Top 5 Chia Seeds Benefits

Top 5 Chia Seeds Benefits

The benefits of chia seeds are being touted as the latest and greatest thing in the nutrition world – and for good reason!

It turns out that chia seeds are worth more than just ammunition for the gimmicky “Chia Pets” made popular in the 90’s, as they actually have some tremendous health benefits.

But just what are the chia seeds health benefits?

Chia seeds are:

  1. High In Fiber – Did you know that the average American only gets 12 to 15 grams of fiber a day? And that the average recommended daily dosage is between 20 and 35 grams? Fortunately you can beat this statistic by adding chia seeds to your diet, as just one serving of chia seeds accounts for a whopping 42% of your recommended fiber intake.
  2. Chia is Filling – Due to its high fiber, chia can be a good aide for weight loss. This is because fiber helps you feel fuller quicker and for longer, which could help you decrease your daily calorie intake more easily.
  3. High in Omega-3 – Chia is one of the most highly concentrated sources of omega-3 known to man. In fact, it evens contains higher levels of omega-3 than salmon! Omega-3 contains essential fatty acids and can help reduce inflammation.
  4. High in Calcium – We all know how essential calcium is for our bone health but fitting it into our daily diets can be a challenge. Luckily, a single serving of chia contains 18% of the recommended daily calcium intake for adults.
  5. High in Minerals – Just two tablespoons worth of chia seeds contains 35% of the daily recommended intake for phosphorous, 24% of magnesium and 50% for manganese.

How to Eat Chia Seeds

The beauty of chia seeds is that they are extremely versatile. They can be added to virtually any dish or meal and their mild flavor prevents them from negatively altering the taste of your food.

Chia seeds can be added to:

  • Smoothies
  • Stir-Fries
  • Yoghurts
  • Desserts
  • Pasta Sauces
  • Toast
  • Soups
  • Oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Cut fruit
  • Sandwiches

Look out for chia seeds at your local health food store or you may even be able to find them at your regular grocery store. Although a bag of chia seeds can be a bit on the pricey side, they often contain a huge amount of servings, making the sometimes high sticker price more than worth it.

Get the most out of chia seeds by adding a couple of tablespoons to your meals and see for yourself just how wondrous these seeds can be.

The Health Benefits of Green Tea

Although green tea has been around for thousands of years since it originated from China, only in the the last couple of decades has it really taken off in popularity in the West. Now both a popular hot beverage and nutritional supplement, all kinds of praises and health benefits have been linked to green tea – from weight loss to cancer fighting properties to anti-aging benefits.

But just how healthy is this drink? And what are the top advantages of drinking green tea? Read on to discover green tea’s premiere health benefits and the best ways you can drink it:

5 Health & Beauty Green Tea Benefits:

1. It Can Boost the Immune System – Research from Oregon State University found that drinking green tea regularly can boost the number of regulatory T cells which are important for maintaining a strong immune system.

2. Green Tea Can Prevent the Spread of Breast and Prostate Cancers – Recent scientific studies have suggested that the high levels of polyphenols present in green tea can be effective in preventing the spread of breast and prostate cancers.

3. Green Tea Can Promote Healthy Skin – Several studies have indicated that green tea can promote healthy skin thanks to its antioxidants which can help protect the skin against free radicals and sun damage.

4. Green Tea Can Lower Cholesterol Levels – A recent analysis of studies concluded that green tea can significantly lower “bad cholesterol” also known as LDL (low-desnity lipoprotein).

5. Green Tea Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels – New research has shown that green tea may help lower blood sugar levels which could help prevent certain illnesses such as type 2 diabetes from developing.

How to Drink Green Tea

Now that you know all of the great health benefits of green tea you’re probably asking yourself how much green tea should I drink to get these health benefits? Well the truth is there’s no proven amount or formula for reaping these potential health benefits, but it is generally advised that 4-6 cups of green tea daily is good for you.

If you’ve never tried this healthful drink before, green tea has a fairly grassy, mild flavor but it can easily be spiced up by trying a green tea combined with other flavors. Popular green tea flavor combinations include jasmine green tea, blueberry green tea and lemon green tea. What’s more, you don’t even have to drink the tea to gets its health benefits, as you can purchase green tea vitamin supplements from many popular drugstores.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

There has been much speculation over the years on whether green tea is an effective weight loss aid. While there has been some scientific evidence that consuming regular amounts of green tea can help break down fat and speed up the metabolism, other studies have argued that these effects are so insubstantial that it won’t lead to major weight loss.

Moreover, regardless of how effective green tea if for weight loss, it’s important to remember that there’s no quick cure for losing weight and that the combination of a healthy diet and plenty of exercise is usually the best way to achieve long lasting and substantial weight loss.

The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea Daily

There’s no denying that green tea can be a healthful beverage and when drunk daily may be able to prevent multiple illnesses and improve your skin’s appearance. Try drinking green today and see for yourself just what a powerful antioxidant this drink can be. Enjoy!

5 Easy & Realistic Tips for a Healthy New Year

Healthy New Year Tips

Healthy new year goals often top the list of people’s new year resolutions but they can also be some of the hardest to stick to. People often make the mistake of making healthy new years resolutions that are simply too unrealistic or time consuming to fit into their existing lifestyles.

However, making healthy changes for the new year is very possible and there are many ways you can improve your health in 2013 without having to make any drastic or radical changes to your everyday routine.

To help you set realistic and easy to stick to healthy new year resolutions, here are 5 of our top suggestions for a healthy year:

1. Exercise at Work

If you find that you’re too tired in the morning and at night to work out, why not bring the gym to your office? You likely have down time each working day when you could dedicate some time to fit some exercise in. Try walking to lunch rather than driving and opt for the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. You could also try bringing in some light dumbbell weights into your office or cubicle and you could do some reps whenever you have some time to kill or even during a lengthy phone call. No matter how busy your lifestyle is, there really is no excuse not to make exercise part of your daily routine. If you’ve found that you’ve let things slide this year exercise wise, make a concerted effort to break a sweat daily in 2013.

2. Try Juicing

One of your best new years resolution may be to eat more fruits and vegetables but if you’re not an avid cook or don’t have a lot of time to spend preparing food you may find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet in the new year. However, there’s a simple an effective way to get all (or most) of your daily recommended fruits and veggies in one drink – and this is by juicing. Juice recipes are often incredibly easy and fast to create and all you need is to invest in a good juicer and you’ll be set. Juicing can be an easier and more cost effective way to get healthier and even lose weight than investing in some fad diet or complicated healthy eating plan. So why not give juicing a go?

Try this simple recipe for a healthy juice that tastes great too!

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 kale leaves
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 little bit of ginger

3. Drink More Water

If you don’t go for juicing, at least drink more water in the new year. Water is essential for maintaining a healthy and balanced body, but many people drink much less than the recommended daily dose. Try swapping your morning coffee for a glass of iced water and you may be surprised at just how energizing water can be. And if there isn’t bottled or filtered water available at your workplace avoid filling up on sugary (and unhealthy) sodas by bringing in a bottle of filtered water each day. Water may taste a little boring compared to your usual drinks, but its health benefits are undeniable and you can even spice it up a little by adding a flavored water enhancer to your glass.

4. Sleep More

The chances are you don’t get enough sleep. Perhaps you like to stay up late watching television or you just feel like you have too much going on to get your eight hours, but it is really is vital that you get regular decent amounts of sleep. Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc with your health, energy levels and even cause premature aging. Stay on top of your sleeping pattern by always trying to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. This may be tough at first but once you’ve got into the routine of a decent night’s sleep you should notice the health benefits in no time.

5. Cut Back on Alcohol

There’s no denying it, excessive alcohol intake isn’t good for you. A glass of wine now and then likely won’t do you any harm, but regular alcohol intake can cause serious health problems and a recent study has even shown that alcoholism can shorten your life more than smoking. This doesn’t mean you have to give up alcohol all together but for a healthier new year you may want to cut back on your alcohol intake if you tend to drink a bit more than you should. If you’re unsure of how much you drink weekly make a diary to see whether your intake is healthy or not. There’s likely no need to become stone sober, but try to cut back on where you can.

By incorporating these life changing yet simple healthy tips for the new year, you can become healthier, feel more energized and be more productive. If you keep an open mind and aren’t afraid to embrace change in the new year, you can do it all. Happy New Year!

SoulCycle : The Hip New Fitness Trend

The chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about the latest and hippest fitness trend of the moment, SoulCycle. This innovative stationary bike workout has become one of the most talked about new fitness workouts on both the East and West Coast.

So just what is SoulCycle? Well, it’s a 45 minute workout class that merges the traditional spinning class with upper body strengthening moves. At SoulCycle, each workout incorporates both lower and upper body exercises, allowing participants to get a full body workout. SoulCycle converts rave of how effective and fun these classes are. Top 40 pop tunes and feelgood classics are played throughout the workouts, and participants are often encouraged to sing and dance along to the music. Each class is led by a instructor whose motivating presence along with the inspirational quotes adorned on each SoulCycle studio’s wall add the “soul” element to these en vogue workouts.

SoulCycle is without a doubt one of the hippest fitness trends of the moment, but if you need further motivation for trying out one of their Los Angeles or NYC studios, here are 5 reasons why you might want to give a SoulCycle spinning class a try:

  • It’s Fun – At SoulCycle you can ditch your regular treadmill and weights routine for a fun and invigorating full body workout where you’re encouraged to let loose and be yourself. The instructors make it their duty to keep participants motivated, and encourage them to have as much fun as they can during their workouts.
  • It’s a Great Workout – You can burn as many as 700 calories during a SoulCycle class so you’re virtually guaranteed to feel the burn. A typical SoulCycle class will first focus on lower body, then upper body exercises such as handle bar pushups, weight lifting and ab twists followed by a cool down and stretching. While most typical spinning classes solely focus on working the lower body, you will likely leave a SoulCycle class feeling like you’re entire body has been put through its paces.
  • It Has the Celebrity Factor – Celebrities seem to absolutely love this fitness trend, with a plethora of celebs being avid classgoers. Katie Holmes, Kelly Ripa, Lena Dunham, Lady Gaga, Jake Gyllenhaal and Star Jones are all fans, and the celebrity list of SoulCycle devotees only seems to be growing. If you like to follow and stay up to date with latest celebrity fitness trends, this is definitely a class for you.
  • It Has Great Music – Where else can you get your sweat on while listening to a remix of Eminem’s greatest hits or the latest techno beats? The blasting, energizing music adds to SoulCycle’s charm and you never know – you may find yourself dancing and singing on your bike as you work it out.
  • Discounts are Available for First Classes – There’s no doubt about it, SoulCycle classes are on the pricey side, but a Soul Cycle discount is available for first time goers if the class is booked by calling the studio directly.

So what do you think? Are you raring to go to your first class or are you going to stick to your gym’s regular spinning class? SoulCycle doesn’t come cheap and it’s only currently available in the NYC region and Southern California, but the chances are a studio may be coming to your area before you know it. And if there so happens to be a studio near you, why not give it a try? You may even enjoy it!

What is Crossfit and Why is Everybody Doing it?

Cross Fit Gym

The chances are you’ve heard a lot about the CrossFit workout. This innovative and challenging workout has been rapidly increasing in popularity throughout America and has very much become a household name within the fitness community.

However, you’ve also probably heard a lot of mixed messages surrounding this trendy workout. Many avid CrossFitters claim it’s totally transformed their body and fitness abilities, while others claim that CrossFit is dangerous and an unhealthy way to workout. So just what is CrossFit? Why is it so popular and is it right for you? Read on to discover what to expect from a CrossFit workout and the most common pros and cons associated with this vigorous workout.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a workout program that was created by Greg Glassman in 2000. Workouts are typically short, and consist of a combination of high intensity aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. CrossFitters complete “Workouts of the Day” or “WODS” that usually consist of random combinations of sprinting, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting and carrying heavy objects such as dumbbells, gymnastic rings, kettlebells, medicine bells and barbells. These “WODS” can often be accessed through CrossFit’s official website, making them a popular choice for home fitness fans.

Hour long CrossFit sessions are also held throughout the nation, in 3400 affiliated gyms, also known by CrossFitters as “boxes.” These workouts usually consist of warm ups,  CrossFit workouts of the day and a cooling down session. CrossFitters often choose to attend these sessions rather than do home workouts because of the close knit sense of community they create. Classes are known to create a competitive yet encouraging atmosphere, where each student is encouraged to meet their full potential.

There’s no doubt that CrossFit is an intense workout that will lead to calories being burned and muscle gained but there are still many negatives associated with this type of fitness training.

Here’s a breakdown of the main pros and cons of CrossFit:

Pros of CrossFit

  •  It Works - The fact of the matter is, many thousands of CrossFitters have claimed to have shed the pounds and got into amazing shape through CrossFit. If you stick with this workout program, you’re likely to get your desired results.
  • It Emphasizes Healthy Eating – The CrossFit program heavily emphasizes healthy eating in addition to completing regular CrossFit workouts. The program particularly supports the Paleo Diet, which mainly consists of meat, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • It Emphasizes Team Spirit – CrossFit classes are renowned for creating a team-like atmosphere where everyone  encourages and praises one another. This can create a “we’re all in this together” attitude which can allow working out to seem a little more bearable.
  • It Gets Back to the Basics - CrossFit doesn’t require fancy machinery or clothing gear, it’s all about using traditional gym weights and equipment to strengthen your core and advance your fitness levels. This works particularly well for people who are looking for a no frills, get straight to it kind of workout.

CrossFit Cons:

  • It Can Be Dangerous – CrossFit workouts predominantly involve lifting very heavy objects, so the danger for accidents and muscle damage is always going to be there. Participants are also encouraged to workout to as an intense level as they can stand, which can result in over-extension and various injuries.
  • Lack of Training – One of the biggest criticisms CrossFit faces is that their certified class trainers have often only completed a two day training course, which many argue isn’t nearly enough training needed to lead a high intensity, weight resistant class such as CrossFit.
  • A One Size Fits All Approach – Whether you’re obese or underweight, you’ll likely be treated the same at CrossFit. The classes typically don’t adjust their exercises to each member but rather expect everyone to do the same exercises and with the same weights. For unfit or elderly members of CrossFit classes, this approach obviously has the potential for disaster.
  • Cult-Like Mentality – While some claim CrossFit is all about team work and team spirit, many others have  claimed it to be cult-like and cliquey. Some past CrossFitters have argued this can create an overly aggressive atmosphere, where everyone feels they must outdo one another.

Examples of a “WOD” or “Workout of the Day”

On any given day at a CrossFit gym you’ll be performing a work out of the day. The different exercise sequences seem to be mainly named after women’s names, like “Chelsea”, “Helen”, or “Karen”. So, what do these oddly named exercise routines include? Well, for example, the “Barbara” workout consists of 20 pull-ups, 3o push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 squats. You have to complete 5 rounds of this circuit. On the other hand, the “Grace” is 30 reps of a clean and jerk at 135 lbs.

Here is a video of what the “Grace” wod looks like,

Forming Your Decision

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you decide to join CrossFit or not. After weighing up the pros and cons, you could always try just one class on a trial basis before you sign up for an entire program. Whatever you decide to do, know that physical fitness is very important for your general health and longevity, so definitely make sure that you make it part of your everyday life. CrossFit may not be for you, but there’s a plethora of other workouts worth trying.