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5 Insanely Simple Diet Hacks That Will Transform Your Life

5 Insanely Simple Diet Hacks That Will Transform Your Life

Frustrating, isn’t it? You want to eat better, you really do.

The problem is, each week you read about a new superfood that will cure all your ailments, and a new diet that will deliver weight loss and glowing health. Then you read that last week’s “scientific claims” are bogus. You wonder if you should give up, and continue to eat junk since it’s impossible to figure out what is actually good for you.

But you’re sick of feeling so tired and sluggish. Sick of struggling to get out of bed each morning. Sick of envying the healthy, energetic people you know.

You’re also fed up with trying to decode fact from  fiction when it comes to nutrition.

Well here’s a secret. Evidence shows that adding a couple of key foods to your diet can give you a big boost.

Add these five simple powerhouse foods to your diet, and you’ll soon be on the road to more energy and less lethargy.

1. Sip antioxidants to stay young.

Antioxidants are nature’s way of protecting our bodies from aging and cellular mutation from invaders, as in cancer. Pack in as many antioxidants from our diet as you can.

A study comparing the antioxidant capacity of 283 drinks found that hibiscus tea trumped all others. You can find Hibiscus tea in many inexpensive herbal tea mixes. Two cups of hibiscus tea per day were shown to lower blood pressure as much as a 25mg dose of captopril taken twice per day. Hibiscus appears to produce nitric oxide which helps the blood vessels to dilate and relax.

Don’t like hibiscus tea? Matcha green tea, red wine, green tea, coffee, and black tea also contained high levels of antioxidants.

To-Do: Replace sugary sodas by unsweetened teas, coffee, and red wine (in moderation) and grape juice to protect your cells.

 2. Eat legumes to live longer.

Legumes (aka beans) are one of nature’s perfect foods: low in fat, no cholesterol, and high in fiber and protein. People across the globe who add legumes (aka beans) to their diet live longer. This study found that bean consumption in Sweden, Japan, Greece and Australia decreased the likelihood of death by 8% for consuming only two tablespoons of beans.

Navy beans, pinto beans, and soybeans have been proven to drop cholesterol. Beans  help you to feel full for longer, encouraging consuming less overall calories. Choose a type of bean that you like — black beans, garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), white beans, or kidney beans.

To-do: Buy a couple cans of your favorite organic beans, and add them to salads, stir-frys, and pasta. Don’t worry — he gas-passing factor usually passes after two weeks.

3. Eat nuts for a slender waist.

Do you shy away from nuts because they’re high in fat? Despite their high fat content, nuts will help you to lose rather than gain weight. People who eat nuts tend to be slimmer  and don’t gain weight proportional to the fat and calories in nuts. Studies show that people lose weight, especially in the abdomen, when they add nuts to their diet.  (Check out this comprehensive review of the evidence. Eating nuts can protect you from heart disease and diabetes, and even help you to live longer.

In the Harvard Nurses Study, nut consumers had fewer deaths from cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease.  A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School has shown that a diet high in walnuts suppresses tumor growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis) in a mouse model of human colorectal cancer. Mice fed a walnut-heavy diet had significant tumor shrinkage relative to mice fed a corn-based diet.

To-Do: Keep a variety of unsalted nuts close at hand for snacks and  sprinkle them on salads with abandon.

4. Gorge on greens for happy blood vessels.

Greens are a secret to keeping your blood vessels happy. Greens like collards, kale, spinach and arugula help the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide, which keeps the tiny linings of our blood vessels soft and pliable. Imagine a natural chill pill for your blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels reduces your risk of heart attacks and lowers your blood pressure.

When you eat fish, meat and eggs these same vessels get stiff and rigid. Their endotoxins cause systemic inflammation immediately after eating them. Arugula, swiss chard, beet greens, basil, cilantro and kale are the best sources of nitric oxide.

As an added bonus, greens release cancer-fighting chemicals when chewed in the mouth.

To-do: Buy a big back of pre-washed greens and eat a handful or two with your lunch and dinner.  Chew well.

Raw and ground turmeric on wooden surface

    5. Spice your palate and slash inflammation.

    This bright yellow powder is one of nature’s strongest anti-inflammatory, even works better than some drugs. Turmeric suppresses inflammation, is an antioxidant, and has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and the growth of tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis).  Daily use of turmeric in the Indian diet in curries has been linked to lower rates of Alzheimer’s and cancer.

    To-do : Sprinkle a bit of turmeric with black pepper on your plate.

    Boost Your Energy

    You want to say goodbye to feeling lethargic and heavy?

    Then boost your energy with these simple diet tweaks. They’re a painless way to increase your vitality and improve your health.

    It’s easy to buy a bag of nuts, some cans of beans and bunches of greens.

    It’s easy to sip red wine and green tea.

    It’s easy to smile when you know you’re helping your body.

    Making these changes will help you live longer, healthier and happier.

    And who doesn’t want a long, healthy, happy life?

    Featured photo credit: Dollarphotoclub via media.lifehack.org

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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