3 Ways you’re Sabotaging Your Health with Poor Nutrition

3 Ways you’re Sabotaging Your Health with Poor Nutrition

Let’s face it. Many of us are easily tempted by fast food fixes and impulse purchases from vending machines.

Although an occasional taste of junk food won’t hurt your health, if you indulge several times a week, consider changing your eating habits. You may not realize just how much you’re sabotaging your well-being.

Other than gaining weight – and the health issues associated with those extra pounds – there are other serious concerns you should consider before reaching for your next guilty pleasure.

Here are three chronic health conditions that are fueled by unhealthy food choices.

1. Depression. If you eat a lot of foods that are high in sugar or refined grains, you’re likely to experience higher levels of depression than people who do not indulge in these foods. That high glycemic index is to blame.

In fact, a team of researchers working in cooperation with Columbia University professor James E. Gangwisch, Ph.D., studied the effects of a high-glycemic diet on mood.

The result? Sugars that were added to foods had a strong correlation with depression.

Total sugars or total carbohydrates seemed to have no effect.

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The Diverticulitis Diet

The Diverticulitis Diet

If you’ve ever been afflicted with an attack of diverticulitis, you know how uncomfortable it can be: diarrhea, nausea, chills, and cramps are the tell-tale signs that something is definitely out of order. However, diverticulitis may be mistaken for the flu, and that’s why many of us end up in the emergency room before getting a definitive diagnosis.

Diverticulitis occurs in the pockets of the large intestine when feces become trapped. The result? Bacterial growth develops, and the large intestine becomes infected or inflamed. When left untreated, this condition can perforate the intestine.

Ouch.

Although diverticulitis can cause lifelong issues, the good news is that with proper nutrition during your recovery period, you can make the attacks more bearable.

The Diverticulitis Diet

Although the diverticulitis diet may not prevent this condition – or treat it – it will give you a chance to give your digestive system a reprieve.

According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals with mild to moderate diverticulitis should see their medical health practitioner to get a prescription for antibiotics and follow a restricted diet (listed below.)

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Dangers of Dehydration

Dangers of Dehydration

Muscle cramps. Headache. Thirst.

If you feel these symptoms during or after basking in the sun or working in the summer heat, chances are you’re suffering from mild to moderate dehydration.

Dehydration occurs when your body is low on fluids. If you spend a lot of time outdoors without drinking water or other hydrating liquids, you may become dehydrated. If you’re into extreme workouts, you could sweat yourself into a dehydrated state. Furthermore, individuals who live in high altitudes are also more prone to dehydration.

There’s more.

Dehydration can also occur if you generally do not eat well. Your body consists of 60 percent water so if your diet is lacking in foods that provide the proper hydration, your health will decline because of it.

Dehydration can also lead to digestion issues because your body needs to be fully hydrated to secrete the proper amount of digestive juices. Otherwise, you may suffer from uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, gas, nausea, and nausea, just to name a few.

How can I tell if I’m dehydrated?

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How to Boost Your Brain Power Naturally

How to Boost Your Brain Power Naturally

We know that consuming a healthy diet is good for weight management and for preventing a variety of chronic health issues. However, what you eat is also integral to boosting your brain power.

Here are three ways you can supplement your diet – naturally – to ramp up your memory, alertness, and cognition.

Think B. Vitamin B-6 and B-12 are paramount to maintaining brain health. If you’re like most of us, you may have noticed changes in your memory as you’ve gotten older. Healthy doses of B vitamins will help create the internal environment in your body to improve overall memory functions.

You can find these essential B vitamins in the following foods:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Peanuts
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Beef liver

Add antioxidants for learning, remembering, and using knowledge. If you want to improve your overall cognitive functioning, foods rich in antioxidants will give you optimal brain power.

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5 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

5 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

Losing weight can seem like a project instead of a process: counting calories and fat grams, tracking your headway at the gym, and focusing on “the number” instead of inches lost is a lot to keep track of. You already know that you can boost your metabolism with regular exercise, but did you know that you can include certain foods into your diet to stoke your calorie-burning furnace?

It’s true.

Here are five foods you can add to your diet to give you an added edge on your weight loss journey.

Oatmeal. Eating oatmeal at breakfast is a great way to start your day. Your body has to work harder to metabolize oatmeal because of its rich fiber content, and you’ll get the added benefit of reducing your cholesterol when eaten on a regular basis. For best results, choose steel cut oats instead of rolled oats. The steel cut varieties are lower in calories and contain no sugar.

Spices. Spices are a great way to not only flavor your food, but they also possess amazing metabolism boosting benefits. Below are just a few spices you can add to your food to burn calories more quickly.

  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Black Pepper
  • Mustard Seed

When you reach for a flavor enhancer, consider adding a calorie-burning option instead of salt.

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The Benefits of Chromium Picolinate

The Benefits of Chromium Picolinate

Chromium picolinate is a supplement used to treat a variety of chronic conditions. Chromium is an essential trace element, and we need it to maintain optimal health. It aids in digesting food, and the good news is that most of us get enough chromium in our diets to assist in the digestion process.

For instance, chromium can be found in the following items:

  • Meat
  • Organ meats such as pork kidney
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Peas
  • Cheese
  • Certain spices
  • Molasses
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Beer

Furthermore, if you drink hard tap water or cook your meals in stainless steel cookware, you’ll get all the chromium you need to thrive. However, many individuals choose to take chromium picolinate supplements because there are benefits to including more than the bare minimum of this essential element in your diet.

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The Healing Properties of Flax Seed

The Healing Properties of Flax Seed

Flax seed is a natural supplement that individuals add to their diets to treat and prevent a variety of chronic health conditions. Many people add flax seed to juice, hot cereal, or yogurt. You can also mix it into batter for muffins, cookies, and breads prior to baking.

To get optimal healing benefits of flax seed, it’s important to grind it first. Invest in a small coffee grinder to grind it just prior to adding it to your food or drink. Although it may be a time saver, avoid buying packaged flax mill because it loses some of its health benefits in the packaging due to oxidation.

Although there are many good reasons for adding flax seeds to your daily diet, there are also some drawbacks. Flax seed can block medication absorption, so you’ll want to wait a couple hours after ingesting it before taking your medication.

Furthermore, individuals who have the following conditions should avoid flax seeds:

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Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?

Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?

Seizures can be frightening, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all predictor for the onset of one. Some individuals can feel the symptoms several days in advance; for others, the seizure may initiate without warning. While there are several treatment modalities for seizures – depending on the underlying cause -- there are steps you can take to decrease seizures that may be linked to nutritional deficiency.

There is evidence to suggest that certain types of vitamin deficiencies may exacerbate seizure activity. In newborns, a vitamin B6 deficiency can result in seizures. However, in the population at large, there are conflicting reports on the effects of vitamin deficiencies and seizures. One study suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to seizures and that increasing vitamin D levels may lessen seizure activity by 40 percent. Other studies indicate that certain vitamin deficiencies may play a part in seizure frequency in adults, but there is no solid evidence that proves it.

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7 Steps for Losing Weight Naturally

7 Steps for Losing Weight Naturally

For many of us, stepping on the scales can be an uneasy experience because the numbers we see don’t always represent the ideal weight that we have in mind. Although we often measure weight in pounds, our body mass index (BMI) is a more appropriate measure of whether we are overnight.

An individual whose BMI is 18.5 or less is considered underweight; whereas an individual with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. The healthiest BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. However, if your BMI measures between 25 and 29.9, you’re in the slightly overweight zone.

You can calculate your body mass by following the steps below:

• Multiply your height in inches times your height in inches.
• Divide your weight by the number you arrived at in the step above.
• Multiply the number you came up with in in the step above this one by 705.

If your BMI measures 25 or above, you’ll want to take steps to reduce your weight. Here are seven steps you can follow to naturally lose weight.

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What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over Time

What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over Time

Getting older brings about a multitude of changes in our lives. Many of us transition from full-time parents to empty nesters. Our busy careers lead us toward our retirement years. These are changes that many of us look forward to because they create more space to enjoy our lives. However, there are physical changes that are also to be expected as we enter our golden years.

Our digestion changes over time as our lifestyles change and our bodies mature. Here are a few changes that you may want to be aware of:

• Constipation – Constipation becomes an issue as we age and is most common in individuals as they approach their 60s and 70s. Infrequent bowel movements – as well as painful bowel movements – become more common.

• Esophagus problems – As we age, our esophagus may move food through our system more slowly. Because the esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach, it can make swallowing food more difficult as it becomes less effective in performing its function.

• Diverticulosis – Approximately 10 percent of individuals over the age of 40 – and 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 – are diagnosed with diverticulosis. This condition occurs when tiny pockets form on the lining of the bowel. Chills/fever, painful cramps, and alternating episodes of diarrhea/constipation can occur with this condition.

• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – GERD occurs when the stomach acids back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and pain.

• Stomach bleeding and ulcers – Actually, aging is not a contributing factor to ulcers. Instead, the widespread use of NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) contributes to ulcer formation. Since many individuals use NSAIDS to control chronic pain associated with arthritis and other chronic conditions, a higher incidence of ulcers and stomach bleeding is reported in older individuals.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to slow down or alleviate digestion-related disorders. Here are just a few:

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