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Blog posts of '2015' 'December'

Looking for the Right Daily Energy Sources? Get the Facts!

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Looking for the Right Daily Energy Sources? Get the Facts!Maintaining energy levels throughout the day can be a large component of good health. Not having enough energy can lead to various consequences such as low moods, a compromised immune system, and being unable to stay productive throughout the day. Keep reading to learn the dos and don'ts when it comes to staying energized and active.

The Little Things Matter

Sometimes a lack of energy may mean your aren't doing the little, simple things that make a difference. For example, drinking plain water to stay hydrated is an important way to support daily energy levels.

Another daily mainstay for supporting nutrition is breakfast. Often touted as the most important meal of the day, the right type of breakfast can help you start your day off right and promote a healthy metabolism. Foods such as eggs, fruits, and whole-grain products are good choices for jumpstarting your day. Lean protein-based foods also provide longer-lasting energy than carb-heavy foods and can help keep you going.

Sources to Avoid

Two ingredients that many people rely on too much these days are sugar and caffeine. Sugar and caffeine are enticing because they provide a fast-acting jolt of energy. However, this initial burst is soon followed by a severe energy crash because the energy they provide is not sustainable. Caffeine may be the lesser of two bad choices, but drinking too much caffeine every day can put you in an unhealthy crash-and-burn cycle. Sugar, in addition to being a bad energy source, is something experts say most Americans need to cut back on in general.

While most caffeine sources come from caffeinated drinks, sugar is found in a variety of foods and drinks. Energy drinks have gained popularity because of their claims of being “good sources of energy.” However, most of their energy comes from hidden sugar or other stimulants. Research has shown that high consumption of these drinks can possibly affect cardiovascular health and blood pressure.

What Steps Can You Take?

Certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can be important sources of energy. Many people have chosen the route of supplementation in order to get adequate amounts of these ingredients in their daily diets.

Nutrients such as ATP, vitamin B12, and 5-MTHF all have their own benefits when it comes to energy. ATP is a molecule found in all living cells. Your cells use ATP to fuel every chemical reaction that occurs in your body. Vitamin B12 aids metabolism, which is the conversion of nutrients from your diet into energy. It also helps support neurological function as well as metabolize fat and protein to boost energy levels in your body. Lastly, 5-MTHF is an active form of folic acid that is readily absorbed by your body. 5-MTHF is involved in DNA production, which, in turn, supports the health of your cells and helps create new cells. These energy sources can help supply you natural energy each day without the dietary negatives or the crash-and-burn effects of caffeine or sugar.

The Right Type of Energy

As with many things in life, the quick-fix solution often doesn't solve the problem. Sugar and caffeine may provide a temporary energy surge, but they don't last and can have unintended consequences. However, maintaining energy levels without negative side effects is possible. Ingredients that give you a natural, sustainable boost of energy will help you feel your best throughout the day without taking a toll on your well-being. Choose wisely!

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Stay Healthy This Holiday Season with a Few Crucial Guidelines

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Stay Healthy This Holiday Season with a Few Crucial GuidelinesRight now you are in the eye of the holiday season storm. While this busy time of year can make you feel like you’re falling off your daily diet and nutrition plans, it doesn’t have to be that way. Maintaining good health for the holidays is possible by following a few simple rules and tips. Consequently, these rules can be applied throughout the year.

Refrain from Skipping Meals

The logical thinking that you will eat less by skipping meals will not help you become healthier or support weight management any better. Even if you’re a calorie counter, skipping meals can backfire because it often leads to overeating during other meals, or constant snacking between meals that can result in a higher daily calorie intake than if you had stuck to regular meals. A recent study done at Ohio State University showed that skipping meals can actually lead to abdominal weight gain and increased resistance to insulin within the liver, which can cause fat to accumulate. In short, sticking to a regular meal plan during the holidays can help you avoid the pitfalls of binge eating and unhealthy weight gain.

Splice in Some Nutrition to Each Meal

Temptation for unhealthy eating is everywhere during the holidays. Between work parties, social gatherings, and family get-togethers—all flush with different types of foods—the propensity to lean towards unhealthy dishes is strong. To counterbalance the potential for unhealthy eating this holiday season, create a rule for yourself to include one healthy food in each major meal. Another rule to follow is to try fill half your plate with veggies. Making half your plate a colorful medley of fruits and vegetables is a safe way to infuse your holiday meals with solid nutrition. In addition, whether you are hosting or going to a potluck gathering, be a good eating advocate by bringing a healthy dish.

Just for good measure, here are some more holiday festivity nutrition tips. Never go to a party or gathering on an empty stomach (see the section above on skipping meals) and don’t base your socializing around food. And lastly, mind your drink calories. Some beverages such as sodas can be filled with a large amount of calories that can add up to almost as much as a whole meal! Try to stay hydrated with water, seltzer water, teas, or low-sugar juices to avoid a calorie splurge from beverages.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Numbers

Keeping track of your nutrition can be a great way to understand your needs, along with your dieting strengths and weaknesses. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to break your nutrition down into exact numbers. This can further help you make healthy decisions during the holiday season. Many daily total calorie intakes are based off of 1,600 or 2,000 calories. According to the American Heart Association, your recommended daily values can be spread across several food and nutrient groups. For example, your total recommended grain intake for a 2,000-calorie diet is 6–8 servings per day, while the recommended daily vegetable intake for a 2,000-calorie diet is 4–5 servings per day.

Researching your daily nutrition recommendations, reading the labels when you’re doing your holiday shopping or preparing food, and staying on top of your nutrition choices can be a great guide healthy holiday eating.

Don’t let the holidays wreck your nutrition this year by falling into the same pattern of making regretful New Year’s resolutions because of bad choices. Be proactive, stay active, and make the healthy choices this holiday season for a great end to 2015 and a nutritious start to 2016.

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