Blog Posts by LIVESTRONG.COM

  • Starter Tips for Losing Weight

    There are few things in life more daunting and complicated than wading through the 10s of thousands of diet and weight loss programs on the market to try to choose one that meets your needs. The advice is contradictory, difficult and potentially dangerous. To add insult to injury, new evidence indicates that diets don't work and may, in fact, contribute to weight gain. If you're just starting out, circumvent the whole fad diet culture and make small changes based on the advice of respected experts. Even then, the lifestyle changes you make must fit with your lifestyle. Your own body is the best guide to creating a successful program.

    Don't Diet
    Even the federal government knows that diets don't work. In fact, in an article entitled "Medicare's Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer," published by the American Psychological Association in 2007, the federal government acknowledges that as many as two-thirds of all dieters gain more weight in the long run than

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  • The Wonderful Healing Properties of Common Foods

    According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a plant-based diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes can help detour stress and disease because of the protective nutrients and powerful antioxidants. The American Heart Association says that diet is one of the best ways to fight cardiovascular disease. Finding the link between nutritious foods and healing the body is possible.

    Vegetables/Fruits
    The Cancer Project explains that the pigment within fruits and vegetables that give them their dark colors is called carotenoids and they help prevent cancer. Cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts all contain flavones and indoles which have anti-cancer activities, thus healing the body of potentially harmful disease. Sweet potatoes have vitamin A and potassium, needed to promote a healthy nervous system and brain function. Broccoli has vitamins A, C and K. Vitamin K is especially important for blood clotting and strong bones. Berries are

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  • Brain Food Diet


    Overview

    According to "Psychology Today," "the right food, or the natural neurochemicals that they contain, can enhance mental capabilities" in seven different ways. It has been reported that some foods, particularly those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can help you concentrate better, tune up sensorimotor skills, keep you motivated to be able to complete tasks, magnify memory, speed reaction time, relieve stress as it arises and even prevent aging of the brain.

    Fish
    According to LiveScience.com, Leigh Gibson of Roehampton University in England is quoted as saying that "People who eat diets high in saturated fat are more susceptible to cognitive deficits." However, omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be helpful in treating depression and other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Fish is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, and according to "New Scientist" magazine, fish is a top-notch brain food, as it feeds and lubricates a developing brain, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

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  • Meal Planning Tips for Children with Diabetes

    nice boy at playground image by Aleksey Kondratyuk from Fotolia.comnice boy at playground image by Aleksey Kondratyuk from Fotolia.com

    Although a child with diabetes presents challenges, it's possible for your youngster to enjoy a relatively normal life. Diet is a basic method of controlling diabetes. By implementing some basic concepts, you and your child can plan for meals and avoid unsafe situations. Making a habit of healthy food choices will allow your child to have the benefit of a healthy, happy childhood.

    Healthy Carbohydrates

    Plan to include healthy carbohydrates in your child's diet. There are two basic categories of carbohydrates: simple sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates). According to the Nemours Foundation, simple carbohydrates cause your child's blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Simple carbohydrates include fructose, lactose and fruits. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains and starchy vegetables, and produce a slower rise in blood glucose. When planning meals, avoid processed foods with high sugar content. Instead, focus on healthy carbohydrates such as

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  • Fast Food Quiz


    Many fast food restaurants have altered their notoriously unhealthy menus to provide some fresher and more wholesome options. However, some fast food items that are promoted as "healthy" are actually loaded in fat and calories and other items. Take the following quiz to see if you are fast food nutrition savvy.

    1. Which of the following contains the MOST calories?
    a) Burger King whopper with cheese
    b) McDonald's double quarter pounder with cheese
    c) McDonald's Selects (10 pieces)
    d) Wendy's Big Bacon Classic

    2. Which has the LEAST amount of fat?
    a) Wendy's spring mix salad, thousand island dressing
    b) McDonald's bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken, ranch dressing
    c) Burger King tender crisp garden salad, light Italian dressing
    d) McDonald's Southwestern salad with crispy chicken, southwestern dressing

    3. How many calories and saturated fat grams are in the McDonald's Fruit'n Yogurt Parfait (contains yogurt, berries, and granola)?
    a) 300 calories, 2 grams bad fat
    b) 160

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  • How to Use Garlic in Treating Hypertension

    How to Use Garlic in Treating HypertensionHow to Use Garlic in Treating Hypertension

    Overview
    High blood pressure--also called hypertension--is one of the most common cardiovascular problems in North America. It is affected by your diet and lifestyle and occurs when your arteries experience increased pressure on the artery walls. High blood pressure has also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. One of the best-known natural treatments for hypertension is garlic. Whenintegrated into your daily diet, garlic can help lower blood pressure and improve your health.

    Step 1
    Consume a whole garlic clove on its own or incorporated it into a meal. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating two to four fresh garlic cloves each day. HolisticOnline.com reports that consuming as little as one garlic clove daily can improve your hypertension.


    Step 2
    Take freeze-dried garlic tablets daily. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you should take two 200 mg tablets three times each day. Garlic contains

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  • How to Prevent Your Skin From Peeling After a Sunburn

    How to Prevent Your Skin From Peeling After a Sunburn


    Overview
    Redness, pain and peeling skin are unmistakable signs that you have spent too much time in the sun. Peeling after a sunburn is the body's attempt to rid itself of sun-damaged cells and protect you from premature aging and skin cancer, according to the University of Heidelberg. Unfortunately, peeling skin is also itchy and unsightly. While peeling cannot always be avoided, you can reduce the likelihood that your skin will peel by taking proper care of it immediately after sun exposure.

    Step 1
    Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Drugs such as Ibuprofen reduce sunburn pain and inflammation and decrease the risk of peeling. The Mayo Clinic states that anti-inflammatory drugs are most effective when taken very soon after sun exposure.

    Step 2
    Take a cold bath or shower to cool your skin down. Do not wash your sunburned skin with harsh soaps and avoid rubbing your skin dry after bathing, as these may increase the likelihood of peeling.

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  • The Best Ways to Get Thicker Hair


    The Best Ways to Get Thicker Hair


    The thickness of hair can vary greatly from person to person. Naturally thick hair is often a direct result of a person's genetic traits. This occurrence is also evident for people with fine, brittle hair. The idea of permanently accepting these naturally born traits can leave a person feeling frustrated and incapable of changing their circumstances. Fortunately, there are many different ways you can improve thickness, and provide a fuller look to hair of all shapes and lengths.

    Nourish Hair
    Hair is composed of building blocks in the body known as proteins. In effect, by incorporating more protein in your diet, you are directly supplying your hair with the means to grow it to healthy and thick proportions. Large sources of protein include meats, eggs, beans and fish.

    Multivitamins
    While staying on course with a healthy and adequate diet is the most important aspect of nutrition, there are many other nutrients that you could be missing. This is where vitamins and

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  • 7 Herbs for Diabetic Treatment

    7 Herbs for Diabetic TreatmentBy Janet Contursi

    Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder that involves the way your body produces and uses insulin. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas cannot produce insulin, or produces too little. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, a condition in which your body builds resistance to the amount of insulin produced and continually requires more. Herbs for diabetes work to lower blood sugar and relieve the organ damage caused by diabetes.

    Garlic
    Garlic acts against the oxidative stress and free-radical damage produced by high blood sugar. In the 2009 issue of "Nutrition Research and Practice," a report by lead author Dr. Y.M. Lee found that the antioxidants in garlic may prevent diabetic complications like heart and kidney disease. The researchers also found that aged black garlic has higher levels of antioxidants than regular garlic, with a greater potential for preventing diabetic complications.

    Lingonberry
    Lingonberry has

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  • Three Easy and Effective Water Exercises

    Exercises in Water

    Exercising in the water offers a different kind of workout. Water exercises provide the resistance you'll need to build and tone muscle without having a heavy impact on your joints like running or walking do. If you have access to a pool or even a lake or the beach, try some of the most common water exercises.

    Water Walking
    It may seem simple, but just walking through water can be an effective resistance and toning exercise, since your muscles have to work harder to move through the water than on land. Use a part of the pool where the water is about waist high, and use long, exaggerated movements to walk to the other side of the pool. The water will likely cause you to want to walk on your tiptoes, but focus on keeping your feet flat to the ground as you walk. Move your hands front to back as you walk. Walk four widths of the pool and take a break.

    Treading Water
    It will help keep you afloat, but treading water can also give you a cardio and resistance workout. Find a deep

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