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Forever Young Naturally Eating
11. Natural Nutrition Cut down on calories
If you are carrying excess weight and it won’t budge, it may be because you now need fewer calories. Over 50s who aren’t active need 200 fewer calories per day than those who lead a very physically active life. Adjust your diet to accommodate your slowing metabolism, for example, by reducing portion size rather than by cutting out foods.
12. Natural Nutrition Appetite adaptations
As you age, you may find you can’t tolerate large portions. Increase the amount of exercise you get to boost appetite: aim for 30 minutes a day. Make sure that what you do eat contains plenty of protein, vitamins, and minerals, since these nutritional needs don’t decline with the years.
13. Natural Nutrition Find more folate
Older people with low levels of folate have noticeably more memory problems than those whose diet is rich in this plant nutrient, according to one study. To keep mind and memory sharp, make sure you eat some folate-rich, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruit every day.
14. Natural Nutrition Choosing good carbs
Good carbohydrates are unrefined, rich in nutrients and fiber, high in flavor, and keep you feeling satisfied for hours. Aim for six servings a day if you are not very active; up to nine if you do more exercise. Choose brown and wild rices, oats, seeded wholemeal loaves, wholewheat pasta. Even a homebaked cake such as lemon cake made with polenta and pistachios supplies good carbs. If you’re used to fresh home-cooked food, bad carbs are obvious because they don’t taste good: chewy white bread, soggy processed quiche and pizza bases, sugary breakfast cereals, cake that never goes off. Avoid them altogether.
15. Natural Nutrition Potato pleasures
Women who eat fries twice a week increase their risk of contracting type-2 diabetes, a major disease affecting people post middle age, according to one study. Opt instead for organic potatoes baked, boiled in their skins or mashed with garlic and olive oil. Alternatively, try flavorful sweet potatoes.
16. Natural Nutrition Eat whole grains
Fiber-rich whole grains are a particularly good food choice as we age. In one study, people over 60 who ate the most whole grains were less likely to suffer metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms implicated in heart disease and diabetes. They were slimmer, too. Whole grains are also rich in B vitamins and magnesium. Brown rice, for example, contains double the magnesium of white rice. A magnesium-rich diet is also essential for bone density. Choose organic to avoid pesticide residue.
17. Natural Nutrition Try ancient grains
Give unusual grains space in your diet: try baking with spelt flour, making salads using quinoa, and planning breakfast around oats. Many nutritionists feel these overlooked grains are particularly well adapted to the human digestive system.
18. Natural Nutrition Source good bread
Home-baked bread warm from the oven is a foodie’s ultimate everyday treat, dunked in a little pungent olive or nut oil or spread with a little good butter. Try to wean yourself off supermarket bakeries and additive-loaded sliced loaves.Search for an artisan baker who sells bread that goes hard after a day (a good freshness test). Check out sour-dough loaves, rye breads, mixes with grains and seeds, and Middle Eastern flat breads. When you have time, buy fresh once or twice a day, as is traditional in France. Or bake your own overnight in a bread machine.
19. Natural Nutrition Fat facts
Make sure your fat intake comes mostly from oily fish, avocados, walnuts and other nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, and flaxseed oil. Dietary fat is essential with age, especially if you have a small appetite or are frail. It speeds absorption of fatsoluble vitamins and carotenoids, offers energy and essential fatty acids, brings flavor, especially in meat, and reduces inflammation in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Monounsaturated fats boost the health of the arteries and heart by increasing “good” and reducing “bad” cholesterol. They also decrease risk of breast cancer, according to a Swedish study. “Trans” fats are oils that have been hydrogenated to extend shelf-life. They have no nutritional benefits, increase risk of coronary heart disease, and have also been linked with cancer and skin disease. They are found only in processed foods, and aren’t always labeled, so avoid them by avoiding processed foods.
20. Natural Nutrition Eat butter
Go to the refrigerator now and throw away low-fat spreads and margarine. They taste nasty and are packed with additives you should avoid. Substitute organic butter—look for local farmhouse butter, which has a distinct crumbly texture. Use only a scraping if you are worried about the health risks of saturated fat, or drizzle on extravirgin olive oil instead.
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