Shaping Up With Wendy Tao

Wendy Tao, BSc.
WRITTEN BY  Wendy Tao, BSc.- 16 August 2012

Wendy Tao explains how to Shape Up by naturally lowering bad cholesterols.

High levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol signal a need for changes in lifestyle and diet. While HDL cholesterol should be above 40–50mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre of blood); your LDL cholesterol should be kept below 140mg/dL. Eating low cholesterol foods is important but additional factors need to be considered.

Increase:

  • Fibre Intake. Cholesterol is used (thus lowered) when you digest fibre-rich foods.
  • Garlic and Onions. These provide sulfur, B vitamins and flavonoids and promote lower cholesterol levels.
  • Antioxidant intake. Antioxidants prevent damage to artery walls where plaque forms.
  • Healthy fat intake. Essential fatty acids from fish or flax can improve heart health.
  • Exercise. Even small amounts of regular physical activity have great benefits for cholesterol levels.

Decrease:

  • Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates. They contribute to high “bad” cholesterol and lower “good” cholesterol levels.
  • Bad” fat intake, including trans fats, hydrogenated fats and rancid fats. These can damage and clog artery walls.
  • Smoking. It increases free radicals in the body, damaging cells and artery walls.
  • Weight. Fat cells contribute to cholesterol levels.

Fibre is Important

Fibre is any type of plant-component that the body cannot absorb or digest. While fibres supply no nutrients or calories, they perform many important biological functions.

There are two main types of fibre,

Soluble and Insoluble:

  • Soluble fibre dissolves partially in water and its components include pectin, mainly found in fruit such as apples, in vegetable, legumes and oat products.
  • Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water and its components include cellulose or lignin, the fibre mainly found in grains such as wheat and corn.

A high fibre diet offers many benefits:

  • Incorporating high-fibre foods into the diet may help lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Soluble fibre helps stabilize blood sugar levels by delaying stomach emptying ultimately slowing the rate of carbohydrate absorption, improving regulation of blood sugar and lowering insulin requirements.
  • The water-holding capacity of fibre relieves constipation by adding bulk to stool and speeding its transit through the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Fibre increases satiety (the feeling of fullness) by adding bulk to foods without additional calories.

Increase your intake of dietary fibre

  • Choose whole grains foods such as whole grain breads, pasta and rice
  • Choose whole grain cereals for breakfast
  • Consume whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices
  • Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars
  • Add ground flax seed, chia seeds to cereals, yogurt and baked goods
  • When increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, do so slowly, because large, sudden increases can cause discomfort, gas, and bloating. It is also important to drink more water when you increase fibre intake.

Image Source: Profilaxis

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Cooking with Bok Choy - Webber Naturals

WRITTEN BY  Ana Patrícia- 16 September 2011

Yesterday, Webber Naturals' mystery ingredient was bok choy! Now we're cooking it.

Full of good nutrients, super low in calories and tasty, bok choy is an easy and delic

ious way to break up your vegetable routine. We've got two recipes for you: one hot and one cold!

Yum! Chinese cabbage! I love Chinese food. But I don't love the Monosodium Glutamate, better known as MSG. So today I'm on a mission to get those delicious Chinese flavours with a highly nutritious twist. Let's ditch the MSG and munch up the phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins A, K, B-complex and C of bok choy!

Today's first recipe comes from the Steamy Kitchen's, award-winning food blogger, television chef and food columnist, Jaden Hair.

Bok Choy Stir Fry

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds bok choy or baby bok choy

1 1/2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or peanut oil

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons broth or water (or 2 tablespoons broth/water + 1 tablespoon wine)

salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

1. Start by trimming the stem off - don't trim too much - just the end. Cutting the thick stem off will ensure that the bok choy cooks evenly. Separate out the leaves, keep the tender

center intact and clean under running water. Drain.

2. Finely mince garlic and grate fresh ginger with a micropla

ne grater. Grating the ginger helps break up the tough fibers! (and yeah, sometimes when the ginger is nice and fresh, I don't even bother peeling off the paper-thin skin)

3. Place wok or frying pan on your stove and pour in the cooking oil. Add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let the ginger and garlic gently sizzle in the oil. When the aromatics become fragrant and light golden brown, add the bok choy leaves. Toss very

well to coat each leaf with the garlicky, gingery oil for 15 seconds. Pour in broth, water or wine. Immediately cover and let cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and drizzle a bit of sesame oil on top.

Want to know more about cooking with bok choy and cooking with a wok? Jaden Hair dishes her know-how at the Steamy Kitchen.

Because it's Friday, and I'm feeling extra generous, I'm going to share another recipe with you. Our family friend, Carissa Siy, has an alternative way to using bok choy that doesn't require any cooking and will definitely mix up your salad rut. We've put this recipe to the test at home and it turned out great!

Crunchy Bok Choy Salad:

8 stalks bok choy

1 green onion

6 tomatoes

1/4 red onion

Toasted: dried instant noodles and almond slivers

Chop veggies. Layer ingredients, top with almonds and noodles.

Dressing:

White sugar 1/2 cup less 3 tbsp

1/4c apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp soy sauce or braggs seasoning

1/2 veggie oil

Dash of sesame oil

Mix and enjoy!!! Oh! And have a great weekend everyone. 

Images courtesty of the Steamy Kitchen.

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Eating Your Way to Healthy Skin - Webber Naturals

WRITTEN BY  Ana Patrícia- 02 September 2011

Looking to get that flawless celebrity, fashion magazine, airbrushed skin? Webber Naturals reveals what you can eat to get that picture perfect epidermis!

So, we've revealed how Vampire Diaries star, Nina Dovrev gets her flawless complexion. Now we're talking super smooth skin food!

The beautiful Nina Dobrev has perfect skin and it's not layers of makeup, airbrushing or photoshop doctoring. What's her secret?  Exercise (lots of hot yoga) and healthy eating.

Nutrition is the answer to everything it seems. Need more energy in the morning? Eat your breakfast. Are your muscles cramping? Try eating a banana and drink more water. Want to lower your cholesterol? Get more fibre in your diet... You get the idea.

With school about to start, I noticed my skin wasn't as clear as usual. The stress of knowing I will soon be stressed maybe?! Well I plan to fix that by eating more vegetables. It's the season to be extra vigilant when it comes nutrition; the weather is changing, school is starting, traffic stress may be increasing. Good nutrition will keep you healthy and that will shine through in your flawless skin. Healthy on the inside, means healthy on the outside!

The Chicago Tribune has a great slideshow of the super veggies that will keep your skin looking like Nina's and will help protect against infection.

Image sources: Fanpop and Coupon Time.

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