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Most people don’t give blood circulation much thought. Even when they have common symptoms of poor blood circulation like numbness in the legs and hands, cold hands and feet, fatigue and swollen feet or fingers.

Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious problems like cardiovascular disease and stroke. Luckily, there are things you can start doing today to improve circulation. But making these changes may not help much if you don’t avoid habits that cause poor blood circulation. These habits include Heavy alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, poor diet, inactivity, high caffeine intake.

Get a good massage

Massage creates pressure which forces blood in congested areas to flow. This pressure also allows easy flow of new blood to different body parts. Get a good massage several times a week if you experience the symptoms of poor blood circulation I mentioned above.

Add herbs into your diet

Some herbs are good for blood circulation. They strengthen the blood vessels and help unclog the arteries.

Research shows that gingko biloba and cayenne pepper improve circulation. Cayenne pepper strengthens the blood vessels and stimulates the heart while gingko Biloba improves blood flow which consequently improves memory.

Other helpful herbs include garlic, ginger, bilberry and parsley.

Keep your legs elevated

It’s hard for blood to flow from the feet to the heart since it has to flow uphill. In fact, this is the main reason poor blood circulation largely affects the legs. Elevating your legs will make it easier for blood to flow. Lift the legs above heart level and keep them elevated for 20 minutes.

Exercise every day

There’s a lot of research showing that exercise improves blood circulation. Even simple exercises like walking, climbing stairs can help. You may want to start with low intensity exercises if you’re out of shape and then increase intensity as you get fitter.

Reduce salt intake

Research shows that high salt intake can cause poor blood circulation. This is alarming because most people consume an average of 3.4 grammes of salt a day. That’s higher than the recommended 2.3 grammes per day.

Avoiding canned food and reading food labels can help reduce sodium in your diet.

Don’t wear tight clothes for long

Those skinny jeans can cut off blood circulation to the legs, research shows. In fact, one woman had to be hospitalised for four days because of squatting while wearing skinny jeans. On the other hand, clothes like the compression socks are said to improve blood circulation in the legs.

Drink more water

I don’t think you need any convincing that water is good for your health. Aim for two litres of water a day.

Here are tips that can help you drink more water.

Add nuts into your diet

Nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can improve blood circulation. According to this study, raw almonds and walnuts boost blood circulation. Nuts are also a great source of healthy fats. But eat them in moderation if you want to lose weight.

Chocolate lovers, rejoice; the sweet treat is not only delicious, but studies show that it can also promote friendly bacteria and reduce inflammation in our guts.

First, some background: trillions of bacteria live in our guts. They contribute to our immune system, metabolism, and many other processes essential to human health.

When the delicate balance of microbes in our intestines is disturbed, it can have serious consequences.

Irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, allergies, asthma, and cancer have all been linked to abnormal gut microbiomes.

A healthful diet supports bacterial diversity and health, but could chocolate be an integral part of this?

Benefits of cocoa

Cocoa is the dry, non-fatty component prepared from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the ingredient that gives chocolate its characteristic taste.

Many health benefits have been attributed to cocoa and its potent antioxidant functions. These include lowering cholesterol, slowing down cognitive decline, and keeping the heart healthy.

Cocoa metabolism is partly dependent on the bacteria that live in our intestines.

Our bodies are only able to absorb some of the nutrients in chocolate. As such, we need our tiny microbial passengers to break complex molecules into smaller components, which we would not be able to take into our bodies otherwise.

This allows us to make full use of the many health-promoting molecules in cocoa. It doesn’t stop there, however. The gut microbes also benefit from this relationship, which, in turn, has an even greater effect on our health.

Gut health and inflammation

Several studies show that the consumption of cocoa increases the levels of so-called friendly bacteria in the gut.

Researchers from the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom measured higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in the intestines of human volunteers who drank high-cocoa chocolate milk for 4 weeks.

The same team previously showed that components in cocoa can reduce the growth of Clostridium histolyticum bacteria, which are present in the guts of individuals with inflammatory bowel disease.

In pigs, higher levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species were also found in the colon in response to a high-cocoa diet. Interestingly, the expression of known inflammatory markers was reduced.

Friendly bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have, in fact, been implicated in actively promoting anti-inflammatory processes in our intestines, keeping our gut healthy.

Chocolate as part of a healthful diet

Despite the fact that these scientific studies support the claim that cocoa can be beneficial for our gut microbiomes, cocoa does not equal chocolate.

The cocoa extracts used in research do not contain the high levels of sugar and fat found in our everyday chocolate bars.

Unsweetened cocoa powder or high-cocoa content dark chocolate are the closest alternatives to the cocoa used in these studies. Consumed in moderation, chocolate may therefore promote friendly bacteria, and, by extension, a healthy gut, keeping inflammation at bay.

A sore throat can be very uncomfortable.

The main symptom is pain and irritation in the throat, especially when you swallow.

A sore throat occurs as part of your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections.

Your natural immune response leads to inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the throat.

Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that may provide relief, including some that are supported by scientific evidence.

Here are 11 natural sore throat remedies.

1. Marshmallow root

The marshmallow plant has been used to treat sore throats and other conditions since the Middle Ages.

Its root contains a gelatin-like substance known as mucilage, which coats and lubricates the throat when you swallow it.

Lozenges containing marshmallow root have been tested in animals and found to be effective and nontoxic, even at very high doses.

Here is a recipe for a cold marshmallow root infusion to soothe a painful throat:

Marshmallow root infusion

Ingredients:

  • Cold water.
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) dried marshmallow root.

Directions:

  1. Fill a 1-quart (1-liter) jar with cold water.
  2. Place the marshmallow root in cheesecloth and tie up in a bundle.
  3. Lower the bundle into the water just until it’s completely submerged in the water.
  4. Place the tied end of the bundle over the lip of the jar, place the lid on the jar and screw on the lid.
  5. Infuse overnight, or for at least eight hours, and then remove the bundle.
  6. Pour desired amount into a glass. Add sweetener of choice, if desired.

When this is ready, you can sip on it throughout the day to help reduce your symptoms.

Bottom line: Marshmallow has been used to treat sore throats since ancient times. Its root contains a gelatinous substance called mucilage, which coats and soothes the throat.

 

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural health tonic that’s been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. Its main active ingredient, acetic acid, helps fight bacteria.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, even prescribed a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey – known as oxymel – to treat flu symptoms such as coughs and sore throats.

To help relieve throat pain, drink 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and an optional tablespoon of honey.

Bottom line: Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and may help provide sore throat relief when consumed in small amounts with warm water.

3. Salt water gargle

Gargling with salt water is a well-known natural remedy to get rid of a sore throat.

The salt helps reduce swelling by pulling water out of your throat tissue. It may also help kill unwanted microbes in your throat.

Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds, once per hour.

Bottom line: Gargling hourly with warm salt water helps reduce swelling and may ease throat discomfort.

4. Honey

Honey is a delicious sweetener that is often used in combination with other natural ingredients to soothe a sore throat.

In addition to helping fight infection and providing pain relief, honey can undeniably make remedies taste better.

Honey may be especially effective when combined with warm water and apple cider vinegar or herbs.

However, it shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one because their guts haven’t had a chance to acquire healthy bacteria that can fight off germs, such as botulism spores, that are sometimes found in honey.

Also, people who avoid sugar or follow a low-carb diet may want to choose another remedy, since honey is a form of sugar and contains 17 grams of carbs per tablespoon (15 ml).

Bottom line: Honey can help relieve throat pain, particularly when combined with vinegar or herbs in warm water.

5. Licorice root

Licorice root with mortar and pestle

Licorice is a plant native to Europe and South Asia.

Interestingly, it has been used in traditional medicine to treat many disorders.

Licorice has properties similar to aspirin that may help reduce sore throat pain.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any research on its ability to relieve illness-related sore throats.

However, studies on individuals who had just undergone major surgery found that licorice significantly reduced throat pain due to breathing tube removal.

One study found that gargling with licorice water prior to surgery reduced the risk of getting a sore throat by 50%, compared to gargling with sugar water.

Licorice root tea can be purchased at natural grocery stores or from online retailers.

You can also make your own to drink or gargle. Combine ground licorice root with hot water, let it steep for five minutes, then strain it prior to drinking.

Bottom line: Licorice root has aspirin-like qualities and may help soothe a sore throat when gargled or consumed as a tea.

6. Lemon water

Lemon water is a refreshing beverage that may also reduce the throat pain that occurs during a cold or the flu.

Lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants. It also increases the amount of saliva you produce, which can help keep your mucous membranes moist.

Combining lemon with warm water and a bit of honey or salt water may be the best way to maximize its benefits.

Bottom line: Lemon water contains vitamin C and compounds that can soothe a sore throat and assist with healing.

7. Ginger root tea

Ginger is a spice with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that may help relieve throat pain.

One study found that when ginger extract was applied to throat swabs from people with bacterial respiratory tract infections, it helped kill some of the bacteria responsible for the illness.

Ginger tea can be purchased from most markets or online retailers. You can also make your own from fresh ginger.

Ginger root tea

Ingredients:

  • Fresh ginger root.
  • 1 liter water.
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey or sweetener of choice.
  • A squeeze of lemon juice.

Directions:

  1. Peel ginger root and grate into a small bowl.
  2. Boil water in a large saucepan, then remove from heat.
  3. Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated ginger into the saucepan and cover with lid.
  4. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  5. Add sweetener and lemon juice, then stir to combine.

This tea can be reheated as needed, or served cold.

Bottom line: Ginger root tea may help fight infection, reduce inflammation and relieve sore throat pain.

8. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a versatile food with several health benefits.

Animal studies suggest that it may help fight infection, reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Coconut oil is also very soothing because it helps lubricate the mucous membranes in the throat.

Here are a few ideas you can try:

  • Add a spoonful to hot tea or hot cocoa.
  • Add a spoonful to soup.
  • Simply put a spoonful in your mouth and allow it to melt down your throat.

It’s best to limit coconut oil to about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day, as it can have a laxative effect at higher dosages. If you’ve never tried coconut oil, start out taking 1 teaspoon (5 ml) at a time to minimize potential side effects.

Bottom line: Coconut oil is very soothing on the throat, has anti-inflammatory effects and may help your body fight infection. Take up to 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day alone or in warm beverages.

 

9. Plenty of fluids

When your throat hurts, the last thing you may feel like doing is drinking a lot of fluids.

However, it’s important to keep your throat’s mucous membranes hydrated so they can heal.

While swallowing may be uncomfortable, drinking plenty of water or other fluids will ultimately make your throat feel better.

Drink tea, herbal infusions, water or other beverages at whatever temperature feels most comfortable.

Bottom line: Consuming adequate fluid ensures that you stay well hydrated and allows your throat to remain moist so it can heal.

 

10. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds and is extremely soothing to the throat. The mint may also slightly numb your throat, thereby relieving pain.

There are many peppermint herbal teas on the market.

You can also make your own by steeping fresh peppermint leaves in boiling water for three to five minutes, then straining off the leaves.

Peppermint tea is caffeine-free and its naturally sweet taste often requires no additional sweetener.

Bottom line: Peppermint tea is a tasty, refreshing beverage that may help reduce inflammation and throat discomfort.

11. Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages.

You may be most familiar with it in the form of tea.

Chamomile tea is believed to promote restful sleep, which is important for healing.

Studies have found that chamomile may help fight infection and reduce pain.

Chamomile tea is widely available at grocery stores and online. It has a pleasant, mild aroma and flavour. Like other herbal teas, chamomile contains no caffeine.

Bottom line: Chamomile tea promotes restorative sleep, helps fight infection and soothes sore throat pain.

 

 

Take home message

No matter how healthy you are, you’re likely to get a sore throat occasionally.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to soothe a sore throat and encourage healing.

However, make sure you see a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than a few days or is extremely painful.

Severe or persistent pain may indicate strep throat, tonsillitis or another serious infection that requires medical treatment.

Menopause and Sex Life. Not two words you necessarily associate together but actually, the menopause can have a profound effect on your sex life, and not in a good way.

If you’ve had a healthy sex drive up to this phase of your life, it can make you feel under pressure to continue your sex life at the same level as before. Unfortunately, your body has other ideas! For a lot of women, they just feel too tired and then guilty at the fact you’re saying ‘not tonight’ again.

Be assured though, it’s totally normal to not feel in the mood!

Your ovaries stop producing oestrogen which can cause vaginal dryness and make sex painful and difficult, and over time lessen your desire as it just feels too much like hard work.

Hot flushes and night sweats also don’t exactly put you in the mood and make bedtime a sexy place to be! And the weight you’ve gained is seriously affecting your confidence and making you feel pretty rubbish.

Add to that a dip in your testosterone levels, which plays a key role in a woman’s sex drive and sexual sensation, and you can understand why so many women in their 40’s and 50’s have a reduced sex drive. Especially as our sexual desires naturally decline with age anyway.

The good news is you don’t just have to suffer through and accept this as your lot!

There are things you can do to help boost your sex drive and put you in the mood.

Here are few tips:

1. Diet. Certain foods have been found to increase libido:

– Magnesium rich foods including green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses boost levels of your sex hormones.

– Phytoestrogens such as flaxseeds and soybeans naturally mimic oestrogen in your body and increase your sex drive

– Spinach, garlic and coconut, can help boost your testosterone levels which affect your libido

2. Herbs can also be beneficial in helping to boost your libido, including ginseng which helps to boost testosterone, ashwaganda increases blood flow to the clitoris and other female sexual organs and maca root helps to balance hormones and improve sexual experiences and satisfaction.

3. If the feeling is more psychological, due to low mood and a lack of confidence in yourself, then talking about it can really help. Whether that is to your partner, a friend or a health practitioner, know that it is really common and you are not alone.

4. Building strong emotional bonds with your partner, doing things like holding hands, talking and cuddling can help build connection and intimacy with your partner, and put you in the mood.

5. Lubricants can make sex easier and more enjoyable. Go for a water-based one as the most natural way to increase moisture and maintain your vagina’s natural PH.

6. Exercise helps by boosting stamina and strength, which in turn increases your confidence and sex drive. Go for a walk, join a dance class, just do something that you enjoy!

So it is just another natural and normal phase of life and, if you follow the above tips, you can work with it!

Overview

A keto diet refers to a ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carb diet. The goal is to get more calories from protein and fat than from carbs. It works by depleting your body of its store of sugar, so it will start to break down protein and fat for energy, causing ketosis (and weight loss).

One extremely popular version of a keto diet is the Atkins diet.

Read on to learn the benefits of the keto diet.

1. Aids in weight loss

It takes more work to turn fat into energy than it takes to turn carbs into energy. Because of this, a ketogenic diet can help speed up weight loss. And since the diet is high in protein, it doesn’t leave you hungry like other diets do. In a meta-analysis of 13 different randomized controlled trials, 5 outcomes revealed significant weight loss from a ketogenic diet.

2. Reduces acne

There are a number of different causes of acne, and one may be related to diet and blood sugar. Eating a diet high in processed and refined carbohydrates can alter gut bacteria and cause more dramatic blood sugar fluctuations, both of which can have an influence on skin health. Therefore, by decreasing carb intake, it’s not a surprise that a ketogenic diet could reduce some cases of acne.

3. May help reduce risk of cancer

The ketogenic diet has recently been investigated a great deal for how it may help prevent or even treat certain cancers. One study found that the ketogenic diet may be a suitable complementary treatment to chemotherapy and radiation in people with cancer. This is due to the fact that it would cause more oxidative stress in cancer cells than in normal cells.

Other theories suggest that because the ketogenic diet reduces high blood sugar, it could reduce insulin complications, which may be associated with some cancers.

4. Improves heart health

When the ketogenic diet is followed in a healthy manner (which considers avocados a healthy fat instead of pork rinds), there is some evidence that the diet can improve heart health by reducing cholesterol. One study found that HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels significantly increased in those following the keto diet. The LDL (“bad”) cholesterol went down significantly.

5. May protect brain functioning

More research is needed into the keto diet and the brain. Some studies suggest that the keto diet offers neuroprotective benefits. These may help treat or prevent conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even some sleep disorders. One study even found that children following a ketogenic diet had improved alertness and cognitive functioning.

6. Potentially reduces seizures

It’s thought that the combination of fat, protein, and carbs alters the way the body uses energy, resulting in ketosis. Ketosis is an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood.

Ketosis can lead to a reduction in seizures in people with epilepsy. The jury is still out on how effective this actually is, though it seems to be most effective on children who have focal seizures.

7. Improves health in women with PCOS

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts. A high-carbohydrate diet can negatively affect those with PCOS.

There aren’t many clinical studies on the ketogenic diet and PCOS. One pilot study that involved 5 women over a 24-week period found that the ketogenic diet:

  • increased weight loss
  • aided hormone balance
  • improved luteinizing hormone (LH)/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) ratios
  • improved fasting insulin

More research is needed.

Risks and complications of the keto diet

The ketogenic diet may have health benefits – including quick weight loss. But it’s important to note that staying on the ketogenic diet long-term can have adverse consequences to your health. These include increased risk of:

  • kidney stone formation
  • acidosis (high levels of acid in the blood)
  • severe weight loss or muscle degeneration (for long-term use)
  • In many cases, immediate side effects of the diet may include:
  • constipation
  • sluggishness
  • low blood sugar
  • These symptoms are especially common at the beginning of the diet as your body adjusts.

Your brain and body’s primary and preferred source of energy comes from glucose. Because of this, a drastic elimination of carbohydrates isn’t typically a sustainable method of reaching optimal wellness.

Takeaway

Any drastic change in your diet can have potential consequences to your health. Because of this, you should always talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before starting a new diet.

If you’re interested in starting the keto diet, you should be extra careful to check with your doctor if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, or heart disease.

Because you don’t want your body to stay in ketosis for too long, you’ll want to discuss other options for dietary changes for an extended period of time.

The ketogenic diet encourages the elimination of refined and processed carbohydrates. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Many health benefits come from a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous carbs, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

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Don’t have time for intensive skin care? You can still pamper yourself by acing the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.
1. Protect yourself from the sun

One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems — as well as increase the risk of skin cancer.

For the most complete sun protection:

Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. Also consider laundry additives, which give clothing an additional layer of ultraviolet protection for a certain number of washings, or special sun-protective clothing — which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays.

2. Don’t smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health.

Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles.

If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle:

Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps and detergents can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
Moisturize dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturizer that fits your skin type. For daily use, consider a moisturizer that contains SPF.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne isn’t clear — but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.
5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.

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The Mediterranean diet is noted for its ability to lower the risk of heart disease. With key components of the Mediterranean diet including generous amount of fish, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil, very little red meat, and red wine, it’s no surprise that the diet of the majority of those in the Mediterranean is considered a good diet example to follow.

If you take a look at national statics which show that Italy has some of the lowest rates of obesity (25th/29) and heart disease (21st/26) in Europe, it’s clear that their diet is a good example to follow. They are renowned for their health-conscious way of life; but can this be put down solely to the type of low-fat margarine they spread on their morning Ciabatta?

Tuna Steak

In answer to this, let’s take a look at a typical Mediterranean diet:

  • High consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds.

  • Olive oil is an important monounsaturated fat source.

  • Dairy products, fish and poultry are consumed in low to moderate amounts, and little red meat is eaten.
  • Wine is consumed in low to moderate amounts.

It seems that ‘balance’ is the buzzword in the Mediterranean these days — a healthy mix of fruit and veg, dairy and fiber-based foods keep them in good health.

While country and culture will ultimately dictate diet, fish generally features heavily on the menu with tuna and swordfish remaining a particularly popular staple in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. And fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which improve the health of blood vessels.

Wine, where drunk in moderation, is also a contributing factor to the health of those in the Mediterranean. Light intake of alcohol has been associated with a reduced risk of heart. Red wine in particular is considered most effective in providing positive health benefits.

The Mediterranean diet and you

With obesity levels rising, it might not be a bad idea if a few more people were to adopt the Mediterranean way of life. Having said that though, it’s pretty likely the sun plays a fairly large part in the lack of comfort eating in the Med.

Much of the fruit and vegetables eaten in Mediterranean are grown locally, and as such benefit from the extended hours of warmth and sunlight, and aren’t genetically modified so as to look like one of those monster vegetables they used to have competitions.

You can easily adopt a more Mediterranean-like diet without radical change. Introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables, limit the amount of red meat in your diet, and replace it with fish. Where possible use healthy fats such as olive oil when cooking, and then reward yourself with a glass of red wine!

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Choose high-fiber, slow-release carbs:

* Brown rice or wild rice

* Sweet potatoes or yams

* Whole-wheat pasta

*Whole-wheat or whole-grain bread

*High-fiber breakfast cereal (Raisin Bran, etc.)

*Steel-cut oats or rolled oats

*Bran flakes

*Corn

*Peas or leafy greens and vegetables

*Fruits such as apples, bananas, mangoes, pawpaw, watermelon, pear etc

*Healthy proteins such as beans, fish, or skinless chicken or turkey

*Nuts

Foods and drinks to avoid for diabetics

*Avoid or limit highly refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as soda, candy and snack foods

*Reduce or avoid soft drinks, soda, fruit juice and other sugar-sweetened drinks

*Alcoholic drinks including beer and wine

*Cocktails

*Fast foods and other processed meals

*Reduce or eliminate fats found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products and eggs.