Health & Wellness Blog
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Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha has been consumed since its time of origin in ancient China. Yet in recent years, this drink of fermented tea, sugar, and yeast has just begun gaining traction in the Western world due to its suspected health effects. Here are the top 5 benefits that make this tasty tea a healthy treat.
In addition to improving absorption of certain nutrients, probiotics can also aid in reducing inflammation throughout the digestive tract. Moreover, kombucha contains polyphenols, which are anti-oxidants that can reduce inflammation throughout the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of kombucha can make it especially helpful for individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which has been shown by research to be alleviated through the use of probiotics.
The B vitamins found in kombucha are essential to our circulation because of their aid in red blood cell production. Moreover, kombucha also contains the heart healthy benefits experienced by tea-drinkers, including reduced blood pressure and reduced risk of heart disease. As is the case with its immune-boosting properties, kombucha’s heart healthy properties are also stronger when it is made from green tea. Studies show that heart disease risk is reduced by 31% in green tea drinkers compared to those who don’t consume the drink.
Despite these impressive health benefits, drinking kombucha does have important side effects to consider. If prepared improperly, levels of bacteria can turn toxic and mold can begin to grow. For best results, buy kombucha from a reputable company unless you are an expert in home brewing, and consume before the expiration date.
Stress is a part of modern-day living.
Many of us appreciate how stressful it is trying to juggle all the different areas of our lives and keep everyone happy. Trying to have it all, a business, family and personal life demands a lot of time and organization. If one of those areas starts to become especially problematic, through relationship difficulties, health issues, pressures at work, then the stress levels can become overwhelming and impact on our general health and well being.
Let's look at stress and how it can affect our health and wellbeing:
Balance is an important component in achieving a healthy quality of life.
When people talk about work/life balance it is appreciated that sometimes life can become out of balance. Urgent deadlines, family responsibilities, conflicting demands on our time all generate additional stress.
Finding ways to think clearly at these times, keep some semblance of control, assess what is going on and determine the best way forward allows stress to be managed even if it cannot be eradicated. Hypnotherapy can help to manage stress, become more assertive and maintain clearer thinking.
Sleep is often affected by stress.
Waking up in the morning after a disturbed night's sleep can start the new day feeling tired, preoccupied, unwell. Introduce a regular hour to relax before bed and allow your mind to calm and settle, to prepare for a healthy night's sleep. Hypnotherapy can also be a way to support your commitment to relaxing and sleeping well.
Food can become an issue when you are stressed
Feeling too busy to shop or eat properly, going for long periods without eating, surviving on coffee or snacks and junk food. They may not find the time to cook properly, living instead on pre-chilled supermarket meals or takeaways. But when a person is living in a stressful environment food and nutrition are especially important.
Regular breaks are an effective way of managing stress
And minimizing how it can affect our health and wellbeing. Human beings tend to work in ninety minutes bursts of concentration. After that we may notice that our concentration wanes, we become distracted, irritable, tired. Taking a ten-minute break to go for a drink of water, some fruit or a breath of fresh air can be enough to recharge the batteries and enable us to return with renewed energy, focus and clearer thinking.
Mental and physical effort are equally important to provide balance of our health and wellbeing.
If we are going through a time of intense mental strain or emotional distress, physical exercise can provide a valuable way to manage the stress and generate good feelings through endorphins. Conversely if tough physical effort is required following it with mental exercise can be an effective stress management technique and help reinstate balance.
Appreciating that we need to be responsible and take care of ourselves, of our health and wellbeing is especially important during times of intense stress. Ensuring that we plan, consider our needs, take care to eat well, exercise regularly, sleep, have time for friends, family and fun are all ways to support ourselves through especially stressful periods. Hypnotherapy can also provide valuable support at these times.
Here are some ways to reduce stress and helps you enjoy a better life.
A simple as deep breathing can be your way of letting out some of the stress in your everyday life. Learn to practice deep breathing before you tackle a big job or face a tough challenge.
Laughing does not only allow you to eliminate stress, it also allows you to breathe deeply and get rid of all worries in your life.
Regular walking for example do not only help you eliminate everyday stress but also help you in maintaining good health, good weight, and keep you in shape as well.
Sit up straight
Poor posture when you're sitting can result in tension, headaches, back pain, or lack of focus. Try to be aware of your posture and correct it.
Align your ears over your shoulders. Raise both arms straight up, along side your ears. Remember to keep your ears aligned! Bend forearms toward shoulders to touch your shoulder blades. Do 10 repetitions with both arms, then alternate 10 reps for each arm separately. Align ears with shoulders. Raise both arms out to sides at shoulder length. Hold for a slow count of ten. Slowly lower arms to sides, counting ten as you lower. Slowly raise arms back to shoulder height, counting to ten as you raise arms. Do ten reps, constantly checking your alignment! If ten reps are too many to start, do as many as you can. You should at least feel a slight fatigue in the shoulder muscles.
Probably one of the easiest or simplest ways to reduce stress that most people go for these days is to get a good massage. However, it is important that you also make sure that you go to a professional masseuse so that you will be ensured of a proper procedure.
Another one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce stress and help you feel energized is to use the power of smell. Aromatherapy can be done at home and can be done by yourself, so invest a little on aromatherapy oils or scents to get rid of your stress.
Reiki is an old Japanese technique that allows you to get rid of the stress in your life with just simply the laying of hands or palm healing. The technique has been found to be one effective way to reduce stress in life and in attracting happiness and abundance as well. If you want to try oriental techniques in getting rid of stress, you may want to try reiki.
Enjoy life and do what you truly love. You can find good friends or family members and immerse yourselves in great conversation over a cup of tea. Or hit the gym together and do a full hour of workout. For something less intense, simply walk around the park and keep each other company.
Other times, you can do what you like, do it alone, and away from everything. Don't let every day issues and their noise interfere in your moment of relaxation. Only you can decide what this activity is: reading, painting; it can be any hobby in the world.
At the end of day - just enjoy life!
Do you travel constantly for business?
If you are constantly traveling, especially for business travelers, it can be harmful to your health. Therefore maintaining your fitness while traveling is important, this can reduce stress and even increase productivity. Good news, you can definitely stay fit while traveling and still enjoy yourself. Here are seven things that you can do next time you travel:
Don’t Miss Your Workout
Avoid “All You Can Eat”
One of the great things about travelling to new cities is experiencing new places to eat. But if you're not careful you could be paying the airlines extra weight on the way home, and I am not talking about your luggage. Be careful of meal sizes and all you can eat places.
You can still enjoy the local cuisine, but sometimes it's fun to sample and take small bites. When ordering a meal, ask the waiter or waitress to give you a take out box or “doggy bag.” This will allow you to take the left overs with you. If you don't have room for a take away box, then ask the restaurant to give you a smaller amount of the item you ordered. Be sure to eat a nutritious breakfast.
Your hotel may serve a FREE buffet breakfast every morning, consider skipping the bacon and donuts and have a huge freshly prepared omelet stuffed with veggies with a little fruit on the side. Keep lunch small with a salad or whole grain wrap so you don't get pass out during the afternoon meetings, and enjoy a nice dinner with some lean meat and veggies and perhaps a glass of wine.
Or even better - get yourself a quality, reusable water bottle and bring it with you everywhere. You can top up whenever you are running low and it will help remind you to drink your water.
Beware The Minibar
There’s nothing healthy OR affordable in the your room’s minibar. The same goes for Room Service. Ask for a microwave and refrigerator when booking your room.
Skip The Cab OR UBER
If you are up for some sight seeing or heading to a nearby restaurant for dinner, avoid the cab fare, get some directions and walk there instead. Google Maps on your smartphone works great for this. Walking is a great way to see a new city and burn some calories at the same time. Strolling back to the hotel after dinner is a great way to end the evening and ease the guilt from that decadent dessert.
Burn Calories Every Day
If you don't have time to do a complete workout in a gym or you don't have access to one, then you can still find ways to burn calories. Try going for a long scenic walk or a morning beach run. This is a fantastic way to see what's available in the city or town you're staying in.
You can also burn off that big fancy meal you just ate at the local hot eatery. Always try to go up or walk the long way back to your hotel. Most hotels have a swimming pool. Go for a swim once a day.
Find a local fun adventure that popular in the city you're in like hiking, skiing, snowboarding or windsurfing. You can also try to find a park or gym a couple miles away and walk or run there to get your heart pumping and your warmup out of the way. You should also take the stairs to every level of your hotel.
Take Time To Recharge
If you're traveling alone, staying at a hotel is a great way to get some extra rest and relaxation. You get the bed to yourself, and you have no worries of the kids jumping on the bed or in the bed at all hours of the morning. So sleeping is a great way to recharge.
It's also a great time to catch up on some work or read that book you have been trying to get through. A dip in the hotel pool and a hot sauna afterwards might be just what you need to recharge your batteries before you get back on the road.
Dehydration Affects Your Mind & Body
Water is an extremely necessary element for the proper functioning of our body, since much of our body is formed by this liquid. Until today, many people do not understand the importance of drinking enough water and keeping our body hydrated.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is a decrease in the amount of fluid in our body which causes a lack of water inside the cells. This situation occurs when the amount of liquid ingested is less than that which is eliminated as a consequence of the different organic functions.
It is the alteration or lack of water and mineral salts in the plasma of a body, it can also be defined as the loss of body water above 3%. It can be caused by being in a very hot situation (especially if there is a lot of humidity), intense exercise, lack of something to drink or a combination of these factors. It also occurs in those diseases where the electrolyte balance is altered.
Regardless your age, you can suffer from dehydration if you do not drink enough water on hot days, especially if you engage in intense physical activity or exercise. Mild or moderate dehydration can be tackled easily by taking fluids, but in the case of severe dehydration, immediate medical treatment is ideal.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration are noticeable after having lost 3% of the volume of water. Initially thirst and discomfort appear, possibly accompanied by loss of appetite and dry skin. Athletes may suffer a loss that increases by 30%, flushing appears, resistance is lost, heart rate increases, body temperature increases, and fatigue quickly appears.
Degrees of Dehydration
Risk Factors of Dehydration
Anyone can suffer from dehydration.
However, certain people are at greater risk:
On certain occasions, dehydration occurs due to simple reasons: When you do not drink enough because you are sick or busy, or because you do not have access to safe drinking water when you travel, are hiking or camping.
Health Complications of Dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, such as the following:
If you fail to consume enough fluid when you are performing physical activity and you sweat a lot, you may have a heat injury. The severity of this injury can range from mild muscle cramps to heat exhaustion or heat stroke that can put your life at risk.
Kidney & Urinary Problems
Electrolytes - like potassium and sodium - help carry electrical signals from one cell to the other. If your electrolytes are unbalanced, the normal electrical signal can mix, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes loss of consciousness.
Shock Due to Low Blood Volume (Hypovolemic Shock)
This is one of the most serious complications of dehydration and can put your life at risk. It occurs when a low volume of blood causes a decrease in blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in your body.
If you did not drink enough water, your body will begin to use the reserves of your body to carry out essential physiological functions, such as digestion or elimination of toxins. Try to adopt the habit of drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning and before going to sleep to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
Although blood pressure varies according to different factors, one of the causes can be dehydration. When the body is well hydrated, the blood is composed of 92% water, but when we are dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker and hinders circulation, causing hypertension.
Skin Problems / Quick Aging
If you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin, or are prone to develop rashes or rash, your body may not be getting the amount of water it needs. Dehydration affects the body's ability to eliminate toxins, which makes the skin more vulnerable to these types of conditions. In addition, lack of water can cause premature wrinkling and discoloration of the skin. To prevent this from happening, make sure you drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day.
Constipation is one of the most annoying digestive disorders and one of the clearest signs of lack of water. The colon, the place where the last stages of the digestive process take place, is one of the main sources of water in the body. When we are dehydrated, our body begins to get water from the colon, making it difficult or obstructing the passage of waste through the large intestine. As a result, we suffer from inflammation, abdominal cramps and constipation.
Joint Paint & Stiffness
Cartilage, one of the most important parts of the joints, is composed mainly of water. Therefore, when we are dehydrated, the cartilage weakens, hindering movement and function of the joints.
How to Prevent Dehydration
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods rich in water, such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an appropriate daily guideline for most healthy people.
This may involve drinking between 6 and 8 glasses (between 1.5 and 2 liters) daily for some people, depending on how much water they get through food and how much they sweat as a result of the physical activity they perform. You have to remember that drinking water does not add calories to your diet and is definitely very good for your health.
If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors on a hot day, it will be convenient to use appropriate clothes for the activity that will be developed: loose clothing and a hat, if possible. This will generate a sense of freshness. If there is dizziness or you feel very thirsty, it will be necessary to rest for several minutes, sit in the shade or in a cool place and drink water.
If you are going to practice a sport or participate in strenuous physical activity, you will need to hydrate well before starting the activity. Also, drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes, approximately) during the activity and at the end of it. The best time to train or play sports is in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest hours of the day.
Fast food may not be good for your health!
We have fast-paced lives, and we barely have enough time to eat and spend time with our family. Since most of us don’t have the time to eat a proper meal (especially during work breaks), we are always inclined to eat fast food. And at first, fast food sounds great; you have food that’s ready to eat and which will help you increase your energy levels for the next couple of hours.
However, despite its overall convenience, fast food does hide some very dangerous things. In this article, we will focus on understanding the side effects of fast food and what happens to your body when you eat processed foods like this.
One of the main health issues that appear from fast food is diabetes. That’s because a fast-food-centric diet is also encouraging you to eat more sugar, and that will be a major risk factor for diabetes. In fact, a CARDIA study states that eating fast food 2 times per week can lead to major health problems. Combine that with a lack of workouts and exercising, and you will end up with health issues in the end.
Yes, if you eat lots of fast food, you do end up with the risk of dealing with cardiovascular disease. Fast foods are full of saturated fats, and these raise cholesterol levels. The high sugar intake will bring in the metabolic syndrome, and this increases the triglyceride levels. These two are major indicators of cardiovascular disease problems. If you continue with an unhealthy diet, then you will run the risks of a stroke or a powerful heart attack.
Increased Blood Pressure
While fast foods don’t cause cancer on their own, they do end up leading to it alongside other factors. You bring in lots of unhealthy compounds and chemicals into your system. And in large amounts these can be very bad for you. If you eat fast food often for more than a year or two, you can end up more predisposed to cancer when compared to other people. And that means you have to avoid such a thing at all costs. It might not be easy to do, but there are some ways to achieve that.
FYI - Fast Food Health Risks
Aside from the major health problems described above, fast foods can also end up altering your brain and mental health. Yes, not a lot of people know this, but eating fast food is widely connected to mental illnesses and depression in general. So even if it seems that fast foods are bad for your body, they are very bad for your mind too.
Some of the other problems that can appear from eating fast foods often include mood swings, anxiety, aggression and violence, brain fog, etc. The situation only gets worse if we’re talking about kids that eat fast food. They don’t work out and end up dealing with major health issues early on. They end up being sedentary, and that increases the risks of heart-related problems.
Fast foods can also have a negative impact on your fertility. Most fast foods contain phthalates, and they interrupt your hormonal activity. That leads to a wide range of reproductive issues as well as health defects. And that’s exactly what you need to keep in mind here.
In addition, fast foods can lead to dental problems, just because they increase the amount of acidity in your mouth. And if you don’t brush properly and very often, you can end up with caries and unwanted bacteria.
Since fast food causes weight gain, your respiratory system gets affected too. You will find it a lot harder to breathe, and that means you will encounter shortness of breath, asthma and other health issues. These can only get worse if you don’t lose weight fast.
What can you do to avoid these negative effects of fast food?
For starters, you want to replace the unhealthy food with something natural. Don’t eat fast foods at all, instead try cooking your own meals. In addition, you should consider adding fruits and veggies to your diet. This can come in handy, and it has the potential to pay off extremely well if you do it right.
We also encourage you to work out often. Even if you eat fast foods often, regular workouts will help you shed the extra pounds. Of course it’s better to avoid that kind of stuff to begin with, but if you want to eat fast food, you might as well start working out as much as possible.
As you can see, fast foods don’t have any positive effects on your body. If anything, they are extremely unhealthy for your diet and you have to remove them as fast as possible. Granted, it takes a while to figure out the right foods to replace them with, but in the end it will be worth it. A good idea is to eat healthy food and to start working out. Even if you take baby steps to remove fast foods from your diet, it will still be a great start towards a great weight loss routine!
Benefits of Drinking Tea
Tea is a daily drink consumed in green, black, white, or herbal forms nearly everywhere around the world. Yet tea is often underrated compared to other nutritional products, pills, and supplements. Here are a few of the tried and tested health benefits of drinking tea.
Teas act as natural immune-boosters because of their anti-microbial properties. In particular, green tea has been shown to kill bacteria that cause infections and dental plaque formation in addition to reducing bad breath. However, the down-side of tea’s anti-microbial effects means that certain teas, such as rosehip and pomegranate, may interact with certain antibiotic medications. To be safe, if you are on anti-biotics, consult your physician before beginning a tea-drinking regime.
Productivity with less caffeine
Teas contain a different blend of stimulants compared to coffee, which often has a higher dose of caffeine. This caffeine in coffee can produce jitters, heart palpitations, digestive unrest, and a sense of being “wired” that can interfere with productivity for some. On the other hand, green tea been shown to improve concentration, memory, and overall brain function while producing fewer of the negative side effects associated with caffeine. Thus, for those who are sensitive to caffeine, tea can be an important alternative to coffee in improving work productivity.
Physical performance with fewer calories
When tea is consumed on its own, it generally contains fewer than 10 calories. Rather than add to the waistline, certain teas are thought to improve fat-burning. For example, research has shown that green tea may enhance metabolism while improving physical performance in endurance activities. However, the caveat to this information is that sugar-sweetened teas counteract these effects. Sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases. Thus, for optimal health consume tea sugar free, either on its own or with a splash of lemon or non-dairy milk.
How Sugar Affects Your Health & Body
Carbohydrates are essential for the proper functioning of our body since they are the main source of energy. More than 90% of the energy used by the brain and other vital organs comes from the metabolism of carbohydrates.
The liver and muscles store carbohydrates in the form of long chains of glucose called glycogen, which at the necessary time, is transformed into glucose for energy production. Carbohydrates provide 4kcal / g and are available in foods such as table sugar (sucrose), fruits (fructose), vegetables, cereals and legumes (starch), Dairy products (lactose), among others.
While the intake of carbohydrates is essential for an adequate body metabolism, high sugar intake is associated with various pathologies such as overweight, obesity, liver disorders, behavioral disorders, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver, some types of cancer and dental caries. In addition, the consumption of sugars can contribute to the development of psychological disorders such as hyperactivity, premenstrual syndrome and mental illness.
Benefits of Sugar Consumption
Carbohydrates facilitate the metabolism of fats and prevent oxidative degradation of body proteins. In addition, the balanced intake of carbohydrates reduces the absorption of cholesterol, causing a decrease in plasma levels of this lipid, which helps to reduce cardiovascular risk in people over 50 years.
Carbohydrates are involved in the regulation of various gastrointestinal functions such as the maintenance of an adequate gastrointestinal transit and the development of a favorable bacterial flora which prevents the intestinal proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms.
Carbohydrates have an important structural function since they are a fundamental part of the formation of DNA and RNA.
Effects of Excessive Consumption of Sugar
Insulin Resistance & Diabetes
There are several studies that show a clear relationship between excessive sugar and insulin resistance. High levels of blood sugar lead to an exaggerated secretion of insulin by the pancreas, if this situation is chronically controlled to reduce their sensitivity to insulin which prevents the entry of glucose into the cells leading to the elevation of plasma glucose. The consequent overstimulation of the pancreas leads to a reduction or suppression of insulin secretion favoring the development of diabetes mellitus.
Currently, the role of sugar intake in the development of obesity is attracting considerable interest in the global scientific community. Several studies have shown that the excessive caloric intake due to a high intake of sugar leads to the storage of this energy molecule in the liver as glycogen if the glycogen reserves are saturated the ingested sugars are stored in the form of fat which promotes weight gain and development of obesity.
Anxiety & Depression
A trial published by University College London in the United Kingdom found that people who maintained high sugar intake are more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. This is because sweet foods raise blood sugar very quickly but it also drops almost immediately. This sudden change generates stress in our body which responds by secreting hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can produce anxiety or depression over time.
Fatty liver is characterized by the accumulation of free fatty acids and triglycerides in the liver tissue, one of the main etiological factors related to this pathology is excessive alcohol consumption. However, in recent years, several studies have found that the maintenance of an unhealthy diet (rich in fats and sugars) is the main risk factor for developing non-alcoholic fatty liver.
Recommendations to Reduce Sugar Consumption
Adequate intake of sugar is essential to maintain a healthy life. For this, it is essential to determine the proportion of daily sugar that should be consumed in the framework of a balanced and healthy diet.
To this end, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends reducing energy intake from added sugars to 100-150 kcal/day, expressed in grams of sugar, corresponding to 25 to 37.5 grams per day (no more than six teaspoons per day).
Below are some recommendations to reduce daily sugar consumption.
Benefits of Chocolate - Yummy!
Chocolate is a delicious substance that was consumed as a “nectar of the gods” in Mayan ceremonies for its supposedly sacred properties. Centuries later, chocolate lovers continue to celebrate the treat for its tempting taste and its melt-in-your-mouth texture. Yet aside from its sensory appeal, dark chocolate is also becoming lauded for its health benefits. Here are the top 5 health benefits of dark chocolate.
Rich In Antioxidants
Protects Heart Health
The blood pressure-lowering effects of flavonols may also improve heart health. In addition to lowering blood pressure, dark chocolate has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Collectively, these effects may contribute to the decreased risk of heart disease that is seen in observational studies of individuals who consume dark chocolate.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of chocolate is that it simply makes us happy. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is known to release endorphins in our brains. Endorphins are the feel-good chemicals whose release can be found in other pleasurable activities, such as aerobic exercise and sex. Additionally, chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin, a mood-lifting neurotransmitter that is often found to be low in individuals with depression.
Stimulates Sexual Arousal
For those who experience a lack of libido or who simply want to enhance a romantic evening with their partner, dark chocolate may be a way to enhance the experience. Chocolate has been used since its Aztec origins as an aphrodisiac. The arousing properties of dark chocolate may occur because of the appeal of its silky-smooth texture. Aside from its aesthetic value, dark chocolate consumption can also trigger the release of oxytocin, which is the pair-bonding neurotransmitter that is associated with building intimate relationships.
These powerful health benefits of dark chocolate are a wonderful excuse to buy a bar. However, before stocking your shelves, it is important to understand that many of these positive health effects can be negated by overconsumption of chocolate or eating chocolate with a high sugar content. For best results, seek out dark chocolate with 70% or higher cacao content that contain minimal added ingredients.
Boost Your Immunity!
Health headlines are frequently flooded with findings on the latest miracle product to boost immunity. With the constant flux in information, which claims can we truly trust?
Rather than following the trends, follow a healthy lifestyle. Here are five natural ways to strengthen our immune system to stay healthy.
Meditation can be practiced through visualization, through repeating a mantra, or through mindfulness, among other techniques.
Activity is closely related to immunity. Physical activity functions as a natural cleansing process for the body by flushing out bacteria from the lungs and airways. However, increasing duration or intensity of exercise is not necessarily better for individuals who already have a regular workout routine because heavy, long-term exercise (e.g. marathon running and competitive athletics) may actually compromise immunity. For ideal immune functioning, exercise regularly at a moderate level or simply maintain an active lifestyle.
Get Outdoor & Smell the Roses
A sizeable number of key ingredients in drugs developed today are either isolated from plants or replicated from chemicals in plants. Thus, being outdoors brings us home to the millions of immune-boosting chemicals that we may attempt to replace in the form of pills.
Avoid False Claims
As it stands, there is limited regulation in marketing and producing “immune-boosting” herbs, supplements, or other pills. For the majority of supplements that are sold, there is weak or limited evidence behind the effectiveness of the properties that they promise. Rather than take these compounds in the form of a pill, it is often more beneficial to go with our gut and go to the source. Select a diet full of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and other compounds that build immunity without boasting bolded claims.
Rest Nightly & Sleep Well
Sleep is fundamental to our natural immunity. Inadequate sleep is associated with a long list of physical health problems associated with immunity. In particular, sleep deprivation suppresses immune function, making us more susceptible to colds, flus, and bacterial infections. Researchers recommend around 7 hours of sleep per night for best protection from disease.
For improved immunity, stick with natural, lifestyle ways to enhance overall health, such as stress reduction, physical activity, and sleep, rather than seeking out “immune boosters” in the form of pills.
Lose that Belly - Feel Healthy & Look Slimmer
Are those stomach rolls ruining your looks?
Believe it or not, belly fat isn't just an aesthetic problem. In fact, it's just as harmful as smoking. It puts you at risk for heart disease, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and premature death. On top of that, it's the last to go.
Even skinny people can have big bellies. This type of fat surrounds their vital organs, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. Over time, it doubles death risk and disrupts endocrine function, causing damage to your brain, metabolism, and immune function.
The good news is that you can lose belly fat through lifestyle changes. Your diet and exercise habits have the biggest impact. First, let's see why stomach fat is so dangerous and how it affects your health.
The Hidden Dangers of Belly Fat
Belly fat isn't just unsightly but harmful too. Also known as visceral fat or active fat, it is stored deep within the abdominal region. Subcutaneous fat, by comparison, is found right beneath the skin's surface.
Studies have linked belly fat to colon and endometrial cancers, atherosclerosis, dementia, and hypertension. According to science, obese people are 35 percent more likely to develop dementia compared to their peers. Other studies have found that belly fat may cause a decline in language and memory.
Furthermore, this type of fat increases cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and triglycerides. It also causes inflammation of the blood vessels, contributing to cardiovascular problems. In clinical trials, women with a waist circumference over 39 inches had rates of death double than normal. Similar findings applied to men with waists exceeding 47 inches.
As you see, the size of your waist can tell a lot about your health. Even though some belly fat is normal, too much of it could kill. A waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women shouldn't be ignored.
How to Get Rid of Belly Fat for Good
The truth is that there's no quick fix to lose belly fat. Depending on your age, weight, and body shape, it can take months or even years to shrink your waistline. Crunches and sit-ups are pretty much useless. These exercises strengthen your core muscles but have little impact on fat deposits.
So what does it take to get rid of belly fat for good?
Here are a few strategies that actually work:
Manage Your Insulin Levels
When it comes to fat loss, the hormone insulin can be your best ally or your worst enemy. Stress, bad eating, lack of exercise, and certain diseases trigger insulin resistance, which in turn, contributes to belly fat. This relationship goes both ways. Visceral fat causes insulin resistance, and vice versa.
The best way to lose inches from your waist is to effectively manage insulin levels. As a rule of thumb, avoid high-sugar foods like candy, ice cream, bread, pasta, white rice, white potatoes, soda, grains, and most fruits. Fill up on foods with a low glycemic index, such as:
Certain foods have few or no carbs, so they lack a GI value. These are ideal for those with belly fat, insulin resistance, diabetes, and other related conditions. Make sure your diet includes plenty of meat, lean fish, low-fat dairy, eggs, unrefined vegetable oils, seafood, herbs, and spices.
Beware that cooking techniques can change the GI. For example, French fries boast a higher glycemic index than boiled or steamed potatoes. In general, the longer food is cooked, the faster its carbs are processed and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Train for Your Goals
Diet and physical activity are equally important. Regular exercise not only burns fat but also keeps your insulin levels within normal limits. On top of that, it triggers a positive hormonal response, offsetting the harm caused by visceral fat.
You may have heard that little exercise is better than none at all. However, when it comes to losing fat, some training methods are more effective than others. Contrary to popular belief, cardio isn't the key to leanness. In fact, it can do more harm than good, especially when struggling with belly fat. The explanation is simple.
HIIT, which stands for high intensity interval training, has emerged as the best way to burn fat. It’s particularly effective against visceral fat and has none of the adverse effects of traditional cardio. A single session will skyrocket your metabolism for up to 48 to 72 hours.
Last, get more rest and avoid stress at all costs. Stress and belly fat are strongly connected. Whenever you're angry, nervous, or anxious, your cortisol levels go up. Prolonged or chronic stress keeps your body in the fight-or-flight mode for weeks or even months, leading to obesity, heart disease, and insulin resistance.
Squeeze more "me" time into your daily routine. Get at least eight hours of sleep per night and allow your body to recover after exercise. Make health a priority and stop over-committing yourself.
These lifestyle changes can go a long way toward better health. You’ll not only get leaner but also feel better, think clearer, and have greater energy. A few months from now on, belly fat will be just a bad memory.
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