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10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

There is just so much conflicting advice about what’s healthy and what’s not these days. What should actually be on a healthy shopping list?

1. Choose Water in Glass Bottles

water

    If you buy bottled water, choose water in glass bottles. Unlike plastic, no chemicals leak out of glass, so the quality of the water put into the bottle is preserved.

    The compound BPA was shown to be leaking into water from plastic bottles. It has been linked to a variety or serious health problems. Although this chemical has been phased out of a lot of bottles, other unpleasant compounds are still present in plastic that find their way into the water. How long is it going to be before other chemicals are also linked to health problems? Perhaps it’s a good idea to avoid plastic bottles altogether.

    2. Choose Organic Produce

    fruit and veg

      Produce that is not grown organically may be covered in chemical pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill things, so it’s unlikely they are going to do the human body any good! Additionally, chemical fertilizers have been added to encourage growth. Again, these are completely unnatural chemicals that your body has difficulty coping with. This type of produce isn’t really compatible with a healthy shopping list.

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      Organic food contains far fewer, if any, pesticides. The other huge benefit is that organic food has much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These smaller nutrients are important to keep your body healthy and protect you against cancer.

      3. Choose Food That Creates a Rainbow of Colors

      One of the keys to eating a healthy diet is to get a wide variety of smaller nutrients.

      Natural food gets its colour from the nutrients it contains. So, if you look into your shopping basket and see an array of natural color, you can be fairly certain that you have a good variety.

      4. Choose Fruit With a Lower Sugar Content

      fruit

        Regardless of where sugar comes from, too much of it isn’t good for you. It is a major factor that contributes to weight gain.

        However, there are loads of benefits to eating fruit, and you can reap those benefits by choosing fruit with a lower sugar content. These include berries, raspberries, and strawberries. Berries are also particularly high in healthy antioxidants.

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        5. Choose Dark Green Vegetables

        green veg

          Dark green, leafy vegetables and salad leaves are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

          A mixed salad that includes things like spinach is going give you loads of nutrients that will maintain your health. The paler the vegetable, e.g., iceberg lettuce, the less quality nutrition there is.

          6. Choose Genuine Free Range Eggs

          When a chicken is allowed to forage for its own food, it ends up eating a natural diet for a chicken – vegetation, worms and insects. A naturally-fed chicken will produce fabulous quality eggs which are rich in nutrients and natural fats. The yolk will be a deep orange.

          Unfortunately, most commercial eggs come from chickens that fed on grain, a by-product of corn. This isn’t a natural diet for a chicken, and as a result the eggs aren’t quite up to scratch. You can tell this by the pale yellow colour of the yolk.

          Chose free range eggs and check their quality by the color of their yolks.

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          7. Choose Grass-Fed Meat

          meat

            A cow’s natural diet is grass, not grain. Most farmed animals are fed grain to fatten them quickly. This isn’t a natural diet for a cow, so the meat of this cow won’t be as high-quality as that of a naturally-fed cow would be.

            Exclusively grass-fed animals have a lower fat content in their bodies. Also, the fat that is present is quite rich in healthy fats that are good for the people eating them, such as omega 3. These healthy fats are not nearly as plentiful in grain-fed animals.

            8. Choose Wild Fish

            Farmed fish suffer from effects similar to those of farmed land animals. They don’t tend to be fed on their natural diet, and they can’t swim as much as they would in the wild. For these reasons, farmed fish have more fat and less protein in their bodies.

            Wild fish eat a natural diet. Consequently, the protein and fats in their body are in perfect proportion.

            9. Choose Good Sources of Omega 3 Fats

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            oil

              Omega 3 fats are extremely important for health. They play a role in keeping your heart healthy, your joints supple, and your immune system working well. Deficiency leads to a wide variety of health problems, ranging from dry skin to obesity. Yes, a lack of (the right) fat, can make you fat!

              It’s thought that the most common deficiency in Western countries is omega 3. A really good source is wild oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and herring. Salmon and tuna are good sources as well. Grass-fed meat and quality eggs can also supplement one’s supply of omega 3. Additionally, flax seeds and chia seeds provide vegan options for omega 3.

              10. Don’t Choose Refined and Processed Foods

              butter

                The refining process removes many, if not all, of the health benefits of natural foods. For example, refined white flour has lost most of its fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

                Man-made and processed foods have few (if any) health benefits, regardless of what clever marketing might want you to believe. A prime example is margarine, which was created in a French chemist’s laboratory. The French emperor at the time wanted a cheap substitute to butter, which was needed to feed the army in addition to poorer people. Margarine was the answer.

                You’ll make massive leaps with your health by avoiding food that is no longer what it started out as, or is the creation of a chemist.

                Featured photo credit: Berry, Brie & Almond Salad/Amazing Almonds via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                1. Cat Camel Stretch

                Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                3. Jumping Jacks

                Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                4. Abductor Side Lifts

                Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                5. Balancing Table Pose

                This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                ablab

                  6. Leg Squats

                  Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                  Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                  The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                  7. Push Ups

                  You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                  An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                  Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                  This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                  8. Bicycle Crunches

                  There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                  Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                  9. Lunges

                  Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                  Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                  This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                  10. Bicep Curls

                  You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                  Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                  Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                  Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                  Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                  These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                  You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                  Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                  More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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