Category: Best

Is There A Common Diet & Workout Plan For All People?

A good diet and workout plan could speed up weight loss and enhance energy level. But choosing the right diet plan is a challenge as there are many options available. 

For example, there are separate diet plans for vegans and different diets for non-vegetarians. Also, you can choose from a low-carb diet or low-fat diet depending on your needs.

Here’re 8 best and the most popular diet plans for health-conscious folks. You can go through each plan and choose one that suits your needs the best.  

1. Intermittent fasting

It is a dietary strategy that includes cycles of fasting and eating. And there are different methods for intermittent fasting. For example, take the 16/8 method that involves limiting calorie intake to 8 hours per day. Similarly, the 5:2 method limits the calorie intake to 500-600 calories twice per week.

Process: The objective is to restrict the eating time to cut calorie intake. There are periods of fasting and eating. And it leads to quick and significant weight loss unless the person compensates the calories by consuming high calories during the eating period.

Benefits: It slows down aging, increases insulin sensitivity, improves brain health and reduces inflammation. And it is safe for people of all ages.

Cons: In general it is safe for people to do fasting but people with serious health issues like diabetes should consult their doctors before fasting.

2. Plant-based diets

A plant-based diet can be divided into two categories according to its ingredients. The first is veganism where animal products in any kind or form are strictly prohibited. And the second is a flexitarian diet that allows animal products in moderation.

Process: Vegan diet restrict animal products but flexitarian diet allows animal-based products to some extent. In both types of diets, the restricted food items belong to the high calorie group. 

Benefits: Plant-based diet prevents chronic ailments including heart problems and cancer. Also, it is suitable for the environment.

Cons: Plant-based diet lacks the nutrients found only in animal products like vitamin B12 and D, iron, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Low-carb diets

Popular for weight loss, low-carb diets cut the carbs content significantly than any other diet. Examples of low-carb diets are Atkins diet, ketogenic (keto) diet, and low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet. 

Process: The objective is to limit intake of carb and increase intake of protein and fat. The rich protein content in low-carb diets help in controlling hunger pangs and increases body metabolism.

Benefits: Low-carb diets control cholesterol and blood pressure. Also, they have a significant effect on blood sugar and insulin levels in type 2 diabetes.

Cons: Increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol level and digestive upset are linked to low-carb diets. Also, it can develop ketoacidosis that is a dangerous metabolic condition.

4. The paleo diet

It suggests following the food habits of ancestors of the human race. It relates modern diseases to western food habits and believes that human body can’t process legumes, grains and dairy.

Process: The diet includes whole foods, fruits, vegetables and lean meat. And it limits use of processed food, grains, dairy products and sugar.

Benefits: This diet reduces risk of heart ailments like high blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

Cons: It is healthy but lacks nutrition found in whole grains and dairy.

5. Low-fat diets

Low-fat diets restrict intake of fat up to 30% of daily calories but some ultra-low-fat diets cut the fat intake up to 10% of calories. 

Process: Since fat contains twice the calories per gram in comparison to calory content of protein and carbs, it is necessary to limit the intake of fat. Cutting fat drastically reduces the calory content in daily food consumption.

Benefits: Low-fat diets improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke, inflammation and diabetes.

Cons: Cutting intake of fat could have an adverse effect on hormone production, nutrient absorption and cell health.

6. The Mediterranean diet

This diet is based on the food habits of people living in Greece and Italy. And it includes eating fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, whole grains, poultry, dairy, seafood and virgin olive oil. But it restricts use of red meat. 

Process: The objective is to consume as much natural food as possible and limit the use of refined grains and oil, processed meat, trans fat and added sugar.

Benefits: This diet contains antioxidant rich foods that combat inflammation and neutralize free radicals.

Cons: It doesn’t help in weight loss.

7. Weight Watchers (WW)

It is a weight watch program that includes setting daily points to achieve a weight loss goal. The food items are selected according to their calorie, fat and fiber contents. 

Process: The diet supports weight loss objectives by reducing calorie intake and increasing intake of necessary elements. 

Benefits: It is easier to follow and it allows people to change their food habits according to their tastes.

Cons: It allows flexibility in choosing a diet plan but it could prove to be an expensive affair.

8. The DASH diet

Simplified as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, DASH is a diet plan for controlling high blood pressure called hypertension. It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, red meat, fat and added sugar. But it is low on salt.

Process: It is divided into servings like 5 servings of vegetables and fruits, 7 servings of whole grains and 2 servings of low-fat dairy products for an average person.

Benefits: It is helpful in controlling heart ailments by balancing blood pressure. Also, it can reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancer.

Cons: Taking too little salt is linked to increased insulin resistance and death with heart failure.

Choosing the right plan is the half battle won but there is more to do before you can feel like a winner. A right diet plan will give you the energy needed for workout. If you are doing the right workout, you can achieve your health goals.

Like diets, there are different workout plans for weight loss and bodybuilding. But the weekly plan discussed here is one that can accommodate every need including weight loss and muscle building.

The plan starts with strength training on Monday and concludes with resting on Sunday so that you can rejuvenate your tired self for Monday morning workout.

Monday: Total-Body Strength Training

Strength training is the key to fitness because it burns fat faster, shapes the body and increases the number of calories burnt while resting. For strength training, you need a workout bench and a set of dumbbells. You can choose the right dumbbells by keeping your height and weight in mind.

Workout plan

1. Bodyweight Squats: Take 15 reps with your chest up keeping your knees well above the toes. 

2. Dumbbell Row: Take 12 rep each side and you can use bent-over-row, if you don’t have a bench.

3. Lying Isometric Y: Make an isometric Y and hold for 30 seconds. If you want, you can allow your legs to rest on the ground for comfort.

4. Box Set-Ups: 15 reps each leg is enough but you can alternate between the legs for more strength.

5. Plank: Keep your core tight and hold for 30 seconds.

Repeat each step 3x with 1minute break between each step

Tuesday: Sprint Intervals

Sprinting does a better job than jogging. It torches calories and increases energy consumption to get the body back to a resting state. Also, you can do this exercise on any indoor cycling bike or rowing machine.

Workout plan

  • 30 seconds of full-out sprint
  • 60 seconds of moderate pace jog
  • Repeating it 12x

Wednesday: Foam Rolling + 12,000 Steps

After two days of intense exercising, your body would demand time for recovery. But it doesn’t mean that you should sit idle. It is time for doing some foam rolling and stretching. It will improve mobility needed for achieving full range of motion during workout. 

Foam rolling should be paired with 12,000 steps for speedy recovery. The low impact movement of walking will improve blood flow that will help in quick recovery. For counting steps, you can use a mobile app or buy a health device.

Thursday: Total-Body Strength Training

Follow the Monday workout 

Friday: High-Intensity Group Fitness Class

Join a fitness group or make one with family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues for a high-intensity group fitness class. For workout, you can head to a fitness studio or practice your moves in an open-gym. The workout session could include a friendly chit-chat and lots of laughs. You should sweat while having fun with your group. It is easier to find a fitness group of likeminded people and join it.

Saturday: Total-Body Strength Training

Follow the workout plan of Monday and Thursday

Sunday: Rest Day

Rest and relax as it is Sunday. You have done enough workout throughout the week and now it is time to let your muscles relax, repair and re-energize for the Monday schedule. Rest is an integral part of a workout plan because it allows time to rejuvenate. 

Final thoughts….

Your diet plan should accommodate your food needs. It should pamper your taste buds in addition to energizing your body and mind. Before you make an opinion on a diet plan, you should go through its pros and cons so that you have all important factors before your eyes. 

Choosing a workout plan would also require some insight into popular workout plans of celebs. Also, you can go through the advice tendered by personal trainers of celebs. The above-mentioned is a simple seven-day workout plan and its advantage is that it can be followed at home. You don’t need special equipment or specific training or a trainer to follow this workout plan. 

13 Amazing Fruits You Will Love Eating

Think of fruit and you will visualize the fruits you have eaten or you know about. There are many fruits that could be new to you and you will certainly want to try these fruits once you know about them. For example, take Buddha’s Hand that is used as snacks and Jackfruit that is more like a meat supplement for vegetarian dishes. 

Here’re 13 most popular fruits of the world 

1. Sugar Apple

Sugar apple is widely cultivated in West Indies or tropical Americans on the Annona squamosal tree. It is called sugar apple, custard apple or sweetsop due to its creamy white flesh and sweet custard taste.

2. Cacao

It gives cocoa beans for chocolate but it is also a delicious fruit to eat. It has seeds covered with edible white flesh under its yellowish orange exterior cover. You need to crack open the fruit to get the seeds.

3. Rambutan

Part of the soapberry family, this red and hairy fruit has white sweet flesh. It received its name from Malay word “rambut” that means hair. Rambutan is native to Indonesia but it is also found in other tropical regions of South-East Asia.

4. Buddha’s Hand 

This fruit has fingers protruding from the base and it is used for religious offerings in Buddhist temples. It is a citrus fruit found in bright yellow in color but has no juice or pulp. The Buddha’s hand is used for making a variety of snacks.

5. Carambola

It is a juicy and tarty fruit replete with many antioxidants. It is also called star fruit because of its star shape it gets when cut into slices. Carambola is native to South-East Asia.

6. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is native to India but it is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. And it is becoming popular in the west. Western people like its pork like texture. Also, jackfruit is a great substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes.

7. Cashew

Cashew is a nut great for both snacking and cooking. Native of Brazil, it is a vibrant fruit grown on cashew tree.

8. Jabuticaba

Jabuticaba also called Brazilian grape tree is a dark-purplish berry like fruit rich in antioxidants. Whether you eat it raw or turn into jam or jelly, it will be a great addition to your diet.

9. Horned Melon

Native to Africa, horned melon is a valuable source of water in dry seasons in the Kalahari Desert. It is a yellow fruit known by different names like Kiwano and African horned cucumber.

10. Longan

It belongs to the soapberry family and resembles an eyeball. A native to Southern Asia, it is very similar to lychee and rambutan.

11. Yellow Dragon Fruit

A native to South America, this fruit comes with a bright yellow exterior. But its extract is white and translucent flesh that tastes sweet. Also, it has tiny black seeds that can be eaten.

12. Mangosteens

This reddish-purple fruit is rightly called “Queen of Fruits” because it packs a pulpy flesh with sweet, tangy and fragrant notes. This flesh is white in color. It is native to South East Asia.

13. Durans

Durans is a large fruit growing up to one foot in height. Also, it has a strong odor. It is more popular in Thailand where it is used as pizza topping. Also, it is added in candies and chocolates.

20 Superfoods Excellent For Brain Function

The food that pampers your taste buds also provides nutrition and energy to your body, especially the brain that is an energy-intensive organ. As a power center of the body, the brain controls all vital organs and it requires a huge amount of energy to keep working at its optimum level. And it gets energy from the food you eat.

You could be choosy in selecting your food because you are unaware about superfoods for the brain. Do you know that even a little deficiency of essential fatty acids could lead to neurological disorders and that you can get fatty acids from both animal and plant sources?

Here’re 20 superfoods that can improve your brain function and keep it healthy even in advanced age. 

1. Oily Fish

Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines are good for the brain as they contain essential fatty acids Omega-3. These fatty acids slow down decline of brain function, lowering the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Also, they enhance memory and manage stress.   

2. Dark Chocolate

Those with sweet tooth for chocolate have something to rejoice. Dark chocolate improves blood flow in the brain and reduces inflammation as it has strong antioxidant properties. It boosts mood, focus and alertness by providing a very respectable dose of stimulants including magnesium, zinc, fiber and caffeine. 

3. Turmeric

Curcumin, the most potent and natural anti-inflammatory agent, is found in turmeric. And it is necessary for brain as researches have proved that inflammation is the biggest destroyer of brain. Curcumin improves oxygen level in the brain, increases cognitive function including memory and benefits the immune system.

4. Coffee

Coffee does many things in addition to freshen up your mood. It contains caffeine that is a good thing for brain as it improves brain’s capacity for processing information. It contains antioxidants that can improve brain health as you age. A cup of coffee can save you from cognitive decline, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

5. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds can be called superfood for brain as they contain many nutrients including Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E. Packed with nutrients, these superfoods can improve brain function in older age, protects brain from oxidative stress, boost cognitive power and prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Sage

This ancient herb is said to be good for brain function. It quickens nerves and memory and is believed to be a reliable medicine for curing Alzheimer’s disease. Also, recent studies have found memory enhancing properties in Sage. Students should take this herb to increase their memory and concentration. Advantage of Sage is that you can rub its oil on your wrist inhale its smell to get all the advantages of Sage.

7. Avocados

This fruit provides monosaturated fats and a number of nutrients including folate, copper and vitamin C and E. And it is good for brain in many ways like combating cognitive decline, enhancing blood flow to brain and supporting information carrying nerves. Tufts University traced improved brain function in older adults to avocados in its 2018 study. 

8. Whole Grains

Brown rice, barley, oatmeal and other whole grains maintain a steady supply of glucose to brain. The brain needs energy to function and for energy is relies on glucose that it derives from blood. The whole grains release glucose in the bloodstream to power the brain to keep working at its optimum level. Also, the whole grains have vitamin E that supports brain functions.

9. Beans

They are the ultimate in superfoods and can be called brain-friendly because of their power packed punch that includes magnesium, zinc, fiber, antioxidants and folate. According to a study, folate is more important as it prevents neurological disorders like depression and cognitive impairment. And this slowly-digested, nutrient rich starch provides glucose that is essential for development of brain.

10. Blueberries

Blueberries are good for combating age-related conditions like short-term memory loss and even Alzheimer’s. Also, it can reduce inflammation of brain cells by increasing communication between cells. Also, it creases plasticity that helps brain cells in building new connections, learning and memory functions. 

11. Pumpkin Seeds

Rich source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, pumpkin seeds can fight free radicals to prevent disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, migraine, epilepsy and depression. 

12. Peanuts

Peanuts pack an excellent nutritional profile that includes plenty of unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. A reservoir of vitamin E and resveratrol, peanuts improve brain function by preventing development of disorders like Alzheimer’s and even cancer. 

13. Eggs

Consumed as quick breakfast food across the globe, eggs pamper taste buds and provide energy to brain. Rich in folic acid and vitamin B-6 and B-12, eggs can do good to the brain in many ways. For example, they protect the brain age related problems like shrinkage and cognitive decline. 

14. Broccoli

It is a low-calorie source of dietary fibers and rich in compounds called glucosinolates. It also contains vitamin C and flavonoids that are good for brain. Its advantage is that it reduces oxidative stress and prevents neurodegenerative disorders.

15. Kale

It is also rich in glucosinolates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that make it a superfood for brain function and activity.

16. Soy products

Rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, soybean products have a range of health benefits for brain in regular aging process. For example, they improve cognitive abilities of the brain to reduce affect of aging and lower risk of dementia.

17. Tomatoes

There are plenty of evidences to suggest that lycopene found in tomatoes is helpful for brain functions. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant good for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s. And tomatoes can be taken in recipes, chutneys and salads. They can even be consumed raw.

18. Oranges

Oranges are a prime source of vitamin C that fights free radicals and protects brain cells from age related damage that is a major cause of disorders like dementia. 

19. Green Tea

Green tea contains caffeine and it is also rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that reduce cognitive decline with aging. It also boosts memory power.

20. Blackcurrants

Another source of vitamin C, blackcurrants are also helpful in age-related brain degeneration like dementia. Also, it is helpful in managing stress and anxiety. 

A Study Relates Plant Proteins To Longevity

Findings of the latest studies on plant based high proteins have surprised everyone. It says that a perfect diet can promote longevity in addition to improving health.

The study

A total of 31 studies on a dose-response analysis showed that 3% of plant protein lowers the risk of death from all causes up to 5%. And this finding could have very positive health implications for the general public as it is easier to replace plant-based protein with that of animals to achieve longevity. While further studies are awaited, the findings of the analysis could be used to educate people about benefits of plant-based proteins.

Plant protein boost longevity

Taking plant protein lowers the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases by 12% and the death rate by other diseases is lowered by 8%. But the animal protein is found of be little help in lowering death rate due to cardiovascular problems and cancer.

The analysis

A total of 715,128 participants were given plant protein bodes for a period of 32 years. And a mathematical model was to analyse the results. It was found that 113,009 people died in this period. Out of these people 16,429 died of cardiovascular ailments and 22,303 died from cancer. The results of the analysis were encouraging as it was clear that plant proteins were helpful in lowering death from all causes.

The research

Scientists from the US and Iran viewed the results of 32 studies related to death risks associated to all causes to arrive a conclusion. They measured dose-response relation between intake of proteins both plant based and animals with the risk of death from all diseases. 

The perfect diet

The research published in a journal said that taking more plant-based proteins like legumes, whole grains and nuts. For example, taking plant proteins lowers the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular problems. On the other hand, meat especially, red meat is associated with many chronic problems including cancer.

The study throws light on the benefits of plant proteins over animal proteins and the relation between protein intake and death due to all causes. But the data is still conflicting hence requires more study.