Mindful eating may help in weight loss: study

Source: http://nation.com.pk/26-Nov-2017/mindful-eating-may-help-in-weight-loss-study

Islamabad-A new study led by Carolyn Dunn, a nutrition specialist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, evaluated effect of being more mindful about eating in a weight management programme. The study will be presented at European Congress on Obesity to be held in Porto, Portugal.

Dunn and colleagues evaluated effectiveness of mindful eating in an online weight management programme called Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less (ESMMWL), developed by NC State University and the NC Division of Public Health.

Although it is preventable, obesity is not an easy problem to solve, as many causes and contributing factors including behaviour, environment and genetic predisposition work together to initiate and maintain the disease, the study states.

Individual behaviour affects diet, amount of physical activity or inactivity and medication use. Environmental factors such as availability of a range of foods, opportunity for physical activity, education and food marketing also have a big impact, the study reveals.

Mindfulness is a type of Buddhist meditation during which a person focuses on his or her present thoughts, feelings and sensations. An important feature of mindfulness is to pay attention without judgement or evaluation – there is no right or wrong thought or feeling, there is only the awareness of what it is right now.

Mindfulness entered the mainstream as a therapeutic practice in 1980s through the work of people such as Jon Kabat-Zinn and his mindfulness-based stress reduction programme at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where there is now a centre for mindfulness.

The programme uses an approach to mindful eating where the participant is invited to focus on many facets of dealing and interacting with food, such as paying attention to how it tastes, noticing hunger and fullness cues, and planning mealtimes and snacks.

For their study , which takes the form of a randomised controlled trial, the researchers asked people looking to enrol on the ESMMWL if they would be willing to take part. Of the 80 participants who said yes, 42 were randomly assigned to the intervention group and 38 to the control group.

The results showed that the participants who completed the programme lost more weight than the others who remained in the control group for the duration. The average weight loss in the group that completed the programme was 1.9 kilograms compared with 0.3 kilograms average weight loss in the control group, a result that the researchers describe as ‘statistically significant’.

All participants completed the MEQ, but the before and after differences in the total score and the scores on the subscales were significantly larger in the group that completed the programme than the control group.

“Results suggest that there is a beneficial association between mindful eating and weight loss . The current study contributes to the mindfulness literature as there are very few studies that employed rigorous methodology to examine the effectiveness of an intervention on mindful eating”, the authors of the study remarked. Meanwhile, nutrition experts say some people eat gluten-free food when they do not need to, and they might end up eating less healthy food, too.

Walk into any grocery store across the United States and you’ll find thousands of different products lining the shelves. Yet among the many cans, bags and boxes of food. Many of these products have the words “gluten free” emblazoned across their labels. The food trend is so widespread that the term “gluten free” is now synonymous with healthy, according to nutrition experts.

Andrea Garber, is an associate professor of paediatrics at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and the chief nutritionist at the school’s eating disorders programme and childhood obesity programme.

She said that the choice of eating only gluten-free products could be based on perceived health benefits and not out of medical necessity. This could put the habit into what many in her field call the “halo effect.”

The authors said that an overreliance on stocking your kitchen with gluten-free products could pose serious health risks, especially for children. They cited obesity as the number one concern.

“Where nutritional values of gluten-free products do vary significantly from their gluten-containing counterparts, such as having higher levels of saturated fat, labelling needs to clearly indicate this so that patients, parents, and caregivers could make informed decisions,” Dr Sandra Martínez-Barona, fellow lead researcher from the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe in Spain, said.

Garber said that the study is a good example of how confusing healthy eating has become. “Many people need gluten-free foods because of disease,” she said, adding, “But if you do not, and you eat gluten free, you might be undermining your own health attempts.”

People who have celiac disease do have legitimate reasons to check food labels.

Culled by Ike Onwubuya


Why yo-yo dieting is still better than doing nothing for weight loss

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/21/yo-yo-dieting-still-better-nothing-weight-loss/

Yo-yo dieting is still beneficial for health, new research suggest, after a study showed serial slimmers live longer than those who simply remain fat.

Experts found those who dropped large amounts of weight, only to regain it later had similar life expectancies to moderate dieters.

Around nine in 10 diets end in failure, but researchers said that people should not be disheartened because a cycle of weight loss and gain is still beneficial than not dieting at all.

So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few yearsDr David Allison

Dr David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said people should view dieting like a trip to the dentist.

“If you go the dentist for your six month evaluation, they find there’s some plaque around your teeth and scrape it off, and then they give you a toothbrush and piece of string and send you out and say keep up the good work,” he told the American Association Annual Conference in Boston.

“And six months later, guess what, the plaque is back on. Just like weight loss. Nobody says dentistry is a failure. They say that’s ok.

“A concern with obesity is that you lose the weight and you gain it back within two to five years. And if you do this repeatedly, perhaps you’re harming yourself.

Overweight man
Going on a diet is still a good idea, scientists say CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA 

“We just finished a study in mice and what we found is that when mice who are obese keep on repeatedly losing and gaining that weight, they live longer than the mice that are allowed to stay obese.

“So we think it’s probably not a bad idea to lose weight even if you are going to gain it back and redo it every few years.”

Around two in three British adults are overweight or obese, which increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver disease and cancer.

Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University said: “I agree with the notion that losing weight is generally worthwhile, even if you put the weight back on again.

“We have good evidence from long term follow up studies after controlled intervention studies in humans that there is a benefit.”

However other experts cautioned against yo-yo dieting for health.

Professor Timothy Spector, of  King’s College, London, author of The Diet Myth:  “Data in humans shows that yo yo dieting makes you gain weight long term. In our twin study of 5000 twins the yo yo dieter was usually heavier long term than the identical twin who didn’t diet.

Although mice and men are different , a recent Israeli study in mice found that yo yo dieting causes a massive change in their gut  microbes that permanently alters energy regulation. These microbes cause obesity when transplanted into other mice.

“So the evidence for me shows crash calorie restriction dieting is to be avoided at all costs.”

 Experts also warned that obesity can be contagious, and said socializing with people who were gaining weight puts others at greater risk of becoming fat as well.

Conversely, if friends like spending time in the gym, it encourages more healthy behavior.

Dr Allison said: “One way people have thought about manipulating these social networks is through intervention programmes – maybe we should not treat people individually, but maybe we should have buddy programmes.

“So you and your buddy come in and get the treatment together.

The 20 Most Weight Loss Friendly Foods on The Planet

Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/20-most-weight-loss-friendly-foods/

Not all calories are created equal.

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body.

They can have vastly different effects on hunger, hormones and how many calories we burn.

Here are the 20 most weight loss friendly foods on earth, that are supported by science.

1. Whole Eggs

Once feared for being high in cholesterol, whole eggs have been making a comeback.

New studies show that they don’t adversely affect blood cholesterol and don’t cause heart attacks (1, 2).

What’s more… they are among the best foods you can eat if you need to lose weight.

They’re high in protein, healthy fats, and can make you feel full with a very low amount of calories.

One study of 30 overweight women showed that eating eggs for breakfast, instead of bagels, increased satiety and made them eat less for the next 36 hours (3).

Another 8 week study found that eggs for breakfast increased weight loss on a calorie restricted diet compared to bagels (4).

Eggs are also incredibly nutrient dense and can help you get all the nutrients you need on a calorie restricted diet. Almost all the nutrients are found in the yolks.

2. Leafy Greens


Leafy greens include kale, spinach, collards, swiss chards and a few others.

They have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet.

They are low in both calories and carbohydrates, but loaded with fiber.

Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of your meals, without increasing the calories. Numerous studies show that meals and diets with a low energy density make people eat fewer calories overall (5).

Leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and very high in all sorts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This includes calcium, which has been shown to aid fat burning in some studies (6).

3. Salmon

Oily fish like salmon is incredibly healthy.

It is also very satisfying, keeping you full for many hours with relatively few calories.

Young Girl with Salmon

Salmon is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and also contains all sorts of important nutrients.

Fish, and seafood in general, supplies a significant amount of iodine.

This nutrient is necessary for proper function of the thyroid, which is important to keep the metabolism running optimally (7).

Studies show that a huge number of people in the world aren’t getting all the iodine they need (8).

Salmon is also loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is known to play a major role in obesity and metabolic disease (9, 10).

Mackerel, trout, sardines, herring and other types of oily fish are also excellent.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables


Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts.

Like other vegetables, they are high in fiber and tend to be incredibly fulfilling.

What’s more… these types of veggies also tend to contain decent amounts of protein.

They’re not as high in protein as animal foods or legumes, but they’re high compared to most vegetables.

A combination of protein, fiber and low energy density makes cruciferous vegetables the perfect foods to include in your meals if you need to lose weight.

They are also highly nutritious, and contain cancer fighting substances (11).

5. Lean Beef and Chicken Breast

Woman Eating Meat

Meat has been unfairly demonized.

It has been blamed for all sorts of health problems, despite no good evidence to back it up.

Although processed meat is unhealthy, studies show that unprocessed red meat does NOT raise the risk of heart disease or diabetes (12, 13).

According to two big review studies, red meat has only a very weak correlation with cancer in men, and no correlation at all in women (14, 15).

The truth is… meat is a weight loss friendly food, because it’s high in protein.

Protein is the most fulfilling nutrient, by far, and eating a high protein diet can make you burn up to 80 to 100 more calories per day (16, 17, 18).

Studies have shown that increasing your protein intake to 25-30% of calories can cut cravings by 60%, reduce desire for late-night snacking by half, and cause weight loss of almost a pound per week… just by adding protein to the diet (19, 20).

If you’re on a low-carb diet, then feel free to eat fatty meats. But if you’re on a moderate- to high carbohydrate diet, then choosing lean meats may be more appropriate.

6. Boiled Potatoes


White potatoes seem to have fallen out of favour for some reason.

However… they have several properties that make them a perfect food, both for weight loss and optimal health.

They contain an incredibly diverse range of nutrients, a little bit of almost everything we need.

There have even been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes alone for extended periods of time.

They are particularly high in potassium, a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of and plays an important role in blood pressure control.

On a scale called the Satiety Index, that measures how fulfilling different foods are, white, boiled potatoes scored the highest of all the foods tested (21).

What this means is that by eating white, boiled potatoes, you will naturally feel full and eat less of other foods instead.

If you boil the potatoes, then allow them to cool for a while, then they will form large amounts of resistant starch, a fiber-like substance that has been shown to have all sorts of health benefits… including weight loss (22).

Sweet potatoes, turnips and other root vegetables are also excellent.

7. Tuna

Tuna Fish

Tuna is another low-calorie, high protein food.

It is lean fish… so there isn’t much fat in it.

Tuna is popular among bodybuilders and fitness models who are on a cut, because it’s a great way to keep protein high, with total calories and fat low.

If you’re trying to emphasize protein intake, then make sure to choose tuna canned in water, but not oil.

8. Beans and Legumes

Kidney Beans

Some beans and legumes can be beneficial for weight loss.

This includes lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others.

These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber, which are two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.

They also tend to contain some resistant starch.

The main problem is that a lot of people have problem tolerating legumes. For this reason, it is important to prepare them properly.

9. Soups

A Bowl of Vegetable Soup

As mentioned above, meals and diets with a low energy density tend to make people eat fewer calories.

Most foods with a low energy density are those that contain lots of water, such as vegetables and fruits.

But you can also just add water to your food… by making a soup.

Some studies have shown that eating the exact same food, except made in a soup instead of as solid food, makes people feel more satiated and eat significantly fewer calories (23, 24).

10. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

Dairy products tend to be high in protein.

One of the best ones is cottage cheese… calorie for calorie, it is mostly just protein with very little carbohydrate and fat.

Eating plenty of cottage cheese is a great way to boost your protein intake. It is also very satiating, making you feel full with a relatively low amount of calories.

Dairy products are also high in calcium, which has been shown to aid in the fat burning process (25).

11. Avocados

Avocados are a unique type of fruit.

Woman Holding a Green Avocado

Whereas most fruit is high in carbs, avocados are loaded with healthy fats.

They are particularly high in monounsaturated oleic acid, the same type of fat found in olive oil.

Despite being mostly fat, they also contain a lot of water, so they aren’t as energy dense as you may think.

Avocados are perfect as additions to salad, because studies show that the fats in them can increase the nutrient uptake from the vegetables 2.6 to 15-fold (25).

They also contain many important nutrients, including fiber and potassium.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar

Decanter With Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is incredibly popular in the natural health community.

It is popular for use in condiments, like dressings or vinaigrettes. Some people even dilute it in water and drink it.

Several studies in humans suggest that vinegar can be useful for weight loss.

Taking vinegar at the same time as a high-carb meal can increase feelings of fullness and make people eat 200-275 fewer calories for the rest of the day (26, 27).

One study in obese individuals also showed that 15 or 30 mL of vinegar per day for 12 weeks caused weight loss of 2.6-3.7 pounds, or 1.2-1.7 kilograms (28).

Vinegar has also been shown to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, which may lead to all sorts of beneficial effects on health in the long term (29, 30).

13. Nuts


Despite being high in fat, nuts are not inherently fattening.

They’re an excellent snack, containing balanced amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve metabolic health and even cause weight loss (31, 32).

Population studies have also shown that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and leaner, than the people who don’t (33).

Just make sure not to go overboard, as they are still pretty high in calories. If you tend to binge and eat massive amounts of nuts, then it may be best to avoid them.

14. Some Whole Grains

Oatmeal Flakes

Despite grains having gotten a bad rap in recent years, there are some types that are definitely healthy.

This includes some whole grains that are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein as well.

Notable examples include oats, brown rice and quinoa.

Oats are loaded with beta-glucans, soluble fibers that have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic health (34, 35).

Rice, both brown and white, can also contain significant amounts of resistant starch, especially if cooked and then allowed to cool afterwards (36).

Keep in mind that refined grains are a disaster, and sometimes foods that have “whole grains” on the label are highly processed junk foods that are both harmful and fattening.

If you’re on a very low-carb diet then you’ll want to avoid grains, because they are high in carbohydrates. But there’s nothing wrong with eating some of the healthier grains if you can tolerate them and are not on a low-carb diet.

15. Chili Pepper

Chili Peppers

Eating chili peppers may be useful on a weight loss diet.

They contain a substance called capsaicin, which has been shown to help reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies (37, 38, 39).

This substance is even sold in supplement form and is a common ingredient in many commercial weight loss supplements.

One study showed that eating 1 gram of red chilli pepper reduced appetite and increased fat burning in people who didn’t regularly eat peppers (40).

However, there was no effect in people who were accustomed to eating spicy food, indicating that some sort of tolerance can build up.

16. Fruit

Young Woman Holding an Apple and Banana, Smaller

Most health experts agree that fruit is healthy.

Numerous population studies have shown that people who eat the most fruit (and vegetables) tend to be healthier than people who don’t (41, 42).

Of course… correlation does not equal causation, so those studies don’t prove anything, but fruit do have properties that make them weight loss friendly.

Even though they contain sugar, they have a low energy density and take a while to chew. Plus, the fiber helps prevent the sugar from being released too quickly into the bloodstream.

The only people who may want to avoid or minimize fruit are those who are on a very low-carb, ketogenic diet, or have some sort of intolerance to fructose.

For the rest of us, fruits can be an effective (and delicious) addition to a weight loss diet.

17. Grapefruit

One fruit that deserves to be highlighted is grapefruit, because its effects on weight control have been studied directly.

Young Girl Holding Sliced Grapefruit

In a study of 91 obese individuals, eating half a fresh grapefruit before meals caused weight loss of 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) over a period of 12 weeks (43).

The grapefruit group also had reductions in insulin resistance, a metabolic abnormality that is implicated in various chronic diseases.

So… eating half a grapefruit about a half hour before some of your daily meals may help you feel more satiated and eat fewer overall calories.

18. Chia Seeds

A Pile of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.

They do contain 12 grams of carbohydrate per ounce, which is pretty high, but 11 of those grams are fiber.

This makes chia seeds a low-carb friendly food, and one of the best sources of fiber in the world (44).

Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 11-12 times their weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in your stomach (45).

Although some studies have shown that chia seeds can help reduce appetite, they have not found a statistically significant effect on weight loss (46, 47).

However, given their nutrient composition, it makes sense that chia seeds could be a useful part of a weight loss diet.

19. Coconut Oil

Cracked Coconut

Not all fats are created equal.

Coconut oil is high in fatty acids of a medium length, called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).

These fatty acids have been shown to boost satiety compared to other fats, as well as increase the amount of calories burned (48, 49).

There are also two studies, one in women and the other in men, showing that coconut oil led to reduced amounts of belly fat (50, 51).

Of course… coconut oil still contains calories, so adding it on top of what you’re already eating is a bad idea.

So this is not about adding coconut oil to your diet, it is about replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is also worth mentioning here, because it is probably the healthiest fat on the planet.

20. Full-fat Yoghurt

Another excellent dairy food is yoghurt.

Yoghurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut.

Having a healthy gut may potentially help protect against inflammation and leptin resistance, which is the main hormonal driver of obesity.

Just make sure to choose full-fat yoghurt… studies show that full-fat dairy, but not low-fat, is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes over time (52).

Low-fat yoghurt is usually loaded with sugar, so it is best to avoid that stuff like the plague.

The three golden rules for losing weight: Dump pizzas and crisps, avoid processed food and cut back the booze

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4104118/The-three-golden-rules-losing-weight-Dump-pizzas-crisps-avoid-processed-food-cut-booze-s-eight-delicious-dinners-help.html

All the best-selling diets ask you to believe in a central idea. Sometimes it’s an appealingly simple premise: carbohydrates are toxic, or eat like a caveman.

Other diets rely on a ludicrously complicated gimmick, such as an analysis of your blood type or the acidity of your food. In my opinion, most of it is nonsense.

Most diet plans have a deeply flawed scientific premise and they might work, for a while, if you stick to them. But dieting is a tricky business. It is about fighting an extremely basic human urge: the desire to eat.

Ditching the pizza and curbing your alcohol intake are two of Dr Xand's three golden rules for losing weight

Ditching the pizza and curbing your alcohol intake are two of Dr Xand’s three golden rules for losing weight

If you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, I am convinced you will have to change your life and your approach to food.

That’s why I created my Definitive Diet, serialised all this week in the Mail. I spent months investigating the world’s most popular diets and took all the good bits — while discarding the waffle and gimmicks.

The diet plan I came up with consists of really easy recipes for tasty home-cooked meals so you can get started on losing weight right away.

Because we live in a world full of temptation it can be useful to have healthy eating guidelines to support you. Whether you have a lot of weight to lose or a little, you want quick results or you are happy with a slow burn, these three rules will make sticking to my plan a lot easier.


This is the culinary equivalent of pornography or slot machines or birthday cards for pets — all very well, but the world wouldn’t be a worse place without them.

Junk food isn’t nourishing. It is designed purely as entertainment. It is made with the aim not of feeding you, but of temporarily and inadequately comforting you.

Food should make you feel full or at least satisfied. But junk food does the exact opposite — it makes you hungry.

If you eat a chocolate bar, packet of crisps or doughnut, you’ll usually end up feeling hungrier than if you’d eaten nothing. The real problem lies in the fact that junk food is highly appealing. It’s cleverly formulated and can be delicious. There’s a specialised art in creating irresistible foods that didn’t exist a few decades ago.

If you were a food manufacturer, wouldn’t you hire scientists to invent food that was addictively delicious? The tastier you make the food, the more of it people will eat — and the more money you will make. Food such as salted caramel, honey-coated nuts and stuffed-crust pizzas have been designed to make you eat more than you need or even want.

We are surrounded by these ‘hyper-delicious’ foods, which, unfortunately, are almost impossible to resist. Food design is a sophisticated science that researches just the right ratio of fat, sugar, salt and chemical flavourings delivered with the perfect amount of crunch, creaminess, chunkiness and chewiness to seduce your human brain. Frankly, it doesn’t stand a chance.

Many junk foods work by giving you a powerful hit of the reward chemical dopamine, which allows you a minute or more of intense pleasure followed by longing as levels drop.

This is why it’s so easy to eat a whole family pack of tortilla chips by yourself. Over-eating isn’t lack of willpower, it is dopamine gone crazy — and the food scientists have made it happen.

If you want to lose weight, you can’t eat junk food. It’s simple. And if it’s there, you will eat it — because that’s exactly how it’s been designed.

So remove it all from your house: put crisps, biscuits, sweets and chocolate bars in the bin.

If it’s not in the cupboard, you can’t reach for it and it’s no more a waste to throw it away than to eat it. In fact, it’s much better.


We have become frighteningly reliant on processed foods, convincing ourselves we are far too busy to cook from scratch or we couldn’t possibly rustle up a proper meal without a packet mix or a jar of sauce.

The food industry happily perpetuates that belief. And even if you believe you rarely eat processed food, take a look through your kitchen cupboards. There are, after all, varying extremes of processing.

A microwave meal with an infinite shelf life will be processed beyond belief, and anything in a box or packet will have a list of ingredients your grandmother wouldn’t recognise.

I urge you to try to develop an extreme hatred of plastic-wrapped food because if it is made in a factory, its job is to make you buy more of it, not to nourish you and fill you up.

Before you eat anything, ask yourself: what has been done to it? And how many ingredients does it contain?

The more ingredients something has the further you should run from it because you can be sure those ingredients have been added to make you crave that food.

But if I buy a bag of dry roasted peanuts (which has about ten ingredients) or, worse still, smoked almonds, which are horribly addictive, it is so much harder to stop eating.

Every ingredient is there to make you eat more.

And make a conscious decision to avoid everything with MSG or ‘flavour enhancers’, which really does make food taste amazing.

The danger is that it acts on your brain in a pretty fundamental way, as it makes the food it’s added to hard to stop eating. Avoid it if you want to get closer to a good idea of when you’re full and when you’re not.

Eat real food instead. Peel your own fruit, buy meat with bones in it, wash your own salad. You’ll save money and you’ll think more about what you’re eating and the quantity you need.

Get started on making your own delicious meals from scratch with these simple, nutritious and calorie-controlled meals created for the Daily Mail by chef Georgina Davies.


Dry January is a great time to start a dietary regime because not only are you free from having to factor in the extra calories in that glass of wine or ‘medicinal’ gin and tonic, but you’re much more likely to stick to the plan.

After a few drinks with friends, you are far more likely to say: ‘To hell with the diet!’

So I believe it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol on the rapid weight loss one-meal-a-day plan.

You can have one or two drinks a week in your two-meals-a-day plan. Just apply caution (and watch your calorie intake) on the three-meals-a-day plan.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4104118/The-three-golden-rules-losing-weight-Dump-pizzas-crisps-avoid-processed-food-cut-booze-s-eight-delicious-dinners-help.html#ixzz4VSkZoofv
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Health Benefits Of Okra

Source: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-okra.html

The health benefits of okra include its ability to lower total cholesterol levels, improve digestive health, improve vision, boost skin health, protect infant health, prevent certain cancers, strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular health, aid the immune system, lower blood pressure, and protect heart health.

Okra is a flowering plant that is known in many parts of the world as ladies’ fingers or bhindi, and is most highly prized because of its seed pods. The scientific name of this interesting plant is Abelmoschus esculentus and it is unsure where the actual beginning of this vegetable was. Contrasting research says that it could have been South Asian, West African, and Ethiopian in origin, but the jury is still out. America is the main country that calls this vegetable okra, and it has many names around the world.

Okra is frequently used in dishes from the Caribbean to China, and its popularity is increasing all the time, particularly since this vegetable pod can be used as a pickled vegetable, an ingredient in soups, side dishes, and also utilized for its oil, which can be extracted and used as a vegetable oil.

There are plenty of alternative uses for okra, due to its wide range of health benefits, but most of the health benefits are due to the minerals, vitamins, and organic compounds found in this vegetable.

Nutritional Value Of Okra

Okra might not be the most conventional vegetable in the garden, but its rich content of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Furthermore, okra contains high levels of mucilaginous fibre.

Health Benefits Of Okra

Digestive Health: Perhaps the best part of adding okra to your diet is the significant increase it can have on your total fiber intake. Mucilaginous fiber like you find in okra can help move food through your digestive tract by adding bulk. This means that bowel movements are more regular and there is a reduction in gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, cramping, constipation, and excess gas. Oddly, it also helps prevent diarrhoea, because it adds bulk to watery stools. Finally, fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol in the body.

Vision Booster: Okra contains a very high content of vitamin A, as well as antioxidant components like beta carotenes, xanthein, and lutein. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that destroy or neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. Free radicals are responsible for the degradation of the cells in the body, including those responsible for vision. With high levels of okra in your diet, you will have more protection for your sight, including macular degeneration and cataracts.

Skin Health: Vitamin A antioxidants are also able to protect skin health, by promoting quicker healing, reducing the appearance of scars and acne, and eliminating wrinkles. This is because the antioxidants are able to neutralise the free radicals which may have damaged those skin cells.

Immune System: The various antioxidant components of okra make it very beneficial to fight off free radicals, but the high vitamin C content also means that the general immune system is boosted. Vitamin C can stimulate the immune system to create more white blood cells, which can combat the other foreign pathogens and materials in the body that can compromise the immune system.

Blood Pressure and Heart Health: Okra is a good source of both vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which is an essential aspect of human health. Potassium is necessary to maintain proper fluid balance in the body because it balances sodium. Furthermore, potassium helps to relax the blood vessels and arteries, which therefore reduces blood pressure and lessens the strain on the cardiovascular system. This means that clotting and atherosclerosis will be greatly reduced.


Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Men Over 40 and Beyond

Source: https://www.verywell.com/weight-loss-tips-for-men-over-40-3495586

Simple strategies to reach and maintain your best body as you age safely
By Malia Frey – Reviewed by a board-certified physician. Updated April 25, 2016

Man weighing himself

Man weighing himself. Mike Kemp / Getty Images

Losing weight as you age is a struggle for both men and women at any age. When the pounds pack on, men may want to lose weight too. Women often complain that weight loss gets harder as they get older. But do men also have a harder time losing weight as they age? I talked to two experts on my Men’s Guide to Weight Loss panel about the challenges that men face when they try to slim down in their 40s and beyond.
They provided great weight loss tips for men (and women!) who are getting older and want to stay lean and healthy.
Does Weight Loss Get Harder with Age?
You might associate age-related hormonal issues with women, but men also have hormonal changes that can affect their weight as they age. “While men don’t have the myriad of hormonal issues that women do, we men do have our own set of hormonal issues,” says “Biggest Loser” champ Pete Thomas. He points to a reduction in testosterone levels, decreased muscle mass and a slowing of metabolism that men face as they age.   
Researchers do know that testosterone decreases with age and that less testosterone can cause a decrease in muscle mass. But scientists still wonder if the weight gain that both men and women face is caused more by hormonal changes or by changes in activity levels. Some studies indicate that age-related weight gain is inevitable while others suggest that you can minimize weight gain by staying very active.
Healthy Eating
Learn diet tips and recipes that make food the easiest part of your weight loss plan.
8 Tips to Lose Weight (or Stay Lean) as You Age
The rules for achieving or maintaining a lean fit physique don’t necessarily change as you get older. But there are some considerations that you should take into account if you want to slim down in your 40s or beyond. Use these tips to lose or maintain your weight as you age.
Connect with your doctor. Your expanding waistline may put you at risk for certain health conditions, including heart disease. Get regular check-ups and ask your doctor key questions about the way that your weight affects your health. If you get rid of your beer belly, you may improve your chances of living a longer, more active life.


Focus on body fat percent. Don’t throw away your bathroom scale, but fat-loss expert and best-selling author Tom Venuto suggests that you worry less about weight and focus more on body composition. Learn how to check your body fat percent. Then try to maintain more fat-free mass to stay active and maintain a healthy metabolism.


Build muscle. What’s the best way to improve your body fat percent? Build muscle! “Resistance training for life is a crucial part of the solution,” says Venuto about maintaining a healthy weight as we age. He says that some people find it easy to lose weight as they get older, but maintaining muscle mass is really the key to keeping your body lean and healthy.


Get enough aerobic activity. Building muscle is important, but don’t forget to do activities that get your heart pumping. Recommendations for the amount of exercise you need depend on your goal and can vary from 150 minutes per week to over 250 minutes per week. Change the duration of each workout to reach your goal and keep your body strong enough for sustained activity.


Incorporate functional training. If we gain weight because we become less active, as many researchers believe, then one way to minimize weight gain is to increase our daily activity. Functional training improves our ability to carry out activities of daily living, which can help us burn calories through non-exercise activity thermogenesis and stay lean.


Maintain healthy habits. As we age, it can get easier to let go of the routines that keep us healthy. For example, poor sleep may affect your food choices during the day. And if your alcohol intake has increased, your waistline may have gotten bigger because of it. Take time to evaluate and build healthy habits that improve your longevity.


Evaluate important relationships. Has your marriage been affected by a change in your weight over time? Has your sex life changed because of your size? Do you avoid active family activities because you’re too big? Facing these relationship issues may give you the incentive you need to make healthy changes and slim down.


Stay positive. Pete Thomas lost enough weight to win a Biggest Loser challenge. He says that you need to learn how to believe in yourself to slim down successfully. “If any man or women believes it will be really hard or impossible to lose weight then that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and even getting started with healthier habits becomes a chore.” He says the worst possible thing to do is to not even attempt to change.

Get Motivated to Leave the Weight Behind as You Age
If you are overweight and getting older, don’t use your age as an excuse to give in. Weight loss is possible for men and women in their 40s and beyond. Stay active, stay connected with your doctor and stay smart to get and keep a healthy body for life.
Jeffery Kahn. “Middle Aged Weight Gain; Men Unlikely to Outrun It.” Berkeley Lab Research News April 1997.
Erin S. LeBlanc, Patty Y. Wang, Christine G. Lee, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Jane A. Cauley, Andrew R. Hoffman, Gail A. Laughlin, Lynn M. Marshall and Eric S. Orwoll. “Higher Testosterone Levels Are Associated with Less Loss of Lean Body Mass in Older Men.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism December 2011.
Allan Mazur, Ronny Westerman, Ulrich Mueller. “Is Rising Obesity Causing a Secular (Age-Independent) Decline in Testosterone among American Men?” PLoS ONE Oct 16, 2013.
Williams, Paul T. “Maintaining Vigorous Activity Attenuates 7-yr Weight Gain in 8340 Runners.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise May 2007.

Health benefits of the moringa plant

Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/magazines/allwoman/Health-benefits-of-the-moringa-plant_14751124

The moringa plant is of African origin and has been touted as the miracle plant. It has been in Jamaica since 1817 and is now found growing islandwide. Still, many persons are unaware of its medicinal and nutritional benefits.

Moringa has seven times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more vitamin A than carrots, four times more calcium than milk and twice as much protein as milk. It has three times more iron than almond and three times more vitamin E than spinach. It is considered in many circles to be the number one treatment for high blood pressure and diabetes, which are common to Jamaicans.

The moringa plant increases the natural defence of the body to beautify the skin, promote energy, gives a feeling of wellness, improves the body’s immunity, stabilise sugar, provides nutrients to eyes and brain, acts as an anti-oxidant, and promotes good cholesterol and normal functioning of the kidney and the liver.

I read where your weight is 210 pounds and that you are diabetic. It is time to do something about your weight and diabetes and moringa can be part of this programme.

In the case of your diabetes, vitamin A found in high quantities in the moringa, acts as an antioxidant to convert beta-carotene, which thereby reduces the risk of blindness.

Vitamin C, which is in abundance in moringa, is very important for regulating effectively the production of insulin. It has been shown that insufficient vitamin C affects the capacity of the pancreas to secrete insulin. Vitamin B12, which is also found in the moringa leaf, is used to treat neuropathic diabetes. In addition to this, vitamin D which is found in large proportions in the moringa plant also reduces the chances of children developing type one diabetes.

Apart from using the moringa plant in the treatment of diabetes, there are also some other things which you can do to help with your treatment. You will definitely need to exercise. You may need to work out at least 45 minutes to one hour per day.

Try to eliminate bread, pasta, white flour and rice as much as you can from your diet and incorporate raw and steamed vegetables in your daily meal plan instead. Don’t forget to have your vegetables and a fair amount of fruits.

Moringa, especially the leaves, are also helpful in weight loss. Persons wanting to lose weight can benefit greatly from ingesting the moringa leaf, which can be cooked like a vegetable, eaten raw, or added to juices or tea. These leaves are low in fat and carbohydrates, but are extremely high in protein, vitamins and minerals.

The moringa leaf can be taken as a nutritional supplement because of its high nutritional content. It is also able to convert food to energy quickly and can reduce the possible storage of fat.