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Five Foods That Can Have a Powerful Impact On Your Health

Five Foods That Can Have a Powerful Impact On Your Health

It seems like there is a pill that can cure virtually any ailment. What many people don’t realize is that synthetic medications can often be replaced with foods that are commonly available at your local grocer. If you’re suffering from any minor health problems, simply adding one of these inexpensive foods may be just what the doctor ordered.

1. Bok Choy

If you’re on a calorie restrictive diet, getting all of your essential nutrients can be a challenge. Fortunately, bok choy may be the perfect solution. This leafy plant is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. It’s closely related to kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Only a single cup of bok choy contains 64% of your daily vitamin K, 59% of your vitamin C, 40% of your vitamin A, and several other important micronutrients. It’s also an essential source of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, iron, and fiber. A huge portion of our health problems is caused by a lack of these nutrients. Selecting foods that are nutrient rich can leave you feeling better all around.

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2. Cinnamon

Chances are; you’ve never considered a cinnamon bun or a caramel macchiato a particularly healthy choice. But cinnamon itself has some incredible health benefits that simply cannot be ignored. It’s an extremely effective antioxidant. This prevents your cells from being damaged by oxygen molecules that have been exposed to free radicals within our body. Regularly taking antioxidants can prevent heart disease and mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. In fact, antioxidants have been proven to reduce many of the effects of aging such as visual degradation, wrinkles, and memory loss.

3. Chickpeas

Diabetes is a major health problem in today’s society. It is caused by high blood sugar levels and resistance to insulin. Even if you have a diet high in sugars, chickpeas can help prevent diabetes. They help to even out your insulin levels, and transport sugars all over your body. This prevents the unnatural blood sugar spikes that can cause diabetes and the reciprocal insulin spikes that can cause cravings for more sugar.

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4. Potatoes

Just like tomatoes and eggplants, potatoes are part of the nightshade family. They are one of the cheapest foods to produce, and can have a major impact on your health. They are high in iron, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium, all of which help to maintain bone structure. Potatoes aren’t the only foods that contain these minerals. However, it is extremely important to maintain a proper balance between them. Too much phosphorus and too little calcium, or vice versa, can result in bone loss. Fortunately, potatoes contain the perfect balance for our bodies.

The potassium they contain also helps to improve vasodilation – widening of the blood vessels. This can reduce blood pressure and promote heart health. It’s important to remember, however, that high levels of sodium can counteract these effects. While potatoes are regularly used in junk foods such as fries or chips, these snacks will not allow you to take full advantage of all the health benefits potatoes can offer.

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5. Tofu

Tofu is a popular food made from soybean curds. It’s extremely popular with vegetarians and vegans as it is so high in protein. Even if you still enjoy the occasional steak, tofu is a fantastic food to add to your diet. Most protein containing foods are chock full of cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are common and can lead to high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. These problems are very difficult to reverse, so it’s important to watch your cholesterol intake while you are still healthy.

Tofu absorbs the flavor of anything it’s cooked with. Simply fry some up with little vegetables or chicken and you’ll be able to double your protein intake while cutting your cholesterol levels in half.

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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