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Food & Cuisine

Signs that your eating habits need to change

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Poor skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and it offers much needed visual insight into what is going on with the body’s health.



For those who suffer with acne, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin or premature ageing, these are all signs that their diet might not be optimal. 

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‘In particular, acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions have been associated with an imbalance of gut bacteria leading to “leaky gut”,’ they said.

What is leaky gut? 

Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to ‘leak’ through the intestinal wall.

‘A variety of nutrients, derived from eating a balanced whole foods diet are important for skin health.’

It is important that people have a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish and flax seeds, along with vitamins A, E, C and zinc.

Changing one’s diet can drastically improve the skin but this can take three months or more so people need to be patient with dietary changes.

Low energy

Although carbohydrates and fats are primary fuels for making energy, the health expert said micronutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, iron, copper and sulphur are also an important part of the process.

Unfortunately diets that aren’t rich in these often lead to low energy levels. 

Anaemia, which is caused by a deficiency in iron, B12 or folate (B9), can also cause tiredness, as can poor thyroid function, which relies on nutrients such as iodine and selenium. 

‘Many people are also self-sabotaging their energy levels by relying on stimulants such as caffeine and sugar to get them through the day,’ they said.

 ‘However, this can have a negative impact on sleep and blood sugar balance, leading to peaks and troughs in energy throughout the day.

‘Switching to complex carbs and ensuring good quality protein each time you eat to stabilise blood sugars and reducing caffeine is therefore recommended.’

Fat accumulation around the middle

Everyone’s body is different and due to genetics people store fat in different areas.

According to the health expert storage of fat around the stomach (known as visceral adipose tissue) has been consistently shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and other health issues.

‘The most likely cause for VAT is a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, with excessive stomach fat being a tell-tale sign of insulin resistance, where the body becomes less able to utilise glucose for energy production and so instead stores it as fat,’ they said.

‘If you tend to have an apple body shape, then changing your diet and engaging in regular physical exercise is particularly important.’ 

Digestive Issues

The health expert said some of the most obvious signs someone’s diet needs changing is when they’re faced with digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea and bloating, which indicate the gut isn’t happy.

Eliminating processed foods and switching to a whole foods diet is likely to improve many people’s digestion due to the increase in fibre from fruit and vegetables.

Others may need to remove foods such as gluten, wheat or dairy from their diet for a period of time.

Improving the balance of bacteria in the gut by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and live yoghurt can benefit digestive conditions.

Alternatively people can take a live bacteria supplement, such as Lepicol ($17/£13), a three in one combination of gentle psyllium husk fibre which contributes to the maintenance of normal bowel transit.

Low mood and anxiety

Mental health is a complex issue that often involves a variety of factors but diet and lifestyle choices are being shown to play an important role.

‘Nutritional psychiatry is increasingly being used alongside conventional therapies for conditions such as anxiety and depression,’ they said.

‘A Mediterranean style diet, high in colourful fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and olive oil, with moderate amounts of fish and seafood, has been shown to be particularly effective.’

Poor Immunity

The health expert explained that recurring infections, such as colds, UTIs, thrush and fungal nail infections, are a sign that the body isn’t getting enough nutrients.

This is a sign that the immune system isn’t receiving enough support from the diet and that people need to increase their intake of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, vitamins A, C, E, and B6 and folate.

‘Focus on getting lots of colourful fruit and vegetables and good quality protein such as organic meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and legumes as these provide the building blocks and co-factors for immune cells,’ they said.

It’s also best to steer clear of processed foods, simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, known to feed unwanted bacteria and yeast in the gut.

Instead include prebiotic foods such as slightly under-ripe bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, oats and asparagus.

Hormonal issues

Diets high in sugars and refined carbs are likely to exacerbate hormonal issues such as period pain, menopause, endometriosis and fertility troubles.

‘Supporting healthy blood sugar balance is therefore a crucial step in regulating hormones, as is working on body composition to reduce excess fat cells, which produce their own oestrogens,’ they said.

They recommend increasing the intake of nutrients to help support healthy oestrogen detoxification.

This can be done by eating folate from leafy green vegetables and glucosinolates from broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.

‘Dietary phytoestrogens found in flaxseeds, traditionally fermented soybean products and legumes can also be particularly useful for modulating oestrogen levels,’ they said.

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Food & Cuisine

12 foods that could improve your Libido (Sex Drive)

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It is almost becoming an established fact that foods that look like body parts can boost sex drive. Dr Vijay Singhal, Sexologist with Delhi based Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute lists out the advantages of foods and fruit that can improve your libido, listing certain items that are particularly beneficial- Walnuts, strawberry, avocados, watermelons and almonds.

However, it must be noted that alcohol is bad for a healthy sex life – it increases the desire but decreases the performance.”

First on the list is Watermelon:

Watermelon
Watermelon improves your erection and increases your libido. They also contain citrulline which releases amino acids and arginine in the body. Arginine is responsible for vascular health.

Avocados
Folic acid and vitamin B6 are both necessary for a healthy sex drive. Folic acid pumps the body with energy, while vitamin B6 stabilises the hormones.

Walnuts
Walnuts improve the quality of sperm. It is known to improve the shape, movement and vitality of the sperm. Include walnuts in your diet to improve fertility.

Eggs
Consume eggs for healthy erection. Eggs contain amino acid L-arginine that can improve erectile dysfunction.

Peaches
Vitamin C present in peaches improves sperm count and the quality of the sperm. Peaches contain high levels of vitamin C that is great for reducing infertility.

Strawberries and raspberries
The seeds of these fruits are loaded with zinc which is essential for sex for both, men and women. If women have high levels of zinc their bodies find it easier to prepare for sex. In men, zinc controls the testosterone level which is responsible for producing sperm. It is important that men load up on zinc as their zinc levels reduces during intercourse.

Almonds
Almonds contain arginine which improves circulation and relaxes blood vessels. This amino acid found in almonds helps you maintain an erection.

Chocolate
Dark chocolate releases serotonin and endorphins that improves your mood. It doesn’t improve libido but you will not be a grouch.

Coffee

Coffee is a stimulant, hence spikes your sex drive. Coffee can stimulate the brain to heighten arousal.

Saffron

Saffron is a natural aphrodisiac and should be consumed to improve your sex drive and your performance in bed. Saffron can also boost stamina and energy.

Steak
Steak is a great ingredient to boost your sex drive–it contains zinc, vitamin B, iron and protein. These compounds are essential for both men and women as they help improve the libido.

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Food & Cuisine

Avoid these foods when trying to reduce fat.

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Dear Anttention Media reader. It’s no longer news that the foods you eat can have a major effect on your weight. With this at the back of our minds, we see the struggle in recent times by many to reduce their general weight or weight is specific areas of their body. This article is one written by a good friend of the house on what you need to avoid when trying to loose weight.

Written by Hrefna Palsdottir, MS

Some foods, like full-fat yogurt, coconut oil and eggs, help with weight loss.

Other foods, especially processed and refined products, can make you gain weight.

Here are 11 foods to avoid when you’re trying to lose weight.

 
1. French Fries and Potato Chips

Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, but french fries and potato chips are not. They are very high in calories, and it’s easy to eat way too many of them.

In observational studies, consuming French fries and potato chips has been linked to weight gain.

One study even found that potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food.

What’s more, baked, roasted or fried potatoes may contain cancer-causing substances called acrylamides. Therefore, it’s best to eat plain, boiled potatoes.

 
2. Sugary Drinks

Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, are one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.

They are strongly associated with weight gain and can have disastrous health effects when consumed in excess.

Even though sugary drinks contain a lot of calories, your brain doesn’t register them like solid food.

Liquid sugar calories don’t make you feel full, and you won’t eat less food to compensate. Instead, you end up adding these calories on top of your normal intake.

If you are serious about losing weight, consider giving up sugary drinks completely.

 
3. White Bread

White bread is highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar.

It is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels.

One study of 9,267 people found that eating two slices (120 grams) of white bread per day was linked to a 40% greater risk of weight gain and obesity.

Fortunately, there are many healthy alternatives to conventional wheat bread. One is Ezekiel bread, which is probably the healthiest bread on the market.

However, keep in mind that all wheat breads do contain gluten. Some other options include oopsie bread, cornbread and almond flour bread.

 
4. Candy Bars

Candy bars are extremely unhealthy. They pack a lot of added sugar, added oils and refined flour into a small package.

Candy bars are high in calories and low in nutrients. An average-sized candy bar covered in chocolate can contain around 200–300 calories, and extra-large bars may contain even more.

Unfortunately, you can find candy bars everywhere. They are even strategically placed in stores in order to tempt consumers into buying them impulsively.

If you are craving a snack, eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead.

 
5. Most Fruit Juices

Most fruit juices you find at the supermarket have very little in common with whole fruit.

Fruit juices are highly processed and loaded with sugar.

In fact, they can contain just as much sugar and calories as soda, if not more.

Also, fruit juice usually has no fiber and doesn’t require chewing.

This means that a glass of orange juice won’t have the same effects on fullness as an orange, making it easy to consume large quantities in a short amount of time.

Stay away from fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead.

 
6. Pastries, Cookies and Cakes

Pastries, cookies and cakes are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined flour.

They may also contain artificial trans fats, which are very harmful and linked to many diseases.

Pastries, cookies and cakes are not very satisfying, and you will likely become hungry very quickly after eating these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.

If you’re craving something sweet, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead.

7. Some Types of Alcohol (Especially Beer)

Alcohol provides more calories than carbs and protein, or about 7 calories per gram.

However, the evidence for alcohol and weight gain is not clear.

Drinking alcohol in moderation seems to be fine and is actually linked to reduced weight gain. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is associated with increased weight gain.

The type of alcohol also matters. Beer can cause weight gain, but drinking wine in moderation may actually be beneficial.

 

8. Ice Cream

Ice cream is incredibly delicious, but very unhealthy. It is high in calories, and most types are loaded with sugar.

A small portion of ice cream is fine every now and then, but the problem is that it’s very easy to consume massive amounts in one sitting.

Consider making your own ice cream, using less sugar and healthier ingredients like full-fat yogurt and fruit.

Also, serve yourself a small portion and put the ice cream away so that you won’t end up eating too much.

 

9. Pizza

Pizza is a very popular fast food. However, commercially made pizzas also happen to be very unhealthy.

They’re extremely high in calories and often contain unhealthy ingredients like highly refined flour and processed meat.

If you want to enjoy a slice of pizza, try making one at home using healthier ingredients. Homemade pizza sauce is also healthier, since supermarket varieties can contain lots of sugar.

Another option is to look for a pizza place that makes healthier pizzas.

 

10. High-Calorie Coffee Drinks

Coffee contains several biologically active substances, most importantly caffeine.

These chemicals can boost your metabolism and increase fat burning, at least in the short term.

However, the negative effects of adding unhealthy ingredients like artificial cream and sugar outweigh these positive effects.

High-calorie coffee drinks are actually no better than soda. They’re loaded with empty calories that can equal a whole meal.

If you like coffee, it’s best to stick to plain, black coffee when trying to lose weight. Adding a little cream or milk is fine too. Just avoid adding sugar, high-calorie creamers and other unhealthy ingredients.

 

11. Foods High in Added Sugar

Added sugar is probably the worst thing in the modern diet. Excess amounts have been linked to some of the most serious diseases in the world today.

Foods high in added sugar usually provide tons of empty calories, but are not very filling.

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