Eat These Foods For A Healthier Gut

digestion_food_gut_healthy_diet
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A healthy gut means better health; it’s really that simple. When it comes to good digestion, it’s all about what we eat and while following a balanced diet is the best way to stay in better health, there are certain foods that we can eat in order to boost the healthy flora in our gut and keep things moving smoothly. Feeling bloated and sluggish after eating is not something that we should have to deal with on a regular basis and by eating gut-friendly foods, we can banish the bloat before it’s even taken hold.

Chia Seeds

Enjoying something of a moment in the superfood sun, chia seeds are one of the best ways that we can boost our digestive health and keep our bodies on tip top form. Just how do they do it, though? A rich source of antioxidants and fiber, chia seeds can help to reduce inflammation in the gut, keep your bowels working efficiently and maintain healthier digestion over a longer period of time. Eating as little as two tablespoons of the seeds can be all it takes to get back on track and stop feeling so sluggish!

Coconut Oil

Good for your hair, better for you skin and body, coconut oil is a real wonder food. But great for your gut? That’s something worth shouting about. In fact, studies have found that cooking with coconut oil on a regular basis can be a great way of keeping your digestive system in working order, helping to maintain regular functions more effectively. It all comes down to the fatty acids in the oil. Unlike other variations, coconut oil fatty acids can help to make digestion easier for the body, in turn boosting immunity and helping to keep your metabolism running smoothly. All that for just a little cooking? Where do we sign up?

Zucchini

It might not be the biggest vegetable on the market, but zucchini could just be one of the most powerful. As well as being a great detoxifier of nasty chemicals, the green vegetable can help to effectively boost your body’s digestive capacities and keep things running smoothly. High in fiber, the vegetable can help to cleanse the digestive tract, clean the walls of the intestine and prevent the build up on carcinogenic matter in the organ. Eat more of it in your diet and feel all the positive effects!

Ghee

A food made up of clarified butter without any of the nasty fats, sugar and lactose, ghee is one of the healthiest ways that you can boost the taste of your home cooking. Apart from being low in all of the nasty extras hidden in butter, ghee is also a great way of boosting your body’s digestive systems, helping to cut down on bloating and reduce feelings of sluggishness after eating. Other fats and oils have been known to slow down digestion in the body, leading to that heavy feeling we all know so well. Ghee, on the other hand, encourages the secretion of stomach acids, helping the body to break down food at a more effective rate. The more often you eat the food, the better you might just feel!

Probiotic Yogurt

Often, we suffer from poor digestion as a direct result of having too few “good” bacteria in our guts and as a result, things stop working as effectively as before. In order to maintain healthy levels and regain normality, it pays to top up on your body’s stores and eat more of the stuff in your diet. Enter the probiotic yogurt. Packed full of the friendly bacteria that is also found in the gut, the yogurts help to effectively top up dwindling stores and keep things running on a smooth basis. If you’re noticing that you’re becoming more bloated after eating, try making probiotics a part of your regular diet; you might feel all the better for it.

Poor digestion is something that we all suffer from from time to time and luckily, righting imbalances in the gut is something that is relatively easy to do. The next time you feel the build up of the dreaded bloat, try making a few subtle changes in your diet and eating for your gut; over time, you might just breathe a little more easily.

How To Plan A Week Of Healthy Meals

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Making a healthy change in your life all starts with eating right. The kinds of foods that you eat can have the most immediate effects on the shape and size of your body and when you’re trying to get into shape, it pays to think about what you’re putting into your body. Combining healthy eating habits into an already packed routine, however, can be a tricky thing to manage and before long, even the most positive of intentions can go awry. It all comes down to planning. Healthy eating shouldn’t be something that you have to think too much about; it should simply fit into the type of lifestyle you already lead. In light of making things easier, then, it pays to plan your meals in advance and ensure that you will eat right, every day of the week.

Are you ready to find a happier, healthier you? It’s time to get organized.

Know What You Want To Achieve

Do you want to get in shape? Or perhaps, you want to up the amount of protein in your diet? Knowing the kinds of things that you want to get out of your meals can make planning ahead so much more simple and just by noting down your goals, you can put yourself in a much better mind frame for the week ahead. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is all about getting the right kinds of nutrients in every meal, so alternating the kinds of foods you eat can help massively in the long run. Ultimately, you should know how you want to feel; it’s your body, after all.

Complement Your Goals With Recipes

Next, it’s time to incorporate actual meals into the type of lifestyle that you want to lead. If you are eating in order to improve your athletic fitness, for example, you might want to think about the kinds of proteins you can make a part of your everyday diet. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to shift a few extra pounds, clean eating recipes might be the way forwards. What you eat should easily slot into the lifestyle you lead, so even if it means altering your eating habits, change might be the only way forwards.

Make A Food Plan

Planning ahead is one of the best ways in which you can get the most out of your meals and save any stress during the week. Listing down the kinds of recipes you want to make and noting each ingredient you need to buy can help to make your foodshop much more streamlined and make avoiding foodie treats much more easy. Knowing what you will cook each evening can save you a great deal of time and effort after work; by following the list, you remove any stress from the situation!

Cook In Batches

The weekends might be the only time in which you have sufficient time in which to get organized, so try to make every moment count. Whipping up a few larger batches of meals like stews and sauces can save you a great deal of time during the week and mean that all you have to do is heat up an individually sized portion. When it comes to healthy eating, the freezer is your friend, so don’t be afraid to load it full of individual, healthy leftovers. Who said that fast food had to be unhealthy?

Prepare Beforehand

In a similar vein to cooking in batches, preparing things during the day can make whipping up a quick meal in the evening much more simple. If you have a slow cooker, you can try experimenting with healthy stews and soups; just add the ingredients before you leave work, turn on the cooker and let the slow heat do its magic! Similarly, you can marinate meat and fish the night before, letting the flavors infuse over a longer period of time. Just because a recipe requires a little longer to be prepared, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to slot it into your schedule.

Eating right shouldn’t be hard work and by introducing a few small changes into your schedule, you can make healthy food a regular part of your routine. Work might take up the majority of your day, but there is always a way in which to do your body good. Listen to what your body needs, plan as much in advance and enjoy what you eat.

Effective Ways To Naturally Lower Cholesterol

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(source: pexels.com)

Good health is a balance of different processes and in order to stay in shape, you need to ensure that all processes are working in the correct way. While keeping your weight within healthy measures and toning up your muscles are both great ways to stay on top, it is your internal health that really keeps things ticking over and paying attention to what you put in your body should be a top priority. Your cholesterol levels are essential for maintaining healthy cell membranes and blood vessels but should your number become too high, you could risk putting your health in serious danger.

When it comes to healthy cholesterol, it’s all about what you eat and by maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle, you can ensure that you stay in the best possible shape. But what can you eat to make even more of a difference? These foods might be entirely natural, but they can really work miracles when it comes to lowering your cholesterol.

Oats

Not just a great way in which to start the day, oats are one of the best foods that you can eat to lower your cholesterol levels, boosting your health in the process. Simply by making them a part of your morning routine, you can cut your cholesterol levels by as much as 5% over a course of 6 weeks. Better yet, oats will keep you going for longer throughout the day, helping you to make healthier eating choices later on; who doesn’t want that?

Fatty Fish

While eating more fat in your diet might seem counter-productive, there are certain types of the nutrient that can actually help to bolster your health. Omega 3 is perhaps the healthiest fat there is, helping to ward off diseases such as heart degeneration and dementia. When it comes to cholesterol, it’s a similar story; fatty acids in fish such as salmon and herring can help to banish bad cholesterol while topping up your body’s supply of healthy fats. The better health you are in, the more effectively your body can function; simple!

Nuts

There’s a good reason why you should make nuts your healthy snack of choice. People who regularly eat small quantities of nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews can significantly keep their bad cholesterol levels in check, while boosting healthy internal functioning in the body. Be wary, though; while the food is great as a snack, it is high in calories, so eating too many nuts can have an adverse effect on your health.

Beans

Beans really might work wonders on your heart! Naturally high in fiber, the food can effectively help to slow both the rate and amount of cholesterol absorption that occurs within the body, helping you to lower unhealthy levels of the stuff in your bloodstream. The lower your levels of unhealthy cholesterol, the healthier your heart will be. Now there’s a great reason to top up on your beans in every meal!

Avocado

Rich, creamy and undeniably tasty, avocados are a real foodie favorite but did you know that they can also work wonders on your health? Packed full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, the green fruit can help to raise healthy cholesterol levels while keeping bad things in check within your body. Better yet, the plant can help to counteract the effects of other foods, helping your body to absorb less unhealthy cholesterol from other sources. Versatile and healthy? Now that’s something that we can all get behind.

Spinach

Want to keep your ticker in check? It’s all about loading up on your greens. Packed full of healthy lutein, spinach has been found to be an effective way to banish unhealthy levels of cholesterol inside the body and keep things running like clockwork. Eating just half a cup of the stuff every day can help your body to eliminate built up cholesterol that might be clogging up your arteries, effectively guarding against heart attacks in the future. Delicious when eaten raw or cooked, spinach might be one of the most versatile and healthy foods on the market!

Keeping your health in check is all about eating right, moving sufficiently and avoiding harmful chemicals and simply by making these super foods a regular part of your diet, you can help to effectively keep things in check. Your health is perhaps the most important thing in your life, so take the time to look after yourself; you are what you eat, after all.

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Coffee

Do you worry that your coffee habit is getting out of hand? Don’t put down that cup of joe just yet. Numerous research studies in recent months point to ways in which coffee may actually improve your health. Here are their findings:

It reduces your risk of premature death.

People who drink a moderate amount of coffee daily (fewer than five cups per day) have a lower risk of death from heart disease, neurological disease, type 2 diabetes and suicide, according to researchers from Harvard University. In a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, the scientists looked at the effects of drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. They observed health benefits from both. This led them to believe that coffee’s protective effects come not from caffeine, but from other chemical compounds.

“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation,” said study author Ming Ding, MD, in a news release from the American Heart Association. “They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality.”

It reverses the effects of liver disease.

Scientists in Europe recently studied the effects of coffee on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). When mice with a high fat diet were also given a daily dose of coffee, there was significant improvement in several markers for NAFLD. They also experienced less weight gain than other mice fed the same diet. The dose of coffee given was equivalent to 6 cups of coffee for a human weighing 155 lbs. The scientists concluded that coffee protects the liver from NAFLD because it reduces the permeability of the gut.

It prevents type 2 diabetes.

Three to four cups of coffee per day could reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a report in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, scientists revealed that two naturally occurring compounds in coffee have an impact on insulin levels in the body.

Insulin is a hormone that the body produces to convert glucose from food into energy. People with type 2 diabetes develop a resistance to insulin. The pancreas then makes more insulin to overcome this resistance, but eventually it just can’t make enough. When there’s not enough insulin, the glucose can’t be converted to energy and remains in the blood. High blood glucose levels are dangerous and can lead to blindness, nerve damage, and other health issues.

The researchers discovered that two compounds in coffee, cafestol and caffeic acid, both increase insulin secretion when glucose was present. They also found that cafestol increased glucose uptake in muscle cells, leading to lower blood glucose levels.

It’s rich in antioxidants.

When researchers from Monash University in Australia observed the behavior of free radicals in coffee, they discovered that coffee acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds found in food that keep free radicals in check and prevent them from inflicting damage on cells and DNA.

Free radical reactions may be responsible for most degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory joint disease, asthma, diabetes, senile dementia and degenerative eye disease. By stabilizing free radicals, the antioxidants in coffee may help to prevent these diseases and slow the aging process.

It lowers your risk of dying from heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, where it’s responsible for one in every four deaths. Drinking coffee may prevent this deadly condition. Researchers from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee report that three to five cups of coffee per day may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by up to 21%.

Article sources:

Centers for Disease Control – “Heart Disease Facts”

Florence, TM. “The Role of Free Radicals in Disease.” Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1995 Feb;23(1):3-7.

News release: American Chemical Society

News release: American Heart Association

News release: European Association for the Study of the Liver

News release: Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee

News release: Monash University

 

 

 

6 Healthy Breakfasts For Life On The Go

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(source: pexels.com)

How do you take your breakfast? Is the first meal of the day a sit down affair, complete with waffles, fresh coffee, orange juice and eggs or, like so many others, is it an on-the-go job, gulped down as you make your way to the office? Despite the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so few of us make it a priority, choosing instead to grab something as we rush to work or else forgo it entirely, snacking on sugary treats before lunchtime. It’s time to make a change. Eating on the go doesn’t have to be unhealthy and, as long as you do a little prep the night before, you can easily whip up an early morning treat to be proud of. Want the best of both worlds? You need to take a look at these fast and tasty breakfast recipes.

Berry and Yogurt Smoothie

When it comes to simple and healthy breakfasts, smoothies take a lot of beating. Whipped up in a matter of seconds and packed full of only the best ingredients, the thick, fruity shakes will keep you feeling full until lunch and help you get a load of your nutrients first thing in the morning. This recipe brings together some of the best breakfast time flavors, balancing greek yogurt with blackberries, coconut water and banana. Who said that fast food couldn’t be delicious?

Savory Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the healthiest and most delicious ways to start your day with a wholesome bang but if you don’t have a sweet tooth, it might not seem all that appealing. Enter the savory oatmeal. Offering up all of the healing power of oats without any of the extra sweetness, this breakfast bowl might just take your food to the next level. If you’re on the hunt for an extra protein kick, try topping off your bowl with a poached eggs. Served up with chives and a sprinkling of cheese, it is the breakfast of champions.

Quinoa Fruit Salad

One of the most popular grains at this moment in time, quinoa is a fantastic way to start your day on a health kick and will tide you over well into the lunching hour. This fruit-based recipe can be prepared the night before and stored throughout the week, making early morning preparation a thing of the past. Better yet, you can try whipping up a larger batch and enjoying it for lunch or dinner; it’s the recipe that keeps on giving.

Avocado Toast

Sometimes, you just can’t beat the breakfast classics and when it comes to healthy and fast food, few recipes do it as well as avocado toast. If you want a little more from your meal, you can try topping your avocado with a poached egg or even a little smoked salmon. Prepared in seconds, the meal will keep you going throughout the day, stocking you up on all of the essential nutrients well before lunch time.

Egg Breakfast Muffins

For some, however, breakfast just isn’t the same without an egg or two and if that’s the case for you, then you need to try these egg breakfast muffins at least once. Packed full of roasted tomatoes, spinach and spring onions, these tiny muffins are seriously full of flavor and, made up primarily of eggs, won’t fill you up with a load of sugary carbohydrates, either. You can try making up a batch at the end of the weekend and storing in a seal tight container. In the morning, simply zap them in the oven or microwave and enjoy!

Stuffed Apples

An apple away keeps the doctor away, so why not try making them a part of your breakfast routine? These stuffed apples come with all of the health benefits of the natural fruit, plus a little something extra, helping you to avoid the temptation of late morning snacks. While this recipe is great first thing in the morning, it can also be enjoyed as a late afternoon snack, giving you that extra boost of energy to keep things going throughout the day.
Simple, delicious and good for you, these breakfast recipes take a lot of beating. Requiring only the most minimal of early morning preparation, they can be enjoyed within a matter of minutes, making it easier for you to get up and get going!

Healthy Habits – How Many Do You Have?

Recent research reveals that 97% of Americans don’t have all four of these basic healthy habits.

What are the most important things you should be doing for your health? While there’s a ton of advice out there, most doctors agree that it boils down to four basic habits: watch what you eat; exercise moderately and regularly; keep an eye on your body fat percentage; and don’t smoke.

Just doing these four things lowers your risk of many health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Seems simple, right? But according to recent research, only 2.7 percent of American adults adhere to all four habits.

When researchers from Oregon State University and the University of Mississippi looked at the behavior of 4,745 adults from across the United States, they were shocked to discover how few people had all four habits. Ellen Smit, senior author on the study and an associate professor in the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences, remarked on the findings in a news release. “This is pretty low, to have so few people maintaining what we would consider a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “This is sort of mind boggling. There’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.”

Not smoking was the most popular healthy habit, with 71 percent of subjects avoiding cigarettes. 46 percent of subjects hit or exceeded their activity level goal. 38 percent ate well. A mere 10 percent had a body fat percentage in the normal range.

Rather than simply asking the subjects about their behavior and relying on self-reported data, the study also used actual behavioral measurements. Each subject wore an accelerometer, which is a device that measures movement. The goal was 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week. Smoking status was confirmed by blood samples. X-ray absorptiometry was used to determine body fat percentage. Subjects who were in the top 40 percent of people who ate foods recommended by the USDA were considered to have a good diet.

Some other remarkable findings of the study were:

  • Having a normal body fat percentage appeared to be the most important factor in achieving healthy levels of HDL and total cholesterol.
  • While only 2.7 percent of the subjects had all four healthy habits, 11 percent had none, 34 percent had one, 37 percent had two, and 16 percent had three.
  • There were differences in habits according to gender. Women were less likely to get enough exercise, but were more likely to avoid smoking and eat well.
  • Mexican Americans scored higher on the healthy eating scale than non-Hispanic white or black adults.
  • While adults over 60 had fewer healthy habits than adults ages 20-39, they were more likely to be non-smokers and eat a healthy diet.

While the findings of the study were alarming, hopefully they will serve as a wake-up call to the many American adults who have unhealthy habits. Experts agree that more research needs to be done to discover the best ways to help people incorporate healthy behaviors into their daily lives.

 

Article Sources

News release: Oregon State University

 

 

 

The Wonderful Walnut

A handful of walnuts is good for your heart and your waistline.

 

Dieters who are watching their waistlines might steer clear of walnuts when they hear that a one ounce serving (a small handful) has a whopping 18 grams of fat and 185 calories. However, a recent study revealed that a walnut-rich diet can actually help you to lose weight and improve your heart health.

The research, led by Cheryl Rock, PhD, RD, of the University of California San Diego, compared the weight loss of women eating a diet with unsaturated fats (like those found in walnuts and olive oil) with those on a lower-fat, higher-carb diet.

“One of the surprising findings of this study was that even though walnuts are higher in fat and calories, the walnut-rich diet was associated with the same degree of weight loss as a lower fat diet,” said Rock in a news release.

The results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, also showed that a diet containing walnuts led to improved cardiovascular health.

This finding may seem counterintuitive, given walnuts’ high fat content. However, 13 of the 18 grams of fat in a one ounce serving are polyunsaturated, and include a sizable amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a plant-derived form of omega-3 fatty acids. The heart healthy benefits of polyunsaturated fats have been proven before: a recent study from Harvard showed that polyunsaturated fats may lower your risk of heart disease and help you to live longer.

“Considering the results of this study, as well as previous walnut research on heart health and weight, there’s something to be said for eating a handful of walnuts a day,” said Rock.

Lauren Blake, RD, wellness dietician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, suggests a few creative ways to eat walnuts each day:

  • Puree or grind walnuts and add them to dips, chili, or smoothies.
  • Chop up a handful of walnuts and sprinkle them over a salad, vegetables, or fruit.
  • Spread walnut butter on fruit or toast or mix into oatmeal. Buy it at the store or, even better, make your own at home.
  • Top off your favorite dessert with chopped walnuts.
  • Give plain yogurt some pizzazz by mixing in crushed walnuts. Add a little sweetness by topping with honey or maple syrup.
  • Walnut oil is great for dipping chips or veggies, blending into a salad dressing, or drizzling over food. Blake cautions against heating walnut oil, which gives it a bitter taste.
  • Add crunch and flavor to fish by coating it with pureed walnuts.

 

Article sources:

California Walnut Board: “California Walnut Butter”

Lauren Blake, RD, Wellness Dietician at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

News release: Edelman Seattle

News release: Harvard School of Public Health

 

 

 

 

 

Get The Glow: Eat Your Way To Better Skin

Your skin is a window into your body. The types of foods that you eat are reflected on your face and if you don’t take care of your internal health, it can start to show up on your skin. While spending time and care to create the perfect routine for your complexion is a great way to maintain its general health, if you counteract your skincare with unhealthy foods and nutrient-lacking meals, even the best products are all but powerless.

Everything that you put in your body can have an effect on the way your skin looks now and how it will continue to look into the future, so taking care of your diet is one of the best things that you can get a handle on your complexion. Want to get great skin? It’s time to take a serious look inside your fridge.

Oily Fish

Packed full of nutrients and minerals, oily fish are some of the best foods for your all-round health, as well as your skin. Stocking up on fish such as sardines, salmon and anchovies can help to maintain a youthful complexion as the food sources help to guard against the deterioration of the skin’s cell membranes. The fish can also help to keep your skin look more toned and taught by decreasing the formation of an acid which causes skin to sag over time. A better, brighter you? What’s not to love?

Antioxidants

The superheroes of mother nature, antioxidants can help your body in multiple ways. As well as fighting the effects of ageing and warding off diseases like cancer, the mighty nutrients can also help to maintain the health of your complexion by decreasing the adverse effects of sunlight and the environment. Better yet, antioxidants are renowned for battling against free radicals which, when found in skin cells, contribute to the wearing down of collagen, leading to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Eating foods like blueberries, carrots, kale, spinach and mangoes can help you find your way to better skin health and boost your general feeling of wellness, too!

Whole Grains

While gluten might not be high up on everyone’s wish lists right now, there are many arguments which fight its corner, proving why you should make it an integral part of your diet. In terms of your skin’s health, whole grains can help to aid healthy digestion, which in turn leads to brighter, better skin. When your digestion is on the blink, you’re much more likely to suffer from dry skin, eczema and rosacea, which can all lead to premature ageing and poorer skin health.

Vitamin C

Not just good for your internal health, vitamin C can also boost the state of your complexion when consumed on a regular basis. By stimulating the production of collagen, vitamin C can lead to new skin growth, a decrease in wrinkles and a healthier skin texture. Eating fresh is the way to go, so instead of reaching for the supplements, try chowing down on grapefruit, strawberries or oranges to get your nutritional kick.

Spices

As well as making your food delicious, spices can lead to better health and wellbeing. With so many to choose from, however, getting the right kind of balance can seem confusing. Here’s the deal: While spices like cinnamon, curry and paprika will improve your complexion by loading your body full of antioxidants, turmeric or chilli will help to keep inflammation or nasty breakouts in check. Simply consuming normal amounts of spices will help to keep your complexion clear and healthy; there’s no need to pile on the spices to see the effects!

Water

When it comes to skin clearing, it doesn’t get much more powerful than water. Drinking a lot of water throughout the day can significantly help to boost your internal health and help to clear up your complexion over a period of time. By helping your body to absorb nutrients and flush out any toxins, water helps your health to be in as best a shape as it possibly could be, which will show in your complexion. By keeping healthy inside, it will show up on the outside leading to better skin, a clearer complexion and a happier you.

Turn Up The Heat: The Health Benefits Of Spicy Foods

Whether you like your curries spicy, sizzling or hotter than the sun, there’s no denying that piquant foods pack a real flavor punch and are just downright delicious. But healthy too? That’s a turn out for the books.

It turns out that your favorite peppery dish might be doing a whole lot more for your body than you initially thought and that actually, eating on the spicy side of life could be one of the healthiest options that you could take. While hot foods are popular around the world, they rarely make the health plan headlines and although certain dishes are most certainly less healthy than others, there are many good reasons why you should be loading up on the chilis for your next dish. Tasty, punchy and good for you overall well-being, spicy foods are the new health foods and if you want to really do your body some good, then you will try turning up the heat on your next trip to the kitchen.

Improve Your Brain Function

Have you ever suffered from the 4pm slump? After a day in front of your computer screen, the dreaded hour rolls around once again and no matter how productive you might have felt, you find yourself tumbling into a vortex of inactivity. While you might feel inclined to reach for the coffee pot when you can’t focus, you might want to supplement it instead for a chili or two. It turns out that hot foods have a remarkable way of clearing the mind and helping you to solve problems more readily. Spices are believed to be linked to reducing the symptoms of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s by reducing stress in areas of the brain linked to control memory and learning. While the findings are still in their early stages, the effects of spices like cinnamon are believed to be wholly positive. While you might be tempted to go out and eat a stick of of the stuff, experts claim that sticking to the same amounts that you would normally use is enough to have a positive effect on your health.

Reduce Carcinogens In Your Meals

Barbequed foods are something that the best of us can’t deny enjoying and with the temperatures beginning to hot up, it’s more than likely that we too will begin to fire up the grills. With barbequed meat, however, comes a list of toxins that are linked to cancers in the lungs, pancreas and breast. If you simply can’t get enough of the stuff, however, you can try supplementing your barbeque with a little sizzle of spice. Studies have shown that by either marinating or dry rubbing your meat with rosemary before cooking helps to reduce the level of the toxins by up to 70 percent. Antioxidant and delicious? We’ll take it.

Strengthen Your Heart

Hot peppers might get your heart pumping in more ways than one, according to studies. People who regularly eat the foods have a lower risk of developing heart disease throughout their lives than those who forgo spices altogether. The reason might be due to the foods’ ability to reduce levels of harmful cholesterol and enhancing blood flow throughout the body. Chemicals inside the peppers are so effective, in fact, that they are being used to treat circulatory problems, hardening of the arteries and irregular heart rhythms.

Prevent The Formation Of Ulcers

Despite packing a serious spicy punch, hot peppers might be the best preventative treatment that you can take against the formation of stomach ulcers. Filled with a bacteria-fighting chemical known as capsaicin, hot peppers can effectively help to ward off the formation of ulcers and destroy those that have already formed. In fact, people who follow a spice-laden diet have been effectively proved to be three times less likely to form a stomach ulcer compared with those who don’t. That’s another good reason to pile on the spice.

With links to better circulation, increased mental function and tip top internal health, spices might just be the superfood that we have been overlooking for years. And while die-hard spice fans will start the day off with a chili pepper, simply seasoning or topping off your normal dishes with a few piquant foods is enough for you to feel all of the health benefits. Tasty food can be good for you too and thanks to the wide world of spices, you can follow a varied, flavorsome diet.