Probiotics and Their Body-Boosting Benefits

What Are Probiotics?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”

These friendly bacteria are good for your digestive health. These microorganisms help move food through your gut. They are naturally found in your body. There are around 2,000 different types of bacteria found in your body.

FUN FACT: There are 10 times more probiotics in your gut than cells in your body. Pretty cool huh!

Types of Good Bacteria

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

This is the most commonly used probiotic. It is found in the intestines, female genitals, and the mouth. It produces lactase and vitamin K.

This strain is very acid-resistant and tolerates bile effectively. This helpful probiotic produces lactic acid. It also produces other organic acids in the lining of the vagina and cervix. Its presence discourages the adherence and growth of pathogenic microbes.

It also fights infections from
harmful pathogens. These include harmful E. coli, salmonella, and yeast infections.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus Gasseri is now being studied for it’s apparent benefits in aiding weight loss.

Lactococcus Lactis

This is a spherical-shaped gram-positive bacterium. It is the first genetically modified organism used alive to treat human disease.

This ferments milk sugar (lactose) to lactic acid. It is used to make yogurt, cheese, and buttermilk.

This is mostly found dormant on plant surfaces. Once eaten by animals, particularly cows, they are transferred to the gastrointestinal tract. There, they become active and multiply.

Lactobacillus Reuteri

This is a strain of lactic acid bacteria. It lives in the intestines and stomachs of humans, other mammals, and birds. However, not all humans have this type of good bacteria. It’s name was taken from its discoverer, German microbiologist Gerhard Reuter.

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

This strain of beneficial bacteria exist in our microbiome. This consists of the microbial genes that live in our system. Specifically, this is found in our intestines. It is helpful in preventing the growth of harmful bacteria in our intestines and stomach.

It was originally thought to be a subspecies of L. casei. However, further genetic research shows it is a species on its own.

Bacillus Coagulans

This is a lactic acid–forming bacterial species. It was first isolated and named in 1915 by B. W. Hammer of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station. This bacteria strain caused an outbreak of coagulation in evaporated milk packed by an Iowa condensary.

They are similar to another strain of probiotics, lactobacillus. One way to set them apart is Bacillus coagulans form reproductive structures called spores.

Bifidobacterium Animalis

This is a rod-shaped bacterium found in the large intestines of most mammals, including humans. It’s another lactic acid bacterium that produces acetic acid, formic acid, ethanol, and sometimes succinic acid.

Bifidobacteria plays a crucial role in keeping the microbial balance of a healthy intestinal tract. It helps digest food and decreases the chance of allergies. It also prevents several forms of tumor growth.

Escherichia Coli

This strain of bacteria is found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most E. coli strains are harmless. However, there are some that cause dangerous food poisoning. The harmless strains produce vitamin K2 and prevent colonization of the intestine with pathogenic bacteria.

Streptococcus Thermophilus

The last of the probiotics on this list is an essential lactic acid bacterium. It’s used for commercial purposes, which include the production of dairy products. It hydrolyzes milk proteins and casein into nitrogen compounds. These are then used as starting cultures for food fermentation.

It boosts the immune system, fights against antibiotic-associated diarrhea, supports colon health, and protects against small intestine irritation. This strain is also helpful during chemotherapy. It protects the intestinal tissues from irritation caused by chemotherapy drugs.

How Probiotics Help

Gastrointestinal Issues

Probiotics focus mainly on digestive health. Adding them to our daily diets relieves many digestive problems. These include Crohn’s disease, gut dysbiosis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Probiotics also prevent and treat infectious diarrhea in children and adults. They also treat chronic constipation and bloating.

Vaginal Infections

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common type of vaginal infection. This is followed by yeast infection. They are caused by an excess of harmful bacteria. These lead to a burning sensation during urination, itching around the vagina, an unappealing fish-like odor, unusual discharge, and vaginal irritation.

Some studies show that eating food with probiotics (such as yogurt) helps with these infections. Probiotics produce lactic acid. This leads to an acidic vaginal environment that discourages the growth of bad bacteria. They also stop microbes from adhering to the vaginal wall. They also displace those microbes that have already taken hold.

Cholesterol

These good bacteria can lower cholesterol. They do this by reducing the absorption of bile. They also increase HDL cholesterol. In addition, they can also reduce molecules known as cholesterol ester saturated fatty acids. These acids cause the buildup of dangerous plaque in the arteries.

Immune System

Probiotics boosts the activity of the immune system. They increase vaccination immune response, reduce colds and flu, and boost T-cell activity as needed. They also reduce the frequency and severity of respiratory diseases. Lastly, they strengthen the overall immune system.

Energy Boost

These friendly bacteria have properties that are essential to boost energy
production in the body. These properties also make sure you are absorbing vitamins and minerals you need for your overall well-being. They can also help you sleep better. Taking in probiotics boosts the production of hormones that help you get a good night’s rest.

Anxiety

The intake of probiotics lowers stress and anxiety. They also lower the levels of stress hormone cortisol. Those taking probiotics also have better memory. Anyone who is experiencing low mood, chronic stress, and other symptoms of anxiety will also benefit from the good bacteria.

Weight Loss

Probiotics may help weight loss. A 2013 research in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that eating probiotics increases weight loss in people who are dieting.

What probiotics do is they break down fiber the body can’t digest. They then turn the fiber to beneficial short-chain fatty acids.

Oral Health

Some probiotics can kill harmful bacteria, like the bacteria that’s responsible for tooth decay. It can also reduce the number of other types of decay-causing bacteria.

They can also help patients with gingivitis. Probiotics decrease gum bleeding and plaque formation. Finally, they can fight oral candida too.

Skin and Hair

Research shows that probiotics improve skin and hair conditions.

First, for hair, women show a healthier and shinier mane. Probiotics cause females to have a more acidic pH level, and this correlates with hair luster. Probiotics also answer the problems of hair loss and hair thinness.

For the skin, probiotics provide a ton of benefits. First, they quickly heal scars and burns, reconstructs atopic dermatitis, and rejuvenates the skin. The good bacteria also treats acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Sex Drive

Some strains can also cause an increase in the testosterone levels of men. They also promote fertility in women. They also boost the levels of the “feel good” hormone oxytocin. In addition, they boost low libido as well.

Probiotic Killers

There are some substances and food that go against what these good bacteria are trying to do. In order for us to receive the full benefits of probiotics, it’s best to avoid the following as much as possible:

 

Source: Behealthy.today

Barley Grass Benefits to Boost the Body

Barley Grass vs. Wheatgrass

In the wellness world, greens are king. They contain higher levels of nutrients as compared to green vegetables. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals the body needs in order to function fully. And barley grass is part of the top 4 greens in the wellness world.

A lot of people sometimes confuse barley grass with wheatgrass. They do look alike and have some similarities. However, they are two separate greens.

The main difference between the two is that barley grass is from the young shoots of the barley plant. Wheatgrass is from the wheat plant.

Barley grass also has a higher concentration of protein. It tastes milder than wheatgrass, which is bitter.

What Is Barley Grass

So what exactly is barley grass? It is one of the earliest grown sweet grasses. It has existed for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used it as food for people and animals.

It was also very popular among the Greeks and the Romans. They used it in making barley bread as food for their athletes. They believed it contributed to the athletes’ overall strength and boosts their energy.

Christopher Columbus introduced this green superfood to America. It wasn’t very popular back then. However, with the rise of the concept of wholesome living and eating right, it is now slowly making its way into Americans’ diets, and can help lose weight without resorting to Garcinia Cambogia or alli diet pills.

Barley grass comes in two forms, either as a juice or powder.

Nutrition Content

This supplement contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, and K. It also has beta carotene, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. It has minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, organic sodium, and phosphorus. Finally, it also boasts of amino acids, chlorophyll, fiber, protein, and enzymes.

Benefits of Barley Grass

Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant

Barley grass fights against harmful free radicals that contaminate the body. It contains superoxide dismatuse (SOD). It is an enzyme that demolishes these free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for the development of multiple diseases caused by oxidative stress.

Boosts the Immune System

The vitamin C and copper in this grass are responsible for boosting the immune system. They increase the body’s resistance to infections, like the common cold and cough. They also fight off stress and fatigue. Regular intake of barley grass balances the optimal production of the body’s immune cells.

Combats Cancer

This green superfood contains both preventive and curative effect against cancer cells. It has the ability to decompose and neutralize toxic hydrogen peroxide effects. This also protects human tissue cells against carcinogens. It is especially effective in fighting against breast cancer.

Detoxifies the Body

Barley grass rids harmful heavy metals from the body. It also eliminates waste materials, such as crystallized acids and mucus. Its chlorophyll content provides an abundance of oxygen and a healthy blood flow. This is responsible for the removal of harmful impurities and toxins.

Protects from Radiation

Another benefit this superfood offers is that it protects against the harmful effects of UV radiation. This is especially prevalent in the urban areas. It also defends the body from the effects of radioactivity and renews damaged cells and tissues. It is recommended to take in barley grass juice before and after after taking x-rays in order to shield the body from the radioactive damages.

Treats Ulcerative Colitis

Barley grass has a stimulating effect to the gut-friendly bacteria. It helps ease inflammation and other symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis. This type of greens also balances the fluidity in the bowel. It also eliminates dangerous toxins from the body.

Helps Fight Addictions

Trying to stay on a strict no-sweets diet, but can’t seem to fight your sweet tooth? Try incorporating barley grass juice into your diet! It is effective in fighting a myriad of addictions. The glutamic acid in barley grass curbs the craving for coffee, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and yes, sweets!

Aids in Weight Loss

It’s not easy being overweight. It can lead to other problems, like breathing problems, joint pains, cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.

Barley grass helps lose weight. It has insoluble fiber, which makes you feel fuller. This prohibits you from eating more food. It balances your blood sugar levels, preventing hunger pangs and in-between-meal cravings.

Prevents Asthma

Plenty of young children experience childhood asthma. Some of them then get other more serious health problems as they grow up because of it. Taking in barley grass alleviates its symptoms and prevents asthma from developing. Its antioxidants and vitamins A and E content normalizes and controls breathing as well.

Manages Diabetes

Diabetes is quite rampant in the world we live in. People get diagnosed with this disease as early as three years old.

Well, one way to manage diabetes is by taking in barley grass. Diabetics benefit from it since it has beta-glucan. This is a  soluble fiber that slows down glucose absorption. Barley grass also manages blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes mellitis is the most common type of diabetes among adults. In a 2010 study, it showed that the experimental group taking barley grass supplements had lower blood sugar levels. There was also a reduction in overall cholesterol levels.

Promotes Bone Health

 

Barley grass contains 11 times more calcium than milk. It also contains copper, manganese, and niagen. These four factors form the basis
to keep the body’s bones in better condition and promote bone production.

Barley grass is even safe for young children. Because kids’ bodies naturally keep growing, the earlier they take in barley grass, the better their bone development.

Improves Skin Health

This healthy superfood keeps the skin looking youthful and healthy. Since it has quercetin, it definitely improves the skin’s condition. It maintains the skin’s elasticity and prevents the development of folds of loose skin.

In addition, it protects the skin from external factors, like wind, cold air, pollution, and harmful UV rays.

Repairs DNA

Our DNA is constantly changing, sometimes not in the way we want it to. These changes are due to stress, the food we eat, pollutants, etc. Changing DNA leads to premature aging, sterility, genetic abnormalities, and, in women, unhealthy pregnancy.

Yoshihide Hagiwara, a Japanese physician and pharmacist, has spent over 10 years doing research on barley grass. He has found that it can repair and strengthen the body’s DNA. The intake of its juice can definitely avoid these negative side effects from occurring.

Source: Behealthy.today

Herbs 101: An A–Z List of Herbs for a Healthier You

Herbal medicine has been around for centuries. According to Steven Chasens, an herbalist,  “Herbal medicine has been used as kitchen medicine for thousands of years, and while our body’s response to these natural treatments has not changed, we now have more global choices than ever.”

That means that we now have more access to healthy herbs than we did before. This is definitely a good thing.

What Is an Herb?

Herbs and spices get mixed up a lot. So to set them apart, let’s first define each. Herbs are simply the leaves of a plant. That’s it.

Spices come from the roots, bark, or seeds. So basically, any part of a plant that is not a leaf is automatically considered a spice.

Some plants have both. Take the cilantro plant, for example. The herb here is called the cilantro (leaves). The spice is called coriander (the seeds of the cilantro plant).

Examples of Healthy Herbs

Herbs are found virtually everywhere, even in your own backyard! Some are even mistaken for weeds!

Here are some examples of common and not-so-common herbs that are packed with health benefits you didn’t know about. Take note that this is not a complete list of herbs that boasts of numerous health benefits.

Alfalfa

This herb is commonly used to treat arthritis, digestive problems, and high cholesterol. It also acts as a diuretic. It helps boost the immune system as well. Its chlorophyll content is great for reducing bad breath and body odor.

Aloe

The gel extracted from aloe leaves topically treats minor burns, cuts, and scrapes. It also helps soothe the skin from sunburn. In addition, it keeps skin smooth and supple and can treat acne and other skin problems as well.

Ashwagandha

The leaves of this herb contain anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and sedative properties. Ashwagandha leaves are brewed to make tea. This tea improves the overall performance of the human body. It also relieves stress and strengthens the immune system.

Basil

The basil leaf has a number of benefits. For one, it keeps breakouts at bay. Just boil a handful of fresh basil leaves and use the liquid over your breakout zones. Other benefits are it soothes indigestion, cures cough and colds, reduces stress, helps insect stings and bites, lowers blood sugar, combats bloating, and helps during PMS.

Bearberry

This is one of the most useful herbs around. The leaves are used to make tea. It is a traditional bladder treatment in Northern Europe. For Native Americans, they use this herb to prevent miscarriage and help women recover after childbirth.

The leaves are smoked to relieve headaches. However, this practice is carefully regulated because of the narcotic effect it brings.

Salve from the leaves also treat canker sores, sore gums, burns, and minor cuts.

Internally, bearberry boosts the immune system due to its antibacterial agents. It also detoxifies the body, eases stomach problems, speeds up the body’s healing process, and reduces inflammation.

Bee Balm

The leaves make medicinal tea. It treats colds, headaches, fevers, digestive disorders, nasal congestion, sore throat, menstrual pain, and insomnia. In addition, it acts as an ointment too for eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Bilberry

The bilberry leaf controls blood sugar levels. It also has histamine. This speeds up the healing properties of the body and cures gastrointestinal ulcers.

Research on the effects of bilberry leaf extracts show that this herb is effective against several strains, including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Boneset

This is a common weed found along the edges of swamps and streams. It is found mainly in the temperate parts of North America, from Florida to Canada.

It treats a wide array of conditions. These include the flu, colds, fevers, migraines, rheumatism, dengue, malaria, and typhoid fever. It can also increase the body’s resistance to infections. Boneset is also used as a laxative and can help soothe other digestive problems.

Butterbur

This herb is a distant relative of the sunflower. It grows well in wet meadows, marshes, flood plains, etc. It has huge leaves that grow big enough to protect a person’s head from the sun or the rain.

The leaves are analgesic, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, anti-spasmodic, diuretic, and cardiotonic. They treat cough and asthma. It can also strengthen digestion and aid in gastrointestinal problems. It can treat colic. The leaves also treat minor wounds and skin eruptions.

Catnip

The use of catnip leaves and flowers in herbal teas have been around since the early 1730s. Medicinally, it treats indigestion, intestinal cramps, diarrhea, colic, and colds. It also induces menstruation, increases appetite, relieves respiratory ailments, and acts as a sedative. Additionally, catnip can cure insomnia, relieve stress, soothe nervous disorders, and is a good remedy for bug bites.

Chives

This is one of the most common and easy-to-find herbs. Chives possess antibacterial properties, specifically those that can affect the gastrointestinal system. It can also lower cholesterol levels and plaque in the arteries. This lowers the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

In addition, it prevents various types of cancer, like breast cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer.

Chives can also maintain mineral density in bones, improves eyesight, detoxify the body, boost the immune system, and promote good health during pregnancy (when taken in recommended doses, of course).

Cilantro

You’d be surprised by the numerous benefits you can get from cilantro. First, it lowers blood sugar levels, fights against colon cancer, prevents neurological inflammation, promotes a healthy heart, protects against food poisoning, and supports healthy menstruation. Also, it prevents urinary tract infections, detoxifies the body of heavy metals, protects against oxidative stress, and improves sleep. And finally, it lowers anxiety, settles digestive issues, and soothes skin irritations.

To top it off, cilantro also protects the body from salmonella-based illnesses, possesses anti-allergic properties, helps with anemia, cures mouth ulcers, reduces blood pressure, promotes bone health, cures smallpox, helps improve eye health, and enhances libido.

Dandelion

A lot of people consider the dandelion as a useless weed, but contrary to popular belief, this is one of the herbs with the most number of benefits. For one, it promotes bone and joint health, supports healthy liver function, and stimulates urinary function for cleansing.

It purifies the blood, prevents gallstones, fights Alzheimer’s, and helps settle bad digestion. In addition, it promotes weight loss, generates red blood cells, regulates heart rate and blood pressure, provides healthy skin, and improves vision.

Also, it detoxifies the body, serves as a laxative, treats aching muscles, fights against diabetes, and boosts the body’s immunity system.

Dill

It’s commonly known as the dill weed, but still considered part of the herb family. And like a lot of the other herbs in this list, dill also provides a lot of benefits for the human body.

First, it is a very effective bug repellent and is a safer alternative to pesticides. It treats depression, reduces menstrual cramps, boosts energy, promotes good digestion, provides antimicrobial effects, fights against bad free radicals, lowers cholesterol, and may treat epilepsy. In addition, it can treat insomnia, promote bone health, fights diabetes, prevent excess gas, boosts the immune system, cure hiccups, inhibits fungal infections, treats diarrhea, and reduces inflammation. It also reduces stomach acid secretions, cures the common cold, remedies earaches, and treats head lice and hemorrhoids.

Fennel

The fennel promotes collagen synthesis to keep the skin firm and tight. It protects against the signs of aging, combats cancer, soothes colicky babies, relieves menstrual cramps, prevents osteoporosis, and fights against obesity.

It can also lower blood pressure, aids in digestion, increases satiety, decreases the chances of heart disease, promotes eye health, treats anemia, reduces flatulence, treats most intestinal issues, and boosts brain function.

Holy Basil

This is a distant cousin to the basil. Unlike basil, which has a sweet taste, the holy basil has a peppery clove-like flavor. It is a native herb to Southeast Asia, specifically in India.

And like all the herbs in this list, the holy basil has its own benefits to boast of.

It cures fevers, treats bronchitis, relieves respiratory congestion, treats asthma, and treats lung disorders. It can also promotes cardiovascular health, relieves stress, acts as a mouth freshener, inhibits the growth of oral cancer, fights against bad breath, and destroys dental cavities, plaque, and tartar.

In addition, it cleans out kidney stones, cures skin infections, treats migraines, cures cough and colds, and fights the signs of aging.

Lavender

Aaah, lavender. Its smell can soothe even the most irritable beast. But it’s not just the lavender scent that’s good about it. This is one of the herbs that doesn’t only look pretty, but is really beneficial as well.

First and foremost, it soothes stress and anxiety. It balances your mood. Lavender also cures sleep issues. This includes apnea, restless sleep patterns, and insomnia. It eases aching muscles, reduces inflammation, quickly heals wounds, prevents development of infections on wound sites, reduces the chance of heart diseases, and relieves bloating and other digestive issues.

It can also cure chronic skin conditions, like eczema, acne, and psoriasis. Not only that, lavender can also boost the health of follicle beds and hair.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle has been used for over a thousand years in traditional medicine. It supports kidney, gallbladder, and liver health. It also contains potential anti-cancer properties. Milk thistle also promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar levels, and boosts brain health. In addition, it improves skin conditions, reduces skin damage caused by radiation treatment, prevents free radical damage, reduces visible signs of aging, and maintains healthy eyes.

Mint

Everyone is familiar with a sprig of mint in a lot of drinks. It adds a refreshing burst of flavor. But mint improves your body as well.

It acts as a great palate cleanser. Mint also promotes healthy digestion, soothes upset stomachs, cures nausea and headaches, clears up nasal congestion, relieves chronic coughing, and helps with asthma.

For breastfeeding moms, it can reduce nipple cracks and nipple pain from breastfeeding. Mint fights against depression and fatigue, aids in memory loss, gets rid of pimples, and helps in weight loss. This herb heals and soothes burns, treats rheumatism, boosts brain activity, and induces sweating on people with fever. It can also soothe muscle ache, relieves heartburn (if taken in small doses), prevents cancer, and improves eye health.

Oregano

Oregano is one of the popular herbs people use mainly in the kitchen to add oomph to their dishes. However, this herb not only enhances the flavor of your dish, it also gives you tons of benefits.

First, it reduces oxidative stress, fights against harmful free radicals, defends the body against harmful bacteria, speeds up metabolism, and promotes good digestion. Also, it balances out cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation in the cardiovascular system, speeds up the process of toxin elimination, and promotes bone health.

Oregano can also rejuvenate the body and keeps it energized, treats urinary tract infections, remedies sleeping problems, relieves cough and colds, prevents degenerative arthritis, and heals wounds and insect bites.

Parsley

Parsley is widely known and used as a garnish, but it’s actually more than that. It is a very helpful herb that boasts of time-tested benefits.

For one, it aids in bone health, boosts the immune system, fights the effects of aging, protects the body from free radical damage, and supports healthy kidney function.

It can also relieve joint pains, relaxes stiff muscles, promotes good digestion, treats anemia, and contains cancer-fighting compounds.

Lastly, it protects against rheumatoid arthritis, cleanses the liver, balances hormones, acts as a diuretic, reduces bad breath, and improves appetites.

Rosemary

Another of the popular herbs, this can be easily found in the garden. And again, this too provides numerous health benefits.

Rosemary helps boost concentration and memory retention. It eases stress levels and improves hair growth. It also treats muscle aches and pains, relieves gastrointestinal issues, prevents cancer cells from replicating, treats gout, reduces high blood pressure, fights against eczema, and soothes toothaches.

In addition, rosemary also boosts the immune system, fights against bacterial infections, stimulates blood flow, provides pain relief, and gives naturally fresh and clean breath.

Sage

The sage helps a lot with digestive problems, which include flatulence, gastritis, loss of appetite, bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn.

For women, it soothes painful menstrual cramps, corrects excessive milk flow for breastfeeding moms, and reduces hot flashes for menopausal women.

It also functions as an effective brain booster, possesses anti-inflammatory properties, prevents oxidative stress, fights against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, promotes bone strength, and helps in keeping skin healthy.

In addition, it lowers blood glucose, lowers cholesterol, improves fertility, and treats night sweats in tuberculosis patients.

Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle is correctly named. Its long stinging hairs inject an array of chemicals when touched. This produces an irritating and uncomfortable feeling on the skin. One should take great care in handling this herb.

However, its numerous benefits far outweigh this one bad thing.

For one, it cleanses the body of toxins. It also improves the nutrient uptake efficiency of the gut, stimulates red blood cell production, speeds up wound healing, boosts energy levels, and relieves fatigue and anemia.

Stinging nettle helps with women’s issues too. It helps ease painful labor in pregnant women, reduces bleeding during childbirth, stimulates the production of milk for breastfeeding, soothes menstrual cramps, reduces blood flow during the red days, and helps in hormonal shifts in menopausal women.

Stinging nettle also breaks down stones found in the gallbladder and kidney, protects against excess fluid retention, maintains calcium content in our bones, reduce allergic reactions, treat asthma, lower  blood pressure, and relieves tension in the cardiovascular system.

Thyme

Last but not least in this list of healthy herbs is thyme. Thyme and thyme again, because of its distinctive flavor, it’s used in plenty of recipes. Thyme is used healthwise as well.

It is an effective acne treatment, lowers blood pressure, remedies cough, boosts the immune system, and acts as a disinfectant.

In addition, thyme can fight sore throats, lowers cholesterol levels, prevents food poisoning, prevents and treats colon cancer, treats bronchitis, and improves your mood.

A Word of Caution

Always practice precautionary measures before using any of these herbs. Consult with a medical professional for the best way of using them. This warning is is especially for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, people taking blood thinners, people with high blood pressure, etc.

Source: Behealthy.today

Chlorella: Benefits, Side Effects, and Everything In Between

Whoever thought that algae would be so beneficial to the human body? Yes, you heard it right. Algae is very helpful in keeping us healthy! One example of a healthy algae is chlorella.

The chlorella is a close cousin to another superfood, spirulina. It is a single-cell freshwater algae. It has the ability to reproduce eight times a day. This makes it a sustainable nutrient source.

This healthy algae is grown in large freshwater ponds. It is carefully spray-dried in order to preserve its nutritional content. It then undergoes a special treatment to break down its cellular wall. This makes it safe for humans to digest.

Chlorella is taken in either tablet form or powder form.

Chlorella Origins

Chlorella Origin

Apparently, this superfood has existed for two billion years already. However, it wasn’t discovered until the nineteenth century. Its discovery is all thanks to Dutch microbiologist Dr. Beijnerink.

It was first used during World War I by the Germans as a protein source. After, in the 1920s, the Japanese cultivated a pure culture of chlorella. After the Second World War, the United States, Japan, and Germany all conducted cooperative studies on the algae.

In the 1970s, this superfood experienced major popularity in Japan. However, it suddenly ended because of photosensitivity incidents due to chlorella use.

Later on, when the whole foods movement and organic eating started to boom in the United States, chlorella once again regained its popularity alongside natural weight loss products like Garcinia Cambogia.

Nutrition Facts

Did you know that chlorella is ranked as one of the top 10 healthy foods in the entire world? It has phytonutrients and essential fatty acids. Also, it boasts of protein, calcium, chlorophyll, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. This algae also contains vitamins A, C, E, K. It also has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Don’t forget beta-carotene,alpha-carotene, biotin, and folic acid. It also has inositol, nucleic acids, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), and pantothenic acid. Whew! Now that’s a mouthful!

Chlorella Benefits

Now don’t let this pond scum fool you (yes, some people think chlorella is literally the icky stuff you see in murky fish ponds). They might not look like much, but trust me, they do wonders for your overall health.

Not convinced? Here are just some of the benefits this healthy algae can provide to the human body.

Boosts the Immune System

There are many studies that support this benefit. One of them was done by the Yonsei University in South Korea. They studied healthy individuals and the responses of their immune systems after taking this superfood. The results showed that the immune systems responded positively. There was also a boost in the production of “natural killer” (NK) cells.

Another study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that after 8 weeks of taking chlorella, NK cell activity improved.

This superfood also provides strength to the immune system. This results in it working harder to protect the body.

Helps in Anti-Aging

Chlorella possesses many of the same anti-aging properties as elysium health’s basis. Chlorophyll, for example, can get rid of toxins that cause premature aging. The antioxidants help keep the skin smoother. The nucleic acids RNA and DNA rejuvenates the body’s own RNA and DNA content. This keeps the skin looking more youthful and healthy.

Another way that chlorella can help with aging is it improves the skin’s condition. It helps in the production of collagen, which is primarily responsible for skin elasticity. This keeps the skin looking firm and toned. Chlorella also lowers the occurrence of breakouts and redness associated with acne. In addition, it also gets rid of wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, and age spots.

Improves Oral Health

Halitosis sufferers, rejoice! Taking greens, specifically chlorella, will boost your oral hygiene. It has properties that can reduce bad breath. One study shows that brushing with chlorella-laced toothpaste improves all-around dental health, specifically with the teeth and gums.

Helps with Eyesight

Chlorella has an abundant supply of carotenoids. These are beneficial for your eyes. These carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein. They feed your peepers the needed nutrition to stay sharp and focused. Lutein specifically protects the eye from cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and UV radiation damage. Omega-3 fatty acids also play an important role in eye health.

Promotes Weight Loss

Losing weight is undoubtedly difficult to do. It gets even more difficult to lose weight
the older we get. Chlorella may make this problem easier. A recent published research stated that the intake of chlorella “resulted in noticeable reductions in body fat
percentage” (Journal of Medicinal Food).

What this healthy algae does to help you lose weight is it regulates hormones, improves circulation, and speeds up metabolism. It also reduces weight and body fat.

Relieves Gastrointestinal Problems

Food in the digestive tract causes inflammation of the intestinal lining, absorption of toxic substances, and growth of harmful microbes. This makes way for many other problems. Chlorella improves the function of the gut for faster movement of food. This prevents stagnation and diverticulitis.

The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties also brings relief to people who suffer from ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease.

In Japan, this superfood is traditionally used to treat gastritis, hypertension, duodenal ulcers, and constipation. It takes the place of insoluble fibers like acacia rigidula, or glucomannan.

Lowers Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Studies show that taking in 8,000 mg of chlorella a day can lower blood glucose levels and cholesterol. What happens is it clears bad cholesterol from the digestive tract. It also prevents its reabsorption into the body.

Helps in Radiation and Chemotherapy Effects

Chlorella is used by those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation to reduce the body’s chemical load. It also supports the detoxification pathways without ridding the body of beneficial minerals.

Boosts Your Brain

Chlorella is a good source of vitamin B12. This is vital for maximum brain functioning. Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to memory loss, depression, and brain shrinkage. Taking in chlorella every day ensures that you never run out of B12.

The magnesium content in this superfood is beneficial as well. It increases memory and learning in both young children and older adults.

Detoxifies Heavy Metals

Many don’t know this, but this healthy algae is an effective detoxifying supplement. When taken in small amounts over time, it avoids heavy metal buildup in the body.

However, always keep in mind to always work with an experienced practitioner of heavy metal removal. Removing these metals too quickly or incorrect methods will make things worse.

Chlorella Concerns

Of course, as with everything else, there are some side effects to this superfood. Some of these negative effects include swelling of the face or tongue, headaches, acne, lethargy, fatigue, sensitivity to sunlight, upset stomachs, shaking, and vertigo.

However, these side effects are common in any detoxification program.

Chlorella contains a moderate amount of iodine. Those iodine allergies or those with iodine-sensitive thyroid conditions should first consult with their physician before trying out chlorella.

Those with autoimmune disease should be wary as well. Since it increases immune function, it might make your condition worsen.

Pregnant and nursing women should take extra precaution too. They need to speak to their obstetricians for proper evaluation. This determines if chlorella is safe to take.

Source: Behealthy.today

Acerola Cherry: Nutrition Content, Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

This fruit goes by many names—Barbados cherry, wild crapemyrtle, and West Indian myrtle, to name a few. However, it is more known to the public as the acerola cherry.

This tiny fruit is grown on small shrubs and evergreen acerola trees. They thrive in the warm climates of Central America, South America, Florida, California, and Texas.

These cherries grow to a diameter of 0.5 to 1 inch. They then develop into bright red cherries. These cherries decline quickly after they are picked. The cherries exhibit unattractive changes about 4 hours after harvest. They ferment quickly and are unusable within 3 to 5 days. When they are frozen, they tend to fall apart as they thaw. They are best used in juices, syrups, and jams.

Origins of the Acerola Cherry

Acerola also has a long history as an ornamental plant. It’s been used in the Japanese practice of bonsai. Also in Latin America, it’s frequently used to decorate tables, kitchens, and living rooms.

It’s believed the acerola cherry first began to grow in southern Mexico. Its cultivation quickly spread to other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America as news of its usefulness spread.

Research on the health benefits of Acerola first showed up in the 1940s from Puerto Rican researchers and continues to this day.

Acerola Cherry’s Nutrition Content

Like applesauce, the acerola cherry is also loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Below is a complete list.

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
energy 32 Kcal 1.5%
Carbohydrates 7.69 g 6%
Protein 0.40 g <1%
Total Fat 0.30 g 1.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g 2.5%
Vitamins
Folates 14 µg 3.5%
Niacin 0.400 mg 2.5%
Pantothenic acid 0.309 mg 6%
Pyridoxine 0.009 mg <1%
Riboflavin 0.060 mg 4.5%
Vitamin A 767 IU 26%
Vitamin C 1677.6 mg 1864%
Electrolytes
Sodium 7 mg 0.5%
Potassium 146 mg 3%
Minerals
Calcium 12 mg 1.2%
Copper 0.086 mg 9%
Iron 0.20 mg 2.5%
Magnesium 18 mg 4.5%
Phosphorous 11 mg 1.5%
Selenium 0.6 µg 1%
Zinc 0.10 mg 1%

Source: USDA National Nutrient Database

Acerola Cherry Benefits

Manages Diabetes

Studies show that antioxidants in the acerola cherry can help slow down the release of sugar in the bloodstream. Unlike Garcinia Cambogia, which really just helps with hunger, they can also lower blood sugar and insulin. The inconsistent rising and falling of these levels is dangerous for diabetics. These antioxidants can also help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, the quercetin in the plant prevent the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

Prevents Cancer

The high Vitamin B content found in the fruit helps reduce the risk of cancer, specifically of the cervix, breast, and skin.

Again, the antioxidants play a huge part in cancer prevention. They fight off harmful free radicals from the body. These free radicals are responsible for the mutation of healthy cells in the body to cancerous cells.

On another note, the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology published a study that found that acerola cherry extract helped stop the growth and spread of lung cancer.

Boosts the Immune System

Acerola Cherry Benefits

Vitamins C and A in the acerola cherry take the spotlight in helping the immune system. They help produce white blood cells. These cells are first in line in our body’s defense against foreign particles.

Vitamin C is also a crucial component of collagen. The collagen is responsible for the body to heal itself faster with repairing cells, organs, tissues, and blood vessels from illness or injury. In addition, it also controls the flow of interferons. Interferons are the chemicals that fight against infections caused by various viruses.

Delays Signs of Aging

For those who want to look and feel younger
than they really are, the acerola cherry is your best bet. It has properties that protect against oxidative stress. This causes premature aging. Its vitamin C content reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dry skin. It may also help slow down the process of aging.

Promotes Heart Health

Adding acerola cherry into your daily diet may help prevent cardiovascular disease. The high amount of vitamin C is also an excellent preventative for heart disease.

Potassium in this fruit dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow. This then reduces blood pressure. This lowers your chances of developing atherosclerosis and also prevents heart attacks and strokes.

Promotes Good Digestion

The dietary fiber in the acerola cherry helps boost digestive health. It also relieves bloating, constipation, cramping, diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and other gastrointestinal issues.

Aids in Weight Loss

Want to lose weight fast? The acerola cherry is the perfect go-to snack. Why? First of all, it is low carb, calories, and sodium. It also speeds up the metabolism and reduces the risk of obesity. This will help you achieve your ideal weight. The high fiber content can take the place of white kidney bean or acacia rigidula for slowing absorption.

Promotes Eye Health

The vitamin A, lutein, and beta-carotene content in the acerola cherry improves vision. They also prevent cataracts from forming and stop retinal hemorrhages. In addition, they also delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration, reduce the risk of retinitis pigmentosa, and improve night vision.

Improves Skin Condition

The high vitamin C content of the cherries helps form collagen, the building block of healthy skin. This keeps it toned and youthful in appearance. In addition, the anthocyanins help prevent inflammation in outer skin tissues, just as they do on the inside of the body.

Internal consumption of acerola extract can also have cosmetic uses. A study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry reports that the acerola cherry can hold back the formation of melanin, which then gives the skin a “lightening” effect.

A Word of Caution

The acerola cherry is safe for eating. It is also not an allergenic food. However, some people have reported negative reactions to eating them. These include upset stomachs, sleeplessness, and insomnia. Having too many acerola cherries can also cause diarrhea.

The high vitamin C content can also be dangerous if you suffer from gout or have kidney stones. Vitamin C can actually boost levels of uric acid.

If you are taking probiotics for weight loss
, avoid taking in these cherries too. It might also cause side effects of nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.

It is unknown if using acerola during pregnancy or lactation causes harmful side effects. As a measure of safety, it’s best to consult a physician before taking acerola supplements.

Source: Behealthy.today

Acai Berry Benefits That You Should Know About

Plenty of superfoods are gaining momentum and popularity nowadays. This makes it difficult to decide which one to try out first. Well, let’s make the choice a little easier. How about the acai berry? Long before Garcinia Cambogia, the acai berry was marketed as a miracle weight loss pill. That was mostly hype, but it is one a very useful and helpful superfood. The acai berry benefits are numerous. Also, this superfood is easy to find in your local supermarkets and health-food stores.

What Is the Acai Berry?

The acai (pronounced as ah-sigh-ee) berry is an indigenous deep purple berry. It grows in clusters on top of acai palm trees commonly found in the Amazon rain forests.

It’s shaped like a grape. The taste of the acai berry is described as a blend between wild berries and chocolate. It is a major staple food of many indigenous tribes.

Where Did the Name Come From?

Legend speaks of an Amazon Indian girl named Iaça (ee-ah-sah). She was the daughter of a tribal chief. Their tribe was devastated by a sudden famine. There wasn’t enough food for everyone. To save his people, the chief decreed that all newborn babies must be killed. This was because there was not enough food to feed them all.

Soon thereafter, Iaça gave birth to a beautiful girl. Unfortunately, not even the chief’s granddaughter could escape the somber decree.

Iaça grieved the loss of her beautiful daughter for months. She could not stop crying. One night, Iaça heard the cry of a child. She hurried toward the sound. She soon came upon a tall slender palm tree. At the top of the tree, Iaça could see clusters of dark fruit. At the bottom of the tree, she saw her daughter waiting for her with open arms.

Iaça ran toward the vision. She reached out to embrace her child, and she was overcome with so much joy. She then died happily beneath the tree.

The next day, the chief went looking for his beloved daughter. He soon found her under the tree. She had a smile across her face. From the way she was positioned, she was looking up to the sky. He followed her gaze up the tree and saw the dark purple fruit.

The chief immediately ordered the fruits to be harvested by his people. They soon discovered that a juice could be extracted from the berries that would satisfy the hunger of the whole tribe.

The chief’s decree was soon lifted. Out of gratitude to Iaça, the fruit of the palm tree that saved the tribe was known as açaí (Iaça spelled backward).

With abundant food for all, the tribe grew and flourished.

History of the Acai Berry

Tribes found in the Amazon basin were the first to enjoy the acai berry benefits. These tribes had medicine men and women, and they believed the acai berry had numerous medicinal properties. The Amazon tribes used this berry as energy food. They also believed that it could boost the immune system, fight infection, protect the heart, and control prostate enlargement. They also discovered that they could make wine from the berry.

From Obscurity to the Mainstream

Acai evolved from obscurity of the rain forests into the cities of Brazil. Brazilians soon used them to add to healthy smoothies.

The Western world was introduced to the acai berry benefits around the 1900s. Surfers and sports people claimed that it boosted their energy levels. Scientists then made some studies. They found out that acai berry benefits were indeed plenty.

The acai berry is perishable and must be consumed within 24 hours. Therefore, Americans and Europeans enjoy it in juice or tea form instead.

Acai Berry Nutrition Content

The acai berry is loaded with nutrients. It has dietary fiber than glucomannan or acacia rigidula, essential amino acids, and healthy fats (monounsaturated fats and omega fatty acids). Aside from that, it also contains antioxidants (polyphenols, anthocyanins, and vitamins A, CE, and E), vitamins B1, B2, and B3, electrolytes (manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium), trace minerals (calcium, copper, iron, zinc), and plant sterols (campesterol, beta-sitosterol, sigmasterol).

Acai Berry Benefits

Maintains Cardiovascular Health

Studies show that the regular intake of acai berry juice can help lower blood sugar levels and can protect the heart.

The plant sterols in acai berries act as vasodilators. These are agents that relax the blood vessels. This in turn reduces blood pressure, reduces blood clots (which can cause strokes and heart attacks), and improves the circulation and oxygenation of the blood.

The high amount of antioxidants also add to the acai berry benefits. How? They eliminate the harmful free radicals that enter the body. These free radicals are responsible for heart disease. In addition, it has a fair amount of quercetin
that can reduce blood cholesterol by removing some harmful LDL cholesterol off artery walls. This then reduces the risk of stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart attack.

Helps in Weight Loss

The high fiber, low carbs content this berry possesses reduces the appetite. It can also stop hunger pangs linked with overeating and weight gain. It too helps to cleanse the colon and improve sluggish digestion.

The acai berry can help you lose weight fast, and it can also help maintain a healthy weight. It reduces the negative effects of high-fat diets. One credible study showed that 30 days of using acai berries resulted to a reduction in total cholesterol and a lower level of fasting insulin and glucose levels.

Used as Brain Food

Acai juice can increase mental function and sharpness of mind. The acai berry has protective effects over brain cells, which can improve cognitive functions. The Vitamin B can also contribute to the maintenance of mental function.

Has Cancer Prevention Properties

Properties of the acai berry target the underlying cause of cancer formation. These are harmful free radicals and inflammation.

The acai berry is high in vitamin C than applesauce. These can suppress the growth of cancer. A published study also found that polyphenolic compounds in acai berries reduced cancer cell increase. Its phytochemicals can also stop the process of carcinogenesis on a molecular level. This kills of tumorous cells before they can multiply.

Improves Skin Health

A lot of beauty products contain acas oil due to its high antioxidant content. Consuming plenty of antioxidants helps repair skin cells faster, providing a more youthful appearance.

Since ancient times, people have been using acai either topically or internally to prevent skin degradation and to keep skin smooth and healthy. Along with cumin
, the ingestion of acai berries also provides your skin an attractive glow from within. Acai oil helps get rid of fine lines, dark spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, scars, discoloration, and sagginess.

Boosts Energy

The acai berry contains no sugar. However, it has a high level of probiotics
that are slow-releasing. This makes it an ideal food for endurance sports that consider energy and stamina necessary.

Also, the antioxidant properties in the acai berry helps the body recuperate faster after a round of strenuous exercise. In can also combat fatigue and exhaustion. In addition, this helpful berry replenishes the body with valuable electrolytes.

Promotes Good Digestion

Another of the acai berry benefits is that it helps in digestion. The acai berry contains detoxification properties. Too, it has a high dietary fiber content. It is also a natural digestive cleanser. It helps the liver and kidneys to process and remove waste and toxins from the body.

It’s also a great colon cleanser. It prevents the accumulation of harmful substances and undigested matter from staying in the colon, where they can cause constipation and other digestive problems. This therefore speeds up bowel transit time, preventing foods from fermenting in the intestines as this can cause gas, bloating, and constipation.

If you suffer from LBM or diarrhea, eating acai berries can help as they give more bulk to the waste and reduce the chances of diarrhea.

Source: Behealthy.today

Breakfast Smoothies Perfect for Weight Loss

Losing weight fast and keeping the unwanted pounds off is no easy feat. It requires dedication and the will power to curb those unhealthy cravings. You could take pills like garcinia cambogia, or alli, but that is a temporary fix and not the best for your health. Luckily for you, there are certain smoothies, breakfast smoothies specifically, that you can easily whip up. These will help you on your path to a slimmer, leaner, healthier you!

These breakfast smoothies are loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). These specifically target belly fat. The best thing about these drinks is they are perfect as a meal replacement for breakfast.

So what are you waiting for? Go on and sip up to slim down!

Easy Breakfast Smoothies to Try Out

Blueberry Smoothie

This is the first of our breakfast smoothies. The flaxseed oil in this recipe increases the body’s metabolic rate. This helps you burn fat faster.

Ingredients:

a cup of skim milk

1 cup unsweetened blueberries, frozen

1 tablespoon cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil

Procedure:

First, combine milk and blueberries in a blender. Mix completely. Next, transfer mixture to a glass. Add in the flaxseed oil. Last, stir in oil completely.

Skinny Orange Dream Smoothie

This is one of the breakfast smoothies that’s packed with vitamin C. This vitamin boosts one’s metabolism.

Ingredients:

1 orange, peeled

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon honey

¼ cup almond milk

½ cup ice cubes

Procedure:

First, place all the ingredients in a blender except the ice. Then blend thoroughly. Lastly, gradually add in the ice cubes until the desired consistency is reached.

Honey and Wild Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberries (and other berries in general) are low in sugar, but have a high amount of nutrients. They help in weight loss as they also have few calories.

Ingredients:

½ cup wild blueberries

1 banana

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup mango cubes

½ cup nonfat milk

½ cup kale

1 tablespoon raw honey

Procedure:

First, place blueberries, banana, mangoes, yogurt, and milk in a blender. Second step is to blend them all completely. Next, add the kale and honey. Continue to blend. Finally, you can add in ice cubes until you get your desired consistency. Serve fresh.

Creamy Chia Seed Piña Colada

Chia seeds are perfect in weight loss smoothies. The fiber in the seeds expand in the stomach and absorbs large amounts of water. This increases fullness and also slows down the absorption of food.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon Glucomannan

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup pineapple chunks, frozen

1 teaspoon coconut flakes

Procedure:

First, make sure to soak the chia seeds in the milk overnight. Then place this in the fridge. In the morning, blend the chia seeds, glucomannan (konjac root) , and milk with the yogurt, pineapple, and coconut flakes.

Strawberry-Banana Breakfast Smoothie

There are many breakfast smoothies that are both yummy and healthy. This is one of them. Bananas contain fiber and also resistant starch. These support weight loss. They’re also low-energy-density fruits, which help you shed those extra pounds.

Ingredients:

1 banana

½ cup strawberries

1 cup raw spinach

½ cup almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

white kidney bean

Procedure: Simply place all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add ice cubes for desired consistency.

Berry Oat Breakfast Smoothie

Oats are rich in fiber. Fiber helps keep you feeling full, and you’re also less likely to overeat. This is one of the breakfast smoothies that keep you full well until lunchtime!

Ingredients:

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup nonfat milk

½ cup berries (whichever you prefer)

⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon cumin

¼ cup ice

Procedure:

First, dump in oats, milk, berries, cumina lot of carbs, and yogurt into a blender. Combine thoroughly. Next, gradually add in the honey until you get your desired sweetness. Last, place in ice cubes one by one, until desired thickness is achieved.

Spicy Pineapple Detox Smoothie

This is one of the breakfast smoothies that’s perfect to get rid of that bloated feeling. It also helps get rid of that abdominal fat. Pineapple reduces inflammation. The ginger boosts your metabolism. These two plus the cayenne pepper helps promote proper digestion. In addition, throw in some flaxseed for an extra boost of fiber.

Ingredients:

1 banana, frozen

1/2 cup of applesauce

a cup of pineapple chunks, frozen

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1-2 dashes of cayenne pepper

a tablespoon of flaxseed

1 cup ice cubes

Procedure:

First, place banana, applesauce
, and pineapple chunks in a blender. Blend until smooth. Next, add the rest of the ingredients except the ice cubes. Continue blending until fully incorporated. Last, gradually add in the ice cubes until desired consistency is reached.

The Buzzing Bee Smoothie

Dates help you achieve weight loss since they are nutrient dense and are also a good source of fiber. Bee pollen is an appetite suppressant and will also make you feel full. In addition, it also has amino acids that increase your metabolism. Finally, coffee stimulates minimal calorie burning.

Ingredients:

2 cups soy milk

½ cup old-fashioned oats

2 bananas, frozen

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 tablespoon bee pollen

3 dates

1 tablespoon coffee grinds

1 cup ice cubes

1 gram niagen

Procedure:

Throw in all the ingredients (except the ice cubes) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Finally, add in the ice cubes for the thickness you want. Enjoy!

Double-Decker Tropical Avocado Smoothie

Avocados lower cholesterol, suppresses hunger pangs, and also spot-reduce belly fat. Kiwi is a great source of fiber and vitamins C and K, which help with your metabolism.

Ingredients:

1½ cups pineapple juice

2 kiwis, peeled

1 gram quercetin

1½ cups mango chunks, frozen

½ of a small ripe avocado, peeled and cored

¾ cup coconut milk

1½ cups strawberries, frozen

Procedure:

First, pour the pineapple juice in a blender. Next, add the mangoes, kiwis, and avocado. Blend everything until smooth. Pour the mixture into glasses. Wash out the blender. Next, place strawberries and coconut milk into the blender and mix completely. Lastly, pour the pink mixture over the green mixture.

Matcha Mint Chip Smoothie

This is the last on our list of breakfast smoothies for weight loss. Matcha powder enhances weight loss by boosting your metabolism. Mint also aids in digestion. Cacao nibs is also a great source of fiber. And last, spinach is very low in calories, so this vegetable in your drink is a great helper too.

Ingredients:

1 banana, frozen

a handful of spinach

1 tablespoon matcha powder

½ avocado

1 tablespoon chia seeds

sprigs of fresh mint

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

Procedure:

First, combine all the ingredients (except the cacao nibs) in a blender. Next, blend until smooth. Third step is to add in the cacao nibs for last and blend some more. Finally, pour into your favorite glass and enjoy.

A Friendly Reminder

And there you have it, easy recipes of breakfast smoothies that help you lose weight. These are perfect for first-time smoothie drinkers.

However, please don’t rely solely on just breakfast smoothies to lose weight. These should be paired with proper exercise and the right diet.

Source: Behealthy.today

Probiotic Food to Eat for Optimum Health

Whoever thought that bacteria could actually be good for you? That’s right, you heard me. There’s a thing called good bacteria, and they exist. Probiotic food contains these good bacteria.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics
 are live microorganisms. They provide the human body with many health benefits when consumed. These are especially helpful to the digestive system. They also benefit the immune system This leads to protection from various infections and illnesses.

Probiotic Food to Try Out

I’m sure you’re still a little iffy about probiotic food and what they’re all about. However, you’d be surprised to know that you’ve probably already tried some of them.

Read on to find out more about these healthy bacteria.

Yogurt

Surprise! Yup, yogurt is one of the most popular probiotic food out there. Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria.

Eating yogurt has plenty of health benefits for the body. First, it improves bone health and helps lower blood pressure. It also relieves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues.

Yogurt is safe as well for those who are lactose intolerant.

Kefir

This dairy product is a unique combination of cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk and fermented kefir grains. Kefir grains are cultures of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. This originated in the North Caucasus Mountains in Russia.

It also has a high level of antioxidants. It’s also another of the probiotic food that’s safe to consume if you have lactose intolerance.

An Ohio State University study found that drinking kefir reduces bloating and gas brought on by lactose consumption by 70 percent. And kefir actually contains more niagen
than yogurt!

Tempeh

Vegetarians use tempeh as a meat or tofu substitute. It is a fermented soybean product.

This probiotic food is created by adding a yeast starter to soybeans. Then set aside for a day or two. It then takes the shape of a firm patty.

People describe its flavor as similar to a mushroom, nutty and earthy. Tempeh originated from Indonesia.

It provides the body with vitamin B12, protein, fiber, and calcium.

Miso

Who knew this Japanese seasoning, often used in miso soup, has lots of vitamins and minerals for the body? First, it’s a great source of fiber and protein. It also has a number of phytonutrients, vitamin K, copper, manganese, and all 9 essential amino acids.

A study showed that miso lowers the risk of breast cancer. Another study also showed it reduces the risk of stroke.

Miso is a great digestive regulator, and can even help with weight loss.  First, it alkalinizes the body, strengthens the immune system, stops the effects of carcinogens, and neutralizes the effects of environmental pollution.

Miso is made by mixing soybeans with other ingredients. It could be rice, rye, or barley. You can create this by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus koi.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is used as a salad dressing, or you can drink this straight up (in small amounts, of course). It has protein enzymes, potassium, pectin, calcium, acetic acid, and malic acid.

Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body and replenishes beneficial bacteria that crowd out yeast. It also controls blood pressure, prevents diabetes, aids in weight loss, and lowers cholesterol.

To make apple cider vinegar, first crush apples and save its liquid. At this point its basically applesauce. Then add good bacteria and yeast to the liquid.Next, the sugars are converted into alcohol. Then the alcohol is turned to vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria.

Sourdough Bread

Bread contains probiotics? That’s right. Well, at least this type of bread does. To make sourdough bread, ferment the dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. These two break down the gluten and sugar in the wheat flour. This turns it to proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

The bacteria predigests the starches from the grains. This makes sourdough bread much easier to digest compared to other types of bread. Eating this also makes you feel fuller longer.

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is made from finely shredded cabbage fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is very popular in many countries, specifically in Europe. Sauerkraut is a side dish or a topping on top of sausages. It tastes quite sour and salty.

Sauerkraut has a high content of sodium, iron, and manganese. It is also very rich in fiber and contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. This probiotic food also has a high amount of organic acids, which support the growth of good bacteria. Lastly, it also has the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which are very beneficial for the eyes.

In order to enjoy its full probiotic benefits, make sure to consume unpasteurized sauerkraut. Pasteurization kills the live and active bacteria.

Kimchi

Kimchi is the Korean relative of sauerkraut. It boasts a spicy and sour taste. Kimchi is usually made with fermented cabbage. However, you can use other vegetables as well. Some use cucumbers or radish. Then you season with garlic, ginger, salt, red chili flakes, and scallion.

This Korean side dish is a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, white kidney bean, calcium, and iron. It also has vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and K. Also, it has lactic acid bacteria that promotes good digestion.

Fermented Pickles

That’s right, there’s a difference. Most store-bought pickles are merely pickled, not fermented. Those found in the store undergo pasteurization, which kills off the bacteria. You can make your own fermented pickles with a starter (yeast), water, and salt.

They are low in calories, but high in vitamin K and sodium. In the UK, Australia, and Ireland,they call them gherkins. In Canada and the US, they call them pickles.

Traditional Buttermilk

Take note that I don’t just mean the mere term buttermilk. I specifically mean traditional buttermilk. Buttermilk has two main types. There’s the traditional buttermilk and the cultured buttermilk.

Traditional buttermilk is simply the leftover liquid from making butter. This contains healthy probiotics. People in Pakistan, India, and Nepal usually consume this.

Cultured buttermilk, on the other hand, generally doesn’t contain probiotic benefits.

Traditional buttermilk is low in both fat and calories. It has several essential vitamins and minerals good for the body, such as calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, and vitamin B12.

Cheese

Here’s another of the probiotic food that we have to be very specific with. Note that not all types of cheese contain probiotics. It is important to read the labels. Make sure there is a presence of live and active cultures in the product.

This is where raw cheese comes in. You use raw, unpasteurized cow’s or goat’s milk to make them. Their low acidity and high fat nurture and preserve microorganisms. Some examples of probiotic raw cheese are cheddar, cottage, feta, Gouda, and Gruyere.

Cheese is a great source of protein. It also contains calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and vitamin B12. This makes it a great healthy choice for a snack.

Natto

Another fermented soybean product, it is mixed with rice. You can best enjoy it during breakfast. Natto has a strong taste and smell and a slimy texture. Some people like to add a little cumin for flavor.

It has a high protein and vitamin K2 content. It also has a potent anti-inflammatory enzyme, and also helps with weight loss.

Kombucha

Kombucha is fermented green or black tea. It is made with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. This tea has a slightly sweet taste. It is also fizzy and bubbly. It is very popular in Asia, especially in Japan.

Its health benefits include increased energy, detoxification of the liver, weight loss, and promotion of good digestion.

So, rather than taking pills like alli, or garcinia cambogia, you can add some of these fermented foods to your diet for much healthier weight loss.

Source: Behealthy.today

Overweight and Obesity: Symptoms and Side Effects

It’s easy gaining weight. Heck, there are lots of delicious temptations all around us! What’s difficult is shedding the unwanted pounds and keeping them off. Admit it, we all want to eat what we want, but no one wants to be overweight or obese.

Obesity is one of the leading problems many Americans face today. Nearly two-thirds of adults are obese. Even children are sucked into this scary epidemic. In the past 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in young children and quadrupled in adolescents.

The number one cause of being overweight and obesity is the hugely popular fast food that the country is currently living on. Unhealthy snacks are rampant in today’s society. This is because they are so accessible and cheap. No one wants to take the time to whip up a healthy meal or a healthy smoothie.

Difference between Overweight and Obesity

Yes, there certainly is a difference. It all comes down to body mass index (BMI). You are considered overweight if you have a BMI of 25-29.9. As soon as your BMI hits 30, then you’re considered obese.

Obesity is a medical condition wherein excess body fat has accumulated, and this leads to negative effects on your overall health. It can lead to complications that can reduce life expectancy and increase other forms of health conditions.

Signs to Watch Out For

Your Face Looks a Little Rounder

They say that it always starts with the face. When your face looks bloated and pale, it’s a sign that you’re getting fat. In addition, that telltale double chin is another indication that those unwanted pounds are seeping in.

Your Waist Circumference Has Increased Too Much

It’s normal that we all gain weight. That’s a fact of life. But gaining too much weight is an entirely different thing. When you see that a not-so-old pair of jeans just don’t fit you the way it did before, then drop that cupcake, honey.

When you start gaining weight, the excess fat tend to get stored around the hips and belly. Office workers who spend practically the entire day on their desks also start gaining weight around the waist.

You Snore Too Loud

If your partner complains that you’re starting to snore every night (and you never used to before), pay attention. You may have sleep apnea. This is a condition where irregular breathing can disturb your sleep. Excess weight around the neck causes this. It narrows the airway and leads to shallow breathing or pauses in breathing. This is because there is decreased oxygen in the blood.

According to WebMD, the most common cause of sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity.

You Seem to Be Always Hungry

A significant increase in appetite is a possible symptom of weight gain. More so if you are specifically craving for desserts and sweets. Having extra body weight can make you stressed and depressed, thus making you want to turn to comfort food.

When you feel stressed and depressed, the adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol. This leads to the increase in appetite.

Everyday Activities Take Your Breath Away

And I don’t mean this in a good, romantic way. If you find that doing normal, everyday activities tire you out easily, then you are packing on excess weight. These activities include climbing stairs, doing grocery shopping, even cooking.

Extra fat in your body causes inflammation. This leads to a perpetual state of fatigue and tiredness. Also, your respiratory capacity for muscle function decreases.

You Tend to Avoid Public Gatherings

You’re starting to live like a hermit, meaning you don’t want to see other people. Or maybe…you don’t want other people to see you?

Having extra weight gives you personal issues. You feel ashamed and lack confidence, thinking that people are going to make fun of you and all the weight that you gained. So in order not to be made fun of, you decide to drop from the face of the earth.

You Have Tender Spots Everywhere

Being overweight causes inflammation. Inflammation makes the fatty tissue beneath your skin feel tender to the touch. This leads to spotty bruising. If you easily feel pain (like bruising) in random places in your body, it’s time to lose some weight.

You Have Stretch Marks

Another sign of being overweight is stretch marks. Stretch marks are fine lines or stripes on the skin. They usually have a different hue from the surrounding skin.

Extra fat can lead the tissue under your skin to stretch. Therefore, it loses its elasticity more easily. Some people tend to get stretch marks at the slightest gain of weight. So if you start seeing those parallel lines on your body, then that’s a sure sign you’re gaining weight.

Your Joints Hurt

Excess weight can add extra pressure on joints. This wears down the tissue around them. This in turn makes moving first uncomfortable, then painful. The heavier you become, the more your joints will suffer, specifically the knees, back, and hips.

You Have Sore Feet

When your feet tend to get sore easily, this is a sure sign you are getting overweight. Take note that your feet carry the weight of your entire body. Excess weight will wear your feet out, and they get sore and swollen. The swelling is due to the buildup of fluid in the tissues. This fluid collects mostly in the feet.

Side Effects of Being Overweight

You have to be careful when you start gaining too much weight too soon. A multitude of side effects can occur:

Neurological

Overweight people are prone to get headaches, stroke, dementia, vision loss from diabetes complications, false brain tumors, and diabetic neuropathy.

Psychological

Excess weight contributes to depression, anxiety, unnecessary stress, and eating disorders.

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects include asthma, sleep apnea, pulmonary embolism, and pulmonary hypertension.

Urological

Being overweight leads to possible kidney cancer and diabetic kidney disease.

Circulatory

There are many circulatory side effects in overweight individuals. First, these include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, irregular heartbeat, and atherosclerosis. In addition, there’s also the possibility of heart attack, heart failure, poor circulation, leg and ankle swelling, blood clots, peripheral artery disease, and certain lymph node cancers.

Muskuloskeletal

Overweight individuals can get arthritis (especially the hips, knees, and ankles), low back pain, and vertebral disk disease.

Gastrointestinal

There are many side effects here as well. These include reflux disease, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, gallstones, liver cancer, and gallbladder cancer.

Pancreas

For the pancreas, being overweight causes pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Nutritional

Overweight individuals get vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Reproductive

Last are the reproductive side effects. First, for the women, they can experience irregular menstruation, infertility, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Finally, for men, they could get erectile dysfunction, infertility, and prostate cancer.

Source: Behealthy.today

Metformin Shows Promise As A New Treatment For The Premature Aging Disease Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome

Image: Left is a HGPS patient. Right top is a normal smooth cell nucleus while under it you see an abnormal ‘blebbed’ nucleus from a patient with HGPS.

Metformin is a drug used primarily for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Multiple studies conducted in the last 4 decades have demonstrated that metformin extends lifespan of several model organisms (from yeast to rodents). Metformin has also been found to decrease all-cause mortality in humans suffering from diabetes. In addition to its anti-aging effects metformin may also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

What is Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome?

Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is a rare inherited illness that causes premature aging and patients typically die around their 13th birthday from a heart attack or stroke. Though some can live to their 20s before passing away. HGPS is caused by a mutation in the lamin A gene leading to the production of an abnormal form of the lamin A protein called progerin. Lamin A is involved in the construction of the interior ‘skeleton’ of the cell nucleus. Cell nuclei from patients who suffer from HGPS show an abnormal morphology (blebbing, see image). Exactly how the accumulation of progerin leads to accelerated aging is not yet fully understood. Interestingly, low levels of progerin also accumulate in the nucleus during ‘normal’ aging.

The benefits of Metformin  

In a new paper published in Experimental Dermatology researchers show that metformin reduces cell senescence, decreases the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), improved nuclear morphology, and reduced DNA damage in skin cells derived HGPS patients. Furthermore, metformin treatment reduced progerin levels. The authors also tested metformin in normal aged mice and found that it improves antioxidant defences in these mice. This result is in line with the observed reduction in ROS levels in the skin cells from HGPS patients treated with metformin.

These results are in line with those from a paper published last year in npj Aging and Mechanisms of Disease. In this study it was shown that metformin treatment reduced progerin levels and improved the morphology of the cell nucleus.

Future research will be needed to investigate if metformin also improves lifespan in a mice model of HGPS and eventually in human patients. Also the role of progerin in ‘normal’ aging remains largely unexplored. Finally, is the reduction in progerin production by metformin (partially) responsible for the lifespan extending effects of metformin in laboratory animals?

References

Park SK, Shin OS (2017). Metformin Alleviates Aging Cellular Phenotypes in Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome Dermal Fibroblasts. Exp Dermatol [Epub ahead of print].

Egesipe AL et al. (2016). Metformin decreases progerin expression and alleviates pathological defects of Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome cells. npj Aging Mech Dis 2: 16026.