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Refreshing Reasons to Drink More Water

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutrition,Water Purification and Storage at 4:06 pm | By: Guest Blogger

Water is the most important beverage available to human beings across the world. In order for a person to live a long and healthy life, experts have stated it is crucial for an individual to drink an average of eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Despite this, most people do not drink anywhere near this amount. Not only do most people forget to drink the correct amount of water each day, several surveys have suggested it has always been more likely a person will reach for a soft drink than a bottle of thirst-quenching agua.

Though there are several recent reports showing public attitudes have changed toward water consumption, millions still forget to fill their glasses with the right frequency. While you are probably already familiar with some of the more common reasons to stay hydrated, there are untold benefits that come from making water consumption a part of your daily regimen. Explore these refreshing and original reasons to load your body with H20 each day and see how you can benefit.

Wake Up

Ever have one of those days where you feel sluggish from the moment you wake up until the second you hit the pillow at the end of the night? You are not alone. Millions of people all over the planet suffer from a lack of proper sleep and go about their days in a hazy state. While fatigue might come about for a number of different reasons, several studies have linked exhaustion with dehydration. When your body is not getting the right amount of water on a regular basis, it can eventually catch up to you and make you feel slow and sleepy throughout the course of your daily routine.

Similar studies also suggest water is a mood enhancer. While not drinking enough water can lead to your body operating at a reduced capacity, the same is true of the mind and associated functions of the endocrine system. Without an appropriate daily dose of water, mood-altering hormones are not released in the right way. This means you are not likely to receive any positive mood boosts from endorphins. If you find yourself irritable, anxious, or exhausted on a routine basis, you might want to see if increasing your water intake changes the way you feel.

Strong Muscles

How you feel goes a bit beyond the hormones flowing through your body. While you might feel awake and alert without drinking the right levels of water, you may notice a difference in other aspects of your routine. Most people are aware of the fact that water provides essential lubrication to muscles so they can operate exceptionally well. What they might not realize, however, is that a person needs to drink water in the right way for the full impact to be felt. When you are out for a night of drinking with friends, you most likely keep hydration in the back of your mind. Without drinking enough water, you are far more likely to develop the symptoms of a hangover the next morning.

Dehydration is a key factor in a hangover, which is why so many make sure to order a water or two while at the bar. It might be good to keep water in the mix but you need to pace yourself in the right manner. Drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage you consume and one extra large glass before bed and you’re likely to provide your muscles with ample hydration to beat a hangover.

Mental Integrity

Staying sharp is also a lot easier when you have access to fresh, clean water whenever you require it. Memory can be funny in an age where distractions run rampant. If you find yourself struggling to remember basic facts on a routine basis, it could be stemming from dehydration. Though many of these studies produced varying results, a number of scientific reports conducted on young children reveal some interesting results. According to these studies, children on average were more likely to perform well with visual memory tests after drinking the correct amount of water for their ages and weights.

Though the benefits of water are obvious and powerful, millions still turn away from the clear liquid when it is offered. If you find yourself struggling to drink enough water each day, be sure to take time to research why it is a vital aspect of your existence and get into the habit of refreshing yourself with eight glasses a day.


Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.


4 Reasons To Go Vegan (Not Related To Diet)

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Food Politics,Health Foods at 11:02 am | By: Guest Blogger

When you want to get on a healthier path in life, focusing on what you eat can be a wonderful place to begin. Even though you probably spend a lot of time thinking about what to eat and how to best prepare it for your health, specific food groups tend to contain more negative elements than others. The choice to go vegan, for example, is usually made when a person no longer wishes to consume animal meat or byproducts. Whether you’re making this change for your health or for a moral reason, it can be useful to take a look at what benefits come with the decision.

If you’ve been thinking about making the switch to a vegan lifestyle and need just a teensy bit more encouragement, then now is the time to learn all about the benefits. Changing your eating habits can take time and patience but dedicating your time to the effort has a way of yielding some useful results for your future.

1.) Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Each year, more than a million people are diagnosed with a form of diabetes. While genetics and other factors are involved, more often than not it is a person’s diet that encourages the development of this condition. Studies published in recent years have linked specific fats found in animal products to type 2 diabetes. According to these reports, those who were less likely to include animal fats in their meals were also far less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. These same studies also suggest vegans have a higher sensitivity to insulin.

Plant-based proteins are fantastic substitutes for animal fats. The nutrients found in non-meat options like tofu and seitan have been shown to help prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. Additional research in this area also suggests those living with diabetes are able to positively alter how much medication they require on a daily basis by making the switch to a plant-based diet.

2.) Strengthen the Heart

While diabetes can be a serious concern for many, it pales in comparison to stats released about cardiovascular disease. Each year, more people die around the world from heart-related conditions than anything else. These numbers can be frightening and countless people across the globe have begun initiatives to keep their hearts happy and healthy. A great way to achieve this goal is by considering a vegan diet. Switching to a diet comprised mainly of plants and grains has been shown to greatly reduce a person’s chance to developing high blood pressure.

Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels can help to decrease the likelihood of a heart attack, stroke, or other debilitating cardiovascular condition. For your heart to truly reap the benefits of going vegan, you want to focus on ingesting the right plants. Add hearty helpings of asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and any kind of leafy green to your daily routine and you are likely to provide your body with the nutrients it requires to keep the heart strong.

3.) Kidney Troubles

Switching to plant-based proteins can also help your kidneys. Though meat or animal byproducts are not directly linked to failing kidneys, there are a number of studies suggesting plant proteins can help to strengthen these organs. Nutrients like potassium are primarily found in plants like beets, bananas, spinach leaves, and chard. Potassium is incredibly helpful for detoxing the kidneys and keeping them functioning at their best. Unfortunately, many people who primarily eat meat do not focus enough on ingesting plants containing the right nutrients.

If you want to go vegan, then you need to make sure you do it in a sensible way. Dropping meat and cheese from your daily routine without replacing the nutritional intake can be a very dangerous choice. Before you make any drastic shifts in your diet, be sure to sit down and look over what nutrients your body needs to obtain through fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains.

4.) Potential Cancer Prevention

Those who eat vegan might also be less likely to develop certain cancers. Though cancer can develop from a number of different conditions, a lack of proper plant-based nutrients can be a huge factor. According to specific studies, those who ingest a healthy dose of fruits and veggies each day are far less likely to develop certain types of cancer than those who do not eat produce regularly. Increasing the level of soy in your diet while decreasing how many animal proteins you eat can also help to lower the odds of developing breast cancer.

Switching to a vegan diet requires a little bit of thought. Though it can be healthier, you also want to make sure you are giving your body the correct daily nutrients. Do a bit more research on your own and see if this shift is the right call to make for a healthier future.


Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.


5 Delicious Reasons To Eat More Cacao Nibs (Yay!)

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods at 9:40 am | By: Madeline Reiss

When you feel your sweet tooth start to tingle, you most likely want to satisfy it with something sweet. Unfortunately, the sugary confections and candies you turn to are not always going to be the healthiest. Though this might be disheartening, there is still reason for hope. Chocolate has long been considered a food with health potential, though it tends to go through so many processes it loses most of its health benefits along the way.

To get the most from your sweet snack, opt instead for cacao nibs. Essentially, these little bits of delight are the immediate product of plucking cocoa beans from their original spot, roasting them, and breaking them into tiny bites. If you are hoping to get a boost of nutrition the next time you want to satisfy a craving for something sweet, cacao nibs could be your best bet.

Potassium Push

No matter what you eat, you should always take a moment to consider the nutritional value of the food in front of you. A banana, for example, can make for a perfect snack when you’re hungry because it is light and packed with important nutrients like potassium. Still, there are plenty of people who do not enjoy the taste of banana. Should you want to increase your potassium level without the help of this yellow fruit, cacao nibs might be a good substitute.

Cacao nibs are said to contain a powerful punch of potassium, which can be useful when it comes to improving the condition of your cardiovascular system. Potassium tends to lower blood pressure and strengthen the overall integrity of the heart. If you’re not getting enough potassium and definitely don’t want a banana, grab a handful of some of these tasty little nibs.

Lots of Heart

Potassium might help your heart but there are tons of other nutrients and vitamins found in cacao nibs that help to improve cardiovascular performance. Cacao nibs are said to be an excellent source of flavonoids, which is useful for your heart. Flavonoids are compounds found in many plant-based foods. These compounds operate as antioxidants, specifically helping with lowering inflammation around the arteries. Flavonoids also help to thin blood and improve the way it circulates around the body.

Cacao nibs also contain a number of other useful antioxidants that serve a variety of useful purposes for the heart and related systems. In certain studies, those who ingested cacao nibs for a specific period of time were reported to have lower levels of LDL, which is considered a harmful form of cholesterol responsible for many cardiovascular diseases. If the health of your heart is a top priority for you, see what cacao nibs might be able to do.

 Magnesium Dose

Ever feel fatigued throughout the day even though you got plenty of sleep the night before? This happens to plenty of people and it often can be linked back to a lack of specific nutrients in your system. Magnesium is a vital nutrient people require to stay active and functional on a daily basis but it is also a nutrient most people have a deficiency with. When fatigue is part of your daily ritual, you might want to change your diet around a bit and add cacao nibs into the mix.

Cacao nibs are packed with magnesium, making them an easy and tasty source of this vital chemical. The more magnesium you get each day, the more likely it is you are going to feel energized, alert, and ready for whatever your day is going to bring to you. Magnesium has also been shown to improve overall brain function, so it can never hurt to snack a bit more on cacao for the sake of your mind.

 Mood Boost

Chocolate is a popular snack for many people because it contains ingredients that helps the brain and body to feel good. Specifically, chocolate helps to release serotonin, the chemical responsible for generating feelings of joy. While cacao might be chocolate in a more raw and unrefined form, it still contains more than its fair share of elements that can improve your mood.

Anandamide, for example, can be found in cacao nibs and this fatty acid neurotransmitter is quite impressive. Known far and wide as the molecule of “joy” and “bliss,” eating foods containing anandamide has been said to act as a mood enhancer and even assist a person in combating the negative impacts of conditions like anxiety and depression. You probably already felt chocolate improved your mood on a rough day but you might not have realized how scientific that assumption was.

Fresh and Young

Finally, it is important to focus on the antioxidants found in cacao nibs one last time, specifically the polyphenols. These compounds are important for improving the integrity of your cardiovascular system but they do a lot more. Cacao nibs have the same polyphenols as green tea, which aids the skin in appearing fresh and healthy. Snack on some nibs and fight off the aging process in a sweet and simplistic way.

While you might not need any more excuses to snack on chocolate, the many health benefits associated with cacao nibs can sweeten the deal just a bit. Add these tasty little bits to your daily snacking routine and feel the difference yourself.


7 Ways to Replenish Your Electrolytes Naturally

Filed Under: Exercise and Fitness,Health Foods at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Electrolytes are essential nutrients that help maintain fluid balance and conduct electrical activity. Directly responsible for muscle contractions and neural activity, electrolyte imbalance may happen when you lose an excessive amount of body fluids through sweat, vomiting, diarrhea, or a high fever. Most common symptoms include feeling woozy or experiencing muscles cramps. You can easily get your body back in balance by eating or drinking foods that contain these essential nutrients and avoiding highly processed foods loaded with sodium but lacking important electrolytes such as potassium or magnesium. So, let’s check out 7 ways to replenish your electrolytes naturally.

1. Coconut water

One of the richest natural sources of electrolytes, coconut water is high in potassium as one cup contains about 600mg of potassium as well as 250mg of sodium. Coconut water is also lower in carbohydrates compared to other sports drinks, making it a great electrolyte replacement during or after a workout.

2. Bananas

Need potassium? Go bananas.  Known as the best source of this impotent mineral among fruits and vegetables, one single banana provides over 400mg of potassium which helps control muscles and blood pressure. It’s the perfect snack for pre and post workout.

3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are also a great way to naturally replace electrolytes. This amazing superfood is loaded with vital nutrients such as omega-3 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and lots of minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium.

4. Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds are great sources of magnesium and snacking them helps to replenish levels of this important mineral.

5. Salt

It might sound weird, but adding a pinch of salt to a glass of water helps with rehydration by replacing sodium and chloride. Some salty foods, such as broth or vegetable juice, are also good for replenishing sodium levels.

6. Yogurt

Including calcium-rich foods are also important to prevent dehydration and restore electrolytes lost during sweaty workout sessions. Yogurt is an excellent choice not only for the amount of calcium provided but also for the beneficial probiotics.

7. Water

The amount of water you need to drink on a daily basis depends on your age, how often and how intense you exercise, the climate you live in, and even your body size. One thing is for certain: drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.


Can’t Stop Eating Potato Chips? Try These 5 Healthier Alternatives

Filed Under: Health Foods at 5:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Potato chips can be addictive. These “too-easy-to-eat snacks” are often very unhealthy but some people just seem unable to stop having them. However, you do have better options as some alternative choices for chips are much healthier and less addictive to you. Let’s check out 5 healthier alternatives if you can’t stop eating regular potato chips.

1. Beet Chips

Beet chips have become a popular items in recent years as these chips are crispy and salty like potato chips, but made from a very healthy vegetable. Considered by many experts as the perfect blend of taste and nutrition, beet chips are dense with nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C and a good dose of nitrates.

2. Kale Chips

Another top-selling item in recent years, kale chips have become the healthy staple of the “chips world”. A nutrient-packed snack, these chips are often made with organic kale under low heat and flavored with a delectable blend of spices, creating a delicious and much healthier product while providing important nutrients. In average, one serving provides 55 percent of the daily requirements for vitamin A.

3. Protein Chips

The so-called protein chips can be made of a variety of different ingredients including pea, corn and even potatoes. The difference here is that these chips are created to be an on-the-go protein supplement instead of just a snack.

4. Banana Chips

Easy-to-make and deliciously sweet, baked banana chips are the perfect snack to replace conventional potato chips. It generally contains no other ingredient that just banana and you can easily make them at home too. Just slice ripe bananas as thin as you can, lay them on a greased baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees F until golden.

5. Lentil Chips

If you really want to eat chips with health benefits, lentil chips is the way to go. Lentil has been one of the best sources of plant-based protein and is a staple in diets throughout the world. Lentil chips are vegan, crunchy, high-protein, and a great gluten-free substitute to conventional potato chips.


MCT Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Is There A Difference?

Filed Under: Health Foods,Superfoods,Supplements at 11:09 am | By: Guest Blogger

Recently, there seems to have been a huge spike in the popularity of coconut oil. Though this oil has been used for a variety of purposes for a considerable amount of time, it is important for consumers to understand a few basic points in order to make informed purchases. By learning a few basic facts, you are more likely to understand which oils are more likely to offer you the most health benefits.

Long Chains

Coconut oil is said to be beneficial because it is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides. Known commonly as MCTs, these chemical compounds can provide a number of benefits to the body including safe weight-loss and increased energy. Unfortunately, pure coconut oil also contains long-chain triglycerides. These compounds can have a negative impact on your body, slowing down digestion and making it easier for the body to store fat cells. The presence of long-chain triglycerides in coconut oil has led to the development of MCT oil.

MCT oil is a synthetic oil created out of pure coconut oil. Palm oil is often involved in the process, as it allows the finished product to contain higher levels of MCT. By taking the long-chain triglycerides out of the equation, the MCT oil is able to highlight the best benefits coconut oil can bring without the same drawbacks.

Interesting Discoveries

Since MCT oil was first developed, a number of studies have shown some interesting benefits. While the oil had already been known to help improve digestion, further research has suggested it can help to lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study points to MCT as a way to help with patients suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. While the oil is not a way to prevent dementia, the studies suggest it can prove helpful in easing the symptoms in individuals already suffering from it.

What is very important to keep in mind is that coconut oil does not produce the same results. When the long-chain triglycerides are present in the oil, it prevents a great deal of the health benefits from emerging. This means anyone looking to try involving coconut oil in their daily routines might want to weigh out whether or not MCT oil might be a more practical fit.

A Variety of Uses

MCT oil is not used in all of the same ways as coconut oil, though there is a bit of overlap. Many people love to bake or cook with coconut oil but this is not possible with MCT oil, due to its composition. Instead, MCT oil is perfect as a nutritional boost in a smoothie or protein drink. By using the oil to enhance your current diet, you are likely to see a number of the metabolic effects in no time.

When it comes to cooking, you may still want to consider coconut oil. Though MCT might offer a few more advantages in some departments, coconut oil seems to have far more health benefits than other cooking options like olive oil. Coconut oil can even be swapped out for butter if you are considering vegan recipes. While coconut oil offers some benefits, remember to use it sparingly as the fat content is still quite high.

Final Thoughts

Both coconut oil and MCT oil offer advantages depending on the situation. When you are simply looking to add some extra nutrients to your daily intake that can help to improve your energy, digestion, and cardiovascular health, MCT oil is the way to go. For cooking and baking, coconut oil is still a safe bet.


Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.


3 Ways To Boost Collagen Naturally

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Health Foods,Supplements at 4:26 pm | By: Guest Blogger

When it comes to the health of your skin and bones, collagen is incredibly important. If you would like to maintain a fresh and vibrant appearance at all times, your body needs to continuously produce the correct amount of collagen. Sadly, factors like being out in the sun for too long or smoking cigarettes can have negative impacts on your body’s ability to produce the right level of this useful protein.

If you believe your skin could use a bit of a boost in regards to collagen production, now is a wonderful time to consider a few useful tips. Taking the right supplements and engaging in healthy daily practices can do wonders for enhancing your body’s natural ability to produce collagen. Consider these ideas and see what tactics might be the most useful for your goals.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vitamin with a lot to offer the body, assisting with the functions of the immune and digestive systems. On top of this, Vitamin C has also been shown to have a huge effect on repairing and restoring specific tissues. When your body does not seem to be producing collagen at the rate you require, then you might find it useful to consider Vitamin C supplements.

Not only does Vitamin C aid in the process of repairing sensitive skin tissue, it can also provide an improved level of protection against certain environmental elements. Sun damage is one of the larger concerns to stay mindful of when it comes to the health of your skin. Though you should always use sunblock to protect your skin from conditions like melanoma, taking Vitamin C supplements can be the extra line of defense your skin requires.

Snooze Away

Most people understand how important sleep is to health and wellness. As you drift off into slumber, your body begins a restorative process to counteract the damage done throughout the day.  When you do not get enough sleep, it dramatically decreases your body’s ability to tackle this goal. Those who do not get a full night’s rest of about eight hours are likely to see an increase in inflammation from increased stress hormone production. These hormones are produced when the body is struggling to stay awake and can stand in the way of your body generating or repairing collagen.

The answer here is clear: get consistent and appropriate sleep. Your body will produce collagen naturally but you definitely need to do some of the work yourself. While you might feel like you have too many obligations and responsibilities to hit the hay at a normal hour, you will find that it is far more beneficial to your health to make the time to get a full night’s rest.

Balanced Diet

This might seem a bit obvious but what you eat is also going to hold sway over your body’s ability to generate collagen. In order for you to see the glowing skin you desire, you are going to need to make sure that you are getting the right nutrients in your daily meals. Lycopene is an antioxidant that has been shown to counteract some of the damage done to the skin by environmental factors like pollution. Often, the skin takes on damage simply by being exposed to polluted air.

Eating foods rich in lycopene can help to keep your skin fresh, so be sure to stock your cart with tomatoes the next time you hit the grocery store. You can also explore lycopene supplements if you don’t think you’ll be able to swing extra fruit in your daily diet. It might also be a good idea to focus on foods containing Vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for keeping organs functioning properly and your skin is considered the largest organ of your body. Sweet potatoes are a delicious and effective source of Vitamin A.


Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.


Introducing: The LuckyVitamin Snack Better Box

Filed Under: Health Foods at 9:06 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Get ready for healthier grazing! The Snack Better Box is packed with 17 of our favorite snacks from sweet to savory. Try it out today and find your new go-to treat.

Subscribe to LuckyVitamin’s YouTube Channel!



Is Birch Water Worth A Try? Here’s What You Need To Know

Filed Under: Diet & Weight Loss,Health Foods,Vitamins and Minerals at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Welcome to the latest nature-given health drink: birch water. The latest “hot item” in health food stores, birch water is still a stranger to a many consumers. Let’s do a quick overview on this amazing natural drink.

What is “Birch Water”?

Popular in the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as the Scandinavian countries, birch water is a mildly sweet beverage can be considered an electrolyte as this thin syrup-like beverage offers lots of benefits to your health. Birch water nutrients include vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and iron. Its smooth, silky sap that tastes similar to maple syrup, though much lighter, has been drunk as a health tonic for hundreds for years for medicinal purposes as well as a nutritional supplement, thanks to its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.

How is it made?

Just like making maple syrup, the trees are tapped in the spring after all the frost is gone. A simple process is performed to extract the tree’s liquid. A hole is drilled with an upward angle approximately three feet from the base of the tree. The sap will begin to flow out almost immediately and is normally collected in a container or large bottle, creating fresh birch water.

What are the Health Benefits?

Birch water is loaded with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids and is known to provide a variety of health benefits. Research suggests that this nutritious beverage can help regulate cholesterol levels, promote clearer and brighter skin, support liver health, reduce joint pain, support weight-loss, and reduce cavities.


7 Foods That Have Anti-Aging Benefits

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Health Foods at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Getting old is inevitable but you don’t have to feel or look old! That explains why anti-aging supplements and products are top-selling items across the country. Did you know that some foods can also help slow down the aging process? Let’s look at 7 foods that have anti-aging benefits.

1. Grapes

Known for its anti-aging properties, resveratrol is found and extracted from the skin of grapes. Research suggests that resveratrol counters inflammation and several anti-aging supplements contain this powerful ingredient.

2. Collagen Protein

The most important and abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for keeping you healthy and young. Plus, marine collagen, with its high antioxidant content, has been used in beauty products in order to repair or prevent damage caused by environmental factors or aging process.

3. Blueberries

Known to delay aging and promoting longevity, blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a compound credited for its anti-aging effects, limiting cellular damage caused by free radicals and preventing a large array of ailments.

4. Salmon

Salmon contains high amounts of astaxanthin, a super antioxidant and carotenoid known for its unique anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown that astaxanthin inhibits oxidative damage to DNA by reducing C-reactive protein and strengthening the immune system.

5. Oats

Oats contain a natural plant chemical that helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation. Plus, oats are low-glycemic and good for you, unlike high-glycemic foods which are known to cause acne and wrinkles.

6. Nuts

Nuts are loaded with both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and both compounds have been associated with reduced heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk. Because all vascular factors have been related to cognition, nuts have the potential to slow cognitive decline in older adults.

7. Oranges

Citrus fruits are considered excellent anti-aging foods as these fruits are loaded with water which helps hydrate your skin and cells, and are high in vitamin C, which helps make collagen to keep your skin supple.


4 Tips To Keep You Productive All Winter Long

Beautiful happy young adult woman drinking coffee near New York City skyline wearing winter clothes and smiling. Beautiful woman holding coffee cup outdoors in the city.

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Once the dazzling colors of autumn have faded and the temperature has begun its shift in colder directions, it means winter has arrived. While the end of the year tends to get people all caught up in the excitement of the holidays, the winter also has a way of taking away a person’s motivation. Whether you are someone who suffers from seasonal depression or you can’t seem to find the mental energy to be productive on a bitterly chilly day, it can be almost impossible to get anything done.

If you are trying to break the mold this winter and be the most productive version of yourself, you might need a bit of help. Follow these suggestions to stay as motivated as possible this season.

1.) Consume Quality Foods

What you eat plays a huge part in the way you feel throughout the season. The short days and freezing temperatures of the winter tend to push people towards specific food groups. “Comfort foods” are popular at this time of year because they can make a person feel safe and content. Unfortunately, these dishes are usually packed with butter and fat. Though you might feel inclined to make a huge batch of macaroni and cheese every night, your motivation requires something a bit more nourishing.

Maintaining a productive lifestyle is a challenge in the winter because many people face depression or decreased moods. For some, this comes from a lack of exposure to sunlight. To counteract this, it can be in your best interests to eat meals loaded with Vitamin D. Salmon, yogurt, and tofu are all excellent choices. By consuming a healthy amount of Vitamin D throughout the winter, you are more likely to feel motivated, have a strengthened immune system, and keep your metabolism running efficiently.

2.) Life is Company

Feeling less motivated in the winter can be detrimental to your life in a number of ways. For one, you are not going to want to take on personal projects or engage in hobbies you normally find appealing. It also stands to reason you’ll want to stay home and limit your social interactions. This is no coincidence. According to several studies, people feel less social when there is an absence of warm light for extended periods. Though it might be natural to limit your social interactions at this time of year, it actually adds to depression.

Winter can be isolating. Since you might not be planning on going out after work as much as you did in the summer, you need to find ways to interact with others whenever possible. Small steps like making the decision to meet with friends for lunch on a Saturday or spend some extra time talking with coworkers at the start of the workday can be great moves. The more you interact with other people on a daily basis, even if it is only your local barista, the more likely it is you will feel motivated to be productive.

3.) Fight the Sickness

A lack of motivation is not the only issue people deal with in the winter. Colder weather also makes it far easier for germs to spread, with influenza and the common cold being most prevalent between December and March. Since coming down with a cold can easily ruin any motivation you have drummed up, you want to go above and beyond to stay as healthy as possible. A bowl of oatmeal each morning can provide your body with fiber and zinc, both which aid in keeping your body regular and well.

Foods high in Vitamin C should also make appearances on your plate throughout the season. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, oranges, spinach, and tomatoes are all practical choices.

4.) Get Out and Move

Finally, nothing beats exercise when it comes to staying motivated. Getting off the couch and heading to the gym for a workout might feel like an impossible feat in the winter but it can make a huge difference in your mood. The more you engage with your body, the less likely you are to feel stuck in a rut. Exercise releases endorphins, allowing for an improved mood and a newfound feeling of self-worth.

Winter can be harsh and unforgiving. To stay one step ahead of the blues that come from this time of year, remember to motivate yourself in the right ways. Eat foods rich in both Vitamin C and D, exercise regularly, and keep social to make it through the winter in one piece.


Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.


4 Ways to Tell If Your Protein Bar Is Healthy

Filed Under: Health Foods,Nutritional Bars at 3:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Man opens protein bar while sitting on rock. In the background are extreme rock formations where he has been rock climbing.

Finding a protein bar isn’t easy. Some bars are delicious but contain ingredients that leave a lot to be desired. Other bars have mainly healthy ingredients but may contain too much sugar and might actually be unhealthy for some people. How can you tell what is the best option for you? Let’s check out 5 ways to tell if your protein bar is healthy.

1. Protein

If we are talking about protein bars, of course we have to start with the protein content! Find a bar that contains no less than five grams of protein per bar to make it nutritionally worth your while. Protein is essential for recovery after exercise, important for building muscle and also helpful for burning fat. Make sure the protein comes from quality sources such as whey, milk or plants and don’t overdo it as excess protein may be stored as body fat.

2. Carbohydrates

Look for a protein bar that has healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains like oats, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat. Low carb products are perfect for people on a weight loss diets. If that’s your case, look for products with a max of 30 grams of carbs per bar.

3. Ratio Protein/Carbs

The protein to carbs ratio is extremely important when choosing a good protein bar. Choosing the right ratio ensures that you are getting the ideal bar for your specific goal. For example, a 2:1 ratio of protein to carbs is perfect for fat loss, whereas if you are trying to build muscle or use the bar after a workout, the best bar should have close to a 1:2 ratio.

4. Right Sugar

A good protein bar should be low sugar and contain less than 8 grams per bar. Make sure the main source of sugar comes from fruit and not artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, which despite being calorie free, are unhealthy and even toxic. Artificial sweeteners often cause cravings and even an insulin response, just like sugar does, and may have unwanted side-effects.


5 Ways to Use Tea When Cooking

Filed Under: Health Foods,Teas at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
You certainly have heard of people cooking with wine and beer but how about cooking with tea? A very interesting cooking ingredient, tea contains distinctive flavors which can add herbal, sweet, and even smoky touches to your cooking repertoire. Let’s check out 5 ways to use tea when cooking.

1. Flavoring

Use tea as an herb. Tea leaves are essentially herbs and can be added directly to dishes while cooking. A mixture of green teas used as a seasoning works perfectly for stir-fries, particularly when added to vegetable dishes since it tastes similar to dark, leafy greens. Plus, you can use tea leaves like dried herbs such as oregano or thyme as well as add them to sauces and glazes.

2. Water

How about cooking with tea instead of water? An easy way to add a little more flavor to your meals, just brew the tea and let it cool to room temperature. Then, use it in any recipe that calls for water. It works great to cook whole grains such as rice and quinoa and it can also be used for soups.

3. Pasta

If you make your own pasta, here’s a great idea. Mix green tea powder to pasta dough, adding color and a delicious herbaceous flavor to your homemade pasta. Plus, rather than buying specialty noodles, just cook pasta in green tea to make a homemade green tea noodles.

4. Spice Rub

Tea leaves can also create a great spice rub. Grind tea leaves and add them to your favorite herbs and spices to use in a rub for tofu, tempeh or seitan. Choose teas such as earl gray and Darjeeling which go well with savory foods. A tea spice rub can be as simple as mixing ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper with 2 Tbs. of ground tea

5. Butter

Tea leaves make a great herb butter and it’s pretty easy to make. Just let unsalted butter sit at room temperature until very soft and then mix it with tea leaves, either whole or ground. Store in the refrigerator and use it for cooking or on freshly baked bread and biscuits.


DHA, EPA & ALA: How Much Do You Actually Need?

Filed Under: Health Foods,Supplements at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Salmon Steak with Spices

Omega-3 supplements are very beneficial to your health but some people may find a little complicated to understand all the abbreviations used on the products’ ingredients list. EPA, DHA and ALA. What do they stand for? Which food sources can you get them from? How much do you actually need? Let’s have a quick look at DHA, EPA and ALA.


One of the two main types of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Eicosapentaenoic Acid, or EPA, is found in fatty, cold-water fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring, halibut, trout, anchovies, and tuna. There is no recommended standard dose of EPA’s but health organizations recommend a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) for healthy adults.


The other main type of omega-3 is Docosahexaenoic Acid, popular known as DHA. Plentiful in fish and shellfish, DHA is also found in algae. There is no set recommended standard dose of DHA as well but just like EPA’s a daily dose of 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) of DHA should be sufficient for healthy adults.

EPA to DHA Ratios

It’s important to check for the ratios of EPA and DHA since there is no standard daily dose set. According to the American Heart Association, a common ratio which can be used is 180 milligrams of EPA to 120 milligrams of DHA but some reports show that ratios of 2:1 or 1:2 EPA to DHA may be equally beneficial since both compounds seem to work together.


Alpha-linolenic Acids are short-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in plants, such as flax seeds, chia seeds, as well as oils such as flax oil and hemp oil. ALA omega-3 fatty acids have less potent health benefits than EPA and DHA and for the body to truly benefit from these fats, they must be converted into long-chain EFAs such as EPA and DHA first. There is no established dose of alpha-lipoic acid recommended, but studies have concluded that the use of 600 milligrams daily can provide health benefits.


Doing The Planet A Favor Has Never Tasted So Good

Filed Under: Environment,Health Foods at 9:31 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Selection vegan protein sources on wood background, copy space

THE VEGIDAY™ MOVEMENT: Making the right choice – for you, and for the planet

Everyone on our marvelous planet deserves to be well nourished. But as Earth’s population continues to grow, how will we feed everyone? The simplest – and most sustainable – route to nourishing the world is to produce food that uses less of the planet’s resources. A seed only requires water, some nutrients from the soil, and a whole lot of energy from the sun to become a nourishing plant that can sustain life. Producing animal protein uses far more resources to deliver an equivalent amount of protein. When we choose to replace animal protein with plant protein, even for just one meal a day, we save enough resources to give five more people a serving of plant protein. Plant protein is also better for our health, and better for the environment.

Plant protein is better for the planet

Large-scale industrial animal farming has a negative impact on the planet.

  • The livestock industry is responsible for approximately 15% of global carbon emissions
  • The average meat-eater is responsible for almost twice as much global warming as the average vegetarian
  • By reducing your meat intake by half, you could cut your carbon footprint by more than 35%

Natural Factors Raw Organic Plant-Based Protein

Doing the planet a favor has never tasted so good! These deliciously nutritious protein powders are 100% certified organic and contain a wholesome blend of seven raw, non-GMO plant proteins: pea, pumpkin, sacha inchi, quinoa, chia, spirulina, and chlorella. By combining various plant proteins, the full spectrum of essential amino acids, including the important branched-chain amino acids, are included. These easy-to-digest proteins are made to the highest quality standards.

  • Raw and certified organic
  • 20 g of vegan protein per serving
  • Provides all the essential amino acids
  • Certified gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Easy-to-digest, soy free, and dairy free
  • Naturally sweetened and flavored
  • Supports healthy weight management
  • Helps build and maintain lean muscle mass

These delicious plant-based protein powders come in French Vanilla and Decadent Chocolate flavors, as well as an Unflavored option. Just mix one scoop with water, juice, or your preferred non-dairy beverage. For added variety try blending in fruit, berries, ginger, and greens or other powdered superfoods. Or just add a scoop to your favorite shake or smoothie!


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