Friday, August 28, 2015


Learn How to Cook at Least a Few Truly Delicious Healthy Dishes
Recent research shows that, if you enjoy the food you're taking in, it's so much easier to stick with a healthy-eating plan—whether it's designed for weight loss or just overall wellness. So get cooking! Next up are seven easy tips to boost your kitchen confidence.
Tip No 1
Invest in the Right Tools
Sometimes, when you mess up a dish, it's not you—it's your cookware: "There's nothing worse than trying to make a basic rice dish in a really sad aluminum pot you got in college from a big box store and then burning it," says Nixon. "If you had the proper pan, that rice would have turned out perfectly." You don't have to spend a ton of money, but it's worth it to invest in a few high-quality basics, like a chef's knife and a cast-iron skillet.

Tip No 2
Start with a Dish You Love
Rather than making a kale salad or some other healthy dish because you feel like you should, start with a recipe for one of your absolute favorite foods, whether it's lasagna or cheesecake. "It might sound like a silly trick," says Nixon, "but it gets you in the kitchen and motivated to make something. And then when you make it and enjoy it because you already love this food, that satisfaction you get is the best thing you can do to start developing your confidence."

Tip No 3
Read the Entire Recipe Before You Start Cooking Anything
If you get halfway through a recipe and realize you don't have the amount of flour or vinegar that it calls for, then of course it's not going to turn out like it's supposed to. Read the whole recipe before you start, and make sure you have all of the ingredients (and sufficient amounts of each) on-hand. And try to follow the recipe to the letter the first couple of times you make it (this is particularly important if it's a baking recipe, where precision is key). Then, after you've mastered the basic version of the recipe, you can move on to trying out some variations if you'd like, says Nixon.

Tip No 4
Taste and Season Your Food Before You Serve It
Don't even think about setting everything out on the table until you've sampled the dish, says Nixon. If it tastes a little bland, add some salt and/or pepper. It may sound like a simple trick, but it works: "Having the confidence to say, 'It needs a little bit more of this or that'—that's where you go from being a good cook to being a great cook," says Nixon.

Tip No 5
Always Have the Ingredients for at Least One Meal On-Hand
You know the panicked feeling of wondering what you're going to do about dinner? Making sure you always have something in your pantry that you can whip up—even if it's just dried pasta and jarred marinara sauce—will help eliminate a lot of that anxiety. "I've got a coupe of pantry recipes I always have the ingredients for, and when I make that emergency recipe, I buy those ingredients the very next time I go to the store," says Nixon. "It really helps for those Wednesday nights when I get home and have no idea what I want to make."

Tip No 6
When Grocery Shopping, Start in the Protein Section
If you start by picking up chicken thighs or ground turkey, then you'll have a much better sense of what you'll be making for dinner and which other ingredients you should buy, says Nixon. "It's so much better than going up and down the aisles and spending $100, only to realize you don't even have the ingredients to make one dinner," she says.

Tip No 7
When Cooking for Others, Stick with What You Know
"It can be so exciting to want to try a new recipe for an event, but I can't stress enough: Do what you do best," says Nixon, who encourages her fans to come up with a signature recipe. "Finding that good thing you're really good at making definitely builds confidence," she says. Because whowouldn't feel awesome about her cooking skills after receiving requests for "those amazing brownies you make" or "your delicious stuffed mushrooms"? 

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Schedule Regular Friend Dates
Not only will it help you de-stress (which is important for mental and heart health), but at least one animal study also suggests that it may result in your body burning more calories. So even when things get crazy-busy, make some time to catch up with your girls—your health will thank you!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Love Your Body
Notice we didn’t say, "when you reach your goal weight" or "if you've got a great rack." The truth is, your body does a ton for you, even if you're not thrilled with every single aspect of it. Learn how to appreciate your body now, and you'll be so much happier and healthier for it. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Get Health Insurance especially if you live in the USA!!!
Regardless of what you think about INSURANCES the fact remains that you need health insurance. Whether you get into an accident, develop a disease, or get pregnant, you will appreciate having coverage at some point. 

Monday, August 24, 2015


Drink Only in Moderation

If you're anything like most Americans, you're probably not that concerned about blowing this one off sometimes (see: birthdays, post-breakups, the holidays, regular happy hours, etc.). But here's why you shouldn't exceed the U.S. dietary health guidelines to consume no more than seven drinks a week and no more than three in one day: Regularly throwing back more than that can lead to both minor health issues like low energy and blotchy skin and major problems like strokes and certain cancers.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Find the Best Birth Control for You (if Any)

Yes, there are very legitimate reasons to decide not to use birth control—but the fact is that it's important to make a conscious decision on the subject one way or the other, rather than leaving yourself open to an unplanned pregnancy. And if you choose to use some form of contraception, you'll want to pick the best one for you by learning about all of your birth control options first.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Stand More

An increasing amount of research shows that the more time you log planted in a chair, the higher your risk of suffering from from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes (which is why some people have started warning about the danger of "sitting disease"). Even scarier, this holds true whether you work out regularly or not. Add more movement to your day with these tips on how to avoid a sedentary life.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Drink More Water

It can help you lose weight, improve your mood, and more. Want some suggestions on how to gulp down more during the day? Check out these 10 ways to hydrate more.
No 1 - Add Your Own Flavor

We get it, water can be pretty boring. But instead of using the flavoring agents you see in stores, opt for something more natural—like watermelon chunks and mint or orange slices. To amp up the taste even more, let it sit for a few hours in your fridge. 
No 2 - Order Something Spicy

Adding crushed red pepper to your plate will have your reaching for the water pitcher multiple times through dinner. Plus, studies show that hot peppers give your metabolism a boost. 
No 3  - Use Your Phone

Yep, there’s an app for that. In fact, there are several. TryWaterlogged for iPhone or Water Your Body (for Android and iPhones). Not big on apps? Just set a few alerts on your phone throughout the day to remind yourself to hit the water cooler. 
No 4 where applicable - Get a Filter You’ll Actually Use

If your water filter just takes up space in the fridge and leaves residue in your glass, it’s time for an upgrade. 
No 5 - Keep it Close

Let’s be real—if you’re stuck at your desk all day or on the road traveling for hours, you’re not going to make it a priority to go get water very often. The fix: Always keep a big tumbler of water on your desk or a water bottle in your bag so you have no excuse. And if you work at a desk, leave the cup in plain sight so you’re constantly reminded. 
No 6 - Be Prepared At the Gym

You know those muscle-y guys toting jugs of water in the weight room? It’s actually not as stupid as it looks. If you head to the gym without a water bottle, you’re not going to pause the treadmill every few minutes to get a drink, so come prepared. 
No 7 - Think of Your Wallet

Make a pact to only order water at restaurants and you’ll save calories and cash. Just make sure to ask for tap instead of bottled. Most restaurants use a filtration system anyway, and you likely won’t have to pay for the cup of water. 
No 8 - Eat Your Water

It isn’t exactly cheating—you can technically hydrate with water-rich foods like cucumbers, melons, celery or even soup with a light broth.
No 9 - Consider it an Appetizer

Drinking 16 oz. (the amount in a regular water bottle) before meals can help you lose weight, according to a 2010 study in the journal Obesity. Just knowing that drinking up can help you eat less should be enough motivation to grab a glass. 
No 10 - Make it Part of Your Night Out

If you’re out at the bar, you already know you should be alternating a glass of water for every cocktail (right!?). But make it a habit to always drink at least one more glass of water before bed when you get home. Not only will it help you re hydrate after drinking, but it’ll make your hangover suck much less.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015




Find a Workout You Actually Enjoy

Exercise improves your mood, makes you sleep better, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and more. But if you don’t like it, you're so much less likely to do it. Need some new ideas to try? Look at running, yoga, zumba, Crossfit, cycling and walking.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Quick Healthy Diet Tips for Working Women

Whilst in the midst of our dreary time table, we’re likely to forget to have our daily meals on time. Especially, this carelessness has mostly been observed in females. To administer your entire family, as well as look your best, it’s essential for you to eat right. However being a career woman or a busy mother, this has become a biggest challenge nowadays. Suiting your chock-full lifestyle, we’ve some obliging instructions for your health and schedule.

Fast — Break fast: Often rushing for your offices, you neglect your morning breakfast, which is considered as a great source of energy for the entire day. Depending on your weight and appetite, follow your diet chart strictly. For heavy weighted females, have some light meals like some fruits and veggies. Females having low blood pressure should intake a ‘parantha’ and a glass of milk as a must thing.

Veggies and Fruits are Bliss: Have more and more salads in your lunches and dinners. During your snack breaks in the office grab some cucumber, carrot, or some fruits, etc with some pepper and salt scattered over it. This you’ll apply during night shifts as well, coz the flavours of pepper and lemon coming out of it, will help you to stay fully awakened! This way you’ll be eating some healthy stuff not junk food.
Mark Your Appetite: While you’re at home or out, be careful of your appetite. Order food which can be contentedly consumed by kids for you too. To keep a mark on your hunger this way, you’ll eat fewer amounts.
Drink and Drink Water: Many health related articles in newspapers and magazines screams a lot to drink more and more water. But we tend to forget it most of the times or avoid it just for the reason not to waste time in going toilet. This aid in maintaining diet as well as for glowing skin.
Most Essentially, Don’t Forget to Workout: It’s quite hard to take out some time to follow the gym routine. However, being a member of your office gym or aerobics if available or joining at your nearby place will save a lot of your time. Being a female, you may also keep yourself intact with doing lots of other physical exercises, like use of staircase in spite of lifts, walking more on the production floor; walk yourself more rather than asking someone else to do it for you.
Put these lil practices in your habit, and we’re sure, you’ll be able to pay attention to your health with much ease. But, yes do apply them with a positive approach, otherwise, their extreme effects will not turn out well. So, from now onward, with an enchanting smile on your face, work and work with health.

Monday, August 17, 2015


A balanced diet is a cornerstone of health. Women, like men, should enjoy a variety of foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and lean protein. But women also have special nutrient needs, and, during each stage of a woman's life, these needs change.

Eating Right

Nutrient-rich foods provide energy for women's busy lives and help to prevent disease. A healthy daily diet includes:
  • At least three 1-ounce servings of whole grains such as whole-grain bread, cereal, pasta, brown rice or oats.
  • Three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products including low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese.
  • Five to 6 ounces of protein such as lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans or peas and nuts.
  • Two cups of fruits — fresh, frozen or canned without added sugar.
  • Two-and-a-half cups of colorful vegetables — fresh, frozen or canned without added salt.

Iron-rich Foods

Iron is one of the keys to good health and energy levels in women. Iron-rich food sources include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and fortified breads and cereals. Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed by your body when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods. So eat fortified cereal with strawberries on top, spinach salad with mandarin orange slices or add tomatoes to lentil soup.

Folic Acid During the Reproductive Years

When women reach childbearing age, they need to eat enough folic acid to decrease risk of birth defects. The requirement is at least 400 micrograms of folic acid a day. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of folic acid daily from fortified foods or supplements, in addition to food forms of folate from a varied diet. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, beans and peas naturally contain folate. There are many folic acid fortified foods such as cereals, rice and breads.

Daily Calcium Requirements

For healthy bones and teeth, women need to eat a variety of calcium-rich foods every day. Calcium keeps bones strong and prevents osteoporosis, a bone disease in which the bones become weak and break easily. Some calcium-rich foods include low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, sardines, tofu (if made with calcium sulfate) and calcium-fortified foods including juices and cereals.

Foods to Limit

To keep weight in check at any age, women should avoid a lot of excess calories from added sugars, fat and alcohol.
  • Limit regular soft drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages, candy, baked goods and fried foods.
  • Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
  • Opt for low-fat dairy and meat products instead of their full-fat counterparts.
Eat fewer foods that are high in saturated fat — the kind found in fatty meats, sausages, cheese and full-fat dairy products, baked goods and pizza.

Balancing Calories with Activity

Since women typically have less muscle, more fat and are smaller than men, you need fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight and activity level. Moderately active women need 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day. Women who are more physically active may require more calories.
Exercise is an important part of a woman's health. Regular daily activity helps with weight control, muscle strength and stress management.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nutritional benefits round out Watermelon's scrumptious taste

David Templeton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Watermelon may be the best picnic dessert nature ever created with its sweet juice cleverly bound inside that spongy red (sometimes yellow) matrix, and fully protected by psychedelic green rind.
Talk about a party orb.
But much like the thespian whose good looks overshadow brilliant acting skills, the watermelon's sweet, colorful qualities long have undercut its attributes as a wholly nutritious fruit whose tasty powers hydrate as well as heal.
And no matter how you slice it, this green cannonball of nutrition is attracting scientific attention as an elixir that reduces muscle pain after workouts and a whole lot more. Studies also have shown beneficial effects on arterial plaque in cardiovascular disease, prostate and other cancers, erectile dysfunction, menopause, acid reflux and potentially Alzheimer's disease, among others.
A recent study, for example, found that "watermelon extract supplementation reduces blood pressure and arterial stiffness," in older adults in cold weather, so it "can prevent the progression of hypertension and the hypertensive response to cold exposure," said the author Arturo Figueroa-Galvez, associate professor at Florida State University's department of nutrition, food and exercise sciences.
Another of his studies found that the supplement also reduced ankle blood pressure in obese adults with hypertension. Studies by others found that watermelon compounds reduced inflammation in prostate, gastrointestinal and other cancers, while a study published recently showed that lycopene, which provides the red pigmentation in watermelon and tomatoes, potentially reduced the inflammatory cascade of Alzheimer's disease.
In April yet another study found lycopene reduced reflux disease in animals, in part, by inhibiting acid pathways in the stomach.
"Watermelon is a pretty well-documented source of vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium," said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. She said she's been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years.
Most noteworthy are watermelon's two "secondary metabolites," citrulline and lycopene, which have been the focus of recent research. Citrulline, a nonessential amino acid, is abundant in watermelon, yellow watermelons having four times that of red watermelon.
As it turns out, citrulline is involved in producing nitric oxide, a potent molecule that relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, "with benefits to the brain, heart and in a cycle of amino acids necessary to properly flush the kidneys," said Perkin's Veazie, who has a Ph.D. in horticulture.
Lycopene is actually more abundant and more easily available in watermelon than tomatoes, where it's bound up in cellular walls, even if tomatoes draw more research attention due to their importance in the American diet. Perkins-Veazie said lycopene shows clear benefits in reducing plaque buildup in arteries and preventing prostate cancer.
Botanically, watermelon is a fruit in the same cucurbit family as pumpkins, squash and cucumbers, which often are mistaken as vegetables.
The longstanding bias against watermelon stems from its 21 grams of carbohydrates, mostly sugars, in every two-cup serving, with only a single gram of fiber. "People are concerned about the sugar, but compared to processed products it tastes sweet but isn't loaded with sugar," Perkins-Veazie said. "It's counterintuitive, but there is an enzyme present to regulate the glucose."
Despite the sugars (equally divided among sucrose, glucose and fructose), two cups of watermelon have only 80 calories with no fat, sodium or cholesterol. "Using the same watermelon extract used in my previous human studies, watermelon supplementation did not increase body weight and improved blood lipids in rats," Dr. Figueroa-Galvez said.
Watermelon originated in southern Africa and became nature's canteen. Rather than transport water long distances, travelers took watermelons, which are 92 percent water and don't begin rotting for three weeks.
Watermelon's key season is July 1 through Labor Day, with a tag team of suppliers from Florida in April, followed by Texas and Georgia, before California supplies the nation with watermelons through October. During winter months, Mexico and Guatemala are the source.
Stephanie Barlow, spokeswoman for the National Watermelon Promotion Board, said the fruit offers consumers health, value and versatility all year-round, all parts being edible, including the rind and seeds.
"We're really focusing on health," she said. "All pre-packaged foods have a smattering of health claims so our health message has to be the strongest one."
There are 1,200 varieties of watermelon grown in 96 countries, she said, noting that square ones are being grown in square containers in Japan so they fit into smaller refrigerators. There are even a few orange watermelons.
The 100 seeds in a watermelon are heavier than the flesh, she said, and act like marbles, damaging the flesh and causing them to rot more quickly. That helps explain why in the market today, she said, "It's a landslide majority of seedless watermelons."
(c)2015 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Friday, August 14, 2015

Spice up your diet for a longer life, study suggests

Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
If you like eating spicy foods, researchers have some good news: You're likely to have more years to enjoy them.
Compared to people who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who at them at least three to five times per week were 14 percent less likely to die while they were being tracked by the international research team. In addition, those who ate spicy meals once or twice a week were 10 percent less likely to die during the study period, according to a report published this week in the medical journal BMJ.
Scientists have long recognized that spices have beneficial health effects. In particular, capsaicin -- the ingredient that gives chili peppers their bite -- has been shown to fight inflammation, high blood pressure, obesity and cancer, among other ills. Experts also speculate that the antibacterial properties of spices might improve health by influencing the community of microbes in the gut.
To try to get a better handle on some of these questions, an international group of researchers turned to 487,375 people who were participating in the China Kadoorie Biobank study, an effort that aims to track the causes of chronic diseases in the world's most populous country. All of the participants were between the ages of 30 and 79 when they entered the study, and they were tracked for an average of 7.2 years.
Upon joining the study, the volunteers answered detailed questions about their health history, lifestyle choices and eating habits -- including how often they ate spicy foods. The researchers synced up their answers with death records to see whether they could find any correlations between spice consumption and causes of death.
Overall, they found that the more often spicy foods were eaten, the more likely they were to be alive at the end of 2013. This was true even after taking age, gender and other factors into account.
But not all causes of death appeared to be influenced by spice consumption, according to the study. Compared to those who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who ate them six or seven days a week were 29 percent less likely to die of respiratory diseases, 22 percent less likely to die of ischemic heart disease, 8 percent less likely to die of cancer, and 14 percent less likely to die of all other causes.
When the researchers analyzed women separately from men, they found that women who ate spicy foods most often were 45 percent less likely to die of infections compared to women who ate them less than once a week. There was no such link for men.
Nor did the researchers see any association between spice consumption and the risk of death due to diabetes or cerebrovascular disease in either men or women.
The source of dietary spiciness seemed to make a difference, the researchers found. Among the study volunteers, those who reported eating fresh chili peppers saw a stronger link between the frequency of spice consumption and the risk of death due to cancer, heart disease and diabetes than did volunteers who ate only dried chili pepper, chili sauce, chili oil or other spices, according to the study. The difference could be because of the fact that fresh chili pepper contains more capsaicin and nutrients like potassium and vitamins C, A, K and B6, the researchers noted.
It's possible that at least some of the association between spicy foods and health could be because of the fact people who are already ill might prefer foods that are bland. But the researchers noted that they did not include people in the analysis if they had cancer, heart disease or a history of stroke at the start of the study.
Although the study included nearly half a million volunteers who were tracked for a total of 3.5 million person-years, the researchers emphasized that they couldn't show a causal relationship between eating spicy foods and living longer. Still, they said the findings from this and other studies could help scientists devise functional health foods, including herbal supplements.

(c)2015 Los Angeles Times

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Many experts optimistic about FDA-approved weight-loss balloons

by Ameet Sachdev, Chicago Tribune
There's a new weapon in the fight against obesity: balloons
For many struggling with their weight, a new device has been approved that will give them another medical alternative to treatments such as prescription drugs and surgery.
It involves inserting a small balloon into the stomach through the mouth. The saline-filled balloon is meant to be a temporary measure to curb the appetite and help patients lose weight.
The federal Food and Drug Administration recently approved two intragastric balloons made by different companies in the space of two weeks. Both are aimed at adults with body mass indexes (BMI) of 30 to 40 who couldn't lose weight through diet and exercise.
The potential marketplace is huge. An estimated 45 million to 50 million adults have BMIs of 30 to 40, said Dr. John Morton, president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
The arrival of weight-loss balloons reflects a broader shift in attitudes about people who struggle with their weight. For so long, overweight people have dealt with the guilt and shame of those extra pounds, in addition to health problems like diabetes. That's why weight loss is such a big business.
But it's a business built around self-treatment, leading to the rise of Weight Watchers and other diet companies, weight-loss supplements, health clubs and diet books. The questionable results from the commercial options have begun to change the widespread perception that obesity is simply the result of eating too much or exercising too little.
The medical community took a major step toward reducing the stigma of obesity when the American Medical Association in 2013 officially recognized it as a disease.
With that classification, the pharmaceutical and medical device industry has started investing more in possible treatments. The FDA has approved three weight-loss drugs since 2012. Apollo Endosurgery and ReShape Medical submitted balloons for FDA review last year.
There is a lot of enthusiasm about the balloons among some gastroenterologists because using them is less invasive than weight-loss surgery like gastric bypass. The patient is under mild sedation and the balloon is placed without surgery through a tube inserted in the mouth. The balloon should be removed after six months.
Dr. Rami Lutfi at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago will be the first physician in the Midwest to offer Apollo Endosurgery's balloon, Orbera. The company paid for him to be trained on how to insert and remove the balloon and how to provide the necessary follow-up care to assure weight loss.
"People still fear surgery," Lutfi said. "The advantage of the balloon is there's no cutting."
But just because there's no cutting and stitching doesn't mean the balloon is risk-free. Patients can suffer severe nausea and vomiting in the first days after placement. Other potential risks include ulcers and balloon deflation.
In clinical data cited by the FDA in its Orbera approval, patients lost an average of 21.8 pounds (10.2 percent of their body weight) after six months, better than the 7-pound loss in patients who only tried diet and exercise. Some patients gained some weight after the device was removed but maintained an average of 19.4 pounds of weight loss nine months after placement.
The ReShape balloon, shaped like a dumbbell, is intended for adults who also have an obesity-related condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Patients with the device lost an average of 14.3 pounds in a clinical study.
But the devices won't be cheap. The Orbera procedure, including a 12-month diet and exercise program, will be $6,000 to $8,000, said Dennis McWilliams, founder of Apollo Endosurgery. And at least initially, he doesn't expect insurance to cover the cost.
The gastric balloon is not a new idea. The FDA first approved a weight-loss balloon in 1985. As now, there was a lot of excitement about the development. But the manufacturer stopped selling it three years later because of problems with spontaneous deflation and questions about its long-term effectiveness.
McWilliams said Orbera has a track record of safety overseas. The device has been used in more than 200,000 patients in about 80 countries, he said.
However, some remain skeptical of the balloons' potential for long-term weight management. A 2007 study found that "compared with conventional management, intragastric balloon did not show convincing evidence of a greater weight loss."
Morton is optimistic that the balloons will fare better than their predecessor from 30 years ago. He views the balloon as a bridge between weight-loss drugs and surgery, similar to a cardiac stent to treat heart disease.
"I can't say it's for everyone," Morton said, "But for the motivated patient it can work."
(c)2015 Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Multivitamins and supplements: To take or not to take?

From Mayo Clinic News Network
"People ask me this question quite often: 'Should I be taking certain vitamins and supplements?' And the answer is, quite honestly, 'It depends,'" says Anne Harguth, registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should meet your nutritional needs primarily through diet. For some people, however, taking certain supplements may be the best way to get nutrients they may be lacking through diet. So, Harguth cautions, it's important to understand the exact impact supplements will have on your body before getting out your wallet.
Whole food is not to be replaced by supplements, as supplements cannot replicate all the health benefits of whole foods. For example, fruits and vegetables carry many different nutrients that provide health benefits to the human body. So, depending on your diet and current physical state, spending money on supplements may not be necessary. Listed below are Mayo Clinic's three main benefits to whole foods vs. supplements:
Greater nutrition. Whole foods are complex, containing a variety of the micronutrients your body needs -- not just one. An orange, for example, provides vitamin C plus some beta carotene, calcium and other nutrients. It's likely these compounds work together to produce their beneficial effect.
Essential fiber. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber. Most high-fiber foods are also packed with other essential nutrients. Fiber, as part of a healthy diet, can help prevent certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and it can also help manage constipation.
Protective substances. Whole foods contain other substances important for good health. For example, fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals, which may help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Many are also good sources of antioxidants -- substances that slow down oxidation, a natural process that leads to cell and tissue damage.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation is recommended for some people with certain conditions. Supplements may be appropriate for people who:
-- Don't eat well or consume less than 1,600 calories a day.
-- Are a vegan or a vegetarian who eats a limited variety of foods.
-- Don't obtain two to three servings of fish a week. If you have difficulty achieving this amount, some experts recommend adding a fish oil supplement to your daily regimen.
-- Are a woman who experiences heavy bleeding during your menstrual period.
-- Have a medical condition that affects how your body absorbs or uses nutrients, such as chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerance, or a disease of the liver, gallbladder, intestines or pancreas.
-- Have had surgery on your digestive tract and are not able to digest and absorb nutrients properly.
"To sum it up, if you're a pretty healthy person with a well-balanced diet containing a wide variety of foods -- including fruits, vegetables, reduced fat dairy products, whole grains, legumes, lean meats and fish -- you most likely don't need supplements," adds Harguth. "Talk to your health care team and dietitian if you have questions or concerns."
(Mayo Clinic News Network is your source for health news, advances in research and wellness tips.)
(c)2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.