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9-superfood-you-may-have-never-heard-ofBeing a health-food nut is fun, especially with these lesser known super foods!

You have probably heard of superheroes such as, Superman, Batman, and The Green Lantern, but have you heard of the superheroes chlorella, teff and pichuberries? These super foods have been documented by The Huffington Post as having super powers that defeat evil villains, such as free radicals, that lurk within your body. 

While you won’t see pichuberries make an appearance in your favorite comic book, you will be able to see them in your local healthy grocery store. 

Anyone can become a superhero if they can do something super, likewise any food can be called a super food as long as it contains super nutrition. Here's a list of 9 aspiring super foods!

Chlorella

Have you ever thought about munching on the green stuff that grows on water soaked rocks? Well, that’s what chlorella is! This plant is very high in vitamin B-12, folic acid, vitamin C and K and contains lots of antioxidants; so perhaps snacking on this green fur on rocks should be on your to-do list. 

Black Soy Beans

If you are a fan of edamame, then you’ll love their cousin, black soy beans. This variety has been show to help reduce the risk of thrombosis, a type of blood clot that can be potentially fatal.  On top of that, they contain a hefty amount of vegan omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Yak Meat

Don’t fear red meat, especially if it’s yak meat! This meat is extremely lean, and the fat it does contain is a very health composition of omega-3 fatty acids, CLA (conjugated linoleic acids), oleic acids and stearic acids. Healthy fat helps ward off heart disease and stroke as well as nourishes all of the cells in your body. Yak is also higher in protein, vitamins and minerals than beef and has less calories.

Hemp

This may surprise you, but hemp is actually a vegan and gluten-free, protein-rich seed that has powerful benefits to your health. It contains a healthy balance of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids that show promise in promoting optimal skin health, energy production, nervous system function and immune support. 

Teff

If you’re gluten-free and tired of eating quinoa at every meal, teff is your answer. This gluten-free grain from Ethiopia is high in protein, with roughly 50% more than brown rice and it has a hefty amount of calcium and iron.

Canary Seeds

Don’t wander on over to the bird feeder just yet. The canary seed that is truly healthy is one that’s bred for human consumption, and the seeds are hairless. These seeds make a great gluten-free alternative for those who suffer from gluten intolerance, and are a great high protein food for those who avoid animal protein. 

Pichuberries

Have you heard the hype about vitamin D, being a "cure-all," yet are still too nervous about sitting in the sun for a few minutes without sunscreen? Well then grab some of this super fruit instead. A serving of pichuberry contains 39 percent of your daily vitamin D requirement, which is unheard for a plant considering the most common food source of vitamin D is through fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. This berry also contains withanolides, strong anti-inflammatory agents that have been linked to inhibiting cancer cell growth. 

Buffaloberries

Lycopene, a carotenoid most popularly found in tomatoes, can also be found in buffaloberries. This antioxidant has been linked to benefiting blood vessels in the body, thus reducing the likelihood of having a heart attack. It has also been linked to warding off tumors of the breast and prostate.

Sacha Inchi

Also known as Inca-peanuts, sachi inchi is one of the most powerful plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, containing roughly 48 percent. This seed is also rich in iodine, which supports a healthy thyroid, along with vitamin A and vitamin E. The seed has a way of enhancing production of healthy cholesterol (HDL) in the body, which helps boost brain health and helps fight off heart disease and diabetes.

The key to good health, like our superhero crime fighters, is to be constantly vigilant. Remember to snack on these less well known super foods to help improve your cell’s antioxidant capabilities.

Worried about picky eaters or a tight grocery budget? Classic super foods like grapes, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and cabbage have just as much antioxidant capacity and will be kinder on your wallet.

the-10-biggest-yoga-fails-and-how-to-avoid-them

Watch out for these 10 big yoga fails to get the most out of your workout.

Yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility and strength. It can help you achieve better posture, de-stress your life and it’s good for your heart. Check out our list of the biggest yoga fails and how to avoid them!

  1. Holding your breath: Even during the most difficult yoga poses, you must remember to constantly breathe. If you don’t, your muscle fibers don’t get the proper amount of oxygen to bend or support your weight.
  2. Pushing yourself too hard: In many exercise classes, pushing your body can actually be a good thing but not in yoga. You could get a muscle strain or injury. Yoga is not an exercise that is meant to be painful.
  3. Choosing the wrong spot: People tend to lay down their mat and workout at the front of the class so they can see the instructor but actually, the back of the class is the best spot. This ensures you will always have someone to look at if you need help with the poses since the instructor will move around a lot.
  4. Comparing yourself to others: Every exercise class will have that one intimidating woman who can do every move perfectly. Don’t compare yourself to her or try to mimic her.
  5. Eating a large meal before class: A full stomach can cause certain positions to be very uncomfortable. Your body’s blood supply will be funneled to your stomach, which can leave your other muscles shortchanged on the energy they need.
  6. Ditching the cool down: Don’t pack up your mat too soon. The cool down is one of the best and most important parts of any yoga session because it provides deep relaxation, helps prevent muscle soreness and slowly lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
  7. Taking just any class: There is a wide range of yoga classes from beginners to intermediate. Pick the level that's right for you, don’t base your choice on just the cost or time.
  8. Being too quiet: Sure, yoga is meant to be tranquil but don’t be afraid to ask for help or tips. If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask your instructor.
  9. Rushing into advanced poses: You may want to try that headstand the instructor is showing but if you can’t do it, opt for a more basic pose. Being able to master the basics of yoga poses will help you successfully achieve the tougher ones later on.
  10. Thinking too much: Yoga is meant to clear and relax the mind, not just the body. Stop thinking about your grocery list or what you’ll make for dinner later.

Not every yoga work out is going to be the perfect one where you achieve inner peace and clarity, but avoiding these common pitfalls while practicing can help you on your path to nirvana.

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Exercise obviously improves our hearts and prevents obesity, and the mental impacts could be just as great.  

A new study says that exercise can literally change how we see the world - and those around us - by making our environment seem less threatening and more positive. This is a huge revelation because it explains why exercising and relaxation methods have been so successful when treating mood and anxiety disorders, according to study co-author Adam Heenan, a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.

Researchers had 66 college students complete a questionnaire about anxiety and then had them exercise on a treadmill. Immediately after, the students completed a perceptual task that involved viewing a 3D simulation of a human stick figure walking. They guessed whether the figure was walking toward or away from them.

The people who exercised perceived the figure to be facing towards them less often than those who did not exercise. Those with anxiety problems saw the figure walking toward them, which meant they felt it to be more threatening instead of walking away from them. 

"People who either walked or jogged on a treadmill for 10 minutes perceived these ambiguous figures as facing towards them (the observer) less often than those who simply stood on the treadmill," Heenan said in a statement. "The same was true when people performed progressive muscle relaxation."

So, if you're in need of a better look on life...a run could be just the fix!

Source: Plosone.org

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A new study says that we may be able to “brainwash” ourselves into favoring health foods.

Speaking candidly, French fries smothered in chili and cheese taste way better than broccoli. And that’s why it’s hard for many people to maintain a healthy diet, but what if you were able to “brainwash” yourself into favoring healthy foods over junk foods?

A recent study found that we might actually be able to condition ourselves into enjoying the healthier options, therefore, giving us a healthier overall lifestyle. The researchers say that it's conditioning that trains us to reach for the junk foods instead. 

The head researcher for the study, Susan Roberts, and her team put eight participants on a health-conscious diet combined with lessons on good eating. The subjects got half their energy from low-glycemic carbs and 25 percent from protein and fat, along with plenty of fiber. As a control group, they had an additional five people involved who weren't on the diet at all. 

They scanned the brains of each of the participants, and the results showed showed changes in the "healthy" group's addiction and learning centers. They saw boosted sensitivity to better foods and decreased excitement over high-calorie junk food. This showed that it is potential to retrain your brain in how it thinks about junk food.  

So, besides putting yourself on a healthier diet and learning more about the benefits of healthy eating, what else can you do to make yourself favor the healthy choices instead? Take your favorite guilty pleasures and turn them into a healthier option. If you love ice cream, go for the sugar-free ice cream instead. Try eating some foods you've never eaten before or ones you never liked them as kid, like brussels sprouts. Who knows?  Your palate may have changed. Consider eating more slowly and trying to avoid distractions while eating like watching TV; it may distract you from realizing you are actually full.  

Taking small steps such as these can be the first on your path to a healthier lifestyle. 

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They may be trendy, but effective...these diets are not.

Do fad diets really work? As new diets pop up left and right, it's key to remember what a fad is. Temporary, followed for a period of time because it is perceived as popular. Thus a fad diet doesn't mean it is truly the best ever or will work for you and your body. We've put together a list of six fad diets you should take off your to-do list now, and instead get back to regular exercise and eating right. 

The Baby Food Diet 

On this diet, you are supposed to substitute breakfast and lunch for some yummy, mushy baby food and enjoy a low-calorie dinner later. But, not only does this not taste so great, the calories on certain baby foods are higher than others. Also if you don’t get enough calories, your body will have a lack of energy to run off of.  

The Sleeping Beauty Diet 

Yes, there is actually a diet where people sleep for days on end. Somehow it made sense to think we lose weight while we are asleep so why not just take a bunch of sedatives, sleep and burn calories? No! This is not effective and also dangerous. It starves the body and can cause muscle deterioration from a lack of movement and even death! 

The Cotton Ball Diet 

This diet, where people soak orange juice in cotton balls and eat them, was born on YouTube and other social media outlets. We hope you don’t try this at home. It is an incredibly dangerous way to suppress your appetite. It will deprive your body of proper nutrients and can cause blockages in your intestines. Plus, you may think these balls are made of cotton but they are also composed of bleached, synthetic fibers.

The Gluten-Free Diet 

Although this diet is huge in Hollywood and everywhere else, this diet is a no-no. If you have a real allergy or intolerance to wheat, gluten-free foods are a must for your health. But if you don’t have an allergy, it actually doesn’t do you any good. Plus, you are missing out on essential nutrients that grains give your body. Oftentimes, gluten-free foods have the same calorie counts, if not more, as their gluten-containing counterparts. When gluten is taken out of foods, something else is used instead and it isn't always the best for someone wanting to lose weight!

The Five-Bite Diet 

It’s pretty self-explanatory. You eat whatever you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner but only take five bites. The problem? You’re still not getting nourishing food because you could just eat a greasy cheeseburger everyday, but only have five bites. Those calories add up. Plus, how big of bites do you take? If it is a juicy cheeseburger, they’re probably big! 

The Blood Type Diet 

Based on the idea that foods you eat react chemically with your blood type, those on the diet with type O blood are to eat lean meats, vegetables and fruits, and avoid wheat and dairy. But type A dieters go vegetarian, and those with type B are supposed to avoid chicken, corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts and sesame seeds. However, science has yet to prove that our blood has anything to do with weight loss. This diet is also very restrictive...so just nix it!

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