Thursday, November 8, 2012

Four Apps to Boost Your Health

Some apps can help you track your mental and physical well-being
Some apps can help you track your mental and physical well-being.
Image: Shutterstock
If you have a smartphone, chances are that you spend a significant amount of time on it, playing games, checking mail, listening to music, and navigating a slew of other apps. I know I’m always on the lookout for useful apps to make my life easier, so when I saw a Yahoo! Screen video on health-related apps, I knew I had to share.

The video recommends four apps related to both physical and mental well-being:
  1. Breathe to Relax—Did you know that when you are stressed out, your body turns on its “fight or flight” response? I sure didn’t. The truth is, when you’re feeling elevated levels of stress, your body’s digestive system starts to shut down. That’s why you might not feel hungry when you’re slammed at work or have a crazy schedule. It’s not that your body doesn’t need the nutrition; it’s just focused on other things. This app literally helps you take some deep breaths before sitting down to eat so that your body can properly digest and process food, and get those cortisol levels down.
  2. Whole Foods Market Recipes—For those of you that cook, this app is seriously cool. It’s got several health-related categories for recipes (e.g. vegan, gluten free), and it allows you to plug in ingredients you have at home to search possible recipes. And like many recipe sites these days, it will even compile a shopping list for you.
  3. Fooducate—Ever spend several minutes debating which brand will be better for your well-being? Fooducate allows you to scan barcodes and compare nutritional information to determine which food is better for your needs.
  4. Lose it!—Even though I’m not a huge fan of calorie counting (I prefer just eating healthy in general), this app has the potential to seriously put things into perspective, especially for those of you that are chronic snackers. We don’t always realize exactly what we’re putting into our bodies, and this app acts as a food diary that tracks what you eat and keeps you aware of what, exactly, that means for your well-being.
Whole foods has a recipe app to help you plan meals
Image: Whole Foods
Which of these apps seems most useful to you? I’m excited about the recipe app because it’s not always easy to find recipes that fall into the guidelines I want to follow, and I always have leftover produce that I don’t know what to do with.

If you'd like to view the Yahoo! video, check here.