners over sugar to reduce health problems resulting from the high-calorie intake.  Saccharin and aspartame sweeteners have been popular for as long as sugar alternatives but now Stevia, a natural sweetener is fast coming up to cement its place as a leading alternative to sugar. FDA has approved Stevia as a natural sweetener that holds a lot of promise in putting the sugar woes behind as it gains popularity in coffee shops and some branded soda products.  Besides being a natural product Stevia is calorie free, which increases its attraction. Here are some interesting facts about Stevia.

Stevia originates from plants

Stevia rebaudiana is the name of the plant species found mostly in Paraguay and Brazil that is a rich source of Stevia, the sugar substitute. The local people have been using it for hundreds of years as not only a sweetener, but they use it also for stomach discomfort and treating burns, too. Naturally occurring glycosides in the plant impart the sweetness to Stevia extracted from the leaves after immersing the plant in hot water.

Retaining the naturalness is a challenge

 Despite Stevia having of natural origin, maintaining its naturalness is often quite challenging even for the best Stevia products that you find in the market. For packing Stevia into marketable packages that could have a long shelf life often up to five years, companies have to add some ingredients to it. It is common to find that the Stevia products do contain not only Stevia leaves but also natural flavors and sugar alcohol named erythritol. Some other products might contain dextrose, glucose obtained from starch available from corn, rice or wheat.

Stevia is good for use in baking

You can prepare sugar-free cakes, cookies, and cocktails by using Stevia but must be careful to decide the quantity. Stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, which means you have to make changes in your recipe to substitute sugar with a very small quantity of Stevia.  To make up for the loss of ingredient volume, you have to use a bulking agent.  However, the amount of Stevia would depend on the brand and the recipe.  The form of Stevia, whether it is powder, granules or liquid also influences the quantity necessary for imparting appropriate sweetness.

Stevia cuts off calorie intake

 That Stevia does not have calories means it puts brakes on the calorie intake and would not encourage weight gain. However, it will not help to melt fat or reduce the existing body weight. To reduce body weight, you have to seek some other means while putting a stop to calorie intake by using Stevia.  Controlling sugar intake will not reduce weight if you do not control binge eating and give up sedentary lifestyle.

Depending on the nature of use, choose between Stevia available as powdered concentrates and liquid.

6 Important Health Benefits of Vodka

Vodka is one of the most popular spirits for people who want enjoyment. However, in the past, this spirit was used less for enjoyment than for its medicinal properties. Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverage is the basis of most scientific studies that prove the health benefits of vodka. Read on to know the health benefits of this widely consumed alcoholic drink.

Boosts cardiovascular health

Vodka helps to promote cardiovascular health. It enhances blood circulation in the body because of its dilating effect on the arteries. The unobstructed flow of blood helps in preventing strokes, clots, cardiac arrest, and other types of heart problems. Vodka also helps in reducing the amount of HDL cholesterol.

Skin and hair care

Vodka can be a great beauty aid. It works astonishingly well on the skin and aids in cleansing the pores and tightening them because of its astringent properties. It is quite useful in various botanical beauty products such as toners, cleansers, and even anti-acne regimens. Vodka also enhances healthy growth of hair by eliminating toxins and cleansing the scalp. This spirit can also be used for treating dandruff and is normally used in preparing hair stimulating conditioners and tonics.

Helps you lose weight

HHA vodka is a great alcohol choice if you are following a low-carb diet or trying to lose weight.  It consists of just 64 calories per ounce and it is carbohydrate-free. This is unlike beer that is mainly carbohydrates and has over 100 calories per serving. The best trick is to use tonic as your mixture or use it neat or with sugar-free juices.

Antiseptic benefits

Vodka has antiseptic properties that can be helpful in preventing infections such as animal bites. The alcohol content in the vodka aids in sterilizing the wound. Due to its flavorless and colorless nature, vodka is popular as an extractive solvent and it is mainly used by herbalists in making alcohol-based ointments. Vodka also cures cold sores and helps in disinfecting exposed dermis in open blisters. In addition, it can be rubbed in the chest or back area to bring down fever.

Relieves toothache

Swishing a small amount of vodka can be useful in relieving toothache. You should allow the vodka to be absorbed into the gums as it will reduce pain in the affected area. Vodka can be mixed with cinnamon in specified quantities and used as a mouthwash. It also cures halitosis or bad breath.

Reduces stress

The stress reliever claim can be made for most of the alcoholic drinks; however, vodka has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. Vodka has sleep-inducing properties that can help to relax the body and has a calming effect on the human brain. According to scientific studies, vodka helps to reduce the concentration of the stress factor more effectively than other alcoholic drinks such as red wine.

Before considering consumption of vodka for therapeutic relief, it is advisable that you consult with your doctor first. Most people tend to mix vodka with other sugary juices and this may increase the calorie count and invalidate the low-calorie characteristic. A sensible amount of Hell's Half Acre Vodka will provide significant health benefits and will make an ideal guilt-free drink that you will enjoy.

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