Going, Going, Grapefruit!

Gaining an appreciation for the wonderful, round grapefruit.

Even a sliver of grapefruit can make your eyes squint and your mouth pucker. But if you’re sidestepping grapefruit because of its tartness, you’re also sidestepping an array of health benefits.

Why should you start tossing a little grapefruit in your daily diet? It’s as easy as APC.

Antioxidants

In the health world, few words get as much applause and attention as “antioxidants.” And grapefruits are filled with the stuff. In addition to giving grapefruit its pretty pink and red color, the antioxidant lycopene is responsible for fighting runaway cells (free radicals) that have the potential to damage cells and cause cancer.

As grapefruit juice contains some of the highest levels of antioxidants (along with grape, apple, and cranberry juice), you can get your grapefruit-based antioxidants in liquid form. Regardless of whether you eat or sip on your antioxidants, getting plenty of grapefruit in your diet gives you an advantage over a number of cancers.

Having a hard time choking down that grapefruit? Drizzle a little honey on top. It’ll cut the tart and leave you with a great big pile of health-boosting perks.

Pectin

A type of fiber found in grapefruit, pectin’s main benefit isn’t keeping you regular. It’s keeping you out of the long reach of high cholesterol. A number of studies have found that the pectin found in any kind of grapefruit lowers bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein cholesterol). If you eat red grapefruit, you’ll also enjoy the benefit of reduced triglycerides – the chemical form fat takes on in foods and in your body.

Along with pectin’s magical ability to lower cholesterol levels, it also helps reduce cholesterol’s effects on the arteries. In other words, eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can help your arteries avoid the narrowing that occurs when excess cholesterol and fats build up inside the artery walls, a process that leads to heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in America.

C

Everyone hails the high vitamin C content of oranges, but did you know that grapefruits also contain this essential vitamin? With enough vitamin C in your system, you can battle a number of conditions with confidence, from the common cold to cancer. Chowing down on a vitamin C-filled grapefruit can also reduce the severity of asthma, arthritis, and other diseases that are brought about by inflammation.

With so many wonderful reasons to grab a grapefruit, it only makes sense to add some pink and red to your diet.

Keep Away from Medicines

Though grapefruit juice has a number of health benefits, it isn’t for everyone. If you take medication on a regular basis, you may need to avoid grapefruit juice as it can modify how much medicine gets in your bloodstream.

Normally, enzymes lining the small intestines destroy a certain portion of the medication you take, causing only a limited amount from making its way to your blood stream. However, grapefruit juice wields the power to prevent your intestinal lining from working appropriately. When grapefruit juice keeps these enzymes from doing their jobs, you wind up with an extremely large amount of medicine in your body, which can be dangerous.

Certain medications that treat high cholesterol, seizures, depression, high blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms are all likely candidates for this frightening effect. If you’re taking any of these medications, talk with your physician before drinking grapefruit juice with, before, or after taking your medication.

If you’re stuck on grapefruit juice, ask your physician if there is an alternative medication that can be taken safely with grapefruit juice.

Share This Article

Eat Less, Feel Fuller

What can you do to slim down your ever-growing waistline?

DietNothing drives people crazier than trying to lose weight. Television commercials, radio shows, and advertisements in the newspaper and your favorite magazine make it seem that losing weight is as easy as picking a fad diet out of the air. But if you’ve ever tried losing weight by eating only cabbage or swallowing everything you can in an hour, you probably realize that those diets only last for so long.

If you want to obtain and maintain a healthy weight, you’re going to have to figure out how to eat less. Sound impossible? Prepare to do the impossible in three easy steps!

Step 1: Determine if You Need to Lose Weight

Believe it or not, you may not need to lose weight. Each year, countless Americans take on the world of dieting without consulting anyone or anything except a mirror. However, the mirror doesn’t always tell the truth. And neither does the media, which insists that excessively skinny is the norm.

Before getting on a diet, ask your physician if you are at a healthy weight. If your weight isn’t a problem but you don’t feel confident with your body, you may need to change your exercise routine. Work with a personal trainer to formulate a regiment that will help you meet your personal goals – whether they involve weight loss, body toning, or both. If your health would benefit from losing weight, you should learn to eat less.

Step 2: Take Your Time at the Table

A common mistake made by many people is to eat everything on their plate. Doing this may indicate good manners, but it results in bad eating habits and a larger-than-desired belly. Fortunately, this problem is easily remedied. All you have to do is slow down.

Instead of shoving bite after bite of food into your mouth, take a deep breath and relax during mealtime. After each bite, set your fork down, chew, and swallow. Before taking another bite, say something to a family member or friend who is eating with you. By slowing down your eating process, you allow your brain time to figure out your stomach is full. Otherwise, you may end up eating for up to 15 minutes after your stomach is filled to capacity. Yes, that’s why you occasionally feel uncomfortably stuffed beyond your limits.

Step 3: Force Yourself to Eat Less

If slowing down your eating isn’t enough to help you eat less food, your best weapon is self-control. Determine how much food you are going to eat, put it on your plate, and don’t go back for seconds. When first starting to reduce the amount you eat, cut back your eating by two or three bites. Keep reducing the amount you eat by a bite or two until you find a healthy amount that leaves you feeling content and not hurting due to excessive fullness.

Gradually, as you learn to eat less, your stomach will shrink and will have less room for food. As a result, you feel fuller faster and won’t feel the need to eat the final bites of your meal just because it happens to be on your plate.

Staying Balanced

Often, people who are trying to lose weight cut something out of their diet. From carbohydrates to proteins to milk products, diets are available that promise great results if you’ll just give up one food product.

Before you go with the food flow, give thought to your body’s nutritional needs. Carbohydrates, fats, and practically everything else present in food is actually needed for your body to function properly. When you deprive your body of one or more of these essentials, your body is unable to perform at its peak. As a result, you feel weak and tired and have a hard time concentrating.

Instead of cutting a single nutrient out of your diet, reduce the total amount of food you eat on a daily basis, and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Doing this will help you maintain a healthy weight and feel much better than any of the deprivation diets on the market.

Share This Article

TLC Cooking “10 Allergenic Foods to Avoid”

Allergy skin testing
Image via Wikipedia

An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system mistakes a perfectly harmless substance for a dangerous one. In response, the system launches a full-scale attack, all the while wreaking havoc on your body.

via TLC Cooking “10 Allergenic Foods to Avoid”.

Controlling Late-Night Cravings

And getting control over your waistline at the same time.

DietYou’ve probably heard of diets that force dieters to avoid eating after a certain time of the day. That’s because eating lots of food right before going to bed makes it more likely that your body will store up fat when you’re not burning calories by moving around. How can you fend off those late-night cravings that bring unwanted calories to your most vulnerable soft spots?

Go to Bed

One of the easiest ways to avoid late-night cravings is to cut the late nights out of your life. This is as easy. Simply brush your teeth, wash your face, and get in bed well before your cravings usually kick in. To make sure you don’t find yourself lying in bed for hours and suffering the same late-night desires that you’re trying to avoid, don’t read or watch television in bed. It may take a few nights to grow accustomed to an earlier bedtime, but your physical and emotional health will improve from hitting the hay at a decent hour.

Eat Later

This may seem contradictory if you’re trying to beat late-night eating, but pushing dinner back an hour or so will help you stay full later into the night, ultimately leading to no more late-night cravings. This can be a difficult adjustment if you have a hungry household, so be prepared to allow plenty of snacking leading up to dinnertime.

Stop Sitting Around

For the most part, cravings kick in when you’re sitting around not doing anything. Instead of opening the door for boredom-induced snacking, find something to do and do it well! Whether you decide to finally clean out the kitchen pantry or want to get yourself involve in a crossword puzzle or putting together a quilt, staying busy will help you sidestep any potential temptations that arise in the late hours.

Decompress the Stress

Stress is a key reason you may find yourself eating when you know you shouldn’t. Stress can throw off your levels of certain hormones responsible for food cravings, so staying away from stress can’t be stressed enough. Beat stress with controlled breathing, regular exercise, and sleep. If you’re still feeling stressed, take a close look at your life and reprioritize. You may be putting too much emphasis on things that aren’t important.

Give In

Have no control over your need for late-night foods? Give in, but give in healthily by substituting your unhealthy ice cream and candy corn for carrot sticks, celery sticks, or apple slices. Once you’ve made the switch, you may have to take another step and toss the ranch dressing you’re dipping it in. Anything that diminishes the health perks of your food must be done away with. Your waistline requires it!

Get Wet

Being thirsty or dehydrated is often mistaken for hunger, so getting some water in your system may be just what your belly wants. So before you give in to your hunger, you need to quench your thirst. Any time you find yourself faced with an insatiable desire to snack on some late-night goodies, drink a couple glasses of water and wait a few minutes. If your hunger is still growing after a healthy dose of H2O, go for one of the healthy snacks mentioned above.

More Mousey Research

A recent study gave more proof that late-night snacking is a bad idea for anyone who wants to keep a tight reign on his or her waistline. During the study, mice fed during the day (they normally eat at night) gained 7.8 percent more weight than mice fed at the appropriate time. In other words, eat at the right time, get the results you want.

Share This Article