5 Nutritional Pitfalls to Avoid

Sometimes, you can trace a habit you have back to the original source. Maybe it was your mom or dad always telling you to make your bed every morning, so you make your bed every morning. In high school, you started showering before heading out so now you start showering before you start your day.

Other times, we accrue bad habits in our daily lives. One day, we sit around with bad posture and before long, it feels weird to sit with correct posture. Other times, we are told certain things about certain foods and believe them, whether or not they’re good or bad.

You might be making some mistakes without even knowing them. That’s why it’s time to head back to the basics and make sure you’re avoiding those pitfalls, and what you can do to correct them.

Not Drinking Enough Water

It’s one of life’s most basic principles: in order to survive, you need to drink water. Too often, people substitute juices or other drinks for their water requirement.

Yes, it can be hard to remember to drink water during the busy day but the best thing to do is drink a glass of water within 30 minutes of waking up each morning. With that, you’re going to help boost your metabolism, jumpstart your brain, and rehydrate. You did just go 7-9 hours without sleep!

If you’re finding it difficult, bring a water bottle from home today and make a point to go refill it at work or school whenever it goes on empty.

Not Enough Lean Meat

You don’t need to be a dietician or nutritionist to know that protein is important for your body. It helps you build up muscles, keeps your nails and hair healthy, and is important for blood health.

Just where you’re getting that protein though, is often the issue. Red meat is fine in small quantities, but you shouldn’t be making it part of your regular diet. Instead of relying on red meat, substitute it with lean meats like turkey, chicken, and lean beef.

You can use those to substitute just about any non-lean meat out there, making it delicious and healthy. Also check out non-meat sources of protein, like delicious falafel or trail mix.

Not Reading Labels Closely

Food is advertised just like anything else. The important, eye-catching parts are put in big letters at the front while secondary information is found in the corner or back of the box.

For example, you should be checking out serving sizes. While it may look great that the box of cereal only has three grams of sugar, how big is a serving size? Before you know it, you might have eaten 10 servings, putting a whopping 30 grams of sugar in your body in one sitting.

Along the same route, sugar-free foods are often packed with artificial sweeteners which can have negative impacts on your health.

Skipping Meals

Sometimes, life is busy and you realize an hour later you completely forgot about lunch. Other times, you think skipping a meal is a great way to lose weight. Both of these occurrences have negative impacts on your body. The meal most likely to be skipped is breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day.

When you skip a meal, your body is going to look for other reserves to keep itself going. Or you may find later that you’re having unbearable cravings and you consume more than you normally would. Make sure you’re sticking to a regular meal plan.

Eating Whatever You Want After a Workout

Working out takes a level of commitment and dedication in of itself, and you should be eating something after your workout. One of the biggest pitfalls is people believe they can eat whatever they want after finishing a workout. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yes, your body does need fuel after working out, but you need to put something healthy back into it, like vegetables, nuts, lean meats, or other protein-filled foods.

The average person burns the number of calories in a chocolate chip cookie after one mile of running. Running a mile takes anywhere from 7-12 minutes, but you could eat 7-12 cookies in a minute. Make sure you have healthy post-workout food options when you call it a day.

Best Healthy Foods to Gain Weight and Lean Muscle Mass

While everyone wants to lose weight, there are seldom few people who want to gain weight. Most people are of the view that losing weight is tough but to gain is really easy. If you are under the view that just by binging on a lot of junk food, you can gain weight, you are absolutely wrong. No doubt, you will surely gain weight but it will all be unhealthy weight.

How fast your body sheds or gains weight entirely depends on its metabolism. As a result, it is extremely necessary to be careful and keep a check on your diet. Every human being is different and so the process of losing it gaining weight will vary too. Therefore, it is necessary to reach out to experts to find the best solution to your problem.

Can you gain weight?

Gaining weight and lean muscle mass can be difficult but if the food is consumed right way, it can be helpful. Nutrition, as well as physical activity, has an important role to play in building the body. People looking forward to bulking up need to consume protein-rich foods. Apart from exercising regularly, you should also keep a check on your nutritional diet for better advantages. Thus, when trying to gain weight and muscle mass, both nutrition and exercise have an equal role to play.

What to consume?

If you are trying to gain weight, make sure that you bring changes in your diet. Some of the prominent food items to consume include the following

  1. Egg

If you have been searching for quality protein-rich, healthy fat food then an egg is the best choice to make. The egg is enriched with necessary nutrients like choline and vitamin-B, which makes it a major addition to your muscle gain diet.

Eggs are extremely rich in the amino acid, leucine, which is extremely necessary for muscle gain. Vitamin B is also a major requirement of the body. It helps to produce energy in large numbers. Compared to egg yolks, egg whites are more enriched in proteins. You should consume at least four eggs a day if you have been trying to gain muscle mass.

  1. Milk

Milk has played an important role in helping people gain weight for a long time. This muscle builder is an important aspect in the long run. Milk is the perfect combination of proteins, carbs, and fats. Apart from that, milk is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and calcium.

Milk forms a major part of whey proteins and casein. Research has shown that milk also boosts your energy so you can indulge in weight lifting. As a result, the chances to gain muscle mass eventually increases. If you are not consuming protein powders, you should drink a meal twice a day, before and after a workout.

  1. Nuts and Peanut butter

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? To know peanut butter as an efficient weight builder is a great boost. If you have been looking forward to a perfect snack that can help you in the long run to build your muscle mass, then nuts are the right choice to make.

Compared to all nuts, almonds are the healthiest for they contain healthy fats and a sufficient amount of proteins. Two handfuls of nuts each day can boost your muscle gain diet. These calories are healthy for your body. You can either consume nuts with your smoothie or salad. The peanut butter can also form an important part of yoghurts, smoothies, and snacks. However, if you are purchasing but butter you need to ensure that it does not contain added sugar or extra oil.

  1. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a major food for boosting your weight gain procedure. Compared to other body parts, chicken breast contains healthy fats and fast quality protein. Apart from that, chicken breast also contains a sufficient amount of vitamin B complexes such as niacin and vitamin B6.

The vitamins are an important requirement of the body to boost your physical activity. As a result, chicken breast is extremely necessary for ensuring muscle gain. Studies have also shown that chicken breast will not only aid in muscle gain but will also contribute towards fat loss.

  1. Potato and starchy foods

If you are looking forward to an affordable range of healthy foods, then potatoes are the right choice to make. These starchy foods can add up the extra calories to your diet thereby helping you gain muscle mass. Some of the prominent starchy foods you can consume are squash, corn, oats, sweet potatoes, winter root vegetables and more.

These starchy foods can add an adequate amount of calories and carbs into the body thereby increasing the muscle glycogen stores. Moreover, starchy foods can also help to enhance the nutrient and fiber content of the body which will help to improve the gut bacteria.

  1. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt is a healthy combination of healthy fats and high-quality protein. Greek yoghurt contains a sufficient amount of quick to digest whey protein with slow to digest casein protein. Research shows that one can easily gain lean muscle mass if they eat a perfect balance of quick and slow-digesting dietary proteins.

Greek yoghurt is extremely healthy as compared to the regular yogurt. Greek yogurt can make an important part of the diet and is a perfect snack. But, it is always recommended to consume Greek yogurt before and after a workout to enjoy maximum benefits.

  1. Avocados

Nothing on this Earth is as healthy as avocados. It won’t be wrong to call avocados magic food because they are enriched with healthy proteins and fat. Avocados are rich in calories thereby helping you gain weight in a healthy way. Not only is avocado rich in fiber, but also minerals, vitamins, and plant compounds. You can include avocados in your omelets and sandwiches for extra benefits.

  1. Soybeans

Cooked or boiled soybeans contain a sufficient amount of healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. They are a great source of vitamin K, phosphorus and iron. Iron is further required for the healthy functioning of the body. The deficiency of iron can further be harmful to the body. Soybeans can further be helpful for young women who undergo blood loss due to menstruation for it provides healthy iron content.

Various foods can help to gain lean muscle mass. You should be consuming protein-packed foods that will eventually help you recover from deficiency. This further helps to boost your physical activity. Apart from protein, you should also be consuming a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals to meet body requirements.

6 Reasons Why Dietary Fiber Is Good for You

Sitting in the bathroom, you notice that your legs have gone numb again, but you still can’t drop the kids off at the pool. If you have ever felt constipated or bloated, you may not be getting enough fiber in your diet.

There is a real problem with Americans having fiber intake deficiencies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a study in 2014 which found that Americans get about two-thirds of the fiber intake recommended by doctors and nutritionists.

Beyond keeping your bowels regular, there are many reasons why proper fiber intake is good for you. Keep reading to learn some of the amazing health benefits of adding fiber to your diet.

1. Bloating and Constipation

As we mentioned, consuming the correct amount of fiber keeps you from feeling bloated or becoming constipated. But how does it work?

Some studies suggest that the fiber absorbs excess water from your digestion tract, which reduces the size of your stools and allows them to pass through. This is not 100% true.

Dry fiber would, in fact, absorb the water and make your stool drier, but that would make constipation worse. What you want for constipation is water-soluble fiber which becomes like a gel in the digestive tract and lubricates the stool. Insoluble fiber has the exact opposite effect, so you should consult a doctor before using any fiber to treat your issues.

2. Fiber Is a Weight Loss Booster

Dietary fiber is another kind found most often in food, but weight loss supplements often include it as well. You can lose weight using dietary fiber to reduce your weight in a natural way.

The fiber absorbs water in your stomach and remains there for a while. As the fiber sits in the stomach, it slows the absorption of nutrients and leads to a longer-lasting feeling of fullness. The longer you feel full, the less food you will eat, thus reducing the number of calories you consume.

Make sure to use soluble fiber for a weight loss boost, but remember that too much soluble fiber has a laxative effect. No one needs that kind of mess!

3. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the United States. Some people are born with diabetes (type 1) while others develop it later in life (type 2), but both types mean that your body does not process sugar as it should. Some people are choosing to ditch the expensive pills and insulin shots in favor of a diet change to manage their diabetes.

Studies show that high viscosity soluble fiber has the ability to reduce the intensity of blood sugar spikes after eating a carb-laden meal. What this means is, if you eat something with high viscosity soluble fiber before a meal with lots of carbs, your blood sugar levels will not get as high as if you were to eat the same meal without the added fiber.

Be cautious though. If you have blood sugar issues, you should not eat a plate full of spaghetti or a giant cupcake, even with high viscosity fiber in your system. But, having enough fiber in your gut means you won’t need to panic and run to the hospital if you eat a single cookie.

It is not always easy to know which foods have high fiber content. Fiber is not something you can identify in a food item by sight. Check out this page for some of the food items with the highest fiber content.

4. Fiber Reduces the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Of all the cancers that lead to death, colorectal cancer is the third most common. Studies are still going on, but some scientists believe that fiber keeps your colon healthy and less prone to developing cancer!

The difficult part about these studies is that it appears that there is a connection with a higher fiber diet and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. But, the nutrients and vitamins found in the fruits and veggies that are also high in fiber could also be the reason for the reduced risk.

Until doctors find conclusive evidence, we see no harm in adding more fruits and veggies with high fiber content to your diet.

5. Fiber Is Good for You and Your Gut Health

Another benefit is that fiber helps promote probiotics in your stomach. It helps the probiotic “good” bacteria in your stomach by acting as a food source for it. After all, everything alive has to eat something to produce energy and continue living.

With the probiotic bacteria fed and protected in your tummy, it can spend its energy breaking down food for you and fending off bad gut bacteria.

6. Cholesterol Benefits

if you have problems controlling your cholesterol, you should up your fiber intake. In tandem with other cholesterol control methods, fiber can help reduce your total cholesterol and LDL levels.

In general, it’s not super effective by itself. But, studies are finding that larger amounts of viscous soluble fiber show better results. One thing scientists can say is that high fiber intake reduces your risk of heart disease!

Live Your Healthiest Lifestyle

We hope knowing why fiber is so good for you motivates you to increase your intake. Keep in mind that while fiber supplement pills help increase your fiber levels, they are not as efficient as consuming high fiber foods. If you can’t seem to consume enough fiber in your meals, then adding fiber supplements is your next best option.

Once your gut feels back to normal, keep up your fiber intake to ensure your gut health stays in tip-top shape! Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Paying attention to your nutrient intake is a great first step to living a healthy lifestyle. Check out the rest of our blog for more great information about how to live your healthiest lifestyle!

If you have more tips for increasing your fiber intake or more benefits you notice from it, please let us know!

How To Detox Naturally?

In these modern times, we are exposed to toxins every single day. There are toxins in the food we eat; the air we breathe, and cosmetics that make us look beautiful as well as household cleaners.

Toxins have an acute and cumulative impact on our organs.  The side effects are not immediate, but with time the ill effects of the toxins on your overall health can be observed. Thus, detoxification is very important for your overall well being.

What Is Detoxification?

The complicated process of detoxification starts in your liver. The liver first converts toxins into its highly reactive metabolites, and finally excretes these toxic substances. Other than liver, your lungs, kidneys, and gut also have a role in the process of detoxification.

Therefore, you should make detoxification a regular habit, to support your liver in its natural detoxification process.

How To Detoxify Your Body In The Natural Way?

Here are the various ways by which you can naturally detoxify your body:

 

  1. Eat The Right Foods

The whole foods like berries, garlic, and spices like turmeric can detoxify your body in various ways. Along with it, if you consume a good amount of protein and fat, it becomes an optimal diet plan to detoxify as well as lose weight.  Always include organic food in your diet whenever possible.

Support Your Gut

Gastrointestinal issues will definitely set off the detoxification process. The digestive system can be improved by removing obstacles that cause an imbalance in the gut.

Thus, for the optimal detoxification process including the right gut-supporting foods and nutrients in your diet is very important.

  1. Minimize Exposure

Avoid using toxin containing household cleaners, visiting construction sites, using plastic, processed foods. This will make sure that you are minimally exposed to the toxins.

  1. Drink Plenty Of Clean Water

Hydration is the best possible way to detoxify your body. Always make sure that you consume properly filtered drinking water thus avoiding added toxins.

Your body requires water to function well, so do every cell.

Hence, you should start your day by drinking at least a glass of water. If you add a lemon juice to your water then it is even better.  It will aid in digestion and also help to flush out the toxins that have accumulated in the body.

  1. Sweat Out Your Toxins

Exercise helps your body to flush out toxins from your body and also effectively burn fat.  Find a workout that best suits you and consistently follow it.

Exercising regularly is the healthiest way to detoxify your body. It improves blood circulation and also lymphatic flow.

You will observe that with time your digestion improves, stress reduces, joints are lubricated, and body is strengthened.

Therefore the people who exercise regularly have lesser toxins in their body as compared to those who don’t exercise.

  1. Get Good Sleep

The process of detoxification of the brain is called the glymphatic system that takes place when you are asleep.

Therefore insufficient sleep impairs the functioning of your glymphatic system, causing the toxin to build up.

Toxin accumulation has often ignored the factor of obesity, and the right detoxification plan can help your body to heal and detoxify.

  1. Cut Your Sugar Intake

The easiest way to detoxify your body is to decrease the intake of sugar or sweetness, for instance, molasses, honey, and sugar, etc. You can add cinnamon instead of sugar in your food, as it controls the level of blood sugar.

  1. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

When it comes to detoxification you don’t need any fancy detox plan to feel better, stat.

You should include a colorful variety of fruits and veggies and let that be the main focus of your diet, along with whole grains, beans and legumes, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.

  1. Sweat It Out In A Sauna

Saunas are the best-known way to detoxify in Finland and Sweeden.  Sitting and sweating it out can help you to detoxify your body via sweat loss. Other than this sauna bath is good for the skin.

  1. Exfoliate Your Skin

You can easily exfoliate the toxins from your skin by just brushing your skin or massaging it with oil.  The oil massages will not only exfoliate your skin to remove the toxins but also increase the blood circulation to the skin, making it soft and supple.

You can also detox your skin using a facial exfoliator which will make your skin glow.

  1. Eat More Often

Skipping meals will only slow down your metabolism and at the end of the day, you eat more than you require.  Thus you consume more calories than you usually do if you are not in the starving condition.

Therefore, you should make a regular eating a habit by just keeping your fridge as well as the pantry with peanut butter, whole wheat bread. You can include yogurt, whole wheat bread, peanut butter, and wraps in your diet.

  1. Say No to Alcohol

It is found out that, alcohol may be linked with the onset of cancer, including breast cancer in women. You don’t have to cut it out entirely, but do not consume more than a glass of wine or beer a night.

  1. Castor Oil Packs

Castor oil is an effective anti-inflammatory agent which when absorbed into the skin boosts blood circulation, eliminates toxins, and heal your body.

The castor oil pack should be used at least  5-7 times a week for almost a month for detoxification of the liver, lymphatic system, and intestines.

You can use the castor oil packs whenever you are feeling down, or want to improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and immune system.

Conclusion

We live in a world where we are surrounded and exposed to the toxins every day.  However, our bodies are naturally designed to protect us from toxin exposure. We cannot totally avoid our exposure to the toxins but we can optimize the functioning of the organs and therefore support the detoxification process by following above-mentioned simple suggestions.

Betaine and its effect on body composition and performance

Dietary supplements nowadays do not have to be strictly related to bodybuilding.People use various solutions to help their body as much as they can.However, it is sometimes worth to return to this classic definition and become familiar with products such as betaine.

Betaine – what it is

Betaine (trimethylglycine) is an organic osmolyte that we find in a variety of foods, like

There have been many studies on possible effects of taking the supplement with various effects, mainly on animals.We have the opportunity to meet with information indicating that the effect is quite impressive and at the other hand we have studies which say that effect is completely missing.For this reason, there is some uncertainty as to whether betaine is really effective for trainees.An interesting thing, however, may be that trimethylglycine does not indicate that it is effective only when it is taken by non-physically active people.One of the studies with overweight people has confirmed this.For this reason, let’s focus here specifically on one of the tests, which tried to confirm whether this supplement is mainly suitable for training people.

Betaine – does it affect the composition of our body and performance?

A specific study aimed to check whether long-term betaine intake can affect our body composition, performance and homocysteine ​​thiolactone (HCTL) for experienced and trained individuals.To check this, specific participants were selected and randomly assigned to the supplement or placebo group and a double-blind kind of test was used.Patients underwent 6-week supplementation with trimethylglycine or placebo in the same form (gelatin capsules).The skin folds and their circumference were measured before and after the examination.In addition, the subjects have completed the stress test protocol.

Result

The effect of supplementation after 6 weeks was visible in the form of a significant increase in lean mass and a decrease in fat mass when taking betaine compared to placebo.This result is particularly important because, as mentioned above, trimethylglycine did not indicate such results in the case of human tests.Why is this so?

Probable explanation

An important difference between this study and the previous ones is the fact that in this case exercises were an important part of the test, which creates the hypothesis that betaine supplementation was the most effective when it used next to appropriate training and works best for people who have experience in this matter (bodybuilders).

Summary

The above study certainly presented betaine positively.They indicate that the supplement is able to improve

  • body composition
  • muscle mass
  • training capability

In addition, the weakened HCTL growth may seek to improve the power, but not the strength of our muscles.It is worth bearing in mind, however, that according to research, betaine works best for exercising people, it can also be an ideal dietary supplement, especially in the case of resistance training, in which conditions betaine supplementation was checked in studies.

Try This Diet and Exercise Plan to Get Your Jennifer Lopez Body

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Jennifer Lopez body is ‘I wish I had a body like hers’. With her being a few weeks shy of her 50th birthday, one can not help but wonder how she keeps her body looking fit at her age.

Her physique puts some of us to shame because she has had kids, and she has a busier schedule than most of us. Don’t you wish you could learn the secrets to a Jennifer Lopez workout and use them to work towards having a body like hers?

Hydration Is Key

Everyone knows that Lopez’ first rule is always to stay hydrated. And here are the reasons why hydration is so important. First, water is a natural appetite suppressant. Seeping water all day long, helps you eat less throughout the day.

Water also helps to flush out your system and it the process it cleans out your intestines and kidneys. Detoxing makes the uptake of essential nutrients much easier. Not to forget the debloating aspect. That helps your tummy look smaller and your body, in general, look less swollen.

Additionally, drinking water prevents your skin from losing its elasticity. Thus protecting your skin from premature wrinkling. And if you workout, you need to hydrate for your muscles to function. Studies show that even a 2% water loss will affect your muscle function.

Last but not least, drinking water helps to regulate internal body temperature. Body temperature plays an important role in improving your metabolic processes.

Clean Up Your Diet

You cannot fuel a jet with canola oil and expect it to fly. The same way you cannot eat and expect to have a beach body. Your current physique is a reflection of your eating habits

There is a reason why they say that weight loss is 90% diet. It does not mean you should never work out. It means that workout and a good diet go hand in hand if you want to lose weight and reveal those abs.

Jennifer Lopez’s diet restricts caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods. It also contains lots of non-starchy vegetables, high-quality lean proteins, and whole grains. The point is to incorporate a diet full of fueling foods.

To reap the benefits of your diet, ensure that your metabolism is always revved up. By eating lots of pro-metabolism veggies. Find interesting recipes that will motivate you to stick to your healthy diet. For Jenifer Lopez, the trick is to prepare her food Puerto Rican style.

Smaller Snacks Equal Smaller Slacks

Smart snacking has always been an efficient way to keep pangs at bay. While avoiding binge eating at meal times. The reasoning behind it is if you are not starving at mealtime, then you will not gorge yourself and end up consuming too many calories.

By snacking throughout the day, you can stay satiated for longer. Without getting tempted to give in to your cravings. Always carry healthy snacks wherever you go; this is one of the important tips Lopez follows. That way, you do not fall into temptation and opt for junk food. And if packing fruit or a salad is not ideal, go for a protein shake instead.

A protein shake helps to fuel your muscles, making it easier for you to stay active longer. Do not deny yourself some cheat meals, but do it in moderation. If you go cold turkey, there is a high likelihood you will fail to stick to your mission in the long run.

Commit To Working Out

In one of her interview, Jennifer Lopez states that she works out at least 3 to 4 times per week. Adding that she believes working out makes her happy. There is some scientific truth to that statement.

Working out releases the feel-good hormones known as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones lead to an improved mood, reduces stress levels, better sleep patterns, and increased mental, and physical abilities.

Adrenal fatigue, a leading cause of weight loss stagnation, is as a result of stress and poor sleep. By working out, you reverse your body’s adrenal fatigue. And jump-start your weight loss process.

Keep things interesting by changing your ab workout routine every so often, and trying out different forms of exercising. You can opt to go for yoga once a week, swimming every other day, take up Zumba or salsa dancing, or even sign up for soul cycle.

The trick is to ensure you always look forward to working out so that you do not view it as a chore. Once you begin to settle into a routine, the chances of falling off the bandwagon are much lower.

Make it a get together event and schedule a few monthly gym meet-ups with friends or family on the same journey. To help each other stay on track and to keep each other accountable and to share working out details.

According to Lopez, the best time to workout is early in the morning. By working out first thing in the morning, you can attain your daily workout routine goals before your daily activities get in the way.

Is It Guaranteed You Will Have a Jennifer Lopez Body?

Well, we cannot promise you will have a Jennifer Lopez body, but you will be a better version of yourself. Both physically and mentally if you change your diet and level of activeness. And the main point is to look and feel good about yourself not to have a JLo booty.

It all depends on your level of consistency. It is most likely that you might or might not fall off the bandwagon a couple of times. It happens to the best of us. But as long as you get back on, you should be good to go.

You should not expect to see results in one week. Remember it took years for them to complete building Rome. Stick to it, and you will most definitely see a change within no time, only if you eat right, stay hydrated, snack smart and work out at least three times per week.

Read more on how to lose weight and ways of keeping healthy from our blog.

How to digest food better without medicine?

Digestion is a normal physiological mechanism that your body undergoes on consuming food, in the form of solids or liquids. It is a process that your body participates in every day, every time you intake anything. There are two types of mechanisms involved in your process of digestion- mechanical and enzymatic actions. These two processes allow your body to utilize nutrients and energy from the foods that you consume. Energy gets stored in your body in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules, helping you to carry out work.

If the digestion process is not proper, a lot of metabolic actions happening within your body cells gets disturbed. You not only end up with different digestive issues but also digestion associated various other health problems. Occasional symptoms may include- gas formation, acid reflux, constipation, nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. If you experience such signs, then there is definitely a problem with your lifestyle. Your daily diet and lifestyle choices have a major impact on the health and functioning of your gut.

There are multiple factors that guide your digestion that you need to improve for proper breakdown of food. By following the guidelines given below, you can easily pace up and improve your digestion to make it more effectual.

Natural ways to improve your digestion

 

Find out the non-medicative ways to improve digestion:

  1. Proper mastication of food

When you consume solid foods, it is very important that you chew them properly to help in better digestion. It is one of the most basic things that you can start off with. The better you chew, the more you officiate digestion effectively. The first place where your digestion initiates is in your mouth. The saliva that you secrete from salivary glands aids in the initial breakdown of the food into smaller, digestible pieces. Therefore, do not swallow large food pieces directly. Take your time in chewing your food properly, and then only swallow the smaller pieces.

  1. Go frequent mini meals

There is no point in eating heavily at one meal, and then not eat anything throughout the day. Avoid consuming large portions of food at one go. Try eating mini meals at frequent time intervals. You may not know this, but doing so actually improves your digestion to a great extent. Do not overwhelm your digestive tract by eating big plates. To make your digestion process faster and better, take small snacks in every 3 to 4 hours. In this way, you can keep your hunger levels under control.

  1. Keep your body hydrated.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated as much as possible. There are a number of health benefits of drinking ample water all day. You can not only improve your digestive power but several other functions of your body like skin health, excretion, etc. You may experience constipation as the most prominent health issue when you have water deficits in your body.

Constipation is a problem that primarily results from dehydration and dietary fiber deficiency. You feel difficulty in passing stools, which may lead to further serious bowel disorders. When you have an adequate water supply in your body, it aids in better and faster digestion. Water breaks down a number of nutrients for better absorption by your body. Some of the cool hacks to improve your water consumption rate per day are

  • Every time you drink water, preferably using a big cup
  • You may add different flavors to your water to make it more drinkable
  • Consume flavored or herbal tea every day
  • Instead of ordering soda drinks, prefer ordering water at restaurants

 

  1. Eat products that contain ample probiotics

Probiotics are basically live bacteria that help you in improving your gut health, by aiding in healthier digestion. These are good bacteria that do not mess with your overall health, instead improves it. The food products that supply a lot of probiotics are kefir and yogurt. If you are not very sure of which product has probiotics present in I, check its label properly. When you see the names of bacteria on products such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Infantis, blindly buy them.

  1. Be active

Avoid leading a sedentary daily life. It makes your overall health worse, including both physical and mental states. Get into something energetic and full of actions. Go for regular morning or evening walks to keep your body active and strong. Take out sometime from your mundane routine and dedicate that to physical exercises like yoga or aerobics.

Such activities not only improves your digestive mechanism but also your overall wellbeing. However, do not exercise right after having a meal. Give some time for the food to settle down and then only start off exercises. It will help to stimulate your bowel functioning in a much better way, than a usual inactive lifestyle.

  1. Get proper sleep every day

This is a very important factor that drives your digestion process in either a good way or the worse. Proper sleeping cycles are extremely necessary to monitor when it comes to digestion. You should use the rest button at the right hour of the day, to physiologically keep your body under-relaxation. This will undoubtedly help in better digestion. Although, do not hit the bed straightaway after consuming your meal. Give some time of around 2 to 3 hours to confirm proper digestion, and then only rest your body.

  1. Monitor your food habits

Avoid taking beverages with a high amount of caffeine (like coffee), and smoking cigarettes. These two factors can affect your digestion in worse possible ways. Do not exceed your caffeine consumption limit of 400 mg per day, otherwise, it will alter your bowel functioning.

Final words

If you think that rapid digestion can aid you with weight loss results, you may be wrong. When the metabolic rate increases with increased digestion, it aids in weight loss but there are other factors as well. Stress on what you are eating and how right the balance is of various macro and micronutrients in your body. Restore your metabolic function with a healthy diet.

7 Signs of an Unhealthy Gut and How to Fix It

Our gut holds 80% of our immune system. If you want to be a healthier, happier version of yourself, take a look into what we mean by “gut health”. Get ready to make some simple changes that will improve your life.

Here are 7 signs of an unhealthy gut and how to fix it. But first, let’s talk about the functions of the gut microbiome.

What is the “Gut Microbiome”?

Microbiome refers to microorganisms that live in a particular environment. When talking about the digestive tract and gut, we’re talking about bacteria that live there as opposed to other areas of the body.

There’re around 500 different species of bacteria in the digestive tract. This comprises of both good and bad microorganisms.

Current estimates say that we have a 1:1 ratio of human cells to bacteria. They’re prevalent, but what do they do? The gut microbiome ties into all of our body’s systems, including the immune system as previously mentioned.

When our gut microbiome becomes off-balance, we suffer from many illnesses such as metabolic and allergic diseases, skin conditions, mental health issues, and cancer.

How do you know if you have an unhealthy microbiome? There are tests available to see how it’s doing.

How does microbiome testing work? Well, it’s not as simple as taking one test and knowing the entirety of your gut health. Testing shows your system at one point in time, which doesn’t account for daily fluctuations.

Rather than getting a test, consider observing symptoms of an unhealthy gut and doing what you can to correct it.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

1. Stomach Issues

Perhaps it occurs right after you eat or well after your body digests food. Indications of an unhealthy gut are bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and gas.

When you don’t have the proper balance of bacteria in your body, your stomach can’t break down food correctly. This results in digestive pains and symptoms.

2. Skin Irritation

An excess of unabsorbed protein in your system causes your skin to flare up. This could manifest as acne or eczema.

3. Sugar Cravings

If you have a high-sugar diet, you’re bound to be in a cycle of sugar cravings. The stomach has a hard time with processed sugars, resulting in an inability to regulate blood sugar and digest normally.

Cutting sugar will have an effect on more than just your gut.

4. Suppressed Immune System

Do you seem to get sick often? Are infections a regular occurrence for you?

As we mentioned before, the gut holds 80% of our immune system. So, if you notice that your immune system isn’t very strong, it could be your gut.

5. Mental Effects

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, this could be an indicator of your gut health. The same thing goes for unexplained mood swings and irritability.

One of the systems affected by gut health is the endocrine system. This is the system in the body responsible for hormone production and regulation.

Our brain and systems do everything they do because of hormones (and other intrinsic factors, of course). Thus, an imbalanced gut negatively affects the endocrine system.

Another mental effect is poor memory and concentration. If any of this sounds familiar, it would be worth doing more research to see how you can improve your gut health.

6. Sleep Issues

Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you feel tired all the time?

Again, this may link to an imbalanced gut. Hormones such as melatonin play into your sleep cycle.

If you feel tired all the time, it could be due to the fact that your body isn’t getting enough energy from the food you’re eating. It may have a hard time getting everything it can out of what you ingest.

7. Food Intolerances

Speaking of what you ingest, do you find that eating some foods cause your stomach issues to flare up? We’re not talking about food allergies here.

Difficulty digesting is a common sign of an unhealthy gut.

If you relate to any of these symptoms, there are things you can do to improve your gut health.

Things to Make Your Gut Healthier

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key for your body to work as it should. There are various suggestions and research as to how much you should drink.

A general rule of thumb is to drink when you’re thirsty. Your urine should be more clear than colored.

Eat Lectin-free Foods

Lectins are plant proteins that can harm gut health in certain sensitive individuals. Dr. Steven Gundry, author of the Plant Paradox diet, recommends consuming only lectin-free foods for at least 6 weeks, and then gradually reintroducing them one at a time.

Eat Slowly

This gives your digestive tract more time to process food rather than having to do it all at once in a short period. Eating slowly is also a good mindfulness practice and a way to keep from overeating.

Stress Less

Stress has a physical impact on your body (a perfect example of this is headaches).

To stress less, try exercise as an outlet. This is hitting two birds with one stone, as exercise is also a gut-booster.

Take Supplements

Alongside a daily vitamin, consider taking prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are actually live bacteria. You can get prebiotics and probiotics naturally from food, but if you have an off-balanced system, it would be wise to supplement in addition to that.

There are also many nutrient supplements that improve digestive health. These include vitamins A, C, and E, L-glutamine, and fish oil. To really get your body in a healthy and happy place, consider herbal supplements.

Cut Out Bad Food

This includes processed sugar and inflammatory foods. If you notice your system has a hard time digesting something, try not to eat it and see how you feel without it.

Research shows that high-fat diets reduce healthy bacteria in your gut. So, eat different food groups in moderation and eat in moderation in general.

Eat More Good Food

The gut loves soluble, high fiber foods. This includes beans, oats, some fruits, and greens. Garlic and onion also have beneficial effects on the digestive system.

Opt for more collagen-boosting and fermented foods.

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

If you’re overwhelmed by changing your entire diet and lifestyle, try implementing small change. You’ll notice a big difference over time.

Keep doing research on how you can make your body — the house you live in — the healthiest and most functional it can be.

In the meantime, follow our Facebook page for updates and check out more health-related content on our blog.

Top benefits of using Neem leaves

Neem or Azadirachtaindica is a very common tree that you can easily spot in every neighborhood. However, are you well aware of the benefits of this tree and its leaves? Each and every part of this tree, starting from bark and leaves to its stems, has immense medicinal properties. The flowers, fruit, and roots are not common for medicinal usage, but you can still find them in use sometimes.

You can use neem leaves to cure the following health issues:

  • Leprosy
  • Bleeding Nose
  • Stomach problems
  • Eye disorders
  • Attack intestinal worms
  • Skin ulcers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart diseases as well as cardiovascular disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Gum problems like gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Liver disorders
  • As a birth control tool since neem leaves facilitates abortion

If you have malaria, you can use the bark of neem to cure it. Other uses of neem bark include treating intestinal and stomach ulcers, reducing pain, skin diseases and fever. You may use the flower for controlling phlegm, treat intestinal worms and even reduce bile production. The fruit of neem helps you to cure urinary tract diseases, hemorrhoids, bleeding nose, intestinal worms, phlegm, leprosy, and diabetes. You may also use the fruit to treat eye disorders and heal wounds effectively and rapidly.

Seed oil and seeds of neem can help you with birth control benefits, and also treat intestinal worms and leprosy. Neem is an antiseptic agent so you can use its stem, fruit and root bark as an astringent and tonic. You can use neem twigs and stems for curing asthma, cough, low sperm count, diabetes, intestinal worms, and urinary disorders.

Instead of using toothpaste and toothbrushes for cleaning your teeth, you can chew neem twigs for keeping your teeth healthy. To keep your skin healthy, you can directly apply neem paste to treat lice on your head, and skin ulcers. You may even consider using neem paste for healing wounds quickly, for softening your skin and treat other skin problems.

Health benefits offered by neem:

If you read ancient textbooks on Ayurveda, you will find the mention of neem in them. Neem contains a lot of beneficial phyto-compounds such as Nimbin, ninbinene, nimbolide, nimbinen, and nimandial. All these phytochemicals have antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help you to boost your immune strength. Since you will find all these compounds present in neem, it makes neem a medicinal plant. Antifungal agents like nimbidol and gedunin present in neem leaves help in treating fungus in your nails, ringworm, and athlete foot.

Neem helps in improving your immune system to fight microbial infections, as well as detoxifies your blood. It stimulates the proper functionality of your liver, and overall ensure a healthy digestive and respiratory system. You can use neem leaves to treat malaria, by applying it on your skin as a mosquito repellent.

  1. Fights viral diseases

The extract that you get from neem leaves on crushing, helps in absorbing and eliminating viruses from your body. Neem paste helps you to cure skin warts, smallpox, and chicken pox. If you are affected with herpes simplex virus (HSV), use neem extract as it is toxic to the virus. You will experience a faster healing process on applying the paste on affected zones. To relieve yourself from cold sores, you can prepare a tea out of neem leaves to make a magic infusion. Treat viral skin diseases like eczema, itching, inflammation, and irritation with neem leaf extract.

  1. Improves your heart health

Neem leaves work as a blood cleanser, by removing all toxic elements from your circulatory system. To control your blood sugar level, drink neem extract by infusing it with boiling water. Neem also acts as an antioxidant, fighting free radicals generated in your body cells. It helps in dilating your blood vessels to improve overall blood circulation and relaxes irregular heartbeats and high heart rate. This is, in turn,enriches your heart functioning and keeps you away from cardiac arrests, high blood pressure, and strokes.

  1. Cancer

You can lessen the risk of cancer and tumor cell formation by consuming neem leaves. Neem has various polysaccharides and limonoids that helps to alleviate cancer progression.

  1. Acts against poison.

If you get any sort of insect bite, use neem extract on the affected area. Neem has anticlotting factors present in it to cure ulcers, inflammation and even poisons.

How effective is neem for your skin?

  • Helps as a moisturizer- you can use neem leaves in the form of a paste to keep your skin soft and healthy. If you have any scars or pigmentation due to acne, neem is the solution! You can heal minor wounds by mixing neem extract with turmeric paste and apply on the injured area.
  • Fights acne- you can store the green extract of neem in a bottle and use it directly on your skin to treat acne. If you have sensitive skin, you can dilute the extract by adding little water to it and then apply. You can use a face pack containing neem extract to treat problems related to acne, blackheads, and pimples.
  • Skin toning- neem leaves work as wonders as a skin toning agent. Instead of using a chemical toner, go for natural neem extract. Take a cotton swab and dip it in neem water after boiling it. Apply gently on your skin before going to bed at night. This potion will help you get a rejuvenating and healthy glowing skin the next morning.

Can you use neem extract for hair care?

Yes, of course, you can! This medicinal plant has so much to offer that you cannot even think of. Take a handful of fresh neem leaves and add them in a cup containing boiling water. You can now use this neem infused water for rinsing after you shampoo your hair. Since it got antibacterial properties, it will help you cure hair loss problems, dry scalp, and dandruff issues.

Neem has a lot of health benefits but you should remember to use it under controlled measures. Make it your daily routine for using neem extracts to take good care of your skin, hair and overall health.

How to fight digestion issues during pregnancy?

Congratulations! You are undoubtedly both anxious and thrilled on being pregnant, aren’t you? Well, you might be feeling a little nauseous all the time, but that is natural. Moreover, morning sickness, as you may call it, is extremely common that can happen to you during pregnancy. Another common thing like morning sickness is a digestion problem, which surely gives you quite a lot of troubles.

Already you have so many restrictions regarding your diet and lifestyle. When digestion issues top that all, it can actually be very frustrating. You think, “okay, what else do I need to alter in the diet now? Aren’t the existing ones enough?”

On the other hand, the good news is that the nausea signs usually go away within 3 months of pregnancy. However, the bad news is these 3 months can be extremely traumatic and frustrating. You may get nausea due to a lot of factors like gassiness, constipation, and acid reflux or heartburn. These symptoms tend to become worse, as your pregnancy ascends. Well, you can actually get rid of these digestion problems and in turn, fight nausea with these simple small steps.

Digestion problems during pregnancy

 

Check out easy ways to fight digestion problems when you’re expecting:

  1. Constipation

In normal conditions, your bowel pushes out stool through a process called peristalsis. During this time, the muscle linings in your bowel start contracting and relaxing in an undulating motion.

When you are pregnant, your progesterone level goes very high. This makes it hard for your bowel muscles to continue the motion of contraction and relaxations. Thus, you literally struggle to pass your stool comfortably by peristalsis.

Generally, when you do not have enough supply of dietary fiber in your foods, you get constipation. However, you should keep in mind that constipation during pregnancy is not exactly because of the dietary fiber deficit. It is the progesterone hormone elevation that is actually making you suffer.

 

  1. Heartburn

It is actually acid reflux, which means you are having extreme acidity that is causing a burning sensation in your chest. It is also a very common problem that you face during pregnancy, caused by your very own progesterone hormone.

This sweet friend of yours can land you up in a lot of troubles during pregnancy. However, you should always learn to seek solutions for such issues rather than getting frustrated. During this condition, progesterone poses an effect on your sphincter muscles lining the esophagus above your stomach. This muscles normally restricts acids formed in your stomach within your stomach itself. However, due to progesterone impact, these sphincter muscles relax and releases the acid upwards reaching your esophagus. Thus, you feel a painful burning sensation on your chest.

 

  1. Food Aversions

You mostly feel nauseous towards food items in your initial trimester, and it is manageable too. During this time, you feel irritated and pukish with the smell of certain foods that you’re normally very fond of. It is absolutely normal to feel this way while being pregnant.

You mostly feel nauseous when your blood glucose level goes down. At the time of pregnancy, this is exactly what happens. From nausea, you develop a sense of food abhorrence that makes you feel like vomiting all the time.

How to cure digestion issues during pregnancy?

 

To combat constipation, the first and foremost thing that you should do is drink lots of water all day. If you keep your body hydrated throughout the day, a lot of problems related to your flushing system resolves.

Eat foods that are rich in vitamin C and magnesium. These nutrients help in supplying water to your bowels, in order to ease out the process of peristalsis. Are you eating supplements containing lots of iron? If you are anemic, consult with your doctor to give you other alternatives. Iron promotes constipation to a great extent. So, you better check your diet schedule.

To get rid of heartburn, go for small meals that have high calories and nutrient content. Always eat at a slower pace, and chew the food properly before swallowing. Do not drink a lot of water while having your meals, since it fills up your appetite faster. You may sip herbal tea, ginger tea, peppermint tea or water in between your meals to ease the digestion process. Never lie down on a bed or couch after you eat meals. Always sit up straight to complete your digestion properly. Wear clothes that are loose to feel comfortable while eating.

When you are feeling nauseous, it means you and your baby is out of energy (glucose). To overcome nausea, you need to eat foods rich in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are excellent sources of glucose. You may also have a cup of ginger tea due to vitamin B6 supplements, to ward off nausea.

Now coming to food aversion, try out some variations that you think might work for you. Go for baked yams with ample clarified butter or have bone broth. Have meals supplemented with cottage cheese, yogurt or tofu. If you are not a dairy person, try out cottage cheese with a coconut milk base. Have fermented cod liver oil in your foods, along with scrambled eggs (more the yolk, better the results).

Additional tips to improve digestion

To keep your body healthy and active, remember to exercise every day for at least half an hour. It will help you intensify digestion process and also ease bowel motions, thereby eliminating chances of constipation. Go for a nice morning or evening walk, or stroll down the park to keep your body active and flexible.

Remember to consume at least 28 grams of dietary fiber each day to facilitate better digestion. Among fruits, go for bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, and strawberries. Eat green and leafy vegetables and whole grains for proper good fiber supply.

Whenever you are changing your diet routine, always consult your dietician. If you feel any sort of discomfort in the diet, talk to your doctor and ask for suggestions. Do not alter anything on