By now, you know the importance of breaking up with refined carbohydrates (which include added sugars) in your diet. After all, excessive consumption of refined carbs has been linked to everything from weight gain and Type 2 diabetes to heart disease and poor mental health.
So, scaling back is smart. But simply making sure you’re stocked up on nutrient-rich whole foods isn’t always enough — after all, how many times have you come home to a fully loaded kitchen after a long day and still called for takeout?
That’s because, while about half of making sure you eat well is buying the right foods, the other half is preparation — and devoting a couple of hours every weekend to meal prep is the key to making healthy dietary changes stick. You can find out more about the low-sugar and low-carb Sunday meal prep guide over at Pyure...
What Does Vitamin D Actually Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble that is naturally present in certain foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight land on the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. The body producing vitamin D in response to sun exposure is why vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth through calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, protecting against diseases and conditions, and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D and Depression
Research has connected a link between people with depression and vitamin D deficiency. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and spikes in colder months, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not considered a separate condition, but a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Weather affects people’s moods. Dull, cold, rainy days make us feel gloomy and unmotivated, while sunlight breaking through the clouds can lift our spirits and give us a little feeling of hope. In fact, the vitamin D receptors in our brain are in the same locations in the brain associated with depression (i.e. the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra)
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunlight can be an individual’s primary source of vitamin D. During colder, darker months there is less access to the sun’s ultraviolet rays to trigger the vitamin d synthesis in the body.
There are actually very few foods that have high amounts of vitamin D. Without adding any of these foods into your diet there is a high chance that you are not getting proper amounts of vitamin D in your meals.
Older adults have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D declines with age.
Greater Amounts of Melanin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Obesity does not actually affect the body’s ability to produce vitamin D, but the higher levels of body mass and fat sequestered requires higher levels of vitamin D for the vitamin to work properly.
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, conditions that affect fat absorption also affect the production of vitamin D. For example, conditions such as liver disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease all have a negative effect on vitamin D.
Signs of Deficiency:
Signs of Depression:
Reach out to a doctor if you are having signs of depression. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide here are some support resources:
Solving Vitamin D DeficiencyTo treat your vitamin D deficiency the obvious answer is to increase your intake of vitamin D, but how? Ways to increase your intake are:
Helpful Tips for Combating Winter Blues
If the lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D is affecting your mental health and causing symptoms of depression, the first (and best) thing to do is always talk to a doctor and seek professional help. Outside of that, here are some self-care tips during the colder months especially that can help combat the winter blues:
All in All:Vitamin D and depression have been linked through various studies, making vitamin D essential for not only your physical health but mental health as well. Getting the proper amounts of vitamin D can be hard, especially in the colder, darker months, but making efforts to include vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will help prevent a vitamin D deficiency. The winter blues can get the best of us, but if we take care of our bodies and our minds we can make it through the gloomy days and get back to the sunshine!
Remember to please seek professional advice or help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
Resolutions can be difficult to stick to, which is why many people have started participating in month-long challenges rather than go for goals they can’t achieve. Sugar-free January is one such challenge that’s become increasingly popular over the last few years. If you’re looking for a way to start the year off right, sugar-free January is a great way to do so. Here’s what you need to know about this challenge. You can find out more about your sugar-free January over at Pyure...
The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year – except if you’re trying to avoid sugar. ‘Tis the season for cookie exchanges, warm sugary drinks, and sweets everywhere you turn.
A few sweet treats in the spirit of the season never hurt anyone. But, it’s easy to overdo it on the sugar if you’re not careful. Sugar is often an ingredient in not only desserts but also in many favorite holiday recipes. Anyone looking to avoid sugar by abstaining from cookies and cakes may still struggle with the rich, seasonal recipes that are popular at family gatherings and office get-togethers. Here are some tips to help you avoid added processed sugar during this festive season. You can get the full details over with Pyure...
We’ve all faced times where no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stick to a healthy routine. Just thinking about exercise or cooking a healthy meal can be daunting, and with fast food being, well, fast, it’s not difficult to see why so many struggle to stay motivated with a healthy lifestyle.
It happens to everyone, there probably isn’t one person who can say they have never had a period of time where they have had some time away from eating right and exercising as often as they should.
Finding the motivation to look after yourself doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the gym or spend one day a week prepping healthy meals, you can do it so much easier.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways you can stay motivated below:
Give Yourself A Real Reward
No, this doesn’t mean eating an entire cheesecake after a run, it’s about giving yourself something that is going to help you get closer to your goals. Why not indulge in an episode or two of your favourite tv show or reading about the Association of Naturopathic Practitioners after your workout, to enable your muscles to recover? Or treat yourself to a massage after two or three weeks on track with your exercise routine. After you have eaten a healthy meal, reward yourself with some self-care such as taking a hot bath or home spa-treatment.
You are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, so the best thing you can do is to stop rewarding yourself with junk food, one of the main causes of a bad diet. Exercise will slowly become a habit, and your motivation will grow as you reward yourself in a positive way.
Set Yourself A Commitment Contract
We can make a promise after promise to ourselves, however, research shows us that we are more likely to eat well and exercise when we make the commitment to some one else such as our family or friends. Why not set a contract with your family to state you will workout three times a week for 30 minutes and that you will cook at least one healthy meal each day so you can be healthier for them?
Turn Your Workouts Social
In the world of today, it is very common to see people using social media as a way to stay accountable for their progress or commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s sharing their weekly weigh in, showing progress pictures, showing methods of exercise, or sharing pictures of your food, sharing them on social media may be a good way to keep you on track.
Always Remember The Why
There is going to be a reason why you want to live a healthier lifestyle, so, remember what it is when you feel yourself slipping. Whether you’re doing because you’ve gained a little weight over Christmas or through pregnancy, or you’re trying to minimise the risks from an underlying health condition, always think back to the reasons why you are making changes.
Remember changes aren’t going to happen over night, therefore, you shouldn’t expect them to. Don’t give up at the first hurdle, in fact, don’t give up at the tenth. No one said that making changes towards a healthy lifestyle was easy. Do you have any tips on how to you can stay motivated? Please share them in the comments below.
The desire to burn fat is one of the most commonly cited health and fitness goals. There are many ways to accomplish that objective through diet and exercise. Eat the right food and stay active, and you can burn calories and fat while building lean muscle. That’s great for roughly 2/3 of the day when you’re awake, but what about that other 1/3 when you’re asleep? myfitnesspal.com has the details on this one!
Most of us have too much chaos going on in our lives to consciously focus on every bite we eat, the secret is to change your environment so it works for you rather than against you! Psychology Today has some insight into how to avoid the junk food!
With the darker winter evenings drawing in, it can be more tempting to cosy up in front of the TV with a hot chocolate or a slice of cake. The Sun has some advice from the boss of Weight Watchers, Julia Westgarth...
It’s every weight loss enthusiast’s dream to zap the belly fat but, far from pure vanity, there’s actually a reason why having a lot of fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous. Fat is stored all over our body, but how does an expanding waistline grow your risk for chronic illness? myfitnesspal has the info..
If you'd like a really jam-packed step-by-step article with useful info on how to lose fat, its well worth checking this guide out over at Fitness Fixed Gear...
Another great way to lose weight around your midsection is to follow a results-based workout aimed at shrinking your waistline without spending hours at the gym every day. For an easy, step-by-step routine, head on over to Fiercest Fitness.
Binge-watching the news lately? If so, you probably have heard the coronavirus attacks the immune system. The people who are most at risk are immunocompromised. The immune system is an essential bodily function that needs to be taken care of. It is the body's primary defense mechanism against foreign organisms such as viruses and bacteria. If you're looking for other ways to boost your immune system besides getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, maybe it's time to try some vitamins! Take a look below for the best vitamins to help enhance your immune system:
Vitamin A is integral to the development of the immune system, as well as boosting it. It also regulates cellular immune responses. This vitamin also has an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system.
Specifically, Vitamin B6, as it is vital to support your immune system by producing antibodies to help fight viruses and infections. Not only that, but this vitamin can support brain health by improving cognitive function. So yeah, treat yourself to ordering that salmon tonight, cause it's packed with this vitamin!
You knew this was coming, right? Obviously, we had to include this vitamin C, as it is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting your immune system! Out of all of the vitamins listed here, this is the one that you should've started taking, like yesterday. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the production of white blood cells, which can help you fight off bacteria and viruses. It can also help produce antibodies, which can help fight against invading pathogens by binding themselves to foreign microbes, which helps neutralize them.
A deficiency in vitamin D can increase your susceptibility to infection and is linked to causing autoimmune diseases. Since we know you don't want that (especially in this pandemic), it's recommended to drink milk and get some sunshine. But when you go outside, make sure you use a facemask and stay 6 feet away from everyone else! #socialdistancing
What a surprise, another antioxidant! Immune cells have higher concentrations of vitamin E, all the more reason to use it to boost your immune system! A deficiency in this vitamin will cause a decrease in cellular immunity. It helps the formation of red blood cells, which can improve blood circulation as well. Think about buying foods rich in vitamin E like spinach, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and kiwi.
Iron, which is found in hemoglobin, is a vital substance, and about 70% of it can be found in red blood cells. Red blood cells help transfer oxygen from your lungs throughout your body, including your immune system. Without this essential function, you're going to start to feel tired and fatigued. This exhaustion will affect your immune system's ability to fight off infections.
Selenium helps you lower the oxidative stress in your body, which can boost your immune system. A deficiency in this vitamin can harm your immune cell function and weaken the immune system's response to potential threats such as bacteria and viruses.
Zinc is vital when it comes to your immune system because it keeps everything in balance. It can decrease the rate of infection by slowing down your immune system's response. This helps control inflammation that can be deadly in your immune system. You can find Zinc in a bunch of foods such as oysters, yogurt, and chickpeas.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
When trying to lose weight, it can be hard to sort through the myriad conflicting information. Should you give up dairy? What about the protein-packed, gut-healthy benefits of Greek yogurt? myfitnesspal has 11 of the most common weight-loss myths.
Who knew when you packed up your desk and carried your work computer home back in the spring, you'd still be working from home now? But here we are. While swapping morning commutes for workouts and cooking more at home has helped many get healthier, the transition also has downsides resulting in letting some healthy habits slide. myfitnesspal has a list of mistakes you could be making that's hurting your weight-loss goals!
You drift off to sleep easily, then all of a sudden it’s 3am and you’re wide awake. The time you wake up during the night is no fluke, and with 74 per cent of women agreeing their sleep is often disturbed, we need to know why! The Sun has some insight...
With the increased popularity of intermittent fasting, what the ideal time is to stop eating at night has been hotly debated. For many years, R.D.s have been urging weight-loss clients to eat dinner earlier and stop snacking a few hours before bed. It seemed like a no-brainer, but researchers from Brigham Young University decided to put the theory to the test. Runner's World has the insight on this one!
If you’ve started to notice that you get out of breath after one flight of stairs, it’s time to work on your fitness. The good news is that it won’t take that long to improve no matter what type of exercise you choose. Think a month or two, if not a few weeks, although of course some disciplines will help you improve faster than others. Coach Magazine has the full story!
Cristiano Ronaldo recent health check said he was the equivalent of a 23-year-old! Click over to LADBible to read more about the diet that keeps arguably the world's best at the top of his game!
Festive office parties, Christmas lunches, edible presents, the calories will be coming on if not already! But you can enjoy the food and not put on a load of weight if you plan it well enough! The Sun has some tips that may well help the mindset!
Its not easy is it, this losing weight business, if it was, everyone would be doing it right?? myfitnesspal.com seven habits you could put in place to start that journey!
Getting your step count each day is one thing people can't get enough of but what about if its all about the speed you walk instead? myfitnesspal.com has the science behind it!
If the work's Christmas Party hasn't taken place yet, it may well be this coming week! The Sun has a doctors guide to how to beat that big hangover that comes after the partying!
It's getting closer to that time of the year when you might start to put on a few pounds from the tubs of chocolates being brought into work or maybe its that Christmas party coming up? joe.co.uk spoke with Dr. Leon Creaney, a Consultant in Sport & Exercise Medicine at MIHP, part of HCA Healthcare UK. about the best ways to calculate your body fat.
Sharing your goals with others doesn't just help with losing weight but also with anything you want to do in life. If someone else knows what you are planning and want to do, having that someone hold you accountable can help keep you on the straight and narrow! myfitnesspal.com has the lowdown!
Tasha Frampton had a dream to have her own family but was told she would need to have a dramatic weight loss to help make it all come true! The Mirror has more..
Exercise in the morning is said to be the most beneficial for you and your body, but how do you make it all happen? Fitbit.com has some help on hand!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and its good to know what you should be eating to get the best out of the start of your day! The Sun has more!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live