7 Things Japan Can Teach You About Living A Long, Healthy Life


7 Things Japan Can Teach You About Living A Long, Healthy Life

      Reblogged:From HuffingtonPost                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Japan, the land that gave us such treasures as HokusaiMothra and the delicious snack-stick known as Pocky , offers what may be the world’s best blueprint for a healthy life. Not only do Japanese men and women routinely rank at the top of lists detailing humanity’s longest and healthiest life spans, but, in the most recent World Health Organization study, Japanese women came in first with life expectancies of 87.0 years.

And it’s not all due to genes. We teamed up with Aetna to give a head-to-toe examination of all of the secrets of the Japanese lifestyle, from seaweed to mountain climbing to zen. So while you might never turn Japanese, you’ll be able to live more like them.


They value a seafood diet.fatty fish

The Japanese love them a good fish. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, Japanese seafood consumption was 55.7 kilograms per capita in the last year of data available. (The U.S. ate just 24.2 kilograms.) The numbers put Japan in the top six of seafood consumption among larger nations. So important is their fish diet that trade groups and bureaucrats promoted a band to combat declining consumption levels among Japanese youth.

(The theme song they came up with goes: “Fish Fish Fish. You get smart when you eat fish.”)

The biggest benefit of eating fish may be this: many people that eat it outlive their fish-phobic friends. The consumption of fish lowers the risk of death by heart disease by 36 percent. More astounding, older people who have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, largely due to their consumption of fatty fish, lived an average of 2.2 years longerthan those with lower levels. Diets heavy in fatty fishes are also proven to elevate mood and prevent certain types of cancer and inflammation.

Scientists recommend eating two servings of fatty fish, like tuna or salmon, each week. For best results, make sure you poach, grill or steam it.                                                                                                                                                              But they don’t forget about all the other bounty of the sea.

 seaweed

The U.N. reports that Japan consumes about 100,000 tons of seaweed per year. And they aren’t picky about type: The Japanese use over 20 species of the stuff in their cuisine. In fact, residents of Japan’s southernmost island of Okinawa, known for breeding centenarians,eat more seaweed than anywhere else in the world.

Okay, but is kelp actually good for you? All signs suggest it is — amazingly so. Seaweed packs between 2 and 9 grams of protein per cup, and some varieties deliver exponentially more potassium than a banana. It’s also the rare food to contain natural iodine — a useful thing for regulating thyroids. Additionally, Harvard researcherstheorize that seaweed’s ability to regulate estrogen and estriadollevels may explain the island nation’s significantly low rates of breast cancer. (They may also ease symptoms of PMS.)

If you don’t like the flavor, you have options. (See: seaweed pasta.) That being said, seaweed is so nutrient-dense it can have side effects.Limit your intake of certain varieties to two tablespoons per week. But don’t worry too much; your sushi rolls are still good to go.

They made singing a national pastime. 

lostintranslation
Visitors might be shocked at just how prevalent — as in, it’s everywhere– karaoke is in Japan. The numbers do a little to help demonstrate the size of the Japanese pastime: In 2010, the Japanese karaoke industryraked in over 10 billion dollars. (To put that in perspective, that same year its film industry took in a record high 2.66 billion dollars.) The largest karaoke chain, Big Echo, operates in 229 locations across the country.

Well, here’s some good news for all the singers out there: Karaoke is good for you. In a 2009 study of almost 20,000 men, researchers at the Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine and Osaka University found that moderate drinking with friends improves cardiovascular health. To quote the study’s author: “Singers use deep breathing, which is good for the nervous system. After singing, they usually receive applause. It is a good kind of social support, and helps in the face of adverse occasions or stressful events.”

So gather some friends, and belt out a few notes.


One word: fermentation.

miso
We’re not talking sake here (although there’s evidence that it might have some benefits when imbibed in moderation). No, Japanese cuisine is rich in fermented foods, from the colorful tsukemono, or pickled side dishes, that paint every meal to the ubiquitous soy sauce, of which the average Japanese consumes 1.8 gallons per year. Japanese staples like soy, miso and the not-for-newbies bean paste natto are all achieved through fermentation.

In Japanese fermentative processes, fungal agent koji acts as the world’s tiniest mama bird, partially digesting food before it reaches human mouths. Research suggests that fermentation not only eases digestion, but also strengthens the immune system — scientists notethat the vast majority of immune cells live in our guts.

You don’t need more than a few servings a week for a benefit. Add miso paste as a marinade to your dishes, and enjoy better health and the amazing flavor.


The Japanese go green. 

japanese forest shrine
You might think the entire archipelago is covered in vast cities, but it’s actually pretty green; portions of the country are temperaterainforests. Given its beauty, it’s not surprising that reverence for nature has rooted its way into Japanese culture.

The Japanese government cemented nature-loving as policy when itapproved the country’s 16th national holiday, Mountain Day, which celebrates exactly what you think it would. And Japanese octogenarians have set records for mountain climbing. (Yes, an 80-year old climbed Everest. Feel bad about sitting on the couch tonight.) Furthermore, the Japanese are pioneering forest therapy, which consists of recuperative jaunts to local green spaces.

Time spent in nature provides serious health benefits. Almost every organ in your body is a battery for Vitamin D, and not getting enough of the wonder-nutrient leads to cancer, autoimmune disorder and arthritis. Furthermore, research shows that time in nature improves cognitive and creative function by 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

So do what your Mom told you, and get some fresh air.


They have the best baths.

snow onsen
Bathtime is serious business in Japan. As anyone who has been to asentō or onsen (public baths and hot springs) can tell you, they are an extremely relaxing way to spend time. About 85 percent of Japanese end their day in a bath, and some 128 million bathers visited the country’s public baths during 2010. As early as the 17th century, Japanese medical texts were touting a hot soak as a way of warding off ailments.

As it turns out, they may have been onto something. Japanese scientists confirmed that a bath in mineral-laden water can treat rheumatism, skin disorders and neuralgia. And if, like us, you use bath time for your daily meditation, that has health benefits too: two-thirds of patients who meditate showed significant drops in blood pressure.


Japan always makes time for tea.
green tea
The tea ceremony is a gorgeously stylized ritual in a country full of them. The tradition, studied for years by practitioners, takes place in a small structure modeled to look like a hermit’s hut. The idea is to lead your mind away from the everyday of life.

Despite the specialized ritual, tea consumption is an integral part of the everyday Japanese lifestyle. This habit puts them in the top tentea-drinking nations — ahead of their bigger neighbor, China. Most tea consumed in Japan is green. In fact, without a qualifier, the word for “tea” in Japanese automatically means green.

Green tea is not only delicious (have you had green tea ice cream?), but also insanely beneficial. Studies have connected drinking green tea to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer and higher levels of cognitive function. And Japanese citizens who drank five cups of green tea per day had 26 percent lower mortality rates.

 

13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make


Diet and Nutrition

Diet and Nutrition (Photo credit: fantasyhealthball)

13 Weight Loss Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make

      Reblogged From:Yahoo Health                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Get this: 30% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken before February, according to a poll by the time management firm Franklin Covey. “People tend to fall off the weight-loss wagon so quickly because their goals are unrealistic,” says Toby Amidor, a registered dietitian based in New York City. “When people feel as though they’ve failed, they tend to throw in the towel for good instead of giving their resolution another shot.” Here, four of the nation’s top diet experts reveal common weight loss resolutions that almost always backfire.

“I want to lose 20 pounds”

“Dropping 20 pounds is a great long-term goal, but dieters tend to fall off track when they have such a lofty resolution,” says Amidor.

Revised resolution: Lose 1 pound per week
“Instead of taking on such a big task, focus on losing one pound a week by setting small diet and exercise goals,” suggests Amidor. “For example, resolve to pick skim dairy over whole and pledge to work out 30 minutes, three times a week. You’ll be surprised how small tweaks can result in major change.”

5 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail

“I’m going to try the ________ diet”

Fill in the blank with any fad diet and you’re doomed for failure. A typical diet-of-the-moment requires cutting out one or more major food groups, like fruits, grains, or meats. That’s simply unhealthy and can also prove overwhelming, says Amidor.

Revised resolution: Eat lean protein and veggies at every meal
A well-balanced and properly portioned eating plan that includes a variety of produce and lean meats (and the occasional sweet treat!) will always be the ticket to long-term weight loss, Amidor says.

“I’m going to stop eating at restaurants”

Nixing a night out with friends for the sake of your diet is no way to live, says Amidor. You’ll only wind up frustrated and will be more likely to fall off the wagon.

Revised resolution: Order smarter at restaurants
“Before dining out, have 10 almonds or an apple so you don’t arrive ravenous, and then start with a small salad,” suggests Amidor. In a 2004 study published in theJournal of the American Diet Association, Penn State researchers found that women who started a lunch with a salad consumed up to 12% fewer calories than those who skipped the first course. “Choose a light appetizer as your entree and have the bread basket removed,” says Amidor.

TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Commonly Broken New Years Resolutions

“I’m going to eat 900 calories a day until I lose the weight”

Sure, severely restricting your calorie intake will spur weight loss, but you’ll gain it all back as soon as you start eating normally again (not to mention that starving yourself is dangerous). “This is often the attitude of yo-yo dieters, who go from a size four to a 12 and back again, seemingly overnight,” says Amidor.

Revised resolution: Develop a healthy eating plan with an RD
If you’re unsure how to lose weight the healthy way, consider making an appointment with a dietitian. “Many RDs now take insurance, so don’t be afraid to ask if yours is accepted,” says Amidor. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a registered dietitian referral service that allows you to search a database of practitioners across the nation.

“I’m going on a juice cleanse”

After a holiday binge, a detox may seem like a good idea, “but an all-or-nothing approach to weight loss will ultimately fail,” says Lisa DeFazio,RD, a celebrity nutritionist based in Los Angeles.

Revised resolution: Do a mini-cleanse
Jumpstart your weight loss plan with a two-day, 1,200-calorie juice cleanse instead. “Replace breakfast and lunch with a fresh vegetable juice or a protein shake and eat a balanced dinner of whole grains, vegetables, and a lean protein like chicken or fish,” suggests DeFazio.

“I’m going vegetarian”

Losing weight requires burning more calories than you consume, but eliminating meat from your diet won’t necessarily cut your calorie intake. “Newbie vegetarians sometimes gain weight because they are unaware of the hidden calories in vegetarian go-tos like cheese and pasta,” warns DeFazio.

Revised resolution: Reduce your meat intake
“Lean animal proteins should take up no more than a quarter of your plate at each meal,” says DeFazio. Fill the rest of your dish with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to fuel weight loss. You could also try swapping some of your meat with vegetarian protein sources.

“I’m going to weigh myself every morning”

“Daily weigh-ins are not an accurate gauge of progress,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian based in New York City and founder of the F-Factor Diet. Water retention and hormones can mean as much as a two-pound swing in as little as a day. Plus, if your weight-loss plan involves strength training (and it should!), you may even gain weight from increased muscle weight while still losing fat and inches.

Revised resolution: Measure weight loss in inches, not pounds When you feel your pants getting looser as the weeks go by, you’ll know you’re slimming down, says Zuckerbrot.

“I’m quitting junk food”

“Cutting out indulgences may initially help you lose weight, but over time it will make you feel deprived and ultimately lead to bingeing,” warns Zuckerbrot.

Revised resolution: Follow the 80/20 rule
Many weight loss experts recommend making 80% of the calories you consume healthy, and saving the remaining 20% for what may otherwise be considered diet no-nos.

“I’m going to cut calories by skipping breakfast”

Research shows that foregoing a morning meal will put you on the fast track to weight gain, not loss. In a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, for example, participants who skipped breakfast were hungrier and more likely to indulge in fattening foods later in the day.

Revised resolution: Eat a protein-packed breakfast every morning
Eating a filling breakfast lessens the chances of bingeing on junk later in the day, says Zuckerbrot. “Pair lean proteins with high fiber, complex carbs—think a veggie omelet with a slice of whole-wheat toast or Greek yogurt with fruit and a tablespoon of nuts—to keep hunger at bay and ward off craving all day long.”

“I won’t eat after 9 pm”

“There is no rule of thumb on what time to stop eating,” says Zuckerbrot. “The body stores any calories that aren’t used for energy regardless of the time those calories are eaten.”

Revised resolution: Sleep at least 7 hours a night
People who skimp on sleep are more susceptible to weight gain, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published in the journal Sleep. Researchers believe that sleep-deprived people tend to consume more calories daily than those who get a full night’s rest.

“I’m going to get more exercise”

“This resolution isn’t specific enough to be successful,” says Jim White, a personal trainer and registered dietitian in Virginia Beach, Va.

Revised resolution: Commit to a set number of weekly workouts
Fitness newbies should start with one weekly workout that combines cardio and weight training, like a body sculpting class or a session with a trainer. After three weeks, build up to two weekly workouts, and over time aim for five workouts a week. Progressing slowly wards off injury and excessive soreness that may prevent or deter you from sticking to your exercise program.

“I’m going to do yoga four times a week”

While yoga is a valuable part of any fitness routine, it probably won’t help you lose much weight. “A typical hour-long session only burns about 200 calories,” notes White.

Revised resolution: Try a variety of workouts
In addition to yoga, include a variety of heart-pumping workouts like walking, weightlifting, cycling, or Zumba in your fitness program to accelerate weight loss, suggests White.

“I’m going to the gym for two hours every day”

Working out two hours a day is not only boring, but it can also cause injury in newbies who aren’t used to being physically active, warns White.

Revised resolution: Do efficient workouts
Trade in long sweat sessions for high intensity, 30-minute interval workouts—you won’t burn out as quickly and you’ll actually torch more calories than doing long, drawn-out workouts,” says White. Plus, researchers from the University of Western Australia found that interval training helps suppress post-workout appetite, further accelerating weight loss.

Happy Holiday’s


English: Two New Year's Resolutions postcards

English: Two New Year’s Resolutions postcards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well just wanted to give a little shout out to ALL my follower’s,  A Big Thank You to you all! I hope everyone had a great Holiday. Now that we’ve all gotten though Thanks Giving,and Christmas,or which ever Holidays you celebrate. Now it’s time to think about  the year ahead,for some maybe a fresh start,a new beginning,or maybe just something you would like to change about yourself,or your lifestyle,a bad habit you would like to break ect…. That’s right it’s time to make those New Year Resolutions! But think carefully before choosing and remember if you make a  New Years Resolution set realistic goals, be consistent ,persistent,stay focused and visualize yourself reaching those goals…   Well good luck and have a Great New Year! Oh don’t forget to check out my next post 13 weight loss resolutions you shouldn’t make..

4 Food Rules to Shrink and Soothe Your Belly for a 21-Day Tummy


4 Food Rules to Shrink and Soothe Your Belly for a 21-Day Tummy

 Reblogged: From Yahoo Health                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, this is a little awkward. But a few years ago, I began to notice that my digestion was becoming less regular. I had almost constant pain and bloating and had gained nearly ten pounds. Then I read the stats: From burps and groans to discomfort and moans, millions of Americans have similar tummy issues. So I did what any health journalist would: I researched the issue, and I asked my staff of editors at Reader’s Digest to help. We uncovered reams of pioneering studies and learned that the very foods that make your belly feel better are the same ones that make it flatter.

It’s a diet dream: an eating regimen that trims my tummy can also solve GI problems like heartburn and reflux, gas and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In a nutshell, we found that two keys for a slimmer, happier stomach: balance gut bacteria and lower inflammation. An unhealthy mix of gut bacteria can lead to constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and IBS. Inflammation can upset your stomach and pack on pounds if it becomes chronic.

I asked Kate Scarlata, a registered dietitian who specializes in digestive disorders, to help convert all of this new science into an eating plan, and I called it the 21-Day Tummy diet. If you follow it, you’ll enjoy plenty of foods that soothe your stomach (I call them Belly Buddies) and eliminate those that aggravate it (I call them Belly Bullies). To start, read up on the plan’s four main food rules:

Nutrition

1. Load up on magnesium-rich foods.

Deficiency in this key mineral is linked to obesity and inflammation. The 21-Day Tummy diet features delicious spinach, brown rice, and pumpkin seeds, among other whole foods, to boost your magnesium intake.

More: 7 Best Foods for Your Belly »

2. Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory fats.

Pair the MUFAs in foods like dark chocolate, olives and avocados that specifically target visceral belly fat with omega-3’s (found in foods like salmon and walnuts) that combat inflammation and the many diseases associated with it. You’ll protect yourself from heart disease, depression, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and, of course, gastrointestinal disorders and weight gain.

More: 7 Worst Foods for Your Belly »

3. Cut back on carb-dense foods.

This tip may change the way you look at “good carbs” and “bad carbs” forever. Carb-dense foods can alter the balance of our gut

flora, triggering inflammation. Foods are considered carb-dense if they have a high ratio of carb grams relative to their weight. A small potato, which many consider a bad carb, weighs 170 grams, but it’s mostly water; only about 23 percent of it is carbohydrate. A plain rice cake, by contrast, weighs only nine grams, but almost 80 percent of it is carbohydrate! To minimize carb-dense foods, the 21-Day Tummy diet cuts out sugar, refined carbs, and most grains. Instead, it adds carb-light, natural foods like bananas, potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. Lean proteins and healthy fats are also carb-light.

4. Steer clear of FODMAPs

Clear your system of FODMAPs, the rapidly fermentable carbs or sugars that can play an ugly role in your digestive system, causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Everything from the fructose in agave nectar to the lactose in milk can be fast food for the bacteria in your gut, which is bad news for those of us with sensitive stomachs. The 21-Day Tummy diet minimizes FODMAPs, then guides you through a test to see which ones you can tolerate after three weeks. To learn more about the plan and get the book, click here.

MORE FROM READER’S DIGEST

 

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Dancing Truck Driver Loses Over 100 Pounds


                                                                                                   Dancing Truck Driver Loses Over 100 Pounds

Truck driver loses 100 pounds with Zumba (John Drury)

 

Reblogged:From Yahoo.com

Dancing Truck Driver Loses Over 100 Pounds.Meet Big John Drury, a 43-year-old truck driver who has lost over 100 pounds through dancing. In 2011, the 400 lb Big John found himself having health problems after years of hard 70-hour work weeks driving trucks and eating greasy fast food on the road. But then, John discovered Zumba and eating right. Now he’s a svelte 290 lbs, and teaches his own weight loss dance classes! Check him out… http://screen.yahoo.com/dancing-truck-driver-loses-over-224015505.html 

 

Lighten Up 20 Tasty Healthy Recipes


Sorry I haven’t posted much lately,I been pretty busy so I thought I would give you all a little treat here is one of the many Ebooks I was given recently. I thought you all might like to check it out feel free to download a copy for yourself as my gift to you. I have a lot going on right now but I will try to post again soon. To get to this e-book just click the link below, after  you click on the link it will come up again so you will have to click the link again and it will bring up the Ebook. I just tried it myself to make sure it was working hope you enjoy these yummy treats.                                                                                                                                                              Lighten Up 20 Tasty Healthy Recipes for the New Year from Mr Food