Cinnamon And Weight Loss – 8 Cinnamon Health Benefits

 

Cinnamon And Weight Loss - 7 Cinnamon Health Benefits

Adding some spice into your life may be just what the doctor ordered, and cinnamon and weight loss go hand in hand. This delicious, aromatic bark from the genus cinnamomom tree has a key weight loss feature in its ability to stop those unruly SUGAR cravings, and will also help keep blood sugar stable. Both of which are key elements to fighting fat – and more specifically, dangerous belly fat.

 

Different Types of Cinnamon:

Before we start it is essential for you to understand some little known facts about cinnamon. There are actually 2 different types, Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon, and although they both taste similar, they are very different in terms of health benefits.

 

ceylon cinnamon is the best
Ceylon Cinnamon

For Health Reasons, It is VERY IMPORTANT You Know the below Information About Cinnamon Before You Buy it!!!

Ceylon cinnamon is the more expensive kind but has more superior health benefits, it also has a flaky bark (see pic). But most people who buy pre-ground cinnamon from the supermarket will more than likely be consuming the cassia type. Cassia often comes from China, is 10 times cheaper than ceylon, and is actually BAD for you if you eat it regularly – I will explain why in a bit.

Most cinnamon labels do not disclose which type of cinnamon they use as it all comes under the umbrella term of cinnamon, but pretty much ALL pre-ground super market cinnamon will be this cheaper variety.

 

Side Effects of Cassia Cinnamon:
cassia cinnamon is fake
Cassia Cinnamon

The problem with cassia cinnamon is this: although it does share some of the health properties of Ceylon, it is 1200 times higher in a substance called caumarin. This compound is dangerous when ingested regularly (especially if you are going to start using cinnamon every day) as it can cause serious health problems, including liver and kidney damage.

Luckily, most people don’t use cinnamon in high enough amounts for this to be an issue, and it is often just used as an occasional spice in bakery. But if you are going to be using it regularly you should buy the flaky variety of cinnamon bark, NOT the hard curls (see pic), and grind it yourself. This really is the only way to know that you’re getting the real deal.

 

CINNAMON AND WEIGHT LOSS – PLUS 7 CINNAMON HEALTH BENEFITS

1. WEIGHT LOSSCinnamon burns fat

Cinnamon can help with weight loss – and I’m talking belly fat loss specifically. This is because of the effect it has on blood glucose. When we a eat carbohydrates of any kind, which includes all things sweet, flours, grains, starchy vegetables, pulses and fruit, insulin is naturally released from the pancreas to mop those sugars up pushing them into cells to either be used for energy OR stored as fat.

 

Sugar Addiction:

As most of us are ‘hooked‘ on sugar and high GI carbohydrates, we are often on a sugar train of eating high GI foods, having an insulin response, and then (if those sugars are not used for energy ,which mostly they’re not) having those sugars stored as FAT.

Cinnamon can decrease the amount of glucose entering the blood after a meal by interfering with digestive enzymes, which in turn slows the breaking down of carbohydrates in the digestive system and therefore lowering a meals GI… cool huh? 

 

Low GI Eating:low GI eating helps you burn fat

Cinnamon is a great addition to a weight loss program, however, you should also be eating a low GI diet for not only better blood sugar control, but also because this type of diet not only contains lots of high antioxidant, anti aging super foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and pulses, but also lots of fiber to keep the digestive tract in tip top condition.

For more easy to understand ‘how to’ information on how to make these changes and start clearing the junk out of your life (and more importantly your precious body) please check out these further posts.

’10 East Steps To Clean Eating’

‘Low GI Foods List’

‘Foods To Burn Fat Fast’

 

A Slower Release of Sugars Means Less Hunger Pangs:

Now to the crux of the matter – the slower those sugars are released into the bloodstream, then slower and more sustained release of energy you will get. This will not only stop you craving more sugar or carby foods again so quickly, but will also make you feel fuller for longer. And that’s the point – stable blood sugar stops the  cravings that make you gain weight!

 

2. IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITIVITY

Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas to clear and transport sugars (carbohydrates) from the blood and into cells. The problem now is many people are becoming insulin resistant due to this hormones overuse in high sugar diets.

Insulin resistance is one of the main hallmarks of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cinnamon is so powerful that it can actually reduces insulin resistance dramatically: it does this by helping insulin to function properly to lower blood sugar levels.

 

3. ANTI DIABETESCinnamon is Anti Diabetic and lowers a meals GI

As well as its powerful effects on insulin cinnamon also lowers blood sugar in other ways:-

  • Decreasing the amount of glucose to hit the bloodstream after you have eaten a meal.
  • The insulin mimmicing compound that cinnamon contains helps to vastly improve the uptake of glucose into cells, a good thing because insulin is a vital part of keeping blood sugar stable.

Numerous studies have been conducted that now confirm cinnamon most certainly has anti diabetic properties, and at doeses of 0.5-2 teaspoons a day can lower blood sugar levels by 10-29%.

 

4. ANTI AGING 

All of the above benefits lead into the amazing benefit of anti aging too. A low GI diet and better blood sugar control will keep you looking young, and that’s an absolute FACT! All these sugar highs and lows actually accelerate the aging process, not just on the outside, but on the inside too.

A low GI diet and blood sugar control will keep chronic inflammation to a minimum, which in turn will lower your chances of many diseases and illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, alzheimer’s and some cancer’s. Given the fact that cinnamon in itself is a powerful anti inflammatory, adding it to a low GI diet will only enhance this effect.

 

5.  ANTIOXIDANTSantioxidants slow down the aging process

Cinnamon is higher in antioxidants than any other herb or spice. Antioxidants are an absolutely essential part of our diet because  they mop up the free radical damage caused in our bodies by toxins.  These toxins come from many sources, such as food, environment, sun exposure, alcohol or nicotine. In fact we are being bombarded from ALL angles by toxins every day, and many of which we have no control over such as traffic pollution and aeroplane fuel.

Free radicals are basically unpaired electrons that steal electrons from our own cells, thus causing damage to our DNA. This damage then causes aging and disease, but eating high levels of antioxidant rich foods will help negate this damage and slow down the aging process.

 

6. LOWERS RISK OF HEART DISEASE

Now the biggest killer of our time, heart disease is something we all simply must take preventative measures towards, and this is where cinnamon could be a great supplement. A recent study concluded that a dose of just 120 milligrams a day can reduce bad LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, and increase good HDL cholesterol.

 

7. ANTI CANCERcinnamon can help destroy cancer cells

Cinnamon’s effect on cancer cells and tumor growth has so far only been studied in animals, but was found to be toxic to cancer cells and to cause cancer cell death.

A separate study on mice with colon cancer showed cinnamon had the ability to activate detoxifying enzymes in the colon, therefore having a protective effect against further growth. These amazing results were also supported in test tube experiments, where it was seen in human colon cells to activate a protective antioxidant response.

 

8. ANTI FUNGAL

Cinnamon is a powerful anti fungal, anti microbial and anti bacterial, and is great in the treatment of fungal infections such as in candida overgrowth. It can also inhibit certain bacteria like salmonella and listeria from growing.

It is often used as a digestive aid to help eliminate gas and bloating, and also alleviates IBS symptoms.

 

HOW TO USE CINNAMONadd cinnamon to any meal

Cinnamon is a very versatile spice: after you have sourced out your real ceylon cinnamon’ sticks (don’t forget, these are the FLAKY bark variety, not the hard tubes), you can grind them up in either a coffee grinder or pestel and mortar and add to pretty much anything you fancy.

Freshly ground cinnamon tastes just fabulous and smells super fresh. You can bake with it, sprinkle it on your cereal, or add to deserts, yogurt’s or hot drinks such as herbal tea’s or your bedtime milk.

Go crazy with it and try new things, just be sure to get at least a teaspoon into your diet every day to reap all these awesome benefits.

 

 

Thank you for reading this article. I always endeavor to bring you the most up to date and science based evidence in the health and nutrition industry. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you so please post below.

 

 

 

What Is An Apple Cider Vinegar Diet? – ACV and weight Loss

What Is An Apple Cider Vinegar Diet? - ACV and weight Loss

We’re always looking for easy tricks and cheats to help burn off the pounds with minimum effort right? Well the apple cider vinegar diet is exactly that – it’s easy to do, cheap, and takes absolute minimum effort – just what we’re all looking for.

Apple cider vinegar has actually been around for centuries, and been used for quite literally all manner of things from killing viruses to a shine tonic for hair. There’s no doubt it’s versatile, and recent studies are proving some great facts about apple cider vinegar (ACV) mainly in regards to it’s weight loss properties.

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing cider apples and squeezing out the liquid, after which bacteria and yeast are added to the juice, triggering the fermentation process. It is this fermentatIon process that turns the sugars from the apple juice into alcohol. After this there is a secondary fermentation process where an acetic acid-forming bacterium will convert that alcohol into vinegar.

This is a process that can be done in your own home with just a few ingredients (if you’re inclined to making homemade things), OR as apple cider vinegar is relatively cheap to buy it may be a good idea to purchase a bottle and try it out first.

 

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help with Weight Loss?

This is the $64,0000 question…well in short, apple cider vinegar may work on different levels as a weight loss aid, and can very easily be added into your diet with a little knowledge and know how. Let’s take a look at how some of the latest research and evidence adds up.

 

1. BOOSTS FULLNESS

It is the compound acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar that is said to have these weight loss benefits. A study on mice from Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that apple cider vinegar suppresses body fat mass and increases energy expenditure, therefore resulting in weight loss.

A similar study involving 155 obese patients discovered that over 12 weeks, those in the group that consumed 15-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar had lower body weight, lower body fat, and fewer inches on their waist than those who didn’t. This was without making any other changes to their lifestyle or diet.

 

Calorie Reduction

Apple cider vinegar reduces a meals GI

And yet another study found that in a 12-week period the participants taking between 12-30 ml (1-2 tablespoons) of apple cider vinegar before a high carbohydrate meal had feelings of satiety, and this led to an overall reduction of 200-275 calorie intake over the rest of the day.

You can imagine how this adds up over the weeks and months. In fact, those taking a 15ml dosage 1xdaily before a high GI meal lost 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg) over the 12-week period, and those taking a double dose of 30ml 1xdaily before a high GI meal lost 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg).

This is awesome news, and definitely warrants giving apple cider vinegar a shot to see if it works for you. Try it with your main or highest GI meal of the day, for best results ideally your highest GI meal should be at breakfast or lunch which is when you need the energy for the day ahead.

You will also want the effects of satiety to help you eat less food for the rest of the day. Have higher protein meals in the evening when your body needs less energy.

Satisfaction and fullness were the two key points of the study, as these are the two most important components to long term weight loss. Nothing is worse than eating a paltry “diet” meal and still feeling hungry afterwards. No sir, we do NOT like that! This not only hinders our weight loss efforts making us more likely to ‘cave’ at the mere whiff of a cream horn, and also makes our lives miserable. Balance in everything is always the key!

 

Long Term Benefits

So, anything that we can add into our every day diets that may give us an extra edge is well worth the effort. You may not lose huge amounts of weight on apple cider vinegar alone in the short term, but look at the long term benefits. You could also just use it for weight maintainence. Every little helps.

 

LOW GI MEALS

Lowering a meals GI really is the cornerstone to losing weight, and belly fat specifically. GI (glycemic index) is the rate in which a foods sugar hits the bloodstream, the higher the GI the quicker the sugars are released (high GI foods are considered fast sugars) and this is bad in terms of weight loss and health in general.

 

Excess Sugar is Stored as Fat

cake is a high sugar treat

When sugar is released quickly into the blood like it is with high GI foods, this prompts the body have a rapid and huge insulin response in order to clear those sugars out of the bloodstream. This sugar is then sent into the liver and muscles where it is metabolised and either used for energy or stored as FAT.

The problem is, these ‘fast’ sugars don’t all get used up for energy (unless you’re about to run a marathon or do something that involves vast amounts of energy) and so they are stored as fat. And worse still they are stored as the dangerous abdominal fat that is much more of a health risk in terms of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

This is where having the GI of your meal lessened by apple cider vinegar may be of benefit not only in terms of weight loss, but also for the general health benefits of keeping blood sugar stable.

 

WHAT IS THE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR DIET?

How To Take Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss purposes:

Firstly, there are many ways you can add apple cider vinegar to your diet as it is pretty versatile and can easily be added to your meals in various ways. If you want to actually lose weight like the participants in the study, then I suggest you do what they did and have 15-30 ml in water with a squeeze of lemon and maybe a little raw honey to taste before your highest carb meal of the day.

Or you could take 15 ml twice a day, one before breakfast and one before lunch if this fits in better with your life style. Either way you should take up to 30 ml a day, but no more than that in case of stomach issues.

 

Maintenance

hot honey and lemon cider vinegar drink

If you are just going for weight maintenance  then you could just try adding apple cider vinegar to your every day diet in other ways such as:

  • In a salad dressing
  • In a hot drink with lemon, honey, cinnamon sticks, sliced fresh ginger and cloves (great for colds but also a tasty drink just for a cold winters day).
Other Ways of Weight Management

Do not rely on apple cider vinegar alone. Boost your fat burning efforts even more by incorporating these other fat burning foods into your diet. Altogether they will all have a cumulative effect, making it easy for you to stay trim without having to bat an eyelid – all you need to do is to make sure you do add them into your diet as much as possible!

 

OTHER USES FOR APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

DIABETES

Apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity and can significantly lower blood sugar levels and insulin response, AND when 2 tablespoons are taken before bed can reduce your fasting blood sugars by 4%, making this vinegar useful for diabetics, pre diabetics and EVERYBODY in general. We can all benefit from stable blood sugar – indeed it is vital if we are to avoid many potential health issues in the long term, and let’s not forget, stable blood sugar helps keep us slim!

Important Note: You may need to consult your doctor before using apple cider vinegar if you are on other blood sugar lowering medications.

 

KILLS BACTERIA

The substance acetic acid which is the compound in apple cider vinegar, can kill pathogens including bacteria and prevent them from multiplying to harmful levels – although not all of these uses have been tested scientifically as of yet. Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years in the treatment of wound healing, disinfecting, treating fungal infections, warts, lice and ear infections.

 

LOWERS CHOLESTEROLApple cider vinegar is good for the cardiovascular system

The biggest killer of our time is now cardiovascular disease, and both heart disease and stroke come under this term. Some studies in rats have so far shown that apple cider vinegar may help negate some of the risk factors that are precursers to cardiovascular disease. This is because ACV may help lower triglyceride levels and blood pressure, and also protect LDL particles from becoming oxidised (oxidation is a crucial step in the heart disease process).

It must be noted here that these studies have only so far been trialed in rats, and more research is needed before anything is confirmed. But as apple cider vinegar has so many other benefits with no nasty side effects you have nothing to lose by trying it.

 

PROBIOTIC

Raw, unpasturised apple cider vinegar like other fermented foods, acts as a probiotic for the gut and contains trace minerals, pectin, beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Keeping the gut in balance by eating lots of probiotic and prebiotic foods keeps the immune system strong, weight under control, balances hormones, AND can even treat depression and anxiety. Yes, everything starts in our gut so it is crucial we keep it ticking over nicely.

 

Important Note:  As with most things in life, you really must source out good quality if you want to reap the most benefits. When it comes to apple cider vinegar you really should purchase Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the ‘MOTHER‘. I know this may sound strange but this term means ‘unfiltered’, ‘unrefined’ and ‘unpasturised’. The ‘Mother’ is the colony of beneficial bacteria that is similar to a Kombucha ‘SCOBY‘. This is what helps make the vinegar through its secondary fermentation process.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds to find this as most apple cider vinegar’s already contain the ‘Mother’, and this will be labelled on the packaging as such.

 

Extra eight Loss Tips:

For long term weight loss and management I believe it is far better to make a number of different weight control tactics a habit. Don’t rely on any one thing as there is so much more you can do to get your body in to its best shape ever. For more information you may want to check out these other fat loss tips posts.

15 Plant Based Fat Loss Superstars

Green Food Supplements

Burn Stomach Fat Fast

 

Thank you for reading this post. I always endeavour to bring you the most up to date science based research in the nutrition industry. If you have any questions I would love to hear from you, please post below. 

 

 

Foods High In Antioxidants – Top 21 Anti Aging Foods

 

Foods High In Antioxidants - Top 21 Anti Aging Foods

 

Antioxidants keep us youthful and so we need a plentiful supply of them to maintain healthy bodies and to keep our brains sharp well into old age. All plants based foods are high in antioxidants, but some more so than others. In fact some of these top 21 anti aging foods truly deserve super food status due to their impressive array of phytochemicals and other nutrients that help keep us in tip-top health.

 

WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS EXACTLY?

Antioxidants are specific molecules found in certain foods that help inhibit the oxidation of other molecules (ie the molecules inside every cell in our bodies). This is important because oxidative damage is one of the root causes of most diseases, illnesses and AGING in general.Unpaired electrons are free radical scavengers

Oxidative damage to our cells is caused by many seemingly benign every day activities and addictions (see list below) that cause our cells to split thus triggering free radicals in our body. These unpaired electrons called free radicals then scavenge our bodies looking to pair themselves up again, causing damage on their way to our DNA, our cells and other proteins.

Therefore it is crucial this free radical damage be negated as much as possible, because this damage when it gets out of control can have a domino effect, eventually triggering diseases such as cancer, alzheimer’s, and most other age related illnesses.

 

WHAT CAUSES THIS OXIDATIVE DAMAGE?

  • Over exercising OR not exercising enough Both of these can cause oxidative stress so stick to no more than an hour a day, and by the same token make sure your’e doing at least half an hour 5 times per week. 
  • Over eating, especially sugars and refined carbohydrates – Over eating causes our mitochondria to release more ‘exhaust’ so to speak, and this  creates higher free radical levels from the burning of fuel from our food for energy.
  • Excessive stress – Something that we’re all guilty of in our busy lives, excessive stress literally is a killer! It causes us to release the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn produces inflammation in the body thus creating free radical damage. It’s also worth mentioning here that chronic inflammation underpins most diseases and illnesses.Alcohol causes free radical damage in the body
  • Too much alcohol – Excessive drinking increases cytokine levels which are molecules that cause oxidative stress through inflammation.
  • Smoking – an obvious one! – Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals – which sounds absolutely horrendous right? And it’s these chemicals – the worst being formaldehyde, lead, arsenic and ammonia that cause the most destructive kind of oxidative stress which will almost certainly lead to disease and ill health.
  • Ionizing radiation – Now this can mean many things, but most commonly is exposure to the sun (as in sun damage), or mobile phones, WIFI, airplanes and X-rays can all cause oxidative stress in our bodies.
  • Fungus – Molds and fungus like those found in your bathroom or in damp houses contribute to oxidatve stress in the body, as do candida and other fungal infections in and on the body itself.
  • Burnt foods – Especially burnt meat or cheese – the process of burning food oxidises it and when consumed causes oxidation, thus free radical damage in the body.
  • Poor sleep and chronic insomnia – Both of these cause stress due to the fact that the body hasn’t been able to rejuvenate and repair itself properly – in the long term this will have a snow ball effect in terms of oxidative damage and the resulting problems.Pollution in the air damages our detoxification system
  • Pollution and chemicals – Again this can come in many forms, from household pollutants such as cleaning products, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos and make up etc, to the outdoor pollution of industrial toxins, airplane fuel and car exhaust fumes. Even our food is full of chemicals, preservatives and fertilisers and the water we drink full of yet more chemicals
  • Infections – Chronic long term infections such as chlamydia and gum disease all contribute to oxidative stress and damage in the body.
  • Bad liver and gut detoxification – When the liver becomes overwhelmed in its pursuit of detoxifying all of these toxins it will produce yet even more free radicals which perpetuates the cycle even further. At this stage a proper detoxification may be necessary to bring the system back into a state of balance.

 

DETOXIFICATION

As you can see there are many ways in which our body comes under free radical attack, and many of them simply cannot be avoided – BUT you can go a long way to giving yourself a helping hand, which is where antioxidant rich foods come in. These alone should not be your only protection, but they will help, especially alongside other lifestyle changes:-

  • A healthy diet.
  • Adequate exercise
  • Not smoking.
  • Watching alcohol intake.
  • Staying away from as much as possible heavily polluted areas.
  • Lots of houseplants to purify air.
  • Where possible buying organic food, cosmetics and soaps.
  • Staying away from or cutting down drastically on junk foods, fried foods, burnt foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.

The detoxification systems of the body

 

Remember, your body is designed to detoxify itself, and without this magnificent system beavering away inside of us 24/7 we would not survive even a day. It is important to understand that we were not designed to detoxify from all the harsh pollutants we are exposed to in our modern world. This puts a huge strain on our liver and other detoxification organs, meaning eventually the battle is lost and we succumb to disease and sickness. This is why it’s vital we take precautions to help prevent this.

 

FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS – TOP 21 ANTI AGING FOODS

This list is of the most commonly found foods that are the highest in antioxidants. You should aim for at least 7+ portions of these per day to keep your body in good health and detoxified adequately. They are also great for anti aging, and should be eaten in their most rawest state possible (or very lightly steamed) which will help to keep those nutrients and fibers intact.

 

  1. Berries of all kindsGrape skins are high in antioxidants
  2. Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
  3. Pecan Nuts
  4. Kidney Beans
  5. Corriander
  6. Pomegranates
  7. Pumpkin SeedsTomatoes are high in antioxidants and lysine
  8. Red Wine/ Red Grapes/ Raisins
  9. Sweet Potatoes
  10. Kale
  11. Broccoli
  12. Tomatoes
  13. Prunes
  14. Oranges
  15. SpinachBell peppers have colourful antioxidant pigments
  16. Brussels Sprouts 
  17. Onions
  18. Beetroot
  19. Bell Peppers
  20. Green Super Food

 

 

Side Note: There are many green super food powders available on the market that are all great for detoxification purposes including spirulina, wheatgrass, barleygrass, moringa and blue/green algae’s. They deliver a concentrated hit of nutrients that have been picked and freeze dried at their peak.

I take a shot of a green food supplement every day and I couldn’t live without it as I notice the difference so much in my complexion and energy levels. I can only presume if it’s showing from the outside then it must be doing so much more on the inside that I can’t even see!

The powder I use and can thoroughly recommend as being the best I’ve  tried is Dr. Schulze’s Green Super Food Powder. This has a unique blend of all the best green superfoods and grasses and takes your skin to another level – it’s true what they say that beauty really does come from the inside!

For help clearing out your cupboards and getting healthy foods into your diet the easy way please visit my post ‘Easy Steps to Eating Healthily.

 

stefanie taylor

Thank you for reading this article. I always endeavour to bring you the most up to date and science based research in the health and nutrition industry. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you so please post below.

 

 

 

 

 

High Calcium Foods List – Top 9 Plant Sources

 

Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life – it builds strong bones, helps blood clotting, is vital for transmitting messages through the nerves, and also in the release of certain hormones. If we don’t get enough through our diet then our body will leach it from our bones leaving them weak and vulnerable. Find out the top 9 plant sources of this essential mineral on this high calcium foods list.

 

PLANT BASED EATING

fruits and vegetables are full of phytonutrients

If you’re striving towards a more plant based way of living, then you may very well be wondering where your’e going to get your calcium. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that we can only get calcium from dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt – but this is far from the truth.

In fact it is so far from the truth that you probably won’t believe what I’m about to tell you – that there are many plant foods that are actually HIGHER in calcium than dairy products.

Not only are these foods high in calcium but they are also super healthy in other respects because they are higher in protein, fiber, antioxidants, plus other phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals than most animal based foods. This makes the plant based diet when done correctly with attention to what you are eating, a very healthy way of life.

Attention to what you are eating is the important part here as your health could actually be worse off if you become a junk food vegan. It is crucial before embarking on any restrictive eating plan that you have an understanding of what your body needs, and which foods you need to be eating to obtain it.

 

GETTING THE NUTRIENTS YOU NEED

You will need to make sure you get enough protein (which is actually way easier than you think), calcium, low GI carbohydrates, and a whole array of nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

Sounds hard and like too much effort right? Well believe me, I thought the same thing when I started out on the plant based lifestyle, but the benefits have been so immense that I can’t even begin to describe in this post – clear skin, clear mind, vitality and increased energy are the most prominent side effects I have noticed since cutting animal products from my diet.

 

Just Learn the Basics to Begin with

Carrots are full of calcium

You don’t need to know everything right away; just the basics and the rest you will learn as you go along. It is so easy nowadays to live the plant based lifestyle what with the internet being awash with vegan recipes, and our supermarkets have also followed suit by stocking plant milks, cheeses, frozen meals, coconut ice creams (yummy by the way) and loads of other goodies. 

Even fast food joints and restaurants are adding vegan menus, allowing you to eat out without being looked upon like an alien from outer space when you order your tantiaising plate of vegetables. It’s literally never been easier to convert to this lifestyle than it is right now, and it’s only set to become an even bigger trend this year.

 

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH CALCIUM?

When you start eating plant based, or even if you have decided to cut out dairy for whatever reason (maybe you are dairy intolerant), then you will need to be mindful of getting enough calcium, and it really is best to get this from food rather than take supplements which just aren’t absorbed as well.

Calcium is so important to health because when we don’t get enough our bones get weaker and leave us more susceptible not only to breakages, but the dreaded osteoporosis that affects 1 in 2 females and 1 in 4 males at some point in their lives. These odds do often have other factors involved such as genetics, ethnicity, bone structure, body weight, certain diseases, and some medications BUT getting enough calcium is a major player here.

Of course, these risks can be negated by making sure that you eat a healthy diet that meets your calcium needs; stay within a healthy weight range; and keep bones strong through weight bearing exercise. Get these down and you should be OK.

 

HOW MUCH CALCIUM DO I NEED?

CHILDREN – 1300MG PER DAY

WOMEN UNDER 50 – 1000MG PER DAY

WOMEN OVER 50 – 1,200MG PER DAY

MEN UNDER 70 – 1000MG PER DAY

MEN OVER 70 – 1,200 MG PER DAY

 

HIGH CALCIUM FOODS LIST – 9 PLANT BASED SOURCES

 1. TOFU

Sliced Tofu is delicious

Tofu can be one of the best sources of calcium on the plant based diet due to the fact that most tofu is already fortified with it. You will need to check different brands to find one that contains good amounts, but some offer up to 33% of your daily intake in just one cup.

Tofu is also extremely high in protein and contains all 8 amino acids, plus iron, copper, zinc, B1 and the minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and selenium. 

Soy products are estrogenic and can lead to hormone disruptions in both men and women if eaten in large quantities, so you should stick with just a couple of servings a week

 

2. BLACK EYED PEAS

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup (canned) 370MG 38% of your daily intake.

Beans all contain calcium, but the highest by far are black eyed peas which can easily be added to stews, soups, and salads. They also contain good amounts of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, D and C, and you can buy them canned for ease of use.

 

3. KALE AND SWISS CHARD

Kale is full of fiber and calcium

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup (cooked) 197MG 19.7% of your daily intake.

Kale and Swiss chard are the highest calcium of all the vegetables, and also contain fiber, phytonutrients, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins C, E and A.

These greens are known super foods due to their superior nutritional profile, and should be eaten only lightly cooked or steamed to retain their nutrients. I like to saute mine quickly with some coconut oil (fat helps the absorption of many of kale’s nutrients) and also some garlic, chili and lemon juice.

 

4. SESAME SEEDS

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 tablespoon 140MG 14% of your daily intake.

Sesame seeds hold the highest calcium content of all the seeds ( but the others are also good) and1 tablespoon contains the same amount of calcium as half a cup of milk. You can easily eat these seeds in the form of tahini, which you can then add to meals, or use as a topping sprinkle for cereal.

It is best eaten pulverised up to a powder form, otherwise a lot of it just goes in and comes out whole again – so chew thoroughly!

 

5. BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Butternut Squash is full of nutrients

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup 84MG 8.4% of your daily intake.

Not only is butternut squash high in calcium but it also contains carotonoids, which are great for the prevention of heart disease, arthritis and asthma.

It is also a magnificant source of nerve soothing vitamin B6, potassium, folate, panothenic acid, and manganese – making it a vegetable you should consume regularly on your plant based diet.

 

6. ALMONDS

CALCIUM CONTENT- 23 nuts (large handful) 76MG – 7.6% of your daily intake.

Almonds are delicious, and full of protein and nutrients – calcium being one of them. Plus they are an easy and transportable snack that can be popped into your handbag and taken anywhere. Perfect for those times when you are tempted to snack on unhealthy fast foods!

They are also choc full of fiber, and their skins are said to contain over 20 different antioxidant flavenoids, all of which are good for anti aging. They also contain vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, and potassium to boot.

 

7. ORANGES

Oranges Contain Lots of Calcium

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 large orange 75MG – 7% of your daily intake.

Well who knew it? this was even a new one on me. Oranges contain a really high amount of calcium – plus they are delicious and like almonds, easily transportable. They also contain what they are most famous for – vitamin C, along with potassium, B-vitamins, vitamin A, and magnesium.

Oranges are also great for re hydrating and refueling sugars after a workout.

 

8. SWEET POTATO

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 large potato 68MG – 7% of your daily intake.

I just love sweet potato wedges, baked in the oven with coconut oil and some spices like garlic, paprika, and chili flakes. In fact, they are just so versatile and can be incorporated into any meal, and they are healthier and lower GI than your average white spud. Low glycemic foods keep blood sugars stable and weight under control.

As with all orange coloured fruits and vegetables, sweet potato is high in beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body. Sweet potatoes are another super food because of their superior nutrient content, and they are also high in vitamin C, B6, and magnesium.

 

 

9. BROCCOLIBroccoli is a high calcium vegetable that fills you up

CALCIUM CONTENT – 1 cup 62MG – 6% of your daily intake.

Another one of natures super foods, broccoli is not only high in vitamin A but also contains a compound that has the ability to work on a genetic level to ‘switch off’ cancer genes, AND to hinder the progression of cancer. Now if that’s not a super food then I don’t know what is!

It is one of the highest protein vegetables that also contains lots of vitamin C, B6 and vitamin A.

 

10. FIGSFresh and dried figs are high in calcium

CALCIUM CONTENT – per 3 figs – 52MG – 5% of your daily intake.

Figs both raw and dried also contain magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, B6,and vitamin K, so they really are a fantastic addition to any healthy diet plan. They are delicious fresh when in season, but equally as good when dried when they go all sweet and chewy.

Add them chopped to salads, or bake fresh figs with a little honey for the ultimate sweet treat. Great with coconut yogurt for breakfast or dessert.

 

 

 

Stefanie TaylorThank you for reading this article. I always endeavour to bring you the latest science based information, and if you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you. Please post below.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Wheatgrass? – Top 10 Amazing Wheatgrass Benefits

Wheatgrass is a chlorophyll rich super food that is closely related to wheat but harvested early on its development – just 7 to 10 days after sprouting. Not only is it abundant in life giving nutrients, but it is also easy to incorporate into your every day diet by either juicing it yourself, or simply taking a shot of the dried powder. Let’s take a closer look at these Top 10 Amazing  Wheatgrass Benefits so you can see for yourself the impact this super food can have on your health.

 

1. CHLOROPHYLLWheatgrass is High in Chlorophyll

Wheatgrass is one of the best known sources of chlorophyll, and in fact 70% of the wheatgrass plant is made up of this powerful blood building nutrient.

In the plant world, chlorophyll is needed for the absorption of light in a process called photosynthesis. This process creates the energy for a plant to grow and repair itself – so you can only imagine how great this must can be for us too.

 

2. ANTIOXIDANTS

Chlorophyll is high in the antioxidants needed to fight free radical damage in the body. Free radicals are harmful, unpaired electrons that wreak havoc on our health but antioxidants can neutralise these unpaired electrons before they cause us harm.

Antioxidants also help to stave off the aging process in general, and may help protect us against diseases such as cancer, dementia, heart disease, and many others degenerative diseases .

 

3. PROTEINProtein Builds Muscle and keeps you strong

Wheatgrass is especially high in protein and contains 17 amino acids – all of which are the actual building blocks of protein. It is a highly alkaline protein that is great for building lean muscle tissue, and also helping with the repair of torn and inflamed muscles after sports. This makes it a great training supplement alongside other good sources of protein.

 

4. DETOXIFIER

Because wheatgrasses ability to neutralise toxins, remove heavy metals and purify the liver, it is great for keeping the body in a good state of detoxification.

Keeping the body in a high state of detoxification is crucial in today’s world where we are continually exposed to exhaust fumes, chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers, household cleaning products, air fresheners, toiletries and that’s not to mention the junk foods, sugar, and trans fats that are abundant in our diets.

Our poor bodies need to process these toxins, then either eliminate them or store them into fat cells where they can do no harm – but all this can lead to problems such as weight gain, brain fog, lethargy, and eventually disease.

 

5. ENERGYWheatgrass boosts energy

Wheatgrass is proven to give you a zing of energy within 20 minutes, mainly due to the fact its nutrients can be absorbed very quickly, making it a fantastic supplement for athletes, those in training OR anybody really. Who couldn’t do without more energy?

 

6. CANCER PREVENTION

Due to their free radical scavenging abilities the antioxidants in wheatgrass can help to prevent cancer, and in some cases even slow it down after it has already begun to grow. One study has shown wheatgrass to slow down oral cancer growth and other studies have had similar findings.

Wheatgrass may also help improve and lessen the side effects of chemotherapy.

 

7. DIABETES PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

The fiber and nutrient level in wheatgrass has been shown to raise insulin levels, which will help in the lowering of blood glucose. This benefit makes it a great supplement for diabetics along with their regular treatment.

 

8. LOW GI

Low GI Fruits keep blood sugar stable

Wheatgrass has a very low GI value. GI is the shortened term for glycemic index, and is the measurement of how fast the sugars in a food hit the bloodstream. 

Low GIycemic foods, and a low GI diet in general, will keep blood sugar stable and slash your risk of diabetes, cancers, inflammatory diseases and obesity. Plus it will help keep you in shape by lowering your body fat percentage.

Low GI foods are unrefined whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, protein, pulses, nuts and seeds. In fact, there is so much to be said for eating a low GI diet that it deserves a whole post. For an easy way to start your low GI healthy diet please read Easy Steps to Eating Clean‘ where you’ll find quick and easy to follow tips and advice to help you kick start your healthy eating plan.

 

9. GASTROENTERITIS

Wheatgrass has traditionally been used for a very long time in the treatment of stomach ache and diarrhea, and is found to be particularly good in the treatment of symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis.

Despite its name wheatgrass is totally gluten free and so is a great addition to the diet of those who are gluten intolerant.

 

10. ANTI INFLAMMATORY

Chronic inflammation is now thought to be behind almost all modern day illnesses and diseases, and is mainly due to our acidic diets and environment. Inflammation under normal circumstances is the body’s response to a knock, injury, or infection and is vital to protect and heal the wound. But sometimes this response goes into overdrive leaving us with chronic low grade inflammation that we are not aware of, and this is the kind of inflammation that can lead to problems and disease in the long term.

Wheatgrass, along with many other alkaline foods such as those on a plant based diet, can help negate this and put the body into a more alkaline state, making it much less susceptible to illness and disease.

 

Super Food BlendsGreen Super Food Powder for fat burning

Along with wheatgrass, there are other green super food powders that can help when it comes to making the body more alkaline. My personal favorite being Dr. Schulzes green super food powder which not only contains wheatgrass, but a mix of lots of other green goodies such as spirulina, barleygrass, chlorella, blue-green algae, and other fruits and vegetables that all help with the absorption of these green super foods.

This amazing stuff is on another level and makes you glow from the inside out, and like with wheatgrass you can literally feel that energy boost kicking in within 20 minutes, but even MORE so. These dried super food powders really do combine together to make a explosive and potent mix.

Click here for more information on Dr. Schulzes Super Food Powderwhich will offer you an all over health boost for immunity, energy and glowing healthy skin.

Always buy where possible ORGANIC WHEATGRASS POWDER to avoid pesticide and fertilizer residue, which may detract from the wheatgrasses potential health benefits.

 

 

Thank you for reading this post. I always endeavour to bring you the most up to date and science based research in the health and nutrition field. If you have any comments or questions please post below as I would love to hear from you. If you make any purchases through this website I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.