How Much Protein Should I Eat?

One question I get asked alot is – how much protein should I be consuming every day? Or how much protein should I eat to lose weight or gain lean muscle mass? The answers actually vary depending on how active you are.

Before we answer those questions, it is important that we first answer the question: Why is protein important? Protein is a crucial part of a healthy diet. Your body needs protein to create new cells. This includes creating muscle cells, organs, repairing or creating new skin, etc. Without protein, we could not survive.

Now that we got the fundamentals out of the way, let’s answer the question: How much protein should I be eating? The amount you need depends completely on how often and intensely you are exercising or damaging muscle cells (i.e. cells that will need to be repaired). As I mentioned earlier, protein intake depends on how active you are, so use these details as a guide:

  • Strength Training: 0.5 – 1 grams per pound of body weight
  • Endurance Training: 0.5 – 0.6 grams per pound of body weight
  • Ultra Endurance Training: 0.5 – 0.9 grams per pound of body weight
  • Recreational Training: 0.5 grams per pound of body weight
  • Sedentary Adults: 0.4 grams per pound of body weight

Everyone is different and some experts vary on the exact formula when it comes to protein intake – but you can use this as a general guide.

Good luck and happy eating!

Health Benefits of the Fruit Diet

“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” – this is probably the best way to summarize the benefits of fruit diets for most people. Fruits whether taken in the solid form or as juices, do not only provide you with vitamins and minerals but also help protect your body against diseases by improving your immunity. Different fruit diets have different effects on your body but in general, the beneficial effects of these diet plans are higher than the harmful effects. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you do not follow one particular diet plan for a very long time. Instead, you can alternate between different fruit diets so that your body gets all the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Citrus Fruit Diet:
Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, limes, grape fruit etc. are a rich source of vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and a number of other minerals. The fruit diet benefits associated with citrus fruits includes a healthier skin, improved blood pressure and a quick weight loss. The diet is followed for forty-eight hours only and requires you to have nothing except for citrus fruits. You can have plain water or citrus fruit juices to drink and only oranges or grape fruit to eat. This flushes down the harmful toxins from your body, improves your metabolic rate and thus helps you burn calories fast.

The best thing about this diet plan is that there is no limit to the amount of juice or fruit you can have, eat as much as you want to since there are no saturated fats in citrus fruits that can accumulate in your body. If you are suffering from diabetes, then try taking in more of grape fruit than oranges since grape fruits makes your pancreatic functions more efficient.

However, the diet plan should not be extended to more than 48 hours; the fruits diet benefits can be maximized only if a balance is kept between the diet plans. The idea is to make you lose weight without reducing the efficiency of your body.

Apple & Berries Diet:
Apples are rich in iron and are usually recommended to people suffering from anemia or lack of hemoglobin in the blood. Apart from this, it is also seen that apples are rich in content that helps your brains memory function, so with an apple diet, the chances of you suffering from Alzheimer or Parkinson disease are very low. Similarly, berries whether they are blue, black or Acai are rich in a number of minerals and vitamins that stimulate your brain functions and help improve your memory and thought process. The diet involving apples and berries is especially good if you want to lose weight permanently.

Unlike the citrus fruit diet, the apple diet involves eating apples regularly but with a combination of other fruits and vegetables, so that your body keeps on fulfilling its protein requirement as well. The fruit diet benefits in case of apples can be increased if you include a combination of apple and orange juice in your everyday routine. Even if you are not following a particular diet pattern, make fruits an essential part of your diet in order to stay fit and well in shape.

What are the Nutritional Benefits of Juicing?

Many people do not like eating fruits and vegetables on a regular bases. For people like this, the benefits of juicing are countless. They are not only able to get all the nutrition needed for a healthy body but they can also enjoy these benefits without having to eat the vegetables or fruits. According to most doctors, juicing is a better option for a number of reasons; firstly, the stomach does not have to work on the digestion of all those fibers and therefore it can be given a little rest. Secondly, nutrition is absorbed directly by the body, so juicing can be seen as a means of instant energy in most of the cases. Juicing is said to provide protection against diseases by improving your body’s immunity, boosting the blood flow in your veins and developing a better heart rate.

In addition to this, juicing provides protection against cancer and liver related diseases by flushing out all the harmful toxins from your body. The nutritional benefits of juicing can be determined from the fact that if you have a glass of juice every day, you will not need any type of multi vitamin tablets or pills to keep you going.  However, it has never been scientifically proven that the benefits of juicing are greater than that of having whole fruits or vegetables. In some cases, it is important to have the fiber present in the pulp of the fruits and vegetables since it help prevent constipation. Therefore, the best thing would be to have a combination of juices and whole fruits and vegetables.

Another very important thing is that the juice you have should be fresh i.e. you should only squeeze as much juice as you want to have. This is because juices are a flaming home for bacteria growth, so if you squeeze a glass of juice and leave it out in the open for some time, chances are that its nutritional benefits will reduce to more than one half. It is usually advised that you mix fruits and vegetable juices together; for example, juice a couple of carrots and apples and have them together. This can balance the nutritional effects of the juice and can make it healthier for you. Also, try to keep some of the pulp inside, so that your intake of fiber is not reduced. Especially in the case of oranges or other citrus fruits, pulp also adds taste to the juice along with increasing the benefits derived from it.

While buying commercial juices, go for those that are pasteurized since they have minimal added preservative and have higher nutritional value. The regular boxed juices on the other hand have lesser quantities of vitamins and minerals and so you cannot get the exact benefits of juicing from them. Therefore, add a glass or two of juice in your daily routine so that you can improve your health through natural means instead of relying on artificial means like pills and tablets. Also, experiment with your juices, so that you do not get bored with your diet, mix, match new flavors, and see their results.

Anti-cancer Nutrition – What are the Benefits of Red Beets?

Natural fruits and vegetables are always considered rich in basic nutrients like vitamins, magnesium, zinc etc.  However, while looking for anti-cancer nutrition, it is very important to search for a substance called Betacyanin, which is the main ingredient in most of the anti-cancer medicines.  This substance not only fights against the cancerous cells in the body but also helps in the protection against cancer in general. So in what natural ways can you get Betacyanin to keep the body healthy and well protected against cancer? One of the most tired and tested formula is the use of beetroot, which is rich in magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, fiber and folic acid along with Betacyanin.

This particular vegetable is especially beneficial for fighting against colon or breast cancer; even if you have not been diagnosed with cancer, regular use of beetroot can reduce the chances of occurrence of cancer in your body. Apart from this, it improves the blood flow in your veins and makes your heart healthy and strong. Many nutritionists are of the opinion that beetroot also helps in digesting your regular food and reduce the chances of constipation or related problems. In addition, as an anti-cancer nutrition, beetroot is also added in a number of medicines given to people suffering from cancer. Therefore, you can imagine the benefits of red beets on your body’s immunity system in particular and health in general. Here are some of the basic tips on the use of beetroot in your everyday life:

How to Use Beet Root?
Most people are of the opinion that the benefits of red beets can be maximized when it is taken in raw form.  It is usually recommended to have it just as it is i.e. wash the beetroot thoroughly, cut it into small pieces, and then have it like a carrot or any other fruit. Try not to fry it or cook it with other vegetables since the heat reduces it nutritional value; however, you can always mix it in salads or with dressings to make it more delicious. A number of people also blend beetroot juice with carrot juice to make it tastier. Juicing the beetroot is not a bad idea since it does not ruin the benefits of red beets.

What is the Right Quantity for Beet Root Usage?
As an anti-cancer nutrition, beetroot can be taken twice a week. Take two fresh red beets, juice them, mix them with greens or carrot juice, and have it with a light salad in your lunch or dinner. However, there is no hard and fast rule as to how many beetroots you can have in a day or at a particular time. You can have as much as you want since it is rich in so many minerals and vitamins. Apart from this, there are no particular side effects attached to it either. Therefore, whether you have a heart problem or cholesterol issues, you can have beetroot without worrying about any damages to your health.

Proper Nutrition for Bodybuilding

What to Eat Post Workout?

The ideal return to the efforts of bodybuilders is a perfect body and perfectly shaped muscles. What many aspiring bodybuilders do not realize is that bodybuilding is only one variable in the equation. Without nutrition for bodybuilding, nothing is going to work out and this is the major reason why you may see potential bodybuilders in your gym wasting their time or taking much longer than it should take. They simply do not invest the time and effort in what they eat as they do in their training.

When you exercise, your muscles become tired and the energy in your body is drained which means that after every workout, you would probably have an appetite and this is where nutrition for bodybuilding comes in. This is because planning your post workout meals are extremely important especially those that contain adequate amounts of carbohydrates and protein.

However, remember that you cannot rely on any type and amount of carbohydrate. The adequate amount and the right source is important if you want a decent insulin release, something important for getting the strength back in your muscles. In this way, an early repair of muscles that have just been exhausted in the workout takes place when your nutrition for bodybuilding contains enough carbohydrates for re-synthesis and a positive balance of proteins.

As far as carbohydrates in your nutrition for bodybuilding is concerned, you need to keep in mind that since your workout goals are different so should your carbohydrate intake be. Post workout nutrition for bodybuilding consists of two different meals with the first one consumed immediately after the workout and the second one taken about an hour or so later. The first meal should preferably be smaller; something more like a snack. It should be easily digestible and this is why, you will see many bodybuilders and trainers consuming high in energy liquid meals right after the workouts because liquids are easily absorbed. With this liquid meal, you need to elevate protein synthesis in your body, stop the breakdown of protein and replenish glycogen storage. Therefore, you are looking at a protein rich shake for the best post workout nutrition for bodybuilding.

The best kind of protein supplements that you can use include Whey Protein, which is probably the most popular one, Dextrose and Maltodextrin, BCAA supplements, antioxidants, creatine and L-Glutamine. Use enough water as a base for your shake as it will help rehydrate your cells and also add enough carbohydrate in it. The second nutrition for bodybuilding meal that you will take an hour or so later should have additional protein in order to help building of your body muscles. Do not forget to supplement this meal with water for additional re-hydration of your body. Try to include vegetables, whole wheat bread, pasta, sweet potato, chicken breasts, fish, eggs, nuts, lean meat and brown rice in this meal, as this food is healthy and high in proteins.

Pregnancy Nutrition – Getting Enough Calcium

When you are pregnant, you need a well-balanced diet that includes a wide variety of nutrition including vitamins and minerals. You cannot possibly compromise on your pregnancy nutrition because what you eat will automatically determine how well your baby is developing. Calcium tends to be a very important part of your pregnancy nutrition because calcium will help your unborn child to develop strong bones and teeth, blood-clotting abilities, a healthy heart and healthy nerves and muscles. In case you have a calcium deficient diet during your pregnancy, it is possible that the child may grow weak or that he or she will draw calcium requirements from your body, which is bound to make you weaker, something that may lead to complications in the later part of your pregnancy.

Normally women do not focus enough on getting calcium in their pregnancy nutrition because adult women (over the age of 18) need at least 1000 milligrams of calcium a day before pregnancy, during their pregnancy and even after it when they are nursing the baby.

Some of the top sources of calcium include milk and dairy products like skim milk yogurt, fruit yogurt etc. Other sources include canned fish and cereal, soy, juice, bread and rice beverages; however, these need to be calcium fortified. So when you are out shopping for calcium rich foods, make sure that you check the labels for calcium fortified foods. You should also check how much calcium you would be getting from all of these sources to make sure that you reach your target of 1000 milligrams.

For instance, three ounces of sardines would have about 324 milligrams of calcium in it while one-ounce mozzarella cheese would have 222 milligrams of it. Other specific sources of calcium for your pregnancy nutrition include skim-milk yogurt, part-skim ricotta cheese, skim milk, orange juice, Gruyere cheese, calcium sulfate containing tofu, cheddar cheese, cooked spinach, cottage cheese, collards, turnip greens, tortillas, sesame seeds and roasted almonds.

Calcium supplements are also an important part of pregnancy nutrition especially if you know that you are not getting enough of it from your diet or if your doctor has advised you to take it. However, a prenatal vitamin will only provide you with a maximum of 200 milligrams of calcium so you might have it with another calcium supplement or with natural calcium sources mentioned above. Calcium supplements have one problem; your body can absorb a maximum of 500 milligrams of it at any one point in time so you will be forced to take these supplements more than once a day.

One of the easily absorbed calcium supplements for pregnancy nutrition is calcium citrate but calcium carbonate is another option, which is not that easily absorbed but it is rich in calcium. It is a good idea to take this with a meal for better absorption. However, be careful, in your pregnancy nutrition diet, it is important not to over consume calcium from any source mainly because too much calcium can create the risk of kidney stones and reduce the absorption of other minerals.

Top 10 Heart Healthy Foods

Healthy food habit throughout your life is one of the best ways to ensure that you enjoy good cardiac health. Everyday it seems that there is more evidence proving the benefits of eating healthy foods will have on your heart health. You can’t afford to ignore the research.

If you are too particular about the food you eat, you may be missing out on some of the most cardiac healthy diet. Do it for your heart!

To help you choose the best heart healthy foods, we have listed ten things that you must include in your diet.

1. Berries – Berries, often considered to be nature’s own candy, are a fantastic source of fiber, beta carotene, and many other nutrients. All these promote the fitness of the human heart. You can include berries like cranberries and blueberries in your cardiac healthy diet.

2. Almonds – Almonds are an extremely healthy food for the heart, as they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. All of these elements help to prevent heart diseases. You can have berries with your cereal, salad or a cup of yoghurt. Almond milk is a great and extremely healthy alternative to normal milk.

3. Chocolates – Love chocolates – the dark temptation? If you are a fan of the dark variety of chocolate, you can enjoy the dark delights and at the same time, benefit your heart to a very large degree. Chocolates that have 70% or more cocoa content which are an excellent source of reservatrol and cocoa phenols (antioxidants), which keep your heart fit by reducing the blood pressure level, LDL cholesterol and protecting blood vessels.

4. Brown rice – Avoid white rice. This will not only help you to stay slim, but also keep your heart healthy. Brown rice is a healthy food for the heart. It is a good source of fiber, which is good for your health. It also contains B-complex vitamins that are meant to protect you against blood clots and hardening of the arteries. A bowl of brown rice can be a good alternative for oatmeal in your breakfast. You can also use it to make rice pudding.

5. Concord grapes – Did you know that one cup of Concord grape juice each day can be great for the heart? It can help to reduce the blood pressure and also makes the heart stronger. Since they are rich in fiber and low in calories, these grapes are also great for your overall health. This grape juice helps to reduce the risk of blood clots too.

6. Avocado – Avocado is a great source for monounsaturated fat. It helps to lower LDL levels and raises the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. Avocados should be included in your heart healthy diet for the absorption of other carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and lycopene.

7. Tomatoes – All the elements found in tomatoes are good for your heart. They are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, and other important nutrients. You can enjoy the goodness of tomatoes in a number of forms.

8. Flaxseed – Flaxseeds are a healthy food for the heart that is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens and fiber. If your diet does not include fish, you can include a lot of ground flaxseed in your diet to compensate. Flaxseed is an ingredient in some store-bought breads and cereals. You can also add it to your own baked goods, hot cereal, and more.

9. Oats – Oats are believed to promote cardiac health, as they too are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can make oatmeal in the morning less boring and healthier by adding almonds, berries and other dried foods in the bowl, to suit your taste.

10. Legumes – Legumes like chickpeas, black and kidney beans are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and soluble fiber.

Vegetarian Diet: How To Get The Best Nutrition

If you follow a vegetarian diet plan, or if you are planning to follow one, ensure that you are eating a variety of food. This will supply your body with all the required minerals and nutrients. A healthy vegetarian diet should include grains, fruits, green vegetables, pulses, nuts and seeds, beans and also a small amount of fat. Dairy products are also important but if you are following a vegan diet, nutrition has to be supplemented with food like soy milk, tofu and so on.

If you like to adopt a healthy vegetarian diet, you cannot just scrap off the meat from your menu and have everything else that remains. You will have to make an effort to have extra food that can fill the nutrition void that is left behind. But if you can manage to eat all the right foods, the vegetarian diet benefits will keep you extremely healthy and fit, since it contains much less fat and cholesterol and also has more fiber.

What are the best alternatives?

A healthy vegetarian diet should include a lot of meat alternatives like a nut loves, soy burgers, textured vegetables, tofu dogs and so on. These products will stimulate the taste and nutrient content of meat and at the same time, will decrease the calorie and fat intake in your body. Here are some of the alternatives that you can choose. If you are following a vegan diet, nutrition of cow milk can be got from alternative drinks like rice milk, almond milk, soymilk and so on.

In place of butter, you can make use of olive oil, water, vegetable broth, wine and similar products. You can also use soy cheese and nutritional yeast flakes in place of cheese. If you are following a vegetarian diet plan with no eggs, you can try commercial egg replacers. These are usually potato starch. You can also use mixed tofu to make an egg-free omelet.

Vegetarian Protein

Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. Since one cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, you do not really have much to worry about your protein intake. If you are a vegan, include high protein vegan foods like nuts, brown rice, tofu, soy and lentils. However, if you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you will probably get all your protein from your daily diet and you have nothing to worry about.


The best vegetarian diet should also include a lot of calcium, as both women and children require a lot of calcium. Other than milk, there are a number of alternative food that you can include in your healthy vegetarian diet for nutrition. You can try spinach, kale, soy milk, fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, tahini broccoli, almonds, carrots, and rice milk.


As a vegetarian, you can sometimes have more iron in your body than people who follow a non-vegetarian diet. However, if you still take iron supplements, you can wash it down with some orange juice, as Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron.

Finally, the good news is that even if you a vegetarian athlete, you can get adequate amount of nutrition from your diet. However, make sure that you have a balanced diet that covers all the requirements of your body.

Nutrition Requirements for Athletes

If you are an athlete, you must maintain a healthy diet to ensure that you have the maximum energy level available to support the intense training sessions, as well as your final event. Athletes must consume sufficient amount of calories and maintain proper nutrition, so that they can reach the energy level that is required of them, otherwise the body’s lean tissues and fats will be burnt away, causing loss of energy, strength and endurance.

Thus, without the right nutrition diet for athletes, if they participate in weight class sports like boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, they are at risk of poor energy intake. Moreover, if they undergo extreme measures to lose weight fast before the competition, this in turn will cause loss of muscle and may even interfere with athletic performance.

The right nutrition plan for athletes should include all the necessary elements that the body requires, in the right amount. Since an athlete needs to push his or her body to the limit, they cannot afford to neglect the importance of proper nutrition.


Carbohydrates help to maintain blood sugar levels and thus help to fuel exercise. It also helps to replenish glycogen in the body, which is stored within the muscles. The recommend amount of carbohydrate daily in an athlete’s nutrition plan should range from 6-10 g/kg body weight.


A proper protein diet is what aids in the building of the muscle tissues. The daily requirement of protein for an athlete varies according to the kind of sport he/she is into. While endurance athletes should take between 1.2-1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, Ultra-endurance athletes who need to practice for long hours must have slightly more protein in their diet.


Fats are not always bad and even as an athlete; you will need adequate amount of fat to help promote optimal health and necessary fat intake. Fat intake in the nutrition diet for athletes should be between 20-35% of total daily calories consumed.

Vitamin and Mineral

Usually, if you follow a wholesome and healthy diet and nutrition plan, you will not require any additional supplement of micronutrients. However, if you are dieting, you can have a multivitamin supplement or a single supplement of some nutrient, if you are diagnosed with a deficiency. Micronutrients have a number of functions in the body, including producing blood, maintaining bone health, promoting muscle and tissue repair and oxidative damage. Vegetarian athletes may have to supplement some of the minerals and nutrients that are not present in their diet.

Diet and nutrition during and after exercise

Sports drinks for athletes are extremely beneficial. You can also supplement the carbohydrate in your body, especially if you did not have your pre-exercise meal, or if you are on a diet.

Your post exercise meal should depend on the amount of time you worked out, as well as the amount of time you plan to exercise next time.

Finally, never forget that water forms one of the most important elements in the diet and nutrition plan for an athlete. Dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and cramps.

How Important is Nutrition and Physical Fitness

When you were growing up, I bet you didn’t even think of the word ‘diet’.  In fact, most young people can get away with a less than perfect diet.  As a youth or a teen your probably didn’t see the effects of unhealthy eating or lack of physical activity. As you grow older, your body will change and soon enough you will see the effects of being a couch potato. Most people blame this on metabolism slowing down.

If you decide to neglect your body, then prepare for it to have a rapidly devastating visual and physical affect on your overall heath.  An unhealthy lifestyle ages a person in both looks and vitality, while those who take care of themselves can enjoy the benefits of a more youthful energetic body and usually they appear years younger as well.

“You are what you eat” – sound familiar?  There are piles of research papers validating how the vitamins and minerals in food are necessary for the body to replenish, heal and fuel itself.  There is also just as much data proving what the lack of these nutrients cause: a multitude of deficiencies that render the body helpless in fighting infections, fatigue, and physiological problems.

Picture of Spinach Salad

However, society is flooded with contradicting messages.  Fighting for consumer’s attention with the myriad of information on organic products, vegetarianism, juicing and designer water is the media’s pressure to save time and energy by purchasing pre-made, pre-packaged foods.  Little consideration is given to the fact that there could be just as many, if not more, chemicals and preservatives in those alternative selections.

Most of those full colored, hot bodied ads in the magazines are for packaged and processed items.  Why?  Manufacturers pull out all stops in getting the public to notice their products, and they usually succeed!  The public is so inundated with advertising that eating fake food isn’t given a moment’s thought.  Unfortunately, because the majority of people are used to eating this way, they don’t realize that it is keeping them from their highest potential of feeling great.

Once someone decides to improve their health and lifestyle, a diet change is usually paired with a new exercise regime.  And, for most adults, it becomes very apparent that an implementation of any physical workout can either be supported or hampered by their choice of diet.  If one listens to their body, it’s obvious that physical stamina varies from person to person.  This may be due to amount of sleep, time of day, or type of exercise being one is trying to attempt.  But there are many other factors as well, it could be due to a blood sugar drop, lack of stored carbohydrates, not enough protein, or other diet-related scenarios.  The older a person gets, the more obvious it becomes that eating a rounded diet of fresh foods, in as natural a state as possible, is necessary for maximum physical efficiency.

Women Fitness and Nutrition

So why even bother with exercise if you improve your diet?  Well, why is it that so many athletes and celebrities who work out daily appear to be younger than their years?  Believe me, it’s not just from plastic surgery. Ok well, for some of those people it is, but the truth is, the body’s structure has intended it to do more than just sit. Until a person experiences the joys of a physical fitness outlet on a regular basis, they won’t understand the emotional and physical benefits that exercise brings.  The sense of achievement that accompanies every improvement in strength or endurance has no comparison.  Furthermore, the body is recapturing vitality-the essence of health, youth, and life itself.

When good nutrition and physical fitness work together, the body performs at its optimum.  A better diet results in more energy to exercise; more exercise means losing pounds and developing muscle.  More muscle means a stronger, leaner body.  A new body may motivate one to continue the positive cycle.  Finally, this healthier lifestyle will bring a wealth of emotional benefits, all of which may very well turn back the clock.