Uncovering the Truth about Healthy Snacks like Nuts

The majority of people out there looking to make healthy changes in their lives are going to be swapping of potato chips as their favorite snack and instead replacing it with a variety of nuts, mostly because they’ve been told that this is the healthy choice and a great way to speed up their body transformation results.

The only problem is that nuts may not be quite as healthy a choice as most people make them out to be.

Loaded with all kinds of calories and plenty of fat (and almost always roasted in less than ideal oils and then covered insult), we’re talking about a healthy snack that really only looks healthy – and maybe anything but!

Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the truth behind this “healthy snack” to determine whether or not it is the right choice for you going forward.

healthy snacks 1

Just how healthy are pistachios?

Pistachios are probably the best healthy nuts snack for those that want to lower their cholesterol. Absolutely loaded with phytosterols (compounds known to help lower levels of LDL in the human body) , pistachios are also rich in lutein – a chemical compound that is closely linked to improvements in eyesight (especially in those that are getting up there in years).

What about walnuts?

If you are having difficulty getting a solid eight hours of consistent sleep every single night you may want to eat a handful of walnuts – but no more – to visit The Sand Man a little bit faster every evening.

Walnuts are fantastic source of melatonin (a hormone that works to regulate sleep cycles), and when you consume a handful of these notes you’ll also be able to lower your blood pressure and reduce your risks of heart disease considerably.

healthy snacks 2

Just don’t over indulge. Too many walnuts are going to really up the calorie count and push your dietary fat consumption through the roof, problems that counteract the significant benefits walnuts bring to the table.

Are cashews safe?

The biggest benefit that cashews are able to provide those looking to improve their health and well-being is the rich source of copper that they provide.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that dietary copper can help generate a tremendous amount of extra energy from carbohydrates already in your body, which means you’ll be able to lose fat faster – body fat, anyway – when you consume a handful of these nuts on a regular basis.

Continue Reading

How Light Exposure Impacts Your Sleep

How are you sleeping these days? If you don’t like the answer to that question, then it might be time to make some changes. The problem with learning how to improve the way we sleep is that there are just so many possibilities for change out there. There are a lot of things you can to get better rest. At the same time, there are unfortunately a lot of things that can get in the way of your sleep, as well.

Believe it or not, but your problem might be your exposure to light through the day, particularly at night.

How Light Exposure Effects Sleep

light exposure 1

When it comes to how you sleep at night, one thing you are going to want to pay attention to is melatonin. This natural hormone in your body is dictated by your body’s exposure to light. Generally speaking, when it is light out, your melatonin levels are pretty low. When it starts to get dark, your body will begin to produce more melatonin, which in turn is going to help to make you sleepy. This isn’t the only thing that contributes to your sleep, but it is certainly something that almost everyone should keep in mind.

The problem with healthy melatonin levels is that there are way too many things in our daily lives that can serve to screw them up. Staring at screens at work all day, and then coming home to tons of bright lights, both on the streets, and in your house, can all play an impact in how your body produces melatonin. To that end, it is worth appreciating that we can’t change certain things about our lives. However, there are still things you can do, in terms of taking advantage of the fact that your relationship to light exposure needs to change.

light exposure 2

 

Exposing yourself to bright sunlight during the day can certainly help. Even something as simple as having breakfast beside a sunny window is a good way to get you started, help you to feel more alert. Spending more time outdoors during daylight hours can also prove to be useful, and keeping as much natural light in your home during the day as possible can definitely benefit. At night, you should try to stay away from bright screens, up to two hours before you go to sleep. Late-night TV watching can actually suppress your melatonin, which can make it hard to fall asleep. A dark room is also pretty essential.

Continue Reading

Tricks that will help you keep your brain 15 years younger

Just as you want to exercise your body to look and feel much younger you are also going to want to exercise your mind to help you stay mentally younger – a significant challenge that millions and millions all over the world struggle with more and more each year.

According to researchers at Columbia University, mental capabilities begin to dwindle around the age of 30 and a lot of it has to do with the fact that most people “turn their brains off” and simply stop challenging themselves to learn new things on a routine basis.

This eventually translates into the same kind of atrophy that would negatively impact major muscle groups, but you’ll lose cognitive abilities, the ability to make smart decisions, and the ability to remember as clearly as you were able to in the past.

15 years younger 1

Thankfully though, with a couple of tricks that we share with you below, you’ll be able to improve your cognition (regardless of your age) and fight back against brain atrophy.

Let’s dig right in!

Try to learn one new thing every single day

It doesn’t have to be a new word in a foreign language and it doesn’t have to be some complex mathematical formula, but you want to challenge yourself to learn something new every single day.

This will keep your mind very flexible, very adaptable, and capable of deep thinking and consideration – something that routinely disappears right around the age of 30 and only gets worse over time.

Exercise your memory

Some of the best tools for exercising your memory are those card games favored by young children, and you want to get your hands on as many of them as possible and play at least once a week.

15 years younger 2

By exercising your memory you will be activating different areas in your brain that sometimes go dormant for extended amounts of time. That dormant behavior is going to result in mental atrophy, and as that happens you are going to lose your ability to remember a lot faster than you would have ever been able to before.

Think while you exercise

As you exercise you are stressing your body, your central nervous system, and your ability to think clearly – which is the perfect time for you to attempt simple mental problems to really stretch your capabilities and your mental capacity.

You’ll find that this makes your brain respond a lot faster when you aren’t working out, and that you will also feel considerably younger as well.

Continue Reading

How to use overtraining to your advantage

A lot of people are operating under the misconception that ALL overtraining is bad for the body and completely unnecessary, and maybe even the fastest way to derail all of your results and really plateau your progress significantly.

Sure it’s true that you don’t want to push too hard, too fast, and too often to the point where you are risking injury, but at the same time you have to be sure that you are always pushing yourself a little bit harder and beyond your comfort zone so that you will be able to create the kind of growth you’re looking for.

It’s also true that you can use overtraining (every now and then) to your advantage in a way that allows you to maximize all of the time you spend in the gym and really supercharge the results you’re getting.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks to help you do exactly that!

overtraining 1

Push yourself to your limits…

What you’re going to want to do is slowly build up into overtraining – but that means that you want to take yourself to your very limits and then maintain that kind of intensity (maybe 80% or so) for about a week or two depending upon your experience level working out.

This is where you’re going to want to forcibly plateau your body all on your own, and you want to maintain this kind of effort level until you are sure that you could push harder but don’t just yet.

Then push a little bit harder…

Once you realize that you are actively plateauing all on your own and then you can handle a lot more capacity when it comes time to work out you’ll want to know me push into that extra capacity but past that level as well.

Sometimes this involves working out with heavier weights then you are used to, but often times it just involves cranking up the intensity by shortening your rest time between sets or stacking all of your exercises back to back in the form of a super set.

…And then (finally) dial things back considerably

overtraining 2

After taking things to the next level and really overtraining your body for three or four days in a row you’re going to want to dial things back considerably, really reverting to the kind of intensity levels that you were working out at about a month or so ago.

These cycles are going to allow you to overtraining, stop permanent plateaus from happening, and gives you the ability to unlock extreme athletic performance.

Continue Reading

Lift a Lot more Weight When you Fix your Feet

Even some of the people capable of pushing around the most significant amount of iron in the gym forget that every single movement they make under pressure is going to be impacted by these tiny little muscles in the bottom of their feet.

Without strong feet you’re never going to have a rock solid foundation to work off of – and that means that you’ll never really be able to live up to your full genetic potential. You’ll never build muscles as big as they could have gotten otherwise and you’ll never get as strong or as fast as you could have if you worked on building this base and then pushing forward with the rest of your major muscle groups.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you do exactly that!

Create a rocksolid foundation

Not only will you want to strengthen the muscles in your feet and your ankles, but you are also going to want to go to great lengths to create a much better balanced foundation as well.

fix your feet 1

Make sure that all of the exercises you decide to move through aren’t going to just focus on pure strength or endurance but that you are also able to create a much better balanced pair of feet along the way.

This usually will entail exercising while you are on balanced (working while standing on a medicine ball, for example), but it’s the best way to create a foundation that you’ll really be able to build off of in the future.

Release a tremendous amount of tension

Plantar fasciitis can be one of the most painful conditions to deal with, but even if you warrant fighting against this specific medical condition feet that are undertrained or overworked are always going to hurt a lot more than those that have been strengthened over time.

fix your feet 2

One of the best ways to release a lot of hidden tension that may be causing tightness and pain in your feet is to roll your feet over a golf ball, a lacrosse ball, or with the help of a foam roller. You’ll want to trigger as many pressure points as possible to really stretch out your feet, breakup muscle fascia, and create more limber and flexible feet along the way.

Strengthen your lower body and you will strengthen your upper body

At the end of the day, the real secret here is to create a strong base that will definitely help contribute to building a much stronger upper body.

Workout your feet, workout your legs, and work out your posterior chain and your core and your “beach muscles” will definitely benefit!

Continue Reading