April 25, 2013

4 Ways to Improve Your Mental and Emotional Health

Filed under: Emotional Health,health,Mental Health — Tags: , — @ 10:33 am

improve mental health, improve emotional healthMental health comes with a healthy lifestyle and adopting a realistic approach to living. Being emotionally healthy provides you with a sense of contentment, a zest for living, and boosts your self esteem. For those reasons, it’s important to know what we can do to help improve our mental and emotional health.

Here are the 4 best ways you can improve your mental and emotional health now.

1. Indulge In a Diet for Your Mind: 

Skip the saturated fats and sugars and move onto a healthy combination of fresh fruits and vegetables, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and whole grains. Nutrition doesn’t only affect your body but also energy levels and moods

2. Step Up On Social Interaction: 

An emotional need for relationships makes us crave companionship. We cannot thrive in isolation because we programmed to want social interaction. Spend quality time with your family and friends to share life’s challenges and celebrate joys. Encourage new friendships and keep in touch with old ones for an upbeat and positive support system.

3. Don’t Drop Your Guard for Stress: 

Stress-free existence is no reality but when not taken care of can take a toll on your body and mind. Although moderate stress can be beneficial by enhancing memory and energy levels, chronic stress can be debilitating. Learn some relaxation techniques, engage in a favorite hobby, or share your troubles with a close friend to relive stress.

4. Get a Dose of Sunlight: 

Bask out in the sun and indulge in any physical activity such as step class, swimming, or walking to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Feel a sense of euphoria, thanks to your endorphin rush.

Pay attention to the little signs that your body shows every now and then that may be a red flag when it comes to your mental health. For instance, you may develop anxiety or have trouble falling asleep. Engage in creative things that you love to do, take on a spiritual road to find peace within, control your emotions, accept compliments, exercise to let the ‘feel-good’ chemicals play with your mind, and engage in activities that appeal to your senses. It’s all about feeling good about yourself.

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April 10, 2013

Are Bananas Fattening?

are bananas fattening



There is a nasty allegation circulating the health sphere that bananas are fattening. Various parties are even claiming that bananas aren’t the angelic, low-fat, high-health food we always believed them to be.

But is this actually true? What is the nutritional value of bananas? Are bananas adding extra calories to diets and sabotaging weight loss efforts worldwide? Let’s look at the facts.


The case for bananas as a fattening food:

High in calories
Bananas are high in calories compared to other fruits. A standard banana contains about 105 calories. A cup of grapes meanwhile, contains around 62 calories.

Loaded with carbs
A banana has around 127 grams of carbohydrates, compared to grapes, which contain just 15 grams of carbs. This carb variance is largely because bananas contain less water.

The case against bananas being fattening:

Rich in potassium
According to registered dietician and author, Cynthia Sass, bananas are incredibly rich in potassium. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure, encourage the maintenance of healthy muscles and also ease water retention and bloating.

Packed with fiber
Anything with fiber helps you stay fuller for longer, so the fact that bananas are packed with fiber is a huge plus in their favor. Fiber also acts as a ‘broom’ to your intestinal tract to ensure healthy digestion.

Contains B6
Vitamin B6 is responsible for equalizing blood sugar levels, which in turn promotes a healthy weight.

Low GI
Bananas have a glycemic index (GI) of 55, which means they release energy at a slower rate than other foods. Low GI foods decrease your risk of heart disease and other blood-glucose related diseases.

Provide instant energy
As bananas are higher in carbs (the fuel our body uses for energy), consuming a banana boosts your energy levels almost immediately.

The verdict
As with most things, moderation is clearly key here. Bananas are higher in calories and carbs than other fruits. But, if consumed sensibly, the health benefits of bananas are that they can actually aid your weight loss efforts by keeping you full and your energy high.

Experts suggest swapping a high-sugar dessert or snack for a banana and if you’re worried about weight gain, consuming a banana before or after a work out.

Overall, bananas are considered to be healthy, nutritious and delicious and when consumed in moderation should not impact any weight loss efforts.

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