8 Good Reasons to Eat Avocados

Avocados are rich in important vitamins and nutrients and they are incredibly tasty. There are many ways to eat avocados. Some people eat them just as they are, while others make a nice guacamole. If you aren’t a huge fan of the taste of avocados, you can add them to a smoothie to help make it creamy and also cover up some of the taste with other fruits such as berries. Take a look at the list of a few reasons to add avocados to your eating plan.

1. Good for your eyes
Just one avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein, which is a nutrient that benefits the eyes. Lutein can help prevent eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Lutein may also help to prevent heart disease. So toss several slices of avocado into your salad every once in a while and reap all its good benefits.

2. Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
Avocados contain Folate, which is not only very important for healthy pregnancies, but may also play a part in preventing heart disease and stroke. A cup of avocado has a pretty high percentage (about 23%) of Folate, which aid in overall health as well.

3. Good for your hair
If you’re prone to dry, tangled hair, avocados could certainly help you with this. They are high in B vitamins, copper, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and healthy fats, which are all good for giving your hair extra luster, strength and healthy shine. So start using products with avocados in it to reap all the benefits of this amazing fruit and all that it has to offer.

4. Regulate blood pressure
Avocados are rich in potassium, which is helpful in regulating blood pressure. This may help in preventing hypertension and heart disease. I think it’s a sound reason to add avocado to your everyday diet, isn’t it?

5. Improve the absorption of essential nutrients
Another great reason to add avocados to your eating plan is because it improves the absorption of certain essential nutrients. For instance, carotenoids from other vegetables and fruits are absorbed much better and more efficiently when you consume them with avocados. A study shows that eating avocados can increase absorption of nutrients by five times.

6. Heal wounds
The vitamin E that avocados contain is beneficial for healing wounds and it reduces any scarring that may occur. Vitamin E also helps to prevent clogged arteries. Vitamin E also helps to revitalize your skin, making it soft and supple.

7. Reduce cholesterol levels
Avocados are an excellent source of oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat that helps to lower cholesterol levels as well as helps to increase feelings of fullness. Eating avocados every now and then will certainly help you control your cholesterol levels and have a better health.

8. They’re super delicious
While some people say that avocados are not tasty and they can’t eat them at all, others love the incredible taste of this fruit and I’m one of them! I love avocados and use them in my smoothies, salads and some other meals. Avocados are great as guacamole and they can add depth to any salad!

Don’t be afraid to enjoy avocados every now and then. You’ve likely heard that they are full of fat, but they also contain good fats that you need. As long as you do not overindulge, you’re going to do your body good by eating avocados. What’s your favorite way to eat avocado?

8 Healthy Reasons to Eat Cucumbers

Cucumbers are the 4th most widely cultivated vegetable on the planet, which boasts a great number of health benefits. They are rarely mentioned as a superfood, however, they are one of the best and healthiest foods to add to your eating plan. You can use cucumbers in your salads, smoothies, and some other healthy meals. Take a look at the list of 8 healthy reasons to eat cucumbers more often.

1. Control blood pressure
One of the biggest reasons to add cucumbers to your diet is because they help control your blood pressure. Cucumbers are high in water, which helps hydrate your blood vessels. They are also rich in calcium and potassium that can help you reduce blood pressure. For this purpose, it’s recommended to drink cucumber juice in combination with beets, carrots, garlic and lemon.

2. Keep kidneys healthy
Cucumbers are diuretic due to its high water content. This helps your body flush out much more toxins through urination, which keeps your kidneys healthy as well as helps prevent kidney stone formation.

3. Help lose weight
If you are trying to lose weight, you should definitely include cucumbers in your diet. They’re rich in water (more than 95% water) and fiber that helps you feel fuller longer and also helps digestion. Plus, cucumbers contain the B vitamins, which are essential for your body. Whether you are on a diet or not, eat cucumbers as a healthy snack to boost your energy levels and drop a few unwanted pounds.

4. Fight bad breath
Hold a slice of cucumber against the roof of your mouth for about 30 seconds to fight bad breath. Now you don’t need gum or mints and you can easily order a house salad and save a slice of cucumber to combat bad breath after the meal.

5. Keep bones and joints healthy
Due to their high silica content, cucumbers help to keep your bones and joints healthy. Silica is the major building block of collagen that literally holds us together. Also, cucumbers help your body absorb calcium, which is used to build and maintain strong bones.

6. Fight cancer
Another reason to eat cucumbers is because of their ability to combat and prevent cancer. Numerous researchers have shown that cucumbers are very effective against breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine and lung cancers. Cucumbers contain a lot of important vitamins as well as the anti-cancer components of caffeic acid, fisetin, and lutein.

7. Combat diabetes
Cucumbers help the body combat diabetes as well. They contain a hormone which the body needs to produce its own insulin that people suffering from diabetes lack. Plus, cucumbers are a zero glycemic index food, which diabetics can consume without fear that it will raise their blood sugar level.

8. Fight a hangover
Cucumbers are high in water, electrolytes, B vitamins and they help fight a hangover. So if you want to avoid a terrible headache and hangover, eat several slices of this superfood before you go to bed and you will feel much better in the morning.

There are many reasons to include cucumbers in your everyday diet. Do you like cucumbers? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

10 Ways Water Can Help You Shed Pounds

Do you have to force yourself to drink eight glasses of water each day? Do you opt for juice instead and tell yourself it is okay since you are drinking a water substitute? It might be time to rethink your modus operandi and consider the numerous ways water can help you reduce that glaring number on the scale. Ready? So, water can help you…

Ways Water Can Helps You Lose Weight

1. Reduce your caloric intake
Filling up on water before a meal or a snack can help lower your caloric intake. A tummy full of water doesn’t have nearly as much room left for food. Can you say natural appetite suppressant?

2. Beat sugar cravings
Drinking water instead of soda or even sugar-free juice substitutes can help you lose weight. Sugar-free juice substitutes still trigger sweet cravings that can cause you to eat sugary treats. Removing all sweet flavors from your diet can help you put sugar cravings behind you. Plus, artificial sweeteners usually replace the sugar in sugar-free drinks, so opting for water helps you ingest fewer chemicals too.

3. Flush out toxins
Water helps flush out toxins from your body and can help you lower your cholesterol count at the same time. Even if you don’t like the taste of water, think about all the nasty gunk you are flushing out of your ‘pipes’ each time you chug-a-lug a glass of H20. Keep lemon or lime juice in your fridge and add a drop or two to your glass to alter the flavor of your water.

4. Boost your productivity at the gym
Although it’s not something you usually consider when you are working out, water actually helps you work out more. Ever had a muscle cramp when you haven’t inhaled enough water? There is nothing like a pulled muscle to put an abrupt end to your workout routine. You won’t have to worry about shortened workouts if you keep your muscles lubricated.

5. Improve your liver function
Without getting too heavily into high-school biology, water can help your liver process fats better. A smooth-running liver equals less fat building up around your six-pack. Now who wants to drink more H20? Even if you won’t drop those pounds, you will at least have a healthy liver.

6. Improve your complexion
Water is phenomenal for your skin. The better your skin looks, the more pep you will have in your step. The perkier you feel, the more likely you are to engage in physical activity. It’s a pretty cool side effect, right?

7. Poop more
Although it might sound gross, water helps you poop more. Less poop in your colon can equal a lower number on your scale first thing in the morning. Many dieters take a laxative to speed up their poop process. Laxatives might be effective, but not healthy. Water is a way better alternative.

8. Pee more
On the topic of bathroom habits, drinking water makes you pee more. The more time you spend in the bathroom emptying your bladder, the less time you have to be peering into the fridge wondering what you’ll eat next. While it sounds weird, the result will astonish you.

9. Rehydrate your body
A dehydrated body is less likely to feel energized enough to exercise. Less exercise equals less weight loss. Consider that little tidbit the next time you want to pass up the chance to drink more water. If plain water isn’t your bet, opt for lemon water instead.

10. Control your blood pressure
Drinking plenty of water also helps you naturally lower your blood pressure. Flushing sodium out of your body helps you avoid blood pressure medications that can make it difficult to lose weight. Water is definitely not a cure, but it’s still vital for your whole body.

As you can clearly see from the list above, water truly does do ‘a body good.’ Not only is drinking plenty of water fabulous for your skin, muscles, and internal organs, it also helps you feel better mentally too. Each time you down another glass of water, you know you are doing something that is really healthy for your overall well-being. Doing something that you know can potentially help you live a longer life can definitely put a little extra pep in your step. Are you ready to start drinking more water without complaining now?

The Power of Positive Thinking: Can it Really Improve Your Life?

Positive thinking is not only a soft, feel-good term. It can change your life in a great number of ways, and can help you be a happier and well-balanced person. Many of you can say that life is tough and there are situations where it’s impossible to think positively, but it’s actually possible and positive thinking can help you cope with any situation no matter how hard it is. The advantages of positive thinking extend into numerous areas of life and positive thinking is important in reaching happiness and success. Below is the list of the best advantages of positive thinking.

1. Positive thinking relieves stress
Unfortunately, we can’t live without stress and it’s waiting for us at every corner, but positive thinking can help significantly reduce your stress levels. When I was at college, I noticed that I was able to deal much better with my exams when I thought positively. I failed a few exams due to stress and it seemed I was sinking into depression. My best friend is a huge optimist and she helped me to start thinking positively; since then positive thinking is an essential part of my life.

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t been stressed out. Yes, I get a bit stressed out every now and then, but when I think positively, I feel a great relief from the stress and it helps me to think clearly and solve any problem without worries and anxiety. If you are stressed out all the time, I recommend you to start thinking positively and you will see how it works for you. You shouldn’t let stress rule your life!

2. Positive thinking helps increase pain tolerance
One of the best advantages of positive thinking is that it can increase your pain tolerance. A research shows that optimists tend to take pain much better than people who are pessimistic. Fight back against sore throat, broken bones, and aches with a positive outlook on life, and you will see how it’s great to be optimistic.

3. Positive thinking improves your relationship
If you are single and you’re looking to meet your love, positive thinking will help you have much better luck in love. No one wants to spend time with a woman who is constantly moping about and who is not satisfied with her life. Most men as well as women want to have a positive partner who enjoys getting the most out of life. Start thinking positively and you will have more chances of finding your other half. Plus, you will have more friends and better health as well.

4. Positive thinking reduces your blood pressure
If you suffer from high blood pressure and you are not a positive thinker, it’s time to reconsider your outlook on life and start thinking more positively. The thing is, pessimistic people have higher blood pressure than optimists, because they have a high stress levels and suffer from anxiety, which both lead to high blood pressure. Therefore, positive thinking is a must as it helps lower a high blood pressure. Sure, you might need to eat healthier, work out and drop a few pounds, but thinking positively will definitely contribute to reducing your blood pressure.

5. Positive thinkers take better care of themselves
I know, it sounds a bit strange, but people who think positively actually take better care of themselves. To tell the truth, I always thought that people who have positive outlook on life would simply expect good things to happen. I couldn’t even think that positive thinking can help me take better care of myself. I keep my body healthy by exercising, eating well and taking vitamins and weigh gain caused by stress isn’t a problem for me. If you want to lose weight, you should change how you think and make sure you think positively. Even the best diet won’t help you to shed those unwanted pounds, if you are always stressed out.

6. Positive thinking helps you age gracefully
They say positive thinkers age gracefully and they are able to get better with age. This is true. A research conducted by the University College London found that positive outlook is linked with aging healthfully and gracefully. So, think positively, lower your stress levels, and you will age gracefully for sure.

7. Positive thinking is good for your heart and head
Perhaps, this is the most amazing benefit of positive thinking. If you want to keep your heart healthy, start thinking positively on a regular basis. A study shows that optimists tend to have a lowered risk of heart disease and overall their hearts are healthier. In addition to that, positive thinking is good for your head. Negative emotions and thoughts can affect the mind and make you feel miserable. Make a habit of thinking positively no matter what and you will keep your heart and your head ticking along happily.

There are many great advantages of positive thinking. It’s good for your body, mind, and it’s the easiest way to better your health. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start learning positive thinking skills. If you are a positive thinker, please, share your secrets of being positive. It’s difficult to have positive outlook on life these days, so let’s help each other to think positively and live a better life.

5 Reasons You Should Be Eating Protein + How Much

Protein is one of the key and powerful nutrients. It is an excellent source of energy for the body. Protein deficiency has recently become a widespread problem, which is why it is important to learn why your should be eating protein and how much of it.

The reason why many young people suffer from protein deficiency is because they try different diet plans and often eliminate foods that are rich in protein. Consuming too little protein can lead to a sluggish metabolism, headaches, low energy levels, fatigue, muscle, bone and joint pain, and many other health issues. So here is why it is best to boost your protein intake.

Reasons You Should Be Eating Protein
1. Boost your brain function
If you have trouble learning, you have poor focus and memory, this may be a sign of protein deficiency. Consider incorporating more protein-rich foods such as cacao, seeds, spinach, broccoli, and oats. They will keep your brain healthy and happy.

More: 9 Brain Foods that Help you Concentrate Better

2. Control blood pressure
If you suffer from hypertension, your doctor has probably recommended you to include more high-protein foods into your daily meal plan. This is because protein helps to keep blood pressure in check. It does not mean, though, that the more you eat protein, the lower your blood pressure. Do not forget about moderation.

3. Increase longevity
We all will die one day, but why not live a bit longer? A high-protein diet may increase your longevity and keep you healthy as you age. Whey protein, in particular, boosts your glutathione level, which is the most powerful antioxidant that is produced by the body. The high glutathione level wards off disease and keeps you young longer.

4. Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease that increases your risk of weak bones, bone loss, and fractures. Protein-rich foods help to improve your bone density and decrease your risk of osteoporosis. When combined with vegetables, protein-rich foods improve your overall health.

5. Improve sleep
If you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble falling asleep again, consider making a few diet changes. For instance, add more foods that are high in protein to your meal plan and reduce your carb intake. Protein improves chemical transmitter balance, making you energized and productive during the day and sleepy at night.

What are the best protein-rich foods?
Some of the best sources of protein are eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, fish, seafood, soy, pistachio nuts, chicken, and turkey, among the others. Whey protein and casein found in most protein powders and shakes are also good options. However, I recommend getting protein from natural sources.

How much?
According to the USDA, the recommended daily protein intake based on an average weight and activity level is 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams per day for men. According to the Dietary Reference Intake, the average adult should be eating about 0.36 grams per pound daily.

The best way to figure out how much protein you need is to ask your doctor. Because consuming too much of protein is harmful too. It can lead to chronic hydration and kidney damage.

Sticking to a high-protein meal plan will help you manage your cravings and keep your weight under control. Protein boosts satiety and helps satisfy your appetite, making you feel fuller for longer. But the main thing is that protein is essential for your body to work properly. Watch your protein intake and change your eating habits when needed.

10 Health Reasons to Eat More Celery

Doctors and nutrition experts are strongly encouraging those who want to get healthier to eat more celery. This crisp, crunchy vegetable often gets overlooked thanks to the popularity of superfoods like kale or spinach, but it is time you moved celery into the limelight when it comes to the vegetables you are consuming.

1. Drop weight
It is filling and fibrous, plus one large stalk of it only nets you 10 calories. That makes it the perfect vessel for things like hummus for a simple, delicious and nutritious snack that will actually fill you up. Toss it in with soups, salads, and your favorite recipes too.

2. Reduce inflammation
Joint pain? Chest cough? Celery is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can even help soothe acne breakouts.

3. It calms you down
Naturally, relieve your stress from the day by eating celery. It contains minerals like magnesium, which help chill out your nervous system. Worrying too much when you go to bed? Try eating celery shortly before you lay your head on your pillow for better sleep.

4. Lower blood pressure
Celery contains an active compound by the name of phthalides. It has been shown to boost circulatory health. Raw celery gives you the best dosage of this element to help keep your blood pressure level.

5. Rev up your sex life
Celery contains pheromones that boost your level of arousal. When you chew on celery, these pheromones are released. Want to heat things up in your love life? Serve celery sticks and dip as the first course and be ready for love by the time you serve dessert.

6. It contains essential salts
If you have ever run a marathon before, you will know that your body needs salt. It is not the same as table salt, though. The salt in celery is organic and important for your overall health.

7. Unbeatable digestive aid
Celery has a high water content along with a ton of insoluble fiber. This combination assures easy bowel movements for those that have been constipated. However, be forewarned that if you have diarrhea, it is not a good choice thanks to its diuretic properties.

8. Great for your eyes
There is a lot of vitamin A in celery. That is the vitamin most responsible for protecting your eyes from age-related vision degeneration.

9. Drop bad cholesterol
Celery contains butylphthalide, and by consuming even 4 stalks of celery per day, you can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 7%, according to a study conducted by Chicago University.

10. Fight cancer
Luteolin, a powerful flavonoid found in celery, blocks the growth of cancer cells. It is especially useful for preventing pancreatic cancer and has been shown to greatly delay the development of breast cancer cells.

Start enjoying more celery in your life today to get these healthful benefits and many more. How do you like to cook with celery?

7 Health Benefits of Pomelos

When I lived in China, I was lucky enough to get the chance to eat pomelos on a regular basis. My first impression of this fruit was that it was like an overgrown grapefruit. Since I love grapefruit, I was thrilled every time my husband brought home a pomelo from the market.

In other places, you may need to do some searching to find a pomelo near year, but the fruits of your labor, pardon the pun, will be completely worth it. Pomelos are incredibly healthy. If the taste does not draw you in as a believer, perhaps these health benefits of eating pomelos will.

Pomelos contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. While it is not a giant roster of nutritious elements, those pomelo contains are in extremely high levels, making it a potent dose of healthful nutrients for your body.

If you are feeling under the weather, try eating a whole pomelo. True that they are large, you will not be overloading your calorie intake if you do. Plus, the real benefit is the giant boost of vitamin C you will get from it.

Nutritionists value an entire pomelo’s vitamin C content at roughly 600% of your daily requirement, which can help you ward off colds, fevers, infections, and other nasties.

With a high fiber content, pomelos are outstanding for keeping things moving. If you have been having digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea on a frequent basis, eating a pomelo will help set things right again.

Pomelos feature a robust amount of potassium that helps relax blood vessels and promotes ease of blood flow. Potassium is a fantastic agent for reducing strain in your circulatory system so that your blood and heart function optimally, which means lower blood pressure and reduced risks for heart attack or stroke.

Another thing potassium is responsible for is helping to keep bones strong. So if you want to avoid osteoporosis in your future, eating plenty of potassium-rich pomelos will surely help.

As mentioned, the vitamin C content of one pomelo is astounding. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals. Aside from harming your cells in your body, free radicals can cause your skin to age more rapidly. All the more reason to enjoy the tart and tangy taste of pomelos.

Just like the grapefruit, pomelos have the same enzyme – carnitine palmitoyltransferase, which burns fat. If you are working on slimming down, incorporate pomelos into your meal plan for speedier results.

Pomelo has many other health benefits so why not enjoy this citrus fruit more often? Have you tried pomelos before? Tell us what you think!

Here’s Why More Kids Will Be Diagnosed With High Blood Pressure

Andrew Brookes/Getty Images
Simplified tables from American Academy of Pediatrics likely to raise detection rates

U.S. kids and teens are likely to be diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure because of new guidelines released Monday from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
About 3.5 percent of children and teens have abnormally high blood pressure (“hypertension”), which often goes unnoticed and untreated, the academy said.

“If there is diagnosis of hypertension, there are many ways we can treat it,” said Dr. David Kaelber, who helped develop the guidelines. “But because the symptoms are silent, the condition is often overlooked.”

When high blood pressure isn’t addressed, it can lead to heart and kidney problems years later, the academy added.

This is of special concern because incidence of childhood high blood pressure has risen in the United States since 1988, although recently it has plateaued, the guideline authors noted.

Under the new, simplified tables, children will have their blood pressure measured against normal-weight children, so ideal readings will likely be lower than in the past. Obese or overweight kids — who were included under earlier guidelines — are more likely to have high blood pressure, possibly skewing recommended measurements.

As a result of this change, it’s thought more children could be categorized as needing treatment.

That’s a good thing, Kaelber’s team said.

Dr. Joseph Flynn, who co-chaired the guidelines subcommittee with Kaelber, explained that “by catching the condition early, we are able to work with the family to manage it, whether that’s through lifestyle changes, medication or a combination of treatments.”

Noting the link between obesity and high blood pressure, the academy pointed out that lifestyle changes — such as diet and exercise — are the first-line treatment for high blood pressure.

Doctors should prescribe blood pressure-lowering medications if those behavior changes don’t reduce blood pressure, or if the child has another condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes, according to the guidelines.

But first, kids with an elevated blood pressure reading should have 24-hour monitoring at home, the academy said. This will rule out the possibility of “white coat effect” — anxiety in the doctor’s office that raises blood pressure.

Also, to simplify classification for doctors, the academy recommends adults and teens use the same blood pressure tables.

“These guidelines offer a renewed opportunity for pediatricians to identify and address this important — and often unrecognized — chronic disease in our patients,” Kaelber said. “The easy part was developing the new guidelines. Now we begin the harder work of implementing them to help children and adolescents.”

Marijuana users three times more likely to die from high blood pressure

Marijuana use has just been associated with death from hypertension. Getty
Marijuana use may increase people’s risk of death from hypertension (high blood pressure), a new study has found. The findings confirm previous associations that suggested recreational marijuana use may have potentially debilitating cardiovascular effects.

Cardiovascular diseases constitute the leading cause of death worldwide, despite most of them being preventable. More than 17 million people died of these diseases in 2015 globally.

In recent years, studies have linked marijuana use to cardiovascular problems. As a growing number of countries move to decriminalise marijuana,understanding whether its use increases cardiovascular mortality is beginning to look like a public health priority.

“Steps are being taken towards legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana in the US, and rates of recreational marijuana use may increase substantially as a result,” lead author Barbara Yankey, from Georgia State University said in a statement. “However, there is little research on the impact of marijuana use on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular mortality.”

The study now published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology looks at the marijuana consumption of US adults and whether there is a link between their use of the drug and cardiovascular mortality.

Looking for marijuana users

Obtaining data about people’s marijuana consumption is challenging, as there is no longitudinal data available on marijuana use. To get around this problem, the researchers designed a retrospective follow-up study of the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in which participants aged 20 years and above had been asked if they had ever used marijuana. Those who answered “yes” were considered marijuana users by the researchers in this present study.

To get an approximation of how long the participants had been consuming marijuana, the scientists looked at the age people had when they first tried marijuana and subtracted this from their current age.

The team also looked at mortality data in 2011 from the National Centre for Health Statistics. Combining both datasets, the researchers estimated the associations of marijuana use, and duration of use, with death from hypertension, heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. They controlled for other risk factors cigarette use and demographic variables such as sex, age, and ethnicity.

A total of 1,213 participants were considered for the analyses. 34% of them used neither marijuana nor cigarettes, 21% used only marijuana, 20% used marijuana and smoked cigarettes, 16% used marijuana and were past-smokers, 5% were past-smokers and 4% only smoked cigarettes. According to the scientists’ calculations, the average duration of marijuana use was 11.5 years.

The analyses of the data revealed that compared to non-users, marijuana users had a 3.42 times higher risk of death from hypertension and a 1.04 times greater risk for each year of use. There was however no association between marijuana use and death from heart disease or cerebrovascular disease.

There are obvious limitations to the study, especially the way marijuana use was calculated – it is not certain that participants used the drug continuously since they first tried it. Due to the way marijuana use was estimated, more than half of the participants were considered marijuana users, which seems unlikely.

This is nevertheless a first helpful step to assess the long-term health risks posed by marijuana. The question of what it does to the heart needs to be addressed as more and more people around the world use it.

“Given an increasing trend to decriminalise use of marijuana, it is important to understand the health risks of its use. This study attempted to work out the risk of various heart diseases from smoking marijuana, but its findings are far from definite. Since marijuana use is illegal in many jurisdictions, it is very hard to be certain about the health risks it poses, ” explained Tim Chico, a reader in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, who was not involved with the study.

“However, although this paper has limitations there is enough evidence from other research to strongly suspect marijuana use increases the risk of some forms of heart disease, and it is certainly not harmless.”

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker: Review + Recipes

Over the last few years, I’ve been simplifying and reducing the tools and appliances in our kitchen and only keeping the ones we use often. In fact, our kitchen now has a simple assortment of unusual appliances and tools that we use every day. One appliance that has recently earned its place on the list is the Instant Pot.

What is an Instant Pot?

In short, it is an electric, programable, pressure cooker with a lot of extra functionality. It definitely isn’t our grandparent’s stove-top pressure cooker!

Although I’ve had one for a while, I haven’t even tried all of the uses for it yet. Our family uses it mostly as a basic pressure cooker and I now make many of my slow-cooker recipes in the Instant Pot instead (…a fast cooker?).

Instant Pot advertises that it is a single kitchen appliance that does the work of seven kitchen gadgets, including a rice-cooker, yogurt-maker, steamer and pressure cooker.

In essence, it is a fancy electric pressure cooker but it does this job exceptionally well.

Pros and Cons of Instant Pot

The Instant Pot met my criteria of being multiple use so I decided to give it a try. It has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen tools and I use it often.

Instant Pot: The Pros

All Stainless Interior: Unlike most electric pressure cookers, the Instant Pot has a fully stainless-steel interior so this is the only part that touches the food. While parts of the exterior are plastic or other materials, these do not come in contact with the food and there is no teflon or non-stick surface.

Multi-Use: As a multi-use gadget it could conceivably replace a slow-cooker, rice-cooker, saute-pan, and steamer. I’ve even had friends tell me that they now use the Instant Pot so often that they rarely use their stove and oven. I certainly can’t see the Instant Pot replacing my oven and stove, but it definitely could if I ever needed it to if one of those appliances broke.

Replace the Slow Cooker: The Instant Pot has largely replaced our slow-cooker and I’m considering even getting rid of the Crockpot completely since the Instant Pot works more quickly and often provides better results. I could see an electric pressure cooker like this one being especially helpful for anyone with a small kitchen as it could replace several other kitchen appliances.

Time Saving: This is perhaps the biggest benefit I noticed right away with the Instant Pot. It can cook a slow-cooker recipe that takes 6-8 hours in just an hour and I can even prepare a roast for dinner in about 40 minutes. This is tremendously helpful on days that we aren’t home during the day and I need to prepare a meal quickly at night (or days that I forget to defrost food until the afternoon or to put food in the slow-cooker in the morning).

Good Price Point: While the Instant Pot does cost more than most single-use kitchen appliances like slow-cookers and rice-cookers, it is cost effective if you use it to replace one or more of these other gadgets. I found mine 50% off on sale here, and it has definitely already paid for itself in space and time savings.

Programmable: This is one advantage of the Instant Pot over regular pressure cookers and most slow-cookers. Since it cooks so quickly, I sometimes don’t need to start cooking a recipe as soon as I put it in the Instant Pot but I want to have it ready to go. The Instant Pot lets you program up to 24-hours in advance and has quite a few options pre-programmed for easy use.

Energy Efficient: Like a slow-cooker the heat source is electric and built in so it doesn’t require a separate gas or electric stove and is more energy efficient. Since it is self-regulated, it is also safer, and easier to use (in my opinion).

Easy to Clean: Since the cooking bowl is all stainless-steel it is easy to clean by hand and can even be placed in the dishwasher.

Instant Pot: The Cons

The Price (Up-front): Like I said, I found the price reasonable considering the other kitchen appliances that it replaced, but it does retail for over $200 (though I found mine for under $100 here). If I’d known about this when we got married and registered for this instead of various other appliances, it definitely would’ve been a cost savings, but if, like me, you already have these other appliances, the cost can seem like a lot up front.

Learning Curve: I’ve always been a little terrified of pressure cookers since a relative once severely burned her face in a pressure-cooker accident, and while the Instant Pot seems easier to use than many pressure-cookers, it is a new style of cooking with a little bit of a learning curve. It only took me a couple of uses to get comfortable using it, but I’d recommend reading the (short) instruction manual first before using the first time. It definitely didn’t feel intuitive the first couple of times I used the Instant Pot, but it was easy to learn.

Lower PSI: Stove top pressure cookers typically operate at around 15 PSI, while electric ones, like the Instant Pot range from 10-12 PSI. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage as electric cookers have built in feedback that makes them more efficient but they do cook *slightly* slower than stove top pressure cookers. I personally prefer the electric pressure cooker because it is easier to use and doesn’t require constant monitoring, but if speed is your main concern, the Instant Pot is slightly (5-10 minutes) slower on some recipes.

Safety: The Instant Pot is much safer than most other types of pressure cookers but it is still a pressure cooker and can release steam and cause severe burns if mis-used. I’ve never had trouble with ours and wasn’t able to find any cases of someone being harmed while using it correctly, but I am still very careful using it around my kids. I make sure it is in a sturdy place in the corner/back of the counter and that there are no chairs or stools that would let kids get to it or tamper with the lid.

Instant Pot Recipes

I’m still pretty new to the Instant Pot but have been using it often because it is so simple to use. I’ve been creating my own recipes (here’s one of our current favorites!) but I’ve also tried some from other bloggers, especially when I was learning how to use the Instant Pot and wanted to make sure I didn’t mess up any meals (hint- I’ve found that it is really hard to screw up a recipe with the Instant Pot!).

Some of my Favorite Instant Pot Recipes are:

This Kalua Pig recipe from Nom Nom Paleo
This simple bone broth recipe (though I’ve modified this substantially and will share my variation soon)
Mango Chicken Thighs
Lamb Stew from Paleo Mom
A whole chicken in 30 minutes
A Simplified Kitchen

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I have a minimalist kitchen (or that I’d even try to when cooking for 7 people three times a day) but I would say that I have finally created a simplified kitchen and it works really well for our needs. In hindsight, I wish I’d known what I know now when selecting items for our wedding registry, since we’ve gotten rid of many of the items we thought we “had to have” when registering.

In the past few years, we’ve:

Replaced the coffee pot with a French Press
Ditched the vegetable and onion chopper and replaced it with… a knife
Replaced plastic and heavy glass dishes with stainless steel ones for the kids (dishwasher & oven safe, and unbreakable)
Ditched the juicer (we just make smoothies instead)
Replaced the multiple different types of speciality glasses with quart size multi-use mason jars
Got rid of the toaster, bread maker and other appliances we just never used
Most of the kitchen appliances we got as wedding gifts have broken or been donated and the ones that remain get used daily:

A high speed blender
A mixer (and an immersion blender)
A glass electric tea kettle (for french press coffee, tea, etc.)
and now, our Instant Pot (in fact, we are now considering getting rid of the slow cooker)
The Bottom Line

I bought this version of the Instant Pot (the 6-in-1) and I really like it. As I said, I got it on sale and it has more than paid for itself in time savings in the past few months. There is also a 7-in-1 version that also makes yogurt but since we make yogurt in the oven, I didn’t think this extra functionality was needed.

There is also a much-fancier bluetooth enabled version that I wouldn’t personally recommend, since we are trying to reduce our exposure to bluetooth/wi-fi but also because it doesn’t offer much extra functionality (besides being able to program from a smart phone) for the price (almost double).

I was skeptical about the Instant Pot so I put off trying it for a long time. I was surprised how much I really like it (and over 5,000 Amazon reviewers seem to agree!). In hindsight, I wish I’d tried it much earlier and can see this being my go-to wedding gift for friends in the future.

Unlike very basic kitchen tools like knives and quality pans, the Instant Pot is definitely not an absolute kitchen necessity but I would definitely recommend it to friends and family and it is becoming one of my most-used kitchen tools.