There is a lot of mystery and confusion surrounding the vegan diet. Different from a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet includes only plant-based foods. This means vegans stay away from meat, eggs, dairy or animal-based foods of any kind. At first glance, it seems that this lifestyle doesn't leave you with many options of what to eat. However, a vegan diet can be among the most healthful ways to eat. You can still choose from vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. These foods still offer plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and healthy oils. Even celebrities and famous inventors like Alicia Silverstone, Ellen Degeneres, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Paul McCartney and Sinead O'Connor were and are vegans. According to a report by the Vegetarian Times, three percent of American adults, roughly 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian diet, and one million of them are vegans. If you're considering going vegan, here are a few benefits that may push you to take the leap:
It's better for the environment
Because you're eating plant-based foods rather than animal products, there is far less pollution produced. Rather than feeding plants to the animals and then eating the animals, growing and eating plants straight from the ground makes much more efficient use of land and water.
Many decide to go vegan to save animals from being killed, or to protest currently less-than-ethical animal treatment at mainstream farms and feedlots. Eating less meat means that fewer animals are subjected to harsh treatment, and that unethically operated food production companies see a reduced profit.
Instead of getting protein from animal meat, whip up a tasty shake containing pea protein powder. Naturade Pea Protein is 100 percent soy and dairy free, gluten free and cholesterol free. Made from a natural plant-based protein derived from yellow peas, this product is perfect for any vegan diet. Add a few scoops of chocolate or vanilla protein powder for a quick snack or a meal on the go.
Many of the foods that vegans eat are low in calories, salt, sugar and harmful fats – all which can be detrimental to a person's health when consumed in large amounts. Not all fats are created equal: unsaturated – especially monounsaturated – fats help raise "good" LDL cholesterol, while saturated fats raise "bad" HDL cholesterol. Saturated fats can be found in certain plant-based foods, but the majority of saturated fats consumed by Americans come from either animal fats or highly processed corn oils. Eating animal fats and proteins has been shown to increase a person's risk of developing poor health. By eliminating the saturated fats found in dairy products and meat, a vegan diet may lower cholesterol and cardiovascular health may be improved.
Because vegans don't eat meat, many tend to maintain a healthier weight. Researchers attribute this to a lower calorie intake. Vegetables and fruits are much lower in calories than meats, and provide beneficial nutrients in an undiluted form. The high fiber in a vegan diet also helps to curb hunger.
Everyone could always use a little kick of energy in their lives, especially during the hectic days. Going vegan can contribute to higher energy level. Both NFL tight-end Tony Gonzalez and former U.S. president Bill Clinton have attributed their vegan diets to their newly found energy.
There's one element in your fridge that you may be overlooking to help you get to that goal weight – and no, it's not Brussels sprouts or spinach (although those probably wouldn't hurt). This weight loss tool is located in your freezer and and stores cubes to cool of your drinks: The ice cube tray. It turns out, this plastic wonder can store much more than water. Here are a few ways this simple refrigerator staple can help you shed the pounds, just in time for summer:
With the days warming up, a cool, fresh smoothie is sounding better and better. Before the week starts, whip up a large batch of your favorite smoothie containing scoops of Naturade Total Soy. Add in your favorite fruits and fill a few ice cube trays. Stick them in the freezer for a few hours and in no time you'll have a healthy, frosty snack that you can grab when you're in a hurry – perfect for a low-cal protein meal!
If you've ever made cookies, you know how difficult it can be to refrain from eating the entire batch. After all, there's no more tempting smell than that of freshly baked cookies. Curb your temptations by baking half and scooping the rest of the dough into your ice cube trays. When you're in need for a sweet treat, pop one out and bake it without the temptation to eat 12, instead.
You may want to add a few more ice cubes to your glass of water. Keeping your H2O ice-cold can help to spike your metabolism. Your body will have to burn more calories to heat the liquid up to core temperature. It can amp up your metabolism by approximately 50 percent. Next time you're thirsty, grab a few cubes from that ice tray and drink up! You could even puree fruit like strawberries, raspberries and pineapple and freeze them to pop into your ice water later. They're filled with antioxidants and can give your drink a refreshing boost of taste without any added sugar.
If you're known to spice up your food with natural herbs, you can actually mix your favorite herbs with vegetable broth or water and freeze them in your ice cube tray. You can then add the cube directly to a heated dish or wait for it to thaw to use it in cold dishes.
Your ice cube tray doesn't have to go in the freezer. These perfectly portioned sections are great for filling with quick snacks like nuts or cheese.
Now's the time to ditch the gym and take advantage of the beautiful weather outside! Sure, treadmills and dumbbells can do the trick when it comes to burning calories, but nothing else beats getting some fresh air and slimming down at the same time. Here are a few summer activities that are going to get you outside and help you stay in shape for beach season:
If you find yourself traveling to a beach this summer or are lucky enough to live near one, grab a volleyball and a few friends. Hitting around the ball and having a blast in the sun gets your heart pumping and works your arms, legs, shoulders and core all at the same time. Running in the sand also helps you burn even more calories because your legs have to work harder to move through it. When you need a break, whip up a frosty chocolate or vanilla smoothie with Naturade Total Soy. This protein powder has all of the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body going.
Having a green thumb can translate to a toned body. You may not immediately associate tending to flowers with a workout, but all of that bending over, squatting and reaching is great for your glutes, and you may even break a sweat! Not many people can say that the result of their workout is a beautiful garden.
If you love the great outdoors, grab your hiking shoes and hit up your local trail. Bring along a few friends, a water bottle and some snacks. After walking the trail for just one hour, you'll already have burned about 387 calories! How's that for motivation to keep going?
Cool off during the hot summer days in your nearest lake, pool or ocean. Not only is this workout great on your joints, it can be relaxing and refreshing. Just an hour of casual swimming can burn up to 324 calories. While you're on the water, grab a kayak to explore the area and really tone your arms.
Grab your clubs and head out to the course to polish your golf swing and tone your body. The simple act of just walking up and down the course with your clubs can burn up to 359 calories!
The best part about this activity is that it can be played virtually anywhere. All you need is a friend! Keep it casual or get a group together for an intense game of ultimate Frisbee and burn up to 272 calories in just 30 minutes.
In the many diets that we read about and see on television these days, it's quite the difficult task to decipher which diet actually works and which is better left ignored. Well, there's good news for vegans, vegetarians and anyone who loves to munch on fruits and veggies for the immune system health, antioxidants and all the other benefits that they bring. The Mediterranean diet – a generic term applied to the culinary lifestyles of people from the Mediterranean region – has been shown to help those who are at risk for poor heart health.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
This diet consists of traditional food and drink from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It's more than just a diet, however. It's more of a lifestyle that includes foods, activities, meals with friends and family, and wine in moderation. There has even been a Mediterranean Diet Pyramid developed by scientists from Mediterranean countries, the Harvard School of Public Health and Oldways Health Through Heritage.
This diet consists of fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, healthy grains, fish, olive oil, small amounts of meat and dairy, and red wine. Other elements to the diet include daily exercise, sharing meals with others and developing a deep understanding and appreciation for the pleasures of eating healthy.
Here are just a few examples of the things you can enjoy while on this diet:
Vegetables and tubers: Artichokes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, lemons, spinach, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
Fruits: Avocados, apples, cherries, pears, pomegranates, strawberries, tangerines, grapes, oranges and tomatoes.
Grains: Breads, oats, rice, polenta, buckwheat, barley, couscous and wheatberries.
Fish and seafood: Cockles, clams, crab, eel, flounder, lobster, tuna, sardines, shrimp, salmon and mussels.
Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt: Chicken, duck, quail, ricotta, brie, chevre, feta and Greek yogurt.
Nuts, seeds and legumes: Almonds, beans (chickpeas, fava, kidney, green), hazelnuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, split peas, walnuts.
Herbs and spices: Basil, bay leaf, clove, chiles, fennel, lavender, tarragon, thyme, sage and sumac.
Meats and sweets: Pork, beef, lamb, goat, button, baklava, biscotti, creme caramel, chocolate, and gelato.
Water and wine: Plenty of water and wine in moderation with your meals
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, individuals who stuck to a Mediterranean Diet had greater heart health than those who adhered to a low-fat diet. Study lead author, Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzalez, said that this diet seemed to boost heart health due to the combination of good-quality fats – both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Vegetable oils and olive oils and a wide range of other nutrients can be credited for a healthy heart.
When you're not snacking on fruits and vegetables, including a dietary supplement in your diet may be a good idea to keep your ticker healthy. Heart health supplements help maintain blood pressure levels that are within the normal range. A normal blood pressure consists of a systolic reading that is less than 120 and a diastolic reading that is less than 80. This dietary supplement should be used in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet to promote a healthy heart.
Getting to that desired weight may be as easy as completing household daily chores like cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming the living room. Some only consider a workout to be running on the treadmill or hitting the gym to lift weights, but there are certain chores that can actually burn up to 100 calories! Tidying up the house while shedding the pounds – how's that for killing two birds with one stone? Here's how to get your house and your body in tip top shape just in time for those summer months:
Get to those dishes
Get on those rubber gloves and spend a full 60 minutes washing and drying your sink full of dirty dishes. Rubbing off those food stains and getting every plate and bowl sparkling clean is great for toning your arms. Keep your abs contracted throughout to burn even more calories. If doing the dishes for a full hour seems like a little too much to handle, put on some music or grab your laptop and catch up on your favorite shows. Burning 100 calories never seemed so easy.
Style your hair
Ladies, do you take the time to blow dry and style your hair in the morning before heading out? Well, if you don't, you may want to reconsider your routine. By holding your arms up to blow dry your locks and then using the straightener or curling iron for about 35 minutes total, you're looking at starting off your day with 100 less calories than what you woke up with. Sounds pretty good, right? Guys, unless you have long tresses, you may be out of luck on this one.
Walk while you talk
If you work at home and have to be on a conference call, use that time to walk around the house at the same time. Doing so for about 35 minutes is enough to burn off 100 calories.
Take a break
While taking a break won't shed more calories, it can help in promoting muscle growth. Whip up a chocolate or vanilla shake that contains protein powder for a low-cal meal replacement. Naturade Total Soy is low on sugar, but high in dietary fiber and delicious taste. Between toning your muscles, doing household chores and helping your muscles grow with protein powder, you'll be on your way to your goal weight in no time.
Change things up
Step into your living room and see how things can be rearranged to create a completely different look. You can easily shed 100 calories if you're moving around heavy furniture for about 25 minutes. A change in scenery, even if it's just a few pieces of furniture that have been shifted, can actually have a positive effect on your mood as well.
Grab that vacuum
Pop in a pair of headphones and go vacuum crazy. Clean every surface of your house to torch 100 calories in just one hour. With spring in our midst, this may also be a good idea to stave off seasonal allergies. You'd be surprised at how much dust is lurking in your house!
Foods containing soy have a lot to brag about: Soy has no cholesterol, protects against poor heart health and tastes delicious. It may even show promise for boosting mental health and promoting healthy bones – it's no wonder so many parents are jumping on the soy bandwagon and incorporating these healthy soyfoods into their child's diet. The American Heart Association even supports soyfoods as part of a heart-healthy diet.
The benefits of soy for children
Soy contains many essential nutrients that are vital for growth and development. It also is a great source of protein and can be substituted for meat, dairy or vegetables. Products containing soy tend to be lower in both fat and calories when compared to those meat or dairy foods. Therefore, soy is extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Soy products are also lactose-free, allowing children who can't have dairy products to enjoy a glass of soy milk. Those with nut allergies can also enjoy a soy nut butter and jelly sandwich or snack on roasted soy nuts. Soy is also a quick fix for children who have wheat allergies.
Children should be eating 2 to 3 cups per day of milk or milk equivalent, about 5 ounces or protein per day and approximately 2 ½ cups of vegetables. With soyfoods, reaching these equivalents is super simple. There are so many soy products out there, giving even the pickiest of eaters a few options. From soy dairy-free frozen desserts and soy pasta to soy chips and soy nut butter, there is plenty to choose from! Here are a few ways to help your children enjoy soyfoods and all of the benefits that come along with them:
- Whip up a protein-rich fruit smoothie for your little one using a protein powder like Naturade Total Soy. Make sure to add in all of their favorite fruits and cool crushed ice to amp up the natural sweetness and keep them coming back for more!
- Opt for meatless pizza and use soy versions of pepperoni, sausage crumbles, deli ham or bacon as healthy and tasty alternatives.
- Make some homemade trail mix using honey-roasted and chocolate-covered soy nuts, whole-grain cereal, raisins and dried fruit.
- For a morning meal that will leave kids satisfied, spread some soy nut butter on whole wheat toast for a perfect alternative to peanut butter.
- Chocolate soy milk works for a refreshing and sweet drink.
- Pack soy yogurt in their lunch for a creamy treat packed with lots of calcium.
- Cut up their favorite veggies to dip in hummus made from soybeans – this also makes a tasty sandwich spread.
- Add soybeans to your family garden to teach your children about new foods and the benefits of soy. They can be planted alongside potatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries and celery.
- Use soy milk in their favorite cereal for a super simple way to up their soy intake
- Have veggie burgers for dinner – they're tasty and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than regular hamburgers
Vegetables are an essential part of any diet – especially for a growing child. They contain essential nutrients that are vital for their overall health, growth and development. The high fiber content fills them up so they're not looking to satisfy their hunger with sweets and processed foods. The fiber-protein sends a signal to the brain to stop eating and helps children recognize when they're hungry and when they're not.
Veggies also require much chewing, which forces kids to eat slower, contributes to healthy digestion and prevents overeating. Many calories are actually burned simply through the process of eating and digesting vegetables.
Good carbs are packed into vegetables. In fact, veggies are among the healthiest carbohydrates children can eat. The combination of protein and fiber even steadies the blood sugar.
The vibrant colors in the veggies comes from phytonutrients. These natural ingredients boost a child's immune system by fighting off germs, much like colostrum. With children being in constant contact with germs at school, veggies are a great way to naturally protect their systems.
Despite all of these fantastic benefits that vegetables have to offer, some children just aren't a fan of the way they taste. A chocolate cupcake always looks better than a stalk of broccoli or a handful of carrots. Therefore, parents must get a little sneaky if they want their kids to eat a little healthier. Here are a few ways to get those vegetables out of your fridge and into your child's tummy:
Use the right terminology
If you're referring to these green foods as vegetables, children are going to equate that with yucky taste. But if you change up the terminology, you may have better luck in getting them to eat their veggies. Parenting.com suggested referring to them as "grow foods." This can help reinforce a child's love for them because it relates eating healthy with growing big and strong – something every kid wants.
Offer veggies when they're hungry
If a child is hungry, they'll eat. Give them something they can easily snack on like baby carrots, cucumbers or red bell peppers. Amp up the taste with some hummus or low-fat salad dressing that they'll love to dip their vegetables in!
Let them decide
Bring your child grocery shopping with you and let them peruse the produce section for foods that they want to try out. They may like something for its color or shape and be more willing to snack on it.
Hold dessert hostage
Children sure do love their sweets. Therefore, if you let them know that they can't have dessert without finishing their veggies first, they may be more likely to clean their plate.
You could be sneaky and include vegetables in smoothies and other recipes. Use a blender or juicer to grind them up and make them invisible to the eye and taste buds. The sweetness of the fruit will overpower the veggie taste – your kids will never know!
Include children in the prep work
When preparing the vegetables, have your child help out by washing them while you cut them into bite sized pieces that will be easy to snack on.
Sleep isn’t the easiest thing to come by these days. There are often nights when you toss and turn for hours upon end, nights when you’re up late doing work, and days when it seems your bedtime is pushed back later and later. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans experience poor sleep at night. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. adults reported an average of less than six hours of sleep per day between 2005 and 2007. The National Sleep Foundation suggested that adults need to get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
Getting the proper amount of sleep is imperative for your health. Sleep has an effect on learning and memory. It helps the mind commit new information through a process called memory and consolidation. Therefore, if you have a test to take, it’s best to get to sleep rather than pulling an all-nighter. Metabolism is also impacted by a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep affects the way your body processes and stores carbohydrates and alters levels of hormones that affect the appetite. Sleep loss can also lead to irritability and an inability to concentrate during the day, and may even be an immunity booster, helping your body to stay healthy. Believe it or not, decreased amounts of sleep have been linked to poor heart health. How’s that for a reason to get some shut-eye? However, it’s understood that it’s simply difficult for some to fall asleep at night. Here are some bedtime behaviors that may make it a bit easier to catch some z’s and all the benefits that come with a proper amount of sleep:
Turn down the lights
Your environment has a significant impact on the quality of your sleep. If a room is too hot or too cold, too noisy or too bright, your sleep can be affected. When bedtime begins to roll around, your body releases melatonin, which helps to make you sleepy. But if you’re in a brightly lit room, your head isn’t getting the right hints to hit the hay. Therefore, start to dim the lights around nine or 10 to get your mind ready for sleep.
Take a sleep aid
Naturade SlumberAid is a natural solution to help you not only fall asleep, but to stay asleep and wake up feeling rested and energized. This sleep aid is packed with a full range of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and melatonin, you helping you get on your way to a more peaceful night’s sleep.
Have a bedtime routine
By establishing a nightly routine, your brain will recognize that it’s time to go to bed and shift to that mindset. Whether it’s laying out your clothes for the next day, reading a book, brushing your hair or writing, these are habits that may help you sleep at night.
Skip the coffee after noon
You’d be surprised as to how long that cup of joe can stay in your system. It reaches a peak level in your blood within 30 to 60 minutes of drinking it and the effects can last from eight to 14 hours. Therefore, you should think twice before grabbing that second or third cup of coffee at lunchtime. Instead, try other ways to naturally boost your energy throughout the day, such as exercising, laughing, splashing cold water on your face or cranking up the air conditioning.
Your office puts out a birthday cake for a co-worker's birthday and you begin the battle with yourself to resist the sweet treat. Sure, it's delicious and homemade, but all those calories won't be good for the figure or for your health. But what if we told you that indulging cookies and cake may actually be better for you than you thought? Get ready for the best news you'll hear all day:
According to a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, having a cookie or a piece of cake could lower your chances for poor heart health. Researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition studied more than 20,000 participants' total food intake. Of course, they discovered much of what we already know – consuming whole grains and eating more fruits and veggies promoted a healthy heart. However, research also showed that there was less of an association between dessert and disease prevention.
However, this research doesn't mean that overindulging in slices of cake and copious amounts of cookies is okay. These sweet treats can be made part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation. The American Heart Association recommended that women get no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day. For men, it should be no more than nine teaspoons per day. However, many Americans often overindulge, getting closer to 22 teaspoons or 355 calories per day.
Luckily, there are a few desserts out there that don't have loads of sugar and calories. Protein powders make a great addition to any dessert. A few scoops of Naturade 100% Soy can give you the protein you need to promote healthy muscle growth. Here are a few dessert recipes from Health.com that you can try out right at home without having to feel guilty about indulging!
Calories per serving: 113
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sweetener
¼ teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
6 spongecake dessert shells
Combine the sweetener and cornstarch. Stir in the orange juice and bring to a boil. Stir constantly for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in extract. Let it cool completely before moving on to the next step. Combine orange juice mixture and strawberries and chill for 30 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the dessert shells to complete this guilt-free dessert.
Vanilla Lemon Berry Parfait
Calories per serving: 176
2 containers fat-free vanilla pudding
2 tablespoons bottled lemon curd
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
Fresh mint leaves
Whisk together the lemon curd, vanilla extract and yogurt. In a separate bowl, stir lemon zest, lemon juice and honey together and mix well. Add in the berries and stir to coat the fruit in the honey mixture. Scoop three tablespoons of the yogurt mixture into four separate glasses and top with ¼ cup of the berries and another 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Next, add another layer of berries. Garnish with the fresh mint leaves if desired.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bodily function. It helps to promote strong bones and regulates the immune system. There are two types of vitamin D: D2 and D3. Research suggests that the latter may be better at raising levels of vitamin D in the blood. Studies show that getting a proper amount of vitamin D may help to promote healthy blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association, approximately two out of three U.S. adults have blood pressure within the normal and the slightly elevated ranges.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, individuals with low levels of vitamin D seem to have a higher risk of developing poor blood pressure health than those with higher levels of vitamin D.
During the winter months, it can be hard to soak in vitamin D from the sun, due to the amount of time spent indoors. However, there are a few ways to get a healthy amount of vitamin D in your diet, even if you're stuck inside.
A dietary supplement
Naturade BP Health may help maintain blood pressure levels that are within the normal range. Normal blood pressure is characterized as having a systolic reading that is less than 120 and a diastolic reading that is less than 80. With this supplement, you will be getting a healthy dose of vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D-rich foods
There are plenty of foods that contain a healthy amount of vitamin D. Here are a few delicious options to choose from:
Fatty fish: Specific types of fish, like salmon, mackerel, light canned tuna, herring and sardines, contain about 165 to 445 IUs of vitamin D. Keep in mind that canned fish in oil contains more vitamin D than canned fish in water. When it comes to salmon, there are plenty of tasty ways to cook it, whether you sear, grill, broil or bake it.
Eggs: Before you turn away the yolk of the egg for just the egg white, think again. One egg yolk has about 20 IU, which is about 6 percent of your daily value of Vitamin D. Whip up some scrambled eggs in the morning or hard boil them and stick them on your sandwich or in a salad.
Swiss cheese: This dairy treat may be filled with holes, but it is also filled with about 12 IU of vitamin D, which is 4 percent of your daily value. This type of cheese also contains less sodium than a highly processed variety like American.