Plant-based diets are having quite the moment in the health world. It’s not restrictive and no foods or ingredients are off the table making it quite easy to follow. Plant based diets simply focus on eating a majority of plant-based foods, ranging from fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes grains, roots and vegetables. For most people, having their diet consist of at least 60% whole food plant-based ingredients can reap all kinds of health benefits without having to say goodbye to your favorite indulgences.
Here we have some plant-based snacks, sweet and savory, to help you get better acquainted with a plant-based diet and find out how delicious it can be.
This snack is absolutely delicious and is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you a good dose of vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. It’s incredibly easy to make but looks very impressive. Have as little or as many dates as you like and store any extra in the fridge!
There are no refined sugars in this recipe, but incorporating cinnamon in this recipe will help keep your blood sugar stable till your next meal.
10 dates, pitted and spread open
1/2 cup almond butter, unsweetened
1 heaped teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1 teaspoon raw cacao power (optional)
Place your dates on a serving platter.
If your almond butter isn’t runny, place it in a double boiler and gently melt down to a runny consistency.
Turn of the heat and stir in the Ceylon cinnamon. If you want raw cacao power, stir it in as well.
Stuff your dates with the cinnamon almond butter mixture using a spoon. Add as much or as little as you like, and reserve any extra almond butter for another day.
Sprinkle some extra cinnamon over the dates before eating!
Celeriac Chips with Vegan Aioli
Getting your chips and dips fix and can be an incredible opportunity to get more plant- based nutrition into your day. This simple recipe may seem indulgent thanks to all the rich flavors used when combining baked celeriac with a rich nut-based aioli.
Simply serve the chips on a large plate with a dipping bowl full of vegan aioli. This can be enjoyed as a snack or the perfect side to a meal!
Ingredients: Celeriac Chips:
1 large celeriac, cut 1 cm thick
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
A pinch of salt and pepper
¼ cup cashew nuts
4 roasted garlic cloves
5-6 tablespoons full cream milk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
A pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 200C, fan on
Soak cashews in freshly boiled water
Place celeriac chips in pot of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes
Drain the celeriac and pat dry
Place the chips on a baking tray and drizzle over olive oil, salt & pepper and parmesan cheese
Bake the chips for 35 minutes or until crisp
Drain the cashew nuts
In a food processor or blender, add the cashew nuts, milk, roasted garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and blitz until smooth.
Sweet and Spicy Mango Salsa:
This sweet and spicy mango salsa is on the spicy side and meant to keep your appetite down and your metabolism up thanks to the red pepper and jalapeños (an ideal combination while waiting for your next meal!) As with any salsa, use fresh ingredients for the best possible taste and serve a generous quantity with each bite of your choice of chips!
1 red pepper, finely diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
1 mango, cut into small cubes
1 handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all your chopped and diced ingredients in a large bowl
Add in the lime, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper and gently mix through.
Serve with your choice of tortilla chips
Chia Pudding with Greek Yogurt and Stewed Raspberries
This chia pudding doubles as breakfast or a pre-workout snack. Chia seeds give you an excellent amount of fiber and energy, while protein-filled Greek yogurt helps you digest and absorb all the antioxidant goodness of stewed raspberries while keeping you full till your next meal. Make the chia pudding overnight, in large batches or single serve batches for easy access the next day.
Once you have your ingredients ready, simply layer in a clear glass to appreciate the beauty of this simple snack!
4 tablespoons chia seeds, soaked in almond milk over night
½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
¼ cup Greek yogurt, dairy or non-dairy of your choice.
In a sauce pan, gently simmer your raspberries in some water, maple syrup and cinnamon until slightly thickened.
In a glass cup add a layer of Greek yogurt, followed with a layer of your chia pudding.
Top your glass with stewed raspberries.
Cinnamon is an excellent spice to have on hand thanks to its blood-sugar regulating, insulin-sensitizing, and abdominal fat burning benefits! Sprinkle this potent spice to enhance the sweetness of any dish or reap the benefits of cinnamon in an easy-to-take capsule with Nature’s Health Ceylon Cinnamon.
For busy on-the-go people, a quick boost of energy is always welcome. Here’s a busy person’s guide to maximizing energy that happens to also double up on being beneficial for your long-term health as well. No fuss and no additional time-consuming practices required, just simple quick daily choices to help keep you on the move and feeling your best.
1. Get the proper nutrients
Our bodies are extremely adaptive when it comes to keeping up with our busy lifestyles. From early mornings, late nights, daily exposure to pollution, stress and everything in-between, our body works hard on a cellular level to keep it healthy and resilient.
Daily wear and tear is inevitable and it’s important to look at food as fuel for your body and the nutrients as the building blocks it needs to keep going.
This is where a well-rounded quality multivitamin comes into place to help your body cover all its nutrition gaps. Most people, no matter how disciplined they are with their food choices are likely to have a nutrient deficiency, be it malabsorption or lifestyle factors. One of the first yet most overlooked symptoms of a nutrient deficiency is low energy levels.
Supplementing with a multivitamin is a good first step to maximizing your energy because you’re giving your body the necessary fuel to keep it functioning at its best, leaving room for more energy to use as opposed to using up energy to help it recover from the wear and tear of your daily lifestyle.
2. Mind Your Insulin
Insulin seems to be cropping up everywhere as a culprit to many of our bodily woes. As the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in our blood, we want to keep our insulin levels at a steady level. Extreme fluctuating levels of insulin can leave you in an energy roller coaster that ends in low levels of insulin which leave you feeling tired in the burned-out, brain-fog, lethargic sense.
Insulin and insulin regulation is different for all people. Metabolic disorders like PCOS and obesity, diseases like Diabetes or other cases of glucose intolerance, high cholesterol and various endocrine imbalances are closely linked with insulin levels.
If you have any insulin related issues, mild or severe, across the broad spectrum of symptoms it can be linked to, know that mindfully taking care of your insulin levels will help increase your energy alongside managing any other symptoms that come from insulin balance.
Maximize your energy where insulin is concerned by taking a page or two out of a low-glycemic index diet. Eating fiber-rich foods, which help to slow down the release of insulin and avoiding a spike in insulin and avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar, which are the most common insulin spiking culprits that rob you off your energy, are one of the cornerstones of a low GI diet.
Supplements like Ceylon Cinnamon are a delicious addition to a low glycemic diet as this lovely spice makes your cells more sensitive and receptive to insulin, meaning your body senses that it doesn’t need to make as much insulin.
3. Increase circulation:
It may seem counterintuitive, but to have more energy, you should spend more energy by getting your blood flowing through exercise or any physical activity that gets your heart rate up.
The idea behind increasing circulation to maximize your energy levels is to get your blood moving. By increasing your physical activity, you circulate oxygen-rich blood through your body while simultaneously removing energy-sapping waste materials from your cells.
Regular moderate physical activity keeps your heart strong as well as improving your fitness. The fitter you are, the more energy you’ll have precisely because your body is better equipped to physical keep up with your day to day life.
4. Wake up during a light sleep cycle
We all know that sleep is integral for our health and to restore our energy. Often, low energy levels are simply due to sleep deprivation, so the fix there is obvious.
But for instances where you’re getting enough hours of quality sleep yet still waking up tired, you can look at your body’s natural circadian rhythm.
While you sleep, your body goes in and out of different phases and depths of sleep. Your body sequentially goes through a waking, light sleep, deep sleep and REM cycle throughout the night. Where increasing your energy is concerned, you want to wake up at the end of a full sleep cycle, just after REM and around the time your natural waking cycle begins.
The logic behind this is waking up when your body is naturally more awake. Even people who get in 8 hours of sleep can still feel tired when waking up possibly because their alarm woke them up during their deep sleep cycle. Work with your body’s natural rhythm and wake up in accordance to your sleep cycle. Some simple math or even a sleeping app can help you get up on the right side of the bed each day.
Increase and maintain your energy levels with the right supplements. Nature’s Health Complete Multivitamin and Ceylon Cinnamon are an ideal pair in giving you sustained energy levels by giving your body the nutrients and right insulin balance it needs to keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
Smoothies and juices are the poster child and quintessential health promoting food. To make the most of this wonderfully healthy habit and to maximize the benefits of incorporating smoothies and juices into your diet, here are a few trusted tips to keep things as authentically health-promoting as possible.
1. Wash thoroughly
Smoothies and juices are fresh ingredients eaten in their raw form. With that said, you need to be vigilant when it comes to prepping your ingredients, which as you know, have come a long way in getting transported from the farm it grew on to the shelf and market you bought it off.
Wash your fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs, and whatever other ingredients you want to use for your juice or smoothie extremely well. This is of course for removing soil, dirt and any residue that may be on your fresh produce, and to help prevent any foodborne illness.
Washing you produce is especially important if you’re using conventional produce, as there certainly is toxic pesticide residue. Something you definitely don’t want in your system. To ensure any unwanted residue is removed, soak your produce in water with baking soda and white vinegar for at least 1 minute. A good ratio would be a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda for every 2 cups of water. Run your fresh produce under cool running water afterwards to ensure you have safe and clean ingredients to work with.
2. Opt for organic
When possible and where possible, opt for fresh, local and organic produce. Not only is buying organic and local better for the environment, truly organic produce is more nutrient dense. A standard of organic farming is to replenish and nourish the soil that is used to grow produce as opposed to stripping it of nutrients from continual harvests. Choosing organic produce for your juices and smoothies overall gives you more nutrients and therefore more benefits, without worrying about any toxicity from pesticide residue like their non-organic counterparts.
3. Mind the sugar
Juices and smoothies, although healthy, can be greenwashed. Yes, you’re getting in a host of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in one easy sip, but one major thing to consider and mind when drinking these healthy elixirs, especially with juices, is the sugar content. This holds particularly true for packaged smoothies and juices, which usually contain a high amount of sugar. Read the label if you’re buying them and avoid the ones that are high in added sugars.
When you put together your juice or smoothie, consider the amount of fructose your body will be consuming. Bananas, pineapples, mangoes, grapes, pears, cherries etc. are all delicious and bring to the table their own unique nutrient profile. But one thing in common these fruits have is they’re high in fructose, and like anything you consume with sugar, they can spike your blood glucose levels and send it crashing.
This is particularly something to mind when it comes to juicing fruit. If you think having a mango, pineapple, and peaches for a golden morning smoothie is a great way to start your day, you may want to reconsider the level of sugar you’re giving your body, especially if you don’t follow it up with some kind of protein and fat.
4. Don’t treat them meal replacement
Smoothies and juices are often associated with being a weightloss food, however you need to remember that smoothies and juices are not to be treated as a meal replacement for the sake of weightloss as they often aren’t nutritionally balanced. A balanced meal consists of all your macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Juices especially, although containing a lot of vitamins and minerals, don’t contain your needed macronutrients and certainly don’t make for a complete and balanced meal.
Where smoothies are concerned, bulk up the nutrient profile by ensuring you add nutrient dense foods to make it worthy of a full meal. Add greens like spinach and kale, some fruit like banana and/or mango, nut butters for healthy fats, and protein powders to make your smoothie a truly nourishing drink.
5. Add cinnamon
As previously mentioned, juices and smoothies tend to be high in fructose. If you enjoy the sweetness, and rightly so, help your body counteract the sugar more efficiently and prevent a sugar crash by mixing in Ceylon cinnamon, which is exceptional at helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
6. Keep the fiber
Where juicing is concerned, it’s particularly beneficial on an empty stomach as you give your body a flush of easily absorbable vitamins and antioxidants as the liquid takes little effort to digest and reaches your system quickly. Juicing however leaves behind pulp, which often gets discarded. To make the most of your hard-earned fresh produce, keep the pulp from your juice which itself is loaded with gut-loving fiber. You can easily portion them into smaller parts and store them in the freezer. Leftover juice pulp goes great in thickening soups, adding as a base to fritters, making crackers, or even used as dip. With a little creativity in the kitchen, you can drink your juice and have your pulp too.
Enjoy the sweet side of smoothie and juicing life with a serving of our Ceylon Cinnamon capsules which is extremely efficient at keeping your blood sugar levels stable. Got any juice and smoothie recipes? Share them in the comments below!
If you often have a long day ahead of juggling your career, family, friends, and personal goals (isn’t that all of us?) you can definitely relate to the incredible amount of energy you spend living your best life. Keep up with yourself by feeding your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Use food to your advantage as a means to help you reach your daily to-dos and long-term goals.
Food is fuel. With that said, incorporate some or all of these healthy and wholesome recipes to energize you throughout the day.
First thing in the morning
It’s an anecdotal health belief that what you put in your body first thing in the morning can set the tone for your entire day, and it makes sense as you’re setting yourself up for a momentum of healthy choices. Make it a habit of starting your morning with healthy choices and watch the day unfold into a string of more good-for-you decisions. To help set the tone for your day, try incorporate one of these morning beverages to kick start your digestive system, hydrate from a long nights rest, and to brighten your palate into a new day.
Lemon water: Drinking warm water with lemon is an ancient ayurvedic practice known to help detox your liver and stimulate digestive enzymes.
Mix the juice of half a lemon with one cup of warmed water. Sip through a straw to protect your teeth, especially if you’re going to make this a daily morning habit.
Sunrise Green Juice: Nothing energizes the body quite like a chlorophyll-loaded glass of freshly pressed green juice drank on an empty stomach. Not only will you flood your body with energizing nutrients first thing in the morning, you alkalize your system too.
Simply run the following ingredients through a juicer for the perfect wake-up call:
5 medium stalks of celery
1 large handful of kale
1 medium cucumber
1 inch knob of ginger
Whether you start your morning with an energizing elixir or not, breaking your fast from a night of sleeping should be all about putting in the right nutrition in your body to start the day. Focus on covering all your macronutrients to properly fuel your body for the day ahead:
Wake-up breakfast smoothie: This smoothie is perfect for on-the-go mornings where you need to zip around without having to sacrifice the quality, taste, or nutrient-profile of your breakfast.
Blend the following:
1 large banana
4 tablespoon oats
1 heaped tablespoon peanut butter
1 date, pitted
1 heaped teaspoon chocolate powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 shot of espresso
1 cup almond milk
Lunchtime: Ever feel sleepy after lunch? That’s likely because your digestive system and blood sugar are bogged down from empty carbs. Try a more wholesome lunch that focuses on protein and wholegrains to fuel you longer without that post-lunch sleepiness.
Roasted chicken and massaged kale wrap: This wrap is delicious and makes for an easy and filling packed lunch. Simply fill up a whole-wheat pita bread with as much chicken and vegetables you want. The quantities are up to you!
Ingredients: Makes 2 servings
4 large handfuls of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce (tamari if you’re gluten-free)
1 heaped teaspoon tahini
Shredded roast chicken
1 whole wheat pita
Massage the kale in olive oil, soy sauce, and tahini until wilted.
Add in the chicken, caramelized onions, and sundried tomatoes to the kale and toss well.
Add a generous amount of the salad into your pita wrap right before eating.
Mid-Afternoon Pick-Me Up:
The 3 pm slump is no joke. Whether your body’s natural circadian rhythm is naturally winding down as the sun gets lower, if you’re at wits end in the office and mentally drained, or if your blood sugar is low with your lunch long gone and with a few more hours to go till dinner, an afternoon snack is the perfect opportunity to nourish and energize a tired body. Skip the 3 pm cup of coffee (your sleep quality will thank you!) and try this energizing recipe instead:
Ashwagandha latte: Counter the stresses of your day before it’s even over with a warming Ashwagandha latte. This adaptogenic drink will give your body that caffeine-free boost with the added benefits of feeling calm and relaxed. We added cinnamon to sweeten up this recipe and to help ensure your blood sugar levels stay stable, while a generous serving of nut butter will provide just enough protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated till dinner.
1 cup cashew milk
1 tablespoon cashew butter (you can use almond milk & almond butter, or any nut milk and butter of your choice)
1 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
In a pot, mix the Ashwagandha powder, cinnamon, nut butter and honey with the cashew milk.
Gently heat the mixture.
Pour and serve in your favorite mug
Stay energized throughout the day by stashing these essentials either in your bag or at work to help keep your energy levels up, without worrying about a rollercoaster ride of sudden rises and drops in energy. Have our Ashwagandha on hand to help keep you feeling focused and alert amidst stress which can leave you feeling drained, and pair it with our Ceylon Cinnamon to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
Good nutrition is and will always be the primary means to maintain good health, prevent disease and just overall help you to live your healthiest life.
Here are a few simple recipes, supercharged with our very own Nature’s Health supplements to incorporate into easy recipes you can make everyday.
Coconut Cashew Energy Balls
This recipe is perfect made in large batches and can be formed into balls, raw cookies, or shaped however you like for a superfood energy bite. We love the way the spicy ginger and turmeric compliment the creaminess of oats and cashews.
The recipe is supercharged with anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric, which also lends a lovely earthy spice to the energy balls as well as a beautiful golden hue.
Pulse the oats and cashews in a food processor or a blender
Add the medjool dates, ground ginger and turmeric
Blend all the ingredients until well incorporated
Roll the mixture into balls and refrigerate for an hour to set.
Ashwagandha, literally translated to mean ‘smell of a horse’, can work perfectly into a variety of adaptogenic beverages to start or end your day on a healthy note. If the taste of this ancient super root isn’t particularly palatable for you, know that it mixes well with other ingredients to mask the taste while you get all the benefits.
This latte features the sweet spiciness of cinnamon to balance out the bitterness of Ashwagandha. Drink it in place of your morning coffee for a different kind of energy boost, without the crash, with the added benefit of stabilized blood sugar levels.
Pour the almond milk in a pot and heat over a low flame
When warm, mix in the maple syrup, vanilla, ceylon cinnamon, and Ashwagandha and continue to gently warm the mixture just before boiling.
Turn off the heat and give the mixture a good whisk or use a frother to add a layer of foam.
Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!
Super Greens Smoothie- Cinnamon
This smoothie is best taken as your breakfast. It’s chock full of nutrient dense ingredients that blend so well together into a creamy and seemingly indulgent smoothie to help supercharge the start of your day. We sneak in some spinach as well to help you get greens first thing in the morning while our own Ceylon Cinnamon helps to keep your mind clear and blood sugar levels stable throughout the day.
1 banana (optional: frozen)
50 grams rolled oats
2 medjool dates
1 heaped tablespoon almond butter
1 ½ cups almond milk
1 handful of fresh spinach (tip: use frozen spinach if you don’t want to taste it)
Place all the ingredients in the blender and pour the almond milk over
Blend until smooth
One of our favorite things about turmeric is that it goes so well into sweet and savory dishes alike. Here, we use it in a hummus which gives it a stunning golden hue. Best served with fresh chunks of sourdough bread or simple whole wheat pita and roasted vegetables, or on top of a salad to bring all the ingredients together.
*Tip: Simply add some water to adjust your consistency
Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender
Blend until smooth and creamy, and add water to adjust the consistency
Serve in a large bowl and sprinkle over some smoked paprika
Have all the superfood ingredients you need to amp up your healthy recipes with our Nature’s Health Ashwagandha, Ceylon Cinnamon, and Turmeric. Our supplements are pure, all-natural, and made without any fillers so you can easily add them to recipes to enjoy both the taste and benefits of these superfoods. Simply twist open the capsules to get the powder out and use them as ingredients.
If inflammation is the culprit of all lifestyle diseases, sugar acts as the fuel. There are countless studies that indicate the dangers of sugar. Although it’s unrealistic in our modern world to completely avoid or eliminate sugar in our diets, there are simple steps we can take to help us enjoy the occasional sugary treat.
If you want to keep the ill effects of sugar at bay and have your cake too, check out how you can help your body stay healthy while you enjoy your sweets.
Firstly, the dangers of refined sugar
Sugar is an all-natural compound found in many whole foods. It’s considered a refined carbohydrate, and although antagonized in the health world, a little sugar in moderation can comprise of a balanced diet for healthy individuals.
Where sugar gets its bad rap is mainly from table sugar or white sugar, which is a highly refined form of this simple carbohydrate. Processing white sugar involves a lot of chemical additives to make the seemingly innocent white granules that we all see so commonly.
Refined sugar, especially when frequently consumed in large amounts has been linked and known to be the cause of many health ailments such as inflammation, obesity, diabetes, cancer, malnourishment, tooth decay and heart disease.
Healthier refined sugar alternatives
What makes sugar harmful to the body is essentially its effects on our blood sugar. Sugar comes in many forms, but once ingested in our body, sugar is sugar. What we can do, short of eliminating sugar entirely, is to opt for all-natural sugar alternatives that have a lower glycemic index and are less refined than white sugar. Try these all-natural sugar swaps (but still consume sparingly) for a healthier sweet treat:
Agave: Agave, from the agave plant, is turned into a syrup that goes well with cocktails and mocktails thanks to its liquid syrupy form that makes it easy to mix with other liquids.
Coconut sugar and nectar: From the coconut tree, coconut sugar and nectar is a minimally processed sweetener with a glycemic index of 35, which is almost half of table sugar. It can be used as a table sugar replacement and works especially well with coffee and raw baked goods.
Yacon syrup: Yacon is a naturally sweet root, and turned into a syrup as an alternative sweetener with a very low glycemic index.
Stevia: Stevia comes from the South America stevia plant. Its naturally sweet leaves contain no sugar and don’t affect blood sugar. Made into drops or powdered form, use ¼ the amount of stevia as you would normal sugar.
Sprinkle Cinnamon on Everything!
If there was a magic bullet that could counter the blood sugar spiking effect of sugar, it would definitely contain cinnamon. This spice, not only goes wonderfully with sugary treats, it increases our sensitivity to insulin, helping to prevent blood sugar crashes and puts less strain on our liver and pancreas as they work hard to process sugar. Additionally, cinnamon also helps to curb sugar cravings.
Fortunately, this spice goes well on most sugary foods, so sprinkle away to enjoy a sugary treat without having to worry about a major sugar crash.
For when you over indulge
For days when a small treat turns into an overindulgence, you’re bound to feel a little off balance. To help reduce the ill feelings sugar may bring on, follow the below tips to help your body get back on track:
Don’t starve yourself: You may think cutting out a meal or two to compensate for all the empty sugary calories you consumed will help keep your body in check. This is quite the opposite, when over indulging in sugar, it’s important to not starve your body and to eat a quality fiber and protein-rich meal to keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing.
Hydrate and alkalize: Too much sugar can leave your body feeling dehydrated and acidic. When you’ve had too much sugar, be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body process the sugar and to eat or drink alkalizing foods such as a green juice.
Being educated about the negative effects of sugar and how you can counter and minimize these effects, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the occasional sweet treat in moderation.
Enjoy a sweet treat, keep your blood sugar in balance and avoid a nasty sugar crash with the help of our Ceylon Cinnamon capsules. Made with premium organic Ceylon cinnamon, incorporate this super spice into your health routine and reap its many health benefits.
While a healthy diet and regular exercise are the gold standard in effective and sustainable weight loss and management, there are other lifestyle practices to make your weight loss efforts more effective.
There aren’t any known or proven methods to reduce fat on problem areas in your body, let alone belly fat. But fortunately, there are a variety of fat reduction lifestyle tips which specifically target your belly, an area where excess fat is most typically stored.
Not only will losing weight through losing belly fat give you a healthier scale on the number, less superficial benefits such as lowered cholesterol, reduction in chances of lifestyle diseases and metabolic complications as well as healthier vital organs are a major plus.
Try these lifestyle tips and practices to promote reduction in belly fat
1. Reduce stress
Stress, especially when experienced constantly, is attributed to an increase in belly fat due to the excess amounts of cortisol that your body releases. Stress causes abdominal fat, regardless if you’re overweight or not.
The key idea to reduce abdominal fat through stress management is to keep your cortisol levels down. That means no caffeine close to bedtime, exercising regularly to release cortisol-balancing endorphins, and allowing yourself time to relax and unwind from stress on a daily basis with whatever suits you such as meditation, yoga, journaling, etc.
It may seem like slowing down and letting your body recharge from stress doesn’t seem like the most obvious way to lose fat, but in managing our cortisol levels, you are in fact giving your body the proper cues to not store and hold on to excess fat.
2. Rule out food intolerances
A large belly caused by gas and bloating can be misconceived as fat. Consider if you have any food intolerances or allergies that are giving you indigestion and bloat. Cutting out allergens and promoting good gut health not only will make your stomach flatter, but improve your overall health.
Common food allergens include:
– Dairy products
– Gluten, commonly found in wheat, grain and soy products
Lesser known allergens that could cause bloat irritation of the gut are:
– Artificial preservatives
– Food coloring
– Artificial fillers
– Trans fats
If you suspect that you have any allergies to these foods (you’ll know you have an allergy if you experience gas, bloating, brain fog, etc.), simply cut them out of your diet, your stomach should flatten out now that there are no allergens in it to cause inflammation.
3. Balance Your Hormones
Did you know that hormone balance is vital for a flat stomach? While hormones are typically associated with reproductive health, hormones greatly determine how you metabolize and accumulate fat as well.
Hormones such as cortisol, insulin, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen all play a role in how much fat your belly accumulates. Work on keeping your hormones balanced and watch your belly fat accumulation decrease.
Here are some basic ways to care for your overall hormonal health:
Meditate and prioritize quality sleep to manage stress and lower cortisol levels.
Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates to avoid spikes in insulin and to lower inflammation. In fact, too much insulin actually stores excess calories specifically in your abdomen.
Incorporate adaptogens such as Ashwagandha, which promote equilibrium in your body by nourishing it according to what your body needs. If you have a hormonal imbalance, Ashwagandha has the ability to bring things back in balance.
4. Do HIIT
Daily exercise is one of the healthiest ways to burn calories and keep your body from storing excess calories, which turn into fat.
High Intensity Interval Training exercises, otherwise known as HIIT, have been shown time and again to burn more fat than prolonged exercise done at a lower intensity, and actually continue to burn fat even after your workout.
While finding an exercise that you personally enjoy and are willing to commit to on a regular basis is the most ideal way to exercise to reap all the physical and health benefits, if you’re looking to lose fat as efficiently as possible incorporate HIIT workouts into your exercise routine.
5. Incorporate cinnamon
If there’s a belly-reducing ingredient out there, we’d have to say that cinnamon would take the mantle as it’s the ideal ingredient to reduce the weight gaining effects that excess sugars and refined carbs give us.
Studies have shown that cinnamon lowers and stabilizes blood sugar. If you eat a carby or sugary meal, consuming cinnamon beforehand can offset the spike in insulin by naturally lowering your blood sugar levels and increase our sensitivity to insulin, resulting in less calories being stored as fat around the abdomen.
Keep your belly fat in control with regular intake of cinnamon and notice the reduction of fat around your abdomen.
Want to find out more about this ancient super spice? Here’s what you need to know about cinnamon. Start incorporating this humble kitchen staple and reap all of the fat reducing and sugar-stabilizing health benefits of cinnamon.
Cinnamon is a superstar ingredient in the kitchen. It’s distinct sweet, spicy, and aromatic taste is known and loved by many. Whether you like to mix it into your favorite cookie batter, bake it into a fruit pie, blitz it into fruit smoothies, or even stew it with middle-eastern dishes, cinnamon is a kitchen staple.
This spice is beloved both on a culinary and medicinal level. Studies on cinnamon have shown that it provides us with as many health benefits as it does uses in the kitchen.
Originating from Sri Lanka and dating back as far as 2800 B.C, here’s what you need to know about this ancient super spice:
1. Blood Sugar Stabilization
If you enjoy yourself a carby meal and a sugary dessert to follow, taking cinnamon would be especially beneficial for you thanks to its ability to lower blood sugar. You’ll know you’re going through a blood sugar rollercoaster if you want to lie down after you’ve had something sweet or if you generally feel sluggish after a meal; this is the energy high then eventual crash you get from sugar and refined carbs.
Consuming cinnamon reduces blood sugar levels and results in the prevention of big surges of insulin, the hormone secreted to metabolize sugar. This means feeling less tired and sluggish, especially if you’re prone to sugar crashes.
2. Fat loss
Thanks to cinnamon’s blood sugar stabilization, it also has the potential to help you lose weight and to keep excess weight off, especially around your abdomen.
Stubborn fat around your torso could be due to having too much insulin. When our bodies produce this hormone, it’s meant to metabolize sugar, however when there is too much sugar for our bodies to use, insulin deposits it into our fat cells, particularly around your stomach area.
Since cinnamon increases our sensitivity to insulin, our bodies don’t need to produce as much of the hormone, leaving less of it to deposit excess sugar into fat cells. This is why cinnamon is a popular spice in many types of fat-burning products.
3. Cinnamon and anti-inflammatory benefits
Did you know that turmeric isn’t the only anti-inflammatory powerhouse spice in your pantry? Cinnamon contains an anti-inflammatory compound called cinnamic acid which protect our bodies from inflammation and oxidative stress from free radicals. This means more protection from diseases stemming from chronic inflammation such as arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.
Fortunately for us, cinnamon is an easy spice to work with to reap its anti-inflammatory benefits. Here are a few simple anti-inflammatory recipes featuring cinnamon.
Post workout smoothie
Keep exercise free-radicals at bay by blending:
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaped tablespoon nut butter of choice
Splash of vanilla (optional)
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
Anti-inflammatory and immune boosting tea:
Negate the greying effects of pollution and the day’s stresses with this evening tea:
Did you know that not all cinnamon is created equal? The food industry is a highly unregulated business with many manufacturers cutting corners and as a result, sacrificing quality. Cinnamon is no exception here.
The most common type of cinnamon comes from a cousin of cinnamon called Cassia, which originates from China. While it may look, smell, and taste like cinnamon to the undiscerning eye, Cassia doesn’t have the same potency of true cinnamon and is potentially toxic in high doses. Seeing as it is cheaper and of lower quality, this is likely what you find commercially. Be wary, if you’re after real Cinnamon, don’t assume that it’s the stuff you find on supermarket shelves.
True cinnamon on the other hand, called Ceylon Cinnamon, is native to Sri Lanka and is non-toxic. It is less processed than its commercial counterpart explaining why it is more expensive and harder to find. Opt for Ceylon Cinnamon to reap all the benefits this spice has to offer.
Take your cinnamon consumption beyond the fall seasons pumpkin spiced latte and start incorporating this ancient super spice into your daily routine. Share your recipes and tips in the comments below on how to use this lovely aromatic spice to better our health.
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