Health Benefits Of Kale

Health Benefits Of Kale

Did you know there are many different varieties of kale used in Irvine, CA? That ornamental kale you see in planters and on salad bars are different varieties than the ones you eat, but still edible. Even within the edible varieties, there are huge differences in flavor and appearance. For instance, red kale tastes milder than curly kale, and they both look and taste different than walking stick kale. What do they all have in common? It’s the health benefits of kale.

Add kale to your salads to boost flavor and nutrients.

This versatile veggie can be cooked or eaten raw. It’s becoming more and more popular in salads, especially when you consider how many more nutrients it offers compared to other leafy greens, like iceberg lettuce. It had a high amount of vitamin K, C, A and a large amount of copper and manganese. It also contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E, folate, calcium, copper, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and Omega3 fatty acids. Kale is one of the most nutrient packed plants you can find.

Fill up on kale salad if you want to lose weight and stay healthy.

Kale is a low calorie option that tastes amazing. Create a big salad with kale, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a vinaigrette dressing. It’s delicious and filling, but extremely low in calories. It offers plenty of protein and fiber, which is important for weight loss. You can use it as a side dish, too. The green you see in the Zuppa Toscana at the Olive Garden is kale. You can sauté kale with mushrooms and tomatoes as a side dish. There are many ways to include it in your diet to help you blast off the pounds, while enjoying every minute of eating.

There’s no better time than now to boost your immune system.

Kale is filled with potent antioxidants in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C. It also has flavonoids and polyphenols that help your immune system. These antioxidants help protect your cells from oxidative damage that can lead to aging, serious conditions and even death. The flavonoids in kale, kaempferol and quercetin offer anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer benefits.

  • Eating kale also helps you lower your blood pressure and protect your heart. It also has bile acid sequestrants that lower cholesterol levels.
  • Kale reduces the potential for Alzheimer’s and dementia by providing nutrients that slow mental decline as you age.
  • Kale contains high amounts of vitamin K and goitrogen that increase the blood clotting ability of the blood. If you’re on blood thinners or have hypothyroidism, always check with your health care professional before including kale in your diet.
  • Spinach is almost as laden with nutrients as kale, including high amounts of calcium. However, spinach is also high in oxalate, while kale isn’t. Oxalate not only prevents absorption of calcium and other nutrients and may cause kidney stones.

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Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Dehydration?

Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Dehydration?

Do you burn the candle at both ends and wind up feeling fatigued or have a headache in the morning? Most people would blame that on lack of sleep, but the answer might be a bit more complicated. Maybe lacking sleep isn’t the exact problem, but dehydration is. What causes the dehydration? According to research published in the November 5, 2018, journal, Sleep, these symptoms occur because of dehydration, but the dehydration may occur because of the lack of sleep.

The study followed the hydration of almost 20,000 Chinese and American Adults.

It didn’t matter whether you were from the US or China, sleeping fewer than six hours on a regular basis increased your risk of dehydration up to 59% when compared to people who slept from seven to eight hours normally. While studies have shown that lack of sleep not only impairs your judgement and focus, but when done consistently, can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Newer studies show it can even lead to kidney disease and even early death.

New studies show it may be because of a hormone created at night as part of the circadian rhythm.

When scientists discovered the link between lack of sleep and dehydration, they had to look further. The study was observational, but it linked the dehydration to the creation of a hormone called vasopressin. The body creates vasopressin, which is a hormone that has antidiuretic qualities. It helps maintain the body’s water balance both during the day and night. Vasopressin is released more quickly deeper into the sleep cycle. Going to bed and therefore getting up before the most hormone is released can disrupt the body’s hydration.

What to do if you’re getting less than eight hours of sleep a night.

Getting adequate sleep should be your first line of defense. Lack of sleep affects so many areas of your health that it’s extremely important. However, sometimes getting enough sleep isn’t possible. For those times when you’re tired, feeling groggy or out of sorts, don’t reach for coffee. Instead, reach for a bottle of water and drink water liberally throughout the day.

  • The kidneys play a vital role in hydration due to the hormone vasopressin secreted by the pituitary gland. Drinking more water actually improves kidneys health.
  • The studies showed that people who regularly slept 6 hours or less had urine that was more concentrated than those who slept at least 8 hours a night. However, sleeping 9 hours made no significant difference.
  • The quality of your sleep makes a difference. Quality sleep is more than just getting to bed on time. It’s going to sleep and sleeping through the night to let the sleep cycle complete.
  • You can get better quality sleep by creating a sleep schedule and sticking with it, refrain from eating too much at bedtime, but don’t go to bed hungry and make your area conducive to sleep, dark, slightly cool and quiet.

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Vegetarian Foods Loaded With Iron

Vegetarian Foods Loaded With Iron

There are a lot of foods that are high in iron, such as shellfish, liver and other organ meats, beef, turkey and fish. That’s normally where many people get iron in their diet. What about a vegetarian? What foods should they eat to get their daily supply of iron? Iron is important for the body. It is necessary in the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. A deficiency leads to anemia and fatigue. Most at risk are menstruating women and people with certain conditions. There are some rich sources of iron in the plant world, however.

Plant sources are non-heme iron sources that make it harder to absorb.

Popeye loved his spinach and the iron in it made him strong. It does have a significant amount of iron, about 15% of the DV in just 3.5 ounces of spinach. It also contains vitamin C. Even though spinach is non-heme, the vitamin C helps boost the iron absorption. Spinach also has other nutrients, such as carotenoids. Just like spinach, other leafy greens, like kale, Swiss chard, beet and collard greens, tend to be higher in iron. 100 grams of spinach has 1.1 times more iron as 100 grams of red meat. The difference comes in the volume and how well the body can use the iron. Uncooked, 100 grams of spinach is about 3 ½ cups, while 100 grams of red meat is the size of a deck of cards.

Beans, lentils and peas are higher in iron.

Soybeans and the foods like tofu, tempeh and natto made from soybeans are higher in iron. They are also a good source of protein, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Lentils, another staple on the vegetarian table, also contain iron, fiber, folate, manganese and protein. Whether you’re talking about black-eyed peas, chickpeas, Lima, red or navy beans, they’re higher in iron. In fact, chickpeas are an excellent source, with a cup providing over 1/4th the daily required amount. Think hummus and dip your veggies as you get your iron.

Your trail mix could be the key to getting adequate iron.

Both nuts and seeds are high in iron. Just two tablespoons of pumpkin, sesame, flax or hemp seed, you’ll get between 7 and 23% of your required daily amount of iron. Again, think about hummus. It’s not only made from chickpeas, but it also contains tahini, a product made from sesame seeds. A half cup of hummus provides 17% of the RDI. Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts and pine nuts also provide about 8% of the daily recommended intake per ounce.

While raw tomatoes don’t contain a lot of iron, their concentrate does. Just a half cup of tomato paste offers 22% of the RDI. While they do contain vitamin C that helps absorption, it’s lost during the cooking process.

Mash those potatoes with the skin on it. Unpeeled potatoes have a significant amount of iron, approximately 18% of the RDI. Most of that iron is in the skins.

Prune juice and mulberries also have iron. Prunes juice offers about 17% of the RDI per cup, while mulberries provide 14% RDI with a high amount of vitamin C to help absorption.

Whole grains like the ancient grains amaranth, quinoa and spelt, as well as oats, contain a high amount of iron. Let’s not forget one of the more popular foods with iron, dark chocolate. It offers 18% RDI per ounce.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Spicing Up Your Meals Can Benefit Your Health

Do you really think that healthy food has to taste bland and boring? You’ll be surprised at how spicing up your meals not only makes it taste better, but also can benefit your health. Holy Basil, for instance, is used in Asian cooking, but is more often used for its health benefits. It helps you feel more relaxed and reduces the hormone of stress, cortisol. Sage is another herb that helps the body. In fact, it’s genus name, salvia, means to heal in Latin. The chemicals sage contains, such as luteolin, quercetin and rosmarinic, also improve memory and alertness.

Sour cream and chives make a good topping for potatoes, but chives also have a health benefit.

If you top your baked potato with chives, you’ll be adding a powerful cancer fighter. It contains choline, too. Choline aids brain functions, sleep, bone building with its vitamin K and muscle movements. They also contain calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium, yet only have one calorie per tablespoon.

Turmeric is a yellow spice that’s often used in Indian dishes.

However, it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory. It’s used for arthritis, digestive issues, anti-cancer benefits and even Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that if you flavor with turmeric, you’ll reduce the risk of cancer and may even help slow the progression if you already have it. It’s been used to treat dementia as well as Alzheimer’s because of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and ability to dissolve fats. Studies indicate abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and the curcumin in turmeric help prevent it.

Marjoram and oregano are also good for your health.

Marjoram helps balance abnormal hormone levels that can cause PCOS—polycystic ovarian syndrome. Marjoram also has antiseptic qualities and is often used to treat signs of flu, headaches and coughs. It’s also used as a pain reliever. Oregano is also used for those same things, since it’s rich in antioxidants and is antiseptic. In fact, making a tea and using it to wash your face can be an effective acne treatment or use it on the hair for dandruff.

  • Boost your brain power with peppermint. In fact, just sniffing peppermint can boost your energy, alertness or improve your mood. Put a drop of peppermint oil on a handkerchief and sniff it when you need a boost. Putting a drop on the neck, sinuses, or temples can help relieve headaches.
  • Cilantro and coriander both come from the same plant. Cilantro is the leaves and coriander the seeds. Both are high in vitamins A, K and E, iron, zinc, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, copper, calcium and magnesium.
  • Garlic is one of the favorites when it comes to good health. It can combat even the common cold. Garlic can also lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, fight against Alzheimer’s, and help you live longer.
  • Fennel can be an herb or the bulb can be a vegetable. It has a licorice smell and contains many nutrients, including vitamins A, C, B6, E and K. A tea from the leaves or chewing on a seed is good to help settle the stomach.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Unique Health Benefits Of Honey

Unique Health Benefits Of Honey

In Irvine, CA, there are many boutiques and health stores where you can purchase both raw and processed honey. Don’t be fooled by the grocery store honey that is often watered down and degraded with fructose additives, making it nothing but honey sugar syrup with none of the health benefits of honey. There is medical-grade honey, food-grade, raw honey, organic honey and pasteurized honey. To get the benefits, avoid the pasteurized or processed honey. The heating and treating kills the good bacteria and eliminates many of the health benefits. Buy from local beekeepers if possible.

Clear honey looks better, but is it better for you?

The more processed honey is, the clearer it is. Raw honey is one of the best choices. It often contains far more pollen and beneficial enzymes. Even though the pollen in honey makes it look hazier, it also provides extra benefits. Raw honey contains antioxidants, enzymes, minerals and has many health benefits. If you’ve ever taken a teaspoon of honey mixed with lemon juice for a cough, you’ll understand how helpful and healing it can be. It’s even endorsed by many medical groups as a natural cough treatment.

Honey has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

The benefits of honey can also help rid the body of inflammation that can cause a number of health issues, which include heart disease, autoimmune disorders and cancer. There are different benefits based on the type of nectar used to make the honey. For instance, buckwheat honey is exceptionally high in antioxidants and probably the best choices for treatment of coughs and the sore scratchy throat. It’s also good to lower cholesterol levels and aid in healing wounds. Acacia honey, which actually comes from black locust trees sometimes called false acacia, is also effective in treating resistant bacteria and some forms of cancer.

You may have heard of manuka honey.

This type of honey is rare and comes from New Zealand. It’s made from the nectar of the tea tree bush. It has a more medicine style taste than regular honey, but it’s extremely good to help the body heal. Diabetic ulcers and burns are often treated with manuka honey, since it keeps the area moist, reduces inflammation, maintains the proper pH conditions for healing and is antibacterial. It also is good for oral health.

  • If you’ve ever seen wildflower honey, you know it’s light in color. It’s one of the best as a cough suppressant and helps fight seasonal allergies, just as sourwood honey does.
  • One of the sweetest and mildest types of honey is tupelo honey. It’s sweet and almost buttery with antioxidant and antibacterial benefits. Orange blossom honey supports the immune system.
  • Linden or basswood honey also is delicate in taste and flavor. It’s used to detox the body and for colds and bronchitis by naturopaths. Sage honey is good for digestion. Blueberry honey is used for chronic illness.
  • Beware of giving infants under 12 months raw honey. It can contain botulism bacteria. Also be aware that honey is quite high in calories and is pure sugar. Use it sparingly as you would any other type of sugar.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Food That Have Almost ZERO Calories

Food That Have Almost ZERO Calories

Are you searching for food that fills you up, but that has almost ZERO calories? Lots of people in Irvine, CA are doing the same thing. Finding foods with low or no calories isn’t as hard as you think. You start with food that normally is lower calorie, contains fiber and burns more calories to digest as it contains. These are called negative-calorie foods, which is a hot topic today.

Is there such a thing as a negative calorie food?

You hear celery tossed around frequently when this effect is mentioned. Digestion requires energy. In fact, it takes between 5 and 10 percent of your daily energy expenditure. Even though celery contains few calories, it still takes energy to digest the food. The net calorie intake for these foods are minimal, but not necessarily negative. Other vegetables, like leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts and even fruit like cantaloupe and watermelon are almost zero calories because of thermogenesis and the cost of calories it takes to digest the food.

Adding more flavor doesn’t mean adding calories.

Adding a tablespoon of butter or mayonnaise to add flavor will definitely increase the calorie count, so why not add almost zero calorie herbs and spices, like ginger, garlic or cayenne pepper. Spicy cayenne pepper or other hot foods actually can boost the calorie burning. It causes the heat to build in your body and increase its temperature. That increases your metabolism, burning even more calories and lowering the calorie count for the food that’s spiced. Cinnamon, cumin and turmeric also have weight loss benefits.

There’s a reason why salads are often the center of diets.

The best diet foods are actually quite popular. Not only are the leafy lettuce and sprouts excellent as zero calorie foods, so are some of the toppers, like radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and mushrooms. Slice up some summer squash like zucchini or make zoodles. You’ll have almost no calories per serving. Even nicer as a side dish are fresh asparagus. Steam baby asparagus and top with a little lemon and salt. It’s the perfect “almost no calorie” side dish.

  • Cauliflower is another low calorie food that has almost no net calories when you consider those you burn during digestion. Fennel bulb is another dish that has almost no calories, depending on how it’s prepared.
  • One popular green for salads in bags is cabbage, since it stays crispy longer. One cup of chopped cabbage is just 29 calories. Mix it with other veggies or grate it with apples and carrots and you have a super low calorie satisfying salad.
  • Bell peppers are also low in calories and high in vitamin C, especially the red ones. You can eat them raw or stuff them with brown rice, beans or lean ground beef and tomatoes for a delicious lower calorie dinner.
  • Broccoli is another veggie you can eat raw or cooked with just 31 calories for every cup of chopped broccoli. For a few calories more, 7 to be exact, you can have a cup of cooked green beans.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Can Herbs Help Balance Your Hormones?

Can Herbs Help Balance Your Hormones?

Most people think of sex hormones when they see articles on how to balance your hormones. However, sex hormones aren’t the only hormones that get out of balance and affect your health and well-being. While perimenopause and menopause can definitely cause a hormone imbalance, there are other hormones that also do. Hormones regulate a lot of processes, which include the sleep cycle, metabolism, appetite, mood, stress levels and even body temperature. Even slight changes in insulin, androgens, thyroxine, cortisol or estrogen can trigger a problem. You can use herbs to help them get back into line.

There’s a reason that holy basil got its name.

You probably have eaten food with sweet basil in, but may not have experienced holy basil. It’s not like sweet basil or cinnamon (Thai) basil, it’s hot and bitter and while occasionally used in Asian cooking, more often used for health benefits. It’s used frequently in Ayurveda medicine and is known as the queen of herbs. It’s an adaptogen, which means it helps the body get back to normal. It’s especially useful for balancing cortisol, the hormone of stress, and helps manage the adrenal glands to help you feel more relaxed and even boost your energy level.

Marjoram is a relative of oregano and good for people with polycystic ovarian syndrome—PCOS.

What is PCOS? It’s a disorder that causes the body to produce abnormal levels of hormones. It especially effects women who are of reproductive age. Studies show that drinking marjoram tea twice a day for a month can help improve blood sugar levels and help manage fasting insulin levels. It’s been used to help improve other types of hormonal imbalances, but there’s still minimum studies on the safety of using it a lot on a long term basis. It influences the cortisol and estradiol—an estrogen steroid hormone—production, too.

Nigella seeds can also help balance hormones.

There are several names for the Nigella sativa. Some call it fennel flower or kalonji. It has a compound in it known as thymoquinone and may also help women with PCOS. In animal studies, it’s shown to be effective in aiding the regulation of insulin, thyroid, testosterone and luteinizing hormones that are responsible for ovulation. It acts much like estrogen in the body, which is why it’s often used for hormone replacement therapy during menopause. In fact, it’s often marketed as black cumin seeds or just black seed. Don’t mistake it for regular cumin. They’re very different.

  • Indian ginseng, also called winter cherry or ashwagandha, is used for supplements, teas and powders. It can help neutralize a chronic imbalance of cortisol. There are more studies that show it may help with thyroid-stimulating hormones and reproductive hormones.
  • Black cohosh comes from the root of the buttercup family. It’s often used in dried capsule form. Even today, it’s used for menstrual irregularities and may act as a phytoestrogen, a plant substance that acts like estrogen.
  • Even though it’s not an herb, drinking green tea may help. It’s good for balancing insulin and can improve the body’s response to other hormones.
  • Licorice, the real licorice from the root of the plant from Asia or Europe, not the anise oil contained in many licorice products, has been used for centuries to help relieve menstrual cramping and can reduce both the intensity and frequency of menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Can Certain Foods Give You More Energy?

Can Certain Foods Give You More Energy?

Everyone’s been there at one time or another. It’s just three to four hours since you ate lunch and you’re ready to melt into a puddle. Your energy level is down and you feel too worn out to do anything. What’s the first thing you do? It’s often start searching for something sweet. Don’t do that. While sugary products do give you energy, that energy dips as quickly as it came. Instead, opt for foods that give you more energy that lasts for hours. Make that snack a healthier option that also provides nutrients for your body to function properly.

Make it a carb and protein snack.

A little egg or tuna salad or a dish of brown rice can get you up and moving for hours. While the carbohydrate provides quicker energy, think of the protein as a slow release energy boost. When you choose an option like tuna salad, you’re getting vitamin B12 and omega3 fatty acids. The omega3 can reduce inflammation, which can cause exhaustion. The B12 aids in the production of red blood cells and helps boost the functioning of iron. Both eggs and tuna are a source of protein that helps you feel more energetic longer. Brown rice is also a source of magnesium, which helps process both carbs and protein for energy.

Make a bowl of oatmeal and top it with bananas or apple slices.

Sure, the fruit does provide the sweetness you crave and both contain sugar, but the oatmeal slows down the absorption of sugar. They also contain fiber that slows the absorption of sugar. Oatmeal contains B vitamins, iron and manganese, which contribute to the uniform release of energy, while keeping you full longer.

Maybe you are mildly dehydrated.

Even during the winter months, it’s easy to become mildly dehydrated and even easier during the summer. Before you reach for a candy bar, try drinking a bottle of water. You’ll be surprised at how much of a boost it can bring to your energy level. If that’s not enough, sip on a cup of green tea, which hydrates and also contains L-theanine and antioxidants. Like coffee, tea contains caffeine which boosts your energy level, but the L-theanine helps reduce the side effects, like the jitters.

  • Heat up some mashed sweet potatoes. The sugar will increase your energy level, but the fiber in the sweet potato slows the rush to avoid the huge spike and then sudden drop in energy.
  • If you can’t make regular oatmeal for a mid-day snack, don’t opt for the instant kind. Instead, make overnight oats and put it in a mason jar. Eat it cold or microwave it and add fruit for your midday snack.
  • A yummy yogurt parfait can be a great way to mix the protein with the quick release carbohydrate. Put a layer of unsweetened Greek yogurt in a jar, top it with a layer of frozen or fresh fruit, then add another layer of Greek yogurt and top it with walnuts or almonds.
  • You may think that chocolate is a no-no if you want to eat healthy, but that depends on the type of chocolate and how much you eat. Just a tiny bit of dark chocolate can boost blood flow and brain functioning.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Supplements Not To Take

Supplements Not To Take

When you think of supplements, does your mind immediately think of that multivitamin you take in the morning or do you think of the protein supplement you’re taking to boost your muscle development. One of the biggest dangers of taking supplements is thinking they substitute for a healthy diet. They don’t. There are a lot of different types of supplements. Some are made from ordinary ingredients, like fruits and vegetables that are freeze-dried, ground and capsulized. Some are exotic herbs, which may not be as healthy as you think or protein supplements that may cause other problems.

Sometimes bodybuilders are caught in a supplement trap with protein supplements.

Everyone wants that edge that will help them reach their fitness goals faster, but for bodybuilders, it may not be soy isolates or creatine. Both of these supplements provide the building blocks for muscles, but can cause problems. Creatine may help add bulk, but too much can have side effects, which include heart and kidney problems, dehydration, diarrhea and cramps. Soy isolates, contain amino acid. The older you get, the more you should avoid them. They have an effect similar to estrogen that gets more pronounced the older you get, since the body produces less testosterone. It can cause older men to develop enlarged breasts. Older men are better off eating soy products like edamame or tofu to avoid the cleavage.

Beta carotene or vitamin A seems so harmless.

No matter who you are, taking too much vitamin A can be dangerous. Even overdoing beta carotene supplements can be dangerous. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and overdoing it can create many of the same symptoms as vitamin A deficiency, cracked lips, weakness, thinning hair, headache and dry skin. It can cause problems with the central nervous system, birth defects if you’re pregnant and if you smoke, too much vitamin A may lead to lung cancer.

Calcium supplements may not be beneficial, particularly for seniors.

Seniors, particularly women, often take calcium supplements to avoid osteoporosis. Most diets have an adequate amount and additional calcium, may actually be hazardous, particularly if you’re older. Once you pass approximately 50, it becomes more and more difficult to absorb the calcium by the bones and it ends up being absorbed by the artery walls. That can lead to a multitude of problems, which include hardening of the arteries, heart disease and stroke. Calcium citrate taken with magnesium is easier for the bones to absorb. Avoid calcium carbonate. Even better, eat healthy and exercise regularly to strengthen the bones.

  • Ginkgo is an herb that boosts memory and often sold to treat glaucoma, macular degeneration, dementia and anxiety. If you’re diabetic, it can cause problems with blood sugar levels. It can interact with medicine and lower blood pressure too much or increase bleeding.
  • Not all vitamins are bioavailable. This is particularly true of many inexpensive multivitamins. You end up paying a high price just to have expensive urine and may actually cause problems. You’re better off getting your vitamins from a well-balanced diet.
  • Glutamine, which the body produces naturally, plays a role in immune health, digestion, brain functioning and removing waste. While it can improve recovery and help muscle growth, it also has side effects, such as confusion, blood in the urine, fast heartbeat and weakness.
  • Supplementing your diet with nutrients may give you a false sense of security. Fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients that aren’t normally in supplements that all work together to play an instrumental role in your health.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness

Ever Tried Overnight Oats?

Ever Tried Overnight Oats?

If you’re like many people, you find yourself rushed in the morning, barely able to put toast in the toaster. Making a healthy breakfast may be important to help you lose weight, but when time is at a premium, something has to give. Overnight oats is a healthy breakfast option that doesn’t require cooking. You simply combine the oats, whether it’s rolled, steel cut or quick cook, into a container like a Mason jar, and add any type of milk, such as coconut, almond or regular. Put the lid on, shake and store it in the refrigerator. In the morning, they’ll be soft from absorbing the liquid, as though you cooked them.

Overnight oats are actually healthier than cooked oats.

Cooking oats does remove some nutrients. For instance, raw oats that are processed overnight have 26% of the beta-glucan content during digestion, while cooked oats only release 9%. That’s important, since 3 grams of beta-glucan from oats can cause a 5 to 10% drop in blood cholesterol levels. Just like regular oats, overnight oats can keep you feeling fuller longer, since it’s high in fiber. It also contains potassium, protein, magnesium and omega3 fatty acids. Unlike instant oats that often contain sugar, you control the ingredients in overnight oats.

Raw oats provide resistant starch that can help you lose weight.

Resistant starch travels through the digestive system undigested until it reaches the colon. There it feeds the friendly microbes that are in your digestive system. Improving your microbe balance is important to your health in several ways. It boosts your immune system and also can help you lose weight. The bacteria ferment the resistant starch and change it into digestive acid that helps keep you feeling full, plus increases your metabolism. By simply switching out as little as 5% of your ordinary carbs for resistant starch, you could increase your metabolism by as much as 23%.

You can create a variety of overnight oat combinations.

The beauty of eating overnight oats is that it allows you to modify the recipe and can eat a different variety every day. You can add any type of milk, even Greek yogurt, toss in some chia seeds for texture and add honey, agave or maple sugar if you want more sweetness. Most recipes start with an equal amount of steel cut oats or other oats to whatever liquid you choose, such as almond milk, regular milk or coconut milk. Add pecans, pumpkin spice, other seeds or fresh fruit

  • You can eat overnight oats cold or heat them in the microwave. Make sure you use a microwave safe container. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for a up to three days. If you want to heat it, add fruit later.
  • Overnight oats not only save time, they save money. You can make several servings at once and can add whatever extras you have. Just grab your jar in the morning and you’re ready for breakfast.
  • You can also use overnight oats as a snack or a quick lunch. It transports easily in smaller Mason jars. Adding extras like fruit and nuts can make it more nutritious.
  • Diabetics can benefit from eating any type of oats, but overnight oats are easier. The soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar, and can improve insulin sensitivity.

For more information, contact us today at Next Level Fitness