20 Superfoods to Eat Now20 Superfoods to Eat Now

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

20 Superfoods to Eat Now

There is no approved definition for what qualifies as a superfood, but health professionals agree that these foods provide a high level of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (natural, disease-fighting chemicals). Here are a few delicious superfoods to start eating now!

Apples: Apples contain soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol levels, and insoluble fiber for a healthy digestive system. This fruit is also a source of the antioxidant quercetin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Almonds: These nuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They are also a source for the trace minerals manganese and copper, which are essential for energy production.

Avocados: Avocados contain 5 different types of anti-inflammatory nutrients. They are also rich in the carotenoids that we often only associate with orange vegetables.

Barley: The dietary fiber in hulled barley supports healthy bacteria in the intestine. It also contains selenium, a powerful antioxidant for the prevention of cancer and heart disease.

Beets: The betalins in beets are phytonutrients known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties.

Black Beans: Three different antioxidants, called anthocyanins, give black beans their dark color. These beans also contain kaempferol, another antioxidant that reduces the risk for heart disease and cancer.

Blueberries: Ranked as one of the top food sources for antioxidants. Research shows blueberries contain at least 15 beneficial phytonutrients.

Cinnamon: The essential oils in cinnamon bark have been found to reduce inflammation and help with controlling blood sugar. These oils are also anti-microbial, preventing the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

Garlic: Sulfur compounds in garlic can reduce the oxidative stress that leads to blood vessel damage. These compounds have also been found to reduce triglycerides, total cholesterol levels, and blood pressure.

Kale: Researchers have identified over 45 flavonoids (a type of phytonutrient) in kale. As a result, kale has been found to reduce the risk of over 5 types of cancer, and it supports the body’s natural detox system.

Lentils: Lentils are a good source of folate and magnesium, which help to promote heart health. They are also loaded with fiber.

Oranges: Citrus fruits contain vitamin C, but oranges also contain the phytonutrient herperidin that may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, oranges contain limonoids, which have been shown to protect against 6 types of cancer.

Red Cabbage: Cabbage contains a compound called sinigrin that has been linked to the prevention of bladder, colon, and prostate cancers. Red cabbage has added benefit due to the presence of anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants that protect against heart disease and cancer.

Sauerkraut: Fermented foods such as sauerkraut contain probiotics (live organisms in food and supplements that benefit health). Probiotics are associated with improved digestion and intestinal health. Sauerkraut is also full of vitamins that may help prevent infection.

Spinach: Researchers have identified over 12 flavonoids in spinach that are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. This leafy green is also packed with the antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, and manganese.

Sweet Potatoes: Orange-flesh sweet potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and purple-flesh sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant anthocyanin. Research shows that sweet potatoes help with blood sugar regulation.

Tomatoes: The numerous phytonutrients in tomatoes are associated with decreased total cholesterol, decreased LDL-cholesterol, decreased triglycerides, and a reduced risk of cancer. More recently, the antioxidant, lycopene, has been linked to improved bone health.

Turmeric: Found in curry powders and yellow mustard, turmeric contains curcumin, which has been found to be as effective for reducing inflammation as some over-the-counter medications.

Walnuts: They are well-known as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, but walnuts also contain phytonutrients that are rarely found in other foods. Walnuts have been found to protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

Yogurt: Like sauerkraut, yogurt is a fermented food. Yogurts that contain live and active cultures act as probiotics, which may improve intestinal problems such as lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.

How to Naturally Increase Your MetabolismHow to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

How to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

Understanding metabolism

Put simply, the resting metabolic rate (RMR) represents how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest. It is the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning. People with low resting metabolic rates find it more difficult to lose weight because their bodies require fewer calories than normal to function. Any extra energy is stored as fat.

Fitness centers often have the resources to test RMR, but you will get more accurate results from tests conducted by universities or research centers that have exercise physiology labs.

How to decrease your metabolism

Although most people would prefer a faster metabolism, many dieters actually make changes that decrease their metabolic rate. They do this by severely restricting their caloric intake. The body responds as if there is a famine and uses less energy. As a result, they hit a plateau and stop losing weight.

How to increase your metabolism

The key is to minimize your calorie deficit. This means slowing down your weight loss, or even maintaining your weight, for the next month or two. Don't dismay. This doesn't mean that big things aren't happening. The goal during this time is to improve your body composition through exercise, and to reset your metabolism. Your body needs to trust that there is food coming, and that you're going to meet its energy needs through food intake. Once this trust has been established, you can start a small deficit of 500 calories per day, which translates to a weight loss of 1 pound a week.

When you feel true hunger signals, you should eat. Your body is telling you that it needs energy, so trust those internal cues. This can be difficult after years of ignoring those signals, and denying yourself foods when fad dieting. Consciously work on recognizing these innate cues. Don’t skip meals. Instead, spread your food intake throughout the day by incorporating snacks.


Exercise gives your metabolism a slight boost through a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). After exercise, your body works to return to its equilibrium. This takes energy.

Slowly work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most days of the week. Increase general activity throughout the day with short walks, housework, gardening, and by taking the stairs. Incorporate strength training at least twice a week - this is imperative for rebuilding the muscle mass that was depleted during past dieting.

MyFoodDiary can guide you

MyFoodDiary is designed to help you lose weight the right way. We encourage gradual weight loss over time through a moderate calorie deficit, increased activity, and developing a healthy relationship with food. Unlike crash diets, we hope to help you achieve a healthier body and a faster metabolism, along with your desired weight loss.

Learn about MyFoodDiary

Mushroom Marinara Sandwiches RecipeMushroom Marinara Sandwiches

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Mushroom Marinara Sandwiches Recipe

Research shows that mushrooms contain specific dietary fibers that are associated with lowering cholesterol while also providing protein and vitamins. Exotic varieties tend to get the attention for their nutrients, but white button mushrooms provide many of the same health benefits. Adding mushrooms to a hearty sandwich like this one is a nutritious way to lighten up a recipe and still get the filling meal you crave.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 sandwich
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.7g
7%Saturated Fat 1.4g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 416mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.6g
Dietary Fiber 6.9g
Sugars 10.4g
Protein 9.9g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste, without salt
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 16 to 18 white button mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 4 whole wheat sandwich buns
  • ½ cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high, and then add the garlic and onions. Cook about 2 minutes.
  2. Next add the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, basil, and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes and onions are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add the mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes, just until the mushrooms begin to darken and shrink. Stir in the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat your broiler to high and broil the sandwich buns cut-side up on a baking sheet. Remove after 1 to 2 minutes when they are slightly browned. Remove the top portion of the buns from the baking sheet and set aside.
  5. Top each bottom bun with about ¾ cup of the mushroom mixture and then top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
  6. Remove from the oven, transfer the bottom bun to a plate. Place the top portion of the bun on the sandwich and serve warm.

Quick Circuit Training Exercise at HomeQuick Circuit Training Exercise at Home

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Quick Circuit Training Exercise at Home

You don't need a gym or even a full hour to get in a good workout. The more intense the workout, the more calories burned, so even quick circuit training exercises at home can help you reach your goals.

Create a Home Circuit

A home circuit is a great way to challenge yourself in 20 to 30 minutes. A circuit simply consists of strength training exercises mixed with cardio segments. These exercises should include a range of upper and lower body exercises and should challenge your cardiovascular system, resulting in a complete full body workout. Get creative and imaginative in setting up your exercises. Anything from jumping on the kids' trampoline to doing lunges in the living room will work. It all depends on the space and equipment you have available.

The amount of time for each segment should last from 45 to 90 seconds. Depending on the number of segments, you can complete each exercise once or rotate through the circuit two or three times. For example, if you select 10 exercises and do each for 60 seconds, one circuit will take 10 minutes. Do 3 circuits and you’ll complete a 30 minute workout.

Exercises for Your Circuit

The key to effective circuit training is to keep your heart rate elevated. Move from one exercise to the next without any rest in between. The strength training segments will allow your heart rate to recover between cardio segments, but remember the shorter you want your workout to be, the more challenging you need to make it. However, don’t overdo it by going beyond an intensity that is safe for your fitness level. Exercise at the upper end of your safe intensity range.

Sample Circuit Workout

Warm-up: March in place, walk, or step up and down on a stair for 3 minutes.


Jump rope

Alternating forward lunges

Knee lifts


Jumping jacks

Alternating side lunges

Jab-Cross boxing combination

Abdominal crunches


Step-ups (on a stable chair or bench)

Cool down: March in place or take a slow walk around the room for 3 minutes.

Perform each segment for 60 seconds. Complete 2 circuits.

Warm up + 2 circuits + Cool down = 26 minute workout

According to the MyFoodDiary Exercise Log, a 150 lb female will burn 242 calories during this sample circuit workout.

Childhood Obesity: 5 Tips for ParentsChildhood Obesity: 5 Tips for Parents

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Childhood Obesity: Tips for Parents

As a parent, you play the leading role in how your children relate to food and exercise. The following 5 tips will help you steer your children towards happy, healthy lifestyles.

Avoid negativity

Make sure that you are not revealing negative comments about yourself in front of your daughter or son. Many individuals who struggle with weight issues have a less than ideal body image and often repeat negative self-talk out loud. Standing in front of the mirror and saying that you hate something about your body will teach your children how they should think and feel about their bodies. Focus on positive attributes that you're proud of, both in yourself and in your children.

Be physically active

Integrate healthy activity into your day without making it feel like a chore. Children naturally like to run and play. Make an effort to play outside together on a daily basis. Go on treasure hunts for nature items around the neighborhood, ride bikes to the park, swim, and play freeze tag. Never bring up burning calories or exercising to lose weight. Instead, mention how good it feels to move your body, and have fun.

Learn what you should and shouldn’t control

Ellyn Satter, an author and expert on child feeding, has said parents should be responsible for the type of food that is presented to the child, and when and where it is offered. Children are responsible for whether or not they choose to eat it, and how much. Offering structured, healthy meals and snacks in a peaceful environment is ideal. Forcing your child to eat them is not. The goal is to develop an internal sense of conscious eating in your child.

Avoid the "good food, bad food" trap

Offer a large variety of food. Center your family’s eating habits on healthy items, but include treats and favorite foods in moderation. You are one of your children’s most important role models. By sitting down and enjoying a satisfying and nutritious meal together, you are shaping eating preferences in a positive way.

Don’t focus on weight loss

The goal for overweight children is to reduce weight gain as he or she grows and develops. If you feel your children need to lose weight, consult your doctor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that children and teens should not be put on a weight loss regimen without the consultation and supervision of a healthcare professional.

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