Monthly Archives: August 2018

//August

Don’t Let Pain Stop You From Living Your Life

How Diet and Exercise Can Ease Your Pain

An ailment that affects your joints affects much more than just your mobility. When you can’t get around without constantly feeling pain, you may experience emotional distress along with physical symptoms. While you might already take medications to prevent joint pain, did you know that you can get relief with proper nutrition and exercise too?

Common Causes of Joint Pain

Pain in the joints can be caused by several factors. The main culprit is inflammation, which can occur for multiple reasons.

  • Arthritis

Arthritis is the most common cause of pain in and around the joints, and the condition is a collective name for more than 100 joint diseases. More than 53 million Americans have some kind of arthritis.

Possible symptoms of arthritis include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion

Much of the pain from arthritis is caused by inflammation. Arthritis sufferers can experience relief by eating foods that diminish inflammation and staying away from foods that trigger pain.

  • Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia comes in a close second to arthritis as a cause for painful joints. It is often misdiagnosed, and many people don’t know that they have the disorder.

The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue

A healthy lifestyle, stress management, and exercise play a major role in controlling symptoms. People with arthritis are at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia. These individuals should take extra consideration when it comes to eating the right foods.

  • Inflammation of other origin

Achy joints can also be caused by an injury that affects the soft tissue surrounding the area. If you have an injury, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing inflammation can help you heal.

How Your Diet Can Reduce Joint Pain

Although diet is not a magic cure for pain, it can strengthen your immunity, build up your bones, and fight inflammation. Certain foods can also make symptoms worse.

  • Fish

Fatty fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower levels of compounds that are related to inflammation. Eating fish may actually help to reduce morning joint stiffness, the number of aching joints, and the intensity of the pain – so much so that some may be able to cut back on pain relieving medication! Fish is also high in vitamin D. Sufficient vitamin D levels may play a role in the severity of the symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids are:

  1. Walnuts
  2. Chia seeds
  3. Flaxseeds
  4. Hemp seeds
  5. Egg yolks
  • Garlic

Garlic is beneficial for your overall health. It can also decrease pain experienced in the joints as garlic can lower inflammatory markers that are associated with arthritis.

  • Berries

Berries are packed full of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. Quercetin, another compound found in berries, can obstruct some inflammatory processes that are linked with arthritis.

  • Ginger

Ginger extract can help with the stiffness you feel when you get up in the morning. Its pain-relieving effects can be just as strong as non-prescription pain relievers. This may be due to its ability to block inflammation-producing substances in the body. Ginger can be consumed fresh, dried, or as a supplement.

Simple Exercises for Achy Joints

Staying active when you’re feeling pain can be challenging. Achy joints can make many types of exercise feel agonizing. However, exercising can help maintain flexibility, reduce pain, and fight fatigue. Warming up, doing a variety of different exercises, taking time to stretch, and using props to support your body can help you get your body moving and avoid injury.

  • Walking

Walking is gentle and can be done anywhere. It allows you to use your body’s resistance to burn calories without impacting the joints excessively. Walking will help you control your weight, which will also relieve pressure from your joints.

  • Strength Training

Strong muscles can protect your joints. Implementing a weight-training regimen can help you maintain the strength that you already have and further increase muscle tissue and strength.

  • Body Awareness Exercises

Gentle yoga or tai chi exercises can help you create a mind-body connection that can help you manage a condition that causes pain in the joints. These types of exercises improve balance, coordination, and posture. Improving flexibility through yoga will loosen the connective tissues around muscles and joints and increase the range of motion which will help to relieve joint pain and stiffness.

Don’t Let Pain Stop You From Living The Life You Want!

Struggling with pain of any kind usually keeps you from doing the things that you want to do. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! Start relieving your pain by focusing on your nutrition and exercise habits. Eating foods that fight inflammation can significantly reduce your pain levels. Keeping your body moving with appropriate exercise can also help you maintain mobility, flexibility, and strength. Improving your diet and exercise habits will have you feeling better in no time!

Don’t Let Pain Stop You From Living Your Life 2018-08-30T09:48:34+00:00

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow

Digestive and colon problems affect millions of Americans daily. A typical western diet is rich in unhealthy fats, refined sugars, as well as processed and genetically modified foods.

The food you eat and the diet you follow are very important for the health of your digestive system. To function properly, the digestive system needs proper nutrients, fiber, and natural fats. If this is not what your diet currently looks like, you may be struggling with one or more of these digestive issues. Find out below how to avoid these and help improve your digestive health now!

  • Constipation

Your risk of constipation may increase if there is an absence of dietary fiber in your diet. You may experience a lack of bowel movements, straining, and difficulty when using the bathroom. Also, your chances of feeling bloated also increase.

That’s why it’s important to include a lot of dietary fiber in your diet. The fiber in your diet helps in moving the stool along the digestive tract. In the absence of it, stool moves slowly and the large intestine will absorb all the water content. If you include lots of fiber in your diet, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water, you will begin to relieve your symptoms of constipation.

  • Gallstones

Your risk of gallstones increases if you do not include enough fiber in your diet and you consume a lot of high-cholesterol and high-fat food. In your right abdomen, the organ that sits below your liver is the gallbladder. Gallstones are small and solid substances that are formed here. They are composed mainly of undissolved cholesterol.

Your liver makes a certain kind of liquid, known as bile.Bile contains water, bilirubin, proteins, cholesterol, fats, and salts. This bile is stored in your gallbladder. It gets released when your body needs to break up fat.  Gallstones can also form when your bile contains too much bilirubin.

  • Diverticular disease

The risk of diverticular disease increases from experiencing constipation. Formed within the colon, diverticula are protruding pockets. When the muscles of the colon face difficulty passing your stool along the tract and require using more pressure, these pouches are formed. People who include high fiber in their diet have less risk of developing diverticula. If diverticula get infected, it may lead to inflammation of the diverticula or diverticulitis.

Follow these eight simple steps to overcome any digestive issues

  • Indulge In a High-Fiber Diet

According to nutritionists, if you want to improve your digestive health, you need to consume a diet that includes foods rich in fiber – like e.g. vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

If you have a high-fiber diet, the food you eat will move constantly through the digestive tract. This then lowers the chance of constipation. Also, different digestive conditions can be prevented or treated through a high-fiber diet such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids.

Vegetables and fruits contain a lot of fiber. They also contain plenty of nutrients that help with preventing inflammation, removesubstances that have a harmful effect on your body, and act as antioxidants.

  • Consume Lean Protein

While protein is important for maintaining a healthy diet, fatty cuts of meat can result in having problematic digestion. Consider buying fish or skinless poultry as an alternative. And while buying meat, choose lean cuts of beef or lamb.

  • Reduce Saturated Fats

Your digestive process may slow down if you eat foods that are high in saturated fats, which will lead to constipation. According to studies, saturated fats (especially those of animal origin) have also been linked to higher chances of colorectal cancer.

  • Add a Probiotic

Like bacteria that are naturally present in your digestive tract, probiotics in food (like Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Yoghurt, Kefir, etc.) help keep your body healthy by fighting the ill effects of stress, antibiotics, and an unhealthy diet. There are also several other ways in which probiotics can help you, such as strengthening your immune system, breaking down lactose, giving nutrient absorption a boost, and treating IBS.

  • Include Soluble and Insoluble Fiber In Your Diet

As fiber is great for your digestive system, it is essential that you include both types of fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber prevents watery stools by drawing in water. Insoluble fiber helps in adding bulk to the stool, as it cannot be digested. You can get insoluble fiber from whole grains, vegetables, and wheat bran. Good sources of soluble fiber include legumes, seeds, nuts, and oat bran.

  • Stay Hydrated

It is important to drink plenty of water for the health of your digestive system.  Water is pulled by fiber into the colon so that it can create bulkier, softer stools, which enables them to pass through easily.

  • Eat On Time

Your digestive system benefits if you eat your daily meals at the same time each day. This includes your breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.

  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise can help move food through the digestive system more easefully, therefore preventing constipation.  Exercising regularly can also help you with weight loss.

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow

Along with exercise and staying hydrated,increasing your intake of fiber, eating lean protein, reducing saturated fats, and adding a probiotic to your diet are the easiest and healthiest ways you can improve your digestive and colon health.

Improve Your Lifestyle – Your Digestive Health Will Follow 2018-08-16T14:21:55+00:00

Can you get smarter by eating the right food?

Did you know that the food you eat has an influence on your memory?

During situations when we feel extremely forgetful, we often blame it on stress, lack of sleep, or several other factors. However, it is important to realize that the right diet plays a major role in brain health and important brain functions such as memory and concentration.

While it is known that the food we eat affects our bodies, there are several studies that detail the impact of the food we eat on the functioning of our brain. In fact, proper nutrition is believed to be essential for optimal brain cognition!

A healthy diet, low in fat and high in essential nutrients, can:

  • Improve cognitive brain functions
  • Reduce the risk of memory loss
  • Help prevent strokes
  • Boost alertness

In this blog, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about the ways in which nutrition can help improve brain cognition.

Ready for a Boost?

Not many people know that the choice of food we eat in our daily lives can either deplete or nourish our brain. The wrong brain foods such as salt, high amounts of sugar, and trans-fats can have a negative effect on the brain and leave us feeling mentally tired, anxious, and even depressed.

On the other hand, the right choice of nutritional foods can be instrumental in making one feel mentally sharp, energetic, focused, and productive.

To boost memory, concentration, mood, and cognitive abilities, it is crucial to focus on implementing a nutritious and healthy diet consisting of essential brain foods. Broadly, the advantages of having these brain foods in our regular diet are as follows:

  • Eating nutrient-rich food supports the growth of new brain cells
  • Taking a quality supplement with the right quantities of specific nutrients supports the brain to help stay focused and sharp.

The Best Foods to Help Support Our Memory:

  • Avocados

Avocados are one of the healthiest foods that are available on the market. Known as the green powerhouse, they are packed with healthy mono-saturated fats that not only keep blood sugar levels steady but also keep the skin glowing. Avocados are especially beneficial for boosting important brain functions, such as memory, due to following reasons:

  1. They contain both Vitamin K and folate that help prevent blood clots in the brain and improve cognitive brain functions like memory and concentration.
  2. Being rich in Vitamin B & C, proteins, and low in sugar makes them a powerhouse fruit for improving cognitive brain functions.
  3. Avocados are also high in tyrosine, a type of amino acid that’s a precursor to dopamine, the brain chemical that helps in keeping the brain alert, motivated, and focused.
  • Eggs

Packed with high levels of protein and Vitamin B12, eggs are a significant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, whole eggs are a rich source of choline, a B complex-related nutrient as well. Choline is a precursor of acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter that improves brain function and plays a critical role in memory, concentration, and learning.

  • Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best brain foods due to its high levels of Vitamin K and choline, which is instrumental in keeping the memory sharp. Furthermore, broccoli is rich in Vitamin C and fibers that make an individual feel full and energetic throughout the day.

  • Berries

All kinds of berries are rich in antioxidants including Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber that help in detoxifying the body. Additionally, due to their high Gallic acid content, berries are excellent for improving the memory and other brain functions. They also protect the brain from degeneration, stroke risk, and stress. Whether you prefer blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries, they are all considered an ideal brain food. Berries are also rich in flavonoids, a type of potent antioxidant that helps in protecting the brain cells from oxidative damage of any kind.

  • Fatty fish

Fatty fish makes an excellent choice for improving brain health. Containing rich sources of omega-3s, fatty fish is a major building block for the brain. The Omega-3s present in fish plays an important role in sharpening memory, concentration, and improving your mood. Additionally, it helps to protect your brain cells!

  • Veggies

For proper brain functioning, getting an adequate amount of fresh vegetables is very important, especially the cruciferous ones like cabbage, broccoli, and dark leafy greens.

  • Peanuts

Both peanuts and peanut butter are a good source of Vitamin E, which is helpful in keeping the heart and brain in a healthy and optimally functioning condition.

  • Whole grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber and are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, which is packed with fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Several studies indicate that this type of diet is beneficial in lowering the risk of mild cognitive impairment that can eventually progress to brain-related disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B-12 is also essential for a healthier brain!

There are several studies that suggest there are certain vitamins and minerals that the brain needs to function optimally. In fact, Vitamin B12 is one of the most critical vitamins for the proper functioning of the central nervous system.

Vitamin B-12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water-soluble essential vitamin that plays a vital role in the body as it affects many important functions such as DNA synthesis, the formation of blood cells of the body, protection of nerves, and much more. A lack of Vitamin B-12 in the body can lead to serious health consequences.

There are several health benefits of Vitamin B-12 foods which contribute to vital functions in the body, including:

  • Protecting the nervous system
  • Forming red blood cells in the body
  • Synthesizing DNA
  • Provide adequate energy to the body

Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to various ailments and symptoms including depression, poor memory, numbness, balance problems, etc. Other common symptoms include:

  • Loss of vibration, sensation, and dementia
  • Balance and walking disturbances
  • Nerve damage and a state of constant confusion

To avoid the Vitamin B-12 deficiency in the body, it is essential to include foods rich in Vitamin B-12 in your diet. This can mainly be found in animal-derived products, particularly meats, dairy, and eggs.

Some excellent sources of Vitamin B12 foods include eggs, milk products, meat, fish, cheese, shellfish, and poultry products. Additionally, soy and rice beverages as well as soy-based meat substitutes are great sources of Vitamin B12 too.

Here, we will go deeper to discuss the main Vitamin B-12 food and their sources:

  • Shrimp

Shrimp is an excellent source of Vitamin B-12 and includes about 80% of the daily value of Vitamin B12 required by the body. Shrimp is also known to provide an adequate amount of nutrient choline that is significant for heart and brain health.

  • Sardines

Sardine is a common name that is used to refer to small, oily fish. They are a great source of B-12, essential Omega-3 fatty acids, and are filled with an adequate amount of lean protein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is crucial for fetal brain development and cognition abilities in adults. A serving of sardines contains nearly 20% of the daily value of Vitamin B-12 required by the body.

  • Fortified Cereal

Cereals made with whole-grain oats or bran are fortified with Vitamin B-12 and can provide about 30% of the daily value with great health benefits in just one serving. It can either be consumed with a cup of yogurt or can be eaten with a handful of nuts!

  • Beef Liver

One of the most important benefits of eating beef liver is its very high B-12 content. Every ounce of beef liver is sufficient to cover people’s daily requirements for B-12. Consuming beef liver can also help prevent anemia due to the high iron and folate content.

  • Eggs

Eggs are excellent Vitamin B-12 foods. Eggs are an excellent option for the daily dose of Vitamin B-12 for everyone.

  • Swiss cheese

Swiss cheese contains high nutritional benefits with more Vitamin B12 contents than any other cheese. It provides almost 14% of the daily value of Vitamin B-12 per ounce. Having Swiss cheese with a slice of fruit completes the nutrient requirement of Vitamin B-12 along with protein and fiber.

  • Trout

Trout are known to have almost 4.2 micrograms of Vitamin B12 in every three ounces.

  • Herring

These small fish offer 3.6 micrograms of Vitamin B-12 in every 3 ounces. The Atlantic or Pacific herring varieties are best to consume!

Improvement doesn’t stop at the right nutrition – go further by following 3 essential tips

  • Mental Fitness

One of the precursors for best brain health is staying mentally active and happy. How positively active the brain is largely determines the cognitive health of the brain. This is the reason why games such as crosswords are known to help cognitive functions like memory. Or, how about learning something new, like a language or music? It is important to keep the brain active by indulging in mentally stimulating activities.

  • Adequate amount of sleep

We may not realize but our brain does a lot of continuous work even when we’re sleeping. The main functions that the brain performs while we sleep are consolidating memories and removing unnecessary connections from the memory. It is essential, for this reason, to have an adequate amount of sleep to let the brain perform its necessary functions. In fact, sleep deprivation, or lack of sleep, can take a toll on the brain’s cognitive health leading to memory loss, poor attention, lack of creative thinking, and so much more. To let the brain function optimally, it is best to sleep for at least 7-8 hours per night.

  • Physical fitness

The importance of physical activity in improving the brain health and cognitive function cannot be overemphasized enough. It has been proved by researchers that people who exercise regularly have greater brain volume, sharp memory, better thinking, memory skills, and run a much lower risk of dementia. Furthermore, regular exercise is also believed to help generate new cells and neurons in the brain.

It is essential to start an exercise routine much earlier in life for better brain health and cognitive functions. However, it is never too late to start!

Brain performance is a matter of your lifestyle

Proper brain health requires a disciplined lifestyle approach and some targeted dietary efforts.  Simple steps such as the inclusion of brain foods in your diet, mental fitness, maintaining a regular exercise regime, and getting enough sleep, all help in building a motivated and healthy brain!

Can you get smarter by eating the right food? 2018-08-09T08:54:25+00:00