Ketogenic Diet: Is this a Healthy Diet to Lose Weight Effectively?

If you have been looking for different diets which are effective and trending now, you probably have heard about ketogenic diet as well. It has its share of the positive and negative media from both critics and practitioners. Well, to shed light if ketogenic diet really is for you, you might want to read on.

What is Ketogenic Diet?

There are different names for ketogenic diet. You might have heard from a friend mentioning keto, low carb, LCHF (low-carb-high-fat) and a lot more. Bottomline, it is famously known as “keto” diet. Why the name? It’s because of the natural process of the body: KETOSIS. This process happens when the body has low food intake and the body tries to cope with what’s happening to it.

Did you know?

The body stores fat because glucose is the first to be converted into energy. Glucose is produced when you eat foods which are high in carbohydrates. So, during ketosis, your body produces ketones. Being in ketogenic diet forces your body to be in this metabolic state.

In other words, while your body is in ketogenic diet you will lose weight.

Benefits of Ketogenic Diet

At first, keto diet can be energy consuming but the body knows how to adapt and once it has adapted to your regular routine in food intake, you will benefit from it. Below are just some benefits of ketogenic diet:

  1. Lose weight – This is going to be very obvious. Your insulin, which is fat storing hormones, level drops. The effect of this is that your body will burn fat!
  2. Increased Focus – When ketones are produced, it also helps the brain function better. Low carb intake means lesser chances of spikes in blood sugar. The result of this is improved concentration and focus.
  3. Increased Energy – So, your energy source is not just glucose, fats are burned instead. Fats are more effective molecule to burn. The science behind ketosis concludes that you feel “full” much longer and lessens your cravings to eat in between meals.
  4. Improve Blood Pressure – Many studies show that low carb diet reduces blood pressure. To know more, you might want to check out this article on the impact of ketogenic diet on cholesterol levels.
  5. Improve Skin Health – Another benefit is an improvement of overall skin health. Studies from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) show that skin inflammation and acne can be reduced with ketogenic diet. To check out facts you might want to read this conclusion from NCBI.
  6. Control Blood Sugar – The type of foods that you eat during ketogenic diet is naturally low in sugar. Studies show that keto diet is an effective way to manage diabetes or even prevent it.

So, if you are on the borderline of being diabetic or already a Type II diabetic, ketogenic diet might be the diet you are looking for.

What to Eat and Not to Eat

The idea is simple! You simply avoid most carbohydrates. Instead, you eat meat, fish, eggs, and natural fats! The key to a successful ketogenic diet is planning ahead! You should have a realistic diet plan.

The goal is to be in a ketogenic state as fast as you can. This means that the more restrictive you are of carb intake, the faster your body will go into ketosis. So, here are the foods that you should eat and should not eat:

Try These Simple MEAL PLANS

You may want to try these options for your first few days of the ketogenic diet. Dr. Axe recommends these food groups:

  • Breakfast: Whole milk, yogurt (unsweetened), raspberries, with two eggs; or mushroom, feta omelet, spinach and keto coffee.
  • Lunch: Oven-baked salmon with broccoli; or bacon, avocado, cheese and grape tomatoes.
  • Dinner: Romaine lettuce with Caesar salad dressing, chicken, and bacon; or ground beef with onions and low carb tomato sauce; another option is grilled chicken with eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes.

You can also take snacks!

  • For Snacks: You can mix up turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Here’s a healthy Kale Avocado BLT Salad with complete ingredients and directions for preparation as recommended by Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN
Are There Side Effects?

Take note: You might experience some side effects which are common to people who are just starting keto. Some include cramps, constipation, heart palpitations, indigestion and keto rash. Before you start on this diet you might want to consult a doctor especially if you are diabetic.

On a Final Note

There is no need to count calories but track your progress, especially in the first 2 weeks. Be strict with your intake in the first month so that you will know if keto diet is actually working for you. Water is the best electrolyte supplement. Drink water to avoid dehydration.

Good luck with your keto diet!

Varicose Veins: How R.I.C.E. Can Help Take the Load Off Your Legs

Varicose veins usually appear because of improper functioning valves within the veins.

If you think you are not abusing your legs, think again. One day, suddenly,  you might see those small blue veins getting bigger and bigger just like a “toddler needing too much attention.” Before they do, take the load off your legs with these simple tips which only takes 5-15 minutes of your day.

But before we go there, let’s try to cover few things you need to know about varicose veins.

What are varicose veins?

These swollen veins are usually found in the legs and feet and can show through paler to medium skin and even start bulging and getting lumpy.

Other symptoms are a pain in the legs, that can start feeling uncomfortable and heavy, cramps and swelling in the ankles, especially at night, also, the skin can get tight and itchy. All this, of course, gets worse in warm weather, or if your work or routine requires you to be standing for extended periods.

Why does this happen?

It’s about circulation. Blood has to move efficiently throughout the body. When circulation gets impeded for one reason or another, varicose veins can appear.

Our veins’ blood flow can be slowed down or made problematic by a failure of the one-way valves in our veins and prevent blood to be carried back towards the heart. This is especially true when the veins start losing their elasticity, weakening the valves and keeping them from working correctly, so the blood starts pooling in specific areas. And before you know it, BOOM! Varicose Veins!

Some other factors increase the likelihood of you getting varicose veins:
  • age (veins lose elasticity over time),
  • obesity (extra pressure on veins),
  • pregnancy (because of the extra weight you are carrying)
  • having a history of varicose veins in the family and
  • standing or sitting for long periods (at work or traveling)

On average women are more prone to having varicose veins because of hormones that can relax the vein walls, leading to the valve problems that cause varicose veins.

The good news is that varicose veins, as long as they’re relatively mild, don’t necessarily require a visit to the doctor. However, this does not mean that they should be ignored and it is always a good idea to consult your physician as soon as you have any of the symptoms. Treatment is within reach, and there are some options. Dr. Axe, for example, in one of his videos talks about different natural remedies for varicose veins.

So, let’s get to the point! What can we do to avoid getting, or even reduce varicose veins?

The answer is RICE! Yes! You read it right: R-I-C-E!

What is this RICE thing? It’s Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
REST.

Rest well! Whatever your lifestyle, you need all the rest you can get. How much do you really need? Very hard to tell, it depends on several factors, but if you are a hard worker, you need a good amount of rest.

The same goes for your legs. If you walk to work, are pregnant or obese, your legs work twice as hard for you, factor in gravity, and your legs take all the load. You can wonder if living on the moon can cure varicose veins, but here on planet Earth, resting your legs decreases the risk of you getting varicose veins.

ICE.

For women who wear high heels at work, you will need to ice your achy legs from time to time. There is no need to do this daily though, especially if you don’t have time. You can do it every time you feel that your legs are throbbing or after a really, really tiring day. Assuming that you are still awake to put ice on your legs 🙂

How to Ice your Varicose Veins: Simply soak a towel into an iced water bucket and apply the towel over the veins for 5-7 minutes. Do not exceed 10 minutes or put ice directly on the skin. You may also want to take a cold shower after this treatment.

COMPRESSION.

You can skip to minute 1:58 of Dr. Axe’s video as he talks about how compression is an excellent solution for varicose veins. Cotton compression socks are best though because they are hypoallergenic and the fabric is much more comfortable compared to other synthetic compression socks or calf compression sleeves.

Even better, cotton compression socks can be worn any time of the day and they remain comfortable even after many hours. So, while working, doing your household chores and standing for long periods of time, compression socks squeeze your lower legs helping the blood flow better on your veins. To know more about the best cotton compression socks in the market: click here.

ELEVATION.

This time, if your boss catches you putting your legs on the desk, you can reply: “I need to elevate them for my varicose veins treatment,” or, in case you do not want to risk your post, you can do this at home after work.

Elevating your legs literally takes the load off your legs. As we have said earlier, gravity takes a toll in your legs.

How to do it right? Get that remote, turn on the TV to your favorite soap and elevate your feet a little bit higher than 3 o’clock… and RELAX! Just make sure that you relax.

So, before your varicose veins become “tarantula veins” or look like the plan to a subway station; consider RICE and get the relief that you need.

 

5 Easy to Find Natural Home Remedies for Edema

Did you know that there are natural ways to get rid of swelling feet and legs which are easy to find and are probably in your kitchen? Well, to know which ones are effective home remedies for edema read on.

Edema (or Oedema) is the accumulation of fluid in the body tissues which lead to swelling. Most cases of edema occur in the ankles, legs, feet, and hand. It’s sad to note that there are actually millions of Americans affected by edema which greatly affects their lifestyle.

Symptoms
  • Swelling
  • Puffiness
  • Stretched skin
  • Dimpling of skin after putting pressure for a couple of seconds

Cases of edema can be mild and can be the result of sitting for long hours, high salt intake, insect bites, premenstrual syndrome and pregnancy. Sometimes causes can be due to medication like steroids, estrogen, high blood medications and the like. But there are more serious cases which are due to hypertension, kidney problems, excessive drinking, and smoking or even a sedentary lifestyle.

Although edema is not really the major problem but only a symptom of another condition, consulting a doctor is always best.

Nonetheless, here are some EASY to find Natural Home Remedies for Edema:
1. Parsley

This is known to help reduce swelling and the pain it causes, due to helping the body get rid of excess fluids, as well as preventing the reabsorption of both sodium and potassium. One way this happens is through the diuretic effects of parsley. Parsley also offers a great amount of vitamins A and C and herbal fiber. You can take this daily, as a sort of tea — boil one teaspoon of dried parsley in two cups of water, then strain. Take this parsley tea before breakfast. It is one of the best home remedies for edema.

2. Epsom Salts

These have always been popular, but many don’t realize they’re good for edema too. Epsom salts can be used for a bath to soak in, in order to help reduce swelling and the accompanying pain. On top of all that, an Epsom salt bath can help loosen the joints and relax the muscles, which will contribute to reduced pain. Two cups mixed in bathwater will give you enough to soak in for 10-15 minutes. Do this up to thrice a week.

“an Epsom salt bath can help loosen the joints and relax the muscles”

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Part of relieving edema is keeping your potassium levels solid, and that’s where potassium-rich apple cider vinegar comes in. This is a powerful anti-inflammatory that many chefs and trainers swear by. You can take this as a drink twice daily — just dilute 1-2 teaspoons of unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Alternatively, an external application could also lend some relief. Soak a towel in an equal mix of water and apple cider vinegar, and wrap the towel around the affected area.

4. Tea tree oil

It does more than smell good, absolutely. It’s a helpful anti-inflammatory and has analgesic properties that can help get swelling down and thus reduce pain as well. This works quite well for edema arising from insect bites. Simply swab a small amount on with a cotton swab, then leave for a few minutes and then rinse off. You can also add a few drops to massage oil and use it to massage the area affected by mild edema.

5. Dandelion

It’s also an herb and a great one — who knew? It’s a natural diuretic that helps the body drain fluid. The potassium it has a lot of will also help even out the amount of sodium in your body, which will then let the swelling go down. Simply mix a teaspoon of dried dandelion leaves (fresh works too) in hot water and let steep as a tea for up to 7 minutes. Strain and drink — up to 3 cups a day will help you out.

*** More information is available at draxe.com and one video that talks about this are here.

Of course, to help these along, it might be a good idea to keep some expert advice in mind.

Lessen Salt Intake

Lifestyle change is definitely to be considered to make the home remedies for edema more effective. Edema can come about because of a high-sodium diet, or an otherwise high level of sodium in your diet. Reducing your salt intake (and also keeping a close eye on your hydration levels) can help your body avoid the many possible consequences of a high sodium level, which includes edema.

Massage

One vital thing to make sure of when affected by edema is to keep up your circulation. One way to do this is through massage. Look for a trained therapist, or learn the basics yourself, and massage the affected area in order to get circulation back on track. Problematic or outright poor circulation can compound the swelling problems as blood can linger in the affected veins, which are already having trouble keeping the blood flowing because of the inflammation in the area. Consider using massage in tandem with the tea tree massage oil.

Compression Socks

Compression has traditionally been known to keep circulation moving at a healthy level, and as such it makes sense to give them a try to help relieve edema. The swelling and puffiness that edema brings on might be quite uncomfortable, and compression keeps the enclosed body

parts tightly bound and protected. This can help reduce the discomfort while maintaining an improved level of circulation that may also help reduce the swelling as time passes.

Cotton compression socks are the best choice for compression garments for edema because cotton is naturally breathable and comfortable to wear compared to other synthetic compression garments. It is also the best option for sensitive skin. To know more about cotton compression socks, click here.