No Magic Pill

Many people have wished or hoped for that magic pill to have what they want, right?
But especially when it comes to health and the ideal body, we don’t have a magic pill that helps you wake up with the body of your dreams, but we do have some ”pills” that if you make a habit of taking them every day, can help you reach your health goals!

They include:
– Meditation (The health of the mind is essential for a balanced body)

– Staying hydrated (because the body needs water for the proper functioning of all organs)

– Follow the food plan (Your Metabolic Balance food plan is customized for you with all your body’s needs. It not only helps with weight loss but also helps with a significant improvement in your health!)

– Going on walks (Walking, can bring numerous benefits such as improved blood circulation and brain oxygenation).

– Getting quality sleep (An excellent quality sleep implies a more productive day in a healthier body, as numerous ”repairs” occur in our body during sleep.)

Although there is no magic pill that will help you achieve the perfect body overnight, these five simple steps can help you improve your health and wellness!

Photo: Metabolic Balance Canada

Meal Times

Everyone has their own biorhythm and metabolism. Certainly, it is not recommended to eat abundantly late in the evening and before going to bed.
It is medically proven that digestion works much slower at night, which affects the metabolism and also the quality of sleep. However, not only the timing is important, but also the quantity and quality of the food. Calories don’t care what time it is! So what should you stick to when you want to lose weight?

Tips for meals after 6 pm:

  • Avoid monosaccharides (sweets, chocolate, etc. ), which stimulate the appetite.
  • In the evening, prefer protein-rich foods such as fish, dairy products, eggs and nuts.
  • Don’t eat too much raw food in the evening – steamed vegetables are easier to digest.
  • Your last meal should be 3-4 hours before bedtime.
  • Always drink enough water.

What the Heart Desires

The heart muscle is the central organ of our body, without which we would not be able to live. This small organ is a true high-performance engine. It pumps about 1.5 gallons every minute, supplying vital oxygen and nutrients to organs, tissues and cells. Therefore, it deserves to be given more attention. But far from it! We invest more time and money in beautiful skin and muscles than in taking care of our heart. Even occasional shortness of breath or problems climbing stairs are often ignored, although these can already be the first signs of heart problems.

Many assume that, as the heart continuously pumps blood through the veins and, of all organs, is best supplied with valuable nutrients. In fact, however, the heart is not supplied with nutrients and oxygen directly, but via the arteries (coronary arteries) that surround the heart. A narrowing or even blocking of the coronary arteries leads to disruption of the blood flow to the heart and, in the worst case, can lead to a heart attack.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the world. In the US 1, in every 4 deaths is due to heart disease, over 600,000 deaths annually. But according to studies, 90 percent of heart attacks and 80 percent of all strokes can be prevented by a consistently healthy lifestyle.

Many cardiovascular diseases are linked to our diet. Above all high blood fat levels that can damage the arteries. Smoking and high blood pressure also affect the elasticity and stability of the vessel walls and contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis develops slowly. Fat components as well as blood and connective tissue cells are deposited in the vessel wall. These so-called plaques can narrow the arteries and restrict blood flow. In a further stage, blood clots form which clog the vessels and arteries and thus interrupt the blood supply. As a result, the tissue that supplies the affected arteries will die over time. Depending on the location of the vascular occlusion, the heart, brain or legs may be affected.

But not only unhealthy eating affects the blood circulation of organs and tissues, smoking is also bad for the heart. This is because smoking produces carbon monoxide, which depletes the body of oxygen, and this also reduces the oxygen supply and blood circulation to the organs. Furthermore, smoking creates many free radicals that can attack and damage the cells.

Heart-healthy nutrition

One of the best preventive measures is a healthy diet and lifestyle. In the 1950s, scientists first investigated the relationship between a Mediterranean diet and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. The risk of disease among study participants who were eating a Mediterranean diet was 30 percent lower than among those whose diets were rich in animal fat, especially saturated fat, and were also high in sugar and highly processed foods. These findings from that time are more relevant than ever.

Basically, a heart-healthy diet is centered around relieving the heart. Therefore, it is particularly important to keep an eye on body weight, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood fat levels. For a long time, one of the first recommendations was to favor a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols

Today, however, scientists are focusing more on a holistic, healthy diet that gives a place to healthy fats and oils on the menu. Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important and beneficial. Fatty acids are involved in regulating blood pressure and are precursors for messenger substances that influence inflammatory reactions. In addition, they provide elastic and healthy cell and artery walls. Therefore, a “heart-healthy cuisine” includes cold-pressed vegetable oils such as linseed, hempseed, rapeseed and walnut oil, as well as, once or twice a week, sea fish containing the high-quality omega-3 fatty acids in the form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

The full health potential of omega-3 fatty acids is realized especially when abundant polyphenols are consumed with the food at the same time. Studies have shown that polyphenols protect the sensitive omega-3 fatty acids as they pass through our body and facilitate their absorption into cells. An important polyphenol is phlorotannin, which is found predominantly and in sufficient quantities in olives and olive oil. This is certainly one of the reasons why Mediterranean diet is often referred to in connection with a heart-healthy diet, especially since the Mediterranean food also contains plenty of vegetables and thus provides a wide range of various secondary plant substances. These have a positive effect on all cell structures and the entire metabolism. Thus, they are helpful in lowering blood sugar levels and balancing blood pressure.

Minerals and salt

Electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium are also indispensable for a strong heart. These minerals support the electrical conduction of the heart cells. A daily serving of green vegetables and lettuce, as well as nuts and legumes, can satisfy the demand for these minerals.

While vegetables, legumes, herbs, mushrooms, nuts and vegetable oils can be eaten without hesitation, the consumption of meat and sausages as well as convenience foods, snacks and fast food should be in moderation. These foods often contain a high proportion of salt, which raises blood pressure. Furthermore, low-quality fats and other additives, such as flavor enhancers, are often added to the products, which are detrimental to health and put a strain on the heart in the long term.

Exercise

In addition to a healthy diet, cardiovascular diseases can be prevented with sufficient exercise and a moderate sports program. Physical activity can reduce mortality from cardiovascular diseases and improve quality of life. It also has a positive effect on blood pressure, blood fat levels, body weight and blood sugar. Endurance sports such as jogging, walking, cycling and swimming are particularly suitable for this purpose.

Metabolic Balance – heart-healthy nutrition

With the personalized Metabolic Balance nutrition plan, you provide your heart with all the building blocks it needs to remain and become strong and efficient, right up to old age. The decisive factor is above all that only natural and hardly processed foods are recommended, i.e. that also high-fat foods, with their natural fat content, enrich the diet and help to ensure that the body is well supplied with the valuable unsaturated fatty acids. In order to relieve and strengthen the heart, possible risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure or atherosclerosis must be taken into account and kept in check at the same time. Thus, with a Metabolic Balance nutrition plan you can kill several birds with one stone.

Sources:

  1. Dietary recommendations for prevention of atherosclerosis https://doi.org/10.1093/cvr/cvab173
  2. Seven Countries Study; https://www.sevencountriesstudy.com/about-the-study/
  3. https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/521812/umfrage/todesfaelle-aufgrund-von-herzinfarkten-nach-altersgruppe-und-geschlecht/
  4. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet; https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1200303

Christmas Season

Christmas markets and holiday parties are starting take place again this year for many of us. 

Enjoy a safe and healthy Christmas and holiday season and get through it with our tips without gaining weight:

-Eat only 3 meals a day and take a 5 hour break between meals.

-Always start your meals with the protein portion of the dish. This way you activate the satiety hormone glucagon right at the beginning.

-Use bitter substances after the consumption of sweets.

-Christmas punch or mulled wine are also allowed during the Christmas season. But remember to drink plenty of water and unsweetened teas between meals!

Apples and Allergies

European colonists first bought apples to North America during the 17th century. There are more than 7,500 varieties grown worldwide.
While apples are delicious and full of nutrients, they can also cause allergic reactions in some people. Just minutes after consumption you will begin to notice tingling, swelling, and itching in the mouth, lips, and throat; shortness of breath; and diarrhea, stomach discomfort and cramps.
An apple allergy is often occurs when an apple’s polyphenol levels are too low. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in plants that combine with the allergy-triggering proteins in the apple, and this makes the apple much more tolerable for consumption. Polyphenols also help combat free radicals. Types of polyphenols in apples include quercetin, chlorogenic acid, catechin, and phlorizin
Old apple varieties often contain significantly more polyphenols than the newer varieties. Polyphenols give apples a sour taste and become brown quickly when you cut them are bite into them. As a result, these characteristics, along with the polyphenols were taken out of the newer varieties. Now, the newer varieties of apple are sweeter and fail to brown as quickly; however, they also trigger allergic reaction much faster.

Note: Most proteins are found in the flesh of the apple skin and change when heated. As a result, those with an apple allergy should peel and boil the apple before consumption. For instance, apple sauce is mostly considered allergen-free. Avoid certain new types of apples, including:
● Ambrosia
● Elstar
● Jonagold
● Honey Crisp
● Sunrise
● Golden Delicious

Instead, choose the older variety of apple. In addition to important vitamins, mineral, and polyphenols, the older varieties contain more fiber, including pectin and cellulose. During digestion, these fibers bind to heavy metals, cholesterol, and other waste products, and excrete them from the body. Another benefit of older apple varieties is they contain more vitamin C than the newer varieties. At the same time, imported older apples have less vitamin C than older varieties from a local orchard. Food loses its nutritional value the longer it has to travel.

The following are some older varieties you should purchase:
● Red Delicious
● Empire
● McIntosh
● Jonathan
● Granny Smith
● Braeburn

Managing Stress

With many people returning to in person work and kids going back to school, stress levels for many of us are increasing. Although it can be hard to reduce the amount of stress in our lives we can try to improve how we deal with it. Below are some of our favorite ways to help manage and reduce stress.

1. Eat a whole food based diet – low in sugar, low in processed foods
2. Exercise – this helps the body use the extra sugar in the blood, and decreases stress hormones
3. Rest and digest. Eating at your desk, or ‘on-the-go’ means your digestive system is trying to do two things at once. Eat slowly, take a break for lunch by going outside and removing screens!
4. Deep breathing – try a meditation app or just take 5 deep breaths several times a day. This helps calm our nervous system, reminding our bodies that we aren’t in immediate danger
5. Do something enjoyable! Spending time pursuing a hobby is a wonderful way for the mind and body to relax.

Which ones might you try today?

Adapted: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand

Joy

Find joy today!

We all have a different definition joy but finding something you love and doing it often is great for our overall health! Whether it is being outside, spending time with your family, or doing self care, make sure you find joy. Have you done something you love today?

Photo: Metabolic Balance Australia and New Zealand

Dates

Dates are the sweet fruit of date trees that are native to the Middle East, Northern Africa, and South Asia. This fruit has grown in popularity around the world and is used in a variety of cuisines. In addition to being delicious, dates have many health benefits and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Dates are high in fiber, polyphenols (antioxidants), iron, potassium, and magnesium. This fruit can support a healthy digestion, reduce the risk of heart disease, and support bone health. Not only are dates good for your health but they are also extremely versatile and perfect in many dishes. They are great in smoothies, on salads, as a quick snack, or in savory Moroccan stews.

Photo: Unsplash

Vitamins

Vitamins are vital substances which the body cannot produce on its own and which must therefore be constantly supplied through healthy and varied nutrition. Different vitamins have specific functions in the body. For example, they influence the conversion of food into energy, the building of body cells, supporting the immune system, the formation of hormones, the detoxification of the body and the support of enzymes.  The vitamins E, D, K and A are fat-soluble vitamins. All other vitamins are water-soluble. Common sources of these vitamins include oranges, green leafy vegetables, carrots, apples, and salmon.

Arugula

Whether in pesto, as a salad or on a pizza – arugula is not only very popular, but also very healthy. This leafy vegetable with a spicy and bitter flavor is rich in vitamin C and thus supports the immune system. In addition, arugula contains folic acid, other B vitamins, plenty of beta-carotene as well as potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium. The bitterness of this vegetable induces the rapid onset of salivary and digestive juices. The feeling of satiety is thus accelerated and we feel full faster, preventing cravings.