To Your Health vol. XVI

Do you suffer from swollen gums? If you do, you probably often go through a lot of discomfort and pain. What you suffer from is called ‘gingival swelling’.

Swollen gums are commonly caused by allergies, infections and gum injury, among others. Some of the common symptoms that come with this condition include bleeding of the gums, pain, increase in gaps between the teeth, etc.

Let’s have a look at 10 easy home remedies for swollen gums:

Swollen gums can be cured with many simple home remedies. Here are 10 of the most effective home remedies to treat and gain relief from swollen gums:

1. Salt Water:

Salt water is one of the most commonly used remedies for oral problems. You can use salt water as a mouthwash or rinse to treat swollen gums. Add a tablespoon of salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth in the morning and at night, and also after meals. You should remember that the relief will only be temporary.

[ Read: Home Remedies For Bleeding Gums ]

2. Clove Oil:

Clove oil is another age-old home remedy that is often used to treat swollen gums. The swelling in your gums can be reduced by applying clove oil to the affected area. You can also use clove oil mixed with black pepper to decrease inflammation and pain. Experts also recommend chewing on cloves to get relief.

3. Ginger:

All you need to do is to make a paste with ginger and salt. Rub this paste on the swollen parts of your gum to get relief from the pain. This remedy will also help in reducing the swelling.

4. Baking Soda:

Many people who suffer from swollen gums use baking soda as a home remedy to treat. All you need to do is, mix baking soda with turmeric extract and massage your gums with the mixture. Using baking soda to brush your teeth can also treat swollen gums.

[ Read: Home Remedies For Gingivitis ]

5. Lemon Juice:

Did you know that lemon juice can be used to treat swollen gums? Boil lemon juice and a glass of water, and use this to gargle twice every day. You can also use a mixture of lemon juice and rose flower essence to rinse your mouth twice or thrice a day to treat swollen gums.

6. Essential Oils:

Oils of chamomile, tea tree and peppermint can do wonders in relieving the pain of swollen gums. You can make a mouthwash by combining these 3 oils and use it to rinse your mouth daily. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your toothpaste when you brush your teeth can also have a great effect on swollen gums.

7. Lawsonia Inermis Leaves:

You can make an effective remedy for swollen gums by boiling few Lawsonia inermisleaves with a glass of water for about 15 minutes. Use this to gargle two times a day to get relief from swollen gum pain.

8. Castor Seed Oil:

Another effective home remedy for swollen gums can be made with a paste that is created by mixing castor seed oil with camphor. Gently rub the paste on the affected areas of your gum and gain relief from the bleeding and swelling gums.

9. Babul Tree Bark:

This is a remedy for swollen gums that has been used for many years. All you need to do is to boil the Babul tree bark in water. Use this as a mouthwash three to four times daily and you will get relief from the inflammation that comes with swollen gums.

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Gum Pain ]

10. Aloe Vera Gel:

This magical plant’s gel can be rubbed on the affected area of your gums to decrease pain and bleeding. You can also use the gel to gargle to offer effective treatment for swollen gums.

Natural remedies are the best way to treat swollen gums. With simple ingredients you have right at home, you can effectively treat and gain relief from its uncomfortable symptoms!



Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Intermittent fasting (IF) is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends.

People are using it to lose weight, improve health and simplify their healthy lifestyle.

Many studies show that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain, and may even help you live longer (1, 2, 3).

This is the ultimate beginner’s guide to intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting (IF)?
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating.

It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them.

In this respect, it is not a “diet” in the conventional sense. It is more accurately described as an “eating pattern.”

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts, or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Humans have actually been fasting throughout evolution. Sometimes it was done because food was not available, and it has also been a part of major religions, including Islam, Christianity and Buddhism.

When you think about it, our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round.

Sometimes we couldn’t find anything to eat, and our bodies evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.

If anything, fasting from time to time is more “natural” than constantly eating 3-4 (or more) meals per day.

For a more detailed explanation of what intermittent fasting is, read this article: What is Intermittent Fasting?

Bottom Line: Intermittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It is currently very popular in the health and fitness community.

How to do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has been very popular for many years and several different methods have been used.

All of them involve splitting the day or week into “eating periods” and “fasting periods.” During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.

These are the most popular methods:

    • The 16/8 Method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, for example from 1 pm to 9 pm. Then you “fast” for 16 hours in between.
    • Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
    • The 5:2 Diet: On two non-consecutive days of the week, only eat 500-600 calories. Eat normally the other 5 days. More details here.

By making you eat fewer calories, all of these methods should make you lose weight as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.

I’ve personally found the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It is also the most popular.

There is more detailed information on the different protocols here: 6 Intermittent Fasting Methods.

Bottom Line: There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting. All of them split the day or week into “eating periods” and “fasting periods.”

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Your Cells and Hormones

When you fast, several things happen in your body on the cellular and molecular level.

For example, your body changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.

Your cells also initiate important repair processes, and change the expression of genes.

Here are some changes that occur in your body when you fast:

    • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, to name a few (4, 5, 6, 7).
    • Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible (8).
    • Cellular repair: When fasted, your cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells (9, 10)
    • Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease (11, 12).

These changes in hormone levels, cell function and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Bottom Line: When you fast, human growth hormone levels go up and insulin levels go down. Your body’s cells also change the expression of genes and initiate important cellular repair processes.

Intermittent Fasting is a Very Powerful Weight Loss Tool

Weight loss is the most common reason that people try intermittent fasting (13).

By making you eat fewer meals, intermittent fasting can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

Additionally, intermittent fasting changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss.

In addition to lower insulin and increased growth hormone levels, it increases release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).

Because of these changes in hormones, short-term fasting may actually increase your metabolic rate by 3.6-14% (14, 15).

By helping you eat less (fewer calories in) and helping you burn more (more calories out), intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation.

Studies show that intermittent fasting can be a very powerful weight loss tool. In a review study from 2014, it was shown to cause weight loss of 3-8% over periods of 3-24 weeks (1).

That is actually a very large amount compared to most weight loss studies.

According to this study, people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference (1). This indicates that they lost significant amounts of the harmful belly fat that builds up around the organs and causes disease.

There is also one study showing that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than the more standard method of continuous calorie restriction (16).

However, keep in mind that the main reason this works, is that it helps you eat fewer calories overall. If you binge and eat massive amounts during the eating periods, then you may not lose any weight at all.

Read this article for more information on IF and Weight Loss.

Bottom Line: Intermittent fasting may boost metabolism slightly, while helping you eat fewer calories. It is a very effective way to lose weight and belly fat.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
Many studies have been done on intermittent fasting, in both animals and humans.

These studies have shown that it can have powerful benefits for weight control and the health of your body and brain. It may even help you live longer.


Here are the main health benefits of intermittent fasting:

    • Weight Loss: As mentioned above, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, without having to consciously restrict calories (1, 13).
    • Insulin resistance: Intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3-6% and fasting insulin levels by 20-31% (1). This should protect against type 2 diabetes.
    • Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation, a key driver of many chronic diseases (17, 18, 19).
    • Heart Health: Intermittent fasting may reduce LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance. These are all risk factors for heart disease (1, 20, 21).
    • Cancer: Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer (22, 23, 24, 25).
    • Brain Health: Intermittent fasting increases a brain hormone called BDNF, and may aid the growth of new nerve cells (26, 27, 28). It may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease (29).
    • Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting can extend lifespan in rats. Studies showed that fasted rats live as much as 36-83% longer (30, 31).

Keep in mind that the research is still in its early stages. Many of the studies were small, short in duration or conducted in animals. Many questions have yet to be answered in higher quality human studies (32).

More evidence-based details here: 10 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

Bottom Line: Intermittent fasting can have many benefits for your body and brain. It can cause weight loss, and may protect against type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It may also help you live longer.

Intermittent Fasting Makes Your Healthy Lifestyle Simpler

Eating healthy is simple, but it can be incredibly hard to stick to.

One of the main obstacles is all the work required to plan for and cook healthy meals.

If you do intermittent fasting, this gets easier because you don’t need to plan, cook or clean up after as many meals as before.

Intermittent fasting is actually very popular among the “life hacking” crowd because it improves your health while simplifying your life at the same time.

Bottom Line: One of the major benefits of intermittent fasting is that it makes healthy eating simpler. There are fewer meals that you need to prepare, cook and clean up after.

Some People Should be Careful With Intermittent Fasting (or Avoid it Altogether)

Intermittent fasting is certainly not for everyone.

If you are underweight, or have a history of eating disorders, then you should not do intermittent fasting without consulting with a health professional first.

In these cases, it can be downright harmful.

Should Women Fast?
There is some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women, as it is for men.

For example, one study showed that it improved insulin sensitivity in men, but worsened blood sugar control in women (33).

Although there are no human studies on this, studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting can make female rats emaciated, masculinized, infertile and cause them to miss cycles (34, 35).

There are plenty of anecdotal reports from women who became amenorrheic (their menstrual period stopped) when they started doing IF, then went back to normal when they stopped doing it.

For these reasons, women should definitely be careful with intermittent fasting. Ease into it, and if you have any problems like amenorrhea then stop doing it immediately.

If you have problems with fertility and/or are trying to conceive, then consider holding off on intermittent fasting for now. Intermittent fasting is probably a bad idea when pregnant or breastfeeding.

Bottom Line: People who are underweight or have a history of eating disorders should not fast. There is also some evidence that intermittent fasting may be harmful for some women.

Safety and Side Effects
Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting.

You may also feel weak and that your brain isn’t performing as well as you’re used to.

This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for your body to adapt to the new meal schedule.


If you have a medical condition, then you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting.

This is particularly important if you:

    • Have diabetes.
    • Have problems with blood sugar regulation.
    • Have low blood pressure.
    • Take medications.
    • Are underweight.
    • Have a history of eating disorders.
    • Are a female who is trying to conceive.
    • Are a female with a history of amenorrhea.
    • Are pregnant or breastfeeding.

All that being said, intermittent fasting does have an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing “dangerous” about not eating for a while if you are healthy and well nourished overall.

Bottom Line: The most common side effect of intermittent fasting is hunger. People with certain medical conditions should not fast without consulting with a doctor first.

Frequently Asked Questions About Intermittent Fasting

Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

1. Can I drink liquids during the fast?

Yes. Water, coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Do not add sugar to your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay.

Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, because it can blunt hunger .

2. Isn’t it unhealthy to skip breakfast?

No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. If you make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then it is fine.

3. Can I take supplements while fasting?

Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements (like fat-soluble vitamins) may work better when taken with meals.

4. Can I work out while fasted?

Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.

5. Will fasting cause muscle loss?

All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, that is why it is important to lift weights and keep protein intake high. One study shows that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction (16).

6. Will fasting slow down my metabolism?

No. Studies show that short-term fasts actually boost metabolism (14, 15). However, longer fasts (3 days or more) can suppress metabolism (36).

7. Should kids fast?

That’s probably a bad idea.

How to Start
Chances are that you’ve already done many “intermittent fasts” in your life.


If you’ve ever eaten dinner, then slept late and not eaten until lunch the next day, then you’ve probably already done a 16+ hour fast.

Many people actually instinctively eat this way. They simply don’t feel hungry in the morning.

I personally find that the 16/8 method is the simplest and most sustainable way to do intermittent fasting. I recommend that you try that one first.

If you find that it is easy and you feel good during the fast, then you can try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 1-2 times per week (Eat-Stop-Eat) or only eating 500-600 calories 1-2 days per week (the 5:2 diet).

Another approach is to simply fast whenever it is convenient. As in, skip meals from time to time when you’re not hungry or don’t have time to cook.

There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits.

I recommend that you experiment with the different approaches and find something that you enjoy and fits your schedule.

Bottom Line: It is recommended to start with the 16/8 method, then perhaps later move on to longer fasts. It is important to experiment and find something that works for you.

Should You Try Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do.

It is just one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating real food, exercising and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.

If you don’t like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore all of this. Just continue to do what works for you.

At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution in nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out.

If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, then it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve health.…my_kimmel_on_how_he_maintains_a_lower_weight/




Brown Bananas:




21 Surprising Foods that Melt Fat

These RD-approved picks will help you lose weight fast this fall season.

By Perri O. Blumberg

Wouldn’t it be cool to live with a health and nutrition expert? My ex-roomie sure thinks so. Determined not to gain weight even though it’s sweater season, she still asks me every fall which rapid weight loss foods she should make for dinner. And lunch. And breakfast. Oh, and what about her post-workout shake?

Fortunately for her, there are many crisp-weather foods to enjoy once the leaves turn—and each one blasts fat with the perfect combination of fiber, protein and heart-healthy nutrients. Read on for the nutritionists’ top picks, load up on that pumpkin and get ready to spoon up some seriously delectable dinners. And to live your happiest and healthiest life ever—summer, spring, winter or fall—don’t miss these essential 100 Ways to Live to 100!

1. Pumpkin Seed Pesto

“Blend [pumpkin seeds] with basil, parm and garlic for a twist on a nut-free pesto,” suggests Rebecca Lewis, RD for HelloFresh, a leading healthy meal kit delivery service. Or, you can toast them and sprinkle onto salads in lieu of toppings. Lewis also suggests adding them to soups for a dose of added protein.

2. Green Tea

“Just as the cool weather is coming, if you can drink 4-5 cups a day you may actually not only warm up but speed up your metabolism and even burn more calories (and fat, including belly fat!) in your sleep, thanks to its polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG,” explain The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. “It also contains the amino acid theanine that brings on a mental alertness and calmness that helps you to make rational decisions, so you can turn down fatty, caloric foods that you’d normally eat due to stress.” Editors at Eat This, Not That! found this to be true: Test panelists on The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse lost up to 10 pounds in one week!

3. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The perfect meld of delectably crispy and bright with fresh flavor, this cruciferous veggie is one of our favorite superfoods. “Roast them with spices and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast,” suggests Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. “They’re excellent weight loss foods because they are loaded with fiber and detoxifying glucosinolates.”

4. Beet Hummus

“Blend into hummus to turn it a pretty pink,” suggests Lewis. “When boiling beets, add two tablespoons of lemon juice to help them keep their beautiful vibrant color.” Then, when you add them to your chickpea, tahini and olive oil mixture for hummus, you’ll get a stunning, hot pink shade for your final spread. Also, try sneaking beets into your favorite brownies or pancake recipe. “Your kids will have NO idea they are there!” For other sneaky ways to melt fat fast, don’t miss these 20 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven’t Tried!

5. Dried Plums

Summer may be alllll about those fresh fruits, but autumn is a great time to incorporate dried fruits into your diet. “Dried plums are one of the best natural constipation remedies. A serving of four to five dried plums packs three full grams of fiber,” shares Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, author of the upcoming book, Body Kindness. “About half of that is insoluble, which helps speed food through the digestive tract. The other half is slow-moving soluble fiber, good for enhancing satiety, lowering cholesterol and regulating blood-sugar levels. They both add up to a very healthy gut.” And trim tummy!

6. Spaghetti Squash

“Just when the cooler weather has you craving warm, unhealthy comfort foods, spaghetti squash is one of the best replacements for spaghetti!” exclaim The Nutrition Twins. “It feels like a hearty meal, but one cup only has about 40 calories—more than 75% fewer calories than a cup of plain pasta.” Even better? It’s a good source of fiber, which means it will keep you fuller for longer and help keep belly bloat at bay. For other ways to make carbs work for you, click here for the science-backed 25 Best Carbs for Weight Loss.

7. Kiwi

“They may be small, but these sweet-tasting fruits contain a hefty amount of actinidin, a natural enzyme unique to kiwifruit that aids in digestion by breaking down protein in the body. Kiwifruit also contains prebiotic fiber, which primes the gut for healthy digestion,” says Scritchfield. “Research indicates that a daily serving of green kiwifruit helps increase bowel movements. So, cut in half, scoop with a spoon, and pop into your mouth like nature’s Tums (SunGold kiwis, with a yellow flesh and tropical taste, offer 3 times the vitamin C of oranges and as much potassium as a medium banana).” Did we mention they’re just hankering for a heavenly breakfast bowl?

8. Fennel

“Almost all vegetables are good as they help to move gastric irritants out of the stomach that cause stomach distention and bloat, but fennel, which is in season and best in fall and winter helps ease gas and bloating that make the stomach look distended,” say The Nutrition Twins. “It also is a good source of potassium to help restore normal fluid balance and flush bloat.” Try slicing it raw into salads for a unique flavor profile or roasting it with salt and pepper and a squeeze of citrus. (For other great ideas, here our Special Report: How to Get Rid of Bloating—Guaranteed)!

9. Mushrooms

Game, set, ‘shrooms. As in, time to add a hefty helping of this potent and nutrient-packed fungi to your next meal. Fall’s the perfect time (and the start of their peak season) to sautée them into a tomato-based sauce or roast them until crisp to add as a topping to tasty salads brimming with autumnal bounty (think: squash, pumpkin seeds, massaged kale). “Swapping any of the infinite types of hearty, umami-flavored mushrooms for meat will keep your belly flat due to their very low fat and calorie count and super nutrient profile,” explains Hever.

10. Brown Rice

“Healthy eating may be triggering gas overload,” offers Scritchfield. “Rice is the only starchy food that does not cause gas, research says.” To keep things healthy, stick to a fist-size portion with your meals. For other healthy body hacks, read on the these 44 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!

11. Winter Squash

Yes, you can get ‘em in the fall (and should!). “Note: These winter squashes have thicker skins so require longer cook times than summer squash,” says Lewis. The outcome? A tantalizing, roasted veggie side that’s worthy of being an entrée (just stuff with beans, veggies and garlic or herbs for a tasty medley of flavors).

12. Apples

“Nature’s perfect autumn weight loss food are apples,” says Hever. “Eat them raw, sprinkled with cinnamon, or baked as a seasonal treat. You cannot overeat them, there are myriad varieties as options, and studies show that enjoying an apple before a meal decreases total caloric intake at that meal.” For more sure-fire ways to lose your belly, don’t miss these 50 Best Ever Weight-Loss Secrets From Skinny People.

13. Pistachios

Bet you can’t have just one. And that’s okay, pop a handful of these nutrition superstars. “Pistachios are the perfect fall-flat belly food (harvested in early September with harvest lasting approximately six weeks and popular right through the holidays) are our favorite because they have a winning combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you satisfied throughout the day,” say The Nutrition Twins. In addition to keeping vending machine-cravings in check, the fact that you have to de-shell them, also helps you avoid mindless snacking. “Most snacks with a satisfying crunch also cause stomach irritation and bloat from salt, fat and from digestive distress, not pistachios! Also, their fall hues (green and red-purple colors) come from antioxidants!”

14. Dark Leafy Greens

These antioxidant-packed powerhouses are perfect to toss into fall soups, stir fries and more. Some ideas: “Massage your kale to help break down the fibers a bit, then sautée it with garlic and olive oil; Blend spinach in your morning smoothie with bananas for a green power breakfast; add swiss chard to your hearty fall soup recipes — it’s texture is able to stand up to the longer cook times.”

15. Hot Peppers

“Hot peppers, one of the greatest weight loss foods of all, are in season in autumn,” offers Hever. “Hot pepper’s capsaicin stimulates the metabolism to help you burn more calories.” Crunch-enthusiast? Try more of these Best-Ever Vegetables for Weight Loss!

16. Kefir

Summer may be all about those slimming frozen desserts, but with fall in full swing? Enter: kefir. “This is like yogurt, but even better because it has more live active cultures to nourish your GI tract so the good bacteria thrive,” says Scritchfield. Worth noting: “Even though it’s dairy, kefir is 99% lactose free because the kefir cultures break down lactose so you don’t have to!” Try it with your breakfast or as a satisfying post-workout snack.

17. Baked or Roasted Potatoes

And add to that: yams and sweet potatoes. “They’re very low in fat, high in satiating complex carbohydrates and fiber that helps you stay lean and satisfied with delicious, comforting sweetness,” suggests Hever.

18. Pumpkin

If you’re buying it from a can and not fresh, be sure to opt for the unsweetened variety of one of our favorite high fiber foods. “It makes a great, low-calorie dessert, just add cinnamon,” suggest The Nutrition Twins. “Pumpkin is only 40 calories and 5 grams of fiber per half-cup so it will keep your belly lean and flat while the fiber helps to flush unsightly belly bulges from constipation. You can also use pumpkin to replace oil in brownies and butter in other recipes to keep your recipes low-calorie and delicious and your belly flat.” Pumpkin brownies? Don’t mind if we do.

19. Lemons

This citrus fruit is well worth befriending in your autumn routine if you haven’t already. “If you drink alcohol it can cause gas to form in your face and belly. Cut your alcohol in half by swapping a water with lemon between drinks. Try it over ice, sparkling, or hot water with lemon,” suggests Scritchfield. “The vitamin C in lemon helps break down the bloat.” Making fish? “You can also zest [a lemon] and then slice it and add to any fish recipe,” offers Lewis. Green tea with lemon? Even better, you overachiever, you. Don’t miss these 23 Amazing Ways to Melt Fat with Tea!

20. Quinoa

“A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that dieters who ate whole grains lost more belly fat than those who ate refined grains,” say The Nutrition Twins. “Not only is quinoa made from the whole grain, but it contains 11 grams of satisfying protein per half cup to prevent crashing and binging. It’s fiber-rich too, [which helps to] flush wastes and toxins from the colon and flatten the belly.”

21. Tomatoes

Oh tomatoes, let us count the ways we love you. “They contain the magical combination of water and potassium, which brings on an instant flat stomach by flushing excess sodium, water and bloat from your body and belly,” explain The Nutrition Twins. “Plus, they’re fiber-packed (goodbye constipation and the puffiness that comes with it!) and super low in calories, so you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight.” And don’t stop there—melt even more fat using these 50 Best Weight Loss Tips—Ever!




Nail Health:





The Top 10 Meal Habits of Healthy Families

Multi-generation family meal

Put away the electronics

There are few things that Americans agree on, but here’s one of them: Eating dinner together as a family is a good idea.

The Walking Dead zombies eat together more often than today’s families. For many of us, getting the whole group together for mealtime is a ritual reserved only for Sunday nights or special occasions. Otherwise, it’s drive-through gobbled in the car, takeout snarfed in front of the TV, or leftovers shoveled down while standing over the counter.

This hurried style of eating spells trouble for a lot of reasons. Number one among them: Families who eat together stay lean together. In fact, in one study, 80 percent of kids at a healthy weight eat dinner with their families at the table compared to 55 percent of overweight kids. Families of overweight kids mostly tend to eat in family rooms, offices, or in bedrooms.

Set the table for a lifetime of healthy living by setting the table tonight. Use these Eat This, Not That! tactics to fool your kids into eating right while you stay slim, too.

Eat This, Not That!: 20 Slow Cooker Tips For a Flat Belly

1. They pass bowls family style

You may think you’re imposing portion control by dishing out servings for your kids, but in fact, you’re robbing them of a very important lesson. When kids serve themselves, they learn to read their own body’s hunger cues, according to a recent study printed in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Children who are given control at the dinner table are also more likely to try new foods, the researchers said.

2. They make the meal last 4 1/2 minutes longer

Research says four and a half minutes is the difference between how long healthy-weight kids spend at the dinner table and how long overweight kids spend there—18 minutes on average for the slim kids and 13.5 for the heavier ones. That might not make a lot of sense; more time at the table means more time to eat, right? Wrong. Eating slower means eating more mindfully, and not shoveling down food in an attempt to get back to whatever else is on your mind.

3. They leave a little on the plate

Efforts by parents to get their children to eat more can backfire. In a study of 63 children, Cornell researchers found that those whose parents insisted on clean plates ate 35 percent more of a sweetened cereal later in the day. If kids ate 35 percent more than one serving of Froot Loops every day for a year, they’d gain four pounds from that one habit alone. Rather than forbidding certain foods, set up specific parameters for when treats can be enjoyed. If overeating is something you do yourself, scope out these 15 Things Celebs Do to Stop Overeating.

4. They put away electronics

Parents who let their teens use electronic devices or watch TV during family meals tend to serve less nutritious food and have poorer family communication, a study by the University of Minnesota suggests. Researchers found families that reported frequent media use at meal times also served up less fresh fruit and vegetables and more sugar-sweetened beverages. In fact, distracted eating is almost as dangerous as distracted driving: A separate study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that distracted eaters consumed 10 percent more in one sitting than they would otherwise.

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5. They use smaller plates and bowls

Our eyes always tend to be bigger than our stomachs. A recent Cornell study found bigger bowls (16 oz vs 8 oz) caused children to request 87 percent more food and eat 52 percent more of it than they would otherwise. And while adults aren’t as susceptible to the visual illusion, research printed in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) found larger bowls caused people to serve and eat an average of 16 percent more. And with the typical manufacturers’ snack package being 2.5 times bigger than the appropriate amount for young kids, health-conscious parents fight an uphill battle. So, control what you can. Keep in mind that restaurant portions—even for kids—are egregiously oversized, so don’t force them to wolf down every last tater tot. Splitting a dish with a sibling while eating out is never a bad idea. But these 17 Kids’ Meals Worse Than An Ice Cream Cone should always be avoided, halfsies or not!

6. They ask the kids if they’re hungry

Researchers at the University of Illinois suggest that asking the right questions can help children listen to important hunger and satiety signals. Acknowledging an empty plate with a question like, “Did you eat enough?” or “Are you still hungry?” is more conducive to teaching intuitive eating habits than a simple “Are you done?”

7. They try all sorts of new foods

Kids avoid veggies as if they’re out-of-style sneakers; only one in five of them actually eats enough plant matter. If you want to reverse that trend, a little scheming can go a long way. Research out of England found that giving children a taste of a new vegetable daily for two weeks increased their enjoyment and consumption of that food. Giving kids ownership over what they eat is also a powerful play. Turn a trip to the supermarket into a treasure hunt, and let them try to find produce they’ve never eaten before; more research shows that letting your children choose their vegetables can lead to an 80 percent increase in their consumption.

8. The dads don’t rely on fast food

In less than five years, the percentage of our calories that come from food outside the home has risen to 43 percent—the highest since the USDA began tracking such statistics. Parents’ increasing penchant for restaurant food or delivery can translate to nutritionally unsound decisions by kids. One study laid the heaviest blame on fathers. Researchers at Texas A&M University say dads carry the most influence largely because when they take their kids to, say, Burger King, it’s often as a treat. This enforces the idea that unhealthy eating is positive.

9. Everyone minds their manners

We’re not just talking about keeping your elbows off the table. Putting your fork down between bites and eating slowly are both great ways to eat mindfully—a healthy habit that fights the urge to overeat and helps you reach that extra 4 1/2 minutes we mentioned earlier. Counteract the tendency to eat non-stop by putting down your silverware between each bite to rest. This gives you the perfect amount of time to add to the dinner conversation and gives you the chance to gauge your hunger level before taking another bite.

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10. They pour water

Study after study shows that people who are dehydrated tend to think they’re hungry and that drinking water before a meal leads to smarter eating habits. Not only does your family reap the benefits of H20, making sure everyone has a full glass of water before, during, and even after the meal can minimize your family’s urges for soda, juice, and other bad-for-you beverages. If your kiddos (or you!) hate plain water, then try any of these 50 Flavored and Infused Water Ideas instead—no sugary powders needed!

This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!




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