Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Food

7 Foods Every Woman Must Eat

foods_for_womenby Lenora Phillips

Here’s some good news: The more you munch on healthy eats, the less you need to worry about Friday night’s fat burger and fries. Who says? Harvard. Its medical school has found that women who routinely nibble nutritiously slash their risk of dying from the usual culprits, including heart disease and cancer.

To up your odds of living a long and healthy life–despite occasional blow-outs at TGIF–make sure you regularly include these 7 nutritional powerhouses in your diet. “They’re the cream of the healthy-foods crop,” says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Age-Proof Your Body.

 

1. BERRIES
Why: Ounce for ounce, berries have more protective plant antioxidants than almost any other food. “These compounds not only lower your disease risks, they help prevent memory loss,” says Somer.

 

How Much: Aim for a cup of berries–any berries, fresh or frozen–at least three times a week (berry researchers say eat a cup daily). Since berries are high in fill-you-up fiber, they may also help curb weight gain.

 

How:

Toss them in salads

Snack on them one by one, like healthy potato chips

Add them to yogurt, cereal, and smoothies

Stir them into anything you bake

 

2. LEAFY GREENS

Why: It’s almost impossible to meet your nutritional needs without eating dark leafy greens, from spinach and romaine to collard greens and chard. They’re huge sources of fiber; vitamins C and K; folic acid (a B vitamin that guards the heart and memory and fights birth defects); lutein, a vision protector; and four essential minerals: calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium.

 

How Much: Two servings a day, and the darker, the better.

 

How:

Add arugula to your sandwich

Layer chard into lasagna

Fold spinach into omelets

Add any green to stir-fries, pasta dishes and soup

 

3. WHOLE GRAINS
Why: They have up to 96 percent more fiber, magnesium, zinc, chromium and vitamins E and B6 than refined grains. This nutritional powerhouse helps prevent the same health problems that refined grains help cause: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and even obesity.

 

How Much: Ideally, all of the six daily grain servings you need should be whole, unrefined grains, but aim for at least three.

 

How:

Start your day with oatmeal or whole-grain cold cereal

Use 100% whole-wheat bread for toast and sandwiches

Switch to whole-wheat couscous and pasta

Opt for brown rice (instant is fine), whole-grain pretzels, even whole-wheat tortillas

 

4. NUTS
Why: They’re excellent sources of protein, magnesium, B vitamins and E–trusty fighters in the war against heart disease and cancer. Yes, nuts are high in fat calories, but their fat is the heart-healthy kind. Replace junky snacks with them and you won’t gain an ounce.

 

How Much: Up to five small fistfuls a week (roughly 1/4 cup or about 15-20 almonds, cashews, walnuts or pecans).

 

How:

Sprinkle plain or toasted nuts on salads instead of croutons

Mix them into cooked cous cous and brown rice

Stir them into cereal and yogurt

Use them to garnish a stir-fry just before serving

 

5. GOLDEN VEGGIES
Why: Just one serving of fiber-filled, deep-yellow-orange vegetables supplies five times the beta carotene you need daily to lower your cancer risk, defend against colds and other infections, and protect your skin from sun damage. The potassium in these veggies also keeps your heartbeat in sync and your blood pressure down.

 

How Much: Aim for two half-cup servings a day, the equivalent of one sweet potato, 12 canned apricot halves or a cup of butternut squash or carrots.

 

How: Try this sweet potato quickie from Somer’s The Food & Mood Cookbook:

Cajun Sweet Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch thick slices and toss with olive oil, Cajun seasoning and freshly ground pepper.
3. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown and cooked through, but still slightly crunchy.

 

6. GREEK YOGURT
Why: Low- or no-fat plain yogurt is a terrific source of B vitamins, protein, calcium and –if it has active cultures–the healthy bacteria known as probiotics, which crowd out disease-causing germs.

 

How Much: Three cups a week, if this is your main dairy source.

How: Cut back on sugar and calories by choosing plain yogurt and adding fruit, especially berries, and some granola. Or be more inventive:

Mix a dash of vanilla and chopped mint into yogurt and dollop on fruit

Use yogurt instead of sour cream for dips, sauces and salad dressings

Top baked potatoes with yogurt and chives

Thicken sauces and make soups “creamy” with yogurt

 

5 Tips for Building Stronger Bones

bonesSTRONGAt least 10 million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Association. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, making them thinner and more fragile. Although the disease affects more women than men, at least 2 million men in this country suffer from osteoporosis. Worldwide, the disease affects one in three women over the age of 50, and one in five men. Despite multiple risk factors, you can take steps to lower your risk and maintain healthy bones as you grow older.


 Instructions

1.      Consume enough calcium in your daily diet. The recommended daily requirement for adult men and women between the ages of 19 and 50 is 1,000mg a day. After age 50, increase calcium intake to 1,200mg per day. Food sources rich in calcium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains and almond milk.

2.      Develop healthy lifestyle habits. Smoking cigarettes or other tobacco products can weaken your bones. Drinking too much alcohol can do the same. Limit alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks each day.

3.      Lift weights. Aim for completing fewer repetitions lifting heavier weights; this provides more effective resistance. You do not need to use equipment like resistance bands, dumbbells or weight machines. Sit-ups and push-ups are weight-resistance exercises.

4.      Incorporate weight-bearing exercises into your workout routine. Walking is a practical, low-impact, weight-bearing exercise that can help you maintain strong bones. You lose bone mass when you decrease your physical activity, so keep moving for stronger bones.

5.      Take calcium and Vitamin D supplements if you do not get enough of these essential nutrients from food. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, however, aging can cause Vitamin D deficiency. Your doctor can recommend the right nutritional supplements for your needs.

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Quick Tips to Eating Right Without Thinking

happy-eatingBy Tamar Haspel 

From the instructions for some diets, you’d think losing weight was more complicated than calibrating a sextant against Orion on a cloudy night. The food diaries you need to write; the nutrition labels you need to read and pronounce and translate; the protein, fat, and carbohydrate grams you have to add up. It’s time to try an easier way. No math, no more squinting at the fine print and trying to decipher those words with no vowels. Instead, just 20 everyday tactics that will get you started on your weight-loss plan and then help you stick to it. Soon enough, your diet will simply become the way you eat.

1. Always eat dessert. Yes, always. “A small amount can signal that the meal is over,” says Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan. She ends her meals with a piece of quality chocolate and she’s a doctor.

2. Get help from a paper napkin. You can use it to blot a teaspoon of fat off a pizza slice. That may not sound like a lot, but multiply it by a slice a week, and that’s more than a whole cup of fat you won’t eat or wear this year.

3. Take the beltway. When junk food beckons, tighten your belt a notch. Not so you can’t breathe, but so you have a gentle reminder of the size you’d like to be. “The scale isn’t the only measure of weight,” says Roberta Anding, R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

4. Go public. Enlist the help of friends, family, and coworkers and know they’re watching. “The power of embarrassment is greater than willpower,” says Stephen Gullo, Ph.D., author of The Thin Commandments.

5. Go Nuts — Eat at least a handful a day. Nuts are an excellent source of healthful fats and protein. In the Iowa Nurses Study and three other studies, an ounce a day cut the incidence of heart disease by 20 percent to 60 percent. The best nuts (those highest in omega-3 fatty acids) are walnuts and macadamia, but all nuts are good for you.

6. Scrape by. Always order your bagel or burger with a plastic knife. Use it Rolls suggests keeping your glass in the hand you eat with. If you’re drinking with it, you can’t eat with it, can you?

7. Spice things up. Capsaicin, the substance that puts the hot in hot pepper, temporarily boosts your metabolism. Just make sure you’re drinking a yogurt lassi with that searing-hot chicken vindaloo. Dairy blocks capsaicin’s sweat-inducing signals better than water.

8. Case the organic section. That’s where you’re likely to find bread and cereal with fiber counts that put the conventional choices to shame. Thought you were doing well with your 3-grams-per-serving Cheerios? Nature’s Path Slim blows it away with 10 g. (And it really doesn’t taste like a shredded shoebox.)

9. Increase your a-peel. Speaking of fiber, a lot of it’s in the peel, whether it’s potatoes, apples, or pears. Even oranges don’t eat the whole peel, but keep the pith, that white stringy stuff; it’s packed with flavonoids. More nutrients, more fiber, less labor. It’s a win-win-win.

10. Spend lavishly on precut vegetables at the supermarket. Sure, they cost more, but you’re more likely to eat them. “Make low-energy snacks as easy as possible,” Dr. Rolls says. “Keep vegetables as near to hand as you can. Make it so you have no excuse.”

11. Upgrade your restaurant selection. Pick a place where you’ll actually want to linger. “When the meals are not hurried, the presentation is beautiful and the portions are reasonable so you can regulate your attitude,” Anding says. That means your body not the empty plate will tell you when to stop.

12. Eat a snack at 3 p.m., no matter what. “Have a 150-calorie snack, and it can save you 400 calories later,” Anding says. An ounce of nuts or two sticks of string cheese weigh in at about 170 calories.

13. Drink with your dominant hand. If you’re circulating at a party, Dr. Rolls suggests keeping your glass in the hand you eat with. If you’re drinking with it, you can’t eat with it, can you?

14. Plate it. Whatever it is, don’t eat it out of the container and don’t bring the container to the couch. “Part of satiety is visual,” Anding says. “Your brain actually has to see the food on the plate, and when you reach into the jar, or the box, or the bag, you don’t see it.” If it’s worth eating, put it on a plate. Eat what’s there, then stop.

15. Send back the bread. All it takes is a wave of the hand, a smile, and a “No, thank you.”

16. Start with salad. It’s the holy grail of dieting eat less by eating more. Dr. Rolls’s research has found that eating a salad as a first course decreased total lunch calories by 12 percent. Avoid the croutons and creamy dressings, which have the opposite effect.

17. Go out for ice cream. Or an eclair. Or even guacamole and chips. Just go out. Don’t keep your danger foods in the house. You can’t eat half of a carton of ice cream that’s not there in the first place.

18. Give yourself a hand. Find a way other than food to work off your nervous energy. “It’s behavior modification,” Anding says. “Instead of grabbing a bag of chips, you pick up your knitting. Art works, woodworking works anything that occupies your hands.”

19. Wait a minute. Well, 10 minutes. When your mind strays from your desk to the vending machine, it could be hunger or it could be boredom or irritation with your boss. If you’re still thinking about snacking 10 minutes later, then you’re probably hungry. Think of it as a chance to have one of the nine servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day.

20. Go wild once in a while. Deprivation won’t make you thin or happy. Designate a meal or two a week when you can eat absolutely anything you want.

 

 

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Quick Tips For America’s Favorite Fruit

By Tammy Williams

Most apples are great for cooking, whether you’re making applesauce, crisps, crumbles, or cake. In general, the apple’s sweetness pairs nicely with classic dishes and can be used as a substitute sweetener.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your apples.

Go for firm
When buying apples, choose ones without bruises or soft, mushy spots. They should be firm for their specific variety (a McIntosh will not be as firm as a Granny Smith).

Wrapped in the dark
To keep apples for an extended period of time, wrap each apple in newspaper (don’t use paper with colored ink), and then store in a dark, cool place like the cellar or the garage. To keep apples in the fridge, place them in a perforated plastic bag and then in the crisper. Do not store bruised or cut apples since that will accelerate the spoilage of the other stored apples.

A touch of lemon
If you’re slicing apples and don’t want the exposed pieces of flesh to turn brown, sprinkle lemon juice over them.

Sweet and tart
When baking a pie, use a mix of sweet and tart apples to obtain a balanced flavor.

Eating Strawberries May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

 

strawberries26685

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound that belongs to a class of molecules called steroids. It’s found in many foods, in your bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. If you had a handful of cholesterol, it might feel like a soft, melted candle.

Cholesterol performs three main functions:

It helps make the outer coating of cells.
It makes up the bile acids that work to digest food in the intestine.
It allows the body to make Vitamin D and hormones, like estrogen in women and testosterone in men.

In other words, cholesterol is a type of fat that people normally carry in their blood but it can act as an ally or a deadly enemy.

The liver is the organ responsible for producing the cholesterol we need . However, when you consume foods like eggs, organ meats, red meat, seafood and dairy you build extra amount of unwanted cholesterol in the body. Too much cholesterol can cause cardiovascular disease and stroke. When cholesterol builds up in the arteries it causes them to be narrow and hard. This is known as atherosclerosis.

Licensed dietitians and nutritionist advise us to limit our consumption of foods that will increase cholesterol levels. On the other hand, it is necessary to consume high amounts of foods that will not only help control cholesterol but also reduce it.

One food that has been found to lower cholesterol are strawberries. Strawberries have nutritional compounds that are helpful to lowering  cholesterol .Not only is this fruit fresh and delicious but it gives you the vitamins and minerals that will help improve your health and prevent cardiovascular problems . The researchers at Universidad Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM Italy) along with their colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca,  conducted an analysis that reveals how the consumption of 500 grams of strawberries help reduce cholesterol.

They have found that regular consumption of strawberries helped to achieve a decline in the total amount of cholesterol (8.78 percent), bad cholesterol (13.72 percent) and triglycerides – a kind of fat found in blood (20.8 percent) – without affecting the level of good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL).

Apart from lowering cholesterol, the strawberry diet helped to improve general plasma lipid profile, antioxidants and antihemolytic activities and platelet function, according to a statement from the researchers.

However, researchers could not find out the exact compound in the strawberries that helped this occurrence. Based on previous evidence, they said that anthocyanin, the flavonoid pigments which provide color to strawberry may be playing a major role.

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